The Fenix-Store
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 31

Thread: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

  1. #1
    Flashaholic ConfederateScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, Mississippi
    Posts
    249

    Default My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    My wife has a Nuwai 2xCR123 LED flashlight in her purse that I bought for her a few years ago from a fellow CPF'er. It was modded before I got it so I don't know what kind of LED is in it. It (was) very bright and it had a very smooth beam with no dark spots while white wall hunting. It had a nice round, white beam. A few days ago she told me it had stopped working and I proceeded to change the batteries. When I put in new cells and tried it out the beam is no longer white and round. The beam is rainbow colored and it's shaped like a rainbow, several rainbows actually. The LED looks normal with no damage that I can see. She said it hasn't been dropped. The colors are very pretty but the light is no longer what I'd call a good flashlight. The brightness is maybe 25% of what is was before. Any idea what happened? I've never seen anything like it before.
    Stock up now guys. Get it while you can.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Sir Lightalot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The State of Denial
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    It's Magical!

    But seriously, are you sure its not being refracted from a damaged lens? But thats not likely to make it 1/4 as bright though...

  3. #3

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Quote Originally Posted by ConfederateScott View Post
    My wife has a Nuwai 2xCR123 LED flashlight in her purse that I bought for her a few years ago from a fellow CPF'er. It was modded before I got it so I don't know what kind of LED is in it. It (was) very bright and it had a very smooth beam with no dark spots while white wall hunting. It had a nice round, white beam. A few days ago she told me it had stopped working and I proceeded to change the batteries. When I put in new cells and tried it out the beam is no longer white and round. The beam is rainbow colored and it's shaped like a rainbow, several rainbows actually. The LED looks normal with no damage that I can see. She said it hasn't been dropped. The colors are very pretty but the light is no longer what I'd call a good flashlight. The brightness is maybe 25% of what is was before. Any idea what happened? I've never seen anything like it before.
    Very interesting. Can you get us any pictures?

  4. #4

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    I boiled my Streamlight Microstream in a plastic bag to loosen the glue like I read on CPF and tried to get the head off. I believe I didn't use enough water in the pot and the head got too close to the heat source. After removing it from the plastic (and initially being unsuccessful in getting the light apart) I turned it on after it had cooled. The effect was very much like the "rainbow" image you described and the output was significantly reduced. I suspect your wife's light may have been exposed to a heat source that messed up the reflector and LED, but of course I'm not sure.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* rockz4532's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    maybe in a car in the hot sun?
    Fenix: TK10, P2D Q5, LD01, L0P-SE, Nitecore D10, Inova X5, Surefire G2, Mag ROP-LE, Quark AA-Neutral

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Cydonia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Beam shots required. How could you even start this thread without pictures!?

  7. #7
    Enlightened
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Maybe water got in it or something.
    3AA LED Maglite, 6D Maglite, 4D LED Maglite, husky 2D, Dual Xenon spotlight, Fenix PD30, Fenix E01

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,711

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Maybe it is trying to show you where a pot of gold is....

  9. #9
    Flashaholic ConfederateScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, Mississippi
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    I'll try to get some pictures up in a day or two. Also, I know it was inside a hot van laying in the console during the summer. I believe it was used and alright since then though. Next chance I get I'll get pictures up. Thanks guys.
    Stock up now guys. Get it while you can.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic ConfederateScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, Mississippi
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    alright...got a picture uploaded before bed.


    Stock up now guys. Get it while you can.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Berkeley CA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    California Republic
    Posts
    7,458

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Wow, that's pretty, I'd love to know how to get an LED to do that purposely.

    My vote is that it's some sort of structural compromise of the LED near/on the emitter; some melted epoxy or volatile chemical intrusion.

  13. #13
    Flashaholic Mudd Magnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    ontario canada ehh!
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    I vote put it up on ebay limited edition produces a rainbow color beam ,all the colors of the rainbow in you're pocket. I bet it goes pretty high if worded right at least enough to buy something new Pretty cool looking anyways although I'm not sure what's wrong with it
    Last edited by Mudd Magnet; 12-30-2008 at 11:04 AM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic Mudd Magnet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    ontario canada ehh!
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    I vote put it up on ebay limited edition produces a rainbow color beam ,all the colors of the rainbow in you're pocket. I bet it goes pretty high if worded right at least enough to buy something new Pretty cool looking anyways although I'm not sure what's wrong with it

  15. #15
    Flashaholic ConfederateScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, Mississippi
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    I double checked the lens, it's not cracked or compromised. I thought it had a scratch but I rubbed it with a cloth and it came off. The lens is glass. Any other ideas anybody?
    Stock up now guys. Get it while you can.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,711

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Something seems to be acting as a diffraction grating and making the rainbows. How is the reflector?

    The abnormalities seem to be asymmetrical, so you might be able to determine what part of the LED/reflector/lens it comes from by gradually covering the head of the light with your hand, and observing what parts of the rainbows go away, and when. I'm not sure that made any sense, but what I am trying to say is kind of hard to describe.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Berkeley CA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Maybe someone with a USB microscope or macro lens can get a good closeup of the emitter.
    If I was set up to do anything with it I'd swap you for a good one just to look, but I'm just a curious kibitzer. Still it's seriously interesting to get a rainbow out of this.

    Bet there's a break between the phosphor and the emitter, or something's pulled open making a wedge/prism gap, or

    heck, I have no clue. Sure is purty.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Mjolnir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,711

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Could there be moisture in the emitter? I'm not sure how it would get there though...

