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  1. #1
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    Need a headlight that works below freezing.

    I currently have a topeak moonshine hid light (about 5 yrs old) it works ok, but it shuts off after only about 10 minutes cause of the cold. I live in western ny and its been in the 20s and 30s. A few weeks ago when it was warmer the light stayed on longer. I saw on their site that the operating temp. is from 32 deg. F to whatever. I want a good light . i dont mind sepnding a few hundred $ as long as it will work in the freezing cold. Any suggestions? I was checking out the higher end niteriders and cygolites but i didnt see any specs for temps. Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Consider getting a dynohub and LED light? Don't have to worry about swapping batteries or the cold sapping the juice out of your "fresh" ones.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member oban_kobi's Avatar
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    ^+1
    The reason it dies is probably because lower temperatures slow chemical reactions, so any light will die, unless it uses a battery that works well in the cold. I'm sure you could find some, but they're probably expensive. Dynamo sounds like the best way to go.
    This is super seriously.

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    Lithium batteries work well in sub zero temps. They are actually recommended for wireless thermometers used in freezers.

  5. #5
    Devil's Advocate andychrist's Avatar
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    The battery pack on the Cygolite is remote from the head lamp, so if necessary you could keep it in an inner jacket pocket rather than attached to your bike's frame.

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    The Silva products are used by XC skiers. I have the Silva LX strapped around my helmet with the very solidly made battery pack either in my Camelbak or in my jacket's rear pockets. I think you can also get a special "harness/backpack" just for the battery to go under your jacket.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    Lithium batteries work well in sub zero temps. They are actually recommended for wireless thermometers used in freezers.
    Well, that just saved me the trouble of starting a thread to find out the viability of Li-Ion cells in the cold.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Fynn's Avatar
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    Cold shouldn't effect any of them if they are good batteries. I have used nimh and nicad for years with no problems clear down below zero.

  9. #9
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Here is a link to Battery University discussing operating temperature and the common battery chemistry.
    http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...w_temperatures

    From the article:
    Lithium-ion works within the discharge temperature limits of -20C to 60C (-4F to 140F). The performance is temperature based, meaning that the rate capability at or below -20C is reduced due to the increased impedance of the electrolyte. Discharging at low temperatures does not harm the battery. Lithium-ion may be used down to -30C (-22F) with acceptable results. Larger packs will be necessary to compensate for the reduced capacity at these temperatures.



    At low temperatures, the performance of all battery chemistries drops drastically. While -20C (-4F) is threshold at which the nickel-metal-hydride, sealed lead-acid and lithium-ion battery cease to function, the nickel-cadmium can go down to -40C (-40F). At that frigid temperature, the nickel-cadmium is limited to a discharge rate of 0.2C (5 hour rate). There are new types of Li?ion batteries that are said to operate down to -40C.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    The battery pack on the Cygolite is remote from the head lamp, so if necessary you could keep it in an inner jacket pocket rather than attached to your bike's frame.
    A short term solution is to put a chemical hand warmer in a frame bag with the battery; however, the ultimate solution is a a dynohub.
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  11. #11
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    Per data sheets I have downloaded the Eveready non-rechargeable lithium cells have the best cold weather performance. They are good all the way down to -40 (F and C). Bloody expensive though so either the battery pack being kept warm some how or the dynamo hub wheel and dynamo powered light are the best solution IMO.
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  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have a Night Rider 'Head trip', they have a long cord to the battery pack ,
    so even mounting the light on the handlebars, you can put the battery pack
    inside your jacket and have your body heat keep the battery up to temperature.

    so in general, a light with a remote battery pack that you can keep warm .

    Yes, a Hub Dynamo is also a good choice, I like my Schmidt.

  13. #13
    Sputnik - beep beep beep Wake's Avatar
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    I've used my Planet Bike lights (1wBlaze/Superflash) with NiMH batteries down to about 15F with no problems. I'm sure the charge is lower, but it's adequate.

  14. #14
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    thanks to all. Its probably cause its old

  15. #15
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    I have Light & Motion light. Battery is rechargeable and works fine down to 10F for 30 min. It uses lithium battery. On it's third year now, supposed to be good for about 500 recharges. They are nice and bright they may seem expensive but not as bad as the top of the line German ones.
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  16. #16
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    well. I charged my battery for a good couple hours and let it shine inside the house. it went for over an hour and then some. So the cold is def. limiting the amount of time. their site says the operating temp. is 32f on the low range

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cchristanis View Post
    thanks to all. Its probably cause its old
    There's your problem! 32F for a low range on a Li-ion battery is too high. A good new (or even up to middle age) Li-ion battery should function well even below freezing. Li-ion do, however, age just sitting on the shelf. The HID is probably trying to pull too much juice from a geezer battery. Don't throw out the light, just invest in a new power source.
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