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  1. #1
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    BR Lights C2.1-H (Cree emitter) & Battery Comment

    The BR Lights C2.1-H arrived yesterday. Of course I went rode with it last night. With a lower price ($330 versus $375) than the initial C2 release, and much more light (320 lumens versus 185 lumens), this favorably reviewed light is even more attractive than before.

    Last night's ride went very well. High beam (320 lumens) does the job on singletrack at speed. Low beam (134 lumens) is enough for easier sections. The battery status color/flash system is easy to read on the fly. The beam pattern is a smooth blend of soft spot and wide flood that would work alone for many ride conditions but also complements my helmet light. Construction is first rate, making my Nite Hawk K2 Digital look like a dime store toy by comparison. I will probably end up reviewing this light and awarding it 5 flaming chilis.

    Battery note: People have said that they like the C2 family's unusually quick charge time - only a bit more than 1 hour. That is very important when you consider that lithium batteries do not like to be stored with a full charge. With a 3 - 4 hour charge I would probably charge the light well before I ride. The C2 lets me leave the light where I ended my last ride and not plug it in again until shortly before my next ride. The light is recharged before I'm done putting my work stuff away, getting a snack, and have the bike ready to go.

    So far I'm a happy customer. I will post again if there are any surprises. Oh yea, the boxy look. I may not have any design taste, but I like it. All business.

  2. #2
    Spanish biker
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    What is BR light??

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  3. #3
    Homer
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    Quote Originally Posted by msxtr
    What is BR light??

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    First guess: 'brlights.com'
    Second guess: Google!
    Third guess: see first two.

    A self contained (battery implemented in light itself), double emitter light.


  4. #4
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    Looks sort of like a police radar gun

    - Glad to hear it works out nicely for you.
    Not many self-contained lights with that kind of output around.

  5. #5
    Spanish biker
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    [QUOTE=brum]First guess: 'brlights.com'
    Second guess: Google!
    Third guess: see first two.

    Thanks!!!!!!!

    Greetings - Saludos

    msxtr
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarch
    Battery note: People have said that they like the C2 family's unusually quick charge time - only a bit more than 1 hour. That is very important when you consider that lithium batteries do not like to be stored with a full charge.
    Have to say I'm a bit dubious about that charge time - have to wonder whether it's getting a full charge in that time. Given my fastest charger spends ~45 minutes on the constant voltage part of the charge, which it isn't possible to speed up no matter what charger you might have (and in fact the faster you charge at constant current the longer you'll spend doing CV). I have to wonder whether it does a complete CV charge.

    Where does that info about storing fully charge Lithiums come from - not something I've heard before?

  7. #7
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    It's only 1.4ah battery -so charge time is feasible.Would be a 1 - 1.2a charger maybe?

    With lithiums for long storage (2 months or more?) -you are meant to discharge to 60% and put them in the fridge to get the best lifetime out of them.
    But using them regularly won't matter that much.

    Cheers
    Dom

  8. #8
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    I wondered about the charge time too, thinking that maybe they were only doing Stage 1 and taking advantage of lithium batt's ability to take partial charge without capacity reduction. I asked BR Lights and got a reply that the Lithium-Polymer chemistry allows a higher charging voltage than Lithium Ion used in other lights. A complete charge is applied.

    Lithium batteries only last 2 - 3 years even if treated well. I don't recall the molecular details, but evidently there is something unstable about the chemistry. Want to get that full 2-3 years? Avoid the things that most speed up the aging process - heat and being stored full. Don't leave the batteries in your hot car all day. Store your Lithium batts ~ 40% full on the average. More one day, less the other, is OK.

    Fridge storage might work, but I would wonder about the benefit of getting the light that cold. There might be condensation issues when the light is taken back out and put into service. My plan for now is to store the C2 inside where the temperatures are moderate and stable.

  9. #9
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    A 1A charger wouldn't do a bit over 1 hour. It would maybe finish the first part of charging (where it is pumping in 1A) in an hour, but the constant voltage charging would then take almost another hour.

    Given all charging information I have ever seen for LiPoly is essentially the same as for LiIon, if they are charging to a higher voltage than standard they will be damaging the battery. Therefore whilst you might get 2-3 years with normal use, with such a fast charging scheme I'd guess you'd only get 1 year.

    Meanwhile I still don't understand why they use such a high voltage battery - has to make the regulator a lot less efficient.

  10. #10
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    They say the charge is 1.5A, that a full charge is acheived, and that the batteries will last 2 - 3 years just like Lithium Ion. It sounds like both you and I have read the same websites regarding battery types though. I have also read that Li-Po is still undergoing development, so information carried on those websites may be out of date. My guess is that the BR Light claims are accurate. If they are not, then I will be the first to report it here. I am taking care to treat my light per BR recommendations, and expect to get full projected life out of the battery. FWIW, two nights ago I got in a road ride during which I noticed that the light took at least 50 minutes to go from solid green to flashing green, which indicates 1/6 of the charge gone.

    It is interesting that they use what must be 6 x 3.7 volt cells in series instead of parallel to drive LEDs that have a forward voltage of only 3 or 4 volts. Buck is more efficient than boost, but that's a big buck drop! I'm no electrical engineer though. Maybe someone else can comment.

