Hey BLF, longtime forum stalker here in need of some help from more experienced users.
Bought a few S2+ lights as well as a T3, all with 219B emitters (SW45K/SW35). One of the S2+ is showing a weird beam pattern against the wall and I’m not sure what the issue could be. All the other 219B beams were perfectly smooth so this one really stood out.
S2+ 219B SW45K weird beam pattern
T3 219B vs S2+ 219B both SW45K
There’s also a noticeable tint shift from the center of the beam (greenish, hard to see in the photo but it looks “darker” in the image) to the edge, with the edges looking a lot rosier than the center. And it has these ugly “artifacts”.
All the S2+ I received this time had soldered heads, so not that easy to try and disassemble to tinker with it and figure out what’s wrong.
Initial guesses: the reflector is misaligned or the emitter isn’t properly centered with the proper depth? Does a misaligned emitter/reflector result in these “beam artifacts”? Or is my emitter bad?
I need some insights before I break the solder and try to fix it myself. I’m not even sure what the solder is there for - do I need to resolder the back of the pill after fixing it? It’s a pertinent question since I don’t have any soldering tools right now, and I don’t want to mess with the problematic S2+ or cause more issues because of my ignorance.
Nx7135 drivers are usually soldered to the pill, so the pill itself should be removable.
Is the reflector texture similar in all of your lights? Some might have smooth finish and others orange peel one. In my experience smooth ones might have darker yellowish center in the hotspot with Nichias.
Just learned that 7135*8 have chips on both sides so the retaining ring can’t be installed. Previously had 7135*4 so it was a surprise, but I was able to remove the pill like normal.
Beams I posted all have SMO reflectors, and it seems like it might be the culprit since I have that discoloration in the center, almost like a donut with an ugly center. Will test with another good S2+’s reflector if that mitigates the issue.
Thanks for the suggestions, the OP swap can’t be done currently since I have none that fits the S2+. I’ve already had plans to swap an OP in and I’ve got some on the way. For the meantime, I’d like to do that thicker gasket fix - maybe a layer or two of electrical tape might fix it.
I’ve already come to a decision that whatever happens, be it that this issue is fixed or not, that I’ll just get another of these and swap them around (I like the sand color of this defective one), and maybe put an OP or better yet… TIR optics. I’m looking at those cheap Yajiamei ones.
What a great excuse to spend more money to buy mods. Thanks for the input BLFers! Helps put my mind at ease!
You should be able to remove the pill without messing with the solder. They would have soldered the driver to the pill prior to installing the pill in the head, therefore you should be able to remove the pill.
Is there anything on the pill you can use to leverage against? Any detents? Rotate counter-clockwise to remove. Maybe it’s not in there very tight and you can rotate with the spring or the driver itself (don’t try too hard with this method).
It looks like you have an alignment issue. Taking it apart and putting back together would be the first thing to try. DC Fix is very helpful if all else fails.
It looks like the hotspot is not perfectly centered in the corona rings. Unless you are shining (and photographing) your light at an angle. Please look straight into the light (when it is off): is the yellowish square in the middle of the led somewhat off centre?
I support the suggestion of remove and re-assemble the pill. ALL Convoy S2( + ) pills have little slots, so they can be removed including driver and ledboard.
I have no idea what the rings in the beam came from, but you can find out: set the light at a very low mode, look into the light, and slowly adjust the angle of the light so that the rings are directly shining into your eyes. You will see a sudden spike in brightness and just need to identify what part of the light suddenly got brighter--that part would be responsible for creating the rings.
Regarding the dark center spot: I've had the same issue with every 219C and a LH351D, and it wasn't caused by focusing. Some LEDs (especially high CRI ones it seems) have phosphors in which colors aren't evenly distributed, with the outer edges of the phosphor tending magenta and the center tending green. The problem is particularly prominent in a shallow reflector (small height:diameter ratio) like with the S2+; the same LED reflowed into a T2, which has a more elongated reflector, doesn't have the brown spot at all. Scroll down in this thread to see a very bad case of this problem in a Nichia 144A.
I’ve been able to swap the SMO reflector out from my other S2+ and it doesn’t seem to change things. It looks like I got a bad emitter, and after checking as QReciprocity42 suggested, there seems to be some light leaking from the emitter when viewed directly at its lowest setting. Greenish hotspot + rings + not so rosy tint = dud. Also tried shimming the pill from the reflector,didn’t really help.
