What's this LEP all about

PhotonWrangler

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So far this all has been vary enlightening. One of the first thoughts I had after seeing the beam comparison was how well would an LEP do as a SAR light, specifically a rough-country SAR where beam distance would be more important? It would obviously not be the only light needed. A longer throw LED would be needed for closer examinations where spill would be needed.
I( think it could work well as a signal if you were the one who needed rescuing, but I think the beam is a little too tight for searching beyond your eyes' ability to see over long distances. I'll be happy to be proven wrong though.
 

knucklegary

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If LEP has ability to cut through thick smoke as well distance, it will have it's niche.
But for me,, I've been looking at lava lamps (;
 

bykfixer

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Weltool built an LEP head for a SureFire weapon mount light so their must be something to this idea.
They're certainly not your ordinary daily use flashlight at this point. But I definitely see its potential for first responders and law officers use.
 

bykfixer

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Absolutely, and it looks like you joined pretty much as that attitude started lessening here.
When I joined the incan section was still fairly active but LED section was much more active. P60 activity was all the buzz.

I remember all the cool people were after lumens lumens lumens while I was all excited that a $25 2D Maglite from a store could light up road signs a quarter mile away in the daytime. To me the zoomie was the best thing since air conditioned cars. I had a Coast (HP7R) that could light up a boat out on the water 500' away bright enough that the operator would yell "oh crap it's the cops" lol.

So I've always been thrilled with the throwey lights. Trouble is, at least right now the LEP lights are beyond my budget.
 

KITROBASKIN

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"Trouble is, at least right now the LEP lights are beyond my budget."

Oh please, you have spent tons on flashlights. What's the difference between buying one LEP and buying 10 MagLites?
 

KITROBASKIN

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True enough Olumin. Fact is, I got two very nice Mini Maglites from fixer years ago. It was a generous trade on his part.

Wondering if anyone reading this remembers when a person could get an aspheric lens for a P60 flashlight? I used a dedomed XML (I think) and yes it did throw. It threw an upside down, greenish LED die image and almost nothing more. Interesting but not really useful for my objectives.
 

jtr1962

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Priorities. Its like when people say "I cant afford a Rolex". Its not like they actually cant afford it, its just not important enough to them to spend that kinda money they'd rather spend on something else.
Another reason I can think of is LEP is currently on a steep development curve. I don't know about you, but I'd feel like a chump paying $300 for something, then seeing a technically superior version a few years down the road for $30 or $50. Never a good idea to be an early adopter unless you're fairly well off, or you absolutely have a use for it right now. We've seen this happen with literally every new technology. I remember when SSDs cost thousands of dollars for a few GB or less of storage. Now they're under $100 per TB.
 

KITROBASKIN

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I'd rather have 10 $30 Maglites than one $300 (insert brand here).
You know, 10 is 5 afterall. :poke::)
My mistake! Perhaps your polite nature impelled you to use the phrase 'beyond my budget' when in fact you do not see an application for yourself that justifies that amount of money for one flashlight.

Maybe you are stockpiling MagLites so that when you have enough for the next, 247th birthday of the United States, you can light them all up like candles.
 

raymond~

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Highlighting the advantages of LEP from first hand experience: works splendidly in SAR environments and which allows you to use the focused beam to signal and/or direct focus (e.g. helo) to a potential landing site or injured party....without the need for specialized equipment such as thermal imaging or night vision devices. It *does* fill a niche at a very affordable price and form factor. My LEO brother was intrigued in wondering how effective the intimidation factor might be at extended distances in locating and commanding suspect compliance - mere speculation speak.
 

aznsx

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Highlighting the advantages of LEP from first hand experience: works splendidly in SAR environments and which allows you to use the focused beam to signal and/or direct focus (e.g. helo) to a potential landing site or injured party....without the need for specialized equipment such as thermal imaging or night vision devices. It *does* fill a niche at a very affordable price and form factor. My LEO brother was intrigued in wondering how effective the intimidation factor might be at extended distances in locating and commanding suspect compliance - mere speculation speak.

