Project Light: Triple vs. Single Emitter High-Power EDC Tube Light?

This type of thread must have come up before but since I couldn’t find one, here goes:

What are the pros and cons of a Triple vs Single Emitter set-up for an EDC tube light using a single 18650 and the RMM/BLF A6 driver (17mm DD FET+7135 driver) at around 5A?

I assume the following:

  1. Triple is for flood, single emitter is for throw.
  2. Both will generate approximately the same amount of heat. I may be wrong about this since the BLF/A6 driver may run more Amps with a triple?
  3. The triple might produce a bit more overall lumens.
  4. The triple will cost more due to the triple LED/MCPCB
  5. Triple build is better with a separate pill, Single emitter build is better with integral shelf/built-in pill.
  6. Any suggestions for improved heat-sinking for Single emitter with integral shelf set-up?
  7. Which one did you choose to build (triple or single emitter) and why?
  8. Which tube host did you use and why?

Any other considerations?

Thank you for your help.

It could be run at a lower amperage/mode where the leds are more efficient versus a single emitter.

6) put lots of thermal grease between heatsink and bezel /battery tube to increase heat transfer away from LEDs. Make sure direct electrical contact between battery tube and driver retaining ring remains clean.

I’m not sure about the 5A limitation your listed. A triple with that driver will draw much more than that.

1) My stock BLF A6 is more floody than my A6 triple. But the triple has a HUGE hotspot with very little spill. (10507 optic)
2) With a high drain battery the triple will produce much more heat.
3) With a high drain battery the triple will have much more output.
5) For a single emitter both are fine.
7) Did both.
8) I prefer using a Convoy S2 because I can use Richard’s larger heatsink.

Been messing with both types…

My 2 cents:

I like the triple as it seems to give better light for real use, and with another optic, it can be floodier or throwier. I have the frosted narrow optic (511 I believe) and it seems to be the best for throw/spill…

The XP-L HI in a single emitter light seems to give more throw if you need a bit more “range” out of a tube light, there is no spot like that in a triple, but you get more over all light with a triple.

With the FET +1 driver, you can pick a battery to limit the upper end if you needed, but you get the nice regulated low end. I built a FET only driver from a AK-47C and the FET low on 1 pwm is about like level two on the BLF A6 driver, both in a triple. So the driver is the key to this being successful for what you want, and with the BLF A6 firmware, it seems to be very useful in a triple. Obviously in a single as well, look how well the BLF A6 has sold……

I think the increased cost of the triple is worth it for me, I like the ability to switch optics should I ever need. The single emitter is great and not going away anytime soon, so just buy the light as a single and then when you are bored, buy the stuff to convert it to a triple…

Thank you all for your input - I will consider everything suggested. A Thorfire VG15 is on the way to me from Aliexpress - since it has a built-in shelf, it will work well for a single emitter build. I like tube lights which have features like stainless bezel rings to distinguish head from tail.

As for a triple, I will need to find a tube host which has a stainless bezel AND a removable pill. Or find a host which has a stainless bezel and built-in shelf AND a compatible RMM spacer.

the convoy s3 has ss bezel and has integrated shelf. i have one with single emitter. i know lots of people have done them with triples. just be careful doing triples in these small lights. they can get really hot real fast if driven to high. 2-3 amps should be fine. if you run a xpl triple direct drive with a high drain batt you could pull 8+ amps easy. you will be playing hot potato real quick. lol have fun and do both.

Why not use a blf x6 for the triple?

Go with a triple XPL HI with narrow optic and use the LD-2 driver with 9-12A resistors. Make sure to hook up the temp sensor and glue it to the pill near the LED. I have done a few small lights this way and it rocks. With a good battery you get 3000 or so lumens for around 20sec until it drops down to med to reduce heat. On low your still getting lots of light and it will run continuously without heating up. Small, crazy brightness with little to no risk of fire or burns…… my kind of light.