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Old 04-10-10, 12:07 AM   #1
mechBgon
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DX 20333 red flashlight

For those who find such things interesting, this is a beam comparison between a DiNotte 140 taillight and a DealExtreme #20333 red flashlight, both on steady mode. The flashlight has a native red emitter, it's not a white light with a red filter.



As you can see, the DiNotte is a flood beam and covers a decent angle of approach, whereas the flashlight is a more focused beam that would need to be aimed with reasonable precision, probably at its best in a highway scenario. The flashlight has no flashing mode as delivered, so I prefer the DiNotte for getting noticed in traffic, where a steady light can easily blend in.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:30 AM   #2
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Thanks. That clearly indicates that the DX flashlight has NO advantages at all over the Dinotte, other than price. In fact it looks more in line with one of the smaller lights like a Superflash.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:34 AM   #3
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Nice work
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Old 04-10-10, 07:26 AM   #4
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I do find such things interesting. Good job.
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Old 04-10-10, 07:46 AM   #5
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Thanks for doing the comparison. I am leaning on the Dinotte 140R anyway after reading reviews here about the PBSF and Mars 4.0. Good job.
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Old 04-10-10, 04:25 PM   #6
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Actually, both Ultrafire WF-501B & DiNotte 140 MUCH brighter than PB Superflash ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Thanks. That clearly indicates that the DX flashlight has NO advantages at all over the Dinotte, other than price. In fact it looks more in line with one of the smaller lights like a Superflash.
Actually both the Ultrafire WF-501B Philips Luxeon K2 Red LED Flashlight (Deal Extreme DX 20333) and the DiNotte 140 are much brighter than a Planet Bike Superflash. What may have happened in the OP's two photographs is they are two different exposures (f-stop and/or shutter speed). Unless you photograph both lights at once or manually set both the shutter speed and f-stop to give the same exposure, you can not compare the two photographs. I have done this in previous thread, Ultrafire WF-501 B works with flashing mode Cree XLamp dropin: Closups & beams.

In that thread's post #12 the details are:
Here is the Ultrafire WF-501B with the Cree drop-in on high vs DiNotte 140L-AA-R on high in side-by-side ceiling beamshots ... The Ultrafire's deep reflector gives a fairly narrow very bright beam with nice spill outside the central beam. The DiNotte is the opposite; it has a very shallow reflector and stepped-type lens resulting in a relatively broad even beam than is not as bright in the center. In flashlight terminology, the Ultrafire is a "thrower" while the DiNotte is "floody".

Which is better? It depends. If you want to be seen from a greater distance in back of your bicycle, for example riding at night on a relatively straight, high speed road with few intersections, I think the Ultrafire is a bit better (with the flashing/strobe Cree drop-in). On the other hand, if you are in lower speed limit residential streets with lots of intersections, the DiNotte may be better because of its wider beam. On a dollar basis, once you have invested in the 18650 batteries and a good charger, you could buy several Ultrafires and get about as wide and bright a beam as you want versus a DiNotte or two. (p.s. and have better control over where the beams go; you could have a horizontal distribution of beams that would minimize glare).

My impression is the total lumens of the two lights are roughly equal but you would need an integrating sphere to sum up all the light from all the angles to really tell.

I provide two exposures because one picture from any camera is incapable of recording the wide range of light intensity that your eyes can perceive. Even these two, one with a fourth the exposue of the other, do not represent what they look like; both beams are entirely red but the central beam is so bright that the camera sensors are saturated and record it as "white". Our eyes are capable of perceiving about 12 stops or 2^12 in a scene while a camera records about 5 to 6 stops or only 2^5 or 6. A better technique is to do high dynamic range photography ...
I overlapped the beams in the following pairs of beam shots so you can see where the brightness of one beam equals the brightness of the other. As you can see, it is not a simple relationship. The Ultrafire is brighter in the very center (so much so it saturates the camera's chip and is recorded as white, not red), then further off-axis the DiNotte is brighter, and still further off-axis the Ultrafire is brighter.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Ultrafire-vs-DiNotte-0.033-.jpg (19.7 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Ultrafire-vs-DiNotte-0.125-.jpg (22.9 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by Giro; 04-10-10 at 09:43 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-10-10, 04:55 PM   #7
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Mech is smart enough to know to lock the exposures between the two shots.

