Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 56 of 56
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810

    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)

    I've got the light yesterday from Kaidomain. I've got the head only:

    Name:  635707750082322123_med.jpg
Views: 5456
Size:  14.2 KB
    http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S024229
    Already done teardown and some beam comparations.

    First impressions

    The light is not small and there would easily fit 7 leds not just 4. If you compare it with BT40s there is quite some difference:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060937.jpg
    The size resulting in bigger optics and therefore tighter beam. Beamshoot comparation at high mode to the BT40s shows X6 has more spotty beam and very few side spill, but more throw - X6 vs BT40s:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060967.jpg
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060965.jpg
    For more comparation here are MJ880 clone, new Geniue NW SSX2 and KD2 all in Neutral White (all in stock setup):
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060968.jpg
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060969.jpg
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060970.jpg
    On the road - X6 vs BT40s:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060979.jpg
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060980.jpg
    Both on full:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060981.jpg

    Internals:

    Back side is fixed with hex screws:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060987.jpg
    Internals in the back side:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060992.jpg
    Closeup picture of a driver:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060991a.jpg
    Wires are quite thin, no markings about AWG size.

    Front side is using retension ring with big o-ring under it:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060995.jpg
    Lenses comes out easily:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1060996.jpg
    Lenses are 50mm on diameter:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070005.jpg
    Leds PCB is screwed down at two points and it can be seen leds are connected in 2S2P setup:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070001.jpg
    PCB is about 2mm thick and it sitting on the small lip without thermal paste (of course), but it is screwed down, at least:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070004.jpg

    Current/modes used - Lo, Mid, Hi, strobe is hidden:
    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070006.jpgReview: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070008.jpgReview: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070009.jpgReview: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-p1070010.jpg
    Those pictures are for reference only and not highly accurate because of some voltage drop over the connectors and wires. Besides I've been using an old 2S3P battery pack. You can notice the status leds are changed at each mode. Mode spacing calculated from this is bit odd: 25%, 56%, 100%.

    After analyzing driver there can be seen LEDA chip and two R25 sense resistors (R8, R9). Given that LEDA chip has 0.25V feedback voltage and sense resistance is 0.125Ohm (two .25 Ohm in parallel) I can assume 0.25/0.125 = 2A to the leds. Since they are in 2S2P setup each led can get 1A of current. This is pretty much low and it can be changed by adding some resistor over existing ones.

    And forgot to mention it has SolarStorm type of connector.

    Verdict

    + XM-L2 Neutral White (T6 3C) leds
    + uses optics instead of reflectors
    + nice looking
    + waterproof (hopefully, did not check it)
    + hidden strobe


    - to thin wires to the light and to the leds (might be sufficient for the stock power)
    - to big for 4 leds only
    - almost no side spill (will see about this after altering the power)
    - no fins for heat dissipation
    - no thermal compound used (tipical for most low priced lights)
    - mode spacing could be better, but aint bad

    There might be some corrections in the future. I might add some descriptions after modding and add things that are missing. Also verdict can be corrected.

    Things to do:
    - Not have chance to check thermal behaviour, so this is yet to be seen... By Kaidomain represenative it should have thermal protection, but I haven't check it on the driver.
    - Weight
    - ...
    Last edited by ledoman; 07-09-2015 at 03:03 AM.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    54
    Is the top on the road one the x6?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Yes, I've added note on the top of pictures to be more clear.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    54
    What do the led's mount on? Is it similar to how the led on the the BT40s mount?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Wait to see complete review......

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    829
    Interesting review; thanks ledoman!

    It looks to me like LED base doesn't have thermal contact with outer case at all, so this light will be added to my personal "black list"...

  7. #7
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Damn it solar storm strikes again!!! Just a lip all the way around and that's it for thermal transfer to the case. That's what im seeing in the pics anyway.

    Means heavy modding to get good thermal contact. At its current driver set up shouldn't be a huge issue (with some thermal paste) but will become huge problem if you try to drive the emitters harder.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    @Archie you are wrong. It is hard to see the lip on my pictures, though. EDIT: calculated lip area assuming 2mm wide lip, including screwing part there should be surface about 170mm2. Not that much....

