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Thread: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

  1. #1

    Ooo Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Reviewer's Note: The Titanium Innovations L35 HID was provided by MattK of batteryjunction.com.

    Warning: very pic heavy, as always

    This is my first HID review, so be gentle. We all have to start somewhere!



    For those of you unfamiliar with HID (High Intensity Discharge) bulbs, they are basically a type of electrical lamp that produces a very white light by creating an arc between tungsten electrodes inside a transparent tube filled gas and metal salts. I believe they first came into wide usage on some very high-end car headlights. In fact, I suspect a lot of what people assumed to be “halogen” headlights on BMW, Mercedes and others a couple years back were in fact HIDs (early ones tended to be more towards the cool-end of the color temperature spectrum – ~6000-7000K - but they now come in warmer color temperatures as well). The L35 comes with the popular 4200K warm temperature HID (i.e. closer to "sunlight"), which may provide better color rendition and separation.

    HID bulbs are also used in portable carrying devices (i.e. spotlights) because they don’t have filaments (and are therefore vibrationally stable) and are more efficient than incandescent bulbs. But they do require a ballast to act as step-up voltage transformer to generate the power needed for strong headlight output. In other words, they are going to be bulkier than your standard 2xAA.

    The Titanium Innovations L35 reviewed here is a new model produced by Battery Junction, and could be considered as a successor to the older Amondotech N30 “budget” HID. Although the overall form-factor looks similar, there have been a lot of improvements (including the addition of a Li-ion battery pack, revised reflector design, better quality materials and construction, enhanced water-resistance, safety test certified, etc.).

    Specs (from the manufacturer's website at batteryjunction.com):
    • 3500 Lumen HID lamp with considerable throw
    • Reflector optimized for a mix of throw and spill/flood with a Hardened glass lens
    • Secondary LED array for short-range or emergency use.
    • High Impact ABS thermoplastic housing with matte black rubberized finish
    • Memory-free, maintenance-free & relatively lightweight Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack - can be recharged up to 500 times. Field changeable - buy extra batteries for extended runtimes
    • Increased weather resistance
    • Footed base for hands-free use
    • 100-240V 50-60Hz Autoswitching AC adapter included - works worldwide with only a plug adapter. (European version has a standard 2 pin plug)
    • 12V DC Car Charger included
    • LED Battery Status Checker: Shows remaining battery life on button press
    • LED Charge Status Indicator displays charging status shows red for charging, green for charged
    • Safety tested and certified by ETL Labs. CE & RoHS compliant (lead free) for the EU market
    • Weight is just under 3 pounds at 2lbs 13.5oz (1.285Kg)

    Current Battery Junction sale price ~$285 (with CPF discount).



    Inside the box, you will find the L35 (with Li-ion battery installed) carefully packaged in layers of cut-out heavy Styrofoam, along with an auto-switching 100-240V AC/DC power adapter, 12V DC car adapter, user manual and warning sheet (which reminds you to read the manual!).

    The important point here is that the battery is shipped in a low-charge state (which is better for long-term storage of Li-ions). This is likely to be pretty close to the cut-off point for HID ignition, so odds are you will not even be able the fire up the light if it’s been sitting around for awhile on its way to you. In my case, the battery had dropped low enough to trigger the protection circuit. As instructed, you should fully charge the battery before trying to turn on the light. Typically, a full charge cycle should take a little over 8 hours with the supplied AC/DC power cord (do NOT attempt to use another one) – and may take longer the first time (again, see my discussion comments later in this review).




    The key part to this light is the HID bulb, shown in the centre of the metal reflector, behind a glass lens. The reflector is actually fairly shallow for a light of this size. Surrounding the head is a rubberized bezel cover to help protect the light from impacts.

    At the top of the light, where the handle is, you will find a small array of seven 5mm LEDs. These serve as general purpose light for short-range work (e.g. map reading, near-field illumination) or as a backup light should you run out of power to fire the HID. The main HID and secondary LEDs are controlled by two separate toggle power switches on other side of the handle. Let’s take a closer look at that HID …



    As you can see in the pic above, there is an encased wire that runs from the back to the front of the bulb - this is the ignition wire. As you might expect, it will cast a bit of a shadow in the spillbeam (scroll down for beamshots). Should you ever open the head, be careful you don’t damage this wire or the actual HID bulb.

    Speaking of opening the head, a word of caution here. The Li-ion battery pack powers a ballast that is used to raise the voltage up to the range where it will fire the bulb, which in this case is around 23KV. The advantage to this design is that technically both the bulb and ballast are potentially user-replaceable should either fail. But note the manufacturer does NOT recommend you do this yourself – after all, a 23KV ballast can store up quite a bit of energy, resulting in a very nasty electric shock should you accidentally discharge it. Be safe!



