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Thread: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

  1. #1
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    This may be the 1xAA LED light I've been waiting for. The exterior of the Pro looks like the normal Proton, except its a bit taller due to the reflector in the bezel. The lobster-claw attachment that comes with the normal Proton is no longer part of the Pro package. The Pro comes with just a small split-ring, already installed. I've done no runtime testing on the Pro as of this time. The single Cree LED is centered in the reflector, with a small cutout to let the RED light come out the front. The RED LED is actually buried underneath, behind the reflector. It makes for non-true circle beam of the RED light, however its only noticeable if you're looking for it and it has not effect on using the light.

    To me, this light is fantastic. I've always loved the UI (wouldn't mind a couple tweaks specific to my needs) of the LRI product line. The beam is looks like your typical Cree-based emitter, however, there's something about this little power-house that just makes it seem different. While this light is definitely more of a thrower than the flood-type light produced by the standard Proton, the Pro's beam is extremely useful. While being a great thrower, you don't lose as much spill/flood as you'd expect.

    Not only is the Proton Pro a keeper for me, it's going to be a light to replace quite a few other lights. For those wanting a very useful, small, powerful light in a 1xAA form-factor, take a look at the new LRI Proton Pro.














    Edit #1: Here's the 1st runtime graph on one of my units. This shows a Ray-o-Vac alkaline vs. an Energizer E2 lithium. For each test, the light was started at full brightness.




    Edit #2: Here's a beamshot, comparing a 6xNichia Proton to the new 1xCree Proton Pro. Each picture was done in auto-exposure, in a partially lit room, with both lights on high. The lights were positioned about 4-feet from the off-white wall. The 1st shot, the picture was taken from a foot behind the lights. The 2nd photo was taken from three feet behind the lights. Each photo appears a bit more-blue than what my eyes really see. Like I said, I had the camera in auto-mode, with no flash.





    I'll let you guys figure out which one is which. As you can see, while we say the Pro has more throw, you can not really say that it's lacking in flood or spill light. It's extremely useful.


    Edit #3: I always like to do runtime of multiple units, to see the differences between them. I'm not about to measure all (5) of my Proton Pro's, but here's the comparision between (2) of the units. As will all advanced lights such as the Pro, the LED as well as the circuit allows for differences in runtime/brightness. In addition, whose to say that power is consistant amongst batteries also.




    Edit #4: As requested, here's an updated runtime chart that shows the comparative differences between a REV1 Proton with the new Proton Pro.




    Edit #5: There are not the best shots I've ever taken, but this somewhat shows what's inside the bezel. Be warned, if you unscrew the bezel ring, it's a PITA to get back on. There's a O-Ring on the non-ring part that you must clear, by 1st pushing the bezel ring back on, then screwing.






    Edit #6: I found my Sanyo 2500 NiMH cells, so I thought I'd do a test. Here's the results. I don't like the huge drop in the 1st couple of minutes. Even worse, I don't like the weight of the light with the NiMH in there. It feels like you're packin' a hunk of pipe.




    Edit #7: While I'm waiting on the donor Sanyo Eneloop cell to arrive (thank you Paul <LED_Thrift>), I've decided to perform a wall-clock runtime test of the Pro on its lowest WHITE LED setting. This test is using a Duracell 1xAA alkaline cell. The Pro produces very useful light on it lowest setting, so I'm curious as to how long it will run. I took a baseline measurement on the light-meter, so I can get a percentage of light output drop as the test progresses.


    Edit #8: This is an update to Edit #7, which will be added to post #1, as Edit #8. The test that started on 01/14 has ended today, on 01/24. I think this was a very useful test of the Pro on its lowest White LED setting, using a standard Duracell alkaline battery. Tonight, when I came home, the light was off. I know it was still on this morning at 06:00, so it must have died sometime after that. As of this morning, the light was down to about 50% brightness of the original output at the start of the test. That being said, we can say that the Pro, on a standard Duracell, will run approximately 230-hours constantly, producing very useful light. I really want to repeat this test using the RED LED on its highest setting. That test will have to wait. Right now, the Pro is running a test with the Ray-O-Vac Hybrid battery that was sent to me by LED_Thrift. After that, a test with the Eneloop will be performed. Both of these tests are being done on the highest setting, to compare with the Sanyo 2500 niMH test that I had already performed.

