Reflector vs Aspherical flashlights (thought only)

39 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

luminarium iaculator
luminarium iaculator's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 07/07/2013 - 09:09
Posts: 2129
Location: X
Reflector vs Aspherical flashlights (thought only)

Something really bothers me with people and flashlight manufacturers.

I seen here and on other forums that people often abusing all kind of aspheric flashlights calling them:
- pencil beam
- ugly beam with no useful side spill Smile
- no real life use

And most of people(80%) are big fans of reflector flashlights although most of reflector flashlights are big, fat monsters that can not fit into jacket pocket.

Most seen arguments for reflector flashlights are:

- Very useful side spill?
- Very nice beam pattern (white wall).
- No matter for big size reflector and diameter of flashlights they are really cool flashlights
- Lumen pumping

I think the main developing ideas of flashlight experts should be based on aspherical type of flashlights with as smaller size as possible. Why? Because of proven facts that;

- Aspeherical flashlight of same size will always out throw same size reflector flashlight(greater cd/lux performance in same size). Greater lux/cd performece can bring greater adjustable hotspot(which imho is the most important part of the beam)
- They are a lot stealthier. You can light between 2 object without anyone notice you.
- Pocket-able size
- Hotspot flood to throw versatile beam pattern
- Hotspot type of the beam. You see further in the night with this type of flashlights. How?

*When you turn on reflector LED light, your night vision is killed by spill light that is reflecting from nearby objects & environment. Your pupil of the eye narrows and you see less. The brighter the environment is, the narrower is the pupil of the eye, so there’s a reduction in light that hits the fundus. Aspherical type of beam has sharp borders, so there is better contrast between illuminated area and dark area. The enhanced contrast lets you to perceive objects/persons/things better.

USEFUL SIDE SPILL IN REFLECTOR FLASHLIGHTS?
- Spill messes with your night vision. Your pupil of the eye narrows and you see less.
- You are spooking and give away your position to anyone around such light(yourself, other people, animals)
- In summer days you are attracting more bugs to your position
- There is no possibility of beam adjustment

I think real future is in ass small as possible aspherical flashlights providing extreme flood to throw (lux/cd performance). I know that I am probably in only 10% of population that shares similar opinion but probably future will bring flashlight creations more similar to this idea

So manufacturers should invent small flashlights with incredible flood to throw intensity (LED technology should be improved, or maybe replace LED with LASER technology), and not only depend on big fat reflectors, big battery housings and CREE LED technology to improve night vision.

Manufacturers in these days can only develop external flashlight appearance, and their flashlight performance is based on CREE engineer experts and newest leds. There is no creative ideas in their lab.

Do you want to carry fat flashlight around your neck? I know that I don’t want that kind of “improvement”. Give me small flashlight that can make night into day instead of pumping 100 000 of different flashlights designs which depends on big father CREE.

RaceR86
RaceR86's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 1 week ago
Joined: 02/22/2012 - 08:32
Posts: 3777
Location: Norway

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

ImA4Wheelr
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 14:51
Posts: 7932
Location: SC

"I think real future is in ass . . ."

The present is already all about that.  People are either hauling, kicking, kissing, slapping, etc it.

Seriously though.  Aspherics have their place.  I especially like them on a boat and working in tight complicated compartments (like under cars).  But for general walking around outside, I need good spill with a more intense center.

Blinky1
Blinky1's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 5 days ago
Joined: 05/28/2013 - 14:08
Posts: 352

Yes, I would love to see some good quality pencil beam lights. Smile

pommie
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/28/2013 - 03:56
Posts: 970
Location: Corio, Victoria, Australia

What a lot of words just to say
“I prefer zoomies”
But just a couple of comments, Cree do not design led’s for flashlight use and you will never get a small light to light up the night, well not until light developement advances a lonnnng way.
Please remember that what you said is your opinion, my opinion of zoomies differs from yours and you will not change my mind, not even by using so much bold text to try to force your opinion upon others.

In the immortal words of Shaggy “Take a chill pill man”

Cheers David

Nothing to see here folks, move along...

JohnnyMac
JohnnyMac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 hours ago
Joined: 04/12/2011 - 16:03
Posts: 8858
Location: Eastern PA

pommie wrote:
What a lot of words just to say "I prefer zoomies" But just a couple of comments, Cree do not design led's for flashlight use and you will never get a small light to light up the night, well not until light developement advances a lonnnng way. Please remember that what you said is your opinion, my opinion of zoomies differs from yours and you will not change my mind, not even by using so much bold text to try to force your opinion upon others. In the immortal words of Shaggy "Take a chill pill man" Cheers David
This ^

You don't like "big daddy Cree"? Without them we'd all be living with 5 year old tech posting on CPF and singing the praises of 150 lumen Osram and Luxeon lights.  Flashlights wouldn't be what they are today if not for Cree constantly pushing the envelope with ever better emitters. Your small zoomie lights will never throw as well as the reflectored lights. The aspheric lights that do compete are massive with huge, thick lenses as wide as the reflectored lights they compete with and far heavier. I liked zoomies too when I got into flashlights until I got a real nice reflectored light. Now I never touch the zoomies.

