With Wurkkos starting to main stream lights with aux LEDs, it seems like there isn’t enough general scrutiny and awareness on aux LED current consumption. Aux LEDs are kind of a bling feature, but it has an impact on how much you have to babysit the light, and which aux mode you can safely use. In general, I wish reviews of lights w/ aux include:
- how much current aux LEDs consume
- time averaged current at different modes of aux LED bright/dim/blinking
- time averaged current with different colors of aux LEDs
- aux consumption relative to idle (off) consumption (parasitic drain)
- is LVP present for all aux modes? Some aux modes? None of the aux modes?
I’ve not seen a single review of lights with aux that really addresses these specs, even on detailed enthusiast light reviews. I might chose not to use certain colors of aux LEDs if they consume too much current and would require too much babysitting. Having too many lights with aux might mean you have to mechanically lock some of your lights because you just don’t maintain the battery on so many high-maintenance lights. But the information needs to be out there to make those decisions. If your answer to high aux current is to just lock out the light, then why get a light with aux in the first place?
Heck, some lights just have straight up flawed aux led implementations because it’s just too high current when it’s in the +12mA range and don’t have LVP on the aux (looking at you TS10!). Speaking of the TS10 - so many people love it because it’s an affordable light that comes in fun colors and bodies. But the toxic combination of low price, high aux current, LVP bug, and low capacity battery format really makes me wonder if everyone fawning over it understands this when they’re buying multiples of them in different color/host combinations.
I certainly don’t think of myself as super educated about the technical aspects of lights, but I feel like there’s a big gap between knowledge and enthusiasm with aux leds. There’s too much enthusiasm and not enough scrutiny, and manufacturers are bringing the bling without putting the necessary engineering to make these aux features practical. These issues also apply to indicator LEDs, but at least indicator LEDs have less room to go very wrong and there’s just a ceiling to how enthusiastic one can get about indicator LEDs.
Here’s some lights with measurements I made. Current measured at 3.6V unless otherwise stated. The D4K is my first and only light with aux LEDs, but I measure my other lights with indicator LEDs because that’s interesting info for much the same reason.
D4K (boost driver, blue indicator, RGB aux)
low (blue): 101uA
high (blue): 818uA
high (green): 820uA
high (orange, red/green): 4.05mA;
high (red bright): 3.58mA;
blink (blue): 112uA; note 1.1mA peaks
blink (orange using red/green): 290uA; note: 5mA peaks
blink (bright red): 260uA: note 4.5mA peaks
LVP: works for all modes (blink, low, and high), set at 2.8V
ArmyTek Wizard indicator current drain
Blinking = 35uA
Sofirn BLF SP36 indicator current drain
Off = 136 uA
Dim = 186 uA
Blinking = 320 uA
Bright= 3.06 mA!
LVP on indicator set to blinking: 3.0V
No LVP on indicator set to bright or low
TS21 indicator current drain
Off: 75uA average
Dim: 197 uA average
Blinking: 184uA average
No LVP on indicator when set to bright.
No LVP on dim.
LVP on indicator set to blinking, 2.90V
TS25 (Production version as of 2022-11-15)
Blue Low: 131uA
Blue High: 3.2mA
Blue Blink: 257uA
Red Low: 206uA
Red High: 6.25mA
Red Blink: 450uA
Green Low: 213uA
Green High: 2.1mA
Green Blink: 164uA
LVP of 2.8V works at all levels (low, high, blink)
SP10pro: No aux, no indicator
Idle = 45uA
Moonlight = 3.5mA
Idle = 54uA
Moonlight = 1.38mA
As a side note, LEDs are so bright now that I don’t really even consider the lumen output of new lights. But man would I love a comparison of different LED indicator brightnesses. I love indicator lights as much as one can love them. But they need more scrutiny. Where are the specs on indicator lumens and CRI!