[Reference] Nichia E17A/E21A (2000K - 6500K, R9050/R9080, color) CCT and tint shots

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clemence
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Aprilis wrote:
Thanks for the detailed answer, I think a lot of people here will find it useful. Regarding Pb63Sn37, it is indeed written on your site to use this soldering paste for manual reflow. My fist thought was that it is a rather strange choice for soldering alloy, but I assumed that you know best, and tried to follow the instructions on your site. In your videos where you are showing a reflow process for E21A are you using water based flux? Have you tried removing it without ultrasound bath? Currently I have only fluxes that can be removed by some kind of solvent(usually I am using isopropyl alcohol), will isopropanol washing damage the led?

Without ultrasonic cleaner, the only way to properly clean the residue is to heat the module to 80C (on hot plate), let the gunk thins and flows – soak in hot IPA bath, brush it – reheat to 80C – resoak – rebrush – etc….until you don’t see any flux residue coming out when you warm the module.
Unless you want to run it hard, simple brushing in hot IPA is enough. I did super clean cleaning for VR21SP4 because it has narrower gaps at only 0,25mm. In full power hot run, without proper cleaning the flux will “climbs” to the phosphor layer. With VR16SP4, the gap is 0,4mm and won’t cause too much problem. With crowded E21A arrays, anything closer to 2A/LED requires meticulous soldering and post cleaning.

This is my first attempt with gapless design. Check the bottom picture

[Clemence]

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Joshk wrote:
Alright, here’s that comparison I talked about. The camera was in full manual mode, and the only setting changed for the second picture was to shorten the exposure time because the (8) E21’s were obviously brighter than the single 219B
I probably should have changed the camera’s white balance too, but it remained constant at 4000K. This isn’t very scientific, but it’s interesting none the less.

Yes, if you want to show the colors differences better, the camera needs to be calibrated on a same (true) white point for each different light CCT before shooting the picture, or you can put a true white chart in the corner of the picture and correct the white point afterward.
The 219B SW45K has a bit more chroma and hue shifts than the E21A which has better colors fidelity.
I guess that the 219B is saturating the wood colors to make it looks a bit warmer than in reality. I better trust the E21A despite its cooler aspects, the wood probably has those palish/grey-ish colors, being discolored by sun’s UV.
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clemence wrote:

Without ultrasonic cleaner, the only way to properly clean the residue is to heat the module to 80C (on hot plate), let the gunk thins and flows – soak in hot IPA bath, brush it – reheat to 80C – resoak – rebrush – etc….until you don’t see any flux residue coming out when you warm the module.
Unless you want to run it hard, simple brushing in hot IPA is enough. I did super clean cleaning for VR21SP4 because it has narrower gaps at only 0,25mm. In full power hot run, without proper cleaning the flux will “climbs” to the phosphor layer. With VR16SP4, the gap is 0,4mm and won’t cause too much problem. With crowded E21A arrays, anything closer to 2A/LED requires meticulous soldering and post cleaning.
[Clemence]

Jeez, I never thought that soldering E21A will be this complicated. I guess I have to buy ultrasonic cleaner then. In the description under your video(“Easy Nichia E21A soldering on Virence VR16SP4 MCPCB (Part. 1)”) you mention that you heat MCPCB until E21A gets stuck to the pads then cool it and after that you add more flux(on the E21As?) and reheat it to finalize the soldering. Is this two step process really needed? Can I just wet the pads with the soldering alloy add some flux place E21 and heat it till it is soldered? Or do I need to add more flux after that and reheat it? Won’t zinc chloride damage the led surface?
P.S. Thank you very much. Smile
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Why not just buy it presoldered from Clemence? I bought a bunch of E21A already on board so don’t have to deal with any of the headache.

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SKV89 wrote:
Why not just buy it presoldered from Clemence? I bought a bunch of E21A already on board so don’t have to deal with any of the headache.

I would gladly buy a presoldered one from Clemence or anybody else if I could. But the MCPCB that I need – VR16SP4 is out of stock and probably will be out of stock for a long time.
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I’ve been soldering with Sn63Pb37 paste for probably 10 years, but I let Clemence solder mine since he must be skilled at it. He didn’t disappoint, they look great. I figured it would have taken me at least 2 quads to perfect my technique, and 2 is all I needed. Money well spent.

Edit: We posted at the same time, haha. I see. I understand.

