S-Mini comparison, XM-L vs XP-G

I just got an S-mini XP-G today from Bryan at ShiningBeam (BLFuser discount code!)

I have had an S-mini in XM-L for quite awhile, and been very happy with it, so I wanted to see how the XP-G version compares.

First, the Lo-Med-Hi modes all pull roughly the same power, .05A Low, .32A Med, 1.0A high. The low is a very pleasant brightness indoors for both models, but more so for the XM-L

Secondly, the tints of mine are WAY different. The XM-L is very warm when compared to the XP-G, which is pure white. Something to be said for both.

Third, the XM-L has a MUCH bigger hotspot that blends into the spill and lights up a lot of real estate-at close range. The XP-G is a much better thrower.

Usage? I would say if all you need is to light up a standard backyard or 40-50 feet away, the XM-L will do it nicely. If you want a dog-walker light that easily slips into your pocket but can light up stuff 150 feet away, the XP-G is the ticket. Neither one is going to rival a C8, but you can put two of these in you pocket compared to one C8-sized light.

For indoor use, I'd pick the XM-L for its warmth and wide beam.

Here is a ceiling shot of the XM-L (left) vs the XP-G, the whiter, tighter beam

If u had to choose only one which would it be ?

I'm still pretty fond of my neutral XPG S-Mini. The beam is good for balanced usage. Just wish it had a fourth mode with a lower low.

So, Troop:

I use a dedicated bike light on my bars while cycling. It's a nice 700 lumen with a big reflector that puts out a great floody beam that perfect for the area around and immediately in front of the bike. I like to strap a small thrower torch on my helmet for seeing around corners, checking down the trail a bit or seeing what's up around the sides. My two faves for that purpose are the SB P-Rocket and the N-Light ST50.

I've always loved the form of the S-Mini, probably my next purchase. If you had to pick which one was best for the helmet, which would it be? Based on your mini review, I'm leaning towards the XP-G...

I really love my XPG S-mini it's almost perfect. If I did anything to it I would mod the driver because it needs a lower low and a higher high. I think one of my five modes would be perfect .002 moon low, .075 low, .485 medium, 1.025 high and 2.105 turbo. I was considering doing an XML conversion for a while but I love the beam and the throw of the XPG. Since I put a the 5 mode in my Yezl Z1/ Ultrfire 2100 I have been using it a lot more.

I didn't realize the S-mini only had a 1A draw with an XM-L. If that's true then it's surely a waste of a good LED and the XP-G is the better choice in that light. If I did have an XM-L version I'd replace the driver with the new AMC driver from KD.

Tough call, that’s why I bought two!

Between rides, I think I'd go for the XP-G

Johnnymac, the 1-amp draw is perfect for the S-mini. You don't buy this light to burn a hole in the darkness 200 yards away; the reflector size is going to limit the light to 200 feet or so. The big advantage to the 1A draw is runtime, should be able to get 2.5 hours out of it on High, and it doesn't get overly hot.

The S-mini is not much bigger than an 18650 battery, you can almost use it for a keychain light. Well, maybe not that small, but compared to a P60 host it feels like it is half the size and weight.

1A is what the HOST can handle reasonably. Just because the LED can handle 3A+ doesn't mean you have to or should drive it that hard. Not everyone wants the light with the highest lux in a little hotspot. Some of us want larger, more even coverage for our uses. I don't have either but I'm sure I'd prefer the XM-L.

I still would take the SC60 over either even at a premium.

I understand that but I’ve always thought it silly to have a light with an XM-L and limit it to 1.5A or less. If you want run time and cooler temps use it on medium. I like having the option to run an emitter to it’s full capability. If it was a loaner light you were lending to noobs then I can agree with a 1A limit. For a flashy’s personal EDC it never made any sense to me and never will but that’s just my opinion.

BTW, I love my SC60 with it's XP-G and for a diehard XM-L fan that says a lot! ;) It's one of my EDC lights.

It never makes any sense to me to have an output level that I can only use for 5 minutes because after that my hands are on fire. If I can turn it down to medium… then I could have just been on medium in the first place and not wasted them mAhs. :slight_smile: Different strokes, right?

To me, the SC60 is THE best light I've bought (and one of the most underrated). For you amphounds, I'm not sure but I think its driven closer to 1.4A

Seems like I read the S-Mini has almost flat current regulation on high and uses PMW on the lower modes. It's my regular coat pocket light.

I have both and I prefer the XP-G and to add to my liking, it's $5 less expensive. I really love that light.

Yeah, the only flaw I’ve found with the SC60 is due to the soft electronic switch being activated when clipped inside my pocket. I found that out after it felt like someone holding a branding iron to my thigh. Since then I learned to use it’s lockout feature by unscrewing it’s tailcap 45 degrees.

I accepted the fact that I have to use lockout long ago and as long as you don't tighten it too hard its still easy to tighten/loosen one-handed and turn it on/off. The same goes for my SC51w and H51w. For some people its a dealbreaker, but I just look at it like safety on a gun... you just have to get used to it.