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  1. #26
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    The Chinese clone lights are far overrated, if they say 1200 lumens expect around 100! And their reliability is poor, so you could be spending that $35 or so every year.
    I'm not going to speak for all Chinese clone lines like you are -- I'll speak for this specific one that I own three of. (I don't like swapping them between bikes.)

    $16, they claim 1200 lumens, but I believe that 800-900 lumens on high is probably more accurate. Cyclists quite often think there's a car coming back on them if I'm behind them and it's on high, and in fact I use it on medium most of the time because it's more light than I usually need to see (let alone be seen.)

    if you run it inside, unmoving, on high for a while it'll get really hot -- probably too hot. But this doesn't happen if it's on your bike and you're riding, even if it's 100 degrees outside -- in that situation, the head just gets warm.

    The weak part is the battery, and they're not even that weak -- they just don't last a particularly long time. Maybe two years of a few times a week use before they're down to half capacity? So, buy another one -- $16 more dollars, and this new light (battery+head+charger) has whatever the newest emitter is so it's even better than what you replaced it with. I've also replaced them with R/C battery packs, but I wouldn't expect most people to want to go that route. I've never had a problem with any of the light heads -- just the batteries.

    Either way, this is a great light, and it goes way beyond the "be seen" state.
    Last edited by dougmc; 02-02-14 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #27
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    The Chinese clone lights are far overrated, if they say 1200 lumens expect around 100! And their reliability is poor, so you could be spending that $35 or so every year....
    Sorry, forgot to address this issue with my last post. Yes, the ads for the Chinese lamps often over-rate the output. This is unfortunate but has to do with the people ( the sellers ) who sell the lamps in a very competitive market. One guy sells an XM-L lamp for $25 and list it as 1000 lumen in his ad. Another guy sells the same lamp at $30 and list the output in his ad at 1500 lumen. Both are wrong but the later is outright lying. Most people already know about this practice and that it has been going on for years. Sadly this marketing practice of "One-up-manship" still continues but if you know the specifications of the emitter(s) used in the lamp you know the actually limitation of the output. That said you probably won't even get the potential output of the emitters but something quite lower. If the potential output is 1000 lumen for a single XM-L emitter lamp expect about 60-70% of that. For multi-emitter lamps expect the output per emitter to be even less. Keep in mind this does not apply to every Chinese made lamp made. The "Branded" Chinese lamps use better drivers and supply more power but they cost much more.

    Sadly this practice of "over-rating" also applies to the cheap Chinese batteries but that is another subject. You can buy better batteries but you need to know where to buy from. On forums like this all you need to do is ask.
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 02-02-14 at 06:09 PM.

  3. #28
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    If you hang out on MTBreview.com ( As I have for years ) you know that once in a great while they mess up with the photos. The MJ 858 you refer to was never a very popular light and has no meaningful reference to any lamp that anyone here is referring to. That said, "Why would anyone search to find the worst example of a Chinese light you can find and then categorically dismiss ALL Chinese made lights as outputting 100 lumen"? If that wasn't so sadly idiotic I would fall out of my chair laughing.

    For the last 5 years or so I have been a collector of Chinese made bike lamps and torches. Everyone of the lamps/torches I own gives the output that was expected ( depending on what emitter was used ). Getting back to my original post, the Solarstorm X2 ( with dual XM-L U2 emitters ) will get you in the range of 1000-1200 lumen. A typical cheap single emitter XM-L (U2) MS clone lamp should output about 700-800 lumen ( depending on the output of the driver ). Used on a bike any Chinese lamp using an XM-L based emitter should deliver more than enough light to see while riding down the road. As long as the buyer understands the limitations of LED emitters he should get what he pays for as long as the lamp works.

    ( *edit; If you really want to know how bright a MJ 858 is and if it is really only 100 lumens I suggest you contact Jim at ActionLED. I believe he still sells these ( albeit probably not very many ). If he says it's only 100 lumen tell him to send me an PM over on MTB'er ).
    Good for you, except your wrong, I know this first hand from a friend, and another a rider I ran into who tried those lights. The first one had a 1200 lumen (can't recall the model, but it was the single lens type) MagicShine, when compared to my Philips mine completely washed out his light like it was almost not even on! The other had one of the E-Bay lights which it too was rated for 1200 lumens, my 480 lumen Cygolite Mitycross flooded that light out not to mention what the Philips did, though that e-bay light did have a wider beam than the Cygolite. I may have over exaggerated the low end of 100 lumens, I'll give you that one, but I know they're not over 250.

