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Old 08-26-08, 01:49 PM   #1
Brett92
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NEWB: What's the best, brightest steup for <$25?

Hey guys(and gals), this is my 1st post here at bikeforums. I've been lurking for probably 2 weeks reading up on these LED flashlights that you guys use. With that said, I'm ready to take the plunge on one these lights, but I have some questions.

What is brightest setup I can get for < $25(+ mount)?
At this price range, would the light be bright enough for non-technical, wooded trails?
How many lumens would I need for trail riding?

Just a couple of guidelines...
-I would rather not go DIY if at all possible.
-I also plan to buy a second light in the future to complement the 1st one.
-I would prefer AAs, but am open to other batteries if they're rechargeable and can be had relatively
cheap.

Let me just say that I know nothing about these lights other than the little that I've read on here, so please excuse my ignorance. I'm also supercheap, which I'm sure you all have already noticed.

If you guys could recommend a setup, or other info, that would be great.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-26-08, 02:20 PM   #2
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I don't know how bright you'll get for $25. Planet Bike makes a 1/2-watt LED light called the Blaze that's selling for just over $25 on Amazon right now. AA batteries included. You can check out the brightness comparison on the Planet Bike website.
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Old 08-26-08, 03:56 PM   #3
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For $25 you can get a light that makes locating your body under the vehicle easier. It won't do much else. $25 is hardly more than a doctor's office co-pay and certainly less than an ER co-pay. Spend some money and get something that you might actually be able to see the road with and that more than just a locator beacon

Fenix, DIY halogen or LED, commercial units, etc. will all do a good job of making sure you get to work tomorrow.
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Old 08-26-08, 05:48 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for the replies.

How about this for $20? http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10727

Will one of these provide enough light for some light trail riding? What about if I had 2 of these mounted?

BTW, I'm not a commuter, so I don't plan on these being primary lights to be used on the road. Road riding scares me more than trail riding!
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Old 08-26-08, 05:58 PM   #5
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Do you have any cordless power tools laying around the house? I have used my crafsman 18V flashlight for my now dark ride to work the last few days. Ofcourse mounting it to something other than a set of aero bars would be a pain in the ass.
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Old 08-26-08, 06:03 PM   #6
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Pete I have a Ryobi light that is similar to what you're talking about. It would be bright, but like you said it would be a major pain. Would be awesome to have something that bright.

Anyhow, I had these dreams of a cheap & bright LED flashlight/bike light, but I guess it just can't be done.
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Old 08-26-08, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett92 View Post
What is brightest setup I can get for < $25(+ mount)?
Quote:
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For $25 you can get a light that makes locating your body under the vehicle easier.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:21 PM   #8
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If you haven't already check out this thread My (COMPREHESIVE!) Ultrafire C3 Cree Q5 vs. Fenix L2D Premium Q5 Flashlight Review It talks about the very flashlight (ultra fire) you referenced earlier. It actually compared fairly well when compared to the Fenix.

If your on a tight budget go with the ultra fire. If not go with the Fenix. You will still get more light for the money than going with a dedicated bike light.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:07 PM   #9
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Yeah, I've already checked out that thread. That's actually where I got the idea for that Ultrafire light. I'm leaning toward that since it seems to be getting okay reviews. Do you all think this would be a better light?

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14909
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Old 08-26-08, 10:33 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for the replies.

How about this for $20? http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10727

Will one of these provide enough light for some light trail riding? What about if I had 2 of these mounted?

BTW, I'm not a commuter, so I don't plan on these being primary lights to be used on the road. Road riding scares me more than trail riding!
This is a good choice. Don't listen to people who tell you that you need to spend hundred of dollars on lights.

Also consider some of the 18650 battery powered lights. They have longer run times and are slightly brighter. You can buy two batteries and a charger for about $20 total (from the same site). Check out this one: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15335

Dealextreme has a large selection of lights. Make sure you go through them all before you buy.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:48 PM   #11
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I got the $20 2xAA powered Q5 light from DX. Let's just say it's a good amount brighter than my old Topeak Moonshine Commuter 10W Halogen.

I haven't done substantial riding with them yet (I got two), and have got to set up a handlebar mount. I'll report back once I've got an idea of runtimes using some NiMH rechargeables.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:26 PM   #12
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Take a look at the Princeton Tec "EOS" (Bike-version) It is a nice little light, but has a very tight beam with little side spill. The package includes both helmet mounts and handle bar mounts. I recommend using the helmet mount. The ability to pan left-right, and up-down makes up for the lack of side spill. In addition it will leave you hands free if you need to stop to fix a flat or something else. Later, when you can afford a second light the Eos will only compliment a good handle bar mounted system.

