Which LED for practical thrower?

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nquinn
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Which LED for practical thrower?
XPL HI
56% (36 votes)
XHP35 HI
31% (20 votes)
XHP50.2
6% (4 votes)
Other
6% (4 votes)
Total votes: 64
Edited by: nquinn on 02/08/2018 - 22:58
nquinn
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For those that want a throwy light, which LED do you think is the most useful? Overall distance seems like it might not matter as much as total light on target. Would be looking for 1×18650 if that influences LED choice.

i.e. I might prefer a well lit target at 50m rather than something at 300m that I can barely make out.

Usage would probably be just around the neighborhood, camping, etc.

Really wish I had something like this while on safari at kruger national park but I didn’t realize they let you bring your own lights!

Agro
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XHP 35.2 doesn’t exist.
My pick is XHP35 HI (marked “other”).

nquinn
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Does the XHP35 HI have more throw than the 50 despite being smaller?

singularity35
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I understand that an LED with a smaller die throws better than one with a larger die. But then I’m probably wrong. Big Smile

Chuck Roxas

Thetasigma
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Out of those three on typical drivers, easily the XP-L HI, excellent balance on intensity, acceptable tint, lumens, and voltage curve. Also actually a 3V LED so it is readily driven by a single cell setup.

Agro
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singularity35 wrote:
I understand that an LED with a smaller die throws better than one with a larger die. But then I’m probably wrong. Big Smile

This is not always the case, but often it is right.

Here:
XHP50.2 throws slightly better than XHP50.
XHP35 throws better than XHP50.2.
XHP35 HI throws much better than XHP35.

Throw is closely related to beam intensity. Die size is closely related to beam width. A smaller LED will produce narrower beam, but often a more intense one.

nquinn
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Agro wrote:
singularity35 wrote:
I understand that an LED with a smaller die throws better than one with a larger die. But then I’m probably wrong. Big Smile

This is not always the case, but often it is right.

Here:
XHP50.2 throws slightly better than XHP50.
XHP35 throws better than XHP50.2.
XHP35 HI throws much better than XHP35.

Throw is closely related to beam intensity. Die size is closely related to beam width. A smaller LED will produce narrower beam, but often a more intense one.

What about XHP 35 HI vs. XPL HI

Enderman
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nquinn wrote:

What about XHP 35 HI vs. XPL HI


The XP-L has higher intensity and can handle higher currents because it has a smaller die and produces less waste heat.
Not always the case that smaller = higher intensity though.
clemence
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XPL HI
More efficient and (cheaper?) on single Li-Ion battery. Throws relatively far with decent runtime (assuming you’re using good host). XHP35 requires boost driver which mostly are still not as efficient as a good buck driver. With buck driver, battery options also broader. You can use high capacity medium drain Li-Ion.

- Clemence

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For single 18650: XP-L HI

Sorry for my bad English (gogole transtorla)

DavidEF
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For me “Practical” means that it has a good amount of usable spill. So, we’re not talking about “thrower” lights, but just “throwy” general purpose flashlights, right? Of the choices given, I’d definitely choose the XPL HI for a single 18650 light.

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.
-Ayn Rand

Agro
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clemence wrote:
XPL HI More efficient and (cheaper?) on single Li-Ion battery. Throws relatively far with decent runtime (assuming you’re using good host). XHP35 requires boost driver which mostly are still not as efficient as a good buck driver. With buck driver, battery options also broader. You can use high capacity medium drain Li-Ion.

- Clemence


Cheaper, but not more efficient. The LED itself is less efficient negating the buck driver benefits.
Furthermore:
  • There are far more drivers for XP-L HI, but linear ones (read: less efficient). There are some with superb UI too.
  • there are very few 1s buck and small 12v boost drivers and AFAIK nothing top notch on the market. There is however an excellent boost driver on the horizon
  • with XP-L HI buck driver would fall out of regulation quickly

XP-L HI would be significantly more throw-efficient, that is would produce more cd/W, but not so much with lm/W.
However the OP seems to need lm more than cd really.

And last but not least: with the upcoming driver XHP35 HI will produce 2500 LED lm in turbo. XP-L HI with buck driver? Can’t find anything above 2A so 750 lm?
I think that FET(+N)+1 makes more sense with XP-L HI but then it won’t come close to XHP35 HI efficacy. Much cheaper and good enough though.

nquinn
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Agro wrote:
clemence wrote:
XPL HI
More efficient and (cheaper?) on single Li-Ion battery. Throws relatively far with decent runtime (assuming you’re using good host). XHP35 requires boost driver which mostly are still not as efficient as a good buck driver. With buck driver, battery options also broader. You can use high capacity medium drain Li-Ion.

