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Product review - Solar Storm twin XML bike light

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  • Schoie81Schoie81 Posts: 749
    Update on my experience.... loving this light!! Had it about 6 weeks now so can't comment on long term durability, but so far I can't fault it at all. The instructions (doesn't come with instructions, they're on the ebay page...) are vague to say the least, I'm still not really sure how long to charge the battery for but I'm working on the assumption that when the light turns green its fully charged. The indicator leds on the back of the light also seem a little but 'vague'. They're supposed to show:- 80-100% battery - 3 lights, 50-80% - 2 lights, 30-50% 1 light and once the last light starts flashing, you've got 30mins left. The first light seems to go out on mine after about 10minutes, and the second one not too long afterwards, which led me to think a full charge wasn't going to last long, but the last light goes on forever!! I rode home from work last night having forgotten to charge the battery, so was worried it might not last, but its lasted home and back again this morning. So I decided to leave it on at work and see how long it does last - I have it on the first (lowest) power mode which is plenty bright enough for me and so far I've had nearly 8 hours out of it since the last charge, and its still on!! Battery life seems great.

    Light stays on bars well enough with the rubber ring fastening design and the light got me through a 30minute ride in torrential rain with no ill-effects. All in all, for less than £17 I am more than happy with this light. It is far better than the £30 light it has replaced. Would happily recommend them to anyone.
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    If any of these do rotate on the bars, a bit of old inner tube underneath can help. I do that with mine (not solar storm but same O-ring mount).
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    apreading wrote:
    If any of these do rotate on the bars, a bit of old inner tube underneath can help. I do that with mine (not solar storm but same O-ring mount).

    I had problems with it slipping round (because the mount is designed for standard width bars, but I was attaching it to an oversized area of mine, so it had limited contact area) - Brushed a little modeller's latex onto the parts of the mount that actually do make contact, and all good now.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Couldn't resist, have just ordered!
  • neilusneilus Posts: 245
    Lightmalls doing them for a ridiculous £8 (12.55 usd) without the 4 x 18650 pack if you have an old one knocking about:
    http://www.lightmalls.com/solarstorm-x2 ... -lamp-only
    Just ordered two, one for bars, one for helmet :mrgreen:
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    In contrast to the above - I've recently noticed some on ebay with two battery packs for about £20 odd. Might be a worthwhile investment if you do a lot of night riding, as it will buy you more time between recharging cycles, or let you ride with one pack whilst the other is charging.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Hi guys, reding this post and my question is:

    Do they give wider light rather than spot-light ??
    I have already got one spot light but looking for something bit more diffuse ?

    Has anybody got any photos ??
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    kinioo wrote:
    Hi guys, reding this post and my question is:

    Do they give wider light rather than spot-light ??
    I have already got one spot light but looking for something bit more diffuse ?

    Has anybody got any photos ??


    My post from another thread:
    I wrote:
    Quick comparative beam shot at short range:
    photo_zps58384295.jpg
    Beam on right is the 2-LED Solarstorm unit with 4-cell battery;
    Beam on left is a single-LED handtorch-type light using the same type of LED chip and one cell.
    Both on full charge and maximum brightness setting.

    As you can see, the single-LED torch has a very "flat" beam, with quite pronounced edges (it also has an obvious secondary halo, separated from the main beam by a darker ring, though you can't see these features in the photo) this gives very little "punch" down the trail, and the eye is instead drawn to the edges, where features closer to the rider, but to either side of the trail, are more brightly illuminated.

    In contrast, the double unit has a much more progressive intensity spread, giving a really good "punch" in the centre, down the trail, and a more diffuse periphery. The overall effect is far superior for trail riding.

    Personally, I find the beam is as wide as I would want for trail riding, especially when used in conjunction with a head-torch (for seeing round corners).
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    jimothy78 wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    Hi guys, reding this post and my question is:

    Do they give wider light rather than spot-light ??
    I have already got one spot light but looking for something bit more diffuse ?

    Has anybody got any photos ??


    My post from another thread:
    I wrote:
    Quick comparative beam shot at short range:
    photo_zps58384295.jpg
    Beam on right is the 2-LED Solarstorm unit with 4-cell battery;
    Beam on left is a single-LED handtorch-type light using the same type of LED chip and one cell.
    Both on full charge and maximum brightness setting.

    As you can see, the single-LED torch has a very "flat" beam, with quite pronounced edges (it also has an obvious secondary halo, separated from the main beam by a darker ring, though you can't see these features in the photo) this gives very little "punch" down the trail, and the eye is instead drawn to the edges, where features closer to the rider, but to either side of the trail, are more brightly illuminated.

    In contrast, the double unit has a much more progressive intensity spread, giving a really good "punch" in the centre, down the trail, and a more diffuse periphery. The overall effect is far superior for trail riding.

    Personally, I find the beam is as wide as I would want for trail riding, especially when used in conjunction with a head-torch (for seeing round corners).

    Cheers mate.

    Yes, I do have one spot light which will be mounted on my helmet to look a bit further but need something to mount on my bars - so this double-set looks good - may give it a go.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    jimothy78 wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    Hi guys, reding this post and my question is:

    Do they give wider light rather than spot-light ??
    I have already got one spot light but looking for something bit more diffuse ?

    Has anybody got any photos ??


    My post from another thread:
    I wrote:
    Quick comparative beam shot at short range:
    photo_zps58384295.jpg
    Beam on right is the 2-LED Solarstorm unit with 4-cell battery;
    Beam on left is a single-LED handtorch-type light using the same type of LED chip and one cell.
    Both on full charge and maximum brightness setting.

