Mini Review: Versalux PR2 LED bulb

Charles Bradshaw

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I got the 2 bulbs I ordered in the mail today. Preliminary testing in 3 lights of interest: Coleman Peak 1 Expedition Headlamp (2D), 2D Mag-Lite, and PT Solo headlamp.

First off, these LED bulbs are ground and shaped. There is a warning label to NOT use them with Lithiums, probably due to the high voltage of the E2 Lithium AA (1.83 Vdc each). These are for 3 volt lights, only.

The Alkaline AAs I used are used, since I use the matrix module alot. Of interest, was how the focus would be with the smooth and textured reflectors that come with the Solo. In this I can say that it is only focused in the textured reflector. Since the alkalines were used, the light was dim, but I expected that. With fresh Titaniums, I expect it to be brighter.

In the Coleman Peak 1, which uses a faceted reflector, It not only works, but it focuses properly and is bright enough in daytime testing to be deemed useful (heavy duty D cells that came with the light).

The most pleasant surprise, is with the 2D Mag. It focuses to a bright, teensy-weensy spot, with the tired alkalines I have been using in it. It is even brighter with a pair of fresh Titaniums in the Mag.

Conclusions so far, with night time testing to come, is that this bulb is a perfect replacement for the 2C or 2D Mag-Lite, as well as the Coleman Peak 1 Headlamp. I would venture that it would work very well with any 2C or 2D focusing light, and with any 2 Cell fixed focus, with a textured reflector.

These are standard flashlight flange base mounted.

These are available from: http://techass.com/ and cost $12.95 (US) each, plus shipping and handling.

Much better than the LS based Pro Series that I happened to get. (white with bluish/purplish Nichia).

You do get the dark hole effect when unfocused in both Coleman and Mag, though (not a surprise). It is the nice bright smooth spot with a decent side light that is important here.

My Mag is no longer sulking on a shelf, and the other Versalux found a permanent home in the Coleman.

I will add another post for results of night time testing.
 

rodmeister

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I bought one a few months ago. The bulb is very dim but usable - the bluish white color improves object recognition which compensates for it's dimness.

I'll keep the incandescent bulb as the primary on my Maglite, but the LED bulb sits in the cap as a spare. The super long battery life of the low consumption LED could come in handy in situations when spare batteries are unavailable.
 

Charles Bradshaw

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e-, I don't have those lights you mentioned, so I can't compare. If you are looking for very bright, then this is not for you. This is much better than the LEDCorp PRo Series LS based bulb that I have (for the Mag). The Verslux is brighter and whiter than the Brinkman Rebel, and focuses to a very tight and smooth spot in the 2D Mag-Lite.

I have found that it performs best with Eveready Titanium D cells. I did very briefly try it in the Solo with a pair of Lithium AAs, and it was quite bright, BUT, the bulb was getting quite warm after about 10-15 seconds.

These bulbs are dimmest in 2AA lights, brighter in 2C, and brightest in 2D.

With a fresh pair of AA alkalines (Radio Shack), it was brighter than the Matrix module in my Solo, with a nice tight spot and decent side light pattern. I figure it would be brighter with Alk+ or Titaniums. Keep in mind that my RS alkalines have been around for a year, so they aren't that fresh.

In the Coleman Peak 1 headlamp, it is very bright with the 2 heavy duty D cells that come with it, and more than adequate in that headlamp.

I was looking for something that is decently bright, that focuses properly in the Mag-Lite, and is does a superb job in my Coleman. These bulbs more than fit that for my purposes.

It is a whole bunch brighter than the CMG Infinity, and you get decent throw. My Infinity, is my benchmark for dim.

One of my things, is that I like a single LED light that focuses. The first one I saw, that was designed for this, is the CC Extreme (made by Tektite). It uses 3 C cells, and is Dive certified. Very nice concept, but the only problem I had with both of the ones I had (2nd one was replacement for first one), was that with less than 30 minutes of use, the LED started strobing, and would not go back to normal. They focused very well, but I think they had some bad LEDs or no current regulation, or both.

The Versalux PR-2 LED bulb is brighter than the CC Extreme, by a long shot on tired D RS Alkalines. This is why I am so impressed with it.

My night time testing is shining it on the fresh blacktop (flat black and a photonic black hole), limestone driveway wall, tree trunks, up into the trees, at bushes and shrubs, evergreens, and the dark red brick of the back door neighbor's house (very briefly). I also test it on the dark brown wallpaper of my bedroom, and in the basement to get a feel for different conditions. This is how I test all my lights. This way I can tell whether it is barely adequate (overstatement) to very useful.

