2014 Project Build- Cree Trifecta *Bucket's C8/Cu data in spreadsheet*

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DB Custom
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2014 Project Build- Cree Trifecta *Bucket's C8/Cu data in spreadsheet*

_*Selling these 3 at cost, only looking to recover the actual parts cost in the lights as they stand. The cost of the parts adds up like this…..

Convoy C8 with XP-G2 R5 1A cost me $35.13 SOLD! Thanks! Smile
Convoy C8 with XM-L2 T6 3C cost me $39.64 SOLD! Thanks! Smile
Convoy C8 with MT-G2 PO cost me $53.88 SOLD! Thanks! Smile

That’s including Ryan’s copper pills, copper stars, Qlites, but not chips or wires or of course…time. So I’ll sell em for my cost plus the shipping. Won’t always be like this, but this time it is. Any takers?

At any rate, this makes it easy to see what the $11.00 budget DIY host can cost you once you get started making it sing, and don’t forget to add good cells to the cost! Wink*_

To get a good start in 2014, I’ll be attempting to build 3 same lights with the 3 primary Cree emitters….The XP-G2, XM-L2 and MT-G2. These will all be hosted in Convoy C8’s with same stock reflectors and utilizing Ryan’s copper pill. I’m aiming for an apples to apples comparison, but the thought process is getting muddied. (surprise!)

I have decided to go with 3C tint’s in the XM-L2 and XP-G2 emitters in an attempt to be as close as possible to the tint of the MT-G2. I know they will fail, perhaps miserably, but according to the charts the 3B or 3C would be closest and 3C is what I could find.

My original intention was to tailor the drive level to the heat each emitter produces, but I don’t know if that’s feasible or not as the XP-G2 would be the limiting factor while the MT-G2 would be severely compromised at those levels. So to be fair, I have about decided to use the datasheets maximum recommended amperage. Yeah Yeah sighs all around, I know. But how else can they all be on a level playing field? So with the XP-G2 at 1.5A and a datasheet listed 458 lumens, the XM-L2 at 3A and a datasheet listed 910 lumens, and the MT-G2 at 3A and a datasheet listed 2080 lumens, I will build the 3 lights using the stock C8 reflector and the copper pills for heat dispersal.

Then I will do beamshots to show how they each act in the same reflector, take lumens OTF readings in my Lightbox (thanks again manxbuggy1 and rdrfronty, what would I do without you guys?) and lux readings in regard to throw.

Part of my reasoning for the copper pills is to have a very useable light after the test is run. Easy enough to bump output on any/all after testing. Because I’m thinking of doing like O-L and auctioning these off as a trio, or selling them individually, y’all are gonna have to help me figure that one out. Wink

I either have parts in hand, or have them on the way, to complete these 3 builds. So in the next week I should be getting started. Just wanted to start getting some feedback on the power level issue and see what everyone thinks about comparing these 3 emitters in this way.

Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Edit: What about running the test, then modifying each light to tweak it’s maximum potential and then test em again? Hmmmm……

Here’s a Spreadsheet to document the lights at original build, will add lines as I modify and retest. Wink
Cree Trifecta 2014

Spreadsheet Screenshot 1-21-14

Edited by: DB Custom on 01/31/2014 - 16:17
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With the 3 lights put together, utilizing Ryans copper pills and Qlite drivers all in stock power level, the 3 lights are exactly the same. Vastly different. From beam profile to output level, I took a quick and dirty first comparison with rested Sanyo lap pulls in the 2 smaller emitter lights and 2 well rested Efest IMR18350’s in the MT-G2 light. Canon G1X on a tripod, ISO1000, f/2.8 @ 1/400 sec.

