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Thread: Cateye HL-EL530

  1. #1
    Senior Member 04jtb's Avatar
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    Cateye HL-EL530

    Is this a good light?
    any opinions on it

    How much better is it than the next model (EL-520)
    is it worth the extra money

    Thanks in advance,
    Jack
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  2. #2
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    I ride dark trails and roads with homebrew LED setups that are about 10x brighter than this...however I find the EL530 fine for commuting on well lit streets and short stretches of dark streets.

    The beam pattern is a smallish bright spot but the spill is quite good. I have upgraded the LED in mine and get a much bigger spot and more spill.

    Cateye have new single shot lights (advertised in bicycling mag but not on the website yet) which look like they have a better beam pattern. If I was in the market I would wait for them.

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    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    I have a EL-530 its very bright, but its a relatively tight beam and it does'nt have a flashing mode.

    Have a look at the comparison
    http://www.cateye.com/sites/cateye/u...TB_iframe=true

    I would go for the more powerful light.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sumguy's Avatar
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    I have a short night commute on well lit roads and it is fine. There are some areas where the lights from businesses totally wash out the beam.

    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    The beam pattern is a smallish bright spot but the spill is quite good. I have upgraded the LED in mine and get a much bigger spot and more spill.
    znomit - how did you open the unit?

  5. #5
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    With a knife!
    I just followed the instructions here
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=167551

  6. #6
    aka. vertical jon WhiteCarbonDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    With a knife!
    I just followed the instructions here
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=167551
    I just moded my EL530 and it was way worth it! Very easy and as you can see huge difference. Can't wait to get out there and use it at night.

    Original led, photo indoors 8 feet away white wall.


    Same shot with upgraded SSC Seoul P4 (U-bin) SW0 Bare Emitter from DealExtreme.com



    Edit:I have a 5 watt Streamlight TL-3 LED Tactical light and this Cateye Mod is brighter!
    Last edited by WhiteCarbonDude; 10-23-07 at 04:39 PM.

  7. #7
    Mr. cost-benefit analysis
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    I used a two Cateye EL500's for a while. And they lit my way fairly well - even for cruising down dark rural roads. However, the trouble starts if you have any steep descents in total darkness. As soon as I was coasting over 20 mph or so, I was outrunning the light... which get's pretty scary. As a result, I was riding my brakes down a few long descents. So I decided that for me, a brighter light was in order.

    Now I know that bright, rechargeable lights are expensive - especially ones with fast, smart chargers. And money was an issue for me. So rather than making due with a $100 system (which would mean compromising watts, burn time, charging convenience, or all three) I decided to spend the bulk of my money on a good battery and smart charger from batteryspace.com and build my own light. So for about $115 total ($100 for the battery/charger combo and about $15 to build a light) I've got a 20 watt halogen system that's very bright and burns for a bit over 2 hrs. If I need more burn time I can switch to a 15 watt bulb, which is still 10 times brighter and wider than the Cateye LED's. It also recharges in about 2 hours. That kind of performance would cost much more from Night Rider or Cygolite.

    Just something you should consider. It was a fun project... and easier than I thought it would be. There's all sorts of DIY examples here. You should check some of them out before spending your money.

    DanO

  8. #8
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Just for comparison, cateye claims the EL530 is 2x as bright as the EL500, and you can see what difference upgrading the LED in the 530 makes above... you should be around 4x brightness. If you still have the EL500s sitting around it would be worth upgrading (cost of ~15$).

  9. #9
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. Making me wonder about upgrading my EL500...

  10. #10
    aka. vertical jon WhiteCarbonDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znomit View Post
    If you still have the EL500s sitting around it would be worth upgrading (cost of ~15$).
    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    Hmmmm. Making me wonder about upgrading my EL500...
    I think it's totally worth it.
    I just upgraded my friend's EL500, sorry no screen shots but he has another one that he wants me to do. It did make an improvement but the beam is not as clean as the 530. When I upgrade his other one I'll do a side by side picture so you can see the difference. Just have to order some more LED's. I only order 2 to experiment, I should have ordered more.

  11. #11
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Ok, so let's talk business. Could I upgrade the light below, which is currently an incandescent? I'm a decent bike mechanic, but no kind of electrician. I have soldered in my life, but beyond that, I don't know much. I'd rather try myself out on this, not caring much if I botch it, than on my EL500, which is currently fairly useful, and cost 40. Is it possible? Warning: should the answer be yes, more questions, and probably a whole thread will ensue.


  12. #12
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteCarbonDude View Post
    I think it's totally worth it.
    I just upgraded my friend's EL500, sorry no screen shots but he has another one that he wants me to do. It did make an improvement but the beam is not as clean as the 530. When I upgrade his other one I'll do a side by side picture so you can see the difference. Just have to order some more LED's. I only order 2 to experiment, I should have ordered more.
    The weblinks showed how to open the EL530, how do you open the EL500? Also, what kind of glue did you use to reseal the EL530 - I'm a little nervous about using super glue based on the comments on that page.

  13. #13
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    I did the LED upgrade on one EL500 and one EL530. The attached pictures, in order, show a comparison between the EL500, the modified EL500, the EL530, the modified EL530, and then all four at once in that same order. My garage door is ten feet away from the light(s).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    aka. vertical jon WhiteCarbonDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCI_Brian View Post
    The weblinks showed how to open the EL530, how do you open the EL500? Also, what kind of glue did you use to reseal the EL530 - I'm a little nervous about using super glue based on the comments on that page.
    Sorry I haven't checked this post in a while, but it looks like you already modded your lights. I used Rhino Glue to glue the head back together. This stuff fixes everything my two boys destroy.
    How do you like your mods? I've taken mine on two centuries and the glue is holding stong.

  15. #15
    Senior Member LCI_Brian's Avatar
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    I've used epoxy gel, the kind you mix together and sets in five minutes, and it seems to work fine. I still have to try out the lights, but it looks promising.

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