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  1. #1
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    does a flashlight compare to headlamp?

    I am on a dizzying quest for headlamp so i can get some rides in this winter after my cast comes off. here is the question. Can i compare my LED 3D maglight lumen rating when trying to see what i need for a cycle lamp?



    that is the specs on my maglite. does this mean that a 150 lumen headlamp should be at least comparable to the light my LED mag sends out?

  2. #2
    AEO
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    lumen rating is very dubious at best.

    if the bike light uses regular AA or AAA batteries, don't count on it being good at all compared to a flashlight that uses Li-Ion or Ni-MH batteries.

    actually, look at what battery type and amount the light uses and compare it to it's run time. That should be a fairly good indication of output power. shorter run time = brighter. Larger mAh number + voltage of battery = more power.

    if that's a cateye you're looking at, IMO, it's only good as a sub-light.
    Last edited by AEO; 11-29-10 at 04:16 PM.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

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    well, during the winter there is a group that rides dirt roads that i road with in the fall, and would like to start back up to get my legs under me after my cast comes off in the next couple weeks. I road it with my blackburn voyager 3.3... NOT enough light... most others are using helmet lights, some from light and motion (stella?). These seem to have quite the premium pricetag to go with them. I have been looking for a good light around $100, and PB has a sale today (cyber monday apparently), and i think it was something like $20 off of 100, which peaked my interest again today

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    It's a start, but I think there's more to bike lights than the FL-1 standards describe. You need to have enough light close up to avoid obstacles, and the light needs to project far enough out that you don't outrun the light when you're going fast. Your MagLite may not do both.

    Perhaps the people you ride with can make some suggestions. Anyway, here's some light reviews on youtube.

  5. #5
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    For most bike riding I consider 200 Lumens near the minimum normally speaking but a lot is dependent on beam shape and diameter. Usually more light is needed for dirt road riding as you do not have street lights or other additional lighting supplementing your headlight.

    The Maglite is far from state of the art flashlight lighting these days. The 104 Lumens rating of the 3D LED Maglite makes it about mid way between a "To be seen by" light and a "To see with" headlight. It is also very large and heavy for the light output compared to many other flashlights which makes adequately mounting it on a bike more difficult. The D cells do give a long battery life though. Strap it on the bike and give it a try as IMO it is the only way to tell if you feel something with similar Lumens output will be adequate for your use.
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  6. #6
    AEO
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    drop-ins for maglites used to be quite popular, as they really put the stock bulb to shame, but they cost quite a bit.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  7. #7
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    104 lumens for a big light like the 3d maglite is just anemic.. There have been a few P7 or Mc-e drop ins available for that light that will put in up to 500-700 lumen range..

    If you are looking for a specific headlamp, do not discount using a smaller flashlight and mounting with twofish bikeblocks.. This will give you a lot more options..

  8. #8
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    the maglight was just my point of reference for 'luminosity'. All i know is that riding in a semi paceline on gravel road with no real light to speak of with my 3.3 was SCARY, so it's time to upgrade

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    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Socalrider posted a link about the C8 from Shiningbeam in another thread. I mention it because:

    -It's waay smaller than your Maglight, but roughly double its output.
    -It's an adjustable beam. You can experiment with beam pattern to dial in whatever works for you.
    -It has a usable flash mode, so can act as a "to be seen" light.
    -It is relatively inexpensive ~$25, so if you think you could use more light, get another. Get a charger and some 18650 cells, the lockblocks, and you still won't have spent $100.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Socalrider posted a link about the C8 from Shiningbeam in another thread. I mention it because:

    -It's waay smaller than your Maglight, but roughly double its output.
    -It's an adjustable beam. You can experiment with beam pattern to dial in whatever works for you.
    -It has a usable flash mode, so can act as a "to be seen" light.
    -It is relatively inexpensive ~$25, so if you think you could use more light, get another. Get a charger and some 18650 cells, the lockblocks, and you still won't have spent $100.
    The C8 light also works with AAA batteries.. Not sure about runtime using those cells..

