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Need a new headlight solution

Old 11-18-15, 07:01 PM
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army14
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Need a new headlight solution

I need a headlight system that will get me 800-1200 lumens for two hours. Or at least I think I do. I ride at night on the road with cars and some no streetlight areas. 16-25 mph. I am currently using 2 Zebralight sc600 II flashlights. SC600 Mk II L2 18650 XM-L2 Flashlight Cool White I run both of them on the H2 setting which should be around 670 lumens for each light. I love this set-up except I can't get more than 44 minutes. It was explained to me that when pushing cold air over these lights it forces the pid to run the lights brighter, but it reduces the amount of time they can run. If I put these same lights in a room and turn them on, I can get over two hours before they shut off. I carry extra batteries but I would rather not stop and switch them out. I was also running a Cygolite Expillion 700 with one Zebralight and it was a good blend of spot and spill, but I changed my handlebars and the mount no longer fits. For me I find that running the 2 Zebralight set-up allows me to see everything I want. I don't see at night as well as I used to and have recently started wearing glasses. I would like to take the lights off easily after the ride for charging and for riding on the weekends where the lights are just extra weight and not necessary. I do like to have redundancy in case a light fails and I like being able to tilt this light at drivers coming out of parking lots or turning from side streets. I'm open to all suggestions at this point. Maybe a multi battery (18650) flashlight, light system with a separate battery pack, or a strong USB powered light. I'm hoping to find a solution before it starts getting light again and I won't need any lights.

Chris
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Old 11-18-15, 08:38 PM
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Get a dynamo wheel and a Busch & Muller CYO Premium light. The dynamo of course means you'll never run out of battery power, and the CYO doesn't waste the lumens by lighting the overhead street signs or trees. They all go where needed. It is bright and wide on the pavement and in front of you. I have yet to see a battery powered light that throws off a beam like this, even though they are spec'ed much higher. I have a Shimano 3N72 hub, but there are lighter ones, such as the Shutter Precision models. Lace it up to a decent rim and you won't notice any drag. You can always ride with a non-dynamo wheel during the day if that's what you want.

I have two 18650 powered lights, and I haven't used them since I set up my bike with the above. These lights don't come anywhere close to the CYO. I put all three on at the same time and only the CYO was visible and I had always thought they were very bright.
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Old 11-19-15, 10:53 AM
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Will your lights run for 2 hours on the 356 lumen setting? One solution might be to mount one of the lights on your helmet. A somewhat less-powerful light can be effective if you can point it exactly where you need to see. In that scenario, running one on the bars at 356 lumens and one on your helmet at the same setting might be enough. Or maybe you could get a third light for your helmet, or move one to your helmet and buy one longer-runtime light for bars.

Personally, I use an honest 500-lumen light on my bars and 180 lumens on my helmet for my night commute, and I find that's enough for me (but everyone's situation is different, of course). In my case, I'm using the helmet light more as a "be seen" light. However, I've occasionally put the helmet light on high (400 lumens) at night because my other battery died, and that alone was enough for me to see the road. I limit my max speed at night to about 22 mph. My night vision is mediocre.
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Old 11-19-15, 11:00 AM
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Dude, I just did a big, long, exhaustive search on this topic for myself. I ended up buying a Cateye Volt 1600. It is very practical and can run at full 1600lm for 2 hours, but I think I will only be running in the 800 mode for most of the time.
Cateye also offers an 800 model that is even more practical. It is small and has a fast recharger that can be bought separately.
With both the 1600 and the 800 you can get a helmet mount or stick with the handlebar mount.
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Old 11-19-15, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by army14 View Post
I need a headlight system that will get me 800-1200 lumens for two hours. Or at least I think I do. I ride at night on the road with cars and some no streetlight areas. 16-25 mph. I am currently using 2 Zebralight sc600 II flashlights. SC600 Mk II L2 18650 XM-L2 Flashlight Cool White I run both of them on the H2 setting which should be around 670 lumens for each light. I love this set-up except I can't get more than 44 minutes. It was explained to me that when pushing cold air over these lights it forces the pid to run the lights brighter, but it reduces the amount of time they can run. If I put these same lights in a room and turn them on, I can get over two hours before they shut off. I carry extra batteries but I would rather not stop and switch them out. I was also running a C

