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Thread: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

  1. #1

    Default Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    With lights like the BLFGT90 and Acebeam K75 are LED lights now at the level of the polarion and lemax HID lights in terms of their ability to throw?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Yes. LEP's are on the rise too, and will outclass the massive LED throwers if they ever pick up steam.

    However, some of the Lemax and Polarion lights can still output higher continuous output. But LED's are getting perilously close to that threshold.

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    *Flashaholic* thermal guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Many moons ago when I first joined if you wanted throw you had to go incandescent or better of course HID. Them guys used to laugh at a led throwing as far as a HID. Now there there. And yep LEP is gonna stomp them all probably by a factor of 4. Scary
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    I fly large aircraft and I can tell you that all of our HID landing and taxi lights have been replaced by LED landing lights and they throw allot more light out and use hardly any current.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    That is the advantage of LEDs you can get a lot more light out of them for the same amount of power which can make up for throw in many cases where you had to narrow the light beam to get enough lumens concentrated in an area if you have 5 times the lumens you don't need to have nearly as concentrated as a beam for all but the longest distances.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    I wish there was a light like the Acebeam w30 but with a lot more lumen output. Its like 500, id love if it was like 5000 !

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Bright multi-emitter l.e.d. lights generally won't out throw an h.i.d. spotlight. I have a 35 watt 3200 lumen Power on Board h.i.d. spotlight and have used it to shine from a desert campground in Independence, CA to a nearby peak in the Sierra Nevadas. Not only did it light up the peak at least 10 miles away, but the only person up on that mountain in November signaled back with what appeared to be a Petzl Myo XP headlight. Some of the brightest l.e.d. lights can definitely beat h.i.d. in lumen output, but it's hard to beat a bright, single source light with a huge reflector and no issues with heat. The few l.e.d. lights that might match or beat an h.i.d. for throw can only do it for a matter of seconds vs. over an hour with h.i.d.. The one type of light that I think would beet h.i.d. is l.e.p.. I'm referring to light emitting plasma, not laser excited phosphor.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    I tried out the Acebeam K75 and it’s insufficient for just lighting to the end of a wash, about 0.6 mile. I have joined the GB for the Astrolux MF05 specifically because I believe this will light up the end of the wash very noticeably. That will be a monumental leap forward in LED throw. 8 times 18650 will give much longer runtime than the 4 times 18650. The Astrolux MF05 might be the first LED thrower to truly mimic the best portable HID throwers.
    Last edited by search_and_rescue; 06-27-2020 at 11:50 AM.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    I have a W10 and a W30 along with several modified Vinh lights! It is very clear and I also have several of the OMG lights including a DEFT. THE LEP IS THE FUTURE!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    Bright multi-emitter l.e.d. lights generally won't out throw an h.i.d. spotlight. I have a 35 watt 3200 lumen Power on Board h.i.d. spotlight and have used it to shine from a desert campground in Independence, CA to a nearby peak in the Sierra Nevadas. Not only did it light up the peak at least 10 miles away, but the only person up on that mountain in November signaled back with what appeared to be a Petzl Myo XP headlight. Some of the brightest l.e.d. lights can definitely beat h.i.d. in lumen output, but it's hard to beat a bright, single source light with a huge reflector and no issues with heat. The few l.e.d. lights that might match or beat an h.i.d. for throw can only do it for a matter of seconds vs. over an hour with h.i.d.. The one type of light that I think would beet h.i.d. is l.e.p.. I'm referring to light emitting plasma, not laser excited phosphor.
    Yes, this.

    LED might out throw at some distances due to simply overpowering, but lumen for lumen I don't see how an led (flat emitter surface) can beat a point source of light (HID, halogen, etc) with a proper reflector.

    The heat issue is a whole other beast.

