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Old 11-30-07, 12:50 PM   #1
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Light & Motion Battery Life?

I bought a Light & Motion Arc HID headlight system in September 2005. I figure I have used it about 300 hours since then. The battery was advertised to have around 3 hours of power using the low light setting. Well, this year it only lasts about an hour before running out of juice. The problem is my ride home takes an hour and 5 minutes, so I either have to hammer every night or ride the last few minutes with no headlight. Why did the battery life decrease? I figure the answers are either (1) the reduced battery life is normal; (2) I did something to screw the battery (I thought the charging system was idiot-proof); or
(3) the battery is defective and maybe L&M should replace it.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcomed. I'm getting tired of my nightly time trial.
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Old 11-30-07, 01:01 PM   #2
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all batteries are finicky

it depends on the formula

it depends how it was stored

it depends on if it was ever discharged too low

a lot of factors...

FWIIW...I had a 6 year old NiMH battery from niterider that gave me 4 hour runtimes when
new, and 4 hour runtimes today, hot or cold, the battery was awesome.

there are way too many factors related to extending the useable life of a rechargeable.
suck it up and get a new battery is all you can do...

a company cannot warranty a battery that is over 180 days old [typically], because there
are some common mistakes an owner can do to kill a battery, and companies would go broke
replacing all customer mistakes. if the battery is defective it'll show itself within the first months.
after that you have to say it was a good battery.

charging circuitry problems can kill one, short circuits...etc.

sep. 2005 ? you are SOL.

Last edited by edzo; 11-30-07 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 11-30-07, 02:48 PM   #3
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if it just sat unused for one or more long periods, the battery may have developed some microshorts, causing it to deplete itself prematurely. I was just reading about this yesterday, right here:
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Old 11-30-07, 03:52 PM   #4
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It's normal. It only lasts a certain number of charge cycles. I'm in the same boat in that my commute is just under an hour. I use the light coming and going, and I hate to charge it early, which reduces its life, but I don't want to go home in the dark with no light.

I bought a spare battery on Craig's list.
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Old 11-30-07, 08:42 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MB4 View Post
Any thoughts or suggestions are welcomed. I'm getting tired of my nightly time trial.
But just think of the shape you're getting into! Sounds like a great motivational tool, almost as good as being chased by a bear or something.
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Old 11-30-07, 09:00 PM   #6
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L&M advertises 500 charge cycles on their NiMH batteries; but if it's almost 2 years old I'm guessing there were some non-use periods in there to get you to only 300 hours of runtime now. I don't think it's unreasonable that the battery might be running at the 'half charge' point, depending on its previous use cycles.

I have an L&M Solo NiMH, and I got it about a year and a half ago. I used to get 2.5 hours of charge from it. Now I'm down to about 1.75 hours, but I also use it year-round about an hour a day (more in the winter.)
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Old 11-30-07, 09:17 PM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. I checked on L&M's website and the decreased battery life is probably due to a combination of normal use and the fact that I didn't store the battery properly in spring and summer (I just threw it in a box uncharged). Oh well, time to shell out $200 for a new one.

Mr. Underbridge, +1 on the motivational tool idea. Maybe I should keep the old battery to keep me working hard.
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