High CRI Bulb

This is a follow-up post from my Prometheus Beta-QR EDC flashlight. I have received multiple enquiries regarding the type of light used in this particular flashlight. As some of you have observed in some of the beta-qr review videos on Youtube, you will notice that the light “colour” (temperature) is slightly different from your usual “white colour” flashlight. In this particular case, the beta-qr uses high colour rendering index (CRI) LED rather than the generic “white” LED bulb.

The CRI of a light source is a quantitative measure of its ability to reproduce the colours of different object faithfully in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. To put it simply, CRI lights help objects to display its colours “realistically” or “naturally” as compared to a reference, usually an incandescent bulb. These bulbs have significant improvement to help photographers, videographers to achieve images that have better colour representation when used.

The effects of CRI raitings, Credits Mdidea

To answer the most common question I encountered so far, the light from a High CRI bulb can bring more merits that it looks. Though some High CRI bulb may appear to be dimmer that its generic white LED counterpart, a high-quality CRI bulb is more efficient in its colour representation and will help user / camera sensors to perceive better. Hence, even though some CRI bulb might be spec at a lower lumen rating but its efficiency can far compensate for this shortcoming.

Below are some samples were taken with respect to the different light source, namely, white LED light (Jetbeam PA10), High CRI flash (Nexus 5x) and High CRI light from beta-qr.

High CRI bulb are getting more affordable and manufacturers are starting to include them in their products, e.g. Google Nexus 5x by LG. This is a good development in my opinion, as it can help cameras (even the lower resolution ones) achieve a more flattering and accurate representation of an image. Thus, creating a more holistic balance between camera sensors and light quality. Photography and videography are the art of capturing light and emotion, without a good light source, your highly sensitive camera senses will still be flawed.

In the past, many have avoided the use of LED lights mainly due to this particular reason, namely, bad colour representation. However, high CRI bulbs are creating a viable avenue for many photos and video enthusiast to explore as they are a lot more power efficient and can be very portable (e.g. Prometheus Beta-Qr).



V-Moda Fader VIP Earplug - Reasonably priced, an investment for your ears


I first adopted the habit of wearing earplugs when I started working in the technical production field as I can be exposed to loud noises (e.g. setting up of trusses) from time to time. Although the general noise produced during setup or show is not considered deafening, I was not able to get used to some particular noise (especially loud sonorous noise) no matter how hard I try.

Essentially, earplugs are used by individuals as a device inserted into the user's ear canal to protect the ear from loud noises. It is a simple device that works on isolating the ear from the outside environment and can be either disposable or reusable. Personally, I carry at least a pair of earplugs whenever I am attending a show or at work, just so that I can always have the option of having ear protection when needed.

Silicon type earplug (3M), one of the most common earplug that you can get it cheaply

Earplugs are widely available for the consumer to purchase, from the silicon type that is usually disposable to the flanged type that is meant to be reused. Earplugs have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that states the amount of attenuation it provides. NRR performances can also be affected if the earplug is not being applied as designed, hence, always check the application guide to the product, or else the plugs might not even deliver any significant noise attenuation.

Flanged type reusable earplug (3M) with carrying case, not really suitable for music listening though

When I first tried out the V-Moda Faders VIP earplug, I was intrigued by the product's ability to preserve sound clarity after an attenuation of 12dB in sound levels. Before that, earplugs I have tested on have always produced a muffled sound after being worn and has caused inconvenience as I often find myself removing the earplugs just to hear my colleagues clearly.

From my perspective, in order to justify the additional cost of the V-Moda earplugs ($20 USD), it must satisfy a few of requirements:

  1. It must be able to provide an adequate amount of NRR while retaining sound intelligibility so that I can wear them while talking to my colleagues in a loud environment.
  2. The earplugs must be carried around easily.
  3. I prefer a flanged type earplug as compared to the generic one where you would have to hand-roll the plug and wait for it to expand to fit the ear.