The XP-G2, as expected….tight

The XM-L2, as expected…not quite so tight and brighter

The MT-G2, as expected, difficult! lol, wasn’t easy to cram this large emitter in the Convoy C8. And no surprise that it’s all the light of both of the others! Wink

I’ll get some outside beamshots, better OTF lumens readings at different times as the batteries drain to give an idea how each light will run, and some lux readings for distance measurements. But it’s COLD out, and I’ve been sick for a week, so that’s gonna be another day…

This makes it very easy to see though, how each emitter performs in a direct apples to apples comparison as these are the same lights, same reflectors, same drivers and same copper pills. I did use Sinkpads on the 2 smaller emitters, while the big gun is on a Noctigon cut down to 16.3mm. So if you’re having trouble deciding which series is for you, by the time I’m done here hopefully it will be much easier to pick. Wink

For the next 3 pictures, I stood each light on a work table. Took the 3 shots at minimum focus length in macro mode on the G1X, manual focus. All are the same, they’r processed the same, but one emitter stands out….

Here’s the XP-G2 in the Convoy C8

And there’s the XM-L2 in it’s own C8 host

And the MT-G2, crammed into a bored stock reflector in it’s own C8, with the tail cap modified to enable 2 18350’s to fit…

So much the same, yet so vastly different! Smile

And here’s the emitters in the copper pills

The 2 that got reflowed show darker, the MT-G2 is in with Arctic Alumina thermal paste.

Here’s an animated GIF showing the 3 lights on a football field, looking towards the opposite goal post from the back of the end zone…120 yds distance between the goal post and the light.

Wide angle shots from the side didn’t show the light well at all. Might try that again with a better camera and lens.

Here are the 3 individuals, sized to 2048 on the long side for a better look at the throw of each light. There is apparently a soccer goal in front of each football goal post, with the corresponding net on the soccer goal. This might help to see just how much light is hitting that 12’ (?) wide target at 120 yds. Starting with the XP-G2, then XM-L2 and MT-G2 last. Click for a larger view…

Got some beamshots in a wooded area out at the lake. Distance is ~43 yds to the tree where the quasi-trail hooked a right. For chits and grins I also added the MAXToch SN-6× 2X, doing around 1500 lumens and 338kcd. Of course, the Convoy lights just can’t touch that! lol

My standard beamshots, 97 yds to the Red Oil Drum with the Canon G1X @ ISO 1600, f/5.6 (f/5.8 zoomed) 1/2 sec exp.

Standard beamshots again, this time de-domed emitters, 97 yds to the red oil drum again using the Canon G1X @ ISO 1600, f/5.6 (f/5.8 zoomed) and 1/2 sec exp.

I have some shots of these 3 powered up. Taken here at the house in my standard beam shot setting of the red oil drum at 97 yds. I’ll not do the GIF’s here, but enlargeable shots of each light at wide angles of 28mm, then again of the 3 at zoom of 112. As always, s-m-l (XP-G2, XM-L2, MT-G2)
Bumped with 4 chips on each driver, they now have 4.27A, 4.37A, and 4.45A respectively. With 30 sec OTF lumens of 655, 1000, and 1708, respectively. The XM-L2 is not de-domed. Both the XP-G2 and MT-G2 have either been de-domed or severely sliced (the big emitter has approx 1/16” of the silicone left)

Now zoomed in, same order

The new data for the power levels with all 3 lights being bumped is in the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet now has the 3 lights color coded, red (xp-g2) green (xm-l2) blue (mt-g2) to make it easier to follow each light through the multiple stages.

And this should be the last set of pics, with the lights all being bumped in power and taken out at the football field. I used gallon jugs (windshield washer fluid) with a reflective number taped to the jug for visibility…jug 1 at the 20 yd line, jug 2 at the 40, jug 3 across midfield at the other 40, and jug 4 at the opposite 20 yd line. Again I shot from the back of one end zone towards the field goal 120 yds away. Again, following the S-M-L format and using the Canon G1X at IS01600, f/5.6 for wide angle and f/5.8 for zoom, 1/2 second exposure for all. Wide angle is 28mm, zoom is 112.

Base shot, no lights on at the field, no lights any closer than 30-40 yds away to the side at the opposite end zone (those were to the right, everything else was further away) Base shot is at 112mm.