For my purposes, these are in the useful to very useful categories.

To make another comparison, My mom has a 2C Mag-Lite that came with the Chevy Blazer. I did a beam comparison between the the standard Mag bulb that cam in the 2C, and the Versalux in my 2D. The Versalux was brighter than the standard Mag bulb in the 2C. White compared to yellow. Smooth, wery tight spot, compared to filament image and artifacts.

For a single Nichia White LED in a drop in PR flange base for 2 Cells only, it is the best I have seen. I don't have good night vision, so I need something that is decent. This is it.

Now, to get the 3 Cell E10 base 1 LED from LEDCorp to try in my Petzl Zoom.
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MagLED II

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I have six of the Versalux PR-2 bulbs from: www.techass.com/el/versalux/pr2/pr2.php . these are in:

Four Eveready Waterproof lights: 2ea. 2x AA and 2ea. 2xD
A PT Solo
A PT Tec 20

The Eveready Waterproofs are excellent with the Versalux PR-2 bulbs. These are fixed focus lights with a green body and a clear head. The 2xAA are thicker around the middle then you would expect in a 2x AA light. This has a added benefit of allowing the light to float. The 2xD will sink like a rock. The lights got the sink test and are indeed waterproof. The beam is just like the incandescent but, it is dimmer. But has the same utility. I don't miss the incandescent at all. The D cell and AA cell are the same brightness.

The Tec 20 and the Solo have the textured reflector. The output is a dim center spot and a very wide corona. These are useful for close range tasks. The Tec 20 serves as a night light. Not so bright. It won't destroy your night vision. These would make excellent tool box lights. I use the Solo to do pretrips on my bus. Works great. Illuminates the whole engine compartment clearly. Not great for general purpose use. Great for close range use.

On 10/11/02 we had a power outage. It effected the entire block. I got to give these bulbs a workout. They provided more then enough light to see by and do tasks by. My neighbor and I took a walk around the complex; the 2AA did a great job illuminating the path. The center spot could be seen at over 50' away. The side spill illuminated the way just fine.

These bulbs work best in fixed focus lights IMO. The retain the same functionality of the incandescent they replace. These bulbs are great.
 

Charles Bradshaw

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MagLED II, nice to see someone else likes these bulbs!

I have one fixed focus 2C flashlight: Panasonic Krypta Lite. It is an old light, from the 70s. The focus is much better than an incandescant bulb in that light, but not perfect.

I plan to get more for spares, as the specs state that they draw 190 Ma. So I figure they are overdriven, thus decreasing life.

For my 3 cell lights, including my Petzl Zoom, I have to look elsewhere for single Nichia LED replacements. Petzls use the E10 base, and the Tektite 3 LED bulb does not focus in the zoom. Can't orient the LEDs properly. Nice flood, but no spot.
 

JoeyL

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Hello!

I like the bulbs also.
Charles, why did you not like the LS based pro series? I was thinking of getting one but the proce seemed too high for just a bulb. Does it focus differently than the regular versalux? Or is it the color? I was under the impression it was a lot brighter.

Thanks
 

Charles Bradshaw

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Hi Joey!

The Pro Series that I have, is yellowish with a darker yellow-green corona around the center spot. Also, the base under the flange is not quite long enough to prevent flickering between dimmer and brighter. The corona is far less noticable with Titaniums, and the center spot is much whiter.

The pea green color is from the side of the emitter. Unfortunately, it gets focused forward, making for a very ugly light. Focus is smooth.

Luxeons are still something of a crap shoot. The Pro Series in 2 Cell (white) is normally not available, while 3 and 4 cell whites are. It all depends on the batch that LEDCorp gets. If it didn't have that ugly colored corona and did not do a brightness flicker when turning the Mag head (or tapping the bulb), it would be perfect. It is brighter than the Versalux.

Some guys got very lucky with the Pro Series bulbs.

The Versalux focuses down to an extremely tight, bright, white hot spot that doesn't widen very much with distance (in my 2D Mag). The pro doesn't focus tha tightly, but it is smooth. Unfortunately, some of that pea green side emission gets mixed with the center spot.

When I saw your query, I dug the pro out and put in the Mag, went into a light tight room and used it without the head to find where the pea green was coming from.

The CMG Reactor is far brighter and whiter than my pro bulb. Silviron is working on an Mag-Lite adapter to put the Arc LS inside the head of a 2 cell Mag-Lite.

