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Night riding light options

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by PsyCro, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. PsyCro

    PsyCro Chimp

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    I'm on the hunt for lighting solutions and figured someone on here might have some useful info. I'm looking at grabbing one of these 3x XML clones which seem to be pretty solid.

    http://dx.com/p/ultrafire-sky-3-x-cree-xm-l-t6-2000lm-4-mode-white-bicycle-lamp-black-silver-4-x-18650-961173167

    http://dx.com/p/rusto-d32-3-x-cree-xm-l-t6-2500lm-4-mode-white-bicycle-headlamp-black-4-x-18650-172263

    Anyone have experience with these lights and have any info/tips concerning performance, batteries etc etc.. ?

    I figure one of these on the helmet should be fine for just about any type of riding.
     
    #1 -   Feb 3, 2013

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  2. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    I went a different route - two cheap XML clones ($twentysomething each) from ebay, one on helmet one on handlebar. I have not ridden much with them yet so I cannot comment on the battery pack longevity but they are very well made with orange peel reflectors and with the connectors and battery pack well sealed. The only catch is they did not come with a real charger but with a cheap AC/DC adapter. They give me plenty of light for my trails.
     
    #2 -   Feb 3, 2013
  3. PsyCro

    PsyCro Chimp

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    Nice option as well. I've looked at pics of 1x clones as well, and i'm pretty sure that one 3x clone is much much more light, so at the moment that seems like the best option for me. Unless someone has a better option! :D
     
    #3 -   Feb 3, 2013
  4. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    gonna be totally honest... when it comes to lights to see the trail with, you get what you pay for. high quality lights cost $200+ because they are

    A) bright

    B) run for 3+ hrs

    and

    C) won't crap out on you after 1/2 a season.
     
    #4 -   Feb 3, 2013
  5. intensified

    intensified Monkey

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    I am really happy with my NR lumina 350, it was about 60 bucks on sale and gets me by. its mount is really easy to move the light from bike to bike to. it makes a great flashlight for hiking to.
    the lumina 650 must be really bright and its around 150.
     
    #5 -   Feb 3, 2013
  6. johnbryanpeters

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    My pricey NiteRider rig tended to crap out after half a ride. Currently running on a Cree XM-L T6, 1,200 lumens, cost me $33- or so on eBay. It's not clear to me at this time exactly what the pricey rigs offer.
     
    #6 -   Feb 3, 2013
  7. Burnt-Orange

    Burnt-Orange Monkey

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    I have a lights in motion SECA 1700 enduro
    it has been tested at 1800 lumens
    most ebay lights are rated on theoretical output and often fall short
    what makes my light worth the money is the beam pattern
    wide and low
    you don't waste light aiming at the trees
    I used it to replace my cygolight 750 that was on my bars "now on my helmet"
    the beam pattern is so much wider its not even close
    I'm a rotating shift worker so night riding is sometimes my only option
    someone has to keep the muskrats and possums company
     
    #7 -   Feb 3, 2013
  8. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Monkey

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    I have a magicshine 1400 that I got off deal xtreme for like $120 shipped. For the price it really kicks ass. Most of the other big brands are china made too so I don't feel bad. The quality seems good, at least good enough. I run it on my handlebar on my commuter bike, and on my helmet/pack for mtb or skiing. Trees at night on skis is interesting to say the least. I have gotten it wet though not dunked and no issues. I can go a whole week of commuting and it goes down to the 2nd power level. Charges fast and has a long ass run time on low. High is good for trail riding and I turn it off on fire road climbs. Hard to say the run time on high because I haven't gone on a long enough night ride yet.
    I would go with one of the magicshines. Great value and there's too many other pieces of gear to buy to go deluxe on a light.
     
    #8 -   Feb 4, 2013
  9. weedkilla

    weedkilla Monkey

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    No matter what you choose, sooner or later you will have a problem. When you have 2 lights its a much more manageable problem than when you have one!
    I've had lights crap out for various reasons, some of them not related at all to quality.
     
    #9 -   Feb 4, 2013
  10. Straya

    Straya Monkey

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    Any chance of a link to the ebay seller? I'm keen for a backup for my lights.

    I think its pretty much down to the quality of the batterys these days and even then the cheapies are getting pretty good.
     
  11. HardtailHack

    HardtailHack used an iron once

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    I have a Nukeproof set which is just some rubbish Chinese light re-branded. Going over anything rough makes it feel like you are in a ghey disco, the connector in the back of the light is crap and it causes crazy fast strobing.
     
  12. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    Here is s picture of my chinese light. It was advertized as having 1000 lumens. See a silicone o-ring on the connector, an orange peel reflector and a battery bag with two straps. I fitted one of them with a fresnel lens for a flatter wide angle beam. It feels well made, nothing flimsy about it. I am sure the battery pack is its Achilles' heel though.

     
  13. slyfink

    slyfink Turbo Monkey

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    I started night riding with a Jetlights HID. After about 4 seasons of reliable, dependable, solid performance, I got tired of the gigantic battery and went to a dual magic shine system, similar to the one abve. Then Gemini came along with their teeny tiny Xera. I was hooked. It puts out an honest 800 lumens, works great and weighs nothing. I run it with the Magicshine MJ872 on the bars (which I really don't recommend, the beam pattern is far too broad, and actually blinds you at the same time as its illuminating the trail).

