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Old 10-11-06, 10:04 PM   #1
kill.cactus
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Super Light?

I was looking for a bike light that would actually let me see while letting me be seen for under 35 dollars. I came upon the EL300 from cateye but then I found a bunch of these 28 LED aluminum flashlights that are basically just a battery and a huge face with 28 or 63 LEDs.

Anyone have experience with these? They are selling out of China for 10 dollars and they look pretty solid (aluminum block and stuff). Is there some kind of huge catch or something? And how much do they actually light up?

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-06, 10:05 PM   #2
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Edit - a link to an ebay sale site: http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQ...QsassZhk2world

If you go to the one that is a specified "bikelight" then you can get the 28LED flashlight with the thing that attaches it to the bike.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:52 PM   #3
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I've used a flashlight before, when I got off work ealry (3:00am) instead of my usual time (6:00am) and didn't have my light. That was back in the summer when 6:00am was pretty light out.
I too wonder about using those cheap LED flashlights.
My current light is a CatEye Opticube something or another, I paid 20 bucks for it and it isn't very bright to show me the way, but the white light is visible from a good distance away.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:01 PM   #4
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I was wondering if in fact it was cheap or not. I mean I know there are plenty of cheap LED lights - just as many as there are incandesant.

This one was just really lowly priced so I was wondering about others' experiences.
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Old 10-12-06, 04:11 AM   #5
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I think you'd be happier with this 3-watt luxeon flashlight with mount. The 3 watt luxeon will put out much more light than the 28 led light you asked about.
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Old 10-12-06, 06:17 AM   #6
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I agree with the above poster, a 3watt Luxeon would be a better choice. Most of the multi LED lights are cheaply made and certainly not waterproof. Something like this would be a better choice:

http://cgi.ebay.com/u43-3-Watt-LED-F...QQcmdZViewItem

Although it is probably not a true Luxeon LED it will still be brighter than any multi 5 mm LED light.
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Old 10-12-06, 07:06 AM   #7
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So the 3W Luxeon should produce more light than the 28 5mm LED light? Hm... Oh wait seeing that this light is only $4, so I can get like 4! woooh!
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Old 10-12-06, 07:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kill.cactus
So the 3W Luxeon should produce more light than the 28 5mm LED light? Hm... Oh wait seeing that this light is only $4, so I can get like 4! woooh!
check the shipping costs
after the "shipping discount" its still 7 pounds per light. Thats a total of 9 - 9.5 pounds per light. I think your only getting 2 for your $35.
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Old 10-12-06, 08:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
I think you'd be happier with this 3-watt luxeon flashlight with mount. The 3 watt luxeon will put out much more light than the 28 led light you asked about.
Just a warning: The flashlights like the one you linked to DO NOT have a genuine Luxeon LED, they have a knock-off chinese LED. It isn't as bright, and could produce a colour that is tinted anywhere from yellow to blue to pink. If you're planning to tear out its guts and replace them with real Luxeon parts (like I did) then go ahead and get one. Otherwise, stay away.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:21 AM   #10
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I purchased the new mini-mag LED Mag-Lite that has a 3-watt LED and adjustable pattern for $24 at Wal-Mart. It uses 2 AA batteries and will burn for 3.5 hours. It's bright enough to actually see where you're going! I have been using it as a bike light for about 2 weeks now and I love it! Mounting is easy using EMT conduit hangers (clamps) from a building supply store. A 1/2" clamp and a bit of rubber to protect the light is more than enough for holding the light and another clamp will allow mounting that clamp to a handlebar or just about anything else appropriate. I replaced the 1/4-20 screws supplied with the clamps with 1/4-20 thumbscrews so no tools are required when you want to take the light off the bike. It's so very easy to swap that light between bikes or remove it when you need to work on the bike so you can see what your doing.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:27 AM   #11
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Here is a link to a reliable online retailer with LOTS of 3 watt LED lights:

http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/lux...-76_87_89.html

And they even have the same bike mount for your handlebars:

http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/lux...cle-p-346.html

some of these are real Luxeon and some of them are not, you can usually tell by the price. Shipping is free and you get a discount for your first order.

This light has got good reviews on CPF and is very small but it uses CR123A batteries instead of more readily available AAs.

http://www.qualitychinagoods.com/ult...ted-p-482.html
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Old 10-12-06, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
I purchased the new mini-mag LED Mag-Lite that has a 3-watt LED and adjustable pattern for $24 at Wal-Mart. It uses 2 AA batteries and will burn for 3.5 hours. It's bright enough to actually see where you're going! I have been using it as a bike light for about 2 weeks now and I love it! Mounting is easy using EMT conduit hangers (clamps) from a building supply store. A 1/2" clamp and a bit of rubber to protect the light is more than enough for holding the light and another clamp will allow mounting that clamp to a handlebar or just about anything else appropriate. I replaced the 1/4-20 screws supplied with the clamps with 1/4-20 thumbscrews so no tools are required when you want to take the light off the bike. It's so very easy to swap that light between bikes or remove it when you need to work on the bike so you can see what your doing.
The 3 watt MagLED is a good flashlight but it is not truely 3 watts, it is underdriven (read the small print on the package, it says 3 watt as rated by the LED manufacturer). I have one and it is as bright as a 1 watt Luxeon. Most of the no-name clone 3 watts are also about as bright as a 1 watt Luxeon as well. The main advantage of the MagLED is its true focusability (flood to spot). It would make a much better light than one of those multi-LED lights also.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:36 AM   #13
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quality China goods, that's an oxymoron.
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Old 10-12-06, 12:33 PM   #14
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Oh thanks for the tip on shipping costs!

