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Thread: Unexpected disappointment

  1. #1
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    Default Unexpected disappointment

    I bought an Arc LS second last Thursday. It arrived yesterday. That was fast considering I'm half way around the world. They shipped the same day I placed my order. Not really surprised knowing the reputation on the customer service of Arc.

    Thanks, Peter.

    Anyway, I got an LSH-S. It was immediately obvious why it was a second. The color mismatch between the head and the TSP was very pronounced and the knurling was also different.

    The beam was white with a slight tinge of purple on the corona of the spill. So I got my LSHF which I bought from Arc's Christmas sale last year to compare the brightness. Imagine my surprise when I shined them both on a white wall to find out that the beam on my LSHF is green tinted. Not just blotches of green but the whole beam. At first I couldn't believe it so I waited till I got home to test it again in a dark room. My results were confirmed. I'm really disappointed with this discovery because the LSHF's beam is inferior to an Arc LSHS and a second at that. It's obviously brighter but the tint really bothers me. I could live with blue or yellow but of all the colors, I had to get green which is not even on my list of acceptable tints. The LSHF was my first LS light so I never had anything to compare the beam to because it was the whitest I'd ever seen at the time.

    If I were given the choice between the two, I'd choose the second for the nicer beam but the color mismatch of the HA bothers me too much. I bought the second to give to someone and I still intend to give it away but now I'm stuck with a light that doesn't live up to expectations. I certainly can't return or exchange it because it is way past the 30 day window. I also don't intend to purchase another one because it costs me $162 + more than 30% in duties and taxes to get the light here. I'm not willing to spend that much again to bet on the luxeon lottery because I thought that a premium would provide less risk.

    I'm not blaming Arc or Peter for this. I just want to vent my frustration on my bad luck. I've never been lucky at gambling but I never thought it would apply even to flashlights. What a bummer. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    but you didn't know the beam was green 'til just now?

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    comparing lights side by side is always very subjective.

    i compared a x4t and a v3u. the v3u is amazingly white while using it by itself. the x4t is a little blue while using it for itself.

    if i use the x4t for a while, then turn on the v3u, the v3u seems purple, where the x4t seems white.
    if i use the v3u for a while, then turn on the x4t, the x4t seems really blue, and the v3u appears white.

    if you were happy with the beam of the lshf before, then i wouldn't really worry about it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    like you said though, the second might just be a second because of cosmetic issues, and still have a premium led in it, where your lshf is just a standard.

    and of course, all leds are subject to variation, no matter what bin they are.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Your experience is probably not unusual. I too thought that my LSH was a nice white light. Then not too long ago I lit up a wall with both the LSH and a SF L1. Much to by surprise the LSH appeared as a pale green while the L1 had a distinct purple cast and much more purple central region. This bothers me when I have both beams on at the same time, but the eyes are more forgiving when either are on alone provided some time has passed since comparing them.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    You have my sympathies Billson! Some of what you are seeing with the white LED appearing green is a difference in tint. Some of the appearance may also be a result of our brain/eye "color balance" effect. Ever noticed how you can use a red beam to walk through the house for a couple of minutes and when you turn the room lights on, everything looks green? And if you use blue, things will look red.

    The eye/brain loop can create optical illusions. The best bet is to use the beam in a typical situation. You may also want to look at it on a flat white surface or use a Kelvin meter. The meter will show that every LED is different.

    At Arc, we are pretty picky about LED tint!

    If you ever get a factory first from Arc and you think the beam is too far from white, let us know and we will replace it under our 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* LitFuse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Comparing Luxeon LED lights against each other is a good way to make yourself crazy very quickly.

    A purple tinted LS will make what you though was a nice white LS take on a greenish tint. Maybe it's green, and maybe it isn't. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thinking.gif[/img]

    I recommend only turning on one at a time, it's a small price to pay for your sanity. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Billson, when you get your TWOK LS, compare it to the "greenie", this should give you a good baseline for what's "white". Good luck. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Peter

