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Lumens or how bright is bright

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by newfalguy101, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    I have been looking around for a decent edc flashlight for work.

    I understand that lumens is a unit of measurement, but, dont really understand it.

    Is 300 lumens 3x brighter than 100??

    I want to be able to see well enough to Identify small parts laying on the floor at the back of the cure oven.

    The oven is about 50 foot deep.

    I currently have a 2aa minmag type light and its just not doing the job, aside from being too long to comfortably carry iny front pocket its just not bright enough.

    Attached is a pic of the light I now carry, the sharpie is for size reference.

    Suggestions?? 20190915_164958.jpg
     
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I am not an expert on Lumens but do know that the focus of the beam can make a big difference. A high Lumen flashlight with a flood beam may not seem as bright as a flashlight with lesser Lumens with a focused beam.
     
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  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have a number of different lights rated in Lumens. I have concluded there is no penalty for not telling the truth on the package.
     
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  4. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    What's your budget? I've got a Fenix 1000 Lumens that is surprisingly bright and could probably do the job described easily but it cost $60. I have 2000 Lumens flashlights that aren't as bright as the Fenix.
     
  5. HamSlamma

    HamSlamma Member

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    You can research flashlights on the net until your eyes bleed.

    There is a LOT of them out there. Make sure you read up on the company you order from "Before" you order anything. There is a lot of China crap out there...….
     
  6. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Great question. Looking forward to some enlightenment myself.
     
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  7. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Well, if you want bright, I would go 18650. You can get rechargeable batteries and very good chargers for these as well. The lights I normally use are not bright enough to go 50' (they are rated at 300 lumens). Judging from that you'll want closer to 1000 lumens.

    Here is an article that may help. It also goes into how brightness is measured:

    17 Brightest Flashlights 2019 [AAA to 18650]
    http://www.besttacticalflashlights.net/brightest-flashlight/


    I use these chargers. They are smart chargers to maximize your battery life:

    NITECORE New i4 battery Charger For Li-ion / IMR / Ni-MH/ Ni-Cd 18650 18350 16340 RCR123 14500 AA AAA D C w/ Ac and 12V DC (Car) power cords, EdisonBright BBX3 battery box, 2 X AA to D type batteries:
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GODG3X0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1



    I do not have any of these but the Wowtac A1s (1150 Lumens) goes for $26:
    ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fimages-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FI%2F51dfxVIksFL._SY300_QL70_.jpg

    https://smile.amazon.com/A1S-Flashlight-Pocket-Sized-WOWTAC-NW/dp/B07M5BV8P7/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=wowtac+a1s&qid=1568676663&s=electronics&sr=1-1-catcorr

    and the list goes up to the OLight X7 Marauder, 9000 Lumens for $150:
    51bGxDNbGkL.jpg
    https://smile.amazon.com/Marauder-F...=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B01LXM1ULC


    Here is an Amazon search with some interesting results in the 2300 + lumen range starting at $31 and up
    https://smile.amazon.com/s?k=emisar+d4&i=electronics&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

    This one looks interesting ThruNite TC15 2300 lumens @ $50:
    ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fzeroair.files.wordpress.com%2F2018%2F11%2Fzeroair_reviews_thrunite_tc15_16.jpg
    https://smile.amazon.com/ThruNite-C...rgeable/dp/B07JCFY3N4/ref=cm_wl_huc_item?th=1

    This review goes through the different brightness levels of the TC15 at night to give you an idea.


    What's the Difference between NW and CW?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
  8. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    I have a Sofirn C8F that I quite like. 3500 lumens in turbo mode, but it can be set to run at 10-100-500-1800 lumens based on a click of the switch, with a double click taking you into turbo mode. Or alternately, you can set it to ramp up and down 1 lumen to 3500 lumens based on holding down on the switch. It's pretty darn bright. I can light up my Arizona subdivision size back yard at 1800 lumens. $44.99 at Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tactical-Fla...1_1?keywords=sofirn+c8f&qid=1570056242&sr=8-1

    61i93i86KLL._SX425_.jpg

    We have some Great Horned Owls that nest in the neighborhood. We've also got a little, elderly Pomeranian that's probably too big for them to handle, but not big enough to scare them off and we got worried that they might try to swoop and injure her. (My wife has caught one of the owls eyeing Roxie early in the morning when she's taken her outside.) We researched it and one of the recommendations for keepimg the owls at a distance was to keep a strong flashlight handy and shine it on them if you catch them eyeing your dog. So we bought a Sofirn Q8 , it's about the size of a soda can and packs 5000 lumens. I generally refer to it as the 'Howitzer'. It throws a beam almost like a searchlight.

