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Lightpainter Torch

Lightpainter Ryu’s Lightworks Edition

In collaboration with Dennis Berka (Ryu’s Lightworks), Light Painting Paradise has developed a new type of torch especially for light painters. Many wishes of the light painters have been taken into account in the development. The torch has 8 brightness levels, a strobe mode with variable frequency, a flash mode and a ribbon mode. In addition, it can fire single flashes with a length of 5ms. Each mode runs at the previously selected brightness and can be saved. 

With 1200 lumens, the lamp is bright enough for almost all purposes. Size and weight make it a constant companion. The runtime with the included 18650 battery is good. I’ll say it right away: every light painter should have this lamp. The creative possibilities are almost limitless.

Processing and scope of delivery

Besides the torch, a 18650 battery with 3000mAh (measured 3188mAh), a charger for it, a wrist strap, a clip and a set of replacement seals are in the box. 

The build quality is good, clean threads, clearly defined switches, nothing wobbles or rattles, the LED is cleanly centred. Even if the quality of torches like the Fenix PD36R is still a long way off, the Light Painter has a solid tool in his hands. I like the fact that there are springs on both sides. This ensures that the battery does not lose contact with the lamp, even during fast movements. The material is quite thin. On the one hand, this saves weight, but on the other hand, the torch does not seem very robust. 

It remains to be seen whether it will actually be damaged quickly in the hard everyday life of light painting. Light Painting Paradise offers a two-year guarantee on the Lightpainter torch.

TeCHNICAL DatA

The torch is IPX8 waterproof to a depth of 2 metres, but I have not tested it. The weight including the battery is 112g, the torch is 138mm long and has a head diameter of 23.5mm. It therefore fits into the adapter from Light Painting Paradise and the Universal Connector. It sits firmly and securely in both. The only problem is that you can no longer reach the side switch. For this reason, Light Painting Paradise has developed a new adapter for this torch. 

The maximum brightness is given as 1200 lumens, I measured a slightly higher brightness. A Cree XP-L HI Led with an output of 10 watts was installed. The colour temperature is approx. 5400-5700K, somewhere between neutral and cool white. The colour rendering index (CRI) is 70. This is sufficient for most light painting applications. 

The Lightpainter torch has neither thermal nor low-voltage protection. If you leave it on at the highest level for too long, you will burn your fingers or damage the electronics. Under certain circumstances, if you discharge the battery to below the end-of-discharge voltage, it would be a case for hazardous waste. I tested this yesterday. When I took the battery out of the lamp after it would not switch on again, the voltage was 3.17V and thus still well above the final discharge voltage of 2.5V.

Funktionen

The rear switch turns the torch on and off. The side switch is used to switch between the modes (double-click) or to change the parameters (brightness, frequency). In addition, it is possible to operate the torch in “momentary mode”, in which the torch remains lit as long as the side switch is held down. By pressing the side switch longer, the current setting is saved, signalled by flashing twice. This is a great advantage, most torches are always at the brightest setting when switched on. 

Mode 1 – continuous light

This mode has 8 levels. These are switched through in sequence by single clicks on the side switch. When you have reached the brightest level, you can click again to return to the lowest level. The levels are indicated as 8 – 50 – 190 – 300 – 440 – 700 -900 – 1200 lumens. Based on the first test shots, the data should correspond to the facts. If I get bored at some point, I’ll measure it. The runtime for the brightest level is given as 1.5 hours. 

Mode 2 – Strobe

After you have set the desired brightness in mode 1, you can switch to strobe mode with a double click. The brightness is maintained, so the torch flashes in each of the 8 brightness levels. By clicking again, you can change the frequency, starting with the highest frequency (50Hz) in 10 steps to the slowest frequency (4.5Hz). The strobe mode is homogeneous, so light and pause are of equal duration. 

