Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

Which headlights are programmable?

Reply

Old 07-10-18, 05:29 PM
  #1  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Which headlights are programmable?

Apologies for the rather vague title.

I have a Lezyne Macro Drive 600XL headlight (model from a few years ago, discontinued now), and one of my favourite features is its "race mode". When put into this mode all the brightness/flashing options are locked out except for high and low steady settings. I don't want flashing options or four different brightness levels to scroll through all the time, so I use race mode 100% of the time. It's great, except...

The high setting is the max that the light is rated for (600 lumens, "overdrive"), which produces a run time of under two hours. The low setting is the "economy" setting, which has a good runtime (seven hours) but only produces 150 lumens. In other words (for my purposes) the high setting has a useful output but short runtime, and the low setting is too low.

All of Lezyne's lights do this in race mode - max brightness (ie short run time) on high and too-low output on low. For example, the current Macro Drive 1100XL produces 1100 lumens for 1:20 on high, and 150 lumens for 10:00 on low. If only we could choose which levels are included in race mode then it would be perfect.

So, (finally) getting to the point, does anybody know of any headlights which are either programmable or offer a useful "race mode" type option to eliminate unused settings? Bonus points if the light:
  1. Is all-in-one (no separate battery pack)
  2. Has a rubber strap mount instead of a clamp
  3. Has fast charging
I'm aware that Light and Motion have a race mode option with some useful output levels, but from reading the documentation it looks like you have to explicitly enable race mode every time you switch on the light. The Lezyne lights are better in this regard IMO; once you enable race mode you need to switch it off and go through a separate command sequence to re-enable the other modes.

BTW, my gold standard for this feature is my Niteflux Red Zone tail light. It has eight possible settings, but you can simply disable the ones you don't want to use. I have mine setup with a single flashing mode for daytime riding and a single steady mode for night. Having just the two settings makes it really nice to use.
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-18, 06:28 PM
  #2  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 10,525

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 136 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4555 Post(s)
Exposure Lights might suit your needs.

I own a Strada 1200 which has high, medium, low and flash settings. There are at least five programs to choose from which allow different brightnesss and runtimes.

I use program 3 which cycles through high @ 1200 lumens for 3 hours runtime and low @ 300 lumes for 10 hours runtime. A 50 mile night ride is possible if I drop to the low setting when high is not needed such as when climbing.

They are not inexpensive but can be found on the internet for at least 25% less than list price. I purchased mine through Chain Reaction.

Charge time is advertised at 9 hours but mine rarely goes below 50% charge anyway and it only takes 2 or 3 hours in practice.


-Tim-
TimothyH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-18, 07:52 PM
  #3  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,639

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
MY gloworm X1 can be configured as 2 or 3 levels. Each level is programmable(10% steps).
znomit is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-18, 10:52 PM
  #4  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Thanks. I just had a look at the Exposure and Gloworm lights. The programmability of both looks good, but the form factor (especially the mount) isn't quite what I'm looking for.
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 02:34 AM
  #5  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,403
Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5940 Post(s)
I've stopped dimming the lights. I'll simply take the flex mounted light,and point it downward until the cars pass.

I do ride on low power a lot, just for fear that I'll run out of battery power.

A few things I dislike about some lights.
  • I find Android USB ports far too fragile. I've got one headlight that I can no longer reliably charge... so it is now toast. One phone that also should have its USB port replaced, and maybe a second. I also find the unidirectional port very hard to see which direction is which.
  • One of my lights has the lowest power mode in flash mode. So, I either have to flash, or run it at medium power.
  • I'm chewing through the silicone straps for my Fly6 at an alarming rate. To buy replacement straps, I have to purchase a complete mount kit for about 10x the value of the straps alone, and no guarantee the mount kit would last more than a few months.
  • None of my current lights have a shaped beam which I consider far superior
  • Some lights blink from 100% to off without waning.
  • Low charge indicators are on several of my lights, but often in a place that is hard to see when riding a road bike. One should have a couple of intermediate charged/partial charge/nearly dead indicators.
  • I've had at least one taillight style that fell off a few times. A secure catch is good.
CliffordK is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 05:10 AM
  #6  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I've stopped dimming the lights. I'll simply take the flex mounted light,and point it downward until the cars pass.
I tend to do the same. One of the reasons I like the lights with the rubber straps. I do still like having a low beam option for roadside repairs etc. Plus preserving the battery with currently available lights.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
None of my current lights have a shaped beam which I consider far superior
I would love to have a shaped beam, but I frequently hang my headlight from underneath my bars instead of sitting it on top. I haven't yet seen any all-in-one lights with shaped beams which can be run this way.

