Changing LED Tint With Filters

Derek Dean

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I'm happy to see this discussion brought back to life, as I think it's still VERY important, and I agree that there are still many misconceptions about the subject of LED light color.

By the way, Owen, I don't know what causes the filters to degrade, whether it's heat or what, but I do know that with the regular filters it seems to happen fairly quickly on my LED lights, so I'm happy that I've finally refiltered them all with the new Zircon material, which was super easy to do since I just used the old filters as templates.

And Owen, I'll make you the same offer. If you'd like to try the Zircon 802 filter material, just PM me with your address and I'll send you some, and heck, I'll make that offer to anybody that wants to try it, for at least as long as my supply holds out (USA only please).
 
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Owen

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I don't have anything that I'd use a minus green filter in, but thank you so much for the offer. Think it was one of your posts that motivated me to buy a Malkoff M61HOT, along with some Lee filters to try in it. I really like this light with the 206, and wouldn't have bought it otherwise, so thanks for that, too!
I've sent a couple of members some Lee 206 and 223 to try out, but don't know if they've used them yet.
The 206 does a good job knocking out the blue.
I posted this on the Malkoff forum right after getting the filters:
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M61HOT, before and after Lee 206:
nDQF9WA.png


Compared to my old original M61N with XP-G:
60lCAwQ.jpg


lTP8w5n.jpg

----------

Now I'm interested in trying some of Lee's less aggressive diffusing film to see if I can get a wider spot that blends into the spill more(like a Zebralight) with the M61N. That would sell me on a LL version, that I also wouldn't otherwise buy, because I don't want a concentrated spot in a low output light.
It's great to have these options, and be able to "customize" lights to taste.
 

Derek Dean

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It's funny that mentioned the diffusion material, Owen, because I just got a new Zebralight today (SC64c LE), and of course it needed an 802 minus green filter, but I also added some diffusion material from the Lee Filter swatch book and it did a great job of smoothing out the beam. I think it was called "Hollywood Diffusion".

And wow, that 206 filter you added to your light made a huge difference. Very nice indeed.
 

Owen

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How are you attaching these filters to Zebralights?

Hope you enjoy the SC64c. I've had the SC64w HI for a few months, and absolutely love it. I use Malkoffs for heavy use at work and "emergency" lights, but Zebralights for everything else.
 

Derek Dean

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Owen, on my older Zebras (and some of my other lights) I'm able to unscrew the bezel and place the filter inside. On the new ones, I simply place a tiny piece of double sided tape square in the middle of the glass and stick the filter on it. I've done this on 5 of my lights, including one that I've used every night at work for the last 5 years (and rides in my front left pants pocket), and never had any issues with the filters coming off, etc, and because the piece of tape is tiny and sitting right in the middle, I don't see any change in the beam pattern.

Yep, you can't beat those Malkoff lights for rugged and dependable construction. So far, I've only had one Zebra fail, a faulty light switch in an SC600 that I bought used. Fortunately the folks at Zebralight were able to fix it for $15, so not too bad.

Oh yeah, I love the new SC64c LE. Once I got it filtered I was able to enjoy that beautiful hi CRI beam in all it's glory. Already tried it at work tonight, and I've got a feeling this is going to be my new #1.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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After reading that Derek just got an SC64 LE, ever so quickly went to ZL website only to see they are still back ordered...
Derek, that flashlight is so much more efficient and brighter (do miss the lowest lows, though) than the older ZL’s in this house, but it is not an ideal tint and would be curious to hear what you used to improve the cast.

First Zebralight is an SC52 from maybe 7 years ago; horrible green dreariness. Put a 1/4 minus green filter (thanks to Derek) and made it nice. Gave it to elderly mother where it spent years in her purse, using only primary lithium AA except in dire emergency. With careful cutting and fitting, a disc of LEE filter material was used on the outside of the glass by slipping it under the bezel ring just a little on the edges (no adhesive tape). It was not perfect but has lasted all these years. Now that she is no longer alive it has become wife’s.
 

Derek Dean

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KITROBASKIN, It's funny, I mean, it's not like I "needed" another Zebralight. My original SC62w works just fine and has been my nightly work light for many years, and with a 1/4 minus green filter on it, the tint is nearly perfect white, but I've heard so many folks talk about how great the SC64c LE is, that I thought I'd give it a try and see if the hi CRI LED made any difference.

