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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 08-28-05, 03:31 AM
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Daily Commute
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Edit: As I explain in this thread, my Cygolite died after about 18 months of use. The company wants $100 to $200 to replace the lamp and/or ballast. That's a rip-off.

After a year's use, My CygoLite NiMH battery gave me 3 hours, 14 minutes of use in 20-35 minutes spurts over about a week. I tested the battery by using my bike computer's timer to keep track of how long I used the light.

Perfomance advertised 5 hours (the NiMH is gone from Performance), but the CygoLite's website claims only 4 hours. I got the light about a year ago, and used it heavily last winter, so this seems about right. What do y'all think?

It would be useful if other BikeForum members did similar tests of their HID's (or any lights, for that matter). I'm not saying to put your guesses down immediately, I'm suggesting using your timer to keep track of exactly how long a charge lasts. If you don't have a timer, you can do it manually. But I am asking for more than guesses.

Edit: I did the test again over a longer period of time. The results are in post 30.
Second Edit: I did the test again aver a shorter time, and I got 3:45 to 3:50 in run time. See post 37.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-31-06 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 08-28-05, 06:18 AM
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If anyone is planning on trying this in their basement, note that you may toast your light - those suckers get HOT and cygolite, at least, warns against running them for long when your bike is not moving.

I'd be very pleased with 3:15 on my cygolite NiMH HID - I think that's about what I got when it was new.
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Old 08-28-05, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sloth
If anyone is planning on trying this in their basement, note that you may toast your light - those suckers get HOT and cygolite, at least, warns against running them for long when your bike is not moving.

I'd be very pleased with 3:15 on my cygolite NiMH HID - I think that's about what I got when it was new.
Point taken. Testing in real world conditions make more sense, anyway.

Edit: As I explain in this thread, my Cygolite died after about 18 months of use. The company wants $100 to $200 to replace the lamp and/or ballast. That's a rip-off.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-31-06 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 08-28-05, 07:00 AM
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Or at least, have a fan blowing on it to keep it cool.
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Old 08-28-05, 09:13 AM
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Light & motion also advises against running a HID light while stationary.
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Old 08-28-05, 07:22 PM
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It's safe to assume the advertised run time is exaggerated.
I have the NiCad version of the Cygo Lite Z-Force HID. It's advertised with a 3 hour run time but has consistently delivered 2.5 hours. That suits my 30 minute commute perfectly, a fully charged battery gets me through the week.
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Old 08-28-05, 07:39 PM
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I don't have the HID, but I do have a Cygo light. They don't seem to run as long as they're advertised to run.

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Old 08-28-05, 09:24 PM
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I went ahead and ordered this battery set up from batteryspace.com today. I know that they have had some problems with their PCBs on the LiOn batts but the batts themselves, LG units, are good batteries. I paid about $74.00 for the 14.4V 4000mAh batts shipped with a smart "fast" charger... here's a pic and some info:

High capacity Li-Ion battery 14.8V 4000mAh. Made of 8pcs matched 18650 2000mAh Li-Ion cylindral cells made by LG
Light weight and compact size. Much smaller than NiMH battery pack.
One set of detachable universal connectors with 6 plug tips is included and will fit to the most of DC devices.
One multi voltage smart Li-Ion battery charger is included for safely charging. Auto cut off power when battery fully charge. Just plug it in and leave it.
Double PVC shrink wrap for water resistant.
Perfect for HID and Halogen bike headlight of 10-13W. The burning time is about 5hrs.
Can replace any 13.2V NiMH battery pack and 14.8V Li-Ion battery packs. For example:

* Niterider Headtrip, Storm, Blowtorch etc
* Starfire Dual or single Beam
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Old 08-29-05, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
I don't have the HID, but I do have a Cygo light. They don't seem to run as long as they're advertised to run.

