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-   -   The best headlights under $50 thread (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/435347-best-headlights-under-50-thread.html)

Wheelzy 01-21-10 11:53 AM

Around that price I really like the Princeton Tec EOS (http://www.bicyclecities.com/browse.cfm/4,410.html). It has three brightness settings plus a flash, and you can mount it pretty much anywhere. It's easily the brightest standard-battery light I've seen--and I'm a total headlight junkie.

Ziemas 01-22-10 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bionnaki (Post 10170192)
Thanks for the recommendation, but I require a strobe, though. And I also have no interest in ordering from DX.

Basically, my requirements are: AA batteries, ~$30, strobe, at least 1.5 hours life, water/shock-proof, no battery pack, small enough to fit into a pocket.

Check out the AA section at Shining Beam for a light that fits your needs. I've ordered from them several times and they are top notch all the way around. The lights ship from New York. You'll have a lot more options if you bump your budget up to $40.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t.../24/Categories

pupuplader 01-27-10 05:44 PM

Been cycling for about 4 months now and love it but am without a good light. I have a Zefal but doesnt do anything for seeing at night. Its strobe ability does help with being seen. My budget is $50, I could go a bit more if need be.

I definitely need something bright enough to see on streets with no lights. A charge of 1.5hr is more than enough.

Thanks for the recommendations.

pupuplader 01-27-10 07:39 PM

I have been looking at the Solarforce L2, with one 18650 and charger which comes to $52.

However I am not really sure about what drop in to get and at what mode, any help would be appreciated.

Ziemas 01-28-10 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pupuplader (Post 10327751)
I have been looking at the Solarforce L2, with one 18650 and charger which comes to $52.

However I am not really sure about what drop in to get and at what mode, any help would be appreciated.

I think it's the purple R2 drop-in, which is 4.2v. I like the 5 mode ones as I use strobe for daytime riding.

Where are you planning on ordering it from?

pupuplader 01-28-10 10:34 AM

I was going to buy from sbflashlights.com they have a combo deal for charger, battery, 1 mode dropin 6-18V for $45

if there is a better site let me know.

that-guy 02-03-10 01:57 PM

Maybe my requirements aren't as high but basically I like and LED light that is bright enough to ride in the dark with. I like it to be small and lightweight and the mount to be well designed. This $20 cateye works for my commute in the dark every morning.
http://www.amazon.com/Cateye-HL-EL13.../dp/B000R5NR9O

znomit 02-03-10 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by that-guy (Post 10357148)
Maybe my requirements aren't as high but basically I like and LED light that is bright enough to ride in the dark with. I like it to be small and lightweight and the mount to be well designed. This $20 cateye works for my commute in the dark every morning.
http://www.amazon.com/Cateye-HL-EL13.../dp/B000R5NR9O

Thats a good light. I use it on my commute on lit city streets. Only gripe is the on/off switch is a bit exposed and often it turns itself on in my backpack.

I also have the cateye uno which is lighter and throws a brighter but narrower spot. Its my backup light on the roadie. Battery lasts for ages.

rickdog81 02-07-10 04:46 PM

What is the latest recommendation?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ziemas (Post 10329065)
I think it's the purple R2 drop-in, which is 4.2v. I like the 5 mode ones as I use strobe for daytime riding.

Where are you planning on ordering it from?

I have skimmed through this thread and decided that led flashlight is the way to go. While earlier post from 2008 recommended the the Romisen or more expensive fenix lights it seems that the tech for LED lights is changing so fast that there may be a better option for me now in 2010.

I would prefer compact (short length) flashlight but am not opposed to two AA if it is clearly a better option. I don't need more than 2-4 hours of run time. I would rather carry extra batteries and stop to switch out than have a longer flashlight with a long run time. Most importantly I want a wide bright beam. I plan to attach to the stem probably with a two fish bikeblock (will this fit?) or a two fish lock block


I will be charging batteries with this beast (I was an early adopter of rechargeable batteries. This guy has been going strong for 6-7 years). It says it is for NiMH and NiCd batteries. I am guessing it will not charge lithium or shorter cr123s? Is it worth it to invest in a lithium battery charger? Will I get a significent lumen benefit?

