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We are both huge fans of flashlights. I think you will have your own thoughts on the field of flashlights. What do you think the future holds for flashlight products? Nowadays, numerous flashlights/headlamps on the market are designed with smart motion sensors. These intelligent designs considerably simplify the user’s operation during use. For example, headlamps can be turned on and off by waving your hand. The headlamp automatically steps down when it encounters an obstacle ahead, and the flashlight steps down when you put it in a pocket or backpack, etc.
Question: Do you think a smart flashlight/headlamp is practical? Why?
Leave your thoughts in the comments. We will randomly select 2 lucky people from the comments section on December 15 to win our HS5R headlamps. Enjoy!
The implementation needs to be correct. I remember years ago, some bicycle lights which would dim when they sensed other lights (such as an oncoming car), this is generally not what you want as the driver then cannot see you!
With all “smart” devices the function must assist the user, not create problems.
With regards to the motion sensor headlamps, an option to disable the motion control should be available to allow the use of the lamp in confined space etc where the sensor may get confused.
And finally, they must be tested in heavy rain to ensure they still function correctly!
I’ve never had a smart light, so I have no experience with it. But it would certainly depend on the reliability of that smart control and at the same time also on the different price compared to the normal version.
SMart features are in most modern items today, and it’s nice to see them starting to appear in flashlights. I would like to see an app built for them which would be easy to set up different groupings of power, check battery status, turn on at timed intervals for security and so on.
I’m not sold on the idea of practicality, but agree there would be safety benefits of features that would shut off the torch in the confined space of a pocket or bag. Also agree it should be integrated with an option to override or disable the feature. Wouldn’t even consider it in a tactical venue.
I’m pretty sure light sensors and proximity sensors were in some phones before we had smartphones. Of course “smart” phones have had proximity sensors and light sensors for a long time. Those two little sensors alone are not why we call smartphones smart. Even if the sensors were able to distinguish between your hand and blowing snow or rain or heavy fog, there’s no way we could start calling flashlights “smart” anytime soon. “Slightly safer”, “slightly more useful under some very limited circumstances”, okay, and we can use those labels. As long as manufacturers continue to mostly use mostly cool white LEDs, I consider the flashlights pretty dumb. The flashlights on some current phones are using 4000k high cri LEDs. They don’t have a hotspot and they have a very wide viewing angle. Probably in excess of 130°. So some manufacturers clearly could learn a few things from studying smartphones.
When it is snowing or fairly heavy rain or foggy, that is the worst time to strap any light on your head so close to your eyeballs. But obviously sometimes you have to be hands-free. And you want the light to move with your head. Any advancements need to take size, weight, cost and other issues into consideration. Control with and over the sensors is paramount.
I bought a motion sensor headlamp for a friend; the only time he doesn’t like it is working in his woodshop - the sawdust activates/deactivates it (so it’s important to be able to bypass that sensor when desired).
Olight has just disabled their proximity sensor with a firmware update because it caused problems. Will it work with rain? What is with dense forest? Working in dirty environments? A simple button is much more reliable.
There are a few use cases for motion sensors. For example in the medical and health environment where you don’t want to touch different objects to prevent contamination.