Modes are nice, but.........

I find that for my primary most used EDC I keep going back to a single-mode flashlight time and time again.

I wonder how many here ultimately find the *simplicity and surety*of knowing that every time the switch is clicked no matter if it’s 10 times in a row within 30 seconds that I’m gonna get the same result each and every time:

“My flashlight is illuminating what I’m looking at EXACTLY the way it did 7 seconds ago when I changed my mind to look at it again!”

That and having a momentary switch gives me a metaphorical light woody. I must be weird. :person_facepalming:

I feel the same. For me an edc does not need throw, it just needs a simple on/off for brief periods here and there. I do extend to liking infinitely variable control rings though.

Yes I get it, some time simple just wins out. The h17f drivers I have are all on single mode on one of the groups(double tap for max). Not sure output wise, guess around the 150-200lm ish. Pretty much enough do it all light for my uses. Most of the time I just want to click once and know exactly what I am going to get and get each time I click!

I also like my sportac triples, most are two mode though(just one single mode 219b), but work well. The 20% is often enough and works like a single mode UI for me.

The D4 is treated similar , locked out then lock in for around 140lm. Works well for most uses once past the novelty of ramping (which is cool).

I guess if I stated my preference for ramping in those terms, I’d say: “My flashlight is illuminating what I’m looking at EXACTLY as brightly as I need right now just like it did 7 seconds ago when I needed some other level of brightness!” See, I don’t understand being worried about what brightness my flashlight is outputting. I just turn it up or down to whatever I want at the moment.

So if your ramping light always comes on first in let’s say High then basically what you’d be saying is essentially I have the best of both worlds: it acts like a single-mode 100% of the time I switch it on unless I ramp change to something else.

Hey I can live with that too. :smiley:

The main difference I note with ramp lights is that they are for the most part side-switched which can be either advantageous or not depending on how it’s carried and whether what they require to turn OFF entails extra press maneuvering.

Well… high on a q8 or a d4 like my two examples of ramping is a bit much for a starting point. But I guess you could think of it as a changable-level single mode if you really hate the idea of a light that’s not always the exact same brightness. Yeah, these two are both side e-switches. It’s not a big deal, in fact for the q8 it makes a lot of sense, and for the d4 it’s not a problem. They don’t have to be complicated; you can just click for on/off and hold for changing brightness.

Modes are nice, single mode is eeh, ramping is good but variable output (via a magnetic ring for example) is my choice. Momentary on is required and if there are disco modes, they should be well hidden. There were flashlights that covered all that (Nitecore IFE2, Sunwayman V10R e.t.c.) but today, sadly, it’s not easy to find an UI like that.

If Nitecore was to release an IFE2-like flashlight with an XP-L Hi (I like my EDC light to have some throw) at 1300+ lumens, I would just buy three of those and not care about any other tube-light until the next big led technology leap.

I think I’m seeing a macro trend developing here that’s now becoming more obvious by the replies.

The race for ever more lumens appears to be slowing down a bit against UI and dimming innovation.

The IFE2 format or similar as you mention I think is the wave of the immediate future. I will say I really like the Sunwayman’s flush magnetic ring concept moreso for aesthetics and in my mind being perhaps less prone to damage than a protruding dial.

Magnetic rings rock! Too bad we don’t see more of those!

All of my lights are capable of working as a single mode light. But I prefer at least 2 modes. One for close things one for far away things. Of course the brightness of these 2 modes need to be adjustable for my surrounding conditions. So yeah I need multi mode lights. I like a factor of 4x to 6x between modes. 10-40-160 or 50-300-MAX for example. At work my light is almost always used on MAX as a single speed or Momentary. My dog walking thrower lights are use on Max Momentary 99% of the time, I also use a head lamp.

I remember when I could get by with a single speed mini mag. And coin cell key chain light was all I needed to go camping.
What is my point ? Not sure I have one. I like complicated lights that can be operated simply.

Oh, I also remember thumbing a single speed light to reduce brightness.

Sorry if this is derailing your thread.

A single-mode holstered ’502 has been my EDC since I threw it together a few years ago.

Store-bought that have modes, I keep them as-is for the most part. I also EDC an SP10 in my pocket, for when I might need different modes. Just looking at all the ick growing in the ice-machine at work, my ’502 does the job great, without modes. When the ick finishes evolving and develops language skills, it’ll agree with me, too.

Sure, ramping in my Q8 is fantastic. When I’d need a Q8, though, I just 2click to turbo anyway, else I’d just reach for a “lesser” light. Hell, I’d he happy with my C8F being 1-mode, as that’s what I grab when my EDC might not be enough, or my Q8 would just be too unwieldy.

F13? Its come-with emitter is meh, rather cold, and the UI stinks to High Hell, so it’s a host, period. What goes in it? 1-mode 22mm driver, simple on/off. Throws quite nicely, has a great beam, is as predictable as the sun.

