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Lights for this autumn, is the P7 still the best LED?

unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
edited October 2011 in MTB workshop & tech
Asking a bit in advance to say the least :-) Is the P7 still the best LED or is there a new kid on the block for next season?
http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    There are newer ones that are more efficient, but not many pack the same punch.
  • bobs bikesbobs bikes Posts: 589
    take a look at the lenser b7. great bit of kit

    i have been speaking to the rep who has promised me a new 1000 lumen unit this autumn. i shall give some more info when it arrives.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    If you have a link to the 1000 lumen unit I'd love to see it.

    A lot of these torches claim high output but some of them have batteries capable of delivering nothing like enough current to drive one properly. That's why I'm keen to hear from someone who's used one in the flesh.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The lenser B7 is poor for the money - 170 lumens for that money is a joke.

    The P7 torches are quoted high at 900, but will kick out 500 lumens and a good spread, plus use efficient lithium cells. And you can buy a P7 torch for a tenner.

    No contest.
  • CfergCferg Posts: 347
    http://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/

    Give that site a read mate, the guys got some cheap high powered lights on ebay aswell. Think Im gonna buy one of his, certainly gets good reviews.
  • wordnumbwordnumb Posts: 847
    You know summer's over when the "which lights" threads start up.
  • madmolemadmole Posts: 466
    I've got several Bikeray 3's, under £100 and 1200 lumes

    Try www.lightslightslights.co.uk or www.bikeray.co.uk

    Very high quality, 4 hours at real 900 lumens, beats a P7 into a cocked hat
    Marin Mount Vision 2005. Fox RL100/RP3. Hope Pro 2/Mavic XC717/DT rev. Cinders 2.1, XTR, Lots of bling

    Cervelo S3 2011. Mavic Cosmic Carbonne SLE. RED. Q-rings, lots of bling and very light!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Given they cost £90 I should hope so - I can get 9 P7 torches for that!

    But for a light of its type ie all in unit with seperate battery pack is certainly a very good deal. But being a tight type, I'd take 2 torches lol.
  • madmolemadmole Posts: 466
    And the single 19650 P7 torches last 1 hour max which isnt long enough for a good ride (I have several P7, XML and XPG torches (good old dealextreme) and you need at least 2 (one handlebars, one head), but spread and heat management isnt their strong point. The XML is better (longer life, more spread and brighter)

    Get 4 Plus hours on the Bikeray with its 5.2 amphour battery (12 hours on low!), Handlebar mounts, helmet mount, extension lead, charger, bag and everything included for not a lot more than a torch, charger, mount and 4 cells cost (plus the 1 month wait) from dealextreme. Plus you get a EU 2 year warranty, rather than the 50/50 does it work out of the box of chinese lights

    The bike rays really are fit and forget, whereas with the torches you need to strip, clean, resolder, bend bits etc to ensure they work and long life. ie typical DX quality control

    Horses for courses, I have the choice of both. but choose to ride 2 BR3's on the bars and a Joystick on the helmet, that way I cook the bugs on the towpath at night before I eat them
    Marin Mount Vision 2005. Fox RL100/RP3. Hope Pro 2/Mavic XC717/DT rev. Cinders 2.1, XTR, Lots of bling

    Cervelo S3 2011. Mavic Cosmic Carbonne SLE. RED. Q-rings, lots of bling and very light!
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    That's the crux - a bit of DIY to save money or not. I use the torches off the bike too, so handy for that. The ones I have had have been fine.
  • madmolemadmole Posts: 466
    Yep agree, the small single 18650 torches are very handy, The P7 is now beaten by the XML-T6 easily on brightness and burn time, The XPG also beats the P7 especially as a triple
    Marin Mount Vision 2005. Fox RL100/RP3. Hope Pro 2/Mavic XC717/DT rev. Cinders 2.1, XTR, Lots of bling

    Cervelo S3 2011. Mavic Cosmic Carbonne SLE. RED. Q-rings, lots of bling and very light!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    madmole wrote:
    And the single 19650 P7 torches last 1 hour max which isnt long enough for a good ride
    So carry a few spare batteries with you, it's not like they're bulky. I've easily got an hour and a half of run time out of mine before they've dimmed enough for me to change batteries.

