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Old 11-06-10, 02:31 PM   #1
vol
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Best head light using AAA or AA batteries?

Among the regular head lights that use regular batteries such as AAA or AA, which are the brightest and below $30?
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Old 11-06-10, 04:20 PM   #2
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Not below $30 but the Fenix L2D is brilliant and takes 2AA batteries.
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Old 11-06-10, 04:24 PM   #3
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My backup headlight is a Planet Bike Blaze. it's a 1w LED using 2 AA batteries. Output is pretty decent, and so is battery life. Big plus LEDs don't blow out form shock and last almost forever which is why I keep it as a backup to my brighter filament bulb lights.
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Old 11-06-10, 07:45 PM   #4
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You want a bike-specific light, like the aforementioned PB Blaze 1W, or a compact flashlight? Pro's and con's to both...
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Old 11-06-10, 08:40 PM   #5
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Not below $30 but the Fenix L2D is brilliant and takes 2AA batteries.
Good reviews, but Looks rather looong? Is it heavy?

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My backup headlight is a Planet Bike Blaze. it's a 1w LED using 2 AA batteries. Output is pretty decent, and so is battery life. Big plus LEDs don't blow out form shock and last almost forever which is why I keep it as a backup to my brighter filament bulb lights.
I haven't seen this light, but wonder how it compares to the Bell bike torch. I have used the latter and it's not bad, though I wish its flash mode is less annoying (flashing too fast).

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You want a bike-specific light, like the aforementioned PB Blaze 1W, or a compact flashlight? Pro's and con's to both...
A compact flashlight may be heavier and larger, for this reason I'd like a bike-specific one (otherwise, a flashlight is probably brighter).
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Old 11-06-10, 10:20 PM   #6
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Take a look at the Knog Boomer. They can be had cheaper than the PB lights on Amazon. Search YouTube for some vids, most will be for the taillight, but there a couple that feature the front as well.
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Old 11-07-10, 01:44 AM   #7
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A 1 watt led is putting out 50-60 lumens at best.. This is light for being seen as opposed to seeing the road and what is in front of you. Unless you are riding very slowly or your route is very well lit these lights are not too useful.

The l2d with 2-aa batteries is under 4 ounces in weight, add a lockblock, your looking at 6 ounces in weight.. The l2d is 5.75 inches long..

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Old 11-07-10, 11:43 AM   #8
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If the knog boomer uses 2 aaa, I don't know how good battery life is going to be if it's on steady.
AAA battery lights suck.
I did a test last night on my cree p4 on three AA's nimh, 2hrs of steady bright light, on my 3w light with 3 aaa's, .5 hr of bright then another hr of half brightness. I'm guessing my 3w luxeon is about 80lumens and the cree p4 is a little over 100. Not enough for city traffic but bright enough for cars and people to notice.
I will make a 3aa battery pack for the 3watter.
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Old 11-07-10, 12:41 PM   #9
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One question that hasn't really been asked or answered- does the OP intend this to be "seen" or to "see"?
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Old 11-07-10, 01:45 PM   #10
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One question that hasn't really been asked or answered- does the OP intend this to be "seen" or to "see"?

It's obviously the key question. But realistically there's no way you'll have enough brightness to see the road with any kind of battery life, if working with only 2 AA batteries. 2 AA headlights lights are useful only as backups for brighter systems, or as be-seen lights, though they're fine for primary taillights.
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Old 11-07-10, 02:08 PM   #11
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One question that hasn't really been asked or answered- does the OP intend this to be "seen" or to "see"?
To be seen well. I have ordered a knog boomer--thanks for the recommendation!

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If the knog boomer uses 2 aaa, I don't know how good battery life is going to be if it's on steady.
AAA battery lights suck.
It's said to last 12 hours on steady. Are AA battery lights better or do they suck as well? I like lightweight, so AAA is better for me.
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Old 11-07-10, 02:18 PM   #12
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To be seen well. I have ordered a knog boomer--thanks for the recommendation!



