Disappointed from FocalPrice Sipik SK58 (maybe bad LED?)

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Haggai
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Disappointed from FocalPrice Sipik SK58 (maybe bad LED?)

I bought Sipik SK58 from FP (http://www.focalprice.com/detail_LF554X.html).

It has a really recessed switch which makes it a bit hard to operate, but the real problem is light output.

It is not very bright, but draws a lot of power, the wattage is comparable to my C30 so I thought they should produce about the same amount of light (C30: 0.4A*4.2V=1.68W, SK58: 0.95A*1.4V=1.33W), but they don't. The SK58 (Osram Golden Dragon?) is much dimmer compared to the C30 (Cree XR-E P4).

It also has a very purplish tint.

The MXDL 3W is there just for fun.

At full flood (wall @ 1m, same exposure/WB setting):

At full zoom (wall @ 1m):

 

There's another thing that bothers me: The LED looks damaged.

Here's how it looks:

 

Who ate my golden dragon? Undecided

fran82
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First of all

Most FocalPrice flashlights have different leds from other chinese sites.

You have found it: DX sk68 has a Cree q3. The focalprice Sk68 has an osram GD.

 

Second: the led is not broken, all osram golden dragon have an edge "cutted". Completely normal... but in the other edge I can see a kind of "kasjkasdjkahkhgduif" but I dont know if it is caused by the optics or not... maybe the led is semi-burned in that location

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Haggai
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Yeah, I wasn't talking about the cut at the upper right corner but about the defect at the left edge.

Vectrex
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That does look like UV-light .... maybe not enough phosphor applied in production?

dimeotane
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I ordered this one and it should be here pretty soon.  I'm guessing it'll be similar to the focal price one (about the same price.)  I've heard good things about the SK58.  Will let you know. 

http://priceangels.com/SK58_Adjustable_Zoom_Focus_LED_Flashlight_Lamp_Torch_p17869.html

 

Your amperage is lower than the one reviewer on the focal price site who said  he figures his light is :

60 lumens with a 1.6A draw form a 1.2V Ni-Mh battery

 

Piers
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Vectrex wrote:
 maybe not enough phosphor applied in production?

 

Yeah it does look like the phosphor was badly applied uneven over the surface and  missing at the edge.

scruffy dog
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focalprice  !!!  what more is there to say

 except don't do any business with them what you receved is the quality i would expect from them

and dont except ther customer service to be any better 

jekostas
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You really can't compare flashlights with different input voltages fairly.  Secondly, OSRAM LEDs are not as efficient as CREE Leds.

okwchin
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As covered by other people, seems your problems are.

 

1) Not so good an LED - cost cutting with cheap seconds? maybe, but whatever the reason, your led is lacking a complete phosphor coverage.

2) fundamentally your torch has an older and less efficient LED. That looks to be an OSRAM GDP (as said before)

 

Damn, I havent actually said any more than everyone else aLready has haHA!

"like everyone else - I’m looking for my next “last” flashlight" -  ohnonothimagain

Budgeteer
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I had a few OGD leds and they were not bad. Your sample really is quite dim. Should't be that bad. My OGD were hard to tell apart from not optimally driven Q3 in AA flashlights...

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

jekostas
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fran82 wrote:

First of all

Most FocalPrice flashlights have different leds from other chinese sites.

You have found it: DX sk68 has a Cree q3. The focalprice Sk68 has an osram GD.

 

Second: the led is not broken, all osram golden dragon have an edge "cutted". Completely normal... but in the other edge I can see a kind of "kasjkasdjkahkhgduif" but I dont know if it is caused by the optics or not... maybe the led is semi-burned in that location

 

Wrong light.  The SK68 has an XR-E.  The Sk58 comes in either XR-E or Osram.  I don't see this as that big of a deal - I have an SK58 with and OSRAM and an SK68 with a Cree and the SK68 is brighter with the same battery.

brjones
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I have the same kind of flashlight, but never knew it was a Sipik SK58 (or forgot). I got mine at Meritline on sale for $5 delivered. That flashlight made me decide that I will never buy another budget flashlight again which is not a Cree, or at least which does not have the brand and model LED listed in the product description. I don't know Golden Dragons, but I highly doubt that reputable LED is what's in there (shouldn't be hard for those who know, by inspecting the poster's very accurate depiction of the die pattern).

