What is the "Benefit" in Copper/Titanium/brass lights ?

52 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

ZEUSFL
ZEUSFL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 08:50
Posts: 75
Location: Tallahassee FL
What is the "Benefit" in Copper/Titanium/brass lights ?

I have a question, 

 

What is the real benefit of having full copper / titanium / brass other than cosmetics? 

I believe the copper will dissipate better the heat but there is any other benefit?

 

What is the pros and Cons?

 

Thanks. 

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

Edited by: ZEUSFL on 10/25/2019 - 13:39
matkinson847
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 07/29/2019 - 15:50
Posts: 40

Titanium is actually worse than aluminum for dissipating heat. I like the way it looks, feels, and shows wear over time. I imagine that people who like copper flashlights feel the same way except that copper, of course, dissipates heat better than aluminum.

Agro
Agro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 54 min 57 sec ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 4729
Location: Ślōnsk

I have some lights in Copper, brass and Ti.
It’s mostly about having something different. But:

  • For me alu lights look terrible after they get some use, none of these materials has this problem
  • brass threads work very smooth
  • copper has great thermal conductivity
  • titanium has is the lightest of durable materials

Rat_Racer
Rat_Racer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 35 min 54 sec ago
Joined: 12/20/2016 - 19:29
Posts: 138
Location: S.W. FLA

Titanium: depending how it’s used, either weight savings or a premium aesthetic look.
Copper: heat dissipation and/or aesthetic look, either for patina or shine.

spudley112
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2019 - 01:34
Posts: 63
Location: Arkansas

On a twisty, I do like the buttery smooth feel of copper on copper threads.

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 2681
Location: Illinois, USA

Brass on brass or copper on copper threads feel amazing! Also copper and brass lights are as sexy as this kind of tech and get!

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

ZEUSFL
ZEUSFL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 08:50
Posts: 75
Location: Tallahassee FL

My only concern with Copper uncoated is that eventually turn dark. How do you deal with this to make it looks nice again? 

I have the option to buy an E07 brass with coating finishing. How the treatment will affect how looks like?

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 2681
Location: Illinois, USA

Copper can be hand polished, dip it in ketchup will remove a lot of the tarnish. I consider the patina to be a selling point on a copper light. Brass will patina as well, but not to the extent a copper light will.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

spudley112
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2019 - 01:34
Posts: 63
Location: Arkansas

Yeah, I feel the patina makes it unique. No two ever patina the same way.

ZEUSFL
ZEUSFL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 08:50
Posts: 75
Location: Tallahassee FL

What is "patina" ?

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 2681
Location: Illinois, USA

Patina is a artsy term for oxidization. It is created by a reaction to air/water/skin oils and causes the surface to darken and shade. Look at a true copper penny, this is patina!

Patina can be encouraged by exposure to things like eggs gassing out, chemical application and other methods. It can be brown, green, blue and other colors depending upon what created the patina.

I for one like natural patina or darkening. You will end up with finger prints, recessed areas will not be as dark and areas that are rubbed regularly will take on a different shade as well.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

BOO5TED
BOO5TED's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 04/16/2019 - 20:53
Posts: 258
Location: ATL
ZEUSFL wrote:

What is “patina” ?

Patina is basically the tarnished/oxidized finish. Some like it, some don’t. Me I prefer my lights shiny.

Brand new Pineapple Mini

Patina

While patina on a light will never be the same on two lights, to me it just looks dirty and don’t care for it.

"America has three cities, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland."- Tennessee Williams

 

ZEUSFL
ZEUSFL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 08:50
Posts: 75
Location: Tallahassee FL

Ok. I know real copper will turn dark eventually the same happens with real silver but I don't know the English term for this. I am Hispanic. 

Thank you a lot!

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 2681
Location: Illinois, USA

Take a look here for natural patina and force patina. Some are truly beautiful!
Patina:

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

ZEUSFL
ZEUSFL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 08:50
Posts: 75
Location: Tallahassee FL

That's really cool. Thanks for the information. 

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

SKV89
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 12/10/2017 - 12:46
Posts: 3162
Location: US

Another lesser known but very important benefit of copper is its effective anti-microbial properties. It would be useful if you use your flashlights while working in sanitation facilities.
http://theconversation.com/copper-is-great-at-killing-superbugs-so-why-d...
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067274/

mattlward
mattlward's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 59 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2015 - 09:20
Posts: 2681
Location: Illinois, USA
SKV89 wrote:
Another lesser known but very important benefit of copper is its effective anti-microbial properties. It would be useful if you use your flashlights while working in sanitation facilities. http://theconversation.com/copper-is-great-at-killing-superbugs-so-why-d... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067274/

And it makes your hands smell good… if you like copper.

EDC rotation:
FW1A, LH351D 4000k (second favorite)
FW3A, LH351D 3500k
FW3A, SST20 FD2 4000k
FW3A, Nichia 4000k sw40 r9080 (favorite light!)
FW3A, Cree XP-L Hi 5A3
Emisar D4V2, SST20 4000k
S2+, XM-L2 T6 4C

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3656
Location: California

I think the “exotic materials are pretty much all about aesthetics and having something different.

