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

dougmc 11-24-10 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by estcstm3 (Post 11836584)
Light link is gone what was it?

Well, they have a lot of similar variations on the P7 lights. That particular one was

MTE SSC P7 900-Lumen 5-Mode Super LED Flashlight (18650)

though now that I look through my list of stuff I've bought from them ... they're all gone. Similar replacements still carried would be ...

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.36351
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.39359
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.16091

... but I haven't tried any of these exact ones yet.

As for rain resistance, they seem to be relatively rain resistant, but a torrential downpour might cause problems (maybe) and I would expect dropping them in water to certainly cause problems. They're sealed up, but not designed to be waterproof.

JimBeans83 11-29-10 01:40 PM

P7's have their downsides, the xre-r2s and xpg r-5s (someone sent link before) have their own followings, depending on riding conditions. Throws are better with these than the P7, also they are both more efficient than p7.

r2:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.29096

r5:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.42972

Advice : there are some people that are knowledgeable flashoholics. Buy what they recommend.

cc700 11-29-10 03:05 PM

I have two p7s and each of them will only run at full power for a handful of seconds before dropping down to a very low(100-150 lumens) output. i don't think it's the batteries, i think it's the heat and driver. i can't figure it out, i'm not a technical person.

this annoys the hell out of me because they were each about thirty dollars and neither is any good for seeing anything on a bike.

davidad 11-29-10 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cc700 (Post 11858472)
I have two p7s and each of them will only run at full power for a handful of seconds before dropping down to a very low(100-150 lumens) output. i don't think it's the batteries, i think it's the heat and driver. i can't figure it out, i'm not a technical person.

this annoys the hell out of me because they were each about thirty dollars and neither is any good for seeing anything on a bike.

See if this helps. http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...(budget-lights)

cc700 11-29-10 08:44 PM

i had sanded down the solder on the switch part of the open cap assembly but i hadn't sanded down the threaded closure's contact area. it's better now just trying it out, i'll test it out more thoroughly tonight. thanks for the great link!

davidad 11-30-10 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cc700 (Post 11860454)
i had sanded down the solder on the switch part of the open cap assembly but i hadn't sanded down the threaded closure's contact area. it's better now just trying it out, i'll test it out more thoroughly tonight. thanks for the great link!

I and some friends bought the MTE p-7s and have had the bump change problem. Besides the switch the head can be removed. I used a pair of Cresent wrenches to do this and then tighted the pill in the tourch body.

scoatw 12-07-10 03:43 PM

I'm starting my fourth year using a Romisen RC-N3. Commuting everyday in all kinds of weather. Have'nt had any problems with it. I'm still using the same Ray O Vac Hybrid batteries that I bought for it. I figured I've saved over $400 on batteries during that time. Maybe more. Purchased at Shiningbeam.com.

subnoob 12-16-10 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hubcap (Post 11688475)
If you want to take the next step with lighting and use 18650 batteries, I have found the Solarforce L2 with their recommended drop-in to be great.

The price for their flashlight shell (Host) is $13. I recommend this drop-in...$18 bucks, sheess, you can't go wrong..http://www.lighthound.com/Solar-Forc...In_p_3610.html

It has served me well over the last couple months. Puts out more light than my TerraLux and lasts longer too. Not dissing the Terralux - it does what its batteries allow it to do. The AA Terralux just can not compete with a 18650 assuming the same size light.

If you need spill, I would go with the Romisen RC-C8 II Q5. It is fantastic for 18650 batteries. It does not throw as well as the Solarforce...but, oh my, does it not put a good spill out there.

Bump,
Might you be refering to this light
http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C8-II/Detail

eofelis 12-22-10 03:13 PM

This is under $50 at the moment. I just ordered two of them!

Planet Bike Blaze 2Watt LED Headlight. Sale $29.99
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Bl...pr_product_top

bartcycle 02-28-11 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fuji86 (Post 11494631)
I went with a Zefal set from Wal-Mart for under $ 20. Exceeds FL statutory requirements, Really only going to use it for those later PM rides, times I get caught a couple of miles from home after the sun has set. Or for the early AM rides and it's close enough for the sun to rise, yet hasn't, the 5 minute head start I call it. I think anyone riding in the middle of the night or well enough before and after sunrises & sunsets might be dealing with more drunk drivers ? My strategy for night riding, go slow, stay on sidewalks as much as possible, use side streets that are little to no traffic when possible too.

I had a Zefal set. The headlamp kept cutting off after a few months. I'm using the tail light now as a back up. It's pretty bright and has a cool blinky pattern. The bracket's kinda crappy, though and if the light falls or gets jarred realy hard pieces and batteries go flying everywhere.

