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Thread: Lights with multiple LED's

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* davyro's Avatar
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    Icon15 Lights with multiple LED's

    I was wondering what your opinions are of the many lights that seem to have multiple LED's nowadays. It's a few years since I started a thread here, but since I've been away the amount of lights with multiple LED's are ever expanding. To be honest I personally can't stand them. I'm probably being a bit old fashioned, I just don't know why you need to have multiple LED's in a light. There have always been very good flood or mule lights with single emitters. So what I'm saying is I can't see the point of these lights and I'd like to know your opinions on them.
    What another new light!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by davyro View Post
    So what I'm saying is I can't see the point of these lights and I'd like to know your opinions on them.
    One big reason is to have a light with a lot LEDs is a higher lumen output in compare to a single LED light. That is the reason why this "lumen monsters" have a large bunch of LEDs. Without that Acebeam or Imalent (or other manufacturers that I did not mentioned) could not offer lights with i.e. 100000 lumens output.
    The current "innovation" of a lot manufacturers is to fiddle few more LEDs into a single light in compare to the competitor to have the light with the highest output.

    All lights I own with build in LEDs have a single LED. I own only a few multiple LED P60 dropins that I use in my Surefire Hosts.
    Still looking for Surefire G2 in Orange.
    If you have one you don't like please PM me.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    If I understand it right multiple LEDs also means higher efficiency at a given level because each LED will not be so hot like a single LED.
    In my opinion multiple LEDs are pretty cool but I understand some people find it annoying with the flower shape beams of "merged together"(don't know if that's the right word for it) reflectors. It's another thing with several round reflectors side by side: the beam melts together so it looks like a single reflector and LED. For example Eagtac MX25L3C: it reminds of the rocket dynes of Saturn 5. That's cool.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    As the second poster said:

    Multi-emitter lights tend to be much, much, MUCH brighter than single-emitter mules. It's not even close.

    A small multi-emitter EDC light like an Emisar D4 can light an entire football field. Trying doing that with a single-emitter mule and you won't see much.

    Also, LEDs are more efficient when run at lower power. Having many emitters run at lower power is typically more efficient than getting the same lumens from 1 emitter run at high power.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    If a single small, medium and/or large emitter in a small, medium and/or large diameter reflector is/are all you need, then you are golden!

    One reason for me: More lumens. Small light: E4K. Medium: MMU-X3 triple XHP 50.2. Large: X65. Extra large: R90TS and MS18.

    Smaller are more useful, bigger are more exciting.
    Phil. 1: 21-24 and 2Tim. 4: 6-8. My lights. Yes, it also has normal modes for normal runtime and normal heat generation.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    the most intelligently designed lights to have are multiple led, multiple battery with independent power-of course that still leaves the single switch but............

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Another advantage of multiple LED arrays is the option of using higher quality, high CRI emitters like the Nichia 219.
    What kind of self respecting nocturnal being cannot see in the dark, one way or another?

