Powerful hand lamps with high R9

I remember reading somewhere that hunters used UV lamps to follow the blood trail of a wounded animal. Since I already have a UV torch here I tried it out on one of my model markers. At room distance the red stripe turned black!

Interesting video. The most pleasant overall rendering was from the high CRI 3,500K light, but the 6,000K light had much better contrast.

Maybe I’m on the wrong track insisting on a high R9 value and should instead be looking for better contrast. If I could find a lamp which offered the SST-20 in 4,000K as well as 5,000K or higher in the same format I might go ahead and order two or three with different colour temperatures, since the lamp prices seem to be well below my budget anyhow. If they don’t cost so much, it wouldn’t hurt to do a bit of experimenting.

Blood doesn’t fluoresce under UV light. It appears black, which I suppose might still be helpful in following a trail.

I also wonder if a high R9 value is important for your use. It seems that a white and red marker would stand out in a mostly green and brown forest environment with just a high CRI light.

My favorite emitter is the Nichia 219B sw45k R9080, which tests at very high R9 values. I have several headlamps with them, and even built a small thrower with one to accompany them.

I’m interested to see which lights you end up with. It doesn’t hurt to have a couple backups. :partying_face:

With regards to your earlier statement about 0.25 lux - this is the industry standard illumination level to calculate ‘throw’. It is approximately equivalent to the brightness of full moonlight. This is essentially worthless at distances greater than a meter or so, as the light needs to reflect off a target and back to your eyes.

I think the following is correct, but I struggle with maths!

According to your real world data, I’ve calculated the lux falling on the target at the maximum distance you can see it:

Klarus XT11GT = 24964 cd at 1m = 2.5lux on the target at 100m

Fenix HP30R = 10268 cd at 1m = 1.27 lux on the target at 90m

Unless I’ve mucked up the calcs, these values seem to vary too much.

I speculate the following:

1) Either quoted manufacturer values are wildly incorrect (unlikely from these brands)
2) Subtle change in weather conditions between testing the lights impacts visibility
3) CCT or CRI significantly impacts the distance the marks are visible (unlikely, especially as I believe they are both ‘cool’ white tint)

Using ‘worst case’ value, to get 2.5 lux at 200m requires a light with 100kcd minimum.

The Nightseeker NS22 with 4000k ST-20 would hypothetically illuminate the target at 189.7m. (4000k is more ‘neutral’ than, in my opinion, overly warm 3000k).

It’s not been mentioned yet, and I’m sure you’re aware, but for other readers of this thread- I would caution against mixing cells between a 2*18650 headlamp and a 1*18650 lamp - the cells in the headlamp should be the same voltage and capacity.

Edit to add: I forgot to mention that for ANSI ‘throw’ specifications that manufacturers list, 100kcd is equivalent to 632m of throw.

Thank you very much for doing the maths - I was never any good at it!

It also puzzled me that I could see the target at 90 meters with the Fenix, given that its turbo output is 1,000 lumen (as opposed to the Klarus with 2,000) and its intensity is 10268cd (as you correctly stated), compared to the Klarus with 24964. The stated range of the Fenix is just 202 meters, while Klarus states 316 meters. The measurements were done on the same night and the distances were measured accurately, as I was using a 100 meter sprint track which has permanent markings at 10 meter intervals. I’m waiting for the next new moon to repeat the test and check if I get the same result. Another point (which I forgot to mention and am now adding as an afterthought) is that the Fenix HP30R is supplied with 2 x 2600mAh batteries, but I was able to order it directly from my national distributor with 2 x 3500mAh instead - so that might explain the unexpected result.

I’ll take your estimate of 100,000cd/632 meters into consideration in my search. It also bears out what I’ve read elsewhere, namely that the realistically usable range is the manufacturer’s given range divided by three (as a rule of thumb).

I was aware of the warnings on mixing Li-ion cells among different devices. From a logistical point of view (i.e. the total weight and bulk that I would have to carry), it would be very convenient to have a 2 x 2 x 2 battery system - 2 in the Fenix, 2 identical cells in the booster lamp and another 2 identical cells as a reserve. They would, of course, be marked as pairs to avoid mixing and I’m assuming that there’s nothing wrong with changing them pair-wise from one lamp to another. If I have to use a booster lamp which takes unprotected cells, or a battery configuration that is otherwise different from the Fenix, then that logic goes out the window.

“mAh” rating is just the capacity of the cells in “milliamp hours”. So in general terms those could supply 3.5A or 2.6A for one hour before being considered “drained”. Very unlikely the different cells are increasing the output of the HP30R, but very possible that the Klarus is underperforming. Many single-cell lights using XHP35 HI struggle to hit their rated numbers, since the driver has to step the cell voltage up to ~12V which is especially hard to do with the size of boost circuit that can fit in smaller lights.

Being a layman with regard to this technology (as you’ve no doubt noticed!) I just thought that the larger capacity batteries would give me longer runtime - important in a mountaineering headlamp.

The advice which I’ve been given here is helping me to narrow my focus, although it seems as if I won’t get around trying out a few different lamps in my own specific field-tests. The very moderate prices (and postage charges) mean that four lamps that I’m interested in would cost not much more than half my budget, if I order them all.