 

My LED 'image' looks EXACTLY the same as Haggai's. When I got mine, I wondered the same thing. It's blueish/purpleish, dim, and has that funky die pattern with poorly-applied phosphor and tinges of extra purple at the fringes. Yet, it 'does' work. The metal flashlight itself actually has a nice feel to it, and the single mode switch with orange tailcap boot works fine. The weak link in the chain is obviously the LED. Compared with my next-closest flashlight, my TOrch Light C78 (which has a Cree Q-something), the C78 is noticeably brighter with the same type of battery, with a better tint too. Then again, I bought the C78 for double the SK58 ($10 versus $5).

 

The flashlight is naturally about twice as bright with a lithium cobalt 14500. Tint is still pretty bad, but usable I guess, if you don't have high expectations. But most of us here do.

 

So that one got gifted to the girlfriend, as her 'first flashlight' (not so much a "gift" as a pass-along--though for her, anything was a step up). She actually loves it, and uses it often, even though I think it's weak. She actually likes that it's dim (LOL), because she uses it inside at night (to go to the bathroom, etc) where it doesn't wake her up, or overpower her eyes like a lamp would. She only uses it with alkalines so far (she said she likes the word "safe"), hence a separate discussion about higher-voltage battery options (and chargers). She doesn't use the zoom function, nor does she screw off the optic for (kind of) 'full flood' mode.

 

She later dug out a 2 - AA mini-mag knock-off she'd forgotten about--replete with incandescent bulb and twist-to-zoom, but with extra feature of a side switch. We compared these two bottom-feeder flashlights side-by-side in the dark. The incandescent fake mini-mag DID put out more light overall, but was so ringy due to the bulb, that it was only usable in 'full spot' mode. The Sipik put out about 70% the amount of light (approximately), but did so with a truly smooth beam pattern due to the optic, and had usefulness in any zoom mode. We took it outside, and in full zoom, it does throw enough to see things at a distance, albeit a smaller square of it. The fake miniMag was also more than twice as long. The Sipik can easily fit inside a purse, or even a pocket--not the fake MiniMag.

 

I think the MOST embarrassing feature of this flashlight, is the yellow triangle "laser" warning sticker on their flashlights. As if you were really gonna hurt your eyes with this thing.

 

All that said, even though my girlfriend 'likes' it (she doesn't know any better), i DON'T recommend this flashlight, and i DO regret purchasing it. A decent LED is all it needs to be a nice torch. But it doesn't have one. I think a better purchase would be what was on Meritline's 1-day deals page today:

http://www.meritline.com/high-power-black-aluminum-led-flashlight---p-55...

Today's price is $4.99/shipped, BUT it takes 16340's/cr123's. However, it's advertised as having a 'Cree' emitter, though it doesn't say what kind. It looks like a fixed-focus, 16340 version of the Sipik SK68. For the same price as I got the SK58, this is probably a better value, even if you have to buy your friend some primaries or get them a cheapo charger--BUT getting an AA version of this (or similar) is probably best, even though the flashlight cost doubles just because of the greater demand created by the AA form factor. But then again, once you're into $10 flashlights, you're not far away from cheap P60 style host/drop-in and cool multi-mode budget CR123 flashlights of respectable names like Ultrafire. Decisions.... But I think lurkers & newbies are best-off avoiding bottom-feeders unless they really know their needs, and know what the flashlight can deliver. I personally now have a decent collection of mediocre lights, and prefer now to exercise self-control and spend the money on higher quality, if fewer, items.

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jekostas
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brjones wrote:

I have the same kind of flashlight, but never knew it was a Sipik SK58 (or forgot). I got mine at Meritline on sale for $5 delivered. That flashlight made me decide that I will never buy another budget flashlight again which is not a Cree, or at least which does not have the brand and model LED listed in the product description. I don't know Golden Dragons, but I highly doubt that reputable LED is what's in there (shouldn't be hard for those who know, by inspecting the poster's very accurate depiction of the die pattern).