    As you can see, the single-LED torch has a very "flat" beam, with quite pronounced edges (it also has an obvious secondary halo, separated from the main beam by a darker ring, though you can't see these features in the photo) this gives very little "punch" down the trail, and the eye is instead drawn to the edges, where features closer to the rider, but to either side of the trail, are more brightly illuminated.

    In contrast, the double unit has a much more progressive intensity spread, giving a really good "punch" in the centre, down the trail, and a more diffuse periphery. The overall effect is far superior for trail riding.

    Personally, I find the beam is as wide as I would want for trail riding, especially when used in conjunction with a head-torch (for seeing round corners).

    I ordered one !!!!

    If Its not good I will kill you jimothy78 :)
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Mine just arrived. So far feels solid enough & looks very, very bright. For the money I would say it has to function for less than a year to be worthwhile.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Still waiting for mine.....

    Edit:

    Just arrived.
    Blimey, its tiny !!!
    Will it provide enough light ??
    Will find out tonight.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    I sold mine... Lots of light but a pretty poor beam pattern- very bright, narrow centrespot, fairly narrow wider beam (the hotspot is bad news since your eyes adjust to the brightest point of vision- so you end up with less usable vision outside of the hotspot. Very chase-the-dot. Pisspoor charger and pretty rough battery. That's all pretty negative comments, but for the price it's still a good buy imo, especially if you have a safer charger you can use. You read a lot about people buying the Solarstorms then buying a new battery and charger, that makes zero sense though.

    If you can afford to spend a little more, it's well worthwhile doing so IMO, you don't have to spend a fortune- lights like my Magicshine MJ872s are still under the £100 mark and are proper quality units not bargain basement, with decent chargers and batteries and a much superior beam. But if you want to spend a very small amount and get out night riding that's cool too, I wish these had been around when I'd got my first night lights (which cost more, and were rubbish)
    Uncompromising extremist
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    That's quite odd - I found the beam on mine to be much wider and more uniform than say the typical single LED MS clone. Though I agree on the battery, mine degraded quickly. I wonder if there are different lensed versions about?
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Hmmmm, tried it last night and must say I was expecting it ti be a bit wider.
    I compared it with my single light and it is slightly wider but not as you'd expect from double unit.
    Cant comment on the battery / charger as yet.

    I am still on the market for some light with much WIDER/SPREADED light...but will not spend £100+.

    Chris
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    kinioo wrote:
    Hmmmm, tried it last night and must say I was expecting it ti be a bit wider.
    I compared it with my single light and it is slightly wider but not as you'd expect from double unit.
    Cant comment on the battery / charger as yet.

    I am still on the market for some light with much WIDER/SPREADED light...but will not spend £100+.

    Chris

    Put some privacy film over one of the lenses....
  • Hi All

    How hot do these lights get, I see they have cooling fins on them, I want to get something helmet mounted.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    supersonic wrote:
    That's quite odd - I found the beam on mine to be much wider and more uniform than say the typical single LED MS clone.

    It is much better than the single XML magicshine, but then they have horrible beam patterns, step back from the P7 those imo. Always seemed weird that, I never saw a single XML with a beam I liked, they all went for laserbeam. Apparently there's fake Solarstorms out there, that's when you know you've arrived as a cheap chinese light maker, someone even cheaper copies you.

    TBH I think the P7 lights got the beam down really well but just lacked the power, the Solarstorm's pretty unrefined but still bloomin effective.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Ouija wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    Hmmmm, tried it last night and must say I was expecting it ti be a bit wider.
    I compared it with my single light and it is slightly wider but not as you'd expect from double unit.
    Cant comment on the battery / charger as yet.

    I am still on the market for some light with much WIDER/SPREADED light...but will not spend £100+.

    Chris

    Put some privacy film over one of the lenses....

    Where I can get such a thing from ???
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    kinioo wrote:
    Ouija wrote:
    Put some privacy film over one of the lenses....

    Where I can get such a thing from ???

    Its just opaque sellotape / scotch tape
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    kinioo wrote:
    Where I can get such a thing from ???

    You know that woman you're stalking? She's put loads of it on her windows, just peel some off. Kill 2 birds with one stone.

    Don't literally kill her with a stone.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • neilusneilus Posts: 245
    Woohoo got mine today! Pretty impressed with lightmalls.com - ordered 8/11, shipped 16/11, recieved 20/11. 1 x ss2 + battery, 1 x head unit only, $43 (about 27 quid). Cant wait to go and test them out!!
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    kinioo wrote:
    Ouija wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    Hmmmm, tried it last night and must say I was expecting it ti be a bit wider.
    I compared it with my single light and it is slightly wider but not as you'd expect from double unit.
    Cant comment on the battery / charger as yet.

    I am still on the market for some light with much WIDER/SPREADED light...but will not spend £100+.

    Chris

    Put some privacy film over one of the lenses....

    Where I can get such a thing from ???


    B&Q, Wilko etc. It's just finely dimpled clear tape that comes in sheets for covering up windows.
  • kiniookinioo Posts: 776
    Ouija wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    Ouija wrote:
    kinioo wrote:
    Hmmmm, tried it last night and must say I was expecting it ti be a bit wider.
    I compared it with my single light and it is slightly wider but not as you'd expect from double unit.
    Cant comment on the battery / charger as yet.

    I am still on the market for some light with much WIDER/SPREADED light...but will not spend £100+.

    Chris

    Put some privacy film over one of the lenses....

    Where I can get such a thing from ???


    B&Q, Wilko etc. It's just finely dimpled clear tape that comes in sheets for covering up windows.


    Cheers
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