    @ Tigris99, since there is plenty room behind the PCB it shouldn't be hard to add some copper disc. Othewise you are right. At stock power it is sufficient just to add thermal compound. On the other hand the perimeter is quite big and leds are near the lips so the thermal transfer is not so bad as it seems. I'm shure it can stands 1.5A to the leds ie. 50% more than stock. All in all the housing doesn't have sufficient area (no cooling fins) to raise the current to the leds potential. Also cabling should be changed in that case. Maybe this one is good for you as an addon to get more throw. Bigger lenses makes it better for the long range beam.
    Last edited by ledoman; 07-09-2015 at 02:55 AM.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    802
    Thanks ledoman!

    a quick summary:
    1. thin wires to the LEDs (can be upgradeable)
    2. underpowered light (can be modified)
    3. bigger than BT40S
    4. tighter beam than BT40S
    5. suspicious thermal contact, but might be sufficient
    6. neutral XM-L2 in 2S2P

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    829
    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    @Archie you are wrong. It is hard to see the lip on my pictures, though. EDIT: calculated lip area assuming 2mm wide lip, including screwing part there should be surface about 170mm2. Not that much....
    For ~50mm base with four LEDs, that 2mm edge contact is essentially the same as nothing. As there's currently plenty of other Chinese lights with proper thermal management design, I see no point buying this one and perform heavy modifications...

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,745
    Thanks for the review ledoman. I agree with Archie; no point in buying this one to perform heavy mods to it when there are known good lights, also available in lighthead only, that don't cost much more.

    -Garry

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    Same garbage heat sinking as that previous Solarstorm 4 led light. I think it was called the XT40. I didn't buy that one either.

    1.69 A on high, that's less than the Solarstorm X2! Why even bother.

    Thanks for the review ledoman.

  13. #13
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Varider, ignoring the heat issue your missing the point of lights like this.

    Less current to an led the more efficient. So more light and less heat. 4 emitters at 1A each puts out a fair bit more light than 2 emitters at 2A each.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    I doubt your logic.

    More current through each emitter means more light. Here's a screenshot from the xm-l2 datasheet:

    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-xml2-output-function-current.png

    It's a nearly linear curve. More current means more light if the junction temperature is kept the same. If the curve dipped near the high current area than there would be an advantage to putting less current through each emitter and using more emitters. This is not the case however. There is no advantage to running less current through each emitter.

    Since this light has poor heat sinking the junction temperature could become too hot and the luminous flux, i.e. the amount of light, will actually become less according to this graph.

    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-flux-vs.-junction-temp.png

    Higher junction temperature means less light output if the current is kept constant. Since this light bad heat sinking, i.e. high thermal resistance, the junction temperature may become too hot and the X6 will put out less light than it could have if it were properly designed.

    Obviously, the actual junction temperature under operation depends on the amount of heat removal and the current running through each emitter. It could be that the case removes just enough heat to actually keep the junction temperature low and the light is completely functional as it's shipped.

    The only way this light could be brighter, in terms of total lumens, is if the driver with the 4 led model has a more efficient driver than the driver that is shipped with with 2 led model.

    However, since the current draw of this light is less than than the 2 led version, I highly doubt that 4 led model has more total lumen output. That's not to say that the output of the 4 led model might not look different, because it has different optics than the 2 led model.

  15. #15
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Varider its not logic its prove faxt and very easy to see in all of cree's graphs. And I said IGNORING the crappy heat sinking (which for emitters at 1A each this isn't a big deal). Your not reading any of the graphs correctly and not combining the information correctly. No disrespect or anything wait for the other guys to chime in on this is well. But ask the same questions in candlepower forums and blf, you'll get the same answer you just got from me. And those guys deal with this stuff for a living.



