Thanks, I think that you understand exactly what the aim is for this flashlight. Not for your 89 old grandmother (perhaps we can design an upgrade for her 2D light in another project) but indeed for your father in law in his sixties, my parents in law who are in their seventies, but most exactly described: any layman that is not a flashaholic but can appreciate a well performing flashlight, flashoholics included who like well-built easy to operate functional lights.
Although it was my earliest wish for this light, after some reading here and thinking, I think I’m with you on not wanting the USB port in the threads after all. For your reason not wanting to invite people to unscrew the light, but also because, this being a no-manual light, people may not find the USB port easily. In that line of thought, the port must be visible and obvious.
Your suggestion for a solder bridge to double the output sounds interesting, but it requires a “silent” thermal control present in the design so it involves more than just a change of sense resistor, and in general it does not really fit the principle that this light does not have “hidden tricks down its sleeve”. If this light takes off and is a succes, what may make more sense is asking Sofirn for a “downgraded ” version for flasholics with more output, thermal control, maybe a tailswitch etc. etc.
Hmmm…. How great would it be, though… That USB port under the magnet ring… You could have the cut out showing “OFF” too, and indicate the brightness level you’re at (printed on the section inside the ring). Dang waterproofing… Can’t we come up with something clever (but simple) then? Should the light be submersible (yes…) or would ’rain proof’ be enough (no…)?
Meh, never mind.
USB port is good enough with its own rubber flap thingy, i.m.o.
Thanks for pointing those out, raven5221. These may be a solution, although they will prove a challenge for assembly because the need to stick them inside the body hole instead of hoovering behind the hole. It depends on which direction the design goes if these are a good idea to recommend.
Have you ever tried to find a flashlight (without any glowing parts) on your night stand in the dark without knocking it over or onto the floor? I have, and then I have to try to find it on the floor in the dark.
A glowing diffuser is what I sometimes use, if the light itself doesn’t have any glowing parts.
It doesn’t take much glow or light to be seen in the dark next to you on a night stand.
I’ll probably repeat a lot of what’s already been said but I’ll leave my few cents anyway.
As far as features go, I would prefer a TIR optic (but not too floody). With a high CRI emitter and an efficient driver. Detented off position would be lovely.
Strategically placed (thicc) knurling would be a good thing and the no-ano/SS ring should be slightly thicker than the rest of the body.
Suggested modes are fine, infinitely variable would be nice but not really necessary.
(Though if it ends up being variable then yes, please start from ~1lm but otherwise no.)
Regarding the charging port, like raven said, IPX7 and even IPX8 rated USB-C receptacles are a thing. The light needs to be designed around one and it needs to be implemented properly but I would pay a little bit extra for that.
Though that might be a bit too much to ask for in a ~20-25$ light, considering the BOM increase.
If someone wonders about the price, cheapest USB-C receptacles are ~0.1$ a piece in 100-1000+ quantities but if you add ingress protection then they start at around 1$.
Certainly not expensive but small things add up quickly and Sofirn needs to make a profit.
Though that was based on LCSC and glancing over some Alibaba listings I guess they could find something closer to 0.3-0.4$.
If an IPX7/8 port is not possible then hiding the charging port in the threads is the next best option in my opinion.
Since personally I find flaps to be fiddly, they will wear over time (no longer water resistant) or better yet just fall off.
Sure, with the in-threads-option an o-ring will wear as well but I’d say they’re lower maintenance? Threads will have grease so there’s probably going to be enough grease on the o-ring itself to reduce the wear rate. And if damaged then it’s relatively trivial to change.
The Waterproof USB Type-C Connectors look great for this purpose, but how long will it take for some Chinese manufacturer to start turning out the cheap copies needed? And can they copy it correctly without making something that leaks eventually? It can’t just be “good enough to sell” it has to be “good enough to serve” and stay that way for years.
They dont have to reinvent the wheel. They can just buy some cheap local off the shelves part. Even the lowest end cheap Huawei phones Ive tried have waterproof USB. Infact they work better than my Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which had water infiltrate and couldnt get back out causing tinny echos in the speakers.