They usually sell for around 30 to 35 USD. Sorry I couldn't stay within your 25.00 budget.

Last winter my Dinotte batteries unexpectedly died on me. The Eos was my only light and I rode home 12 miles. I later purchased a Fenix L2D (cree version) that now serves as my back up light and as my primary on my folding travel bike... But I still use the Eos no matter which light system I use or what bike I ride.

It's funny you mention the Ryobi ... last year I was riding the local bike path and encountered an older gentleman on a hybrid. he was using a black-n-decker shop light. He had fashioned a box that had four sides and a bottom, but no top. One of the sides was about 3 inches shorter than the other three. He mounted it to his handlebars with U-bolts with the short side facing forward. All he had to do was take the light and set in down in the box. It was only held in by it's own weight. The shortened side allowed the "bent" neck to stick out. Very clever... Heavy, but Clever. Proof that you can make anything into a bike light.
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Old 08-27-08, 03:24 AM   #13
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http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14909

606a FOR THE WIN!!

i have it, i use it, and i love it.

its just a little bit less bright that my 20watt mr16 halogen light that i made, and it a 3 watt.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:29 AM   #14
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Also consider some of the 18650 battery powered lights. They have longer run times and are slightly brighter. You can buy two batteries and a charger for about $20 total (from the same site).

Dealextreme has a large selection of lights.
Careful if you jump right in follow this advice on buying 18650 batteries and a charger. I really don't think the original poster is going to go this route, but if so...use caution. I wouldn't buy cheap 18650 batteries or a cheap charger for them unless I really knew what I was doing, safety-wise. It can be dangerous unless you understand what you're getting into in terms of safe charging, use, and storage practices. I think that most of the people who know about the potential problems/dangers associated with these kinds of batteries don't buy the cheap ones (batteries or chargers), but the better ones (especially in terms of getting protected batteries that are not likely to explode or cause a fire while in use or while charging or while in use). I don't have time at the moment to attempt a long essay or point you toward the best specific web reading on the topic, but if you Google something like "danger Li-Ion batteries" (or check out associated threads on the CandlePower Forums) you'll find plenty of cautionary tales. If you're new to this kind of battery, associated chargers, and flashlights that use them, it's best to read up first and buy later. It's easy to be drawn in by the "more power, longer run time" before checking out the FAQs of what you should know about using them safely them first.

Just throwing that out there for consideration. I'm not a huge expert in this area, but I've seen and read enough to feel that anyone new to this kind of technology (especially protected versus unprotected Li-Ion related) needs to read a bit before buying. I might be making more of this than some would agree with, but I'm putting it out there anyway.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:20 AM   #15
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varuscelli just wants you to buy a fenix because he owns a controlling interest in the company.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:23 AM   #16
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varuscelli just wants you to buy a fenix because he owns a controlling interest in the company.
Watch Out, He rides a Police Bike.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:30 AM   #17
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varuscelli just wants you to buy a fenix because he owns a controlling interest in the company.
Who leaked that? For all you know, I'm still just their Shill Boy.

Actually, for the OP budget, I like the idea of the approx. $20 Ultrafire from DX. I mean, budget-wise it seems like it would be hard to beat. If he ended up not liking it in the long run (or eventually wanted to upgrade), it could still be a great backup light in the very least.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:14 PM   #18
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http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14909

606a FOR THE WIN!!

i have it, i use it, and i love it.

its just a little bit less bright that my 20watt mr16 halogen light that i made, and it a 3 watt.
Hey, would you say that 1 of these would be bright enough for light trail riding? What kind of battery life do you get with yours?

Thanks.

BTW, that's a cool avatar.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:47 PM   #19
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With regards to 18650 batteries, make sure you buy protected cells like Varuscelli suggested. Dealextreme sells them for $10 per two. I went to my local Circuit City and they were selling for three times the price.

I ended up buying Trustfire batteries and a Trustfire charger. I would assume that they'd know how to build a charger for their own batteries.

One of the two batteries I got was defective. Other than that, no problems.
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Old 08-27-08, 02:35 PM   #20
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As with most things in life, you can stay out of trouble by reading reviews before purchasing.

Batteries: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5790

Charger: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4151

Problem solved. This isn't rocket science.
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