    Emitters are more efficient at lower current. They produce more light vs generated heat than at higher currents. The more current pushed through an emitter the more is wasted as heat instead of lumens. Just look at the graphs you posted. Hotter they get, less light. More current means more heat, less current, less heat

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    No.

    I just showed you the relevant figures from the xm-l2 data sheet.

    Light output increases as current goes up if the junction temperature is kept constant. It's that's simple.

  17. #17
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    No its NOT that simple. Output is on a curve and heat cannot be kept constant in any real world application. Im not saying that 1 amp generates more lumens than 2 amps. Im saying led creates more lumens per watt at lower current than it does at higher current, thus more efficient.





    http://budgetlightforum.com/node/19331





    That's all I need to say. Doing the math of 2 emitters at 2amps vs 4 at 1 amp, you end up with roughly 200 more lumens



    PS: Yes im sad I know, I have that on bookmark, use it for referencing for base output of lights vs claims lol

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    The figures you linked to go out to 5 amps! Between zero and 3 amps the relationship is nearly linear just like the cree data sheet. Over 3 amps it drops off, but none of the cree graphs go over 3 Amps, probably because they don't want you to run more than 3 amps.

  19. #19
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Not even going to keep discussing this, ill let the other guys chime in and tell you the same things I just did.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    759
    I don't have a clue on these numbers, but I do own an XT40 and a few SSX2's and the XT40 blows them out of the water. My favorite helmet light I have. Don't even care about the heatsinking, I still love the XT40. Never had a problem with it overheating. Plenty of light on medium and then crank it up to high on the descents. Worked all winter and in the rain with no problems.

    Thanks for the review, looks like I will say with the XT40 until something significantly better comes around.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    Yeah, maybe it's not as linear as I thought it was.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    802
    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Yeah, maybe it's not as linear as I thought it was.
    Tigris99 is on the money. 2 XM-L2 on 2 Amps are less efficient (lumen per Watt) than 4 XM-L2 on 1 Amp. See the chart from CREE calc where the left column shows 2 U2 XM-L2s using 0.15-2A and the right one shows 4 XM-L2s @25C - there is about 200lm difference:

    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-xml2.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgman25 View Post
    Thanks for the review, looks like I will say with the XT40 until something significantly better comes around.
    I'd say BT70 for ~$30 came better around ;-)

  23. #23
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Damn just math in my head looking at graphs and I was about right on lumens.....i spend entirely too much time reading and learning this stuff, lol.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    That's a helpful site.

    Looking at that chart on the left column (2 led) and I go to a current of 2 amps and it says 1658 lumens. Then you go right column (4 led) and to the 1.0 amp row and it says 1868 lumens. So that's a 210 lumen difference.

    210/1658=0.126

    So the 4 led version at 1 amp is 13% brighter versus a 2 led version running at 2amp (per emitter).

    If I remember right, the Solarstorm X2 draws 1.9 amps from the battery, while this 4 led light draws 1.69 amps. So the new light draws 11% less current than the X2.

    Seems like those two things would basically cancel each other out, and you end up with about the same light output from both lights. Or am I wrong again?

    Like I said in my first post: Why even bother

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    759
    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    Tigris99 is on the money. 2 XM-L2 on 2 Amps are less efficient (lumen per Watt) than 4 XM-L2 on 1 Amp. See the chart from CREE calc where the left column shows 2 U2 XM-L2s using 0.15-2A and the right one shows 4 XM-L2s @25C - there is about 200lm difference:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	xml2.jpg 
Views:	315 
Size:	158.9 KB 
ID:	1000968



    I'd say BT70 for ~$30 came better around ;-)
    Touche. With that, I need better batteries to run it from the sounds of it. Plus, it is neutral and all of my other lights are matching cool white. I am sure the neutral is easier on the eyes, but the cooler white hasn't bothered me.

    So then I need to spend $40 on some Hulk batteries (which I probalby should do anyways) or $60 more for the kit, and then get a matching helmet light, so $100 to upgrade the 10 other lights I have!

