Retrobike
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Lights - upgrade Lumicycle vs Chinese Cree XML vs ?
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=232832

Author:  John [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Lights - upgrade Lumicycle vs Chinese Cree XML vs ?

Don't think we've had a light thread for a couple of weeks so it's probably time to start another.

After a light for occasional night rides.

Used to ride a lot at night, both commuting and 'training' and as such had a quite spiffy for 2007 lumicycle setup with a HID. The HID seems dead now and the NiMh batteries aren't up to much anymore.

As such either thinking of getting an upgrade on the lumicycle, get a LED in one of my halogen lamps. However can see a new battery being needed too.

The more pragmatic might be to just pick up one of the Chinese Cree lamps like > http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-CREE-XML- ... 1080032804? as recommended elsewhere. Have a RC charger I could use on the battery so the possibly shonky charger is perhaps less of an issue.

The alternate is something else, open to suggestions.

Author:  EarlofBarnet [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:43 pm ]
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I've used cheapy Japanese lights all through last winter, on-road and off-road. Charger issue was the only problem I had, but soon got another for something silly like £2.50 delivered. The brightest light I had was 700Lm, which I found plenty bright enough, even off-road. Ended up buying a helmet mount for my 200Lm light to run alongside the 700Lm unit. Decided sometimes the direction the bars were facing wasn't always where I wanted to look. Will be running same lights this winter. Not sure what extra you get for the £'00's extra of other lights.

Author:  hamster [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:50 pm ]
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If you have a good quality halogen with a metal bulb holder (like a Maglite) then you can get drop-in replacement bulbs with the regulator built-in.

Author:  gradeAfailure [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:03 pm ]
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I'd go for the cheap Chinese each day of the week - DealExtreme do a UK-specific charger for £3.50 if you're worried about that.

Failing that, get one of the Chinese lights from C And B Seen for about £15 more and have UK backup. Or a V2 from Smudge at MTB Batteries for £90 but with fantastic support and advice.

Author:  JamesM [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:13 pm ]
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I'd contact Trout Lights bloke and see if he can upgrade one of your existing light and supply a new battery and charger. Trout upgrades lots of old lights and the result are pretty mental. Like 2000+ lumens mental.

Those chinese XML lights are a lottery. Its not just the chargers that are problematic, but the battery and the light too.

Author:  FluffyChicken [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:42 pm ]
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A fair few of us have both the Cree China lights, but for cheaper than that and they are fine for (in fact more than fine as too bright on full beam) for road use.
Not used it on the trail though.
No complaints in the long ebay lights thread.

Cannot see why the PSU would be a problem, same as all the rebranded stuff over her, just needs and adaptor which should be supplied.
(many branded chargers I've had at work have snapped or given up in less than a year.)

Where are these reports on them by the way.

Author:  John [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

FluffyChicken wrote:
A fair few of us have both the Cree China lights, but for cheaper than that and they are fine for (in fact more than fine as too bright on full beam) for road use.
Not used it on the trail though.
No complaints in the long ebay lights thread.

Cannot see why the PSU would be a problem, same as all the rebranded stuff over her, just needs and adaptor which should be supplied.
(many branded chargers I've had at work have snapped or given up in less than a year.)

Where are these reports on them by the way.


Got a link to the thread you mean Ben? And the lights you have?

Author:  hamster [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:40 pm ]
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A lot of the Ebay China PSUs have not been designed or assembled to UK safety standards. There was a lot about it in a thread on 18650 chargers a while back. Often they have fraudulent CE or BS markings on them.

So, if it electrocutes you or burns down your house, don't be surprised.
:shock:

A lot of the LED GU10 replacements are plain dangerous, for example they will burst into flames if dimmed. The pricey ones like Panasonic or Philips are designed for such misuse, even the 'non dimmable' type.

Author:  Andy B [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:34 pm ]
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I'd deffo have a word with Troutie http://troutie.com/

He's very good at what he does, quite a lot of users & fans over on Singletrack forum

You can get the Chinese lights from UK suppliers such as www.candb-seen.co.uk for a quicker delivery and UK back up

Author:  JamesM [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:23 pm ]
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The chinese lights are great for £20 but you just cant rely on them. I have one and so do 3 of my friends. Two are broken and the third has a dodgy switch, plus it's on its second battery (first one broke). Mine is the only one still working and thats partly because I took it apart and made some mods plus I don't really use it as I have better lights.

Author:  JamesM [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:29 pm ]
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FluffyChicken wrote:
No complaints in the long ebay lights thread.


Yes there are:

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... &start=555

Author:  FluffyChicken [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

John wrote:
FluffyChicken wrote:
A fair few of us have both the Cree China lights, but for cheaper than that and they are fine for (in fact more than fine as too bright on full beam) for road use.
Not used it on the trail though.
No complaints in the long ebay lights thread.