I have a couple more S2+ coming with 219B chips to compare with in the next week or two (SW30/SW35/SW45), and an OP reflector to try out. If the OP doesn’t work (though I guess it will smoothen out the beam for sure), I’ve also gotten 219B SW45 drop-in replacements. Also considering trying out the new 519A from Simon, still waiting for some beamshots though.
After seeing how good the light looks from a T3 with a 219B SW45 is makes me totally determined to fix this ugly S2+’s beam.
Do you mean a LED mounted on an MCPCB? If so, swapping out is easy with basic soldering tools/skills. Just take care to avoid electrical shorts, e.g. make sure your solder is kept to where it’s supposed to be on the PCB and the blobs are short so as to not touch the underside of the reflector. I recently fried a driver and I’ll now be applying liquid electrical tape to the underside of the reflector on any lights I mod.
You might re-read that, I don’t think that’s what he said.
Also swapping out a SMO reflector for another SMO reflector does NOT help, you need to swap it out for a OP reflector or try using another gasket to improve the focus, which is what causes your donut hole with corona.
Just a suggestion
Check the plastic gasket that should center the LED in the reflector I once bought a few S2+ and one stood out in comparison and I noticed it was the only one sent without the gasket +Simon sent replacements with my next purchase. I recently bought one just like yours (219 B 4500K) and I didn’t notice the same issues you had, but try contacting Simon, he always tries to help.
You might have to wait a few weeks due to Chinese New Year’s Holiday.
Where are you located? there are lot’s of people here willing to help, many BLF members around the globe are willing to send parts etc.
No doubt Simon’s pretty responsive, but I have gaskets in all my S2+ lights. Even swapped gaskets around, no real change.
Thanks for the heads up but I already got my orders in over a week ago and they’re already on their way. I’ll be getting them in the next week, would’ve been more excited about that if the S21D quad 219B wasn’t pulled out and shipped alongside my other lights.
So far the “defective” 219B SW45 I have in my S2+ performs well outside, I’m just avoiding shining it on flat walls and painted surfaces so I won’t see the imperfections lol.
We shouldn’t be this anal about these lights, but we’ve got a forum chock-full of the same guys lol appreciate the help!
Update: my orders arrived last week, and the OP reflector completely fixed my issues with the S2+ 219B SW45K.
As a general recommendation - if you’re buying new Convoy S2+ 219B SW45K lights, get an OP reflector along with it. The OP fixed the artifacting with the SMO reflector, and smoothened out the beam removing the ugly green hotspot in the middle. Alternatively, you could also try adjusting the reflector height off the emitter PCB or fixing the “flatness” of the PCB/emitter seating, as another forum member messaged me that this seems to be an issue with some S2+ 219B units - this would entail reflowing the emitter to seat it properly flat on the board - but if done correctly will enable the use of the SMO reflector without these beam quality issues I was facing.
It’s also surprising to see that the other S2+ 219B CCTs I have (SW30/SW35) do not exhibit the same issues with an SMO reflector as the SW45K - is there any physical differences with their packaging? The newer SW45K S2+ I recently got also has the same issue with an SMO (this time to a lesser extent) so I’m pretty sure it’s only a problem with this emitter CCT/reflector combo. Maybe there’re some package imperfections with the SW45K bin that convoy is currently selling? The rosiness of both S2+ SW45K also differs slightly (using stock SMO), with the earlier light being a touch rosier than the newer one ordered two weeks apart. Still beautiful beams though, just being nitpicky.
Also got an S12 with 219B SW45K emitters - love the extra flood this light provides - and unsurprisingly it doesn’t have any beam issues (except petal overlaps) being a triple and having different optics than an S2+. Also finding myself using the warmer 219B CCTs a lot more than I expected, with the SW30 acting as a perfect nightlight with a diffuser on - lasts all night on moonlight mode.
So there we have it, I’ve gotten my fill of the rosy goodness of Nichia 219B emitters (except for the S21D quad 219B with TIR optics that I’ve patiently been waiting for) and now in the market for M-series Convoys. Shortlisting M21B GT-FC40, M21D/E/F CULPM1.TG, and M21C SFT40 lights for my 21700 cells - and probably a CSLNM1.TG S2+/S21A/M# for a pocket thrower and C8+ lights with different emitter colors for some fun.
Holding off on the L-series, not a fan of huge flashlights. For now.