Cree XM-L3 U4 1B from kaidomain (and Luminus SST-40 N5 5000K from convoy) tested

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djozz
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Cree XM-L3 U4 1B from kaidomain (and Luminus SST-40 N5 5000K from convoy) tested

Datasheet

Hi, I’m not doing that many led tests lately but here is one more. Cree XM-L3 was introduced recently, with an increased current rating of 5A compared to 3A for XM-L2. This seems a major upgrade, let’s check that. In appearance it is different from XM-L2 in that the phosfor is not limited to the die area but spread out over the entire led, in fact it looks like some cheap chinese knock-off. Luckily they added their logo in the corner for compensation Big Smile . The XM-L3 U4 1B led (6500K) was obtained from Kaidomain.com.

For comparison I tested another modern 5050 footprint led as well, a N5-bin 5000K Luminus SST-40 from the Convoy aliexpress store.

In the graph I included the data from my XM-L2 T6 3C test from 2014 and a SST-40 N4 BA test from 2017 to see any progress over the years.

About output bins: I’m not always sure that the bins claimed by the sellers are correct although from these 2 leds they seem plausible. And I came to care less about bin claims over time, the leds that I test are usually the ones that are commonly available for a fair price, and those are the most relevant I think, whatever their honest bin. And a better bin does not change the performance characterisics. Sometimes better bins than I test are available, i.e. Cutter.com.au has special bins sometimes.

The test was done like all my more recent emitter tests, for links to my other led tests, see my sig-line below this post. I described the method in detail in my XP-L test, with two minor upgrades since that should not matter significantly for the results: I used my Integrating sphere no. II instead of no. I, and for the current I used a clamp meter, which appears to measure 0.1A lower than the power supply current-reading that I used for my earliest led tests.

Some further remarks about my led tests: 1) just one led was tested which I hope is representative for the whole batch, reflowed on a DTP copper board (XM-KDlight 20mm),  2) I used my large version II integrating sphere with high quality luxmeter, 3) the output numbers and voltages were measured with the led close to ‘steady state’ for each current, so warmed up and settled, you should be able to get these numbers in a well heatsinked flashlight. Mind that these are output numbers of the bare led, in a flashlight there will be losses from light obstructions, lens and optic, 4) output is in ‘djozz-lumen’ defined as 1/550 of the output of my Sunwayman D40A on high setting, which I hope is close to the real lumen, but at least is consistent over all my emitter tests done in integrating spheres. Last year I checked the djozz-lumen with lights measured by maukka and the djozz-lumen seems 7% to 11% high (depending on spectrum) compared to maukka’s calibration.

Data:

I leave most of the interpretation to the reader, just a few things:

*both leds were tested to death, the XM-L3 died at 11A, the SST-40 died at 10A. I see now that I omitted the 10.5A data of the XM-L3 in the graph (I=10.5A, V=4.36, lm=2004), sorry about that. Both leds died from blown bond wires.
*The XM-L3 U4 output follows the SST40 N5 output almost exact, but with 0.2V higher voltage for most currents.
*The 3A -> 5A increased rating of the XM-L3 compared to XM-L2 has little to do with actual increased current performance, it seems just an upgrade on paper.

Conclusion: the XM-L3 seems not a revolutionary upgrade from both XM-L2 and SST-40 although it dies at a slightly higher current than the others. In general if I look at these single-die 5050 leds since 2014, not much has happened in 6 years Flat Stare

Edited by: djozz on 08/12/2020 - 13:09
Nooner
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Great info.
Thanks for the tests Djozz!

flightless22
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Thanks for the test.

How would you say the color rendition is compared XML2 and SST40. I suppose Luxeon V still reigns supreme?

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thank you

djozz
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flightless22 wrote:
Thanks for the test.

How would you say the color rendition is compared XML2 and SST40. I suppose Luxeon V still reigns supreme?


