My feeling is that it’s only a matter of time until a manufacturer (perhaps Imalent themselves…) comes out with a 200,000 lumen light. Then in a few years, someone will break the 500,000 lumen barrier. Will we ever see a handheld light with a million lumens? Will it be LED or something else?
Or on the thrower side… when will we have something that shines for 5 miles? 10 miles?
It’s a little hard to imagine but I’d have thought 100,000 was impossible when I got my Nitecore TM26 with 4000+ lumens 5 years ago
I’m looking forward to the future when you can walk into Walmart and buy a pesky flood laser at 250 000 lumen for 29.99 bucks. But, yeah, probably won’t happen. Efficiency will certainly improve over time still, and maybe in five years we will have a 300 000 lumen flashlight that’s more efficient than ms18. at least I hope!
I think the practical limits to LED is about 250lm/W. So 250 000 lumen light would require a 1000 watt driver. Which at 4V assuming perfect efficiency means 250A on our batteries. So perhaps 10x18650 or 8x21700 assuming very high discharge batteries. Might doable but very very large and very very hot. I think we might be at the upper range of lumens for now. We need another break thru in lumen efficiency to get there.
If there is a market for it, someone will make it. But that's the question. Is there a market for it? Imalent already has the undisputed champ which I believe was simply a pissing contest with Acebeam. I don't think a lot of people buy lights like this nor do I think it really serves a legitimate purpose unless you're in the minority of people who need extremely high sustained light levels out of a handheld light. So do they need to push it further? If they did, would people buy it? Would MS18 owners run out and upgrade? I can definitely say that I wouldn't. My MS18 is already completely obnoxious. Just my two cents, I don't see a need for 100,000'ish lumens since it just blinds you if there is too much dust or the slightest amount of mist in the air. And that's with an MS18"W" with the warmer color tint. For my needs, anything above the 22,000 lumen setting would almost never be of any use. There's no way I would upgrade.
Addendum: and just to be clear, I absolutely LOVE my MS18W. The point I was trying to make is that it's absolutely "enough".
Yes 100.000 lumens is very tempting but IMHO…I wish the same attention was given to enhancing the running time, better thermal efficiency, better heat dissipation, it’s like the horsepower war in cars it’s great to have a lot of horse power but most of the time it would be better to have a more efficient vehicle. Not holding my breath though
This thread got me thinking, back when i started flashlighting 100lm/W was exceptional at more then a couple watts.
Today the same battery in my Convoy M3-C can give me >150lm/w since the XHP LED is so efficient.
So lets say at 80CRI you can get 300lm/W at many watts.
Tesla has an upcoming 46800 battery. IIRC it said 6x the energy vs the 21700.
So 4500mAh * 6 is 27,000 * 3.7 = 99.9Wh/battery.
Put say 3 batteries together, thats 300Wh.
Now at 2C you can get 600W to an LED at a future 300Lm/W, 180,000 lumens without too much difficulty.
At 4C (15 min runtime) you get 360,000 lumens!
Now bring it back to some sense, 1 x 46800 and a 200lm/W led, 20,000 lumens at 1 hour runtime
I’m not sure if we can equate LED tech progression like CPU’s… where after X amount of time, performance is doubled, and the curve just continues on and on, year after year…
LEP (Light Emitting Plasma) is a form of fluorescent lighting (all fluorescent lights use a plasma). So LEP doesn’t alleviate the heat problem that LED suffers. Unless emitter manufacturers can come up with some other element/compound that can be substituted with much lower heat characteristics, this continues to be the limiter on feasible maximum brightness for handheld flashlights. The Imalent MS18 and others of that scale design really push the limit.
I always come back to thinking about where we’ve been and how far we’ve come with LED & driver tech. For the hand held format, flashlights that can be stowed on your person (holster, pocket, etc.), we’re at a phenomenal place. The flashlights available are so inexpensive relative for what they do today compared to years past. One good sign of that apex is that focus in the community has devoted a lot of time to other factors like throw vs. spill and temperature. Heck, now even dual channel. Someone is bound to try doing quad channel, I’m sure.
I absolutely accept I could be wrong and maybe there’s a company out there who will blow us all away with a new kind of emitter that’s just as bright as an LED size-for-size, but with a good bit less heat generation.
Not that it is like CPUs since Moore’s law does not apply but it does advance.
The XHP-70s biggest advancement may be its size, we may find future LEDs can’t fit 20mm mcpcs. They may end up being an inch wide or wider to give us such excellent lumens. But lets say a 2 inch by 2 inch LED gives us 250lm/W at 50W.
Thats 12,500 lumens, lasting 2 hours on one 46800.
Put 4 of them in one large head flashlight and you have 50,000 lumens for half an hour on just one battery.
The theoretical limit for lumen/watt is about 500~600 lm/W. I can’t find the reference anymore, but we have another 4x to 5x to go, but I doubt we will close to 100% efficiency anyway. That’s why I referenced 250lm/W limit, we may get beyond that, but probably not much more. I did read something about quantum dot emitter being very efficient, but I cannot find any real info on it. But I really could go for 100 trillion lumen light for $9.
What I meant (behind the words) Was that I was hoping for things to evolve like many other things in the semiconductor industry. LEP, Or Laser Emitted Phosphorus is one step in which you light up a luminescent phosphorus substrate with an energy efficient laser to produce high Candelas at the moment. Who knows, in five years maybe the tech allows for equally steps forward in Lumen.
If you can produce a 300 000 Lumen light that’s more efficient than ms18, then you will have no trouble to produce a 30 000 Lumen torch at the same efficiency as the 10 000 Lumen flashlights we have today. That was what I tried to imply anyways. Hoping for the industry and LED/Laser scientists to just take a couple of steps further every year. Soon we’ll get there.
You can’t have a white Led much higher than 300 lm/W. Above that amount, the CRI will have to be greatly sacrificed. The thing to hope for is higher driver efficiency and ultra low resistance.
However, for a 250k lumen and above flashlight, you’d still need to get rid of 50+W of heat which is hard to do passively. Of course, you can always build larger lights with active cooling but at some point, it will be hard to call it a flashlight anymore.