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* eebowler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Trinidad and Tobago.
    Posts
    1,708

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    I'd guess that the dome of the LED maybe detaching but, that wouldn't cause a rainbow effect. When you change the LED, polk around and tell us what's up!
    When was the last time you washed your feet?

  20. #20
    Flashaholic Sir Lightalot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The State of Denial
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Could this light have used one of the defective runs of Lumileds leds?
    It would be useful to have a pic of the fountain from which these rainbows spew.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* rockz4532's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    760

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    maybe some oil on the reflector?
    Fenix: TK10, P2D Q5, LD01, L0P-SE, Nitecore D10, Inova X5, Surefire G2, Mag ROP-LE, Quark AA-Neutral

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* Monocrom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    13,922

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Quote Originally Posted by ConfederateScott View Post
    alright...got a picture uploaded before bed....


    Now that's one helluva pic.

    Does your wife like the rainbow beam?
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  23. #23

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Wow that looks just like the beam on my LRI proton

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In a handbasket
    Posts
    11,045

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Are the rainbows still there without the glass lens? If yes, there's got to be some moisture or oil comtamination in the emitter.

  25. #25

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    My guess is something shifted inside the emitter from the heat, then from the bumping around in the purse. I'm not totally sure, but maybe there's some part of the led that acts as a polarizer for light. Maybe that got moved and is affecting the way light comes out of the die. If you shine polarized light through molded plastic, those are the exact patterns you will get. I'm guessing the lens is plastic, or maybe the dome of the led is plastic causing these colors to be projected out of the flashlight. It would also explain the loss of output.
    That, or maybe your flashlight finally came out of the closet after living in a purse for so long....

  26. #26

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    The multiple rainbow color patterns is the repeating refringent pattern of light through plastic that is under stress. There is actually equipment that is used that can tell you how much microstrain exists from going through the rainbow pattern. If the lens or "window" in front is glass it can't be that. It is most likely that the heat has stretched and then shrunk the plastic lens bead sitting on the die itself. And only because it was well bonded and has not peeled off do we now see the stress pattern in that plastic lens sitting on the LED die. If it peels off and relieves the stress the rainbow pattern would go away. It may have partially detached from the die and the air gap is causing the reduction in total output.

    I have actually worked with equipment to do this intentionally to look at the stress pattern in plastic models of mechanical equipment to study where the stress is.

    to prove the point you can take any piece of clear plastic and look at it through polarized sunglasses and bend it and flex it in a light source and watch the diffraction of light come and go with the bending stress. Polycarbonates are great for this, but its not the only plastic will do this. I have done this many times. In fact I have inspected plastic samples of material that was going to be used for lenses before and after thermal cycling to see if they would exhibit this phenomenon and take pictures of them through a polarizer to see what happens.

    The reflector is acting as the polarizer of sorts but should not be causing this effect directly.

    The plastic bead that is the lens over the die got too hot sitting some where, probably the van as you said.

    G

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* orcinus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    1,002

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    You usually need two polarizers to show the stress patterns. One for viewing, one for the light source. And their polarization axes should be perpendicular or close to perpendicular.

    These look like Newton rings to me. Meaning something probably got detached from something, or the coating on the reflector has gone a bit nuts.

    Have you tried shining a light on the reflector from various angles and checking what it looks like?
    Ante V.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* Ryanrpm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fallon, NV
    Posts
    850

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Quote Originally Posted by hank View Post
    Bet there's a break between the phosphor and the emitter, or something's pulled open making a wedge/prism gap.
    +1

    I vote for this.
    My Sunlite Reviews: 8wFP, 16wFP, FP80, 8w Utility Head, Slim Jr., Slim2.
    My "High Output Thrower" Review

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* hank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Berkeley CA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    > a wedge/prism

    elaborating slightly -- if there's a lens (bump of clear whatsit) that was glued over the LED with something like the clear glue typically used to assemble lenses, and that glue softened while you were baking the light on the dashboard, it could've slipped a bit leaving a prism-shaped space still filled with the glue.

    Got a way to do an extreme closeup of the thing? You might want to patent it ....

  30. #30
    Flashaholic
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    446

    Default Re: My wifes LED flashlight suddenly shines rainbows

    Quote Originally Posted by MrGman View Post
    The multiple rainbow color patterns is the repeating refringent pattern of light through plastic that is under stress. There is actually equipment that is used that can tell you how much microstrain exists from going through the rainbow pattern. If the lens or "window" in front is glass it can't be that. It is most likely that the heat has stretched and then shrunk the plastic lens bead sitting on the die itself. And only because it was well bonded and has not peeled off do we now see the stress pattern in that plastic lens sitting on the LED die. If it peels off and relieves the stress the rainbow pattern would go away. It may have partially detached from the die and the air gap is causing the reduction in total output.

    I have actually worked with equipment to do this intentionally to look at the stress pattern in plastic models of mechanical equipment to study where the stress is.

    to prove the point you can take any piece of clear plastic and look at it through polarized sunglasses and bend it and flex it in a light source and watch the diffraction of light come and go with the bending stress. Polycarbonates are great for this, but its not the only plastic will do this. I have done this many times. In fact I have inspected plastic samples of material that was going to be used for lenses before and after thermal cycling to see if they would exhibit this phenomenon and take pictures of them through a polarizer to see what happens.

    The reflector is acting as the polarizer of sorts but should not be causing this effect directly.

    The plastic bead that is the lens over the die got too hot sitting some where, probably the van as you said.

    G
    Wow, there is always someone who knows the answer to even the most random questions. Excellent post MrGman!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •