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Thread: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    I'm looking to EDC a 5W LED light that's small--say, under 6.5 inches and less than 7 ounces--and offers a wide flood. I've found only two models: The OMBU X-55 and the Nightcutter M60L.

    The Nightcutter stopped being offered to the general public earlier this year but is still available on a few sites, for about $150. For that price, you get a 10-degree and 30-degree optics and a 90-degree head.

    The Nuwai ALX-352L almost fits the bill. But it's too long and heavy to keep in my belt pouch.

    The Nuwai TM-301X (QIII's big brother) is certainly small enough. But at 3 watts, it wouldn't give me appreciably more light than the next keychain light I'm likely to buy (QIII or similar).

    I'd have many more choices if I could take a light with a more concentrated beam and cover its lens with diffusing film. I don't mind If I lost 10 percent of the total light.

    So what's the verdict on diffusion films? Will they give me what I'm looking for?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* greenLED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    SF L4? Small 5W, more of a flood light.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* McGizmo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    If you try one of the SF beam shapers, I think you will be very satisfied with the results and the cut in eficiency is not too bad at all! It is better to have less light, where you want it than more light where you don't!

    The 5W die lends itself to more of a flood beam but frankly, in most instances, I think 5W's provide more lumens in a flood than is typically needed. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img] The L4 with a beam shaper and 2 stage switch is a fantastic package, IMHO.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* jtice's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    I second, er, third, the Surefire L4.

    It has a hotspot, but its rather wide, and it fade out to a bright flood well.
    It is my best led "room filler", its real good at lighting up an entire wall across the room.
    Just dont expect it to throw much outside, but even outside its really nice, good walking light, you dont have to point it aournd alot since its lighting up a large area.

    Add one of Dons wonderful 2 stage switches and it really performs well, you can turn the brightness down for close up work.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    ..

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    TW4 & KL4 w/CR2 both with two stage tail are on my EDC rotation


  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Thanks, guys! I didn't know that Surefire paid attention to flood lovers.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* Zelandeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    L2: 6 1/4 inches long, lightweight, dual output, and a real wall of light.

    Really like my L2.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    SF L4 with McE2S switch by McGizmo should be the king of production 5W flood lights.

    Then there's the custom thing ...

    LuxV in an L1 head and so17xa reflector (stippled proto)

    ... outfitted with a 2-stage switch. This is a real flooder.

    Any LuxV in a 27mm reflector (Pelican M6, McLux-PR, Aleph1) gives you a nice medium flood with just a little bit more throw than the L4:
    The L4:

    The LuxV/27mm conbo (driven harder and a better bin):


    My favourite is the LuxV/27mm combo ... basically a flooder with some throw, too. The easiest solutiion is to buy an Aleph1 head with a LuxV LE and a 2-stage (a must) ...

    bernie

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    you don't even need the F04.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    The 5 watt xpg from cabelas is a wide flood beam too. Its like a square beam. If you remove the lens, its a wide angle flood light.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    What about Browning? Browning sells a Black Ice version 6V 5W flashlight. It runs off 2 Li batteries and is quite small and light. I have no idea as to the quality, though most Browning gear is pretty good. Don't know who manufactures the light for them, either.

    Anyway, lists for $156 and my local shop has it for $129.

    Standard 6V 5W LED
    Same light w/ camo print and dimmer switch

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* JonSidneyB's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    I think the L4 is the best of the 5w floods.....so far.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    it isn't even a question.
    see my sig

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    I'm becoming a big fan of multiLED lights. They offer a broad, even beam and at a low price. It seems that every two months, each form factor gives birth to a brighter model at the same low price point. Increasingly, the newer models include amenities like lanyards and clickie switches.

    I just bought the 21-LED MEK (2x123A) from a forum member. He writes, "I use to prefer Luxeons but frankly at this price, these things compare favorably and even exceed my hottest 1 watter (Inova) and compare to some 3 watters in total lighting-up-a-room power."

    I'd love to see a new forum just for multiLED lights.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    IMO, Mainly because the 5 watt luxeon needs a lot of power and capacity for a decent runtime. That doesnt mean it hasnt been done. Theres the TW4... uhh.... ok, TW4 is like the only one I know of at the moment that is a small sized 5 watter. Even with an R123 it runs for only about half an hour.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    What about a good 3 watt luxeon in an Aleph 2 head?

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    If you mean a NG 750 on 1x123 or around there, I would say medium throw and good flood.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    The forthcoming Pentagonlight S3 and S4 look promising, though too rich for my blood:

    S3 (20 white 5mm LEDs, 4 yellow, 40 lumens): http://www.pentagonlight.com/item_detail.cfm__id.248

    S4 (55 5mm LEDs):
    http://www.pentagonlight.com/feature_lightsource.shtml

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Go and ask Don (McGizmo) very nicely and he might be able to make you a custom flood light. A few years back I got a McLux-PR 5W X-bin flood light from him, runs off 3 CR123 batteries. Boy the bead blasted reflector does a perfect job! It is wonderful, the flood is very wide, very even (NO defects) and very white. Nothing compares to it. To get a good flood you have to have plenty of light, so a good 5W is a minimum. I also built a flood light head torch using a Lamina ceramics BL2000 and a Led dynamics driver (see my posting for details). That gives an even wider flood, that is just as even. For short range work (<few meters) nothing can beat a super flood, you don;t need to constantly move the light to see things. Of course I also have some super thrower lights too.

    Hope this helps. It is nice to know there are other flood-lovers out there!

    PeterW

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    PeterW wrote:
    "To get a good flood you have to have plenty of light, so a good 5W is a minimum."

