TK's Emisar D18 review -- 3x18650 photon grenade

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maukka wrote:
M43 output isn’t stable at low levels …

During my voltage testing, the M43 usually decreased in brightness when I turned down the voltage. However, a couple times, it didn’t. I don’t know what changed, but once in a while it would maintain approximately the same brightness regardless of voltage.

So I’m not sure what happened, but I have a guess. It looks like the current regulation might be controlled directly by the MCU, and it looks like the firmware might have a bug in its current regulation code. Most of the time it didn’t appear to work correctly, but once in a while, it worked fine. The behavior was very strange and unpredictable.

I tested at other levels too, not just 120 lm. I saw similar voltage-related sag at all levels… except once in a while when it didn’t happen.

As for the D18, I tested some other levels on FET+N+1 drivers too. As expected, the FET levels sag with voltage. The +1 levels are almost completely stable. But I saw something weird in the N+1 levels — they sagged too. And I’m not sure why. Maybe my PSU was having difficulty, or maybe there’s actually something not working right in the driver. At some point, I’ll have to do some battery-powered runtime graphs at like 3×7135 or so, to find out if it stays stable during actual use or if it sags.

What confuses me is that you tested a Nx7135 level on the ROT66, and found it almost completely flat. So it should work, but when I tried it, it didn’t. I guess I have a mystery to investigate.

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The_Driver wrote:
Concerning the “throwyness” …

The M43 has a typical Carclo 10507 beam pattern, which is basically a big wide hotspot with almost no spill. There’s a faint glow around the hotspot, but it’s very dim. Almost all the light is in the hotspot, and it’s pretty wide so I describe it as a wall of light. During use, I find that the hotspot is so wide that the edges of the hotspot light up nearby objects and this near-field illumination can make it difficult to see things in the distance.

The D4S beam looks more like a traditional reflector. It has a small and bright hotspot, and around it is a much dimmer but still usable spill area. The brightness looks like a flat round plate with a can of soup stacked on top, right in the middle. It’s basically two levels, like a shape.

The D18’s beam looks similar to the D4S, except it also has a corona around the hotspot. So more of the light falls in the spill area, which gives it a lower cd/lm value. The brightness looks like that same “plate with a soup can in the middle”, except the soup can is surrounded by a hill of mashed potatoes. I guess it’s more of a .-. shape. Or, another way to picture it is an upside-down cup on top of a small hill. Or, now that I think about it, it’s shaped like a boob in cold weather. The D18’s brightness chart looks like a boob.

Perhaps I can get a beam shot with all three, but the tints are all different so it’ll look weird. They also each have pretty large beams so I’ll have to put them fairly close to a wall in order to fit them all in one frame.

For now, I’ll just make a diagram to describe approximately how the light is distributed within the beams:

ish

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mhanlen wrote:
So the moonlight (low) mode seems to be much lower on paper than the D4 and D4S, is that right?

Yes. The D4’s moon mode was relatively bright, because of the firmware used. The D4S’s moon mode was relatively bright because it had three 7135 chips on that channel instead of just one. The emitters used probably also play into things here, and some variation between individual lights. But I’ve found the D18’s moon mode is lower than either the D4 or D4S.

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I love me some large and full hotspots, with smooth transitions to minimal spill. It’s all the light where I want it, very little where I don’t want it.

D18’s beam profile doesn’t sound too tempting.

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Thank you TK for the additional picture I asked for and for your thoughts between M43 and D18. Thumbs Up

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twisted raven wrote:
I love me some large and full hotspots, with smooth transitions to minimal spill. It’s all the light where I want it, very little where I don’t want it.

D18’s beam profile doesn’t sound too tempting.

Yeah, it really depends on what you’re doing.

If you’re looking at a wide area which is all roughly the same distance away, the M43 works really well. For example, standing at the edge of a forest, looking at the tree line. Or looking at the nearest side of a building. It’ll provide a very evenly-illuminated view of something like that.

If you’re walking down a sidewalk or a road and want to illuminate the entire path going forward, the D18 beam works well. It gets more intense as it gets closer to the center, so if it’s aimed into the distance it illuminates the path to roughly the same brightness regardless of distance. This is my favorite beam type, overall.