Chris

cold slows or stops the battery from having full power. If it's cold outside when you get the 44 minutes, that is your real problem. This will happen to all lights to some extent. The best type of batteries to give you the longest run time in the cold are Lithium. Cold batteries get back the run time with no damage.
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Old 11-19-15, 11:39 AM
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I ended up buying a Cateye Volt 1600. It is very practical and can run at full 1600lm for 2 hours, but I think I will only be running in the 800 mode for most of the time.
Cateye also offers an 800 model that is even more practical. It is small and has a fast recharger that can be bought separately.
With both the 1600 and the 800 you can get a helmet mount or stick with the handlebar mount.
If 2 hours is the claimed run time, you won't get that run time in the cold. Especially if it's really cold. Every type of light will have this problem in the cold. Some a lot, some only a little bit.
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Old 11-19-15, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
If 2 hours is the claimed run time, you won't get that run time in the cold. Especially if it's really cold. Every type of light will have this problem in the cold. Some a lot, some only a little bit.
Roger that. It is a good thing then that they use lithium batteries, and like you said, are only lightly affected by the cold. I couldn't ever foresee needing the full 1600 lumins for two straight hours! With 800 lumins, the Volt 1600 is rated at 4 hours which I think would suffice in most any conditions.
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Old 11-19-15, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pressed001 View Post
Dude, I just did a big, long, exhaustive search on this topic for myself. I ended up buying a Cateye Volt 1600. It is very practical and can run at full 1600lm for 2 hours, but I think I will only be running in the 800 mode for most of the time.
Cateye also offers an 800 model that is even more practical. It is small and has a fast recharger that can be bought separately.
With both the 1600 and the 800 you can get a helmet mount or stick with the handlebar mount.
A quick search doesn't show that Cateye readily available in the US, but I'll keep searching. I'm also looking at the Fenix BC30R. Anybody use this one?
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Old 11-19-15, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
cold slows or stops the battery from having full power. If it's cold outside when you get the 44 minutes, that is your real problem. This will happen to all lights to some extent. The best type of batteries to give you the longest run time in the cold are Lithium. Cold batteries get back the run time with no damage.
With my lithium ion lights, I've seen about a 15 - 20% reduction in runtime between summertime temperatures and below freezing temperatures. These are on-bike times. I haven't really tried running lights just in a room to see how long they will run under that condition. What the OP is describing is a > 63% drop in runtime, which is really surprising to me. I looked at the product page the OP linked, and it indicates "Runtimes of the two PID controlled levels (1100Lm and 670Lm) vary greatly with ambient temperature and air circulation." That seems to indicate that the air circulation factor is what is really at work here.
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Old 11-19-15, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
With my lithium ion lights, I've seen about a 15 - 20% reduction in runtime between summertime temperatures and below freezing temperatures. These are on-bike times. I haven't really tried running lights just in a room to see how long they will run under that condition. What the OP is describing is a > 63% drop in runtime, which is really surprising to me. I looked at the product page the OP linked, and it indicates "Runtimes of the two PID controlled levels (1100Lm and 670Lm) vary greatly with ambient temperature and air circulation." That seems to indicate that the air circulation factor is what is really at work here.
The air circulation is definitely the factor for me, I'm in Southern California and it has not been much below 50 during my rides. In speaking with the manufacturer this light is performing exactly how it should be.
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Old 11-19-15, 09:37 PM
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I have the L&M TAZ 1500. Most of my night rides I run at 1150 lumens which gives 2 hours of run time or for longer rides I'll run at 750 lumens for up to 3 hours. It is the best light of several I have. It is a little pricey but you can find them online for $220-240. I will also recommend L&M VIS 180 rear light which I use day and night.
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Old 11-19-15, 10:36 PM
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Specialized Flux Expert? A nice shaped beam that efficiently uses all of the light output. Maybe with a couple of wool socks over the case to keep it warm?

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb...pert-headlight
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Old 11-20-15, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dwmckee View Post
Specialized Flux Expert? A nice shaped beam that efficiently uses all of the light output. Maybe with a couple of wool socks over the case to keep it warm?

Specialized Bicycle Components
Its the only true high power (1000+ lumens) bicycle "headlight" I know of, and I love it. https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...headlight.html

Makes my Cateyes, and Cygolite seem like junk.

Last edited by kickstart; 11-20-15 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 11-20-15, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by army14 View Post
A quick search doesn't show that Cateye readily available in the US, but I'll keep searching. I'm also looking at the Fenix BC30R. Anybody use this one?
Chainreaction Cycles has it: link
Evans Cycles out of UK has it and offers international shipping: link
@kickstart I took a real good look at the Specialized Flux Expert and it may be something you want to look at @army14
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Old 11-20-15, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by army14 View Post
The air circulation is definitely the factor for me, I'm in Southern California and it has not been much below 50 during my rides. In speaking with the manufacturer this light is performing exactly how it should be.
Been riding early mornings in Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. So its mid 40's to low 50's. When I finish my 20 mile ride, the Cygolite is not a bit warm. Just as cold as if it were not on. Same for my water bottle.
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Old 11-20-15, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Its the only true high power (1000+ lumens) bicycle "headlight" I know of, and I love it. https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...headlight.html

