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  1. #1
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    $60 xml bike light- too good to be true?

    Here is its sixty dollars shipped. One year warranty and us dealer. Any thoughts?

    1000 Lumen CREE XML T6 LED Bicycle bike HeadLight Lamp Flashlight Light Headlamp | eBay

  2. #2
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    I actually just purchased that same light off of amazon ($65 from seller ATC). I was about to buy the magicshine 808e when I found this for $30 less than I could get the 808e from a US seller; same specs and looks identical so figured it was worth a shot.

    It should be delivered today and I'm hoping to try it out this week. I can post some thoughts once I've tried it. It's my first light so nothing to compare it to other than what my friends ride with (I don't recall what those are off hand).

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    Yes I would appreciate some insight as im thinking about getting one soon. Pics and or a review would be awesome.

  4. #4
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    They seem the same as the ones that dealextreme sells for $45. Here's a long thread:
    New bike lights on DX

    Tim

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    I just decided to pull the trigger on it. I had $50 from some extra work I did for a buddy, figured it's worth a try. I'll report on it when I get it. Even if it is the same unit from DX mentioned in the thread above, I like that this has free shipping and is protected through ebay/Paypal. I considered buying the DX light, but was weary of all the comments about super long shipping timelines and hacked Paypal accounts.

  6. #6
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    Just got home and it was delivered. It's charging now but everything appears decent quality at first glance. Should be able to try it tomorrow night.

    I don't believe it's identical to the DX one linked to above. That one looks closer to the older magicshine 808 which had a 900 lumen P7 and battery issues. The one I bought, and that the OP linked to, seems based on the newer 808e which has a more powerful 1000 cree XML and supposedly improved battery.

    I actually ordered the 808e from DX originally but cancelled it due to the shipping length and the fact that I found this one from a US seller for cheaper.

    I'll post some more thoughts after trying it.

  7. #7
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    As stated above, it looks very similar to the XML-T6 3-Mode 1200-Lumen light (actually ~ 750 lumens) from Deal Extreme T6 Water Resistant XML-T6 3-Mode 1200-Lumen White LED Bike Light with Battery Pack Set - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

    I just got mine and I don't think you can find a better light for $45. My initial impressions are nice and bright (not 1200 lumens but plenty of light for night riding) and the build quality is good. We'll have to wait and see about duability and how long it lasts.
    I also added a Wide Angle Lens to spread out the spot. ( Wide Angle Lens 4 MagicShine, Gemini, Lupine Bike Light | eBay )

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    Nope, not too good to be true. It's a very decent buy. It's actually better looking then the DX $44 light (which I have).

    This $60 one on ebay comes with an OP (orange peel) reflector, which is much better then the smooth reflector in the DX light.
    And this one has a better battery bag. The bag that comes on the DX light has an almost useless strap. You need to use additional straps to secure it to your bike.

    I wish I could see the battery, but at this price, I doubt it's the newer/better waterproof ones. Still a great deal.

    *Edit. I just realized that seller is in the US too, and shipping is only a couple days! Wow, if everything arrives as it is in the auction, that deal just got sweeter!

  9. #9
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    I've got 1, cracking light amazing power for the money leaves my mates HID for dead just be careful with the wires that go into the lamp unit, if you drop the battery pack it pulls them loose, my lights cut out if I pull the cable so I've glued them to stop it, the internals are all glued in on mine sadly so can't re wire it.

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    I ordered mine from amazon on Friday, got it today - so 3 business days I guess...beats a month or so from DX. Everything looks as it was described and is identical to the one on ebay. Just took some pictures; tried inserting them here but can't since I don't have 10 posts. I've tried adding a link below...need to replace xx.

    I also ordered a wide angle lens from brightstonesports on ebay Saturday and got it today as well. I've gone ahead and swapped it in....so it's in the pics. BTW, I can confirm that the light does have an orange peel reflector not a smooth one. The battery appears to me that it could be water resistant (it has a rubber cover) but I might be mistaken.

    Tried it in the house and back yard real quick...no pics but it's bright.

    hxxp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/573/imgp2739.jpg/

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    Tarheel, mind if I ask what you paid total? The one I saw on Amazon was $68 and it didn't include shipping.

    And by the way, the battery you show in your photos is the nicer/newer one I was referring to above, nice!

  12. #12
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    I paid $65 with free shipping. I actually found the one on eBay for $5 less a few minutes after ordering the amazon one....probably would have gone with it if I hadn't already placed the amazon order.

    Tried inserting a link here to the amazon one but it's not allowing me. Just search "XML Cree 1000 bike". It's the first one that comes up for me...sold by ATC.

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    looks good so far. lets get some beam shots.

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    http://www.amazon.com/Lumen-4-Mode-1...0333987&sr=8-1

    Here's the link to amazon. There are a few beam shots on the amazon page, which if they are true, look really good. The amazon listing doesn't say anything about the warranty though.

