[Please note that this is a reverse-Rating driven Post, i.e. one long post vs. three shorter ones. Dashed lines separate each sub-Post.]
>>"I challenge Petzl to create a big brother to the e+LITE, regulated and powered by a single CR123 lithium cell. Button cell lights, no matter how attractive size and weight-wise, lack the ability to sustain steady output, even for several minutes. A relatively small bump up to a cylindrical lithium camera battery opens up vast possibilities for improvement."
Brilliant!! I would second that suggestion.
Simply place the short 1xCR123A barrel shapped battery box under the light generating unit (e.g. Streamlight Argo HP using 2xCR123A currently does this).
I would find this headlamp very attractive. It should really extend the very bright short-lived output of the current e+LITE greatly. Figure a single CR123A has ~6x the stored energy. However, it's only 3v vs. the 6v series arrangement of 2xCR2032 currently used in the e+LITE. So, it's really only ~3x the stored energy at the higher voltage. In reality, it's probably more like in between the two numbers since the LEDs won't be driven at 6VDC. There is, however, another factor in favor of the CR123A batt. It's much larger than a Li coin cell and so can dissapate heat better, thus controlling its internal resistance better (meaning keeping it lower), and reducing the amount of voltage dropped inside of the battery and thus available to the electronics. This will do three things: 1) keep the LEDs burning longer, 2) keep the LEDs burning brighter (once the Li coin cells batts heat up, that is, all other factors considered equal for this point), and 3) require less cycling OFF of the headlamp to allow the batts to cool (in fact, a the lower current draws of lower o.p. modes, the larger batt may be able to dissipate the heat fine w/o any great amount of heating up).
>>"Oddly, none of our featured lights offers the sophisticated continuously variable output of the miniscule Photon Freedom button-cell light, and there’s certainly no reason why not."
Everyone's tastes are a bit diff. On this point, i prefer something "blander", so to speak. I both like continuously variable light o.p. b/c it's "neat" (as the young'uns say), but i also don't like it. Why? Because...
it makes it much more difficult to "guesstimate" how much more LIFE (aka "burn time")is left in the batts. It's far easier for me to guesstimate that i've run the headlamp on HI for 30min total over the last 3d, and 4hrs on MED over the same period of time. This makes it a little easier to guesstimate how much life MIGHT be left. For example, i could guess that for a given headlamp, i might only have 2hrs left in MED on the current set of batts b/c 30min on HI o.p. is roughly equivalent to 4hrs of MED o.p. (in this particular illustrative headlamp). [yeah...i actually do this kind of "guesstimating"...and so do many of you, i bet!!! i'll admit it, "i'm a techno-geek"! now, will anyone else admit the same?]
[NOTE: semi-tech rant alert; it might be best to skip the following extraneous verbiage as they are the out of control musings of a self-confessed techno-geek.]
Obviously, these little mental tallies/notes aren't really possible when there are 16 or 32 digital steps of brightness and you don't really know which one you might be in at any particular point in time - other than OFF, lowest, and highest. Though, in point of fact, often you can actually SEE the discrete stepping of a Photon Microlight in its lowest o.p. modes since the PERCENTAGE that each STEP represents of the WHOLE is much greater at low o.p. than at higher o.p. To illustrate, in case my writing is unclear, if the the second step is 2x as bright as the first step (it's often a BINARY world in this case), then that one step represents a 100% increase in light output. Each step will add the same AMOUNT of light, but that light will be a smaller PERCENTAGE of the OVERALL light output. The next step represents a 50% increase compared to what the first step offered, or the next a 33% increase, the next adds a 25% increase, and so on (these numbers are just for example and may not represent any actual headlamp, though they probably do, IMO). So, each STEP becomes a smaller percentage of the new total light output. At some point, our eyes are unable to distinguish any STEPS b/c the percent increase is too small. I, personally find 50% very noticeable, but 25% only in a repeated side-by-side alternating comparision. Also, 33% is very difficult to recognize. Anything smaller, for me, "for-ged aboud id" (as Mickey Blue Eyes would say - you might have to live in the geographical region that i do to find Mickey's "d"'s funny; believe me, it's a riot - even amongst my many Italian friends).
To illustrate with "hard" numbers, let's say each step is 50lux. Then, it follows:
step 1: 50lux
step 2: 100lux (100% increase over/from step 1)
step 3: 150lux (50% incr.)
step 4: 200lux (33% incr.)
step 5: 250lux (25% incr.)
step 6: 300lux (20% incr.)
>>"My favorite light in terms of construction and brightness is the Arc Premium pen light. At 0.8 ounces, it's light enough to hide in my kit, but too heavy for a hat brim if I'm wearing a floppier hat. In the latter situation, my choice is the Photon Freedom Micro Light - one in white for camp chores, and one in red for night hiking. My batteries of choice are always lithium."
"Whoa, Nelly!" "Hold on there a minute Babalouey!" [Trivia Question: what character used to utter the second of these two quotes? Warning: answering might show your age!]
DrJ is livin' in the "dark ages" (pun intended)!
[trapdoor opens and dancing ArcPremium makes a swift, but ungraceful exit from the stage. Then...enter, stage right, clip in clip, two tiny flashlights from FENIX - the E0 Dart and the L0D-CE (the CE means "Cree Edition" - Rick mentions Cree LEDs near the end of his Article. Pick ONE or the OTHER, depending upon what your needs are, i.e., do you use your ArcP for task/proximity lighting? or for walking a simple path - the appropriate FENIX is superior for the purpose prev. fulfilled by the ArcP, i.e. E0 for task lighting, L0D-CE for distance lighting+almost as much life for task lighting]
If interested, please search the Forums for both of these or even Arc Premium, i've made some lengthy Posts making comparison between them.