The more I think about it, I would be perfectly happy if I could have my current light with double the battery capacity. Of course, that's with keeping the same brightness, weight, size and rugged construction. Physics wins again.
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 06:56 AM
  #7  
TimothyH
- Soli Deo Gloria -
 
TimothyH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northwest Georgia
Posts: 10,525

Bikes: 2018 Rodriguez Custom Fixed Gear, 2017 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2015 Bianchi Pista, 2002 Fuji Robaix

Mentioned: 136 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4555 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
Thanks. I just had a look at the Exposure and Gloworm lights. The programmability of both looks good, but the form factor (especially the mount) isn't quite what I'm looking for.
I agree about the mount for the Exposure and never used it. In fact, the factory mount has been replaced with a GoPro style mount from a Light & Motion Urban series light.

https://www.lightandmotion.com/urban-gopro-mount


-Tim-.
TimothyH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 11:07 AM
  #8  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,403
Mentioned: 104 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5940 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
I would love to have a shaped beam, but I frequently hang my headlight from underneath my bars instead of sitting it on top. I haven't yet seen any all-in-one lights with shaped beams which can be run this way.
Oh, interesting thought. I prefer my light on top of the bars, but have thrown it under if for some reason I think there isn't space on top.

A dual sided mount would be nice.

I think many of the generator lights are designed for a low mount, perhaps a brake mount or a stem mount, but they would be a special case.

Oh, recently I've been using a little cube shaped light. Dice HL. I don't have the full specs on them, but it is designed to fit in front of the bars. Unfortunately, also a symmetrical beam.

I don't think it has konked out on me yet. However, I typically run it on low beam in the city, and medium beam out of town. The dimming pattern is annoying, and I think goes (Medium, High, Flash, Flash, Low).

Last edited by CliffordK; 07-11-18 at 11:12 AM.
CliffordK is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 11:24 AM
  #9  
SylvainG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ottawa,ON,Canada
Posts: 962

Bikes: Schwinn Miranda 1990, Giant TCX 2 2012

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 382 Post(s)
Not sure if that will do but my CateEye Volt800 will go to full brightness when the button is 'double clicked' and then return to its previous mode when the button is single clicked. It also uses internal (screwed on) replaceable Lithium Ion batteries. Support quick charging.Doesn't have a rubber strap but a plastic strap that 'screws on' its bracket.
SylvainG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 12:27 PM
  #10  
01 CAt Man Do
Senior Member
 
01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 959

Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Don't see how you could go wrong with the new 2018 version Gloworm X2 or XS. All modes are programmable and there are various menus as well. ( all flash modes are hidden ) If you just want High/low you can have it. Gloworm has great mounting options as well. Their handlebar mounts are simply the best but they also have various options ( including Gopro I think ) for the helmet. Not to mention both of these now offer wireless remote ( as well as on board buttons ) as well.

Hard to find but the ITUO lights are all programmable too. ( I use the XP3 on the helmet for MTB ). If you only want High/low you can always program the three modes of the lamp to ...low / high / low. or High/low/high. You might have to double press every now or then but it's doable. The gloworms though offer a dedicated two mode menu just for people who race
01 CAt Man Do is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 09:28 PM
  #11  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
Not sure if that will do but my CateEye Volt800 will go to full brightness when the button is 'double clicked' and then return to its previous mode when the button is single clicked.
I'd really like to disable every mode that I'm not going to use.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I think many of the generator lights are designed for a low mount, perhaps a brake mount or a stem mount, but they would be a special case.
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I agree about the mount for the Exposure and never used it. In fact, the factory mount has been replaced with a GoPro style mount from a Light & Motion Urban series light.
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Don't see how you could go wrong with the new 2018 version Gloworm X2 or XS.
Mulling over this a bit more, the mount is actually quite important to me. I really like the way I can quickly and easily attach the rubber strap mount to any bike with no tools and then adjust the angle as I ride. It's robust too, which is important as I often use my lights on my unicycle (see pic if you're curious) where they can see a bit of abuse.



