The topic of this article is torches with Anduril UI and their use in Light Painting. Aspects such as luminous flux, runtime, colour temperature etc. are largely ignored here. For an introduction to the topic of torches, I recommend the following articles:

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  • Taschenlampen

I also cover the subject of torches in great detail in my book: Lightpainting book


Most torches are not designed to meet the specific needs of lightpainters. We are not the largest target group, to put it mildly. As a result, some well-known manufacturers have to contend with some oddities in the operation and functions of their torches. Some torches from Fenix only switch on or off when the switch is held down for some time. Under certain circumstances, the light painting is spoilt if the torch does not switch off immediately when the switch is pressed. Many Led Lenser torches cannot simply be switched on and off either. If you only want to switch the torch on briefly, the different modes are controlled when you try to switch it off. In addition, most conventional torches do not memorise the selected mode. They therefore always start in the brightest, lowest or even a medium level, such as the otherwise very decent Fenix FD65. Meanwhile, most torches no longer have a homogenous strobe. In addition, the strobe usually only works with the highest luminous flux of many thousands of lumens. This is usually far too bright to draw light trails.

Anduril is open source software. This means that every torch manufacturer is free to use and modify this firmware. For this reason, some torches differ in operation, have fewer brightness levels or lack strobe modes or the like. The first time I held a torch with Anduril UI in my hands a few years ago, I was slightly overwhelmed by the operation. You can hardly use these torches in light painting without a certain amount of familiarisation. I copied the instructions (graphic below) onto my mobile phone so that I have them to hand when I’m out and about.


Anduril UI Taschenlampe lightpainting

Let’s start at the back. To reset the Anduril torch to its factory settings, turn it open so that the power is interrupted. With the switch held down, turn the torch back on again. The torch then switches to a soft strobe mode. When the LED lights up brightly, release the switch again. Alternatively, with some torches you can click and hold 13 times to reset them.

The torch is operated with a single switch. A distinction is made between click (C) and click and hold (H). The numbers before C or H in the graphic indicate how often the switch must be pressed. This is explained in the “Actions” field in the graphic. The clicks must always be made in quick succession. All functions described below apply to the Anduril² version. Some functions are not available in previous versions. The basic operation is otherwise the same.

Some functions such as “Tint Ramp” or the control of the AUX LEDs are of course only available if two sets of LEDs for tint ramping or AUX LEDs are installed in the torch. Tint ramping in particular is currently a rarity. Off the top of my head, I can only think of a few Emisar torches with this function. The desired colour temperature is then set continuously between the warm LEDs with 3000K and the cold LEDs with 5000 or 6000K, for example. In my opinion, AUX LEDs are unnecessary. They are only useful for displaying the battery voltage. However, the AUX LEDs consume power and therefore drain the battery without having any great purpose. In any case, the small, colourful LEDs are too weak for light painting. I have switched off the AUX LEDs on all my torches.

Basically, the torch works in two different modes, the Simple or Muggle Mode and the Advanced Mode. By clicking 10 times when switched off, you switch from the Advanced UI to the Simple UI by clicking and holding 10 times from Simple to Advanced. I use all torches in Advanced Mode, mainly because the Strobe and Momentary Modes are not available in Simple Mode.


Torch switched off:

1 click – the torch is switched on

2 clicks and hold – turbo mode as long as the switch is held

Click and hold – the torch switches to the lowest brightness level. If the switch is held for longer, the brightness increases

click 3 times – displays the battery voltage. Example: 3 flashes, pause, 7 flashes corresponds to 3.7 V.

click 4 times – lockout. The torch is locked against unintentional switching on. If the button is pressed in lockout mode, the LED lights up in moonlight mode.

Torch switched on:

1 click – the torch is switched off

click 3 times – switch between stepless brightness control and control in usually 10 levels

click and hold – increases the brightness

click 2 times and hold down the second time – decreases the brightness

click 2 times – switch to turbo mode (maximum brightness)


Torch switched off:

1 click – the torch is switched on

1 click and hold – the torch switches to the lowest brightness level

2 clicks and hold – turbo mode as long as the switch is held

2 clicks – the torch switches to the highest brightness level (not turbo)

3 clicks – display of battery voltage (see above), temperature, signalling mode (beacon) and SOS. The torch switches between these functions by clicking twice. In beacon mode, the frequency can be changed by holding the switch. By clicking and holding seven times, the corresponding settings can be changed in the battery status and temperature modes. It is therefore possible to change the temperature or voltage-dependent brightness control of the torch. Both should be done with caution, as otherwise the torch could die of heat death. Theoretically, you could change this setting in winter or when using forced cooling, but I would advise against it. If you forget to reset the setting afterwards, it could be the end for your beautiful torch.

3 clicks and hold – the torch switches to the different strobe modes (bike strobe, candle flicker, party strobe, tactical strobe, thunderstorm). Switching between the different strobe modes is done by clicking twice. Clicking and holding decreases either the brightness or the frequency, clicking and holding twice increases it. Clicking five times switches the torch to momentary mode. The torch then lights up in the selected strobe mode, including the set brightness/frequency, for as long as the switch is pressed. Momentary mode is exited by turning the torch on, i.e. interrupting the power supply.

4 clicks – Lockout (see above)

7 clicks – control the brightness of the AUX LEDs and the illumination of the button, if available. To prevent the small, funny coloured LEDs from spoiling the lightpainting picture, they should definitely be switched off. They also consume unnecessary power, even if it is not much.