Cannot see why the PSU would be a problem, same as all the rebranded stuff over her, just needs and adaptor which should be supplied.
(many branded chargers I've had at work have snapped or given up in less than a year.)

Where are these reports on them by the way.


Got a link to the thread you mean Ben? And the lights you have?


LGF as normal kicked it off. I will say Delivery was a while, so you might not get them this year (it was within their quoted time)
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 13#1706813
'ROSE' but I see they now do different coloured ring if you search ebay.
Might be worth getting ones with a better mounts if you're going on the rough though (someone might be able to comment on the fixing offroad)

Author:  FluffyChicken [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

JamesM wrote:
FluffyChicken wrote:
No complaints in the long ebay lights thread.


Yes there are:

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... &start=555


There a year ago and not sure even the same light... certainly not the one LGF bough as he bought it a year or so later...

As for the chargers, there is unfortunately no guarantee that it is CE approved properly, this is ebay. MOST are just Chinese imports being resold and not made within the EU. Unless someone complains, who is going to check ?
Like I said I've had plenty of proper ones go, that includes IKEA and Scientific companies so it doesn't worry me, they can all be taken apart and checked.
Of course I could spend the money and make sure HOPE have done the hard work. I cannot afford that, John might be able to :)

Author:  JamesM [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:57 am ]
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Yeah you are correct the broken ones were not the one you posted a link too. One was an SSC P7 lights costing £50, the other was an XML-T6 costing £35 and the one with a dodgy switch and broken battery was a Magicshine. They are all different but basically the same. Who knows though maybe this years less than £20 version has addressed all the problems.

Author:  02gf74 [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:32 am ]
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been using this one this winter

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/170900368871? ... 1439.l2649

no problems yet. it has proper albeit flimsy clamp (i reckon that will be first to break plus I replaced the nasty self tappers that hold the brkacet to the lamp by button head screws).

Author:  John [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:56 pm ]
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FluffyChicken wrote:
Of course I could spend the money and make sure HOPE have done the hard work. I cannot afford that, John might be able to :)


Not really, no....

Anyhow decide to go with a Chinese special as recommended by LGF > http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0477864104

Will probably try and sort my lumicycle set over the next little while. Still have a HID which (hopefully works), will look at lithium batts and maybe LED upgrade.

Thanks to all for the feedback :)

Author:  was8v [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:47 pm ]
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For £8.50.....

I would be nervous putting these unprotected 18650 Li-ion cells in cheapo chargers in the house overnight.

If a cheapo Li-ion gets shorted then it will probably catch fire / explode pretty quickly, they give out their charge very quickly.

Some people put them on charge in a metal tin on an extension lead outside whilst watching from afar....

However, these Li-ion cells are in the majority of laptop batteries, so it may be worth sourcing a charger in the UK that you are confident is properly certified. Oh and maybe source some protected cells.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjF2lcVAHZo

Also 20A current when shorted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yctgus00owo

Author:  John [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

was8v wrote:
For £8.50.....

I would be nervous putting these 18650 Li-ion cells in cheapo chargers in the house overnight.

If a Li-ion gets shorted then it will probably catch fire / explode pretty quickly, they give out their charge very quickly.

Some people put them on charge in a metal tin on an extension lead outside whilst watching from afar....

However, these Li-ion cells are in the majority of laptop batteries, so it may be worth sourcing a charger in the UK that you are confident is properly certified.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjF2lcVAHZo

Also 20A current when shorted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yctgus00owo


As per my first post I have a RC / hobby charger / whatever you want to call it which I'd use to charge the battery with in all likelihood. You'd need a proper LiIon charger to charge the packs, not a laptop charger. The proper chargers will terminate (hopefully) when the packs are full, laptop charger doesn't do this afaik.

Author:  was8v [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

John wrote:
As per my first post I have a RC / hobby charger / whatever you want to call it which I'd use to charge the battery with in all likelihood. You'd need a proper LiIon charger to charge the packs, not a laptop charger. The proper chargers will terminate (hopefully) when the packs are full, laptop charger doesn't do this afaik.


The point I was making was that the cells are used in laptops and drills etc so are safe enough. I wasn't suggesting you use a laptop charger to charge these, as a laptop will have internal circuitry in addition to protect the cells.

As you say you should use a charger designed for li-ion to charge these, like others I am slightly suspicious of the chargers that come with the light units.

Author:  John [ Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

was8v wrote:
John wrote:
As per my first post I have a RC / hobby charger / whatever you want to call it which I'd use to charge the battery with in all likelihood. You'd need a proper LiIon charger to charge the packs, not a laptop charger. The proper chargers will terminate (hopefully) when the packs are full, laptop charger doesn't do this afaik.


