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Thread: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

  1. #1

    Default Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    Hi guys,

    Apparently this is the place to be on the net for light talk. So...cut to the chase. I do mountain biking in a pitch black forest down difficult trails. Any lights recommended MUST last a minimum of 2 hours on the highest mode, and more preferably up to 3 hours. I do not mind using 18650 batteries if required. My requirements are in order of importance:

    - Must last 2 hours min, 2.5 preferred, 3 hours would be great (on high power)
    - Must have very good flood, throw not so important but still needs to be ok.
    - Be atleast as bright as a Lenser P7 200 Lumens I have used, preferably much, much brigher.
    - Be as compact as possible, preferably under 17cm long.
    - Be waterproof and tough.
    - Be under 100$ (approx £60 here in UK)

    I do not mind buying from dealextreme / Hong Kong / ebay / US but somewhere that I can get it quick in UK would be an advantage but not essential.

    I bought a Lenser P7 - a rushed purchase - the other day and find it ok. But the beam is a bit pronounced for me not cvering a very wide area - even on flood mode.

    1: What lights do you guys recommend as above?
    2: Do you guys recommend a dedicated bike light or torches? I like how torches double up as err...torches. Is there any pros and cons to each? It seems bike likes are over priced just because they are deemed to be "bike lights".
    3: Do the cheap torch mounts for bikes work ok from deal extreme and the likes?
    4: Should I be looking for stuff with the XM-L LED? I have had this recommended.
    5: Does a compact version of something XM-L based exist that is under 16cm long and that lasts for 2.5 - 3 hours meeting the other above criteria?


    Thanks for all your help.

    I will get reading the stickies and other threads in the mean time.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    If you can afford a better light, that crazy yorkshireman, troutie may have just what you need and he has a friend who I assume still does battery packs: www.troutie.com Also search here for his posts on his lights.

    BrianMc

  3. #3

    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    Your price limit has you pretty much stuck in a magicshine (or clone) from DX et al. It should do (double-check the burn time), but durability is a known problem with them. (People argue compellingly both ways: you could buy 5 MS units and burn through them for the same price as a Lupine, or you could just go good to begin with...) While people get by with just bar-mounted lights, the dogs is both bar and helmet. Some good (cheap!) diy ideas in the mtbr dot com diy light forum, should you choose that route.

  4. #4
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    Hello fellow Brit!

    I would recommend you get a Zebralight SC600. I've got one and it's brilliant. It is highly regarded, very compact, very efficient, floody and crazy bright! I got mine for £65 from Going Gear with £10 discount voucher which effectively makes it free delivery. Took 10 days to arrive. It also doubles as a great Bike light as its nice and floody and small with good runtime. Get a pair of Redilast 2900mah or even 3100mah with it. You need decent 18560 cells to run it. Have fun.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic vickers214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    I use a Eagletac T20c2 mk2 with the modules you can swap so you can have several different types of light, I use mine on my bike with the 550 lumen XM-L and its perfect for bike use, and on Selfbuilts review (with the R5 drop in) in takes just over 2 hours to reach 50%, but its a rapid drop in the last few minutes so it stays bright until then, and if your a biker then im guessing you will have a back pack so you could carry another 18650 if needed. I secure mine with a EBAY twofish block wich cost about £2 and you could pop a small light on your hat so you can check pitfalls that are not just directly in front of you.
    On the XM-L drop in its now 720 lumen for the first 3 minutes, then drops to about 500 for the rest of the time so if you dont turn it on and off you will get the run time you require, but you could try emailing Illuminationgear or PTS (there are others) to see if you could still get a 550 model if required, I also have the 400 lumen R5 drop in and that is very good as well, and 1 thing that really seals it for Eagletac for me is the tint of the light, some manufacturers think its still acceptable to have green tints top their lights and still charge a high price, be aware of that!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    What Ho old chap! Lumicycle do a really strong set of lights and options. Although above your price range, worth a look. Wife swears by her halogen thing, 900 lumens and 4 hours, although only 1 setting on hers. I imagine the more modern LED versions run longer and with more control.

    I'm a hub dynamo devotee myself but I don't think that'd cut it where you're going.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    If you can afford a better light, that crazy yorkshireman, troutie may have just what you need and he has a friend who I assume still does battery packs: www.troutie.com Also search here for his posts on his lights.

    BrianMc
    Thanks, as much as I would love to support his amazing looking "home grown" products, I can't afford even his most basic stuff. Look great though and good luck to him.


    Quote Originally Posted by borrower View Post
    Your price limit has you pretty much stuck in a magicshine (or clone) from DX et al. It should do (double-check the burn time), but durability is a known problem with them. (People argue compellingly both ways: you could buy 5 MS units and burn through them for the same price as a Lupine, or you could just go good to begin with...) While people get by with just bar-mounted lights, the dogs is both bar and helmet. Some good (cheap!) diy ideas in the mtbr dot com diy light forum, should you choose that route.
    Yes, I have seen the magic shine stuff recommended a great deal. I wanted to try to avoid a seperate batter back and lead, but maybe this is the way forward. I gather some of them mount in fake water bottles the packs? I may end up going for one off of deal extreme. Best sku someone can recommend for me?


    Quote Originally Posted by PickNickeR View Post
    Hello fellow Brit!