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k1...2-07at1522.jpg

Ziemas 02-07-10 11:35 PM

^^^

Yes, it's worth it to invest in decent lithium batts and a charger as the light will be significantly brighter. Personally I like AW brand batteries as they have excellent quality control and the 2600 18650 batts have great capacity. I would get the 2200 though as their capacity is quite disappointing. If you are on a very tight budget DX also has some, but do your research first. Last I checked the black TrustFire were the best they sold.

rickdog81 02-11-10 09:20 PM

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C3-II/Detail
http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k1...C-C3IIQ5BK.jpg

What about this light? It is compact but will the max output be sufficient? Or will I need something larger with more batteries i.e. volts?

Ziemas 02-12-10 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rickdog81 (Post 10393081)
http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C3-II/Detail
http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k1...C-C3IIQ5BK.jpg

What about this light? It is compact but will the max output be sufficient? Or will I need something larger with more batteries i.e. volts?

The runtime will be too short. Look for something that takes a 18650 battery.

The Solarforce L2 is another good choice. I'm very happy with mine. I'd go for the 5 mode 4.2v dropin.

http://www.sbflashlights.com/Solarforce-L2-p4.html

weavers 02-21-10 09:50 PM

i want a 18650 battery be seen throw light for around 20 bucks. i bought a q5 14500 light a while ago and well the battery last maybe an hour on flashing(flashes twice a second). really want 2-3hours on sos and preferably with memory. i will pair with a flood light for cycling. had a p7, but it died after a year, and was thinking of getting a SST-50 to see the road and all.

narrowed the be seen light down to:
SKYRAY XPG-R4
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.32749

or UniqueFire L2 Cree XPG-R5
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33549

for see/flood lighting:
sst-50
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33617

or p7:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.16092

i just need a little push to pull the trigger. btw magic shine won't work wel for me. i leave my bike outside and don't want the light to be stolen. seems like a hassle straping down the light and the battery every time. a flashlight take all of 2 seconds to mount and dismount.

P4D 03-16-10 04:55 PM

Ok, I read this thread twice and my head is spinning with so many options. I'm looking for a light, a set really for head and tail, for early AM riding. The time change turned my normal ride time into darkness, though the sun will come up as I am winding down my ride. I'm mostly riding on non-car paved trails with no light of their own, but have to ride some streets to get there. I have a ton of Ni-MH rechargables in AA and AAA, but no Li ion. I don't have any mounts, so I need those two, and would like to keep everything around the $60 range, but care about safety and function and so an somewhat flexible (but not Dionette flexible).

I think the Blackburn Mars 4.0 seems like a good way to go for the tail, but I haven't been able to figure out what to do up front. Please help, because I can't figure out all the choices from this thread.

Thanks in advance!!

***EDIT
I realized I left off the part about not wanting an external battery pack...I am hoping to have the lights mounted on the bike and self-contained with rechargeables.

Ziemas 03-16-10 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexw (Post 10535164)
Ok, I read this thread twice and my head is spinning with so many options. I'm looking for a light, a set really for head and tail, for early AM riding. The time change turned my normal ride time into darkness, though the sun will come up as I am winding down my ride. I'm mostly riding on non-car paved trails with no light of their own, but have to ride some streets to get there. I have a ton of Ni-MH rechargables in AA and AAA, but no Li ion. I don't have any mounts, so I need those two, and would like to keep everything around the $60 range, but care about safety and function and so an somewhat flexible (but not Dionette flexible).

I think the Blackburn Mars 4.0 seems like a good way to go for the tail, but I haven't been able to figure out what to do up front. Please help, because I can't figure out all the choices from this thread.

Thanks in advance!!

