Thanks for your tests AA Cycler!!
I have and like a lot the SF14 (recently modded it), but never run a test on it!
But this is very useful and I guess that you should let Sofirn know about it for a correct advertisement and driver improvement, if that is the case!
Very useful information :+1:
Your expectations are understandable, but that is not how Lumen specs work
all flashlights drop from maximum very quickly, within seconds. That is even true for the D4.
the key weasel clause in the Ansi Lumens runtime measurement is, “runtime until the lumens drop to 10% of initial output”
there you have it
expecting 230lumens for 1h 30min is not how lumen specs work
that spec means that there was a moment when the light was making 230 lumens, but the runtime ended when the light dropped to 23 lumens
there is NO flashlight, anywhere, that can maintain its maximum initial lumens for the entire stated Ansi runtime
this is a common consumer misunderstanding, caused by the way the Ansi lumens runtime spec is calculated. You really need to see a runtime curve to know what is actually happening.
I dont buy lights for their High Mode
I focus on their medium mode because it CAN be maintained in flat regulation for the stated runtime
An AA battery simply does not have enough power to produce a steady 230 lumens, but it can certainly do several hours at 30 lumens
If you need multi hour runtime at more than 100 lumens, you need more battery capacity than AA
An 18650 light, rated for 1000 lumen maximum, cannot maintain 1000 lumens either, but it can maintain 500 lumens for an hour
When buying a flashlight, looking at runtime charts can be very helpful in determining the actual lumen levels a light can maintain for a desired number of hours.
Flat regulated output, is not the same as Ansi runtime specs at all, its good to learn the difference, and check runtime charts before buying a light based on expectations of maximum brightness runtime
newbies make this mistake all the time
they post things like
“my flashlight is defective, it wont hold turbo for more than a second but the box says it should last 72 minutes”
then someone has to explain the 10% Ansi lumen levels rule
certainly the advertising is misleading
runtime charts are the solution to this misinformation and misunderstanding
A low-ish medium mode is what I’m seeking out for a good travel headlamp. I hate lights that have “medium” modes around 80-100 lumens which is way too high and kills runtime. Give me a nice 20-30 lumens or so that I can easily tap into and know that I can get 8-9 hours out of.
here are some runtime options with 3 different battery types
aaa 4 hours 20 lumens, Lumintop Tool w Nichia (pocket clip works on a hat)
16340 Olight S1 Mini High Cri 50 lumens 6 hours (pocket clip works on a hat)
AA 21 hours 30 lumens, Zebra H53w
I dont own any zebras, but I hear many people cant tolerate the green tint of the C models, and that they prefer the Tint of the low cri of the W
I was just giving an example of a light with the ~30 lum mode and 8 hour runtime you wanted
afaik, the Zebra remembers 3 main modes, the others are selectable to suit your personal taste for extra modes, but you dont have to go through them all to make the light useful.
sounds good, maybe you can post a runtime chart showing flat regulated output @ ~200 lumens, so we can see the multi hour runtime
Interesting co-inky the subject of runtime graphs for single AA Zebralights has come up. Ran several runtime graphs on my SC53Fc last month. Was going to post these on CPF before things there went south. FYI, this floody version was a Zebralight custom build when I ordered it, but now it's on their regular list.
Three different batteries were used:
(1) Energizer Lithium
(2) Panasonic Eneloop Pro
(3) Energizer Max alkaline
Make your own conclusions on how well regulated this model of Zebralight is.
This first graph is with an Energizer Ultimate Lithium. You get about an hour before brightness drops to 70% (or about 200 lumens). I can't explain the wonky rise in brightness during the first 35min. Anyone have thoughts on why there's a rise in brightness that didn't occur on the Eneloop or alkaline battery?
The wonky rise in brightness above made me repeat the test again, to see if it was duplicable with another lithium. It was.
Panasonic Eneloop Pro. Here again, we get close to 200+ lumens for about an hour, assuming the Zebralight spec of 285 lumens is valid.
Finally, an Energizer Max alkaline. Even though ANSI FL-1 is only 30min, the bunny kept running for 5 days, a testament to how well the Zebralight can run at moonlight levels down to about .8V. Also, I suspect the alkaline's ability to recover at very low current draws, contributed to the 5-day runtime.
Yes, you definitely need to use an Eneloop to make the Zebralight give a regulated output. I think those SC53Fd graphs match what the SC52’s deliver, though I think the cool-white and neutral white “w” versions are more efficient than the Fd.
From my testing, the SC5w is better regulated than the SC52/SC52w, and also about 10-15% more efficient. I’m not sure if efficiency was improved with the latest MkII models of the SC5.
I think if output and runtime are your main concerns for a 1xAA light, then I don’t think you can beat the Zebralight SC5.
I like to further categorize cheating into two categories:
1. Those that simply sag because of a drop in voltage under load. That is, they don’t have regulated drivers.
2. Those that intentionally abuse the FL-1 standard so they can advertise ridiculous output and runtime stats. Companies like maglite do that; they step-down not just because of an unregulated driver, but down to just over 10% initial output so it runs for a really long time.
I don’t really have an issue with #1. Any lithium-ion light that uses a FET driver for max output, does it. #2 annoys me.