    MTB review did not go out and set forth a bunch of tests to mislead people, if they had there would been a huge outcry long before now. I only go by the pictures they provide, the scientific mumbo jumbo on how they tested for lumens I could care less about so if that for some reason is you're only complaint get over it, what I care about is how much light is a given light appearing to put on the road and the photos do that.

    There has been much written about the over rated Chinese ebay lights; here is one that bought a 1800 lumen ebay light and compared it to a 250 lumen light he had and recognized that the 1800 was only about twice as bright: see: http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...mp-759177.html This sort of thing is all over forums about these e-bay lights. Most people don't mind that fact their dimmer then rated because if they buy a 1800 lumen light and only get 900 or lumens, they still get a lot of light for $40 or so. However in addition to lumen falsification they have issues with their battery packs; and with those cheap E-bay lights you have no recourse on warranty issues. Here is a discussion on problems: http://singletrackworld.com/forum/to...or-bike-lights

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Good for you, except your wrong....I only go by the pictures they provide, the scientific mumbo jumbo on how they tested for lumens I could care less about so if that for some reason is you're only complaint get over it....Most people don't mind that fact their dimmer then rated.
    I've realized I need to give up on caring about the substantive errors in these comments. It's pointless. But I still wish these wrong statements were written with correct English. I'll keep working on caring less.

  5. #30
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    ...MTB review did not go out and set forth a bunch of tests to mislead people, if they had there would been a huge outcry long before now. I only go by the pictures they provide....

    There has been much written about the over rated Chinese ebay lights; here is one that bought a 1800 lumen ebay light and compared it to a 250 lumen light he had and recognized that the 1800 was only about twice as bright: see: http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...mp-759177.html This sort of thing is all over forums about these e-bay lights. Most people don't mind that fact their dimmer then rated because if they buy a 1800 lumen light and only get 900 or lumens, they still get a lot of light for $40 or so. However in addition to lumen falsification they have issues with their battery packs; and with those cheap E-bay lights you have no recourse on warranty issues. Here is a discussion on problems: http://singletrackworld.com/forum/to...or-bike-lights
    When MTBR does their beam photos they do LOTS of photos. They do not intend to deceive anyone but if you work with cameras you know that exact conditions cannot be replicated ( every time ) for every lamp. There will be no big outcry because most people really don't know about such things. I've taken photos of lamp beam patterns before and sometimes you just get bad photos, it happens. With all the photos they take it would be real hard to keep track of all the lamp settings and finding which angle for aiming best suits the lamp you are trying to review. In order for "all things to be equal" you would have to take all the photos on the same day, in the same place, at the same temperature, at the same battery levels..etc, etc... Just so you know, they don't take all the photos the same day as that would be almost impossible to do. I've seen some really lousy photos with lamps that I know to be really nice lamps. That said, I'm not going to bust their chops over the issue because I know that they are going through a lot of trouble to take all of those photos and that it is quite a chore. Mistakes will be made. As long as they are few there's not going to be an outcry.

    I share your hatred for the false output claims for the Chinese lamps. Basically this is just marketing hype done by the people who sell the lamps. Nothing wrong with the lamps themselves per say as they provide a good amount of light using the emitters that they are using.

    The first lamp I ever bought rated for 600 lumen was the DiNotte 600L. As far as I know it was one of the first generation of LED lamps to make this claim that was sold commercially. Every one who bought one just loved it ( including me ) As such I use the 600L to this day when doing comparisons because it was considered a "Bench mark" product. A year after I bought the 600L the S. Korean SSC P7 LED was released. I quickly bought a cheap Chinese made torch using this LED. In a head to head test with the DiNotte 600L the the cheap $30 torch created a comparable beam pattern and output. Since then no lamp or torch I own using a power LED ( such as the Cree Xlamp series LED's ) has an output less than 600 lumen UNLESS it was designed for lower maximum output.

    Sad it is that the buyers have to deal with the false ads for the Chinese lamps but since it is done almost everywhere you look there is really no way to get around it. We can complain about till the cows come home but that isn't going to change anything. As long as you are a "informed" buyer there is really no big issue. Sadly though, the uninformed will continue to get duped.

    Once again, all said...even with the questionable batteries and over-hype marketing these lamps work. For the money you spend you get a lamp that will provide more then enough light. There will always be better lamps with better quality and better batteries. If you have the money you can buy what you want. As it stands, I'm not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater. $30 to $50 will get you a lamp with more output than you need. Believe me when I tell you this: If these lamps only put out 250 lumen NO ONE WOULD BUY THEM. THAT SAID, THEY ARE SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES.

