TLF/BLF/Lumintop FW3A review (18650, 3x XP-L HI cool white)

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maukka
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Beam angle comparisons between three Carclo optics,
10508 (Medium Spot Frosted) – This was installed in my light when I got it
10511 (Narrow Spot Frosted) – Default optics in the production light
10507 (Narrow Spot Plain) – Clear optics with throwiest beam but more artifacts

Throw comparison (edit: 2019-02-12, fixed wrong cd for 10507 and 10511)

Color temperature shift within the beam. Limited to 2% output, that’s why 10511 and 10507 only cover up to 31°

Duv comparison. (Green-magenta axis)

Tint deviation (deltaxy). How much does the tint change within the beam. This illustrates the 10507 color artifacts the best as it has a big shift right in the bright part of the beam. The further from the hotspot the shift is, the less noticeable it is.

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I love your data - even if I cannot read all of it.  

 

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How do you think the above data will change when it comes to using the production xpl-hi tint? Concerning the last 3 charts.

The 1st chart should not be effected by tint.

Is it worth your time to test these particular LEDs when the production light is going to use different ones?

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maukka
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The data will be applicable to the NW version of the XP-L HI. It is the same optically even if absolute values are different. Needs another round of testing with LH351D though.

maukka
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Another way of looking at the same tint vs. beam angle data

maukka
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Swapped in Nichia 219b sw40 R9080s. No need to modify firmware for lower output at least with a NCR18650GA. I think the 10508 optic looks best. With 10511 there’s a yellowish spot in the middle of the beam.

There’s hardly any tint shift between modes when under the 8×7135 level. Just gets a bit rosier when FET is active.

With increasing output levels starting with a low one between moon and 1×7135

ToyKeeper
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maukka wrote:
Beam angle comparisons between three Carclo optics,
10508 (Medium Spot Frosted) – This was installed in my light when I got it
10511 (Narrow Spot Frosted) – Default optics in the production light
10507 (Narrow Spot Plain) – Clear optics with throwiest beam but more artifacts

Throw comparison

Color temperature shift within the beam. Limited to 2% output, that’s why 10511 and 10507 only cover up to 31°

Duv comparison. (Green-magenta axis)

Tint deviation (deltaxy). How much does the tint change within the beam. This illustrates the 10507 color artifacts the best as it has a big shift right in the bright part of the beam. The further from the hotspot the shift is, the less noticeable it is.

This is some of the most useful data I’ve ever seen on BLF. I feel like this should be stickied or something, placed at an easy-to-find spot to answer common questions. It’s certainly a lot better than my lame attempts to explain the effects of various optics.

I wonder if there’s a way to produce a “beam ugliness factor” similar to the “PWM snob factor” used in other measurements. Like, maybe a sum of the total deltaxy tint deviation distance travelled, or perhaps difference from a straight line, or something like that. Adding up the total vertical travel in that last graph to produce a single number. It’d be nice to have a number to quantify how good or how bad a beam looks.

maukka
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The deviation should also be weighted by the relative output compared to the hotspot. It get’s kinda subjective when trying to come up with a formula. For me it’s enough to look at the graphs. Any sudden large movements back and forth especially near the hotspot are bad Smile

All of those are still miles better than an XP-G3 though:

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maukka wrote:
Beamshot comparison with different optics. The difference between 10508 and 10509 in the photos is very small, but measurably significant. It is possible though, that the optic installed in the light was 10509, since I don’t have a 10508 to compare it to.

GIF


Could you possibly get a 10510 elliptical and test that too? I’m extremely curious about that one and its one of the main reasons I’ve been looking at this light…

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Camo5 wrote:
Could you possibly get a 10510 elliptical and test that too?

The elliptical one doesn’t get much attention, mostly because it doesn’t make a circular beam. But I have one in the mail because I was curious if it might work as a bike headlight… wide but not tall.

Here’s a post from 2014 which shows how the beam looks with XP-E emitters:

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Thanks TK. I don’t have the 10510 to test at the moment.

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That is exactly the beam profile i’m looking for!! Big Smile

For the same reason! as a nice bike light Wink

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Camo5 wrote:
That is exactly the beam profile i’m looking for!! Big Smile

For the same reason! as a nice bike light Wink


It’s a semi-nice bike light in urban traffic. The beam of a headlight meets the street under an angle near to 0° and must not glare drivers or pedestrians.
Symmetrical (to horizontal) optics are less suitable. Too bright near the front wheel, too dark in 10 to 20m distance.
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Considering I use an emisar D4 currently with the spot optic, i’m sure it blinds everyone…

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I’m not sure the FW3A would be a great choice for biking though, because bikes have a lot of vibration and it could potentially make the inner tube shift sideways enough to register as a click. I haven’t actually tried it, because it has been cold… but it wouldn’t really be my first choice for a bike light.

