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CygoLite HID NiMH run time, 1 year later

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CygoLite HID NiMH run time, 1 year later

Old 09-01-05, 12:14 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Sloth
I second that. Very nice, helpful folks. I called them looking for a second mounting bracket, for another bike. $3. I bought two.

The guys name is John(Not me). He gave me some good info. Won me over, call backs and returned my emails.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:07 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
2manybikes, I think I got for about $300 if you include the sale price, 10% rebate in the form of Team Performance Points, and 20% coupon and then add on shipping. You should never buy an HID unless it is discounted AND you are using a 20% coupon.

My biggest gripe (and I repeat it often) is that the instructions say to turn it off immediately when the low battery light comes on. That means you need a second light (or second battery) as a back up for regular night commuting.
I just recommended the Cygolight HID to a friend that has been doing a lot of night riding with me this year. The light is on sale at performance right now for $229 minus what ever coupons get used. I don't know the final price yet. She has been borrowing my old Nightrider blowtorch, it's a great light but it's a 10 w HID and the Cygolite is advertised as 12 w. I paid over $400 for mine about three years ago I think.
The final decision factor was Saturday night we were nearing the end of a 120 mile ride and were getting tired, and we had to ride a couple of miles in city traffic on a road that had just been torn up and had all sorts of holes in it. On road bikes with 23 mm tires we had to be very careful, and of course the car lights coming right into your eyes don't help much. This morning she emailed me and said she could not imagine that stretch of road without a good light, and is buying the Cygolight.

So anyway...

Thanks Daily Commute, Dougmt, PWRDbyTRD, and everyone else who posted info about that light, and everyone who contributed to this thread. I think we saved my friend a lot of money.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:32 AM
  #28  
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The Cygolite on sale at performance has a NiCad, not an NiMH battery, so run times will be shorter.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 10-20-05 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 09-06-05, 08:03 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
The Cygolite on sale at performance has a NiCad, not an NiMH battery, so run times will be shorter.
Thanks Daily Commute.
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Old 10-20-05, 09:42 AM
  #30  
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I re-did the test, this time over several weeks (I didn't go into work super-early as often, so more of my commutes were in daylight). I got the same result--a run time between 3:15 and 3:20. I thought the battery might decay more over time, but it didn't. Not bad.
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Old 10-21-05, 09:21 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
I re-did the test, this time over several weeks (I didn't go into work super-early as often, so more of my commutes were in daylight). I got the same result--a run time between 3:15 and 3:20. I thought the battery might decay more over time, but it didn't. Not bad.
After using it for a year, I would be OK with that. Thanks for keeping track and posting the results.

That is different than running the light the day you charge it. You probably have not lost even that much compared to when it was new. It's the days of sitting around that probably make most of the change in run time. Not all, but I guess most.

With that kind of a battery you lose a lot just sitting around, as much as 10% the first day even when it is new.
I think that if you charged it up fully, waited just a few minutes to an hour, you could get almost four hours out of it. Kind of a pain to sit around for four hours to find out. I think your post is more typical use for a commuter, than a four hour run is anyway. Just wondering, did you time it when it was new?

My friend ordered the NIcad light from Performance before my post on 9-06-05 They said it was backordered. She found out three or four days ago they can not get them any more. Wednesday she ordered it from the LBS. They matched the price and their supplier has 9 pieces in stock, so it's on the way now.
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Old 10-22-05, 06:09 AM
  #32  
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The other advantage of keeping track of run time is that I have a good idea about when the battery will die. That means I can be sure to have back-up lighting.

To extend run time, I disconnect the battery from the light when I'm not riding. I've read that leaving them connected is a very slow drain on the battery.
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Old 10-22-05, 08:04 AM
  #33  
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Lithium Ion batteries always require a voltage regulator built into the battery. This does not indicate it is a problem. In fact, the LiLon batteries fare very well in multiple ways. Some HID’s come with LED as part of the system, so that you can convert to LED when the low battery warning comes on and still have “be seen” light working for you. Since the charge time on some LiLons is less than two hours to max, having a low battery should not be a concern if you are conscientious about keeping it charged; along with getting a system that is rated for the time you usually ride in the dark.