    I forgot to add............ after noticing the light was off when I got home, I metered the battery. It displayed .95 volts. When attempting to re-fire the Pro with the cell, it flashed on for a second or two tops, both a dim RED and dim WHITE.


    Edit #9: Here's the runtime comparison of various niMH cells.

    -- Ray-O-Vac Hybrid with a starting voltage of 1.35 volts, ending voltage of .89 volts.
    -- Sanyo Eneloop with a starting voltage of 1.27 volts, ending voltage of .95 volts.
    -- The starting voltage of the Sanyo 2500 was never taken.

    All tests were performed until the RED LED came on, indicating it was time for a battery change.


    Edit #10: Here's the niMH test again, after the Hybrids and Eneloops rested for a couple hours after being fully charged.

    Eneloop @ 1.43 volts after resting 2-hours after charge, 1.08 volts after test.
    Hybrid @ 1.41 volts after resting 2-hours after charge, 1.09 volts after test.


    Last edited by this_is_nascar; 01-27-2008 at 08:22 AM.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Beamshots???

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Nice Photos! I agree this light is a keeper!

  4. #4

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Thanks for the pictures and review. The Proton Pro has some tough competition with the lights you got there. Very impressive that it is so well recieved. I would hit the buy button now but I think I have to at least wait until my Defender arrives. If I was not already waiting on that light I would probably already be using a Proton.

  5. #5

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Hey TIN, out of curiosity I have a question for you. Since you have a lot of great lights (and some are very versatile - such as the Novatac) what make you like the Proton so much? I ask the question because, like a lot of us, we have many lights (more than one needs) but keep them because there are cetain things we like about them that the others lights may not have. Or one light has a cetain feature that really stands out.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_nascar View Post
    This is exactly what I want to see, thanks for the pics and review!
    Welcome to take a look at my beamshots at 5m ,10m distance and lux readings

  7. #7
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Quote Originally Posted by regulator View Post
    Hey TIN, out of curiosity I have a question for you. Since you have a lot of great lights (and some are very versatile - such as the Novatac) what make you like the Proton so much? I ask the question because, like a lot of us, we have many lights (more than one needs) but keep them because there are certain things we like about them that the others lights may not have. Or one light has a certain feature that really stands out.
    Great question. Let me try to answer, based on my preferences. While I like the small size of the CR123/DL123 cell, I never liked the idea of using them. They are still not considered a "standard" cell, even though they've been available in the USA for quite sometime now. They are not a cell that you're normal "Joe User" would have with them in one of their electronic devices. Up until recently, if you wanted performance from a light, you were really limited by the CR123 format. My personal quest has always been finding single cell lights that function well on the AA and AAA format. I only ever EDC no more than (2) lights on my person, with a third light on my keychain. In work, my keychain lives in my bag, so it's not being EDC'ied throughout the day. For the last 4-years or so, the Arc-AAA has taken one of those slots. When the Proton came along, that replaced my FF-II. This is ideal for me, since I now have a AA and AAA light with me at all times. What that means, for me, that in a disaster/crises situation, I have a very good chance of having endless hours of light for search/rescue/survival, without the need to carrying spare cells. It very likely that the others who may be stranded with me have, on their possession, either a AAA or AA cell. Chances are they DO NOT have a CR123/DL123 with them. This could be the difference between life/death, being rescued/never being found. Yes, it's extreme, but I've been trapped in elevators without light for several hours. It's not a pleasant feeling.

    What this Proton Pro now provides for me (again, I haven't even had it for a full day yet) is a light that I actually like, with the features I prefer, in an AA format. Sure those other lights pictured are nice, but they're not practical in my life for what I'm looking for in personal EDC lighting.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Thanks for the review, t_i_n. I'm pleased to hear you like the new Proton. Not sure I'll be able to resist much longer.

    Geoff

  9. #9

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    TIN - Thanks for the reply. I think that a lot of people have a similar feeling and attraction to a well made and flexible AA light. It may not excell in any particular catagory, but it does well in so many combined catagories and is "practical" and "convinient" as well.

