Commonly Used LED Emitter Index


Flashlight Enthusiast
Sep 21, 2008
San Jose, CA
note: please do NOT copy this article without permission. All images are the sole property of their respective owners.

Because of thisthread, I've decided to do a formal writeup on the most popular LEDs used in flashlights to try to inform the learning flashaholics.

I placed this thread in the LED flashlight section so it is easier to find, and as it's more geared towards flashlight discussion.

More information will be added as more LEDs and manufacturers emerge, and as more people chime in on details I may have missed.
... still a work in progress!

Let's start with some popular manufacturers, then we'll go into further detail on the emitters themselves.

Cree Inc - Founded 1987 in North Carolina
Edison Opto Corporation - Founded 2001 in Taiwan
LedEngin, Inc. - Founded 2004 in California
Nichia Corporation - Founded 1956 in Japan
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors - Founded 1999 in Germany (joint venture between Osram and Infineon Technologies)
Philips LumiLEDs - Founded 1999 in California (joint venture between Philips and Agilent Technologies)
Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd - Founded 1992 in Korea
Luminus Devices - Founded 2002 in Massachusetts

There are many other LED manufacturers, but they are usually either not used in flashlights, not specified by manufacturers (i.e. "no-name" brand flashlights with "generic" LEDs), or only specialize in lower power emitters.

Now, onto the LEDs themselves. LEDs are ordered by date introduced unless otherwise noted

Important stuff below. :)
For a quick look at some LEDs, technical wise -- take a look at this ---> link <--- quit staring at the shiny pictures of the emitters and get to the good technical stuff! :crackup: and another useful thread to Bin Codes And Tints, here!
It includes Thermal resistance, Chip size, max rated current, max rated output, efficacy, Viewing angle, Forward, Voltage, notes, and a link to the spec sheet.

Some quick terms:

Emitter/Package: The entire LED itself, which does not include the star or board it may be mounted to.
Die: The Chip inside the LED -- the light producing portion.
Bond Wires: Wires (usually gold) that connect the die to the "-" and "+" contacts.
Phosphor: (usually talking about white LEDs) A coating on top of the die which converts light emitted by the Die to a different color.

Cree Inc-

Cree X-Lamp (entire category of LEDs -- not all have been used in flashlights and will be omitted.

XR-E 7090

EZ1000 on the left, newer EZ900 on the right.
Neutral/Warm Tints Available, Common Neutral tints are found in the Q3/Q4 flux bin

The Cree XR-E was the LED that pretty much started it all-- it had twice the efficacy of other comparable emitters out on the market at the time, and it also led to the release of the Seoul P4 -- a lower cost emitter utilizing the same die, the EZ1000.
The XR-E LED package consists of the chip on a ceramic package, 4 bond wires in total(note: some of the older and lower binned XR-Es had 3 bond wires), and optical grade silicone keeping the glass dome in place. There is a metal ring around the glass dome, but, the dome is still rather easily knocked off. In addition, the metal ring often caused the infamous "Cree Ring", a darker ring around the hotspot.


Nothing much to say here, The XR-C is identical in size to the XR-E, and was developed as a cheaper alternative to the XR-E. The chip inside the package, though, is smaller, and there are only 2 bond wires in total. This results in a higher forward voltage, which equates to less efficacy. Only a few "brick and mortar" lights use this emitter.

image courtesy of gopajti!
Neutral/Warm Tints Available.
The Cree MC-E LED is a quad die LED, consisting of 4 EZ1000 LEDs mounted inside one package. It was released as a competitor to the Seoul P7. Whereas the P7 is wired up in parallel, the Cree MC-E's dies are is individually configurable, though most flashlight manufacturers will wire it up in parallel anyways. The MC-E's package is roughly the same size as a XR-E, and the dome is the same size. In flashlights, the MC-E offers a very high output solution, though the spacing of the 4 dies often leads to a "donut hole" a drop in output in the center of the beam. Throw based lights will have this effect exaggerated.

image courtesy of gopajti!
The Cree MC-E RGBW is identical to the standard MC-E in package, but the dies have been replaced with differently colored ones. The only flashlight uses this emitter at the moment is the Quark RGB.

image courtesy of gopajti!
Neutral/Warm Tints Available, Common Neutral tints are found in the Q3/Q4 flux bin
The Cree XP-E was released after the MC-E as a competitor to the Luxeon Rebel, and to offer roughly the same efficacy of the Cree XR-E in a much smaller package. It also does not have a Ring, thus removing the problem of the "Cree Ring" (a darker ring around the hotspot).
The XP-E has a larger viewing angle than the Cree XR-E, thus cannot effectively replace the XR-E in thrower applications.

image courtesy of gopajti!
The Cree XP-C was created for pretty much the same reason as the XR-C, lower cost, with the sacrifice of efficacy.

image courtesy of gopajti!
Neutral Tint Available.
The Cree XP-G is a highly efficient single die emitter in a very small package -- it's physically the same size as the Cree XP-E, but has a much larger die size.. 1.4mm^2 as opposed to .98mm^2. As a result, it is harder to focus the light coming from this LED, the viewing angle is 125° compared to the 110 of an XP-E, and 90 of an XR-E.


(image by cmaccel)


The Cree XM-L is single die emitter, but it is even larger than the XP-G's die! featuring a 2mmx2mm squared die, this emitter is even more efficient than the SST-50, even though luminus' dies are 2.5x2.55mm!

