LITHIUM MYTH: buy regulated LED lites!!

rlhess

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Apr 27, 2002
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{rant mode on}

My Inova X5 with batteries measuring 5.90V is about 60cd. With fresh batteries measuring 6.54V its output is about 90cd. This falloff (and if you read the Energizer tech data, 5.9V (2.95V per cell) is up there in the 80% capacity remaining area.

I took the older Lithiums from the X5 and put them in the Brinkmann LX and got 2700cd. So while the Brinkmann's output fell 13% (from 3100cd), the X5's output fell 33% (from 90 to 60)!
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Whoever suggested I could use the low batteries out of my LX in the X5 - yes, I could in "moon" mode.

I will probably keep the X5 but I'm not sure why.

BUY Regulated LED lights! Accept no substitutes...even the relatively flat curve of lithiums makes for a disappointment. This makes sense when you consider the forward voltage drop has to be exceeded before you get any light. Go look at the Luxeon Star data sheets for example: current draw against voltage and current draw against light output. A small change in voltage makes a huge change in light output.

{rant mode off}

Other light comparisons

6D Mag 2900cd

Lambda Illuminator 290cd on fresh batteries falling to about 200 on almost dead batteries.

MiniMag: 360cd (best focus)

Brinkmann 2AA LX (base light for Illuminator) with stock lamp and a less-than-wonderful pattern: 160cd

Princeton Tec Aurora 50-20-10cd
Princeten Tec Pulsar 45cd
Arc AAA LE 26cd

Note all measurements are for max output using a Minolta Autometer IIIf and the equations from the ANSI exposure meter standard to convert to fc. Since the distance is 1 ft from meter to lamp, that then converts to candela (candlepower)...at least that's how I understand it.
 

Spork

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May 25, 2001
Messages
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I didnt think there was a true regulated light. even the arcs dim, just not nearly as bad without their regulation circuit. if the x5 puts out good light for 5 hours i dont see anything to be disapointed about.
 

RonM

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Nov 10, 2000
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NJ, USA
I like regulated lights, but there is a downside. The regulation circuitry uses power and ultimately reduces the efficiency of the flashlight. That said, one of my favorite lights is a mod I made using the regulated Versalux ULM.

vlx1.jpg
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
What would suffer first the runtime or brightness of the X5 if it was to be regulated?
 

rlhess

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by No. 581:
What would suffer first the runtime or brightness of the X5 if it was to be regulated?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The quoted runtime of the X5 would go down (they say 20 hours or something) but the 4 hours you got would be at full brightness. Now, only the first hour or so approaches full brightness.

My wife thinks I'm being too hard on it. Oh well.
 
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**DONOTDELETE**

Guest
Even the regulated liteg go dim when the batts get so low the regulator (actually a flyback step-up converter) cannot "charge" the inductor in the circuit. I hve built several test units, both with simple converters, and true regulators. The true regulator will run full power to the LED as long as it can, followed by continued output (depending on the chip and surrounding circuitry)at a lower level. I agree, as an X5 owner, that they are expensive to run, and that only the first few hours are really bright. If you want a really flat output curve, go for a regulated design.
 

sflate

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Beachwood, Ohio
I'd rather sacrafice runtime to some degree for a more regulated output. I used to be afraid to turn on my Photon light because it would have the 'WOW' factor only for a minute or two before getting dimmer. My regulated Arc AAA LE is used much more often because it retains it's high output for much of it's life. I wish all lights were regulated.
 

Spork

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I don't think I will be buying lights that aren't regulated anymore either. If people want more regulated lights we need to stop buying up all the ones that aren't. 50 bucks is a lot of money for the new x5. I would like to buy the opalec but with the regulated luxeon lights comeing out I dont know if its worth the 30 dollars. then again I dont wanna pay 100 bucks for a surefire or arc ls. so do you guys think the opalec is worth buying right now? I'm not interested in starting a collection I just want the best lights available.
 

this_is_nascar

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Mar 29, 2002
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Gloucester, New Jersey
By not wanting to purchase a SureFire or ARC-LS, you've just ruled-out the best of the best lights.

When it comes to the SureFire line and the ARC-LS, you do "get what you pay for".
 

Spork

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by this_is_nascar:
When it comes to the SureFire line and the ARC-LS, you do "get what you pay for".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I purchased a e2 and was very disapointed. I'm not a big surefire fan. I bet they will have some nice Luxeons lights whenever they release them though. You are right, I will need to pay a big price for the latest regulated luxeon light. I just put in my order for the opalec. the 30 dollars doesnt look so expensive now. I know regulated luxeon lights will always be expensive but I'm going to wait until the price lowers a little. With so much changing technology there will be a lot of new flashlights and I don't wanna dump a lot of money when a better one is already in the workshop. I have a ultra stinger which will be much brighter than any led for a while. I sold my lightwave 4000 because its just a big chunk of batteries with dimming light. I know the opalec probly isnt that bright but it should work well for a general use light I hope.
 

this_is_nascar

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Gloucester, New Jersey
I somewhat agree with your saying, but lights are getting like computers, meaning if you buy the latest, neatest on on Tuesday, by Friday there's something else that's out that is ever neater.
 
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