Recommend a P60 drop-in to fit a SolarForce L2P for a Bike Light?

BigBluefish

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I picked up a used SolarForce host, and thought with the right drop-in, it would make a decent bike light for my mountain bike in the TwoFish mount I have. I have a few P60 drop ins, but they are lower output <200 lumen and/or multimode Hi CRI , so not really what I think I want on my bike.

I'm in the 'burbs, so streets range from well-lit to dark. Some have considerable traffic after dark, so being seen is as important as being able to see where I am going.

I was thinking about getting the Jet Beam ST Cycler, but the SolarForce host can be used with other drop-ins and will in the end be more veratile. (He says, trying to convince himself not to buy the JB and put another low-level woods friendly Hi CRI drop in the new beater L2P.)

So for street biking, dusk and dark, how many lumens should I be looking for, and do I want a more throwy or more floody beam? I'm thinking about 300 lumens with a sort of combination beam like the M60/M61 Malkoff. But they don't fit so well in SolarForce heads. And, maybe I really need more light. Tint isn't really important, I think I'd guest the best lumen output/runtime out of a cool white. And I guess I'm going to be looking at an XP-G or XM-L.

It needs to run on 2 x CR123s or an 18650. I guess two RCRs would work as well. iI don't have any IMR cells, and don't want to find I need an upgraded switch to handle high current draw, or risk damaging a couple CR123a and having the light go :poof:Single level is probably all I really need, but maybe a strobe might be more useful at dusk, when I can see where I'm going, but am not sure whether I can be seen.

Anyone have any P60 drop-in a SolarForce host that they have found work well as a bike light?
 

Stereodude

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How fast are you riding / how far down the road to you need to be able to see? Also, how long are rides you're going on? (time)
 

BigBluefish

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Not fast, this is just easy riding. I haven't ridden in years, actually, so what 15-20 mph max? I really don't know.

Length of rides would be about 1 hour, maybe 1.5 hours.
 

Stereodude

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Well, you probably want a XM-L2 drop in with an orange peel reflector. However, you won't be able to push 2.8A into a XM-L2 for 1.5 hours from a single 18650. However, you probably don't need 800 lumen all the time. BTW, you probably should get a multimode driver so you can run it at less than max output. You can also get a customized P60 drop in with the max current set lower.
 

BigBluefish

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I know Nailbender can pretty much make any combo of emitter/drriver I could need. Maybe just get a two-mode low & high.

I also have an EDC+ warm white XM-L 3 mode in a Solarforce L2T, so I could always just get another EDC+ dropin in cool or neutral white for a little more output; I think these will run on 1 x 18650.

I guess my biggest question is what type of emitter (throw v. flood) and what lumen level I should be thinking of for riding in the dark, on streets with few streetlights, to those that are pretty well lit.
 

JCD

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Beam profile is far more important than total output. The best light I've found for my riding is also, coincidentally, the least bright. It just has the best beam profile for me.

I'm a car-free bicycle commuter. Further, most of my recreational riding is done at night. I've tried lots of P60 drop-ins in various combinations.

The rule of thumb I now use is that I want to be able to see ten seconds ahead at my typical cruising speeds (about 15-18 mph for me). How far that is in terms of length depends on your speed. I also like to just enough spill to provide some illumination of my "outs". Again, what constitutes an out changes with speed. I can safely turn much sharper at 10 mph than at 18 mph. If I can't safely get there, I don't want to waste battery energy lighting it up.

Higher cruising speeds requires more throw, less spill. Lower cruising speeds requires less throw and more spill.

15-20 mph is actually pretty fast on a bike for someone who hasn't ridden in years and is riding easy. I'm not saying that you aren't capable of riding that fast, but I would suggest riding a short known distance (e.g., 1-2 miles) at your typical speeds, keeping track of the time it takes to get a better idea of how fast you ride.
 
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BigBluefish

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Well, finally got the bike out for a couple of rides the other evening. I was running the EDC + Warm White XM-L T4 (which I think is about 80 CRI...a bit better than average, but nothing great) which has a max output of I would guestimate 350 lumens. For the well lit to moderately lit suburban streets it was OK...not quite as much throw as I'd like, but certainly enough to be safe, at the speeds I was riding. On a paved narrow trail through some woods, which was pitch black I really would have like some more throw, and some more spill. I had to cut my speed down...it was very strange riding with just light in front of me and everything else in darkness...I think this is something I will need to get used to. (Sorry for no paragraph breaks, my brownser is acting funky.) I ordered a couple of Nailbender drop ins and XM-L2 3000K and a Nichia 219, one a low-med-high and the other a low-high strobe. Both shoudl be putting out a bit more light than my EDC+, maybe 500 lumens. For night riding, I think only the high will be useful, but for dusk, I think the strobe could be a good thing, where I'm more concerned about being seen. Low should be good for times when I'm stopped. It's good to be back on the bike after all these years.
 
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