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HELP, I NEED / desperately want A SUPER BRIGHT FLASHLIGHT for camping / boy-scouts [answered] Answered

first thing first, i want absolutely the BRIGHTEST flashlight i can my hands on! how many lumen's should i shoot for (to impress others)? 100, 270, 350, 600, 900, 1500, 3600, 5000+ (5000 Lm i pretty sure is overkill)? i have an led flashlight i got for 12$ and is advertised to be over 600 Lm but I'm pretty sure its maximum is 70Lm. (it seems to be slightly brighter than the 9 LED tactical flashlight i had) but I'm not sure. i have no light meter. the LED itself is (as advertised) is CREE (i don't believe that either but again, I'm not sure).
 

i would like to make portable HID flashlight. my plans are to:

BUY:
6V LANTERN
HID KIT (BULBS)
HID BALLAST
12V BATTERY

(I"m not sure where i could find a suitable 12-15V 35W [or more] battery that will fit nice and snug in the lantern with room for the ballast. the battery should last almost a week with some moderate use.) i think a drill battery would work.

i will take the original light out and replace it with the HID.
then, i will need to find a place for the slim ballast [but where???] .
then,i need to find a battery (i think a 12V drill battery should work [will a 14.4V drill battery with the case off fit in the modified 6V lantern flashlight? if so, where can i buy a affordable and well suited 12V-16V battery?]


if there isn't any small, powerful (and preferably cheap), battery in existence?
[4 by 4 by 2 array of AA rechargeable batteries seems promising and so does 6^2 by 2 array seem promising.6 by 6 by 2 AAA]

will the ballast and lamp work with less power (6W-34W)?

is there a simple and small ballast circuit schematic i can follow? i never found one. so i assume no. :-(

also is the 5000K neutral white, warm or cool? (i think it is the closest to neutral white with a VARY slight blueish tint)
i think i got a grasb on this and i want 6000K (i want something led white but still bright and useful enough to easly see what i'm doing on campouts)

26 Replies

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rickharris (author)2011-02-03
I have a million candella flash light containing a small lead acid battery and a xenon bulb. Not idea of the real light output but it's painfully bright.


Car headlights are normally around 80 watts.

LEDs are more efficient at turning electricity into light - how much more I don't know off hand but a 1 watt LED throws out quite a lot of light.

As for the how and why - Much depends on the body of your flashlight.

http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz

will calculate the resistor size for you can give more support on using high power LEDS if you look around the site.


Personally I would use a constant current source to drive the LED as high power LEDS will suffer a large change in current for relatively small changes of voltage..

Bright white looks brighter than warm white. Avoid any with a pronounced blue cast as your eyes are not very sensitive to blue light.

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-max- (author)rickharris2011-02-04

leds vaty grealy from cheap leds (around 80 lm per watt) to more advanced CREE leds (150 lm per watt) and i think CFLs avrage around 200 lm per watt

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-max- (author)-max-2011-02-06

HID is cheap, BRIGHT, and efficiant that is a hard mix to get.

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snowluck2345 (author)-max-2011-08-17

CFLS can't be focused. HIDs are good, but they have problems, I wrote a basic paper about different lighting technologies for some ap chem extra credit as a boost for the final. HIDs have problems with hot restart and you can't dim them. They need 2 bulbs to be dimmed, aswell as 2 ballasts. They project heat from the front as IR, so you don't need as big heatsink, but the ballast is bigger than any heatsink your going to use in an LED light.

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-max- (author)snowluck23452011-08-18

i just settled on led. 1000 lumens turns out overkill for what i need. i still would like my flashlight to be for focused, but oh well. i may think about instead of hid, i will use 3 Cree t6 led's if i want a overkill light. the main problems im having is batterys.

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snowluck2345 (author)-max-2011-08-18

Like price? Or what? I used lipos but you could use 18650 batteries, they are pretty standard. You can find a bunch in laptops.

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-max- (author)snowluck23452011-08-18

price, and power to size. i find lithium needs a special charger, and are sensitive to large amp draw (2.5A) i calculated i need at least 3000 Mah, 14.8V

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-max- (author)-max-2011-06-14

CFL is closer to 50 lm per watt i have never seen 200 lm per watt

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-max- (author)-max-2011-04-30

cheap leds are about 30 lumuns per watt (high power ones)

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-max- (author)rickharris2011-02-21

whats the size spec of the battery? and the wattage of the bulb? (hopefully more the 35 watts) and the power specs of the battery ( _______AH and ___ volts)? how heavy is it?

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ARJOON (author)2011-02-04
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snowluck2345 (author)ARJOON2011-08-17

they have horrible effecincy, SST has very large leds, but the effecicany isn't as good as cree bulbs. The XML are amazing leds. Single die too. I can't wait for quad die ones to come out. Like an MCE on steroids. I went with sst 90s, which still blow 10 w leds from ebay out of the water.

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-max- (author)ARJOON2011-02-04

yea i know about them, but without a very bulky heatsink, it won't last long thats why i turned to HID technology.

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mbowman1 (author)2011-04-07

this is the brightest flashlight money can buy. 4100 lumens, its a world record for hand held.

http://www.wickedlasers.com/lasers/The_Torch-74-41.html

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-max- (author)mbowman12011-04-30

not very practical and NO it is not the brightest light money can buy. iv seen on youtube people with 80W HID spotlights (7000 lm) the wicked laser torch only lasts about 5 minutes of run time

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snowluck2345 (author)-max-2011-08-17

My lights a solid 10k lumens, 5 sst 90 in a costum body. Machined at my school. I have it running off of a 60 watt/hour pack. I only use the 10k lumens to impress people, normal use I stay around 1500 lumens. Great effecincy though. Its funny to see my teammates faces when I lit up the gym during sleepover. It was so bright.

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-max- (author)2011-06-14

[best answer] i bought a 1000 lumen led flashlight (ultrafire wf502b) with the XM-L T6 led in it. i haven't been disappointed since...

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-max- (author)2011-04-30

well, my main problem was battery life. and how to fit it all in a lantern. well, i decited PVC tubing will work better as i can make it any size i need.

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kricketone (author)2011-02-06

Streamlight Super Tac uses two 3volt batterys burn your eyes out at 100 yards small hand held very powerful for such a small hand held...

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-max- (author)kricketone2011-02-09

only 130 lm... i want brighter i can get that kind of led flashlight at wal-mart.

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-max- (author)2011-02-03

ignore the "Inappropriate
Incomplete
Spam" i don't know whats that is all about

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seandogue (author)-max-2011-02-04

It's so that we, as members of the site, can report misconduct. Primarily spam and vulgarities.

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-max- (author)seandogue2011-02-04

it looks like something i typed but when im in edit, i dont see that

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seandogue (author)-max-2011-02-05

Maybe. It mimics the "Flag" area to the right. Maybe an instructables glitch.

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-max- (author)seandogue2011-02-05

also, the links are rotted. (error: 404, not found)

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