Pls help to choose proper bike light

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gorann
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Pls help to choose proper bike light

I'm seaching for some budget bike light less than 20 USD) for a few days and I'm already little crazy because I spent so much time on it, so pls help.

I need a light to light my path when I occasionally ride in night on the 2-way road (lets say 25 km/h average speed) , so I can spot any holes in front of me, in the dark, or something else, maybe, onthe road, and so I that I can see the road. 

What lamp has the best quality-brightness/price ratio??

 

First I was thinking about  p-4, than some q5 zoomie (I have seen recomendations for q5 zoomies here), than about R5 (in  particular this one, very good reviews http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-p10-r5-cree-xr-g-r5-5-mode-350-lu... ) , and lastly I've found also sam cheap and turbo bright XML lights, but I dont know how reliable they are and do I really need XML and I have doubts about constantly charging the batteries and also about danger of blinding oncoming trafic... (and also there is a question of reliability of these cheap XML lamps, as I have read, I dont have any knowledge for mdding, but maybe I could put some alu-foil around dropin). 

So, I want brighterst and most reliable lamp for the money, and suitable for bike ride (I dnt need it for woods or something like that) 

I probably do not need nig throw, but I dont know do I need to search specifically for lamps with more spill, or each of these lamps will suite my needs. 

 

So can you pls help me solve my dilemas?I think I've found right forum for right answer.  

 

Adittional requests from the torch, but not a must:

It would be nice if lamp can receive 18650 AND 3*AAA 

 

 

Edited by: gorann on 06/20/2011 - 09:53
Budgeteer
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Very simple.

A bike mount + L2i from solarforce and a decent XM-L dropin with OP reflector. That's what i would use if 3xAAA is needed. I'm sticking with a L2 clone and the xm-l myself. Amazing. I mostly use medium but high is handy too. Smile

kragmutt wrote:

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Davx
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Budgeteer wrote:

Very simple.

A bike mount + L2i from solarforce and a decent XM-L dropin with OP reflector.

+1

I use this bike mount and it works great!

Welcome to BLF!

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

fran82
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And how about this?

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-c1-xm-lt6-5-mode-510-lumen-memory...

It is driven at 1.5amps, so about 510 lumens, and due it is not driven at full power (3.0A) the heatsinking is not critical, and even you can use alu foil to improve heatsinking

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Budgeteer
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Davx wrote:

Budgeteer wrote:

Very simple.

A bike mount + L2i from solarforce and a decent XM-L dropin with OP reflector.

+1

I use this bike mount and it works great!

Welcome to BLF!

+1, that mount is excellent

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.

Hobbyfotograaf
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I use a Uniquefire L2 with a 5 mode XM-L drop in from DX for the short night trips. This is about the same light: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-wf504b-xm-lt6-5-mode-510-lumen-white-led-flashlight-with-strap-black-1-x-18650-57099

A few weeks ago i have compared that light with a Led Lenser P7, the other biker bought it for 70 euro in a bike store, and was telling me how bright it was...

When it went dark, he turned on his Led Lenser, but it did not seem that bright to me. The i turned on the Uniquefire XM-L, and it completely blew away the light of the Led lenser (i can buy 4 Uniquefires for the price of one Led Lenser P7)...

I also use the 1,8 dollar universal bike mount from DX, it is cheap, and very good.

For the longer night-rides i use a Magicshine http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ssc-p7-2-xp-e-16w-3-mode-1400-lumen-led-bike-light-set-4-18650-included-36018 , but that does not seem to be brighter than the Uniquefire with the XM-L drop in. The batterypack lasts much longer than a single 18650, that's why i still use that light. I have made a better mount for the Magicshine, because the O-ring mount is terrible.

 

jacktheclipper
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I use a Solarforce L2 with a Manafont T6 3-mode dropin with a protected 2400 Solarforce 18650 .

I wrap the dropin with as much foil as I can .

I strap it to my handlebar with a Twofish lockblock .

I run it on medium most of the time  .

It rocks .

What I do

 

Davx
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I use different light when i go out with my bike. I use both 504 and L2i.

