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Thread: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

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    Wink2 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Reviewer's Note: The Quark Mini lights were provided for review by 4Sevens.com. Please see their website for more info.

    Warning: Even more pic heavy than usual, due to the tint comparisons.

    4Sevens has followed up on their initial run of Cool White tint Minis with limited runs of two new tints – Neutral White tint and Warm White tint. The Warm White tints are currently available for pre-order, and I believe the Neutral Whites will be following shortly. I also believe 4sevens is planning to offer these on their other Quark/Preon lines. Please check the 4sevens threads on CPFMP for more info.

    I realize this causes some confusion, as most people commonly refer to the Neutral tint lights as “warm” – but that’s only because they are warmer than standard Cool white. The Warm tints presented here are considerably warmer than that – actually closely approaching incandescent.

    To help you understand the difference between the tints I am talking about, CPF user DFiorentino has complied an excellent set of basic tint bin graphs:

    Cree Cool: http://img30.imageshack.us/i/creexlampcwfull.jpg/
    Cree Neutral-Warm: http://img170.imageshack.us/i/creexlampnwwfullix9.jpg/

    To put things in a temperature context, premium WD-WC bin standard Cool White tints are typically in the ~5500-7000K range. By my eye, I would estimate the 4Sevens pre-release samples to be around tint code 4C/D for the Neutral White tints (i.e. ~4400K) and 7A/B for the Warm White (i.e. ~3200K). Please check for with 4Sevens for confirmation of what is actually shipping.

    UPDATE: 4Sevens has provided more detail on the tint bins to be released for the upcoming Neutral/Warm lines, but I am not sure if they are exactly the same as the pre-release samples tested here.






    FYI, the reason for reflected tint differences in the pics above is that more phosphor is typically used to get the warmer tints. This also explains the reported output bin differences - more phosphor also mean less luminus flux (the Cool White are R5s, the Neutral Whites are R4s, and the Warm Whites are Q5s). Effectively, warmer tints always mean lower output bins for the same manufacturing methods.

    BEAMSHOTS

    As I discussed in an earlier thread, this poses some problems for photography where one specific color reference white point is used. Commonly, we use our camera's "Sunlight" white balance for most beamshots (~5200K in the case of my Canon, which is about typical). While not bad for Cool White/Neutral White comparisons, this makes Warm White (and incandescents) look quite yellow-orange in comparison.

    Below is an animated GIF of colorful objects taken under various conditions. The first shot is during the day in natural light, followed by the various Mini tints, plus a P60 incandescent - all done under the common "Sunlight" white balance.



    Here are some outdoor shots, starting with the control shot in daylight:









    Again, all of the above are done with a Sunlight white balance, which seems to favor Cool/Neutral white over Warm white.

    But there is also another problem – the magenta–green axis is apparently not automatically compensated for with the default Sunlight white balance. While I can see this most noticeably in the Cool white pics (i.e. they look greener in the shots above than they are in fact in real life), even the Warm tint pics don’t quite right seem right (i.e. the pics are missing some magenta).

    I thought a better way to proceed might be to choose a white balance that is intermediate to all three tints. While my camera doesn’t allow me to manually specify a white balance color temperature, I can do a custom white balance. This is done by setting the WB against a neutral background under your desired lighting source. In this case, by shining all 3 sample tints onto a uniform neutral grey background to generate the custom ”average” white balance.

    First, the control daylight shot:


    And now a comparison animated GIF of all the tints:


    Here’s another example:





    Frankly, I’m not sure this custom “average” white balance is much of an improvement over the Sunlight white balance per se (the Warm tints look even warmer? ). But it has helped remove the green-magenta shifting I had noticed previously (i.e. less yellow-green in all the shots). Believe it or not, that is actually an improvement.

    Anyway you slice it, photography of these different tints is not a simple matter – no one white balance setting accurately captures what you eye sees. This is likely because our brains do their own “white balancing” depending on the source of light.

    At the same time, you can’t go and change the white balance for each shot. At the extreme, if you successfully matched the white balance color temperature for each tint, they would also look exactly the same! And trying to balance the pics on my monitor/graphics card setup according to what my eye sees is meaningless – it will look different on another computer.

    So, at the end of the day, it’s best to stick with one white balance (either Sunlight or the “average” I created above), and just try to objectively compare the differences. That’s why I included the P60 incan in the shots above – whatever you may think of the tints, it does help show how much the Warm tints look like an incan.

    Subjectively, I can tell you that I prefer the Cool and Neutral white tints for outdoor use. They appear to give me the closest to daylight color rendition. However, if you actually like the look of incandescents, then the Warm tints are the closet LED match you are likely to find.

    OUTPUT/RUNTIMES:

    For more info on my testing methods, please see my earlier Mini AA and Mini 123 review.