  10. #10

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    congrats Ray...
    are you going to post your run time graphs?
    is only Protron selling these now?
    Don't leave a light on for me.

  11. #11

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    How does the beam compare with the typical reflectored 1x123 Cree lights from brand F and so forth?

  12. #12
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    The 1st post has been updated with runtime data.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  13. #13
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Yes, only Proton (LRI) is selling these now from what I understand. For the most part, the beam is typical for a Cree in a reflectored light of this size. As with the Cree I've seen, there are noticable tint differences as well. The 1st unit tested (runtime data is now in post #1) is the whiter of the two units that I have.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Thanks from myself also for the initial review. I would have to see beamshots before purchasing. I know the Pro is advertised as (obviously) having a more narrow beam but how narrow? While perhaps the 5mm's may be too wide, I certainly want a wider as opposed to a thrower beam for my small EDC pocket light as the majority of the lighting tasks are going to be from a few inches to a few feet. An example of a lux beam I find too narrow for my general tastes except for throwing is the SL Polypro Lux. I hope the Proton Pro does not exhibit this narrow of a beam.
    I live in a van down by the river

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* skalomax's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Thanks TIN.

    I gave mine away to a relative, He liked It alot.
    I'll just buy another.
    I miss my Milkmods.

  16. #16

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Got mine today, after playing it for a while, love this light very much, the total output is similar to my L1D CE (P4) in turbo level, and the lux reading was 1230 lux.
    This light is so wonderful: very bright, continuous output levels, side button switch, perfect UI, red LED inside, strobe and SOS functions and only need one AA battery. Thanks for build this light
    Welcome to take a look at my beamshots at 5m ,10m distance and lux readings

  17. #17

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    How does the size of this light compare with other well known 1aa cree lights? Any chance of a comparison runtime graph with a rechargeable?

  18. #18

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    [QUOTE=this_is_nascar;2264716]For the most part, the beam is typical for a Cree in a reflectored light of this size. T/QUOTE]

    does that mean "halos" and non existent donut holes?


    edit thanks for the graph, Ray
    2nd edit...2 hours on high is my benchmark...yahoo!
    Last edited by Mr. Blue; 12-15-2007 at 05:44 AM.
    Don't leave a light on for me.

  19. #19
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    How does the size of this light compare with other well known 1aa cree lights? Any chance of a comparison runtime graph with a rechargeable?
    I no longer have any other 1xAA lights and I don't recall the size to say a Fenix. Sorry, I won't be doing any testing with rechargables.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  20. #20
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    [QUOTE=Mr. Blue;2266217]
    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_nascar View Post
    For the most part, the beam is typical for a Cree in a reflectored light of this size. T/QUOTE]

    does that mean "halos" and non existent donut holes?


    edit thanks for the graph, Ray
    2nd edit...2 hours on high is my benchmark...yahoo!
    Yep. Halos, donut holes, everything you're used to seeing with a Cree with a reflector. As I say that, the beam on this light is "different". It tough to describe. For its size, it throws really well, but that throw doesn't negatively effect close-up type work.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_nascar View Post
    While I like the small size of the CR123/DL123 cell, I never liked the idea of using them. They are still not considered a "standard" cell, even though they've been available in the USA for quite sometime now. They are not a cell that you're normal "Joe User" would have with them in one of their electronic devices. Up until recently, if you wanted performance from a light, you were really limited by the CR123 format. My personal quest has always been finding single cell lights that function well on the AA and AAA format.
    Well put, TIN
    I think the same way and have overhauled my EDC lights to only use AAA/AA batteries (Eneloops in my case) The small L0D Q4 replaced my FF3 on the keychain and it feels better to not use a proprietary RCR123 battery on my keychain and no worries about safety issues. My Peak Baltic SSC runs the highest output available and sits in a Leatherman Charge Ti multi-tool holster side pocket. Pull it out, crank it up and "mouth" it when I am working on something. My Quad Q5 Cree MaxFlex variable-output light is under construction and it runs eight Eneloop AA cells (or alkalines in a pinch)
    I'll be going overseas later next year and lighting becomes critical. An Arc AAA red LED light on the neck lanyard, the Baltic in the Leatherman holster and ???? for belt mount EDC. Have a Peak Med 2AA stainless steel w/momentary switch (bomb-proof light) The Quad Q5 Mag for mega output and a 360nM UV AA Peak to detect blood and scorpions.
    The Proton Pro would be perfect for belt mount EDC. The belt clip will make it an easy draw and I use a berkley clip to attach it to a belt loop for extra security when crawling around. Yes, I carry a red, UV and two white lights in those situations. Now that technology allows AAA/AA cells to fill all my needs, why not use them?
    TIN can you take a picture of the positive contact of the Proton Pro? My hope is it can handle very harsh conditions and not break if used over a thousand times in a 6 month period.
    Is 2008 the year of contentment?
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

