Need help finding an adjustable, super bright LED flashlight

How about one of these.

Howdy and welcome aboard.

Here is a good resource that shows the different emitters and their performance.

This still only tells part of the story though. It’s only showing your lumens without loss from the lens and reflector of choice. Zoomies lose a lot of lumens because they don’t have a reflector. Wasted light hitting the sides instead of going Out The Front. (OTF) OTF is what really counts.

You are not going to get 2,000 lumens out of any XM-L emitters. You will be lucky to get half of that with a reflector light in the stock form. Zoomies get even less than that. But if you really like zoomies and a lot of people do, there are better ones out there, just like the other posters stated.

Another alternative is to mod the one you have. If you have a solder gun around (or know someone who does) you can do it fairly easy, for about $20 and then you will have a light that outperforms any stock zoomie light that is that size.

If you do decide to mod the light feel free to PM me and I’ll talk you through it. (That goes for anyone here that needs help, just drop me a line)

Also If you do want a high performance light I would strongly suggest getting better batteries. The ultrafire ones are a big scam. the mAh rating will not be even close to true and the amps it puts out will be pathetic compared with a good battery. Heck just changing to a good battery will make a big difference in that light. I have seen some lights get a 50% performance jump (as measured by a light meter) just by getting a good high amp battery in there.

Good luck and watch your pocket book, this hobby can be very addictive. Before you know it you will have 20 lights and be talking about what new emitters and drivers are coming out.

Number of lumens is really going to be difficult to guess at.

Tailcap current could be a starting point, but we don’t know enough about the light. The Amazon listing claims XM-L T6, but many of these budget lights are now coming with counterfeit LEDs instead of Cree. The only definite way to tell for now is to take a macro photo of the LED and compare to a known good LED. These fake LEDs are not as bright as the OEM, which is yet another possible reduction, along with the lens losses.

The flashlight draws 0.902A from the battery on high. The open-circuit voltage (aka flashlight off) was 3.634v.

Thanks guys. I think I am ready to try a JAX Z1. Where is a good place to buy it?
And if the amps in my last post help narrow down the lumens, that would be interesting. Bugsy guessed around 200 lumens before I posted the data. I am curious for an update.

A genuine XM-L at that drive current should be about 350 lumens at the emitter, definitely less than 400 lumens. Since your cell wasn’t fully charged, you were pushing about 3.28W, well below the 10W of a well-driven XM-L.

This is an older test on a different bin emitter, but should give you a ballpark idea. Count on losing a fair bit through the optic(I’ve read that over a 30% loss? No hard numbers though…). Finally, if you have a fake emitter, even less output…

I would expect Bugsy’s guess to be reasonable.

They make a OMG version with a XHP50 led, you can find it here Might be able to find it cheaper?

Thanks Keltex.
AllThumbs, I am concerned that link is another fraud, it claims both 2400lm max and 3000lm max (see runtime) on the same page. And as Keltex said earlier, 2000lm is probably not realistic for this size flashlight.

The XH-P emitter is capable of high lumen output, but I don’t think it would be well suited for a zoom light:

When the beam is focused to maximum throw, you would see each of the emitters individually, instead of having a single hotspot. For the best beam in an asperic thrower, you would need a single-die emitter:

XP-L-HI, XP-L, XM-L2 would give you more lumens. A hard-driven XP-G2 would give you less lumens, but a tighter, more-intense beam.

JoshK you can see tables for the maximum expected lumen outputs for assorted CREE LED’s and the different BIN’s at some assorted current input levels over here…

That’s measured at the LED so OTF of a reflector or lens the lumens will be less.

I think the XP-L HI version is meant to be an excellent performer when used with optics? I think I read that someplace?

It’s good to see you again Don. Thanks for the link and info. I’ll have to be careful not to learn too much so I don’t take on a new hobby :slight_smile:

I suggest the Sipik SK-73 or the cheaper and brighter but less consistent Zeus Ray. These are direct drive, though not as low resistance as a fancy DD driver, so they put out a lot of light.
How much of the LED’s light gets out depends on the ratio of the lens diameter to is focal length. Lenses with short focal length have short slide or twist travel and the lenses are thick. If the focal length is very short, such as with some Fresnel lenses, the throw starts to decrease. Otherwise the throw just depends on the active lens area. It is proportional to the diameter.
The Jax Z1 is probably impressive quality, but there are cheaper lights that will perform as well.
If you know how to solder, you could look at the driver of the light you have to see if there are resistors you can bypass. Often they are in a row, in parallel. The one you have has a long focal length, which is also part of why it doesn’t put out as many lumens in throw mode. The thin lens works well for flood, though.

