I know people are very sensitive to minor differences in raw lux @1m numbers for these lights. But as with lightboxes, you can only really compare throw values to other lights tested with the same meter, under common conditions (i.e., calibrations vary, sometimes widely). The light meter used for beam intensity/distance measures in my summary tables has always been the budget Cer CT1330B, which is generally believed around here to commonly have lower numbers than some others lux meters. I recently picked up the slightly more expensive budget-model V&A VA8050, which gave me ~13% higher lux readings, as shown in the table below:
Again, there are no guarantees as to which meter is better calibrated with these basic models - you can only compare relative values within a given meter, not across meters. But as you can see, the V&A meter provides a beam intensity reading that is closer to the manufacturer's spec in this case.
I am planning on picking up a NIST-calibrated lux meter soon, and will update all my throw measures once I have.
very interesting... thanks for the informative post!
Interesting set of numbers from the VA8050. Pretty close to the manufacturer's data. Thanks for the update Selfbuilt. Can't wait to see what you'll get from a NIST calibrated meter!
As an update, I am happy to report that Olight will be sending me a SR95UT for review. There has also been a slight delay in one of the other lights I was expecting, so I probably won't be headed out for the outdoor beamshots until next week sometime.
Thank you for the good news. I look forward to your review of the Olight SR95UT, as I have a soft spot for throw.
Another excellent review. Selfbuilt!
Thanks a lot for your time & effort as always.
I can't wait your outdoor beamshot.
Latest Review : Acebeam K40M Review
the music = rofl.
The Extech will take longer, but I will report with both current lightmeters for now, and update the review once it arrives.
Stay tuned ...
Can't wait for those beam shots and new interesting lights you got lined up. :-)
I have an SR95 UT inbound (from a Chicago seller listing them on EBay), with confirmation from FedEx showing delivery tomorrow (Wednesday the 13th). I have delayed the sale of my SR90 so that I can compare it to the new UT model side by side, and report my findings here.
FYI: There are now three different US based sellers on EBay showing that they have the SR90 UT models in stock and ready to ship.
Last edited by Flight_Deck; 06-12-2012 at 06:44 AM.
I have just updated the main review thread with the results of the SR95UT ("Ultimate Thrower") testing.
The SR95UT is a limited edition version of the SR95, with the Luminus SBT-90 emitter.
I will summarize below my specific findings for the SR95UT, so you don't have to fish through the whole review thread.
Manufacturer's Specifications for the SR95UT (where different from SR95)
- Luminus SBT-90 LED
- Output/Runtime: 60lm (48h), 300lm (10h), 1050lm(1h55min)
- Peam Beam Intensity: 168,100 cd
- Maximum throw of 820 meters
As you can see in the specs above, the SR95UT differs solely in the choice of emitter used (with corresponding differences in output and throw, which I will describe below).
As my SR95 was an engineering sample, I didn’t know initially what the final packaging would look like. The SR95UT came in full retail packaging (shown above), which includes the new-style presentation case shown on the X6 Marauder (i.e., two-toned black and silver, with metal hinges and closing flaps). There is an identification badge on the top, showing the model. Inside, you find the light with battery handle attached in cut-out foam, along with a charging power cord and transformer, shoulder carrying strap, spare o-rings, warranty card and manual.
You will note the model number is clearly identified on the label badge (i.e., SR95UT in this case).
The SR95UT has a unique serial number (reflecting its limited edition status).
As for the build, there is one small difference. As mentioned in my original SR95 review, the front-mounted gold-plated anchor ring rotated very easily on my SR95 sample. This can actually be rather annoying, as it never stops moving. But the SR95UT's ring was more stable, in keeping with the earlier lights.
Build and user interface are otherwise unchanged from the SR95. Check out the main review thread for more info.
I've added a second video comparison of the SR95 to the SR95UT, and an overview of the retail packaging:
Again, refer back to the main review for the general video showing you an overview of the build and user interface.
The SR95UT uses the Luminus SBT-90 emitter:
(as an aside, you can see they are still using the same black mask for the SST-90 die on the SR95UT's SBT-90).
The most obvious visual difference is that the big round emitter dome is missing on the SR95UT. In actual fact, the SBT-90 does have a covering, but it is very thin over the emitter die -resulting in improved light transmission for focusing. However, the maximum luminous flux of the SBT-90 is considerably lower than the current SST-90s (especially the premium bin used in the SR95). Note that the actual die size is the same (i.e., 3mm x 3mm).
Note also that this is different from end-user "de-doming", a popular SST-90 mod here. While this may increase the throw on your SR90/95 sample, there is a risk of catastrophic failure to the emitter die if you attempt this. Also, lifespan of the emitter is presumably considerably reduced (i.e., there's a reason why the covering dome is there in the first place). It stands to reason that if Luminus could make a stable SBT-90-style emitter with the higher luminous flux capacity of the SST-90, they would.
To help you compare, here are some side-by-side pics – the SR95UT on the left, SR95 on the right:
And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on their respective battery pack, on Max, about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.
As for the SR95UT, you can see that it puts out a brighter and much more tightly focused hotspot than the SR95. Overall output is less, consistent with the specs.
For outdoor beamshots, these are done in the style of my earlier 100-yard round-up review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground).
Again, you can tell that the SR95 puts out more light overall than the older SR90. It also has a broader hotspot (due to the brighter corona again). Peak throw is only slightly improved on the SR95 (although the advantage is more noticeable in real life than the pics above).
