【ツ】Interest check + ideas for a new multicolor flashlight

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Rexlion
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The FiTorch MR35’s UI is a pita because you have to cycle through everything to get what you want. The old Quark RGB interface was better, but it was still a bit problematic because twisting the head for color change sometimes skipped colors; the contacts would get dirty and whatever. For this new light, I would really like to see one control for the off/on/intensity, preferably ramping… a magnetic ring would be peachy, I think. And a separate button control switch for the color selection. Not sure where to put hidden flashy modes, maybe on the ring somehow? The alternating blue/red strobe of the FiTorch is pretty cool, and I can imagine having a rapid-fire alternating of all the colors in succession as another mode.

== We save the planet from darkness ==

iamlucky13
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:
I expect the biggest challenges for Sofirn in designing/sourcing an appropriate driver that can blend any desired color with RGB and is also capable to use more power for the white LED via separate channel. Once that is addressed, finding the right UI will be the next challenge which should be tested thoroughly by involvement of BLF (e.g. run a poll, build prototypes with different emitters and UI versions for testing).

All good points, although perhaps some of what has been done before can be leveraged. I don’t know if any of those I mentioned early in the thread would be of interest to the group, or if their designers would ok it, though.

If going with a custom driver, then I would say the high end ambition is an MCU capable of 5 channels of PWM. This would let the white channel be N+FET in order to provide a 7135 regulated low, but also be capable of high outputs, and to allow the color channels to be independently controlled.

So if there’s room in the host, for example, 2×7135 + FET and 3 more channels of 2×7135. One minor side benefit is the firmware could be tweaked to disable the FET, and the white LED replaced with another color (like amber or UV) if desired.

I started writing up a detailed concept for an Anduril-inspired UI, but I realized I got carried away and presumed somebody with more skill and time than me taking on a very ambitious project. I saved what I wrote, but am reluctant to post it since in retrospect, I think my expectations were unrealistic.

Lux-Perpetua
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Flashy Mike wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:

Is there any variation of shape and size between the XP-E2 red, green and blue?

With naked eye they appear very similar.

That's a good starting point. Can you overlay red green and blue without using the white LED?

 

Flashy Mike wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:
Do you think peak temperatures will need to be taken into account when driving the XP-E2s with reasonable currents (< 1.5A)?
Depends on the body. My RGBW D4 takes 3.5 Amps with a pretty old 30Q and all 3 color LEDs at max (white LED off). The head ist too hot to hold after 2 minutes.

Alright, the D4 host might in fact be too small to sustain long-term operation on high modes. Sofirn should better be using a host with better thermal dissipation specs.

 

Flashy Mike wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:
Do we need the white LED for color blending (RGBW) or will RGB only suffice?
Don't know - but you will see little lumens with RGB only.

Well, that's the trade off that comes with XP-E2 LEDs and a small host / head design. If we intended to use high performance color LEDs we would need a whole different host design and a much larger budget as these LEDs are very expensive (e.g. Osram Ostar Projection Compact LE R Q8WP for up to 700lm of red light @ 5A). Eventually, it would mean something in a size of a Q8. Another alternative would be using LEDIL ANNA optics with 2x XP-E2 for each color to double the output in an appropriate host like C8F/C8G with 21700 tube.

 

Flashy Mike wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:
If that is a 10624 optic I wonder how much influence the diffraction of different colors have in accordance with the opacity of each single color LED, i.e. will spot and spill have the same size, intensity and appearance on a white wall, so they will look congruent when red, green and blue get overlaid?
It is the stock D4 optics. With all LEDs on max the spot looks pretty nice but there are color artifacts around. I wonder whether tint mixing is really required. I'd rather prefer a high CRI white LED, offered in diffferent flavours.

If I recall correctly, Hank is using the 10622 optic by default. Thus, using the much more floody 10624 could possibly eliminate those artifacts. Are you able to test your D4 with the 10624 optic instead?

 

iamlucky13 wrote:
Lux-Perpetua wrote:
I expect the biggest challenges for Sofirn in designing/sourcing an appropriate driver that can blend any desired color with RGB and is also capable to use more power for the white LED via separate channel. Once that is addressed, finding the right UI will be the next challenge which should be tested thoroughly by involvement of BLF (e.g. run a poll, build prototypes with different emitters and UI versions for testing).
All good points, although perhaps some of what has been done before can be leveraged. I don't know if any of those I mentioned early in the thread would be of interest to the group, or if their designers would ok it, though. If going with a custom driver, then I would say the high end ambition is an MCU capable of 5 channels of PWM. This would let the white channel be N+FET in order to provide a 7135 regulated low, but also be capable of high outputs, and to allow the color channels to be independently controlled. So if there's room in the host, for example, 2x7135 + FET and 3 more channels of 2x7135. One minor side benefit is the firmware could be tweaked to disable the FET, and the white LED replaced with another color (like amber or UV) if desired. I started writing up a detailed concept for an Anduril-inspired UI, but I realized I got carried away and presumed somebody with more skill and time than me taking on a very ambitious project. I saved what I wrote, but am reluctant to post it since in retrospect, I think my expectations were unrealistic.

 

Your input is highly appreciated. Thank you. It's good to know that we have a lot of resources and ideas in place already to make this project a story of success. For now, I'd say we wait for Wurkkos' and Sofirn's first feedback so see what they have in mind and how far they are willing to go in terms of custom-made drivers and hardware design. Maybe they can use one of their standard hosts (e.g. C8-design for LEDIL ANNA) or their new tint color mixing flashlight they just presented on Facebook. The latter one uses a quad optic already, so maybe that's common ground to start with. Due to holidays in China I don't expect any feedback from Sofirn or Wurkkos until beginning of next week.

iamlucky13
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Lux-Perpetua wrote:
For now, I’d say we wait for Wurkkos’ and Sofirn’s first feedback so see what they have in mind and how far they are willing to go in terms of custom-made drivers and hardware design. Maybe they can use one of their standard hosts (e.g. C8-design for LEDIL ANNA) or their new tint color mixing flashlight they just presented on Facebook. The latter one uses a quad optic already, so maybe that’s common ground to start with. Due to holidays in China I don’t expect any feedback from Sofirn or Wurkkos until beginning of next week.