7 clicks and hold – change the colours of the AUX LEDs and the button if an RGB LED is installed in it.

Torch switched on:

1 click – the torch is switched off

click and hold – increases the brightness. As soon as the brightest level is reached, the torch reduces the brightness again when you click and hold again. A short flash indicates that the highest level has been reached.

click and hold 2 times – reduces the brightness

click 2 times – switch to turbo mode (maximum brightness)

click 3 times – switch between stepless brightness control and control in usually 10 levels

click and hold 3 times – switch to Mometary Turbo. As long as the button is pressed, the torch lights up in turbo mode. When the button is released, the torch switches to the previously selected brightness. This mode is not available for torches with Tint Ramping because clicking and holding three times is used to control the Tint Ramping.

4 clicks – Lockout (see above)

5 clicks – Momentary Mode (see above)

5 clicks and hold – switch-off timer, the torch is turned down within 5 minutes and then switches off. The time can be changed by holding the button. Each flash extends the time by 5 minutes.

7 clicks and hold – setting for minimum and maximum brightness and number of brightness levels. The steps only apply in the Simple UI, all levels are used in the Advanced UI.

10 clicks and hold – Configuration of the torch’s storage behaviour (automatic, manual or for a specified time)

10 clicks – the current brightness is saved permanently, i.e. the torch lights up at this level every time it is switched on. This is deactivated via the memory configuration (see above).


Many of the modes and functions mentioned above are not needed in light painting, or are only used very rarely. The following overview shows all the important functions for working during light painting. All other changes, such as switching off the AUX LEDs and the like, should be carried out in advance. You can download the Andruil english (14 downloads ) as a PDF via the following link.


A wide variety of torches with Anduril UI are now available, from thick flooders with over 10,000 lumens, to throwers with ranges of several hundred metres, to small EDC torches, there is something for almost every purpose in light painting. I would like to briefly introduce some of the torches that I frequently use for my paintings.


lightpainting, light painting, Taschenlampe, torch, flashlight, Emisar D18

The Emisar D18 is about the size of a 0.33 litre drinks can and weighs 480 g including the 4 18650 batteries. With the 18 built-in SST-20 LEDs, it delivers a maximum luminous flux of 10,000 lumens. Variants with other LEDs are available in the manufacturer’s online shop. Significantly higher luminous fluxes are possible with some of them. However, these LEDs do not have a high colour rendering index. The emitted light is therefore quite unattractive. The Emisar D18 costs from $88, depending on the version. Rechargeable batteries are not included. Batteries that can deliver a continuous current of at least 10 amps are required.

The D18 really does a good job of illuminating larger areas. Thanks to the large, very homogeneous beam angle in combination with the high brightness, illumination is easily achieved in a short time. The Emisar D18, including a holder for colour filters and acrylic filters in various colours, is almost always in my luggage.


lightpainting, light painting, Taschenlampe, torch, flashlight, Emisar D4K

If I could only take one torch with me, it would be the Emisar D4K. With a luminous flux of 3000 lumens, it emits enough light to illuminate larger areas. Its compact size also makes it ideal for use with light painting tools. The only drawback is that you can’t operate the switch if you plug the torch into one of the standard adapters from Light Painting Paradise or the Universal Connector. I have printed a special adapter on the 3D printer (see picture above), where the switch can also be reached with the Light Painting Tool mounted. An alternative is the very similar Noctigon KR4. This has the switch built into the rear cap. The Emisar D4K and the Noctigon KR4 can also be fitted with different LEDs. I recommend LEDs with a high colour rendering index such as Nichia 519A or Luminus SST-20.


lightpainting, light painting, Taschenlampe, torch, flashlight, lumintop fw3a

With its three LEDs, the Lumintop FW3A is even more compact than the Emisar D4K. Even with three LEDs, the small torch provides enough light to illuminate larger areas. The switch is built into the end cap. This means it can be used in standard light painting adapters without any problems. Various versions are also available here (Cree XP-L, SST-20, Nichia 219B).

The Lumintop is available from Amazon with Cree LEDs or with Nichia LEDs. I could not find a version with Luminus SST-20. Apparently the FW3A is no longer in production. It can no longer be found on the Lumintop homepage.


lightpainting, light painting, Taschenlampe, torch, flashlight, noctigon, dm11

A thrower for your trouser pocket. Thanks to the special optics in the head of the torch, the DM11 has quite a long range. It can illuminate things at a distance of 200 to 300 metres. This saves a lot of travelling during night-time work. Sometimes you can’t even get close to the parts of the picture to be illuminated. The DM11 doesn’t blow a big hole in your wallet and is available directly from the manufacturer. An alternative is the Wurkkos TS11. Here is a link to Amazon.


There are now quite a large number of torches with Anduril UI. All Emisar and Noctigon torches are operated with Anduril UI. Torches from Lumintop, Astrolux, Sofirn and Wurkkos are also available with this firmware. Presumably there are also other torches with the Anduril firmware. Given the vast number of manufacturers and models, I’m sure I’ve overlooked some torches. The manufacturers usually specify which Anduril version is used to control the torch and which functions are available. Most torches have LEDs with a high colour rendering index and a pleasant colour temperature, at least as an option. This means that many of these torches are well suited for use in light painting. More interesting torches are sure to be added in the near future. An occasional visit to the torch forum or the Budget Light Forum is recommended to find out about new torches and their function and quality.

Good light at all times