Blinding properties incan vs. LED

325addict

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Did anyone also notice, most LED flashlights only BLIND you, so you in fact rather see LESS instead of more when turning the light on? I have known this for ages, but now my former colleague - who is into building robots professionally - also came to that conclusion, after he took his standard LED light... it only blinded him, shining on those metal surfaces.... and exactly the same happens to me, when I inspect my Studer A807 recorder for clean heads! Just notice the Surefire E1E and C3 Centurion...

And.... seriously.... what I've always been asking for is now possible... to just attach pictures, without having to upload them to some photobucket or whatever service... that is a GREAT improvement, and I cannot praise this new feature enough! THANK YOU!!
IMG_5771.JPG
 

lightfooted

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Yes being able to just put your pics right into the thread without trying to find a photo hosting site first is awesome and what all the cool kids do these days, but...I disagree about the whole "LEDs just blind you" notion. Of course they do because they are probably putting out several times more light than your incans. That's why I like to have lights with multiple output levels. Remember back when incans had dials to adjust the intensity of your light? Yeah, neither do I. Another reason why I prefer LEDs.
 

325addict

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Yes being able to just put your pics right into the thread without trying to find a photo hosting site first is awesome and what all the cool kids do these days, but...I disagree about the whole "LEDs just blind you" notion. Of course they do because they are probably putting out several times more light than your incans. That's why I like to have lights with multiple output levels. Remember back when incans had dials to adjust the intensity of your light? Yeah, neither do I. Another reason why I prefer LEDs.
It's just the completely wrong part of the spectrum these LED's are most powerful in, and that is just blinding to me... and to my colleague too. He independently came to the exact same conclusion as that what I've known for ages... and why I STILL use my incan lights. And yes, a 100 Lumen LED light blinds 10 times more than a 100 Lumen incan...
 

idleprocess

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Did anyone also notice, most LED flashlights only BLIND you, so you in fact rather see LESS instead of more when turning the light on?
No, but I have noticed that LED lights are capable of intensities that can cause your pupils to snap shut if they're cranked up too high.
 

bykfixer

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When a light puts out oh I dunno, let's just say 45 lumens and the tint is a nice golden tone you see light like an old light bulb would put out.
Now put those same lumens out of a flashlight in a copy paper white beam and holy crap! The color is more of a shock to your pupils.

Also consider a light bulb often has an intense hot spot with a gentle spill. Many LED lights disperse light more evenly much wider than a light bulb flashlight.

So depending on tint of the beam and the shape of the beam an LED light can appear britghter than an incandecent light of the same output.
That's one reason warm-ish tint LED flashlights have gotten pretty popular.
 

PhotonWrangler

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I agree, the blue content of LED flashlights seems to produce much more glare than the yellower tones of incandescents or even some lower color temp LEDs.

Nice Studer BTW! I haven't seen that name in ages. It looks glorious.
 

vicv

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Agreed. I blinded myself last night with an led light when it reflected off my vans reflective strip. That doesn't happen with my incans.
And that's with 100L led with good throw against a 200L incan with basically all of the light in the hot spot. There is a difference.
 

WebHobbit

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I would suggest you and your former colleague just have yet to try any really GOOD LEDs! Try putting your incan light up against a modern high CRI with a nice CCT between 2700k and 4000k and then report back.
 

fuyume

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It's just the completely wrong part of the spectrum these LED's are most powerful in, and that is just blinding to me... and to my colleague too. He independently came to the exact same conclusion as that what I've known for ages... and why I STILL use my incan lights. And yes, a 100 Lumen LED light blinds 10 times more than a 100 Lumen incan...

It’s not a property inherent to LEDs, it’s a problem because marketing departments know that people buy LEDs more on maximum advertised output than on actual light quality, so most of the manufacturers use high color temp lights that human eyes find intensely bothersome because they have higher total outputs.

My Fenix HM23 headlamp has a very pleasant light, and I wish my Fenix E12 v2.0 shared the same emitter. The E12 is not pleasant to use. I would much rather trade a bit of rated brightness for better color rendition and less eye fatigue.

As far as actual brightness is concerned, for most things for which I need a flashlight, I need and want less than 10 lumens of output with as much runtime as I can possibly get. 4-5 lumens is perfect for 99% of my needs. Sometimes, I want and need even less than that; 1 lumen is probably enough. Occasionally, I need something brighter, but almost never do I actually need a flashlight capable of greater than 50 lumens output.

I’m planning on buying a Fenix PD36 TAC, but that’s because I want it to do primary duty as a bicycle headlamp, and only secondarily as a tactical flashlight, something I feel like I need maybe once every two years, thankfully. It will also be used for those infrequent occasions when I need that 30 lumen Eco mode with extended runtime (it will do 160 hours at 30 lumens).
 
