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-   -   What do you think? (http://www.bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/649197-what-do-you-think.html)

serra 05-27-10 12:05 PM

What do you think?
 
I'm looking for a new head light, because my current one likes to turn off randomly, which isn't fun. I was looking to go the flashlight route, I don't have a lot of money :(
So I've narrowed it down to these three lights:

Fenix LD20
Ultrafire WF-606A
Ultrafire C3/C2 (The C2 seems better, which is odd...)

I was wondering if anyone used these, and how you liked it, and any beam shots would be mucho awesome.
Thanks! :D

ItsJustMe 05-27-10 12:36 PM

No opinion on those, but my MTE P7 5 mode (from DX) lasted about 4 months before it started changing modes or turning off at random. I've had the tailcap apart a few times and the problem does not seem to be there.

serra 05-27-10 12:48 PM

Darn, I was actually just looking at that one. I hate the hassle of the weird battery types too, I'd like to be able to just throw in common types if mine die. No can do with odd types, once they're dead, you're stranded, well, until sunrise :p

njkayaker 05-27-10 01:09 PM

See this thread.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ights-any-good

I went with some Romisen lights from shiningbeam.com. The Fenix lights are (very likely) to be better made but at 2.5 the cost. shiningbeam is in the US, which means avoiding the dealextreme/Hong-Kong shipping delay).

Oh, the newer Fenix LD20+ (with the R4 LED) appears to have a smooth reflector. The alternative is an "orange peel" reflector which reduces the hot spot.

The Ultrafire C3 (and the Ultrafire WF-606A) uses the Cree P4 LED and the C2 uses the Q5. The later letters in the Cree LEDs mean brighter for the same input power. (There some confusion about which lights you are talking about).

If you want comments about particular lights, post links to them. That way, people don't have to figure out which ones you are talking about.

serra 05-27-10 01:24 PM

It would be nice to buy from the US, I could actually get it within my life time :p
I was looking at this: Romisen but some reviews say the flood isn't very "floody", but of course, they don't include pictures :<

njkayaker 05-27-10 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10875677)
It would be nice to buy from the US, I could actually get it within my life time :p
I was looking at this: Romisen but some reviews say the flood isn't very "floody", but of course, they don't include pictures :<

I don't think the new LD20+ is going to be very floody either. Orange peel reflectors tend to increase the "floodiness" of the beam.

This flashlight has an adjustable focus (you can get an extension tube to use two AAs). Socalrider recommended a similar light.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...6-II-Q5/Detail

(If you can wait a week, maybe I'll be able to provide a report!)

And look at this thread.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-to-buy-lights...

serra 05-27-10 01:50 PM

It says it has a "momentary on switch". That sounds to me like you have to hold it, which is fine if you're using it around the house, but slightly harder if you're on a bike.

I think the two I'm looking at now are the Ultrafire C3 and WF-606A. This thread is a bit old, but it seems as though the WF-606A is a bit brighter. But the C3 has modes !! The reviews on deal extreme (I'll probably order elsewhere, but they have 40 something reviews on each) seem to favor the C3 for biking, and it got 10x more diggs, but that could have been some nut clicking it a lot. Oh, decisions! It seems like the WF-606 is brighter and smoother spread, but it's hard to tell from pictures.

njkayaker 05-27-10 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10875865)
It says it has a "momentary on switch". That sounds to me like you have to hold it, which is fine if you're using it around the house, but slightly harder if you're on a bike.

I think the two I'm looking at now are the Ultrafire C3 and WF-606A. This thread is a bit old, but it seems as though the WF-606A is a bit brighter. But the C3 has modes !! The reviews on deal extreme (I'll probably order elsewhere, but they have 40 something reviews on each) seem to favor the C3 for biking, and it got 10x more diggs, but that could have been some nut clicking it a lot. Oh, decisions! It seems like the WF-606 is brighter and smoother spread, but it's hard to tell from pictures.

"Momentary on" means you can also use it to "flash" something (it's an extra feature). The flashlights always have an "always on" feature.

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10875865)
This thread is a bit old,

No, that's very old! It's hard to tell what LEDs those lights in 2007 (!!) were using.