    The back of the light is where you can access the removable Li-ion power pack. There is a battery test button and four LEDs to tell you the charge status. Beneath the fourth LED is the smaller charging indicator LED. To the right is the charging port, with a snap cover in place.

    The key LED here is the charging status LED – it will switch from red to green during charging to let you know when the battery is fully charged. The battery test feature is really only useful for letting you know if the battery is still fully charged or not. Upon a test button press, the fourth LED (green) will only light up when the unit is fresh off the charger – anything more than a minute or so of runtime, and you will drop down to the 3 LEDs indicators (i.e. red, amber, green). From my testing, by the time the cell is about 1/3rd depleted (i.e. still has 2/3rd of the original capacity), you will only have the first red LED showing. The battery indicator will continue to show the single red LED until the protection circuitry is triggered, at which point even the battery indicator won’t function. So it is clearly not a very useful indicator of overall battery charge status – think of it more as an indicator to let you know if the battery is still relatively fully charged.



    The Li-ion battery pack is meant to be user-removable, as you could buy and carry extra ones with you on extended trips. The battery can charge independently, even when not installed in the light.




    In case anyone is curious, my battery pack reads at 12.7V when fully charged (I’ve seen reports in the 12.5-12.8V range, so this seems normal). The protection circuit seems to be tripped somewhere around 9.4V.



    Overall build feels quite good to me. The light is sturdy and solid feeling, and all the parts fit together well. The handle, body tube and front bezel ring are particularly “grippy”, with a feel similar to what you'd find on some rubberized kitchen utensils. Size and weight are actually a lower than I expected, given the output (the 3 pound weight estimate feels about right). This latter point is significant, as it means that I can actually see myself carrying this unit around places.

    User Interface

    There are two on/off toggle switches to control the light, located in the front sides of the handle. On my sample, the one on the left (looking down at the light in your hand) controls the HID, the one on the right controls the secondary LED array.

    Note one peculiarity about HID bulbs – they take seconds to minutes to warm up to their max output and actual rated color temperature. I will show you full runtimes in a moment, but here’s a graph showing you the output for first 60 seconds after ignition.



    As you can see, the HID doesn’t reach max output until at least 30 secs into the run. Even then, color temperature has not fully stabilized. To show you what I mean, I have taken a video of the first minute or so - click on the YouTube image below or this link to view it.

    But first note that my camera automatically adjusts to overall light exposure, so you can’t gauge output by the video (i.e. shutter and f-stop keep adjusting to compensate as the HID output increases). My office wall used in this video is a pale yellow-beige color (the baseboard is a high gloss white), and the video was taken in diffuse daylight conditions.



    As you will see, after an initial pinkish flash, the light turns a blue-cyan color that gradually warms to a warm yellow over time. The video is about 70 secs, and once it loads you can slide the view slider back and forth to see how it looks at various points over that time period. As you will see, the beam continues to get quite a bit warmer well after the max output of 30 secs is reached.

    It probably takes a couple of mins to truly stabilize at its final color temp (~4200K in this case). Once it does so, it will remain constant for the length of the run. But if you flick it off and back on again you will restart the output/color ramp.

    Note that the secondary light (white LED array) can still work for a long time even when the battery is nearly exhausted. However, if you actually let the HID drain the battery to the point when the protection circuitry is triggered, you will NOT be able activate the secondary LED array (or the battery test button for that matter – everything is shut down). You will need to at least begin a recharge cycle to get the battery voltage “over the hump” necessary to activate the secondary LED array. Just one second of charging is sufficient to release the circuit lock-out and allow you to use the LED light (in fact, my LED array ran for several hours at this point before I manually turned it off and started a full charge cycle).

    Light Comparisons


    (from left to right, 1x18650 battery, Lumapower MRV, L35, SunForce 1M CP spotlight)

    I’m afraid this is my first HID, so I don’t have much to compare it to.

    I do have a common $15 “1M candle power” spotlight (from SunForce in my case, but they are all pretty much the same). Typically, these come with a cheap automotive headlight bulb and a small rechargeable sealed lead-acid battery. Charge time is typically in the range of 15-20 hours, and total runtime is (at best) 30 mins direct-drive on a full charge. Reflectors are usually designed for max throw with little flood, but you shouldn’t expect a very pretty beam pattern – they typically have a lot of artifacts and can be rather distorted. What can I say - they are cheap, but they do put out a reasonable amount of light for a short period of time (as you’d expect for a small handheld car headlight and battery).

