The future of flashaholics

So, I was marveling at the progress made in LED lights. We can probably all agree that they’ll have more output in the smaller (EDC) lights. We’ve got usb charging and power banks, what else would you knowing folks like to see in flashlights? Phones? GPS? What else? Thanks

Batteries and heat … thats the limiting factor :wink:

Everything else is just marginal gains or extra features

Better tint and color rendering, more UI innovation such as dual-button interfaces or rotary control rings.

Physical button covers/safeties. Firearms and all sorts of other devices have them, why don’t flashlights that can burn you? Would be much faster and simpler than tailcap and electronic lockouts.

Integrating both flood and throw emitters/optics into a single light. Lots of larger lights doing this already but with tint-ramping UIs I think it’s time to see it in smaller lights now that a good method of operation exists.

So far Imalent has been making the most innovative lights

These are rights points to avoid to spent too much.
As for consumer electronics power and quality increase
and when market is saturated price go down.
Look at lights on sale now compared with lights of 5 years ago…
just be patient

Not so long ago Imalent was like Sofirn

Is slapping more and more emitters and batteries into bigger and bigger hosts really innovation? Seems to me we have Cree to thank for the much higher max output and efficiency emitters rather than Imalent for mounting a bunch of them in a host the type of which has been around for years.

Maybe the most powerful, but not innovative. The UI sucks.

I guess the next substitute for the MS18 or R90TS will have SBT-90 Gen 2 emitters.

Longer and longer run time.

Roll out solar charging panels integrated into the light.


Or motion-charged batteries. And I bet some of that heat generated by high-powered emitters could also be recycled back into useful energy.

Thermal temperature control using more or different materials. Maybe a ceramic infused aluminum, carbon fiber, the tiles used for the space shuttle nose piece lol. In 5 years we will have liquid nitrogen running threw 1mm tubes inside the head with a micro pump that circulates when the temp setting is reached. The tech is there but the cost I could only imagine. I come from the Eveready 2 D cell tin roof looking flashlight era and the 6V Cell big flashlight lol. Then it was Maglite. Flashlight Technology is off the charts! I am truly amazed just how much power we have in such small packages, truly phenomenal. So Better thermal dynamics and longer run times.

WiFi of course

That is exactly what I was thinking about some days ago.
I am not an avid modder or reviewer, compared to the Big5 of this forum, but back when I registered, around 2013, there were very nice, but as much expensive huge electron(gas) hog flashlights , and there were the rest, with not much modes, silly drivers and ordinary T6 LED. Everyone was modding them.
An emitter swap, gas dedoming or driver resistor mod, 7135 stacking was the craze here(as far as I can remember). ATTINY reflash was nice either. Everyone tried to do throw with as small die size as possible, soldering together copper chunks for heat storage and direct drive mods.

Now you can buy quite fancy lights with various ramping drivers, FET drivers instead of direct drive. Spare parts are almost nonexistent. Dedoming is almost impossible and/or useless now.
Basically everything that has been made with expertise and trials and errors now comes from factory at bargain prices.
It is very nice for the user, but true budget modding threads are almost nonexistent now.

It might by my opinion only, but I think the past 3-5 years were better and more exciting with real challanges. Now it is just funds and waiting for shipping, IMHO:

  • there’s still quite a bit to improve w.r.t. efficiency and thermals
  • brands like BLF, Emisar, Astrolux, Haikelite, Nightwatch offer nice mid to mid-high end lights with great value. But if you want just a notch up in quality - price is up through the roof. I wish somebody will tap this potential
  • LEP is very immature and there’s a lot of potential in this space
  • optics - there’s quite a lot going on in this area but still too little
    • Fenix E16 introduced very flat optics - there’s space for way more lights like that
    • TIR zoomies are getting frequent but in cheap lights. A few better ones exist but again there’s room for improvements
    • We’ve waited for long to see more Wavien Collared lights. I believe the first independent collared light from China appeared this year.
  • saabluster is back - I don’t know what he will come up with but I expect some innovation. :slight_smile:
  • poorly done powerbanks are plentiful but good are rare
    • very few lights have a single Type C port. The most common construction is to have separate ports for charging and discharging.
    • there’s nothing with seriously high discharge rate, I’ve seen no more than 2A. Come on, 5V/5A is not special for good cells. Something like Molicel M50A should easily deliver 10V/5A despite being a high-capacity (rather than high-discharge) cell.
  • phone control is likely to become more common

Bluetooth, making it possible to connect 100s of flashlights in crazy light shows.

Good idea. Or even utilizing this to transmit the light telemetry, in realtime, voltage, temperature, amps to be able to analyze this in your cellphone. Even firmware upgrades over the wifi.

I imagine batteries in just a few years will be 3 times the cells they are now. Not necessarily in price, more of what they are. Right now we have really only two options, regardless of cell size. We have high discharge low capacity or, low discharge and high capacity. Those with salaries that depend on battery innovation, I reckon all cells in general will continue to improve. I just think the rate of innovation will ramp up now with a higher and higher demand for longer run time cells. Electric car companies I’m sure are working around the clock on it. Electric cars still have that whole range problem thing and are only good for certain people, in certain areas. It’s imperative that they push batteries to a new level. Which in turn will directly affect the cells us flashlight folks buy.

I’m sure in China they will continue to crank out lights as fast as they can sell them. The companies that listen to us here on BLF and other places will continue to build nice lights and subsequently releaste another 9 versions with different material and color options.

UI’s are up to the folks who program it. Some will suck and some won’t. BurningP mentioned something about safety type options on lights. Wonderful idea. Electronic lockout and tail cap lockout takes too damn long when you need it fast. I highly doubt it would be problematic to design something like that.

I’d like to see a stop to the lumen war in pocket lights. I’d like to see more attention paid to great tints, beams and useful features. No I don’t want my flashlight connected to my phone or any other device in my home. I don’t want my light to play music, read me the news or otherwise bother me with useless nonsense.

I think it is just a matter of time before they take some of the current technology we have and integrate it into a light that you can wear on your head…leaving your hands free. Imagine some type of elastic strap that held a light securely on the forehead and a system by which you could point the light where you want it.

Just kidding

Personally, I think we should be seeing a lot more of the LEP type technology expand.

Speaking of safety: Several years ago there was a revolver grip you could buy to put on your gun that rendered it unable to shoot without a magnetic ring that the owner would wear. That tech is coming back and Mossberg is integrating it into some of their firearms. High power lights could use some of that.

Can you imagine a Light with voice activation? Just telling "turbo" or "dime 1" "dime 2" for low medium ect...