That is an Osram Golden Dragon emitter, but even good LEDs can be let down by bad drivers and poor lenses.  From what I've heard of the SK58 it's really hit or miss.  I wonder if Sipik used the same driver for the Cree and Osram versions and the Osram LED just doesn't play as well.

For the record, I've got an Osram version and while it's not as bright as a comparable Cree on the same battery (Sk68), it's certainly not bad.  

As to the colour variations on the emitter at full zoom, I do NOT think it's a phosphor problem.  I think it's actually the crappy plastic aspheric lens that's causing chromatic aberrations.  It certainly fits with how chromatic aberrations tend to occur, at the edges of major contrast changes (edges of the emitter, or between the two dies on the emitter surface).

Huge
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fran82 wrote:

First of all

Most FocalPrice flashlights have different leds from other chinese sites.

You have found it: DX sk68 has a Cree q3. The focalprice Sk68 has an osram GD.

 

Second: the led is not broken, all osram golden dragon have an edge "cutted". Completely normal... but in the other edge I can see a kind of "kasjkasdjkahkhgduif" but I dont know if it is caused by the optics or not... maybe the led is semi-burned in that location

semi-burned in the location?Laughing chinese sites show its low-price labor in the way of price label. just take the comparison the beamshots,then do it.

Flashlight may bring me a sunshine~

Anagoge
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fran82 wrote:
You have found it: DX sk68 has a Cree q3. The focalprice Sk68 has an osram GD.

I just ordered a Sipik SK68 from them last week, so I can confirm this shortly.  It doesn't say it uses a CREE Q3, so it probably isn't.  I should have verified this before ordering.  I'm not a big fan of these manufacturers that keep the same model # but change out the guts depending on the retailer.

jekostas
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Anagoge wrote:

fran82 wrote:
You have found it: DX sk68 has a Cree q3. The focalprice Sk68 has an osram GD.

I just ordered a Sipik SK68 from them last week, so I can confirm this shortly.  It doesn't say it uses a CREE Q3, so it probably isn't.  I should have verified this before ordering.  I'm not a big fan of these manufacturers that keep the same model # but change out the guts depending on the retailer.

Oh for the love of...

 

THIS IS NOT THE SIPIK SK68.  This is the Sipik SK58 which is advertised as having either an Osram led OR a Cree led.

Anagoge
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jekostas wrote:
THIS IS NOT THE SIPIK SK68.  This is the Sipik SK58 which is advertised as having either an Osram led OR a Cree led.
I know this thread started off discussing the SK58, but apparently, the same LED confusion also applies to the SK68, which is why we've discussed both here. I know the thread has veered slightly off course, but it is the same manufacturer and vendor under discussion, so I wouldn't let it get to you.
Haggai
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That's a close up on the emitter itself (sorry, that's as sharp as I could get):

Budgeteer
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Actually the photo is quite sharp. It is a recent make of osram golden dragon i think. I got several older...

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

fran82
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I am not sure that that is a Osram golden dragon. It seems a chinese copy of the osram GD

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I have one of those I bought from manafont and its brighter than that. Has an xre though

 

correction. Its not an xre, looks like the OP's but no defect

 

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums

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I have an SK58 that I bought through Amazon.  Unlike the original poster's, the Golden Dragon emitter in my SK58 had no flaws and worked perfectly.

However, I decided that the output from the Golden Dragon was insufficient for an EDC light.  I replaced mine with an XML for MUCH more flood.  If you want more throw a good replacement would be an XRE.

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And here I thought no one had stuck an xm-l in one of these yet.  Smile

I'm still waiting to find a neutral white one...  cool white is annoying, but neutral xm-ls seem out of stock absolutely everywhere...  even Cutter is out of stock, if I for some reason decided the $16 shipping was worth it.

My Golden Dragon was reasonably uniformly colored, until the first time I used it with a 14500 for more than ten seconds.  Now it's even worse than the pictures above.  I think it overheats and kills the phosphors.  I have two thin L-shaped strips of yellow, the rest is blue.  Probably 75% of the light is blue with 25% white...