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Aprilis wrote:
clemence wrote:
Without ultrasonic cleaner, the only way to properly clean the residue is to heat the module to 80C (on hot plate), let the gunk thins and flows – soak in hot IPA bath, brush it – reheat to 80C – resoak – rebrush – etc….until you don’t see any flux residue coming out when you warm the module. Unless you want to run it hard, simple brushing in hot IPA is enough. I did super clean cleaning for VR21SP4 because it has narrower gaps at only 0,25mm. In full power hot run, without proper cleaning the flux will “climbs” to the phosphor layer. With VR16SP4, the gap is 0,4mm and won’t cause too much problem. With crowded E21A arrays, anything closer to 2A/LED requires meticulous soldering and post cleaning. [Clemence]
Jeez, I never thought that soldering E21A will be this complicated. I guess I have to buy ultrasonic cleaner then. In the description under your video(“Easy Nichia E21A soldering on Virence VR16SP4 MCPCB (Part. 1)”) you mention that you heat MCPCB until E21A gets stuck to the pads then cool it and after that you add more flux(on the E21As?) and reheat it to finalize the soldering. Is this two step process really needed? Can I just wet the pads with the soldering alloy add some flux place E21 and heat it till it is soldered? Or do I need to add more flux after that and reheat it? Won’t zinc chloride damage the led surface? P.S. Thank you very much. Smile

If soldering is easy then you should have seen many E17A or E21A in the market already. From what I’ve heard from Nichia, they don’t want to suggest this LED for mass production unless the factory has very good reflow soldering system (actually, it’s not the reflowing, explain later). IMO, for small production scale, manual soldering E17A/E21A yield the highest solder joint quality with far less defect.
The easiest method to solder multiple E17A/E21A in tight array such as quadtrix, hexatrix, etc.. is to use Non Solder Mask Defined (NSMD) MCPCB. In this case, it’s the copper trace that define the LED position rather than the masking. It’s an open trace design without any solder mask near the LED/LED array. But performance would be lower since there is no over sized copper trace to spread the heat.

I did the soldering in two steps because I used Indium and aggressive water based flux. Since Indium only available in solid wires or ingots I have to first solder some blobs to the MCPCB. Later flux dropped to the solder points and LED carefully placed on top. This flux reacts violently with copper at slightly more than 100C and because it’s water based, it boils at around 100°C. The reaction produce lots of tiny bubbles and easily flings LEDs off the MCPCB, in most cases they’re just flipped upside down. To overcome this, slow heating is the answer. But slow heating creates more thick flux residue before the solder welded completely to LED pads. The first step used to temporarily fix the LED to the MCPCB to prevent them jumping under fast heating. The second step with more flux added, faster heating won’t cause the LEDs to jump off the MCPCB because they were fixed before. This second heating meant to perfect the positioning and finalize solder joint.
You can do the same method with any solder/flux, but cleaning the alcohol based flux residue is harder. I chose water based flux because it can be cleaned so much easier. There’s a trade off for water based flux: it’s so aggressive it will brown (not just yellow) the solder mask above 200°C. That’s why I used Indium with very low (157°C) melting temp (and added performance benefit). Don’t worry about cleaning the flux from underneath E21A, it’s easy as long as you have access to low power ultrasonic cleaner. My proven and cleanest way to clean E17A/E21A:

With water based flux:
- Use only <100 watt 40kHz ultrasonic cleaner, below that frequency it’s too harsh and would damage the LED instantly.
- Submerged in minimum 50°C water + 1% dish washing liquid mix. Never use use laundry detergent or anything contains chlorine or sodium bicarbonate. Run the UC while shaking the module in LESS than 30 seconds. Blow dry the LED with low pressure compressed air, I use 15 psi max.
- Repeat UC cleaning in distilled water TWICE. Any leftover zinc chloride flux will corrode your module

With alcohol based “no clean” flux
- Soak the soldered LED in 50°C – 80°C IPA (any 70% – 95% works equally as good) for at least 10 minutes
- Use only <100 watt 40kHz ultrasonic cleaner, below that frequency it’s too harsh and would damage the LED instantly.
- Submerged in hot IPA as above, run the UC while shaking the module in LESS than 30 seconds. The solder mask in Virence MCPCB (especially in VR21SP4) is so thin it will be damaged in prolonged exposure to UC agitation.
- Test: heat the module to 80°C and inspect if there’s any flux residue melt off from beneath the LED under a magnifying glass.

[Clemence]

clemence
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Aprilis wrote:
SKV89 wrote:
Why not just buy it presoldered from Clemence? I bought a bunch of E21A already on board so don’t have to deal with any of the headache.
I would gladly buy a presoldered one from Clemence or anybody else if I could. But the MCPCB that I need – VR16SP4 is out of stock and probably will be out of stock for a long time.