L2i is really good and has a pro: if you need you can use both 18650 and 3xaaa. You can use a XML drop-in not hard driven (1.4 A) and you have a lot of light for a long time. Maybe MF drop-is too much if you need long runtime. At 1.4 XML is not at his full power so you will not have heatsink problem. If you are worried about it you can always use an alluminium foil wrapping to increase heat sink (take a look here to know how to do that).On solarforce you can buy flat bezel if you need it.

I really love also 504 (the silver one). I bought the one from DX (this) and i using it in medium i have more then 4 hour of light (it always depend on battery). If you are in a very dark road you can alway switch to high. With the bike mount you can direct the light not too high and you don't blind driver coming in front of you.
I think XML is more useful on a bike because R5 is a little too throwy. I need to see all the road.

Considering the price, if the possibility to have two different batteries is not so important to you, i'd go for 504+bike mount. You save about 6 dollar and you have a nice light. In future you can alway buy the MF drop-in if you need more light but i'm pretty sure that an XML at 1.4 will be enough.

This are my opinion but consider always that is not sure that what is good for another is also good for you.

I hope i answer al you question.

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

Davx
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I this can help, here's two quick beamshot that show what you see in front of you with a XML (floody) and a Q5 (throwy). As you can see with Q5 you have a brighter spot in front of you but you lost a lot of details on your side. XML has less bright spot but you can clearly see all the road. The XML is the one from DX (1,4A) with half power battery.

Sorry for the quality for the photo but i took them in one minute and with a pocket camera...

XML T6 on 504B (OP reflector)

 

Q5 on 502B (OP reflector)

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

Davx
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Both flashlight are on high. Consider that i haven't two fresh 18650 so the XML is running on a half charged battery. I put the two beamshot here to show different beam of different emitter.

I think you will not be disappointed with 504 from DX

I repeat, this is my (limited) experience and my (humile) opinion. Maybe other member of the forum can have different opinion.

Here you can find another review of 504b with xml drop-in and here you can find the l2i review (with some different drop-in)

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

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gorann wrote:

Tnx, dont worry, I think Ill definitely go with the silver 504 from Dx, at least for the first battery Big Smile Little disappointing about L2i body (I dont know did you have these issuesand how you've solved it) is trouble with fitting 18650 battery inside. And this tutorrial for moding L2i http://budgetlightforum.com/node/1922 to accomodate this battery with no problem is much too complicated - for me.

Not so complicate to fix this problem. You only have to put the battery from the head instead of from the tail. For me this solution works... The 18650 on the l2i is pretty tight but i consider it also a pro (no rattle at all even on a bumpy road)

"There are always new jobs, women, and apartments......there is only ONE BLF." - Chicago X (27/03/2012)

fishinfool
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Aloha and welcome to BLF gorann!

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

E1320
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Welcome to BLF gorann.

My brother borrows all of my lights (I have a lot) to downhill mountain bike and he swears by the KD C8 with the OP refelector.

http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=11097

With this mount.

http://kaidomain.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=5255

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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This charger works good for me, stops chargin at 4.20 exact volts

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-tr-001-multi-purpose-lithium-batt...

And those batteries also working good for me

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-protected-18650-3-7v-true-2400mah...

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fran82 wrote:

This charger works good for me, stops chargin at 4.20 exact volts

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-tr-001-multi-purpose-lithium-batt...

And those batteries also working good for me

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-protected-18650-3-7v-true-2400mah...

 

I use the same charger and batteries as fran good stuff.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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gorann wrote:

Tnx for the welcome and recomentations.

But you were little to late. I alreeady ordered  silver 504 from DX, and 3 different mounts Big Smile , and batteries, I just didnt ordered charger yet. I'm waiting for some responses.

Its a pitty Kaidamain doesnt offer some specs with their flashlights - but reviewers say more than  3 A on hight - interesting Big Smile  I wonder how is heat dissipation with this wider head, and can this ider head can be ordered separately and is it compatible with l2 body. (is this p60 battery or what)

In my country some shops sell this body with SSC p7 for cca 70 usd Smile 

PS: In fact I already made up my mind for adapter too - XTAR MP1 

 

Just so you know I got a 504B from DX a couple weeks ago and they changed the driver. My old one had an AK47 driver that was limited to 1.4 amps on high the new one I got 2 a couple weeks ago are direct drive on high over 4 amps with good batteries so be careful of heat on high. The new DX drop ins are brighter than the Manafont drop ins every one talks about I have 6 of those.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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gorann wrote:

 

Thank you all for good recomendations  Wink

E1320 wrote:

gorann wrote:

Tnx for the welcome and recomentations.

