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  1. #1
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Dual Fenix L2D 100 Premium Headlight Setup (Photos)

    Well, wanting to compromise on costs and ease of use (ease of use for my needs, in any case), I have opted for two Fenix L2D 100 Premium LED flashlights as headlights for my bike. These are each powered with two AA batteries (I am using 2500mAh rechargeable Energizers in the lights at the moment).

    I was really leaning toward a DiNotte headlight and tail light setup, but at present the $300 price tag for the DiNotte setup I wanted was a bit too much for me to spend (tempting as it surely was). Instead, I spent about $140 combined on the Fenix lights and a Planet Bike Super Flash for the tail light.

    As is the usual overboard standard for things that interest me, I immediately took a bunch of photos of the Fenix lights as I was mounting them with TwoFish Lockblocks to the Viewpoint Space Bar that's attached to the handlebars of my bike.

    Here's a complete (initial) set of shots for anyone interested in seeing what I came up with (after quite a bit of feedback on this forum). Click the link, below, to see them all if you wish.

    My Fenix L2D Setup on a Raleigh F500 Mountain Bike

    This is just a hurried setup and I'm sure I'll refine it as I go along. I had time for about a 10-minute test after dark and I like what I have seen so far. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to compare it to, but maybe I'll try to do some night-time photos to see if I can show anything significant. But not having other decent lights to do comparisons with, I'm not sure how much any shots I do will mean.

    In any case, here are a few photos for those with no time to surf...







    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-10-07 at 09:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    you will find that if you use the 2650 duracells you will get a little longer burn time in turbo mode if that is a concern.. I have found that the duracell 2650 to be very reliable while I have gotten some bad cells using the energizer nimh.. I have been able to get 2.4 hours in turbo mode, if you drop it to high mode you will get almost 5 hours of burn time..

  3. #3
    beatz down lo|seatz up hi paulwwalters's Avatar
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    Nice, we've got the same setup, I just have 1 headlight though. I'm thinking about another PB Superflash to keep on steady.
    Quote Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
    the 'friction generator' is the dynamo. not the wife. duh.

  4. #4
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    you will find that if you use the 2650 duracells you will get a little longer burn time in turbo mode if that is a concern.. I have found that the duracell 2650 to be very reliable while I have gotten some bad cells using the energizer nimh.. I have been able to get 2.4 hours in turbo mode, if you drop it to high mode you will get almost 5 hours of burn time..
    Yeah, I just picked up a four-pack of the 2650's the other day to play around with. My main reason for going with the Energizer 2500's somewhat by default is that I just have so many of them already that I use with my photo gear (a couple of dozen or more, anyway). I'll likely slowly cycle those out -- and I, too, have seen some bad cells with the Energizers. Some don't quite live as long as others, in any case.

  5. #5
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    I like the space bar especially. Hadn't seen that before and i was just looking into adding some more area. Thx for the post.

  6. #6
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdister View Post
    I like the space bar especially. Hadn't seen that before and i was just looking into adding some more area. Thx for the post.
    I got the Spacebar at Performance Bike for about $10 on sale (regularly $15). Seems a decent way to add a bit of real estate to the handlebars (or seat post).

  7. #7
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Have a space bar somewhere.
    Found it useful but very fidly to get on and off, plus those side screws would always work loose.

  8. #8
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    Have a space bar somewhere.
    Found it useful but very fidly to get on and off, plus those side screws would always work loose.
    What I really covet is one of these Nitto lamp holders, which seem to be much more solidly made (although I've never actually seen or held one in person):


  9. #9
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varuscelli View Post
    Yeah, I just picked up a four-pack of the 2650's the other day to play around with. My main reason for going with the Energizer 2500's somewhat by default is that I just have so many of them already that I use with my photo gear (a couple of dozen or more, anyway). I'll likely slowly cycle those out -- and I, too, have seen some bad cells with the Energizers. Some don't quite live as long as others, in any case.
    You might want to have a look at the Maha MH-C9000 charger/ analyzer, I have been able to rescue a lot of AA ni-mh cells using this charger.

    http://www.digitaldingus.com/reviews...9000/index.php

  10. #10
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kleng View Post
    You might want to have a look at the Maha MH-C9000 charger/ analyzer, I have been able to rescue a lot of AA ni-mh cells using this charger.

    http://www.digitaldingus.com/reviews...9000/index.php
    Yeah, I've been seriously considering adding that charger to my collection. I've been using a Maha MH-C801D for the last couple of years, and even though it's a very nice charger (will do 8 AA or 8 AAA batteries simultaneously and has three charging modes), it doesn't have the more advanced features of the MH-C9000. That's an awfully nice looking device.

  11. #11
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    ViewPoint Spacebar Breakdown

    For anyone interested, I did a breakdown of the ViewPoint Spacebar and posted the images on the Fenix light page. Here is the link again (followed by a couple of the photo pulled from the page).

    My Fenix L2D Setup on a Raleigh F500 Mountain Bike

    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-10-07 at 09:02 AM.

