I wasn’t aware of that but, as you’ve explained it, (the more LEDs the less reflector area) it does appear to make sense.
With regard to the turbo/overheating, perhaps I should explain the intended usage better. My “workhorse” tool for navigating in the mountains at night is a headlamp, which has three functions:
To give strong illumination to the area underfoot, reaching out to 3 to 5 meters ahead.
To enable working with the map, compass and GPS receiver without fiddling with the lamp settings (i.e. having to step down and step back up again).
To scan the area ahead for path traces/trail markings, out to circa 35 to 40 meters.
In order to get decent runtime out of the headlamp, the output is kept on a low to medium setting (although my current headlamp is capable of projecting quite a distance).
The lamp I’m now looking for is intended to supplement the headlamp. It takes over where the headlamp reaches the limits which I’ve set it to. If I’m standing at a trail marker and can see neither path traces nor the next trail markings I switch the booster lamp on at full power and do a quick scan of the surroundings until I’ve spotted the next marking, then the booster lamp is switched off and I revert to headlamp light. The scans normally don’t take more than 30 seconds, so overheating of the booster lamp should not be a problem. As explained in my earlier post, the range is important. Even in good daylight conditions, you’ll often miss markings which are relatively near but spot one which is quite a distance away. I also need to scan a wide area quickly, so a narrow spot beam is not much use to me.
I’ll look into the C8+ format - in fact I’ll look into any format which gives me the range I want as well as a decent field of view (width of beam). The ability to spot the red stripes and make them stand out from the surrounding rocks/vegetation is crucial.
Reflector size tends to directly correlate with throw. For example:
2 lights with the same diameter head and same emitter type.
One has several emitters with smaller reflectors. The other has a single emitter and one big reflector. This is what you should expect to see:
the multi-emitter light produces overall more lumens.
the multi-emitter light has a much wider hotspot.
the single-emitter light has a much smaller hotspot, but that hotspot is also much more intense (it has much better throw).
Basically, multi-emitters are better for up-close, and single-emitter lights are best for looking at something in the distance. Unless you want to illuminate an entire football field at once…. for that you want a really powerful multi-emitter light.
Since you’re primarily looking for distance use, you’re probably best off with a single-emitter light. The D18 with its many tiny reflectors is probably not a good choice.
Yeah I definitely got the feeling you would be using this for hiking. Although a larger, higher output light would get you a wider beam… they are much heavier and bulkier. For your purposes (and since you already have a headlamp) I think something with a punchier beam would suit your needs. It gives you >350m range for quite a while should you need it too. Defintely biased because when I’m outdoors I wear a headlamp and carry something relatively small with 300m or more range as a handheld. That covers about any needs I have.
Here’s a comparsion of the kind of beam you can expect from the two formats:
Regarding the several comments about reflective markings, I think there has been some misunderstanding. The two markings which I showed in the photo (in post #8) are just models, made from paper and cardboard. At the moment I’m making more substantial ones from plywood and they’ll be used solely to test the limits of my existing light system as well as making comparative tests of the booster light I’m looking for. Effectively, they’ll be used to test the length and width of the light’s beam.
Out on the mountain, the “real world” markings are a given - they’ve existed in those forms for decades and vary somewhat from country to country (even sometimes from region to region within a country).
They are made by volunteers using normal acrylic gloss paint. The volunteers have a certain discretion with regard to the size of the markings and the distance between them. If, for example, the lower part of the route leads through a motorable forest road they might just set a marking every 200 meters or so, just to confirm that you are on the right route. If the trail then departs from the motorable road and winds through the trees as a footpath there will be a greater frequency of markings. When you emerge above the tree-line on to open mountain, the frequency of the markings will depend on whether the path is well-trodden - and therefore clearly identifiable (even in the dark) - or whether it is infrequently used and therefore difficult to make out, even in good daylight visibility. In this case there should (theoretically) be a greater frequency of markings and, if the conditions allow it (for example a large boulder or a rock-face), they will make a larger than normal marking which is intended to be seen from a long distance.
So……I don’t make the markings myself and have no influence whatsoever on their size, shape or form. Some of them have not been renewed for years and are badly weathered and difficult to see. You just have to follow what you find in the field. It can be hard enough, even in the daytime and especially early in the season when many are still hidden under the snow.
You mentioned in an earlier post that you had an existing handheld light which allows you to spot the marks at 100m and 70m- if you can tell us what make/model the current lamp is, members here will be able to give you the specifications.