  11. #11
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    Well they've got 2 LEDs, so the total drop is ~7V. Add in 2 for the regulator headroom and you're up to 9. That would be fine with 3 cells in series, so they could series/parallel their cells to get half the voltage but twice the capacity. The buck would work more efficiently, due to less the difference in voltage between input and output.

    Meanwhile on the charging, my commercial charger does up to 3A going into 2 similar capacity cells in parallel, hence each cell is getting 1.5A. In theory this should give similar charging time, but mine is at least 2 hours from empty. My homemade charger where I know exactly what is happening (and it's following the datasheet charging curve) is nearly 3 hours from empty with a max of 2A, so 1A per cell. No way a 1.5A max charger can fully charge a single cell in the time they claim if using the "correct" charging regime.

  12. #12
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    What if they are leaving the battery with a partial charge? As long as it still provides the listed runtime, is there any harm? One of the sites I came across said that lithium batteries can be partially charged without permanent loss of capacity.

    Since lithium batts deteriorate faster when at full charge, any system that is fast enough to be used right before I ride seems like a good thing.

  13. #13
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    i have this light, but the technical details are over my head. i bought the light straight from BR Lights and soon after they updated the emitters and added the stealth mode, oh and dropped the price a bit. Wouldn't you know it, I asked if I coud get an upgrade and within a week i had new emitters and new software. ive been riding with this light ALOT for about six months and i am so pleased. i have about a two hour commute home when i'm feeling frisky, and i've forgetten to charge this light in advance several times. i think this is b/c the battery lasts forever and it charges so quickly. i've can plug it in for 20 minutes and get home. anyway, i've had no reduction in battery life yet- none. i've also been supremely happy with its durability (yes i crashed-hard).

    word is they are working on a headlight. i'm interested.

  14. #14
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    Good to hear that an upgrade was done. The C2 seems better suited to upgrades than the DiNotte 500L and Lupine Wilma because there are only two emitters. Sure, that makes it not as bright, but it's bright enough for any riding I do. The C2 came in to the market at 185 lumens barely qualifying as a high output main light source. With the Cree version putting out 360 lumens it is now a solid choice for prime duty. Maybe in a year or two there will be emitters available to double that, and with only 2 to replace the upgrade should be a good bit less expensive than the Lupine Wilma upgrade. There has been plenty of talk about that upgrade but no mention of price. Anyone out there know the $?

  15. #15
    Homer
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarch
    Good to hear that an upgrade was done. The C2 seems better suited to upgrades than the DiNotte 500L and Lupine Wilma because there are only two emitters. Sure, that makes it not as bright, but it's bright enough for any riding I do. The C2 came in to the market at 185 lumens barely qualifying as a high output main light source. With the Cree version putting out 360 lumens it is now a solid choice for prime duty. Maybe in a year or two there will be emitters available to double that, and with only 2 to replace the upgrade should be a good bit less expensive than the Lupine Wilma upgrade. There has been plenty of talk about that upgrade but no mention of price. Anyone out there know the $?
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan @ Lupine.de forums
    The first ever WILMA upgrade will be available in 4 - 6 weeks.
    All existing Wilma lights ( 380 Lumens and 420 Lumens versions) can be upgraded to 750 Lumens.

    The upgrade kit at aprox. 120€ will include a new led plate with 4 new LEDs, a new fitting lens and a tool to open the screws.
    You will be able to fit the upgrade by your self and there is no way to damage your light by this.
    I don't how EU prices convert into dollars, just the other way around. My guess is about $150.

    Edit: the upgrade is also in the '07 pricelist:
    http://www.lupine-lights.com/content...ist%202007.pdf

  16. #16
    Spanish biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by brum
    I don't how EU prices convert into dollars, just the other way around. My guess is about $150.

    Edit: the upgrade is also in the '07 pricelist:
    http://www.lupine-lights.com/content...ist%202007.pdf
    To convert € to $ use this link it's totally updated

    www.xe.com

    Greetings - Saludos
    Last edited by msxtr; 03-16-2007 at 05:43 AM.
    Warning!!! my english is very very bad, sorry.

    Easy DIY led light1
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  17. #17
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    It works out to about $160, presumably plus something for S or S&H. That compares very favorably with the current complete unit price of ~$800 at exchange rate. Impressive support of their previous customers!

  18. #18
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    First night rain ride with the C2.1-H yesterday evening. Yep, it's waterproof, or at least rainproof. I got in about an hour of mixed road riding including some high speed downhills during which the light was well drenched by the table saw blade spray off my front tire. The only item of note is that water drops splashing against and rolling down the optics flickered light around in a random disco strobe manner. Kind of amusing.

  19. #19
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    don't get me started on waterproof. that light has guided me through some of the wettest commutes of my life. the kind of rain where you are squeezing ounces of water ouf of your gloves at intersections and where you can pee in your chamois if you want and it wouldn't make a difference. its waterproof, not water resistant.

  20. #20
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    Cool! It would be nice to have the option. Right now driving the school bus, no showers at work, having no company cars to drive to jobsites and meetings, and the homework/dinner evening routine has ruled out commuting by bike. Maybe someday. Meanwhile, riding after dark is all I have during the week. Last night's ride, up and along the ridge of a mountain North of town, is more spectacular at night than during the day anyway. The city lights are gorgeous spread out below.

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