My Bike Lights - Info, Teardown pics, Beamshots, Current Measurements, etc. . .

I've been accumulating a lot of bike lights lately and thought it would be a good idea to create a thread where I share my findings. I probably won't do full reviews, but will provide teardown pics, beamshots (w/comparisons to other lights), list battery pack current draws, etc. . . Feel free to chime in. I will just post about a new light at whatever post# this thread is currently at. If I remember, I will try to add an index here in the O.P. to a post on a new light (please do not delete your posts and screw up this index!). I should have started this awhile ago, as I now have quite a few lights to try and catch up on posting about (and gather info scattered around other BLF posts & PMs with users). I'm hoping this thread could be a resource to link others to who might be looking at bike lights.

EDIT - Links don't work & need fixed. Please just jump to the post#, BUT beware that you need to add "1" to the post number. One day I will take the time to fix this!

EDIT#2 - Slowly updating all photo locations to Flickr. In the meantime, here is a link to all my Flickr albums

NOTE 4/10/2018: Updating all photo locations is too tedious a task, taking too long, and for many photos I just don't care anymore. So my plan of action is to include a Flickr album link at the top of the post (hopefully pics in that thread are all contained in the album - though you won't have the photo captions anymore). I also expect to update photo links on my newer more important lights / posts (closer to the end of the thread). Sorry for any inconvenience.


Post#2 - Magicshine MJ-872 Clone
Post#8 - Magicshine 808E Clone - 4 mode (L-M-H, Press-N-Hold for Strobe)
Post#13 - SecurityIng HD-016 (aka UniqueFire HD-016) from Amazon
Post#15 - Kaidomain's Gemini Duo / Yinding Clone
Post#23 - 3x XM-L2 from GearBest for Review
Post#25 - NiteFighter BT40S 4x XP-G2 (Updated MJ-872 Clone)
Post#31 - Link to my Convoy M1 Helmet Mounted Builds
Post#32 - Link to My Custom Modded HD-016 Build Thread by ImA4Wheelr
Post#39 - NiteFighter BT21 2x XM-L2 (beamshots in post#45)
Post#46 - NiteFighter BT40S Modded to Nichia 219C's - Beamshots
Post#57 - NiteFighter BT40S Driver Modded to 4A (w/Nichia 219C's) - Beamshots
Post#62 - Custom Built 2S3P Battery Pack (From Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Banks)
Post#72 - Yinding (Gemini Duo Clone) Modded to XP-L Hi Emitters & LEDDNA 10º Optics
Post#82 - Fenix 2-cell Battery Case Upper Spring Replacement with Buttons
Post#88 - 12v Parking Lot Flood Light (For Unloading/Loading Bikes & Gear)
Post#92 - Thorfire BL01 Light Review Link
Post#95 - Ultrafire F88 +/- $9 Lighthead


Magichine MJ-872 Clone:

I bought this light looking for a light well-liked by MTBR users which provided a good wide floody beam with good runtime. My SolarStorm X3 (to be posted about in the future) is a great floody light, but does pull quite a bit of current off the battery, so I was looking for something more efficient. This 872 Clone was bought from Ebay seller sentinel_cases here. I haven't spotted this light (clone) for sale anywhere else. There is a Russian review on a similar clone (likely same light as mine) here (be sure to click on "reading->" to see the full review). A review of the original Magicshine MJ-872 can be found here.

First impressions:
-Nice controls: dual switches, up for "increase" and down for "decrease". Press-n-hold to turn off, no blinkies at all (could be a negative for some).
-Modes are either spaced too closely, or they could have eliminated one
-Body does heat up which indicates decent thermal properties
-Cool white tint, however it is a really nice "pure white" tint.
-Beam is a wide throwing beam with wide spill (very nice!)
-Light behind switch to indicate battery level (though it is a bit bright)
-Switch button is "squishy" and you really have to press inward to make contact (as if there is too much room between the switch cover and the switches themselves.
-Seems to go to the next mode when you turn it back on (unless you were last in "high" and you turn it on via the "up" button, or last in "low" and you turn it on via the "down" button).

Current draw off battery pack:
(batteries @ 4.06v each)
Off: 0.008A
Low: 0.321A (22%)
Med1: 0.662A (45%)
Med2: 1.280A (86%)
High: 1.482A (100%)

Modes were advertised as "100%~75%~50%~25%".

