Best general purpose emitter? (xhp35/50 vs xp-l2 vs nichia)

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Best general purpose emitter? (xhp35/50 vs xp-l2 vs nichia)

Curious which emitter people prefer for a general purpose light.

Mostly looking at:

- XHP35 (seems a bit throwy)
- XHP50.2 (seems to provide the most lumens, but some people don’t like the tint? Newer 3v versions)
- XP-L2 high CRI
- XP-L HI is more throwy so ruling this out.
- XP-G3 (most efficient?). XP-G2 is older tech but probably ok too.
- New samsung LH351D
- Nichia 219

Which of these offers the best balance of lumens/efficiency/tint in your opinion?
Assume I’ll want to run either a 1×18650 or 1×14500/AA light.

Edited by: nquinn on 04/14/2019 - 19:35
BlueSwordM's picture
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- XHP35HI would be your best bet for high lumens and high throw with an appropriate boost/buck driver. Most expensive choice.
- XHP50.2 for most lumens, but very bad tint and wild tint shift.
- XP-L2 has the same problem as the XHP50.2.
- XP-L HI can be done, as you just need a less throw optic/reflector.
- XP-G3. Same problem as the XP-L2/XHP50.2.
- XP-G2. Not really relevant anymore.
- Samsung LH351D. Produces quite a bit of light, like the XP-L2, but doesn’t have the same horrid tint shift. Slightly more floody. Available in multiple color choices and high CRI over it.
- Nichia 219C. Available in high CRI, and has more throw than the LH351D, but less efficient and has worse tint.
- SST-20. Very high CRI at 4000k and below, the most throw of all the emitters in terms of lumen/throw.


Brightness: XHP50.2 — -XHP35HI —- XP-L2 70CRI = LH351D 70CRI —- XP-G3 —- Nichia 219C 70CRI —- SST-20 65CRI.
Tint: XP-L HI —- SST-20 —- XHP35HI —- LH351D —- Nichia 219C ——————————————————————- XP-G3 = XP-L2 = XHP50.2
CRI: SST-20 95CRI —- LH351D 90CRI= Nichia 219C 90 CRI —- XHP35HI 80CRI ———- XHP50.2 90CR = XP-G3 = XP-L2(tint shift)

Overall, for a general purpose light, I would either go with the SST-20 4000k 95CRI, or the LH351D 4000k 90CRI, or the XP-L HI 80CRI if you can find it.

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Agro's picture
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Being throwy is a good thing. You can always make a light arbitrarily floodier with apropriate optics but you can’t do the opposite.

I’m a big fan of XHP35 HI but driving it is both expensive and problematic. Otherwise….it depends on a particular light really.

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I really like the SST-20 at 4000K as well. 4000K is growing on me. It has to be a good looking 4000K though. Any weird tints like green or too much pink and it gets thrown in the bin. I have some LH351D’s at 5000K that I like at higher outputs but, there is noticeable green in lower levels. Some say green is seen in SST-20’s at lower levels but I can’t see it.

If high cri is of no concern I really really like the Luxeon V2 at 5000K, very nice to my eyes. I have it in a few S2+‘s with them and it’s even in my Wuben E05 I think it is. The new 14500 light that was all the rage a few months ago.

I have some Nichia 219C 4000K on the way and some more SST-20’s. Have some S2+‘s to build for friends but I think the Luxeon will go in those.

I really like the XHP35’s that are in my Zebralights. One SC64w and a SC600 MKIII, Though my SC64c sees more carry time than either of those.

If you want a nice thrower try the White Flat. I got one gifted to me and I only had a Convoy BD06 to put it in. It’s not a barn burning 5000lumen light but with a 8 chip biscotti driver it throws something fierce. It could really use a bigger and deeper reflector to shine proper. I don’t like really big lights so I think I will order a C8 host to throw it in.

Sorry for rambling on.

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What about a shaved LH351D? Slicing lowers the CCT by around 500K, gives 18% less output but get’s the tint below the BBL which is a huge advantage. I don’t know how the throw is affected though. Djozz measurements. and u/22shorts on reddit.

good tint: Nichia E21A 2000K-7500K except d240 bin, Nichia 219B sw40/sw45, 219C sw303, Cree XPL-HI A/D bins, XHP70.2 5A, Samsung shaved LH351D's, SST-20 FD2, FA3, HA3, .

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Does anyone use the XHP35 HD? Does it have a useful spill? Not too many reviews on this led.