It's said to last 12 hours on steady. Are AA battery lights better or do they suck as well? I like lightweight, so AAA is better for me.
what is your definition of lightweight, less than 3 ounces, why be so weight conscious when your life is on the line, when riding at night...

If anyone is interested, I have an extra Fenix L2D and lockblock available. I have pretty much consolidated all my lights to using 18650 cells..

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Old 11-07-10, 02:34 PM   #13
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It's said to last 12 hours on steady. Are AA battery lights better or do they suck as well? I like lightweight, so AAA is better for me.[/QUOTE]

I like AA, it's more than double the capacity and I rarely have a problem charging them. Some AAA nimh have such a tiny positive node that some chargers have problems keeping them in.
I don't have the boomer but I have something that's even worse but I like it. I have the knog frog and I only use it in flashing mode, with these button cell lights, full brightness only lasts 10 or 15 mins, then it starts dimming.
You have to ask the Boomer owners as to what's the runtime on full brightness. Any LED light can last 12 hours, it's those last 10 or so that's so dim one can't see a thing. LED's are like that. they call it emergency or moon mode.
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Old 11-07-10, 05:09 PM   #14
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http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...II-CREE/Detail
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Old 11-07-10, 05:42 PM   #15
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Goes to shiningbeam, but no product is found.
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Old 11-07-10, 05:53 PM   #16
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here is a better link

SB AA Lights: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...-AA/Categories

SB AAA Lights: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...AAA/Categories

If you want to have options this is one of the better lights, flood to throw, uses 1 x 18650/17670, 2 x CR123A, 3 x AAA batteries, many battery options to keep people happy.. I would rate output right at 200 lumens, but you can dial the beam into your liking, full flood or tight narrow beam.. The strobe is much slower than the fenix light, so is much more useable when riding early in the morning or at dusk..

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

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Old 11-07-10, 08:17 PM   #17
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http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...II-CREE/Detail Sorry. Try this one.
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Old 11-07-10, 08:34 PM   #18
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^ I use it too, it's great. I also have a this on my helmet.
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Old 11-07-10, 09:24 PM   #19
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Thanks for the shiningbeam site!
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Old 11-07-10, 10:35 PM   #20
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I can't believe these haven't been mentioned.

The top two I've seen which are a couple of the top two discussed on Candlepower forums are the Fenix HP20, which just came out and the LED Lenser / Coast H7.

You did want a headlamp right?

The HP20 just came out. It suposedly does up to some 230 lumens or so on 4AA. If the HP10 is any example it will have superb longevity as well. It has many different modes including different brightness and a strobe or flash. It's superbly waterproof and I'm sure very well made. Supposed to be selling for about $100. My problem is I got sick of trying to get a hold of an HP10 and I suspect the HP20 is just as much of a pain in the but. Months of waiting on backorder. Fenix needs to get their act together. They produce great lights but have severly underestimated demand on these things.

This is why I've gone with the Coast / LED Lenser H7.

I have the H7. You can buy it at Lowes, Home Depot, Amazon, Ace Hardware or a host of other places for $50. http://tinyurl.com/238fx4l

Just make sure you get the 170 lumen version, older versions were 140 lumens or less. They continue to step it up btw.

This light uses 3AAA. It's unregulated so it does not step down like the Fennix, but slowly dims. My estimate is it puts out at least three hours at 170 lumens before it even begins to dim and then it dims very slowly putting out very useable light for 5-8 hours. Pretty amazing considering it runs on 3AAA, very light weight too.

What I love the most about it though is it has a slide dimmer and a focus making it extremely versatile. It can go from a 170 lumen spotlight for riding to about a 10 lumen wide beam great for in camp or reading a map. Just awesome. I've ceased to need to carry any other light.

