can somebody explain MA please

hi guys total beginner, what is all the ma about? does the higher the figure mean a brighter light? why do we use less MA in some lights.?
the leds i use are xre/xre red and xml what is the best ma for a xre in white light? (18650)


mA is milliamps. 1000 milliamps is equal to 1 amp. 500mA/0.5A, 2.8A/2800mA.

Asking 'what's the best for X LED?' is like asking 'what's the best sandwich to have for lunch?' It's a balancing act between battery life, heat, safety for the LED... each person's ideal for any given usage will probably be different. And the maximum safe drive current for a given LED will differ depending on what it's mounted to (aluminum or copper star), how well the host handles the heat load, and on and on and on...

mA is the symbol for milliampere or one thousandth of an ampere.

The ampere is an unit of electric current and measures the flow of electricity through a point in a circuit.

If you’re new to electrical science as it pertains to flashlights, this article might help.

Welcome to the Next Level!


Is usually expressed “mA” (little ‘m’, big ‘A’). This is the abbreviation for “milli-Amperes” which are units of measuring the Current flowing through a circuit. If you say “MA”, it means “Mega-Amperes” which you won’t get to until the NEXT Next Level!

Since LEDs and many other light sources are regulated, in the amount of light they produce, by the Current flowing through them, then yes, you are correct that more “mA” generally means more light. Even a single “MA” produces an extremely bright light called an “Arc Flash”, which is difficult to control. Inversely, using less mA produces less light. Strange as it may seem, sometimes “less light” (and less Current) is actually better.

That last bit is why your question, “what is the best ma for a xre in white light?”, won’t get much of an answer, even from me. That’s your choice, not mine.

(EDIT: DANG, you guys are quick!)

thanks guys didnt reolise it was milliamps! just read your link cheers and will be reading it again and again untill it makes sense!


We actually want to measure watts - but at a given voltage (say 4.2v for charged cell) amps gives a relative comparison.