    Not shown above, but I’ve decided to also include my JetBeam M1X in these comparisons, since it is the closest thing I have to a spotlight in the LED category. The M1X features a well-driven M-CE emitter and reflector optimized for throw – see its own review here.

    Comparison Beamshots

    For all the beamshot and quantitative testing below, the M1X and L35 were tested after 2 minutes of continuous runtime (to let them reach their regulated output levels). The 1M CP spotlight was measured immediately, since it decays in a direct-drive fashion.

    I don’t think white wall shots mean much with a HID, but I thought I’d add in a quick comparison. Distance is about 0.5 meters from a white wall, with the M1X on max on 2x18650.






    As you can see, the HID really lights up my closet! The L35 spillbeam is actually wider than the camera’s field of view. Not much you can tell about the beam, but you can notice the ignition wire shadow reflected in the top part of the spill. There are also a few artifacts in the beam up close, but these won’t really matter to you in practice (I don’t imagine you will typically be illuminating things two feet from your nose ). Because of the settling of the metal salts inside the HID bulb, you may see some color variation in the beam from top to bottom. In my case, there is a blue-green center to the hotspot, and yellow along the bottom margin (the latter settles with gravity if you rotate the beam around).

    For outdoor shots, here are some longer exposures to help you better compare the beam patterns. What you are looking at below is a point ~30 feet from the lights.





    Clearly, the HID does great job at smoothly lighting up my whole yard (and then some), with a strong hotspot. In contrast, the 1M CP spotlight throws an irregularly-shaped, narrow yellow beam. The M1X casts a good quality beam over a wide area, with good throw, but is nowhere near the L35 output.

    Here are some lower exposures to show you the hotspots:





    As you can see, the M1X and 1M CP spotlight have about the same throw – whereas the HID is a whole ‘nother ball game.

    UPDATE: To give you a better idea of the strong "flood" characteristic of the L35, here is an up-close side beam shot of the primary HID and secondary LED array (the latter taken at higher exposure settings, of course compared to the M1X and 1M CP:



    Note the exposure settings are lower for the remaining pics below, to better show off the beam pattern.







    The point here is that while the secondary LED array is indeed very "floody" with not much of a hotspot, the beam width of the HID is even wider (i.e. approaching 180 degrees). This is much wider than the 1M CP or M1X (although the MIX does indeed have a faint spill at up to 180 degrees).


    UPDATE: Some additional long-distance beamshots, to show you how the light compares to others in its class.

    Please see my recent 100-yard Outdoor Beamshot review for more details (and additional lights).






    Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan.

    Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 5 meters from the lens, using a light meter, and then extrapolated back to estimate values for 1 meter.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    As with all my high-output “throwy” LED lights, I don't believe measuring raw lux at 1 meter means a lot any more. The beams don't really have a chance to fully converge until typically several meters out, so I am now taking readings at 5 meters and calculating back to an estimated throw/lux at 1 meter (the common reporting standard).



    The 1M CP spotlight is indeed in the same range as the M1X in terms of throw and output, but the HID’s throw weighs in at a remarkable >230K lux (estimated). Ceiling bounce test is similarly stratospheric – more than six times the output of the other two lights.

    Note that I can only provide lightbox estimates for the 1M CP spotlight and L35 HID, since their heads are too big to fit inside by milk carton lightbox. What I’ve done for runtimes is positioned the larger lights an inch from the opening of my lightbox, and adjusted the recorded values to the ceiling bounce relative results. This is NOT meant to provide hyper-accurate estimates of output, but it does give you a reasonable good idea of relative performance over the runs.

    I haven't done comparison pics of the secondary LED array, but I find this puts out a good amount of "floody" light for relatively up-close tasks. Overall output is around the level of a typical Lo-Med setting on a 1xCR123A or 2xAA light, which is very useable for all sorts of tasks. Tint is slightly bluish, but not as bad as some other 5mm LEDs I've seen. As for runtimes, I would easily expect months of continuous use on a reasonable battery charge - I ran it for several hours at a point just above the battery protection circuit cut-off without problems.

    Output/Runtime Comparison



    The 1M CP spotlight shows a typical non-regulated decay pattern, and the run was manually stopped at 30mins to prevent it from over-discharging the built-in lead-acid battery. The JetBeam M1X has a nice regulated pattern on 2x18650.