***EDIT
I realized I left off the part about not wanting an external battery pack...I am hoping to have the lights mounted on the bike and self-contained with rechargeables.

How long is your commute, round trip?

daredevil 03-17-10 04:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alexw (Post 10535164)
Ok, I read this thread twice and my head is spinning with so many options. I'm looking for a light, a set really for head and tail, for early AM riding. The time change turned my normal ride time into darkness, though the sun will come up as I am winding down my ride. I'm mostly riding on non-car paved trails with no light of their own, but have to ride some streets to get there. I have a ton of Ni-MH rechargables in AA and AAA, but no Li ion. I don't have any mounts, so I need those two, and would like to keep everything around the $60 range, but care about safety and function and so an somewhat flexible (but not Dionette flexible).

I think the Blackburn Mars 4.0 seems like a good way to go for the tail, but I haven't been able to figure out what to do up front. Please help, because I can't figure out all the choices from this thread.

Thanks in advance!!

***EDIT
I realized I left off the part about not wanting an external battery pack...I am hoping to have the lights mounted on the bike and self-contained with rechargeables.

I suggest this for the front...one on the helmet, one on the bar. Most cost efficient light I know of.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...II-Cree/Detail

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3609

MauiWowwee 03-18-10 04:18 AM

I just picked up a pair of l.e.d. flashlights from Costco for $14.99(originally $19.99). They're crazy bright and have three modes to use(50% power, 100% power, and SOS/strobe mode).

Pkg. says it's 160 lumens, lights up to about 100m, and should last up to four hours off of three AAA batteries. All I need to do is get a pair of flashlight holders to mount to my handle bar and I'm set.

aural exciter 03-22-10 02:17 AM

Go to shiningbeam.com ( Brian is great ) and get 2 Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5 LED Flashlight's. They're 220 lumens each and they're about $45. for the pair. They run on 2 AA's and come apart (unscrew the extention) so you can run them on 1 AA. Get a couple of fish mounts from Jenson USA for $18 and you'll be good to go. I been running mine for a couple of years. No worries. When I first joined this forum, I had no idea about lighting. All the bicycle lights I looked at were in the $200.+ dollar range. I got a heck of an education here and saved a lot of money. Get the cree Q5 LED and forget about the over priced bicycle crap.

aural exciter 03-22-10 02:22 AM

I agree with Ziemas. Shining beam is top notch. They actually hot rod the lights. They're better than DX. I have friends who thank me many times over for telling them about shining beam.

scoatw 03-22-10 10:26 AM

I wouldn't even bother with Dealextreme. They're in Hong Kong and a hassle (so I've heard) to deal with. Shiningbeam is in NYC and has great customer service. And fast shipping.

daredevil 03-22-10 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scoatw (Post 10560546)
I wouldn't even bother with Dealextreme. They're in Hong Kong and a hassle (so I've heard) to deal with. Shiningbeam is in NYC and has great customer service. And fast shipping.

On the other hand...

I got the dynamite little 1XAA Romisen one each from Shingingbeam and Dealextreme. The first was $20 the other was $10. One was fast shipping, one was slow. Both lights work great. It's nice to have the choice if nothing else.

RogerB 04-05-10 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ziemas (Post 10036437)
They were good 18 months ago, and are still okay now, but there are some cheaper and brighter lights on the market now. Do you already have batteries and a charger? If so, which type of batteries do you have and what's your budget?

Original question was whether the L2D was still good. I guess I'm in the same boat as this thread is a couple years old and I want the best value. I'm thinking of pulling the trigger on a Romisen RC-N3.

My current headlight is an ancient Cateye halogen with about 3 hrs runtime. It takes 4 AAs. I have a set of rechargeable AA's and I like them as they are readily available and reasonably priced. I was really thinking about a Planet Bike 2W until I found this thread.

My morning commute in darkness or twilight is only about 30 minutes, but I've started doing some training rides in the morning, as well, out into the country where it's darker and I start and finish before morning civil twilight.

