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

ItsJustMe 10-08-08 07:36 AM

I just got my UltraFire C3 Q5 last night, and rode in with it today. I went with a single 14500 cell for today's test. The light output was sufficient (not wonderful, but sufficient). The big problem was that it cut out at about 30 minutes. I could turn it back on again but it'd shut off again quickly. Then I put it on medium output instead of high, and it lasted the remaining 10 minutes of my ride.

Tomorrow I'm going to try it with two AA cells. The light output is a bit less but should still be acceptable, and two AA NiMHs have nearly twice the watt hour capacity of a single 14500, so it should have plenty of run time.

I'm not totally happy with using flashlights as headlights. From MY point of view, sure, they're great. But they have no cutoff and in my testing this little flashlight gave more glare to oncoming drivers as both low beams of a car. I think I may wind up going with an Ixon IQ primary and using this flashlight as a backup.

BTW, I did some beam comparisons last night, click here to view.
My 3-year-old, 13W TrailTech HID and the UltraFire with all 3 battery options.

dougmc 10-08-08 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by prtyich (Post 7052910)
I bought a Planet Bike Superflash for the rear, and a Planet Bike 1 W white Blaze headlight. Any opinions on these?

I've got them both. I'm very happy with them.

They're both very bright, and I've found both to be more than bright enough for my night road riding.

ItsJustMe 10-09-08 05:35 AM

Follow-up on the UltraFire C3 Q5. With 2x AA NiMH, it's still bright enough, and it lasts at least long enough for my 42 minute commute.

I did have some problems with the switch though. It seems erratic. I went over a bunch of gravel road, fairly rough, with minimal problems, but then it just kicked into strobe mode while riding on smooth pavement. Also at several points the output level dropped down a bit, and went back up when I whacked it. So, power is OK, but the switch, not so much. The build quality on my sample is otherwise excellent, but if that switch doesn't mend itself (I've seen switches get better after a little use) it's going to be a problem.

I bought the flashlights as an experiment, and they seem to be a good solution weight-wise. But IMHO if I were going to spend $50 on a headlight solution, I'd go with DIY halogen again. When my HID bulb dies, I'm putting my MR16 fixture back on the bike and using the flashlight as a backup.

Jeesters 10-10-08 04:28 AM

How are you guys mounting these flashlights to your helmets?

ItsJustMe 10-10-08 04:41 AM

The UltraFire was OK for a 2nd day on the same set of AA NiMHs. However, the switch is quite erratic. I probably had to whack it 20 times on the 40 minute ride to get it back up to full brightness, and one time when I hit a bump it jumped about 3 modes.
I think the Q5 is an acceptable headlight, but I'd probably go for a single-mode, more durable switch model next time. But if I had to go with something like a Fenix at $60 to $70, well, I can buy a NiteRider MiNewt USB for about $80 and get a hell of a lot more runtime and better mounting options.

beowulf7 10-10-08 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeesters (Post 7637775)
How are you guys mounting these flashlights to your helmets?

I wonder if Velcro would work well.

fanta510 10-15-08 10:36 PM

Does anyone know if the Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5 LED torch is waterproof?

mechBgon 10-15-08 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeesters (Post 7637775)
How are you guys mounting these flashlights to your helmets?

Here's my method: fairly large O-rings. The photo below shows my Fenix L2D Q5 attached to the side, but I currently have a different light (Olight M20) attached to the top-center instead. Anyway, O-rings are one option to look at.

http://www.mechbgon.com/L2DQ5_2.jpg

harleyfrog 10-16-08 07:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fanta510 (Post 7674861)
Does anyone know if the Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5 LED torch is waterproof?

The description says "Water resistant design". By that, I take it that in rain: OK; deep sea diving: not so much.

daredevil 10-19-08 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeesters (Post 7637775)
How are you guys mounting these flashlights to your helmets?

I just use rubber bands.

pennypue 10-20-08 05:33 PM

I got my two Fenix L2D's, a few days later I got my Romisen RC-N3 Q5, finally today I got my TwoFish lock blocks. Since I had the Fenix, and it gets dark at the end of my after work ride.....I had to 'engineer' my own mount. Just used two thick hairbands, they did a great job too!

Can't wait to try the lights out with fresh batteries. I had taken the only AA's I could find in the house from my BOB (for when the real one is out of town, which is far too often) The batteries were a little weak, but compared to my BF's MiniNewt I was very pleased. Now that I have TWO for my bars with new batteries AND the Romisen for my helmet....well, let's just say, I intend to be dragging some dead deer home every night. :D

Thanks for all the great advice in this and other threads. I'm thrilled with my purchases. Especially since they can double down for use dry caving.

green814 10-21-08 06:54 PM

Just wondering if anyone has any direct comparisons between the following lights:
Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5
Ese AF2 Cree Q5
Ultrafire C3 CREE Q5
UltraFire WF-606A Cree Q5-WC 230-Lumen

Not looking to spend much more on a light, just trying to get the best for the money. I would like one that has a little more "floody" hot spot if possible.

Thank you,
Chris

pennypue 10-21-08 08:49 PM

Rode with the Romisen tonight on a new cr123a battery. Loved it. So bright I nearly got a few deer too. Damn things just froze like a deer in a headlight........roflmao

Did notice that the RC-N3 has a nice hot spot in the center. I can see getting addicted to flashlights.

stevemtbr 10-22-08 01:50 PM

I purchased and just recieved my Princeton Corona. It was on Amazon for 46.99 with free shipping. Will use it as a helmet light and I have an old Night rider 15W light that will be in the handle bar. Right out of the box I've been pretty impressed. Good quality construction and it even came with batteries! I played with it in my back yard last night and it throughs a good beam on high. When day light savings is over and I start commuting in the dark I will write again on my thoughts on this light.

green814 10-22-08 07:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pennypue (Post 7709130)
Rode with the Romisen tonight on a new cr123a battery. Loved it. So bright I nearly got a few deer too. Damn things just froze like a deer in a headlight........roflmao

Did notice that the RC-N3 has a nice hot spot in the center. I can see getting addicted to flashlights.