    As you can see, my lightbox reads the Neutral tints as slightly lower output than the Cool Whites, and the Warm tints as considerably lower. Both of these are consistent with the reported output bins (R5 for the Cool, R4 for the Neutral, Q5 for the Warm).

    As you can also see, runtime performance is comparable on all models. Note that runtime is heavily influenced by Vf, so I wouldn’t expect wide differences from one tint sample to another – all are likely made under similar manufacturing conditions. Again, the extra phosphor simply reduces relative output.

    So, in the end, the only real issue you should use to decide on these various tints is just that – tint.

    Hope the photo comparisons were helpful!

    Last edited by selfbuilt; 05-28-2010 at 06:38 AM.
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  2. #2
    Flashaholic COAST's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Another great comparison!!! Great job!
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    Flashaholic photonstorm's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Excellent info as usual selfbuilt.

    I just received my warm white Q MiNi AA a couple days ago and just love the warmth of the light outdoors.
    Using a 14500, it somewhat makes up for the difference in output compared to the cool white.

    I'm looking forward to the run of R4 neutrals next month.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Love that warm white led. It really rendered the true color of an object at night. Now, i'm tempted to get a warm white mini cr2 so that my cool mini cr2 will have a brother.
    Pick the pooch!

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Awesome comparo pix, Selfbuilt. They helped me pull the trigger on a Preon 2 WW today. Thank you.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4Sevens Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Glad you are liking the comparisons!

    Quote Originally Posted by photonstorm View Post
    I just received my warm white Q MiNi AA a couple days ago and just love the warmth of the light outdoors.
    Using a 14500, it somewhat makes up for the difference in output compared to the cool white.
    I would be careful running it this way. As my Mini AA/123 testing showed, these lights seem to run on direct drive on max on 3.7V Li-ion sources (like the 14500). That's a lot of heat to dissipate, and the small thermal mass of the Mini line means you are not going to be able to do so effectively.

    Frankly, I've never been a big fan of those kinds of outputs in single-cell lights. For long-term performance, you are best avoiding extended Hi output on 14500.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Thanks Selfbuilt! Out of curiosity, do know if warm/neutral emitters are more expensive and more difficult to manufacture since extra phosphor has to be added to the LED? Are they produced in smaller quantities as a result? I still wonder why we're not seeing as many neutral/warm tinted lights as we do cool lights. Is it because of the types of LED's companies are requesting (cool) or because it's simply harder to manufacture warmer tints? :scratch:

  8. #8

    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Once again thanks selfbuilt for this graet job,

    I think these comparisons and infos will help many of us which tint to choose

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Great review Selfbuilt, right when I was telling myself I DON'T need a WW preon 2...
    My poor wallet has never been the same since I found this place, keep up the good reviews

  10. #10

    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Great job! Now to run out and buy them all.....

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    (the Cool White are R5s, the Neutral Whites are R4s, and the Warm Whites are Q5s). Effectively, warmer tints always mean lower output bins for the same manufacturing methods.
    I believe the last run of Neutral's were Q4.
    Last edited by cave dave; 05-29-2010 at 07:14 PM.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by cave dave View Post
    I believe the Neutral's are Q4.
    Incorrect. The neutral white XP-G's are R4. You're off by 28%

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by 4sevens View Post
    Incorrect. The neutral white XP-G's are R4. You're off by 28%
    Sorry, I edited it after I posted, without even seeing your post. I was referring to the last run of neutrals of which I own two of. Somehow I missed the fact that Selfbuilt was testing a pre-production sample of the R4. I did however go over to the neutral R4 thread and put my vote in. I plan on buying a couple and don't mind buying the extra tube needed if the complete flashlight is a different configuration. Thanks for doing the special runs.
    Last edited by cave dave; 05-29-2010 at 08:18 PM.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by TwitchALot View Post
    Thanks Selfbuilt! Out of curiosity, do know if warm/neutral emitters are more expensive and more difficult to manufacture since extra phosphor has to be added to the LED? Are they produced in smaller quantities as a result? I still wonder why we're not seeing as many neutral/warm tinted lights as we do cool lights. Is it because of the types of LED's companies are requesting (cool) or because it's simply harder to manufacture warmer tints? :scratch:
    I doubt they they any more expensive for the phosphor per se (although maybe it is trickier laying it down well thick).

    It probably largely just reflects demand - people are used to the cool white tints, which many see as "modern". Also, by warming up the tints, they are also lowering the overal efficiency - which goes against the grain of what most expect from LEDs.

    This later point is probably fed by manufacturers - they are often try to push their lights as having the "latest and greatest" LED (as measured by luminus flux efficiency). A bit of a chicken-and-the-egg issue ... do consumers drive this mad rush for higher output bins, or do manufacturers stoke it?

