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Thread: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

  1. #1

    Default Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    I've had it for a few months and all I can say is I shouldn't of bought that thing.

    1. Output sucks. Five 5mm LEDs connected in parallel, then connected to 4 x AA through a 10 ohm resistor. A less expensive 3.5 watt halogen light is a lot brighter.

    For costing $30, I'm seeing no obvious improvement over a cheap 8 LED generic one I lost last year.

    2. Over-rated lens/reflector assembly.


    3. This thing is bulky.

    4. Battery lasts "110 hours" before whatever point they deem to be less than usable. I really don't care. I don't ride my bike more than an hour a week, and 1/3 that at night even that much.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Paul_in_Maryland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    Multi-LED bicycle headlights are good for being seen; they're worthless for letting you see. Serious front lighting requires 10 watts, which requires a rechargeable battery.

    The best value in a rechargeable 10W headlight is Nite Hawk. The best prices for a Nite Hawk 10W headlight can be found at Bike Nashbar and on eBay.
    My lights, all AA, neutral or warm: 3 Fenix TK20s; 2 Malkoff M30WFs; 2 Shiningbeam Romisens (5A); Dereelight XP-G R5 (close enough); UK 4AA incan.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* monkeyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    Hey, I have one of these too. I also have the 3 LED version which I think is better because:

    1. The light is more spread out which makes you more visible to cars.

    2. The throw of the 5 LED is useless anyway so what's the point of trying to collimate this small amount of light?

    3. Going off on a tangent... the 3 LED is much better for reading at night. It's not too bright and lasts forever. I keep one by my bedside since my SL 4AA blinds me when I get up at night.
    I got these before Luxeons became available so I wasn't too disappointed by them. You do know there's a Luxeon version of the Cateye? I haven't tried it yet. Seems a bit expensive for what it is.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyboy
    You do know there's a Luxeon version of the Cateye? I haven't tried it yet. Seems a bit expensive for what it is.
    A friend at work purchased the Cateye Luxeon and it is uhhhh.... interesting. The $40 hunk of plastic is rather bulky but as a basic light it works. The only problem with it was when he compared his Peak Mediterranean 2AA against the Cateye. To make it worse, he fired up my MillerMods (Fenix) 1.7 watt L1P that is affixed to my helmet

    To be fair, I let him borrow a stock Fenix L1P and that just irratated him more! He then wanted to trade the L1P for the Cateye and that idea was met by explitives.... It is my strong view that bicycle lighting should have basic regulation if it is LED based....

    Go with a Streamlight Propoly 4AA Luxeon and those twofish lock block things to attach it to your handlebars. Much, much, MUCH brighter, regulated and with the lock blocks... cheaper than the Cateye.
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

  5. #5
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    I bought the 5 LED Cateye and a year later the Luxeon version when it was available here in Germany.
    I used both for a long time because I do a lot night cycling.

    When I had only these lights, they were fine. But today I have a 25 W halogen bike light. In comparison the LEDs are totally useless for cycling in a dark environment. They are way too dim. You only see what's in the spot. Not enough side spill.
    But they are good to be seen.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    Quote Originally Posted by TimeConsumer
    But today I have a 25 W halogen bike light.
    That must consume quite a bit of power. Do you use a sealed lead acid battery, or NiMH's ?

  7. #7
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    Quote Originally Posted by mpk
    That must consume quite a bit of power. Do you use a sealed lead acid battery, or NiMH's ?
    Yes it's very hungry!
    But it can be dimmed to 60% or 30%. 25 W is full power.

    I use li-ion battery packs - 7.2 V, 4,5 and 6,5 Ah. It's always good to carry an extra battery. Today I was on a night ride for almost 3 hours. For the last hour I had to run the light with the spare battery.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cateye HL-EL300 LED bike headlight *boo*

    SPAM

    edited by kiessling

    Last edited by Kiessling; 03-19-2006 at 04:11 PM.

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