I'm starting to think that what I'm looking for doesn't exist. I see that Lezyne have a new model coming out soon which is basically identical to what I have but with fast charging. Maybe I just need to buy a couple of them and keep them in rotation. Either that or go down the route of dedicated lights per bike (probably the ones with separate batteries), which I was hoping to avoid.

I also have some red COBs and a cheapie headlight reflector/body/LED unit that I was planning on turning into something a while back but never got around to it. Maybe I'll end up DIYing something yet...
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-18, 01:02 PM
  #12  
01 CAt Man Do
Senior Member
 
01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 959

Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
I'd really like to disable every mode that I'm not going to use.







Mulling over this a bit more, the mount is actually quite important to me. I really like the way I can quickly and easily attach the rubber strap mount to any bike with no tools and then adjust the angle as I ride. It's robust too, which is important as I often use my lights on my unicycle (see pic if you're curious) where they can see a bit of abuse.



I'm starting to think that what I'm looking for doesn't exist. I see that Lezyne have a new model coming out soon which is basically identical to what I have but with fast charging. Maybe I just need to buy a couple of them and keep them in rotation. Either that or go down the route of dedicated lights per bike (probably the ones with separate batteries), which I was hoping to avoid.

I also have some red COBs and a cheapie headlight reflector/body/LED unit that I was planning on turning into something a while back but never got around to it. Maybe I'll end up DIYing something yet...
You may be right. Since you seem to favor something that is self-contained I was going to recommend The Gloworm CX. Totally programmable, self contained and might even have just a 2 mode menu although I'd check on that first. If it's lke the other GW's it has a two mode somewhere in it's menu. The thing is a lamp like the CX is somewhat heavy and would not work well with a rubber strap. That said GW does have mounts that are quick release so you can always buy more mounts.

Now if that's still not what you are looking for you might look into a custom built torch such as the Convoy S2. I use an S2 as a back up for when I go mountain biking. Helps if the one you buy has a shallow reflector as that gives you a wider beam pattern. Of course you want programmable. While you might not be able to get one that you can program yourself ( unless you can flash your own driver ) you can order something that will give you only two modes. I suggest contacting the seller on the PFlexPro website. Talk to him and tell him what you want. He will have several different options. They even has some self programmable drivers now . Anyway, with the PFlexPro's you can order the emitter of choice and get whatever driver you want. The ones I own have a menu with at least 11 different options including a couple versions of 2-mode. If I were to use a torch with only two modes I go with 600 lumen as the high and 200-300 as the low....but that's me. I prefer three modes though which I find much more useful.

The advantage of using a custom torch ( your choice of emitter and driver setup ) is that it will be a much better setup than the cheap Chinese versions. You should be able to buy a rubber handlebar mount in a variety of places and since it's a torch it will be very light weight and easy to adjust as to aim. Not to mention you can buy and/or carry as many batteries with you as you think you might need.
01 CAt Man Do is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-18, 06:45 PM
  #13  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
You may be right. Since you seem to favor something that is self-contained I was going to recommend The Gloworm CX. Totally programmable, self contained and might even have just a 2 mode menu although I'd check on that first. If it's lke the other GW's it has a two mode somewhere in it's menu. The thing is a lamp like the CX is somewhat heavy and would not work well with a rubber strap. That said GW does have mounts that are quick release so you can always buy more mounts.

Now if that's still not what you are looking for you might look into a custom built torch such as the Convoy S2. I use an S2 as a back up for when I go mountain biking. Helps if the one you buy has a shallow reflector as that gives you a wider beam pattern. Of course you want programmable. While you might not be able to get one that you can program yourself ( unless you can flash your own driver ) you can order something that will give you only two modes. I suggest contacting the seller on the PFlexPro website. Talk to him and tell him what you want. He will have several different options. They even has some self programmable drivers now . Anyway, with the PFlexPro's you can order the emitter of choice and get whatever driver you want. The ones I own have a menu with at least 11 different options including a couple versions of 2-mode. If I were to use a torch with only two modes I go with 600 lumen as the high and 200-300 as the low....but that's me. I prefer three modes though which I find much more useful.

