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Old 05-11-13, 02:58 PM   #1
GetUpnGo
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Coleman 150-lumen flashlight: WOW.

I haven't visited this forum in a long time so I don't know if this has already been mentioned. I just installed the $20 Coleman Max Ultra High Power flashlight (3 AAAs) on my bike.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-20...roduct+Reviews

I previously had the 110-lumen version mounted on one side and the Cateye EL530 on the other side, plus a headlamp. I tried out the 150-lumen version last night and found it to be much more powerful than the 110. The specs says the throw is 400 feet, but I was able to illuminate reflective signs at least 600 feet away. The spill was excellent---it covered the entire road, with a large bright center right about where I wanted the most illumination. I forgot my headlamp but didn't need that or the Cateye at all. The Cateye didn't add any appreciable light to the Coleman 150.


I'm pretty amazed: a single $20 flashlight is sufficient for safe riding at about 12mph on a country road. I'll still use a headlamp to light things along the side of the road (like animals), but I'm not going to continue using the Cateye.

I don't think two of these flashlights are necessary but if you had two that would give you a heck of a lot of light.

Run time is 3 hours so I will get rechargeables to avoid adding batteries to the landfill.

Highly recommend.
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Old 05-11-13, 04:18 PM   #2
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I'm using a 400 lumen (rated 900 but I'm guessing it puts out about 400), 18650 based light that cost $20 shipped off eBay complete with two 18650 cells and a charger. I used to have a 200 lumen light (from Dinotte) and I considered that insufficient light on my route.

12MPH is a very slow pace - 110 lumens is probably enough if that's your peak speed but I doubt it is for very many people. I do 12 MPH up most hills, my AVERAGE is more like 17 in winter, 19 in summer. And I'm not in any way a fast rider.
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Old 05-11-13, 06:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report GetUpnGo. I am glad to see more powerful LED lights appearing in the big stores so more folks are becoming aware of these.

I recently was using a similar flashlight, a Fenix L2D with about 180 lumens on my bars and a 4-7s light with about 120 lumens on my helmet. Those worked well until the turbo level on my Fenix stopped working. Then I decided to get a new light.

For my bars I bought a Dinotte XML-3 that is rated to a bit more than 1200 lumens. I found the lowest level, at about 400 to 450 lumens, to be all the is needed for road riding, although it is nice to have the other options, especially if riding in rough conditions or off-road at night.

For my secondary light -- an option if my XML-3 stops functioning -- is a Nitecore EC25. It has 5 levels of output: 860 lumens, 540, 285, 120, and 60 lumens. The Nitecore can be purchased for less than $50 and can run the 540 lumen setting for about 2 hours, and the 285 lumen setting for more than 4 hours off one battery. If you decide in the future you need more light, I recommend having a look at this light or similar flashlights. For the cost and run times, these types of flashlights make excellent bike lights. This is also a very small flashlight at about only 5 inches in length. The only drawback to these types of lights is the use of an 18650 battery which is usually not stocked by mass consumer stores, so you will need to buy a charger and several 18650 rechargeable batteries.

If you wish to stay with AA or AAA batteries, Nitecore also makes powerful, small AA light, the EA4. It takes 4 AA batteries and has excellent specifications. It is less than 5" long and about 2" wide. It can produce about 550 lumens for 2 hours and 300 lumens for more than 4 hours. Another excellent bicycle light. It can be bought for about $55.

http://www.nitecore.com/productDetail.aspx?id=72
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Old 05-11-13, 06:47 PM   #4
01 CAt Man Do
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I always enjoy reading about the guy using a ( lower powered ) torch who is pleased with his light. Sometimes I still use torches myself ( although mine are all XM-L based torches and are nearly as bright as my dedicated bike lights ) I figure they already know there are better lights so I pretty much leave them alone unless they say they want something better. A light that emits 150 lumen can be very useful as long as you aren't into the faster speeds. The only real issue is run time; a lamp that uses 3-AAA's is not going to have great run time.

At least it's nice to know that when someone wants to upgrade, for another $20 they can up their output into the 1000 lumen range with one of the newer double XM-L Chinese made lamps...and at the same time get longer run times ( which is sometimes the more important issue ).

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Originally Posted by bwgride View Post
...If you wish to stay with AA or AAA batteries, Nitecore also makes powerful, small AA light, the EA4. It takes 4 AA batteries and has excellent specifications. It is less than 5" long and about 2" wide. It can produce about 550 lumens for 2 hours and 300 lumens for more than 4 hours. Another excellent bicycle light. It can be bought for about $55.

http://www.nitecore.com/productDetail.aspx?id=72
That is a real nice torch that uses AA's. The user interface on the EA4 looks first rate. Looks like a nice build as well and looks very water resistant. If you are into "self-contained" lamps one of these would work real good. On the other hand for the same price you can buy a very nice Solarstorm X2 bike lamp and rechargeable battery.

Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 05-11-13 at 07:07 PM. Reason: added comment and additional quote
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Old 05-11-13, 08:17 PM   #5
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600' in the distance? Mine go almost a half mile in otherwise lighted Manhattan at about 600 lumens. I have to turn it down when I face traffic, but most NYC streets are one way.

It's light out now until where I almost never ride anyway, so I probably won't be using my lights again until fall. By then there'll be some new versions to look at. At this point I'm more interested in efficiency than brightness. They are already bright enough, but if they'd last 2 hours on high off a charge of a 18650 battery I'd be happy. Either the LEDs or the batteries can improve, I don't care which.
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Old 05-11-13, 08:45 PM   #6
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how well will it do to use a Nitecore EA4 on the rear with one of the red filters they sell? what would be its output with the filter on?
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Old 05-11-13, 10:27 PM   #7
GetUpnGo
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Thank you, bwgride. You educated me about some things I didn't know about. It seems like flashlights and batteries have been evolving over the last couple of years.

12 mph is plenty for me at night. The Coleman 150 might work well for people who ride at slow speeds and want to spend around $20. I know there are more powerful lights, but this one really does do what I need it to do.

Last edited by GetUpnGo; 05-11-13 at 10:31 PM.
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