So modes have their place… as secondary lights. My primaries I choose by my needs at the time. And my ’502 is about 500 lemons, bright enough for must uses and allowing assloads of runtime, too. If I need more, I’d take something beefier. But that serves its purpose probably 95% of the time. Only rarely do I “have to” grab my SP10 out of my pocket, or before that my Jet-II out of my bag, for lower modes.

I do like dual-switch setups like the F1 and/or P30, though. Set’n’forget the mode, use the tailswitch to turn it on’n’off. Change the mode only if you need to, but then immediately put it back to its predictable default.

So… it’s as simple as using the right tool for the job, and NO tool is one-size-fits-all.

Or just get a DV-S9 with magnetic slider. Half-inch of travel goes from no to whoa very quickly.

That sounds like exactly what you’d rather avoid in a control scheme. Nice concept, but there’s the issue with a linear slider. I could go for a rotating one, potentially, but I’m also quite used to the ramping style and not needing to do more than press a button.

The Q8 isn’t a one trick pony. It has a lower low and a higher high than any other light I have. It has, by virtue of its size, the best battery life and best heat dissipation of any of them. It’s not one to run solely at turbo. I’ll use it at a variety of levels to ceiling-bounce some light (And because that’s not the limit of its capabilities, it doesn’t thermal throttle with such a task like a smaller light would), or turn it on ‘firefly’ mode to navigate a room at night. It’s not a throw-only light like a d1s or something; you can still use it up close reasonably well. If you need to look further away, that’s when you ramp it up- maybe to turbo, maybe to only whatever fraction of turbo you actually need, since any more is just burning power and taking away your night vision so that when you turn it back down, you’ll end up with worse vision than before.

I agree, modes are annoying… Whether that be five or one. One of the greatest things about modern flashlights is their ability to be run at whatever brightness level you actually need, instead of just whatever the light is built to be capable of. No manufacturer climbed the mountain and received a tome upon which was inscribed the exact amounts of output that is necessary for every situation that the user will ever encounter. A flashlight HAS to be flexible, because otherwise you bring multiple lights, costing you weight, money, and space and STILL don’t have quite what you need. My EDC is the 219C D4. “But spaceminions! Your D4 has almost 4000 lumens/75 watts! How do you keep from melting your hands off?” Well, because it’s not a single mode light, I just use it at a lower level of brightness unless I happen to need the higher brightness for a moment or two. Imagine that! Instead of having to recharge the battery after ten minutes, I can go quite a long time between charges, on a light that’s capable of being painfully bright when necessary. Kind of eliminates the need for a little penlight, then a slightly larger light, then an even larger light in case I need lots of brightness… Almost like you don’t always need a different tool for every single job. Would I need something else to act as a thrower? Absolutely. But there’s simply no need to have 5 single mode lights instead of one or two dimmable ones.

You might like Anduril. If you like ramping, it has ramping. If you like mode groups, it has mode groups. If you like momentary, it has momentary. If you like simple, it has a simple mode. If you like blinkies, it has a wide variety. If you dislike blinkies, they’re easy to avoid.

I suppose this is moot for most people though, until the FW3A comes out. Not many people bother flashing firmware.

Along with simple(single mode or 2 mode starting in low-no memory type), i also enjoy the infinite control ring UI of the v11r. This has a 219c 5000k thanks to gunga in, really transformed for the better ,as the original beam was too cold for me.

3rd along v11r, UI never grows old being able to dial up and down on the fly!. I do find though, i am always tweaking it………………maybe because i just can, or maybe because it never seems perfect at the time…………

5th is the HDS rotary, this is also an awesome UI IMO. Love again the ability to dial up/down of 24 levels all which are calculated around our logarithmic response to light

Also press/hold for max when needed works well.

As i like variety in LED’s and forms, i do like different UI’s as well. I know thats not always a good thing for some, but i dont mind and it is a factor that helps keep my interest. I dont want every light i have to be the same LED and same UI, i do want different or i guess i would be happy with just one light.

I don’t know why ramping is popular for edc. I find it takes just as long to ramp as it does to cycle through modes. Not really that quick and easy in comparison to single mode or infinite control.

BTW nice collection Ven :+1:

Thank you pinkpanda :slight_smile:

Yes, second on Ven’s collection. I also like the glass full of a certain collection of elixirs to the far right.

Stay thirsty my friends…… :smiley:

Nah, I just use it as a springless “accelerator pedal” when using it. It’s off, but just a gentle push lights it up in the general vicinity of whatever brightness I want. A slight nudge for low, all the way for max, anything in-between for, well, anything in-between. Rarely have to renudge it. With just a little use, you get the feel for it rather quickly.

And it’s pretty much instant, and instinctive.