I think I’ll stick to the Luminus SST emitters in both the high CRI 4000K and the 5000K versions, so that I can compare the two. These are the choices I’m leaning to:

Nightwatch NS22, SST-20, 95CRI 4000K
Nightwatch NS22, SST-20, 5000K
Convoy M21A, SST-40, 5000K
Convoy M21A, SST-20, 95CRI 4000K (I’ll have to ask the manufacturer if they’ll do this for me, as it’s not available off the shelf).

I was particularly impressed by the presentation of the M21A 5000K by Russian board member Narmattaru. He gave specific measurements of the distances he was beaming to, which is something I miss in a lot of beam-shots. The reach and spill seem to be more than adequate and the 5000K temp. is much more pleasing than the colder beams.

The AliExpress website is an absolute pain to navigate. Gearbest also have the Convoys. Banggood as well - and they know I’ve looked!

Yep, higher capacity - rated in mAh and/or Wh - is just longer runtimes.

The 5000K SST-20 and 40 are NOT high CRI or R9. They’re roughly 70CRI and very low R9. Only the 4000K and lower SST-20s are, there are unfortunately no high CRI/R9/Ra SST-40 bins.

If you want a cooler temp and better color quality the Samsung LH351D is a great option, but fewer manufacturers make their lights with it. I’m sure someone here could build you a light using it if it came to that however.

Maybe these beamshots I did some time back might help?

The opposite building is around 120 meters (around 400 feet) direct ground to ground distance according to Google Maps, so I estimate up to around 150 meters when shining diagonally from my position.

Convoy C8+ with SST20-4000k (from Convoy, Biscotti 7135x8 driver)

Convoy C8+ with Nichia 219C 4000k (from Convoy, Biscotti 715x8 driver)

Convoy C8 with XPL-Hi 7A (3000-3300k, not "high-CRI", Biscotti 7135x8 driver)

Convoy mentions their SST20-4000k and Nichia 219C-4000k are "high-CRI" but I'm not sure how high is their R9 value..

for reference:

ground-to-ground distance based on Google Maps:

how it looks during daytime:

I was aware that the 5000K SST-20 and –40 don’t have the same R9 value as the 4000K version of the SST-20, (although I didn’t realise it was VERY low), but they seem to give a longer reach. I’m going on the assumption that the advantages of a high R9 value will, at some point (in distance), start to diminish and be overtaken by the advantage of a more intense beam. I’ll probably have to do some experimenting to find out where this point lies, and if the more intense beam is more use to me than the high R9. The Convoy M21A with the SST-40 5000K (judging from the quoted review) seems to have quite a long reach.

Yes, they do indeed help!

It was immediately and strikingly noticeable how the C8+ SST-20 4000K made the red subjects jump right out at the viewer (the red wall at 0:05/0:07, the red cars at 0.13/0:14 and the red surface at 0:19). Very impressive. Thank you for posting! The Nichia version also renders red equally well, but I get the impression it’s a bit less powerful. With the XPL Hi it’s impossible to say, as you missed the red subjects!

The test targets that I want to illuminate (picture in post #8) are DIN A4 and DIN A3 size, but the red portions of the targets are stripes measuring circa 30 x 7cm - so it’s a tough call for any lamp at 150 to 200 meters.

That’s a little more than moonlight.

Yeah with LEDs anything that isn’t high CRI at least isn’t going to have even half-way decent R9. It’s the most difficult and inefficient part of the spectrum to produce so many LEDs lack it for the sake of better overall output numbers.

I doubt an SST-40 will out-throw any SST-20 used in the same light because it’s so much larger. The beam will be wider and the spill brighter for sure though.

The 5000K SST-20 will have higher output than the 4000K, but really not by much. I wouldn’t expect the trade off to be worth it, especially if your goal is scanning for bright red objects.

Here’s a comparison of 4000K and 6500K (slightly higher output than 5000K even) SST-20s in the same light:

Somewhat noticeable change in output, but look at the difference in how much those red blossoms “pop”.

Thank you for the advice. I’ll maybe reserve judgement on the 5000K versions until I get a high CRI/R9 4000K in my hands and compare it to what I already have.

I’ve looked at several of those beamshots on the German forum, but the problem I have with them is the perspective. The white rectangle (or box) in the centre is a mere 40 meters away - which is no significant distance in the field, but on those photos it seems very distant. The hedge behind the box is at 55 meters and what is described as “the oak” is at 100 meters - I presume he means one of the line of trees behind the hedge. He has set his lens on its widest angle of 14mm (equivalent to 28mm full-frame ). He does this deliberately to show the characteristics of the beam at close range, but something closer to 50mm full-frame would give a more natural perspective.

Nonetheless, his beamshots are very good for comparing colour temperatures and colour rendering, especially if, as it seems, he keeps the same settings every time, in the interest of consistency.

Still, “man kann es nicht allen recht machen” (you can’t please everyone) - and I appreciate the amount of effort that goes into producing a series of reference photos which help viewers to compare so many different lights.

I haven’t read through TLF much but I assume there are lots of Lux measurements of the lights too, which gives a much better idea of the actual range. Agreed that these shots are good for comparing relative differences of some lights/emitters but not so much for the super high output/throw ones.