Warmth and High CRI: Ra Clicky and Zebralight comparo

applevision

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Hey guys,

This is a bit of a strange mashup, but I have been meaning to do this for a while...

So, there is LOTS of interesting discussion about warm, neutral, and high CRI lights around here, and it really piqued my interest.

So I started off with the venerable H501w from Zebralight (currently #3 on the "Must Have" list here!), and then fell for the gorgeous SC50w from Zebralight (which I adore!). But I kept reading and reading and I really wanted to experience a high CRI light... so after looking at the above-mentioned list, I pulled trigger on the #1 light: The Ra Clicky from HDS Systems and got the High CRI version (which has a CRI of 93 and, I believe, is supplied by SSC.) Of course, I would love to obtain a McGizmo Sundrop someday with its Nichia 083 high CRI emitter... but I don't have one yet.

In short, I'm sold, smitten, and finished. I adore the Ra Clicky and it's high-CRI beauty! I am thinking that it is going to be VERY hard to go back to regular LEDs after this, even my beloved warms! In short, I've become a high-CRI snob...

To the Beamshots!
First, the players: From L->R: Ra Clicky High CRI, the Proton Pro (newest edition), Zebralight SC50w, and the 4Sevens MiNi CR2 (my EDC of EDCs!):
IMG_2114.jpg


And again from a different angle:
IMG_2115.jpg


And finally, looking into the emitters:
IMG_2116.jpg



Now for the beams! [All beamshots taken with a Canon Rebel XTi in full Manual with F4.0, 0"6 and ISO 100]
First, the setup: we're looking at a large wall about 20 feet away with a huge, brightly-colored metal sculpture (this is my brother-in-law's house--they like art!). Here it is with the flash alone:
IMG_2129.jpg


And now the magnificent Ra Clicky High CRI (Look at how the reds pop out and how you can really get a sense of the depth!):
IMG_2131.jpg


And now, to juxtapose a stark contrast, check out the nice-but-cool Proton Pro:
IMG_2132.jpg


And here is the Zebralight SC50w (very nice color, but less "pop" than the High-CRI--amazing!):
IMG_2133.jpg


And the cool-but-awesomely-bright 4sevens MiNiCR2 (a workhorse, indeed):
IMG_2134.jpg


In thinking about these lights--all excellent torches in their own right--I cannot help but gravitate to the Ra Clicky. Yes, it is much more expensive than the others, and yes it is built like a TANK... yet, it is not as bright as the MiNi CR2... but the BEAM is what wins the day. Smooth, clean, and a color like no other... or should I say the ability to produce colors and depth like no other. It's addictive.

My second place winner is the Zebralight SC50w, which is such a wonderful light. So ergonomic, so beautiful, so small and light (yet strong!)... it's a joy. I actually emailed Zebralight about putting a high-CRI emitter in their lights--and they wrote back! As follows:

Subject: High CRI light

We are aware of the SSC Hi CRI in the RA Clicky. The size of the SSC P4 is too big for the current SC51/H51 or SC30/H31 offerings (that's what our engineers told me). I'll relay your request to our engineers to see if these lights can be revised to have larger heads/reflectors.

Sincerely,

Lillian Xu
ZebraLight, Inc.
8320 Sterling Street
Irving, TX 75063

I am now convinced that the next "BIG" thing in LEDs is higher CRI (along with neutral color--several members smarter than me have pointed out that high CRI and beam color are technically independent things and must be discussed separately) and I for one can't wait for these lights to arrive!
 
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Lumenz

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Thank you for taking the time to do this. I have all of those lights, including warm versions of the 4Sevens MiNi lights. The High CRI from HDS is by far my favorite light and the one that is always with me. I also hope that other manufacturers get away from the lumen battles and start making more high CRI lights.
 

applevision

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Thank you for taking the time to do this. I have all of those lights, including warm versions of the 4Sevens MiNi lights. The High CRI from HDS is by far my favorite light and the one that is always with me. I also hope that other manufacturers get away from the lumen battles and start making more high CRI lights.

Very nice!!
I would be happy with any of those lights:thumbsup:

Thanks, guys!
lovecpf
 

Phos4

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ya went an teased me about he h501w--my favorite of all the times and then ya don' show a single pic of that bueaty

u do take nice pics tho

why do ya torture me?

-phos4
 

chenko

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I share the same thought of the OP: the next big step for flashlights and lighting in general will be high-CRI in leds. I'm anxiously waiting for that too!
 

jellydonut

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Does CREE make any high CRI emitters? (am I the only one who ends up pronouncing CRI as a word?:()
 

PaveHammer

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I pronounce it High Cry as well, you're not the only one. :)

Furthermore, thank you to the OP for posting this result. The more I see High CRI Clickies, the more I know that I'm going to own one... Especially for it's photography values...
 

vvs

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Those pictures does not reflect CRI, but reflect lux level on picture: the matrix on camera is similar to human eyes - less lux, less color perception on low levels. Correct test should reflect this issue too.
 

applevision

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Those pictures does not reflect CRI, but reflect lux level on picture: the matrix on camera is similar to human eyes - less lux, less color perception on low levels. Correct test should reflect this issue too.