Mode 3 – Flash

In this mode, flashes with a length of 5ms are controlled. By clicking, you change the pause between the flashes, also in 10 steps. The highest frequency is 66Hz. This is hardly visible to the naked eye, it seems as if the lamp is permanently lit. But the camera definitely sees this. The lowest frequency is 6Hz.

Mode 4 – Ribbon Strobe

In this mode the torch shines with the selected brightness, interrupted by 5ms flashes with 60% brightness, which corresponds to level 6 in mode 1. So if the selected brightness is lower, the flash is brighter. If the selected brightness is higher, the flash is darker. At level 6, the mode is ineffective. The frequency (66 – 6Hz), i.e. the distance between the flashes, can be changed in 8 steps. 

Mode 5 – Single flash

The single flashes only work in “Momentary Mode” (see below). When you switch to this mode, the torch does not light up. After saving, switch off the lamp and change to “Momentary Mode”. Then, every time you press the side switch, a single flash (5ms) is fired at the previously selected brightness, no matter how long you keep the switch pressed. 

Side switch mode

By holding down the side switch while switching on with the rear switch, you enter the side switch mode. After the lamp has blinked twice, release the side switch. Now you can switch the previously saved mode on and off with the side switch.

Momentary Mode

This mode is entered by holding down the side switch and then pressing the rear switch. First the torch flashes twice (see above), if you keep the side switch pressed longer it flashes three times. After that, the torch is in momentary mode. In modes 1 to 4, the lamp remains lit as long as the side switch is held down; in mode 5, a single flash is fired at a time.

By switching off the torch with the rear switch, both side switch mode and momentary mode are “deleted” again. Both modes only work as long as the torch is “switched on”.

Strobe mode, flash mode, ribbon strobe – Yes, I know, the pictures are shit. But they show the different effects quite well. I only had half an hour to take them. Next time there will be “real” pictures again, I promise.

Conclusion

The Lightpainter torch is not a normal torch, but it doesn’t want to be. Its purpose is clearly geared towards light painting. As a normal everyday torch, the Lightpainter lamp is only of limited use. Due to the lack of protection against overheating, the brightness is not regulated down, unlike (almost) all conventional torches. This is basically advantageous for light painting, but also dangerous. After 12 minutes at the highest setting, the housing had reached the friendly temperature of 65°C. At this point, at the latest, you should be careful not to overheat the lamp. At this point at the latest, the lamp should be switched off to prevent damage to the electronics. Temperatures above 45°C are not good for the battery either, as it ages unnecessarily quickly.  The light painter is therefore forced to use his new jewel with caution. A little more aluminium in the housing and a larger head for better heat dissipation would be better.  

I am used to the operating concept from the “pre-release” version Dennis built for me some time ago. At the beginning, I had to look at the instruction manual a few times, but I internalised it quite quickly. In the meantime, I operate the lamp in my sleep. Basically, I still have some suggestions for improvement, such as ramping, i.e. stepless brightness control, and a few more “funny” modes. But of course you have to be careful that you don’t drive the light painting artist crazy at some point with the complicated operating concept with 100 different modes. For the moment, I am happy with the lamp. And I’m sure it will stay that way for quite a while.

For illuminating larger areas, the torch is hardly usable because of the rather narrow light cone, like almost all torches in this design and size. But it cuts a really good figure on all kinds of tools such as blades, tubes, glass fibres, acrylic rods and other light formers. And that is exactly what the lamp was designed for. 

A sensible purchase is the new adapter, so that you can operate the lamp without having to pull it out of the adapter again and again. All blades, rods and tubes from Light Painting Paradise fit on this adapter. Also available is a holder for the small colour filters (in the picture above). 

The lamp is now available at the introductory price of 89,90€: https://lightpaintingparadise.com/en/Shop/flashlight-lightpainter-ryus-lightworks/

All the best wishes for good light 
Sven

Addendum 17.05.2020: Dennis pointed out to me that the single flashes also work in side switch mode.

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