I have not checked the tint, but knowing Cree it is a middle of the road 70CRI cool white. I did make a photo of the beam from a 40mm smooth reflector to check the Cree tint rainbow, and although it is there a bit, it is not half as bad as what we became used to in the last years with the newest Cree models. Here is the beam, the hotspot a bit overexposed to show the corona, not as nice as a XM-L2 or SST-40 beam, but as said not too bad either Smile :

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Thanks for the test Djozz. I like this one (if it isn’t green).

[Clemence]

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Many thanks for the SST40 and XML3 test. It really does seem like the only new thing about the XML3 is the phosphor application, likely a more efficient/cheaper process for Cree. Since it is not a flip chip maybe there is not a lot of light escaping out the sides to excite the side phosphor, thereby avoiding the offensive tint shift in recent Cree LEDs.

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Sort of what I expected. Glad the bond wires can survive max output, at least. Curious how they will do sliced and diced and if/when other CCT/CRI options show up.. Honestly though I have nearly no real desire for these as is but still very thankful for your testing.

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Thanks for the testing mate.

At higher outputs the SST-40 is at a lower voltage. In a light the SST-40 should out perform the XML3?

djozz
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everydaysurvivalgear wrote:
Thanks for the testing mate.

At higher outputs the SST-40 is at a lower voltage. In a light the SST-40 should out perform the XML3?


Yes, in direct drive it is easier to get maximum performance from the SST-40 than from the XM-L3, for the XM-L3 you have to take extra care to keep the resistances low in your flashlight build, even with struggle you achieve 7A max is what the numbers suggest. But then, 7A is a fine current IMO.
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I hope it becomes available in warmer CCTs than the SST-40.

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ggf31416 wrote:
I hope it becomes available in warmer CCTs than the SST-40.

But even then what will be the gain over the currently available XM-L2’s?
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Thanks for coming out of retirement to do these tests djozz. As usual your work is invaluable (I know you dont agree) in selecting leds. Thumbs Up Beer

 

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

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djozz
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Thanks Steve, I guess you are right that I’m sort of retired from led testing, the procedure has become a bit boring and I’m not as curious as I was before. And there are not as many really exciting new leds as there were a few years ago it seems, progress is slowing down.
But if a really promising new led appears I will probably test it again, i.e. I’m looking forward to DIY LEP components becoming available Smile

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djozz wrote:
ggf31416 wrote:
I hope it becomes available in warmer CCTs than the SST-40.

But even then what will be the gain over the currently available XM-L2’s?

Like, 200 lumens with FET, looks like. Maybe this one will come in 4000K 90+ CRI

Oh wait, it’s Cree. Nevermind. Luminus will probably do HCRI SST-40 in warm bins first.

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Thanks for the review. At last, proof that the single-die 5050 hasn’t evolved much in 6 years. I wouldn’t exactly call it an upgrade from the sst40. I think the 4040 would be of interest for innovation. Luxeon has three market cornered for that with the V, but Osram’s Boost HX is a very interesting emitter indeed.

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I wonder why. The conclusions I’ve seen for 3535 footprint seem to indicate the footprint can only handle so many watts before all the emitters peak. But 5050 I’d expect to see a lot more from. Certainly the XHP50.2 3V has proven how much heat it can handle. But even the SST-40 doesn’t really do anything different than Luxeon V at 4040.

djozz
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Scallywag wrote:
I wonder why. The conclusions I’ve seen for 3535 footprint seem to indicate the footprint can only handle so many watts before all the emitters peak. But 5050 I’d expect to see a lot more from. Certainly the XHP50.2 3V has proven how much heat it can handle. But even the SST-40 doesn’t really do anything different than Luxeon V at 4040.

An explanation for that could be that the heat in the led itself does not spread sideways well and does not reach the edges of its thermal pad as easy as the middle. So if there is a good heatsink under the led the thermal handling is more determined by the die size than the package size.
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Thanks taking the time to test these LEDs and share the results djozz. Being relatively new to the flashlight hobby just about the first thing I do when I encounter an unfamiliar LED is check your tests – they’re a fantastic resource.

