Planning another light build
So I have been on my last light build for a couple of seasons and I am very happy, but I cannot leave well enough alone. What I am running is a 2xXML T6 in square tubing, warm tint, with modded Laura optics. Driven by an Lflex and a homemade 18650 2s2p batt pack...4400mah or so I suppose. I have it set to the 2.5A drive mode on high IIRC.
It has a very, very rideable beam...no artifacts, very even with decent throw and great spread. The warm tint is da bomb for my eyes, even though it gives up some perceived 'brightness' in the process.
But a recent test of a Lezyne Mega Drive showed me that I am a bit short on downrange punch. I am running a 200L helmet light as well but I would prefer most of my light to come from the bars and the helmet light is just to fill in the gaps. corners, drops, etc.
Some of that disparity is from the white tint of the Mega Drive and is also reminded me why I love the warmer tints, but it got me thinking of another build, partially just for fun and partially just for the tweak factor.
What if I wanted to run a triple light using two XPG with a suitable optic for distance and one XML that just is all about beam spread? Or, two XPGs for spread and one XML for distance? Thinking that if I ran the XPGs in parallel (XML in series) and drove it all at 2-2.5A I would keep the XPG drive current within reason and still be able to keep the batt pack in the 7.4V range. Not sure about drivers...I think the LFlex might be out of the question here.
Am I gaining anything except hobby bench time and a great deal of self satisfaction? I suppose I could just run two different optics in the light I have now, but taking it apart would be almost as difficult as building a new light.
If I could add a center spot effect to my existing light I would be in hog heaven. Some config like that Mickey Mouse ears magic shine makes me wonder if that is the deal.
If you want a bit of downrange throw from the XPG's I found the Regina reflector to be pretty good. Alternatively a de-focused aspheric lens would certainly give the throw you are after and if you use an XML with that, it will keep the efficiency and lumens per watt up and forward voltage down.
I certainly agree with you on the warmer tints. Everything looks so much more colourful and not just washed out gray.
Laura optics put out one of the tighter XML beam patterns I thought.
If you want downrange punch you will need a tighter reflector/optic.
Looks like you are running your dual XML at optimal 2.5 amps.
Personally I use the Fraen FRC-N1-MCE reflector for throw.
It can be modded for use with the XML.
Other option is aspheric. Never built with one, but using one is all about getting the proper distance from the led to the optic.
I ride using three lights for the different distances I like to see at. This also gives me insurance against getting left without any light on a ride.
Ledil LC1 optics provide more of a defined spot than the Laura RS, but I'm not sure that it gives all that much more throw. To be honest, if you want more throw you need either a smaller LED (XP-E/G2) with either a TIR optic or more likely a reflector, or, if you want to stick with XM-L size then you'll need a larger reflector.
As odtexas mentioned, an aspheric is an option and there are a few people on here (Brad, Goldigger and Troutie spring to mind) that use then, although the beam shape is a matter of personal preference.
Regina can also be easily modded for XM-L.
I just built a 6-up XP-G2 - it's the spread-meister. Way overkill at 1.5A, but I was building this one as a science experiment using a hbflex.
(edit: The rest of this post doesn't answer any of your questions. I've apparently been drinking. )
I just wanted something that will throw shadows on the guy in the group that insists his old HID light is brighter than any LED system. I was already able to point out that everyone's majicshines seemed to throw a tighter, brighter spot than he was, but he didn't see it. (this was during the post ride beer & bullsh!t session that follows our weekly night ride)
So - I made a quite juvenile decision to build some monster for the sole purpose of throwing a shadow in front of him so dark that he has to admit defeat.
I had built a dual XP-G light with the narrow carclo optics, bflex-ed at 1.5A, and honestly it had one of the best spots I've built so far for helmet use. But it wasn't bright enough to throw a really good shadow on him yet, I had a couple of single XM-L builds on the bench, but I knew they weren't going to serve this singular purpose either.
a 6-up XP-G2 config, 2 triple narrow carclo optics, a small housing (too small for this rig, honestly, but we ride in the cold this time of year, and I'm not going to run on high all the time) and my 2.2ah 11.1v packs I already had. Hbflex was the only option that fit the bill.
I haven't "whipped it out" yet on a ride, but I'll be smiling, and making sure I hit the trail right behind him.