The advantage of using a custom torch ( your choice of emitter and driver setup ) is that it will be a much better setup than the cheap Chinese versions. You should be able to buy a rubber handlebar mount in a variety of places and since it's a torch it will be very light weight and easy to adjust as to aim. Not to mention you can buy and/or carry as many batteries with you as you think you might need.
The PFlexPro website looks like it has a ton of info, thanks for the pointer! I've looked briefly at the torch/flashlight options in the past but there are such an overwhelming number of options that I didn't know where to start.

I'm starting to realise that I basically have three options:
  1. All-in-one cycling-specific headlight which I can quickly switch between bikes and generally abuse. In terms of ruggedness, functionality and bang-for-buck that pretty much means sticking with what I have now, with the downside of short runtime (<2 hours) when used at "to see by" levels.
  2. Try and replicate option 1 (but with a longer runtime) with a torch/flashlight style setup. Potentially more fiddling required to get a rugged mount and cycling-friendly UI. Also may require a separate charger (can't beat USB charging for travelling).
  3. Go with a split head/battery setup. More $$$, especially since I would probably end up with a couple of light heads so that I don't need to switch them between bikes all the time. Proprietary charger required . May or may not be able to service the battery packs myself. Certainly the best performance and runtime though.
I must admit that I'm starting to flirt with option 3. If I do go in that direction, the Gloworm lights are the best option I've seen so far. Since you have some experience with them (I think), I have a couple of questions:
  1. Are the runtimes listed on the website realistic? When compared to, say, similar Ay-Up and Gemini lights, the Gloworms have significantly better runtime. For instance, the Alpha and X2 are listed as running for five hours at 700 lumens with a two cell battery. Is it too good to be true?
  2. How long do the two and four cell packs take to fully charge in the real world?
  3. Do you know the width of the Alpha and X2 housings?
  4. Do you know offhand of any GoPro mounts which would fit a 22.2mm bar? O-ring style would be ok.
If I do go with the Gloworms I'm leaning towards the Alpha. It's bright enough for my needs and I like the idea of a smaller, lighter housing. I'm not interested in a remote at the moment but it looks like I can add one later if I want anyway. Probably the only thing that would push me towards the X2 is the better fuel gauge on the battery.

Thanks everybody for your in-depth replies so far .
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-18, 09:35 PM
  #14  
nealcollins
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 22

Bikes: Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1, Trek Cobia, Vivente Deccan

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
Mulling over this a bit more, the mount is actually quite important to me. I really like the way I can quickly and easily attach the rubber strap mount to any bike with no tools and then adjust the angle as I ride. It's robust too, which is important as I often use my lights on my unicycle (see pic if you're curious) where they can see a bit of abuse.
Did you look at the smaller Exposure lights (Sirus, etc) - they use a clip + rubber strap mount (it's a completely different setup to the Strada) and they have all the same programming functions as the Strada. I guess they might not be bright enough and/or have enough run time however...
nealcollins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-18, 10:50 PM
  #15  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by nealcollins View Post
Did you look at the smaller Exposure lights (Sirus, etc) - they use a clip + rubber strap mount (it's a completely different setup to the Strada) and they have all the same programming functions as the Strada. I guess they might not be bright enough and/or have enough run time however...
I'd written them off as not having enough runtime. Looking again, the Diablo would give 3 hours at its 500 lumen setting, so it would maybe do ok. The next brightness setting is 2 hours at 750 lumens, which is a bit short.

The proprietary charge cable puts me off the Exposure lights a bit. They're a bit pricey too, but that's not really a big deal if they work well.
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-18, 12:26 AM
  #16  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
Are the runtimes listed on the website realistic? When compared to, say, similar Ay-Up and Gemini lights, the Gloworms have significantly better runtime. For instance, the Alpha and X2 are listed as running for five hours at 700 lumens with a two cell battery. Is it too good to be true?
Actually, I've noticed that the Ay-Ups and Geminis just have lower capacity batteries than the Gloworms, so that would explain the runtime.

