Bike Forums

Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/)
-   -   Light selection guide. (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/142723-light-selection-guide.html)

mnaines 08-18-11 09:41 PM

I did a side-by-side comparison test between a MagLite Magnum Star Xenon flashlight rated for 122.2 lumens with four D-cell alkaline batteries, a Rayovac Roughneck Flex360 LED flashlight rated for 130 lumens with three AA-size alkaline batteries, and a Streamlight Buckmaster LED Tactical flashlight with the new C4 LEDs rated for 180 lumens with two 3V CR123A lithium batteries (camera batteries). In spot focus applications, which is what the vast majority of flashlights are used for, the MagLite Magnum Star Xenon very easily out-threw both LED flashlights in terms of beam intensity. The battle was no contest, the MagLite flashlight remains unmatched. In flood-lamp-type applications, such as when using the flashlight for a guide light, the C4 LED in the Streamlight Buckmaster Tactical Flashlight was by far the winner.

The other big advantage to a four-D-cell maglite flashlight is in an emergency, the flashlight can be used as a baton to aid in self defense. My cousin is a veterinarian and she says if you're riding a bike and a dog starts chasing you, hitting the dog with a shot of pepper spray is only going to make the dog more aggressive. She says in such situations, your best line of defense is something to distract the dog or at least hit it in the nose or jaw to get it to release its grip on you, and a MagLite Flashlight with four D-Cell batteries has enough weight behind it to cause death by blunt-force trauma, and the MagLite casing is so durable it can withstand being run over by a tank.

If you really want to know what flashlights are the best at night, ask the people who have to use flashlights as part of their jobs...Police officers, firefighters, soldiers, electricians...They'll all tell you the same thing: Nothing beats a MagLite.

Edit: The Tiabolo ACE-G flashlight has the best corona and range in its class (tactical flashlights), and so is by far the best choice for bicyclists, but it does not come cheap, with an asking price of just under $105 which gets you a 700-lumen CREE MC-E LED bulb. The Fenix TK11 LED flashlight doesn't even compare to the Tiabolo ACE-G, while the StreamLight Buckmaster C4 LED flashlights will match any flashlight under $100 in beam intensity.

If you don't care about price or battery runtime, then the flashlight that will blow all the others away is the Xtar D30 Howitzer II, which boasts 3 MC-E CREE LEDs and a rated light output of 1700 lumens, truly a Night Sun, but the asking price for that bad boy is $250.

The Rayovac Roughneck Flex360's main advantage is it boasts a clamp, magnet, and directional flashlight head that can pivot 90 degrees and rotate 180 degrees for true hands-free light. It is a utility flashlight first and foremost but is useful for bicyclists because you can use the clamp or magnet to have it anywhere on the bicycle frame and adjust the head to aim the light anywhere you need to. Runtime on High (130 lumens) is 12 hours on 3 AA-size alkaline batteries and its maximum beam range is 450 feet in spot mode, with spot mode boasting a corona the size of a basketball at 450 feet. In Flood mode, the beam's maximum line-of-sight range is 50 feet but the corona is 15 feet in diameter.

Honestly, though, brighter light isn't always better if you're riding in areas with no street lights (my eyes adjust so well for moonless nights in areas with no street lights that I can navigate around without the aid of a flashlight; in fact, I see better at night in situations where the ambient light level is virtually nil). In what I call "perfect darkness", which is as black as night can get, then once my eyes adjust, which they do to the point where I can see white areas clearly, then I only need a 30-lumen LED lamp to be able to see perfectly.

Kingshead 11-19-11 11:27 PM

I've read a lot here about eneloop rechargeable batteries. What I would like to know is their voltage output. Is it 1.2V or 1.5V? Fell into this trap years ago trying to save money on batteries only to realise the rechargeables of the day were only 1.2V, and the device needed 8 batteries. When doing the math 1.2X8=9.6V, with a standard batteries 1.5X8=12V, my son's new christmas train would only work when the cars were removed and the engine ran solo, this was not an option. If this standard still holds true then the lights output will be reduced by an average of 20% when using a rechargeable. Or increased by 25% if changing to a non-rechargeable. Food for thought.

I haven't researched rechargeables in quite sometime but I believe this still to be true by the fact all rechargeable handtools are sold in multiples of 1.2.

Edit: OK, just checked the internet and found the eneloop's output to be 1.2 volts, this is unacceptable for use in a standard flashlight in my opinion. If the light was designed by the manufacturer to run with this reduced voltage in mind then OK, but otherwise I'll stick with the tried and true alkaline and the undiminished light output.

Ziemas 11-20-11 02:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kingshead (Post 13512813)

Edit: OK, just checked the internet and found the eneloop's output to be 1.2 volts, this is unacceptable for use in a standard flashlight in my opinion. If the light was designed by the manufacturer to run with this reduced voltage in mind then OK, but otherwise I'll stick with the tried and true alkaline and the undiminished light output.

Alkaline voltage sags quickly under load; you'll find that you'll get far longer runtimes with an Eneloop that with Alkalines in a modern LED light. In fact most runtime tests on hobbyist sites are done with Eneloops, not Alkaline batteries. In the real world under heavy loads Eneloops beat Alkalines every time.

EDIT: Here you can find some reviews of AA lights using Eneloops. Included are lux and lumen numbers. http://www.light-reviews.com/reviews_aa.html

Kingshead 11-20-11 02:44 AM

Checked the site you listed, means absolutely nothing without a comparison to alkalines. As for sagging under load, if the light as I mentioned is designed with alkalines in mind and the higher voltage they supply then it WILL be brighter as I stated. If the light has circuitry to correct for voltage then it won't matter as far as light ouput, but it will matter in the device's lifespan.

I guess I should also add, I have a single LED flashlight as a backup in my toolbox just in case my maglight dies. It still has the 2 original alkaline AA's I installed 10yrs ago and works like a champ. Just in case you are wondering, I would guess the total hrs of run time so far to be between 10 and 20.

Ziemas 11-20-11 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kingshead (Post 13513051)
Checked the site you listed, means absolutely nothing without a comparison to alkalines. As for sagging under load, if the light as I mentioned is designed with alkalines in mind and the higher voltage they supply then it WILL be brighter as I stated. If the light has circuitry to correct for voltage then it won't matter as far as light ouput, but it will matter in the device's lifespan.

I guess I should also add, I have a single LED flashlight as a backup in my toolbox just in case my maglight dies. It still has the 2 original alkaline AA's I installed 10yrs ago and works like a champ. Just in case you are wondering, I would guess the total hrs of run time so far to be between 10 and 20.

Then check out Candle Power Forums for more info. Modern LED lights do better with Eneloops than with alkalines. Freshly charged Eneloops are around 1.45v.

Which light are you speaking of?

EDIT: Here are some runtime/output graphics that illustrate what I've been saying. The light is a Fenix LD2 CE. As you can see with rechargeable AA batteries the light is just as bright as with alkalines, but the alkalines die very quickly. This test was done with Duracell 2650mAh Ni-MH, not Eneloops, but their voltage is the same. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...runtime-graphs

http://lights.chevrofreak.com/runtim...%20-%20max.png

http://lights.chevrofreak.com/runtim...20-%20high.png

http://lights.chevrofreak.com/runtim...-%20medium.png

2manybikes 11-22-11 05:41 PM

In addition to the above, the alkalines don't work in the cold. (say low thirties). But the eneloops and other Nimh batteries and Nicads just run for a shorter time. In bicycle lights. That's what you need in the cold.

Ziemas is correct about CPForums. Most members over there use rechargeable batteries in the AA lights. The NimH 1.2v Eneloops are probably the most popular AA format, it's expensive to run non rechargeables if you are a flahlight weenie.

Kingshead 11-23-11 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ziemas (Post 13513266)
. Which light are you speaking of?

