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  1. #1
    n00b
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    ordering cheap LED 18650 torches

    I am thinking about going through Lighthound and buying:
    *two of these Solarforce's or two of these Ultrafires.

    *two drop-ins for the Solarforce's- other than the number of modes, i don't understand the differences among the different kinds of bulbs. would it be wise to buy two different kinds of drop-ins? maybe one orange peel and one reflective? what kind of drop-in would be good for a helmet light and what for a handlebar light?

    *or the Ultrafires come with XPG R5 LEDs. what am i loosing in buying the Ultrafire over the Solarforce product? it would save me a few bucks!

    *a few protected 18650 rechargeables and a charger. any recommendations on these Ultrafire batteries? any reason to buy some more expensive batteries?


    besides some mounting hardware, do I need anything else?
    i'll compare competitors' prices but it seems like Lighthound is a good place to go. suggestions concerning their competitors? i don't trust Deal Extreme much any more, too many stories.

  2. #2
    Gear Hub fan
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    The Solarforce unit is a flashlight body with no guts. It accepts a "P60 drop in" which are available from multiple sources with many different LEDs and control circuits. P60 drop ins are also available with higher power LEDs but then heat dissipation becomes a concern. It is a versatile setup. The light module and tail switch are both replaceable and available from the source you llinked to which guarantees the light can be fixed if it does fail. This is NOT true of most other styles of LED lights.

    For bike headlight use I would suggest a orange peel finish drop-in as it gives a bit broader beam, better for headlight use IMO. Up to you if a single mode version is adequate. The multi mode ones are more versatile if you want to use it as a flashlight off of the bike too.

    Also Ultrafire batteries work fine so far for me and they are about the most reasonable priced ones available. Do buy "protected" ones.
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  3. #3
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    The 501 with a smooth reflector will be a thrower. This one will have more of a flood effect. http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...4-II-R5/Detail

  4. #4
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Having a bar + helmet light is good way to go.. Shiningbeam has some very nice lights.. What is your max budgets for lights + Cells / Charger?

  5. #5
    `````````````` CaptainCool's Avatar
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    I just got a Solarforce L2 in the mail last week. Bought from sbflashlights.com with this dropin. Fairly floody, like a supercharged version of my Fenix L2D, which is what I was looking for. My Fenix TK11 still outthrows it, so I might use those two together on my commute. Also bought a few Solarforce batteries. Not as expensive as AW, and they seemed to be well reviewed on CPF.

  6. #6
    n00b
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    I was hoping to spend $75-100 for lights, a pair of batteries, and a charger. then I can spend more on upgrade drop-ins, higher capacity batteries, and additional batteries later.

  7. #7
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    here is a good bang for the buck light. Romisen RC-2R4 II R5 LED flashlight- 300 lumens.. Orange Peel Reflector make this a very nice light if you are on a budget, give you distinct hotspot with a fair amount of spill.. Longer runtime over P7 or MC-E lights. 2 to 2.5 hours on high mode..

    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...4-II-R5/Detail

    20.00 more gets you 150 more lumens.. http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...-rocket/Detail

    Colleen has some nice pics of this light in a different thread. Stay with Cool White, which is better for riding at night. OP Reflector gives you nice hotspot with a fair amount of sidespill.. Smooth reflector will give you a tighter beam w/ just a little sidespill but better throw.

    The UF Charger and Cells from Lighthound will work fine

    http://www.lighthound.com/Ultrafire-...er_p_2279.html
    http://www.lighthound.com/Ultrafire-...ry_p_3141.html

    For a little more money the AW cells are some of the best on the market..

    http://www.lighthound.com/AW-18650-P...ry_p_3125.html

    Twofish lockblock to attach to bars
    http://www.lighthound.com/Twofish-Lo...nt_p_2252.html

    Cyclopblock if you use 31.8 bars or plan on a bigger light down the road..
    http://www.lighthound.com/Twofish-Cy...nt_p_2251.html

    This is also a nice item to have, it will hold 2 extra 18650 cells and only cost 99 cents. Easily fits in jersey pocket.

    http://www.lighthound.com/Lighthound...es_p_2803.html
    Last edited by socalrider; 12-26-10 at 11:11 PM.