Makes my Cateyes, and Cygolite seem like junk.
Definitely bad ass with a bad ass price
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Old 11-20-15, 10:31 PM
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I've been runing a Specialized Flux Expert for the past month. No complaints in the dark plus it doesn't blind oncoming people/traffic. In the 800 lumen setting it runs around 2.25 hours if I recall. In high beam it goes up to 1200 lumens which is easily selected on the included remote. I'm sure someone will suggest some cheap 1000+ lumen light but it wasn't even a consideration for me. I don't want to be that guy with the incredibly blinding headlight.
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Old 11-20-15, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
I've been runing a Specialized Flux Expert for the past month. No complaints in the dark plus it doesn't blind oncoming people/traffic. In the 800 lumen setting it runs around 2.25 hours if I recall. In high beam it goes up to 1200 lumens which is easily selected on the included remote. I'm sure someone will suggest some cheap 1000+ lumen light but it wasn't even a consideration for me. I don't want to be that guy with the incredibly blinding headlight.
I have an Insignia 15600 mAh USB powerpack I got at Best Buy, it will extend the run time to 6.9 hours at 1200 lumen, and 10.4 hours at 800 lumen.
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Old 11-21-15, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have an Insignia 15600 mAh USB powerpack I got at Best Buy, it will extend the run time to 6.9 hours at 1200 lumen, and 10.4 hours at 800 lumen.
Has Specialized made an adapter to allow you to use the remote while it's charging? I read that one was in the works. Without the remote connected you won't be able to select the 1200 lumen setting. I think you need a 2A charger to run it at the higher settings while charging.
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Old 11-21-15, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
Has Specialized made an adapter to allow you to use the remote while it's charging? I read that one was in the works. Without the remote connected you won't be able to select the 1200 lumen setting. I think you need a 2A charger to run it at the higher settings while charging.
I think all one needs is a Y cable, but not sure. Its the 600-400 lumen low power setting that one needs the remote for, the 1200-800 lumen is the default without remote. You are correct about the 2A, the USB pack I have puts out between 1A and 2.1A at each port up to a total of 4A, and automatically selects the correct output.
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Old 11-21-15, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
ts the 600-400 lumen low power setting that one needs the remote for, the 1200-800 lumen is the default without remote.
If I unplug the remote on mine I only get 1200 lumen, 400 lumen, pulse or flash modes as options using the button on the light. The 800 lumen setting is the one I use the most so I'm not blinding oncoming people/traffic. You need the remote to be plugged in to select the other modes and the fast pluse "light horn" feature.

Last edited by Dunbar; 11-21-15 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 11-21-15, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
If I unplug the remote on mine I only get 1200 lumen, 400 lumen, pulse or flash modes as options using the button on the light. The 800 lumen setting is the one I use the most so I'm not blinding oncoming people/traffic. You need the remote to be plugged in to select the other modes and the fast pluse "light horn" feature.
Yes, you are correct, its a 1200 lumen high beam, and 400 lumen low beam without the remote. My mistake.

I'm waiting for an answer back from Specialized about using a Y cable. If it will work, I'll make one up.
On a positive note, if you set the light to the 800 lumen low beam with the remote, then unplug it, and plug in the power pack it will stay at 800 lumen. Not ideal as it reverts to the default settings if you turn it off, or change function, but it is a functional work around to just run at 800 lumen.
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Old 11-22-15, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
I don't want to be that guy with the incredibly blinding headlight.
Doh! I really dislike those guys! At least aim the thing properly downwards!

Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have an Insignia 15600 mAh USB powerpack I got at Best Buy, it will extend the run time to 6.9 hours at 1200 lumen, and 10.4 hours at 800 lumen.
I like the idea of a bigger battery (minus the weight) but the cables are just such a hassle to deal with!
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Old 11-22-15, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Its the only true high power (1000+ lumens) bicycle "headlight" I know of, and I love it. https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/...headlight.html

Makes my Cateyes, and Cygolite seem like junk.
There are many "Bike head Lamps" over 1000 Lumens and some of them are 5000 "GENUINE" Lumens and can run for 6 hours at this setting. Lupine of Germany is an example and these are what I use..
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Old 11-22-15, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
There are many "Bike head Lamps" over 1000 Lumens and some of them are 5000 "GENUINE" Lumens and can run for 6 hours at this setting. Lupine of Germany is an example and these are what I use..
Exactly, "bike head lamps" are common, I'm talking about real "headlights" in a vehicular sense. A shaped beam with cutoff, where the emitter or lamp isn't projecting directly, and has actual high and low beams rather than just multiple power levels with some sort of defuser.

The only two I'm aware of are the Specialized flux, and Phillips Activeride.
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