Like you, when I went to the ZL website, it said back ordered, but I'd read that many folks still ordered it while it was back ordered, and that it was still shipped in about a week, so I did the same thing. I knew it was a risk, but like I said, it's not like I really "needed" a new light, so I was prepared to wait, but sure enough, about a week after I ordered it, I got the shipping notice.

Anyway, I fired it up, and the first thing I noticed was a slight greenish tint. No surprise there, so I used some of my new Lee Zircon 802 filter material (which is similar to a 1/4 minus green), and that cleaned it right up. I also added some diffusion material because my uses are all very close up and I prefer a nice smooth beam for that.

Of course the original SC62w is rated at about 4400 k, which gives me a very white beam when filtered, while the newer SC64c LE is rated at 4000 k, which gives me a bit more of a creamy warm tint when filtered. It's actually quite lovely and only apparent when comparing the two lights next to each other.

The thing that surprised me is that there is not that much of a difference in how they render colors. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, because the SC62w (once filtered) has always been very pleasant to use, with very good color definition, but I had expected just a bit more of a difference with the new higher CRI LED.

Anyway, I'll be keeping both lights, as I do really like that the SC62w has a lower LOW level, which is quite noticeable, and while the difference in color rendering is subtle, I still prefer the newer SC64c LE for it's creamy goodness, and I do really like the new clip (which is MUCH stronger than the old one).
 

Got Lumens?

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KITROBASKIN, It's funny, I mean, it's not like I "needed" another Zebralight. My original SC62w works just fine and has been my nightly work light for many years, and with a 1/4 minus green filter on it, the tint is nearly perfect white, but I've heard so many folks talk about how great the SC64c LE is, that I thought I'd give it a try and see if the hi CRI LED made any difference.

Like you, when I went to the ZL website, it said back ordered, but I'd read that many folks still ordered it while it was back ordered, and that it was still shipped in about a week, so I did the same thing. I knew it was a risk, but like I said, it's not like I really "needed" a new light, so I was prepared to wait, but sure enough, about a week after I ordered it, I got the shipping notice.

Anyway, I fired it up, and the first thing I noticed was a slight greenish tint. No surprise there, so I used some of my new Lee Zircon 802 filter material (which is similar to a 1/4 minus green), and that cleaned it right up. I also added some diffusion material because my uses are all very close up and I prefer a nice smooth beam for that.

Of course the original SC62w is rated at about 4400 k, which gives me a very white beam when filtered, while the newer SC64c LE is rated at 4000 k, which gives me a bit more of a creamy warm tint when filtered. It's actually quite lovely and only apparent when comparing the two lights next to each other.

The thing that surprised me is that there is not that much of a difference in how they render colors. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, because the SC62w (once filtered) has always been very pleasant to use, with very good color definition, but I had expected just a bit more of a difference with the new higher CRI LED.

Anyway, I'll be keeping both lights, as I do really like that the SC62w has a lower LOW level, which is quite noticeable, and while the difference in color rendering is subtle, I still prefer the newer SC64c LE for it's creamy goodness, and I do really like the new clip (which is MUCH stronger than the old one).
Can we get a screen shot of the two :poke:
 

Derek Dean

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Can we get a screen shot of the two :poke:
Okie dokie. Not sure this is going help much. I'm in the middle of a project so these are just quick snaps, and it's important to remember that both lights have Zircon 802 filters and the SC64c LE has an additional piece of diffusion material as well. I just didn't have time to take those filters off.

This first shot is a white wall and white piece of cardboard that the lights are laying on. Camera White balance set to 5000K, which is what I typically use for daylight.

Camera White Balance set to 5000K.........SC62w on left and SC64c LE on right.


With Camera still at 5000K, I took two images of some soup cans to show relative color rendering:

Camera at 5000K ..... SC62w


Camera at 5000K ..... SC64c LE


Now, I'm going to match the color balance of the camera to the listed K value for each light, that's 4400K for the SC62w and 4000K for the SC64c LE. I'm hoping this will help give a better idea of the relative ability to render colors accurately.