I just caved and ordered a Gloworm Alpha . It should solve the runtime problem for my bike. Not sure if it'll fit my unicycle yet, but I'm not doing long night rides on it at the moment. If it doesn't fit then I may may pick a Micro Drive Pro 650XL (basically what I have now but with fast charging) once they're available and it can live on the unicycle. I'll just have to continue to nurse the batter on longer rides. I could maybe stretch to an Exposure Diablo, but it's many more $$$ for less of an improvement. Probably in another couple of years there will be more options available and I can re-evaluate then...

So I didn't end up where I expected I would when I first asked the question... The Gloworm looks neat though, so I decided it was worth a shot. The runtime was the main thing that made me choose it over other similar lights, plus the neutral white option. Second in the running was the Lupine Piko, but it's a lot more expensive, has slightly shorter runtime, and uses a slightly less common connector. Anyway, looking forward to trying out the Alpha!
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-18, 05:54 PM
  #17  
01 CAt Man Do
Senior Member
 
01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 959

Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
....I just caved and ordered a Gloworm Alpha . It should solve the runtime problem for my bike. Not sure if it'll fit my unicycle yet, but I'm not doing long night rides on it at the moment. If it doesn't fit then I may may pick a Micro Drive Pro 650XL (basically what I have now but with fast charging) once they're available and it can live on the unicycle. I'll just have to continue to nurse the batter on longer rides. I could maybe stretch to an Exposure Diablo, but it's many more $$$ for less of an improvement. Probably in another couple of years there will be more options available and I can re-evaluate then...

So I didn't end up where I expected I would when I first asked the question... The Gloworm looks neat though, so I decided it was worth a shot. The runtime was the main thing that made me choose it over other similar lights, plus the neutral white option. Second in the running was the Lupine Piko, but it's a lot more expensive, has slightly shorter runtime, and uses a slightly less common connector. Anyway, looking forward to trying out the Alpha!
You seem to be outside the guidelines of your own priorities, namely self-contained, rubber mounting feature and no flash modes in the main menu. Not that you won't do well with the Alpha. Should be programmable and all the flash modes should be hidden. It will require an external battery though. You will find the Alpha to have exceptional throw, throw that actually rivals the X2 according to one person I know who has one. OTB though the Alpha tends to have a somewhat narrow beam pattern from what I'm told. That said I believe they might also offer a wider optic but I'd have to recheck on that. At least with the Alpha you will have lots of options when it comes to buying batteries. I'm starting to see more cell holders that offer even more options. I just picked up a Trustfire 4 cell holder and have it setup with 4 LG-MJ1's ( 3500mAh ) cells. You can even buy 2-cell 18650 holders ( cells in series ) but they are harder to find.

The Lezyne Micro drive Pro you linked to looks very interesting but like most smaller self-contained lamps they ( unfortunately ) don't hide the flash modes. You might take a look at the lamps made by Raveman. The Raveman's have a very unique lens that creates a very impressive road cut-off beam pattern. I use one of the Raveman's myself and beside that fact that I was asked to review two of the lamps ( which I received for free ), I absolutely love the cut-off beam pattern for road use. Of course like most you have to deal with the flash modes in the main menu but with the included wired remote, not real hard to rapid fire through the unwanted modes. Down side of the Raveman's ( like a lot of others ) is that the batteries are not user accessible.

Last edited by 01 CAt Man Do; 07-14-18 at 11:25 PM.
01 CAt Man Do is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-18, 08:59 PM
  #18  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
You seem to be outside the guidelines of your own priorities, namely self-contained, rubber mounting feature and no flash modes in the main menu.
Yeah, I know, it's a bit of a change of tack. Hope you're ready for a tour of the inside of my brain .