    A good value, solid, reliable system from Gemini Lights would be a Xera on the head, with a Duo or Olympia on the bars.

    Check out Action-LED-lights.com. He's been super to deal with.
     
  14. jezso

    jezso Chimp

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    One of my buddies spotted these products so I bought two of these but I would not recommend it really.
    It is funny as they claim more lumens on system level than the LED itself is capable of alone. :D
    Anyway, it was extremely cheap so I bought them to see what they are really capable.
    I have one of them measure in a goniometer, and I was a bit shocked as I was expecting more than 522 Lumens. The beam angle is really narrow, around 5degrees. While measuring the product the light output started to fade after 5 minutes. Typical thermal management issue.
    Can not report on long term reliability of the battery and how it maintains the lumen output in time.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1600LM-CREE...052?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item257695ddac
     
    #14 -   Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  15. jezso

    jezso Chimp

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    It looksvery similar to what I have purchased.
    You can be sure that it will not have the claimed optical performance.
    See my earlier post.
     
  16. Carraig042

    Carraig042 me 1st

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    I am too wondering about these lights. If I end up getting one, I will more than likely get one like this. If it just puts out 1100 or so Lumens it would be worth it.

    -Brett
     
  17. jezso

    jezso Chimp

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    Yeah, this is something that looks very promising, but I think it has nowhere close up to 3800 lumens. Though I agree with you that 1100 lumens is plenty enough, you would most likely not need much more. I think what is also important is the beam angle and the distribution in general.
    Also these products are very small in size so moving them makes them goods, as the air ventilation helps cooling down the heat-sink, which in this case is the housing of the lamp so you will not see lumen loss due to overheating. I think for this price it is not a big risk to test it.
     
  18. PsyCro

    PsyCro Chimp

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    Looks like the same lamp i posted in the original post. Probably gonna go that route. Other reviews say that its very under-driven, netting something under 1500 lumens, which by looking at pictures of the beam looks like a LOT of light. Also they seem to run generally just warm with no chance of overheating.

    Anyways, looks like no one really has a GOOD argument against, so that'd be that...

    Maybe grab and extra battery pack and be done with. I have my 3w city lamp as a backup, but as far as i've seen on the net, this 3x clone just works.. no failures that i've read of.
     
  19. StiHacka

    StiHacka Compensating for something

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    Listen to this gentleman, he knows his stuff.

    I know that the el cheapo lights will emit significantly fewer lumens than what they advertise. I chose a vendor who overstates the ouput a bit less than othes. What matters is that a pair of those gives me enough light for a safe passage through my XC trails at night even on mid and low output levels.

    Just like with any cheap Xinese products, it is a crapshoot. It might work great or not. If you want consistent results, go with a good brand instead.
     
  20. intensified

    intensified Monkey

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    i suggest a cheapo and see if you use it a lot. i know peeps that bought stuff and never use it (my 2 cents) I tend to ride solo at night and have a headlamp to get me out if something goes wrong.
    I bring a knife along to since the time 2 coyotes were stalking me and a couple sketchy people that have crossed my path :bonk: I am sure i would never use it but its peace of mind.
     
  21. wood booger

    wood booger Monkey

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    You might think so, but would be dead wrong. I have a magic shine ($70 Chinese special) that is going on three years old and has outlasted two $300+ Niteriders and continues to burn for 2.5 hours on high. The Niteriders would have to take a trip in for warranty/service every few months. I ride pretty much once a week at night.

    Magic Shine (deal extreme), Jett, Light & Motion, and Lupine pretty much encompass the whole price spectrum and are all good choices. I currently have my old magic shine (on helmet), and a Light & Motion Seca 1700 (on bar). Excellent combo. :thumb:
     
  22. Burnt-Orange

    Burnt-Orange Monkey

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    that light has bad wiring for cold weather
    don't use it in the winter the wires will break
    they get extremely brittle
     
  23. mtg

    mtg Green with Envy

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    I've raced the Final Descent at Angel Fire for the past 4 years, which includes a couple hours of night racing. Every year, I've used Amoeba lights made by a local guy (for me) in Denver. They're super bright, have usable beam patterns, reliable and reasonably priced. His customer service is also top notch.
    http://amoebalight.blogspot.com/

    In addition, since I always want lumen overkill, I've had an additional light or two, which has most often been a Niterider of some sort, or once I rented a second Amoeba. I've never had any issues with the Niterider lights either.

    For trail riding at night, I have a Niterider Lumina 650 that's plenty bright. For DH at night, I have the triple beam Amoeba, and the thing is like having car headlights on your head. For DH racing at night, I use both.
     
    #23 -   Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  24. Jeremy R

    Jeremy R <b>x</b>

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    Good advice.
    You followed the same path that I did. I ran a light and motion arc Hid forever and I finally just replaced it because I was concerned the boat anchor battery was gonna go out on me. I just got a
    Gloworm X1 from action led and it is awesome. It puts out a true 850 lumens and it tiny and super light with a 2 cell battery. The best part is that I have the light and battery all on my helmet and I do not have to worry about any stupid wires going into my camelbak.