Lets Talk Tints

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Lightbringer
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Boaz wrote:
I think people don’t like NW or warm whites because they’ve never seen a really good one .. The Nichia 219A is the standard for all good tints IMHO it’s not all about cri . i have enogh great tints to change anyones mind about tints ,Being a tint snob makes you look down on tints other people are impressed with .:P it takes a pretty big pool of lights to figure out what you really like . lights with tints you think are pretty nice look like garbage when compared side by side with really good tints .

Fo’ shizzle, my nizzle.

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Lightbringer
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Aggressor wrote:
I am just pointing out that “green” in the cards we all see in these pictures and dislike so much, might have been seen as perfect “yellow” to the human eyes when the picture was taken. Or perhaps some other color. These two pictures were taken under two different light sources and neither was color calibrated. There is nothing to compare.

The human aye does have the ability to “adapt” to changing light conditions. Classic example being horribly blue snow. Snap a pic of a snowscape which looks like perfectly white snow to you when taking the shot, and yet the pic will pretty much show mounds of blueberry Sno-Cones.

Or anything in white (eg, a house) that’s in shade, when warm sunrise/sunset light makes everything look orange. Fascinating pic where directly-lit things are orangey, yet the white house in shade looks blue!

What I’ve personally experienced, though, is looking at woodgrain furniture and whatnot, under CW light, and to me it looks dull bluish-gray, but after switching to a 4300K light (non-high-CRI), those reds and browns just “pop”.

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Lightbringer
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Aggressor wrote:
The point is that CRI 100 at 2000K is very crappy light – a lot of colors are very poorly represented. While CRI 100 at 5000K is great light – all colors are represented properly. This subject is complex and poorly understood by many people. A lot of people here seem to think that CRI 100 means good color representation even at “warm” CCTs. It doesn’t.

2000K (candlelight) makes for great mood-lighting. Yeah, everything looks orange, but at the end of the day, in the dark except for a 2000K emitter (or coupla candles), it just feels good.

Horrible color-rendition, yeah, but it feels good.

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teacher wrote:
Aggressor, are you saying the colors we see in the pictures now may not have been the same as the colors our eyes would have actually seen the moment the pictures were taken??

And this could be adjusted, in a way the pictures would accurately represent what our eyes actually see at the moment the picture is taken; by setting ‘White Balance’ & adjusting colors with the Color Reference Chart???

If you take a nice 50W halogen light, and put a light green filter on it (say 10%), when you walk into the room everything will look greenish, of course. But after being there a while (and adapting), you’ll see colors more or less normally, and will be able to discern blue from red from yellow just fine.

With a heavily saturated green filter, you might as well be lighting the place with a green LED, and everything will look green regardless.

That’s why in the previous example I gave, snow (in shade or even at night) will look just plain white, while pix of said show will show them to be horribly blue.

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Lightbringer
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WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Tangra wrote:
I think we, the customers should stop buying cool white lights. We must teach companies what to put inside. Unfortunately 90% from people are not familiar with this.

Yeah, but for some reason, newbies tend to actually prefer cool white. And non-flashaholics make up the vast majority of the market.

Because the damnfools want “LED” light, and to not look like Yet Another Incandescent.

Same principle applies to those blue headlights…

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Tangra
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Lightbringer wrote:
Aggressor wrote:
The point is that CRI 100 at 2000K is very crappy light – a lot of colors are very poorly represented. While CRI 100 at 5000K is great light – all colors are represented properly. This subject is complex and poorly understood by many people. A lot of people here seem to think that CRI 100 means good color representation even at “warm” CCTs. It doesn’t.

2000K (candlelight) makes for great mood-lighting. Yeah, everything looks orange, but at the end of the day, in the dark except for a 2000K emitter (or coupla candles), it just feels good.

Horrible color-rendition, yeah, but it feels good.