There are also many "Ultrafire C3" and "Ultrafire WF-606A" models (with different LEDs). Which ones are you looking at?

serra 05-27-10 02:29 PM

Lol, ok, very old :D
I was looking at these two:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10727
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14909

They both claim to use the same LED, which seems to be supported by the reviewers for the most part, so it's mostly the beam angle I'm wondering about. I'd like to be able to see about 20 meters ahead, and also be able to see whats a couple meters in front of me. I could use another small light I have for the close up though.

njkayaker 05-27-10 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10876097)
Lol, ok, very old :D
I was looking at these two:
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.10727
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14909

They both claim to use the same LED, which seems to be supported by the reviewers for the most part, so it's mostly the beam angle I'm wondering about. I'd like to be able to see about 20 meters ahead, and also be able to see whats a couple meters in front of me. I could use another small light I have for the close up though.

The specs list the Q5 LED (which is fairly current). It's hard to gauge how whatever beam pattern a light has is going to work in the real world. You really need comments from people who are actually using the lights you are interested in. (Socalrider appears to have experience with the focusable Romisen).

I think the manufacturers focus (get it?) on "throw", since that is what (appears to) impress people the most.

serra 05-27-10 03:02 PM

It seems like the C3 has more flood, which is good. One of the reviewers uses it mountain biking, which is way more extreme than commuting heh.
Haha, I do get it!

njkayaker 05-27-10 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10876248)
It seems like the C3 has more flood, which is good. One of the reviewers uses it mountain biking, which is way more extreme than commuting heh.
Haha, I do get it!

It appears that what people like for MTB is different than what people like for commuting.

I don't think you are going to get a definitive answer. But I don't think you are going to go horribly wrong with the C3 (especially for $20).

serra 05-27-10 03:37 PM

Very true, I'm sure the difference between the two is pretty small. Thanks for the help :)

Ok, just incase anyone else ever wonders, I did some math.

I found pictures of each beam one meter from a wall, used geometry to figure a few things out:

The angle of the WF-606A is 52 degrees
The angle of the C3 is 53 degrees

At a distance of 20 meters:
The bright spot diameter:
WF: 5.2m
C3: 5.8m

The flood diameter:
WF: 25.6m
C3: 26.6m

Math solves everything :p

ItsJustMe 05-27-10 06:00 PM

The MTE P7 is a fine light when it works, but beside myself several have reported them dying. I'm sure it's just a bad connection and I'll be able to find and fix it, but you shouldn't have to. Your luck may be better.

IMO, you should have two headlights anyway if you plan to ride at night, and if you do, it's best to have two similar ones with the same batteries so you don't have to have twice as many spare batteries and twice the chargers, etc.

18650 cells seem pretty unbeatable.

davidad 05-27-10 06:43 PM

This uses the new xp-g LED and should be brighter than the Fenix. http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...N3-CREE/Detail

serra 05-27-10 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe (Post 10877021)
IMO, you should have two headlights anyway if you plan to ride at night, and if you do, it's best to have two similar ones with the same batteries so you don't have to have twice as many spare batteries and twice the chargers,

Why do you say have two? So you always have a back up, or for more light?

The 18650 is impressive. I remember back in the old days...OK like a few years ago, when that cell would have been crazy expensive.

Ok, now it's between these two: R4 and Q5
The Q5 wins major points for batter capacity, but the R4 is about 70 lumens brighter, and can use AA in a pinch, which is pretty convenient.

socalrider 05-27-10 08:55 PM

This is the light I recommended.. It gives you a wide choice of cells to use: AAA - 18650 and CR123.. The link above is similar light but is much smaller and only uses cr123's, the light linked above is ideal for a helmet light..

The beam is also adjustable which is very nice and the flashing mode is very useable, not seizure inducing like the fenix lights

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C8-II/Detail

socalrider 05-27-10 08:57 PM

[QUOTE=njkayaker;10875765]I don't think the new LD20+ is going to be very floody either. Orange peel reflectors tend to increase the "floodiness" of the beam.

This flashlight has an adjustable focus (you can get an extension tube to use two AAs). Socalrider recommended a similar light.

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...6-II-Q5/Detail

This is not the light I recommended recently, this one is better suited for a helmet light..

Here is one I recommend.. Much bigger light and more battery options..

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C8-II/Detail

serra 05-27-10 10:15 PM

Oh dear haha, I'm starting to feel like if I choose wrong something terrible will haunt me for the rest of my life :O
I emailed Bryan, who runs the site, and he said http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-N3-II/Detail has really good flood. I definitely want to go the AA route (or AAA). Aw heck, the 18650 looks great too, who am I kidding, I'm the most indecisive person I know! Wait, maybe it was that other guy...