    The first light I bought whose brightness (not beam width) truly pleased me was the Costco 2AA Luxeon. QuickBeam rated its brightness at 500, its total output at 1300. Ever since, 500 has become my goal for a floodlight. But it takes a lot of power to produce that much brightness over, say, 3 to 6 times the Costco's area. Lots of lights produce overall light ratings of 3000 or more, but with numbers like 1200/3000, you see that they're not floodlights at all. The lights I want would have high ratio of "overall light rating" to "brightness rating"--for example, 500/3000 or 600/4500. Right now, I can think of only a handful of lights with numbers like these: SureFire L4, OMBU X-55 (Nuwai TM301X-5), and 3W/Aleph 2. But I'm too cheap to buy any of these.

    At the rate at which cheap LEDs are improving, I would expect that a 16-, 19-, or 21-LED $20 light will yield those numbers within a couple years. Time is on my side.

  22. #22
    Flashaholic* LumenHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Paul: I like the multi led units for flood beams also. I purchased a 28 led unit and installed 28 of the 26kmc 5mm leds in it. I installed a Downboy 1000 from Wayne and power it with a pair of CR123s. Each led gets 37 milliamps and it's a great flood for the money invested. At less than 5.5 inches in length it's fairly compact. The leds are very easy to remove so I will not hesitate to replace them when much brighter reasonable priced 5mm leds become available. Lots of bang for the buck if you don't mind doing a 1 evening mod. Did I mention the many "What the heck is that?" comments I hear when most people see it in use for the first time?

  23. #23
    Flashaholic* LumenHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Whooops...that's 35.7 milliamps per led. It's more than twice as bright as the stock leds.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    LumenHound,
    Where did you find a 28LED light that can be powered by 2 CR123As? The highest number of LEDs that I've seen on a CR123A light is 21. Did you take a 3AAA light and modify it?

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* LumenHound's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    It's a 3AAA light. I bought a bunch of them for gifts but kept one for myself when after looking it over, I realized it would be way too easy to mod. The tailcap spring was pretty long and the metal on the inside of the tailcap was machined out to about the diameter of a CR123 cell. I grabbed a CR123 and lo and behold, it fit into the recessed area of the tailcap quite nicely. A pair of CR123s will just fit lengthwise into the body with the tailcap fully screwed into place. The tailcap spring is almost fully depressed into the tailcap but the batteries do indeed fit. I don't think it's by accident that the inside of the tailcap was milled out to just a smidgen more than the diameter of a CR123 cell. A single small ring of polyfoam pipewrap insulation on each battery keeps them perfectly centered inside the flashlight. There is lots of room for the converter board underneath the led circuit board. Mine is the one that has the leds recessed behind a sheet of polycarbonate plastic and not set into a polished metal bezel.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Ta-daaaah!
    The Liki Lite SL-13 at about $50 is what I've been looking for! 561 brightness, 4800 overall light. Even after immediately dropping to about 471/4032, those numbers yield 11 rings (Quickbeam's beam shot) of Costco-level light...in a package the size of a G2.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    MODEL…….…….....LGTH …..BZL DIA ……BOD DIA ……WT…….LUMENS/CP
    Surefire L4………….....4 7/8”…….…1”……………..… ¾” ………....…3.4oz…...….65 L

    The L4 remains the outstanding 5W light IMO. With only one exception no other light has its combination of small size, light weight, beam pattern, brightness, runtime and regulation in such a compact package. The one exception is the 5W Aleph II or Aleph II head on an E2E body. Don's two level switch is a must for either light.

    Note: It is safer to use primary 123s rather than Pilas in a 5W Aleph II. This does not apply to the L4.

    Brightnorm

  28. #28
    Flashaholic* TrueBlue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    If you can’t find a good Lux 5 flood/spot light then you make one. I did.

    The bottom light in the first picture is a Aleph3 using a Vital Gear FB3 body. The FB3 body will hold 2xAA cells or, what I really like, 3xCR123A cells. The Light Engine is a Downboy 750 and the Lux 5 emitter is a VX1S.





    In my case I’m running 3xRCR123A cells in the light or 10.8V. At 10.8V the current draw is 480mA. 9V/750mA. 7.2V/710mA. 6V/340mA.

    I wouldn’t recommend running the Lux V with anything higher than 750mA. You better have a good heat sink to keep the emitter cool. The Aleph3 has a big head that can concentrate light and draw a lot of heat away from the emitter. The light is drawing 5.184W from the cells. That is a lot. But you get a lot…of light. The light has a very good spot and an excellent spill beam.

    Hey, HA coated, Lux V, an efficient buck converter, a bright flood and spot beam, Surefire E-series compatible and 6.5 inches. Why not?

  29. #29
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Brightnorm,
    Have you seen the Likki Lite review? According to QuickBeam's tests, it meets or beats the
    L4 L4 in every measure you name except weight, at one-third the price:

    - Brightness: 561 Likki vs. 512 SureFire, each dropping 12% after a few minutes
    - overall light: 4800 each
    - beam quality: Quickbeam had high praise. It sure looks whiter; check the images and judge for yourself. Better yet, show the beam shots to non-flashaholics who have no idea what a SureFire is and ask them to compare the beams.
    - endurance to 50% of 4800 lumens: 2 hr 2 min. Likki, 1 hr 21 min. SureFire
    - Length appears to be about the same (about 5.2 inches)
    - Weight: The Likki is no more than an ounce heavier.

    Granted, the SureFire is better built, modular, and able to take a 2-level switch and other accessories. But I'll take the Likki SL-13 and $100 in my pocket over the SureFire.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* AFAustin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are so few 5W lights flood lights?

    Are Pilas the only rechargeable option for the L4?

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