- Clemence


Cheaper, but not more efficient. The LED itself is less efficient negating the buck driver benefits.
Furthermore:
  • There are far more drivers for XP-L HI, but linear ones (read: less efficient). There are some with superb UI too.
  • there are very few 1s buck and small 12v boost drivers and AFAIK nothing top notch on the market. There is however an excellent boost driver on the horizon
  • with XP-L HI buck driver would fall out of regulation quickly

XP-L HI would be significantly more throw-efficient, that is would produce more cd/W, but not so much with lm/W.
However the OP seems to need lm more than cd really.

And last but not least: with the upcoming driver XHP35 HI will produce 2500 LED lm in turbo. XP-L HI with buck driver? Can’t find anything above 2A so 750 lm?
I think that FET(+N)+1 makes more sense with XP-L HI but then it won’t come close to XHP35 HI efficacy. Much cheaper and good enough though.

At what range do you think the XPL HI might start making more sense than the XHP 35 HI?

clemence
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Agro wrote:
clemence wrote:
XPL HI
More efficient and (cheaper?) on single Li-Ion battery. Throws relatively far with decent runtime (assuming you’re using good host). XHP35 requires boost driver which mostly are still not as efficient as a good buck driver. With buck driver, battery options also broader. You can use high capacity medium drain Li-Ion.

- Clemence


Cheaper, but not more efficient. The LED itself is less efficient negating the buck driver benefits.
Furthermore:
  • There are far more drivers for XP-L HI, but linear ones (read: less efficient). There are some with superb UI too.
  • there are very few 1s buck and small 12v boost drivers and AFAIK nothing top notch on the market. There is however an excellent boost driver on the horizon
  • with XP-L HI buck driver would fall out of regulation quickly

XP-L HI would be significantly more throw-efficient, that is would produce more cd/W, but not so much with lm/W.
However the OP seems to need lm more than cd really.

And last but not least: with the upcoming driver XHP35 HI will produce 2500 LED lm in turbo. XP-L HI with buck driver? Can’t find anything above 2A so 750 lm?
I think that FET(+N)+1 makes more sense with XP-L HI but then it won’t come close to XHP35 HI efficacy. Much cheaper and good enough though.

Practical here also mean sensible driving current, at least to me. If the flashlight requires step down then (again, to me) it’s not practical. At lower “sensible” wattage XPL HI will have more candelas than XHP35 HI. Let’s say 1,5 A
You mentioned 2A current for XHP35 HI? That equals to ~24 watt output power. With good driver that requires at least 26 watt input power. No practical unless the flashlight is big enough to sink that waste heat. You also need to use high drain small capacity battery. Using above example you need to dissipate roughly 19,2 watt of heat (70% from the LED and 10% from the driver).

EDIT: at the same 2A drive current, an XPL HI will outputs “only” 6 watt of power. Using good buck driver (95% efficiency is common these days) you only need ~6,3 watt of input power. Waste heat would be somewhere around ~2,1 watt. That is very safe for most practical flashlights form factor

- Clemence

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clemence wrote:
Agro wrote:
clemence wrote:
XPL HI
More efficient and (cheaper?) on single Li-Ion battery. Throws relatively far with decent runtime (assuming you’re using good host). XHP35 requires boost driver which mostly are still not as efficient as a good buck driver. With buck driver, battery options also broader. You can use high capacity medium drain Li-Ion.

- Clemence


Cheaper, but not more efficient. The LED itself is less efficient negating the buck driver benefits.
Furthermore:
  • There are far more drivers for XP-L HI, but linear ones (read: less efficient). There are some with superb UI too.
  • there are very few 1s buck and small 12v boost drivers and AFAIK nothing top notch on the market. There is however an excellent boost driver on the horizon
  • with XP-L HI buck driver would fall out of regulation quickly

XP-L HI would be significantly more throw-efficient, that is would produce more cd/W, but not so much with lm/W.
However the OP seems to need lm more than cd really.

And last but not least: with the upcoming driver XHP35 HI will produce 2500 LED lm in turbo. XP-L HI with buck driver? Can’t find anything above 2A so 750 lm?
I think that FET(+N)+1 makes more sense with XP-L HI but then it won’t come close to XHP35 HI efficacy. Much cheaper and good enough though.