XP-G2, wide then zoomed…

XM-L2, wide then zoomed…

MT-G2, wide then zoomed…

And for the fun of it, I also shot my Solarforce S2200 with it’s power bump (2657 lumens OTF @ 30 sec) in wide angle, just wanted to see how much of the field it lit up…

So, there you have it! All 3 are pretty impressive, and the copper pills from Ryan make them even more so. The XM-L2 is not d-domed, the original U2 1A went green so I put a domed T6 3C in it for the tint. All in all an interesting experiment! For me, the MT-G2 takes the cake. The little XP-G2 is a serious little performer and not left behind by any means, but of course the XM-L2 can still be driven harder, but probably not much in this light due to space constraints. I would stack one more row on the battery side and replace the spring with a brass rod if I wanted it to really scream and in such a case it would be visibly brighter than the XP-G2 by quite a margin. Not sure I’d want to drive the MT-G2 any harder in this light, as it’s already getting over 5A to the emitter and making 140º at the head in 3 minutes…probably not a great idea to go further here! Wink

All these will be up for sale here directly, as I think the merits of each emitter have been proven fairly well and the convenience of the Convoy C8 host has certainly been exploited! Thanks Richard for all the help you’ve been in lining up all the parts and hosts for this, couldn’t have done it without you! (ok, I probably could have, but it wouldn’t have been finished before summer and I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much! Wink )

ryansoh3
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Would be a great comparison between the three mainstream emitters.

Looking forward towards your build and the outcome of the test. Smile

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comfychair
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XML2 4C is the closest match for the MTG2's tint, 3C/3D look much cooler in comparison despite what the specs say.

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Ok, sick or not, I got started on these 3 lights. Being always eager I started in the middle, lol. I went ahead and used Ryan’s pills, got each emitter in a light with a stock Qlite driver (power wise, of course, as the MT-G2 driver is modified)

Initially, using rested batteries and not going to any extremes and with each light pulling right at the 3.04A (2.91, 2.96, 2.98) I ran em through the lightbox for a start lumens check. Both smaller emitters are 1A tint bin. But they look different. Go figure.

And this is what I saw…

The XP-G2 showed me 745 OTF at start-up
The XM-L2 showed me 1049 OTF at start-up
The MT-G2 showed me 1756 OTF at start-up

Both smaller emitters were powered by a well rested Sanyo FJ lap pull. The MT-G2 was powered by a pair of Efest IMR18350’s, also well rested. I’ll work on getting some in-house beamshots of beam profile to show how the 3 compare…

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Nice one Dale. I must of missed this thread. There will be a second stage to these builds. After you have finished with the recommended current you will set them all up with a 3.04 amp 3175 drivers. The one for the MTG-2 will have to have the mod done to it. You are a dead set legend for doing stage one and two. Yay.

 

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                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

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I was going to go with the stock aluminum pills and stock Qlites, but went ahead and put Ryan’s copper pills in em right off the top. The Qlites are still at 3.04A though. Stage 2 will get some power level bumps to show how far these emitters get separated when push comes to shove. Smile

I need to get some outside beamshots, different range and I’m looking for a more serious setting to utilize the differences. By the time I get to stage 2, the MT-G2 will be daylight to the others beams. As you well know, Wink won’t be able to go too radical, as the pills only allow chip stacking on the spring side. But that’s ok, I can get 8 more on there for 16 total on the 2 big emitters, should be fun watching them come alive. Smile

Plan on de-doming the XP-G2 and XM-L2, slice and dice the MT-G2. Might’s well, right?

I may still put qlites in the stock pills, with the XP at 1.5A, and the other 2 at 3A to abide by the datasheet. Then I’ll have the recommended levels in the stock pills, hot rodded copper pills as an ultimate comparison. Like I said, I kinda jumped into the middle. lol (so in the end, it’ll be more a 3 stage test)

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That sounds like stage 3 and 4. Do we take of at 10?

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

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I've got to say I much prefer the wall of light effect the MTG2 gives. When I'm using a flashlight I actually rarely look directly at what the light is pointed at, but normally off center slightly. This is usually because I want brighter side spill so I can see the surrounding area, but the hotspot required for that level of side spill is too bright to properly see what I'm looking at.