The point I was making was that the cells are used in laptops and drills etc so are safe enough. I wasn't suggesting you use a laptop charger to charge these, as a laptop will have internal circuitry in addition to protect the cells.

As you say you should use a charger designed for li-ion to charge these, like others I am slightly suspicious of the chargers that come with the light units.


Fair enough, wasn't clear from your post.

Author:  BobCatMax [ Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:10 am ]
Post subject: 

John,

Would you be able to chuck a link/picture up to the RC charger you have. I have the same ebay light as you've just ordered, and I'd like a proper charger rather than the flimsy thing that comes with it

ta

Author:  John [ Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

BobCatMax wrote:
John,

Would you be able to chuck a link/picture up to the RC charger you have. I have the same ebay light as you've just ordered, and I'd like a proper charger rather than the flimsy thing that comes with it

ta


Bob,

I have the turnigy accucel 6 > http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Turnigy-RC-Ca ... 1027135949 . Apparently it should charge these LiIons ok, obv not tried it yet. You need a PSU for it, also might get it cheaper from HK.

Author:  BobCatMax [ Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

ta very much for that.

Would you mind letting us know if it does work?

Author:  FluffyChicken [ Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

BobCatMax wrote:
John,

Would you be able to chuck a link/picture up to the RC charger you have. I have the same ebay light as you've just ordered, and I'd like a proper charger rather than the flimsy thing that comes with it

ta


Oddly on the inside it's a standard electronic transformer, that's why they are flimsy. It's a modified USB charging circuit board with neat soldering and well finished. Quite surprised really. The code leads to Singapore Batteries.

Which seems a sensible idea given the current and voltage on USB chargers are for Li-On batteries (rapid charge at 1A)

I had written the details of it, but as I was typing We had a 2 hour power cut in the area... shush, don't tell them I plugged this PSU in ;)

AS for the battery setup, it doesn't look waterproof and I've not pulled the covers off.

Author:  BobCatMax [ Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

thanks for the details Fluffy,

so you think it's an ok charger?

Author:  gavinda [ Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'm really impressed with the light from LGF's suggestion, but how/what should be done for waterproofing these? I considered sealing the battery in a balloon/johnny but do I need be concerned about gas/heat buildup? And what about the charging connector?

Author:  JamesM [ Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

gavinda wrote:
I'm really impressed with the light from LGF's suggestion, but how/what should be done for waterproofing these? I considered sealing the battery in a balloon/johnny but do I need be concerned about gas/heat buildup? And what about the charging connector?


I think both the lights with the rusted batteries on the other thread had been waterproofed by the owners so not sure thats a good idea.

Author:  gavinda [ Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:59 pm ]
Post subject: 

i've not seen those. i'm confident i could seal them sufficiently, but was more concerned about gas buildup or is that an old battery issue?

Author:  JamesM [ Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

It may be caused by outgassing so sealing might not be a good idea. I don't actually know though!!

http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... &start=555

Author:  gavinda [ Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

ah, i see what you mean.. maybe ill just get a waterproof 'tribag' and chuck the pack in there instead.

Author:  Brass-monkey [ Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have the same light as john, i was concerned about the quality of the waterproofing on the batteries, so I constructed a water bottle to hold mine. Basically chucked the batteries in the water bottle, drilled 2 holes in the top and stuck the cable through. The sealed off with tape, does the job and stops my frame getting scratched from those battery holders.

Author:  Anthony [ Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

I had something of the same dilemma as you John, except my Lumicycle is a lot older. I decided the cost of new battery or bulb from Lumicycle was too great, given that it's basically an obsolete light.
[OK, I know this is Retrobike so obsolete is good, but even you don't use 1991 lights!]

On the other hand, I think the cost of new Lumicycles/Exposures/Hopes is unjustifiably high - but at the other extreme, I wouldn't trust the really cheap lights. With my luck, I would be left in the dark many miles from home on a rainy night, and then I'd regret not spending a bit more.

I also didn't want a single emitter lamp. I know they're bright (albeit that one saying it is 1800 lumens is just a lie - Cree themselves rate it at 1,040 maximum!), but single emitters tend to give more of a spot beam which is fine for road, but I thought for my purposes a flood beam from a multiple emitter lamp would be better.

I bought one of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121030449930 (unfortunately he keeps relisting them, so this link will only be current for a short while). I can't vouch for its longevity obviously, but I do find the seller trustworthy and the Fluxient 2-year warranty may well be reliable. I would say the 1600 lumen claim is in this case valid - the lamp is brighter on the low setting (20%) than the Lumicycle 12w spot. You get over 3 hours on the high setting, and medium (50%) is ample for most off-road situations.

Author:  JamesM [ Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:02 pm ]
Post subject: 

Anthony wrote:
I wouldn't trust the really cheap lights. With my luck, I would be left in the dark many miles from home on a rainy night, and then I'd regret not spending a bit more.



It's being plunged into darkness at 20+ mph on a decent that I'd be more worried about!!!

