Carbi Headlamp with remote phosphor

Saw this upcoming (not so budget) headlamp.

Personally, not a fan of the 45 lumen lowest mode. 45, 125, 225, 450, 900, 1500 lumen spacing??? Too many high modes that are visually not so different from each other and no real low modes which are much more useful in a headlamp. The spot beam also looks ugly green even in their photos. Also not a fan of the yellow color.

More interested in the remote phosphor of the flood beam. I might be wrong but I think it’s the first time I’ve seen this utilized in a headlamp or flashlight. Could be a great solution for hot swapable lens to change color, CCT, CRI, duv on the fly. As opposed to using gel filters that reduce output significantly. Or maybe a solution to further overdriving leds without damaging the phosphor? Thoughts?

Interesting light.
They use xpg3 LEDs. Looks like the wide angle lights use a remote phosphor, but how is that different than just a filter? Does the xpg3 used have no phosphor? Factory dedomed?

There is a royal blue XP-G3.

Yeah. I’ve only read of royal blue and remote phosphor being used in one of MtnDon’s lantern builds. Seems like a good idea for floody lights and headlamps. Wonder what the advantages/disadvantages are?

It sounds like you get better control on tint shift and ability to swap out different phosphor lenses to control CCT.

At 255g for the complete headlamp, it’s pretty heavy.

Mode spacing is pretty bad too. You would think with such a big team of engineers and product designers, they would do their homework and offer better mode spacing.

On the plus side, battery capacity is pretty high, at the expense of an external battery pack…

External packs are actually better ergonomically especially for heavier headlamps. My Spark SX5 is way more comfortable to wear than any of my 18650 headlamps especially for longer periods of use. The problem is waterproofing and durability since the wires and the connectors are usually the first to go bad.

It seems like they sealed the battery so you have to buy from them if you want spares or replacement. This, the mode spacing plus the app suggest their experience and knowledge with headlamps are restricted to petzls and maybe lupine.

I only see 2 guys mentioned.
Small team of engineers then.

There are remote-phosphor lightbulbs where you can peel off the “shell” and use those with blue LEDs.

Might have an irregular curvature (ie, not flat nor spherical) so you might have to get creative if you want to use ’em.

One of my favourite old headlamps was the Black Diamond Zenix IQ, with batteries in the back. But as you mention, wires and faulty connections are inevitable over long term use. Also while reading, and head resting on something, battery in the back is just awful, but for high output activities like running or skiing, battery in the back is great!

Hi Aswang,

my name is Pedro and I am the co-founder of Carbi. Thank you for posting our project in the forum.

I would like to clarify some of the questions from you and other members.

BUDGET: As you have guessed, even the price is not in the website yet, Carbi will not be a budget headlamp. We are working to reduce the cost, but as a startup and with a limited production quantity it will not be so cheap. Other reasons are that we are using only high quality components such as Panasonic cells, microprocessor with bluetooth, temperature sensor, battery monitor, aluminium case, sealing components, waterproof connectors, etc. Our aim is to create a really reliable and versatile product.

MODES: The modes are freely programmable with the App. The spacing in the specs is only intended for reference. I have added a note in the website to make it more evident.

SPOT BEAM: We use a White Cree XP-G3 (5700 K) and a Carclo lens. I am not sure what do you mean when you say it looks "ugly green". Any suggestion will be very welcome to improve this aspect.

COLORS: The lamp will be available (at least) in 3 colors: Cloud grey / Shadow grey / Golden yellow

REMOTE PHOSPHORS: It has been used before but only for low intensity headlamps and with standard phosphors. Carbi uses custom remote phosphors (will be available in at least 2 CCT) and the most challenging part of the design was how to integrate the spherical surfaces keeping the case compact and lighting the complete field of view of the user.

WEIGHT: 255g is the weight for a complete system (73g lamp with aluminum case + 128g battery including 18650 battery cells + 54g headband). We will also offer a lighter battery with 18500 cells.

BATTERY CELLS: Every user have different requirements, so in the model shown in the website the priority was to make ultra compact and lightweight. We will soon offer 3 battery models: Sport (2x18500, sealed, not LED indicators), Adventure (2x18650, sealed, LED indicators) and Explorer (aluminium case, 2x18650, replaceable cells, LED indicators).