Oh and be careful of sidewalks. Often shrubs and fences can hide you from cars exiting driveways, and them from you. In residential areas, you might also be wandering into the personal space of a territorial dog.

morry32 03-09-11 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by morry32 (Post 9998644)
Despite my lengthy wait and the fact that I haven't received my charger yet I am happy with my purchase.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5790 X1
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.8274 X2
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.16240 X2
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4151 X1

grand total of $52.07

Tonight was the first night riding with these and wow does it blow away the former "bike light" I have been riding with and there was a clear night and bright moon. I wish the battery life was better but since I don't have a recharger I just turned it off when I was in well lit areas on my 10 mile commute home and hope to make the batteries last....

got one for me and one for my girlfriend, she doesn't get to use it until the recharger comes :)

20 months later and not a single issue- both lights are working well just like they did out of the box. The recharger has worked fine but the power cord is a bit frayed.............I have let a few friends borrow the lights over my ownership and everyone has enjoyed them. I am considering buying some more just to have as back ups.

davidad 03-10-11 06:19 PM

When you do look at this one: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-55241 I just got mine and it is brighter than my MTE with a P-7 emiter.
It is drawing 1.42 amps so the run time on high will be lower.

socalrider 03-10-11 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davidad (Post 12343116)
When you do look at this one: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-55241 I just got mine and it is brighter than my MTE with a P-7 emiter.
It is drawing 1.42 amps so the run time on high will be lower.

Is it brighter or is the beam just tighter? The P7 is such a floody light that it seems much less bright that the stated lumens..

davidad 03-10-11 10:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by socalrider (Post 12343203)
Is it brighter or is the beam just tighter? The P7 is such a floody light that it seems much less bright that the stated lumens..

The spot is bigger and there is still plenty of spill. A bigger reflector would give a tighter hot spot.

Shadowex3 03-11-11 08:22 AM

Having checked out everything valuewise I'm absolutely settled going 18650/Flashlight route, especially since they're just so versatile and I personally would have plenty of use for them even outside of my bike.

Thing now is only which one is best. Out of the posts recent enough to be useful there's these guys:

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-36351

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-39359

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-39359

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/aurora-...-1-18650-16091

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-55241

And then there's the strong recommendation that the lights at shining beam are of superior quality. I'm a lot more inclined to believe that given that the DealExtreme models are making some pretty ridiculous lumen claims for their price range. Out of all of these this Romisen seems like the best. Medium and High mode with the best binned LED of the bunch.

Basically I'd rather know I'm going to get 350 lumens than be told I'm going to get 900 and be left wondering if the real numbers approach half that, especially since everything suggests SB's Romisens are durable little fellows... which is important with the #@%ing potholes here in FL.

meanwhile 03-11-11 12:45 PM

Shadow - try to find out if any of those lights are regulated, so that brightness is constant rather than varying with remaining battery charge.

Fenix have just launched an 18650 light, btw. It will cost more, but their quality is usually excellent.

Oh - and never leave an 18650 on charge and go out of the house or where you can't supervise it. Not if you're using a made in China super-cheap charger and cells. There's a slight risk of fire. High quality protected cells and the Swedish Pila charger cost more but are safer.

morry32 03-11-11 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by meanwhile (Post 12346299)
Shadow - try to find out if any of those lights are regulated, so that brightness is constant rather than varying with remaining battery charge.

Fenix have just launched an 18650 light, btw. It will cost more, but their quality is usually excellent.

Oh - and never leave an 18650 on charge and go out of the house or where you can't supervise it. Not if you're using a made in China super-cheap charger and cells. There's a slight risk of fire. High quality protected cells and the Swedish Pila charger cost more but are safer.

I have heard these claims of fires from cheap 18650 charger for a long time- do you have any proof of these claims?

Shadowex3 03-11-11 06:36 PM

Morry: google is your friend on this one. Like exploding powersupplies with computers there's plenty of documentation spread around.

Quote:

Shadow - try to find out if any of those lights are regulated, so that brightness is constant rather than varying with remaining battery charge.

Fenix have just launched an 18650 light, btw. It will cost more, but their quality is usually excellent.

Oh - and never leave an 18650 on charge and go out of the house or where you can't supervise it. Not if you're using a made in China super-cheap charger and cells. There's a slight risk of fire. High quality protected cells and the Swedish Pila charger cost more but are safer.
They're all regulated, I'm just learning towards SB's romisens because of the respect for their stuff around the web and the fact that it's making significantly less ludicrous lumen claims. It helps that one of SB's mods was to add the same XP-G R5 that the Fenixes use.

The 18650's are more problematic though. I see why AW/Wolf and the Pila IBC are recommended so highly but the price of the Pila and the flashlight alone, without any batteries, is in the $80 range which puts me at the "oh just get a magicshine" level. Knowing these little bastages need so much special treatment instead of being more readily chargeable puts me even at my cheapest option I'd feel safe with around the price of a cygolite Hi-flux II off amazon.