    But the real star here is the HID. After the initial 30 sec climb to max output, the light maintained regulated output until the protection circuit cut-out at 108 mins into the run. Note that this runtime was performed after my second complete discharge/recharge of the Li-ion battery pack (my first run was done in segments to gauge the battery tester function). My third continuous runtime lasted 108 mins as well.

    Potential Issues

    The battery testing feature really only provides an estimate of whether or not the battery is fully charged (i.e. it does not report the overall charge level, as you might expect). Its use is really to let you know if you should top-up the charge of the battery before heading out to an area where AC or DC power is not readily available.

    Triggering the protection circuit when running down the battery on the HID will prevent you from switching to the secondary LED array (unless you are near a power outlet and can briefly start a charging cycle). Given that the battery indicator doesn’t differentiate between a half charge and a nearly depleted battery, it may be hard for you to estimate when you are near to triggering the protection circuit. As long as you haven’t actually triggered the protection circuit, you can easily expect hours to days of runtime on the secondary LED (even on a nearly depleted battery).

    The battery pack should take about 8 hours (+/- half an hour) to fully charge a depleted cell. But like a few other users here, mine consistently takes ~14.5 hours. I’m in contact with Matt on the issue, and will let you know of any updates I receive.

    Preliminary Observations

    There’s only so much I can say at this point, given that I don’t have other HIDs to compare to. The L35 has a great beam with excellent throw and decent spill, fairly rugged construction with good build features, and a powerful and long-lasting battery pack. I would have to say I hadn’t expected this much output or this nice a beam pattern, given my experience with the cheaper 1M CP handhelds. It is also smaller and lighter than I expected, which is a big bonus for portability. I can honestly see this thing getting a lot of use (not so sure if I'd want to lug around some of the heavier competition ).

    For those who aren’t familiar with HIDs, they certainly provide remarkable output for a handheld device. The bulbs do have a few quirks (i.e. the color-shift and output increase during the first few minutes after ignition), but their efficiency and stability makes them a good choice for spotlights. Obviously LEDs don’t compare as yet - although some of the newer M-CE lights can at least perform on par with the 1M CP handhelds.

    The L35 shares a superficially similar overall form factor with the classic entry-level budget HID, the N30. But I believe the numerous build upgrades to this light (detailed in the various discussion threads here and on CPFMP) are significant. No, you are not getting a $1K-quality HID spotlight here, but you are getting a nicely performing HID in a reasonably small size with a decent feature set. It seems to me that the L35 offers more than just “budget” HID features, and I am sure it will be popular with members here.

    Bottom line, the L35 has certainly met my expectations (as a HID neophyte ). There are obviously still a few quirks to be worked out in terms of the consistency of charging times, but the ability to buy extra batteries (that can charge independently from the actual light) is also plus in this regard. The storage capacity and perfectly flat regulation of the Li-ion power pack is also impressive. Some of the things I never liked about my 1M CP spotlight were its direct drive output/runtime and heavy, limited-lifespan sealed lead acid battery. The L35's battery solution is much more in keeping with what I would want to see in a HID. Combined the rugged design and relative low weight, I could see this light getting a fair amount of use in the real world.

    I’m planning to do some longer distance shots to better compare the outputs – these will be added to the review when they are done.

    P.S. One additional point I forgot to mention in the review - I'm pleasantly surprised at the relatively low heat level of the light, even when doing full discharge runtimes. Honestly, I had expected the body of the light to get a lot hotter than it did (note though that the lens does get quite hot - I wouldn't recommend touching it during use ). Matt informs me that the L35's body is molded from a high grade ABS thermoplastic resin that is flame retardent and rated to over 220 degrees farenheit.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 07-21-2010 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Additional beamshots
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic* woodrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Selfbuilt, great review as always. The new L35 looks really impressive. I really like the #'s from your ceiling bounce test vs. the MC-E. That pretty much says it all. Thanks again...and enjoy playing with your new toy.
    "I only smile in the dark...my only comfort is the night gone black..."lyrics from Garbage

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* StarHalo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Nicely done, good to see the HID big guns getting invited to the review party. But I'm not sure how relevant the L35 is now that Stanley has released the HID3000, which has the same power/output numbers as the Titanium at half the price of the JetBeam..

    Could make a great comparison though

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Great review SelfBuilt! I'm very excited to see the first HID light make it into your list of tested lights. It's funny to see a powerhouse multi-die emitter like the M1X get completely clobbered. I hope that your testing contributes to bringing a few LED folks to at least have a look into what HID is cabable of. Your comment about the ceiling bounce figures cracked me up when you called them "stratospheric."