While zoomies do serve a purpose, I prefer reflector lights.

xv-750
xv-750's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 04/30/2013 - 09:32
Posts: 405
Location: Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia

I live in an area without street lights and I need the spill to see where to put my feet while using the hot spot to plan where I'm going to walk to.

An aspheric is inefficient and wastes lots of light, but a reflector or TIR give more OTF lumens.

I've built several lights with reflectors that can light up a fence at 350 metres, and they are all reflectors, and the spill doesn't hurt my night vision.

The only zooming lights I've heard of that are efficient are Led Lensers or POP Lites, the ones that use a TIR variant but can't handle high power LEDs because they mount the LED on a post.

Riding for 50 years, last off was black ice in ’73.

First paid computer job was in ’75, writing an extra report for HAPAS accounts on a Wang Computer.

NightSpy
NightSpy's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
Joined: 08/30/2011 - 18:24
Posts: 794

My favorite home-build is a P60 mod’d to put the XM-L right behind a 28mm aspheric.
I dare say, the best flooder I could build but no longer zooms.
I can walk around outside with it, and I can light up small spaces without sacrificing “night vision”.

However, I have some favorite throwers too. They are more for spotting skunks at a “safe” distance.

Joat
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 22 hours ago
Joined: 06/13/2013 - 23:43
Posts: 524
Location: Minnesota

My main EDC light is a zoomie, and my other one is a reflector. My last mod project was a reflector, my next one is a zoomie. I guess I haven’t figured out which one is better. Smile

Gj
Gj's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 6 days ago
Joined: 06/26/2013 - 15:44
Posts: 3066
Location: NY,USA

There is no 'better', just more or less appropriate solutions to yield a desired result in a given situation. Situations vary, individual users desires vary. It's great to have a wide array of solutions available to meet each user's situation and preference.

DBSAR
DBSAR's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 1 hour ago
Joined: 02/11/2013 - 23:28
Posts: 6329
Location: Newfoundland, Canada

I like both Reflectors and Zooming Aspherics, as long as the Aspheric has a good usable flood mode along with the spot mode. a good Zoomie is great for trail walking or a head lamp work light with the smooth hotspot-less flood.
I’m not a fan of unusable shelf-queen lights. Sure lights like the Deft-X is great for the “awe” moment to see how far a spot can be thrown, and great for achieving a high KCD number, but in the field its practically useless for anything else except illuminating a small object far in the distance with its throwpencil-beam only locked focus. for trail walking or any other uses its impractical and even unusable.
I have a few modded Zoomies i have that i like and use on walks, camping trips, etc. but they are modded with floody XM-Ls and i end up using the zoom mode most of the time.
There is one light zoomie design i like better for useable throw that still has a good spill, and also has a great wide spotless flood is the lights that have a lens that looks like a modded TIR optic with the emitter on a centeral “post”, as some of the LED Lenser lights, have but the best beam pattern even better than the lensers is the one used in a Defiant XP-G2 Zoomie, particularly this one: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/28424#node-28424

That Canadian flashlight guy & Lantern Guru -Den / DBSARlight

mudgripz
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 12/29/2011 - 22:22
Posts: 418
Location: New Zealand

+1 Gj’ and DenB’s comment above.

It is great to have a variety of options available for different purposes. Our own use centres around hunting/outdoors for which we need powerful lumen output, a long range hotspot, but also good flood to scan fields quickly.

Three years ago we used aspheric lights alot more to get long distance, but the arrival of XML leds proved a complete game changer. Their stonking lumen output in a bigger head design gave us all we need in a light, and refining the bigger reflectors has given us huge lux/distance plus good flood. So for our own purposes the new XML2-U2s etc have completely taken over for from aspherics – alot more practical beam for all purpose outdoor use.

But – I still occasionally use smaller aspherics for scope mounted lights – eg Small Sun C10, and I really like the practicality of a small zoomie for home use. One of my favourite lights – will always have 1-2 is the little X2000 of 2-3 years ago. Super useful as a general purpose home/truck light. Small but versatile.

It’s good to have both options to choose from, and which one is best comes down to the job you need done – and of course personal preference.

bibihang
bibihang's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/10/2011 - 09:32
Posts: 2398
Location: Malaysia

I’m a fan of both. In term of throw aspherical flashlight has another advantage – it can be used along with the Wavien Collar, on the other hand that stuff is expensive and how many manufacturers are willing to pay and getting access to that thing?

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 4183
Location: California

My current EDC is a zoomie.

Zoomies aren’t perfect. They’re usually much less efficient than reflector lights. But that said, they can do things similar-size reflector lights cant. My modded Aleto N8 zoomie has far more throw than any comparable sized non-zoom light I own. It also has the ability to go into a very wide almost mule-like flood, wider than the spill on most of my reflector lights. It’s a good compromise for a pocket light. And the overall package is smaller than my Zebralight SC62d.

luminarium iaculator
luminarium iaculator's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 07/07/2013 - 09:09
Posts: 2129
Location: X

I knew where I will strike by opening this thread. Thread is IMHO spirit but plenty of you are still not getting real point what I am trying to say.

Before I give another opinion I will mention that I have/had/tried/sold probably more reflector flashlights than 70% people on this and other forum so I am not reflector hater. I hate bad attitude to potentially good technology.

I am well aware of today light technology limitations and in which direction are  flashlight currently going. If you want massive lumen and lux output only thing that manufacturers can do is production of big fat reflector multiled lights.

So why should developing  go in this direction when it can go in opposite? I am talking about lack ideas in this field.

It does not have to be aspheric flashlight neither it has to be reflector one. Neither it has to be LED technology. It can be LASER or anything else but 90% of manufacturers stuck on reflectors.

With today technology it is probably not possible to achieve kind of output and portability as I would like to see in flashlights, and main cause for that is lack of experts creativity, and people light orientation(yes you useful spill guys).

And yes I think(imo) that "useful spill" should be retired and they should create only flood to throw lights with pure and intense hotspot(with far better performance than we have now).

So we are all in flashlight world. What is more useful than pure hotspot? And why not have possibility for full regulation of that hotspot in future design flashlights?  I want to hear your thoughts and not just silly wrangle about reflector and useful spill.



JohnnyMac]<br><br>[quote=pommie wrote:
Your small zoomie lights will never throw as well as the reflectored lights. The aspheric lights that do compete are massive with huge, thick lenses as wide as the reflectored lights they compete with and far heavier. I liked zoomies too when I got into flashlights until I got a real nice reflectored light. Now I never touch the zoomies.

While zoomies do serve a purpose, I prefer reflector lights.

There are no real idea to push zoomies forward. And guys like you that are stuck on reflectors are main cause for that.

 I have to correct you and tell real trough: "My small zoomies" will always out throw your(and anybody) same size reflector lights.

My best zoomie has 50mm diameter lenses, weight 250gr. and almost 300(kcd) with 80 kcd in full flood mode.

Same size reflector can not beat lux performance of same size aspheric that is proven fact.

 

But as I said massive lux performance and massive flood performance could be done in a small package but 90% of manufacturers are not spending their time in developing such lights.

 

Here are my arguments why manufacturers and people should pay more attention on Zoomies/Aspherics types of lights:

- You see further and clearer in the night. How? One more time:

This type of beam has sharp borders, so there is better contrast between illuminated area and dark area. The enhanced contrast lets you to perceive it brighter.

When you turn on reflector LED light, your night vision is killed by useful spill that is reflecting from nearby objects, grass, ground, rocks, water(sea, rivers). 

Your pupil of the eye narrows and you see less.  The brighter the environment is, the narrower is the pupil of the eye, so there's a reduction in light that hits the fundus.

Some experienced hunters(some are here hunting with XML-s and they are very happy using that light Smile ) are not aware of environment reflection. Game can see reflection very well and runs... I have personally tested this hundreds of times on different kind of game and in this field there is no better type of beam.

And I would like to see hunter that will give opposite comment than mine and arguments for that kind of comments.

- Size and Portability (put them into pocket and forget that you carry them).

I have to mention that same size aspheric will always have better lux/kcd performance than same size reflector flashlight.

- They preserve your night vision

- They are much stealthier because there is no useful spill which will alert whole neighborhood or spook game.

 

Only limitation is lumen output(hotspot size) which I would like to see improved in future flashlight builds.

 

I am here to defend zoomies/aspherics and I gave few arguments why should flashlight development go in their way and not on reflector, and I would really like to see opposite comments and arguments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gj
Gj's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 6 days ago
Joined: 06/26/2013 - 15:44
Posts: 3066
Location: NY,USA

The only point I feel strongly enough to argue is your mention of lasers. Lasers are not flashlights. They can cause serious eye damage to humans and animals and are not suitable for general use as flashlights.

bibihang
bibihang's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/10/2011 - 09:32
Posts: 2398
Location: Malaysia

Aspherical lens system is good, but it’s not a perfect system, and same goes to the reflectored lights.

The maximum lumens output limitation is one of the downsides of an aspherical flashlight.

And another one, which is quite important to some people, is the significant tint shift caused by the nature of the lens focusing. You may defend that the tint shift can be negligible at outdoor, but we do use them indoor too.

That said, if the manufacturers are willing to spend more money and time on aspherical lens R&D all the above problems may be solved. Both reflectored and aspherical flashlights have pros and cons, yet there are only so few of the manufacturers making aspherical flashlights, and this is the only thing I cannot understand.

Angler
Angler's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/21/2014 - 21:30
Posts: 691
Location: South Carolina
luminarium iaculator wrote:

Here are my arguments why manufacturers and people should pay more attention on Zoomies/Aspherics types of lights:

I totally agree with each of these arguments, except the one about xml’s, I have an xml aspheric and it
‘s fantastic light.

The whole part about the beam being discreet with sharp cutoff is what i love best about it. Certainly optimal for preserving night vision and perceived brightness.

Also I think a unique perspective on the difference between aspheric vs reflector throwers, is being on the receiving end of the beam from a distance. It’s quite a sensation of being laser targetted like “whoa where did that beam of light come from, it’s source is concealed by darkness, yet I am lit up light a xmas tree, and nothing else around me is”. Big Smile

xv-750
xv-750's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 04/30/2013 - 09:32
Posts: 405
Location: Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia

The beam (200+ metres required) to find the direction to walk in, the spill to see up the ground to walk on while keeping track of the direction with the beam.

The only two uses I can see for a spot beam only are night hunting and WOWing novices.

And the spill has LESS effect on my night vision than the spot.

Riding for 50 years, last off was black ice in ’73.

First paid computer job was in ’75, writing an extra report for HAPAS accounts on a Wang Computer.

RaceR86
RaceR86's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 years 1 week ago
Joined: 02/22/2012 - 08:32
Posts: 3777
Location: Norway

I was supposed to just watch and eat popcorn. But might as well join while enjoying the show.

luminarium iaculator I think many understand what your are trying to say. At least to some extend. But to me it does not seem that you are capable of understanding what the typical flashlight user uses their lights for.

Although I dont understand if you are trying to start a discussion about future technology that could make aspherical lights better, or just try and promote them. I guess its both..

Lasers can be the future for flashlight. Could be nicely suitable for ashperics if done correctly. As an example BMW use laser technology for the headlights in the I8. And those headlights are awesome based on what I have seen. I made a thread about it a long time ago.

What more than hunting do you find aspherical lights useful for. Please make a long list in what circumstances these lights excel in. I know of several, but would be interesting to see from your point of view.

Pencil beam is a suitable description. People easily understand it. Hence it works nicely. Its common to use special phrases (that may not sound that nice) to describe various lights.

Here is a couple of reasons why  aspheric lights are not that popular.

Generally extremly inefficient optics. Especially when "zoomed in".

For many, unpleasent beam due to square dies when fully zoomed in.

Flood mode is not good for general outdoor use. Its just one big even ring. This means that right in front of your feet you got a ton more light than a couple of meters in front of you. Basically same argument you use against spill on reflector lights. Your pupils retracts. Which does not help when the beam is already bad for looking at stuff that is 20 meters in front of you.

If you want to see what is in front of you when walking, you need to use flood mode. But then you don't see much ahead. And many actually needs to see what is in front of them.

Worse thermal design compared to reflector lights. Usually because the head have to able to move you end up with worse thermal path.

Often unplesent rings in the zoom ring.

Expensive to make good aspheric glass lenses.


Led-Lenser

Led-Lenser have patent on the good apsherics. Probalby not good for OP, but their design is attractive for many. To some degree I like LED-Lenser, I have used their low-end, mid-end and high end lights. I wont buy any of their lights myself though.

 

Market force

People vote with their money. Flashoholics have started with a zoom light, or had a zoom lights as one of their first lights. Most flashoholics end up buying reflector lights. If aspherics were better for most, more people would buy them, and manufacturers would put in more effort in improving the lights. IMO, its actually easier to sell a zoom light to a non-flashoholic. Zoom is a great selling point. People love it. Until you show someone a good reflector light side by side. Its a reason why reflector lights are popular. Its because people in general find them more useful and overall better. 


TIR

10-degree TIR optics or narrower + de-domed emitter have very good throw for the size as well. And many will prefer to have some spill and the better efficiency and nicer beam compared to aspherics.

 

Aspherics-zoom- Jack of all trades, master at none?

Some use the expression above. "jack of all trades, master of none". I do not agree. I think aspheric lights are master of pencil beam throw in a small package. But otherwise they are bad at most things.

I like my SK68 with WW Nichia, but only in flood mode, indoors. I have some aspherics with de-domed emitters, but I have no actual use for them compared to a ton of my reflector lights. I could see scenarios where they are nice, but in those scenarios I usually have a better non aspheric light for the job.

Another issue is, if you put an XM-L in one, it sucks as a thrower, but its "good" as a flooder. When I say good, I mean big wide and bright flood. If you put a de-domed XP-G2 or something like that in one, it becomes really bad as a flooder (usually not that wide flood, and not that bright either). Compare it with a floody light, and you will better understand why its bad as a flooder. 

 

Aspheric lights do have a purpose.