If you want to look only at something in the distance, the D4S beam is a bit better. It won’t illuminate the near field as much. But it’s not what I’d call a thrower. It’s just toward the throwy end of EDC-style beams. It can still be used to illuminate a path going forward, but the hotspot has a sharp enough edge that the brightness of the path varies.

For really seeing something in the distance, none of these are throwy enough. I’d suggest a D1 or D1S for that.

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Out of the D4S & D18, is the D18 closer to the Convoy L6 in terms of beam pattern?

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ledalex wrote:
Out of the D4S & D18, is the D18 closer to the Convoy L6 in terms of beam pattern?

No clue, sorry. I haven’t seen a Convoy L6.

Since the L6 uses a traditional reflector though, and a fairly large one, I’m going to guess that its beam is probably similar to the D4S or D1.

I’ll just look up some data…

Okay, it looks like the L6 gets about 18 cd/lm.

The D4S gets about 6 to 14 cd/lm (depending on emitter type), and the D1 gets about 33 cd/lm. So the L6 at 18 cd/lm should be halfway between the two.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
twisted raven wrote:
I love me some large and full hotspots, with smooth transitions to minimal spill. It’s all the light where I want it, very little where I don’t want it.

D18’s beam profile doesn’t sound too tempting.

Yeah, it really depends on what you’re doing.

If you’re looking at a wide area which is all roughly the same distance away, the M43 works really well. For example, standing at the edge of a forest, looking at the tree line. Or looking at the nearest side of a building. It’ll provide a very evenly-illuminated view of something like that.

If you’re walking down a sidewalk or a road and want to illuminate the entire path going forward, the D18 beam works well. It gets more intense as it gets closer to the center, so if it’s aimed into the distance it illuminates the path to roughly the same brightness regardless of distance. This is my favorite beam type, overall.

If you want to look only at something in the distance, the D4S beam is a bit better. It won’t illuminate the near field as much. But it’s not what I’d call a thrower. It’s just toward the throwy end of EDC-style beams. It can still be used to illuminate a path going forward, but the hotspot has a sharp enough edge that the brightness of the path varies.

For really seeing something in the distance, none of these are throwy enough. I’d suggest a D1 or D1S for that.

The reach of the hotspot isn’t necessarily flat, it does still have some taper to it. Here is Maukka’s actual measurement of the YLP Gryphon 180’s beam profile (beam pattern very akin to the likes of M43, ROT66, MF01). Note that it is using XPG2 emitters in this particular case, so it is a bit throwier/the taper of the hotspot is a little more dramatic, than something with say, XPLs or 219B/Cs.

Here is Maukka’s measured graph of the ROT66’s beam pattern with 219B emitters. Similar or same style of optics, but less throwy LEDs. I expect that the ROT66 with SST20s is a little more like the XPG2 graph above.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
JordanZHP wrote:
Thank you for the review. Any photos next to the Q8?

Here’s one:


It’s interesting that Q8 tube seems merely 7% thicker. Considering tube width alone, 16% larger volume and 33% more cells. This suggests that the tube of D18 is very thick, especially since the Q8 one is not particularly thin already.
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Let’s go point by point: Overall volume is similar.
If you look at volume I agree.

Quote:
smaller
  • Overall efficiency: M43 is more efficient on medium modes, and thus should have longer runtime. However, D18 is more efficient at the lowest and highest modes. I don’t know where the graphs intersect, but I expect M43 has longer runtime at most levels except for maybe 20 lumens and below. Its low-mode efficiency is pretty bad.
  • Maximum runtime: The M43’s longest-running mode lasts about 35 days. The D18’s longest-running mode lasts about 8.5 months.
  • Standby time: The M43’s standby drain is more than twice as high as D18, so it has shorter standby time.

I think no one will buy M43 or D18 to use it during months in moon light or years in standby)

Quote:

In terms of thermal regulation, the M43 I tested had pretty unstable output. The D18 isn’t completely stable there either, but it seemed at least a little less volatile than the M43.

In my testing, the M43 was not stable at any level


correct, I agree with first but not with second
But I buy this type of light for many lumens. So I interesting in stabilisation at hi level. Graph for 4A(max using 30А 18650) and 8A(turbo using 18650GA) modes with cooling.