    One minor note about the L35 is that's it's actually powered by a lithium polymer battery, to be specific but doesn't really change anything in the case of the L35. That is to say that it charges at the same rate that a li-ion pack would charge at.

    Thank for taking the time to post this as well as all of your great pics.

    P.S. Welcome to the HID club brother!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Very good to see you moving up to HID lights! There will be no stopping you now, lol. It would be very good to see comparison shots of this light vs. other HIDs, so come on people... send selfbuilt your spare BarnBurners, PH40s, Beasts etc!

    I picked out this quote from your conclusion, as it seems to sum it up nicely:

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    ... you are not getting a $1K-quality HID spotlight here, but you are getting a nicely performing HID in a reasonably small size with a decent feature set. It seems to me that the L35 offers more than just “budget” HID features, and I am sure it will be popular with members here.
    It is nicely pitched at the "middle market", neither budget nor high-end. It looks very good value, and it has some good high-end type features, such as the battery system.

    I'm moving it now to the Reviews forum. The first of many HID reviews, I hope!
    Resistance is futile...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* nanotech17's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    DANG!what a beam
    and it looks warm
    i wonder the head will melt overtime?



  7. #7

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by woodrow View Post
    I really like the #'s from your ceiling bounce test vs. the MC-E. That pretty much says it all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    It's funny to see a powerhouse multi-die emitter like the M1X get completely clobbered. I hope that your testing contributes to bringing a few LED folks to at least have a look into what HID is cabable of.
    What can I say, a HID makes a great tool to light up a closet or a bathroom. Just kidding. Not sure how representative the ceiling bounce numbers really are, but they definitely more reliable than the milk carton lightbox on its own.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarHalo View Post
    But I'm not sure how relevant the L35 is now that Stanley has released the HID3000, which has the same power/output numbers as the Titanium at half the price of the JetBeam.
    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    It would be very good to see comparison shots of this light vs. other HIDs, so come on people... send selfbuilt your spare BarnBurners, PH40s, Beasts etc!
    I'm sure it would be great to compare to more lights, but I'm afraid I have a limited amount of time on my hands! For the time being, I'm going to stick with lights provided by manufacturer/dealers. In fact, I have a number of higher-end LED lights on their way to me, so expect to see a few more M-CE reviews in the coming weeks.

    One comment about the L35 though - I've very impressed with the performance of the lithium power pack. I doubt the true "budget" HID lights would be able to approach the regulation or runtime of this model. One thing that always annoyed me about my 1M CP handheld is how quickly the beam dropped in output.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    It is nicely pitched at the "middle market", neither budget nor high-end. It looks very good value, and it has some good high-end type features, such as the battery system.
    I think that's a very good way to look it. It does indeed seem to be aimed for a middle-market that wants more than just a budget HID (i.e. that excellent L35 regulation and runtime), but can't afford to go for the top-of-the-line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    One minor note about the L35 is that's it's actually powered by a lithium polymer battery, to be specific but doesn't really change anything in the case of the L35. That is to say that it charges at the same rate that a li-ion pack would charge at.
    A good point - I noticed most of the discussion here referred to the light battery as being lithium polymer, but the batteryjunction specs list it as lithium ion. I'll see if I can get that clarified from Matt as well (although I agree it doesn't really change much, the end result is pretty similar).

    Quote Originally Posted by nanotech17 View Post
    i wonder the head will melt overtime?
    To be honest, I was originally worried about heat too - that's why my first runtime test was done with periodic rest periods to check the light out. Although it certainly gets warm, I didn't find it too hot to handle (even at the bezel grip ring). In fact, it didn't get anywhere near as hot as I expected. Mind you, I wouldn't want to touch up against the lens for any length of time after its been on awhile ....
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-01-2009 at 05:44 AM.
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  8. #8
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Eric - a fantastic job as always!

    I've sent selfbuilt some more info so I'll hold off on substantive replies until he has a chance to review/digest my email.


    Some threads of interest - tons of details, beamshots, comparisons to other HID's, etc.

    Current discussion:http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=223831

    L35 Development Thread: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=193703

    It started Here N30/L35 'early days', still active:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=156617

    If you look in this shootout thread you'll find L35 beamshots under, "Secret 35 watt HID- Not available in US, but uses the same reflector and bulb as the up coming L35." and "Secret 35 watt"
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=199730

    There's more L35 reflector/electronics pics in this thread where it's referred to as 'mystery': http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=198645
    Last edited by MattK; 04-30-2009 at 07:26 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by nanotech17 View Post
    ...i wonder the head will melt overtime?
    For run-testing I placed a small battery-operated fan about 3" from the front of the L35. At the end of two runs (100 min & 98min) the head was only "luke-warm".

