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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 09-29-13 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwmckee (Post 16116021)
Hey, has anyone figured out a reliable conversion factor for DX lumen and mAH over ratings? Like maybe multiply DX flashlight lumen ratings by .6 to get a more realistic measure of the real light output you can expect, and multiply DX mAH battery ratings by .7 or something like that to compare it to a normally rated battery.

There is no consistent exaggeration factor -- you'll just need to look up the specific light and see what people say.

Note that I've gotten their basic 18650 batteries ($8 for two) and I think they claim 2400 mAh and when I explicitly measured a few of them they were all right at the rated capacity. I've heard of problems with the batteries with higher ratings, but these ones have been right on the money.

treal512 10-10-13 09:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ksisler (Post 15975288)
Buy this headlamp and the replacement lense. You will not believe how good they are.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Includes the 4,100mAh battery pack and charger. Under $30 delivered.

I'm wary of this light because of reviews saying the batteries won't hold a charge after 2-3 weeks of normal usage. How are you guys fairing with this light?

nerys 10-10-13 10:06 PM

ZERO worries treal512. it uses 4 18650 cells. (very common cells in this category) simply buy a 4 cell holder 4 cells and a charger and cut off and move the power wire to your new holder and cells.

done. should fit in the bag that came with it too. when my cells die this is what I will do. you can then buy whatever quality level cells you wish and replace every few years as needed.

treal512 10-11-13 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nerys (Post 16151200)
ZERO worries treal512. it uses 4 18650 cells. (very common cells in this category) simply buy a 4 cell holder 4 cells and a charger and cut off and move the power wire to your new holder and cells.

done. should fit in the bag that came with it too. when my cells die this is what I will do. you can then buy whatever quality level cells you wish and replace every few years as needed.

Hmm, interesting. I was impatient and ended up going with a Cygolite 500 mainly because I like the idea of an all-in-one headlight that I can quickly remove and put in my pocket (I live in a college town). I'm still interested in this headlight though. Can you provide a link for a 4 cell holder and charger?

dougmc 10-11-13 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by treal512 (Post 16153511)
Can you provide a link for a 4 cell holder and charger?

Normally the lights have pre-made packs rather than four loose 18650 cells to put into a holder. I've never seen such a holder, though maybe they do exist somewhere.

nery's point is that these battery packs are pretty easy to find. And it doesn't have to be made of 18650 cells -- any two LiPo or Li-ion cells in series would work, as long as they have the appropriate protective circuitry. Even a 6xAA, C or D cell pack would work as well, though a pack of 6xAA's would not last nearly as long as a pack of 4x18650 cells.

As for an all-in-one headlight, the single cell 18650 flashlights excel at that role. Though the $23 amazon light we've been talking about outperforms them at about the same price point, but it's larger and more cumbersome to remove.

nerys 10-11-13 05:13 PM

sure.

normally I can find 2x2 4 cell holders (same form factor as the light) but all I am finding right now is 1x4 holders.

320859084255 (ebay) $13 including cells.

that is all you need. swap over the plug to this (check power coming out of the plug first though !! I am not sure if its x4 serial or x4 parallel or x2 x2 serial/parallel (measure voltage from stock pack! you can get 1 or 2 cell holders whatever you need. 3.7 is your base voltage. if its 3.7 then its x4 parallel if its 7.4v its x2 x2 if its over 14v its x4 serial. buy the appropiate holders. (just put in 18650 x cell holder into ebay)

for charging you can buy a dedicated 4 cell charger ($15 to $25) or just use the charger that came with it since your swapping the plug over.

OR for more utility get something like this.