Practical here also mean sensible driving current, at least to me. If the flashlight requires step down then (again, to me) it’s not practical. At lower “sensible” wattage XPL HI will have more candelas than XHP35 HI. Let’s say 1,5 A
You mentioned 2A current for XHP35 HI? That equals to ~24 watt output power. With good driver that requires at least 26 watt input power. No practical unless the flashlight is big enough to sink that waste heat. You also need to use high drain small capacity battery. Using above example you need to dissipate roughly 19,2 watt of heat (70% from the LED and 10% from the driver).

EDIT: at the same 2A drive current, an XPL HI will outputs “only” 6 watt of power. Using good buck driver (95% efficiency is common these days) you only need ~6,3 watt of input power. Waste heat would be somewhere around ~2,1 watt. That is very safe for most practical flashlights form factor

- Clemence


Frankly, I find it useless to compare currents to these LEDs.
At the same current they have vastly different power consumption as well as vastly different performance. Compare them at the same power and you’ll see different picture:

That’s LED alone, driver will reduce the difference to the point where they are not much different.

I disagree that turbo modes are not practical – if you want to take a look somewhere farther than your flashlight allows otherwise, you have 2 choices:

  • walk to some place closer to the target, so your regular mode can do the job
  • use a turbo mode

I would argue that the latter is more practical. But at the same time I think that sustained and near-sustained performance is very important.
Here we have a buck driver that can sustain 750 LED lm.
And a boost driver that in a good host should be able to sustain 1500 LED lm.
Since XP-L HI is smaller, it has ~40% more cd/lm. Therefore unless there’s a better driver than the one that I’ve seen,
XHP35 HI will offer:

  • higher sustained throw
  • much higher sustained output
  • turbo mode
  • similar efficacy
  • lower throw-efficiency
  • way better UI
  • at way higher price

If we compared XHP35 HI to XP-L HI with linear+FET driver, the picture would be different:

  • lower sustained throw
  • higher sustained output
  • wider beam
  • higher efficacy
  • lower throw-efficiency
  • same UI
  • at higher price
Agro
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nquinn wrote:
Agro wrote:
clemence wrote:
XPL HI
More efficient and (cheaper?) on single Li-Ion battery. Throws relatively far with decent runtime (assuming you’re using good host). XHP35 requires boost driver which mostly are still not as efficient as a good buck driver. With buck driver, battery options also broader. You can use high capacity medium drain Li-Ion.

- Clemence


Cheaper, but not more efficient. The LED itself is less efficient negating the buck driver benefits.
Furthermore:
  • There are far more drivers for XP-L HI, but linear ones (read: less efficient). There are some with superb UI too.
  • there are very few 1s buck and small 12v boost drivers and AFAIK nothing top notch on the market. There is however an excellent boost driver on the horizon
  • with XP-L HI buck driver would fall out of regulation quickly

XP-L HI would be significantly more throw-efficient, that is would produce more cd/W, but not so much with lm/W.
However the OP seems to need lm more than cd really.

And last but not least: with the upcoming driver XHP35 HI will produce 2500 LED lm in turbo. XP-L HI with buck driver? Can’t find anything above 2A so 750 lm?
I think that FET(+N)+1 makes more sense with XP-L HI but then it won’t come close to XHP35 HI efficacy. Much cheaper and good enough though.

At what range do you think the XPL HI might start making more sense than the XHP 35 HI?


There’s no simple answer. In the one below I’ll assume the use of Shocki’s / Lexel’s boost driver which should be available soon. And FET+1 / FET+N+1 / high-end-linear driver with XP-L HI. With other choices the picture would be different.
In the same host, XHP35 HI will always have a wider beam. Assuming the same intensity, this is usually a good thing regardless of distance.
The difference comes where approaching light’s limits.
In turbo XHP35 HI will offer similar throw (with wider beam) at the cost of shorter turbo time.
Sustained, XHP35 will offer more lumens, but less throw.

So unless you’re constrained by runtime:

  • in turbo, XHP35 HI will be better unless the turbo time becomes too short for you
  • sustained, XHP35 HI will be better up to the distance where you stop seeing clearly. Which depends hugely on:
    • host
    • conditions
    • your eyes

I don’t feel able to provide any distances, sorry.

clemence
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Hi Agro

Thanks for your thorough replies. But….
Did you not see the poster requirements at earlier post? He only needs 50 meters of throw. I’m not going to argue about the benefits of using XHP35 over XPL, I simply answered Nquin’s needs for his simple and practical uses (around the tent).

- Clemence

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Just for preservation purpose

nquinn wrote:
For those that want a throwy light, which LED do you think is the most useful? Overall distance seems like it might not matter as much as total light on target. Would be looking for 1×18650 if that influences LED choice.

i.e. I might prefer a well lit target at 50m rather than something at 300m that I can barely make out.