Truth.
And the reason is because our eyes prefer worm tint when lux (lumens) are at low levels.
WojtekimbieR
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A friend sent me what might become the ultimate tint snob's argument

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/27751961

Just for a moment... Okay I may stay a little longer

Lexel
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Oh then they should have forbidden mercury and fluorescent tube lamps if blue light would be that dangerous

Also then daylight needs to be forbidden to look at

Those lights and the sun emit UV light which is far more dangerous for human eyes

High pressure mercury

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Still like the tint of my 2014 D25C 219b (4500k?) nichia best. Just got my copper tool nichia and its maybe a bit to rosy, but it does suit the copper.

Realy hated the tint of the nichias in my S41, but after slicing the domes the tint is much better, now a bit yellow instead of fugly green.

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kramer5150 wrote:
My Manker E11 is supposed to be neutral white, but I would call a slightly dingy beige-yellow.

I take it you are talking about a Low CRI LED?

some backstory on “tint”. color temperature, white balance, “neutral tint”, “neutral white”.. etc:

from this thread

jon_slider wrote:
WalkIntoTheLight wrote:
Here’s two pictures, showing BLF-348 (left) vs Astrolux A01 (right).

The first picture is taken with the camera’s white balance set to 4000K, making the A01 appear white.

excellent!
our brain also changes its white balance depending on ambient light
so during the day, 4000k seems more orange than sunlight at noon.
At night, after I have been sitting under 3000k incandescent, the 4000k looks blueish compared to ambient light

that is why when someone says they consider 5000k “pure white”, that just tells me they are looking at the beam during a time when their brain is white balanced to ambient light that is in the 5000k range. That same 5000k beam will look blueish when the brain, or the camera, is white balanced to 4000k, or less.

These changes in white balance make single beam shots not very useful. otoh, showing 3 beams at once will give relative color reference among them. This is why Im interested in seeing the old A01 in the same photo as the BLF 348 plus the new A01. Since my iPhone has automatic white balance, it really helps to have 3 beams in a photo.

for example:

that photo has set auto white balance to the XP-G2, so it makes the 6000k look “white”

fwiw, here is an example of using a folded piece of printer paper for beamshot comparisons. I recommend that approach, as it eliminates any confusion caused by different colors of wall paint.

this photo, above, is comparing two Nichia LEDs, the one in the ReyLight is about 4500k, the one in the L11c is about 5000k

you can see again that the auto white balance on my iPhone has set the L11c as the white balance reference.

I find that having 3 beams works better than 2, when using auto white balance. If one of the beams is from a light source that other people are familiar with, it gives a relative CCT reference for sake of comparison.

I also recommend reading this thread

jon_slider wrote:
Tint is used rather broadly on flashlight boards. It is actually a technical term that is separate from Color Temperature (CCT)
For example, Look at the CCT 5000 Kelvin below.
Some people call this the beginning of Cool, but it would also be correct to say it is Warmer than 6000k. Confusion is eliminated by referencing the Color Temperature Number. Warm, Neutral and Cool are also valid terms but I want to stay focused on Tint first.
Look at the 3S Tint “bin” (box). It is a 5000k(+) Color with Yellow Tint. Compare that to the 3U box. It is a 5000k(-) Color with a more “rosy” tint.

LEDs do NOT have all the colors of sunlight. LEDs start out making a lot more blue than red. To make an LED produce Red, requires coating it with a phosphor that produces Red. In the process the total amount of light making it out of the reflector is lower when a phosphor coating is added to an LED. You get a light spectrum closer to sunlight by using a phosphor, but you give up lumens.

Now for sunlight. On the Color and Tint chart below there is a faint Dotted Line, called the BBL (BlackBodyLine). This is the IDEAL color and tint of an LED to MATCH sunlight at that given Color Temperature. Sunlight at Noon has a different Color Temperature than at Sunset.

For any given Color Temperature, most people will prefer the LED Tint that is closest to or BELOW the BBL. That is why we hear of people saying they like the Rosy tint of a Nichia (generally this means the LED has a phosphor coating that increases RED output.) CRI (color rendering index), goes UP as RED output goes UP. If you start with a Cool white 6000K LED, and add a phosphor to increase red output, the CCT will drop. For sake of example, in the case of a 4500K 90+ CRI Nichia 219b, the lumen output will drop along with the CCT (Corrected Color Temperature).