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

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    FWIW, I have been using the 2AA mini-maglight for the past few gravel road rides... it is adequate, but once the sun goes completely away, the last 30-40 minutes are a bit hairy... very easy to over-ride the light, especially when the slush starts to turn into ice... I will be looking for another option, either a specific helmet light or a more powerful AA or AAA flashlight to ghetto rig to my helmet

    Specs on the 2AA mag

  12. #12
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
    FWIW, I have been using the 2AA mini-maglight for the past few gravel road rides... it is adequate, but once the sun goes completely away, the last 30-40 minutes are a bit hairy... very easy to over-ride the light, especially when the slush starts to turn into ice... I will be looking for another option, either a specific helmet light or a more powerful AA or AAA flashlight to ghetto rig to my helmet

    Specs on the 2AA mag
    I seriously hope the mini mag it just a supplemental light and not your only light?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I will be looking for another option, either a specific helmet light or a more powerful AA or AAA flashlight to ghetto rig to my helmet
    Lighting advice is almost always confusing because everyone has a different definition or expectation as to what it means to "see" satisfactorily. And then of course, "specs" are used to try and give a new user an idea of how one light may compare to another. But again, all "specs" are not created equal and each user has a different priority of their importance.

    This means you can have several lights with nearly identical specs and you will find some lights appearing to "work better" than the others.

    Keep in mind, if you really want to check out what makes you happy - the only way - is to use the light in the conditions you expect to use it in. The next best thing is to search you-tube for flash light and bike light demo movies.

    If you wait a while - I'm going to post a movie about a light I just became aware of. It's impressive, and my demo will show how the concepts of throw, flood and pattern can distort simple specs like lumen.

    I currently endorse this light as the best "all around" light because of the flood to throw adjustable lens.
    Last edited by Richard Cranium; 03-08-11 at 08:50 AM. Reason: I added a link

  14. #14
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Here listen to my good friend. If you can't take it - go to the 1:50 mark and just watch the last minute....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    I seriously hope the mini mag it just a supplemental light and not your only light?
    I have a flasher front/rear, it's all gravel road riding, but it is my seeing light yes. avg speed of the ride is only about 13mph

  16. #16
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    WOW.. Is all I can say, with so many good lights that put out 150-200 lumens, using a 67 lumen light as a main light is putting you in danger..

  17. #17
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    deals extreme has P7 lights cheap with rechargable lithium batts. Might be too bright. Good thing there is low. I searched for a year, demoed HID lights and many LBS lights my $75 was well spent at deals extreme. I have never tried a shinning beam light. It is the only other thing I would consider.

  18. #18
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    Headlamps put weight exactly where you don't want it, on your head. They also put an object between you and the road were to to go head first over the handle bars. So you might want to go "small" on the head lamp.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Lighting advice is almost always confusing because everyone has a different definition or expectation as to what it means to "see" satisfactorily. And then of course, "specs" are used to try and give a new user an idea of how one light may compare to another. But again, all "specs" are not created equal and each user has a different priority of their importance.

    This means you can have several lights with nearly identical specs and you will find some lights appearing to "work better" than the others.

    Keep in mind, if you really want to check out what makes you happy - the only way - is to use the light in the conditions you expect to use it in. The next best thing is to search you-tube for flash light and bike light demo movies.

    If you wait a while - I'm going to post a movie about a light I just became aware of. It's impressive, and my demo will show how the concepts of throw, flood and pattern can distort simple specs like lumen.

    I currently endorse this light as the best "all around" light because of the flood to throw adjustable lens.
    I appreciate the work you've done - but I would strongly argue no! Even Hell No!

    - This light is unregulated, meaning that the level of light will vary greatly with battery strength. (A good light will shine at constant brightness until the battery is almost drained, then go into a lower mode. A really good one will blink a few minutes before doing the switch to warn you.) With an unregulated light you'll never be sure how visible you are or what level of detail you can see.

    - That 3AA power pack is inadequate - a real light of this lumen rating, a regulated one, would drain it in less than an hour.

    - Zoom optics are notoriously artefacted, limiting the light's ability to reveal a poor road surface because of the inconsistent light. No, I've not seen the beam on this light, but I have seen other Lensers.

    These flaws might be acceptable on a $20-shipped light from DealExtreme, but at this price, no. And DealExtreme probably can sell you a regulated light for $20 if you give up the zoom. Ymmv, but I'd say that the first thing you should look for in a decent cycling light is regulation. There's little point buying a 140 lumen light that only spends 15 minutes before diving to half that brightness.

  20. #20
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    I have seen first-hand the difference between a Xenon-Krypton MagLite flashlight and the Cree flashlights, and side-by-side, Xenon-Krypton will blow away the Crees in terms of both brightness and runtime. A Xenon-Krypton MagLite Flashlight running on three AA-size Alkaline batteries is retina-burning bright but can run nonstop for more than 12 hours and is the only kind of light I will ever use when working on my car or bicycle in low-light situations. Xenon-Krypton are the HIDs of the incandescent light world. They easily outshine a Cree flashlight, last a lot longer on a single set of batteries, have more down-road and side-road visibility, and they don't call Xenon-Krypton lights "night suns" for no reason.

