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Thread: X-laser be aware- very abussive 20% re-stocking fee

  1. #21
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    Maybe they meant as bright as a 1.8watt light bulb. I looked up the specs for the projector and sure enough it says "Apparent Brightness" and doesn't list anything as the standard for comparison. When you see something advertised using "apparent brightness" as a specification you need to look elsewhere. "Apparent brightness" sounds like something you would find for something you buy at Harbor Freight or Walmart. No doubt, it is shady advertising and its only purpose is to be deceptive. Obviously, it is not going to put out 1.8 watts and if it doesn't put out 1.8 watts it CAN'T be as bright as a typical 1.8 watt projector. It's just plain logic and common sense. I find fault in X-Laser for selling a shady product but I can't really fault them for their return policy from a legal standpoint. It does kind of suck, though. I'm glad this thread was created so that I can look out for this sort of nonsense for when I go projector shopping.

  2. #22
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    Do you still have this laser or did you send back already ?

    The easiest way could be as follow :

    Provide your location, find a laserist with a power meter living near your place and measure the real power.

    This way of giving power is ridiculous, they have similar marketing techniques as Laserworld.

    --- www.neodym.be ---

  3. #23
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    Hi all -

    Marcos and I, and several other people in our shop, have been corresponding extensively over several weeks. We have actually spoken nearly daily it seems since before Halloween and it seems that as time moves on it becomes more clear to him what is involved in returns and what complexities are involved in US variances. That part is being sorted out.

    As far as this apparent brightness business, let me clarify a few things that have gotten muddied up in this thread.

    First, Marcos purchased two systems, one of beams and one for graphics. In our discussions I told him that I thought the beam projector would be bright enough for his needs and it was. I also told him that the graphics system was much less bright and indeed it ended up not being bright enough for his needs, and ultimately he decided to return them to save his money for a higher power graphics system. I mention this only because some have run with the idea that he was misled by the way we specify our lasers, and this is not the case or the issue at hand. I had a number of very frank conversations with him and in the end the result was consistent with what I told him initially - he simply made a different aesthetic decision for his application and that's fine.

    Secondly, I have addressed the apparent brightness issue here before. It is not a devious plot or any such thing. In fact the last time this came up I gave a detailed explanation which was supported by Brad who saw an A/B first hand and there was no further objection to my reasoning. If you like, PLEASE start a thread and lets explore how to do this more objectively.

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...024#post300024

    As I said in the earlier thread, doing this more objectively is my preference, but no such system exists. I would be very happy if one did. A search on apparent brightness in this forum results more than dozen threads where people discuss how the perceived brightness of a laser is impacted by a variety of factors beyond power. Everyone here knows that brightness (within certain ranges) is more heavily influenced by things like wavelength than power. In such a case, how can that difference in 'apparent brightness' be quantified properly for an end user? Lets answer that together and come up with a better system. But, please read the earlier thread before you reply... I would very much like to have a constructive conversation about this - because it matters for a lot of people - but I can't just let it persist that we are just making things up. We are not.

    Lastly, Slick, don't throw stones in a glass house. I'm not going to pop onto your thread and try to sell my stuff by taking shots at your product - which I certainly could because I had a long conversation with an FDA inspector about it, apparently just before it was your product. By the way, you can't call it FDA approved. It isn't, both because it just isn't, and because FDA does not "approve" products, ever. I would respectfully suggest that you modify the language at a minimum.

    Be constructive and we have no issue.

  4. #24
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    dan im sorry it is 100% a deceptive practice no matter how you try to spin it i put in the same class as laser world
    you can not list a measurement in joules with out a time reference
    so 1.6j for 1 second is 1.6w end of story its not 2.5w ever saying that and saying perceived brightness is just trying to take advantage of uneducated customers end of story

  5. #25
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    Ok, I hear that. I would say two things:

    1) I don't think the time reference should be the issue - at all. Saying CW, as we do, implies that the time reference is for 1s because that is the default measurement for all continuous wave lasers. This is the way it is communicated on most if not all safety forms, so that's a really odd thing to object to... and no one has objected to it before.

    2) Just because something is done a certain way does not mean that it is the best way to do it.

    Let's take a very simple case: It is beyond dispute that 1W of 532 is going to have a higher apparent brightness than 1W of 445. To an end user, these are both 1W lasers and many people naturally infer that two lasers of the same energy are equal in effect which is incorrect. This causes them to draw a false equivalency between the two systems that is both inaccurate and leads to problems. This is an issue, and I don't think that anyone here would have trouble seeing that.

    Realizing that people reading a cut sheet can't be given a lecture on how objective specifications relate to subjective experience (which is far broader than a wavelength spec), how SHOULD one communicate the difference in apparent brightness if not to use a subjective rating which equates the effect to something they can understand?

    By the way, I am far from the first person to have this issue. The effect of color temperature on apparent brightness has been studied since as far back as the 50's as far as my research has shown, and the lighting industry evolved temperature weighted values to describe the perceptual effect of varying color temperature on otherwise equivalent light sources.

    Why should that not be done here when identified as such?

    Why is it inappropriate to weight a power specification based upon how we chose to construct laser A vs laser B?