From a practical perspective, I conclude that aluminum is by far the best material for modern LED flashlights.

  • AluminumPros: very lightweight, good thermal properties (good conductivity and when dark-anodized excellent emissivity), threads work well, can be anodized. Low-cost. Cons: bare aluminum scratches easily. Anodizing can wear off… especially common with cheaper Type II anodizing. Silvery scratches are quite visible against dark-colored anodizing. Polished bare aluminum does not have good thermal emissivity.
  • TitaniumPros: lightest weight of the exotic materials found in commonly available flashlights. Looks stylish when polished. Much more durable than bare aluminum. Can be anodized or PVD coated. Cons: considerably heavier than aluminum, worse thermal properties, Ti on Ti tends to produce gritty threads.
  • CopperPros: looks gorgeous without patina. Some may like the darker patina. Bare copper self-cleans itself of germs via the oligodynamic effect. Excellent heat transfer. Cons: Very heavy. Polished copper has low emissivity compared to dark anodized aluminum (it doesn’t radiate heat well). Heat conductivity may be a bit too good if it means there is no portion of the light cool enough to hold on to. Not very durable if dropped.
  • BrassPros: looks similar to copper. Doesn’t dramatically develop a dark patina like pure copper. Cons: Very heavy. Thermal transfer is not as good as copper or aluminum.
  • Stainless SteelPros: looks stylish. Extremely strong and durable. Cons: tremendously heavy. Very poor thermal properties.

From a practical perspective, Aluminum wins hands down. It’s just a better material to build a practical flashlight out of. The biggest downside of aluminum is it doesn’t wear well and may not feel special since most lights are aluminum.

Most people aren’t flashaholics like us and regard their flashlights as tools. They don’t care if their flashlight looks scuffed so long as it still works fine. The ultimate purpose of a flashlight is to produce light.

I have titanium and copper lights, and I sometimes EDC them. But sometimes it feels a bit awkward grabbing a light for EDC that is 70% heavier than the aluminum version sitting on the shelf next to it, just so I can have something that looks prettier when not in operation.

Helios azimuth
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2019 - 22:23
Posts: 110
Location: Sierra Nevada Mountains

Durability counts for a lot when you are relying on a light. Things feel more secure when using a Ti/Cu light than when using aluminum (think coke can, LOL). So aluminum around the house and town, but Ti/Cu on the trail or at least aluminum with a stainless steel bezel. But that is just me, you can always take some extra flashlights.

spudley112
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 10/25/2019 - 01:34
Posts: 63
Location: Arkansas

When I was in the Marines (and still smoked) I had a brass zippo I carried for years. The natural patina on it kind of told its own story. I think I even had a stain on it from a few drops of blood.

Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 9703
Location: nyc
ZEUSFL wrote:
What is “patina” ?

Think “old penny”. Evil

After a while, they turn brownish and can almost pass for wood.

Dunno. I never got it. I’d prefer that nice deep salmon-pink of pure clean shiny Cu, which only lasts when coated. One little chip in the coating, and you don’t just recoat the chip, but essentially gotta strip it down completely, repolish it, and recoat it.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Bearbreeder
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 32 min ago
Joined: 09/02/2014 - 18:03
Posts: 95

Aluminium is PLENTY durable, much of climbing safety gear is made out of aluminium

99.9 % of what fails in a flashlight with use (not initial quality defect) aint gonna be the aluminium body

It will be chips, the soldering, the bat, the switch, etc …

As to why these fancy metals …

BLING !!!

Performance wise it doesnt matter in practical use

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 50 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 3656
Location: California
Lightbringer wrote:
ZEUSFL wrote:
What is “patina” ?

Think “old penny”. Evil

After a while, they turn brownish and can almost pass for wood.

Dunno. I never got it. I’d prefer that nice deep salmon-pink of pure clean shiny Cu, which only lasts when coated. One little chip in the coating, and you don’t just recoat the chip, but essentially gotta strip it down completely, repolish it, and recoat it.


What do you coat your copper lights with after you polish them?
Lightbringer
Lightbringer's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 24 min ago
Joined: 08/30/2016 - 14:12
Posts: 9703
Location: nyc

No idea, as I ain’t got any. Some kind of clearcoat, though.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Omega_17
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 52 min ago
Joined: 06/02/2013 - 16:56
Posts: 899
Location: France

Agro wrote:

  • For me alu lights look terrible after they get some use, none of these materials has this problem

That’s funny because the patina of copper and brass is arguably even worst looking. It will turn into a smelly rotten antique flashlight pretty quickly.

A aluminum light with multiple scratches and dents will also developed a kind of ‘‘patina’‘ that has its own charm too. But since its a super cheap material found everywhere it will be considered ugly.