Once you know how the current lamp works between paper specifications and real life performance, ballpark performance estimates can be given for the suggested lights.
The lamp referred to, which I’m currently using as a booster lamp (and which works at 100 and 70 meters), is a Klarus XT11GT. It was purchased for pistol drills, so is obviously not ideal for the use I’m putting it to (combat pistol drills are at 20 meters maximum).
My current (very recently acquired) headlamp is a Fenix HP30R which, if I were to choose to use it that way, will illuminate the Swiss marking (the white/red/white one) at 90 meters, thus rendering the Klarus superfluous - there’s no point in carrying an extra lamp just for 10 more meters.
In practice, I would never use the headlamp at such a high setting, in order to prolong the runtime.
The Klarus throws a very cold light (I think it’s circa 6,500 K) and the beam is not wide enough. The emitter is a Cree XHP 35 HD E4 and it has a smooth reflector. In turbo mode (according to the manufacturer’s specifications) it has an output of 2,000 lumens, a beam intensity of 24,964 cd and a beam distance of 316 meters - so its useful range (for my purposes) is almost exactly one third of the stated range.
Hmm, so the Klarus XT11GT does not go far enough and the beam is not wide enough….
To at the same time have 1)much higher CRI (R9), 2)have a wider beam and 3)further throw, will require a much much more powerful flashlight (like more than 20 times the output) while the Klarus already puts out 2000 lumen, so 40,000 lumen and a huge reflector to get the throw that you want. I doubt that you want to go the size of the hundreds of dollars big-head 8-battery monsters that this inevitably leads to. Me, I do not want to carry that around walking the mountains
I’d recommend opting for something with a tighter beam and better throw. So back to a well-driven SST20 4000K in a reasonable single-cell host.
Hank would probably throw SST20-4000K in a Noctigon K1 if you asked nicely.
Well, maybe…….it’s the search for the Holy Grail, isn’t it?
As a keen outdoorsman I keep a sharp eye on the weight of everything that goes into the rucksack. Every single article is weighed and the weight written down in the packing list. Before final departure I go through the list carefully to see if there’s anything I can leave out. I have no desire to stagger through the Alps or the mountains of Southern Norway with a device the size of a car battery, just to get better illumination.
For an upcoming planned tour I will be doing far more night navigation than normal (several all-nighters), so I’m prepared to take the extra weight and bulk into account. Recharging and reserve batteries also have to be considered, as not all the mountain huts have an electricity supply.
The stated maximum range of the Klarus (316 meters) seems fairly modest compared with the ranges that some manufacturers state. I think I understand how their range measurements are made, but I’ve absolutely no idea what 0.25 lux is in the real world.
Having said that, I want double the range of the Klarus, with good (red) colour rendering and a (somewhat) wider beam - there are different degrees of narrow. The format that I’m prepared to go to (and the price) are stated in the last two paragraphs of post #15.
You maintain that what I’m looking for is not achievable within a reasonable size/weight/cost, but other contributors to this thread seem to think otherwise.
Well, you wouldn’t need anything nearly as powerful as that in the mountains of Holland, would you?…………………(just kidding!).
You can not have it all, including reasonable size, indeed. But still recommend the Nightwatch NS22 with 3000K SST-20, from nealsgadgets.com. It is cheap enough to try for under 30 dollars, and it is certainly still a very nice flashlight if it does not work perfectly for your application.
I used to be a keen mountain walker, carrying my tent and stuff all over Europe, various alps, pyrenees, tatra, highlands, norway. But I’m over 50 now and have a wife and 9 year old son who are not into mountain walking (yet, I hope). I fear that while vacations in the mountains will certainly still happen, it is day trips only from now on.
I’m wondering if adding some red light would help.
Use quad MCPCB wired in series (can’t parallel red LED with white because of lover Vf), use 3 SST-20 4000K 95 CRI and one SST-20 DR (deep red 660nm, seems there is no red version, maybe SFT-20 RA 613nm).
Boost driver to power it from one or two cell. Don’t know how high current will be possible with one cell.
Test different quad optics from narrow to wide to see what works best. My guess that narrow may be enough since with such small optic (20mm or maybe 35mm) beam will be pretty wide anyway.
Also I think TIR would be better for this application anyway. Spill from reflector is useless here and with TIR we get more light in hotspot (hotspot will be bigger but that is what I think is needed here)
Modding some available quad light could be possible assuming there is a boost driver that will fit.