Essays with TIR lenses on Convoy S2+: XML2 + XPL-HI [Update]

EDIT [10/14/2017] : Link to the experiences with XPL-HI and TIR lenses

I decided to play with some TIR lenses I have and my Convoy S2+ XML2 U2-1A. :beer:
This is not a well structured thread and please do not expect scientific results or measurements, as I don’t have them. :expressionless:
But, maybe this can help some members to go “TIR”d in their flashlights and make some experiences ^:)
And maybe it helps people to not make the same mistakes I did :FACEPALM:

The Lenses

Frosted center, 15º angle (maybe)
This was as lens from a SSteel flashlight I bought and modded. I didn’t liked it in that flashlight, but on the S2+ is not completely bad. It has a narrow beam, hot hotspot and a small spill (compared with a reflector or with other lenses)
Due to its dimmensions and characteristics, it was not necessary to use a holder. It also has a “tube” on its bottom that fits the LED chip inside.

The pebbled (hive) lens, one of my favourites on this light and, on smaller versions, for XPG3 and Nichia (Amutorch AA lights I recently modded). Has a wide homogeneous beam, good to indoor and close range illumination, and maybe good for some headlamps!
A holder (cut in some parts) had to be used to help placing the LED in its place, well centred. The holder, with this lens, does not interfere much in the reflection.

Well, I just noticed later, but this lens was a bit damaged in the bottom, in the LED hole. It can be noticed in the photo.
Despite that, this lens, that does have the adequate measure in diameter, had to be used with the S2+ glass lens. Why? Because it is shorter, so when it was placed there as a gap between the lens and the bezel. On these pictures it had no holder, and that made the centering process a bit difficult.
That, the proximity between the lens and the LED, and the lens characteristics (center with 60º angle) originates the square beam that is seen. Also, with these kind of lenses (“clear” surface, +45º…) small scratches in the lens or in the LED tend to appear in the beam!
Not funny…especially for a messy guy like me that does not treat flashlights well :FACEPALM: :stuck_out_tongue:

This is the same lens as before (3rd) but with a white holder that doesn’t perfectly fit on the bottom of the lens and the LED. It creates a “zoomed” beam, showing the LED shape, because of the gap between the emitter and the lens.
Yes, I could have cut another holder and adapt it to the lens diameter, but I was a bit busy and just wanted to make some experiences. The good and the bad ones }D

Frosted lens! It is a bit similar to the pebbled one but my impression is that it allows to pass more light, in a wider beam, also with no hotspot. It is also good for indoor illumination as it provides homogeneous light around. It may be used to walk for a short range illumination.
I guess this kind of lens will work better in a XML2 T6-4C or other LEDs with Warm White characteristics.

Similar to the 3rd and 4th experiences, but this has a different angle and different dimensions. I couldn’t use it with the holder, just with the glass lens above it. It has a larger hole for the LED and that allows a slightly better beam (compared with the 3rd and 4th). However, my guess is that if I used a holder, the beam would be more round and less square, because the holder fills the space between the bottom of the lens and the emitter.
This kind of lens (45 or 60º, I can remember), with an appropriate holder can be a good option to replace a SMO reflector, as it creates a defined round hotspot and also has some spill. I forgot to take a photo from above :FACEPALM:

This was, perhaps, the most appropriate lens for this light, aside the 1st, the 2nd and the 5th.
I used it with the holder, but as the holder had to be put before scrweing in the pill, I forced it against the driver’s wires. Conclusion, it started making some, the driver spring shrunk and then…it stopped working. Before that, it made that strange blueish beam!
With a well soldered emitter, where the wires do not touch the plastic holder and the holder does not press the wires, this can be a good lens, as it produces a nice beam (maybe 15º angle).
Also, using the holder may help to disguise some of the lens scratches or imperfections.

In lenses that are not frosted, pebbled or with narrow beam, the wires of the LEDs sometimes are visible in the reflection, at least if they are these kind of CREE Leds.

Pressuring too much a holder against the emitter and the wires :FACEPALM:

And that’s all folks. I had a funny time and this error made me re-solder the emitter. I’m also using a retaining ring in the pill, even with a 8x7135 chips driver :smiley: Happy not to have to solder it this time!

Hope this helps some going “TIR”d!