There will be VR16SP4m (4x E17A), redesigned VR16SP4, and (probably) VR35SP16. All drawings already sent to the factory last week. Should be faster than 2 months. I dropped the idea of 20mm triple E21A because it’s less universal and omit the color mixing feature. Small triple is also limited to Carclo which has very limited beam options.

[Clemence]

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clemence

clemence wrote:
I did the soldering in two steps because

Thank you for taking your time and writing this wonderful soldering manual. Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
clemence wrote:

There will be VR16SP4m (4x E17A), redesigned VR16SP4, and (probably) VR35SP16. All drawings already sent to the factory last week. Should be faster than 2 months. I dropped the idea of 20mm triple E21A because it’s less universal and omit the color mixing feature. Small triple is also limited to Carclo which has very limited beam options.
[Clemence]

That’s great news! Wait… By saying E17A, do you mean this small color leds? Sad Then there will be no more 16mm quad MCPCBs for E21A? Crying
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I’m wondering if there’s any advantage of using 4x E17A instead of 4xE21A in the 16mm board? I would think 4xE17A would be ideal for a 13mm board 3V board where the host is too small to fit 16mm.

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SKV89 wrote:
I’m wondering if there’s any advantage of using 4x E17A instead of 4xE21A in the 16mm board? I would think 4xE17A would be ideal for a 13mm board 3V board where the host is too small to fit 16mm.

E17A quadtrix is a better MCPCB for those small lights. The main reason is optic compatibility. Quadtrix E21A (0,2mm gap) can’t be used with standard 5050 TIR lens, the LES is 6,22mm. E17A quadtrix (0,1mm gap) LES is 4,95mm.
Single E21A is indeed the best from beam control perspective but, it can’t output more than 900lm at R70 (700lm at R9080) temporarily. And 2,5A is the max reliable current.
4x E17A array can take at least 7A (and triple the output of a single E21A). And lots of CCT/color mixing option

[Clemence]

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clemence wrote:

E17A quadtrix is a better MCPCB for those small lights. The main reason is optic compatibility. Quadtrix E21A (0,2mm gap) can’t be used with standard 5050 TIR lens, the LES is 6,22mm. E17A quadtrix (0,1mm gap) LES is 4,95mm.

Optic compatibility is a good thing, but how are E17As color-wise and efficiency-wise compared to E21As? Personally, these are the characteristics I find the most important.
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Aprilis wrote:
clemence wrote:
E17A quadtrix is a better MCPCB for those small lights. The main reason is optic compatibility. Quadtrix E21A (0,2mm gap) can’t be used with standard 5050 TIR lens, the LES is 6,22mm. E17A quadtrix (0,1mm gap) LES is 4,95mm.
Optic compatibility is a good thing, but how are E17As color-wise and efficiency-wise compared to E21As? Personally, these are the characteristics I find the most important.

E17A is the smaller clone of E21A. For white color, it has the same options in all CCT and CRI. Being smaller also means slightly less efficient at the same current rating and obviously lower max power.

[Clemence]

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clemence wrote:

E17A is the smaller clone of E21A. For white color, it has the same options in all CCT and CRI. Being smaller also means slightly less efficient at the same current rating and obviously lower max power.
[Clemence]

Is optic compatibility worth the efficiency losses? I am asking because I intend to use quadrix E21A with 5050 TIR optics and afaik It should fit just fine, with the exception that not all emitter surface is properly covered with lens.
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Aprilis wrote:
clemence wrote:
E17A is the smaller clone of E21A. For white color, it has the same options in all CCT and CRI. Being smaller also means slightly less efficient at the same current rating and obviously lower max power. [Clemence]
Is optic compatibility worth the efficiency losses? I am asking because I intent to use quadrix E21A with 5050 TIR optics and afaik It should fit just fine, with the exception that not all emitter surface is properly covered with lens.

Did you know that as the LES gets bigger you need to use larger optic to get the same Out-The-Front efficiency? And it’s not all about fitting the LED under the optic, it’s about beam control. Smaller LES means you more freedom to shape the beam with less light loss. As the light source moving farther from the LES center, more of the light “leaked” from the TIR optic sides rather than projected to intended direction.
Even with modification by trimming the optic base so more LES covered we still lost control (can’t shape the channeled beam).

[Clemence]

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Aprilis wrote:
Is optic compatibility worth the efficiency losses? I am asking because I intent to use quadrix E21A with 5050 TIR optics and afaik It should fit just fine, with the exception that not all emitter surface is properly covered with lens.