Camera at 4400K ..... SC62w


Camera at 4000K ..... SC64c LE


So, again, not sure how much this helps, but it should give an idea of how they compare. Anyway, I'm amazed at how well the SC62w looks when it's filtered with that Zircon 802, but I do believe the SC64c LE (filtered with an 802) just edges it out, and in real world use, the SC64c LE is just a step above. And yes, I like soup :crackup:
 

Got Lumens?

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Thank You Dean
There a big noticeable difference setting the white balance on the camera. I'll have to play with that on my next shoot.
I like the diffusion You added, smooth's it right out
I like soup too :cool:
 
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Owen

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What kind of double-sided tape was that?
Have any of you tried any of the transparent adhesives that are liquid, and harden? I'm wondering if those would be removable/replaceable, but haven't read up on them yet.

I have tried several different products from Lee Filters lately, and am jamming what could be half a dozen separate replies into one post(please don't quote this whole thing!), but hope someone might find these comments and observations helpful in choosing which product might work for what they want.

My Malkoff Hound Dog Super's beam had some green in the corona, so I bought the 802, 803, and 804 minus greens to play with.
The filters work as advertised, and the "step" from one filter to the next is noticeable in the effect on both tint and output.
Any other comments I could make would be specific to that one light, but I'll say that the 802 is a very strong filter with a pretty dramatic effect on both tint and output, and perhaps better considered a last resort rather than a starting point.

Seeing the 803, and especially the more transmissive 804, in action actually makes me want to try a plus blue on lights that are a bit warmer than I prefer.
Not sure if these filters are a blessing, or the road to madness.
I'm afraid closely comparing tints(that are all fine on their own) side by side, and wanting to match them all up, or adjust individual ones to a preferred tint for a specific environment really is a "rabbit hole" that'll make you be careful what you wish for!

Also got the 251 and 252 diffusion film, which it turns out are MUCH more diffusive than what I was looking for, or was suggested by the little slider on their website that's supposed to show the degree of each film's effect. The 251 Quarter White makes even a spot-oriented beam almost pure flood, while using the 252 Eighth White results in a beam very similar to Zebralight's F models.
This is what the Lee 252(>85% transmissivity!) did to my old(XPG, perhaps only 230ish lumens) M61N:
OPbpWzS.jpg


It does limit the beam's usefulness for what I think of as a "general purpose" flashlight, but is wonderful for close use indoors or out. What you can't see from the pic is that the beam is lighting up everything from a few inches in front of the lens. Floor, ceiling...everything.
Here it is outdoors:
1S0dWHx.jpg


GXS9IgS.jpg



Shined my old SC52w through a piece of 803 the other day, and whoa! Didn't keep it from looking a bit dingy next to the SC64w HI, but still a very noticeable improvement. It was always the worst of my neutrals, but minus green really cleans it up!

Finally, as a FYI, the advent of the Zircon filters kind of gave me the impression that the regular ones were flimsy.
My M61HOT with the 206 filter recently got left on, or somehow turned on, in my pocket for a while. The Lee 206 between the lens and optic was unharmed, at least visually, in spite of the acrylic lens getting deformed, and the gasket in front of it partially melting to the lens. I replaced the 206, anyway, because it seemed like it was not filtering as much blue out after the "incident", but I was surprised and impressed that the filter didn't deform or melt.
 
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Derek Dean

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What kind of double-sided tape was that?

Not sure if these filters are a blessing, or the road to madness.
I'm afraid closely comparing tints(that are all fine on their own) side by side, and wanting to match them all up, or adjust individual ones to a preferred tint for a specific environment really is a "rabbit hole" that'll make you be careful what you wish for!
Owen, a VERY relevant and useful post. Thank you for taking the time to share your first hand observations.

By the way, I simply use Scotch Double Sided Tape, available pretty much anywhere. All it takes is a teeny tiny piece placed directly in the center.

And yes, when I first started this "madness", many years ago, I spent countless hours mixing and matching filters, trying to get that perfect colored beam, but have since settled for simply improving the beam to something better than when I started, so usually now, I'll just pop on an 802 Zircon plus a little diffusion (picked from one of my Lee Filter Swatch books), and call it a day. That will typically get me in the ball park of the smooth, slightly rosy beam that I tend to favor.

Have fun. I'll look forward to your continued observations : )
 

Got Lumens?