  12. #12
    Just a geek tdister's Avatar
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    Hmm, my other option is getting the Bontrager Satellite Plus handlebars. The problem is I am not sure I would like how they are swept back, that goes double with bar ends added on.

    http://www.bontrager.com/Road/Compon...1367_popup.php

  13. #13
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
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    Varus,

    Nice setup. Tho that reflector does look slightly out of place. Just a suggestion if you wish to take up on it but if you moved the reflector to the middle of the space bar it would look better. Also if you're able to aquire some black reflecting tape wrap the heads of the Fenix's so you get front side illumination so when you're heading into an intersection any cars lights hits the front of the bike as you nose out will reflect back and the driver will in about a second add up the reflecting tape, body and motion as a cyclist before seeing your taillight entering the intersection.

    In the daylight the black reflecto tape does not show up and keeps the front looking good. You only see it at night when lights hit the front of the Fenix's.

    Nice photos.
    Zero_Enigma

  14. #14
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma View Post
    Varus,

    Nice setup. Tho that reflector does look slightly out of place. Just a suggestion if you wish to take up on it but if you moved the reflector to the middle of the space bar it would look better. Also if you're able to aquire some black reflecting tape wrap the heads of the Fenix's so you get front side illumination so when you're heading into an intersection any cars lights hits the front of the bike as you nose out will reflect back and the driver will in about a second add up the reflecting tape, body and motion as a cyclist before seeing your taillight entering the intersection.

    In the daylight the black reflecto tape does not show up and keeps the front looking good. You only see it at night when lights hit the front of the Fenix's.

    Nice photos.
    Thanks, Zero_Enigma. And thanks a bunch (once again) for your early advice that pointed me this direction. This is a nice start for me and while I'm sure my setup will evolve with time, this is going to do a lot for my ability to see now.

    As for the "be seen" part (day and night), that's one of my next areas to consider. Yeah, you're right on that front reflector. I've actually just left it there because that's the way the bike came to me and it's been such a small issue as to be something I haven't put much consideration into (choosing, I suppose, to just make that an item to think about later). But it does seem kind of out of place up there and does take up space on the handlebar (it's already crowded enough up there). And you're right about me doing something with some strategic reflective tape up front.

    Um...but you didn't mention anything about the goofy mirrors or the ring-ding device that I use to send coded travel messages back and forth to my daughter...

    I also got (taking advantage of a nice sale and additional coupons) both a Planet Bike Super Flash ($16 US) and a Cateye TL-LD1000 ($24 US), not being sure which I'd like. To me, the Super Flash is the easy choice (bright, light weight, simple operation and not over done with options -- I'm thinking of picking up a second one of those for a spare). I'm actually considering mounting both the Super Flash and the LD1000 to the bike, but I'm still looking at how I want the tail light setup to be done. Would ultimately like the tail light to be a DiNotte.

  15. #15
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Planet Bike Super Flash and Cateye TL-LD1000

    I was playing around with mounting both the Planet Bike Super Flash and Cateye TL-LD1000. Don't know if I'll use them this way, but thought I'd take a look.

    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-10-07 at 09:02 AM.

  16. #16
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    Can you take some beamshots at night with your setup? I have a Fenix L2D CE that I wanted to use as my sole light, but found it too much of a spot light. I was thinking two would give a good spread, but decided to go with a 25W halogen instead and use the L2D on my helmet.

  17. #17
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Bikesalot View Post
    Can you take some beamshots at night with your setup? I have a Fenix L2D CE that I wanted to use as my sole light, but found it too much of a spot light. I was thinking two would give a good spread, but decided to go with a 25W halogen instead and use the L2D on my helmet.
    Yeah, I'd like to do that. It ought to be pretty easy to compare the one L2D versus two L2D setup.

    But I do wonder about how people do visually "objective" shots comparing various lights. I need to read more on that (that is, how people who have done comparisons previously have gone about doing them).

    As a photographer, my concern would be to try and accurately control exposure and not let the camera do anything to automatically adjust based on the amount of light it perceives from one light to the next. Seems like the only way you could do comparative shots is to use the same shutter speed and f-stop for every shot and then to be very cautious about carefully controlling your image editing programs (like Photoshop) after the fact so that exposure compensation on the image editing side doesn't interfere with as true a representation of the brightness as possible. (I mean, if someone did so intentionally or accidentally, they could make a bright light look dim and a dim light look bright.) As long as variables are not allowed to change at the time of exposure, something that shows a reasonable comparison could be done. But, if the camera is allowed to control any of it (that is, with auto-anything), results would not be very valid, I don't think. And to top all that off, EVERY computer monitor will show brightness, contrast, color differently. Seems like it would be actually very difficult to show via the Internet what someone is actually seeing with the human eye. That's a lot of possible points of variation -- in the camera, in the editing program, on the individual monitor where final image is viewed.

    I dunno, maybe my speculation is making it more complex than it is in reality, but is seems like my concerns would be mostly valid (in terms of accuracy of final displayed images in any case).