    I would recommend you get a Zebralight SC600. I've got one and it's brilliant. It is highly regarded, very compact, very efficient, floody and crazy bright! I got mine for £65 from Going Gear with £10 discount voucher which effectively makes it free delivery. Took 10 days to arrive. It also doubles as a great Bike light as its nice and floody and small with good runtime. Get a pair of Redilast 2900mah or even 3100mah with it. You need decent 18560 cells to run it. Have fun.
    Hi! How long do you get as a run time with it on high? I have also had other Cree variants recommended with the XM-L LED. Some people have said to me that the Cree C8 XM-L T6 should be good as is very floody and that it should also last for about 2 - 2.5 hours. The other thing I saw was on THIS THREAD the S Mini XM-L T6. They are tiny so could buy two of them, but again the runtimeon high is not mentioned anywhere that I can see?

    Quote Originally Posted by vickers214 View Post
    I use a Eagletac T20c2 mk2 with the modules you can swap so you can have several different types of light, I use mine on my bike with the 550 lumen XM-L and its perfect for bike use, and on Selfbuilts review (with the R5 drop in) in takes just over 2 hours to reach 50%, but its a rapid drop in the last few minutes so it stays bright until then, and if your a biker then im guessing you will have a back pack so you could carry another 18650 if needed. I secure mine with a EBAY twofish block wich cost about £2 and you could pop a small light on your hat so you can check pitfalls that are not just directly in front of you.
    On the XM-L drop in its now 720 lumen for the first 3 minutes, then drops to about 500 for the rest of the time so if you dont turn it on and off you will get the run time you require, but you could try emailing Illuminationgear or PTS (there are others) to see if you could still get a 550 model if required, I also have the 400 lumen R5 drop in and that is very good as well, and 1 thing that really seals it for Eagletac for me is the tint of the light, some manufacturers think its still acceptable to have green tints top their lights and still charge a high price, be aware of that!
    Thanks I might try mailing them. I see. So this torch has different bits to play with depending on light required. Sounds good but I would not want to pay a premium for that priviledge when I will only use the torch mainly as a bike light which requires good flood. But still, yes you raise a good point. I worry of runtime when I could just carry two 18650s which opens up what I buy. Hmm. Might think about that. But then there is the faff of changing batteries on the trail etc. Hmm.


    Quote Originally Posted by jdp298 View Post
    What Ho old chap! Lumicycle do a really strong set of lights and options. Although above your price range, worth a look. Wife swears by her halogen thing, 900 lumens and 4 hours, although only 1 setting on hers. I imagine the more modern LED versions run longer and with more control.

    I'm a hub dynamo devotee myself but I don't think that'd cut it where you're going.
    Thanks I might check it out.




    I think to me it looks like there are too many compromises with a torch always. I am hence leaning to the magic shine unit, and then maybe replace my head lamp LED with a good torch somehow attached to the helmet instead.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    I've got a slightly older S-mini (nw, can't remember the emitter) and I get just over 3 hours burn time with AW 2900 batteries. I fear that good batteries plus two torches would blow your budget.

  9. #9
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    The thing with the Zebralight SC600 is that it is meant to be the most efficient light around at this form factor. So with one 18650 cell you wouldn't get better runtime anywhere. On high (750L for first 5 min) at 500 ANSI Lumens it will do 2h with a very good cell. If you go down to 330L which is still very bright it will do 3h and on 200L just shy of 6h. There are many other modes too for differen application. With a good C8 type XML light that has similar max you tend to get less runtime and it wouldn't be regulated which to be fair could be an advantage as it will go dimmer before it cuts off. It is less floody but cheap. A KD C8 for example is only about 17$ now at kaidomain. A good budget option but less flood, bigger, less runtime and not as nice

  10. #10
    Flashaholic vickers214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    A little word of advice picking up on what Borrower said, the Magic shine might be everything you need, BUT its still could be an unreliable chinese cheapo and when on that trail you could find yourself in the dark!! My ET, as well as the other lights mentioned no doubt, is a quality piece of kit that works in all weathers from lashing rain, to freezing cold and can take a knock should you ever fall off, this is a quality im sure you would agree is one of the most important features of any piece of equipment you should have! PS let us know what you decide on in the end, cheers

  11. #11

    Default

    Your price bracket pretty much limits you to Magicshine / DX clone. Using a separate torch will involve too many compromises - you can't have small size, very bright light and long runtime. The Magicshines give you all of that for the right money, and you could mount your Lenser to your helmet as many people like a narrower more penetrating light for a helmet light.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* davyro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    Alright mate,i see your familiar with Led Lenser,well if you could manage to get a bracket to fit it on your bike go for a Led Lenser M14 its got a very powerful beam a great flood
    the batteries last forever & if you shop around you'll get one for £60 (i did) AA batteries you can't go wrong,very reliable as to boot!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Noob from the UK come to join the fun - recommend me a light

    Thankyou for all the advice. I went out on the trail the other day and found that the Lenser P7 was ok (mounted on the bars), but not really bright enough and even when zoomed to full flood, it still is very directional. I think I may return it as for £35 in UK I feel that's too much for what it is when you can pick up cheap stuff from hong kong that is much brighter for less. I also found that the Lenser H7 headtorch, whilst bright enough, was not particularly helpful to wear with a helmet. In fact, impossible. SO I managed to wrap it round the helmet to mont it and it didn't really work that well with my helmet due to the way the helmet is. It aimed it too low down. I think I am going to return both and start again. I will get a cheap single cell XML torch and mount that to the helmet somehow, and I am probably going to get the DX clone magic shine for the bars.

    Thanks all

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