I probably didn't have my requirements crystallised enough in my own mind when I started this thread. Basically what I'm looking for is:
  1. Quick and easy to move between my bike and my unicycle, plus occasionally a couple of other bikes. Hence the rubber strap mount as it saves fiddling with mounts and different bar diameters, as well as self contained to save fiddling with routing cables etc.
  2. A very robust light and mount, as when on my unicycle it will occasionally experience... hard landings. I don't want to be stuck with a busted light and a cold dark hike home. As well as general build quality the rubber strap mount also helps with this, as it's more impact resistant than the QR mounts and allows the light to swivel around the bars a bit on impact.
  3. The ability to hang under my bars instead of sitting on top. This unfortunately rules out many (most?) shaped beams.
  4. The ability to aim the light up and down while riding. The rubber strap mount again makes this easy, although I know that other mounts will allow this too (like the Gloworm).
  5. No flash modes (or hidden from the standard menu).
  6. 2-3 useful steady settings, ideally programmable to different levels. More settings is not a good thing in my book. I don't want to have four different light levels to scroll through while riding.
  7. Quick charging. My current light takes ~6 hours to charge and it's a bit of a pain sometimes.
  8. >3 hours runtime at >=600 lumens. I know lumens are not always lumens between different models (beam pattern, colour temperature etc), but roughly 600 lumens seems to be my sweet spot for comfortable road/doubletrack/light XC riding, which is 99% of what I do.
My current light (Lezyne Macro Drive 600XL) fulfils requirements 1-6. The new model I mentioned (the 650XL) will also cover requirement 7, but still leaves me a bit short on the runtime.

Since I wasn't finding anything that fulfilled every requirement I decided to re-evaluate. Right now most of my long night rides are on my main bike, and requirements 1-2 are really only critical for unicycle or multi-bike use. So if I exclude requirements 1-2 then I'm left optimising for performance and runtime and probably dedicating the light more-or-less to one bike. In that case the Alpha makes sense. I had another early morning ride in the dark the other day where I had to nurse the battery to get home, and that helped emphasise the point that I need better runtime sooner rather than later.
Iím pretty sure the Alpha will do everything I want on the bike. If it turns out to be unicycle-friendly and easy to move around then that's a bonus. Otherwise I'll keep my eyes on the all-in-ones as they continue to improve.

Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
The Lezyne Micro drive Pro you linked to looks very interesting but like most smaller self-contained lamps they ( unfortunately ) don't hide the flash modes.
​​If you put it in race mode then the flash setting is hidden. You just get low and high steady settings. Many of the Lezyne lights do this (including the one I currently have). It works great except for the short runtime on high, which is what prompted this thread in the first place .

I also raised a feature request with Lezyne for some lights with longer runtimes on "high" race mode. Apparently I'm the first person to ask for this, but they said they'd consider it if enough people requested it. I'm not holding my breath though.
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-18, 12:10 AM
  #19  
01 CAt Man Do
Senior Member
 
01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 959

Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
Yeah, I know, it's a bit of a change of tack. Hope you're ready for a tour of the inside of my brain ....

....I also raised a feature request with Lezyne for some lights with longer runtimes on "high" race mode. Apparently I'm the first person to ask for this, but they said they'd consider it if enough people requested it. I'm not holding my breath though.
Actually, this is not an unusual request and has nothing to do with choice of mode. The real issue is, "More run time". Since both the Lezyne MD XL600 and the Raveman type lamps are totally self contained with sealed batteries, the best way to increase run time is to include a feature with the USB charging circuit port that would allow the lamp to utilize an external battery bank to both power the lamp and/or charge at the same time. With most self contained lamps the lamp will not operate while the mico USB port is being used to charge the lamp. It would only take a different circuit design and then an external battery could then be used for extended run time.

The Raveman CR-900 I use will give me a good 3 hrs run time with it's internal 3000mAh battery when used on it's medium mode ( 450 lumen ). It is my hope that future models will incorporate both hidden flash modes and perhaps one of the newer generation 20700 4200mAh Li-ion cells. If it does the lamp will be maybe a half inch longer and supply perhaps 20% more run time. Even better if they would upgrade the USB electronics to allow use of an external battery while the lamp is on. The CR-900 does have one programmable mode but sadly the setting cannot be saved once you change modes. Would be nice if they could fix that or even better make all the modes programmable and saveable.
01 CAt Man Do is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-18, 12:34 AM
  #20  
lightbulbjim
U*icyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 44
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Actually, this is not an unusual request and has nothing to do with choice of mode. The real issue is, "More run time". Since both the Lezyne MD XL600 and the Raveman type lamps are totally self contained with sealed batteries, the best way to increase run time is to include a feature with the USB charging circuit port that would allow the lamp to utilize an external battery bank to both power the lamp and/or charge at the same time. With most self contained lamps the lamp will not operate while the mico USB port is being used to charge the lamp. It would only take a different circuit design and then an external battery could then be used for extended run time.