This is a good point and undeniably true to some extent, but I can tell you that in my experience with the low and medium levels, the above findings remain valid. Moreover, even within the confines of the presented data, the MiNiCR2 is significantly brighter than the Ra Clicky and yet renders color in an inferior way.
 

skyfire

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Im in the same boat. most my lights are neutral tint, then fell in love with warm tints. after a few XPG 3000k and a SST-90 3000k. then finally got a high CRI HDS clicky, and gotta say its tint, and rendering is awesome! package that with a super rugged, efficient, programmable, single cell torch, and it truely is the ultimate edc.
 

tre

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Those pictures does not reflect CRI, but reflect lux level on picture: the matrix on camera is similar to human eyes - less lux, less color perception on low levels. Correct test should reflect this issue too.

What is the correct test? Not to create more work for the op, but perhaps we can results (pics) of whatever this other test is too?

Thanks for the pics.
 

applevision

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What is the correct test? Not to create more work for the op, but perhaps we can results (pics) of whatever this other test is too?

Thanks for the pics.

Ideally, I think he is saying, we'd need the same beam pattern and same lux value for each CRI and color temperature-- that would be a much better comparison. The truth is that while low light in general creates sort of a 'washed out' effect (which is fairly well-established) I think we have sufficiently crossed that threshold with this test. Moreover, other similar comparisons with floody lights like the Sundrop confirm these observations as well.
 

applevision

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ya went an teased me about he h501w--my favorite of all the times and then ya don' show a single pic of that bueaty

u do take nice pics tho

why do ya torture me?

-phos4

Hey Phos4, sorry about that. The truth is that from that distance, the pure-flood H501w simply did not cast enough light to be picked up well. I can say, however, that my SC50w and my H501w have almost identical tint and "apparent CRI" to my eye.

Does CREE make any high CRI emitters? (am I the only one who ends up pronouncing CRI as a word?:()

Yes, they have one with a CRI of 91, called TrueWhite, discussed here. But I don't know of any light that uses it... yet. Anyone?
 

jellydonut

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Yes, they have one with a CRI of 91, called TrueWhite, discussed here. But I don't know of any light that uses it... yet. Anyone?
Looks like this LED is only available in CREE 'LED modules' meant for fixed lighting.

I guess one would have to gut those modules for the LEDs.

edit - reading the datasheet it looks like CREE's TrueWhite technology consists of combining the light from 'unsaturated yellow and saturated red LEDs'. So not a high CRI emitter but a high CRI combination of emitters - not good for flashlights.
 
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vvs

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Ideally, I think he is saying, we'd need the same beam pattern and same lux value for each CRI and color temperature-- that would be a much better comparison. The truth is that while low light in general creates sort of a 'washed out' effect (which is fairly well-established) I think we have sufficiently crossed that threshold with this test. Moreover, other similar comparisons with floody lights like the Sundrop confirm these observations as well.

Exactly.

Next to color rendition, difference between 70-80CRI and more is subtle, I think the main question is "picture pleasure", correlated with color temp. If you can get daylight high cri emitter and compare it with lower CRI but warm, last one will be winner, because more warmth in the picture. Of course it's my own opinion, based on my eyes testing of SSC/CREE/Luminus led's.

The light is better than no light, as someone said here before. I'm stop now on flashlight collecting, having cold/neutral/warm flashlights from different brands with different emitters. My conclusions on them is simple (from point of view of color rendition): no aggressive tint-shift and I dont care about the CRI - you can easily differentiate colors with most of the them with sufficient lux on target.
 

applevision

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Looks like this LED is only available in CREE 'LED modules' meant for fixed lighting.

edit - reading the datasheet it looks like CREE's TrueWhite technology consists of combining the light from 'unsaturated yellow and saturated red LEDs'. So not a high CRI emitter but a high CRI combination of emitters - not good for flashlights.

Interesting! Thanks for looking into this. I think that as LEDs become more common in homes/fixed lighting, we'll see much more emphasis on color/CRI. Right now I think they are still pushing to get to the highest efficiency... which, as a lumenophile, I respect and appreciate, of course. :thumbsup:

Exactly.

Next to color rendition, difference between 70-80CRI and more is subtle, I think the main question is "picture pleasure", correlated with color temp. If you can get daylight high cri emitter and compare it with lower CRI but warm, last one will be winner, because more warmth in the picture. Of course it's my own opinion, based on my eyes testing of SSC/CREE/Luminus led's.

The light is better than no light, as someone said here before. I'm stop now on flashlight collecting, having cold/neutral/warm flashlights from different brands with different emitters. My conclusions on them is simple (from point of view of color rendition): no aggressive tint-shift and I dont care about the CRI - you can easily differentiate colors with most of the them with sufficient lux on target.

This is a very interesting point. I'd like very much to look into this more. I wonder how best to study this?
 

Phos4

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one time i stared into the sun for 20 minutes, hurt my eyes (retina) real bad.

but i learned something important there--sunlight is warm!!

this guy is right, warmer is better.

remember that!

before they had the flashlites we used real fire torches! flames of fire with heat!!

that is how it is best to see in the night, cool lights are poor for visions.

think on this and remember to use warms!!

-pHos4
 
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