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What kind of double-sided tape was that?
Have any of you tried any of the transparent adhesives that are liquid, and harden? I'm wondering if those would be removable/replaceable, but haven't read up on them yet.

I have tried several different products from Lee Filters lately, and am jamming what could be half a dozen separate replies into one post(please don't quote this whole thing!), but hope someone might find these comments and observations helpful in choosing which product might work for what they want.

My Malkoff Hound Dog Super's beam had some green in the corona, so I bought the 802, 803, and 804 minus greens to play with.
The filters work as advertised, and the "step" from one filter to the next is noticeable in the effect on both tint and output.
Any other comments I could make would be specific to that one light, but I'll say that the 802 is a very strong filter with a pretty dramatic effect on both tint and output, and perhaps better considered a last resort rather than a starting point.

Seeing the 803, and especially the more transmissive 804, in action actually makes me want to try a plus blue on lights that are a bit warmer than I prefer.
Not sure if these filters are a blessing, or the road to madness.
I'm afraid closely comparing tints(that are all fine on their own) side by side, and wanting to match them all up, or adjust individual ones to a preferred tint for a specific environment really is a "rabbit hole" that'll make you be careful what you wish for!

Also got the 251 and 252 diffusion film, which it turns out are MUCH more diffusive than what I was looking for, or was suggested by the little slider on their website that's supposed to show the degree of each film's effect. The 251 Quarter White makes even a spot-oriented beam almost pure flood, while using the 252 Eighth White results in a beam very similar to Zebralight's F models.
This is what the Lee 252(>85% transmissivity!) did to my old(XPG, perhaps only 230ish lumens) M61N:


It does limit the beam's usefulness for what I think of as a "general purpose" flashlight, but is wonderful for close use indoors or out. What you can't see from the pic is that the beam is lighting up everything from a few inches in front of the lens. Floor, ceiling...everything.
Here it is outdoors:


Shined my old SC52w through a piece of 803 the other day, and whoa! Didn't keep it from looking a bit dingy next to the SC64w HI, but still a very noticeable improvement. It was always the worst of my neutrals, but minus green really cleans it up!

Finally, as a FYI, the advent of the Zircon filters kind of gave me the impression that the regular ones were flimsy.
My M61HOT with the 206 filter recently got left on, or somehow turned on, in my pocket for a while. The Lee 206 between the lens and optic was unharmed, at least visually, in spite of the acrylic lens getting deformed, and the gasket in front of it partially melting to the lens. I replaced the 206, anyway, because it seemed like it was not filtering as much blue out after the "incident", but I was surprised and impressed that the filter didn't deform or melt.


I've had the Carclo triple 21mm's melt on me! Light got activated while bezel down???. It melted the lens and left a burn mark in the wood that it sat upon. There have been many undocumented uses of filters that have not worked well. Dean is the go to for filtering on CPF. Dean has so many thousands of hours of documented observations, I think the Filter companies should compensate/sponsor him for opening a new market other stage/cinema applications. Their engineers know, but have no idea about LED flashlight applications.




Owen, a VERY relevant and useful post. Thank you for taking the time to share your first hand observations.

By the way, I simply use Scotch Double Sided Tape, available pretty much anywhere. All it takes is a teeny tiny piece placed directly in the center.

.....
Thank You Dean for your knowledge and application advice :D.
GL
 

Owen

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Some feedback on the Lee 206 filter:

The Malkoff M61HOT uses a 6200K emitter.
I recently did some white balance comparisons between it and lights with 4000K and 4500K emitters.
This was after everything got heated up from the light being left on, as previously described. Based on the CCT relative to the neutral emitters, the Lee 206 was knocking the 6200K down to 5100-5200K.
I just redid the test with the recently installed replacement filter, and am getting 4800-4900K.
^^^these are guesstimates based on adjusting WB in the Pro mode of a Samsung S9's camera, not gospel.

Whether due to time, use, or heat, I can't say, but between my noticing a visible difference, however slight(I constantly use, play with, and compare the same 3 lights), and confirming with the WB comparison, these filters are obviously not a permanent solution, and will need replacing at some point due to degradation.
Given that I installed the original filter on Feb. 2, and replaced it in about 2 minutes over 3 months later, after 6-7 nights per week of regular use, and exposure to an unusual amount of heat, it still gets :twothumbs from me.
 
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