Sounds like you had fun MascaratumB. I dont know whether this is true or not but along time ago I read here that for example a 10 degree optic spread the beam 20 degrees.
Thanks for taking the time to write it up. :THUMBS-UP:

nice testing!

Thanks MRsDNF and Persechini!
Well, indeed I had fun, and I guess it was the first time I did it “in a row”, testing all the lenses! Some are not specifically made for XML Leds, so that was also an issue in terms of the output beams. I only realized that this morning when I went to my AliExpress account to check the specs.
Those that are specific for XML are the ones that really better, with and without the holders. However, particular attention must be the bottom spacing, between the LED and the lens. The holder makes the difference in centering, aligning and producing a better “clean” beam!

About the 20º I’m not able to measure that MRsDNF, I’m sorry, but I’ve seen lenses that produce a really narrow beam, but maybe not as narrow as advertised. And I’ve been noticing that the LED below certainly makes a difference too!

Maybe next adventure is to use these with a XPL-HI from the Convoy S2+ Tan 8^)
Thanks :wink:

I just got a set of TIR optics from Convoy and now I don’t have to do all the testing myself, thanks again XD @MascaratumB

By your posts you and I seem to have very similar taste in flashlights, so I figure you are dying to close the deal on a pair of emissars (D1+D4) or have already done so just recently

Persechini, please note that almost all the lenses from Convoy store are pebbled (just 1 is flat & 1 is stripped), so the output will probably be different from those I’ve “tested”.

Also, some of my TIR lenses were not necessarily appropriate to XML LEDs, what interfered in the output (those shapes and artifacts you can see in the photos :FACEPALM: )
So…you’re free to test them and show us the results to let us know those specific outputs! Knowledge is cumulative :smiley: :GLASSES:

About the taste in flashlights, I guess we have some things in common yes :wink: But I’m not sure if I’ll jump up to an Emisar D4 or D1! I’ve been pondering those, but budget is a thing I must pay attention now!

I’m on the list for the FW3A that may be my first triple (better, my first multiple emitter!!!) . About the Emisars…they’re gorgeaus, they have nice prices but I’m not sure I’ll jump up! Gotta see what money lets me do :slight_smile:

If you want/need, you can PM in Portuguese :THUMBS-UP:

Ah, a triple, yes, sure a must for us types. I got my triple S2+, which was the mod that made me come to BLF. With a FET+1 and now a 30Q it’s a beast. That is why I did not yet pull the trigger in the emissas. But who knows, if I want them to arrive for christmas, I guess it’s almost time to order

EDIT: yes, I just noticed the selection is quite different. I had high hopes for the narrower TIR I got to be the replacement for the reflector, but the Nichia 219C beam is already very smooth on the reflector, so I guess there was no need to replace. But it was fun to mess around, now I can have a single emitter flooder when I don’t need all the power my triple offers. and the striped TIR is just fun. A can’t see a real world use, but they are sure just fun XD

Hum, that sounds nice, the triple S2+!!! Gotta search for the optics for it and the emitters! Any suggestion of some good ones?! :wink:
The FET is the one used in BLF A6 / Astrolux S1?

About the Emisars, after your message I went to page and they are currently sold out :open_mouth:
They are sold in Mountain Electronics, but I don’t know if they ship to Brasil or Portugal … But as I’m in stand-by about that, I’ll keep on checking for updates :smiley:

The narrower TIR is pretty nice indeed but the SMO reflector is just awesome (my opinion)!
I used a smaller TIR with a 219C Nichia in my Amutorch light, but I didn’t like it so much… The pebbled lenses on those just make my day 8^)

For the stripped lens, never owned one, but maybe that can be used in a headlamp :smiley:

If you have any photos from your lenses, let us know how they look like and the outputs :wink: You can post here and I’ll change the tittle of the thread too! I guess a lot of people interested in TIRs would like to see them :wink: Me included!! :wink:

the triple takes a mtn-electronic FET+1 with bistro firmware, which is essentially the same as the blf A6, but with better quality components, at least it’s what I read here in BLF. Shipping to Brazil is a bit expensive, so I made a quite large order for it to make sense (emitters, copper spacer, optics, and other stuff). For small purchases it’s not your place.

