Why do you buy lights without High-CRI emitters?

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manithree
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Lightbringer wrote:
beam0 wrote:
Ya, there ain’t many…

Okay, so… Jaxman and Zebralight. (I’ll throw in Lumintop for ya.)

Sofirn? Thorfire? Convoy? Thrunite? Niwalker? Nitecore? XTAR? Haikelite? Manker? UTorch? Wuben? Fitorch? …

3 brands out of 14 brazillion.

The only Mankers I own (E02H and E03H) are un-modded with high CRI nichia emitters. Those might be the only high CRI lights they sell, I dunno. Hmm. Nope, E01, maybe MK34.

Lightbringer
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Ah, okay, so 4 out of 14 brazillion… Big Smile

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ven
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Lightbringer wrote:
ven wrote:
I tend to use hi cri at home, edc and at work mainly. If I am using a big gun, hi cri becomes less important than a light used for close up tasks. For example hi cri in dedicated throwers is not important for me personally. Yet for a mule , it’s pretty much critical!

And what I think everybody’s overlooking, because no one mentioned it yet, is that in a reflector light, any kind of tint-shift will of course skew the color balance. Bad enough in a fried-egg beam the hotspot is yellower and the spill is bluer, and who knows what hideous color the corona might end up being.

For a high-CRI LED to be used to its fullest, you need at the very least a TIR lens to blend/mix the colors better and more consistently, or use an aspheric lens or just plain use it as a mule to get a nice even dispersion of light.

That almost certainly means a flooder (narrow-angle TIRs being the exception… maybe), which would usually mean the light would likely be used for close-in work where color rendition matters.

A good point Lightbringer, i have noticed with the same LEDused in a reflector, optics and mule to produce different tint flavours. Now i admit i have not got it to a point of X LED in X type engine= X tint. But for example, the 219c 4000k is nicer to my eyes in a reflector than in a triple optic. By that, still towards yellow, but not as yellow……….quite yellow!

zak.wilson
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I mostly don’t. When I get review lights or buy something based on other features and it’s not at least 80 CRI, it gets modded. Those other features usually do have to do with the host or driver.

This XHP70 and this XHP35 HI are recent favorites for applications where Nichia doesn’t really have anything for us.

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zak.wilson
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Here are 88 high-CRI factory lights. A few are near-duplicates and a few are not traditional flashlights.

Selection is small though, and I’ve been making a habit of pressuring/encouraging manufacturers to offer more.

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Pavlo
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DavidEF wrote:
Pavlo wrote:
I find it interesting that there are very few throwers with high CRI. Why would color rendering not be as important in a thrower as oppose to something designed to light something up close? I used to have a 219C throwy light and the rendering was fantastic.

Someone said it above. When you’re looking to spot something far away, nothing really matters except that you get light on the person/place/thing that you’re pointing at. Usually, the more light the better, which is why cool whites are used a lot for throwers.

Makes sense. My ZL SC600w HI has an 80 CRI emiter and the color rendering is still very good.
My personal preference is still higher CRI if a good option is available.

If getting as much light on the target is the main goal, low CRI for increased output makes sense.

jon_slider
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I have
Maratac AAA High CRI lights, some modded to warmer CCT, some stock w Nichia, some with 9080 nichia swaps.

Mecarmy PT16 and PT18, modded to High CRI 3000k and 4000k Nichias

Olight S1 Mini High CRI

Lumintop Worm, and Tools w stock High CRI Nichias

in Cool White that I only use for comic relief I have Fenix E01, Thorfire TK05 and Olight Copper S Mini (planned to mod to high CRI)

For me High CRI is required. Neutral tint or below the BBL tint is required. Depending on the white balance of my brain at different times of day and night I use 3000k, 4000k, 4500k, 5500k, All High CRI with good tint.