These are work related lights used for attic crawling. Later this weekend I'll dig out the light and post some pics, it's pretty beat up from years in the tool box. The manufacturer claimed a 100hr run time with one set of batteries. As I said, it only has one LED and was only a backup if my Maglight went dead. Not bright enough for riding purposes, only an emergency backup for work.

As I stated on the other thread, I purchased some eneloops and a charger that should be here in a few weeks. I'll run some tests to include when new, after a couple of charges, and so on to see the results verses disposables. This will also include energy consumption to charge the batteries.

I'll post my findings on a new thread. I'm looking forward to the rechargeables being good to their word as it would certainly be beneficial if so. I'll run the tests in different types of equipment also, not just lights just to see how much better they are than the rechargeables I purchased yrs ago that weren't worth a .............

2manybikes 11-23-11 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kingshead (Post 13524725)
These are work related lights used for attic crawling. Later this weekend I'll dig out the light and post some pics, it's pretty beat up from years in the tool box. The manufacturer claimed a 100hr run time with one set of batteries. As I said, it only has one LED and was only a backup if my Maglight went dead. Not bright enough for riding purposes, only an emergency backup for work.

As I stated on the other thread, I purchased some eneloops and a charger that should be here in a few weeks. I'll run some tests to include when new, after a couple of charges, and so on to see the results verses disposables. This will also include energy consumption to charge the batteries.

I'll post my findings on a new thread. I'm looking forward to the rechargeables being good to their word as it would certainly be beneficial if so. I'll run the tests in different types of equipment also, not just lights just to see how much better they are than the rechargeables I purchased yrs ago that weren't worth a .............

There may be over 100 tests (probably more) just like that with charts and diargams using different flashlights. Most of them compare Eneloops to Alkaline to Lithium. All you need to do is look on Candlepower forums to get an idea how the different batteries perform. None of this stuff is new. The older Nimh rechargeable batteries have a high self discharge rate, as much as 10% the first day. This is normal and tested and proven to death over the years. The eneloops are a new composition, some kind of a hybride between HimH and something else. They can stay above 80% charge for a couple of years. I have plenty of both types, it's old news and well tested. You can read all about this on Candlepower forums. There are pleny of people over there that have sophisticated equipment to produce the time and power loss of batteries in use. Years ago you are correct the Rechargeable batteries available would not stay charged. The still sell batteries like that, one needs to know the difference. The eneloops do exactly what they say they will. I've only been using them for a couple of years, they were not new when I started using them.

2manybikes 11-23-11 08:55 AM

Most of the new higher quality flashlights have regulated output. The brightness stays the same until the battery is too weak and drops out of regulation. This gives more useful time at full power. Many less expensive lights don't have that. Unless you know the difference a comparison test to another light may be no good. However, if you search the name of your old light on the forums, or in your browser you may find one of the excellent sites that test the light and allow you to compare it to others. The link below may be the best one.

This is amazing , you can line up lights in three colums and compare them. The amont of work put into this is incredible. It must have taken years.

http://www.light-reviews.com/compare.html

Kingshead 11-24-11 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2manybikes (Post 13525262)
There may be over 100 tests (probably more) just like that with charts and diargams using different flashlights. Most of them compare Eneloops to Alkaline to Lithium. All you need to do is look on Candlepower forums to get an idea how the different batteries perform. None of this stuff is new. The older Nimh rechargeable batteries have a high self discharge rate, as much as 10% the first day. This is normal and tested and proven to death over the years. The eneloops are a new composition, some kind of a hybride between HimH and something else. They can stay above 80% charge for a couple of years. I have plenty of both types, it's old news and well tested. You can read all about this on Candlepower forums. There are pleny of people over there that have sophisticated equipment to produce the time and power loss of batteries in use. Years ago you are correct the Rechargeable batteries available would not stay charged. The still sell batteries like that, one needs to know the difference. The eneloops do exactly what they say they will. I've only been using them for a couple of years, they were not new when I started using them.

