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Sammyboy 11-05-07 10:31 AM

Cheap Ebay Lights that Don't Suck
After a bad day in which I lost two front lights, one to theft or it falling out of my bag, and one to falling out of it's mount at 25 mph, I went on an eBay binge, and ordered a whole range of cheapies from Hong Kong. I'd been using a Cateye EL500, and a 19 LED light from eBay which was surprisingly good - not quite as good as the Cateye, but pretty close, and cost 5 including shipping, whereas the Cateye was 20, reduced from 40. So, I ordered a couple more of those lights (as well as a replacement EL500). I've been using them and the 500 together, with the 19 LED light on blinking mode. They arrived along with red blinkies, which work quite well, but the mounts are crap - when I attempted to fit the first one, the mount was too small for the seatpost, and then it snapped. I've got round that by mounting it to my helmet, and may use any others like that for bag lights or something. Here is the 19 LED light, with the EL500 alongside for scale, and the blinkie. As I said, this is not far off as good as the EL500, with a wider light patch, but not quite as bright

Then I ordered a 5 LED light to mount on my helmet. It does add something to the light pool in front of you, but it's more of a be-seen light, and in flashing mode, it certainly makes the point that I'm there. It was also 5 shipped:

Finally, I ordered a 53 LED light. It was 7 shipped, and I wasn't really expecting much, but actually, it's awesome! It takes 3 AAs, and it's considerably brighter than the EL500, I'd say maybe 50% brighter, and it was 20% of the list price! It's pretty much a light cannon, at least by my standards (it's nowhere near a Dinnotte, or one of those HID systems), and it came with a much better blinky, with a much better mount. I have yet to see what the run time will be like, but on the basis of what I've seen so far, I can't recommend it enough in terms of light per buck. Another bonus was that it has an identical mount to the 19 LED ones, meaning I have 4 mounts that I can use either light type on (I have lots of bikes). When you consider that I got the light, mount, and blinky for about what I would have paid just for a mount for the EL500, it's an easy choice....

jeff-o 11-05-07 10:59 AM

A friend of mine has that 53 LED light, and he said that battery life was 2-3 hours with all 53 LEDs in solid-on mode. Dunno if he was using decent batteries, though.

Sammyboy 11-05-07 12:18 PM

I've got 2800 rechargeables. I'll report when I know more, and additionally, I'll take some comparison beam shots with the Cateye.

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