Also, his comparison looks almost identical to yours without the drop-in, so that backs him up as well.

Yeah, the UltraFire is very bright in the center, but it's too much in one place and most of the light doesn't do any good; there's not much point in making sure people see you a mile away (they don't NEED to see you a mile away) at the expense of people who might be a few degrees off center of the flashlight being able to see you at all.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for the pictures. I have been a proponent of the DX light, because of the cost and because it works well for me on my rural roads - no competing lights.
I still wonder if a diffuser could be added to the DX light to spread out the beam and make it more visible from the side for use in traffic.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:28 PM   #9
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That's correct, both photos used the same manual camera settings.

Quote:
I still wonder if a diffuser could be added to the DX light to spread out the beam and make it more visible from the side for use in traffic.
Try putting a piece of typical frosted "invisible tape" across the end of the flashlight, but not against the glass, just in open air. I recall that this turned my Fenix L2D into a super-flood beam. I don't have any invisible tape here at home, or I'd post photos of that.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
Try putting a piece of typical frosted "invisible tape" across the end of the flashlight, but not against the glass, just in open air. I recall that this turned my Fenix L2D into a super-flood beam. I don't have any invisible tape here at home, or I'd post photos of that.
What would actually be pretty good would be to get a fresnel lens, like one of the pocket magnifiers, the kind intended to put in a wallet, and cut a piece to go over the lens. That should spread the beam really well. It would be ideal to fix it so that there wasn't much of a collar in front of it, but even back a bit it should help a lot.

A light spatter coat of clear krylon on the front of the glass might help too.
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Old 04-10-10, 06:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
That's correct, both photos used the same manual camera settings.



Try putting a piece of typical frosted "invisible tape" across the end of the flashlight, but not against the glass, just in open air. I recall that this turned my Fenix L2D into a super-flood beam. I don't have any invisible tape here at home, or I'd post photos of that.
How can you post a photo of invisible tape? Sorry, I could not resist. Did you ever get the LOD?
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Old 04-10-10, 07:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
How can you post a photo of invisible tape? Sorry, I could not resist. Did you ever get the LOD?
Heck, I can't even find the invisible tape I never did get an L0D, nope.
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Old 04-10-10, 07:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giro View Post
Actually both the Ultrafire WF-501B Philips Luxeon K2 Red LED Flashlight (Deal Extreme DX 20333) and the DiNotte 140 are much brighter than a Planet Bike Superflash.
Can you wind the exposure right down so the central spot looks red on the brightest? They are still saturating the picture.
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Old 04-10-10, 09:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
... the UltraFire is very bright in the center, but it's too much in one place and most of the light doesn't do any good ...
I use the strengths of both the DiNotte 140R and the Ultrafire WF-501B for cycling at night on unlit or dimly lit streets and highways. The Ultrafire is mounted on one side, aimed about 5 to 15 feet in back of the bike to produce about a 2 X 5 foot spot of bright red light. The DiNotte is mounted on the other side, aimed more horizontally and set to give bright flashes alternating with a continuous lower light. This gives redundancy, a bright but non-glaring spot of red behind the bike, a flashing light that is always lit (not on/off), and some width (both the spot plus the pair of lights) to help motorists judge distance to those red lights up ahead.

I like the suggestions of other posters about using a fresnel lens or the like to give both a wider beam and a less intense point source for less glare (the second can be an issue with either light).

Last edited by Giro; 04-11-10 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 04-10-10, 09:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
... I still wonder if a diffuser could be added to the DX light to spread out the beam and make it more visible from the side for use in traffic.
Another poster in another Ultrafire thread used a translucent plastic bottle to do this. They cut off the top entirely for the main beam to exit out the rear and cut just-the-right-size hole in the bottle's bottom for a friction fit over the Ultrafire. I've tried this and it works.

Edit: Found the post picturing the above, scroll down to johnny0's Post #22. He actually used a translucent bottle cap; I couldn't find same size cap so instead used the bottle itself as described above.

Last edited by Giro; 04-10-10 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 04-11-10, 07:49 AM   #16
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A ping-pong ball would be an ideal diffuser.
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Old 04-11-10, 10:04 AM   #17
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Heck, I can't even find the invisible tape I never did get an L0D, nope.
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