171143629662

$8 and it will hold 4 18650 you can use a mini usb cell phone charger to charge it has a flashlight AND a powered 1amp usb port for "charging" things like your cell phone.

there is a lot of neat things you can do with 18650 cells :-)

the advantage of the 18650 cell is they are universal. like AA's ie common and standardized (not in stores typically though) in 10 years you will still be able to buy 18650 cells most likely.

these lights are very easy to install and remove and are freakishly small (I will take a picture later in my hand so you can see just how freaking tiny the little bugger is. I am also going to get one of those 10x30 spreaders someone posted from amazon (replacement lens) very cool.

does anyone know of any of these lights with a REMOTE on off? ie not built into the light itself but on a wire I can run elsewhere?

spectastic 10-15-13 11:28 PM

bookmark

Nightbird95 10-17-13 04:57 AM

I'm using this on my MTB. Its a SolarStorm X2, its the cheapest X2 I can find and it performs good so far. I do my rides every night. :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/330954152704...84.m1497.l2649

Nightbird95 10-17-13 05:24 AM

I have also tied this, a SingFire SF-90, but I got only for $15.99 it when DX made a sale (Half-Off?).

http://dx.com/p/singfire-sf-90-cree-...x-18650-172326

It throws farther than the SolarStorm X2. I installed it into my son's MTB.

Nightbird95 10-17-13 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zacster (Post 15930257)
Soon we'll be needing lights again for evening rides. Just from looking around though I'm not seeing anything new and different, just a lot of variations on the XML-T6. Is there anything new from Cree? Are they being put together in interesting packages?

If you're happy with your bike light's performance (i.e. throw & spill) but would like to have it even brighter than an XM-L T6 could offer, then I think the best thing to do is swap the LED with XM-L2 U2s with copper MCPCBs like these at International Outdoors: http://intl-outdoor.com/noctigon-xm1...led-p-746.html :)

U2 is about 10 to 15% brighter than T6 and XM-L2 is about 20% brighter than XM-L so you should end up with a 30 to 30% brighter bike light. The copper MCPCBs would allow your LED to to perform better than stock aluminum MCPCBs since it allows the LED to operate at higher temperature hence decreasing the decrease in lumens due to heat. ;)

Nightbird95 10-18-13 01:23 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Well my son doesn't want to go biking at night so the SF-90 bike light is of no use to him. Therefore I decided to install it back to my MTB. The SF-90, being the farther thrower is now my hi-beam allowing me to see objects as far as 200 meters away in the road. The X-2, having two XM-L emitters is now my low-beam allowing me to see obstacles in the path.
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346551
Here's another pic taken on my two bike lights from the opposite angle .
http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=346552

johnnymoses 12-03-13 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dwmckee (Post 15366812)
I have owned several of the lights mentioned here and others as well. I have gotten tired of DX lights from China that are amazingly bright but unpredictably stop working at inconvenient times too... I also do not like the big clunky dedicated lights that seem to be steal targets too. My newest favorite is this http://edcplus.com/black-xeno-e03-wi...e-t4-p-16.html which puts out 480 certified lumens on high and it uses either a single AA or a 14500 cell. Have to use the rechargeable 14500 to get the max output though,but still pretty bright with a regular AA. On medium it gets about 90 minutes of output before needing to have cell replaced or recharged. The light is basically tiny, just a little bigger than the battery and visually looks so small no one steals it because they are looking for something that looks like a real light. This is the equivalent of the "noisy cricket" gun that Will Smith gets in the Men in Black movie. Looks tiny but amazingly powerful when activated. This light is so great you will buy a second one to keep in your pocket or to take backpacling as it is so small. It is shock resistant and waterproof to 30 feet. It has really good quality o rings and nice square threads which feel so solid when you screw on the back too. All for $32 bucks (even less if you shop around).

Would be interested in hearing your review for this product today. How does does it rate in terms of staying in place? I use a bunch of Knog Blinders but because of where I ride they either shift, get knocked way out of place, or completely fly off the bars. The streets I ride on are in very poor shape - tons of potholes, drunk bumps, rumble patches, ruts, uneven shoulders, no shoulders, road construction including steel plates, the list goes on...so having a light that holds in place solidly is important for me.

johnnymoses 12-03-13 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by niuoka (Post 15986902)
so I just ordered this set up, has some negative reviews, but we will see. Seems the biggest issue is the battery pack, maybe someone on the forums has or will come up with a fix for this. If not too much money, might be worth making one up to carry for a spare at night or at least have on hand/