    Brightnorm
    Last edited by brightnorm; 04-30-2009 at 08:34 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    I've sent selfbuilt some more info so I'll hold off on substantive replies until he has a chance to review/digest my email.
    I've just updated the first post with misc updates and some additional observations that I forgot to include originally (like the output and beam characteristics of the secondary LED array, and the surprisingly low heat level of the light during full runtimes).

    Again, while I don't have other HIDs to compare to, I do appreciate the advantages of this unit over the build issues of my 1M CP (i.e. its short direct-drive output, short lifetime sealed lead acid battery, heavier weight, etc). What can I say, I'm a big fan of modern battery technology and long-lasting efficient regulated output.

    Which reminds me, Matt did sent me details on the difference between lithium-polymer and li-ion, and his plans for the battery tester feature, but I'll let him explain it himself here (I'm tired and would probably just mangle it!)

    Heading off to bed .
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Outdoor 100-yard Beamshots 2011. Latest: Fenix LD60.
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  11. #11
    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Battery Explanation:

    The L35 uses lithium polymer ('lipo') batteries. One could say that lithium polymer batteries are a type of lithium ion battery - or more correctly an evolution of that technology. In lithium ion batteries a lithium ion moves between the anode and cathode and this is also how lithium polymer batteries function. The primary differences between a 'traditional' cylindrical or prismatic lithium ion cell (keeping in mind those come in about 6 different chemistries) and a lithium polymer cell being that the electrolyte in the lipo cell is held in a polymer composite instead of an organic solvent and that the case doesn't need to be rigid to press the electrodes and seperators together. The main advantages of lithium polymer are: they are signficantly lighter because they don't need that rigid case; they're more resitant to shock/wear damage and they can be much more easily be manufactured in custom sizes and capacities.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* woodrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    Battery Explanation:

    The L35 uses lithium polymer ('lipo') batteries. One could say that lithium polymer batteries are a type of lithium ion battery - or more correctly an evolution of that technology. In lithium ion batteries a lithium ion moves between the anode and cathode and this is also how lithium polymer batteries function. The primary differences between a 'traditional' cylindrical or prismatic lithium ion cell (keeping in mind those come in about 6 different chemistries) and a lithium polymer cell being that the electrolyte in the lipo cell is held in a polymer composite instead of an organic solvent and that the case doesn't need to be rigid to press the electrodes and seperators together. The main advantages of lithium polymer are: they are signficantly lighter because they don't need that rigid case; they're more resitant to shock/wear damage and they can be much more easily be manufactured in custom sizes and capacities.
    Matt,
    Ill bet your kids have lots of fun at Show and Tell at school! Nice analisis of the difference between lithium batts... kinda cool.
    "I only smile in the dark...my only comfort is the night gone black..."lyrics from Garbage

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    The main advantages of lithium polymer are: they are signficantly lighter because they don't need that rigid case; they're more resitant to shock/wear damage and they can be much more easily be manufactured in custom sizes and capacities.
    Perhaps the greatest advantage depending on the application is that they're capable of mind blowing rates of discharge. 25-50C is actually not uncommon for some types. Also some have been recently released that are rated for a 2C charge rate which is also pretty phenomenal.



    Selfbuilt
    What can I say, a HID makes a great tool to light up a closet or a bathroom. Just kidding. Not sure how representative the ceiling bounce numbers really are, but they definitely more reliable than the milk carton lightbox on its own.

    I laughed when I saw your ceiling bounce lux reading figure of 146. I recently did an unscientific test in my integrating bathroom and all of my 35W lights read between 144 and 159! Five of them in total. That's some pretty amazing consistency.

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    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Nice review, SB. Love it!

    My L35 has become my collection's "big gun". It used to be an AE Xenide 25W, which is also a great, great light. But for me, the L35 was smaller, brighter, has a much nicer beam pattern for general use, and has the led array.

    One of the things I like best about the L35 is the spill. Not only is it very, very bright, but it's huge. It's not a circle; it's 180 degrees full. It reminds me of the flood light you get from a propane lantern; it's that bright and full.

    Matt...!



    Diffusers, dude?

    I have to admit though: The battery tester sucks. It seems it simply doesn't function as advertised, nor in really any useful way to me. The rest of the light is so good, it is overshadowed. I know you can use the leds in certain situations to mean certain things as mentioned by others, but that isn't what the design implies, so to me that's an area that needs redesign.