As for the striped TIR, here are some pics on my S2+. The beam get a flat shape. guess it’s a thrower in one axis and a flooder in the other, hehe. It’s fun, maybe it would be useful as a bike roadlamp, but that’s the only use I can think of

. .

Eheh, that’s really odd :smiley:
As you said, it’s kind of funny the effect of these lenses! Hum, can’t be sure about it’s use on a bike lamp, doesn’t provide a lot of illumination! It can be just a “funny lens”! Or maybe some people really need that kind of beam :THUMBS-UP:

Thanks about the info for the lenses and the driver! If I go for a S2+ Triple, I know where to get appropriate materials :wink:

BTW, Neal also sells some Emisar, just saw this: :wink:

I figured bike light because if you align it vertically, all light goes as a smooth beam only towards your path. Otherwise to get a good illumination ahead, you’d need the tight hot spot of a thrower that would be terrible for closer range

Bike lights actually align the beam horizontally, to avoid throwing light into the eyes of oncoming riders and vehicle drivers.

An advantage of the wide horizontal beam is that you can mount the light on your handlebars and when you turn a corner, you can see what you’re about to ride into before you actually turn the handlebars. It can be better than a spot beam because the spot doesn’t illuminate the corner until after you turn the handlebars. Basically, you can see what you’re getting into before you commit yourself.

Some people actually mount two lights: a spot light for looking far ahead, and a horizontal beam to light up a wide sweep of tarmac at close range.

Of course, the other solution is that you mount a spot beam light on your handlebars and use a helmet-mounted headlamp to look into the turns, but then you’re back into the problem of accidentally dazzling people with your headlamp.

Thank you both for all the TIR beamshots, by the way - I have some TIRs on order for myself now, to try in my own Convoy S2+ lights :slight_smile:

That is a take I didn’t had a clue about, guess because the only places I may bike at night with no lamp posts are long straight paths. About shinning on other peoples eyes, the TIR optic smooths the beam enough that it may not be any more of a problem than the mule blinkers already are, but only taking it to a field test to find out for sure

Well, I don’t have a bike, I’m a “walker”, but in my city there is a growing number of “bikers” especially at night.
Whenever one is passing I try to see what kind if flashlight (“normal” or bike light) he/she is carrying!
But normally I get blinded by the lights, as most of them probably have reflectors and hotspot beams (and blueish tint lights…).

I wonder if TIR lenses (not all, perhaps) wouldn’t be a more effective way of lighting the path effectively without blinding walkers, drivers and other bikers, and still getting good illumination for the path!

These lights, as example:
Left = Moded light, with XML2 T6-3B + Biscotti 4x7135 + pebbled TIR 60º with black plastic holder (Photo: mode 0,1%, equivalent to a moonlight mode)
Right = Sofirn SP32, CREE XP-L2 V6, SMO reflector (Photo: moonlight mode)

It is sure that Sofirn has a higher Moonlight mode, of course, but I wonder if in the same conditions of luminosity (same amount of lumens) wouldn’t it be more “blinding” than a TIR’d light due to the reflector.

But these are all speculations as I’m not a biker, so I don’t know which are the needs when riding a bike at night.
I just like messing around with these lenses :smiley:

After making some experiences with TIR Lenses on a black Convoy S2+ with XML2 U2-1A, I decided to make the same experiences with the XPL-HI U6-3A from the Convoy S2+ Desert Tan version.

Here are my conclusions, before showing the results:

- the pebbled (hive) lens, the frosted lens and 2 other lenses (narrow beam) produce good beams and/or spill.

- using the plastic holder helps in 1 lens (narrow), is neutral in 2 lenses (pebbled and frosted) and does not fit on the others.

- the white gasket for the LED could only be used in 1 situation, what is bad as it allows to centre the LED and the holder/lens.

  • using the plastic holder requires some careful, as the hot temperature of the wires may provoke it to melt and to damage the plate, led or lens. So, using the plastic holder in contact with the wires is a risk that must be taken into account.

Let’s see!

6 lenses were tested, 1 lens holder was used

1st LENS
This lens was originally from a Stainless Steel flashlight, used originally with a small LED (don’t remember the type).
It produces as narrow and intense hotspot (despite it can’t be seen clearly on the photos) as it has a frosted centre, and has one of the narrowest spills of all lenses. It was the only TIR lens used with the XPL-HI original gasket. The plastic holder was not used, as it was not used the glass lens nor the o-ring.
This is one of the nice lenses to use with this type LED in terms if fitting the led and the head.