Here’s some battery facts for the technically inclined:

Nicad:
Advantages
• Fast and simple charge, even after prolonged storage.

• High number of charge/discharge cycles - if properly maintained, nickel-cadmium provides over 1000 charge/discharge cycles.

• Good load performance - nickel-cadmium allows recharging at low temperatures.

• Long shelf life - five-year storage is possible. Some priming prior to use will be required.

• Simple storage and transportation - most airfreight companies accept nickel-cadmium without special conditions.

• Good low temperature performance.

• Forgiving if abused - nickel-cadmium is one of the most rugged rechargeable batteries.

• Economically priced - nickel-cadmium is lowest in terms of cost per cycle.

• Available in a wide range of sizes and performance options - most nickel-cadmium cells are cylindrical.

Limitations
• Relatively low energy density.

• Memory effect - nickel-cadmium must periodically be exercised (discharge/charge) to prevent memory.

• Environmentally unfriendly - nickel-cadmium contains toxic metals. Some countries restrict its use.

• Relatively high self-discharge - needs recharging after storage

Nickel-metal hydride:

Advantages

• 30-40% higher capacity than standard nickel-cadmium. Nickel-metal-hydride has potential for yet higher energy densities.

• Less prone to memory than nickel-cadmium - fewer exercise cycles are required.

• Simple storage and transportation - transport is not subject to regulatory control.

• Environmentally friendly - contains only mild toxins; profitable for recycling.

Limitations
• Limited service life - the performance starts to deteriorate after 200-300 cycles if repeatedly deeply cycled.

• Relatively short storage of three years. Cool temperature and a partial charge slows aging.

• Limited discharge current - although nickel-metal-hydride is capable of delivering high discharge currents, heavy load reduces the battery's cycle life.

• More complex charge algorithm needed - nickel-metal-hydride generates more heat during charge and requires slightly longer charge times than nickel-cadmium. Trickle charge settings are critical because the battery cannot absorb overcharge.

• High self-discharge - typically 50% higher than nickel-cadmium.

• Performance degrades if stored at elevated temperatures - nickel-metal-hydride should be stored in a cool place at 40% state-of-charge.

• High maintenance - nickel-metal hydride requires regular full discharge to prevent crystalline formation. nickel-cadmium should be exercised once a month, nickel-metal-hydride once in every 3 months.

Lithium Ion batteries:

Advantages
• High energy density - potential for yet higher capacities.
• Does not need prolonged priming when new. One regular charge is all that's needed.
• Relatively low self-discharge - self-discharge is less than half that of nickel-based batteries.
• Low Maintenance - no periodic discharge is needed; there is no memory.
• Specialty cells can provide very high current to applications such as power tools.


Limitations
• Requires protection circuit to maintain voltage and current within safe limits.
• Subject to aging, even if not in use - storage in a cool place at 40% charge reduces the aging effect.
• Transportation restrictions - shipment of larger quantities may be subject to regulatory control. This restriction does not apply to personal carry-on batteries. (See last section)
• Expensive to manufacture - about 40 percent higher in cost than nickel-cadmium.
• Not fully mature - metals and chemicals are changing on a continuing basis.
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Old 10-22-05, 08:09 AM
  #34  
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I forgot the link to an interesting battery site:

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/index.htm
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Old 10-23-05, 01:29 PM
  #35  
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For what it's worth, my Cygo didn't even last a full year before it had to be sent back for warranty repair. I'd leave it on the charger and get 10 mins runtime out of it. I have no idea if the battery or the charger was to blame but for whatever reason, the battery was basically refusing to charge. I sent it back to Cygo at my expense and they fixed it for free. Oddly, they don't replace with a refurbished unit or anything; they actually fix whatever it is that is wrong with the light from what I can tell. I got back exactly what I sent them, same everything. I couldn't even tell what they'd done to fix it (if anything?) but it works now so that's all that matters. Perhaps they replaced the charger port in the battery or refurbished the battery itself.