    Hmm, perhaps a special price on a diffuser...?

    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    I laughed when I saw your ceiling bounce lux reading figure of 146. I recently did an unscientific test in my integrating bathroom and all of my 35W lights read between 144 and 159! Five of them in total. That's some pretty amazing consistency.
    Thats interesting ... I suspect there would be a lot of absolute value variability by ceiling bounce for low output lights (due to size, shape, wall color, etc of the bathroom/closet). But I guess with these really bright lights, they do a fairly good of evenly lighting up roughly equivalent spaces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaserburn View Post
    My L35 has become my collection's "big gun". It used to be an AE Xenide 25W, which is also a great, great light. But for me, the L35 was smaller, brighter, has a much nicer beam pattern for general use, and has the led array.

    One of the things I like best about the L35 is the spill. Not only is it very, very bright, but it's huge. It's not a circle; it's 180 degrees full. It reminds me of the flood light you get from a propane lantern; it's that bright and full.
    That's a really good point about the wide beam angle of the HID. To put in comparison, I've just updated the main post with these pics:



    Note the image above is at a higher exposure than those below, in order to better illustrate the beam patterns.







    As you can see the HID does indeed produce a nearly 180 degrees spill. The beam angle is in fact even wider than the secondary LED array (which is more "floody" because it doesn't have much of a hotspot - but note the higher exposure in the pic above). The 1MCP is relatively narrow, and the M1X has an even narrower primary spill (but does have a dimmer peripheral spill up to about 180 degrees).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-01-2009 at 11:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    So according to your integrating carpet, the secondary LED is actually quite bright, putting out something in the order of 1/10th of the light of the main HID? Did I miss a figure for its output?
    Resistance is futile...

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    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by woodrow View Post
    Matt,
    Ill bet your kids have lots of fun at Show and Tell at school! Nice analisis of the difference between lithium batts... kinda cool.
    LOL - my daughter actually has show and tell today.

    She's 4 though so while she has played with the HID's it's been highly supervised. She is, as are apparently all children, a flashaholic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaserburn View Post
    Matt...!



    Diffusers, dude?

    I have to admit though: The battery tester sucks. It seems it simply doesn't function as advertised, nor in really any useful way to me. The rest of the light is so good, it is overshadowed. I know you can use the leds in certain situations to mean certain things as mentioned by others, but that isn't what the design implies, so to me that's an area that needs redesign.
    :
    The diffusers are in production but they're waiting on new batches of N30's, L35's, Illuminators and Mega Illiuminators to be built so that they can all ship together. We have a lot going on now so it's probably still gonna be ~75 days so I need to beg your patience.

    We are making improvements to the battery testers. Basically; right now they're balancing between off load and under load voltages which isn't super effective apparently.

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    So according to your integrating carpet, the secondary LED is actually quite bright, putting out something in the order of 1/10th of the light of the main HID? Did I miss a figure for its output?
    LOL @ integrating carpet.

    The secondary LED's only output maybe 1/70th of what the HID bulb does.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Ryanrpm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MattK View Post
    She is, as are apparently all children, a flashaholic.
    I would agree with this statement of fact 100%. My almost 3 year old daughter is my biggest fan. She'll walk into the room and see me on the computer and say..."Daddy, you looking at fash-ites?" And then she'll walk over to my dresser and grab one and start flashing it around.




    BTW, nice review selfbuilt! You taking requests for pictures? Long range beamshots please?
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    Flashaholic* MattK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Look at my post #8 in this thread - tons of beamshots over long ranges.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    So according to your integrating carpet, the secondary LED is actually quite bright, putting out something in the order of 1/10th of the light of the main HID? Did I miss a figure for its output?
    Looks like you missed my explanatory note after the pics about the higher exposures for that one, and the actual exposure setting labels on the pics. I'll go back and add an extra line about it after the pic as well ...

    FYI, a ceiling bounce of the LED array comes in at 1.1 lux in my bathroom "integrating sphere" (compared to 146 lux for the HID).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-01-2009 at 11:36 AM.
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Looks like you missed my explanatory note after the pics about the higher exposures for that one, and the actual exposure setting labels on the pics.
    No, I did see that - 1/5th sec vs. 1/50th sec. That's why I thought approx 1/10th the brightness.
    Resistance is futile...

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    Flashaholic* Dioni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Great technical review, as always. Showing more than a others beamshot comparison.