    I wonder how much of a difference a bt21 on the helmet with spot optics and a BT70 on the bars would make compared to an XT40 on the helmet and a Yinding on the bars. If it is a 10% upgrade, probably not worth $100, but who knows. I like my setup, so I probably shouldn't even be reading this stuff!

    I am sure there will be some pretty cool lights coming out over the next few months as it starts to get darker. Thanks for all of the helpful info here.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    802
    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    That's a helpful site.
    Seems like those two things would basically cancel each other out, and you end up with about the same light output from both lights. Or am I wrong again?
    To get an accurate answer you need to know the current on the LEDs. Anyway using 2 LEDs @2A produces 200lm less output and consumes about 0.8W more than 4 LEDs @1A.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,745
    Good luck finding a "good" X2 (dual emitter) that pulls 1.9A and has any better heatsinking! I'm curious to hear how ledoman's NW X2 from KD is.

    -Garry

  28. #28
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    There's a driver detail people are missing. Driver outputs more current to the emitters than is shown in a draw test off the battery when parallel circuit is involved (Garry showed me this trick). Which is why lights like the bt70 only draw ~5A yet driver pushes out a total of ~7.7A. Based off of that and 2s2p emitter set up, your getting about 1.5A per emitter calculated, actual will be 1.25-1.3A at the emitter actual.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Hey guys, will check actual current to the leds. I wrote my measurment is for reference only and not very accurate due resistance of wires and connectors. I'm planing to desolder wire to the leds and measure current at that point. As told in review the current to the leds should be 1A and Vf = 3.025V ie. 3W. So all 4 leds should use 12W of power. Now measurment at battery side 6.88*1.69 = 11.63W. Close but knowining there are some looses in the wires and the driver I would expect about 15W of input. Also I was using some old batteries(hence voltage drop). Need to redo test again with better ones. Will try to correct review during weekend.

    Anyway the power used is still on the low side and should be somewhat altered.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,069
    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    No its NOT that simple. Output is on a curve and heat cannot be kept constant in any real world application. Im not saying that 1 amp generates more lumens than 2 amps. Im saying led creates more lumens per watt at lower current than it does at higher current, thus more efficient.





    I hate sticking my nose into someone else's discussion but what the hell...

    Just some thoughts. tig, I have to disagree with what you said that, "heat cannot be kept constant in any real world world application". This has to be wrong or else almost all electronics ( including ) LED's would immediately go into thermal runaway. As long as thermal runaway is being prevented ( limited by design ) > ( heat management and current limitations of the driver ), the LED "should" heat stabilize at some point as long as it is operated as intended and kept within the Cree design parameters. That said, that is the "Trick" to optimum use of the Cree LED's.

    If you have the right set-up..ie.. LED, heat sink design, driver, I can't see any reason why the LED shouldn't stabilize at a given point as long as you have air flow. Sure, it will still get hot and lose a percentage of lumen output ( depending on how hard you drive it ) but heat wise it should stabilize as long as the current source is controlled and you have air movement. If it's losing 20% or more potential lumen output than you have a lousy thermal / efficiency design plan but that's my personally opinion. Regardless potential efficiency is not always a priority for some. Some people just want more lumen output, even if it means using more battery power.

    Now if you don't supply air flow to the lamp and the thermal transfer from emitter board to external heat sink is poor then yes the heat won't be stabilized and at some point the emitter can fail. I guess that's why the Chinese always under-drive the emitters. They know their lamps lack good thermal design.

    There is of course the flip side to the coin; Use more emitters with less current through each to reach a desired lumen output. Yes, this can work but there are still limitations; Pack the emitters too close and the heat becomes additive and you are right back to square one with thermal problems. Spread the emitters out too far and the lamp becomes very big and heavy. Not to mention this too could effect the overall beam pattern and would require a special optic design to optimize the lumen output.