    Seems interesting. Not something I've ever needed to do or tried to do, but I think it would make an interesting experiment. Just wish I had more lights to compare. But once again, the one L2D versus two L2D should be pretty easy, in general. Maybe I can do that tonight.

  18. #18
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Yeah comparisons need to be done using manual camera settings and no editing.
    Or both beams in the same shot. See my side by side cateye comparisons:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=167551

    I found I need about 2seconds exposure to give a good representation of what I see visually(these cateye lights are brighter than they look). So you really need a tripod too.

  19. #19
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. I also did a few searches and saw some of the methodology followed by various test groups where they did exactly as talked about -- like what you did and like here:

    Welcome to the MTBR.com Lights Shine-Off!

    I think I can set up something workable in my driveway, actually. It's a long enough drive and a large garage at the end -- so, if I set up at a couple of different distances with a recognizable object or two in the light's path (besides just the garage) I should be able to do a reasonable test.

    And I can probably also scrape up a tripod somewhere amongst my regular camera gear (and a cable release, etc.)...

  20. #20
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Eddys is good too...
    http://eddys.com/page.cfm?pageID=493

    Though I prefer an outside shoot of the road or trail.

  21. #21
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    All I can say is that the camera does not see the the lit scene the way the human eye sees it. These will be pretty fair representations of the relative difference between one and two lights, but not really accurate representations of the way the eye sees it. We see with our eyes much more than can be shown in a photo (our eyes adjust, a photo shows only an average -- too bright in the middle, too dark on the periphery). But this is the best I can do on short notice showing the difference between one Fenix L2D light and two L2D lights. (And, of course, the dirty driveway doesn't help much...)

    Edit: All photos taken with lights in turbo mode.

    One light (30 feet from side of house)


    Two lights (30 feet from side of house)


    One light (30 feet from cars, 50 feet from garage)


    Two lights (30 feet from cars, 50 feet from garage)
    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-18-07 at 07:59 AM.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the photos! I think it's safe to say that with 2 L2Ds, the typically dim halo surrounding the bright center spot is brightened to the point of actual usefulness for sidespill and beam spread. You might try angling the two lights out from one another for even better spread; unfortunately it may not be possible with the lockblock mounts.

  23. #23
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    the fenix lights work great as bike lights, I still prefer to use an additional light on the helmet.. I use the p2d, it is very small and works with 1-cr123a batttery.. If you use in high mode you will get 3 hours of burn time.. A helmet light is a must in terms of being seen or seeing through corners since you can direct the light better.. I use the twofish bikeblock.. This is the holder that runs in parallel fashion and works great as a helmet mount..

    http://www.boomerdirect.shoppingcart...53/1152782.htm

  24. #24
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Bikesalot View Post
    Thanks for the photos! I think it's safe to say that with 2 L2Ds, the typically dim halo surrounding the bright center spot is brightened to the point of actual usefulness for sidespill and beam spread. You might try angling the two lights out from one another for even better spread; unfortunately it may not be possible with the lockblock mounts.
    You're welcome (for what it's worth -- and by that I mean from the standpoint of trying to show an image that anywhere near approximates what we actually see with our own eyes). But I think the images do a decent job of showing the improvement that a second light adds.

    One of the L2D lights by itself beats the heck out of the ViewPoint light I was using. Two of them throw a pretty nice light that, for my riding, seems like it's going to be a good fit. And yeah, it would be nice if I could put just a slight bit of twist/angle to the lights to give just a bit more side to side light, but you're right about that being somewhat difficult with the lockblocks. What I'd like to see is a lockblock with a swivel in the middle...
    Last edited by varuscelli; 09-06-07 at 02:03 PM.

  25. #25
    The Fenix Shillboy varuscelli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    the fenix lights work great as bike lights, I still prefer to use an additional light on the helmet.. I use the p2d, it is very small and works with 1-cr123a batttery.. If you use in high mode you will get 3 hours of burn time.. A helmet light is a must in terms of being seen or seeing through corners since you can direct the light better.. I use the twofish bikeblock.. This is the holder that runs in parallel fashion and works great as a helmet mount..

    http://www.boomerdirect.shoppingcart...53/1152782.htm
    Thanks, socalrider...my next step is definitely to get something for my helmet. Once I get that, I think I'm going to feel pretty comfortable about my basic night riding setup. The P2D is a candidate, but I would probably still like to be able to stick to using AA rechargeables. However, that's not set in stone, so I might go the route you did. Sounds like a lot of bang for the buck (a lot of light in a small package).

    I was hoping that the extra lockblock I got (I ordered a set of three) would work for the helmet but I see now that it won't -- and that I'll want something exactly like you point out with the bikeblock.

    And thanks, socalrider, for the bits and pieces you've been adding for me to think about. You and Zero_Enigma have really helped me out in sorting out my thinking about a small system that will work for me.

    Oh, and by the way....those Duracell 2650's kick ass...

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