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Awesome data, thanks a lot Maukka!
Any chance to test also a polished 10511?

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ToyKeeper wrote:
I’m not sure the FW3A would be a great choice for biking though, because bikes have a lot of vibration and it could potentially make the inner tube shift sideways enough to register as a click. I haven’t actually tried it, because it has been cold… but it wouldn’t really be my first choice for a bike light.

How much space is there between the inner and outer tube?

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I have found this project recently and I found it very interesting.
It look like in other thread it is very popular.

I was thinking about making similar flashlight from my blf a6.
I was trying to find some information about the driver there but I did not manage to get through all messages there. Can you please post some more pictures of it from both sides here? Is it 20 mm driver?

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I measured the 219b sw40 triple at 1200 lumens with a 30Q and 950 lumens with a GA. No bluish tint or other weird effects so using a medium current battery is likely fine on turbo. The 30Q I used isn’t new so it has a higher internal resistance than a brand new cell.

1×7135 level is 83 lumens with the sw40 so efficiency on low regulated modes is about 30% worse compared to the cool white XP-L HI.

maukka
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Agro wrote:
Any chance to test also a polished 10511?

Probably not.

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sungar wrote:
I have found this project recently and I found it very interesting.
It look like in other thread it is very popular.

I was thinking about making similar flashlight from my blf a6.
I was trying to find some information about the driver there but I did not manage to get through all messages there. Can you please post some more pictures of it from both sides here? Is it 20 mm driver?


You’re not going to be able to convert a BLF A6 into a FW3A. The FW3A uses a custom built driver and a special tube to carry the switch signal.

You can convert the A6 into a triple emitter, but it will be using the stock driver and rear clicky switch so no ramping, just the stock steps.

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sungar
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I don’t want to convert A6 into FW3A.
I just pointed out that I found this flashlight interesting.

I have found flooder more useful as EDC light than something between flood ant throw like A6 or S2+. I also prefer triple than quad due to size difference.
Firstly I was thinking of using S2+ host, but A6 bezel will cover a bit less of carclo TIR lens.
Heat distribution is also better in A6 than S2+.

This is why I was planing to make an A6 with triple LH351D.
I have even started to prototyping my own driver for it with FET +1 +5 (or 6) 7135 with few extra features as well as tailcap switch with battery indicator.
When I have started this project I had no idea that there is FW3A on horizon.

FW3A look like exactly what my perfect EDC should look like, thats why I’m asking about some detail on driver as well.
I’m also wondering how it is handling heat that LH351D producing.

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maukka wrote:
I measured the 219b sw40 triple at 1200 lumens with a 30Q and 950 lumens with a GA. No bluish tint or other weird effects so using a medium current battery is likely fine on turbo. The 30Q I used isn’t new so it has a higher internal resistance than a brand new cell.

1×7135 level is 83 lumens with the sw40 so efficiency on low regulated modes is about 30% worse compared to the cool white XP-L HI.

Thanks maukka, that’s good to know. I guess you’d lose a similar level of output correcting ugly tints with filters so swapping in 219b would probably make more sense? If only I had some spare 219b emitters Sad

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A standard MTN Electronics 20mm MCPCB should fit in this, correct? Going to assemble some tint options in SST20 so that I can interchange them when the FW3A arrives.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
I’m not sure the FW3A would be a great choice for biking though, because bikes have a lot of vibration and it could potentially make the inner tube shift sideways enough to register as a click. I haven’t actually tried it, because it has been cold… but it wouldn’t really be my first choice for a bike light.

Disturbing.

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So this is what could happen:

1. Bike strobe.

2. Double click to turbo via vibration, bliding everyone and burning their retinas and accidents happen.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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BlueSwordM wrote:
So this is what could happen:

1. Bike strobe.

2. Double click to turbo via vibration, bliding everyone and burning their retinas and accidents happen.

More likely, if vibration caused things to shift, it would just turn off.

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Oh, did my scenario seem a bit extreme?

BTW, do you think there would be a way to use a similar design in other lights?

The only current(easy) way to get an e-switch tailcap/FET switch is with a battery/super cap setup, so something like the FW3A, but on other lights would be amazing.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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I have never had a problem with a Novatac on my bike.

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Maybe the FW3A will be just fine as a bike light Beer

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