    And, like Sonic says, the torches are damned useful for other things to, apart from riding.
    In fact, they make bloody great photography lights, die to their pure colour.
  • altitude10altitude10 Posts: 22
    madmole wrote:
    I've got several Bikeray 3's, under £100 and 1200 lumes

    Try www.lightslightslights.co.uk or www.bikeray.co.uk

    Very high quality, 4 hours at real 900 lumens, beats a P7 into a cocked hat

    That;s a triple XPG light isn't it?.. which you could match lightwise with 3 Ultrafire 501b's for £24, you could get 3 XML's which would be £36 but brighter still say 1500 lumens based on above, all from lightmalls.com and I think the advantages are the different angle of beam i.e wide on bars and one on head - meaning less shadow, no single point of failure, modular design so cheap and easy to maintain, easy to carry spare batteries if 3.5 hrs isnt enough, probability of sourcing free 18650 laptop batteries, rugged once adjusted and a strip of foil sorted the heat sink in less than two mins, flexability and less weight & You can use elsewhere e.g. Daughter loves demo'ing XML power at Guide camp vs various wind up/maglight torches :-)
  • madmolemadmole Posts: 466
    Yep its a triple XPG, the bikeray 4 is a quad

    wow thise prices at lightmalls .com are great. Shame its the US and therefore most members of this forum cant get those prices. Thats about a third of the price of the UK providors and even cheaper than dealextreme. So for you then the torches are a real bargain
    Marin Mount Vision 2005. Fox RL100/RP3. Hope Pro 2/Mavic XC717/DT rev. Cinders 2.1, XTR, Lots of bling

    Cervelo S3 2011. Mavic Cosmic Carbonne SLE. RED. Q-rings, lots of bling and very light!
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Importing is the luck of the draw, sometimes they charge you VAT and sometimes they don't. I've had lights from DealExtreme get through with no charges, US parcels seem a bit more likely to be taxed in my experience.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • madmolemadmole Posts: 466
    Thats cos UPS and Fedex US, make a killing adding processing costs on top of their carriage fees, so they report to customs even if customs would have let it through, so you get the Import duty, processing fees added to the price then VAT added

    DX uses royal mail and Hong Kong post whom dont report so most small parcels get through wothout customs notice
    Marin Mount Vision 2005. Fox RL100/RP3. Hope Pro 2/Mavic XC717/DT rev. Cinders 2.1, XTR, Lots of bling

    Cervelo S3 2011. Mavic Cosmic Carbonne SLE. RED. Q-rings, lots of bling and very light!
  • altitude10altitude10 Posts: 22
    madmole wrote:
    Yep its a triple XPG, the bikeray 4 is a quad

    wow thise prices at lightmalls .com are great. Shame its the US and therefore most members of this forum cant get those prices. Thats about a third of the price of the UK providors and even cheaper than dealextreme. So for you then the torches are a real bargain

    I am in the home counties. The shipment came via Singapore, no import charges so far on orders, one xml drop in needed glueing in place as per advice by DIY on mtb- buying advise- what lights.

    First tried to order via dx and gave up due to delay, bestofferbuy were great but lightmalls were almost as quick and better priced, esp if you want an xpg!
  • Whats the best (read cheapest reliable) UK retailer for p7 torches? or is it worth the saving to just go to DX or the bay? I'm a bit wary of ending up with some cheap copy.
  • clamps81clamps81 Posts: 315
    Has anyone tried the cree lights mentioned here : www.torchythebatteryboy.com/ ?

    They seem pretty good (ok, they seem pretty cheap) but not sure what real world performance is like.
    Nukeproof Mega AM


    Tomac Snyper - Now sadly in pieces
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    In terms of UK sellers, either torchy (see above) or plasmalights.

    http://www.plasmalights.co.uk/BIKE_LIGH ... 81312.aspx

    Not as cheap as buying from HK or beyond, but more convienient if there's problem.
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    I think my newer torch is an XML, it's a fair bit better than the P7 it replaced- on full power it's brighter but lasts slightly less long, on mid power it's roughly as bright but lasts longer. Ideal really.