Sometimes I use Lee Minus green filters to improve tint and move it below the BBL
I dislike tint above BBL, I dislike NW low CRI lights with negative R9 values.

tint matters, CRI matters, CCT matters

using CW after dark disrupts melatonin, promotes cancer.. see
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60219

I find blue light keeps me awake, warm light helps me relax and go to sleep

otoh, to prevent falling asleep at the wheel on long night drives, CW might be stimulating to keep alert till safe arrival, and
CW is good for working on cars during the day, when green tint wont be noticed, but I still want High CRI

the reason there are not more High CRI lights is because consumers are not aware of the details regarding spectrum, tint, and color temp, they just buy the brightest specs, out of ignorance

and,
majority of posters hype up their low CRI, high brightness lights, which makes others follow the Piper

Firelight2
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Personally, having tried lots of low and high CRI lights, I think of high CRI as mostly just a marketing gimmick.

Lumens, beam pattern, color temperature and tint below the black body line all matter much more than CRI.

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Didn’t know any better…….at the time. Oops.

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Firelight2 wrote:
Personally, having tried lots of low and high CRI lights, I think of high CRI as mostly just a marketing gimmick.

Lumens, beam pattern, color temperature and tint below the black body line all matter much more than CRI.


Totally agree with this, it’s the most important thing to me. I don’t like Blue/Green or Orange/Yellow emitters either. Have a couple high CRI EDC lights I built and 80 CRI XHP35/50/70 high performance lights I built and I’m not that impressed with them. But that’s just me.

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Megapanda66
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I have a handful of Nichia lights (triple 219c in S2+, BLF-348, Reylight Pineapple, other Convoy host with single Nichia 219B) and I just dont like them. I much prefer a warm/neutral light for actual use (my favorite is an XM-L2 U3-3D)
Tint and beam pattern are far more relevant to me than CRI. Not only that, but high CRI usually means more heat…and I use my lights for work too much to deal with a light too hot. I bought my D4 with the XPL-Hi emitters not because of the increase in output…but because it runs cooler (if you can even call it that)

Pavlo
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Megapanda66 wrote:
I have a handful of Nichia lights (triple 219c in S2+, BLF-348, Reylight Pineapple, other Convoy host with single Nichia 219B) and I just dont like them.

I totally get that heat is a big issue with running the Nichia LED’s at higher output.
What is it about the lights you mentioned that you dislike?

teacher
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Firelight2 wrote:
Factors I consider when choosing the output of an LED light in order of significance:
  • Lumens
  • Beam Pattern
  • Tint: 4000K-4500K neutral white
  • Below the black body line – I prefer my tint to be rosy and not greenish.
  • CRI

Of the factors I look for when selecting an LED light, CRI seems to be by far the least noticeable and least significant. I’d take a 70 CRI light with beautiful rosy tint over a 90 CRI light with greenish tint any day.

This is the way I think too. The only exception being tint.

I am usually ok anywhere from 4750K – 6100K, with the sweet spot being between 5000K & 5700K. All below the BBL.

KawiBoy1428 wrote:
Firelight2 wrote:
Personally, having tried lots of low and high CRI lights, I think of high CRI as mostly just a marketing gimmick.

Lumens, beam pattern, color temperature and tint below the black body line all matter much more than CRI.

Totally agree with this, it’s the most important thing to me. I don’t like Blue/Green or Orange/Yellow emitters either. Have a couple high CRI EDC lights I built and 80 CRI XHP35/50/70 high performance lights I built and I’m not that impressed with them. But that’s just me.
“Marketing gimmick”…. Yep, I’d go along with that as well as the rest of what you both said. Thumbs Up

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ValuseekeR
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I kind of don’t get some of the talk about temp, tint, beam, etc., as if they’re somehow mutually exclusive from high CRI?

Certainly those are all important factors, but it’s not like Nichias or other high CRI emitters only come in one take-it-or-leave-it awful temp/tint combo…

I’ll also add that I find some “standard” emitters quite nice if the other attributes are otherwise lined up with my preferences. But all else being equal, I’d still take the better color rendition as well if I could get it.

