XP-L2 emitter - Are the spots on the die normal?

I was taking a close-up look at an XP-L2 Easywhite high CRI emitter and was wondering if anyone else noticed that the illuminated die on these new emitters does not look as “smooth” as in previous Cree emitters.

You can see in this image that there are random areas of dark spots on the die. This is at very low current so that the die barely turns on. Of course, you would not notice this at higher levels of brightness.

I think this is due to the way the phosphor is deposited as can be seen in this Cree image from their website. It looks like the phosphor has more of a rocky gravel looking surface versus a smoother surface as in previous CREE emitters.

Yeah, I think even the G3 has that mottled appearance.

…and one of the reasons that the dedome trick does not work with the newer Cree’s.

Yes, perfectly normal. Same for XP-G3 as well.