No doubt. I can see why they are useful, and its a reason why I would have 1 of them if I could only have 20 lights or so. Big Smile

Ive actually defended aspheric lights in some discussions, but in general. Reflector light is the way to go for me and my type of use. Which in most cases involves me walking outdoors and having the need to see where im putting my feet. Hence, spill is useful and a must. Having a larger spot, and spill also makes it considerably easier to see what I want, and find what I want, even far away in the distance. I can also use far less power, and yet see far away due to the much better efficiency.

Ill end this long post with an unfair comparison (it was the pictures that I had):

Aspheric vs reflector thrower. Yes, the aspheric is smaller, but both of these lights cost 20$ on sale before I modded them. Still, its only lighting up a fraction of the area, and in this case. The reflector light also outthrows it by good margin. Now, you might say, that is because its using 10 times the energy, but actually, the reflector light is only using around twice the energy in the picture below and it would still be really impressive if it used half the power.

Im not saying one is better than the other.. As a flashoholic, Ill say there is a place and use for all types of lights.

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

pommie
Offline
Last seen: 16 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/28/2013 - 03:56
Posts: 970
Location: Corio, Victoria, Australia

They make more reflector lights because they sell more of them, simple isn’t it.

If I want flood I reach for my king 5x or kung 4x and light up the whole area.
If I want reach I use my Courui big head.
Two completely different styles of light, both good for their intended uses.
If I want both I use my UF f10, not as bright as a king/kung, not as much throw as the Courui, but decent at both.

I have several edc’s, good at what they do, flood to see at my feet and a bit of throw to see ahead.
Zoomies, I have two, a sk68, great around the house, not much use outside and a generic 2× 18650 xm-l with a blown driver, just can’t work up the interest in it to fix, while walking zoomed out there is no spill to see at my feet and while zoomed in there is no throw, and if I have it half way it is the same as my edc’s exept they don’t waste so many lumins on the inside of the head.

Just one question, why are you ramming zoomies down our throats, if you like them, great, have fun, or is it you are trying to justify your preferences by imposing them on us.

I could ask why manufacturers are wasting time developing zoomies, depriving the rest of us (the majority) developement time, but I know the answer, because they sell, money drives all businesses, therfore all research, the more it sells the more it is developed and reflector lights outsell zoomies.

I am now reaching for some popcorn, enjoy Party

Cheers David

Nothing to see here folks, move along...

Angler
Angler's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 07/21/2014 - 21:30
Posts: 691
Location: South Carolina

Great points made!
That photo comparison is nicely done.
I like having both types of beams each for different uses.
Would be neat to have a light that zooms between the two beamshots shown,
a zoomie with hotspot in flood.

The reflector is certainly most desirable for walking biking etc but sometimes I like to discretely light up something in the distance with a pencil beam. Flashlights are awesome :bigsmile:

WarHawk-AVG
WarHawk-AVG's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 06:47
Posts: 5071
Location: H-Town

pffftt…I buy em all…I’m a Photon Phreak Big Smile

Aspherics, reflectors, TIR’s, mules, minis

If it makes light and leaves that little “oh I just blinded myself” dot in my vision after I accidentally look at it…I am happy with it Big Smile

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 4183
Location: California

bibihang wrote:

And another one, which is quite important to some people, is the significant tint shift caused by the nature of the lens focusing. You may defend that the tint shift can be negligible at outdoor, but we do use them indoor too.

Not sure what kind of zoomables you’ve tried.

None of my zoomable lights display any noticeable tint shift. The tint looks the same in flood mode, spot mode, and with the bare emitter with no lens in front of it. I probably own 20 different zoomies and none of them have any tint shift.

The only noticeable tint shift comes from dedoming. Dedoming very noticeably shifts the tint…. but that’s unrelated to the zoom optic. Dedoming is a mod performed to increase throw. It changes the tint regardless of whether it is performed in a zoomie or reflector light.

likevvii
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 9 min ago
Joined: 04/28/2014 - 10:12
Posts: 404
Location: USA, California

Firelight2 wrote:
bibihang wrote:

And another one, which is quite important to some people, is the significant tint shift caused by the nature of the lens focusing. You may defend that the tint shift can be negligible at outdoor, but we do use them indoor too.

Not sure what kind of zoomables you’ve tried.

None of my zoomable lights display any noticeable tint shift. The tint looks the same in flood mode, spot mode, and with the bare emitter with no lens in front of it. I probably own 20 different zoomies and none of them have any tint shift.

The only noticeable tint shift comes from dedoming. Dedoming very noticeably shifts the tint…. but that’s unrelated to the zoom optic. Dedoming is a mod performed to increase throw. It changes the tint regardless of whether it is performed in a zoomie or reflector light.

Tint shift doesn’t occur when zooming (based on my expierence), it happens when you switch a reflector with an aspheric lens. Shifts to a ever so slightly warmer tint. Of course, this shift would mean nothing if used outdoors.

bibihang
bibihang's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/10/2011 - 09:32
Posts: 2398
Location: Malaysia

Firelight2 wrote:
bibihang wrote:

And another one, which is quite important to some people, is the significant tint shift caused by the nature of the lens focusing. You may defend that the tint shift can be negligible at outdoor, but we do use them indoor too.