  6. #31
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
    I've realized I need to give up on caring about the substantive errors in these comments. It's pointless. But I still wish these wrong statements were written with correct English. I'll keep working on caring less.
    I don't care about my english just as much as I don't care what you think about when you're in the bathroom alone.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
    When MTBR does their beam photos they do LOTS of photos. They do not intend to deceive anyone but if you work with cameras you know that exact conditions cannot be replicated ( every time ) for every lamp. There will be no big outcry because most people really don't know about such things. I've taken photos of lamp beam patterns before and sometimes you just get bad photos, it happens. With all the photos they take it would be real hard to keep track of all the lamp settings and finding which angle for aiming best suits the lamp you are trying to review. In order for "all things to be equal" you would have to take all the photos on the same day, in the same place, at the same temperature, at the same battery levels..etc, etc... Just so you know, they don't take all the photos the same day as that would be almost impossible to do. I've seen some really lousy photos with lamps that I know to be really nice lamps. That said, I'm not going to bust their chops over the issue because I know that they are going through a lot of trouble to take all of those photos and that it is quite a chore. Mistakes will be made. As long as they are few there's not going to be an outcry.

    I share your hatred for the false output claims for the Chinese lamps. Basically this is just marketing hype done by the people who sell the lamps. Nothing wrong with the lamps themselves per say as they provide a good amount of light using the emitters that they are using.

    The first lamp I ever bought rated for 600 lumen was the DiNotte 600L. As far as I know it was one of the first generation of LED lamps to make this claim that was sold commercially. Every one who bought one just loved it ( including me ) As such I use the 600L to this day when doing comparisons because it was considered a "Bench mark" product. A year after I bought the 600L the S. Korean SSC P7 LED was released. I quickly bought a cheap Chinese made torch using this LED. In a head to head test with the DiNotte 600L the the cheap $30 torch created a comparable beam pattern and output. Since then no lamp or torch I own using a power LED ( such as the Cree Xlamp series LED's ) has an output less than 600 lumen UNLESS it was designed for lower maximum output.

    Sad it is that the buyers have to deal with the false ads for the Chinese lamps but since it is done almost everywhere you look there is really no way to get around it. We can complain about till the cows come home but that isn't going to change anything. As long as you are a "informed" buyer there is really no big issue. Sadly though, the uninformed will continue to get duped.

    Once again, all said...even with the questionable batteries and over-hype marketing these lamps work. For the money you spend you get a lamp that will provide more then enough light. There will always be better lamps with better quality and better batteries. If you have the money you can buy what you want. As it stands, I'm not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater. $30 to $50 will get you a lamp with more output than you need. Believe me when I tell you this: If these lamps only put out 250 lumen NO ONE WOULD BUY THEM. THAT SAID, THEY ARE SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES.
    Can you link to a solorstorm X2 from a reputable dealer, EBay or Amazon , both preferably. I need a bar light to go with my cheap Chinese Gemini 700-900 single LED

  8. #33
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    Been using a $50 Chinese XM-L light for over 3 years with no problems. Had to replace the battery pack after 2 years because it lost capacity but that was only $15.

  9. #34
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    which China ? Mao, PRC, or Chaing, ROC ?

  10. #35
    Senior Member 01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    Can you link to a solorstorm X2 from a reputable dealer, EBay or Amazon , both preferably. I need a bar light to go with my cheap Chinese Gemini 700-900 single LED
    This is a question that keeps getting asked over and over. In my opinion there is not enough evidence to prove one source is better than the others although I tend to be more distrustful of ebay sellers than the dedicated Chinese websites. ( ...not saying there aren't good ebay sellers just real hard to know which ones are best ).

    The one I have is a SSX2 clone and is "unbranded". I bought mine from Manafont. I've had no problems with it but have really only used it a couple times. As far as I know the only other lamp to be cloned more than the SSX2 is the original Magicshine 808.

    If you look over on MTBR you will see a couple threads on the Solarstorm X2. Notice how many times they have been viewed. No other Chinese made lamp has generated more interest other than the original MS. That said this is probably due to the fact that they are really inexpensive, have a nice useable beam pattern and have a decent user interface ( three very useable steady modes and a flash mode activated by "push and hold". The one I have I use on the helmet although I also like it when used on the bars for the road set-up. Perhaps still a bit narrow of a beam pattern for MTB bar mounting but it is still wider than the single emitter set-ups.
    Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 02-11-14 at 06:05 AM.

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