    Anyone notice that this and the ebay ad have the exact same misspellings?

  15. #15
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    I just pulled the trigger on 2 of the DX lights. I figured for $86 total, I should be able to light up my path pretty good

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by litljay View Post
    I just pulled the trigger on 2 of the DX lights. I figured for $86 total, I should be able to light up my path pretty good
    A friend of mine has one. It is a good light, perhaps a bit "spotty", but it lights the trail. Nobody died, he had fun. Mission accomplished. Two will be plenty.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    This unit seems to not be available but this one: http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-4-M...0682251&sr=8-9
    comes up instead.

    Anybody know the differences? Type of reflector, beam pattern etc?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Lumen-4-Mode-1...0333987&sr=8-1

    Here's the link to amazon. There are a few beam shots on the amazon page, which if they are true, look really good. The amazon listing doesn't say anything about the warranty though.

    Anyone notice that this and the ebay ad have the exact same misspellings?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTM View Post
    Nobody died, he had fun.
    sounds like a perfect ride then!!!
    though hope is frail, it must prevail - Taj Weekes

    betam eh-wud-eh-HA-lehu y
    eh-nay Ityopia!

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    yea looks pretty good. some real pic would be good tho.

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    I got one of these from DX a few weeks ago; got to try it out on a trail for the first time today for the last half hour or so of my ride. It definitely is more of a spot beam , but my only comparison is with a Nightsun (I think) like 15-20 years ago. It wasn't completely dark by the time I got back to the car, but I can definitely see why everyone uses one light on the bars and one on the helmet; the twisties would have been interesting with only the single light in total darkness.
    Driving home I think the cheap DX light puts out more light than the crappy clouded headlights on my car, though...

  21. #21
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    Used mine for the first time tonight too.

    Paid 44 at DX.

    Also have an older Dinotte 800L on the bars and another MS light. I was w/o the Dinotte tonight so it was just the MS on the bars and the clone on the helmet.

    I like a decent spot on the helmet but this is ridiculous. Unless you look WAY down the trail, the spot is so tight it's just not that useful. Bright, yes. But the spot is SO small that I just didn't care for it.

    I think what made it worse was the MS is more of a spot as well however better though. I had 2 spots at all times that I kept seeing. It was annoying.

    I'm going to use it again w/ the Dinotte 800L and see how I feel. I have a feeling it will be better as the Dinotte covers a lot in front of the bike w/ a nice fairly wide beam. It's bright all over w/o a hot spot.

    Will report back in a few days.

    MB

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    I have been riding the new Serfas 500, great light for +/- 75

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    ...I like a decent spot on the helmet but this is ridiculous. Unless you look WAY down the trail, the spot is so tight it's just not that useful. Bright, yes. But the spot is SO small that I just didn't care for it.

    I think what made it worse was the MS is more of a spot as well however better though. I had 2 spots at all times that I kept seeing. It was annoying.


    MB
    MB3, You would probably like the Geoman version of the MS808E better. The Geoman 808E uses a shorter reflector that is OP ( orange peal ) textured. As a result the beam pattern is not as much of a spot as these cheaper knock-offs. It still has a hot spot but it is wider and fans out when pointing forward. Lately I've use mine on the road bike and I've been very impressed. Even on mid-level it lights up the whole road and still has excellent throw.

    Dang it, I was going say that since you already have a battery you could just buy the Geoman MS808E light head but then I remembered that someone said the two used different sized battery plugs...what a bummer.

  24. #24
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    Hmm, the more I thought about it last night, I think that MX is too much of a spot, just like MB3 said. I ordered up one of those wide angle lenses that MaKn linked, I figure for 5 total why not.
    I'm thinking maybe a GeoMan 808 with the OP reflector for the helmet, and the DX light on the bars with the wide angle might be a better combination (?)
    Doing my ride right after work will give me a few more rides with some light to get things sorted before I venture out in total darkness.

  25. #25
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    Ok let's just clear something up here. The lights that litljay, XLR99 and MB323323 are talking about are NOT the light that this thread was originally discussing.

    This is one of the problems, there are several lights now that are similar, but NOT the same.

    People are posting in this thread which is about a specific light, and saying "I picked one of these up from DX"......... but you didn't. The DX light is different.

    Nothing wrong with talking about different lights in a thread, but I think it's important that we don't talk about them as if they were the SAME light.

    The one the original poster linked (on ebay for $59 and change), has an Orange Peel reflector, newer rubber/plastic encased battery and newer/better battery bag. It's going to have a better beam then the $44 DX light because of the reflector.

    If anything, the $59 light on ebay is more like the Magicshine MJ-808e (which is also available on DX, but not for $44)

    You can see the problem with mixing them up. People are posting in this thread that they bought "this" light, but from DX, and then they are complaining about the beam.