Just read the review in the link to Amazon, and its very interesting how people talk about flashlights.

People really believing the 2000lumens claims.

And that most flashlights are xml, so it really comes down to the other parts of the flashlight (didn't even mentioning drivers)

26650 with 6800mah

I would almost like to educate them a bit...

Maybe OP can do that!

You’re right ChibiM. I never believed it was really 2000 lumens like as advertised, but all the reviews said “Wow, this is so bright”. Then I go mine, and my opinion was “Wow, this is nothing special”. But how do you shop for a flashlight when everyone lies? So I came here for help.

I discovered even after 14 hours on the charger the battery still doesn’t charge above 4.06v. And there was no brightness increase from the extra charge. So I am thinking my battery is a primary concern. I will buy a good battery first and try that. Then I will go with 18sixfifty’s upgrade suggestions and see how much boost I get from them. He recommended this emitter and this driver for upgrading my flashlight. This morning he also recommened this battery, but I’m not sure I want to go unprotected.

Sounds like the cell you have is of dubious quality; maybe the charger too.

That driver does state it has low voltage protection. It dims the light though it does not shut off. That coupled with a good charger that will shut off the charge at 4.2 volts can help protect an unprotected cell. That and common sense, when the light begins to dim. However, so far I somehow prefer protected cells too, though I have a couple unprotected as the protected ones won’t fit one of my lights.

And I’ll add that is a great place to buy from.

You could choose a protected cell as long as it is made to deliver the amps that drive and LED will want. Ask Richard the owner of what he thinks about the driver / battery. He will answer any inquiry you make.

Thanks everyone. I ordered the protected battery and both flavors of this emitter for now. The driver takes 10 days to make, so I thought I would try my luck without it. I will let you guys know how it goes when I get my new stuff installed. Thanks again everyone!

I wouldn’t recommend that FET driver as it would be a crazy amout of heat, and if your light doesn’t have a good solid thermal path, you could end up burning your emitter or even desoldering from the PCB. The FET drivers are for serious hot-rod mods. I’ve not seen the internals of your light, but some zoomies have poor heat sinking, with hollow pills and a bad path to remove heat to the outside of the light.

Assuming a 17mm driver will fit your light:

This is a great general-purpose driver: QLITE REV.A 7135*8 3.04A LED DRIVER - 17mm
At 3A, it pushes a lot of power for a small-sized light. It has a good selection of modes available, including no blinkies and a very low Low mode.

If you would like to maximize throw, you could replace the unknown “XM-L” emitter with an XP-G2. This would give you a smaller but more intense hotspot when zoomed. You would have fewer lumens than the XM-L2, but properly driven, would still be twice the lumens of your current emitter:

Protection is less critical on single-cell lights. A quality charger won’t over-charge an unprotected cell, and a quality driver will have low-voltage protection built in as well. I use unprotected in several of my single-cell lights.

My driver board is a 20mm, and so is the emitter board. I know many people like intense hotspots, but I hate them. I don’t like having to wave my light around and build a full scene in my imagination. Maybe as my eyes get older my opinion will change.

Don’t assume that any charger won’t overcharge an unprotected cell.
Make sure by reading the reviews
Get one that a reliable reviewer (HKJ is the only one) has assured will completely shut off, not trickle charge endlessly.

Then get a voltmeter and check it after it’s been in the charger and finished and make sure it doesn’t get overcharged.
You can always get a flaky one, even when you’ve been told it’s a good model.

You know why lithium-ion cells require careful, precautionary handling, right?
And why you should never inhale if a cell vents.

Keltex, it looks to me like there is a solid thermal path in this flashlight body. I understand the concern, but I think I would want a driver without limits and a turbo mode on a timer. So for 30 seconds you get everything, then it kicks down to the brightest sustainable power level. That’s what I picture.