Sounds odd, but because the MTG2 has a much less defined hotspot, but still a reasonably tight beam (as in it's not all flood) it fulfills my needs well.

- Matt

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Thanks for your efforts! Beer

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I think you’re pulling a double Steve, gotta run though, see ya! Smile

I have to agree Matt, I really like seeing …well…everything! The way the MT-G2 does it it’s just great all around. That tight hot spot of the XP footprint could be good for hunting or tracking though, wouldn’t disturb as much on the periphery and wouldn’t show you as much either. So each one would have a place with the XM footprint being the general all rounder. I had the shutter fast in an effort to show the hot spot, which there’s not much of in the MT-G2. In reality, they were much better at lighting up the room, especially the big guy!

I knew I was going to like seeing em side by side, but I’m gonna have to sell em off in the end to keep my wife from scalpin me! She’s got enough Native American Indian in her blood she can get scary! (Her great grandmother’s name was Faye Tiny Wolf, Mary’s 5’ tall and act’s 8’2” sometimes!) Smile {just kidding, she’d never scalp me, but it’s always much better to make the attempt to keep the peace Wink }

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Excellent work. Crown

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nice set of test C8's. I'll stay around for the final stages....

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I think its worth to mention that you are comparing a 21,8$ emitter that is fed around around twice the energy of the XM-L and around 4 times the energy of the XP-G2. And you are comparing them indoors at close range with wide angle. Which is where a floody MT-G2 shines.

For 21,8$ you could get 10 XP-G2s. I wonder which would look brighter between 10 x XP-G2s @ 50W vs say an MT-G2 @18W..  0:)

Just taking a look at the other complete other side of the coin, which is not directly relevant for this test.

I think we all know the winner of this exact comparison when it comes to light output.

I don't mean to sound negative though. Its a great comparison, and I look forward to the rest. It will be interesting to see runtime tests and everything you come up with.  Seeing this stuff side by side is very nice. 

Btw, as a little bonus on the side for us. Could you include a hotrod triple XP-G2 light and name the optics too? Smile

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

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Well Race, it’s designed as a test to show the various pros and cons of the 3 popular Cree emitters…as such there is no winner. And the first shots were indoors mainly because it’s freakin cold outside and I’ve had the Flu for a week. I do intend to show different beamshots so that there will be evidence to help someone pick which emitter would serve them best in their particular need. Which is really the whole point here. For those of us that have popped different emitters in and out of our favorite hosts for a while, there’s nothing new here. But for someone just joining our insanity this can be a very helpful comparison. Or at least that’s my thought process.

Not sure how you figure the XP-G2 is getting less energy fed to it than the XM-L2? Both are running the same cell and driver. The XP-G2 actually has a higher Vf, so if anything there’s more energy flowing through the XP-G2 than the XM-L2. Right? At any rate, the whole idea is to show the differences, good and bad, between the 3 primary emitters from Cree.

I do have a few very nice triples, 2 utilizing the XP-G2 R5 2B emitter. You would like to see one thrown in against these 3 C8’s for beamshot comparison? I can tell you that the Carclo 10507 Narrow Clear optics will compare favorably to the MT-G2 spread of light. Running at 3.75A, making 1173 OTF @ 30 sec, very comparable to the MT-G2 at 2.96A even though the big boy is making more total lumens by a wide margin.

Yes, the MT-G2 uses 8.4V to run it. Yes that’s an “unfair advantage”, or would be if this were a contest. But since it’s only a side-by-side comparison, with further testing to show how poorly cells will hold up to it’s abuse, the relevance still remains that these are the top 3 offerings from Cree as we use them in our flashlights. Each will have a totally different user set, as each will serve a completely different end line purpose. Perhaps I’ll throw in an animated GIF, showing how the tighter emitter puts a fire in the midst of the wide throwing Big Dome. Wink

First things first, I have to modify the switch assembly in the MT-G2 C8…the 2 18350’s are too long by some 5mm and I need to gain some room so that the light will fully assemble and maintain the water tightness of the o-rings. I’ll get some more solid readings today once that’s accomplished, and hopefully some beamshots tonight, weather (and Flu) permitting.