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* davyro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Thanks for your opinions folks, I can see why some of you prefer a light with multiple LED's but I'm not in any need to be lighting up full football fields so I'll still be sticking with my single emitter lights. There are some LED's which produce a phenomenal amount of lumens by themselves now and by this time next year, they'll probably double what they are now. I've realised over the years after trying so many different types of Led in different lights with different tints what my favourite type of beam profile is and I'm still of the same opinion what works for me. The only thing that I've changed over time is the tint. The tint I prefer is around the 5,000k. The profile I like is a defined hot-spot with an average amount of spill. So a decent throw with ample but not a massive amount of spill.
    What another new light!!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    I was not sure if OP was speaking of a "shower head" or like 3x XP-L? A shower Head with 50+ 3mm Nichia is still junk. 3 or up to even 8 x XP-L or 219C is a different story. If I just misunderstood please disregard because no one touched on that. I was not sure which they meant. A multi XP-L can be a very serious flashlight at the moment. No doubt technology will proceed but then they will do multiples of those no doubt. At some point the limitation will be batteries. Unless they introduce a new battery chemistry. Which will be quite difficult anytime soon. That is going to be the limiting factor first. I see LED technology outpacing battery technology. Since it could very well run off AC to DC conversion. There are not just flashlights. It will be great for building lighting though. One day my 1,500 LED 500,000 lumen cob in the barn could be but one LED. I do agree 1x XP-L is plenty. Even for me. 3x in a little light like my Hanko is kind of useless on turbo due to heat anyhow. Although the 3rd mode is a heck of a lot and no heat. If I sound like an idiot please just correct me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by nitebrite View Post
    I was not sure if OP was speaking of a "shower head" or like 3x XP-L? A shower Head with 50+ 3mm Nichia is still junk. 3 or up to even 8 x XP-L or 219C is a different story. If I just misunderstood please disregard because no one touched on that. I was not sure which they meant. A multi XP-L can be a very serious flashlight at the moment. No doubt technology will proceed but then they will do multiples of those no doubt. At some point the limitation will be batteries. Unless they introduce a new battery chemistry. Which will be quite difficult anytime soon. That is going to be the limiting factor first. I see LED technology outpacing battery technology. Since it could very well run off AC to DC conversion. There are not just flashlights. It will be great for building lighting though. One day my 1,500 LED 500,000 lumen cob in the barn could be but one LED. I do agree 1x XP-L is plenty. Even for me. 3x in a little light like my Hanko is kind of useless on turbo due to heat anyhow. Although the 3rd mode is a heck of a lot and no heat. If I sound like an idiot please just correct me.
    Your post has well thought out content and process. The point you make was made in a very polite, friendly, pleasantly readable manner.

    Multi emitter: Many: Great for need and/or want of much power/flood and relatively very little throw.

    Multi emitter: Few: Great for ample power and better throw and still some useful beam width.

    Single non-large emitter in non-small reflector: Great for max throw on distant targets, and producing minimal self-glare.
    Phil. 1: 21-24 and 2Tim. 4: 6-8. My lights. Yes, it also has normal modes for normal runtime and normal heat generation.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Thank you! I finally didn't mess up what I said for once.

    I don't think they could do too many high output emitters? the batteries could not handle the amp draw? Say 25 XP-L, no batteries of portable size could handle that kind of draw. The most I have ever seen was 8 and it ran 6 minutes. I like 3. It is mostly what we see and a good balance I think. Although just one also serves plenty of purpose. One XP-L is about a few hundred lumens or more? That can be plenty in many instances I would gather. Don't forget they are 4 die LED's to begin with. However I think multi emitter lights should be much bigger ones or they simply get to hot to be useable.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's



    Both lights are Jetbeam Rotaries using a single 16340 LiIon.
    The single has an N219b sw45k, the triple has N219b sw45.
    Both are set to 100 lumen output.
    You can see that the triple is dimmer and the hotspot is wider.

    If I increase the brightness of the triple to match the brightness of the hotspot of the single, the triple will use more total lumens and more total battery power.

    I prefer to EDC a single LED, I find it more practical outdoors.

    otoh, the triple is more useful when taking photos (more evenly diffused lighting), and for close range work I like the wider field of illumination of the triple.
    Last edited by jon_slider; 02-19-2020 at 01:23 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    I prefer single-emitter lights. But as others have said, you have to go with multiple emitters if you want lots of output. In a small light, that means lots of flood and very little throw. If that's what you're going for, then no problem. If you also want some throw, then you have to have a pretty big head so each emitter can have its own decently-sized reflector or optic. If you don't mind the size and weight, that usually means multiple cells, which gives you good run-time at high output.

