Things you should know about the flashlight LED

Sep 04, 2020 | XTAR

Choosing a suitable flashlight seems to be a difficult thing, but if you understand every aspect, it is easier to choice. So, let’s start with the core component of the flashlight – LED. 

How to judge the quality of LEDs?

Most people distinguish by brand. The most popular LEDs are from American CREE. As long as they are genuine, the quality is quite good. XTAR flashlight uses genuine American CREE LEDs. In addition, we can also look at the size and shape of LED, and the brightness and purity of the light.

What is the difference between each CREE XLamp LED models? Which models have better brightness?

CREE LEDs are not good or bad, only different models. Our common XM-L, XM-L2, XP-L, XR-E refer to the appearance, shape and size of the LED. T6, U2, and V5 refer to the grading of light efficiency (basically, the rating of brightness), which is based on the total amount of luminescence under the same power consumption. Generally, the lower the alphabetical order, the higher the lumens. If the alphabetical order is the same, the higher the number, the higher the lumens.

For example, the LED model XM-L2 U2, we know it means 5mmx5mm in size. Then, what is U2? According to the introduction of the CREE website, U2 is defined as follows: Under 700 mA current, the luminous flux of the LED light is between 300-320 lumens, which is classified as U2. T6 is between 280-300 lumens. It can be seen that T6 < U2.

What types of LEDs are used in XTAR flashlights?

XTAR’s flashlights are mostly diving flashlights, and there are also some outdoor and EDC series. The main LED models used are:

XTAR D36 5800: cree XHP70.2 P2 + XHP35-HI D4

XTAR D26 1600 / TZ28 1500: cree XHP35-HI D4

XTAR D26 1100 / XTAR WK18: cree XM-L2 U3

XTAR D26W 1000 / XTAR D06: cree XM-L2 U2

XTAR H3R / XTAR RC1: cree XP-L V6

In addition, XTAR’s upcoming diving flashlight D30 has two models: 1600 lumens and 4000 lumens:

XTAR D30 1600: white light: cree XHP35-HI D4 + RGB light: cree XP-E2

XTAR D30 4000: white light: cree XHP70.2 + RGB light: cree XP-E2 + UV light: cree TX35 P3

So what exactly does each LED model mean?


It has the similar size to the XM-L, i.e. 5mm x 5mm, but L2 increased by about 20% of brightness. This LED offers a full-flood beam. Many flashlights today use an XM-L2 LED.

The T6 output peaks 1044-1119 lumens. The U2 is 7% brighter than the T6. The U3 increased slightly again. The output is 1193-1268. It appeared in many flashlights now. Both XTAR D26 1100 dive light and WK18 EDC light use XM-L2 U3. The brightness and functions of D26 1100 are very suitable for spearfishing.

XHP35/35 HI

XLamp XHP35 has a size of 3.45 x 3.45mm, a very small one. But the output of this LED can reach max 1833 lumens. And the max power is 13w.

The XHP35 HI has the same size of XHP35. HI means high intensity. Its output is 1483 lumens. It produces a very focused beam with a tight center-spot. Both XTAR D36 5800 and D26 1600 dive lights use this LED. With this LED, XTAR D36 provides not only flood lighting but also spot lighting mode.


According to the specification of CREE, XHP70 has a very large size, at 7 x 7mm. The max output reaches 4022 lumens and the power at 32w. For the XHP70.2, it of cause has a slight improvements, including higher lumen density and higher voltage characteristics. XTAR’s large lumen dive lights – both the hot D36 5800 and the upcoming D30 4000 use this XHP70.2 LED.


The XLamp XP-E2 increases lumen output up to 20% on the base of the original XP-E. According to CREE explain, XP-E2 is the ideal choice for the lighting where high light output and maximum efficacy are required, such as outdoor, portable. Available in different colors. XTAR’s new dive lights D30 1600 and 4000 both use this LED. They can offer red, green, blue and UV light. Therefore, it is a good underwater photography lighting gear.

What determines the brightness of flashlights?

Many users now seek high-brightness, long-range flashlights. And many people believe that this kind of flashlight is the best. Here, I want to emphasize that the quality of a flashlight has nothing to do with its brightness. What determines the brightness of the flashlights is only the power consumption and the brightness of LEDs. The quality of the flashlight’s shell and the circuit drive also have nothing to do with the brightness. And the illumination distance is related to the size of the light cup. If the light cup is large enough, the LED will illuminate farther. But the farthest is not necessarily the brightest, and vice versa.

Of course, choosing a suitable flashlight is not only based on its LEDs, but also on its light cup, function, material, battery, waterproof level and other parameters, as well as your own use needs. You need to comprehensively consider all the aspects.


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