So, a 6000K XP-G2 will be Cooler and have more lumens than a 4500K Nichia. The Nichia will have higher CRI, will show reds better. The XPG2 will be brighter. For sake of reference, the Lumintop Tool with XP-G2 has a CRI of about 70, a Color Temperature of about 6000 kelvin, and will produce 110 lumens on high. The same Tool but with 4500k Nichia is 90+ CRI and produces 80 lumens. The 30 lumen difference is significant. If you had an 80 lumen light, and you could get an extra 30 lumens out of it, that is an increase of 38%!!!

So a lot of flashlights are sold based on having the highest Brightness. It drives the consumer market. That is how people compare lights, at first. After a while, some flashaholics begin to realize that cool white light does not really show the true color of some things very well. They then begin to appreciate the High CRI LEDs, for which the term Nichia is often used, because Nichia is like the Kleenex of high CRI LEDs. It is what they specialize in, their market niche. Anytime someone says Nichia, the implication is High CRI of 90+, and along with that it implies a warmer CCT than Cool White (which most people would agree includes the 6000k CCT). People also know that Nichia means less bright.

It is a tradeoff, if you want more red, you give up some brightness and some coolness.

Now for what makes some people prefer 6000k over 4500k
1. given the same flashlight, a 6000k LED will be brighter. People prioritize brightness when they first learn about criteria to choose a flashlight.
2. 6000k will show less Red. People looking at things that are red will prefer a different LED, even if they have to settle for less lumens.

Someone looking for a person, or their dog, 50 feet away in the backyard, will prefer the 6000k light. They want the most brightness (which also means the light will have the most throw). They want to see far, and brightly. In this use scenario, more lumens is more useful, than more Red rendering.

otoh, someone cooking a steak in their backyard, cutting it open to check if it is done, will prefer the High CRI light, even though it is less bright. At arms length they do not need maximum brightness, but they do need to see if the meat looks red or not. This scenario favors the Nichia.

so, which “tint” (actually color temperature), someone prefers, depends on how close or far the target is. Whether they need to use maximum or if medium is enough. And whether they need to see large forms, or want more emphasis on the ability to show reds.

This is where the ambient light comes into play. During the day, say 12 noon on a sunny day, my brain and eyes are adapted for bright light at high CCT. If I want to use a flashlight to look at things under the hood of the car, I will prefer a CCT that is in the 6000k range, over one in the 4500k range. The 6000k will seem more white, the 4500k will seem more orange. And the 6000k will be brighter, which is more necessary, when my eyes and brain are in ambient sunlight adaptation.

So, mechanics, and people who work under cool white light, will prefer 6000k light.

otoh, my house lighting is 3000k incandescent (incandescent light is more full spectrum than LED lighting). After being under 3000k lighting for an hour or more, my brain and eyes adapt to that Color Temperature. The brain basically does what a camera does when it sets its white balance. In this case 3000k becomes the “normal white” for that ambient Color Temperature. Now if I turn on a 6000k LED flashlight, the beam seems very blueish and glaring. Where as a 4000k LED will seem whiter and brighter than ambient, but not so harsh as 6000k

For someone like me, that uses a small AAA flashlight around the house in the evening, to look for some wiring behind the TV, or look for some shoes at the back of the closet, my 3000k or 4500k flashlights will be preferred, over a 6000k light. Because the ambient light I am operating in, has set my brain’s white balance to a warmer Color than Sunlight at noon.