    Finding the best design for bike lights is not always easy to say the least but there are companies making some very good lamps that don't seem to struggle too much with heat issues. Nevertheless, almost all bright lamps require a good bit of moving air to keep the heat issues in check. Hopefully though the good people at Cree will one day figure a way to make a compact LED that requires very little current ( with low voltage drop ) and still produce a lot of light. Until that day though there are always going to be heat issues ( and the limitations thereof ) ...~ ~ ~

    Changing subject: I'm disappointed in the beam pattern provided by the X6. As a bar lamp I think the BT40S is better, at least in the first 100ft. The X6 might work better on the helmet since it has better throw. The XT40 ( which I own ) provides a nice amount of light coming off the helmet and provides a fairly wide spot. I'd like to see a comparison of X6 vs. XT40.

    I should have the neutral XT40 I ordered by next week. I'm hoping it works as well as the cool white version. If it does it should complement the BT40S on the bars very well. If I get a chance I'll do some beam shot comparisons when it arrives. ..~ ~ ~

    Side notes; My neutral 4C XM-L2 16+14mm boards arrived today. Soon as I get some thermal paste I'll be upgrading my favorite back-up bar torches. My current favorite is using just an XML neutral. I wasn't going to bother but I figured, "What the hell", It should be much brighter when using the lower modes and that should be interesting to see.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Cat, I don't own XT40 so unfortunately can't do comparation. BTW, can you recall what power XT40 is using?

    I plan to add two R500 resistors to raise current to each led. They should run at 1.5A then. Also changing wires would be nice, but not in the first step in order to see the difference of each change.

    Personaly I thought it would give more spill, but then again it is understandable, the optics is big and it behaves like reflectors in this regard ie. bigger reflector more throw and less spill.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Good luck finding a "good" X2 (dual emitter) that pulls 1.9A and has any better heatsinking! I'm curious to hear how ledoman's NW X2 from KD is.
    Garry, you can see the NW SSX2 beam in the OP pictures above. Internals is, well, modernized ie. both leds on the same PCB. The driver is something new to me I think. Will have to check and take pictures in a few days.

  33. #33
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Well here's my take on the temps. As we've seen (and I have to deal with at work now, not leds but same principles) ambient, airflow, current to emitters etc all effect case temps. Case temps are an effect of emitter and driver temps. Change any of those conditions the temps change. Like running the light head at 100 deg outside temps or running at 0 degrees. Case and there for internals run at temps relative to cooling. Same as heat sinks with fans or water cooling is used in electronics (is computers) it brings down the operating temps of the electronics. So 100 deg temps mole rides in the emitters are going to run alot hotter than the 50 and 60deg nights ive had lately. Ya the temps if the head will settle out, but as soon as you increase or decrease speed the temps are going to change. So emitter temp is going to change accordingly.

    Sorry to get more into it, figure its good for the sake of the discussion since emitter temps are directly related to how the case cools based on design, ambient temps and airflow. ;p
    Last edited by tigris99; 07-10-2015 at 11:46 AM.

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    6,069
    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    Cat, I don't own XT40 so unfortunately can't do comparation. BTW, can you recall what power XT40 is using?

    I plan to add two R500 resistors to raise current to each led. They should run at 1.5A then. Also changing wires would be nice, but not in the first step in order to see the difference of each change.

    Personaly I thought it would give more spill, but then again it is understandable, the optics is big and it behaves like reflectors in this regard ie. bigger reflector more throw and less spill.
    Sorry ledo I don't do tear downs but I doubt each led is outputting more than 400 lumen.

    When I get the neutral in I might consider using the cool white as a guinea pig to do a mod. Usually I don't do those either but the XT40 has the potential to make a decent helmet lamp with a medium wide spot. If I could bump up the output to 500-600 lumen per emitter without heat issues it might be worth trying.

    Anyway your idea sounds like a plan. If you do a successful mod on the X6 or XT40 let me know how it works out for you.

    @tig....It's all good...nothing wrong with a good discussion. I'm intrigued with multi-emitter designs ( like the BT70 ) but even when under-driven there are still going to be various potential problems. If you build a 7-up XM-L2 or XP-L lamp and under-drive the emitters that could be interesting but then you have the added size/weight of the lamp to deal with as well as the problem of finding a suitable optic arrangement....and of course heat is always an issue unless the lamp is SUPER big or very under-driven.

