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Old 06-25-04, 12:34 PM   #1
dwango
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I'm looking for a nice light to use while biking on dark trails and unlit streets, and came across the L&M HID. Does anyone have any experience with the two battery types in this application (Li-Ion vs NiMh)? The Li-Ion is attractive because of its lighter weight and larger capacity, however I know that lithium batteries can be dangerous, and don't know how well they stand up to vibrations and standard abuse that a MTB will receive. Basically, is it worth the extra ~$70? All opinions are appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 06-25-04, 12:54 PM   #2
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Battery technology has come a long way. Li-Ion batteries are being used in all sorts of hostile shock environments without problems. I wouldn't worry about it. Personally speaking, I think that having to not worry about memory effects and given the larger capacity and lighter weight, I'd spring for the Li-Ion.
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Old 06-26-04, 04:43 PM   #3
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Went with the NiMh, but only because I found the whole '04 system on ebay for $185 (a steal!)
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Old 06-26-04, 07:22 PM   #4
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I have the NiMh version, and it works just fine. But does anyone know off hand if the new Li-ion batteries will work with the NiMh version light??
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Old 06-26-04, 08:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
I have the NiMh version, and it works just fine. But does anyone know off hand if the new Li-ion batteries will work with the NiMh version light??
I think they will work if you have the '04 NiMh version. They changed the plug this year, if I recall. You'll also need a new charger, too, so switching ti Li-Ion would run ~$300 ($200 for the battery, $100 for the charger)
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Old 06-26-04, 09:20 PM   #6
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Li-Ion cells reall only give you one thing lighter weight and depending longer runtime. is it worth the extra cost to you? L&M HID lights are the low end of the market. you even have to send the light back to get the bulb changed.
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Old 06-27-04, 03:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dwango
I think they will work if you have the '04 NiMh version. They changed the plug this year, if I recall. You'll also need a new charger, too, so switching ti Li-Ion would run ~$300 ($200 for the battery, $100 for the charger)
Whoa, not worth it. The 3 hour run time with the NiMh is good enough for me. Thanks
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Old 06-27-04, 03:31 AM   #8
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Li-Ion cells reall only give you one thing lighter weight and depending longer runtime. is it worth the extra cost to you? L&M HID lights are the low end of the market. you even have to send the light back to get the bulb changed.
Low end? you're the first person I've heard say that, and I'm surprised to hear it. Mine has been flawless in the 1.5 years I've been using it.
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Old 06-27-04, 12:39 PM   #9
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L&M HID lights are the low end of the market
Please explain that. I'm considering looking into L&M along with Jet Lites. If L&M are the low-end, could you tell me what the high-end is as I want to consider all things before I look at exporting some from the US to the UK?
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Old 06-27-04, 04:31 PM   #10
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The problem with L&M and I think nightrider are they have pretty crappy ballasts and optics. So you donít get as good of light as some of the better brands. L&M requires you to send in the light if the bulb needs replaced. Plus the chargers are not all that great.
This is just what I have been hearing quite a lot of
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Old 06-28-04, 05:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveknight
The problem with L&M and I think nightrider are they have pretty crappy ballasts and optics. So you donít get as good of light as some of the better brands. L&M requires you to send in the light if the bulb needs replaced. Plus the chargers are not all that great.
This is just what I have been hearing quite a lot of
Thanks Steve. I had heard dark rumours elsewhere. I'm hoping Jet can export what I need without a problem. You guys have got me hooked on the night ride concept. Can't wait to try it.
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Old 06-28-04, 01:50 PM   #12
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Thanks Steve. I had heard dark rumours elsewhere. I'm hoping Jet can export what I need without a problem. You guys have got me hooked on the night ride concept. Can't wait to try it.
I have a Jet Lites Starfire dual-beam setup. These things are very powerful and I've been happy with them. I use them primarily for offroad night riding. The only thing is that they are not HID although I kind of like that. I would actually like to see a dual-setup bulb that has both HID and a halogen ring like they do with many cars. HID takes a while to "warm up" whereas halogen is nearly instant-on. Having a system that comes up initially with a halogen bulb and then switches to HID would be ideal. The Jet Lites folks are very nice and everytime I've talked to them, they've been very helpful. I called them up a year ago to get one of their new redesigned mounts and also asked them about a new battery. I told them my current battery was a bit big for my holder and frame (one of those tight full-suspension frames). They asked me how old the battery was and I told them it was about four years old. They told me I could send it back to them for a new battery with more capacity and a smaller size and weight for $15. They also told me they'd throw in a new "intelligent" switchbox for another $10. So for $30 (new mount cost $5), I was able to upgrade from the 1999 model to the 2003 model system (lamp designs didn't change).
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Old 06-28-04, 04:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveknight
The problem with L&M and I think nightrider are they have pretty crappy ballasts and optics. So you donít get as good of light as some of the better brands. L&M requires you to send in the light if the bulb needs replaced. Plus the chargers are not all that great.
This is just what I have been hearing quite a lot of