Had nothing to do with self discharge rate as I said, it was lower voltage output even with fresh charge.

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2manybikes (Post 13525327)
Most of the new higher quality flashlights have regulated output. The brightness stays the same until the battery is too weak and drops out of regulation. This gives more useful time at full power. Many less expensive lights don't have that. Unless you know the difference a comparison test to another light may be no good. However, if you search the name of your old light on the forums, or in your browser you may find one of the excellent sites that test the light and allow you to compare it to others. The link below may be the best one.

This is amazing , you can line up lights in three colums and compare them. The amont of work put into this is incredible. It must have taken years.

http://www.light-reviews.com/compare.html

Purchased new lights for the testing, should arrive about the same time.

Ziemas 11-24-11 01:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kingshead (Post 13528318)

Purchased new lights for the testing, should arrive about the same time.

Which lights did you get for testing?

Kingshead 11-24-11 02:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ziemas (Post 13528356)
Which lights did you get for testing?

I purchased 2 of these before deciding to run the tests, they should be fine. At $8.99 they're disposble.


http://www.e-power.com.au/ebay/sayus...18+AS31_02.jpg

lopek77 12-22-11 12:29 AM

Just posted video with CREE XML T6 LED bicycle light. You can buy this one on Ebay for around $40 with free 7 days shipping.
Very powerful and energy efficient, with 3 modes and external battery pack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZgVahLzYpE

I hope it will help decide which light to buy.

Jamesw2 02-17-12 02:56 PM

I found this, for those who that are interested, At light junction among other selections

http://www.lightjunction.com/MagicSh...c77b98127a8436

I use this light and it gives me a nice wide beam. Also traffic lights don't wash out my beam

I also have the CT 808 an older version of this

http://www.lightjunction.com/MagicSh...cle-light.html

xoxoxoxoLive 05-27-13 08:07 PM

Light & Motion Urban 400 / Bontrager ION 2
 
Light & Motion Urban 400 (compared to) Bontrager ION 2

Video Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxuxF...ature=youtu.be

Sharpshin 10-11-13 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mnaines (Post 13101984)
The other big advantage to a four-D-cell maglite flashlight is in an emergency, the flashlight can be used as a baton to aid in self defense. My cousin is a veterinarian and she says if you're riding a bike and a dog starts chasing you, hitting the dog with a shot of pepper spray is only going to make the dog more aggressive. She says in such situations, your best line of defense is something to distract the dog or at least hit it in the nose or jaw to get it to release its grip on you, and a MagLite Flashlight with four D-Cell batteries has enough weight behind it to cause death by blunt-force trauma, and the MagLite casing is so durable it can withstand being run over by a tank.


I have no problem with mag lights, and while I have no experience with using one as a club, I DO have experience with the use of pepper spray, specifically bear spray for use against dogs.

Thinking back, over the last twelve years or so I have had occasion to use bear spray on dogs on at least six occasions (out of probably hundreds of times having been confronted by loose dogs). All these occasions not when cycling but when walking my own dogs through my urban neighborhood.

The criterial being when a charging dog ignored my shouting and posturing: Two rottweilers, two pit bulls, one boxer and one big yellow mutt. Worked every time, turning them on a dime. I got the impression that it was the thirty-foot blast that startled the dog more than the pepper spray. In fact all but one time I unintentionally was aiming low and missed the face of the dog entirely (on an inbound dog, aim above the tail and you'll prob'ly hit the eyes).

The one time I did hit a close in rott full in the face it broke off and started wiping its head in the grass.

Bear spray ain't cheap tho', about fifty bucks a can (at Cabela's or Bass Pro.). But... cheaper than stitches at the vet or the emergency room.

Birdwatcher

Nightbird95 10-17-13 05:57 AM

Why not try this? http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/224242247.html

Its a TrustFire X-100! It is far brighter than any Mag Light. I have one and it gives out 3447 lumens (actual testing, not the exaggerated claim of the seller) - the brightest in my collection. ;)

Using four 26650 Lithium Ion cells and 415 mm long, it also is definitely better than a 4D Mag Light when used as a mace. :)

carpetman1 11-23-13 11:29 AM

I am very pleased with m Niterider lights. I am even more pleased with their fantastic customer service. No hassle, they tak are of the problem.