Valynor
Offline
Last seen: 12 hours 32 min ago
Joined: 07/13/2019 - 17:13
Posts: 54
Location: Germany

Titanium: very nice strong material but very bad thermal conductivity which rules out its use for any high-powered flashlight for me

Copper: excellent thermal conductivity but high weight and also copper/copper oxides are toxic and nothing that I want in contact with my skin all the time

Brass: just "meh" Wink

ZEUSFL
ZEUSFL's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 2 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2019 - 08:50
Posts: 75
Location: Tallahassee FL

Just a curiosity, has anybody try submerging a copper flashligth in ketchup to clean it out. May be stripping the internals and switch first? 

 

thank you, everybody, for this valuable information. 

 

 

 

Imalent MS18
Acebeam X80-GT
Fireflies E07 x2
Emisar D4S V2 26650

BlueSwordM
BlueSwordM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 56 min 41 sec ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 5398
Location: Canada

@ZEUSFL, don’t do that. The reason it works is that ketchup contains acetic acid(vinegar), and a tiny bit of phosphoric acid.

You can just use a bath of 2,5% citric acid/lemon juice solution to remove the oxides.

Putting a light in ketchup is not a good idea. Tons of waste and the smell of ketchup on the light.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Agro
Agro's picture
Offline
Last seen: 54 min 57 sec ago
Joined: 05/14/2017 - 11:16
Posts: 4729
Location: Ślōnsk

Omega_17 wrote:
Agro wrote:

  • For me alu lights look terrible after they get some use, none of these materials has this problem

That’s funny because the patina of copper and brass is arguably even worst looking. It will turn into a smelly rotten antique flashlight pretty quickly.

A aluminum light with multiple scratches and dents will also developed a kind of ‘‘patina’‘ that has its own charm too. But since its a super cheap material found everywhere it will be considered ugly.


I guess for each their own. To my eyes chips and scratches are damage and as noted – they tend to really stand out with alu typically having a very different colour from anodization.
Oxidation is not damage to me. It just forms some pattern. Scratches and dents happen too…but normally they are not standing out that much. Actually patina hides them a bit.

Helios azimuth wrote:
Durability counts for a lot when you are relying on a light. Things feel more secure when using a Ti/Cu light than when using aluminum (think coke can, LOL). So aluminum around the house and town, but Ti/Cu on the trail or at least aluminum with a stainless steel bezel. But that is just me, you can always take some extra flashlights.

To me it’s the opposite – when on a trail I don’t care about looks and take something lightweight. Reliability? Connections are the things that fail the most for me, I’m yet to experience a body failure.
And redundancy is king. I did have a double-failure (and walked with a cell phone light) but such cases exceedingly rare. Wink

Valynor wrote:

Copper: excellent thermal conductivity but high weight and also copper/copper oxides are toxic and nothing that I want in contact with my skin all the time


I often hold my neck lights in my mouth. For just this reason I have mixed feelings about that Astrolux A01 Cu…
buck91
buck91's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 51 sec ago
Joined: 07/29/2016 - 08:21
Posts: 179
Location: Michigan

I like the lightweight Ti offers plus its shiny (well, sorta). I love the smooth, shiny finish of my SS lights… but aluminum really does work great. With a quality HA finish, especially in olive or natural, they look good for a long time, plus a bit of pocket wear on the EDC only ads character.

BlueSwordM
BlueSwordM's picture
Offline
Last seen: 56 min 41 sec ago
Joined: 11/29/2017 - 12:34
Posts: 5398
Location: Canada

Titanium: if you don’t care about electrical conductivity, TIAl alloys offer superb yield strength and resistance per weight, so a 4mm thick battery tube can be shrunk down to 2mm, granting you weight savings. Also, since base hardness is higher than aluminium and steel, it doesn’t scratch as easily. Chemical resistance is superb.
Other than that, in the context of flashlights, it’s actually worse than aluminium. More expensive in alloy form. Significantly more expensive in pure form. Actually denser. Much worse electrical and thermal conductivity.

The best application for it in flashlights are weight savings in the battery tube.

Aluminium: Quite low cost. High electrical and thermal conductivity. Lowest density. Easily machinable. Thick anodization can actually make it super durable. Good resistance to corrosion and basic oxidation. Highest thermal capacity per weight.
Worse thermal and electrical conductivity per volume vs copper. Softer than steel and titanium alloys. However, good anodization, as mentioned before, can make it super durable.
Very poor chemical resistance. Most environmentally friendly in terms of mineral extraction and availability.

Copper: Best thermal and electrical conductivity. Easily machinable. Decent chemical resistance. Highest thermal capacity per volume. Can easily be electroplated for some gorgeous surface finishes.
Extremely dense. Very high cost. Softer than aluminium. Oxidizes quite rapidly. Very bad environmental costs in terms of mineral extraction and availability.

Stainless steel: Lowest cost. Highest resistance if weight isn’t a concern. Very high chemical resistance.
High density. Very poor thermal and electrical conductivity. Making stainless steel is actually quite environmentally friendly in terms of mineral extraction. Chromium however, especially hexavalent chromium…

TLDR: Best EDC light design.

Stainless steel bezel.
Titanium-aluminium battery tube.
Nickel plated copper pill.
Aluminium heatsink, with anodized fins.
Beryllium copper springs.
AR glass lens.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

Pages