Which is the Perfect Flashlight Mode Selection?

You can see the archived poll results on the Wayback Machine:


I changed my vote to other because I prefer ramping like Andúril provides.

5 modes makes the most sense. No manual needed .

Depends on the light and its intended use IMO.


A thrower does not need a moonlight mode

Unless strobe is instantly accessible in a tactical sense, they are pointless to have. So no need for them at all.

Purpose built tactical torches should have strobe, but only if it is instantly accessible.

For an EDC light I think it needs to two things from off:

-be able to switch on to moonlight
-be able to switch on to High/Turbo

From either setting I want the ability to increase or decrease brightness, i.e.

turn on in moonlight, pump up to low, then drop down to moonlight without turning it off or blinding myself.


turn on in Turbo, but able to drop it down to High, then back again to Turbo without turning it off or cycling through loads of modes.

If the above needs to be done via multiple clicks. Then as a rule, when I want moon or low light levels I’m not in a hurry — nobody is. But when you want High/Turbo you kind of want it there and now.

But of course you don’t want to blind yourself to get to moonlight.


Click to turn on to moonlight
——> long click to Low
-> short click back to moonlight


Click to turn on to moonlight
-> short click to Turbo (so essentially a double click to turn on)
——-> Long click to High
->short click back to Turbo

Number of modes will depend on the output of the light. The higher the output, the bigger the spread you will need. However I see no reason why you’d ever need more than 5 brightness modes; (Moonlight, Low, Medium, High, Turbo). But some lights might only need L-M-H or Moon-Med-High.

Turbo should step down, either by temp sensor or timer.

High should be flat regulation where possible.

Dual switch or the head loose/tight options give greater ability to enable you enter the output range at either end of the spectrum with ease (moon or turbo). Yet I’m still to find a light that get remotely close to this.

I do not want different mode groups, as the UI becomes too complex (Manker U11 I’m looking at you!) and you need a printout of the UI at hand in order to use the thing.

Programmable …. meh. Usually that just means they haven’t bothered offering what is really needed.

Battery check would be nicer by a separate LED warning light that only works when the light is on (so as not the drain power and allow mechanical lock out and mechanical switches). Red, amber, green is all it needs really to let you know battery health.

As for other blinky modes. I think the use case for them is so small, that 97% of lights should not have them at all. Worst is the awful blinking and flashing modes people use on bikes. What stupid ideas they are to try and dazzle and blind cars coming to towards you. Completely idiotic.

If blinky modes are really required, a small toggle switch on the driver could be used to enable/disable them. That way people who want them can use them, while everyone else (the vast majority) can live more happily without them.


My fave UI remains the 4Sevens Quark AAT. Its basically a 2 mode light selected by loosening/tightening the head. Tighten the head for mode 1, loosen it just a tad for mode 2. Each mode is independently programmable from .5 Lumen up to about ~100, including various disco strobes. Not a lumen scorcher, but its honestly rated with AA alkaline. So it will do more OTF with different cell chemistry. I find it more than enough for a constant-ON EDC task light. I updated mine with a neutral tint XPG3 and with a 14500 IMR it remains my main EDC light. I have it programmed for .5 lumen low and turbo as my 2 modes.

So even though its basically a 2 mode light… my correct poll response is +1 for programmable.

Anduril, for everything.

I used to think anduril was “overkill” for a thrower, but when using my Astrolux ft03 xhp50 and my ft03s with anduril, I ultimately realized I even prefer anduril with my thrower. I can have 1 step, 2 steps, 10+ steps, ramping, EASY battery check (easy is very important, opposed to going to strobe sequence to check my battery status), strobe only if I really want it, but don’t have to change my programming to get it. Not to mention other fun stuff like lightning mode.

Anduril is really just the best of all worlds for me, in all of my lights.

That does sound nice.

I’m a big fan of infinitely-variable rotary, but no need for strobe or colors in my collection. My Sunwayman V11R is perfect—tail switch for on-off, rotary for moonlight to turbo, and that’s it.

Anduril, please.

Another for Anduril. It’s about as perfect as it gets. Instant access to moonlight and high, and quick ramping everywhere in between.

After thinking about it a little more, I guess there are two other UIs I’ve really loved over the years- the Surefire gas pedal switches, and the 4 sevens 2 mode loose/tight head UI. I hate nearly all forms of mode memory. I want to be able to turn the light on where I want it, not where it was last.