I was originally thinking I'd adapt it to run on three AA batteries for extra longevity but I've been very impressed with it's longevity on AAA's and have really come to love the small and light weight form factor which means I can litterally just throw it in my bag and go. I also must say that carrying extra AAA's is a heck of a lot less weight and space then carrying AA's. I could see on a very long trip just buying a whole mess of AAA's (12 / 16 / 24 pack) someplace cheap and just throwing them in my bag. Not so with AA's. The weight really ads up with AA's.

Like most head lamps mounting it semi-permanently on one's helmet is a piece of cake with a couple velcro straps, but I find I can very securely mount it with a single re-useable zip-tie and by doing so I can just as easily use it with my helmet as without (i.e. in camp). It becomes a sort of a no brainer headlamp for everything and I do get my use out of it. A tremendous amount of use.

Holy cow btw, you should try this thing walking in the woods with it at wide focus. Turns night into day. Like I said I usually leave it set to minimum when off the bike, but if I want to spot a deer or am looking for a good camping spot, some fire wood or otherwise, just wow, really nice wide even beam. In fact I've used the wide beam to great effect when biking with another person who forgot their headlamp. It cast a wide enough and bright enough light for both of us to ride side by side.

Finally, I guess you could probably reduce it to about 150 lumen and get 2-3 times the longevity. I haven't messed around with it yet, which is to say I haven't done any scientific testing, mostly because I haven't found the need. I typically get two or three nights of night riding out of a set of batteries on tour. I should state I'm an uber night rider. I often ride until 10pm on tour and have been known to ride all night if the mood and weather suits me. This brings me to another key point. Headlamps are awesome for scanning for critters. The H7 in narrow beam mode seems ideal for spotting deer before they scatter (100+ yards). Handlebar mounted headlamps just don't work for critters. Headlamps not only allow you to scan but because of the low angle of delineation between the light and your eye maximizes bounce back / eye shine. And all critters do look directly at you when they hear you coming. Another point, that bounce back keeps your eye focusing on road signs and things down the road so you don't get that mesmerizing effect of just staring at the pattern of road passing by right in front of your bike.

Finally, I did have some concern about the H7's waterproofness. The battery pack / slide dimmer is really my only concern since it contains the circuit board. However I need to winterize the unit anyway (like all headlamps by moving the battery pack someplace warm) and I realize that simply by unhooking the battery pack from the headband and putting it in my cloathing I solve both the problem with keeping the batteries warm in extreme cold and dry when it's pouring rain. I just need to create a patch cable with quick connects to make the a battery pack cable long enough.

Am still looking for the right type of quick connect electrical plug. In the past I've used an RCA cable connectors with great success. (Very weatherproof.) However they seem to bulky for this use so I'm looking for something a little smaller and more discrete.

Amen. LOL. Sorry, a topic which has been on my mind lately. As tourers headlamps with proprietary batteries don't work to well unless you stop every night or every other night with someplace with power. I need more flexibility then that. Much more.
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Old 11-07-10, 10:43 PM   #21
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My estimate is it puts out at least three hours at 170 lumens before it even begins to dim and then it dims very slowly putting out very useable light for 5-8 hours. Pretty amazing considering it runs on 3AAA, very light weight too.
Yeah - whatever that means.

Bottom line, powerful lighting requires power. Many lithium ion powered flashlights excel if your only specification involves canister-style batteries.
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Old 11-08-10, 02:20 AM   #22
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I recently ordered that I just today received a note that it's waiting for me at the post office. I'll report back on it compared the the Fenix LD2 Q5 after I get to play around with it a little.
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Old 11-08-10, 12:37 PM   #23
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planet bike 0.5 watt--the 1 watt is really bright
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Old 11-08-10, 02:50 PM   #24
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Among the regular head lights that use regular batteries such as AAA or AA, which are the brightest and below $30?
I've read good things about the Terralux. I don't have one, have never used one, and have never even seen one in person. I just remember reading good things about them on-line, for example, http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=215391

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Old 11-08-10, 04:09 PM   #25
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planet bike 0.5 watt--the 1 watt is really bright
A 1 WATT light may have been considered bright a decade ago.. Technologies have changed quite significantly over the last 5 years..
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