    I don't think that anyone can fairly object to our approach if they both acknowledge that there is an issue, and can't offer a better solution. It is also worth mentioning that I cannot think of anyone, outside of PL, objecting to this approach, ever. And, we have been quite transparent about this. Its not like we are just pretending that a spec is something that it is not. I actually just gave a 90 minute lecture at LDI about this very issue, that X-Laser paid for, to inform the designer community about issues of apparent brightness and to discuss with them how and why it came to be. I have posted here, written two white papers on the subject and issued written guidance to our sales team on more than one occasion making sure that they understand what it is, and what it is not.

    If we were calling it power and giving apparent brightness numbers, that would be deceptive - I would agree. Other firms have done that in the past where specifications labeled as power were just nonsense. But we clearly label objective and subjective values. I can see the slippery slope argument very well and am very sensitive to that - which is why I want a better solution.

    In short, our actions are aligned with transparency and I'm still looking for a better solution if anyone wants to start a thread to discuss it.

  6. #26
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    If you are going to say you have "apparent brightness" you need to say what it is "apparently as bright as". Without specifying that it is all just a bunch of BS. And, if you really want to be ethical, you need to still go ahead and list the power levels and wave lengths that it has.

    What if a car had a really peppy gearbox that made it really quick and the dealer advertised it with "300 Apparent Horespower"? Who here would not laugh that dealer off the face of the planet? That is essentially what you are doing.

    I have absolutely no quarrel with the use of apparent brightness if you state the standard for comparison AND you give the true specs of the projector at least in the fine print. The projector mentioned just says "1.8W Apparent Power" and that's it. That's just lame.

  7. #27
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    a better solution is not needed just rate your projectors in watts after scanners list wavelengths used and be done with it no problem
    in 2015 most legal (fda) projectors use the same source wavelengths and the difference is negligible with modern wavelengths (ie no one uses 660nm any longer)
    but infact with 465-470 becoming prevalent it puts your projectors apparently less bright than others so your 1.6j projector could have apparent brightness of 800mw

  8. #28
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    Yes, I'm not sure why you are looking to 'simplify' (read: make more confusing) something that most laserists already have their head around, i.e. wavelengths and their respective brightness to the eye, and appropriate weighting for a reasonable white.

    I'm sure its all there in your previous thread, which i probably even read at the time, but having most of the industry do one thing, and one or 2 others do something else, really doesn't help the consumer when comparing similar fruit (because we're going to do a fruit analogy sometime here aren't we.... [] )
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
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    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnYayas View Post
    I have absolutely no quarrel with the use of apparent brightness if you state the standard for comparison AND you give the true specs of the projector at least in the fine print.
    The problem is that to do this would require referencing the CIE color chart and the human eye's brightness response. Nevermind the fact that there are at least 3 editions of the color chart and that estimates of human vision sensitivity is all over the map, the real issue here is that their target market (the mobile DJ, club promoter, lighting designer, etc) is completely uninterested in these issues. You start talking about wavelengths and most people's eyes glaze over. That's why they went with the apparent brightness thing.

    Look - back in 2010 I felt the same way. I actually called Dan out for some of these apparent brightness issues right here on the forum. And he invited me to his shop to personally show me what was going on. What I saw was a system that allowed you to put two very different projectors (say, an RGB with 445 nm blue and 650 nm red pitted against another RGB with 473 nm blue and 635 nm red) and end up with a beam that looked similar despite the very different ACTUAL power output levels inside.

    Admittedly, after I left I still wished they would rate in watts as well as apparent brightness, but at least I understood why they didn't/couldn't. Dan's example in his post above is not hypothetical. It's taken from direct customer experience. ("How come my 1 watt green laser is so much brighter than my 1 watt RGB laser?" is an actual question from a client.) This apparent brightness thing works for it's intended audience. It's easy to understand, and it allows you to compare vastly different projectors and get something close to parity.

    To us, as laser geeks, a power rating in watts makes sense. And we are smart enough to know that a 1 watt red at 650 nm is going to look very dim when compared to a 1 watt green at 532 nm. But the average X-laser customer is NOT going to know this, and they will be pissed if they buy something they think will be just as bright as their first laser, only to discover that it really isn't. And I promise that if you put the actual power level in the manual, even buried in small print, someone will find it and use it to raise a stink. So yeah, it may not be the best approach for us, but for them this whole apparent brightness thing works.

    Note also that this is only on their lower end projectors (which are aimed at the mobile DJ crowd, etc). Once you step up to their Defiant projectors (which are very expensive), you'll see they are rated in watts. Granted, they are priced out of reach for all but the largest touring acts, but those acts are informed enough to know what they are buying. And really, why would a mobile DJ care about a laser projector that can withstand being set on fire, right?

    I've said it before, but it bears repeating: X-laser sells in a vastly different market than we are used to. By and large, their customers are NOT laser geeks. Yes, there are exceptions, but for the most part we are talking about people who couldn't care less about things like wavelength, longitudinal mode, or even beam profile. (In fact, I once had a DJ at a show complain that "your laser beams are too small - can't you make the beams fatter?") When you are dealing with that crowd, you need to change your approach.

    Adam

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    The problem is that to do this would require referencing the CIE color chart and the human eye's brightness response.
    What if this uneducated DJ has a 1.8W 532nm mono color laser and expects the 1.8W Apparent Brightness RGB projector to be as bright. Will he be happy with the results?

    All they have to do is list the wavelengths and powers in the laser and call it a day. End of story.

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