    For what it's worth, I used to race mtn bikes at night and the led lights' lack of red spectrum was always a problem... brown surfaces (dirt, leaves) didn't stand out like they did with halogen/hid.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    Bright multi-emitter l.e.d. lights generally won't out throw an h.i.d. spotlight. I have a 35 watt 3200 lumen Power on Board h.i.d. spotlight and have used it to shine from a desert campground in Independence, CA to a nearby peak in the Sierra Nevadas. Not only did it light up the peak at least 10 miles away, but the only person up on that mountain in November signaled back with what appeared to be a Petzl Myo XP headlight. Some of the brightest l.e.d. lights can definitely beat h.i.d. in lumen output, but it's hard to beat a bright, single source light with a huge reflector and no issues with heat. The few l.e.d. lights that might match or beat an h.i.d. for throw can only do it for a matter of seconds vs. over an hour with h.i.d.. The one type of light that I think would beet h.i.d. is l.e.p.. I'm referring to light emitting plasma, not laser excited phosphor.
    10 miles??? That is unreal.

    I don't get why no developers make a massive cree LED and put it in a big thor cyclops style unit with big built in battery for some serious throw.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smood View Post
    10 miles??? That is unreal.

    I don't get why no developers make a massive cree LED and put it in a big thor cyclops style unit with big built in battery for some serious throw.
    The problem is massive Cree LEDs tend to be a larger source of light that isn't nearly as able to be focused by a parabolic type reflector. Most reflectors rely on a point source of light which an LED is unable to match vs a light bulb as most LEDs are surface mount not point sources. Now I've seen these LED lights in stores that look like long threads so maybe a thread like LED bulb can be created to mimic a light bulb and be incorporated into reflectored designs but so far these bulbs have somewhat limited output unlike crees that get up to 200+ lumens/watt these designs I doubt exceed 100 lumens/watt by much.
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  13. #13

    Rolleye11 Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Even the Acebeam K75 is stuck at 0.5 mile. Can’t wait for the Astrolux MF05 to break through the barrier!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Ahh that makes sense. Can't the BLF GT90 do like 1-2 miles?

    Any recommendation for a very good thrower HID that is easily available right now? I have the ebay one but looking for something more powerful.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Titanium Innovations and Sam’s Club used to sell good handheld HID but that was over 13 years ago now. Nowadays, the only true super thrower HID is something like the SX-16 Nightsun. I used to be interested in the Lemax Superpower but field tests by CPF expert on HID steered me away from that one. The SX-16 Nitesun is the real deal. Unfortunately, I believe it’s very expensive.

    The problem I have been having with my TN42vn Oslon Black Flat which does 1.3 million cd; and Acebeam K75 which does 1.5 million cd, is poor color rendition. These light up stuff “200 yards away” pretty well, and even reach half a mile at the tip of its white beam. The problem is beyond that one has to really convince oneself that “yes, it’s lit up” even though it’s more like barely there and/or washed out by very poor color rendition. The only Superthrower LED that actually has good color rendition was Mr. Vinh Nguyen’s TN42vn modded with Driver VNX2 and a CREE XPG2 S4 DeDome. That thing made green trees way out there appear green and dark brown, just like it is! Unfortunately for me, I don’t have that light anymore to make comparisons against.

  16. #16
    *Flashaholic* BVH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    The 1600 Watt NightSun is not that good of a thrower, relatively speaking. It is limited by the 4 degree minimum beam designed into it. The little bother, the Starburst which is 500 Watts with a 2-degree minimum beam outthrows it. A NightSun can be had on Ebay for around $2,500 to $3,000 give or take, if you keep an eye out for the not so ridiculously priced units. Sometimes, you have to buy the individual components to get it for that cost. Read up on the Syniosbeam on Flashlight Forums. He made one for me that has simply amazing throw for a retro-firing single CFT-90 LED. The Leopard 1 German tank Short Arc light at 450 Watts of lamp power is also a miraculous thrower. It out throws the VSS-3A tank light at 1,000 Watts. A lot of the throw capabilities depend on how the manufacturer manipulates the light.
    WWII 60" Carbon Arc (Sold), 1.6KW NightSun, 1KW VSS-3A, .8KW TrakkaBeam, 600W M-134 Light, 500W X-500-14s, 500W Starburst, 500W A120b, 450 Watt AEG German Leopard 1 Tank Light, 300W Locators, Megaray, 150W Communicator, Maxabeam Gen3, Syniosbeam by Enderman

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    Flashaholic Bazar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    First of LEDs need deep reflectors instead of bowl reflectors, because they have a flat light source instead of an arc or wire.