Not sure what kind of zoomables you’ve tried.

None of my zoomable lights display any noticeable tint shift. The tint looks the same in flood mode, spot mode, and with the bare emitter with no lens in front of it. I probably own 20 different zoomies and none of them have any tint shift.

The only noticeable tint shift comes from dedoming. Dedoming very noticeably shifts the tint…. but that’s unrelated to the zoom optic. Dedoming is a mod performed to increase throw. It changes the tint regardless of whether it is performed in a zoomie or reflector light.

By tint shift I actually mean shifting into a cooler tint (unlike dedome), for instance the lens may shift the LED tint from 6500K to somewhere above 7000K. I own quite a few of cheap zoomies like SK68, UF T20 and several 50mm, 51mm and 66mm aspherical lenses from DX for mods. I notice that all these lenses generally make the tint cooler and even looks purplish. My UF T20 used to have a dedomed XP-G2 in it and the projected tint looks unnatural, in both flood and throw condition. I’ve never came across any scientific study regarding the aspherical lens changing the tint yet, but I am able to perceive it.

I am guessing that the lens quality may play a part of this appearance since all my zoomies and lenses are cheap and I’ve never owned or tried a premium aspherical flashlight for comparison, so I can’t say for sure.

luminarium iaculator
luminarium iaculator's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 07/07/2013 - 09:09
Posts: 2129
Location: X

Very nice developing of thread with plenty of personal experience and thoughts.

Some of you get me. Developing of new types of focusing system to make all purpose flashlight with as smaller dimensions as possible..., and so far in that field best focusing flashlight system is zoomie (optics + emitter). And everything stuck in that point... No more improving.

Sometimes(20 years ago) we thought that Maglite magcharger is perfect flashlight with reflector focusing system... Right? Things can be changed:

Gj wrote:


The only point I feel strongly enough to argue is your mention of lasers. Lasers are not flashlights. They can cause serious eye damage to humans and animals and are not suitable for general use as flashlights.

But why? Why could not laser be future flashlight technology? I mean diffused lasers not eye burners... We already have laser flashlights from Laser Genetics ND3 and ND5. They are far from perfect but it is possible... Laser freaks are only improving laser power but not laser diffusion.

 

RaceR86 wrote:


I was supposed to just watch and eat popcorn. But might as well join while enjoying the show.

luminarium iaculator I think many understand what your are trying to say. At least to some extend. But to me it does not seem that you are capable of understanding what the typical flashlight user uses their lights for.

Although I dont understand if you are trying to start a discussion about future technology that could make aspherical lights better, or just try and promote them. I guess its both..

Lasers can be the future for flashlight. Could be nicely suitable for ashperics if done correctly. As an example BMW use laser technology for the headlights in the I8. And those headlights are awesome based on what I have seen. I made a thread about it a long time ago.

What more than hunting do you find aspherical lights useful for. Please make a long list in what circumstances these lights excel in. I know of several, but would be interesting to see from your point of view.

Pencil beam is a suitable description. People easily understand it. Hence it works nicely. Its common to use special phrases (that may not sound that nice) to describe various lights.

Here is a couple of reasons why  aspheric lights are not that popular.

Generally extremly inefficient optics. Especially when "zoomed in".

For many, unpleasent beam due to square dies when fully zoomed in.

Flood mode is not good for general outdoor use. Its just one big even ring. This means that right in front of your feet you got a ton more light than a couple of meters in front of you. Basically same argument you use against spill on reflector lights. Your pupils retracts. Which does not help when the beam is already bad for looking at stuff that is 20 meters in front of you.

If you want to see what is in front of you when walking, you need to use flood mode. But then you don't see much ahead. And many actually needs to see what is in front of them.

Worse thermal design compared to reflector lights. Usually because the head have to able to move you end up with worse thermal path.

Often unplesent rings in the zoom ring.

Expensive to make good aspheric glass lenses.

Led-Lenser

Led-Lenser have patent on the good apsherics. Probalby not good for OP, but their design is attractive for many. To some degree I like LED-Lenser, I have used their low-end, mid-end and high end lights. I wont buy any of their lights myself though.

 

Market force

People vote with their money. Flashoholics have started with a zoom light, or had a zoom lights as one of their first lights. Most flashoholics end up buying reflector lights. If aspherics were better for most, more people would buy them, and manufacturers would put in more effort in improving the lights. IMO, its actually easier to sell a zoom light to a non-flashoholic. Zoom is a great selling point. People love it. Until you show someone a good reflector light side by side. Its a reason why reflector lights are popular. Its because people in general find them more useful and overall better.

TIR

10-degree TIR optics or narrower + de-domed emitter have very good throw for the size as well. And many will prefer to have some spill and the better efficiency and nicer beam compared to aspherics.