The Raveman CR-900 I use will give me a good 3 hrs run time with it's internal 3000mAh battery when used on it's medium mode ( 450 lumen ). It is my hope that future models will incorporate both hidden flash modes and perhaps one of the newer generation 20700 4200mAh Li-ion cells. If it does the lamp will be maybe a half inch longer and supply perhaps 20% more run time. Even better if they would upgrade the USB electronics to allow use of an external battery while the lamp is on. The CR-900 does have one programmable mode but sadly the setting cannot be saved once you change modes. Would be nice if they could fix that or even better make all the modes programmable and saveable.
Yeah, that would be the other way to go. A couple of the Lezyne lights support an external battery pack to boost the runtimes. But, once you're doing that it seems more logical to me to go with one of the modular light head/battery systems.

The Lezyne lights are a bit frustrating with runtimes. Most of them do have a fairly useful medium power level which gives you ~3 hours, but to use it the light needs to be in "normal" mode where you have 4 steady settings, a pulse setting and 1-2 flash settings to scroll through all the time. Annoying. Then when you put it in "race" mode the high setting is always the headline max brightness level with a corresponding short runtime.

Anyway, my feature request is here if it's something that other people also want to see: https://support.lezyne.com/hc/en-us/...-on-headlights
lightbulbjim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-18, 02:48 AM
  #21  
KraneXL
Senior Member
 
KraneXL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South California
Posts: 1,034

Bikes: Cannondale Quick SL1 Bike - 2014

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 699 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Actually, this is not an unusual request and has nothing to do with choice of mode. The real issue is, "More run time". Since both the Lezyne MD XL600 and the Raveman type lamps are totally self contained with sealed batteries, the best way to increase run time is to include a feature with the USB charging circuit port that would allow the lamp to utilize an external battery bank to both power the lamp and/or charge at the same time. With most self contained lamps the lamp will not operate while the mico USB port is being used to charge the lamp. It would only take a different circuit design and then an external battery could then be used for extended run time.

The Raveman CR-900 I use will give me a good 3 hrs run time with it's internal 3000mAh battery when used on it's medium mode ( 450 lumen ). It is my hope that future models will incorporate both hidden flash modes and perhaps one of the newer generation 20700 4200mAh Li-ion cells. If it does the lamp will be maybe a half inch longer and supply perhaps 20% more run time. Even better if they would upgrade the USB electronics to allow use of an external battery while the lamp is on. The CR-900 does have one programmable mode but sadly the setting cannot be saved once you change modes. Would be nice if they could fix that or even better make all the modes programmable and saveable.
One of the few things I don't like about my NiteRider 1800. When its dead, its dead, and no emergency backup or limp home. Its completely out of commission unit it is recharged again. Just one reason why I'm considering carrying a small auxiliary clip-on headlight if for no other reason than to keep me legal.

As for its programmable there is none. And its requirement to have to scroll through all the modes on every startup is just a nuisance.

On the other hand, my Canon DSLR, can not only accept its regular replaceable camera batteries, but has an accessory cartridge that will accept the ubiquitous AA batteries in a pinch. This is true forward thinking you have to wonder why its not more widespread. It is the biggest issue with built-in, sealed batteries.
KraneXL is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-18, 02:41 PM
  #22  
01 CAt Man Do
Senior Member
 
01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 959

Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
One of the few things I don't like about my NiteRider 1800. When its dead, its dead, and no emergency backup or limp home. Its completely out of commission unit it is recharged again. Just one reason why I'm considering carrying a small auxiliary clip-on headlight if for no other reason than to keep me legal.

As for its programmable there is none. And its requirement to have to scroll through all the modes on every startup is just a nuisance....
Sounds like a PITA to me. I just looked at the NR 1800 online. I don't understand why the 4-cell battery only supplies 1.5 hrs of run time on high. That has me scratching my head.. I could understand if the lamp was rated at 2500 lumen, still, 1.5 hrs sucks. Would help big time if the lamp was programmable. Still, I can't help but wonder what capacity cells they are using in their humongously expensive proprietary battery ( $120 for a 4-cell, they got to be kidding ). What's the amp hour rating??...don't know because it's not listed. Likely 4000mAh.