Since I dont have a dog, do not work as a car mechanic, and do not use a flashlight to hunt for intruders in my back yard, a 6000k light is not my priority. Since I do like to have a small AAA in my pocket, that I can use to check if the steak is done when grilling in the dark, or to find my red slippers in the dark corner of my closet, or to do other things at arms reach where seeing red things correctly matters, I “prefer” a 3000k or 4500k led. I also want them to be High CRI. Since High CRI is a priority for me, I mostly avoid lights with 6000k Color Temperature. Usually a 6000k LED will only have about 70CRI. It will not produce enough red to show red objects as red. They will look more brownish than under full spectrum sunlight, or incandescent light.

Bottom line, the Color Temperature we prefer, changes with the Color Temperature of the background lighting our brain is adjusted to at the time.

Whether or not one prioritizes High CRI, depends on how important the ability to see red is, for a given flashlight application.

Looking at food with a flashlight will favor High CRI choices. Looking at things at close range, will favor low brightness and High CRI. Looking for a red tabby cat up a tree in the dark will favor higher brightness and High CRI. Looking for a black labrador running around on a football field in the dark, will favor high brightness and CRI will be a lower priority.

fwiw, the 219c tends to be Yellower, than the 219b which tends to be more Pink. That is, the tint of the 219c tends to fall above the BBL, and the 219b tends to fall below the BBL

however, there is no consistency. LEDs vary

here are 3 different lights with N219b, left to right, Astrolux M01, Astrolux M02, Lumintop Worm

Tjohn
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Is the sun as we view it truly a perfect black body radiation source?

With all the new members joining to find their place on the GB list for the Q8, and the generalized misinformation regarding color tint vs. temperature, CREE vs. Nichia, HiCri vs. Who gives a hoot?…
…….a thread like this should not remain dormant for so long.

Similar to how we all have individual fingerprints, we each should have been born with retinas containing from 100-120 million rod cells not sensitive to color, the spaces between them harboring from 6-7 million color cones in varying and relative ‘color sensitive’ quantities.
Those of us who can distinguish color at all, visualize temperatures, tints, and color fidelity in our own unique manners.
Regardless of whether or not the sun can claim to be a perfect black body radiator, elements on the surface of the sun, and our atmosphere are always busy altering what we see. Water vapor, pollution, latitude affecting thickness of the atmospheric layer, season of the year, refractive index influenced by time of day, reflection from water and other surfaces remove any doubt that varying influences are at work.

Starting with illustrations demonstrating some of what is responsible for these absorption bands, in the final illustrations wavelength densities (color components) at varying temperatures are shown in their relation to idealized black body lines.






jon_slider
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Tjohn wrote:

interesting charts, thanks for posting them
so, if I look at the one above, it seems 5000k is pretty evenly balanced between red and blue
6000k has more blue than red, and 4000k has more red than blue

in LEDs, it seems the 6000k options are generally Low CRI, while the 4-5000k come in High CRI.. (such as in the AAA Lumintop Copper Tool and Worm, and AAA L11c w N219b)

the tradeoff for CCT going lower, is brightness goes lower. The above lights max out at about 90 lumens on my meter (not talking specs, I did actual tests), with NoPWM. (but the L11c is not regulated)

can we list some other lights with NoPWM that offer 4-6000k of High CRI, using more powerful cells (CR123 and 18650) capable of 200+ lumen brightness, flat regulated for no less than 1 hour runtime?:-)

Lexel
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CRI has nothing to do with color temperature

You can order Cree LEDs at 6500K or 7000K with CRI90 or a Nichia 5700K at CRI 92

here one 6500K with CRI 90
https://www.digikey.de/product-detail/de/osram-opto-semiconductors-inc/G...

kikstyo
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Anyone knows what kind of tint does my Fenix E11 Gen 1 have? (https://www.amazon.com/Fenix-E11-Compact-Lumen-Flashlight/dp/B005GW8UC2) 4000k, 4500k, 5000k or 5500k?

Edit: Taken on iPhone 6s with default settings.

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Maybe your camera setting would help. I will guess 5000K

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Hmm, I wonder…

Adjust the camera’s (ostensibly accurate) WB (in K) ‘til the resulting beam is the best balance of R=G=B. Wonder if that would line up with the nominal CT of the LED itself.

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