  8. #8
    Gear Hub fan
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    socalrider;

    IMO any claim of Lumens rating for a flashlight from many manufacturers should be taken with a large dose of skepticism unless it is clearly stated thet the rating is per ANSI test methods which are an "out the front" rating. The ratings on many flashlights can be as optimistic as the ratings claimed by Magicshine. Per my understanding the actual output of the Magicshine when tested to OTF ANSI standard is about 550 Lumens or 60% of the claimed 900 Lumens for the basic Magicshine.

    That is hopefully a near worst case example as both Fenix and Olight are in the midst of switching to ANSI test standards and the effect on their lights claimed outputs seems to be minimal.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  9. #9
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
    socalrider;

    IMO any claim of Lumens rating for a flashlight from many manufacturers should be taken with a large dose of skepticism unless it is clearly stated thet the rating is per ANSI test methods which are an "out the front" rating. The ratings on many flashlights can be as optimistic as the ratings claimed by Magicshine. Per my understanding the actual output of the Magicshine when tested to OTF ANSI standard is about 550 Lumens or 60% of the claimed 900 Lumens for the basic Magicshine.

    That is hopefully a near worst case example as both Fenix and Olight are in the midst of switching to ANSI test standards and the effect on their lights claimed outputs seems to be minimal.
    There is huge difference in specs when dealing with overseas sellers like DealExtreme and US based sellers like Lighthound or Shiningbeam. One of the P7's I own is the Xtar model, you go to lighthound and they state that is around 400+ lumens which is accurate. The same light on DealExtreme is stated as a 700+ lumen light. You have to accept the overseas sellers are always going to overstate output.

    The chinese sellers always overstate output sometimes by 1/2, you will find the us based sellers output specs are usually right on the mark or very close. The 450 lumen light I linked, Colleen a bf member provided pics and it is as bright as a 700 lumen (chinese spec) light. So the 450 lumen spec is right on the mark, most likely 350+ OTF lumens.
    Last edited by socalrider; 12-27-10 at 04:57 PM.

  10. #10
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    I think Bryan at Shiningbeam quoted the differnce of about 25 to 30 percent difference between OTF and at the emitter rating for the lights he sell. I got like six different flashlight model from him all at differnt rating and that 25 to 30 percent differnce seem to be right on the nose. I also got some P7 from deal extreme all claiming to be 900 lumen along with the MS claiming to be 900 lumen and I find those to be more like 450 to 500 lumen for the P7 and 550 to 600 for the MS.

    Back to the original thread. The good thing with the Solarforce as a host is that you can upgrade with new emitter or play around with older emitter to get the flood or throw patter you prefer. If you are not sure of what type of beam pattern or emitter to select, then I think the host style is better for you in the long run.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
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    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  11. #11
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    I just wanted to say that this thread has helped me to finally decide on a headlight, the MG P-Rocket. I've been keeping an eye on this forum to see which of the more affordable lights seem worth it and had long since ruled out ordering anything from Deal Extreme; their quality control seems more or less non-existent and I didn't feel like dealing with the potential months-long wait for an exchange.

    Shining Beam was constantly sold out of the lights I was interested in whenever I had the extra cash ready. It got to the point that I was about to go with a Magicshine, even though I didn't particularly want to deal with an external battery pack. Then the battery recall took care of that dilemma for me.

    The Gemini Titan looks like a fine headlight, but it's a bit out of my price range for now. So, I decided to check back in at Shining Beam and as luck would have it, the P-Rocket happened to be available and I happened to have the money for it. After reading up on it in this forum, I decided to take the plunge.

    It should be here in a few days!