Usage would probably be just around the neighborhood, camping, etc.

Really wish I had something like this while on safari at kruger national park but I didn’t realize they let you bring your own lights!

Agro
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You are right, I certainly went too far into theory.
I still think that XHP35 HI would be better if we take the price out of equation, but I think the question was wrong really. OP should be comparing lights, not LEDs.

nquinn
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Agro wrote:
You are right, I certainly went too far into theory. I still think that XHP35 HI would be better if we take the price out of equation, but I think the question was wrong really. OP should be comparing lights, not LEDs.

For < $30, which light would you consider? Do you think an XHP 35 HI makes any sense given that I don’t care about extreme range, or stick with an XPL HI for efficiency with an 18650?

Was mostly considering:

- Sofirn C8T (https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/Sofirn-New-C8-Tactical-Cree-XPL2-LED-Flas...) or Convoy C8 with XPL-HI
- KDlitker XHP35 (http://www.kaidomain.com/p/S027411.KDLITKER-C8_2-Cree-XHP35-HI-Neutral-W...)

Enderman
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Using a 3v led like the XP-L will be a lot cheaper and more practical.

eas
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I just built an XHP35hi light with the KaiDomain H2-C driver. The host I used has a reflector that is about the same diameter as a c8, but it is significantly deeper. It isn’t a bad light, as is, but it isn’t really that impressive, either. It throws better than my Sofirn C8A, not as well as my Convoy L2 with an XML HI.

At some point, I’m probably going to mod the driver and see if I can get something closer to 24-30W in Turbo. If I do that though, I’ll probably move to a different host, because I doubt the one I used is really up to dissipating that much heat.

Get the Sofirn C8T, It’s cheaper than the KDLitker, and I’m sure it will out-perform it. As I recall, someone who tested it said the KDLitker was only able to drive the XHP35 LED at ~12W tops. The Sofirn can push as much as ~20W on a freshly charged cell, and looks like it should manage >12W, until the cell is down to 50% charge.

Too many streetlights, not enough flashlights.

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The Driver is the question (in my mind lately).  I AM EAGERLY AWAITING Shocki’s /Lexel’s new driver for an XPL35hi build because I haven’t seen a lot out there that clearly can drive these newer Cree XHP leds on a single 18650 well.


And IF I’m going to spend some cash on a better boost driver— I’m buying it from the guys here who have been helpful to me a lot lately and are pushing the designs forward (again see Lexel’s FET tail switch here). Maybe there is something out there in a good cheap XHP led boost driver, but I haven’t seen it yet (and I’m a newbie still— more reading/searching needed there). For what little I’ve seen… cost is always a factor with the few drivers I have found (and all have features/modes I don’t “need” but MIGHT buy… if they were cheap enough and decent in quality).


I also do have concerns re. efficiency with any boost “driver” design, BUT as batteries are cheap enough (and I’d use Turbo ONLY for hunting) I’m ok with shorter run times, since I only need to “THROW” for hunting (I turn on just for the shots, where I NEED 5 seconds of: FAST, FULL and TURBO!).  So a good, cheap, single mode (Off/Turbo) driver that can run for 20 minutes on a 30Q (and drive an XHP35 HI to it’s potential) is something I’d LOVE to know more about. Grad


I have a KDLitker C8.2 (with the XHP50.2) and it’s a great general (little and lightweight) light. I used it on my gun for a short while (then decided to go with the C8F kits— still waiting for them BTW Tired ) because I did realize I would need more throw after putting a larger scope on my gun.  But for it’s short duty… the C8.2 held up VERY well after 50 rounds of 6.8 SPC rounds through my gun at the range. It is built nicely and runs on Turbo (3 second memory) when I turn it on (again for hunting so i can effectively use the memory to keep it in turbo all night). And for around camp or for long hikes out late— I prefer the nice flood + (pretty decent) throw of the C8.2 XHP50.2 over other C8 or tighter throwing lights I have (or have tried).


But for longer range night hunting or longer views across the canyon, I’d agree the Sofirn C8T would be the better light for throw (only) if staying in the C8 form factor off the shelf.  But, then again… if I wanted a REALLY long (off the shelf) thrower light (for a gun or camp), I’d try a Brinyte B158 with the XPL HI V3 (which I tried to buy from Fin last night for 6 hours— his code never worked Flat Stare ). It’s a bit larger than a C8 (about 10mm more up front as I recall) and definitely heavier. But with the aspherical zoom AND an XPL HI V3 it will get WAY out there past the C8T (and most any single 18650 thrower with few exceptions).  The B158 is also made for a gun (comes with a rail mount), but in the hand I’d be happy enough to have it as it can zoom or flood. So at camp, or around the pig ranch— that makes it usable in many ways— with plenty of power.