    Thanks!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by DM51 View Post
    No, I did see that - 1/5th sec vs. 1/50th sec. That's why I thought approx 1/10th the brightness.
    Ah, I see what you meant. Maybe it's also how the pics look on my monitor, but the HID seems to be lighting up a lot more and a lot brighter than the secondary LED, despite the factor of 10 reduction in exposure. How much more is hard to say ... I guess that's why we don't stick with integrating carpets.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-01-2009 at 11:54 AM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Actually, this discussion gives me a cool idea as to how to better compare relative outputs - let's let my Canon S5 IS give it a try!

    I set the camera to Aperture Priority, daylight white balance, locked the f-stop at 4.0, set the light meter to evaluative, and disabled manual exposure compensation. I then let it choose the shutter speed to best match overall exposure (verified with the built-in histogram feature that it was making a good guess).

    The two exposures I got were 1/250sec for the HID, and 1/2 sec for the secondary array (i.e. 125-fold difference)





    By eye, the overall outputs look about the same, as best one can tell with the huge color difference. Comparing the histograms in paintshop pro, the mean/median greyscale values for the above two images were 57/47 (HID) and 56/45 (LED). So fairly close, as would be hoped.

    Keep in mind this is a *very rough* comparison. The camera is not meant to produce exactly consistent evaluative exposure settings (trust me I know - I'm forever doing manual equalization adjustments in real life photography). So I imagine 1/250 and 1/1.67 (i.e. 150-fold) or 1/200 and 1/2 (i.e. 100-fold) would probably have looked pretty good too, and would have been fairly close on the histogram. But it was a fun quick comparison, and should give you the rough idea that we are likely talking at least a 100-fold difference in output.

    P.S.: Despite the fact that the secondary LED array also looks like a spotbeam in these pics, rest assured it isn't - it's just an artifact of the exposure settings and distance to the wall. And the magnitude of the color tint on these daylight white balance-locked pics seems a bit excessive to my eye as well (i.e. they aren't really so green and blue).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-01-2009 at 01:17 PM.
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  25. #25
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Selfbuilt
    The two exposures I got were 1/250sec for the HID, and 1/2 sec for the secondary array (i.e. 125-fold difference)
    Which happens to line up beautifully with your lux reading of 1.1 vs 146.

    If you divide 146 by 1.1 it give you 132.73 which is ridiculously comparable with your 125 fold figure.

    I knew the difference would be very large so even when Matt stated a 1:70 ratio I was scratching my head thinking, "I don't think so." He was just going off stated specs of the array which are probably estimated generously.


    I dig the carpet shots revealing the beam angle. Very good example.

  26. #26
    HKJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Keep in mind this is a *very rough* comparison. The camera is not meant to produce exactly consistent evaluative exposure settings (trust me I know - I'm forever doing manual equalization adjustments in real life photography). So I imagine 1/250 and 1/1.67 (i.e. 150-fold) or 1/200 and 1/2 (i.e. 100-fold) would probably have looked pretty good too, and would have been fairly close on the histogram. But it was a fun quick comparison, and should give you the rough idea that we are likely talking at least a 100-fold difference in output.
    No, they are not, most modern cameras have evaluative light meters, i.e. they try to analyze the scene and chose an appropriate exposure for that type of scene. That can spoil any measure attempt if it switches between different scene types, and different exposure priorities, when you change the light level.

    What might be possible, is to add all the pixels in a picture and get a total output value (If the picture covers the total output), but you need the raw picture data for that, not the jpg data.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Selfbuilt
    The camera is not meant to produce exactly consistent evaluative exposure settings

    HKJ
    No, they are not, most modern cameras have evaluative light meters, i.e. they try to analyze the scene and chose an appropriate exposure for that type of scene.

    Good point. Still, sometimes depending on the scene and with sufficient light they can be relatively accurate which at least seems to coincide with his stand alone meter during this particular test.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* KeyGrip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post

    It does indeed seem to be aimed for a middle-market that wants more than just a budget HID (i.e. that excellent L35 regulation and runtime), but can't afford to go for the top-of-the-line.
    I fall squarely in that market. Sure, I'd love a PH50, but this is going to be my first HID, no doubt about it.
    "Et lux in tenebris lucet"

  29. #29

    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    UPDATE: Some additional long-distance beamshots, to show you how the light compares to others in its class.

    Please see my recent 100-yard Outdoor Beamshot review for more details (and additional lights).




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  30. #30
    Flashaholic* Phaserburn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Titanium Innovations L35 HID Spotlight Review

    Does the SR90 really look substantially brighter than the L35 in person like it does in these shots? The L35 should be brighter I would think.
    The Phaser: A nice EDC with great throw; heat and runtime can be issues.

    Best Diffusion Film!

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