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Thread: What's with the color tint inconsistency among Cree XM-L T-6's?

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    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Question What's with the color tint inconsistency among Cree XM-L T-6's?

    I now have bought 6 XM-L lights all in the last 7 weeks or so. The first was the Zebralight SC600(not the W version). I thought maybe it would be too cool tinted, since they also sold a war tinted model, but it really isnt bad at all. I cant figure out which version of the XM-L it or the SC600W model use, because it doesnt seem to be listed in specs anywhere. Then I got the Solarforce L2P w/Thrunite 3 mode XM-L, and it is a T-6 XM-L. When I compare it's beam with the SC600's beam, I cant tell much of a difference in color tint. They are both pretty neutral IMO. Then I got the Eagletac G25C2, and it came with the XM-L U2 LED. It is a little cooler and less warm than the first 2 above^, and when comparing it to the SF L2P, its a little more towards blue, but I wouldnt call it blue.

    But before I got the Eagletac G25C2, I ordered the Lumapower D Mini EX-2, with XM-L T6, and I'm telling you, that things beam was pure blue! It was just about as blue as the beams in those cheap, 5mm led's you see bunched up in the bezels of $4 flashlights. It was so blue-ish, combined with several other "issues", I sent it back.

    Then 2 days ago, I received my Eagletac G25A and G25C. I chose the T-6 models instead of the cooler/brighter U2 models, thinking they'd be neutral, but this time, they are very yellowish! I mean they make my previously warmest light(iTp A6 with CM-E) look neutral to cool by comparison! They are yellow enough that they render colors inaccurately. They make our light grey-ish brown soil look orange-ish at night!

    So, it seems the T-6 is all over the map when it comes to color tint! They are supposed to be neutral, and some are, but others are very yellowish or very blue....

    I thought this inconsistency had been "ironed out", and these XM-L bins were consistent by now. So whats up with all this?

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    Default Re: What's with the color tint inconsistency among Cree XM-L T-6's?

    That would be because T6 is a brightness/flux bin and not a tint bin. Unless you're buying an LED which specifies the tint bin I don't think you should really expect a certain tint.
    Last edited by Th232; 06-18-2012 at 06:37 PM.
    Finning does help dissipate heat. This is why the fins are removed before cooking fish. Otherwise it will throw off the heat and not reach the proper cooking temperature. --Duglite

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    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's with the color tint inconsistency among Cree XM-L T-6's?

    Quote Originally Posted by Th232 View Post
    That would be because T6 is a brightness/flux bin and not a tint bin. Unless you're buying an LED which specifies the tint bin I don't think you should really expect a certain tint.
    Well, that explains it. But I have read here and elsewhere people saying things like "well, its cooler because its a U2" or "the T6 is a warmer LED". That led me to believe that this defined the color tint, and that U2 was brighter because of its color tint. I havent yet read where anyone specified that these were purely brightness related, and not at all color tint related. Yet.(until now)

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    Default Re: What's with the color tint inconsistency among Cree XM-L T-6's?

    For Cree, flux is designated as <letter><number> while tint is <number><letter><optional number>. For more information on specific bins, here's Cree's document on their binning codes for XM-Ls:
    http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Components%20and%20Modules/XLamp/Data%20and%20Binning/XLampXMBL.pdf

    The reason that people sometimes link the tint to the brightness bin is that advances in brightness often sacrifice other qualities at first, I remember that the first batches of XP-G R5s were quite green when they came out, ditto with the S2s. Cree eventually refines the process to get more desirable tints at the same brightness, but the initial impressions from that first bin can remain. Even when the process is refined there's still natural variation in the process, hence the different flux/tint/voltage bins. Cree still has to sell them, and often either sells the more desirable ones at a higher price or has an agreement that they'll send several bins, including less desirable ones. Most companies don't specify the tint since it doesn't matter to the general public so you can end up with a whole range of tints, as you've noticed.
    Finning does help dissipate heat. This is why the fins are removed before cooking fish. Otherwise it will throw off the heat and not reach the proper cooking temperature. --Duglite

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