Author:  Nick C [ Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:17 am ]
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I picked up one of these a couple of weeks back and I'm very happy with the quality.

http://www.candb-seen.co.uk/bikehead-li ... e-xml.html

Author:  NeilM [ Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:43 pm ]
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We have now got four of these (two for me and two for my son). We move them from bike to bike and my sons are both doing duty on his CX bike at present, belting around the local woods at night. One of mine is on an mtb, the other is on my road bike.

We found some diffuser lenses, which spread the light horizontally, so we have those fitted to two of the lights.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CREE-XML-XM-L ... 20c5013dc9

Author:  BobCatMax [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Where did you get the diffusers from Neil? I've got two of these lights and wouldn't mind having one spot and one diffused. ta!

Author:  NeilM [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

BobCatMax wrote:
Where did you get the diffusers from Neil? I've got two of these lights and wouldn't mind having one spot and one diffused. ta!


My son found them on the bay, I'll get the link and post it.

The spot and diffused combination works well, good enough for the boy to tear-ass around the woods on his CX bike.

EDIT: Found it: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wide-Angle-Le ... 3cccd5d10c

Author:  BobCatMax [ Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

lovely, thank you chap.

Author:  Gravy Monster [ Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Agree with the diffusers they make a big difference on mine, I have also purchased some hope universal mounts that get rid of the rubber band mount and gives a sturdy mount 8) Im sure if anyone is riding off road on rigid like I do this a welcome addition as I got fed up with lighting up my feet and not being able to see in front ;)

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=23533

Author:  xerxes [ Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:43 pm ]
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I have a Magicshine MJ-872: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Magicshine-MJ-872-LED-Bike-Cycle-Light-Torch-1600-Lumen-Series-3-Digi-Battery-/220910754616?pt=UK_SportsLeisure_Camping_LightsLanternsTorches&hash=item336f4e9b38, which is very bright, but also very "floody", which is fine for off road, but not so good on road where it's likely to dazzle on coming traffic.

For my commuter, on road, I had a Smart Lunar 35, which is plenty bright enough to be seen by, but wasn't really bright enough for unlit roads. I wanted something bright, but an all-in-one unit that can be easily removed from the bike if I need to lock it up outside. I did a bit of reading and bought a Cateye Nano Shot Plus: http://reviews.mtbr.com/cateye-nanoshot-2013-mtbr-lights-shootout. I tried it on the sea wall route on my way home last night and it's pretty bright, plenty bright enough for unlit roads and has a much more road friendly beam pattern, it seems to be partially cut off at the top and gives a long "hot spot" on the ground ahead of you. All in all, I'm very pleased with it, it's not cheap compared to some of the "Ebay lights", but none of them seem to make a single unit, road/commuter type light.

road.cc has a nifty beam comparison widget here: http://road.cc/lights2012/index-wide.php

Author:  jujupunk [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

I like the look of these these Chinese lights, any one know if you can get a helmet mount for them. Could the battery pack be worn in a camelbak?

edit: Doh, just found them http://www.candb-seen.co.uk/accessories/cables-o-rings-and-helmet.html

Author:  BobCatMax [ Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

it comes with an elasticated jobby already

Author:  Piers [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

Not read the whole thread.
Have you spoken to Lumicycle? I've found them to be very helpful and repairs are either free or very reasonable. On two occasions (over about 8+ years), I've sent battery-packs back and had them repaired or up-grated.
IMO, worth a try as Lumi are a Brit company and deal direct.

Author:  mass199 [ Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Nick C wrote:
I picked up one of these a couple of weeks back and I'm very happy with the quality.

http://www.candb-seen.co.uk/bikehead-li ... e-xml.html


I'm using the same light, can't fault it for the price.

I did think about getting a similar(less expensive) one from China but seems a lot of hassle to save a few ££££££.

Author:  John [ Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

Piers wrote:
Not read the whole thread.
Have you spoken to Lumicycle? I've found them to be very helpful and repairs are either free or very reasonable. On two occasions (over about 8+ years), I've sent battery-packs back and had them repaired or up-grated.
IMO, worth a try as Lumi are a Brit company and deal direct.


Just to follow this one up I actually got my original lumis back in action.
-Stripped the HID down, resoldered a broken wire and seems to be working again.
-Ditched the lumi fast charger and made a lumi lead for my hobby charger. Cycled both big Nimh batteries a couple of time and both seem to have a reasonable capacity.
-Picked up a cheap MR11 LED bulb from China > http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0909005981 which I've stuck in one of the halogen cans with a glow ring for general use.

Given I rarely ride 'properly' at night sure this will suffice for the moment, have used them quite a bit given the short evenings and all seems well again. Might be nice to get a Lumi li-on battery at some point but no rush. Did order one of the cheap £15 LED setups from China, still waiting on this though.

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