Please to share your emitter knowledge (In small doses)?

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trooplewis
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Please to share your emitter knowledge (In small doses)?

I'm relatively new to the latest generation of LED's (Cree and others) and have picked up many hints and clues about what to buy and build here. But I still am unclear about many of the strong and weak points of the numerous emitters available for sale. I thought maybe those with more experience could share the +'s and -'s of the choices available.

 

Please remember, we aren't all engineers, that is why I said "in small doses"; not looking for a long, technical essay on emitters. Maybe just a few summarized points that would be helpful to new flash-o-holics.

 

Based on a lot of what I have read, XPG seems to be the best value for the money in terms of both brightness and runtime, but I do love killer brightness.

 

Been looking a lot at the OSRAM lights too, for some reason they fascinate me.

 

So if you have favorites, or ones you really dislike, please share what they are and why you like/no like.

 

Thanks in advance, love the forums here!

 

Bill

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

Edited by: trooplewis on 04/10/2011 - 16:56
trooplewis
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I've got a wide range of lights; from AAA iTp to an older 3D Maglite. I like 'em all!

I'm in the process of ordering a FenixTk35 just to have a lot of light for under a 100 bucks.

But AA lights tempt me as well, good to have around in an emergency, cheap, plentiful batteries.

And of course the P60 form factor seems like an all-around best fit. So no restrictions on type, I just need more technical info on what to put in them.

 

BTW, there is a guy on the 'other' forum who builds Maglites that still focus; has quite a thrower there, but I think it runs $130 or so complete.

That would be nice to have...

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

brted
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The die is the part that gives off light. The XP-E and XR-E lights have a small die that gives a tighter hotspot but overall less light output than the XP-G (medium die) or XM-L (big die). The big dies also take more power, so the XP-E and XR-E take about 1 amp, the XP-G about 1.5A, and the XM-L takes 3A.

The Osram is just fine. It probably fits somewhere in between the XP-E and XP-G LED's and probably gives a better beam pattern, but isn't all that common in flashlights. I'm not sure the budget lights use the latest brightest bins.

I really like the XP-G LED. It is efficient, has decent throw and can give you pretty good runtime. It also has some pretty decent neutral tinted bins available. The XM-L is great for cranking out a ton of light, but you don't get any more throw and you will use about twice as much power, so half the runtime. There are still a lot of budget lights out there with XP-E and XR-E LED's and poor Maglite has just started adopting the XP-E, but those are older technology at this point unless you just want to throw a narrow beam of light. But you can get similar throw with a bigger reflector from some of the others.

Here is a table comparing overall lumen output of the different LED's at different currents. The maximum available bin is marked with a *. And the values shown are not what you will get out the front of a flashlight since you will lose 20% or more getting out of the flashlight.

http://flashlight-wiki.com/Brightness_Bins

Foy
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Well, we need Don, Match and those guys (didn't intentionally leave other great experts out) that have lots of experience with emitters in a variety of driver/light configurations.  Here is a summary of my brief experience with some of the few LEDs I have.

Cree XR-E: Great for throw.  It may be easy to think the XR-E is a weak sister but drive one of these properly with a deep/smooth reflector and it's amazing what it can do.  Even though there are far better throwers, my XR-E (WC/R2) equipped Skyline 1 gave me a new respect for the lowly XR-E.

Cree XP-G: Like you said, this is a superior all around emitter and is capable of some serious lumens.  I like the XP-G for EDC because it's bright as hell, heat is usually not a problem and (in my lights at least) I get really good run times.  My 4Sevens Quark AA2 Tactical with its XP-G/R5 emitter was my first "big boy" flashlight and I remember being stunned at how much light could be had from 2 AA batteries.

Cree XM-L: I don't care how much sense it makes or the stupid logic of this much cheap horsepower but the T6 LED is a flashaholic's dream come true.  I used to think of SST-50/90 torches as "aspirational" flashlights I could never justify economically.  For me, the XM-L changed all that.  The 3-mode Ultra Fire XM-L from Manafont provides a wow factor few drop-ins can match, especially for the money.

SSC P7: Came with the first L2P I ordered, the P7 really puts out a lot of light.  Not long ago it was a top emitter and the only thing I find slightly annoying about it is the donut hole.  For my money, it's a great floody emitter.

These are the ones that matter to me and my experience with them is very limited so, take the above with a grain of salt.

knowslittletalksalotFoy

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ezeqdb
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There is more interesting info here: http://flashlight-wiki.com/LED

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

trooplewis
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Good info, I appreciate all the input.

Be nice to understand some kind of short explanation of "different bins".  How does that work?  Same build, some are better than others, or older builds?

 

Also, how does an MC-E emitter fit into the mix? Manafont has one for $20, and they also sell SSC P7 for about $15. Are they both gas hogs?

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

ezeqdb
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Cree, OSRAM, Luxeon make their own emmiters, they have different shape, sizes, lenses, and so.. and make them more efficient through out the years (using better materials and so). 

The efficiency of LEDs is usually measured in lumens per watt, or lumens per x mA (at 3,7V). There is a full description of CREE leds here http://flashlight-wiki.com/Cree (they are the most common).