Pennypue: What kind of run time (before any dimming) are you getting with the 2 x AA and the CR123a?

Thank you,
Chris

pennypue 10-22-08 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by green814 (Post 7715178)
Pennypue: What kind of run time (before any dimming) are you getting with the 2 x AA and the CR123a?

Thank you,
Chris

Chris, I wish I could say. I've only gotten to ride with the new batteries once. Bout an hour on the cr123a. Didn't notice any dimming. The fenix on turbo with well loved batteries didn't seem to have faded, but once I dropped new batteries in, I could really see the difference.

I hope to get a better feel for battery life once we're riding in more dark after day light savings time hits. I ride mostly on a MUP, so blinding light isn't very important unless it's to startle the deer. :D (the possum was NOT impressed)

dclaryjr 10-30-08 06:35 AM

First Ride with the Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5
 
I placed my order with Shiningbeam on Friday--got it yesterday (with an LED keychain light thrown in-nice touch). I threw together a quick mount by using the bottom half of a cheap light. I used the clip on the flashlight and a zip-tie to secure it. My commute is seven miles mostly on an undivided four-lane with varying amounts of street/ambient light along the way. I was "ok" with a $12 AA halogen since my needs lean more towards being seen rather than needing the light to navigate; however, it was great to be able to see so much of the road surface on the darker sections. I ran it with two AAs--I'm going to pick up a CR123 just to compare.

Terrific "bang for the buck"--hard to beat for the price!!

I

oakback 10-31-08 02:28 PM

I received my Ultrafire C3 Cree Q5 today, shipping was pretty darn quick (a week from order day). Haven't had a chance to use it, I'll report back soon.

Also picked up a new bell and a Plant Bike blinky for the rear, holy crap that thing is bright, do not look directly into it!

ProsecutedBiker 11-01-08 02:42 PM

http://www.rei.com/product/750565

This is what I have at the moment. They were 25$ at REI.

The front light is bright enough to see with and to be seen with, and the way it attaches to the handlebars is great. It is tight enough, and it takes literaly, like 2 seconds to remove.

The cuberider in back is bright anough, and has the blinking option which is nice, but i dont really like the attaching method. There are rubber rings that im afraid will break/fall off. While i havn't had any problems yet, ill probably just get some good ol' duct tape and mount it using that ;)

overall, a great buy!

thebeatcatcher 11-03-08 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ziemas (Post 6970634)
This light with a Two Fish holder would be great. You'd have enough money leftover for a charger and batteries too.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...CREE-Q5/Detail

+1

I took your advice and I'm loving mine. If you don't need batts/charger, you could almost get two for $50.

stevemtbr 11-04-08 03:12 PM

First good ride with a helmut mounted Princeton Corona. With all 8 LED's on the trail was lit up pretty well. My 90min commute from work starts before the sun sets and it's nice to be able to choose how many LED's you want on either all 8, 4, 3 or 1 with dimming and blinking modes. I started my ride with one LED blinking then all 8 come on when I hit the woods. My main light was an old Nite Rider 5 D cell 15W handle bar mount that has served me well for many years died last night. I just ordered another Corona for the handle bar through Amazon, it was $52 with free shipping. It would be nice to have a Q/R mount and to be able to unplug the cord from the light. But over all I'm pleased.

scoatw 11-06-08 07:30 PM

After reading this thread. I went with the Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5 LED Flashlight. I've had my eye on the Fenix L2D. But I went with the Romisen instead because of costs. Before, I had the Cateye Opticube HL-500 and the flashlight is like night and day. It lights up the road ahead of me like I've never seen before. I'm extremely happy I bought it thanks to you guys. I'm still in the process of reviewing it to see how the runtime is. So far I've used it for three days on my 45 min morning commute using Ray-O-Vac Hybrids and its still going strong. I would recharge the batteries in the Opticube about every 5 or 6 days. So if the Romisen last that long then I'll be satisfied. The best part is the wide flood and the bright spot on it. The spot does'nt get washed out in streetlights. I've ordered the mount featured on DealExtreme. But for now I've used this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrfZhEzjWwg So far, so good.

dclaryjr 11-06-08 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scoatw (Post 7805264)
After reading this thread. I went with the Romisen RC-N3 CREE Q5 LED Flashlight. I've had my eye on the Fenix L2D. But I went with the Romisen instead because of costs.

Yep, great bang for the buck!! If you're concerned about cost, this DIY mount will cost pocket change and I think is actually better than many/most of the commercially available ones:

http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/482839-conduit-hanger-mount-romisen-rc-n3-cree-q5.html

AEO 11-07-08 04:00 PM

trustfire TR-801 cree Q5-WC is brighter than a 200L dinotte head light, but has about half the run time.

oakback 11-10-08 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oakback (Post 7769707)
I received my Ultrafire C3 Cree Q5 today, shipping was pretty darn quick (a week from order day). Haven't had a chance to use it, I'll report back soon.

I was excited to use this light. It worked great, I used the strobe setting more than anything else (since the mornings have more light after the time change.

Recently I pulled it off the bike to assist with some auto repair with my d-cell maglite died. Quickly I noticed a problem, as the light wouldn't turn on. Changed the battery, and it still wouldn't work. I'd shake it, and sometimes it comes on. I don't know what the problem is, I figured the mechanics of a flashlight aren't too difficult to get right, but sometimes I shake it and it works, other times it won't come on at all. I'm disappointed. I think I'll go with the Romisen next time.


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