Its definitely unique. I have it set like this… tighten bezel=turbo, loosen bezel=low. I usually keep the bezel just a little bit loosened. So it starts off on low-candle every time, and If I want to activate a momentary turbo I just press the bezel with my thumb. No click switch required. Of course if I want a constant-ON turbo that requires 2 hands to fully tighten the bezel. It works for me. Others will dislike the 2 hand operation for sure.

Absolutely 100%.

However, for general use and, IMO, for most torches, I would suggest a selection of modes.
I mostly deal with EDC type situations, so I need a light that covers as many as possible, with the simplest possible UI. It must be one-handed operation, as I so frequently find I need light right at the moment when I have to keep something held in place (engine parts, PC parts, weapon parts, dogs, children) with the other hand. Most of the time that means a tailswitch.

Many normal lights can be pressed into service for a ‘tactical’ situation, which in non-tacticool speak means used to blind an attacker, in the one and only situation you’re likely to need it.
This means the strobe would need to be separate from the main cycle, still instantly accessible, but not in a way that is easy to trigger accidentally.
Otherwise, I hate it and would want it gone entirely!

Or any other mode, and for that reason I think any light that has Mode Memory should include the option to disable it, with the torch always starting on Low.

I think there would come a point of diminishing returns, though.
For most EDC, I would suggest 1,000lm as a turbo and perhaps a High of around 2-300lm, Medium about 50-100lm and a Low somewhere further down around 15-30lm… I’m thinking mostly of battery runtimes when not blazing like the sun, so even with 4000lm Turbo, would you really use the 500, 1000, 2000 sorts of levels?

I really like the TK11 TAC method of a switching collar. It allows one-handed use, provides a physical lockout, and you can switch between two different modes (Low-Mid-High/Strobe, or High/Strobe). The main switch still gives you momentary and on, with hold for Strobe, but really you could have several mode sets, each neatly separated, simply laid out and readily accessible.

I’m also a fan of that, although I am very partial to Nitecore’s LCD screens!! :smiley:

I agree in part… I think high level blinkies are too dangerous for the average human to have, and *really *bright white/yellow lights belong on dedicated rescue strobes only.
However, I use the red blinkies on my LD15R on a very regular basis for work, as a safety marker. For a light that people EDC in various situations, that will include emergencies (usually vehicle based) where a low-medium brightness red or orange beacon would be of considerable use… even as a ‘just in case’ feature.
Other colours may also be of use, depending on the country.

Simply holding the switch long enough seems to work, for the most part. But again, a switching collar could do all that.

The question and choices is sort of trying to blur the lines between the UI and modes and there’s no reference to Turbo at all. Ramping is good. It’s got to have moonlight and it’s got to have turbo and a fairly quick and easy way to get to both of those for EDC. And of course it has to have mode memory. If it doesn’t have ramping it’s got to have at least five modes. Moon, low, medium, high, and turbo.

Glad you’re liking it :wink:

me too…

with just a rotary dial, no tailbutton:
Jetbeam RRT-01 (2012)

I dont like the overly simple UIs like on my convoy 3/5 modes with the strobe/sos in the main rotation.

I tried very programmable lights with Anduril and found those overly complicated, with too many functions to memorize and had a fear of messing up the settings.

I find my favorite lights have something in between. The Thrunite T1 is one of my favorite EDC UIs. Click and hold moonlight, click on/off then hold for ramping. Double click for Turbo, Triple click for Strobe. Let the factory set the temperature limit to throttle turbo, LVP etc. I dont want the responsibility. Oh and a little led in the switch to alert me when battery is getting low is nice.

ramping, or selectable number of evenly spaced levels - like anduril

lots of modes but none of them in the main sequence, main sequence should just be plain light levels - like anduril

I chose programmable.
Bistro HD OTSM and Anduril are my favourite so far!

I also like the guppy3drv but I tend to use it less. I believe I would like the programmable lucidrv2.

Me too, too

I'd like to see a 1xAA with two selectable menus:

1) Moon>L>M>H


2) H>M>L>Moon

Menu 1 for a gentleman's pocket light, where starting on Moon (or low) is advantageous for reading a menu in a dimly lit restaurant for instance.

Menu 2 for a service/utility light where starting on H is convenient for observing under vehicle hoods, inside wiring closets & such, where H is most useful.