Neutral LED's

Boaz recently got this XP-G R4 neutral from KaiDomain and liked it, so he is wanting to see what else is out there in the world of neutrals. I thought I'd review some of my experiences. Others can add theirs.

I keep buying the KD one. I put one in my Ultrafire X1, then I gave away two Solarforce L2i's with that LED to my Mom and brother. And I put another one in my AKOray K-106. Some of the ones I've gotten lately from KD don't seem quite as neutral, but maybe I'm just getting used to it.

Ultrafire X1 (mods after the main review):

I also got two 5B1 XP-G R4's on a Cutter Electronics group buy at CPF that I really liked, putting one in the stainless C3 clone, Aurora SH-035 and the other in a P60 with Shiningbeam's 1.4A 4x7135 driver. Also a favorite.

Neutral XP-G R4 drop-in:

In another Cutter group buy at CPF recently I got two neutral XM-L's in a 5A3 tint with a T4 flux bin that really does look kind of brown, but not orange which I don't like. The 5B1 seems a little more yellow-ish, so I like it better. I'm hoping to put the other XM-L in a Ultrafire G4 (actually seems more similar to a C8) from tmart.

Neutral XM-L drop-in:

I have one of these in a p60 dropin and its the absolute best tint I've ever seen. If only I knew which tint it was. :)

Just about every light I have is neutral or on its way to being neutral.

4000K would put it in a bin of 5. What kind of reflector did you use? Or I guess you use an optic with that?

I've got the

  • KD 4B neutral XP-G
  • KD 5A neutral XR-E
  • Cutter 5C1 neutral XP-G
  • Cutter 5 XM-L
  • Generic *warm* emitter for my headlamp

Overall I cant use cool tints anymore. The colour rendition of the neutral tints is far superior to the cool tints, and outdoors, the supposed loss of brightness is more than compensated for by the increase in colour rendition, which to me increases the usability of the light. As Don says, depth perception is far improved. An example is when you shine the light at a tree, with neutral tints, you see the leaves in green, the branches in brown. With a cool tint, it tents to all just appear as shads of grey, so you see it more as just the 'tree'.

But as always, tints are something that can only be understood by seeing them. You cant say you only like cool white lights because you like really "pure" white, having never actually used a neutral/warm emitter because of the way the eye has its own white balancing system. After using my "warm white" led light strip (which I describe as being pink), my eyes adjusted to that and it looked normal "pure white" so to speak. When I then turned on my halogen lamp, first thought was . OMG this thing has such a green tint!

For a "White" tint, chose a tint closest to the BB (black body) line. This line represents the most balanced light output without any green or pink tendencies. With reference to the cree colour chart, anything above the line is greenish, anything below the line is pinkish. left and right movements determine the colour temperature. With this in mind, the nicest tints I have is the 5C1 - which is smack bang on the BBL. The 5A I have from KD is below the line, and to me appears quite pinkish, on the other hand, the 4B is above the line, so it appears greenish!

$1.50 optic from LEDSupply

It's by far my favorite dropin.

So i can try as many neutrals and maybe a few warms as possible .. like okwchin said it's subjective and you have to see it to know what it really is .

I also have one LED strip (335-based SMD side firing emitters) in which it is warm white but looks a bit greenish. This explains it.

Another thing to note regarding warm white is that the eyes/brain better identifies and feels that it is natural if it is low in intensity and warm white. If it is high intensity in nature then it is more natural if it has a higher colour temp. This is hardwired into us, there is no 6000K sunset and there is no 2500K noon sun. In lighting our homes, if you want a bright environment then use 6000K, vice versa goes for a cosy environment you use lower colour temps.

But one thing about HIDs is that for cool white the CRI is still pretty high compared to the high powered LEDs.

My picture upload keeps on crashing my browser... sigh...

Anyways... What I was saying in short.... HIDs are pure radiation sources so have practically perfect spectral outputs. White LEDs are blue single spectrum light sources with phosphors to produce other colours, and so far have not been able to create anywhere near the spectral output quality. Have a look at the XP-G spectral graph. Were talking MASSIVE peaks and troughs in the output!! missing out on huge chunks of colour!

I have been playing around with some neutrals and I like them. Shiningbeam has XM-L 1D tints in 14 and 16mm.**NEW**-Cree-XM-dsh-L-T6/Detail**NEW**-Cree-XM-dsh-L-T6/Detail

On left XM-L 1D on the right XM-L 1A

Its definitely warmer than the 1A, Im not sure that I would call 1D a neutral though? Still very much in the 6500K region but compared to a 4/5 tint its not really neutral.

You are correct the 1D looks absolutely blue compared to the 5C.

Left is a XR-E Q3 the middle is the XM-L 1D on right is a XR-E Q3-5C

Left is the XM-L 1D on right is a XR-E Q3-5C

5C tint rules .

great thread!

human sight adapts nicely to diffent white

but nw gives you so much better colors that i can't wait for my t4 5a3

Ahhh the chart that we refer to on a daily basis! Ive probably uploaded it more than a couple times somewhere on tinypic too lol!

5B1, 5C1 - most awesome tints I've ever seen

This is hardwired into us, there is no 6000K sunset and there is no 2500K noon sun.

Well, the noon sun is ~6000K. It's just weird to see sunlight when it's otherwise dark, so sunrise/set color looks more natural.