Cheap flashlights to compare tints

@ZoomieFan, yes the 90CRI one will usually be 20-30% less efficient.

So، at low power levels, you will need to boost power by 20-30% to get 20-30% more brightness.

You won’t really need to though, since you won’t notice the difference.


Yeah, get them all! :slight_smile:
Are you a flashlight salesman? lol.
Seriously I’m fully aware a lot of things are a matter of taste.
Likely also ‘medical conditions’ should be figured in. Good or bad eyesight. It seems that hardly anyone has perfect color vision.
So yeah, I have to buy several to test, but I want at least avoid buying what I very likely dislike….

Understood, but there comes a point I see the diffrence because that 30% makes the difference between seeing nothing and barely seeing something.

I’m very well aware that walking trough the woods is way different than measuring something in a lab with calibrated equipment.
Some on this forum call themselves tint snobs.
Others are brightness snobs.
I guess I’m a runtime and contrast snob.
When I read ‘20-30% less bright’ I’m not thinking about dim lights but reduced runtime.

It’s all about finding a balance between things. You cant have a 10,000 lumen light that runs 5 hours on a AAA cell.
I just keep asking all those seemingly useless details to make a less uninformed decision on my next flashlight buy.
Will it be perfect? Likely not. But hopefully it will be closer to perfect…

Makes me think about another aproach. A general purpose light that’s fine for most tasks. A 18650, 21700 or 216650.
But as an extra a AA or AAA that’s really great for reading labels. Just close range. No high lumens. I’ve once read that blue is best for high contrast (map reading) so for that light I would even consider a blue light. Even if it only has 30% efficiency of white.

Efficiency is only part of the equation for me

I agree that Low CRI is going to be more efficient, but, for me, Low CRI is not acceptable

so my math says
a 90 CRI light has 29% more CRI than a 70 CRI light
and yes
the 90 CRI light will be 29% less bright, for the same runtime.

I wont accept 29% more runtime from Low CRI
since Low CRI is simply not acceptable, for my snobby self

what I see is essentially a direct tradeoff between CRI and runtime… I will take the CRI over the runtime, every time. Thats just my personal preference… Low CRI need not apply :slight_smile:

I wish I had such a strong view as you have Jon. Then I could sleep tonite :slight_smile:
Seriously, I have preference and more strongly dislikes. I can indeed buy a dozen lights and just check them out.
But I don’t want a dozen S2+’s one is enough.
Besides of that I want to learn. Even if it’s mostly useless theory, I want to learn.
And I did learn from the answers.
Done learning? Far from. But at least I know in which direction to look.

So I keep asking……
If my only use for a light would be reading tags like below. Both new and old. What tint or color would be ideal? When I write color I also include for example blue and red.

I would recommend the 5600k Sofirn C01 for those label reading tasks, because the Tint is not too green, not too blue, not too yellow, its just daylight white.

The most important factor is beam distribution, so I would want a beam with no hotspot

imo the Aspheric beam of the Yuji LED in the Sofirn is ideal for label reading, I like it even better than a Mule. I dislike beams with a hotspot for reading labels, because of the need to avoid glare, it tends to force me to move the light around more, to find a balance between the hotspot and spill, in order not to be blinded by the glare, caused by the difference in brightness between hotspot and spill

otoh, outdoors, looking down a path, trail, sidewalk, a beam with a hotspot is much better, it projects into the distance in a way that an Aspheric or a Mule simply do not.

Aspherics an Mules are better for reading, beause the beam is excellent when illuminating a flat surface at an equal distance from the observer, such as when reading a plaque or label.

beam examples:
imo the Yuji LED lens is Aspheric, and I personally find that more useful than a mule.

l-r Aspheric lens, 47s Mule, Sofirn C01

l-r Aspheric, Sofirn, Mule

imo the Yuji LED is fantastic indoors, and at close range
I do not consider it an outdoor walking light, but it does work great for seeing food while sitting at a picnic table :slight_smile:

Besides the little AAA Sofirn C01, I like the aspheric lens in the Aluminum version of the Klarus Mi1c.

I also like the McGizmo Sundrop with High CRI LED, but, thats not in my budget.


I would use a beam with a hotspot to see down a tunnel, but when looking at cave paintings, I would want an Aspheric.

was watching Netflix the other night, like most nights, and noticed these beams:

can you see why I like the Aspheric, top, better than the little hotspot, on right?:slight_smile:

Probably you’d be better of with a TIR.
Recently, i have replaced the reflector of an S2+ with a 60 degree TIR, which gives a nice widely spread uniform beam. (The 4C tint looks great now)
If you want to read tagplates, you do not want a very bright hotspot which makes them unreadable, it will reflect too heavy. (Believe me)
Besides that, only the side will be readable with a bright hotspot.

Agree. And if you want it cheap get them even in parts, you cannhave them probably below $10 per dropin. Less space and waste.

about CRI, the benefit and advantages are mostly about reds

However, I will add that it is also about CONTRAST!
which light makes the orange leaf POP?


compare 325 lumens w 70 cri, to 170 lumens w 90+ CRI
thats almost double the lumens and almost 30% less cri

if you were looking for orange leaves, which one would you want?:

some people dont care what color the leaf is, as long as they can see its there… but for times where showing reds matters, such as cooking, intimacy (Sex is more fun in High CRI), seeing colors other than green and yellow… why settle for low CRI?

note both lights show the leaf… even though the low cri light is brighter, hence “more efficient”, is it really more efficient at finding orange and red leaves… nope

see what I mean?:

here is a typical Low CRI LED, focus on the red bar

here is a Yuji High CRI LED, and a typical 4000k Nichia 219b


oh, and before anyone tells you that Neutral White has better color rendering, it does not… Low CRI is Low CRI

Friends dont let friends buy Low CRI… LOL!