The real stand-out is the SR95UT – thanks to the much more focused beam, you get a tighter and brighter hotspot. Overall spill is dimmer of course, in keeping with the lower overall lumen output.
Here is a blow-up of the center of the images, to allow you to compare the SR95 and SR95UT hotspots and coronas:
Scroll down to my Summary Tables for actual beam distance and overall output measures.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables.
Note that my SR90 was from one of the first batches of this light, and relative output is likely to have increased since then. Olight currently cites 1750 lumens for the SR90, which is believable.
The SR95 clearly has more output and throw than my SR90. I suspect much of this is higher throw is the result of the higher output, as the SR95 reflector is slightly smaller. According to Olight, the extra output on the SR95 is due to a premium high output P-bin SST-90 used in this model.
As expected, the SR95UT has less output overall – although my ~1300 lumen estimate is higher than the manufacturer's specs. What is truly impressive is the throw – this is by far the furthest throwing reflector-based single-LED light I've tested to date.
Now, I know people are very sensitive to minor differences in raw lux @1m numbers for these lights. But as with lightboxes, you can only really compare throw values to other lights tested with the same meter, under common conditions (i.e., calibrations vary, sometimes widely). Up until now, the light meter used for beam intensity/distance measures in all my summary tables has been the budget Cer CT1330B (which is generally believed around here to commonly have lower numbers than some others lux meters). I recently picked up the slightly more expensive budget-model V&A VA8050, which gave me ~12-15% higher lux readings on average.
As I have no idea which of these lux meters is closer to the "true" reading, I have recently ordered a proper NIST-calibrated and certified Extech meter. This should resolve the matter, and I will update this review with new throw measures once it arrives. In the meantime, I will present both the Cer and V&A meter findings.
Ok, with the V&A meter, you can see the SR95UT just about breaks through the 200K lux @1m level. Again, we will have to wait for the NIST-calibrated meter for the most accurate measure. But it looks like my SR95UT samples exceeds on both output and throw measures (which makes sense – if my sample is brighter overall than spec, throw should also be increased).
UPDATE JUNE 13, 2012: There has been some discussion of how variable the SR90 can be in overall output. Here is a table showing how my estimate lumens stack up against manufacturer specs. You will note my SR90 is something of an outlier:
I believe this can be easily explained by the wide output range used for SST-90 emitter binning by Luminus. We are all used to Cree bins that typically only differ by a consistent ~7% over each bin range. In constrast, Luminus uses a variable bin range, sometimes exceeding a 20% difference within a given bin. That's a lot more variability, and means two lights with emitters from the same bin could be as much as 20% different in output. Moreover, the availability of a specific bin is never guaranteed by the light manufacturer - it is quite possible that they have had to use more than one defined output bin over the production run of the SR90. If so, that would translate into potentially up ~40% difference between samples.
You will note that my SR95 is at least 40% brighter overall than my early model SR90. Given that runtime on a common battery is not all that different (see analysis in the main review), that would suggest the output gain has come from use of a higher output bin and not by driving the emitter harder. Given the variability reported for SR90 output, I strongly suspect that two different output bins were used over time. You could thus expect anywhere between ~1-40% difference between any two SR90 samples. My SR90 is likely just a lower performing member of the lower output bin used.
Again, see my original review for a thorough examination of the SR95 relative to the SR90 (including thermal measures).
Here is how the SR95 and SR95UT compare to the high-output competition, using my standard relative lightbox output scale:
And finally, here they are against the really high-output lights, like the Olight X6 and the Titanium Innovations L35 HID (back in an estimated lumen output scale):
SR95 performance is excellent for a SST-90-equipped light driven to these levels. Note however that my runtimes for the SR95 were slightly lower than Olight's specs.
For the SR95UT, runtime was generally comparable to the SR95 – just with lower overall output (as you would expect from the SBT-90 emitter). But my output estimates for the SR95UT are noticeably higher than Olight's specs (and thus consistent with the slightly lower runtime observed).
The limited-edition SR95UT is certainly another option to consider. Compared to the original SR90, the SR95UT has about twice the peak intensity at 1m, with only a small drop in overall output. Note that my SR95UT appears to be detectably brighter than Olight's specs for this model.
Without a doubt, the SR95UT has greatest throw I've seen to date in a reflectored light. The SR95 still provides greater throw than the original SR90, but is mainly distinguished by the increased overall output. If you are interested in maximum throw, and are willing to forgo some overall output, the SR95UT is the clear throw king at the moment.
thanks for all the info and the time you put into this!
There seems to be a higher % difference between the two different SR95UT throw readings than for the other three Olights.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine
I should mention that peak intensity values are not a foolproof measuring activity. It involves manually moving the hotspot over the luxmeter, looking for the place of peak intensity (which may not be the center). This is why I don't give a hyper-precise reading (i.e. 123,456 or some such) - it is simply not accurate. If you do repeated testing, you will find that it is unlikely you will get the exact same max value reading on different days. It's possible I "missed" the true peak on a given attempt, depending on how variable the overall hotspot actually is.
For all my figures, I only report to a number of significant figures/digits that makes sense for my likely ability to replicate on subsequent testing.
All that to say I am looking forward to the NIST-calibrated Extech meter, and will take my sweet time finding those peak hotspots ...