I'm posting in the "best headlights under $50" thread for a reason. My little walmart Zefal's great for being Mr. Blinky but just absolutely does not cut it for pothole and root watch duty at 1am. I'm plenty comfortable macgyvering things, I've made my own RS232<->TTL converter circuit before, but those tend to add at least six pounds to your bike.

Gotta love how prices sneak up on you like this... I wonder if there are any comparable NimH options, they tend to be much cheaper on the battery side.

davidad 03-11-11 08:37 PM

I have the 501B xm-l from DX. I just ran down a 2400 Trustfire flame battery. It ran for an hour and a half before it dimed and started slow blinking. From what I have read 510 is reasonable at the emitter and it puts at least 400 out the front.
I bought this charger in May of 2009 and it has worked without a hitch. I use it about twice a week when I am riding.06105 Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger

JimBeans83 03-14-11 03:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowex3 (Post 12348024)
Gotta love how prices sneak up on you like this... I wonder if there are any comparable NimH options, they tend to be much cheaper on the battery side.

S: there are saeveral at DX that can use NiMHs that are quite nice as well, search for this item below there (their site is down for maintenance now)

Uniquefire S10 Cree R2-WC 6-Mode 220-Lumen Memory LED Flashlight - Black (1*AA/1*14500) 0
Item# 30986

There are some advantages for AA driven, I think the issue for many is that it's easier or safer to use 1 single cell for these lights since if you carry a backup battery, then you know the backup is charged. If only having the lamp, then maybe the battery in it is near death. Same for 2 cells. But once going with 1 cell, it's much mroe possible to get a brightly driven light with an 18650 since it's above the forward voltage of the LED and doesnt have the same efficiency issues as a lower voltage cell will.

Once making this small investment in 18650s ($8 for 2 batteries, $8 for charger) it's hard to go back. You can also harvest the 18650s from old laptop batteries.

The fact of the matter is that a $15 18650 flashlight is equivalent in brightness and runtime to many lights still costing over $100 and you won't outrun it except over 45-50 km/h.

Iowegian 03-15-11 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimBeans83 (Post 12357306)
Once making this small investment in 18650s ($8 for 2 batteries, $8 for charger) it's hard to go back.

+1. I think most of the problems with 18650 batteries are due to poorly designed battery packs. If you use a single protected cell the chance of catastrophic failure is acceptably low, IMO. You can still break the battery open, etc but even alkalines can leak acid if mishandled.

Shadowex3 03-17-11 12:55 AM

Alkalines are dry inside actually iirc, also I haven't seen anything remotely approaching the $8 charger that follows what's been said here to be safe, everything I've seen strongly suggests even if using pcb-protected 18650's to use a charger like the Pila. Short of going suicide-cheap with parts everything still adds up to the $50-70 range, I can get a magicshine for that much.

meanwhile 03-17-11 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowex3 (Post 12371994)
Alkalines are dry inside actually iirc, also I haven't seen anything remotely approaching the $8 charger that follows what's been said here to be safe, everything I've seen strongly suggests even if using pcb-protected 18650's to use a charger like the Pila. Short of going suicide-cheap with parts everything still adds up to the $50-70 range, I can get a magicshine for that much.

The usual wisdom on flashlight forums is to make sure your cheap charger is only on while you're around to supervise it. I don't know of any cases of one actually starting a fire. Wait - I didn't until this:

http://www.singletrackworld.com/foru...r-catches-fire

The general safety rules:

Quote:

http://ant-supplies.co.uk/BatteryChargers.aspx

However due to the chemistry of lithium cells extra precautions are required due to the risk of fire.

Extreme care should be taken while charging them;
Never leave batteries to charge unattended.
Be sure the voltage and rate of the charger matches the batteries.
Whilst charging the charger should be placed in fire-resistant area.
Never mix lithium-ion batteries with other types of batteries.
The batteries should also be stored in fire-resistant area.
Do not store batteries so that they can rattle together where they
could short circuit against each other or other items.
Keep chargers and batteries away from children.




meanwhile 03-17-11 05:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowex3 (Post 12371994)
Alkalines are dry inside actually iirc, also I haven't seen anything remotely approaching the $8 charger that follows what's been said here to be safe, everything I've seen strongly suggests even if using pcb-protected 18650's to use a charger like the Pila. Short of going suicide-cheap with parts everything still adds up to the $50-70 range, I can get a magicshine for that much.

What makes you think that the MagicShine charger and battery are any safer than the $8 DealExtreme alternative???

Shadowex3 03-17-11 10:47 AM

The same thing that makes me think that my laptop battery is safer and provides me with enough comfort to put my cellphone in my pocket.


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