    At the end of the day, I think people need to consider what features they want in a light (and characteristics of a LED), and go from that. And in that sense, I welcome the option of warmer tint bins for those who want them.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    you already have the R4 neutral tint to test?! thank you 4sevens, and thank you selfbuilt!

    i cant wait for the X-PG neutral tints. i already have 123-2T R5 and 123-2T Q3 neutral tint, and the X-PG neutral R4 is exactly what i want. it would be as close to perfect as possible.

    4sevens, hope the 123-2T, AA tactical, and Preon 2, makes the cut. cause i am 100% sure i will pre-order those. and maybe a AA-2T, or AA turbo.

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Selfbuilt thanks for the great reviews man! 4Sevens thanks for the cool little lights! I am like a little kid, just sit and stare at the beacon! Also the packaging is much better than the box, great idea!
    Reality is usually scoffed at and illusion is usually king. But in the battle for survival of western civilization it will be reality and not illusion or delusion that determines what the future will bring.

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by skyfire View Post
    i cant wait for the X-PG neutral tints. i already have 123-2T R5 and 123-2T Q3 neutral tint, and the X-PG neutral R4 is exactly what i want. it would be as close to perfect as possible.
    I agree - I think the 4C0/4D0 tint bin in R4 output will indeed be highly popular.

    I'm not one of the avid neutral tint fans, but I do personally prefer the 4C/D bin over the more common 5A/B. And the R4 output bin is quite impressive.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Thank you for your photos, selfbuilt. :-)
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    I doubt they they any more expensive for the phosphor per se (although maybe it is trickier laying it down well thick).

    It probably largely just reflects demand - people are used to the cool white tints, which many see as "modern". Also, by warming up the tints, they are also lowering the overal efficiency - which goes against the grain of what most expect from LEDs.

    This later point is probably fed by manufacturers - they are often try to push their lights as having the "latest and greatest" LED (as measured by luminus flux efficiency). A bit of a chicken-and-the-egg issue ... do consumers drive this mad rush for higher output bins, or do manufacturers stoke it?

    At the end of the day, I think people need to consider what features they want in a light (and characteristics of a LED), and go from that. And in that sense, I welcome the option of warmer tint bins for those who want them.
    Thanks SB!

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    At the end of the day, I think people need to consider what features they want in a light (and characteristics of a LED), and go from that. And in that sense, I welcome the option of warmer tint bins for those who want them.
    Not being a guy who spends a ton of money on every latest and greatest light that comes out, I am very measured with the lights I purchase and find myself torn on which tint to get. I'm really quite set on getting a 4Sevens light, quite possibly the Preon 2. I'm probably like most of the market and want the brightest possible, but really have an inkling to try out a warm tint so I at least can say I have one and have tried it. On the other hand, the neutrals seem like a compromise with minimal lost lumens, but then I heard they have the worst CRI. Then again, I'm like you and feel the cool whites are really quite acceptable and they don't feel unnatural. What to do?

  21. #21

    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by was.lost.but.now.found View Post
    On the other hand, the neutrals seem like a compromise with minimal lost lumens, but then I heard they have the worst CRI. Then again, I'm like you and feel the cool whites are really quite acceptable and they don't feel unnatural. What to do?
    To be honest, I wouldn't worry about CRI differences between the emitters tints. What Cree reports are "typical" CRIs, and there's a huge variance. Besides, the actual tint will alter your perception of what you are seeing anyway, which has a far greater impact than minor CRI differences.

    If funds are tight, I don't see much point in trying out the other emitters just for sake of something different (although you could always re-sell on CPFMP). I am personally quite satisfied with cool white tints myself, and don't feel the need to switch. The Neutrals (especially these 4C/D ones) are a good compromise for those on the fence, but I don't know if its worth a switch. And the Warms are really for those who like incans and want something similar. Fair enough, although personally, it was the yellowness of incans that drove me to LEDs in the first place (along with efficiency, and later output level control). But I know a lot of people still like the "warmth." Different strokes for different folks ...
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    Flashaholic* was.lost.but.now.found's Avatar
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Fair enough, although personally, it was the yellowness of incans that drove me to LEDs in the first place (along with efficiency, and later output level control). But I know a lot of people still like the "warmth." Different strokes for different folks ...
    Very similar preferences and experiences here as well; I actually usually like cool white as my eyes don't see the blue unless I put it side by side with a warmer light.

