The big LIGHTS thread 2011-2014

Discuss the eternal "Which fork/bike/tyres should I buy?" questions.
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supersonic
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The big LIGHTS thread 2011-2014

Postby supersonic » Fri Oct 14, 2011 19:57 pm

I have retired the old thread as is getting very large! Can still be found, just use the What Lights sticky for a link, entitled '2nd lights discussion'.

This thread is for the general discussion of bike lights, torches and issues surrounding them. Post recommendations and info here, ask questions and post beam shots if you have them.

I'll kick things off with a question: where to you aim your bar mounted lamps, ie distance from tyre contact patch? What lamps, and why?

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diy
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Postby diy » Sat Oct 15, 2011 07:18 am

ilovedirt

from the old thread...

either the torch route

2-4 of these (400-450 otf lumen)

a couple of mounts this
or this

some 18650 laptop batteries from old laptops or ebay

A charger

or the complete light (approx 800 otf lumen)

You can easily get 2K lumen for half your budget, compared to 300 Lumen for more than your budget by going with a "brand". No brainer really


SS - a few days warning would have been nice

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supersonic
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Postby supersonic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 13:53 pm

Friday night/saturday morning is our quietest time, so no harm done really.

bamba
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Postby bamba » Sat Oct 15, 2011 14:21 pm

Some beam shots, to try to understand the differance from p7 and xml,
the p7 is using a ultrafire 501b an xmls's 502b,all using unprotected panasonic CGR18650E'S

P7,pulling 1.9/2.0 amps

Image

single xml pulling 1.4/1.5 amps

Image

double xml pulling 1.4/1.5 amps

Image

The double xml shot has a slightly different beam on the left because it was an existing torch using a new dropin module probably from a different manufacture to the new torch on the right.You can see that the P7 is brighter but as prevoiusly mentioned it will not last as long as the xml'S,The P7 also has a dull spot in the center of the beam cuased by the 4 led configuration.Not tested the xml's yet on the bike but the P7 ran for about 45mins with a good battery.
Last edited by bamba on Sat Oct 15, 2011 15:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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supersonic
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Postby supersonic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 14:29 pm

Nice work! Do you have the stated amperages for comparison?

I found that the MTE P7 I have has that dull spot, but is not present on my 501b P7. Must be variations in the LEDs and lens/reflector.

PHeller
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Postby PHeller » Sat Oct 15, 2011 16:19 pm

I'd like to get some opinions on the SolarForce L2m. The guys over at BudgetLightForums really seem to like them, and they are smaller than the 501 torches.

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Postby coomber » Sat Oct 15, 2011 20:00 pm

diy wrote:ilovedirt

from the old thread...

either the torch route

2-4 of these (400-450 otf lumen)

a couple of mounts this
or this

some 18650 laptop batteries from old laptops or ebay

A charger

or the complete light (approx 800 otf lumen)

You can easily get 2K lumen for half your budget, compared to 300 Lumen for more than your budget by going with a "brand". No brainer really


SS - a few days warning would have been nice


Right, I am buying some light this weekend. Dont want to re-read the old thread.

What are the general thoughts on what is enough? I was going to buy one of the full kit (1200) lumens and attach one of the $16 510 lumen ones on the bar.

For a bang average slow rider would people say that is ok to start? Never used a bike in the dark offroad before.

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Postby supersonic » Sat Oct 15, 2011 20:14 pm

Will be fine! More than enough I'd say. There is a more powerful torch with the same LED though:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/fandyfire- ... 8650-90609

It won't last as long, but will output more light.

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Postby coomber » Sat Oct 15, 2011 20:31 pm

Thanks for the help and quick reply, it is appreciated.

Will go ahead and order and will post pics in a few weeks once they arrive.

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Postby diy » Sat Oct 15, 2011 21:26 pm

supersonic wrote:Will be fine! More than enough I'd say. There is a more powerful torch with the same LED though:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/fandyfire- ... 8650-90609

It won't last as long, but will output more light.