The various V-Moda Faders VIP I owned throughout the years

As mentioned above, the Faders VIP earplug is able to retain sound clarity much better than its other counterparts as it utilises a multi-diaphragm filter design to attenuate different bands of frequencies evenly. This evenly tuned characteristic allows the earplug to be appropriate for music listening as it provides a better sound representation than others. In my own experience, I was able to observe a more distinct difference between the V-Moda Faders and other flanged earplugs (e.g. 3M) at louder SPL (sound pressure level).

A carrying case is included in every package when you purchased it. This small little case is sufficient to store your earplugs and a detachable cord, which is a nice bonus. One of the reasons why I would prefer a flanged earplug is due to the ease of use as I can always hang them around my neck when not in use. Although some silicon earplugs might be able to provide a higher level of NRR, the 12dB reduction from the V-Moda is often sufficient for most live sound scenarios (e.g. 100dB – 12dB = 88dB, 4 hours of maximum daily exposure time, NIOSH Standard).

V-Moda Fader VIP, case and detachable cord included 

The V-Moda is attractively priced at $20 USD for a reusable and tuned earplug solution. The device does not require any additional external power source as it passive, thus, you do not need to worry about any scenarios where the unit will not operate due to a power outage. After using the earplugs for almost four years, the V-Moda Faders VIP is hard to beat for its rugged enclosure design and an attractive price point.


Prometheus Beta-QR - An Item I carry every day

Before I invested in a portable flashlight as an Everyday Carry (EDC) item, I always used the inbuilt flashlight on my smartphone. Although a smartphone's flashlight is super convenient (as you carry them around every day), I feel that the routine of retrieving your phone to unlock and access the flashlight app is a too slow and inconvenient.

Thus, the new flashlight I am looking for must satisfy a few important criteria:

  1. It must be small and portable enough to carry it easily everywhere.
  2. It must be easily retrievable for fast access.
  3. It must use only standard size battery (AA or AAA).

It took me a long time to search for a flashlight that fulfils all these criteria, but the Prometheus Beta-QR does it exceptionally well.

The various Prometheus Beta-QR I owned

This new investment has proven to be really useful and practical in my everyday life as I have used it to study small items (e.g. circuit boards) or look for stuff in a dark area. In a short two and a half years time frame, I have purchased both the Beta QRv1 and QRv2 just for the fact that it really suited my requirements. Many of my friends have joked on the importance I have placed on this small inconspicuous flashlight but then again, they realised its value when I was able to access the flashlight a lot quicker than their inbuilt torchlight apps in their smartphone.

The Beta-QR is bright enough (mode 2: 60 lumens) when you need to look at something far, and dim enough (mode 1: 15 lumens) for close up observation to prevent light glare (over exposure) on any small details. This is a lot more versatile as compared to the flashlights in smartphones.

Although there are many compact high-output LED flashlights in the market, the Beta-QR uses a quick release system that has a unique approach to solving my accessibility problem. Ever since the Beta QRv1, the flashlight has implemented their proprietary patent-pending quick release system for you to retrieve the unit efficiently when needed. In my own practice, I have attached the Beta-QR to an S-Biner so that I can transfer the device from one place to another easily. Personally, I prefer the version 2 quick release system as it is much more sturdy and I have never once encountered an instance where the unit released accidentally.

First picture: Beta-QR version 1 (bottom) and 2 (top)
Second Picture: Close up of the quick release mechanism, left (version 2) and right (version 1)

An unexpected feature that I loved about this device is its "limited" ON mode function. Unlike most flashlights that provide many different modes of operations, for example, ON (DIM), ON (Bright), ON (Strobe) and ON (SOS CODE), I would favour a simple flashlight with just ON and OFF function. I understand that there are practical uses for the various mode operations, but I feel that these added features are not necessary and will only hinder the ease of use on an EDC flashlight.

My Prometheus Beta-QR attached to a S-biner 

I am really pleased with the Prometheus Beta-QR as it has provided me with the convenience that most other products were not able to. Although it is a bit pricey at $59.00 USD, the metal chassis of the flashlight is definitely rugged enough to last through years of torture before it fails on you.