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If you don't mind, lets see your brightest triple. You choose the optics.

And don't get (more) sick by doing outdoor beamshots for me. There is no rush..

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10507 has a HUGE hotspot (and almost zero spill), 10511 even with the frosted front surface still there is more like an OP reflector, smaller spot and more spill. I don't much like the 10507.

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Nice comparison. I like the floody MT-G2 as well. As discussed, it is being fed a whole lot more power at the moment, and the run time will be a lot shorter. Comparing the XM-L2 with 8 added chips and the MT-G2 with the stock 8 could be more “fair”, I think. The MT-G2 will probably be at a small disadvantage due to less power capacity of 2×18350 compared to 1×18650. But on the other hand it should be a bit more efficient, as it’s not overdriven.

A triple XP-G2 or XM-L2 would be a nice addition to the test, as that would be a lot more floody and run the emitters at a level where they are more efficient. Running 3 XP-G2 in parallel at 3A or 6A total is a bit closer to spec. It would also not have the Vf issues that you would get at 6A. Maybe you can add 2 chips to the XM-L2 driver first and compare that to the triple XP-G2 you have at 3.75A? If the triple XP-G2 can easily be boosted to 6A, that would be every more awesome :).

Anyway, I don’t have any experience modding flash lights (yet), so not sure whether my ideas are correct or realistic.

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My suggestion in PMs was to run them all at the same 15 watts, so maybe that's coming sometime soon.

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comfychair wrote:

My suggestion in PMs was to run them all at the same 15 watts, so maybe that's coming sometime soon.

That would be interesting too. Would be a lot of hassle for Dale to do though.


I checked your spreadsheet Dale.  That is a nice information!

On top of the beamshots, numbers also backs up why XP-G2s in a C8 sized reflectors (or larger) are not for me. Not much more throw but considerably less output (lumen) at similar amps. And the XM-L2 can still go way higher and gain more output compared to what the XP-G2 can gain.

Again looking forward to the rest. Keep up the good work!  Beer

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But Race, it all depends on WHY you need a light in the first place. We have a lot of hunters, so I’m sure they know exactly what I’m talking about. The hunters day starts off with a very early morning trek out to the deer stand. A pinpoint of light to watch the trail, without a lot of spill to have the whole forest awake, will easily allow that trek to be minimally invasive. The XP-G2. They get a good shot, bag a deer that runs. The XM-L2 will give plenty of illumination to follow the blood trail and watch out for obstacles. Once to the fallen game, the MT-G2 will light up the scene for field dressing that beauty! Different situations call for different lights, or the same light with different outputs. Wink

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15 watts each would of course be doable, but it’s just not practical. Of all the modders threads I’ve read here, including yours Comfy, I don’t recall ever seeing anyone find Vf on an emitter, divide a projected wattage by that Vf to determine amperage to set up the driver for and figure in some losses so the actual doesn’t fall short. Who does that? 15 watts would be at the top of the XP-G2’s game at around 4.2A, while the MT-G2 would be strolling along around 2.4A. But of course, I like a challenge as much as the next guy so I might actually try to pull it off….might being key.

I’m working with the straight up easy to duplicate drivers, stack some chips like everyone does and run it on copper for better hang time. If the test isn’t real world, what good is it? I guess if you have a bench power supply and bench heat sinks to find what a particular emitter requires to make a particular wattage, that’s all well and good. I don’t. I don’t have a wealth of electrical knowledge to enable me to ferret that kind of thing out, I DO have the desire to see amazing output, and like bumping a driver for all it’s worth to get there.

Race, an XP-G2, 1A tint, de-domed, in a big reflector, easily out throws an XM-L2 driven harder. All the light is going into the hot spot, or the vast majority of it, such that 600 lumens outdoes 1000 as far as the eye is concerned. Got a build coming up where I’ll do just that in a copper pill for an HD2010 at probably 4.5A or better. We’ll see how that looks. Wink Some have said that it’s easier to see out to where the hot spot is, without all the spill contracting your pupils. Makes sense in a way, but you’re still looking at the light, so they’ll still be contracted as far as I can tell.