There are so many 1 star ratings that I would like to hear from those that have bought this light what their take is on them, now that it has been about a few months or longer

dwmckee 12-03-13 10:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnnymoses (Post 16298017)
Would be interested in hearing your review for this product today. How does does it rate in terms of staying in place? I use a bunch of Knog Blinders but because of where I ride they either shift, get knocked way out of place, or completely fly off the bars. The streets I ride on are in very poor shape - tons of potholes, drunk bumps, rumble patches, ruts, uneven shoulders, no shoulders, road construction including steel plates, the list goes on...so having a light that holds in place solidly is important for me.

This light is very small and light so it has little inertia when you hit bumps and it seems to stay in place pretty well for me. I use this mount. http://dx.com/p/universal-bike-bicyc...ll-phone-68460 Don't be deceived by how cheap and simple it looks. It is very snug for mounting and will wiggle when you hit a bump but comes right back to where you had it set. I lay the strap on top of the bars and place the flashlight in position across the two thick bars on the strap. Them I loop the band under the bars first then around to slip over each end of the flashlight. This is really tight and forgiving. I now own a bunch of these straps and two lights. Use the 16500 rechargeable batteries though to get the max brightness which will be nearly double AA brightness. The cells are cheap on DX.com. This light is exceptionally powerful for it's size and I normally ride with it on Medium.

Creakyknees 12-10-13 07:39 PM

So hi guys, newbie here, how do I tell the cheap crap that'll break, from real quality products? I've had bad luck with DX and Amazon, lots of spotty quality. What are some US brands that I can trust, in the category of, say Cree pocket ultra-bright torches? thanks.

dougmc 12-11-13 12:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Creakyknees (Post 16319538)
So hi guys, newbie here, how do I tell the cheap crap that'll break, from real quality products? I've had bad luck with DX and Amazon, lots of spotty quality. What are some US brands that I can trust, in the category of, say Cree pocket ultra-bright torches? thanks.

Call it spotty quality, but this light from Amazon is the absolute < $50 value winner right now. (If your budget is $50, you can afford two!)

The quality doesn't match that of lights 10x as much, true, but it's not bad.

10 Wheels 12-11-13 12:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Creakyknees (Post 16319538)
So hi guys, newbie here, how do I tell the cheap crap that'll break, from real quality products? I've had bad luck with DX and Amazon, lots of spotty quality. What are some US brands that I can trust, in the category of, say Cree pocket ultra-bright torches? thanks.

http://store.dinottelighting.com/day...ight-p117.aspx

claystevens 01-08-14 12:50 AM

I'm using this Koolertron headlight. $47.99 Almost above the price limited. Didn't spend much time on buying. Thought not the top performance, this light's quality is still acceptable.

nipperdawg 01-14-14 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nightbird95 (Post 16167701)
I'm using this on my MTB. Its a SolarStorm X2, its the cheapest X2 I can find and it performs good so far. I do my rides every night. :)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/330954152704...84.m1497.l2649

how long does a charge last

Nightbird95 01-15-14 01:20 AM

Recently I only bike for about 30 minutes every night, my beam setting is mid, and my X2 would need recharging every week.

The longest ride I had with my beam set at mid was 1 hr 45 mins before my X2 started to dim (with one flashing LED in the indicator). However, the light was not freshly charged, it was already used for two successive nights for about 30 mins set at mid per riding session.

I use high beam setting sparingly/ when needed. Mid is bright enough for me.

tcs 01-20-14 02:27 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by K1NJO (Post 6969689)
Just looking for something cheap but effective.

I picked up a little headlight off ebay a couple months back that’s worked out well enough to relate.