WATERPROOF CONNECTORS: We are testing different waterproof connectors to ensure their durability at extreme temperature conditions.

TEAM: The "two guys" in the homepage are me and my colleague (co-founders), but we have worked with a Design Studio in Barcelona, Electronic Developer from Colorado, Programmer, ... So, yes, it is a big team for a startup!

You can answer here or write me an email at pedro[a] for comments, questions or suggestions. You can also subscribe for further updates.

Can anyone smarter than me say whether this blue XPG3 and remote phosphor set up is really more efficient than a more traditional method such as LED+ floody optic or even a simple shallow OP reflector?

5700k is too cool for me for a headlamp, no mention of CRI.

Agree that mode spacing isn’t perfect, and low of 45lumens is too high.

I like the remote battery pack, it’s a shame more headlamps don’t offer this.

Edit to add: IP68 to 20m is impressive, I’d be curious how they prevent the water pressure activating the button…

Better performance compared to what? Everyone use aluminum! :smiley:
If you want truly high performance and better cooling you need to use copper. But its more expensive.

We are talking about the tint of the LED that you can find in the datasheet, tints in the green gamut are ugly. While others in the pink and red gamut are pleasant and more beautiful. Also CRI index is crucial for important work, for example an electrician selecting cables by color.

Some Remote Phosphor Advantages:

  • efficiency is improved by 20%, you can read in this article from Cree,
  • lower operating temperature,
  • longer LED and lamp lifespans,
  • better color stability in terms of color temperature and rendering index,
  • uniform light-emitting surface over a larger area,
  • allowed a customized lighting field (horizontally and vertically), to cover the complete field of view,
  • color output customization using a single type of LED.

Thanks a lot for your questions and kind suggestions.

WATERPROOF: The lamp is not designed for diving. IP68 is tested in static conditions and the 20 meters are just the pressure that it can withstand before water leakage during 1 hour. Minimum IP68 rating is 1 meter and it is up to the manufacturer to claim a higher number.

ALUMINUM BOARDS: For many users not experts in the matter it is important to provide the technical details. We are aware that Aluminum is not an innovation.

MODE SPACING: It is freely programmable, the steps in the table are only for reference.

Each LED board is independently connected to the control board, so it is possible to interchange or upgrade them. For FLOOD it is only needed to interchange the remote phosphors. So we plan to offer different options. It would be possible to choose between warm and cold light, but will you also interested in a mix, let's say cool spot and warm flood light?

Please consider sending a pre-release model of “CARBI” to one of reviewers on BLF!

Looks promising.

Hi Pedro, thanks for posting and answering questions here in BLF. I’m sure a lot of people including me will be keeping an eye on your Carbi headlamp since it’s quite unique. I’m particularly interested on how it would perform while caving. The remote phosphor is also interesting and quite unique for a headlamp.

Good to hear mode spacing is programmable since it was my major gripe. Just to clarify, “Ugly green” is tint snob speak and most people here in BLF know what I mean. I’m sure xpg3 5700K or any tint bin will satisfy most costumers. The higher lumen ratings should also help it sell more. But you should know that there are a few people (including me) who are very very picky with led tint. Especially for more expensive lights. You can blame Nichia for that. Almost all of the commercially available lights come with the (relatively) greenish tint and low CRI and we tend to replace them. But, good to know that this can be done with Carbi.

Do stick around. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of good insights from people here. And I agree with Boro that if you send samples for testing and review, consider sending some to BLF gurus. I’m sure they won’t mind testing your light.

G3s of any sort should never ever ever be used in a reflector. They have nasty angular tint-shift and will always result in a urine-yellow corona around a neutral(ish) hotspot with angry-blue spill everywhere else.

Behind a TIR lens should be okay, as long as it’s well-mixed (eg, wider-angle flood with pebbled front).

And quantity-over-quality to me just screams “cheap!”.

Best to just look into the LH351D or ’B for better quality light.

Indeed, and i’m quite sure anyone will be more satisfied with pleasant high CRI neutral CCT light without a green hue.
But perhaps most customers just don’t know this is very well possible nowadays, and just accept that LEDs are cold blueish white with lousy color rendition.

And an overall satisfactory experience when using the light.