Is it normal for High powered flashlights to overheat quickly in turbo mode.

I used 1000+ lumens flashlights for quite some time but I recently acquired a completely different type of beast: imalent R60C. It has 18000 lumens and 1km of throw.

However I noticed after just 30~60 seconds in high or turbo mode the heat will instantly travel down the handle and if it doesnt ramp down itself or I dont manually dim it, it will get unbearably hot to hold. It is worth noting the flashlight has no cooling fans like what you find on other high powered models. The beam alone also burns my hand without directly touching.

My real question is this: is this normal, or is it damaging my flashlight. To me its an indication the heatsink is working and bringing the heat from the sensitive electrical components to outside. Just want to hear expert opinions or if there is a fix to it or even if my flashlight is defective.

That’s normal for a flashlight of that size that outputs 18,000 lumens.

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Ya it’s normal. Very normal. You don’t want it to get hot enough to boil tea, although the LEDs are probably rated above 100°C, and the electronics the same or higher. The batteries probably have the lowest temperature rating, like 60°C-80°C, but that’s more than hot enough to burn you, so the point where it’s hot to the touch isn’t too hot for the electronics yet.

For long term reliability you’d want to not run it at 60°C all day if you can though. Mostly for the batteries. But on turbo ya, it’s gonna get toasty. The beam can set stuff on fire.

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For electronics its fine 100+C , but for humans and lithium is no more like 45-50C

Sustained exposure to heat that leads to degradation of the skin can occur from as low as 42deg.C (108deg.F).
This may seem far fetched, but matters when you have the choice to hold on to something or not, or to drop it.

Even a 1000 lumen light gets very hot after 5 minutes.

Good job paying attention to how hot a light is getting.

Trust your hand, it is an excellent thermal sensor.

Do not allow the light to get too hot to touch.
Turbo is just for marketing, it is not sustainable.

I like to use my lights at outputs that are sustainable and do not produce excess heat.

I dont drive my car at full throttle, nor my lights either.

I almost always turbo my lights until the head gets unbearably hot, no failures yet and I’m more than happy to repair/replace if a failure does occur.

Obviously heat contributes to degradation but that’s not necessarily something I need to try avoiding.

I’ve always agreed with @jon_slider and everyone else who feel that a flashlight’s “Turbo” mode is nothing more a marketing tactic. Due to the prevalent use of the term “Turbo” in the marketing of flashlights over the past decade, what’s been lost is the fact that Turbo by definition was never meant for anything more than “short bursts at full power”. In other words, the highest mode intended for extended use in a flashlight should be the “High” mode!

While I respectfully don’t agree with your “throwing caution to wind” attitude in this particular case, I respect your right to choose.

With that, I can’t help being curious how you’ll feel if the failure that results from a scorching hot flashlight that you didn’t realize was accidentally turned on, or for some other reason, is a 3rd degree burn to the skin of your hand? Or worse!

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Probably the same way you would feel, but it’s hard for me to imagine that happening to either of us

As an example, all my Anduril 2 lights auto-lock after 1min. Idk, I just feel like there’s a lot of fear mongering going on here

this review has a runtime chart:

You can see that Turbo is not Sustainable.
The chart also shows that the Sustainable output is about 3000 lumens, slightly less than medium 2

As a rule of thumb, Medium ouput tends to be Sustainable without getting the host too hot to touch.

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I can tell you how I felt. Approximately 10 years ago, I received a high-power, multi-emitter, multi-cell flashlight purchased from a highly reputable manufacturer. After getting it set up, but before having a chance to power it on, I received a phone call, so I sat it bezel down on a table. When I came back to it several minutes later, and grabbed it’s ~50mm battery tube full on, I immediately realized I had a big problem.

In the split second it took for me to drop it, I had already sustained a borderline 3rd degree burn requiring a visit to the emergency room. Fortunately, I still had the presence of mind to grab it with a towel so that I could shut it off.

Based on a forensics-like inspection by an electronics expert, an unusual, easy to miss, short in the circuit was found (I forget where), that would have likely resulted in a thermal-run-away and possible explosion.

It was freak incident, which is the point!

Members of BLF can agree-to-disagree all day long about the statistics, or differences of scenarios, etc. of this particular issue, but the fact is that many of these products have become arguably dangerous to even the most knowledgeable and cautious among us.

So what you call “fear mongering”, I’ll choose to call “being cautious of the potential of serious injury”.

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Sorry to hear about your injury but what’s your recommendation in relation to this thread? Every light on the market (at least the ones that users of this site are interested in) is capable of failing how you’ve described regardless of if the user operates in turbo mode or not

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That’s what temperature regulation is for.

My very first flashlight with temp regulation was a ZebraLight SC62w. I was so impressed with how bright it became for such a small flashlight, and it got hot, but not too hot to be an issue.

Same with the current Convoy and other drivers, temp regulation is a must have for powerful flashlights these days.

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Turbo 4 life

But ya it’s not like boost and/or buck drivers can’t get hot. Bright lights get hot right? Don’t give them to kids, theyre not a toy. Good thermal regulation is pretty useful too

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I think its a buck driver as it has 3 21700s in paralell and it has sst40 emiters.

Luckily I donot have kids that could misuse it but I do treat it with caution !

I think that has sft70 sst70s, so it’ll be a boost.

fwiw, the R60C host weights 500 grams
18,000 lumens divided by 500 = 36 Lumens per gram, Unsustainable

the 2000 lumen level runs for 3 hours… it is 4 lumens per gram…

Im developing a rule of thumb that 5 lumens per gram is in the ballpark for sustainable output… the R60C fits the pattern.

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