Seems like the light is putting out an awful lot of light at such low current draw! It also doesn’t make sense to me. If I try to roughly figure out (calculate) current to the emitters, I come up with 740mA per emitter (since battery current is at 8.2V, I double the current I measured ,1.482 × 2=2.964A, and then take that number divided by the number of LEDs, 2.964/4 = 0.741A). Of course that assumes 100% efficiency. Doesn’t make sense to me. If it is true, how awesome would this light be to crank it up a bit!

Here are beamshots:

Distance to the tree is approx. 185 feet. Approx. 275 feet to the house off to the left of the tree.





and in the woods (the closest I can get to simulating a mountain biking trail near my house):





My camera was on the same manual settings that I’ve been using lately, but the light doesn’t look as “pure white” as it does in real life. I'm also finding that the pics are consistently looking slightly dimmer than in real life. For instance, the trees I am aiming at in the first pic above are clearly lit up in reality.

UPDATE 2018: Mouseovers will disappear when my PhotoBucket Account Use is lost.

Few mouseover comparisons to my SolarStorm X3 modded with XM-L2 T5 5B1's:

Mouse out= 872 Clone High, Mouse in SSX3 High:

Again, Mouse out= 872 Clone High, Mouse in SSX3 High:

That SolarStorm by the way is pulling 2.48A off the battery pack in "high".

I've not torn this light apart yet, but will. I'm contemplating swapping the LEDs to a NW tint.


Good idea Gary. I have a mate looking for a bike light and this will be really helpful. I'm always wary of what you actually get in a battery pack where you cant see the batteries.

With the current emitters, there is little difference in multiple lights when calculating total output based on wattage. Since you are pulling nearly 12 watts, that is a significant lumen generating energy draw. Add that to some very focused TIR lenses, you get some pretty good LUX numbers to boot. Yes, there is driver efficiency and the 15% upgrades in the newer Cree offerings, but it is still nearly 10 watts worth of light.

So is my rough calculation of 750mA on each XP-G correct?


I’d say so. As long as you trust your readings.

This is going to be a cool thread.

Why yes I do.


Not sure how long this "deal" will last, but I just picked up a very cheap MS 808E clone, head only, for $8.50 ($7.23 + $1.27 ePacket trackable shipping) on Ebay. The seller shipped it out immediately and I received it in 12 days (though perhaps the moon & stars just happened to align perfectly to allow this to happen). I received the light on Monday and can indeed confirm it has the 4 mode driver (H-M-L->off, with press-n-hold for hidden strobe). I think bike lights with this "4 mode driver" are much nicer than the 3 mode High-Low-Strobe. Note that this is the first head only light that I didn't receive mounting bands with. It is in fact an XM-L as shown/advertised, but I expected to swap out the LED for a nicer tint anyway. I will say that after a quick play with the light I do see that the tint is a very nice "pure white" without hint of blue, purple or green.

Link:Red CREE XM L T6 LED 1200 Lumens 4 Modes Bicycle Bike Light Headlight Headlamp | eBay

I'm not saying this is a fantastic light, but it's cheap enough to grab it to try one out (esp. with Action LED's wide angle lens and a Pannova battery case) or just to have an extra light.

Current pulled from the battery pack (@ 7.98v):
Off: 0.015A (A little high compared to my other lights)
Hi: 0.833A (100%)
Med: 0.263A (32%)
Low: 0.099A (12%)

Not driven very hard, though that provides great runtimes. I'm sure it could be resistor modded.

No other details or photos at this time, but it's a typical MS 808E clone light with a fairly tight hotspot and wide dim spill.


I have a pair of these lights. The whole kit is out for under $20 delivered in several places. I think the metal is optimized for the larger SSC-P7 emitter since the XM-L fits a little loose. Overall, for the money it is a great light. Excellent runtime even with the cheap supplied cells. And yes, the standby current is not welcome. Also not completely waterproof but good enough for a downpour. It has a “weep hole” where the cable comes out so driven water can enter, but in general use, not enough to do damage. I’ve run one for over two years and it is hard mounted to the frame of the bike. No issues.

Readers may find my new "Diffusion Techniques Testing" thread useful in application to their bike lights.