    // unrelated \\ so In my opinion LEDs are not at hid level yet.

    But we are getting close. I see much more promising increases of LED flashlight throw over the next few years than I do of flashlight lumens .
    These 12,000 lumen single-battery flashlights are not ansi, and are only getting 10 seconds or so due to heat. But the Osram lights have close to the same intensity at the surface of a typical HID

    Source intensity, mark my words is what you need for throw. And the source intensity must be greater on a flat emitter than a round emitter (HID is NO WHERE NEAR single-point elimination, it is simply a round source instead of 2 dimensional, even a short arc is more than 1 whole millimeter in diameter, which compared to theoretical single point light sources in science fiction, is millions of times less intense. ) the Osram research could make a usable LED theoretically much larger with even more surface intensity and adjusting phosphors that change when heated to increase thermal tolerance. With enough work and a scientific breakthrough they might get much closer to outperforming or at least running on higher settings for a longer time than current level lights.

    Now IMHO, it is very critical to note three huge problems with HID Lights other than price. 1) the life time is limited. 2) they can be more fragile to shock and cold. 3) although they can run 30 minutes to an hour on high settings they are indeed very hot, untouchable lights during this time, and that's the other weakness; they have to. HID lights generally have to run super bright, and aren't capable of giving you more runtime. When just walking to the search ground my S&R team complains of not being able to see the ground with weak backup LED lights and not in-between illumination from trash LED lights to bomb HID spotlights and vehicle lighting (including drum helicopter spotlights).
    The K75 for exa.ple is an awesome in between with many modes to choose from and for brief minutes can be nearly or equally bright as an HID.
    Plug a fan into the K75, or use more advanced tech and we will have better throwers in the future, but for now you need excuses to use LED over HID.

    Also, another note is the market questionablity. Lemax lights are by the definition of the term, not production lights. Neither is anything else that out throws the BLF GT90, or K75. Arguably the BLF GT90 is not yet truly production either and lacks a price high enough to stay on the market long enough.

    Your light 1) must be on the market for at least 90% of the year without being sold out (underpriced)
    2) must be open and available to the market (lemax are not available to anyone, you have to be on a sing up waiting list)
    3) must be sold to anyone without restrictions.
    This makes it production. The K75 is still the leader.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by search_and_rescue View Post
    I tried out the Acebeam K75 and it’s insufficient for just lighting to the end of a wash, about 0.6 mile. I have joined the GB for the Astrolux MF05 specifically because I believe this will light up the end of the wash very noticeably. That will be a monumental leap forward in LED throw. 8 times 18650 will give much longer runtime than the 4 times 18650. The Astrolux MF05 might be the first LED thrower to truly mimic the best portable HID throwers.
    What do you mean by Wash ?

    Are there any stats on the astrolux yet ?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smood View Post
    What do you mean by Wash ?

    Are there any stats on the astrolux yet ?
    Hi Smood, yes, It’s the concrete “LA River” from the tow truck - motorcycle chase scene of the 1991 movie, Terminator 2. Please see screenshot below with the wash circled and pointed by arrow.

    The initial stat on the Astrolux MF05 is 3.5km of throw from the 5000 lumen Luminus SBT-90 Gen 2 LED.




    Last edited by search_and_rescue; 06-29-2020 at 07:52 AM.