--Bushytails

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one word .. focal .. they are known for selling seconds or foul ,used junk . avoid them right off the bat .

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If you want a non-clone Sipik SK58, try ordering from Amazon.  That's where I got mine and they appear to be the genuine article without any manufacturing defects.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KO4DFA/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF...

They also ship very quickly.  I'm in California and I just ordered one on June 13 and it just arrived three days later on the 16th.  Note that the Amazon description is wrong.  This is the standard Sipik SK58 with an Osram Golden Dragon.  It does not have a Cree emitter.

Now that my second SK58 has arrived I plan to apply the following modifications:

  1. Replace driver with 2.8 amp Shiningbeam 3-mode driver.  Hoping it will fit with a little filing on the edges of the driver.
  2. replace emitter with Cree XM-L T6 from Shiningbeam
  3. bend strip of copper sheet into a ring and put it around the threads at the top part of the pill.  This will prevent the pill from screwing completely into the body of the light.  This will increase the travel distance of the telescoping mechanism and give a much wider angle flood mode, without affecting spot mode.
  4. Add extra heat-sinking below the emitter.  I don't have a lathe so can't make a nice copper slug like Match.  Instead I'm planning on cutting 1 mm copper sheet into disks and then laminating them onto the inside of the pill below the emitter with thermal epoxy.
  5. Add a reflector - will cut up my last old Uke AAA lamp module and mount the reflector into the light.  This should significantly boost the brightness of flood mode and eliminate all rings in that mode.  Spot mode will have an ugly corona, but range will be unaffected.
  6. replace metal o-ring with rubber o-ring.  Lubricate all o-rings.  Add thermal grease around pill threads.

If all goes well, I expect the light to be significantly brighter than the stock model.  With about 12 minutes of runtime on max on IMR 14500.

JohnnyMac
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I never understood the appeal of the SK58, especially in comparison to the SK68. I had a genuine SK58 and while it was an ok light, I never really cared for it much. I just felt cheap and shoddy compared to the SK68 and couldn't compare in performance for light produced, ability to wick off heat, or general solid feel. I gave mine to a friend who never had a zooming light and loves it.

bushytails
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The 68 is way too large, ugly, heavy, doesn't mod well (from what I've heard - haven't tried), doesn't fit protected cells well (same - haven't tried), and has a clip.

--Bushytails

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bushytails wrote:

The 68 is way too large, ugly, heavy, doesn't mod well (from what I've heard - haven't tried), doesn't fit protected cells well (same - haven't tried), and has a clip.

--Bushytails

While it is larger (mainly due to finning), ugly and heavy are a matter of opinion. I rather like the look and prefer the heft of it. Feels like a real tool instead of a plastic toy. I've owned both at the same time and compared both.

It does mod easily depending on what you want to do with it (driver and emitter) and takes a much stronger emitter and driver due to excellent heat sinking ability.

It fits protected cells just fine, as I run protected Trustfire Flames in mine without any issue and they are very long for 14500 cells.

The clip can be removed if you don't like it. I prefer mine as it stays at the top of my pocket and away from coins and such that would scratch the lens or wear at the finish. Don't like the holes left behind by removing the clip? Put a drop of loctite on the screws you took out and put them back in without the clip. Don't like the screw heads sticking out and never want to use the clip in the future? Grind off the heads of the screws leaving the loctited threads inside or simply fill the holes with epoxy then touch up with black sharpie and they disappear.

But that's the beauty of flashlights (or anything in general)...we all have different tastes and thankfully there are more than one flashlight out there. If only one flashlight was ever made and we all liked it then there would be nothing for us to collect, compare, mod, or inspire. Wink

Johnny

jekostas
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bushytails wrote:

The 68 is way too large, ugly, heavy, doesn't mod well (from what I've heard - haven't tried), doesn't fit protected cells well (same - haven't tried), and has a clip.

--Bushytails

The SK68 fits protected cells perfectly well and mods quite easily, so... no, neither of these are true.  It also has a far superior lens to the SK58.

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Just got my Ultraok version of the Sipik68 today .

It will now become my new EDC .

I like the build , the tint , the clip , the clicky ,

 and it's fun .

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