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Ooops, yep. This is the full Mouser listing of XM-L3's: https://www.mouser.com/new/cree/cree-xlamp-xml3-leds/

But looks like the 5700K's which were in stock are out of stock now frown

Do you have them, or are looking to stock them at Cutter? It's an interesting LED coming from CREE, but compared to the 5000k SST-40, it's not quite there yet.

That Mouser page has part #'s down to 4000K, though not real yet.

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Thanks. Good info. Just as suspected.

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im advised by cree they are not planning any CCT below 5700k at this time. we are stocking only the 5700 to 6500k
Cheers

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djozz wrote:
Thanks Steve, I guess you are right that I’m sort of retired from led testing, the procedure has become a bit boring and I’m not as curious as I was before. And there are not as many really exciting new leds as there were a few years ago it seems, progress is slowing down. But if a really promising new led appears I will probably test it again, i.e. I’m looking forward to DIY LEP components becoming available Smile

Are you going to test the CULPM1.TG?

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welight wrote:
im advised by cree they are not planning any CCT below 5700k at this time. we are stocking only the 5700 to 6500k Cheers

Sounds DOA to me. Too bad. I’m sure they’ll still make their way into plenty of stock lights though.

djozz
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Funtastic wrote:
djozz wrote:
Thanks Steve, I guess you are right that I’m sort of retired from led testing, the procedure has become a bit boring and I’m not as curious as I was before. And there are not as many really exciting new leds as there were a few years ago it seems, progress is slowing down. But if a really promising new led appears I will probably test it again, i.e. I’m looking forward to DIY LEP components becoming available Smile

Are you going to test the CULPM1.TG?


I’m still planning to.A few months ago I have already tested a sample that Hank sent me (it tested not revolutionarily better than the 3030 version, seemed a low bin to me), and I have one that I bought from Simon that still needs testing. One of these days…
Funtastic
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Funtastic wrote:
Are you going to test the CULPM1.TG?
djozz wrote:
I’m still planning to.A few months ago I have already tested a sample that Hank sent me (it tested not revolutionarily better than the 3030 version, seemed a low bin to me), and I have one that I bought from Simon that still needs testing. One of these days…

I’m hoping it can handle a fet driver. There’s a video on youtube of it running on the A17DD-L FET+1

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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djozz
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Funtastic wrote:
Funtastic wrote:
Are you going to test the CULPM1.TG?
djozz wrote:
I’m still planning to.A few months ago I have already tested a sample that Hank sent me (it tested not revolutionarily better than the 3030 version, seemed a low bin to me), and I have one that I bought from Simon that still needs testing. One of these days…

I’m hoping it can handle a fet driver. There’s a video on youtube of it running on the A17DD-L FET+1


Hank’s sample had 95% of max output at 7A/3.23V, its max at 9A/3.32V/1500lm and was still alive at 12A/3.47V (with 80% of the max output).

So if you run the led with a high drain 18650 on a direct driver while keeping resistances low, the current will almost certainly go over 9A and the led is run over its max, and you might not even notice that because the output is still high.
On the other hand, if you introduce some resistance here and there (a bit less high drain cell, an un-bypassed spring) you might hit the 7A sweetspot while still using a FET driver.

I do not expect the curves of Simon’s Boost HX leds to really differ from this, but I hope that they are a bit better bin, so that you can actually see the advantage of the 4040 footprint over the 3030 footprint.

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Thanks djozz.

Simon is making an 8A driver so maybe I’ll stick with this. These usually run .5A less so probably the best option over a fet

Guessing that driver is 22mm so might have to use my fet drivers in a C8. I’ve ordered 10pcs so will test once they arrive

Texas Ace Lumen Tube calibrated with maukka lights

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JaredM wrote:
welight wrote:
im advised by cree they are not planning any CCT below 5700k at this time. we are stocking only the 5700 to 6500k Cheers

Sounds DOA to me. Too bad. I’m sure they’ll still make their way into plenty of stock lights though.

.
Another XM with 70 CRI Sad
When we can see high CRi 9080 model?

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