Anyway, here’s the LES dimension:

[Clemence]

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clemence wrote:

Did you know that as the LES gets bigger you need to use larger optic to get the same Out-The-Front efficiency? And it’s not all about fitting the LED under the optic, it’s about beam control. Smaller LES means you more freedom to shape the beam with less light loss. As the light source moving farther from the LES center, more of the light “leaked” from the TIR optic sides rather than projected to intended direction.
Even with modification by trimming the optic base so more LES covered we still lost control (can’t shape the channeled beam).
[Clemence]

Yes, I know that some lumens are lost in E21A/TiR setups due to incompatible optics, but I don’t know how many. My biggest concern about moving to E17A is what system(E21a+TIR or E17A+TIR) will have better OTFE as a whole. Do you have any data regarding luminous flux for quadrix E21A and quadrix E17A at the same current without optics?
It is also important to mention, that we are speaking here only about TIR optics, typical XM-Lx or XHP50 or other 5050 insulation gasket + OP reflector systems will be compatible with E21A and there shouldn’t be any light loss.
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Aprilis wrote:
clemence wrote:
Did you know that as the LES gets bigger you need to use larger optic to get the same Out-The-Front efficiency? And it's not all about fitting the LED under the optic, it's about beam control. Smaller LES means you more freedom to shape the beam with less light loss. As the light source moving farther from the LES center, more of the light "leaked" from the TIR optic sides rather than projected to intended direction. Even with modification by trimming the optic base so more LES covered we still lost control (can't shape the channeled beam). [Clemence]
Yes, I know that some lumens are lost in E21A/TiR setups due to incompatible optics, but I don't know how many. My biggest concern about moving to E17A is what system(E21a+TIR or E17A+TIR) will have better OTFE as a whole. Do you have any data regarding luminous flux for quadrix E21A and quadrix E17A at the same current without optics? It is also important to mention, that we are speaking here only about TIR optics, typical XM-Lx or XHP50 or other 5050 insulation gasket + OP reflector systems will be compatible with E21A and there shouldn't be any light loss.

https://www.virence.com/single-post/2019/05/04/AppNote-190504---Nichias-Esttool

 

[Clemence]

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Aprilis wrote:
clemence wrote:
Did you know that as the LES gets bigger you need to use larger optic to get the same Out-The-Front efficiency? And it’s not all about fitting the LED under the optic, it’s about beam control. Smaller LES means you more freedom to shape the beam with less light loss. As the light source moving farther from the LES center, more of the light “leaked” from the TIR optic sides rather than projected to intended direction. Even with modification by trimming the optic base so more LES covered we still lost control (can’t shape the channeled beam). [Clemence]
Yes, I know that some lumens are lost in E21A/TiR setups due to incompatible optics, but I don’t know how many. My biggest concern about moving to E17A is what system(E21a+TIR or E17A+TIR) will have better OTFE as a whole. Do you have any data regarding luminous flux for quadrix E21A and quadrix E17A at the same current without optics? It is also important to mention, that we are speaking here only about TIR optics, typical XM-Lx or XHP50 or other 5050 insulation gasket + OP reflector systems will be compatible with E21A and there shouldn’t be any light loss.

I have the same feeling about 4xE17A vs 4xE21A. Despite the potential optic loss of the 4xE21A, it will still end up much brighter than the 4xE17A. Also on all of my modded 4xE21A lights, I need to use DC-Fix to smooth out the beam anyways and I believe the same is required for 4xE17A so I don’t think beam tuning is a big concern in most cases. Therefore, I think for any host that fits a 16mm mcpcb, the 4xE21A will always be brighter and more efficient than the 4xE17A version.

I think where 4xE17A would shine is if it is used in a smaller mcpcb such as 13 or 14mm 3V only boards. There are a huge number of 16340, AA/14500, and some 18350/18650 lights where 16mm mcpcb is too large to fit and that is where the 4xE17A would be best put to use.

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Well, there’s 4xE21A VR16SP4 for you guys don’t like E17A. You won’t believe me until it’s tested, totally understandable. Wink
Just think of it as XHP35 vs XHP50 and you would perhaps, get the idea.

[Clemence]

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clemence wrote:
Well, there's 4xE21A VR16SP4 for you guys don't like E17A. You won't believe me until it's tested, totally understandable. Wink Just think of it as XHP35 vs XHP50 and you would perhaps, get the idea. [Clemence]

When can we expect to see VR16SP4 back in stock?

Are we close?

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clemence wrote:
Well, there’s 4xE21A VR16SP4 for you guys don’t like E17A. You won’t believe me until it’s tested, totally understandable. Wink
Just think of it as XHP35 vs XHP50 and you would perhaps, get the idea.

[Clemence]

I’m really looking forward to seeing test results for this emitter. Haven’t seen any yet. Also would love to see it used in an actual flashlight host.

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id30209 wrote:

clemence wrote:
Well, there’s 4xE21A VR16SP4 for you guys don’t like E17A. You won’t believe me until it’s tested, totally understandable. Wink Just think of it as XHP35 vs XHP50 and you would perhaps, get the idea. [Clemence]

When can we expect to see VR16SP4 back in stock?


Are we close?

We arranged to try new material with said 20% better performance. It’s a beta release, but I took the risk. Sounds like finer and thinner aluminum oxide grain.
Now they’re still finding a facility and vendor where this new process can be done. Usually everything should be done within 2 weeks after order approved. I sent the design about a week ago and still waiting for their next step.

[Clemence]

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So the end of the tunnel looks brighter…:)))
Fingers crossed everything will go smoothly.
Oh and i agree with SKV89, can’t wait to light up E17’s

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Interesting to hear of an E17A-optimized board in the works. The logic makes sense, and if the E21A continues to be offered, then there’s not loss of existing choices.

Since your site currently lists the E17A’s as out of stock, I assume you’ll be getting more of those. Will that include high CRI versions in multiple color temperatures like you offer for the E21A?

Also, are you planning to stock more of the E21A red, green, blue, and amber emitters?

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iamlucky13 wrote:
Interesting to hear of an E17A-optimized board in the works. The logic makes sense, and if the E21A continues to be offered, then there’s not loss of existing choices.

Since your site currently lists the E17A’s as out of stock, I assume you’ll be getting more of those. Will that include high CRI versions in multiple color temperatures like you offer for the E21A?

Also, are you planning to stock more of the E21A red, green, blue, and amber emitters?

Store just restocked, will update the inventory stock soon.
[Clemence]

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So waiting for VR16SP4m… Smile

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clemence wrote:
Store just restocked, will update the inventory stock soon. [Clemence]

Thanks! I see the store is already updated with a complete range of high CRI E17A.

Do you know if the E17A would be a better match for the Armytek optics that you have been selling?

I suppose if so, that question would be more relevant for the Tiara, as the Wizard seems like it would have high enough power it should use the E21A quadtrix regardless of how it pairs with the optic.

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iamlucky13 wrote:
clemence wrote:
Store just restocked, will update the inventory stock soon. [Clemence]

Thanks! I see the store is already updated with a complete range of high CRI E17A.

Do you know if the E17A would be a better match for the Armytek optics that you have been selling?

I suppose if so, that question would be more relevant for the Tiara, as the Wizard seems like it would have high enough power it should use the E21A quadtrix regardless of how it pairs with the optic.

Armytek optic has 5,5mm aperture size. So a quadtrix E17A should fit with plenty of wiggle room. You’re right, its a better fit for Tiara (3A max). Wizard max current is about 2A. Although I haven’t tested VR16SP4m until they’re made, they should perform well up to 4A. The narrower gap at only 0,1mm will reduce it’s max over current capability for much better beam.

[Clemence]

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clemence wrote:
https://www.virence.com/single-post/2019/05/04/AppNote-190504—-Nichias...
Thanks.
clemence wrote:
Well, there’s 4xE21A VR16SP4 for you guys don’t like E17A. You won’t believe me until it’s tested, totally understandable. Wink Just think of it as XHP35 vs XHP50 and you would perhaps, get the idea. [Clemence]
So, will VR16SP4 still be available? Or is it a discontinued product that will be replaced by VR16SP4m?
SKV89 wrote:
I have the same feeling about 4xE17A vs 4xE21A. Despite the potential optic loss of the 4xE21A, it will still end up much brighter than the 4xE17A. Also on all of my modded 4xE21A lights, I need to use DC-Fix to smooth out the beam anyways and I believe the same is required for 4xE17A so I don’t think beam tuning is a big concern in most cases. Therefore, I think for any host that fits a 16mm mcpcb, the 4xE21A will always be brighter and more efficient than the 4xE17A version. I think where 4xE17A would shine is if it is used in a smaller mcpcb such as 13 or 14mm 3V only boards. There are a huge number of 16340, AA/14500, and some 18350/18650 lights where 16mm mcpcb is too large to fit and that is where the 4xE17A would be best put to use.

I agree with you. 4xE17A may be useful when you want to archive a tighter beam with more candelas or in smaller flashlights, but 4xE21A most likely will be brighter and more efficient even with current incompatible optics.

Some numbers from ESTtool(E21A 3500K and E17A 3500K):

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