What should I expect from "good lume"?

I don't own any luxury watches and my lume is mostly useless unless I either shine a light on it (pain in the butt) or I've been sleeping in 100% pitch black (annoying because then I can't see where I'm going at night).

So my question is - is there lume that just works? 

I mean you just live your life, you have only fairly dim lights on during the evening time, and then at night you can easily see the time without doing anything special. Is that what "good lume" does?

Or is all lume useless unless you take the time to charge your lume up every evening with a flashlight?

Thanks!

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All non-radioactive lume is a marketing gimmick.  The best one can hope for is that a day's worth of sunlight or a minute or two of UV charging will lead to a vaguely legible feint glow in total darkness when directly in front of your face.

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Not all lume is created equal, and not all lume applications are created equal. 

I find my CWs light up quite well without requiring "charging", even my Hamilton is readable all night without doing anything special to "charge" it. The obvious caveat to that is, if your watch is under a cuff the whole time you have lights on, it won't glow well. 

The best solution to the lume problem is tritium tubes, they work for decades, and can be replaced when they are spent. 

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... or a Timex Indiglo.

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Seiko is far and away the best lume, but you still need light to activate it. 
 

Tritium works w/o light activation, but will quickly run up in price if it’s worth it’s salt...Marathon and Ball produce good tritium watches starting just north of $1000. I’ve been told the other brands that make them at a lower cost do not work nearly as well. 

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Tritium and uncharged Seiko lume

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Tritium and 20 seconds of OLight charge On my Seiko. 

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ElTomstro

... or a Timex Indiglo.

Yeah I just use the LED light for now. It's workable but would be nice to not have to use it. 

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cornfedksboy
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Tritium and uncharged Seiko lume

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Tritium and 20 seconds of OLight charge On my Seiko. 

Thanks. I'm not so much worried about brightness but more about usefulness without charging. And it does look like you can read the time on the first one. Right?

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CitizenKale

Thanks. I'm not so much worried about brightness but more about usefulness without charging. And it does look like you can read the time on the first one. Right?

The camera exposure was kinda long due to the darkness, but I do find that if I have been wearing my Seiko all day long, I can read it at night AFTER my eyes have adjusted. Your best bet (you could still be disappointed) would be a Seiko dive watch. The lume is really legendary. Something like this:

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cornfedksboy

The camera exposure was kinda long due to the darkness, but I do find that if I have been wearing my Seiko all day long, I can read it at night AFTER my eyes have adjusted. Your best bet (you could still be disappointed) would be a Seiko dive watch. The lume is really legendary. Something like this:

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Yeah my problem is I'm very picky about needing both titanium and digital timers so my options are very slim. And most of those options have an insanely bright LED which is such a dumb pain in the ass and is basically unusable at night. 

I often conclude that I just need a stupid bedside clock but I'm not aware of any that fit my needs (dim enough to see at night and running off AAs). 

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I don't usually wake up in the middle of the night, so I don't really need "good lume". But, if you do wake up a lot at night, then Tritium or Indiglo will be the best for analog timepieces. 

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Try a Lorus lumebrite shines bright most of the night,I got mine for  less than £25

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