Cree has since updated their emitters with gen2 - XP-E2, XP-G2, XM-L2.
They also have bigger die emitters, similar to Luminous ones.
The MT-G2 emitter is one that is showing up in a few flashlights.

I have not had time to update this index for a while, but there should be an overhaul next month.

Edison Opto Corporation-

edison creates many "budget" emitters, they often look very similar to current offerings from philips lumileds, but with different performance.

LedEngin, Inc.-

Ledengin makes larger LEDs, and were the first to make a high power rgb led I believe.

Nichia Corporation- lot's of 5mms!
NSPW500GS-K1 - one elongated die in a single T1-3/4 (5mm) package. Most 5mms will look identical, thus, a picture will not be provided.
The Nichia "GS" LED is one of the most commonly used 5mms in higher quality flashlights. Some recent examples include Fenix and Arc flashlights.

OSRAM Opto Semiconductors-

Golden Dragon (domed)
image by osram

image by timmyns.
note the 2nd die in the corner.. a red diode that lights up when voltage is reversed. ra twisties use this feature for a low red.

Golden Dragon Plus

These emitters are slightly lower performing than Cree's XR-E (and subsequently their better offerings), but they have supposedly better tint and beam profiles.

Diamond Dragon

the high current version of the GDP. I don't know much about these emitters are they are not used in flashlights often.


These high performance emitters can now be considered outdated.. I believe the Ostar came out before the Seoul P7 and Cree MC-E. These emitters run extremely hot and have a very high forward voltage.. not easily implemented in flashlights.

Ostar SMT

Newer Version of the 6 Die ostar. I don't have enough experience with these to write a good summary.

Philips LumiLEDs-

The original high power LEDs that started it all! The Lux I/III/V can all be summarized as being rugged, and bright (for their time).. except for the tint lottery.. purples and blues... much worse than what we have today.

Luxeon I (side emitting and lambertian available)

Luxeon III

Luxeon V

Luxeon K2, 1x1 mm^2 chip

Thin Film Flip Chip (TFFC*), 5.5 °C/W, 1x1 mm^2 chip
Color K2, image courtesy of gopajti!

Luxeon Rebel**

Thin Film Flip Chip (TFFC*),
Color Rebels, image courtesy of gopajti!

** Philips had a bad batch of TTFC chips affecting up to 5% of purchasers in January 22, 2008. The epoxy underfill was contaminated, which would cause the die to crack. Production resumed in March 2008. [source]
*** The Luxeon Rebel TFFC was released before the K2 TFFC

Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd-

image courtesy of gopajti!

Narrower angles available.
Neutral and High CRI tint bins Available


Luminus Devices-


image provided by download :thumbsup:
image courtesy of gopajti!

image courtesy of gopajti!

SST-90 Color
image courtesy of gopajti!

I want to thank saablusterfor his help with some details, and illumfor his help with his emitter pictures.

I regret that I am not able to credit everyone about their emitter pics, but it was difficult to find the original owners. If any don't want their picture posted, please, don't hesitate to say so.
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Newly Enlightened
Jan 17, 2010
San Francisco
Awesome thread! There should be an LED 101 sticky for noobs like me :wave: A lot easier than sifting through years of threads like I have been doing for months :ironic:


Feb 7, 2010
My avatar!
Thanks for those photos. All I need to do is get a magnifying glass and check my light for what emitter they have. :)


Flashlight Enthusiast
May 6, 2008
Great thread :thumbsup:. Still learned something. Didn't know what XR-C were. I knew that they look like XR-E but I didn't know that they are identical with just a smaller die.



Flashlight Enthusiast
Sep 21, 2008
San Jose, CA
and only 2 bond wires, too! (creating higher Vf, I believe)

a few B&M lights use those.


Sep 6, 2005
Palo Alto, CA
.. and to further complicate things there are 2 different dies for the XR-E. The larger EZ-1000 pictured above and the smaller EZ-900. The Flux BINs are the same for each however.

Let me know if you want a pic of the XP-C... although its nothing to get excited over. If anything, its an emitter you should probably avoid. its die surface is really small, but unfortunately surface brightness is very low so the net result is low Lumens and low lux.
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Newly Enlightened
Feb 14, 2010
Something seems a bit wonky with the die dimensions of the SST90. It states it as having 9 times the dimension each way compared to the XR-E. This would make 81 times the surface area?

The SST90's datasheet states that the emitting surface area is only 3000 um x 3000 um.

Same with the SST50, the die dimensions should be 2250x2250 um.
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Newly Enlightened
Apr 7, 2010
Shawinigan, Qc, Canada
This thread (while still in construction) should be sticky and improved, it's a real good idea to have all thoses emitter pictures.

:goodjob: :bump:


Flashlight Enthusiast
Sep 21, 2008
San Jose, CA
Something seems a bit wonky with the die dimensions of the SST90. It states it as having 9 times the dimension each way compared to the XR-E. This would make 81 times the surface area?

The SST90's datasheet states that the emitting surface area is only 3000 um x 3000 um.

Same with the SST50, the die dimensions should be 2250x2250 um.

oops.. it was in my head that a SST90 was a 9mm die :ohgeez: so I wrote 9mx9mm.. .. correcting now!