I was a little unclear if anything specific plan is being worked on by Wurkkos or Sofirn or if they were waiting for input and a level of interest. If they are planning on sharing a concept, then excellent! I look forward to seeing it.

What is the tint-mixing flashlight? I haven’t seen anything about it. Is it Sofirn or Wurkkos? Sounds potentially very relevant.

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Actually, the original idea of Wurkkos was to build a new colorful flashlight. As there are a lot of mediocre flashlights with colorful beams out there I recommended to involve the „BLF think tank“ to make this one special, unique and much more useful than any other colorful flashlight before. With Sofirn as their manufacturer in place the odds look promising that with joint efforts on all sides this project becomes successful.

 

However, I think we are right now in between both a plan of Wurkkos/Sofirn and a bunch of great ideas and concepts shared by experienced flashoholics and driver experts on BLF. As far as I have heard from Wurkkos the ideas presented so far were also well noticed and highly appreciated by Sofirn‘s management.

 

At this point of time I would like to find out:

  • what general concept Wurkkos and Sofirn want to focus on (optic design, color mixing, ...)
  • if Sofirn is capable to source appropriate components like high efficiency optics
  • if Sofirn is able to adopt the Dr Jones driver design or invent/develop something on their own
  • if we need to invest more efforts on giving them advices for the right driver design (e.g. linear/CC, buck, how many channels, ideal currents, etc.)
  • if they have any proprietary UI in mind already or if they need our support for a more sophisticated interface like a simplified, downsized Andúril 

Concerning the tint mixing flashlight they seem to have revealed some information on Facebook and rost333 was so kind to share these news here on BLF...

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1556649#comment-1556649

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Alright guys, I got some news from Sofirn (via Wurkkos)...

 

The goods news is, they are really interested in developing a colorful light, still not being really sure about their willingness to do a color-mixing flashlight. Wurkkos is definitely interested to go all the way to make this happen but it also depends on their manufacturer's approval and a proper proof of concept. The bad news is, Sofirn's engineer got somehow confused by the modified Emisar D4 of Flashy Mike.

He apparently assumed this is a commercially available version and then drew the conclusion to drop the idea of a comparable design. I will keep trying to convince them to stick with this idea as there is no such light in existence yet and because this is seems to be the most promising concept at all. Since I do not have direct contact to Sofirn's engineering team the (long) chain of communication is another obstacle to overcome.

 

Wurkkos has shown me a new "rectangular" host design Sofirn may want to use for an entire series of new flashlights. Their first draft of the colorful flashlight however seems to be something totally different which may be in contradiction to what we originally had in mind. This concept foresees that a quad array of XHP35 HD/HI LEDs will constitute the front beam while there will be RGBA LEDs used as some kind of side light. As they mix 12V LEDs with 3V LEDs they intend to use a buck-boost driver, so (depending on the battery configuration) the front array will probably be using a 4p1s boost circuit to drive the XHP35 LEDs whereas the the side LEDs are linked to a buck circuit. Not a bad idea so far as buck-boost drivers are more efficient and flexible than FET drivers.

For reasons of non-disclosure some information cannot be revealed yet. I was allowed to share this picture with you.

 

However, personally I don't think that using colorful LEDs on the side will cause as much interest as the original idea we talked about before. These LEDs would never create a matching beam pattern for infinite color mixing nor would their output yield any useful range without any optic. All you would get is a floody close-range illumination. I strongly suggested Wurkkos to convince Sofirn putting the colorful LEDs underneath the quad optic which should be frosty to create a wide spot beam without too many artifacts. I would also drop the amber LED and use RGBW only. Maybe using a 3V XP-L HD/HI instead of the 12V XHP35 HD/HI could save Sofirn some money and reduce the driver's complexity. I'm not sure about the feasibility of color mixing, though. This will become a real challenge and requires a lot of mutual cooperation between Sofirn's engineering and BLF members as well as lots of testing. Currently, the factory in Shenzhen is more than busy.

I think this rectangular design is quite innovative and handy. Hopefully, there will be enough time for prototype testing as beam quality, tactile handling and user interface are crucial factors for a successful new series of flashlights. I suggested Wurkkos to take some videos to show the prototype in operation and to understand the user interface.

808Hi
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I’m very interested

808Hi

amishbill
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I’m not sure what use-case they are thinking of with the RGB lights on the side. If it’s a battery indicator, I see it as a gimmick. If they’re seeing it as kind of a multicolor COB module for nightlight mode, I can almost see a purpose – but I’m still not seeing it as a valid selling point.

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KawiBoy1428
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I could see these used as marker lamps/LED trit’s… but I would like the option of all the same color, like all green,blue or red…

KB1428 “Live Life WOT

id30209
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This looks nice...

WTB Titanium 4sevens 2xAA tube

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Meanwhile, this rectangular design approach with colorful LEDs on the side has been discarded after some objections. It would have lead us far away from the original idea and it would have never enabled us to get useful color mixing.

They are now working on a new prototype that looks very promising. I hope I will be able to get and share some interesting news with you soon.

candor
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Interested.

G0OSE
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Any more news on this?

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Sofirn still works on a prototype. I guess they’re busy now with 11/11 sales preparations as well as the phase in of SP33 V3 and IF25.

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