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by was.lost.but.now.found View Post
    Not being a guy who spends a ton of money on every latest and greatest light that comes out, I am very measured with the lights I purchase and find myself torn on which tint to get. I'm really quite set on getting a 4Sevens light, quite possibly the Preon 2. I'm probably like most of the market and want the brightest possible, but really have an inkling to try out a warm tint so I at least can say I have one and have tried it. On the other hand, the neutrals seem like a compromise with minimal lost lumens, but then I heard they have the worst CRI. Then again, I'm like you and feel the cool whites are really quite acceptable and they don't feel unnatural. What to do?
    Got a Mini CR2 in Warm to see if I like the warm tint. I do. It has a hint of pink in the spill, and especially on low (like how cool whites have blue or purple sometimes) but in all it is a great tint. I still prefer my old Q123^2 neutral tint (I think it was XP-E Q5) and hope the new XP-G R4 lives up to it.

    If 4Sevens would only make one in Turbo.....

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by Xak View Post
    Got a Mini CR2 in Warm to see if I like the warm tint. I do. It has a hint of pink in the spill, and especially on low (like how cool whites have blue or purple sometimes) but in all it is a great tint. I still prefer my old Q123^2 neutral tint (I think it was XP-E Q5) and hope the new XP-G R4 lives up to it.

    If 4Sevens would only make one in Turbo.....
    Thanks for the tip, but I think I'm done with twistys for anything but a keychain light (which I already have covered). I have a Ti Mini 123 which I bought for a keychain light. It turned out to be too big for keychain light for me, so I tried using it as an EDC. It definitely is not one hand friendly and that really annoys me. Even with two hands I still have to be very careful to not skip modes and frequently go through two cycles to get to high. Maybe you could blame the threads on the Ti, I don't know. It's sad because it has the best beam out of any light I own.

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    so in a real world setting, which renders skin colors betters.. warm or neutral. I'm looking for use in the ER setting where I work. Anyone...anyone?
    Thanks,
    Dan
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by djans1397 View Post
    so in a real world setting, which renders skin colors betters.. warm or neutral. I'm looking for use in the ER setting where I work. Anyone...anyone?
    Thanks,
    Dan
    I would say it depends on a few factors. When you say skin colors are you talking about determining if someone is cyonotic or ashen, lips and nail beds, or ENT? I think the warm tint is perfect for throat, pupils, etc. On a medium or high setting is good for skin, but is too pinkish/yellow on low for skin. In the ER, I must assume you mean ENT, not skin tone as there is plenty of lighting in the room itself. The neutral tint is good for skin as well, even on low.

    Yeah, after shining both lights down my throat in the mirror I have to say the warm tint is much better, but the neutral is certainly adaquate. If you have use of the light outside the ER to illuminate a room and a patient during a 911 call I would go with the neutral, but again the warm would still be adaquate. I think you will be very happy with a Warm White tint if you're talking ENT. There is less perceived reflection of light, or shine, on mucus membranes and on a medium or high setting the skin color appears to be true. The warm on low is perfect with pupils, the neutral will function just fine here as well, but is a tad more harsh having more perceived brightness due to the tint.
    BTW, I'm a 10+ year full time paramedic in a busy system. I use my lights and depend on them often. The Quark line will not let you down. I have an old Q123^2 that has taken such a beating that I had an AW 17670 cell in the light fail after a significant drop (yes the battery broke before the light did, a new battery and it worked just fine) but the light itself has never failed me.
    Last edited by Xak; 06-18-2010 at 11:56 PM.

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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Thanks Xak! Praises and kudos given to you in the other thread you posted in as well!

    Dan
    For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8 NIV)

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    Thumbs up Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Many thanks to selfbuilt for the outstanding comparison images!

    At least I now know that I prefer the neutral tint, but both of the others are acceptable. Makes my choices so much easier!

    Also, thanks Xak providing a medical student with your insight on what tint is good in a medical setting. Just ordered a warm Preon II! Kudos!

    -Linus
    Last edited by Sir Linus; 07-15-2010 at 01:18 AM. Reason: Spelling

  29. #29

    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Quote Originally Posted by Xak View Post
    I would say it depends on a few factors.
    Interesting observations - thanks for sharing them.

    I think in situations where there is a long-standing history of incandescent flashlight use (like medical professionals), the new warm emitters will go over the best. That is not necesarily because they render tissue differences better, but they render them in a way people are used to from long experience.

    By the same token, someone who spent a lifetime learning and practicing under fluorescent lighting would probably find cool white too warm.

    But I agree that overall, this version of neutral is fairly pleasing. I would think most people would prefer it, except for those closely linked to incan use.

    Of course, I'm still quite happy with all my cool white lights.
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    Default Re: 4Sevens Mini Tint Comparison - Warm, Neutral, Cool White - BEAMSHOTS & RUNTIMES!

    Man oh man. I was sitting at work thinking to myself what would the tint differences look like in a real world setting (that is the warm and neutral) and decided to check on here if there were any. Should have known that the venerable Selfbuilt had a review.

    Good job.
    "Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark. Now they learn why they fear the night."-Thulsa Doom PAYPAL FEE CALCULATOR; list of lights.

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