Tiny Thrower Wanted

I am quite well equipped and have a light for all my needs.
My EDC at the moment is either a Olight S1R II or a Lumintop Tool AAA copper,
sometimes I use my backup light which is an Olight S1 mini HCRI.
I also have some 18650 lights for when I need more output for longer periods of time.

When I rummaged around in a cupboard I found an old LED Lenser P3, which was still working.
I tried it out, but the output is quite weak compared to the other lights I own.
But what I adored about that little light was how compressed the light is. Zero spill, only one hotspot when focused.

I’d like that in a pocket friendly size, but with a little more juice.
The obvious choice might be to go for the P3 AFP professional, but to be honest, I don’t like the LED Lenser lights that much. Are there any other tiny throwers out there? AAA/AA/CR123 or USB chargeable, with a pocket friendly bezel and just a hotspot with zero spill?

“with a pocket friendly bezel and just a hotspot with zero spill?”

Throw and small diameter bezel don’t fit in the same sentence. the further you want it to throw, the larger the reflector needs to be.

That said, the Lumintop GT micro will be released soon, it’s a 14500 / AA sized (not compatible) thrower. and the head isn’t much larger than an 18650’s tube.

It sounds like you want a “zoomie” which uses an aspheric lens. That will give you a hotspot with no spill.

You said tiny so here’s TINY. Best bargain tiny around IMNSHO.

And if you can (capable of) mod sumthing this small yer gonna look like the Wizard of Boaz.

Post #2 and so forth……

PS. Just be aware that the bezel’s chromy ring tends to typically unthread easily which will let the aspheric lens fall out.

I put a little dab of Medium Loctite on mine and it’s all solid from there to go, Joe.

PSS. The button on these are also typically hard to push. One of the mod improvement things you can have Budgett Funn with. Butt if you like the security of sumthing being hard to inadvertently activate, as is is The Wiz.

PSSS. These will also run on 10440’s BTW. Butt either way these are so LIGHT to EDC to be rather astonishing. IN RATIO to their dimunitive size their throw is like an MF02 on steroids and their flood is quite amazing as well. Dedomed they really rock.

There should be a continuous sticky standalone modding thread on these IMNSHO.

PSSSS. If ya remove the aspheric lens now ya got a tiny FABOO MULE that gives a great even big spill circle with zero artifacts and that to boot further adjusts its print with the zoom head accordingly. Watt’s not to like fer $2 and change? :+1:

PSSSSS. ‘Course if ya have the moddin’ skillz insert a plain Osram flat white with a 10440 (it already has a boost driver as it also runs on an Eneloop) and well, you’ll be the talk at yer BBQin’ ’hood. :student: :beer:

PSSSSSS. Girlz really luv these things as gifts btw. If any of you guyz score ya owe me. :laughing: :+1:

PSSSSSSS. Ya know sumtimes I really feel like I’m PSSSSSSSing my time away here.

Manker T01 II is fantastic. Bright, throws far and fits in the palm of my hand.

My vote goes to the T01! Nice little light. I am thinking of modding it with that little 1mm2 Osram led for even more throw…

Okay. I ordered one of these. At this price point, it needs to be only about half as good as you describe it :wink:

A wowtac a3s is what you need. I actually like zoomies and even if you don’t this light is awesome. Be sure you get the S version because it is around a 1000 lumen and carries in the pocket well.

Coast has two-packs of plastic AAA inspection lights for under $10 at Home Depot. They’re nice, but it’s just a classic disposable flashlight. Has an aspheric lens so it protects a nice and beam but is not too bright.

I gotta feelin’ yer gonna be impressed - for the bux in its class IMNSHO, unbeatable.

PS. If ya take it apart you’ll notice that the aluminum LED pill has two well-fitting o-rings that are separated enuff to afford a nice and easy even glide in the zoom head. Little touches like this fer $2. Boost driver and all.

PSS. With an AAA Eneloop it weighs a whopping 32 grams and with a 10440, 29 grams.
A nickel if ya never cared to know weighs 5 grams.

For weight perspective yer standard S68 with batt weighs in around 87 grams. Try hanging that off yer hat brim as comfortably.

PSSS. AAA Eneloop weighs 12 grams. AA Eneloop weighs 27 grams. And a AAA alky (YECH!) weighs typically about 12grams. (AA alky about 24 grams.). So the E522 empty is 20 grams or just 4 nickels. :open_mouth:

PSSSS. Corrected Post #4 above to state that it has a boost driver already. I erroneously said that you could install one. Btw this actually puts out a little head heat on even the Eneloop.