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    A Chinese proverb goes something like this: ďa man with one watch knows what time it is, a man with two watches is never sure.Ē Itís taken me a while to get more realistic regarding the most natural compulsion of any flashaholic to compare and contrast in detail like LED lights, especially with respect to tint. But, I think Iím almost there now. I have one Surefire L4 that appears much greener than the other L4 I own. But, in reality, both work just fine for any real use Iíve ever had for either one.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Your second may have a violet tint.
    I have LSH-P and LSH-S seconds. Which is brighter depends on which is on the twistie.
    My LSH-S has a blue tint with tinge of red (it's a tad violet, though not as bad as my stock KL1 was).
    It "looks" brighter because of the blue, and does make details stand out better than the LSH-P which actually has a whiter beam.
    Next to a blue or red tinted LED, the whiter one will always look yellow or green.
    Instead of looking at the beams on the wall, try illuminating normal objects in your house, or even the grass in the yard. Things you're familiar with.
    Your LSHF may indded be green, I just don't think comparing to a different tinted LED on the wall is an accurate indicator of that.
    When I did QC detecting color variations, we always had a standard to compare to. I use my LSH-P for comparing to my other lights because it has the truest color rendition...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    I have a ot of very white lights.
    But when directly compared, there's always one that is a bit purple, green or whatever. they are just different shades of white. I like it ... gives character. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
    bernhard

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    I thought my McLux PR was white when I got it, but when I compared it to my FT-3C, it looks purplish and the FT-3C looks very slightly. I have decided to only use one at a time, so I don't notice that they aren't perfectly white. Even my MR-X looks off color compared to other lights! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon15.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img]

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    I've noticed the green tint before but like I said I never had any other light to compare it to so I just put it down to my eyes fooling me or something.

    I still love the light but I guess the psychological aspect of it bothers me. Being the perfectionist that I am, I hate it when my impression of perfection gets shattered by something that's supposed to be a second and worst of all costs just 25%.

    Probably the flashaholic in me overreacting.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    The only light that appears white no matter what I compare it to is my Pelican M6 LED. My Arc LSH is purple, my Arc 4 second is green, and my Arc 4+'s are slightly tinted pink.

    Likewise, my other lights also have tint when compared to the Pelican.

    But.....every single light is tinted well enough that they appear white when alone (not compared against other lights).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Yes, these led lights can drive you nuts if you try to evaluate the tints.

    For example I've noticed that my Arc RGB seems to be erratic in its tint.

    First I think it looks a little red, then it seems to be greenish, then it definately looks bluish.

    I also think it has the intermittant problem... the intensity seems to vary.

    Maybe it's just me <vbg>

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Interesting story:

    I purchased a UK 4AA eLED light, and the light has to be the whitest LED light that I have ever owned. Very happy with that light, for 20 bucks, it is a great value.

    Anyway, I wanted to compare it to a Streamlight 4AA, 7 LED nichia light, so I put fresh batteries into the Streamlight, and compared the two.

    The Streamlight puts out a very white/blueish color.

    All of a sudden, my very white UK light became very GREEN!

    Letting my eyes rest for a second, and the UK again appeared to be very very white.

    Both light are just fine to use, by themselves.

    Go out and use an Incandecent, and it will work just fine, but then fire up a LED, and use it for a while, then go back to the incandecent, and YUCH, you have Tea stained yellow teeth yellow light!

    But, it was perfectly acceptable before you used the LED!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    [ QUOTE ]
    alanz said:
    Yes, these led lights can drive you nuts if you try to evaluate the tints.

    For example I've noticed that my Arc RGB seems to be erratic in its tint.

    First I think it looks a little red, then it seems to be greenish, then it definately looks bluish.

    I also think it has the intermittant problem... the intensity seems to vary.

    Maybe it's just me <vbg>

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That definitely sounds like a warranty issue. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  16. #16

    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    "If I were given the choice between the two, I'd choose the second for the nicer beam but the color mismatch of the HA bothers me too much. "

    FYI, the color mismatch in Hard Anodizing is normal. Surefire, ARC all have variations in batches.

    I've got Surefire lights thast are three colors, the Head, TailCap and body are all of different tints!

    The only way around this is to hand select all parts for matching tint.

    GregR

  17. #17

    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Peter said:

    [ QUOTE ]
    Ever noticed how you can use a red beam to walk through the house for a couple of minutes and when you turn the room lights on, everything looks green? And if you use blue, things will look red.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That is probably more of a physical effect within the eye. When staring at one color, the receptors that respond to that color in the eye use up their available energy at a rate depending upon the color components that are being viewed. If you then look at a white surface, the receptors that did not have their energy (partially) used up fire more strongly than those that did. Thus we see a 'complimentary' color.

    Comparing colors is more of a brain function provided the above effect has not been produced. We expect a light to be white (for whatever reason) and the brain says 'OK, it's white' provided the light is not too far removed from white. When comparing lights, the brain is not going to be so compliant.