 

Aspherics-zoom- Jack of all trades, master at none?

Some use the expression above. "jack of all trades, master of none". I do not agree. I think aspheric lights are master of pencil beam throw in a small package. But otherwise they are bad at most things.

I like my SK68 with WW Nichia, but only in flood mode, indoors. I have some aspherics with de-domed emitters, but I have no actual use for them compared to a ton of my reflector lights. I could see scenarios where they are nice, but in those scenarios I usually have a better non aspheric light for the job.

Another issue is, if you put an XM-L in one, it sucks as a thrower, but its "good" as a flooder. When I say good, I mean big wide and bright flood. If you put a de-domed XP-G2 or something like that in one, it becomes really bad as a flooder (usually not that wide flood, and not that bright either). Compare it with a floody light, and you will better understand why its bad as a flooder.

 

Aspheric lights do have a purpose.

No doubt. I can see why they are useful, and its a reason why I would have 1 of them if I could only have 20 lights or so. Big Smile

Ive actually defended aspheric lights in some discussions, but in general. Reflector light is the way to go for me and my type of use. Which in most cases involves me walking outdoors and having the need to see where im putting my feet. Hence, spill is useful and a must. Having a larger spot, and spill also makes it considerably easier to see what I want, and find what I want, even far away in the distance. I can also use far less power, and yet see far away due to the much better efficiency.

Ill end this long post with an unfair comparison (it was the pictures that I had):

Aspheric vs reflector thrower. Yes, the aspheric is smaller, but both of these lights cost 20$ on sale before I modded them. Still, its only lighting up a fraction of the area, and in this case. The reflector light also outthrows it by good margin. Now, you might say, that is because its using 10 times the energy, but actually, the reflector light is only using around twice the energy in the picture below and it would still be really impressive if it used half the power.

Im not saying one is better than the other.. As a flashoholic, Ill say there is a place and use for all types of lights.

This is huge reply :).  Yes I am talking about zoomies today and how I would like to see them or other type of zooming system in future.

Zoomies are far from perfect but imagine very strong flood mode that can lid everything up from 1-200 meters.

For that would need to have very strong light intensity(higher than anything on market) combined with additional integrated or external dimmer

This is how I would like to see Flood mode in a future flashlights for example... You all probably used flashlights without reflector or aspheric head... (if you did not tried that emitter instantly lids whole room or few meters of space in front of you)

I mean on creating that kind of flood mode but with 10-20 or more times stronger intensity.

 

But typical flashlight user could find zoomie(today zoomies) as all purpose and even EDC light without any problem imho. Decent flood mode(I am not against XML in zoomie) in combination with throw if you need to see something further in the night...

The best light is the light you currently have in hand while you are in dark. Cant imagine someone carrying BTU shocker for everyday use.

Circumstances these lights excel in? Well I can use and prefer them for all EDC situations.

They excel when you need strong amount of light in small flashlight configuration:

- IR(infrared mode). They are no.1 and irreplaceable in this field weather you use simple CCTV camera system or very expensive Night vision devices for classic observation or hunting and they perfectly cover your NVS field of view.

- Lets say in forensic trail or clue search. You want to concentrate only on the part of room or only on particular object with desired light intensity (zoom in out). Here you can also use UV light in combination with luminol for searching blood trail.

- At the sea. I had plenty guys that bought them for searching(not sure how you guys call that) buoy,markers, beacon, fishing traps from the sea. They preserve your night vision and have greater possibility of light regulation while beam coming from reflector destroys your night vision on close and it can not throw good enough on longer distances. With aspherics you see further in the night.

KCD numbers of reflector and Aspheric are not the same. If you have same kcd competitors you will always see further with aspheric because of everything I mentioned above, and I really admire to guy in this thread that sees further in the night with useful spill Smile  

Some sea guy told me that he uses for measuring distance to the shore(but I don't understand what he tried to say with that or why he must do so).

- Hunting. Particularly scope hunting(covers scope field of use) although it can even serve as close duck hunting light. It is not spooking game so much as reflector light since there is no reflection from environment which game perceive much sooner or instantly if you use reflector light(for example if you use reflector light and start scanning at left point - game from the right point will see spill much before you hotspot it, while it will perceive aspheric type of beam only when directly exposed since there is no spill or environment reflection)

- Sheppard. Yes you heard me right. Sheppard took it(extreme zoomie called XSearcher) and he said that he is giving warning to wolves to not approach to his heard. And with 500 000 candela he can scan large areas. He said that it is the best light for such purpose.

 

- Duty light. For discrete searching without alerting whole neighborhood or blinding traffic. scanning large distance areas with certain equipment(monocular) if you are border control officer.

 

And my final thought would be it would be really for everything that you can imagine if they improve flood mode.

 

You should show flood mode on that picture where you compare zoomie vs reflector not just throw mode.

