Strongest DIMMABLE Flashlight?


New to the forums. Looking for a small torch for an FX shot in a film. Was looking at the beautiful Acebeam X80. BUT, I need the torch to be dimmable. Any ideas? Looking into modifying the X80, but I’d be open to any other dimmable torches anywhere to within half the brightness of the X80 - say, half the lumens.

Any counsel anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.

What do you mean by dimmable?

Do you mean infinitely variable brightness?

Referring to a potentiometer, or dimmer switch to yes, control brightness.

Ah ok then.

Wouldn’t it be better to build something like this:

With a high CRI COB LED like this:

Should be relatively easy to build, and provide quite a lot of flood, along with being able to use a reflector/lens to direct the beam.

Or this one from one of our members:

Emisar D18 maybe ?

F3WA or anything with a ramping mode

That Youtube link is dead.

Definitely better to get pre-built - this is a film prop so bending and hacking are faster and cheaper than R&D cycles or hiring engineers.

That link of a user’s unit is nice but i have no way to evaluate it without seeing it in action. also, didnt see specs on dimensions.

anduril firmware is ‘dimmable’.

the FW3A uses it, so it is.

It is also in several ‘big lights’.


The Youtube link works for me.


If the FW3A is bright enough, it's a very nice budget light.

All the emisars would work for you. Just pick the size you want.

And they are available in the us at mountain electronics.

If you need to dim/brighten at different rates (faster/slower), you might not even want to get a light with a ramping UI. You’d have to (typically) brighten before dimming, you might get the top-/bottom-of-range blink, etc. Also, some have horrible profiles, zipping from lowest to what seems like full power in a second or two, then slooooowly getting brighter to its true 100% setting. (Ie, it’s not “visually linear”.)

You can get a light with a slider or ring that directly controls brightness, like the DV-S9.

Want a hacque? Whatever bright light you end up using, use diffusing film on the front glass, to blend the hotspot and spill and remove any artifacts from the beam. Maybe even 2/more layers, as you only lose like 2% light per layer.

Mount the light somewhere as needed, and slide a small sheet of metal in front of the lens to varying degrees to get as much/little light as you need, like an iris or shutter. That, you’d have to figure out the best way to do it.

Easier hacque? Workshop lamp (plain lightbulb in a brushed metal “bowl” to reflect light) and a plain ol’ light dimmer.

Like this, but the older style:

anduril ramping (emisar, FW3A) is very easy to control the dimming

i know what you mean about some of them [thorfire, especially] though.


Are you just looking for a light that has multiple brightness levels, and not necessarily infinitely variable? If so, pretty much any flashlight can do that.

I'm assuming you want a light with a super long throwing tight beam that will show a thin beam of light being projected vs, a floody light like the FW3A.

look at this thread and pick a light that uses Narsil ,ramping IOS or Anduril

Okay, I’m back.

Looking for INFINITELY VARIABLE BRIGHTNESS or as close as I can get.

Lightbringer: hacque? ……

Ultrafire DV-S9 = not nearly bright enough. Need Lumens > 10,000. Workshop lamp? Unworkable due to power source, portability, cord, and prop needs. Also, mechanical solutions like an aperture are unworkable.

Main feature is portability. The prop is carried in scene. It sits on the ground like a lantern. Shines straight upward in a reveal shot. That light coming to full brightness needs the tension of ramping, vs immediate switch from dark to light. The prop is portable, small, and has to function without a noticeable cord or actor interaction.

Hope that gives folks a clearer view of what I’m going for here.

Brightening before dimming is also a no go. Action = no light ramping to full light.

BlueSwordM - that’s a really cool light. But, can’t wait three weeks for parts and it doesn’t run off a battery, so requires more engineering.

Best case scenario = off-the-shelf unit + minor bending = done. The reason I chose a flashlight is for size and configuration.

Emisar D18 Flashlight looks like it might work. FW3A is also too small.

Boaz - I don’t need the tightest beam. The body of the prop will provide some flagging at the edges to tighten the look of the beam.

FW3A is def too small. Thanks for that link - checking them over now…

Haikelite mt09r iirc it has stepless dimming

Looks promising, thanks!

It also looks like I might have to bypass some switch circuitry… :weary:


Not to get preachy, but I see this over and over and over again. The damned thing should be made a sticky if not a must-read.

Someone posts a quick short question, then there are lots of suggestions, lots of shoot-downs, then finally a “What I really need is…”, with the result being lots of wasted suggestions and ideas, and lots of frustrated people muttering to themselves, “Y’know, you should’ve just said so in the first place.”.

The same thing happens when people leave their location field blank. “Where can I buy…”, people suggest Amazon and other places, then get, “Oh, I live in X, and there’s no Amazon there.”, or, “They don’t ship Y to my country”. Like, wtf??

The key to getting useful answers is asking a useful question which keeps people from needlessly spinning their wheels.

Do you want it to go from dim to bright while sitting on the ground without being touched by an actor?

If so something like an Emisar D18 would work, but you might need custom firmware programmed for it.

Anduril firmware is open source, but you might need to program in a special mode. Something like you press the button then after a set period of time it starts ramping until it hits max and stays there. That way it would work without being touched.

My old math teacher always said that by fully understanding the question you are about halfway the answer.