ItsJustMe 05-28-10 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10877637)
Why do you say have two? So you always have a back up, or for more light?

Backup. Any light can fail. A $1000 headlight can fail, and when it does you'll be happy to have a $30 flashlight in the bag for backup.

I've been out in the middle of nowhere on a potholed gravel road at 5AM in the winter on the way to work and had my light go out with no backup. It's not a good feeling.

Ziemas 05-28-10 08:09 AM

The 4Sevens AA XPG R5 light looks nice, and it's rather floody. Runtime is a little short though. How much runtime do you need?

http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....oducts_id=1620

njkayaker 05-28-10 10:03 AM

I got my lights from shiningbeam after ordering them 5/25 (I'm not too far from Brooklyn). I went with lights that can use AA batteries (RC-C6 II Q5 with extension tube and C-N3 II R4).

Quote:

Originally Posted by socalrider (Post 10877846)
This is not the light I recommended recently, this one is better suited for a helmet light..

Here is one I recommend.. Much bigger light and more battery options..

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...h-C8-II/Detail

You can get an extension tube for the smaller light (RC-C6 II) that lets you use 2 AA batteries for $3.5 from shining beam. (Note that, with the 2 AA lights which also support the CR123A battery, you might want to shim-out the first AA battery, with duct-tape or o-rings, so it doesn't shake.)

Note that the RC-C6 II and RC-N3 II lights do not have the strobe mode (the RC-C8 II light has a strobe). Having a strobe is a useful option.

Quote:

Originally Posted by socalrider (Post 10877835)
The beam is also adjustable which is very nice

This is nice. If you want flood, the adjustable focus lights (RC-C8 II and RC-C6 II) give a wide and even beam pattern (the "thrower" mode for these lights is peculiar because it projects an image of the LED die).

serra 05-28-10 11:44 AM

ItsJustMe: Ah, that's very true. I think I'll get another then as backup, it would definitely stink to be stranded.

Ziemas: I was looking at that, but the RC-N3 has a longer run time, about 3 hours on high, and when that's up it can still run for another 3 hours on low. I emailed Bryan, the guy who runs the site, and he says it has great flood, which I believe, the light-nuts on candlepower trust him on pretty much anything related to the lights he sells. I found a picture of the beam in someones backyard, but forgot where it was.

njkayaker: I settled on getting the Rc-N3 R4. I have a smaller light already, not very good to see by, but it's a pretty good strobe light to be seen. I decided against the floody one because the square shape would bother me endlessly, and I would have to get a thrower too because the spill doesn't reach very far. I do have a small AAA flashlight that could work as a flooder if I remove the lense, might try that. I'd have to figure out where to mount it first, maybe the fork. My bar is getting full lol. I guess I'll find out next week what will work best, shipping sounds fast! Maybe I'll get a RC-C8 once I get one of those job things...the search has been fruitless so far.

njkayaker 05-28-10 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by serra (Post 10880367)
njkayaker: I settled on getting the Rc-N3 R4. I have a smaller light already, not very good to see by, but it's a pretty good strobe light to be seen. I decided against the floody one because the square shape would bother me endlessly, and I would have to get a thrower too because the spill doesn't reach very far. I do have a small AAA flashlight that could work as a flooder if I remove the lense, might try that. I'd have to figure out where to mount it first, maybe the fork. My bar is getting full lol. I guess I'll find out next week what will work best, shipping sounds fast! Maybe I'll get a RC-C8 once I get one of those job things...the search has been fruitless so far.

The RC-C6 (and RC-C8) in flood mode has a very nice beam. It is circular and very even (with no hotspot). In "thower" mode (ie, focused to be narrow), the beam is squarish. The beam pattern of the RC-N3 II is more "throwy" with a clear hotspot. I don't think the beam pattern is bad: it's just different. I think I'll be satisfied with having both, which will cover both bases pretty-well.

shiningbeam got it into the mail very quick. I'm fairly close to Brooklyn, which probably helped getting it as fast as I did.

I think the Romisen lights are better quality than the Ultrafire and shiningbeam has a good reputation (and my experience with them has been very good).

I think I'll have to wait next week to try them out at night (I'm waiting on some lockblocks).

serra 05-28-10 10:03 PM

The customer service is amazing, shipping too. I ordered earlier today, and got an email saying it was ready to be picked up by USPS. I'm using hose clamps with rubber from an old tube to hold mine on, they seem to work pretty well for $2.


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