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Thread: Basic LED tint bin questions, etc......

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    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Shrug Basic LED tint bin questions, etc......

    I dont fully understand how this "bin" issue works. I know that some light manufacturers sell their lights with a certain tint bin, while with other lights its like playing the lottery! I bought a thrunite Ti and got it in like 5 weeks ago. Then I ordered 2 more different colored ones(green and gold), but when they got here and I compared the beams, there is a big difference in the tints of the XP-E LED's in them. To be accurate, there seem to be 2 different tints between these 3 lights.

    Then there's the Luma D-Mini ex2 I bought with an XM-L T6 that was about as blue as those cheap 5mm LED's you get in $4 lights, but another guy here said his tint was fine in his D Mini. Sent it back due to that and other issues. I have other lights with T6's that came in white, yellow, greenish, and blue-ish. They are all over the map as far as tint is concerned.

    So how does this happen? How are some companies able to ensure that "their" lights come with a certain tint binned XM-L, or XP-G or whatever, but with other lights its a roll of the dice?

    When Cree makes these things, do they come out with random tint bins, and then Cree separates "some" of them out into different bins, but leave the rest all mixed up so that you never know what you are getting?

    Or do they have control of what tints they produce, so they can send "certain" companies the desired tint bins, and they just send these "other" companies whatever bins they have in stock at the time of the order?

    It seems really unusual to me. Its like if you went to Lowes or Home Depot to buy white paint, but when you get home, you never know whether you will get white, or yellow, or blue, or green! Whats with the lack of consistency in the LEDs sent to most companies, but total consistency to other companies? Do those companies have to pay more for the "favor" of being sent consistent and desirable tints in their products?
    Last edited by HighlanderNorth; 07-21-2012 at 07:52 PM.

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    Flashaholic* samgab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basic LED tint bin questions, etc......

    The answer is found hidden within the bulk of this document:
    http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cr...lor_mixing.pdf

    Long story short, they produce batches of emitters that all come out of the production run with variances in both luminous flux and chromaticity.
    So Cree tests each emitter for both efficiacy and chromaticity and "bins" the emitters accordingly.
    Certain "bins" are classed as premium tints or output in terms of luminous flux for a given emitter.
    Those bins fetch a premium, in terms of cost price to the end user or flashlight manufacturer.
    Other bins are viewed as less premium, and are grouped together and sold cheaper.
    Sometimes a large manufacturer can buy a whole production run of emitters, for a lower price, and they get whatever they get in terms of efficacy/tint.
    Or they can specify a range, and pay a bit more.
    Or they can specify a particular bin only, and pay top dollar.

    So that's why some manufacturers have all sorts of tints, but others seem to always have excellent tints... They'd be paying more to get those tints.
    In date order, as far as I can remember: Mag 4D LED, LL P14, Fenix LD20 R4, 47s Preon 2 R5 red, 47s Quark Mini AA S2, Fenix TK35 XM-L T6, 4Sevens ReVO SS S2, Maha MH-C808M, Maha MH-C9000, 47s Single Bay Li-ion charger, Zebralight SC600 XM-L U2, Fenix TK70, iCharger 206B, Sunwayman D40A...

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    Flashaholic* znomit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basic LED tint bin questions, etc......

    I suspect the cheap flashlight sellers get the cheapest XML or XPG they can find. Then label the XML T6 (or U2 if they're particularly cheeky) or R5 for the XPG. They don't care too much about tint.

    Tint and flux charts:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...lar-White-LEDs

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    Flashaholic* HighlanderNorth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basic LED tint bin questions, etc......

    Quote Originally Posted by samgab View Post
    The answer is found hidden within the bulk of this document:
    http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cree/LED%20Components%20and%20Modules/XLamp/XLamp%20Application%20Notes/LED_color_mixing.pdf

    Long story short, they produce batches of emitters that all come out of the production run with variances in both luminous flux and chromaticity.
    So Cree tests each emitter for both efficiacy and chromaticity and "bins" the emitters accordingly.
    Certain "bins" are classed as premium tints or output in terms of luminous flux for a given emitter.
    Those bins fetch a premium, in terms of cost price to the end user or flashlight manufacturer.
    Other bins are viewed as less premium, and are grouped together and sold cheaper.
    Sometimes a large manufacturer can buy a whole production run of emitters, for a lower price, and they get whatever they get in terms of efficacy/tint.
    Or they can specify a range, and pay a bit more.
    Or they can specify a particular bin only, and pay top dollar.

    So that's why some manufacturers have all sorts of tints, but others seem to always have excellent tints... They'd be paying more to get those tints.


    So, what if I, or anyone here went to one of these electronic internet sellers like Illumination supply, and ordered an XM-L with 4500K tint. Will it actually be 4500K, or is that a lottery too?

    It seems that the prices there for a specific bin isnt all that expensive, so I wonder how much these flashlight manufacturers are actually saving by not buying specific binned LED's, versus buying a mixed parcel of them? It cant be much....Maybe $2 - $4 extra for each LED, if that? I'd pay an additional $2-$4 for a light with a known tint binned LED.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Basic LED tint bin questions, etc......

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlanderNorth View Post
    So, what if I, or anyone here went to one of these electronic internet sellers like Illumination supply, and ordered an XM-L with 4500K tint. Will it actually be 4500K, or is that a lottery too?
    If you look at page 5, there are 4 bins close to 4500K (and actually more above and below those), so personally I'd say that your LED will be 4500 +/- 250 K. Where exactly on that line is up to the lottery. Note, however, that the colour temperature says absolutely nothing about the specific colour of the tint, it might be yellowish or more purplish. My recommendation would be to look for specific tint bins rather than just the colour temperature.

    Quote Originally Posted by HighlanderNorth View Post
    It seems that the prices there for a specific bin isnt all that expensive, so I wonder how much these flashlight manufacturers are actually saving by not buying specific binned LED's, versus buying a mixed parcel of them? It cant be much....Maybe $2 - $4 extra for each LED, if that? I'd pay an additional $2-$4 for a light with a known tint binned LED.
    A fair bit. Buying from Cree, most manufacturers are probably buying in batches of 1000 or more, so it all adds up. Also bear in mind that what you'd pay extra for is probably not what the general public would pay for, for them they just want light, and given the history of underdriven incans and extremely blue LEDs, I'd say the general public will tolerate a lot of tints that people on CPF would consider to be terrible.
    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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