    61iT-5zy-7L._SX425_.jpg
     
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  9. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    This was helpful. I have a "windfire" 802, green LED that I use for hogs when not using a night scope. It's CREE and 18650 driven. After reading this, I was able to obtain a white light LED 500 lumens element for it for the princely sum of $12.30. Good for 75- maybe100 yards. That's enough for me.
     
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  10. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    20191003_133726.jpg 20191003_133749.jpg 20191003_133806.jpg 20191003_133812.jpg 20191003_133936.jpg This is what I ultimately went with:

    Actually no idea on lumen output, but, when zoomed to tightest setting it is signifacantly brighter than the minimag ( no zoom/focus ability ).

    Best of all.....FIVE lights for like 12 bucks..shipped from Amazon.

    Below, hopefully are pics of my minimag then the new light at its widest, followed by the new light focused to its smallest pattern.

    First pic is natural light for reference.
     
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  11. GarySTL

    GarySTL Member

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    I'm glad you found a light that works for you. If you are interested in a lighting specific discussion board, check out "candlepowerforums"

    There are sub-forums dedicated to everything from flashlights to transportation lighting.
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    lumen refers to the total light emitted by a source.

    upload_2019-10-25_18-51-41.gif upload_2019-10-25_18-51-41.gif upload_2019-10-25_18-51-41.gif upload_2019-10-25_18-51-41.gif 18v68aj648x4wjpg.jpg
     
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  13. Belevolk

    Belevolk Member

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    I used to work in an open pit mine. Dropped a few flashlights into the "water" and watched them die. Water in this situation is water H2SO4 and secrete sauce, depending on what we were leaching at the time. I discovered Duracell flashlights at Costco that started out at 300 lumens, and are now approaching 1500. https://www.costco.com/work-lights-flashlights.html.

    50 feet is a far throw for some pocket torches. Amazon has several where you can focus the beam and they are rechargeable, under 30 bucks. I have a 4-7's rechargable that will throw light 300 feet. It was 100 bucks, I suggest that you start cheap and play around with the lumens, my experience and old eyes says your going to need at least 500 lumens.
     
  14. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Growing up in the US, we are used to the old "wattage" rating. Which was a measure of electrical power being consumed by a given light bulb, not the actual brightness of the bulb.

    A lumen is a measure of the quantity of light in a specific area. A lumen is "equal to the amount of light emitted through a solid angle of one steradian by a light source with the intensity of one candela (0.0015 watt)".

    So, what is a "steradian"? It's the surface area of a sphere which is defined by the radius of the sphere. All points of that surface area, being on a sphere, have the quality of being the same distance from the center of the sphere. ('ll put a pic in here later.)

    The problem, and perhaps the source of much irritation, is that there is no "equivalency" or direct "conversion factor" between the old system we're used to (wattage rating of a bulb) and lumens. This is because of two things:

    1. Wattage is a measure of the power consumption of the bulb, not the light output. Because of this, there is no way to convert directly between wattage to lumens.

    2. Lumens is a measure of the light output of a source over a specific area. However, "brightness" is a perception based on both amount of the light and the frequencies of the light being emitted.

    You can have two different light sources with equal lumen ratings, but if the light spectrums are different they will not appear to the human eye to be of the same brightness. This is where light "color" or "temperature" is important.

    "Warm" or "soft" white will give you a slightly yellow hue, similar to incandescent lights. Temperature-wise, this is in the 2,700K to 3,500K range, with the lower temperature being more "yellowish".

    "Bright" white will give you a color that's closer to daylight. There's "bright white/cool white", which is 3500K to 4100K, and then "Daylight", which is 5000K to 6500K.

    At about 5500K, the light starts taking on a bluish tint to it.

    My preference for flashlights is a bright white light with lots of lumens and the ability to focus the beam as I required.
     
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