I thought I'd take the time to answer a few questions that we often get asked when it comes to the Dermlite DL4. This topic also extends to the DL3N as well as the new Dermlite DL5. But specifically for the purposes of this discussion we're focusing on the DL4.
The first question is “What is PigmentBoost?” And the second is “What is the difference between PigmentBoost and PigmentBoost Plus”
In order to explain that, I'm going to share some images with you which illustrate the difference between these two light modes.
Non-Polarized Mode (Without PigmentBoost)
Let's start with the view of the LEDs in the non-polarized mode. As you can see here, there are six white LEDs in total.
Polarized Mode (Without PigmentBoost)
However, once we switch to polarized mode, the DL4 activates a total of 12 LEDs.
First, what is PigmentBoost?
PigmentBoost lighting is created by these orange-amber colored LEDs. What they do is add an extra element of color to the visualization of pigmented structures.
PigmentBoost & Non-Polarized LEDs
In "non-polarized" mode with the addition of PigmentBoost, we see six white LEDs as well as six amber-orange PigmentBoost LEDs.
PigmentBoost & Polarized LEDs
Because non-polarized mode is looking at the surface features, it's used much less often when evaluating pigmented lesions.
An exception would be if you choose to use the "contact dermoscopy" feature of the DL4 (which you can do by extending out the faceplate). This allows you to use oil contact dermoscopy, which helps to cut through the glare of the stratum corneum so that you can better visualize pigmented lesions.
But as a general rule, most physicians who are buying Dermlite dermatoscopes are doing so because of their ability to perform polarized dermoscopy without the need for contact. Therefore, "polarized" light mode is the most frequently used (and is shown in the next image).
So in polarized light mode with PigmentBoost activated, we see 12 white LEDs, along with the six amber-orange LEDs. So that gives us a total of 18 LEDs activated.
What is "PigmentBoost Plus"?
PigmentBoost "Plus" is the mode which allows you to use ONLY the amber-orange PigmentBoost lighting (alone - without white LEDs).
Difference Between the Dermlite DL4 and DL4W
A "trick" to remember the difference between the DL4 and the DL4W is to think of the “w” as meaning “without.” It's the DL4 “without” PigmentBoost lighting.
In other words, you get the advantage of the DL4, which includes non-polarized and polarized white LEDs, but if you don't personally care to have the addition of amber lighting, then that would be a DL4W.
The DL4W tends to be a little bit less expensive, but it's exactly the same dermatoscope, except for the fact that it is “without” the amber PigmentBoost lighting.
And to be honest, we sell a fair amount of the DL4W’s because there are a lot of people who just don't feel like the amber lighting makes a huge difference when it comes to the final outcome in lesion diagnosis.
PigmentBoost in the Dermlite DL3N
Some of you may have noticed that the DL4 is described as having PigmentBoost Plus, whereas the DL3N is described as only having PigmentBoost (no “Plus”).
So now that you understand these two versions of PigmentBoost, you therefore understand the difference between the PigmentBoost found in the DL3N and that which comes with the DL4.
The DL4 allows users to utilize either the PigmentBoost lighting alone or in combination with the white LEDs. However, the PigmentBoost LEDs of the DL3N can only be used in combination with the white LEDs.
The DL4W Advantage?
Speaking of the LEDs, did you know that the DL4W (without the PigmentBoost) does have one advantage over the traditional DL4?
Because the DL4W does not have the six PigmentBoost amber-orange LEDs, those six spots are occupied by white LEDs. So technically speaking, the DL4W has more white LED lighting than the original DL4. The DL4W has 24 white LEDs, whereas the DL4 has 18 white LEDs.
Again, this is because the other six spots on the regular DL4 are occupied by the amber-orange PigmentBoost LEDs, whereas on the DL4W (which doesn't have PigmentBoost) those are occupied by white LEDs.
Adjustable Brightness in the Dermlite DL4
Those who pay particularly close attention to the options available in the Dermlite DL4 (and the DL4W) may have noticed that it offers two brightness modes.
I'm going to be honest, the difference is subtle. Here's an example. This is the DL4 held up against a dark background in normal mode;
And here we see the "bright" mode...
The brightness selector can also be used to adjust the strength of the PigmentBoost lighting as well.
Here we see "regular" mode...
And here is the "brightest" version of the PIgmentBoost LEDs...
Well there you have it!
In this post we covered the two versions of Dermlite's "PigmentBoost" lighting (PigmentBoost as well as PigmentBoost “Plus”). We also learned the difference between the Dermlite DL4 and the DL4W.
Finally, we saw examples of the two brightness levels available in either the DL4 and the DL4W.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!