What about the cooling in those cheap lights?

Is the LED good thermally integrated?

Generally these lights have decent pills (for their current level) but the pills simply lay in the head (hardly worth calling press-fit, but maybe some are better than others). During the recent testing with my 3mode one the body was getting quite warm indicating decent thermal transfer which impressed me.


UPDATE: New Flickr Photo Gallery Link:

As posted in ledoman's review thread, I bought a SecurtyIng HD-016 version of the UniqueFire HD-016 "dual beam" light from Amazon.

I haven't torn it apart yet, but I've taken current readings and got some beamshots.

Current pulled from 2-cell battery pack at 8.24v:
Off: 0.020A
Flood: 0.663A
Throw: 0.665A
Flood & Throw: 1.410A (Steady, not dropping)

(BTW - I am confident current readings I make are accurate.)

Flood is VERY wide! However the "flood" mode doesn't throw out far at all. I can't imagine "flood" alone being enough to ride with (except commuting where it is used more for "be seen" use. I think I would prefer the reflector be just a tad deeper in order to get a little more throw out of it.

Here are some beamshots. Pics taken with my same manual camera settings at roughly the same location so that my beamshots can be compared one to another. In the first set of pics, the distance to the trees I aimed between is approx. 185 feet (garage is beyond the trees at an undetermined distance - I really need to determine that). Approx. 275 feet to the house off to the left of the trees. (Note: you can barely see the trees or garage in the "throw" pic.)



Flood & Throw:

Now to my wooded trail spot:



Flood & Throw:

That wooded shot above really sells this light!

Next is a full teardown and mod to XM-L2 T5 5B1's and a resistor modded SSX2 driver to run Flood & Throw LEDs at all times in a High-Med-Low (or Low-Med-High) arrangement.


UPDATE: New Flickr Album Link:

I took a chance on Kaidomain's Gemini Duo/YingDing clone. My driver runs on 4.2v input (as stated in KD specs). I tried 8.4v input and the battery level indicator just flashes red-green-red-green, etc. . . . light won't turn on or do anything else at all. Current draw on 4.2v battery (with thick leads, which made a big difference in output) was:

Off: 0.013A
Low: 0.51A - 28%
Med: 1.23A - 68%
High: 1.795A - 100% (so about 0.9A +/- per LED)

Someone posted this mode change behaviour previously on MTBR, but I can't remember where and which light. When you change modes the light actually dims very slightly and then "ramps" up in brightness quickly until the next mode level is reached. Off happens instant though. Modes are: Off-Low-Med-High-Off. Press-n-hold for strobe. My driver is NOT the "10 step programmable" one which has appeared in some of these.

TIR lenses from LED-DNA are interchangeable once removed from their white holder






So even though I felt it was under-driven, the beam on high doesn't look so bad. I think I will still resistor mod it for a little more output and address the lack of heatsinking. I'm intending this light to be a helmet light, so I'm keeping it more of a thrower with a floody light on the bars.

Mouseover with my standard 808E clone:

Mouse Out = KD light, Mouse Over = 808E Clone:

Mouseover with my stock HD-016:

Mouse Out = KD light, Mouse Over = HD-016 (flood & throw both on):

Some comparison photos with the HD-016:

This light is TINY!

Discussion on resistor modding this driver posted in this thread.


Thanks Garry, it does look tiny compared to the HD. Not trying to create more work for you
but if you have wider optics for the KD, it’d be interesting how it compares w/ the HD.

I do have these Carclo 20mm wide angle lenses now I could try. I also have these 20mm "pinstripe" lenses from KD. Then I have the various 10°, 25°, 45°, and 60° lenses from LEDDNA which I tested previously individually (see my signature). One thing I meant to do and forgot was to take a beamshot while covering up one of this lights optics so I could compare it to my LEDDNA optic beamshots and try to determine which angle lens it is stock. I'm guessing it's a 10° lens?

I'll see if I can get the time to try it out. It's getting cold around here now and it's even starting to snow as I type.


You’re setting yourself up for more grunt work :-).

Interested to hear your thoughts on the 3x XML2 light

Which one? You mean these? (Though they're usually XM-L.) Or do you mean the top secret one I have coming for review? (Shhh . . . don't tell anyone :) ).