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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:09 pm 
Gold Trader
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 3306
Location: Bournemouth in 2008
I've dabbled with them.

The light units are usually fine. The batteries, not so much. I now run the units from Lipo Battery packs (that need a proper charger etc...)

For cheap and effective, I don't think you'll beat this; ... ont-light/

Torchy knows his stuff, and doesn't sell junk. The fact that the batteries are replaceable (and PROPER 18650s @ 3500 mah) mean that the issues with the Solarstorms are gone. Most 18650s in the cheapo packs are barely 2000mah typically 1700mah, and are a pack of 4, not 2. the reflectors and LEDs will be the same, possibly better in this too, as some are fake (CREE is the brand name, XM-L U2 the model number).

 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:33 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:02 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
I know their name is mud in the cycling community, but Halfords do a very competitive range of lights in their own brand from 200-1600 lumens. The 1600 lumen offering is £50, usb rechargeable battery is integrated into the light, it has an intuitive battery indicator that tells you how many hours are left on any given setting and it also doubles as a powerbank if you need to charge a phone, Garmin, etc in an emergency. Theirs was the first mainstream light that I found to be affordable and reliable for serious nightriding. They are good on warranty too, so even if it doesn't live up to expectations, you can just get a refund or an exchange.

I am interested in good lights with separate battery packs to mount on a GoPro bracket on the helmet, as the 500 lumen Lezyne I use on the helmet in conjunction with the bikehut light on the handlebar doesn't last very long, and a bigger integrated battery makes the helmet top heavy, so I'd want the light on the lid, but a decent battery in the backpack.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 7:45 am 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider

Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:05 pm
Posts: 9999
Location: Scotland
Thought about trying the Solar storm X2 myself, the cheapo Chinese ebay cree led light I've had for a few years now has been fine, and perfectly bright enough for off road use, but the battery pack is done for, it charges quickly but how long it lasts for is a bit of a lottery these days, and when it goes, it just cuts out! Not ideal out in the woods at night... The light unit still seems OK, its the batteries that are the weak link with the cheap lights.

That one by Torchy up there ^^^ looks pretty good for £30 though, I might look into that one.

 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:26 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:55 pm
Posts: 4
Heard good reports about torchy.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:02 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm
Posts: 3491
Location: Yateley, Hants.
Have a look at the Brite-R.

I've got a bunch of Solar Storm lights and they are generally reliable, but they are not all the same they are probably the most clone light on ebay and you are unlikely to get one with an actual Cree LED (these are faked massively). You see major variances between units in output, runtime and quality of light (I have about 4 units and they all perform differently). They are built differently between makers and I've had to pot the driver coils in some in silicone as they were just held onto the board by the copper wires (lots of bouncing breaks them loose and they need repair). The batteries are junk, they are all old recycled units of dubious rating and quality.

Back to Brite-R, they are not much more but the light output is so much better, they have some good options for 1, 2 and 4 LED units, plus they come with quality battery packs of actual decent cells. The Vier are great units as are the Selecta (for the helmet) and only around £20 each.

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