As far as usage goes, I used it extensively at night during the winter (2-3 hrs at a time sometimes) and charged it 4 times a week or so, I would say. It lasted about 9-10 months before it refused to charge. Warranty service was excruciatingly slow and they didn't give any sort of indication as to what was wrong with the light in the least. They never gave me a tracking # to track it on its way back, never let me know they had shipped it or anything. It just showed up on my doorstep about a month or so later. I can't say I'm the least bit satisfied with their customer service.
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Old 10-31-05, 12:11 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by cryogenic
For what it's worth, my Cygo didn't even last a full year before it had to be sent back for warranty repair. I'd leave it on the charger and get 10 mins runtime out of it. I have no idea if the battery or the charger was to blame but for whatever reason, the battery was basically refusing to charge. I sent it back to Cygo at my expense and they fixed it for free. Oddly, they don't replace with a refurbished unit or anything; they actually fix whatever it is that is wrong with the light from what I can tell. I got back exactly what I sent them, same everything. I couldn't even tell what they'd done to fix it (if anything?) but it works now so that's all that matters. Perhaps they replaced the charger port in the battery or refurbished the battery itself.

As far as usage goes, I used it extensively at night during the winter (2-3 hrs at a time sometimes) and charged it 4 times a week or so, I would say. It lasted about 9-10 months before it refused to charge. Warranty service was excruciatingly slow and they didn't give any sort of indication as to what was wrong with the light in the least. They never gave me a tracking # to track it on its way back, never let me know they had shipped it or anything. It just showed up on my doorstep about a month or so later. I can't say I'm the least bit satisfied with their customer service.
Thanks for the information cryogenic. It's good to know about that.

Daily Commute:

Finally! Today my friend took the brand new Nicad HID Cygolight for it's maiden voyage. She's very happy with that light. The low power light is a nice feature, some other lights don't have that. As someone already posted we both had to take our gloves off to turn the light on and off. Not a big deal. The total with tax was about $256. It sure seems like a lot of light for the money to me. I like the handlebar bracket better than the Nightrider lights.

Here's a lousy picture of the beam.
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Old 11-22-05, 05:36 PM
  #37  
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I got the low battery light somewhere between 3:45 and 3:50 on my way to work today.

One thing I haven't noted is the time between charge and the time it rtuns out. Now that it's darker more often, I use the light more. Most recently, I charged the light at work last Wednesday. I still use it in 10-35 minute spurts.

Maybe regular use helps it (although that doesn't really make sense). Maybe I'm using it over a shorter time. Maybe I'm being better about disconnecting the light from the battery when it's not in use. But I'm getting about 30 minutes more use out of it per charge.
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Old 11-22-05, 05:51 PM
  #38  
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Nimh batteries lose like 5-10% of their charge per day for the first few days then 2-3% every day after that.. so yeah if you leave it sitting around, it'll go dead in a month or two.
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Old 11-22-05, 05:55 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
I got the low battery light somewhere between 3:45 and 3:50 on my way to work today.

One thing I haven't noted is the time between charge and the time it rtuns out. Now that it's darker more often, I use the light more. Most recently, I charged the light at work last Wednesday. I still use it in 10-35 minute spurts.

Maybe regular use helps it (although that doesn't really make sense). Maybe I'm using it over a shorter time. Maybe I'm being better about disconnecting the light from the battery when it's not in use. But I'm getting about 30 minutes more use out of it per charge.
Nimh batteries lose charge when just sitting on the shelf pretty fast. Some lose 10% of the capacity in the first day. If you charge your light and use it up in three days, you will always get more run time than if you use it up in two weeks. If you charge your light and run it an hour after you charge it, you may get all four hours. It was like that when it was new. That's just how they are. What you are experiencing is normal for that type of battery. The difference is the amount of time the battery sits around after being charged. It sounds to me like your battery is in very good shape. Cool !
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Old 11-22-05, 06:00 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Nimh batteries lose like 5-10% of their charge per day for the first few days then 2-3% every day after that.. so yeah if you leave it sitting around, it'll go dead in a month or two.
I'll go watch TV and leave you in charge of all the bike light threads tonight.
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Old 11-23-05, 03:41 AM
  #41  
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It sounds like I should be very happy about the performance of my Cygolite. Even after a year's use and nearly a week since the last charge, I got 90-93% of the promised run time.
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Old 11-23-05, 06:54 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
It sounds like I should be very happy about the performance of my Cygolite. Even after a year's use and nearly a week since the last charge, I got 90-93% of the promised run time.
I don't think you can possibly do any better.
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