Dead right it wont last long - 2.8A in such a small light, I reckon it may well go pop after a few hours of use. IMO unless you are using the top end 18650 cells 2.8A is too much for a single cell, not to mention the heat problems that that little light will have.

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Postby supersonic » Sun Oct 16, 2011 01:22 am

I guess we will wait and see! The heat is a concern, but this body has no probs reported so far. I guess we will have to disagree: driving a XML at 1.5 -1.8 is efficient, but below the capabilty IMHO, unless total efficency is your agenda. But total efficiency is not the agenda for most people that use torches as one of the main benefits of course is being able to swap in cells. It is not for me. At least I want a torch that gives you the option of the higher output.

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Postby diy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 07:31 am

I've purchased this torch from DX and it arrived yesterday. This is my first torch and I intended to put it on my helmet. I brought some SenyBor 2800mAh 18650 batteries from the UK. Put them in the torch last night and wow, it's powerful. Trouble is that after 5 minutes it's too hot to touch. After about 7 minutes even the switch end is too hot and I suspect if you left it a few more minutes it would take your skin off! I realise that it would be cooled when riding, but I doubt it will be cooled enough.
Is this torch likely to ruin by new expensive batteries?
Am I better off buying another torch at a more suitable spec? I'm wanted to buy another torch and am happy to buy two more. So what's the best & most suitable spec? XM-LT6 at 1400mA as the UltraFire WF-502B torch?


the above was from d3matt in the old wlt

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Postby chiefinspector » Sun Oct 16, 2011 08:02 am

Just bought a Lumicycle LED3 XPG after reading the light reviews on Bikeradar. Expensive i know but managed to hide the purchase from the wife. Am about to try them one night this week for my first ever night ride.

What are the advantages/ disadvantages of either mounting the light on the handlebars or using the helmet attachment?

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Postby diy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 14:54 pm

weight vs flexibility really. On the bars is lighter but you can see where you are looking. On the head is heavier but you see where you look.

Generally its hard to avoid both unless you have buckets of flood coming from an insanely bright light.

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Postby bamba » Sun Oct 16, 2011 15:22 pm

Diy, is worth you linking the video of fix's for the 501's may be in your signature as it will be lost in the ether soon as it become buried,

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Postby unkle » Sun Oct 16, 2011 16:11 pm

I have the 18650 charger (the one posted in diy's link above), am i right in saying its not a three stage charger, and you need to manually charge and rest them?

And diy, when you use the laptop 18650's, do you use a little protection module, or just put them straight in the torch?


:D

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diy
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Postby diy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 18:43 pm

They are 2 stage chargers, really you don't need to worry about stage 3 in single cell applications.

I just bung em in - again, less risk in single cell apps.

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Postby Jeansy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 20:23 pm

I recently received a ultra fire 980l, I know it is 3x the price of the wf502b I have but IMO it is still a massive bargain and a brilliant torch. Slightly larger head (ms head size) + a couple mm longer than the 502 but much brighter on high and really throws for such a small torch. Quality is miles better and the user interface much nicer to use. Heat is managed fine, iirc mine draws approx 2.9a from the cell after a minute or so of use.

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diy
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Postby diy » Sun Oct 16, 2011 20:46 pm

how much and where from? I like the idea of no sos and strobe mode

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Postby butcher of bakersfield » Sun Oct 16, 2011 20:56 pm

Can someone simplify these lights for me. I've read loads of posts, but there's so many options...

The torches I can understand, but the 'cells'... When I looked on Deal Extreme they looked like they took normal AA batteries. AAA, or whatever. Can you not just use normal rechargeables rather than risk burning your house down with a cheap charger built in a sweat shop?

And what would be interesting to know, is if there are any equivalents sold in the UK...

I do like the DIY approach, especially when it's cheap....but if it takes a few experiments to get it right it doesn't work out too cheap...


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