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Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by chico13, Feb 1, 2010.
well what is the deal with all theas LEDS Q5, cree and so on. what is the brightest led????
This isn't really an easy question to answer unless you define "best". The absolute brightest LEDs in the world are not the most efficienct. There's a whole range of different trade offs and what not to think about.
Of the terms you mention, Cree is just a company that makes LEDs and Q5 is a 'flux bin'. LEDs are binned according to how efficient they are.
The most efficienct white LED on the market right now is the Cree XP-G in flux bin R5. Like I said, LED's are "binned" according to how efficient they are - even LEDs of the same make and model will come in a range of bins due to manufacturing tolerances and what not. So if you mean "best" as in "Brightest for a given amount of power", the answer would (currently) be Cree XP-G R5.
There are some brighter LEDs than this that are less efficient (ex. Luminous PT90 and a long list of others).
If there's some specific lights you are looking at and want to know more about the LEDs in them, let me know and Ill tell you about them or point you towards more info. But otherwise this is a pretty open-ended question that is hard to answer.
Good post peaceofmind. The only thing I would add is LEDs have gotten bright enough that a lot of people are paying more attention to beam quality and tint. I for example prefer Osaram Gold Dragon LEDs and SSC LEDs because they have a smooth beam and a nice transition to spill. Some LEDs also have a tint closer to natural daylight. They are not the brightest but they render colors more accurately. If you look at Ra lights you can pay an additional $40.00 just to get a light with a guaranteed tint.
Nichia GS (arc aaa) epoxied is bombproof, but has extremely low output.
But even that's not the whole story. The XP-G in R5 might be brighter than an XR-E that's binned lower, but because the XR-E uses a smaller die, if the reflector size remains the same, the XR-E's hot spot will be brighter and it will throw farther, even though it is overall less bright. Many people who like long-throwing lights were disappointed when they went from their lower-binned XR-E lights to higher-binned XP-Gs, for exactly that reason.
SSC LEDs have better CRI than your typical Cree and provide a more similar output to the old Luxeons for which a lot of reflectors were originally designed around, so the SSC can use "better" reflectors but this is quickly changing as companies retool for the Crees which currently represent cutting edge. Unfortunately the SSC LEDs are less resilient to being driven hard and the phosphor is quite susceptible to heat damage.
Also a good point, and part of the reason why the answer to the original question is "it depends...". ;D