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    Bright multi-emitter l.e.d. lights generally won't out throw an h.i.d. spotlight.
    That's not their purpose. Brute force can get you out to 100-200 meters, but physics is ruthless and discarding so much output to foreground catches up to you rapidly.

    Conversely, well-designed LED throwers can hit intermediate distances with ease and are downright pocketable compared to HID.

    Larger purpose-built spotlights such as the aforementioned syniosbeam can achieve staggering reach with a large enough reflector and some tuning. They can also do so without the power requirements and complex power electronics of arc lamps. Suspect that enterprising souls could devise something in the general lantern spotlight formfactor that throws about as well as HID in the same formfactor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    I have a 35 watt 3200 lumen Power on Board h.i.d. spotlight and have used it to shine from a desert campground in Independence, CA to a nearby peak in the Sierra Nevadas.
    Awesome. HID throwers are pointless in my region: flat terrain and so much water vapor/dust/pollution in the air that beyond ~300 meters you're looking at reflection from the haze in the beam more than the target.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooked on Fenix View Post
    The few l.e.d. lights that might match or beat an h.i.d. for throw can only do it for a matter of seconds vs. over an hour with h.i.d.. The one type of light that I think would beet h.i.d. is l.e.p.. I'm referring to light emitting plasma, not laser excited phosphor.
    LED is making steady improvements in thermal ruggedness as well as shrinking die sizes that can handle appreciable currents such that they're close enough to a point source for tight collimation. The Osram W1 is an example of this - and while it's nowhere near a 35W automotive HID bulb it's certainly closing in on sufficient for matrix automotive headlights.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by ubangi View Post
    I fly large aircraft and I can tell you that all of our HID landing and taxi lights have been replaced by LED landing lights and they throw allot more light out and use hardly any current.
    I fly FAST aircraft too, that's a half truth at best. HID still out-throws LED and not all HID's or LED's are created equally. LUX values at a large distances, LED's cant match. Most LED's are very good for taxi purposes, for landing lights HID still punches out farther.
    Which brands / models and sizes of LED Landing or Taxi lights have you flown behind ??

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazar View Post
    Lemax lights are by the definition of the term, not production lights.
    XeVision meets all of your requirements, we use only the CNC'd parts and batteries etc. from Lemax.
    We use our own Proprietary Ballasts (military EMI/RFI grade) and Igniters, also offering high wattage rated bulbs.
    We always have std. units available at all times with no waiting lists.
    We sold close to 100 units last year.
    We have been offering this product for more than 10 years.
    .....

  23. #23
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by XeRay View Post
    I fly FAST aircraft too, that's a half truth at best. HID still out-throws LED and not all HID's or LED's are created equally. LUX values at a large distances, LED's cant match. Most LED's are very good for taxi purposes, for landing lights HID still punches out farther.
    Which brands / models and sizes of LED Landing or Taxi lights have you flown behind ??
    These look to be standard on 737 NGs:


    Not sure what other airliners use. An image search suggests that there are numerous LED drop-in replacements for incandescent form-factors.

    Living under a flight path for DFW I see a lot of aircraft on approach at night and can claim with some confidence that incandescent lights are on the way out for airliners. Whether the blue-white beams of light I'm seeing most of the time are HID or LED is not something I can conclusively evaluate, but when they're a ways off and I'm in the primary beam cone the spectrum resembles white LED to my eyes.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* XeRay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    These look to be standard on 737 NGs: Not sure what other airliners use. An image search suggests that there are numerous LED drop-in replacements for incandescent form-factors.

    Living under a flight path for DFW I see a lot of aircraft on approach at night and can claim with some confidence that incandescent lights are on the way out for airliners. Whether the blue-white beams of light I'm seeing most of the time are HID or LED is not something I can conclusively evaluate, but when they're a ways off and I'm in the primary beam cone the spectrum resembles white LED to my eyes.
    A lot of that change to LED is not due to only performance benefits compared to incandescents, but greatly for aesthetics and the ability to fit LED luminaries into a more "creative location" and shape, not stuck with mostly round form factors as traditional and most HID. The same styling as much of what's being done cosmetically today on high end cars.