There are no “wrong” answers here though imo. Tastes, needs vary. I was a little confused why they aren’t the standard insisted on by enthusiasts, but the responses are helping to inform on why that isn’t necessarily the case.

ValuseekeR
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teacher wrote:
“Marketing gimmick”…. Yep, I’d go along with that as well as the rest of what you both said. Thumbs Up

I can deal with that opinion, but it’s a silly one, imo. CRI is a real, measurable property; not some kind of trickery. That’s like me saying Neutral White emitters are just a marketing gimmick. -???

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ValuseekeR wrote:
teacher wrote:
“Marketing gimmick”…. Yep, I’d go along with that as well as the rest of what you both said. Thumbs Up

I can deal with that opinion, but it’s a silly one, imo. CRI is a real, measurable property; not some kind of trickery. That’s like me saying Neutral White emitters are just a marketing gimmick. -???


Well, the truth is that most normally-sighted humans can detect a difference in tint or color temp. But, at least if you go according to this thread, a lot of us can’t see a difference in CRI, at least not enough to care, and certainly not enough to concern ourselves with demanding high CRI from flashlight makers.

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Firelight2
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ValuseekeR wrote:
teacher wrote:
“Marketing gimmick”…. Yep, I’d go along with that as well as the rest of what you both said. Thumbs Up

I can deal with that opinion, but it’s a silly one, imo. CRI is a real, measurable property; not some kind of trickery. That’s like me saying Neutral White emitters are just a marketing gimmick. -???

Sure CRI is a real measurable property, but that’s not the point. In my experience high CRI makes VERY little difference in how pleasing or effective the light output is. As such, I consider the benefits of high CRI to be very overblown.

The characterization of the tint being neutral or cool is immediately obvious and is much more significant to me than CRI.

  • I hate cool-white tints and do my best to steer clear of them. I always buy neutral if its an option, and if not I tend to always mod my lights to neutral. The only lights I have that I occasionally use that are still cool white are my shaved-dome SST40 lights… and then only because there’s no alternative.
  • I dislike greenish tints and prefer tints below the BBL. However, I may still use them if the light has other benefits. Example: my Zebralight SC600w IV Plus. Fantastic light with tremendous output. More useful than a D4 due to current regulation and better temp management. Run both lights for a minute on turbo and the Zebralight will be much brighter than the D4. The D4 only pulls ahead when run for 30 seconds or less.
  • Most of the time, I can’t see the difference in CRI at all unless I compare the beams of a high-CRI light side-by-side with a lower-CRI light of similar tint. Essentially, high-CRI seems to offer virtually no noticeable benefit. Unless using a light for a task where color rendering must be as accurate as possible (such as photography) I’d steer clear of high-CRI.
  • Much more noticeable to me is that the high-CRI LEDs tend to have very significant tradeoffs: enormously lower output for the nichias, greenish tint for the Zebralight SC64c (so I hear… don’t own one myself), or overly warm tint for some of the older CREES (have some 90-CRI 3000K XML2s laying around…. too warm for me).

I won’t turn down high-CRI if a light has it. But I don’t go out of my way to select for high-CRI either. My newest light received today is actually high CRI (Zebralight headlamp H604C 4000K 90CRI, 1616 lumens). I selected this model over the higher lumen neutral white model not because it was high-CRI, but because it was 4000K, which I prefer for headlamp use. Here’s hoping this zebra is below the BBL.

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On micro-sized lights, I go for higher CRI.

On the bigger lights, high CRI and warmer tints just make everything look like it’s covered in urine.

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I really notice CRI outside of some manmade environments where all the colors are really flat. Low-CRI lighting just looks desaturated, though I’ll admit I don’t necessarily notice as quickly as I might detect a color temperature or severe off-tint that’s not to my liking.

