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Why isn't there an XM-L LED in ...

Question for Knivesandtools:

Following the XP-G LED, Cree has come up with the stronger XM-L LED, which can now be found in many flashlights. If the XM-L LED provides a higher light output, then why aren't all models equipped with this LED?

Answer from Knivesandtools:

Although the XM-L LED does indeed have a higher maximum light output than the Cree XR-E LED, it is also considerably larger.

A deep and wide reflector is required to properly focus the XM-L LED's light into a beam. For this reason, putting an XM-L LED into compact lights such as the Fenix RC-10 doesn't make much sense.

The beam would then be wider than is practical for most users, and would also result in the flashlight using about 3 times as much power to be able to shine the same distance.

Nevertheless, we're seeing more and more small lights that are equipped with an XM-L LED. The main reason for this is that many people rely solely on the stated number of lumens.

Our advice is to also consider the reach of the beam when making your purchase decision. If manufacturers use the ANSI standard, you can easily compare them.

But do keep in mind that the ANSI standard is very optimistic: you can easily divide the distance by 3 to get a realistic picture.

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