    With the very significant heat management issues of high powered LED's and the power and cooling requirements for such, bulb Lumens per watt is still higher on higher powered HID than on High powered LED including sustained FULL output and active cooling power requirements.
    For a true continuous or long run time output level, high powered LED's must have active cooling to prevent significant dimming.

    Example 75 watt HID offers about 8500+ bulb lumens. A 110 (total) watt LED Landing light package with active cooling will produce under 10,000 Lumens (again not including optics losses), thats about 91 Lumens per watt.
    75 watt HID is about 100 bulb lumens per watt including ballast efficiency losses. 50 watt HID is also about 100 Lumens per watt, including ballast efficiency losses.
    When including everything, apples to apples, HID is still about 10% more efficient than HIGH powered LED lighting packages.
    Last edited by XeRay; 07-02-2020 at 02:34 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    I’ve relegated all my LED flashlights to pest control and plant growth. My Acebeam K75 cannot light up an El Monte Airport hangar building direct line at the end of Arcadia wash. That was the moment I realized LED’s still are not meant for throw. Haha!

  26. #26
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by XeRay View Post
    A lot of that change to LED is not due to only performance benefits compared to incandescents, but greatly for aesthetics and the ability to fit LED luminaries into a more "creative location" and shape, not stuck with mostly round form factors as traditional and most HID. The same styling as much of what's being done cosmetically today on high end cars.

    With the very significant heat management issues of high powered LED's and the power and cooling requirements for such, bulb Lumens per watt is still higher on higher powered HID than on High powered LED including sustained FULL output and active cooling power requirements.
    For a true continuous or long run time output level, high powered LED's must have active cooling to prevent significant dimming.

    Example 75 watt HID offers about 8500+ bulb lumens. A 110 (total) watt LED Landing light package with active cooling will produce under 10,000 Lumens (again not including optics losses), thats about 91 Lumens per watt (the same as only 35 watt HID). 75 watt HID is about 100 bulb lumens per watt including ballast efficiency losses. 50 watt HID is also about 100 Lumens per watt, including ballast efficiency losses.
    When including everything, apples to apples, HID is still about 10% more efficient than HIGH powered LED lighting packages.
    Unlike GA aircraft, airliners likely have volume to spare for active cooling - they've surely got the power margins. A 10% difference in efficiency suggests that other merits will be determining factors in which system gets selected for new designs or retrofits. LED is still seeing bumps in lm/W efficiency at higher operating temperatures which will likely obviate the need for active cooling and the selection criteria may boil down to design flexibility, maintenance, and the greater difficulty 2D LED die presents to collimation relative to pseudo 1D HID arc for long-throw applications.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  27. #27

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smood View Post
    Ahh that makes sense. Can't the BLF GT90 do like 1-2 miles?

    Any recommendation for a very good thrower HID that is easily available right now? I have the ebay one but looking for something more powerful.

    My GT90 looks decent at 1.05 miles.. I doubt itll look like much at 2.0 though

  28. #28

    Default Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smood View Post
    I wish there was a light like the Acebeam w30 but with a lot more lumen output. Its like 500, id love if it was like 5000 !

    Maybe in another 5 years, it'll happen.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

  29. #29

    Lightbulb Re: Can LED lights now throw at the same level as HID?

    I tested the Acebeam K75 again tonight. There is a halo around the defined hotspot. That halo is what causes the beam to not be able to hit the El Monte Airport hangar building located directly 0.6 or 0.7 mile or so “downstream” the Arcadia Wash. What I am saying is that the hotspot becomes like a flood beam at its tip. Yes it throws far but at its tip it is not tight enough of a defined hotspot to lay bright light on anything beyond 500 meters. The beam floods out before it reaches the end of the wash, 0.6 or 0.7 mile or so distant.

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