    I'm not a fan of small multi-emitter lights, such as the D4 or FW3A, since they are very floody and not much use at even modest distances (the very bright foreground makes it really difficult to see much past 10 or 20 meters). And, they heat up super fast. So, IMO they're not very practical, though I do admit they are fun especially indoors.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    I like carrying multiple LED because if one LED fails, at least the others will continue to work.. unless I am misinformed.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    I had no idea the single emitter was brighter at same watts! I wonder why Hanko does not make a single LED? It would be even smaller. Since 1600+ lumens is useless due to heat. A much larger light like the Dominator is much better suited to it and relives the heat issue. It does not fit in your pocket but I can actually use it at 2000+ lumens. I kind of think lights like the Hanko are a lot of money for something kind of useless. Please don't flame me It is just my opinion and I do own several of them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    > I like carrying multiple LED because if one LED fails, at least the others will continue to work.. unless I am misinformed.

    I think you are transferring a thought that is true,
    about incandescent bulbs that burn out,

    to something that is not true for LEDs,
    that do not burn out.

    imo, LED flashlights fail mostly due to broken solder joints at other components, not due to failure of the LED itself.

    therefore, I do not believe a multi LED light is more reliable than a single LED light. Multi LED lights run hotter, and use more battery power, faster.


    > I wonder why Hanko does not make a single LED?

    imo the reason some flashlight builders offer multiple LEDs, is because consumers will pay a higher price for a triple than a single.

    For the builder there is some added expense, but the increase in market value is larger than the increase in cost of parts. iow, a triple is more profitable, because consumers place a higher value on multi LED lights.

    One reason triples are perceived as more valuable, is because they can produce more lumens. Marketing promotes more lumens as more desirable.

    Triples also look cool and are perceived as more special, than a single LED light. If I want to impress a muggle, a triple will have more wow factor.

    To me, more lumens means more heat, and shorter battery life. Once I realized that triples spread the light out onto a wider area, which makes them dimmer than a small focused hotspot, I realized that triples actually use more battery power than singles, to achieve the same brightness on target.

    The advantage of a triple is that it has a larger hotspot. This can be useful at close range. With a single LED producing a smaller hotspot, at close range the operator may need to swing the hotspot back and forth to cover the area that needs to be illuminated.

    In my actual use, a single is more useful outdoors, and a triple is more useful indoors. When I leave the house, I EDC a single. My triples tend to stay at home.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by dealgrabber2002 View Post
    I like carrying multiple LED because if one LED fails, at least the others will continue to work.. unless I am misinformed.
    This is correct if the LEDs are wired in parallel.

    However, modern LEDs are very durable and rated for tens of thousands of hours of use. They aren't like old incandescent bulbs and shouldn't fail under normal operation.

  18. #18

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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    My Alpha triple goes in the dark woods as a trail walker and my singles stay home as nightlights.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by wweiss View Post
    My Alpha triple goes in the dark woods as a trail walker and my singles stay home as nightlights.
    Great light :-)
    whatever works for you, is best
    I might make the same choice you do, under the same circumstances

    some thoughts about dark woods (ambient light levels)
    I have another friend who also prefers a triple over a singlebeam, outdoors
    because the hotspot does not bounce around so much while walking.
    and he spends time outdoors walking in the dark countryside regularly

    a difference in my application:
    I use my single for short periods of time in populated urban outdoors, there is ambient light of different competing intensities, and sidewalks and pavements, with occasional streetlights.. and other artificial light sources.

    With that urban ambient light competition, I find it more convenient to have a small focused hotspot.

    I dont presently live and walk in the fully dark woods nor the countryside
    but I can understand that in that full dark situation, a triple's floodyer beam, can be more convenient to use to illuminate an unpaved trail when walking in rural areas
    Last edited by jon_slider; 02-20-2020 at 10:50 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    I live in an exceptionally rural area on a farm. For being outside now I prefer the Dominator UDR. The tiny Hanko is nearly as bright but the Dominator is actually usable and has a realistic runtime. Perhaps I am in the same situation? rural, non urban? Although I am not sure if the dominator has multiple LED's? they are so deep inside the bezel I cannot really tell. I am guessing it must? I actually have lights that are 20,000 lumens but they run all of 6 minutes on a 2 hour charge. Some things are sheer stupidity. Although it speaks a lot about myself for buying such a device.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by nitebrite View Post
    ... ... ...
    I actually have lights that are 20,000 lumens but they run all of 6 minutes on a 2 hour charge.
    Some things are sheer stupidity.
    Although it speaks a lot about myself for buying such a device.
    1. Maybe not. 2. Maybe not. 3. Maybe not.