Angelikadq 01-17-14 10:27 AM

How should man choose a fitable light for his Mountainbike?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by slvoid (Post 1634166)
[Moderator Note: Since lights are so important in the winter, I'm making this a temporary sticky. Please post your bicycle light comments, suggestions, and questions here. For Home-made bike designs and questions, see Total Geekiness.]



Since so many people are starting to get lights for the fall and I was bored, I came up with this.

Edit: Updated 10/2/05 - V4
I realized since most of you commute, charge time is important, I added a column for that too. In most cases, I tried to list the lights with the charge times that come default with the unit. Faster optional chargers may be offered by the manufacturer. Also, I've included this both as an excel and HTML file. With the excel file, you can at least sort by different things. The HTML file is separated by what I think are the most helpful ways of sorting it.

Edit: Updated 10/3/05 - V4a
I added a pivot table to it. If you have office 2001, 2002, or XP, you can use the pivot table, it makes viewing it a bit easier. I also formatted the HTML file for easier viewing.

Edit: Updated 2/7/06 - V5
Changed around my ramblings a little, updated chart.

The numbers are approximate for clean roads, if your roads have a lot of potholes, debris, poor visibility, etc, please take the liberty to knock a few mph off these numbers.

Edit: 10/20/05, 11/9/05, 11/11/05
Added these links for some headlight beam comparisons.
http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493
http://www.lupine.de/en/lighttest/lighttest.html
http://www.mtbr.com/spotlight/lightshootout/
Link courtesy of 2manybikes.
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/stevea...qhD2DBX0tUQ3MT
This, I think, is the best one yet:
http://terrengsykkel.no/img.php?d=gu...er2005&id=1424
Link courtesy of Ken Wind.
http://www.gearreview.com/2006_led_lights.php

=====================================================

A short primer on different types of lights.

LED's (~20-30 lumens/watt)

LED's are pretty much all solid state. It's basically a computer chip that gives off light. They range from tiny blinkers that run on AA or AAA batteries to full 5+ watt lights running on rechargeable batteries.
The primary use of a blinker is to be seen. Blinkers can operate in constant or flashing modes. The latter mode of operation usually yields the greatest visibility for the cyclist due to the conspicuous nature of the strobe. Another advantage of that mode is the diminutive draw on the batteries. The batteries can usually last days in this mode. Unfortunately, the lights are too weak to be used to see at high speeds in their constant on mode. They are generally good in extremely dark situations when going slowly.
High powered LED lights usually start at 1 watt and go all the way up to 5 watts per LED module. Some lights have multiple modules. Since there's no filament to heat up or break, LED modules can typically be set to either a rapid flashing pattern to attract attention or be run on a solid on mode without risking damage to the bulb.
The color of the LED's are usually white but they can vary from having a slight tint of blue/green to being purplish.
Battery life from most manufacturers range from 2-5 hours for lights running in extremely bright modes to 10+ hours of usable light and 30+ hours of dim light to keep the rider visible.

Advantages:
Virtually indestructable and virtually infinite (50000+ hrs) life.
White light.
Can be powered down significantly to achieve DAYS of run time.

Disadvantages:
Lights are relatively expensive (for now).

Halogen (~10-30 lumens/watt)

Halogen bulbs are basically "space heaters that give off light as a byproduct." (ha ha, laugh!)
They heat up a metal wire to produce a lot of heat and also give off light. Most production lights will either run a MR11 halogen bulb and reflector unit or have a custom reflector and use just a bulb. You can often find a large variety of off the shelf MR11 bulbs to fit your individual needs. The lights can range anywhere from 5 watts to 30+ watts. Some companies have electronic controllers that enable a single light to run a range of wattages from 5 to 15 watts.
The color of the lights can range from a yellowish glow to a bright yellow/white light.
Battery life can range from an hour for lights running in extremely bright modes to over 4 hours in lower power settings.

