"Throwiest" LED?

I'm planning to use the Astrolux X when it comes out but I don't know what driver it uses, so I'll guess 17mm

You are unlikely to get some definitive answers until more is known about the light.
Do you intend to keep USB charging? Replacing a driver while keeping charging may not be easy. Also, removing it will free some space for large drivers. Which is likely unneeded, but we (I?) don’t know yet.
You intend to run it off a single cell, a pair of 18350s won’t do, right?

XHP-35 HI has the generally best tint I’ve seen from any Cree LED; domed or flat. Flat LEDs have the benefit of minimizing tint shit from hotspot to corona to spill in a reflector as opposed to a domed LED. The tradeoff is that they lose some overall lumen output, however I feel that the improved throw more than makes up for it.

You are probably initially opposed to domless or dedomed LEDs because you’ve seen the early 3rd party dedomed Crees with their very Green tint. the factory flat XPL HI and XHP35 HI don’t have that issue.

XPL HI and XHP35 HI have very similar throwing capabilities, but the XHP35 HI does it while outputting more lumens. SST-40 dedomed or thin domed will actually out-throw an XPL HI, and have more lumen output plus less green in its tint as well.

Single 18650, but no USB charging

True, but I haven't really found a 17mm driver capable of running an XHP35 HI off of a single cell, so I can only practically use an XP-L HI

If you are after the most throw check out the black flat LED. It is a domeless LED with 1mm x 1mm size (XPL HI is 2mm x 2mm). You can run it direct drive and it will have significantly more throw than the XPL HI. But be aware it has an unusual footprint; I think it doesn’t have a neutral thermal pad.

Realistically I see 3 options:

  1. Wait for a suitable boost driver and use XHP35 HI. It will provide the highest lumens, but will overheat shortly and need to step down. Once it cools down you can get output again. Such driver should become available sooner than X, but it is not yet, so you never know. Expect roughly $30 for LED+driver.
  2. Use XP-G2 with FET+linear or pure linear driver. It will produce less lumens. XP-G2 will probably have higher throw than XHP35, but not much. XP-L HI will be similar. Little to no overheating problems, but your output will slowly diminish as the battery discharges. Much cheaper than XHP35.
  3. Boost the stock driver, maybe replace the stock LED. We don’t know if it’s a feasible option.

Do note that if you want XP-G2, buy it from
and buy it NOW as this is the last known-good batch and may run-out any time.

And, BTW, why Cree?
You may be better off with Osram Oslon Black. VERY throwy, but few lumens. Somewhat harder to use than other emitters too. EDIT: I see I was not the first to suggest that. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the help, I'll probably go with your first option

Need more output though, might go with an XHP35 HI even though it isn't as throwy

All the answers given in the thread are assuming he is going to drive it at higher currents than spec.
The XP-L HI is still the best “factory dedomed” LED from cree, with XHP35 HI being second and giving more lumens.

By the way, does anyone know what voltage the XP-L HI run off? I haven't been able to find anything on Mountain Electronics or Fasttech's websites.

3.xxV depending on the current.

Thanks. That means I can run it off a direct driver FET driver?

Thanks Agro. I had no idea anyone still had these for sale. Just ordered 5. :THUMBS-UP:

I did not mean running stock.
It’s just that both XP-G2 and XP-L HI have Vf at their peaks exceeding 4.2 V and therefore for best performance need 2s input and a buck driver. Which happens sometimes, but nevertheless is a rare option.
XHP35 HI needs boost driver regardless of how hard it’s driven (or rare 4+s), but few drivers are capable of running it at the peak.

See https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/43868 and https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/43473

You can run it with FET to get about 90% peak performance. With a fully charged battery. At this point it will offer about the same cd as XHP35 HI driven to the max, but with less heat. And far less lumens.


Does anyone know an LED that can run off of 5v @ 2a? I want to use one on my racing drone but I can only use the onboard power distribution board unless I add some sort of onboard regulator.

I would figure that a very small dc dc boost or buck converter that can handle your LED’s wattage would do, they are very lightweight, easy to wire up.

Would you be able to give me a suggestion for one?

What is your RC’s battery pack voltage?