The listing was/is ‘UltraFire CREE XM-L LED bicycle headlamp + battery + charger’, twenty bucks shipped to your door. The form factor is like the UltraFire UF-18B but the electronics, LED and switch are different. These lights use a single 18650 li-ion rechargeable battery, are machined entirely out of aluminum and have a semi-integral handlebar mount.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=360518

It arrived simply but adequately packaged but the extent of the included owner’s manual/instructions was the international on/off symbol on the switch. Said switch cycles high-medium-low-strobe-SOS-off. The end caps are marked + and -. The light claims to use the XML U2 LED, which industry literature tells me is brighter than the XML T6. It has a simple flashlight-like reflector and plano, and throws the traditional round hot spot plus aura beam pattern.

(Does it really use a U2? Is it a genuine UltraFire product or a fake? Will the included charger burn my house down? I dunno, I dunno and I dunno, respectively.)

How bright is it? Sorry, I don't own lamp testing equipment, but this light humiliates my Fenix L2D. It holds a couple of CatEye LED headlamps I have by the nose and kicks 'em in the seat of the pants. I know we each have different wants and needs in lighting, but in my world I can’t see running this thing on bright on the street at night – medium is plenty. For the first time since I gave up on my Ed Kearney Bicycle Lighting Systems headlamp thirty years ago, I don’t feel like I want more photons. The strobe setting utilizes the brightest output and might induce seizures in the twilight or dark.

Run time, well, first, let’s talk about 18650 batteries. The 'UltraFire’ battery that’s included with this headlamp is marked ‘4000 mAh’. It has about as much chance of actually having a 4000 mAh capacity as I do being the direct descendant of Genghis Khan. I estimate the actual capacity to be in the neighborhood of 800-900 mAh, and the light puts out full brightness on high for maybe 35 minutes. However, fitted with a name brand 3400 mAh 18650 charged on a quality charger, the light doesn’t noticeably start to drop brightness on high until after three and a quarter hours or so. With that kind of run time, the ease of swapping batteries and given the lamp’s small form factor, I like it better than lamps with a separate battery pack and cable. YMMV.

The battery compartment will accept longer protected 18650 cells without any issue. The threads are cut clean and came lubricated, with a sealing o-ring, and the – (negative) cap removes easily for battery swap/recharge.

Likes: smallish, light weight (152 gm w/o battery), all aluminum construction, easy to mount/move/remove, secure, powerful light, long effective run time, cheap.

Dislikes: no warranty, wasteful optics, no marker light thrown to sides, sketchy included battery/charger - and of course the ridiculous class II laser safety warning sticker! The bright strobe is great for daytime use, but I'd much rather have an additional lower power strobe for twilight than the SOS setting.

davidad 01-20-14 02:48 PM

that one has been one the market for a few years now. Buy some decent batteries and wear it out.

dougmc 01-20-14 10:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tcs (Post 16426460)
Run time, well, first, let’s talk about 18650 batteries. The 'UltraFire’ battery that’s included with this headlamp is marked ‘4000 mAh’. It has about as much chance of actually having a 4000 mAh capacity as I do being the direct descendant of Genghis Khan. I estimate the actual capacity to be in the neighborhood of 800-900 mAh, and the light puts out full brightness on high for maybe 35 minutes.

Your light must be more efficient than the single cell 18650 lights I've got -- they put out around 400 mAh lumens real world and last about an hour at full brightness with 2400 mAh (real world -- I measured it) cells.

That said, it's estimated that Gengis Kahn is the direct descendant of about 0.5% of the world's population. Which I do realize might be exactly what you're referring to, but it probably overstates the chance of it actually having 4000 mAh, as the very highest capacity 18650 cells nowadays seem to be around 3400 mAh.

Back in late 2012, Ultrafire themselves said they don't make any > 3000 mAh 18650 cells, and that any that are out there are clearly fake.

tcs 01-21-14 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougmc (Post 16427770)
That said, it's estimated that Gengis Kahn is the direct descendant of about 0.5% of the world's population.

Perhaps 'ancestor'. ;)

Faldoe 02-19-14 12:48 AM

Could someone provide some suggestions/links for a good front and rear light combo?

I'm an occasional night rider. I'd like something that is durable, and that I could use rechargeable batteries with.


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