111111-9043415317799

1111-302713371914

This means that I not need to use fully charged 18650 after each 20s of work to get rated lm.

Quote:

Both lights require high-drain cells to get full turbo output. Neither light requires high-drain cells for low and medium modes. Both are completely fine with old low-amp cells, as long as you don’t want more than a couple thousand lumens.


not correct. M43 can work using 18650GA at full output.

Quote:

Both are good, but in different ways.

I even say in different output range.

Quote:
This may be a cultural difference, but in much of the world, simple is good.

But no one want to use abacus instead computer. or mail instead email, isnt it?). The more complicated devise the better, but the more easy operation the better.

  • … is throwier. _You can change(or ask Hank) leds and optics in both D18 and M43 _
  • … has a wider output range, going both much lower and much higher. Much lower – yes, much higher – 9klm vs 14klm it is not much.)
  • … is less likely to activate by accident. Is electronic lock and unscrewing not enough?
  • … is easier to use. subjectively
  • … has a bunch of extra modes and firmware functions. _Most of them are funny but not usefull. but yes Anduril is great UI _

Quote:

I measured my M43 and D18. The M43 made about 4950 lm, while the D18 made about 14500 lm. But these numbers are probably not very accurate; I should have some more accurate measurements in a few days.


I already told you about you M43. Contacts should be cleaned.
“Measurements”: http://forum.fonarevka.ru/attachment.php?attachmentid=155792&d=1450446799 of M43 xpg2 S3 via 50k$ integrating sphere 7620lm at 30s.

Quote:

The M43 does not have a reputation for being mod-friendly.

just no one tried here)
Quote:
On a related note, has anyone else noticed that Inferion recently made a linear driver with a ramping UI called Indigo v2.0 Lite? It looks interesting.

He was asked by YLP (or yarkiy luch) so soon it will be in series flashlight.

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TK, my M43 takes 18 micro amps in standby mode. So, according to your measurements, it is quite the opposite, M43 will last longer on standby.
My copy of M43 with XP-G2 (7291 Lumen):

Click on:        ANSI WHITE

Click on:        MY COLLECTION

Click on:        Q8, D4, D4S, D18, K1, FW3A, SDmini, Mini AAA, TIP, M43, H1, H03, TC20, TN40S, TN42, V6, H600Fw, SC600w, SC64w

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komeko wrote:
TK, my M43 takes 18 micro amps in standby mode. So, according to your measurements, it is quite the opposite, M43 will last longer on standby.
All four M43 lights of mine have a parasitic drain value of ~20 μA.
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Thanks ToyKeeper for sharing your expertise with all of us you do great work.

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I was gonna buy one until I started reading this thread. Now I think I’ll buy one in every flavor. Most informative thread on a Flashlight and it was all done in less than 100 posts. Thanks guys, especially you TK. your info was articulate explicit as well as entertaining

never fear shadows…it means a light shines nearby

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Perhaps I just got a bad M43. It doesn’t perform how other people say theirs perform. This is how mine behaved in a water-cooled runtime test at full power. The brightest it got was about 5000 lm.

I measured standby current on mine too. At boot time, without pressing anything, standby drain was about 96 uA. But if I press the button to turn the light on and off, the button changes from red to green, and then it uses about 67 uA.

On a D18, standby current measured at 30 uA. It could be lower by not enabling BOD, but then it would be hard to get out of momentary mode. It needs at least some parasitic drain to make it possible to reboot the MCU by loosening the battery tube.

Quote:
Contacts should be cleaned.

For a FET driver, it’s normal advice to clean the contacts, bypass the springs, make sure the batteries are full, use new high-amp cells, etc. So I do. But it seems like strange advice for a boost driver. Isn’t a boost driver designed to deliver consistent output even without these things? It is meant to perform the same even if the cells aren’t quite full or even if the contacts aren’t completely clean.

That’s why I use a ZebraLight as a calibration reference light — it emits the same amount of light regardless of what battery it has or how recently I cleaned it. But I don’t use a Meteor for this purpose, because its output is highly variable and chaotic. I never know how much light it’s going to make.