  22. #22
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    I'm not sure I can get a really good picture of that. It appears to be the same as the fixed version of the Proton regular. I would definately use that attachment you're talking about for the extra security. While I absolutely love the clip, I wouldn't use it for belt mounting without an extra safety attachment. Although that clip can be a bit of a bear to take off, I'm fearful that if use the clip to belt-carry and happen to "hit" the light with a bit of force, it would pull right out, leaving you with a lost light. I carry my Proton/Proton Pro using the clip to the right side front pocket, clipped, with the actual light resting inside the pocket.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  23. #23
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Post #1 has been updated with some beam shots.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  24. #24
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Quote Originally Posted by adirondackdestroyer View Post
    Beamshots???
    See post #1.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  25. #25

    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_nascar View Post
    See post #1.
    Thanks alot TIN! Excellent review! I couldn't hold back any longer. Order placed.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic Dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    TIN, thanks for sharing ur opinion on Proton Pro. Would be nice to see how it perform against other Cree lights such as Fenix or DX lights.
    Zebralight SC52W L2, Fenix LD25, E11, E12, HL50 & HL30 , Gerber IU, Nitecore MH20, SRT 5 & D11, Thrunite TN12, Eagletac P25 & P25LC2 Diffuser, Olight S1 Baton, Convoy S4, Thorfire PF3, BLF A6, Sunwayman C22C, Ayup MTB Light.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic Freedom1955's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Thanks for doing this review TIN.

    Mine should be arriving today! Can hardly wait to get this light. I really like the button on the side.

    I'm curious to see how it does with rechargeables.

  28. #28
    this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Yes, I like the side switch as well, except I'm always concerned about it activately while in my pocket. I haven't tried the auto-off easter egg that's been discovered yet.

    I can't comment on any DX lights, since I've never seen or had one. The only Cree based Fenix I've had is the LOD and I don't really consider them to be comparible. To be honest, with the UI of the Proton/Proton Pro, I consider these lights to be in a class all their own. Two different LED colors (RED and WHITE), a much broader range of light coming out the front, etc.
    ... it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, It's what you leave behind you when you go.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic Freedom1955's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Mine just came in the mail. Very nice light. The central hotspot is not quite as defined as TIN's but I can live with it.
    I noticed right away that this thing can go low,very low, it must run a long time on it's lowest setting.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Alan B's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Quick LRI Proton Pro Review

    Just received Proton PRO here. Some quick observations.

    Out of the box the clip does not touch the body, so no rubbing or side force there. Threads are lubed. 3 turns to remove tailcap. Threads feel good, are fairly fine. Split ring and clip preinstalled, as is Lithium AA, as others have noted. Glow O ring inside lens charges from ambient or flashlight on.

    After turnoff the red led blinks, not sure I've seen that noted before. On mine the RED LED is left of the main white LED (button up looking into the light).

    Quick comparison to Fenix L1Dq5. Proton on supplied Lithium AA, Fenix on NiMH not fully charged.

    Proton is same length, slightly smaller diameter than the Fenix.

    Light output very comparable to the Fenix on High (not Turbo), though hotspot is smaller, perhaps 2/3 diameter. Darker ring around hotspot a bit more pronounced on the Proton, probably due to the Fenix having slightly stippled reflector. Spill intensity and diameter the same.

    Overall looks good so far.

    -- Alan

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