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Old 05-10-11, 09:39 AM   #1
Adrius
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Flashlight and Battery Type

Hey all,

I'm in the market for a new headlight soon. I've been commuting for the past year or so with some cateye and Blackburn blinkies which are pretty inadequate on my commute. I'm leaning towards a flashlight and can't seem to find too much information on battery types. I'd kind of like to get a AA or AAA powered light for the ease of getting emergency replacements, is there a major power/ runtime difference? My commute runs from suburban to a more country-suburban area with no stores to stop at after the first mile or two. Takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so for a total of about 7 miles. I could also go with a magicshine system, but I have nowhere to mount the battery, as my bike only has Brazeons for my one water bottle cage.

I'd like to avoid going through DealsExtreme, just due to the wait time on their site. If I could buy locally, that'd be great too. Any recommendations? Should I go with CR123A batteries or would AA/AAA be fine?

Anyway, thanks! (I did a quick search, didn't seem to find anything particularly relating to battery type and power/runtime.)
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Old 05-10-11, 11:09 AM   #2
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I'm confuse on the brazed on water bottle comment. You don't need a water bottle holder to hold the battery on a Magicshine. Geoman Gear has battery in a pack that is very versatile and can be mount in many spots like the stem, top tube, handlebar, seat post, and etc.

For the flashlight, what are you looking at as in lumens. Most AA battery flashlight will gives only a certain amount of lumens before the battery drain out fast. I say forget the AAA flashlight. There are some AA flashlight that are capable of yielding 200-300 lumens anything over that you may have to look into 18650 battery setup.

All this will come at a cost. What is your price range? and what how bright of a light you think you need?
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Old 05-10-11, 12:53 PM   #3
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I'm completely sold on 18650 LiIon cells for flashlights. The difference between those ans AA cells is astounding, and they're less trouble than CR123A rechargables. Whatever you do, you're going to want rechargables anyway.

I agree on the MagicShine thing - the battery can go absolutely anywhere, it'll strap on any tube on the bike or go in your pocket with an extension cord (though I'd only use that if I helmet mounted).
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Old 05-10-11, 01:57 PM   #4
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I'm completely sold on 18650 LiIon cells for flashlights. The difference between those ans AA cells is astounding, and they're less trouble than CR123A rechargables. Whatever you do, you're going to want rechargables anyway.

I agree on the MagicShine thing - the battery can go absolutely anywhere, it'll strap on any tube on the bike or go in your pocket with an extension cord (though I'd only use that if I helmet mounted).
+1 on 18650's - once you make the small $$ investment in a few cells and good charger - you have so many better lights available to you.. If you are not sure a good transition light is the romisen flood to throw - about 200 lumens OTF - not super bright but it takes a variety of cells.. AAA - CR123 and 18650's..

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...8-II-R2/Detail

If you decide that you can go 18650 then the MG P-Rocket is good blend of brightness and runtime.. 400+ lumens and 2 hour runtime on high.. Both these lights work fine with lockblocks too.
lockblock: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_1234wt_907

http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...-rocket/Detail
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Old 05-10-11, 06:16 PM   #5
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I thought I heard the Magicshine batteries had issues with the waterproofing. I know some people were mounting them in a spare waterbottle with a hole cut in the top.

As for price range, I suppose 100$ would be the max i'd like to go, unless the quality would be staggeringly different. My commute is suburban for the most part, but the roads on the latter part of it are not very well lit. With my current lights, I can't see much, but that's just due to the design on the lights. There are some areas with no street lights or a substantial amount of space between street lights.

The only real difference with the battery types then is runtime? I just thought there was a difference in power level or something too. If the price isn't too crazy, i'll invest in the rechargable 18650's and charger. Either way i'm going rechargable.

I assume I need a fairly decent light, but I can't really be sure since I have nothing to compare it to. I suppose i'll just buy one flashlight and see how that works, then go up from there if need be. The magicshine system is a bit out of my range, though I don't mind springing for it if it would be the better choice.
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Old 05-10-11, 07:09 PM   #6
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http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...3-II-NW/Detail
If you want more run time and a brighter light this will do it.http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...-rocket/Detail You will need 18650 batteries and a charger.
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Old 05-10-11, 08:00 PM   #7
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I thought I heard the Magicshine batteries had issues with the waterproofing. I know some people were mounting them in a spare waterbottle with a hole cut in the top.
The water issue are from those that uses the older sytle battery case. It was nothing more than a nylon bag. Water was getting to the PCB on the battery. That was why folks put them in water bottle. Geoman than design them in a water bottle like holder. All that was before the batttery recall. This is what the newer battery from Geoman looks like mounted on top of the stem:


Quote:
I assume I need a fairly decent light, but I can't really be sure since I have nothing to compare it to. I suppose i'll just buy one flashlight and see how that works, then go up from there if need be. The magicshine system is a bit out of my range, though I don't mind springing for it if it would be the better choice.
The really good thing with investing with 18650 battery is the fact that you can upgrade to different flashlight when newer design are introduce. Another plus is that the older light can be use as home or work flashlight as you upgrade your lights. I have the Shiningbeam P rocket and is very satisfied with it. I also have several of their S mini and I say two of those Smini is about as bright as a Magicshine light. If you run 2900mah 18650 with the S mini, you can get over 2.5 hours of runtime. While the P rocket will last over 1.5 hours with 2900 mah battery.

Last edited by colleen c; 05-10-11 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Edit 3000mah to 2900 mah
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Old 05-11-11, 07:17 AM   #8
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Even with the original battery, I just wrapped a heavy plastic bag around it and cinched it around the wire with two zip ties pulled really tight, then hung the battery with the wire downward and towards the back. It still fit within the original nylon carry bag.

I rode in thunderstorms without any problems. The solution cost about 3 cents and took 5 minutes.
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Old 05-11-11, 12:49 PM   #9
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If there was a chance of rain, I put my battery pack in my stem bag, easy enough..
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Old 05-11-11, 01:30 PM   #10
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I'm in the market for a new headlight soon. I've been commuting for the past year or so with some cateye and Blackburn blinkies which are pretty inadequate on my commute.
In general, the more battery you have powering a light, the more light you get.

However, since you say you want to use the lights for commuting, you can get by with the short run-time of a high powered flashlight. Other than that, you already know your next light needs to be more than what the "regular" two-cell assemblies provide.

I suspect most commuters ultimately wind up with Li Ion packs that can make two or three trips without recharging, last several years, and usually are water-proof enough.
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