But you were little to late. I alreeady ordered  silver 504 from DX, and 3 different mounts Big Smile , and batteries, I just didnt ordered charger yet. I'm waiting for some responses.

Its a pitty Kaidamain doesnt offer some specs with their flashlights - but reviewers say more than  3 A on hight - interesting Big Smile  I wonder how is heat dissipation with this wider head, and can this ider head can be ordered separately and is it compatible with l2 body. (is this p60 battery or what)

In my country some shops sell this body with SSC p7 for cca 70 usd Smile 

PS: In fact I already made up my mind for adapter too - XTAR MP1 

 

Just so you know I got a 504B from DX a couple weeks ago and they changed the driver. My old one had an AK47 driver that was limited to 1.4 amps on high the new one I got 2 a couple weeks ago are direct drive on high over 4 amps with good batteries so be careful of heat on high. The new DX drop ins are brighter than the Manafont drop ins every one talks about I have 6 of those.

Maybe your item was malfunctioning exception. Over 4 amps (over 3 would be understandable) on high seems to me, althoug Im total novice, as bad driver. Or your ampmeter is malfunctioning Smile I dont know, but from official datasheet for xml max drive current is 
3000 mA.

Putting all that aside, I would not have nothing against receiving 504b with higher current driver than 1.4 Amps Big Smile

The two drop ins I got from DX are not defective they are direct drive they previously had a NANJG AK-47 driver the new ones use an Ultrafire driver. DX has a habit of changing the specs on there products without telling anyone that is why I always test whatever I get from them first. Direct drive drivers will deliver as many amps as the battery can put out. With the protected Trustfire batteries Fran recommended you could get 3-3.5 amps max, with unprotected Trustfire flames you can get up to 4.5 amps. I use a very expensive Fluke multimeter that is calibrated, so my readings are accurate. The maximum drive current is what Cree recommends as max current to the emitter, exceeding this number creates excessive heat and can damage the emitter, there is no protection from over driving the emitter with a direct drive driver. Regardless of the spec Cree gives for there emitters the only limit on maximum amps is the driver or the amount of amperage the batteries can put out.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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There are quite a few that still look at XTAR MP1 with concerns. It's hand down the best budget single cell charger... I had a few others from DX and those things are not remotely comparable.

Sold way more than 15 of those and many use them on laptop's or PC for charging without issues. Seriously, thats alot of a charger around 10usd...

However that's my opinion entirely. I'm very concerned about li-ion safety and sell only things i'm inclined to trust. So far nothing keeps me away from them since there is nothing better on maket except that pila charger which is out of budget for me. That's just my resoning behind. I like the XTAR brand but batteries and chargers are truly standing out from budget competition.

My 2 euro cents. Wink

 

P.S. I must get paid one day for such promotion. Silly

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gorann wrote:

 

 Tnx man for explanation. I'll go to the friend who has multimeter as soon I receive the flashhlight and I'll report data here Smile 

I'm wondering would it be good to alredy order one spare drop-in, if that is the case Big Smile bacause of danger I burn the LED on high. Well, I'll see 

 

I would not worry about buying a spare drop in. If you run it on high for extended periods just keep checking to see how hot the body of the light gets, as long as it doesn't get to hot to touch (~120F) the LED will last a long time.

I am already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

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gorann wrote:

Well, my touch isnt very good thermometer :D, i wonder if i know difference between 40, 50 and 60 degrees Celsius (im in Croatia, we measure in C). 120F = cca 49 C Big Smile

So, if I get 3A, and battery is 2400 Ah, that would be ca 48 mins. Enough for me, ubut I also wonder what current is for medium mode. And medium mode would probably be enough for me...

Hardly works that way. In most scenarios when the voltage of the battery drops so does the current. I recently did some runtime test on XM-L and got 70min "at max" from quality 2400mAh batteries (XTAR). Putting out 3A through the enitre runtime would require a very good buck/boost driver which is unavailable anywhere in budget segment unfortunately.

kragmutt wrote:

They're gonna send you a green redcat with a black LED.