  12. #12
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadCapsule View Post
    I just wanted to say that this thread has helped me to finally decide on a headlight, the MG P-Rocket. I've been keeping an eye on this forum to see which of the more affordable lights seem worth it and had long since ruled out ordering anything from Deal Extreme; their quality control seems more or less non-existent and I didn't feel like dealing with the potential months-long wait for an exchange.

    Shining Beam was IMG_0491.JPG sold out of the lights I was interested in whenever I had the extra cash ready. It got to the point that I was about to go with a Magicshine, even though I didn't particularly want to deal with an external battery pack. Then the battery recall took care of that dilemma for me.

    The Gemini Titan looks like a fine headlight, but it's a bit out of my price range for now. So, I decided to check back in at Shining Beam and as luck would have it, the P-Rocket happened to be available and I happened to have the money for it. After reading up on it in this forum, I decided to take the plunge.

    It should be here in a few days!
    Did you get the Neutral or the cool white? I find the cool white generally more bright and better than the neutral color when the flashlight is used for bicycling. On the other hand, the neutral color is less glaring if the flashlight is used as a general purpose house flashlight.

    One thing I noted on the MG P rockect is the throw it has. It has almost as much throw as my MG X Thrower while using less power. It a little lacking in the flood area but great when riding higher speed. A great combo with this light is using a S Mini I'm conjunction with the Rocket. The S Mini flood out well while the Rocket cast out the needed beam for higher speed. I've been meaning to do a beamshot with the two light used as a combo but didn't have the time.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  13. #13
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
    You have to accept the overseas sellers are always going to overstate output.
    Overseas sellers like Lupine or Busch & Müller, maybe?

    Granted, they're not cheap lights by any means. But most dealers who publish the "900 lumen" figure for a cheap P7 light are ashamed enough to point out it's "manufacturer's claim" or somesuch garbage. Even DX. Like mentioned, it's a theoretical number for that particular LED. Once they have the final product (lense, reflector, casing, batteries and control electronics) glued together around the LED, they're lucky to crank 500 lumens out of it.

    Lupine uses OTF lumens in their measurements, stating 550 lumens for the (theoretically 900 lumen) Piko light. http://www.lupine.de/web/en/technology/sphere. German manufacturers (and dealers) have the added difficulty of the strict bike light regulations there. Which is why their high power battery lights are marketed for off road use only in Germany. Or, like Supernova, they make different lenses for traffic use, to comply with the StVZO rules. Those have an effect on the OTF lumen number too.

    --J
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Did you get the Neutral or the cool white? I find the cool white generally more bright and better than the neutral color when the flashlight is used for bicycling. On the other hand, the neutral color is less glaring if the flashlight is used as a general purpose house flashlight.

    One thing I noted on the MG P rockect is the throw it has. It has almost as much throw as my MG X Thrower while using less power. It a little lacking in the flood area but great when riding higher speed. A great combo with this light is using a S Mini I'm conjunction with the Rocket. The S Mini flood out well while the Rocket cast out the needed beam for higher speed. I've been meaning to do a beamshot with the two light used as a combo but didn't have the time.
    The cool white was the only option available. I'm glad that was the better tint! I also opted for the orange peel reflector. Which reflector do you use?

    I'm hoping I don't need to go with another light, but we'll see.

    Thanks for the great info.

  15. #15
    Riding twobadfish's Avatar
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    Wow... That's a great deal. Might have to try it out.

  16. #16
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadCapsule View Post
    The cool white was the only option available. I'm glad that was the better tint! I also opted for the orange peel reflector. Which reflector do you use?

    I'm hoping I don't need to go with another light, but we'll see.

    Thanks for the great info.
    I got the OP reflector. Usually the smooth reflector give less flood and a little better throw. I don't own any smooth reflector light so I can't say for sure. OP reflector also suppose to help avoid getting that "ring" effect around the beam because of how emitter and led are mounted on the reflector.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

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