    When designing a lamp like this I think it safe to say that not too many people are looking for an ugly, heavy, big ( clunky ) lamp. Regardless, even if someone considered the appearance not to be important the biggest issue ( IMO ) is going to be optimizing the output by providing a more efficient optical array. To do that you need separate optics so some can be very spotty and the others with a medium flood.

    If you want to use a single piece ( multi-emitter ) optic then somewhere along the line the beam pattern is going to suffer, either from lack of throw or lack of perimeter illumination depending on what single piece optic is used. The two current lamps that illustrate this the most are the X6 and the BT40S. The X6 has enough throw but lacks even perimeter spill. The 40S has good perimeter spill but suffers beyond 100ft. Until someone begins to manufacture a single piece multi-optic with "mixed" optics, the single piece optic lamps are going to continue to have weak areas of illumination within their beam patterns.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,745
    Adding more emitters thereby driving each one at less current is always going to favor flood and not throw. The real reason an XM-L(2) or XP-L throws is due to pushing them with higher current. For a throwing light I'd prefer one or two emitters driven harder. I do think Nitefighter is on the right track using the XP-G2 to help with achieving throw.

    -Garry

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Good luck finding a "good" X2 (dual emitter) that pulls 1.9A and has any better heatsinking! I'm curious to hear how ledoman's NW X2 from KD is.

    -Garry
    Are they not available now? The ones I have pull that much.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1,745
    I took a chance on one from Amazon and it was total garbage - think it pulled 0.9A @ 8.4v so output was pathetic. Driver was only moddable up to mediocre output at best. Ledoman has experience with many various X2's and I believe he'd agree the good ones are gone or at least extremely rare. Most new units have no thermal path behind the emitters. This is why I'm curious how the new KD NW X2 compares.

    -Garry

  38. #38
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Garry, alot of the throw issue is optics over reflectors. Optics are smaller and don't concentrate the beam like reflectors do. Driving harder helps but main thing is gotta be able to focus the light. This is where the new xp-l hi comes in. The rediculous boost in throw from dedomming but factory made instead and with much less loss from the dedoming. I can't wait to try dedomed xp-ls on the triple apot optics

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Bad news, guys. Tried to measure current to the leds and somehow fried the driver. Don't know what was wrong. There was tiny smoke but no visible damage. At power on no status leds are working and there is flow of 0.04A.

    On the brighter side I might get repalcement from the KD. In the meantime I got idea to try driver from KD2. There is enough room. It is only hard to fix it inside and no status led. I might try it out.

  40. #40
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Ya solarstorm drivers dont like it when you try to connect to measure at emitters. Had it happen on 1st ssx3. Still worked but couldn't ever shut it off fully, would sit and flicker.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Hopefuly it will all turn out good. Thinking isn't to much for the KD2 driver to run 4 leds and only hanging inside the shell ie. without thermal path for cooling. I could do it only for testing purposes not running it to long. Will see....if ....

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    Bad news, guys. Tried to measure current to the leds and somehow fried the driver. Don't know what was wrong. There was tiny smoke but no visible damage. At power on no status leds are working and there is flow of 0.04A.

    On the brighter side I might get repalcement from the KD. In the meantime I got idea to try driver from KD2. There is enough room. It is only hard to fix it inside and no status led. I might try it out.
    That's a shame. I hate that you lost out on the money you spent on this light. Hopefully you can resurrect it. I wonder why connecting a meter has that effect, as they are specifically designed not to have an effect on the circuitry. Maybe it's the extra resistance from the meter leads.

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Varider, fortunately I got it for reviewing purposes and KD prommised to send me replacement driver. It would just take about month to get it.
    It might be my fault not the metering problem. I had driver loosened and it might get shorted by steel nut which holds incoming cable. Wont do it that way next time.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    I've got replacement driver and X6 is working again. I've moded sense resitors adding R330 over existing two R250. This should raise current to each led from 1A to aprox. 1.4A.