Advantages:
Lots of different bulbs out there, cheap to replace.
Lights are relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages:
Relatively short battery life on high brightness.
Filament can break under extreme shock and vibration.

HID's (~50 lumens/watt)

HID lamps basically use a tiny bolt of lightning as the light source. There's no filament, only a spark ionizing a tiny gap between two electrodes. These lights all require a ballast control system that usually comes built into the lamp housing itself. The lights are equivalent to 1.5-3x what a MR11 can put out in terms of light. Since there is no filament to wear out, the lamps usually last many times longer than a halogen lamp if left on. However, the process of starting the spark in the HID bulb wears out the electrode each time and as a result, cuts down on the life of the bulb. Most bulbs are rated for 1000 hours & starts.
Manufacturers usually put their best into these lights and as a result they also get the best battery packs. Run times at full brightness can range anywhere from 3 hours to 12 hours.
The color ranges from white to white with a bluish or purplish tint.

Advantages:
Bright white light.
No filament to break.
Relatively long battery life.

Disadvantages:
Require a 20-30 second warm up before reaching full brightness.
Starting and restarting the lamp cuts down on the life of the bulb.
Require a minute to cool down before turning back on if turned off.
Thin glass bulb still subject to breakage under extreme shock or vibration.
Relatively expensive bulbs.
Relatively expensive lights.

=====================================================

Rearwards Visibility:

Most active rear visibility devices nowadays are the standard battery powered blinkers. They perform adequately in getting the drivers attention from directly behind you but there are also several on the market that give you visibility from the side. These can either be in blinking mode or solid mode. Blinking uses less battery power and also attracts attention better. However, it is more difficult for the driver to pinpoint exactly where you are and where you are going since there isn't anything consistent to reference from. Also, some blinkers blink extremely slowly and a driver may miss you if they are quickly scanning across the road. It's best to run two blinkers, one on solid and one on blink mode.
One of the better ones is the Cateye TL-LD1000. It has 2 rows consisting of a led on each side and 3 LED's facing rearwards. Each row can be independently set on blink or solid.
One of the brightest ones out there is the Niterider tail light. It contains up to 19 LED's in a very small package since it's powered externally. You can either plug it into a splitter powered by a niterider headlamp battery or cut the power cord to rig it up to your own battery. My recommendation is 9+ volts for adequate brightness.
Here's a video of the NR in action courtesy of MechBgon next to the TL-LD1000.
http://www.omnicast.net/~tmcfadden/TL3.wmv
http://www.omnicast.net/~tmcfadden/TL4.wmv
http://www.omnicast.net/~tmcfadden/b...walkaround.wmv


Well done. Because I am looking for a MTB light for a important friend for his new Giant bike, as a surprise. But I didn't know a good light for MTB is of its high lumen or other standars? Please give me some advise. I surf im net und got some review and pictures about sogn, xeccon and lezyne...From your posts I know you're professinal and there are also so many professinal cyclists, maybe someone can help me find a fitable gift for my friend.

johnmilton 09-01-14 03:37 AM

The best city lights are Reelights - SL100 (http://shop.reelight.com/). They are battery free and run day and night at no costs. There is no friction as there is with dynamos. I love them. You can get them very cheap on bicikel.eu - if you buy more then 1 (I bought 3) you can ask them for some extra discount.

FatBaldMen 02-04-16 08:29 PM

https://coastportland.com/product/hl8/

*Reviving a dead horse in hopes of attracting some attention to the post I started in this sub forum.

I use one of these on my helmet & it's great. 4 energizer rechargeable batteries take 15 min to charge & the light lasts 3 nights at 390 lumens. Plus I can aim it at people who are about to do something incredibly stupid, like make the left turn into me as I'm getting across the intersection.

It's always stopped them immediately.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:17 AM.