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vicv

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I would suggest you and your former colleague just have yet to try any really GOOD LEDs! Try putting your incan light up against a modern high CRI with a nice CCT between 2700k and 4000k and then report back.
How would you feel about an sst-20 4k 95 cri?
Because that is what I used as a reference in my last post. Don't get me wrong there are many advantages to an LED light. And generally I prefer something around the 40 lumen area when walking around outside and under five when I'm in a dark house. LEDs have many advantages. Especially when it comes to convenience. But they still do not provide as good of beams or light as an incandescent.
My AirPod pros are awesome. They're comfortable and they block out the world around me. As soon as I open the case they're automatically paired to my phone. And I don't have a cord dangling between my headphones and my music player. But they just simply do not sound as good as my audiophile level corded headphones. But are superior and every other way. Innocenology the incandescent flashlight is obviously the very good headphones. Better light output but worse than every other way.
For me I don't need really long run times. I go for about a 20 to 30 minute walk every night. I can get three or four walks and then I need to charge my batteries. So that works just fine for me and I get to have better light. When I'm walking around the house at night I've got an LED because of the convenience and the low output
 

WebHobbit

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Actually the SST20 4k 95CRI is my favorite LED right now. Although I love it even more when mixed with the 2700k version (in a quad light like my Emisar D4v2). Interesting concepts explored here. I guess we are all a little different with different needs and tastes. For example I have NEVER...not even once needed super low level light that so many flashlight people seem to LOVE. Personally I just never have any use for less than say..I dunno....probably 65+ lumens
 

vicv

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Yep everyone is different. In a dark house 65 lumens to me is blinding and way too much. I like the five lumen low on my one light which is perfect for looking around the house. The point five lumen moonlight is lower than anything I ever really need so I don't get moon light mode aficionados. But to each their own. It also depends on how well the light is focused. 65 lumens with a throwy light is a lot. On the wall of light type lights 65 lumens barely illuminates anything
 

WebHobbit

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Yeah most of my lights are floody. Other than the occassional "spot something across the field at night" scenario I never need much throw
 

vicv

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It's not so much that I need lots of throw. I just prefer that type of beam. And I'll contrast two different lights. One is a solar force L2P. I'm running 2x 18350s in it and a generic 7.2 volt incandescent drop in. It draws 1.3 amps.
I also have a 3C mag light running two x 18 650s
And a Maglite 6 cell bulb drawing 0.9 amps.
So the small tactical light should be putting out a lot more lumens. The mag light absolutely slaughters it. It looks so much brighter and the smaller light looks dim in comparison even though it's higher wattage. Having that big reflector really makes a big difference in the perceived brightness. If you have more lumens in that central hot spot I feel you need less overall which is more efficient. It also means you have to carry around a bigger flashlight
 

WebHobbit

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To be honest I would prefer a well focused hot-spot with a generous spill. Like the early Malkoff MD2s (current ones may be good too I just don't own any). That arrangement is the best of all possible worlds. The only reason I stopped suing the Malkoffs is I prefer the better ergonomics of the modern e-side switch. I just don't find tail-switches comfortable anymore. I use my EDC lights frequently at work and this is in a warehouse where I am examining the sides of boxes. The building is lit pretty well but down between pallets of merch it's all shadowed..so I tend to use the light a lot but also put it away quickly. So the side switch lights work well for this task
 

autumncrown

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A 2700K light is a similar color temperature to an incandescent. No blue spike on many of these such as the e21a.

Even for higher CCT lights like the sst 20 4000k, the blue spike is at 450 nm, which is an area that the humans are highly insensitive to. I am thinking preferences for incandescents are more about CCT than any kind of spectral issue with the light.
 

lunas

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For when I really want to blind someone I have a mhp35 drop in in my solar force body. 1x 18650 1800 lumen of brilliant white light not blue 6500k 5000k white cool with no blue light. Can only run for a couple min before the body gets too hot. Never going back to incan.
 

Celery

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325addict, what is a “standard LED light”? Not fair we don’t get to know what kinda LED light ya’ll were using.

Also, you say most LED lights only blind you… well, which ones don’t blind you? 3000k Nichia or SST20?
 

WmArnold1

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To be honest I would prefer a well focused hot-spot with a generous spill. Like the early Malkoff MD2s (current ones may be good too I just don't own any). That arrangement is the best of all possible worlds. The only reason I stopped suing the Malkoffs is I prefer the better ergonomics of the modern e-side switch. I just don't find tail-switches comfortable anymore. I use my EDC lights frequently at work and this is in a warehouse where I am examining the sides of boxes. The building is lit pretty well but down between pallets of merch it's all shadowed..so I tend to use the light a lot but also put it away quickly. So the side switch lights work well for this task
Imho, throw is good for more than throw; all of the 80-degree spillers produce a floody "wall of light" that is only a few meters away from your face, degrading your night-vision nearly as much as a bare incandescent lightbulb producing the same lux on said wall would. 80-degree spill is acceptable for working on nearby stuff at lower power levels, but I think we're talking about a different situation where we're standing in a relatively dark place wanting to throw lumens at least 4 meters out without being Blinded in the process; i.e. a spill of 70-deg or less to push the wall that blinds us out accordingly

I love my Olight Warrier X Pro 2250 for walking around at night; it's about 60-degrees of spill and I'm looking for an excuse to buy the new Fenix PD40r v2.0 with it's 65-degree spill. If you need to spot house numbers or something, you might dial spill down even more.

Separately, I've EDC'd a ZebraLight SC600 since 2011 for working on stuff up close using lower-power most of the time. It doesn't work well for walking around at night and don't even think about spotting house numbers; the 80-degree spill will blind you ;-)
 
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Olumin

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I doubt really anyone could tell the difference between a SST20 3000k 95 CRI and a genuine incan lamp providing similar beam patterns. I certainly cannot. High kelvin (>3400k) lights seem brighter and more blinding because they contain more blue/green light, which are wavelengths human eyes are greatly sensitive to. It is the reason Surefire picks emmiters with a blue/green tint if you diddnt know. They may not look pretty, but they provide the most percieved brightness and visibility.
 
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