Look, L&M (or Niterider) are not "bottom of the market". There are now more expensive HiD lights around, like Cateye and some others, but Cygolite and Nitesun make less expensive HID lights so obviously L&M and Niterider are not the bottom.

I don't know about Niterider, but I've got an L&M light and the charger is fine. It fully charges the battery in about the time it takes to deplete it. The charger shuts off when the battery's fully charged. I've had the same battery for close to two years now, with pretty much the same run time as when it was new. And I use the light a lot.

The optics on the ARC light are not "crappy", they're good. There are no dark bands, the light is distributed with a nice center cone and a uniformly bright corona that fills almost all of the field of view. The total light output for a 13W light is quite good. I doubt there are significantly better reflector systems in a comparably sized light.

From what they say, Cateye now makes a brighter light than the ARC light, but it's about $100 U.S. more. It's a higher powered light, too. L&M might not be the best choice today. I haven't looked closely at the competition for about two years. In any case, there are other HID lights that would be good choices, too.

It is true that the L&M light needs to be sent in to have the bulb changed.

As far as the original poster's question goes, I've got the older NiMH battery. It is advertised with the same run time as the Li-ion battery, you should know. It's just heavier and sits in a water bottle cage instead of on the frame. I guess I would get the Li-ion if I were buying the light now, but only because of the convenience of the smaller size and reduced weight.
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Old 12-12-04, 11:08 AM   #14
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You have to send all the HID lights back for bulb replacement. It's not like a halogen set up at all inside. It's the right thing to do. There is some complicated stuff in there. That is not a drawback. I've used my Nightrider blowtorch for three years twice a week or more all year round. This year I have been using all the four hour run time once a week every week. Still no problems. I ride with it off road it's fine.
The HID bulbs all come from the same company, the optics are all the same.
Wellych Allyn if I spelled it right.
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Old 12-12-04, 09:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
I have a Jet Lites Starfire dual-beam setup. These things are very powerful and I've been happy with them. I use them primarily for offroad night riding. The only thing is that they are not HID although I kind of like that. I would actually like to see a dual-setup bulb that has both HID and a halogen ring like they do with many cars. HID takes a while to "warm up" whereas halogen is nearly instant-on. Having a system that comes up initially with a halogen bulb and then switches to HID would be ideal. The Jet Lites folks are very nice and everytime I've talked to them, they've been very helpful. I called them up a year ago to get one of their new redesigned mounts and also asked them about a new battery. I told them my current battery was a bit big for my holder and frame (one of those tight full-suspension frames). They asked me how old the battery was and I told them it was about four years old. They told me I could send it back to them for a new battery with more capacity and a smaller size and weight for $15. They also told me they'd throw in a new "intelligent" switchbox for another $10. So for $30 (new mount cost $5), I was able to upgrade from the 1999 model to the 2003 model system (lamp designs didn't change).
Have you looked at the nightsun dual?
A 12watt HID + 35 watt halogen for a combined equivalent of almost 80 watts of unholy light.
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Old 12-12-04, 11:22 PM   #16
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Have you looked at the nightsun dual?
A 12watt HID + 35 watt halogen for a combined equivalent of almost 80 watts of unholy light.
That's a great setup. However, I already have lights and am quite happy with them so if anything I'll just get an HID helmet mounted light as a supplement.
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Old 12-12-04, 11:28 PM   #17
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Khoun, my HID only takes maybe 10 seconds or so to warm up from a completely dead state (not turned on in 10+ hours)....Do others take longer?
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Old 12-12-04, 11:30 PM   #18
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Khoun, my HID only takes maybe 10 seconds or so to warm up from a completely dead state (not turned on in 10+ hours)....Do others take longer?
Sometimes, 10s is too long.
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Old 12-12-04, 11:54 PM   #19
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Oh..I was just curious, I carry a surefire tactical light that's 120 lumens and fits neatly into my palm incase I need to see anything immediately.
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