Did we make 1000 lumen mistakes?
I hope you like bright lights. A couple of friends and I made a bunch of them. It is too good to just carry around so I mounted it to my bike.
The Ostar is driven at normal levels, approximately 700 to 750mA.
Three of us made a bunch of fun lights for a group of people using a most unusual emitter, the Osram Ostar LED. The story became more involved when Osram decided to get involved. Meet the all-new 1000 lumen ‘mistakes’, the Super Flashlight V (SF-V.)
The glorious emitter has issues but brightness is not one of them. If you do take up the challenge as we did then the rewards are plenty- lots of light. It’s easier and cheaper to design with a Cree or Seoul Semiconductor emitter but you won’t get the output of a single emitter and its throw beam. But I think they are actually harder to work with the assembly of the multiple Cree or SSC emitters. Why use the Ostar? The Ostar is a serious emitter and Osram is not hyping the output.
As for the Ostar issues, the main one is you need at least 18-Volts to fire it up. That is not considering additional voltage to keep it running for a while and the bottom line is a lot of heavy batteries. 18-Volts is no problem in the home or business applications but needs creative thought to get it to work in the field. It doesn’t take much current so a big voltage boost converter would work.
No one makes reflectors to focus the light so you are definitely on your own. Yeah, we figured that out too.
Simple? I should say not! Again, Crees and Seouls are easier for the hobbyist or companies looking for easy design and/or the best profit. The Cree and SSC use much lower voltage. They have reflectors and optics so simple designs can be used if you can live with the beam pattern. If you want absolute performance then go with the Ostar and the uphill battle to make it work. Yes, we’ve tested and used them all. We have to- we are hobbyists. You could say we like the challenge. In reality, we are masochists and love the pain and suffering so we took the different path, the rugged pioneer road, and used the mistake, the Ostar. We are also used to working with the unusual, bleeding edge, technology and coming up with unique solutions.
Not wanting a heavy battery pack or an extension cord, we made two level converters. One level controls the voltage boost and the second takes care of the variable brightness.
We stood firm and against the odd of success but we prefer the Ostar emitter so we dug in and worked. The boost converter was designed and built plus we added four stages of electronically controlled multi-brightness. As you see, the light has a reflector making the Ostar a truly portable light. The proof of concept worked so a new body was dreamed then fleshed out.
It certainly doesn’t look like the 99¢ bin flashlight! Each has new bodies, a specifically designed voltage boost circuit with electronically controlled variable bright that DOES NOT use PWM dimming. Really… who wants a strobing landscape? Don’t forget the new Ostar. The lights are one-piece head and body for superior head sinking made with 6061 alloy and finished with a gray-green hard anodizing. For grip, there are slats and micro-grooving on the body. The tail has a massive anti-roll that also balances the light and contains under the protective collar the rubber shielded switch that controls on/off and brightness. High temperature, ultra-clear, mineral glass protects the reflector and emitter. The O-rings should make the light waterproof to a limited extent. The power source is 4xCR123A primary cells or 4xRCR123 and 2x17670 Li-Ion rechargeable cells.
OSRAM GETS INVOLVED
Osram liked the light because no one else would consider their emitter for portable lighting. Imagine three hobbyists getting a big corporation to blink? They looked and liked what they saw. Now- Osram was pleased so much that they have one SF-V, a demonstrator, for their overseas exhibitions. And as a thank you, Osram let us buy impending emitters with 500 ADDITIONAL lumens output. So we made a brighter version, the SF-Vb, with the 1000 lumen emitter. The results are in the first picture. It looks like 15W output. Neat, huh?
Online ‘experts’ firmly derided the Osram Ostar saying would too difficult, a mistake, to attempt a portable light and poo-pooed it without trying. Then they pushed Cree and SSC emitters. They passionately drove others away from the Ostar making it sound like a blotch of plague. As you can see, we weren’t fooled and the Ostar makes a great light. A little work is good for you and the critics are wrong.
My weasel friends made the light and forgot I wanted it to mount on a bike! How did it get mounted? I ordered a bike mount from DealExtreme.com and with a rubber wedge the setup holds the light but the latch doesn’t feel secure. I’ll work on that one.
OH, the REAL bike lights are still being made. You know- the standard remote head and separate battery pack? We are only making three for our personal use. Of course it will use the Ostar emitter. We learned a lot from making the SF-V. It was the proof of concept. The bike light might have to be powered down since there is not nearly as much heat sink mass yet it’ll still be bright Anyway, who’d want a light with a silly Ostar?
Did we 1000 lumen mistakes? At least 60 people say no.
So meet the SF-Vb with the 1000 lumen Ostar emitter. It’s in a class of its own.
Have fun and keep rolling!
This is not your grandma’s LED. Did you never dream a little LED light could do this? Osram makes it possible.
More info on the SF-Va is here, in Japan.
The SF-Vb is here.