Koffee

Same here I'm thinking 75 to 80 percent run time of what is advertised.
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Old 08-29-05, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Dougmt
I went ahead and ordered this battery set up from batteryspace.com today. I know that they have had some problems with their PCBs on the LiOn batts but the batts themselves, LG units, are good batteries. I paid about $74.00 for the 14.4V 4000mAh batts shipped with a smart "fast" charger... here's a pic and some info:



I'm VERY curious to know how this works with a Cygolight HID.
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Old 08-29-05, 06:36 PM
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I'll definetley let ya know as soon as I try it out. I'll need to cycle the LiOn batts a few times and I may need to buy a regulated switch as I think the cygolite's regulator is built into their battery and of course this batt pack has a PCB but no Hi output reg.
The folks at trail tech that make the light setups that batteryspace.com sells do offer the soft start/regulated switch I just have to call them tomorrow and find out how much $$$$
I should still end up with a very good deal on the HID though as I paid about 180 for it from performance with all of their coupons and then I think I'll sell the batt/charger on ebay for 50(hopefully) then add the 74 that this cost and that puts me at just a twitch over 200 for a high capacity LiOn HID light set up... if it all works LOL :-)
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Old 08-29-05, 06:37 PM
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Please do update - and let us know about the cost of the soft start/regulated switch!
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Old 08-29-05, 07:27 PM
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BTW, I was messing with my cygolite battery last night. If the soft start thing is in the battery, I couldn't detect it. According to my multimeter, the battery puts out 0 or ~13 volts. No in between.
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Old 08-29-05, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Sloth
BTW, I was messing with my cygolite battery last night. If the soft start thing is in the battery, I couldn't detect it. According to my multimeter, the battery puts out 0 or ~13 volts. No in between.
LiOn batts put out a LOT of voltage for a little while after they are fully charged... like almost 16V... that will fry most HID ballasts. That's why most HIDs that use LiOn also have some kind of voltage regulator in-line.
:-)
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Old 08-30-05, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Dougmt
LiOn batts put out a LOT of voltage for a little while after they are fully charged... like almost 16V... that will fry most HID ballasts. That's why most HIDs that use LiOn also have some kind of voltage regulator in-line.
:-)
Doug
Yes, and HIDs usually need a ballast to supply very high voltage to get things started, which I would have expected to see from the battery, if the regulator and ballast were in there. I suspect that they've got both in the light assembly.
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Old 08-30-05, 03:39 AM
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BTW, I just checked. A Cygolite HID bulb assembly will start and run just fine using an off the shelf 12V NiMH battery pack. The startup behaviour is identical to that using the Cygolite battery (i.e., an initial warmup period, etc.)

I would guess that they have both a regulator and a ballast in there. Probably a soft start mechanism as well, if one is needed.

Interesting.
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Old 08-30-05, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sloth
BTW, I just checked. A Cygolite HID bulb assembly will start and run just fine using an off the shelf 12V NiMH battery pack. The startup behaviour is identical to that using the Cygolite battery (i.e., an initial warmup period, etc.)

I would guess that they have both a regulator and a ballast in there. Probably a soft start mechanism as well, if one is needed.

Interesting.
What milliamp level do I want? This one is 4500 ma.
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Old 08-30-05, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
After a year's use, My CygoLite NiMH battery gave me 3 hours, 14 minutes of use in 20-35 minutes spurts over about a week. I tested the battery by using my bike computer's timer to keep track of how long I used the light.

Perfomance advertised 5 hours (the NiMH is gone from Performance), but the CygoLite's website claims only 4 hours. I got the light about a year ago, and used it heavily last winter, so this seems about right. What do y'all think?

It would be useful if other BikeForum members did similar tests of their HID's (or any lights, for that matter). I'm not saying to put your guesses down immediately, I'm suggesting using your timer to keep track of exactly how long a charge lasts. If you don't have a timer, you can do it manually. But I am asking for more than guesses.
An excellent Idea. Real owner reports a year later, or even when new. Some real numbers instead of estimates. I like it. Possibly add to the post how long one has owned the light, and maybe the price paid for it too?