Yes it would be less intense with smaller area scan but it would be far more efficient than pencil throw beam you showed.

And one day when they invent extreme flood to throw flashlight I think that even "useful spill guys" will change their minds. Who knows? Maybe it will be reflector zoom system or maybe 2-3 different systems merged.

 

Enough from me... Sometimes some persons needs inspiration to made something good and unique. I would be glad if this thread could be inspirational to someone like some themes were inspirational to me (yes they even brought some $ to my pockets Smile )...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 4183
Location: California

Reflector lights:
Advantages:
1. Blend of Spill + Beam lets you see things in the distance, while also watching your footing up close.
2. More efficient so more overall lumens
3. Gradual blend from spot to spill isn’t harsh
4. Easy to make waterproof
5. Pleasing beam pattern

Disadvantages:
1. Less throw than a same-size zoomable using the same emitter at same power.
2. Beam can’t easily be tailored for your application.

Zoomable lights:
Advantages:
1. Controllable beam shape can be optimized for looking at stuff close (wide flood), or for very far (spot beam with no flood).
2. More throw than any comparable sized reflector light using the same emitter at the same pattern.
3. In throw mode, there’s little or no spill. This can let you see further as light reflected off things in the foreground isn’t washing out the light reflected off things in the distance. Additionally, it can be used to light things up in the distance without alerting or disturbing your neighbors.
4. Flood mode can be completely uniform with no spot. This can sometimes be quite helpful. For instance, I use an aspheric lens in my headlamp, because when I’m painting miniatures I want a totally uniform light output that doesn’t change if I shift my head.

Disadvantages:
1. Typically not waterproof. Zooming mechanism usually changes the internal volume of the light. Air must be able to enter and escape the light so air pressure can equalize when zoom is cycled or the light won’t work right.
2. Typically more cheaply built. Most premium manufacturers do not make zoomable lights.
3. Less efficient than reflector lights
4. Beam pattern may be ugly. In flood mode there’s often a harsh demarcation between the illuminated and non-illuminated area. Cheap ones will often have rings around the beam. And spot made looks like a rather ugly projection of the die.

Regarding lasers as flashlights:
Wickedlasers already sells a converter that turns a handheld laser into a flashlight. The concept is pretty simple. A diffraction grating (think opaque white plastic or glass) is placed in front of a blue laser. The laser hits it and blue light is emitted. The grating breaks up the light so what comes out is diffuse and not dangerous. Painted on top of the grating is a yellow phosphor layer that when hit with blue light emits red and green light, exactly like the phosphor layer on a white LED. A reflector is then placed on top to focus the white light.

In this design, the output should be very much like a typical white LED. The only advantage of using a laser is that lasers are more efficient than LEDs, so you could potentially get more lumens or runtime than with an LED.

However, the laser would have a big disadvantage: Someone could disassemble the head removing the diffraction grating and optic revealing a dangerous Class IV blue laser. This would cause all kinds of liability issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if laser flashlights become banned in many countries because of it. LEDs don’t have this danger.

bibihang
bibihang's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/10/2011 - 09:32
Posts: 2398
Location: Malaysia

There is another advantage of aspherical flashlights: They are relatively easier for focus tuning. Unlike reflectored flashlights, you basically only need to shine your aspherical flashlight at a distance wall, zooming your light in and out until you see a clearly projected die shape and that’s the optimum focus point. Reflectored flashlight on the other hand is a PITA to adjust the focusing properly, and the larger of the reflector the harder it would be. Sometimes you would even need to take the risk and grinding, drilling or trimming something off the reflector base to get it focus nicely.

Another thing is we are always too afraid to touch the reflector just in case of scratching it, as the reflector surface is very smooth and delicate. However I can simply take out an aspherical lens, wash it under tap water, wipe it with a piece of cloth or tissue paper and play with it anyway I like in my hand. Don’t mind any fingerprint at all as I could easily wash it again.

yukoncornelius
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 16 hours ago
Joined: 02/17/2021 - 06:59
Posts: 11

Where can I find an aspherical lens now?

Dalamar
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 11 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2019 - 21:13
Posts: 91

yukoncornelius wrote:
Where can I find an aspherical lens now?
28mm lens this was suggested on reddit for the Fireflies NOV-MU, but it won't work for all lights

I only like high CRI. Collection:

Fireflies NOV-MU 21 4500k E21A

Fireflies ROT66 219B SW45 D220

Fireflies E07 219B SW45k (all copper, in mail)

Fireflies E07 219B SW45k

Awaiting release of E07x Pro, only if 219b still stocked.

Emisar D4 (v1) SST20 4000k frosted

 

Varmint removal (throw):

Convoy M21A C8 ver SST20 4000k (5a)

Convoy S2+ SST20 4000k (3200ma)

 

CRI test dump https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1kcl_uOhgfpR4RSsa8F4b-UUVP9mkL6Cr...

Pages