I still am taken aback at the differences between lights that seem like they would be similar...

Does anyone have experience with the "quality chinese products" store?

Somehow I just need to get a 3W luxeon I guess
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Old 10-12-06, 01:01 PM   #15
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quality China goods, that's an oxymoron.

Best description for rubbish I have seen. Thanks.

The Cateye EL300 is not a bad light. It works- has around 25 hours battery life and is reliable. Had mine for two years now and still use it as a spare for my Luxion LED's. Looking for a Luxion LED in 3w? Look at blackburn lamps and you will realise how much a good one costs.

The 28 LED thingy has light. Not much so if you want to see by it- Forget it.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:44 PM   #16
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I picked up the 3-AA version of the 3-watt maglite, and it easily outshines my cateye EL-300. I also noticed that they have maglite 3 watt luxeon replacement lamps for the 2 and 4 C and D maglites. I'd be curious how bright the 4D would be, not that I'd want to strap that on my bike.
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Old 10-12-06, 01:48 PM   #17
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one comment on the lux lamps you can find on ebay, the torches are well built, the mounting bracket is pretty crappy though. i have one exactly like the ones pictured in the ebay link, its built of plastic (even the bolts/screw) and the QR clip slipped when i hit a bumb sending my lamp spinning down my driveway. <--thats about as far as i got
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Old 10-12-06, 04:21 PM   #18
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I used a led light that had a bunch of leds last winter. It had less leds (perhaps 10) but had a bit of a reflector to focus the beam. I'm not really convinced they are more efficent than halogen bulbs when using so many leds, mine went through batteries pretty quick.
I also had a cheap krypton bulb light which was not as bright but lit up the road better because it focused the beam correctly. It also had better battery life. The led light wasted lots of its output lighting up the sky and hedgerows.

I think a good halogen bulb bike light is the better choice. They have reflectors that put the light where you need it. Compete on battery life because they are not wasting so much light output. Cost a similar amount and have decent mounts.
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Old 10-12-06, 05:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natboy888
one comment on the lux lamps you can find on ebay, the torches are well built, the mounting bracket is pretty crappy though. i have one exactly like the ones pictured in the ebay link, its built of plastic (even the bolts/screw) and the QR clip slipped when i hit a bumb sending my lamp spinning down my driveway. <--thats about as far as i got
I checked my bracket recently and the bolts are made of metal not plastic. I think they have improved them recently.
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Old 10-12-06, 11:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natboy888
one comment on the lux lamps you can find on ebay, the torches are well built, the mounting bracket is pretty crappy though. i have one exactly like the ones pictured in the ebay link, its built of plastic (even the bolts/screw) and the QR clip slipped when i hit a bumb sending my lamp spinning down my driveway. <--thats about as far as i got
Me too, expect I caught it. I cut a piece of rubber, a piece of tube will do, to wrap around half of the light where the bracket grabs. It gives the bracket something to compress. It's a little better. I'm going to wrap a thin velcro bike pump strap around the whole thing to keep the bracket closed.
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Old 10-13-06, 06:02 AM   #21
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If you are looking for the most reliable flashlight mounting bracket you need to get one of these:

http://www.lighthound.com/sales/twof...ht_holders.htm

they are simple, affordable and they should never break.
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Old 10-13-06, 06:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varroa
If you are looking for the most reliable flashlight mounting bracket you need to get one of these:

http://www.lighthound.com/sales/twof...ht_holders.htm

they are simple, affordable and they should never break.
Thanks for bringing that up. I have not seen those advertised for years. I thought maybe they were not making them anymore. I'm going to order one today.
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Old 10-13-06, 07:46 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varroa
If you are looking for the most reliable flashlight mounting bracket you need to get one of these:

http://www.lighthound.com/sales/twof...ht_holders.htm

they are simple, affordable and they should never break.
I use EMT conduit hangers. You can bolt them back-to-back with a short 1/4-20 screw, nut, and star washer. They cost less than a buck each. Sizes go from 3/8" to 2" inches. They make great mounts for attaching extra water bottle cages, pumps, and anything else thatís round and 2" or less in diameter. Replacing the supplied screws with thumb screws allows removal without tools.
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Old 10-13-06, 08:03 AM   #24
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I have one of these that works OK (beam is bright but too narrow):

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...01W&lpage=none

They also have a 3-watt version that may do the trick:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...03W&lpage=none

The 1-watt light that I have is well made and compact (~4" long and 1" in diameter).

-Dave
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Old 10-13-06, 09:20 AM   #25
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I picked up a 3-watt Lowes flashlight that takes two C cells, and a Wald flashlight holder to hold it on the handlebars. I think the 2C configuration is going to be a good trade-off between runtime and weight. In my case, this light will get me to the trailhead so I don't have to waste some of the charge on my main headlights. And it'll get me home again if I deplete them too early.
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