Quote:
no one want to use abacus instead computer … The more complicated devise the better

Facepalm

I think you’re conflating concepts in order to make a point which isn’t strong enough to make otherwise. If complicated was truly better, we would be living in a steampunk world full of Rube-Goldberg machines.

I recognize that it is common to think of “simple” as primitive, basic, dumb, or unable to do much… and to think of “complicated” as powerful, advanced, and capable. But that doesn’t accurately represent how things work out in practice. Simple things are often more useful, while more complicated designs generally have more problems.

A lot of tech follows the same pattern as it becomes more mature:

  • Phase 1: primitive (simple + basic)
  • Phase 2: developing (complicated + basic)
  • Phase 3: fancy (complicated + advanced)
  • Phase 4: mature (simple + advanced)

It can be tempting to view phase 3 as the end of this process. That’s where things look the most impressive, with all sorts of fiddly bits to make it look sophisticated. It’s the steampunk aesthetic. And I like steampunk… I decorated my living room that way. It’s fun.

But although phase 3 is powerful, it often solves the wrong problems. Complicated things may be easy to do, but people don’t actually need to do those things very often. The things people need are often inconvenient in a phase-3 product. For example, ever hand someone a ZebraLight and then they ask “how do I make it a little bit brighter?” It’s weirdly complicated to do that simple task on a ZebraLight. It can take like 20 clicks to go up one level.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
For example, ever hand someone a ZebraLight and then they ask “how do I make it a little bit brighter?” It’s weirdly complicated to do that simple task on a ZebraLight.

I agree lets put Anduril on a boost driver. Wait was this not supposed to be the conclusion? I disagree, lets put Anduril on a boost driver.

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And when you have memory issues complicated by 20 years of physical complications simple is the only way to go. Complicated is frustrating and either doesn’t get used, gets replaced, or goes in the trash.

I have nothing against Narsil, everyone usually loves it. For me, I can’t remember it’s nature. Hence, I don’t use it. Anduril has nice zones, and even I can remember how to access them all. So I use Anduril for that simple reason. It works, I can remember it, and the light that’s equipped with it is impressive as all get out. My 11 yr old has a D1S with Anduril and loves it. Sometimes he forgets how to operate lockout, or that he has to unlock it, but he navigates it well.

I don’t typically use Guppydrv for similar reasons. Richards new Boost driver offers the ability to lock the configuration menu so once the preferred UI is set up, lock it and forget it. Smile And Neven’s LD-4A is also difficult for me to remember, I have to find and study the manual to make a change. It offers a password lockout to keep from messing things up. (I don’t use that, would forget the password)

I mod a lot of lights. A LOT of lights, sometimes 2 or 3 a day (occasionally even 4 or 5!). I want a cheap functional driver I can build and rely on without it giving my lack of memory cause for frustration. I have the components to build the FET+1 drivers and have done so for years now, at around $5 a driver. I could never have afforded to buy complicated buck or boost drivers for the 600 plus lights I’ve built! Nor could I have remembered how they all worked afterwards. lol Simple is a blessing for me, that’s really all there is to it. Wink

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Perhaps I just got a bad M43.
Quote:
Contacts should be cleaned.

For a FET driver, it’s normal advice to clean the contacts, bypass the springs, make sure the batteries are full, use new high-amp cells, etc. So I do. But it seems like strange advice for a boost driver. Isn’t a boost driver designed to deliver consistent output even without these things?

You should read the manual.
Driver estimate internal resistance of circuit. If valtage drop more than 0.5V at start than driver restrict power. (With good contact it means about <50mOm per 18650)
You could turn on warning about this.12 fast click and hold. Light will blink 2 times in case of restriction.

And one more thing about stabilization can be found at manual. After voltage drop to 3V driver again began to restrict current to hold valtage 3V.

Btw could you make water cooled test for D18 please?

Quote:
If complicated was truly better, we would be living in a steampunk world

All that 7135 and fet drivers are some kind of steampunk) primitive dump way to control current that not need many skills. Buck /boost are elegant way but required knowledge.
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ToyKeeper wrote:

For a FET driver, it’s normal advice to clean the contacts, bypass the springs, make sure the batteries are full, use new high-amp cells, etc. So I do. But it seems like strange advice for a boost driver. Isn’t a boost driver designed to deliver consistent output even without these things? It is meant to perform the same even if the cells aren’t quite full or even if the contacts aren’t completely clean.

