Group Buy Now Live - BLF GT90 SBT-90.2 powered 5,000 Lumen, 1.8Mcd / 2600m Super Thrower

The reason for thermal stepdowns and cooling is not about user comfort. It’s about not burning the user and getting sued.

There is nothing baffling about flashlights being round and no active cooling. The explanation is super simple. The round shape is dictated by the reflector. It doesn’t make much sense to machine a square flashlights and put a round reflector in it. Square is harder to machine and has extra weight compared to a round flashlight.

Adding active cooling tends to double or triple the cost of the flashlight and reduces the reliability. It also tends to compromise it’s water resistance. This is why you very rarely see it. Nobody wants to pay the price premium for it.

The tongue was because at the very start of the BLF GT project a few years ago, I was sideways involved and suggested a box design with handle (including a crude design drawing) with the led directly on the radiator, like the COB heatsink above. That design was never followed, BLF was in favor of the classic style flashlight shape, which happened. I’m still grumpy about that because I still think I was right. :neutral_face: :smiley:

About measuring the temperature of your emitters: I’m all for measuring everything, but it is not needed everytime. After following temperatures and performance of a number of flashlight builds, over time you develop a feeling for how to mount your led, thickness of material for heatspreading, and size of radiators. I.e. that 13cm radiator combined with a SBT90.2 on a 30mm copper DTP board at 20A, will be fine (btw it will be bolted to a 20x20x0.3cm aluminium plate which adds a bit extra surface area for heat to radiate away). My educated guess is that after 8 minutes the radiator will be fully heated up and in steady state, about 90degC, by which time the 21700 battery already will be two-thirds depleted so that the current will drop significantly. Let’s see after the build if I guessed that right :slight_smile:

LOL, I still think the box idea is a really good one, just for a different style of light. I have a few ideas bouncing around that would make really good use of it but sadly have not found a manufacture I trust to do it properly and done wrong it would ruin the whole concept in the eyes of manufactures.

Also agreed that it is not necessary to take detailed temperature readings for flashlights most of the time. First off with modern copper MCPCB’s the temperature of the shelf is pretty close to the temperature of the LED itself. Meaning you can get a really good idea of the temp with an IR thermometer on the outside of a light and modern LED’s are generally rated for up to 150c+, so it is highly unlikely you will be anywhere near that regardless.

Basically I have never had an LED die due to age, this is not a real concern for flashlights that would be lucky to get a few hundred hours of use with LED’s that are rated for 50k hours.

No, there are too many other factors to give an accurate correlation.

Correct. The heat slowly flows from the head of the flashlight all the way to the tail. The entire flashlight will start to get warmer and warmer. Then you have the ambient air temperature around the flashlight as well as how much air is circulating around it. There’s both convection and radiation removing heat. If you happen to hold it in your hand then you also have conduction taking place removing heat through your hand.

Anything over 6,000 or so lumen is going to require active cooling, so there goes any chance of a low price.

Lower powered lights like the PowerTac X10000 Destroyer or X10k cost $700 and thats only 10,000 lumen.

The Microfire Challenger H5 was 5,000 lumen and cost about $475.

I think the light closest to 25,000 lumen and lowest in cost is the imalent R90C at about $400.

I did a thread on a lot of active cooled lights here if your interested. It’s not up to date, though. Imalents newer lights are not on there.

Very few lights use external power. I remember the old Olight X6 Marauder, but it was only 5,000 lumen and $400.

Any light capable of 25,000 lumen for just 1 hour is going to require a massive amount of battery capacity. It would almost have to be externally mounted. The only real application I could think of for the light you’re describing would be some type of search and rescue. This is a specialty application so it would be well beyond and above any type of reasonable cost. Not at all something the average flashlight user would need or could afford. It sounds like something a city’s Fire Department might use and a city can afford to pay the big bucks for a specialty light.

To reach 25k lumens, you are going to need to dissipate around ~250w as a rule of thumb (yes you can get better efficiency then this but it requires more LED’s and thus a larger light and less throw as a rule).

People greatly underestimate the amount of cooling needed for long term use. Check out the massive heat sinks that CPU’s use WITH fans and consider that most of those are only rated for ~150-200w. So you would need one of those big CPU coolers with a fan or 3 to have a chance of cooling such a light. This rules out light weight and small size.