"no le temo a la oscuridad, la oscuridad me teme a mí"

srfreddy
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Cree produces the best dies in the LED buisness, and produce very efficient LED's in small packages. (I think I can say that) The Seoul Semiconductor P4 and P7 utilze Cree EZ1000 dies, which produce blue light. They use their own phosphor to create the white emmitions. The P4 is known for having a VERY nice High-CRI version that is favored by many on CPF, the P7 uses 4 of the dies together to produce a lot of the light, like the Cree MCE, which is almost the same, except that the MCE can wire the 4 dies in any way wanted, and the P7 has a solid layer of phosphor, whereas the MCE has phosphor applied to each individual die. The XRE uses either the EZ1000 or the EZ900 die, and is known for having the highest surface brightnesses in LED's, and the EZ900, which is smaller, has been used to create some of the best throwing LED flashlights ever, on just 4 eneloops. XPG has a medium sized die, and produces a good all around beam, wheras the new XML has a huge die, and is cheaper than the previous high output LED's, and has been used in many high output flashlights, outdating the MCE and P7, as they have a donut hole from a non-continuous die, and lesser throw. The XML takes up to three amps. 

The highest output LED's are produced by Luminous LEDs, the SST-50 and SST-90, with 5 cm^2 and 9 cm^2 of die area, and 5 and 9 rated max amp drive. However, they are much more tolerant to overdrive than the Cree offerings, in part due to their copious amounts of lead wires, which significantly reduce resistance as current goes up vs. the XML's three. The SST-50 has been overdriven to nine amps to produce the Farthest throwing LED "flashlight shaped object" ever. (Certain "mega-spotlights" have probably beat this)

brted
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There is apparently a lot of uncertainty in the manufacturing process, so after an LED is made, it is tested and is thrown in a bin based on the performance. There are bins for total light output (flux), the tint (cool, neutral, warm, and lots of things in between), and sometimes Vf (the voltage drop across the LED at the testing current). The manufacturer can certainly tweak his process to get more of what he wants and the tint can be controlled at least in part by how much phosphor is applied to the die. More yellow phosphor gives a yellower tint but reduces the overall brightness.

All the manufacturers use different codes for their bins. For Cree, P4, Q5, R2, R5, S2, T6, and U2 are the different flux bins, not names for the LED's. The test for the bins is done at a certain current (often 350mA, but not always), but if you drive a LED harder you get more brightness. The manufacturers provide a chart so that you can figure out the brightness at higher currents than the test current. They usually give a maximum allowable current, but people will overdrive LED's anyway. As a LED is driven harder it becomes less efficient, so doubling the current won't double the output. And at some point you just burn out the LED.

kragmutt
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Check out epic post #16 by Boaz here:

http://budgetlightforum.cz.cc/node/1541

Happy reading.

Andi
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Here a link to a overview: DX LINK

But you can´t see the different "tints".....all different "bins" are subdivided in "tints".

Example: KD is selling a "XM-L U2 1C" & a "XM-L U2 1A", it´s the XM-L LED in a U2 bin with 1C, or 1A tint.

1A should be a little bit more bluish, but more efficient. (but i don´t like bluish light^^)


Piers
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Hehe, someone beat me to promoting http://flashlight-wiki.com/Main_Page  The "brightness bins" section is especially useful Smile

old4570
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Just depends on what you want ? 

For everyday use , there is nothing wrong with a XP-G R5 @ 1.5A or even 1A ..

But , if you need a little more , then there is only one real Choice = XM-L ..  And the 3 mode [ Hi-Med-Low ] lights are just a joy to own and use . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

trooplewis
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My 2 XM-L's with the 3-mode (from Manafont) have a very distinctive green center spot when aimed at a white wall from 3 or 4 feet away.

Is that pretty normal for XM-L?

Rats, finally sold my 2010 509hp Mustang...now I can buy more lights!

Sold the red one too! Now guess what I drive, doing my penance for 500 hp commuters...

http://dreammustang.com/

http://i884.photobucket.com/albums/ac47/Ha

srfreddy
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With parabolic reflectors, yes. I remember hearing someone on CPF commenting on the better and more even tint of the Solarforce XML from the differently shaped reflector though. 

old4570
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trooplewis wrote:

My 2 XM-L's with the 3-mode (from Manafont) have a very distinctive green center spot when aimed at a white wall from 3 or 4 feet away.

Is that pretty normal for XM-L?

Yes , Greenish to yellow-brownish depending on the individual emitter , once you take the light outside , you wont notice anything but how nice the XM-L is . 

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….

 

justin1
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im new on budgetlight forums and iv been into flashlights for a couple years now i wanted to know how to change emitters on flashlights i have a soldering gun to take them off if thats how you do it because i see solder on most of the 16mm led base i was also wondering if i need thermal paste or something for heat sinking i want to change led emitters for romisen and other lights answers please thank you

old4570
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Today !   Its hard to go past the XM-L Emitter [ For me In anyway ] 

The XP-G still has a place - especially in smaller lights [ AAA / AA ] 

And the XR-E is still a thrower - unfortunately Cree saw fit not to upgrade the XR-E , A XR-E R5 would be off the hook ... 

For everyday use , a low current XM-L powered by a 18650 or even a 16340 or 14500 has a lot to offer ...

 Always remember , the easiest thing in the world to do , is to expel hot air from your lungs and through some vocal chords ..
The resulting sound may , or may not be worth listening too ….