    The only drawback of the P7 torches I had was that the mid setting was too low to be very useful, so just by sorting that out the XML one I have is a much more useful item. Being brighter/longer lived is the icing on the cake.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • So I assume that these 'You can get a p7 torch for £10' tales are works of fiction then?

    The torchy ebay shop is £100 for 2 including mounts I assume. Dealextreme appears to be £60 for 2 without mounts.

    Am I being blind?

    Thanks for the response so far
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/fandyfire- ... 8650-57985

    Gone up a little bit since I bought them, and the exchange rate varies. But I am not making it up. Buy 3 and save even more.
  • ToastyToasty Posts: 2,598
    Torches are great, I've got a P7 and L2D. The proper bike lights, with bar mounts and frame mounted batteries are a lot less faff and easy to get solid though, if you intend to ride offroad.

    We've bought a couple of:

    http://www.mtbbatteries.co.uk/4.html

    Slightly brighter than the older P7, light pattern is similar though, still a bit of a hotspot in the middle though which is a shame. Not sure how easy it is to find replacement reflectors and optics.

    Just bought a 4x XPG jobby too from Magicshine (same LEDs as newer Lupine Wilmas/Exposure MaxxD etc), absolutely no hotspot in the middle, just a massive flooded area of even light, they're fantastic, planning on sticking the XM-L P7 on my helmet for SITS and that monster on the bars.

    Comparing JUST lumens is really not the way to go, you'd end up with a lazer pointer stuck to your handle bars. Comparing the L2D and the P7 torches is a good indication of this, the P7 is slightly brighter, but due to the big hotspot and heavier build I would generally use the L2D, which is quoted as 180 lumens. The P7s throw light a looong way, which is rarely what you're after.
  • Hi all, i would like to answer some questions and make a few points.
    Yes there is "a new kid on the block" The xml-T6 made by cree (rival to ssc)
    It is more efficient than the P7 kicking out more lumens per watt of power consumption.
    It is also a single led chip where as the p7 is actually a collection of 4.
    Technically the xml-U2 is brighter but less common due to the binning process (and more expensive for little gain)

    If a led is more efficient than another and can take the same amount of power (watts) it will "pack more punch"

    It is true that some batteries can-not deliver the current needed to drive the leds to the max. Beware of any battery claiming to be 3000mah or more, They are very often false claims or cant meet the current required for p7/xml leds and die sooner than a good 2600mah. (check DX for "3600mah" batteries)

    Different P7 torches will produce varying amounts of lumens depending on what current is getting to the led. this can be controlled by internal circuitry or not and directly driven.

    true that DX quality controll leaves a lot to be desired.

    import duty is a lottery, i was charged £13.50 just for the admin charge, with £9.50 duty on top

    Beware light kits with sealed battery packs these probably wont have a "balancing circuit" so the cells get un ballanced after a few months and battery life takes a dive, they also use very poor cells, eg 4.4Ah @7.2V = 4 x 2200mah 3.6v cells.
  • with regards to throw, this mainly relys on the build of the torch and reflectors. Eg the "TL-P7" on the plasmalights website has a much wider, softer hotspot than their "BT-P7" due to the torch body and reflector used.
  • Iain CIain C Posts: 464
    supersonic wrote:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/fandyfire-501b-ssc-p7-3-mode-900-lumen-white-led-flashlight-with-strap-black-1-x-18650-57985

    Gone up a little bit since I bought them, and the exchange rate varies. But I am not making it up. Buy 3 and save even more.

    This light...will it be a good helmet-mounted complement to a bar-mounted Bikeray III?

    If so, is there a suitable attachement for a helmet available? (S-Works 2d)

    Thanks
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    See the FAQ for loads more info: but the best way to mount is velcro straps.
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