All those tricks for FET drivers holds true for boost drivers. It’s essential to keep the voltage as high as possible when under load.

Texas Ace Lumen Tube and JoshK Sphere calibrated with Maukka lights

Click this to go to signature links. I'm still around, just not reading many new threads.

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ToyKeeper wrote:
Caleb wrote:
verbal comparison between the beam patterns of the D18 vs D4S.

The beams of D4S (XP-L HI) and D18 (SST-20) look almost identical, actually. The hotspot is the same size, the spill is the same size… except I think D4S has a somewhat brighter hotspot with less-bright spill, while the D18 has a somewhat less-bright hotspot with more lumens in the spill area.

So the beams look pretty similar, but the D4S gets more throw per Watt and the D18 has a more useful spill area. It’s weird that they look so similar when the D4S has a cd/lm value twice as high.

First of all, thank you for your great reviews and information ToyKeeper. I highly appreciate all of your input of time and effort into everything you do for this community. (That goes for all reviewers.)

I have a question about the above statement you made. Due to the different optics and other variables that go into the equation, would a D18 with (XP-L HI 5000K) emitters in it, out throw a D18 (SST-20 5000K) model? I am looking for the best throw and tint if possible.

The only other soda can sized light I have is the Olight X7 which the box claims it is 24,500 Candela with 313 meters of throw 9,000 lumens.

How would the Olight X7 and the D18 compare using the (SST-20 5000K) emitters and the D18 with (XP-L HI 5000K) emitters? I know I am asking very basic questions, but my expertise does not lie in mathematical conversions when it comes to flashlight math.

 

 

 

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The SST-20 5000k will out throw the XP-L HI model by quite a bit.

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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AEDe wrote:
You should read the manual. Driver estimate internal resistance of circuit. If valtage drop more than 0.5V at start than driver restrict power. (With good contact it means about <50mOm per 18650)

The manual says nothing about that. At least, not the manual linked from Noctigon’s M43 page. Perhaps the translator forgot to mention it?

https://intl-outdoor.com/noctigon-418650-meteor-m43-p-864.html

In any case, manuals are great… but test results are better. The manual says it has constant current output… but test results show it does not actually achieve steady output. It’s very sensitive to changes in voltage, even on low modes which should be easy for the driver to handle.

AEDe wrote:
You could turn on warning about this.12 fast click and hold. Light will blink 2 times in case of restriction.

That sounds like a good idea in theory, but it doesn’t seem to actually work. Again, maybe I just got a bad Meteor. But I have the LG high-amp cells recommended on the Meteor’s product page. They’re freshly charged. The light has freshly cleaned contacts. I put them into the M43 and hold the button for maximum turbo. I get about 4800 lm.

Then I take those cells out of the Meteor and place three of them into a D18. I get over 10,000 lumens. 200% as much light from 75% as many cells.

FET drivers are sensitive to many things like cell type, charge state, and contact resistance. But as far as I can tell, the M43 is also sensitive to those things… perhaps even more so. Its highest-power mode is so fickle that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten it to run within 2000 lumens of its spec. It appears to be running in low-power mode even with the exact cells it is designed for.

Maybe I just got a bad Meteor.

If I were more motivated, I’d do like a couple other people have done and replace the driver. It’s a really cute and well-designed host which is enjoyable to use. Hank really did a good job with it. But I haven’t modded it, so it’s still completely stock.

AEDe wrote:
And one more thing about stabilization can be found at manual. After voltage drop to 3V driver again began to restrict current to hold valtage 3V.

Yes, this is standard low-voltage protection. Almost all lights have this now.

AEDe wrote:
Btw could you make water cooled test for D18 please?

No, there is no point. With a FET, that tests the batteries… not the driver.

If you want to see the shape of the water-cooled turbo discharge curve, look up your cells on HKJ’s battery comparison site. It’s the same curve, and HKJ has all the data meticulously documented.

AEDe wrote:
7135 and fet drivers are some kind of … primitive dump way to control current

Thank you for registering your opinion. If there is an error in the data, feel free to make corrections below:

——

How do you feel about linear drivers in flashlights?