As Cree has been demonstrating lately, high measured CRI is not necessarily sufficient for light to be pleasant to use or to match colors with natural lighting. I want decent tint with my high CRI.

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With my BLF pen light working on my cars, I really appreciate the better colors. Sometimes makes the difference of being able to see small parts/wires.

But if I’m trying to dump out over 5K lumens, the contrast isn’t as useful, especially if the beam is extremely floody. If I had a mule, I’d want a tint as cold as my ex-wife’s heart.

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2 Thumbs up to Firelight2

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I find that warm, low-CRI lighting can make the world look like a great dog marked it, especially with a green off-tint, but high CRI and a non-green tint don’t have that effect at all to my eyes.

Sunlight at midday is roughly 5000K and 100 CRI with so many lumens it hardly even makes sense to use that unit to quantify it. Does daylight look like pee to you as well?

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ValuseekeR wrote:
I kind of don’t get some of the talk about temp, tint, beam, etc., as if they’re somehow mutually exclusive from high CRI?

It’s not mutually exclusive. It’s just a relatively small factor in the equation. If one were to write out the qualities which make a light good, as an actual formula, CRI would have a pretty small coefficient. Like, maybe it accounts for 5% of the total. If a beam is already 90% as good as it could be, adding an extra 5% via a high-CRI emitter is a big improvement. But if the other factors only add up to 30%, adding an extra 5% doesn’t help much. That effort is better spent on improving one of the factors with a bigger coefficient.

There’s a similar rule in programming. Unrolling loops can help make a program run faster… but one should never actually do it unless all other optimizations have already been made, like making sure the algorithm is the most efficient one available. Only then does it make sense to break out the finishing touches like loop-unrolling.

ValuseekeR wrote:
all else being equal, I’d still take the better color rendition as well if I could get it.

Yes, all other things being equal, high CRI will generally look better than low CRI. But the other things are usually not equal.

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zak.wilson wrote:
I find that warm, low-CRI lighting can make the world look like a great dog marked it, especially with a green off-tint, but high CRI and a non-green tint don’t have that effect at all to my eyes.

Sunlight at midday is roughly 5000K and 100 CRI with so many lumens it hardly even makes sense to use that unit to quantify it. Does daylight look like pee to you as well?

I suspect “world looking like pee” has much more too do with color temperature and the position of the tint near the BBL than it does CRI.
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I should revise my earlier statement, which said “I don’t.”

The last light I bought was a BLF Q8, which isn’t high CRI. It’s still pretty nice though. I’ve had a 3D-printed lantern diffuser on it for the past few months, which warms the tint and reduces the CRI even more, but it looks more like an actual candle that way. It gets used quite a bit in candle mode.

So I guess I do buy lights without high-CRI emitters.

But when I want the best tint, I use my triple 219B lights. Particularly one with a Moonlight Special driver, since it doesn’t have the typical FET tint shift.

Or if I want really vivid color, I still haven’t found anything better than my BST-wide. It makes colors more vivid than even a 100CRI light source. It really brings out shades which aren’t normally visible.

jon_slider
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Megapanda66 wrote:
Tint and beam pattern are far more relevant to me than CRI. Not only that, but high CRI usually means more heat…

would you be OK with High CRI if it had good tint and good beam pattern, in a color temperature you consider “white” and was not too hot?:-)

they are definitely separate factors, but why settle for less than the best of all the features?

different environments will change how our brain white balances, what looks orange during the day, can look white at night

and what looks white during the day can look blueish at night

there is no single color temperature for all ambient light settings

I only buy lights with Low CRI if I plan to modify them. I dont like using lights with negative R9, so NW is not good enough, and CW is usually Low CRI, so I dont like that. I use my lights mostly in the dark times of day. I can understand if I was working on a car, in the sun, then a bright CW light might be needed.