We all need to pay attention to slvoid's warning, some lights, even halogen lights, need moving air to keep from damaging themselves. Even my old Nightrider Classic.

Now I know what to use the "stopwatch" function on my computers for.

If Cygolight claims four hours and you used the light a lot during the winter I say that's about what I would expect for NiMh. I think if you charged it fully and used it all at once you would get more burn time, because the days not in use NiMh goes down pretty fast. There is a fair amount of loss in about a week. Some claim 10% the first day for NiMh. You might have a 20% loss due just to the week’s time ? Just a guess so not worth much. Just a point to consider when thinking of a comparison format.

You may have all four hours at one run the day it was charged. 10% of four hours is a 24 minutes loss. You have 46 minutes lost in a week ..not bad. I say you have a great light. For how much??
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Old 08-30-05, 07:29 PM
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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.

Edit: As I explain in this thread, my Cygolite died after about 18 months of use. The company wants $100 to $200 to replace the lamp and/or ballast. That's a rip-off.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 03-31-06 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 08-30-05, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Sloth
BTW, I just checked. A Cygolite HID bulb assembly will start and run just fine using an off the shelf 12V NiMH battery pack. The startup behaviour is identical to that using the Cygolite battery (i.e., an initial warmup period, etc.)

I would guess that they have both a regulator and a ballast in there. Probably a soft start mechanism as well, if one is needed.

Interesting.

The ballast is built into the light assembly and I think the newer HID MR11 style bulbs have the ballast built into the bulb itself.... the regulator is for using LiOn batts that put out WAY more than 13volts for the first few minutes or so... that much voltage will kill the HID bulb.... NiMh and NiCad don't have that problem.
batteryspace.com has an EXCELLENT primer on the HID bulbs...
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Old 08-31-05, 08:14 AM
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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 think you got a good deal. There are a lot comparable lights for $400 and up. I think this is a good
report that someone who is headlight shopping could really use.

Good point about the discounts and the coupons. Too late for me !

The way I think, I would carry a small back up anyway. I bet that's pretty common.
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Old 08-31-05, 11:12 AM
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Also remember as the temp goes down the run time of the battery will drop also. I noticed this most often with my old halogen lights with SLA or NiCad Batteries. I will have to check the run time on my Cygolight this year as darkness approaches.


A side note about Cygolight:
I have been very pleased with Cygolights's CS as I have called twice now for small replacement parts (the little nut for the mounting bracket and the gasket on the lamp unit where the battery plugs in) and they have sent them out no charge (FREE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA). They have won me as a customer for life.
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Old 08-31-05, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by CPcyclist
A side note about Cygolight:
I have been very pleased with Cygolights's CS as I have called twice now for small replacement parts (the little nut for the mounting bracket and the gasket on the lamp unit where the battery plugs in) and they have sent them out no charge (FREE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA). They have won me as a customer for life.
I second that. Very nice, helpful folks. I called them looking for a second mounting bracket, for another bike. $3. I bought two.
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Old 08-31-05, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes
I think you got a good deal. There are a lot comparable lights for $400 and up. I think this is a good
report that someone who is headlight shopping could really use.

Good point about the discounts and the coupons. Too late for me !

The way I think, I would carry a small back up anyway. I bet that's pretty common.

Oh sure... I post an entire topic on how to get the cygolite HID for around 185.00 shipped and I cant even get an atta boy!!!!!!!!
LOL
Just kidding... but you could have got the above mentioned light for that price with performance's sale and coupons...
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Old 08-31-05, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dougmt
Oh sure... I post an entire topic on how to get the cygolite HID for around 185.00 shipped and I cant even get an atta boy!!!!!!!!
LOL
Just kidding... but you could have got the above mentioned light for that price with performance's sale and coupons...
Doug


2manybikes you are charged with skimming over posts and not reading them to the end. How do you plead?

"Guilty your honor."


.................................................atta boy!

No matter how you do it, it seems like you get a lot for the money with all the Cygolights.
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