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This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stanley's question answered!

Stanley said...

"Was talking to Kingston tonight... he wants to get a flashlight for testing. Wanted to know how long the batteries last in the different power modes."

I haven't done any run time testing yet so my values are approximate and based on calculations with 80% driver efficiency. 80% is also a best guess for this type of linear LED driver, but it's pretty conservative so I'm hoping actual run times will be equal to, or better than, what I've listed below. Does anyone want (or know how) to test my driver efficiency?  

High (500 lumens) = 90 minutes @ 2.8 Amps
Medium (180 lumens) = 250 minutes @ 1.0 Amps
Low (30 lumens) = 1,800 minutes @ .14 Amps

53 minutes might seem short but keep in mind this is brain searing bright. If you are indoors at close range this will be way too much horsepower. For example, I've used the light a couple of times when the power went out. I kicked it on high and set the light on its tail in order to bounce the light off the ceiling and light the room. it's almost like daytime. Low is more than adequate for midnight runs to the fridge, searching for something under the car seat, or even around a campsite at night. 

If you are say, walking the dog at night, medium is plenty of power to light your immediate surroundings and then some. I mostly use high when I'm showing off or searching for something at distance. 

The funny thing is, the darker your surroundings the less light you need to be able to see. If you are out in the woods and there is no light pollution, low is really a massive amount of light. But if you are in a more urban area and need to look down an alley, you need a lot of power. I assume this is because if there is no ambient light your pupils will be dilated and "night adjusted," whereas if you are walking down a city street your pupils will be fairly closed. I'm not sure what the opposite of dilated is. :)  

1 comment:

  1. You can say that again about not needing much light when it is really dark. I think there are a ton of people out there that like 1 lumen or less at night going to the fridge...14 lumens is actually bright! I thought I would need more but after getting a ra and 47 I now feel that somewhere between 1-5 lumens is about perfect inside at night, less then 1 is fine for actually walking inside the house.