The PB 2W is about $60 + shipping, I've found. Can I do better than that in output/runtime/price combo? Flashing mode would be a plus, but not a must-have.

dougmc 04-05-10 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RogerB (Post 10625907)
The PB 2W is about $60 + shipping, I've found. Can I do better than that in output/runtime/price combo? Flashing mode would be a plus, but not a must-have.

Pretty easily ...

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12060 $28.04 light
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.8274 $1.80 mount
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5790 $8.10 two batteries
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1251 $12.30 charger

The light only takes one battery at a time, but they come in two packs, so you'll have a spare to throw in your tool bag.

At full brightness (400 lumens?), it lasts about 90 minutes (on one battery). At medium brightness (200 lumens?) it lasts about 3-4 hours. At low brightness (100 lumens?) it lasts about 8-9 hours.

The PB Blaze 2w is about 100 lumens at full brightness, lasting five hours on two AA batteries they say. So in low mode, the DE light lasts a bit longer with the same output, or a bit less time with twice as much light. (And at the price I give above, you also have a spare battery, so you can double these times.)

For the cost of the Blaze 2w + some rechargeable batteries, you can almost have two of these lights.

Now, the Blaze has some advantages. (I've got the 1w version -- I'll assume the 2w is the same, just brighter.)

-- It's more rugged -- all around, better construction. These flashlights have glass in the front that can break, and vibration can make them change modes (which can be reduced by putting a shim around the battery and some magnets on it to make it sit tighter.)
-- It's flash mode is awesome -- the DE light has a reasonable flash mode as well, but it's just a basic flash -- the Blaze's flash mode has an actual pattern and it's great.
-- The Blaze also has a better beam pattern -- it's more tightly focused.

I'm not saying these are the best lights ever -- the Magicshine light is basically a bike-light version and superior in a few ways -- but for the price they're hard to beat. Really, if I wanted to spend $60 on a bike light, I'd suggest $90 on a Magicshine, or $50 on the light I'm talking about.

Ziemas 04-05-10 11:36 PM

If you want to stay with AA you might want to check out some of the new lights with the latest generation R5 led. I have one (not for biking though) and it is considerably brighter than the Ld2, with a much larger hot spot, which means that more of the road get lit up. The downside is that they don't throw as far as the older emitters, but personally I don't think it's much of as issue.


As for best 'bang for the buck', I think that's with lights that are powered by 18650 li-ion rechargables. Once you get over the initial outlay for the the batteries and charger you not only get a considerably brighter light than with AA batteries, but you can also upgrade your light easily and inexpensively when new LEDs come out by simply buying a new drop-in. (A drop-in is akin to a bulb.)

I like Solarforce lights as they are inexpensive and well made. You can get the light for $34 shipped. The charger and batteries should cost another 25-30 dollars.

http://www.sbflashlights.com/Solarfo...rce-L2-p4.html - I'd go for the 5 mode (it has strobe for daylight riding if you need it) in 4.2v. Whatever you do, if you choose one of these lights make sure you get a drop-in that's 4.2v as it will be much brighter on one battery than the 18v ones will.

scoatw 04-07-10 02:04 PM

I had a $25 REI gift card to spend. So I bought a Fenix L2T v2.0 Cree they had on sale. So it only costs me $20.

REVIEW OF THE FENIX L2T v2.0 Cree LED FLASHLIGHT. Brightness-wise it outshined the Romissen. It should. It’s 160 lumens compared to 110 lumens for the Romissen. But the battery life of this thing sucks. I used the same rechargeables that I use in the Romissen and the Fenix doesn’t even last hour before it starts to dim out on me. The Romissen lasts about 2.5 hrs. Too bad. They made a nice combo. I’m going to buy the new RC-N3. With the new emitter in it. It makes it 2x brighter for the same price. I’ve had mine for over 2 years now and it hasn’t let me down. The Fenix is being returned.


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