you can have brightest, or highest CRI

I will trade bright, for good color, because I care about the spectrum balance I use, indoors, close range, with red things

green foliage is not a good test of CRI, in fact CW is better for Green Foliage alone, but not for bark and dirt colors

even how green a tint is, will change based on the white balance of the users brain at the time

Look at the difference in R9 with Low CRI vs High CRI
here is a skillhunt h03 NW, it has good tint, and low CRI

compare the R9 of the Lumintop Tool w N219b, it has good tint and High CRI

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jon_slider wrote:
…would you be OK with High CRI if it had good tint and good beam pattern, in a color temperature you consider “white” and was not too hot?:-) …
Well sure.

If you presented me two different identical lights that had identical lumens, beam patterns, color temperature, and nice below-BBL tint and the only difference between the two was one was high-CRI and the other was not… then of course I would take the high-CRI option.

The problem is that almost never actually happens. High CRI usually comes at the cost of lumens, color temperature, intensity, and/or greenish tint.

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Firelight2 wrote:
High CRI usually comes at the cost of lumens, color temperature, intensity, and/or greenish tint.

I agree that more CRI (red lumens) means less Bright (green lumens), for equal runtime, or the high CRI can be as bright as the Low CRI, but trades for less runtime, to get High CRI at same brightness
and agree High CRI is often warmer CCT (4000k) than Cool White (6000k)
how many lumens do you need and what color temperature do you like?

in my experience, green tint is much more common with Cree than Nichia, and green tint is much more common on cooler lights than warmer ones. I would go so far as to say green tint is more common with Low CRI

intensity sounds like lumens, so thats already covered above, or Im unclear on the difference

HDS makes the same light w N219b 4000k High CRI, max output 200 lumens for 1 hour, or XP-G2 6000k low CRI 250 lumens for 1 hour, with green tint. Same body, same reflector, same battery, same size, same weight, identical except for 50 low cri lumens.

I would take the N219b, but, most people will say they want the one with the most throw, so they will buy the green tinted low cri, since they dont understand those details. And they certainly have no idea that the R9 values are vastly different.

Once they get the memo that High CRI makes for hotter Sex, they might begin to appreciate the waste of 50 green tinted low cri lumens.

another example
I have an Olight S Mini Low CRI, Cool White, green tint, and an
S1 Mini High CRI, Cool White green tint.

I use the High CRI more, almost never use turbo on either light, most of my use is indoors, close range, lower levels. CRI is the deal Maker for my usage scenario.

If you use the light in the bedroom, CRI rules
If youre just strobing cars to direct traffic, then Low CRI is much more aggravating, brighter, and may or may not elicit compliance sooner

marketing spin

High CRI is Sexier than Low CRI!
lol

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Lightbringer wrote:
beam0 wrote:
Ya, there ain’t many…

Okay, so… Jaxman and Zebralight. (I’ll throw in Lumintop for ya.)

Sofirn? Thorfire? Convoy? Thrunite? Niwalker? Nitecore? XTAR? Haikelite? Manker? UTorch? Wuben? Fitorch? …

3 brands out of 14 brazillion.

Yah, lotta choice there…

 

Like I said…

Wow, apparently you misunderstood my reply! I was totally agreeing with you, why I wrote “Ya, there ain’t many”

You asked: “just how many other high-CRI lights are there?”

So I listed the few I know of… you had already mentioned the Lumintop, so I didn’t list it.

But now I see it wasn’t an actual question Facepalm

.
I’m sorry you thought I was disputing your statement by listing some lights, it wasn’t meant that way at all.

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Naw, it just underscored what I said. Getting high-CRI lights off the rack is difficult at best.

I wasn’t sure if you were agreeing with me or pointing out 2 counterexamples.

But even with a bunch of Zebras or Jaxes, that still leaves out a whoooooooooooole lot of other mfrs.

Would be nice if they added HCRI to their collections. Made some headway with NW and even (amazingly) WW, so…

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