Like with most everything else in life, compromise is the key word. There is no all-encompassing answer.

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I can't believe I missed this thread!  Great work and I look forward to seeing the future updates!

Mountain Electronics : batteries, Noctigon, and much more! What's new? 

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Looking for the opportunity and a new place for comparative beamshots. Since there will be another round, or two, it’ll need to be easy access and easily duplicated. I’m tired of the red oil drum and white barn. Wink Even if those are easy shots taken from just outside the front door. lol Been seeing those views most of my life, ready for some scenery changes.

What works for this? A hiking trail? Parking garage? Under the bleachers at a large (semi) football stadium? What real world setting would best show the differences in these 3 lights?

I was hoping for some feedback, we’ve got too many lurkers….458 reads and about 10 people actually have something to say. Tough crowd! Smile Perhaps I need to figure out how to do a poll, maybe that would direct me to my beam shot battleground…

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Dale, you dont need to come up with a story about hunters when I just said why a certain light/emitter combo is not for me. I have seen those combos myself in real life. I did not have the numbers to confirm what I saw, nor do I have  beamshots out of many of the lights Ive modded. Which is why its interesting to see a good comparison like this. But personally I was not impressed with the XP-G2 compared to the XM-L2 (and I tried several different C8 reflectors and several different larger lights).

Your numbers shows:

The XP-G2 have about 6% more throw compared to the XM-L2. Which I consider to not be visible.

The XM-L2 have about 40% more light compared to the XP-G2. Its got stronger spill light and larger hotspot with pretty much the same throw. Easily visible.

DBCstm wrote:
Race, an XP-G2, 1A tint, de-domed, in a big reflector, easily out throws an XM-L2 driven harder. All the light is going into the hot spot, or the vast majority of it, such that 600 lumens outdoes 1000 as far as the eye is concerned.

I hear people say this all the time. The XP-G2 "throws soo much better at similar current in big reflectors". So why does your Convoy XP-G2 light only have 6% more throw than the XM-L2 light? Drive the XM-L2 harder and it will outthrow the XP-G2 (domed vs domed). Its also easier to drive the XM-l2 harder.

On top of that, the further towards 5A (or higher) you push those emitters, the more the XM-L2 will go for the lead...

I have done beamshots comparisons with de-domed XP-G2 running at MORE than 5A in large reflector. (The emitter died after some use btw) It did not live up to my expectations. De-domed XP-G2 in a bit more compact zoom light, totally different story. Cuts through fog and rain like nothing else and throws well for its size.

And yes, with less spill it is easier to see further, especially with rain/moist/fog/snow etc in the air. MT-G2 lights sucks in these conditions.. 

I certainly agree, there is a use for every light with every emitter combo. I just think that certain light/emitter combos are not as good as others.. 

As long as its not a parking garage, im good with the other suggested locations. Two sets of pictures (wide angle and tele). Mouseover pictures.

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

RaceR86
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Could you check lux and lumen on XP-G2 vs XM-L2 at medium?

Would be interesting to see how numbers compares to high.

BLF LED database – collaboration spreadsheet and latest news about where to buy LEDs
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19342

DB Custom
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Race, new numbers in the spreadsheet covering lux and lumens for L and M ranges. Wink

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Where did you find centering rings for Convoy reflector for XP-G?

 

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The XP-G2 fit’s diagonally into the centering ring for the XM-L footprint. Not the best solution perhaps, but it keeps the reflector off the pads. Wink

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Oh, because of the white background (mcpcb) I thought that it’s dedicated XP-G centering ring, should have clicked the image first…
I am doing the same thing but when screwing down the bezel, reflector rotation also twists this centering ring and its very hard to get 45 degree offset…

 

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Smash on the lens with your thumb, holding the reflector and thus the centering ring in position while screwing the bezel down. Then clean the lens. Wink

And I never said any of this was easy. You should try stuffing the MT-G2 in a Convoy C8, more to it than it might appear. Smile Beats digging ditches in the hot summer Texas sun…

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