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JasonWW wrote:
All those tricks for FET drivers holds true for boost drivers. It’s essential to keep the voltage as high as possible when under load.

I agree. I’m not sure AEDe agrees though:

AEDe wrote:
I not need to use fully charged 18650 … M43 can work using 18650GA at full output.

He also posted that the D18 is not an upgrade from the M43 because the D18 requires high-drain cells. This would imply that the M43 does not require them. And he included graphs, to make the point that the voltage need not be as high as possible and the cells need not be as high-amp as possible. But then he talked about the importance of keeping the contacts clean, which seems to imply the opposite.

So… mixed messages. It’s a little confusing.

Continuing the discussion about it doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere, but it does at least keep this thread on the front page and help promote Emisar’s new light. Discussing the M43 here also helps teach the search engines that people looking for “M43” might be interested in “D18” instead. Thumbs Up

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BlueSwordM wrote:
The SST-20 5000k will out throw the XP-L HI model by quite a bit.

So it will out throw the Olight X7 I am guessing ?

 

 

 

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CREEXHP70LED wrote:
So it will out throw the Olight X7 I am guessing ?

Olight X7 specs, according to maukka’s review: 36.5 kcd / 8940 lm = 4.1 cd/lm

D18 5000K specs, from Intl-Outdoor: 65 kcd / 14000 lm = 4.6 cd/lm

The D18 lux (cd, kcd) is higher, so it should throw farther. Additionally, the D18’s beam shape (cd/lm) is slightly more throwy, so it should be slightly more practical for seeing into the distance.

Neither light is particularly throwy. If you want to see farther, try an Emisar D1S. It gets 130 kcd / 1300 lm, or about 100 cd/lm. It also weighs much less than either of these larger lights, runs longer at turbo, and costs less. It’s much more practical if throw is what you’re looking for.

G.P.
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So what if the M43 can make its max performance on lesser batteries…it’s max performance pales in comparison to the D18’s max performance. Big Smile

A maglite can make its max performance on crappy D cells, so anything that requires 18650 cells to achieve maximum performance isn’t an upgrade! Silly

CREEXHP70LED
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ToyKeeper wrote:
CREEXHP70LED wrote:
So it will out throw the Olight X7 I am guessing ?

Olight X7 specs, according to maukka’s review: 36.5 kcd / 8940 lm = 4.1 cd/lm

D18 5000K specs, from Intl-Outdoor: 65 kcd / 14000 lm = 4.6 cd/lm

The D18 lux (cd, kcd) is higher, so it should throw farther. Additionally, the D18’s beam shape (cd/lm) is slightly more throwy, so it should be slightly more practical for seeing into the distance.

Neither light is particularly throwy. If you want to see farther, try an Emisar D1S. It gets 130 kcd / 1300 lm, or about 100 cd/lm. It also weighs much less than either of these larger lights, runs longer at turbo, and costs less. It’s much more practical if throw is what you’re looking for.

Thank you. I have an Olight M3XS-UT it is rated at 250,000 Kcd and 1,200 lumens 1000 meters throw. However it is a larger light. It takes 3 or 4 CR123A’s or 2 18650 which makes it a little long and the head is about 2.5 inches I believe. I was just curious how the Emisar and the Olight stacked up. I think I will go for the Emisar. SST-20 5000k.

 

 

 

Caleb
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ToyKeeper wrote:
Caleb wrote:
verbal comparison between the beam patterns of the D18 vs D4S.

The beams of D4S (XP-L HI) and D18 (SST-20) look almost identical, actually. The hotspot is the same size, the spill is the same size… except I think D4S has a somewhat brighter hotspot with less-bright spill, while the D18 has a somewhat less-bright hotspot with more lumens in the spill area.

So the beams look pretty similar, but the D4S gets more throw per Watt and the D18 has a more useful spill area. It’s weird that they look so similar when the D4S has a cd/lm value twice as high.

Exactly what I wanted to know! Thank you! Thank you!! Thumbs Up

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@Toykeeper

How much distance from the optics is required so that mixxed cct setup is not noticeable in the beam? Wondering specifically about close up use indoors. Is it fully blended at 1 ft away from light? Closer, further?

Thanks

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