2nd LENS
This is the closest type of lens that one can get from Simon’s store. I bought mine somewhere else, but these are the most appropriate lenses for this flashlight in terms of diameter, even if the plastic holder had to be slightly modified.
This lens produces a better beam with the holder than without it. I used two configurations, that are shown below.

TIR + Glass lens + O-ring. No gasket, not plastic holder.

TIR Lens + plastic holder. No glass lens, no gasket, no o-ring.
The beam is more defined and centred, has a better look in terms of output.

3rd LENS
This is one of the worst lenses used. I can’t remember but maybe this lens is not originally made to use with XML2 or XPL-HI LEDs. In the centre it produces the effect of magnifying lens, what produces a hideous beam that can be seen below.
This TIR was used with glass lens and o-ring. No gasket and no plastic holder, as none fitted the light with this lens.

4th LENS
Another bad beam, from a slightly different TIR, that also has the “magnifying” effect in the middle. This effect is not so big as the previous, but it produces a squarish effect (barely seen in the photos, sorry) and some kind of concentric circles, as the Lens #3.
This TIR was used with glass lens and o-ring. No gasket and no plastic holder, as none fitted the light with this lens.

This is another good TIR to use with the XPL-HI, as it doesn’t give problems with the hotspot. This lens produces a floody beam, but a small soft hotspot can be detected in the middle; nor very pronounced, though.
The spill is not wide as an XML2 LED, but it is enough to illuminate a room in all directions.
I used it in two configurations. There is no significant difference between using the holder or not, in terms of beam.

TIR Lens + plastic holder. No glass lens, no gasket, no o-ring.

TIR + Glass lens + O-ring. No gasket, not plastic holder.

6th LENS
This TIR lens has a 60º angle. With the XPL-HI it produces a floody and homogeneous beam, apparently with smaller spill than with a XML2 LED. However, I can’t measure this accurately.
There are no significant differences in terms of beam using or not the plastic holder.

TIR Lens + plastic holder. No glass lens, no gasket, no o-ring.

TIR + Glass lens + O-ring. No gasket, not plastic holder.

And this is it.
Conclusion: XPL-HI can be used with TIR lenses, depending on their type. Attention must be given to the contact with the holder and the wires. Pebbled and frosted lens work well for floody beams; for narrow beams, appropriate lenses must be used (similar to XML2, not those for other types of LEDs, I guess).

Hope this helps :wink:
Best regards!!!

Thanks for posting this up, interesting read :THUMBS-UP:

Thanks FmC ! Hope this helps in some way :wink:

I did the same things with my Prime C2 Pro:

Where did you get those lenses? I used to shop in Ebay but now more and more better quality lenses are available in Aliexpress at very low price. This is one of them:

- Clemence

Hi Clemence! Well, your experience was more well structured I’d say :wink:
I normally make these things for fun, just to try out some beams, so I was not completely accurate in the methods, I must say. Also, not all the lenses are suitable to use with these LEDs.

I bought mine from AliExpress stores. Most of mine were bought in a store suggested by vwpieces, and so far I’m very pleased with them, very professional in shipping (which is paid - lenses are about 0,30€ each and shipping each type of lens is like +2€!!!). All arrived identified according to you order, inside small plastic bags.

I bought mine in different stores. Here are the links:
These are the most adequate for the S2+, as the holder can be adapted trough some cuts. They correspond to the lenses #2 and #6 above:

These are other lenses used:
n.3 -

n.4 -

n.5 (frosted) -

This is one I used on this mod: . This one I use with the holder as the host is larger! It seems the black plastic holder absorbs more the light than the white ones, that seem to reflect more.

I also bought these small lenses for some mods on the Amutorch S3 . The cilindrical holder is not adequate for those flashlights, so I had to adapt the cone holder to them to place the lenses correctly!

These optics are also pretty good in quality. The store seems to be very “recommendable” :THUMBS-UP:

Yup, if you care to spend hours browsing in AE (like me). Then you’ll find many hidden gems in there. After my findings I always try to use anything reflective behind the TIR to slightly boost the low modes, unless I need a 100% clean hotspot.
Thanks for the links, I bookmarked them all for future shopping.

- Clemence