Honestly, for pig hunting at night (my “throw” application):  the narrow throwers miss too much to the sides for my liking.  And as much as I love the B158 zoomie (and will own one soon), it’s kinda BIG and HEAVY (which is a factor for rifle weight— just fine if sitting in a blind sippin’ whiskey Beer BUT… for my type of hunting— “Run n’ Gun”— weight is a major factor). I am carrying a rifle for HOURS through some heavier “muck” where I hunt pigs in E. Texas and so a (*light) light is a must for my gun for most hunting I am doing.  That is why I LOVED the C8.2 on my gun as it’s BRIGHT for a C8 with it’s XHP50.2 led and gives a good wash and hot spot— but it doesn’t get most folks much past 150 yards (even though I’d use it further out fine- more light doesn’t hurt). 

So that is why I finally decided on the Sofirn C8F (with THREE XP-L2s- shaved domes) and Lexel’s NarsilM driver which will manage that light for BOTH: gun use (in a true off/turbo single mode- using Lexel’s OTHER FET tail switch- which I have and love).  AND then… general use (with the C8F’s normal tail switch put back on it after hunting), where I can THEN use the C8F in multi-modes + use the side switch features with that NarsilB driver (to boot).

Anyway, hope I’m not off topic too far but this topic came up when I voted for a throw led: SO… WHAT do you need from a throw light? I can tell you that for MOST varmint (and a LOT of pig hunting rigs using short sites/red dots) which work within a closer range (20 – 100 yards) that the “lowly” XHP50.2 (with it’s 5% “polled results”) on the left side bar survey (<<<<< over there) is the BEST led in my KDlitker C8.2 because: it uses one 18650, is lightweight enough to use on any gun, is brighter than any other C8 (I KNOW OF— within the FOV between 0-100 yards), and cost $31 shipped.

When I started asking myself this SAME question, I got many different answers from many people— all who were using their throwers for many, but different uses. And for me (and the OP at 50 yards) and myself when I pig hunt— I often run into pigs close in (20 – 50 yards) where I need enough flood for working a “two eyed” red dot making several short range, super-fast shots (and they can charge you so you need to see them well up close!). So a C8T that works great for another guy, isn’t my light since it’s too coherent (narrow) and thus has less side/flood light needed to get several pigs in the red dot sight, making several kills in seconds as they scatter in every direction! (falling in and out of the beam of tighter lights). However, that other hunter (one ranch over from me) would instead LOVE the C8T (or B158) on his rifle- since he’s hunting from a blind where his rifle is sitting on bags, and the XPL HI lights get him out there 200 yards… where the pigs are coming in to the feeder.

So after a LOT of work, testing a few lights, and reading here for (many) days… I’m feeling good with the Sofirn C8F where I am hoping to get the best of all three attributes MOST important to me: Long enough throw (out to 225 yards for the final rig), LOTS of lumens close in (with great side light), and a light weight light (for mobility). From what I’ve read so far… the three de-domed XP-L2s will get me all that in the C8F WITH the right boost driver (which thankfully does exist in the NarsilD from Lexel). But since I can’t vote for an led not listed in the survey… I’ll cast a vote for the short-med range hunter and vote for the XHP50.2 as it works nicely in the KDLitker C8.2 in the medium white with it’s 2000+ verified lumens, nice enough throw, and all around excellent build making it the perfect varmint/red-dot sighted pig gun… led.

ZappaMan

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singularity35 wrote:
I understand that an LED with a smaller die throws better than one with a larger die. But then I’m probably wrong. Big Smile

You are wrong indeed Wink
Throw depends on two factors:

  1. light intensity
  1. reflector size

If a large size and a small size led die have the same intensity, they will produce the same throw (roughly) in the same reflector.
The larger led will only give a bigger hotspot (with same intensity).

The bigger the reflector, the better the light from the led is focussed.
The bigger the reflector, the smaller the hotspot = more throw.

XP-L HI V3 has slightly better intensity then XHP35 HI and is a 3 V led (instead of a 12V, needing a special driver) so easier to use
and much more drivers to choose from.

If you go for a really, really big reflector (i.e. BLG GT = 120mm) using an XPL (or even smaller die led like Osram Oslon Black Flat)
will result in a very narrow beam, called a “pencil beam”.
And the output in Lumens is much less as well, making the light much less usable.

Grtz
Nico

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Good luck getting a BLG GT reflector, I’m after 12 of them and was told not much chance.