A lot of my MTB rides I only use a two cell for my bar lamp if I know that I won't be out more than two hours. I only run the high mode when going faster but then again all of my lamps are programmable. Right now I only use a four cell with my helmet lamp because it pulls a lot of amps when on high ( ITUO XP3 ). I always carry a back up though, Convoy S2 torch on the bars. If for some reason I forgot to charge the two cell for my bar lamp I have the Convoy which can give me 3hrs if used on medium.....and if that fails, I have a pocket AA torch in my pocket that would get me out of the woods no problem at all.
01 CAt Man Do is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-18, 10:13 PM
  #23  
KraneXL
Senior Member
 
KraneXL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South California
Posts: 1,034

Bikes: Cannondale Quick SL1 Bike - 2014

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 699 Post(s)
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Sounds like a PITA to me. I just looked at the NR 1800 online. I don't understand why the 4-cell battery only supplies 1.5 hrs of run time on high. That has me scratching my head.. I could understand if the lamp was rated at 2500 lumen, still, 1.5 hrs sucks. Would help big time if the lamp was programmable. Still, I can't help but wonder what capacity cells they are using in their humongously expensive proprietary battery ( $120 for a 4-cell, they got to be kidding ). What's the amp hour rating??...don't know because it's not listed. Likely 4000mAh.

A lot of my MTB rides I only use a two cell for my bar lamp if I know that I won't be out more than two hours. I only run the high mode when going faster but then again all of my lamps are programmable. Right now I only use a four cell with my helmet lamp because it pulls a lot of amps when on high ( ITUO XP3 ). I always carry a back up though, Convoy S2 torch on the bars. If for some reason I forgot to charge the two cell for my bar lamp I have the Convoy which can give me 3hrs if used on medium.....and if that fails, I have a pocket AA torch in my pocket that would get me out of the woods no problem at all.
I have no issues with the light spread/pattern which is wide and bright enough. It doesn't just light up the road but a cone patter/overhead (@ level, see below) as well.

I used to be an avid nightrider -- which is why I bought it -- but living in the city, I've yet to come across an instance or location where I needed full power. I use strobe 95% of the time since I don't need it to see rather, just to alert motorist which it does very well.

To its credit, its weather sealed and structurally built like a tank, with a quick release lamp and lockjaw tight Velcro straps for the power cell and cabling. Still, NR is one of the most expensive lights on the market.

My only consolation is that every thing is heavy duty if you're a off-roader/rough environment type -- which I'm not.

Example:


Last edited by KraneXL; 07-16-18 at 02:17 AM.
KraneXL is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-18, 12:55 AM
  #24  
01 CAt Man Do
Senior Member
 
01 CAt Man Do's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Columbia, Maryland
Posts: 959

Bikes: Mountain bike & Hybrid tour bike

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
Originally Posted by lightbulbjim View Post
Yeah, that would be the other way to go. A couple of the Lezyne lights support an external battery pack to boost the runtimes. But, once you're doing that it seems more logical to me to go with one of the modular light head/battery systems.
Yeah but if the lamp you have gives you the "choice" to use either the self-contained battery and/or carry an external battery bank with you, you pretty much have the best of both worlds. Pretty much depends on the user as to just how useful something like that can be. Personally I can get by with just the self-contained as long as I know I'm only going to be riding in the dark for no more than 3hrs. Of course all of this depends on the user's priorities. If you have to have programmable modes, hidden flash modes and longer run times the modular light systems are the way to go. Otherwise if you want something with a very good cutoff road beam pattern you'll have to buy a self-contained lamp designed for such with either a one or two cell internal battery setup. Hopefully though future models may offer more features. In the mean time the buyer has to choose which features are the most desired and then go with a lamp that gives them what they want.
01 CAt Man Do is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-18, 01:10 AM
  #25  
daoswald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Salt Lake City, UT (Formerly Los Angeles, CA)
Posts: 610

Bikes: 2008 Cannondale Synapse Sport 5

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
This isn't programmable, but I believe it exhibits the behavior you would prefer:

Light & Motion Urban 900 (Probably the entire "Urban" series behaves similarly):

This light has two modes. Race mode lets you select between full power, and the next lower setting; 900 lumens, or 350. Regular mode cycles between 900, 350, 150, and sine-wave flasher. The 900 is under $100 in price.
daoswald is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service