What kind of tuning does it need to perform decently?
I suppose a LED swap is a must but I guess that’s just the start.

What kind of tuning does it need to perform very well?

Also, I can’t help by notice that I can have similarly looking lights significantly cheaper:
I know that Skywolfeye tends to mean quality but is it worth paying 50% more for a branded item as opposed to a generic one?
The cheapest original I can find is $1.98

Stock it performs well enough (for most applications) again considering its tiny platform. The fact that it has a boost driver should raise interest in of itself. When you consider the price the driver alone is worth it alone.

With today’s more efficient (VF) emitters the constraint to improve it further require commensurate MCPCB’s at this scale. Instantly today one of course can always dedome XPE and XPG series for more throw at the expense of more lumens assuming one can find the boards.

The challenges going forward for the next level of performance will be to integrate the Osram Flat White series or wattever evolves next. Heat issues won’t likely ever be an issue here. The inherent 10440 batt/current restraints take care of that potential issue. So watt we’re really aiming at here with this platform is maximizing and capitalizing on today’s better emitter VF efficiency/output ratios and taking advantage of a boost driver when ya can.

PS. I also want to say sumthings here - moreso philosophical in bent. The trend nowadays is for ever more lux and lumens.

And also the trend for more multiple emitters crammed into ever smaller platforms. Which is all well and good - UP TO A POINT. LESS weight at least to me is a big issue and the larger batt trends as the 21700’s illustrate add to it. Then you combine multiple emitters with MCPCB’s that are copper-cored and you’re starting to get even heavier.

So it also becomes more crammed in emitters, then sumtimes 18350’s or such to lower the size and weight, then more lumens, then trying to balance the heat, then extend the runtimes/output ratios, then satisfy the lux or lumen junkies (sumtimes attempts at both), the labor involved to develop hi-complexity UI’s, and in the end of it all you get performance butt at a price - figuratively and literally. And btw, has anyone noticed that hi-amp/hi-drain GOOD QUALITY small batts like 18350’s ain’t cheap and ain’t getting cheaper? Again, there is no free lunch.

Offerings like this are consequently getting pricier. Either in outright quality/cost benefit issues on up to minimizing performance flaws out of the gate. If ya want more output/efficiency/reliability then you’re gonna pay for it ala the Zebralights of the world - sooner or later. Even when it comes to BLF GB’s. Reality.

Interestingly at least to me, the trend as it appears to be evolving for BLF GB’s is that one light does it nearly all butt does it really? When ya start getting into the $30 - $50 range how many are ya really gonna mod experiment on to improve things even further? How many here can really afford to not only keep one on them unmessed with to reliably EDC butt also to have another three or four more to swap out different emitters/drivers, etc., on a constant experimental basis?

So the E522 cheap world of truly BUDGET moddable and AFFORDABLE platforms has been regretfully neglected IMNSHO becuz we really want sumone else (i.e., the BLF GB team) to do the hi-output/hi-efficiency modding FOR US. All well and good butt we lose potential great modding talent too as that trend moves along. I got nuthin’ against BLF GB’s btw. Again just that I think it makes many of us defacto kinda MOD LAZY.

IMNSHO evolving smaller platforms like this E522 by improving them with today’s low Vf /high output offerings is sumthing that’s neglected. That said, working on these tiny platforms represents unique equipment modding challenges re skills needed and obtaining components that Vinh-grade modders no doubt can attest to - hence sum tiny custom hi-output offerings cost way more than one might at first expect. For instance look at watt Vinh went through at bringing that little new revamped Tange offering to an enuff reliable point? Smaller doesn’t mean easier to execute right nor necessarily cheaper that’s fer sure.

Well enuff Notta philosophizing as I’m sure plenty here find it ‘so wattish’.

As far as the switch for the E522 I have found that locating a better switch by lego is prolly feasible butt the one light that I have used to swap in a better switch apparently is no longer made. I need to do more digging into that and see if it’s still being made under the radar somewhere though.

PSS. Yeah those are great prices! Just be aware that the source I note above work with 10440’s. It appears at a quick glance that your’s through AliExpress show up to 1.5v (still boost driven though). Altho’ I suspect it’s the exact same one as I link to and so likely 10440 ready as well.

PSSS. Improving on the aspheric lens itself? That’s another alternative component sourcing challenge. Maybe AliExpress? Appreciate sum help on that.

GT Mini/Micro EMisar D1S those are good small throwers.