Which one? Not an easy question, because it’s hard for me to make that choice without seeing the same in daylight. The leave looks unnaturally red to me, but then I know some leaves can have a very bright color.
The pole in the background on the 170N looks brighter. Why is that? Has it reflective material on it. The 170N leaves look far more blurred than the 325 leaves. Is that because the camera has trouble with almost half the brightness?

For me, Nichia was a synonym for high CRI. Yuji scores even better. If blue could be ‘fixed’ it will be very close to daylight. Is the difference really visible in real life? I guess the answer is something like “depends on which color you are looking at”.

I must admit I don’t fully understand the graphs. It would be my guess that if all colors bars are equally high the light would be CRI-100.
If so I would expect that all lights have at least one bar being exactly 100. For the Olight that would be R14/green. In other words I would expect relative values in the graphs, but they seem to be absolute values.

Back to reading tags again. If the tag would be the leaves and the letters that red leave then then high CRI would make the tage more readable because the red jumps out more.
I wonder if low cri in some situations (colors) increases contrast. For example I’ve read that blue lights, really blue not just blueish, are best for map reading. Likely because black lines pop out?
Or hunters following a blood trail best use blue or ultraviolet. That while from looking at the picture with the leaves more red would highlight red/blood.

Let’s say for whatever weird reason I want to read a book (just text no pictures) in pitch dark. I only have a small flashlight. Would high cree best for this situation?
Now assume the book has white paper and R14/green letters. Would the Olight give the best readability because it peaks at R14/green? Or would it just turn the whole book green?

I’ll stop (for) now, because I might have started over-analyzing again :slight_smile:

I use P60 hosts and drop-ins for that purpose. Right now I have (6) solarforce hosts with newly built drop-ins that I’m comparing.
I’m searching for my favorite high CRI LED. Currently have several drop-ins with ~4000k high CRI LEDs to compare.
Check with for closeout deals on solarforce hosts. Drop-ins can be made yourself for quite cheap. I use linear 7135 drivers so LED comparisons are done at known currents.
Making them yourself is the only way to control which LEDs and drivers you test.

The Convoy S2+ would be another great option.

Good luck and have fun! There are a lot of good LED options out there!


mine is the 219b 4500k 9080, at the moment

I like warmer when its full darkness, but cooler during the day, so its a good compromise for a multi ambient light environment, with a bias towards daylight.

High CRI is a subtle variable, and some people dont prioritize it, because of an interest in efficiency. But, a more efficient light, is not a High CRI light… Efficiency favors quantity over quality of light.

Let me try to drive the point home… for the OP
I like a flashlight that can show red colored things, I find red food appetizing…

I can imagine that when a mechanic is looking at different colored wires, it helps to see the Red Pop!
Or, imagine Im grilling steaks after dark, would you like yours yellow or pink?:wink:

An abundance of useful information is cropping up here from the ‘tint conscious’, some looking to compensate for vision issues.
As stated, tint and HiCri are severely influenced by the ‘driven’ output, with reflectors and TIR optics playing their roles.
Beam profile, lottery within bins, the reflectance and color of subjects, along with contrast between colors are all important.
A nice tint may be seen from an emitter on a white wall, while it is monochromatic, or unable to separate colors from one another.
A variety of lights and tints for different tasks makes sense.

A ‘Bling and Blind them’ Scorcher torch might have more lumens than finesse.
An indoor use EDC, technician’s, or manicurist’s light has stricter color parameters.
In true flashaholic spirit, all justification to buy more lights.

While I agree I’m usually not carrying several lights. So I want all my lights be as all-round as possible.
But with my newly bought Lumintop AA and especially AAA I learned that an carrying an extra light just for reading shiny metal tags/lables is a good possibility.

I still don’t know what’s best but the picture surely show what I do not want. Very informative!

I’ve ordered a bunch of lights to compare. But not as advised a dozen S2+’es.
I like to test other format lights and never owned a AA or AAA so I bought several in various tints and LED type. (see signature)
Not all have arrived yet but I hope that, while the lights are not from the same manufacturer they at least give me some inside.

From this thread I learned several things, one of those things is that I need more flaslights for testing :innocent:
What’s a asperic lens for example.

I do see another problem rising… I really would like a 21700 flashlight. Because I like compact for a certain cell size I really like DQG Tiny (got a 26650). But, yeah you guessed it, no high CRI versions…

The answer to that is an Emisar D4 (or D4S) Nichia 5000K version.
Compact, neutral, high CRI, great UI, powerful, ramping, quality in every way.
The only down-side is the heat on full output, turbo is like a naval broadside, use sparingly and make sure you aim for the enemy.

It looks like a magnifying glass and produces no hotspot,
left to right, aspheric, TIR, conventional reflector with hotspot

Yeah, me likes aspheric! :person_with_crown:

Would be great for label reading.

Here comes the big question. I now know Yuji is great and aspheric gets thumbs up for me. I think I like NW most (5500K?). I keep my lights in my pocket so it has to be small. 1000 lumen is super bright in my book. 800 pleases me too.

Does a light that combines all that goodness even exist?

The first thing that comes to mind is an Emisar D4 Mule with Nichia 5000k 9050 emitters and an 18350 tube.
The board is screwed down so the TIR could be removed.

From jon_slider’s review

Hand and yellow rock look most like daylight on the NW
The greenish rock on the 219b
The jewelry is a draw.
Is the the 219b performing so badly because it has a very low K?