    Here: http://www.ehow.com/about_6160543_xe...ashlights.html

    Xenon lights shine the brightest compared to any other type of light including LEDs and provide the most efficient use of battery power and are often much cheaper than LED flashlights. Xenon lights also emit a light that is very close to actual daylight in terms of light quality, and the human eye is more tuned into the 4000K and higher color temperatures of the Xenon lights, so the human eye can see better with a Xenon light than it can with any other type of light.
    Last edited by mnaines; 03-12-11 at 07:08 PM.
    Bicycles - America's cheapest and cleanest form of transportation. Do Gaia a favor and ride a bicycle. Bicycles use no gas at all, so do America a favor and reduce your reliance on gasoline - Ride a bicycle. Bicycles are a good form of exercise. Help eliminate the obesity epidemic - ride a bicycle.

    2007 Diamondback Wildwood Citi

  21. #21
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    Krypton, Xenon, and Argon are all the inert gases used in halogen and incandescent bulbs. If the manufacturer wants to go cheap, argon is used. For higher performance, Krypton is used. Krypton bulbs are brighter and have a whiter light than argon bulbs and krypton bulbs are more common (and are the current standard for incandescent bulbs). Xenon bulbs are considered premium bulbs and are by far the brightest bulbs you can find. The only thing brighter are Metal Halide (mercury vapor) bulbs. Because Xenon has excellent thermal properties, it can allow the tungsten filament in the bulb to get as hot as 10,000 degrees kelvin and not melt. 10,000 degrees Kelvin is more than five times hotter than the surface of the sun. The other advantage to Xenon bulbs is they do not need to be as big (in fact, most Xenon bulbs can be as small as LEDs and still output over 500 lumens). Xenon bulbs use more power than Argon and Krypton bulbs but the thermal efficiency of the Xenon means it actually has a LONGER battery runtime compared to Argon bulbs.

    Xenon vs LEDs...Xenon bulbs have a 20,000 hour mean time between failures while LEDs have a 100,000 hour MTBF. LEDs draw less power but are nowhere near as bright as Xenon bulbs. Xenon bulbs are on average 5 times brighter than a typical LED bulb and more than 2 times brighter than a krypton-filled bulb.

    Xenon-filled bulbs...The filament is usually designed to burn at temperatures of 4000 degrees Kelvin or higher, with hotter being not just brighter but also more thermally efficient. With Xenon bulbs, the higher the temperature rating, the more efficient the bulb and the longer its lifespan. Blue light appears brighter to the human eye than yellow light, and most standard light bulbs are in the yellow wavelengths while the Xenon bulbs are in the blue wavelengths, making them appear brighter even though the actual beam intensity may be lower.

    HIDs...They are really Metal Halide (mercury vapor) lamps, but they are filled with Xenon gas to provide a white light while the metal halide and mercury heat up into a vapor. HIDs are expensive and often require a LOT of modifications to fit into a car or other device that doesn't come with them out of the factory. Metal Halide lamps are NOT street legal by any means, regardless of what kind of vehicle they are used on. Xenon bulbs are only street legal if they are below 6000K. LED headlights are NOT street legal on ANY vehicle, regardless of its locomotive source because they aren't bright enough to be of any use.
    Last edited by mnaines; 03-12-11 at 09:01 PM.
    Bicycles - America's cheapest and cleanest form of transportation. Do Gaia a favor and ride a bicycle. Bicycles use no gas at all, so do America a favor and reduce your reliance on gasoline - Ride a bicycle. Bicycles are a good form of exercise. Help eliminate the obesity epidemic - ride a bicycle.

    2007 Diamondback Wildwood Citi

  22. #22
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    Which Cree's are you talking about? There a single LED capable of putting out 2500 lumens. The SS-T 90 is one.

  23. #23
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Which Cree's are you talking about? There a single LED capable of putting out 2500 lumens. The SS-T 90 is one.
    Don't recall this guy claiming his $30 Trek/Bontrager blinkie was better than any other light out there- even the MS and DiNotte's of the world, uh? That thread eventually got locked due to trollishness...
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  24. #24
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geo8rge View Post
    Headlamps put weight exactly where you don't want it, on your head. They also put an object between you and the road were to to go head first over the handle bars. So you might want to go "small" on the head lamp.
    Don't think that the OP was talking about light placement; just trying to figure out how to compare the output of his flashlight to something bike-specific, like a Cateye.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  25. #25
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnaines View Post
    LED headlights are NOT street legal on ANY vehicle, regardless of its locomotive source because they aren't bright enough to be of any use.
    Not true:

    http://www.truck-lite.com/webapp/wcs...0001&langId=-1

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