So the “Game of Throwers” is really gearing up these days. So many choices in long range thrower flashlights, featuring many different emitters. It’s really mind boggling for those not intimately in the emitter game. I’ve searched around and haven’t found a summary description of these emitters and their inherent qualities—what differentiates them from each other. Can anyone here point to a source or take a stab at it here?
I imagine there are some characteristic differences in available temperatures, throw vs. spill, voltage, etc. And of course, price. AFAIK, LEP being the most expensive (and more specialized—pencil throw, zero spill). And then of course, what brands are using them in what sized hosts.
I have taken a really big stab at SBT 90.2 as my favorite thrower emitter. I have more than a few different lights with that emitter. Very small size lights, small, medium, large, and very large size lights with that emitter. With just a single emitter, in all different size lights, and also with multiple emitters in very small, medium, large and very large size lights. All of the other emitters are either to floody or too under powered to be my favorite throw emitter. SBT90.2 is the current King!
One light I keep coming back to is the Convoy L21B. Looks like all around, it's an excellent performer for the price, for some edging out the L21A. It has the SFT40 emitter (as I understand it, dedomed SST-40), but does come in a bristly cool 6500K. Ideally, I'd like something more in the range of 5500~6000K. And I don't know if some of these emitters are immediately disqualified for being available only in 6500k. Certainly that's the case for LEP, which I won't even touch at this point (IMHO, the best would be LEP + LED in a combo form factor).
I just read about XP-P over on Reddit r/flashlight and thought it was a typo for XP-L. Looks really interesting. This is precisely why I’ve been hesitant to jump in and just buy whatever light seems to tick all the right checkboxes. The progress seems to be in a massive upswing. I’m thinking of something like an L21B to tie me over now with very little investment, then spring for something more “serious” as the thrower LED progression battle enters the next round. An XP-P at 5700k perhaps?
I can’t recall the reference exactly, but going from 1000 lumens to 2000 lumens isn’t double the brightness as perceived by the human eye. On top of that, mounted optics and tint can also alter perception. For real long-range throwers, I don’t see hi CRI as a priority… because that can definitely alter perceived effectiveness of throw with respect to the ambient light of the environment (daylight, to dusk, to pitch black). A warmer tint is not very useful in ambient daylight conditions (searching in a building with windows, examining components of a car engine, etc.). So a cooler tint, around 6000k tends to be “all purpose”.
Jon_Slider explained it nicely, HERE.
I could not agree more… The MTG02 for all of it’s goodness in a mid range flooder has been outdone by the FC40. Not that I am going to clean house of my MTG02 lights. I do not see the FC40 as a long range led at all, but in the S11 and M21B it sure is nice.
Yeah, I don’t really care too much about high cri throwers to be honest. Would like to have one of course, but that’s the usual flashlight spiel. But what color can you really see at 200+m downrage anyway?
I would love to see a chart that shows all the “high thrower” LED’s in a grid that indicates their die size, required voltage, minimum usable power cells, range of temperatures (tint), driver compatibility (buck-boost, FET, etc.) and typical beam characteristics presuming a standard reflector or a certain depth. Of course, how an LED is housed can make a world of difference. Optics & reflectors can notably alter characteristics. It would be so useful for the “enthusiast” like myself, who isn’t adept at all the latest LED nomenclature, BBL and duv statistics, etc., to have this information for guidance on what to look for in a flashlight purchase.
For example, I had no idea that XHP35 must be driven by 12v. So that immediately eliminates it from being run by a single lithium cell, thus not even a midsize EDC form factor (presuming maximum of 2 cells), unless some sort of buck-boost driver can compensate?
Except their are plenty of single cell xhp35 single cell flashlights on the market already, like Nitecore EC23 CREE XHP35 HD E2 LED Flashlight –1800 Lumens, Using one IMR 18650
I don’t think a chart like what your asking can exist because it would need to be three dimensional.
My best advice for comparing LED’s is to see how the different size emitters all fair in one host size. Something with a good size reflector like a Convoy. From their you’ll be able to see amperage draw, output and beam pattern out of a single host. Each emitter size could benefit from a different reflector, but that’s the part where usually the manufacturer makes the decision for us unless your modding it yourself