Good points. When I first heard of LEPs I struggled to think of an application, but 'visible light' 'target designation' (military term) instead of invisible light might be cool, but then thought 'nah' - bad idea. What you're referring to includes 'visible light target designation', but for SAR situations rather than military. Now, that does make sense to me!
 

brachypelma44

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The only practical use I can see for LEP right now is if you're going somewhere that is dangerous and there is a higher risk than normal of getting lost or stranded, it would probably make a great beacon for search parties or aircraft to find you.
 

twistedraven

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Boiling my flashlight collection down to the essentials, I really probably only need like my Fireflies Nov-MU, as the high cri pure flood handles most of what I would need a flashlight for anyways-- that being up close emergency tasks during the night.

Just from experience though, comparing my LEPs (I only have the Maxtoch owl-eyes w2 pro atm) against other pencil beam traditional throwers sporting osrams, the LEP is essentially just the hotspot of a traditional pencil beam thrower minus the spill. The most efficient traditional reflector lights only output ~50% of their light output into their hotspot, with the rest being wasted in spill. An LEP focuses all of its light output with no wasted output elsewhere, and it reduces light pollution around you that others might be blinded by. It's all the light where it matters most. LEP lights are also very efficient throwers for their small size. My Owl Eyes fits very comfortably in the hand with its 2x21700 tube, and it doesn't have a massive, bulky head as a traditional reflector thrower would. People argue many of the higher performing LEPs throw a beam beyond what our eyes can see, but to me it's more about how brightly they can illuminate an area within a more reasonable distance.

SBT90.2 throwers with their humongous beams and massive light output are ideal, but the SBT90.2 is such a hot-running emitter, that most hosts get effectively 30 seconds to 1 minute of turbo output before the driver has to ramp down due to heat issues. This makes SBT90.2 lights very impractical in my book. The same usually holds true for multi-emitter setups as well. Most LEPs on the other hand can run at their maximal output for the duration of their batteries' life.
 
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lightknot

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LEP's are fun.
I have had many LEP's, and currently enjoy a Weltool W4 (Dragon in Clouds) and a nifty generic LEP from Neal's Gadgets.

Instead of using an LED as its light source, an LEP uses a laser as its light source. A blue laser projects its light onto a phosphor pad to turn the blue laser into a white beam. Then the beam gets focused using a convex lens. This type of flashlight can only used for illuminating long-distance objects.

Side note: Latest technology, (June 2022) has the LEP becoming a more flood / spot oriented light with some useable spill. This should increase the LEP's popularity many fold as it has traditionally been a purpose driven, thrower only, light.

The Weltool is a beast. Purchased in 2020 for around $300, it has a search light throwing distance up to 2.6 kilometers, (1.6 miles). The light intensity reaches 1,782,000 candela, it uses one 21700 rechargeable lithium ion battery, and has a high-quality drive circuit with temperature control and constant current drive. (no overheating).

There is now, (2022) a W4 Pro model which is brighter and throws farther. (Over 2 miles throw, at 2.8 million candela.) $460 at Illumn dot com.

The Neal's Gadgets LEP is inexpensive and has some impressive features; such as a small LCD screen which displays meters of throw, battery voltage, and battery charge percentage. It also has an excellent lighted electronic switch, a very deep reflector, modular crenelated bezel, and high build quality. All for $140 with coupon. (nealsgadgets dot com) This is a great entry level LEP.

The Lumintop Ant Man, various Thor's, Mateminco's (all what I consider "designer LEP's") and even the Nextorch models provide some variety and needed interest in this niche market.
They're not for everybody, but once you try one, you'll know. They're leaps and bounds beyond LED throwing lights, and there is something special about the Class 3B laser light produced.

Side note #2. Caution: Security cameras are allergic to LEP light, and the LEP's are visible from (literally) miles away; so they can be blindingly detrimental to one's health; up close.

As previously mentioned in this thread, maritime use is one area where these lights excel. They also have search and rescue applications. Aside from that, the friends and neighbors constantly comment "That's a bright light!".

LEP's are fun.
 
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