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Lightweight super bright front light

allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
edited March 2016 in Commuting general
I use Magicshines, which are nice and bright, but the battery packs are big and hefty.

Anyone got any recommendations, maybe of an LED-type 'torch' light? I was looking at the Cycle Torch (night owl) which seems to fit the bill. Or is there a good Lenser model for bikes?

Ta,

Allen

Posts

  • I've just bought a Bontrager Ion 700. It's brilliant.

    Pun intended.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,235
    Moon xpower range at various lumens, I currently use 300 / 500 versions which at more than adequate for dark lanes and as secondary helmet lights when night riding on my MTB. Don't cost silly money either, usb rechargeable and replacement batteries easily available.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • cjlynchcjlynch Posts: 10
    Just fishing for advice whether to buy the SOL 700 ambient front light, or not?

    Has anyone purchased this front light and formed an opinion yet?

    If so I'd welcome their judgement of it's performance and value etc.

    I can't find any reviews elsewhere.

    Thanks

    CJL
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Thanks avenger. For that price I'd expect it to be brilliant!

    And oxoman - another advantage of the 'cheaper' end is that if you forget to take them off, they'll probably be there when you come back, unlike those £125 (eh?) models.

    A
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    I've got a trelock ls950 from Germany, it's not the lightest but the battery lasts ages and the beam is perfect for riding on the road. I only have to charge it up every two weeks now it's not pitch black, and I have it on constantly in both directions 40 miles a day.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I have a 5 year old Ultrafire torch (WF 501b) with a Cree XMLT6. Output is around 500 lumens, takes a 18650 cell.

    Has worked very well - all I had to do was put a bit of tape around the cell to stop it rattling. Lasts a couple of hours with a quality cell, overall cost with cells, charger and mount is about £25.

    Other versions are available with different power levels, modes etc.
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Supersonic - that does look good.

    Do any of the more powerful versions you mention have a better runtime than that two hours, which
    sounds a bit low?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    If you want more runtime you'll have to add weight - the cells weigh around 45g each. Then of course the extra real estate of the torch to accommodate them. And of course upping the output will reduce runtime. So is a pay off. But beware of some claimed lumens, many are way overrated. Many of these lightweight bike lamps are just an 18650 cell with an XML LED in 'bike specific' packaging, but without the ability to change the cell on the fly. They don't last any longer. (The XML outputs about 100 lumens per watt (there are variations). A very good single cell will have a rating of 3000mah at 3.7v so for arguments sake let's say 10wh. So it could produce 1000 lumens for 1 hour. This is a rough basic calculation, but is fairly accurate).

    I just take extra cells with me, but there are torches available that will take more cells. The Skyray is a good option, as is more compact than the long torches:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SKYRAY-6000LM ... QJZO1R2ROw

    3000 lumens max, and I don't know the quality of those cells. At least with the bike specific stuff you will (well should) be getting a quality battery pack, unless you buy your own cells.
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    For riding on the road I would suggest having a light like the one prawny recommends and not what supersonic has. I have a german light (Philips SafeRide) and the beam shape and quality of light are much better than all of these very powerful but wasteful lights with the advantage of not blinding others. For off road is a different matter though.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The beam yes - but that can be modified, to an extent. Quality, it really does depend on the exact model are talking about.
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Gabriel959, Supersonic:

    Thanks for those comments. That ebay link(with its 3-battery pack) seems handy.

    As far as the 'blinding' business is concerned, I'm a daytime rider so use my (often flashing) lights more to be seen than to illuminate my path, so in some ways the brighter the better for me!

    A
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    The Skyray 6000 on ebay with the 3-battery pack does have one major drawback, of course (of course!)

    Diameter. Most handlebar mounts that I've seen only go up to the low 30mm--ish, whereas the Skyray is 50mm+ diameter.

    Which means it would need something made up specially, I think, unless someone here knows of an extra large handlebar mount? The Magicshine mounts, i.e. an extra-strong rubber band which clips on to either side of the lamp body, gets round the problem. Maybe something similar would work for the Skyray.

    (Or am I beginning to remember why I chose the Magicshine in the first place?)

    A
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Yes, you'd need a different sort of mount, though I have seen it done.

    Another option:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/WOLFTEETH-Recha ... B00IL1QI56

    With three brightness modes, a strobe and zoomable, it is pretty flexible. Sure, uses a single 18650 still, but at least it doesn't need to be on full whack all the time and the low mode should last for several hours - and longer on blink.
  • gabriel959gabriel959 Posts: 4,227
    edited March 2016
    supersonic wrote:
    The beam yes - but that can be modified, to an extent. Quality, it really does depend on the exact model are talking about.

    By quality I mean colour, I have a Magicshine, a Fenix light and other lights and the best tone and colour is from my Philips Saferide.
    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Commuting / Winter rides - Jamis Renegade Expert
    Pootling / Offroad - All-City Macho Man Disc
    Fast rides Cannondale SuperSix Ultegra
  • steves999steves999 Posts: 11
    I use the combination of an Exposure Trace in town and a SANGUAN - THUMB 1 when I need to see a bit more. Cheap and has a decent beam pattern for such a small light.
  • allen-ukallen-uk Posts: 146
    Most of you won't need to read the article below, but for fellow novices it has useful information:

    http://tinyurl.com/npmga2n

    - a Cycling Weekly review from last autumn of bright front lights. Thanks for all the help.


    A
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    allen-uk wrote:
    Most of you won't need to read the article below, but for fellow novices it has useful information:

    http://tinyurl.com/npmga2n

    - a Cycling Weekly review from last autumn of bright front lights. Thanks for all the help.


    A

    Interesting stuff - but many are just single 18650 cells and an LED. Basically a torch. A couple had some side spill which can be useful for lateral visibility. Ones that use standard batteries have advantages that they are easily gotten hold of, but lose out heavily to li-ion cells in the energy density stakes.

    Hopefully you can get them cheaper than the RRPs, which personally find absurd.
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