  45. #45
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
    Reputation: kwarwick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,495
    Finally got my X6 after it sat in customs for 3 weeks... kinda wished I didn't. For a 4 x XM-L2 light the output is rather pathetic. Just for comparison, my 2 x XM-L2 X2 draws 18.8W on high whereas the X6 draws only 12W on high. The X2 is a first gen that I got from Fasttech before the quality dropped, but still one would reasonably expect that the X6 would be the more powerful light... silly me!

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    Try to modify the driver as I've described in the previous post. Of course add some thermal compound around leds PCB.

  47. #47
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
    Reputation: kwarwick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,495
    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    Try to modify the driver as I've described in the previous post. Of course add some thermal compound around leds PCB.
    I could, but it is such a marginal design from thermal point of view that it really doesn't seem worth the effort just to end up cooking the LEDs.

  48. #48
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    Ya this is why I gave up on ss lights, design and output are gone. Not sure why they go through the extra machining to make the lip instead of a flat wall with holes for the wires drilled in. Nitefighter and yinding do it right without costing more than a few dollars more.

  49. #49
    Drinkin' the 29er KoolAid
    Reputation: kwarwick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,495
    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Ya this is why I gave up on ss lights, design and output are gone. Not sure why they go through the extra machining to make the lip instead of a flat wall with holes for the wires drilled in. Nitefighter and yinding do it right without costing more than a few dollars more.
    From what I can see with the X6 it appears they start with an extruded tube with 4 channels for the rear cover/led plate screws and then machine each housing from pieces cut from that tube.

    If they put a solid wall in there they would have to machine each housing individually... its all about saving $$ in manufacturing I guess.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    34
    Do you guys think it is possible with another driver board, thicker wires, and a kind of copper plate behind the led board, with holes for the wires to mod this light? Do you think this could work?

    Maybe 4 single LEDs with copper plate aswell.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    I think it is possible, but I don't see the point doing it unless you are fan of moding everything. Very likely mod would cost you more than it is worth.
    The main problem I see to run on much higher power is lack of cooling fins even if you manage to solve internal heat transfer.

    The small mod of current sense resistors is possible, though.

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    34
    Yes i want to mod something. With external cooling you are right. If the result is worth the effort, I will be ok with the costs.

    Is there another driver which delivers a higher current? Which one would you prefer?

    Or maybe there is another light with a better housing.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,810
    If you want very good housing for DIY/mod project take a look M36 LED housing kit - $25.00 : Easy2LED.com, The store for LED DIY and its kit version.

    Taskled drivers fits nicely and Ledil CUTE-3 optics can be used. Led-dna has copper PCB for leds. But everything is not cheap.

  54. #54
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    2,333
    Always have external cooling option of a "Vancbiker GoPro mount". Can be customized to fit most any light.
    Mole

    Review: SolarStorm X6 (4x XM-L2 T6 NW version from KD)-001.jpg

    GoPro adapters for bike lights

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    34
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Always have external cooling option of a "Vancbiker GoPro mount". Can be customized to fit most any light.
    Mole

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	001.jpg 
Views:	94 
Size:	88.4 KB 
ID:	1106418

    GoPro adapters for bike lights
    Wow. Cool you please stell me what light this is? Good idea.

  56. #56
    RAKC
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    7,146
    That's a bt70, they don't exist anymore

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 409
    Last Post: 04-16-2018, 04:44 AM
  2. SolarStorm X3 XM-L2 vs SolarStorm XT40 XM-L2 Trail Review
    By GJHS in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 10-22-2015, 10:01 AM
  3. User review: Solarstorm X2, original version
    By Kir in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-21-2014, 08:36 AM
  4. SOLARSTORM X2 5000 Lumens - e-bay purchase - mini review
    By Skyraider59 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-25-2014, 05:43 AM
  5. Review of 5-10 Impacts High top version
    By daisycutter in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-08-2013, 02:33 PM

Members who have read this thread: 2

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.