    1. Are there normal modes available for normal runtime? There is a very high max mode for brief want or need, whatever they could possibly be.

    2. One mans' sheer stupidity is another mans' sheer excitement.

    3. I don't think so. Maybe you were excited about it, and that is why you bought it.

    Me: I scored 134 on the Reynolds IQ test a few weeks ago, age 59, currently have four years vegan diet and having lost 70 pounds of body weight, and I still scored 99 percentile, extremely high intellectual capability, and I bought 100,000 lumen light, 35,000 lumen light, 25,000 lumen light.

    I also scored very high on whatever judgement test I took. I have enough quick wits about me to take virtually instant self defensive action, twice, when I was ambush charge attacked on the street in the residential neighborhood by my neighbors loose Shepherd breed dogs.

    So, low and/or slow cognitive ability is probably not why people buy screaming hotrod flashlights.




    ----------------
    Yes, it has lower modes for long runtime per fuel supply.
    Last edited by richbuff; 02-21-2020 at 02:27 PM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    > Multi LED lights run hotter, and use more battery power, faster.
    Let us get this one out of the way. The truth is actually the reverse of this. LEDs efficiency is actually exponentially worse the harder you drive them. Given that, the more LEDs you use for the same output the cooler, longer, and better the light will run.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by staticx57 View Post
    the more LEDs you use for the same output the cooler, longer, and better the light will run.
    I agree for the same total output

    Im trying to point out that the same total output focused into a smaller hotspot is brighter on the target center

    example
    a 1 foot diameter hotspot, and a 2 foot diameter hotspot, can have the same total lumens

    while at the same time the 1 foot hotspot is twice as bright, on the target, in the center of the beam

    the photo I posted shows this phenomenon.. larger and dimmer, or tighter and brighter

    I call the single more efficient, because to match its brightness the triple needs to be turned up to a higher power level, in order to match the brightness on target

    at the same lumens, triples are dimmer, because their total output is spread on a wider target

    same reason an xpl 325 HDS is not brighter on target than an xpg2 250 HDS
    Last edited by jon_slider; 02-22-2020 at 10:58 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_slider View Post
    I agree for the same total output

    Im trying to point out that the same total output focused into a smaller hotspot is brighter on the target center

    example
    a 1 foot diameter hotspot, and a 2 foot diameter hotspot, can have the same total lumens

    while at the same time the 1 foot hotspot is twice as bright, on the target, in the center of the beam

    the photo I posted shows this phenomenon.. larger and dimmer, or tighter and brighter

    I call the single more efficient, because to match its brightness the triple needs to be turned up to a higher power level, in order to match the brightness on target

    at the same lumens, triples are dimmer, because their total output is spread on a wider target

    same reason an xpl 325 HDS is not brighter on target than an xpg2 250 HDS
    Sorry, I interpreted the original post as a bit broad. In fact there is just so much to consider: LED, reflector/optic size, driver, light size constraints, design goals, and power source.

    If you want to make a blanket statement and say that for a given flashlight diameter, then yes, the largest reflector will always produce the tightest hotspot, because yes, the smaller your make the reflector the worse the throw.

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Lights with multiple LED's

    The Alpha Triple (90 CRI) in a shorty body is my best trail dark walker. 1k lumens if I want it and <10L if I donít. Wall of light or barely lit. Chernobyl - proof sealed body. Great glowboard and emitters. Worth the $$$ money for me.

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