Cree bins individual models of LED on the basis of total flux or light output, typically measured at 350mA. Bin numbers might be P4, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5, R2, R3, R4, and R5 with each bin being about 5% additional flux. The P4 is 80 lumens, a Q5 would be 107 lumens, and the R5 bins are 137 lumens. At higher amperage than 350mA, the brightness goes way up, with the XP-G producing 3 times as many lumens at a maximum current of 1500mA.
Cree classifies tints of white LEDs as being warm, neutral, and cool, but has recently added "outdoor white" in between and overlapping neutral and cool (4000-5300K). Tints are binned using a system based on the ANSI White standard. Cree's tints subdivide and expand on the ANSI regions giving bins such as cool 1B, neutral 5B1, and warm 7D2, though many other tints and subdivisions are available. Click on the graphic at right to see all of the bins, though not all bins are available.
In addition, Cree produces High CRI LEDs, with CRI values of 80, 85, and 90 represented by bins H1, P1, and U1 respectively (separately, L1 represents normal CRI white LEDs, and O1 is outdoor white).
Below are output numbers for different currents for the various brightness bins of LED models. There is more information available with the Cree Product Characterization Tool, an online calculator that allows you to look up output based on more factors. The numbers on this page, like those given by the PCT, are based on charts in the LED datasheets.
An older 4-die LED available with four of the same color dies or the MC-E Color with four different color dies (white, red, green, blue). The maximum current is 700mA with a Vf of 3.4V, though this varies from one color to another. Bins run from G (240 lumens) to M (430 lumens) at 350 mA. The white quadrant of the MC-E Color is available in cool white (A5) or neutral white (A4).
The MC-E was widely used in high-power flashlights like the EagleTac M2SC4, Fenix TK40, iTP A6 Polestar, and JETBeam M1X with advertised output of up to 700 lumens. The color version is in the Quark RGB (with neutral white or cool white available) but although the LED allows mixing of colors, the Quark RGB is switched to one color at a time.
| 2800mA |
Large die high power LED has versions that run at 6, 9, or 36 volts with maximum power of 18 watts, first available around November 2012. The LED is 8.9mm x 8.9mm and the light will be floody compared to the smaller XM-L. The first production lights to use this LED were the Crelant 7G10 and Solarforce S200, introduced in May 2013. The LED is binned at 85°C. The bins shown below have been increased by 15% to give output at 25°C for easier comparison to other LEDs.
XB-DXB-D output for the 85° numbers). Can be driven up to 1000mA. Datasheet, press release.
XM-LThruNite Catapult V2 (first to ship), EagleTac M3C4, a 4Sevens Quark MiNi, and the JETBeam M1xm, introduced in December 2010, but budget retailer KaiDomain had LEDs and P60 drop-ins as well as P60 lights around the same time. Neutral and warm tints began shipping in March 2011. Press release Cree XM-L datasheet
Same 5mm x 5mm size as the original XM-L but with up to 20% more output. Introduced in December 2012. Like the XP-G2, the XM-L2 is silver on top, has two bonding wires, and the die has dots instead of lines. The XM-L2 is significantly larger than the XP-G2 and has a round hole at the upper left as opposed to the XP-G2's square hole. The LEDs are binned at 85°C, so the values shown below have been increased by 13.7% to make comparisons with other LEDs binned at 25°C easier. The first production lights to feature the XM-L2 were the ThruNite Catapult V3 and TN31 in January 2013, followed by a number of Xeno lights which also had options for neutral tints in Feburary. Press release.
Introduced in Fall of 2008, the XP-E shrunk the XR-E by 80% (though it uses the same die), now 3.45 mm square. It is available, in white (cool, neutral, and warm), blue, green, amber, red, and red-orange. For cool white, bins are Q3, Q4, Q5, R2 and R3 with output from 93.9 to 122 lumens. Neutral white bins are from P4 to Q4 (100 lumens min) and warm white bins range from P2 to Q2 (87.4 lumens min).
This LED is used in the NiteCore Defender Infinity, early Quarks (R2, neutral whites used a Q3), the iTP A series EOS and S series lights, EagleTac P100 and T100 series.
The XP-E has 3 strips on the die as opposed to 2 on the XP-C and 4 on the XP-G.
Introduced in September 2012, this redesign is similar to the XP-G2. Cree claims up to 20% more output than the original XP-E at half the cost in terms of lumens per dollar. Press realease, datasheet. The XP-E2 is binned at 85°C, but for ease of comparison, the output numbers below are increased by 16% to get 25° values.
Same size package as the XP-E, but with a larger die. Therefore the resulting beam has a little more flood. It is available in varying output bins from R2 to S3 (S2 and S3 are rare and not always the best tints). Maximum current is 1500mA and Vf of 3.3V with efficacy of 141 lumens per watt. Cree XP-G datasheet, press release.
The XP-G R5 began widespread use in 2010 after being adopted early by 4Sevens and EagleTac. The limited edition titanium Quarks were among the first to use the XP-G, with an R4 bin. S2 bins became available in November 2010 but only in Quark and iTP special edition lights. Special edition matte-finish titanium Quark Mini and Turbo models were the first to feature S3 bins, shipping in December 2010.
Introduced in July 2012, the XP-G2 is an all new design with the same size as the earlier XP-G. Like Cree's other 2012 offerings, the XP-G2 is binned at 85°C, but for ease of comparison, output shown on this page is increased by 13% to get 25° values. In August 2012, Foursevens was the first company to adopt this LED, claiming up to 20% more output and a 5% smaller hotspot for greater throw compared to the same models using a XP-G. Press release, Datasheet
Introduced in May 2014, the XP-L puts the same size die as the XM-L2 onto the smaller 3.5mm board of the XP-G (shaving off the edges of the dome to make it fit). Due to the larger die, it will not throw quite as well as the smaller die of the XP-G, but it puts out more light and can be driven at higher currents. Binned at a higher current than the XM-L2, higher bins are typical for the XP-L, but a V5 bin XP-L is roughly equivalent in output to a U2 bin XM-L2. In April 2015, Cree introduced a "high intensity" version of the LED with a flat coating instead of a dome that could offer the throw of a de-domed LED without the trouble.
Same size as XR-E (7mm x 9mm) but is designed for less current (500mA max). The die itself is smaller than the XR-E (same as the one in the XP-C). The maximum bin is Q2 with 87.4 lumens for cool white. It is available in white (cool, neutral, and warm) as well as royal blue, blue, green, amber, red-orange, and red. Vf is 3.5 volts at 350mA. Identifiable by the metal ring around the dome and a LED die with only two yellow strips and one bonding wire.
The XR-C is used in retail lights made by Coleman, River Rock, and Energizer.
This LED was very widely used, featured in flashlights by Fenix, JETBeam, NiteCore D10, and EagleTac P20 and T20 series, and is still available in some budget lights. The neutral white version was used in Nitecore EZ series. It is easily recognized by the metal ring around the die with 3 yellow strips and 2 bonding wires.
XT-EXT-E output for the 85° numbers). Cree introduced the XT-E as a low-cost, high efficiency LED capable of 148 lumens per watt at 350mA, offering higher lumens per dollar. The LED is not a flat square, but has an X shaped hill on the surface. The beam is like a small XM-L with a large hotspot and some varying tint across the beam. EagleTac announced that the XT-E would be an option in its D25 clicky series in April 2012, but XT-E lights were never actually released, supposedly due to beam quality issues. At about the same time, KaiDomain offered P60 drop-ins and flashlights with the XT-E. Cree uses the XT-E LED in its line of household light bulbs, introduced in 2013. Datasheet, press release.