    That the brain is active in color interpretation is demonstrated by a condition where some links get crossed somehow and a person will report smells and/or tastes (don't remenber the specific details) as color (e.g. 'That smells blue'). I seem to recall that certain drugs will produce this effect, which has nothing to do with the eyes.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* Sean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    If it makes you feel any better, I have never ever seen a luxeon star produce a white beam. My Surefires (KL1, L4, L5, L6) have tended to be on the blue/violet side and my Arcs (LSH-S, LSHF-P, Arc4+) have tended to be on the green side. I prefer the green because under most conditions the greenish beam appears white, wereas the bluish beams tend to look blue all the time.

    Side by side comparisons are always telling. You are always going to get LED's on either the green or blue side. I've heard a lot of people claim to have an absolutely white beam. I'll believe it when I see it because I've never seen one. But current hand sorted luxeons are really close to white. The fact that you couldn't tell until now shows this.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    [ QUOTE ]
    Sean said:
    Side by side comparisons are always telling. You are always going to get LED's on either the green or blue side.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Don't forget the pink to violet side (would that be a reddish tint)?. Four of my Arcs (2 LSH and 2 Arc 4's) have a pink to violet tint.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    I've found that the only way to safely compare tints between LS-based lights is to keep my eyes closed.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Don't worry. The eye work mainly on comparisons. It is very diffucult, not to say rare, to develop the ability to identify the absolute color composition of a light beam.

    You can exercize with any graphic software, choosing a color and guessing its RGB composition.
    Once you master this ability, then you have to start all over by using only blue and yellow.
    At the end of the process, you will be able to identify the color composition of Nichias and Luxeons, and you will realize that LS-Ps are the most stable in color composition, varying from slightly purplish to slightly greenish, and they are the closest to "real" white of any other Luxeon based light.

    Regards

    Anthony

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Bill,

    Don't pet it use it and use it a lot. You will find that that it indeed a tool more than anything else.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic Mednanu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Yeah - I had an ARC LS that was turning kind of green. But next to an L4 that looked totally white, the LS looked blue tinted, even though the phospor in the ARC's LED was actually separating from the die, which caused it to look green again if viewed by itself.......

    You'll go crazy comparing them.

    The phosphor in your ARC's luxeon 'may' be separating from the die, causing it to go greenER over time, but in all reality, the subjective side by side test is just, well, ..... subjective.

    If you don't have a kelvin meter (as most of us still don't), a FLAT, perfectly white piece of paper placed on the wall is the best target to use to judge color balance (w/o a kelvin meter of course). Shine the light STRAIGHT onto the paper after having not looked at your other lights for a while. Does it still look greener than when you bought it ? If it does, it's most likely phosphor separating from the luxeon die. If not, it was your brain trying to auto-calibrate between all of your different flashlights' color outputs.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    [ QUOTE ]
    Mednanu said:

    The phosphor in your ARC's luxeon 'may' be separating from the die, causing it to go greenER over time, but in all reality, the subjective side by side test is just, well, ..... subjective.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    How common is that? I'd be quite annoyed if any of my Luxeon flashlights got greener as they aged.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic Mednanu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    I'd say it's becoming less and less common as Luxeon perfects their processes. I had one of the first few Rev 2 ARC LS'es, purchased while everyone was still having problems with very inconsistent Luxeon quality. It saw a lot of use ( at least 20 - 30 minutes a day ) which no doubt contributed to the wear and tear factor on the LED due to heat ( as a third of the hotspot eventually went dark ).

    It's no reflection on ARC's quality, as the ARC performed great through it all. It's just Luxeon which was churning out less than perfect emitters. That does come with the territory when you live on the 'bleeding edge' of innovation though. You've got to realize, while we've known about and been using Luxeons for years, the general public still hasn't really even heard of them yet (will probably be several years before they catch on, too).

    I'd bet that it is less and less common to find in the current crop of emitters though, and will become less prevalent as time goes by.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    You know, it would be nice if ARC gave hard specs on their products.

    For example, x= 0.3127 +/-0.0002 y= 0.3290 +/-0.0002 for Premiums, or whatever you want to use as the white target temperature, such as D65 illuminant.

    ? D65 has become the dominant standard.
    ? D65 corresponds to a color temperature of 6500K.
    - D65 is the color of sunlight.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Sean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    [ QUOTE ]
    357 said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    Sean said:
    Side by side comparisons are always telling. You are always going to get LED's on either the green or blue side.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Don't forget the pink to violet side (would that be a reddish tint)?. Four of my Arcs (2 LSH and 2 Arc 4's) have a pink to violet tint.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes, that's true.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Violet would be red and blue.
    1.red/green
    2.yellow/blue
    Everything is a variation of those.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    hmmm, red and blue is magenta....

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Unexpected disappointment

    Red and blue is a lot of things, just depends on how much red, and how much blue.

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