Then you have the costs to build all of this, as Djozz said, 2-3x the price is a good guess all said an done.

And after all of that, the power required to actually power this light would drain a 18650 cell in about 2.5 mins, or it would require a 20A+ connection to a car battery (cigarette lighter is only rated for 10A) OR it would require a power brick the size of a xbox 360.

There are always going to be trades off’s like anything in life. If you want high output and long runtime, you throw size, complexity, power constraints and usability out the window (think work light or off-road truck light-bar).

The GT4/GT94 is pretty much the best you can do in it’s form factor for a passively cooled light. Anything more then this would need active cooling and a much higher price tag.

I don’t know. At this point your basically doing a laboratory based test. You can probably attach a probe or IR meter as close as possible to the junction and assume it’s slightly less hot than the junction itself. I still would not trust there is direct correlation between the output in lumens to the junction temperature. Maybe there is, but you’d need to test it to confirm.

With qty 10 of XHP70.2's putting out a total of 25000 lumens, it would use about 150 watts.

Of course running under wall power, we are not talking about a flashlight, but rather auxiliary lighting. It's really outside the realm of what we do here.

I dunno what those heatsinks look like, specially interested in the ones you mentioned for less than $50 -- do you have a link or 2?

Yep, I have considered many of these things as well. As djozz pointed out earlier, besides the technical limitations, the biggest hurdle is cost.

To make a light with a Noctua style heatsink you would easily be pushing the price over $1000, most likely WELL WELL over that since it would be a very small quantity light and thus very few lights to spread the R&D costs over.

That said, Djozz box light idea is the best compromise I have heard so far but still presents a lot of design and manufacturing challenges. I have put feelers out for such a light a few times but everytime decided to not pursue it as the manufactures were just not ready for such a light.

It will be a big departure from what they know and having been behind the curtain so to speak, I just simply have not found a manufacture that I think could pull it off properly yet. That is even before trying to convince them to give it a try knowing there will not be much profit in it (which means it would get even less attention in the design phase when it needs far more).

There are a few lights people have put together on youtube using CPU water coolers for big output, they are really neat but very hard to turn into a practical flashlight.

Interesting stuff!
I barely use my GT90, but i’m still super happy with it. reports a noticeable difference in output between the GT90 and MF05 though, so it might be that in real life the difference is barely noticeable.
Another reason to stick with the GT90 :wink:

K, that thing is huge! -->

The radiator, thin metal design, and the heat pipes should be something that works well for LED's, but dunno if the watt rating is with or without the fans. If is was shaped and sized as something to fit a flashlight, might be interesting.

I'm thinking a massive size head of 120-150 mm or so, with 10 XHP70.2's so 10 mini reflectors. The LED mounts will be fairly close up to the bezel, therefore you got a lot of potential room behind the LED mounting plate to fit a sizable heatsink. Then the cell pack should be rectangular with a handle. So I'm envisioning an old style carry, like a Maxabeam, but more of a flooder than thrower.

A COB is an option, though not familiar with the specs or efficiency (lms/watt). I chose the XHP70.2 more because of the efficiency at lower amps, not so much cost.

Think the XHP70.2 P2 at 2.5 amps each is like 177 lumens/watt, using TA's sig line link to the XHP70.2 P2 output tests.

Well after 6 months of waiting the last of the GT90 kits FINALLY arrived!

I already sent messages to the people still on the waiting list.

At least one has understandably decided to not finish the order so I have 1 extra GT90 conversion available to anyone that wants it.

You can send me a PM if you are interested.

PM sent about extra conversion kit.

these use BUTTON tops , right?

like 15amp VTC6 cells, or……?

Looking for a source for 8 for a friend and his GT90

Looking at this picture, credit to 1Lumen, it seems you do need button top to make contact.

Typical workarounds would be to remove the reverse polarity protection board or else you could solder blob flat top cells. Small magnets may also work, but it is probably not worth the risk of a short circuit.

Yes, all the large GT based lights have polarity protection and need button top cells.

The risk of a short circuit with 8 cells in the carrier is just too high to not have the polarity protection from the factory.

Of course what you do once you have it is your business but not supported.

Personally I just solder blob all my cells, works great and allows me to retain the polarity protection. I will admit I have put cells in backwards before just from not paying attention.

Anyone have a conversion kit to sell ?