Hope I didn't confuse you too much.
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JoeyL

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Charles,

I just saw this now.
Thanks, That's very helpful.
Theoretically, if it's a good luxeon this could be a great bulb. I far prefer the blue tints to the pea green stuff. If they could guarantee them to be like the Surefire KL1 color I would be really happy with that.
 

Stefan

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Charles,

I ordered a Reactor early Monday morning... with airmail I hope its in by tomorrow. Hopefully this thing is as bright as they claim it is.
 

Charles Bradshaw

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Stefan,

The Reactor is optimized for Lithium AAs, and Roy's runtime plot confirms the 25 hour runtime on Lithiums.

It is not the brightest LS 2AA light, as it is engineered for runtime. The Arc LS is very bright on 2AA Lithiums, but, you get only 6 hours of bright light on the rev1 circuit, and less with the rev2 circuit.

The Reactor is brighter than a 10 - 12 LED light, with a better throw (due to the nature of the LS and optics).

If you get unlucky on the color, contact CMG and see if you can get it replaced with one that is much whiter.
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Illuminated

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Hello!
Since this subject is relative to drop-in PR-based LED replacements, I thought I'd put in a quick two cents worth. I reviewed the Versalux info on their lamp, and while it says operational down to .7 volts (I think), I have a couple of Sinotone's Night Pearl 2-cell units. They aren't the brightest, but they work rather well for certain uses. In a 2D Maglite, they focus well enough to spot skunks in my back yard at 100+ feet, and only draw around 80 mA on slightly used AA alkalines. In the PT Solo with the textured reflector it has a brighter center (rather tight with feathered edges) and usable corona for near-field illumination. I'd say that the overall brightness is maybe slightly brighter than the PT Matrix. Installed in a Garrity 2AA Armoured w/faceted reflector, it has a nicely shaped medium focussed centerspot that fades softly around the edges, and seems to be the first light I grab for general purpose utility purposes. In summary, the Night Pearl works rasonably well for a drop-in 2-cell replacement, and seems to be easy on batteries. If anyone has compared theNight Pearl to the Versalux, I'd like to know about it. Thanks.
 

rlhess

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I bought four of the VersaLux lamps and found two of them are used regularly by my kids. They are using them in 2-C fixed focus Radio Shack lights. I've only had to replace the batteries about every four months now instead of every month or less with the incandescents. Paid for themselves and the kids are happy.

I have not found a use for the other two as my generic utility flashlight is the much wider beamed Streamlight 3C LED (I have five of them and three of the SL 4AA).

However, these lamps are nice, albeit dim. They throw far because of the good reflector for the incandescent lamps, but the beam is VERY tight.

Cheers,

Richard
 

Charles Bradshaw

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What I would like to know, is whether or not the Night Pearl can be used with E2 Lithium AAs (3.66 Vdc for 2 in series). The Versalux can't, as it will overheat.

Thanks for the link, Bart. I did see that back in September, while I was browsing the Museum site.
 

Illuminated

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Charles,
Just bought some E2's yesterday and put'em in my 2AA Garrity Rubber Tuff Lite w/Night Pearl. Just wanted to see if any brighter than alks-it was a little brighter, but only had them in long enough for a short test. If no one else has tried this w/Night Pearl, then I might be willing to sacrifice one to find out. For $6.95 LED + $3.99 Tuff Lite + $4.00 E2's I think it would be a good expendible cheap cold weather glovebox light. BTW, Night Pearl draws 80-85mA on near-new alks FWIW. Later - John
 

Illuminated

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Charles,
Fired-up the Night Pearl with 2 new E2 lithiums. Initial current =147mA. Ran unit continuously for 25 minutes outside (40 deg here in OH). Left light on inside for another 15 min. Current now measured at 106mA. No significant heat buildup detected.
Still pleased that other Night Pearl focusses tightly in 2D Mag and throws 100+ feet, though not in same league as an Luxeon. Will not focus very wide w/o hole in beam center, though. Note - seems I read somewhere that lamp operates down to 2 Volts or something like that. Will have to go back and try to find that. Hope this helps.
John
 

Charles Bradshaw

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Thanks, Illuminated. If it is going to heat up, it will do so quickly. I had one of those el cheapo $10 headlamps, like Tektite sells (3 AA), and I got one of those 2 LED PR bulbs from C. Crane. I put 3 Lithium AAs in it, and the LEDs got so hot, that the plastic bulb retainer at the base of the reflector melted.

That's why I was concerned.
 
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