Which did you order?

I also feel that small zoomies are a neglected category. Would love to see some reasonably priced but high quality offering.
I love aspheric flooders. And I really miss having one one my neck. Ideal would be a compactly made 14250 or similarly sized LiPo. Pretty much any well done 10180/10250/10280 would be great. 10440 would be good as well. A very compact 14500/16340 could do, but less optimally. I have some 16340 already.

I want something starting low, with high output high, nice CRI and warm-neutral tint.
But when a light has aspheric lens it would be a shame not to make it a thrower as well! That’s how I arrived here…

Well, ok, there’s a problem with LED choice fur such thrower-flooder, there are very few good matches being produced and even fewer available for a reasonable price in reasonable quantity.
There’s intrinsic conflict: efficient high output flooder needs a large die. Dome helps and so does flip chip. Thrower needs to be small, flat and no flip chip. Aside from that there seems to be no good market for a high CRI well throwing LED. Osram tried with Ostar Medical but it seems they are discontinuing that line….which was probably a good performer but in package that’s not convenient for us.
My LED of choice would be Luxeon Z ES. Very low Vf would enable small batteries to drive it HARD for some serious throw and output. Lumileds usually has nice tints. There’s CRI 80 and 90 as well. Price is not too high though MCPCB selection is small. Not sure, PCB may cost more than the LED.

I don’t need NiMh so boost is not needed. But modes are - so a new driver is a must.

At the moment I don’t have the budget for such build. I can afford a host. I can use some LEDs I have around, they are not suitable to make it a thrower but would be OK anyway. But a driver would push the cost too high….so I’m collecting options for the future. :wink:

I did some scaling of what Koef3 measured for Luxeon Z ES to lower bins, available for a cheap at Arrow. Do note that his sample significantly exceeded its binning, that may not be the case with other other samples.

  • 3000K CRI80
    • 800 lm, 150 cd/mm² at the peak
  • 3000K CRI90
    • 700 lm, 130 cd/mm² at the peak

Note that the peak in a worse cooled host would be a little lower. Efest 10440 might drive the LED somewhere close to this peak.
CRI80 has similar output and half the intensity of White Flat (which could also be driven close to its peak). Similar output…similar current (actually lower for Luxeon)…so very different throw and tint.

I see that Optolife has some 9.5mm and 10mm AR coated glass lenses.

Enderman uses their lens in Optofire so quality should be good. $7-8 per lens but about $7 shipping.
What diameter is needed?

Using digital calipers I come up with essentially 12.5mm. This includes the flat ‘lip’ area of the lens which allows the chrome bezel ring to clamp down on.

I think that the stock lens is already well optimized. It focuses the stock XPE quite well and the flood for its size is superb. The biggest gains IMO will be from an Osram low-Vf Flat White type emitter. With its inherent boost driver it’s a natural. Yer Luxeon idears are intriguing. Hope you mess around sum and discover a big improvement for this dinky zoomie platform.

I mentioned a lens alternative in the oft chance there’s sumthing stellar out there that would be a worthwhile improvement. Doubtful though. Bear in mind the stock aspheric lens is plastic (expected) which is APPRECIATED particularly here to keep the weight down as low as possible. Durability of plastic is another plus of course.

PS. Btw the E522 is so light and small that ya can wedge it between the top of yer ear and head, zoom out to soft full flood, and ya got yerself a superb close quarter night vision preserving impromptu/emergency hands-free headlamp. That DOES come in handy let me tell ya.
:sunglasses: :+1:

PSS. The clip on the E522 is surprisingly stout enuff and well-made.

Most quality lenses are rimless. I don’t know how does one mount such lens in a flashlight….
and they tend to be glass. For plastic pretty much the only choice is just buying whatever source you can find. If you think the current lens is good - that would require some serious determination. :wink:

Yes, white flat is going to be a big improvement. If you want to use a boost driver you’re not going to drive it very hard. A Synios may throw better (with less lumens).

Frankly, there’s nothing special about Luxeon Z ES. Koef3 tested it:

The results are not awesome, it maxes out too quickly to be a superb thrower LED.
MCPCBs are available from Led4Power. There are Sinkpads as well.
In general it’s not great but the combination of:

  • low Vf
  • high CRI
  • domeless design
  • easy availability (Arrow)

just seems to make sense in this application.

I have less than zero knowledge about the subject but i think for a zoomie thrower the amount of light directed forward vs outward is important too, since zoomed in a significant amount of light gets wasted.