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    I finally got to hit the trails with mine Monday night. It's the same as the OP's ebay one but from amazon (sold out now). Sorry, no pictures; crappy cellphone pics wouldn't be representative of real life and I don't haul my slr out on rides.

    I was very happy with it though. Granted this is my first light so nothing to compare it to other than the older Nightrider my friend uses. Compared to that, it definitely seemed brighter, had a longer throw, and about the same amount of flood.

    I rode about 1.5 hrs and the battery seemed to hold up fine as the light did not appear to dim during that period.

    I tried adding the wide angle lens at first. It produced a much wider flood but reduced the throw significantly. I tried pairing it with a torch I bought from ebay but the torch stopped working within the first 5 minutes, so I ended up removing the wide angle lens b/c the throw wasn't long enough for me to use it without another longer light too.

    I think I got the torch working now after tightening something when I got home. It's an Ultrafire that also claims to use a 1000 lm Cree XML T6 LED. Though the LED is supposedly the same on both units, the torch is much dimmer. Wish I would have spent an extra $30 and purchased a second bike set now instead of it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    This unit seems to not be available but this one:
    comes up instead.

    Anybody know the differences? Type of reflector, beam pattern etc?
    The specs are exactly the same. I bet it's identical with just a different case. Looks like they've increased the price too though - $75 now vs the $65 I paid a week ago.

    Actually, I've just noticed that if you click the OP's ebay link, that product has changed now too and looks the same as this newer amazon version. It's $61 now.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarheel03 View Post
    ...Actually, I've just noticed that if you click the OP's ebay link, that product has changed now too and looks the same as this newer amazon version. It's $61 now.
    I was going to provide that link in another thread a few minutes ago and found it wasn't what I expected. Thought I was having another "senior" moment.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by warimono View Post
    This unit seems to not be available but this one: http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-4-M...0682251&sr=8-9
    comes up instead.

    Anybody know the differences? Type of reflector, beam pattern etc?
    As far as I can tell, the difference is in a better sealed housing that claims to be waterproof. The one linked has three screws holding in the lens cover and a red o-ring, the previous one that is sold out didn't have the sealed head.

    Could be other differences as well, but those were the ones I could see from the pics.

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    Yep Fightnut, I was talking about DX 85210.

    Sorry, don't beat me up. LOL

    There are just so many clones now. Man a lot of people night ride... A good thing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    MB3, You would probably like the Geoman version of the MS808E better. The Geoman 808E uses a shorter reflector that is OP ( orange peal ) textured. As a result the beam pattern is not as much of a spot as these cheaper knock-offs. It still has a hot spot but it is wider and fans out when pointing forward. Lately I've use mine on the road bike and I've been very impressed. Even on mid-level it lights up the whole road and still has excellent throw.

    Dang it, I was going say that since you already have a battery you could just buy the Geoman MS808E light head but then I remembered that someone said the two used different sized battery plugs...what a bummer.
    I have an original P7 MS900 with the new, replaced-under-warranty Geoman battery. I'm having difficulty with the switch on the back of the MS900 (I have to push it very hard to get it to change modes, hard enough that it's difficult to maintain the pressure for 2 seconds to turn it off). I'm considering upgrading to the newer XML version. I'm trying to decide, is it worth it?

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    Hi hernluis

    I think the bicycle light you list is very expensive.My friends got one bicycle light from Ebay named sayusellme, which is cheap but good

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    Here are a couple of crappy iphone shots I took of the beam on last nights ride.




    Light was on High on both shots.
    Light is the exact one OP was talking about. I purchase them from ebay for $61.59 shipped from seller "multi-function1002".
    1000Lm CREE XM-L T6 LED Headlamp / Bicycle Light SET Flashlight Ship from US | eBay
    looks like he raised his price.

    Light is branded " Sanguan SG-N1000"
    Last edited by Jimmy.T; 11-15-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthere View Post
    I think the bicycle light you list is very expensive.My friends got one bicycle light from Ebay named sayusellme, which is cheap but good
    You're comparing apples to oranges. I checked out the XML lights from the seller you listed, and his are similar to the DX $44 ones. They have a smooth reflector and the older/cheaper style battery and battery bag.
    It is well worth the extra $15 or so for the better OP reflector, battery and battery bag.

    Oh, and to call a $60 XML bike light "expensive" is just ridiculous.

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    Wow, that beam pattern is much better than the $44 version.

    I mentioned riding w/ the MS on the bar and the 44 on the helmet was annoying as they both had spots moving around.

    I did ride w/ my Dinotte 800L old version and it was much better and works ok since the 800L does not have that hot spot.

    The one you guys mentioned is well worth the extra $$ based on that beam shot.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Yep Fightnut, I was talking about DX 85210.

    Sorry, don't beat me up. LOL
    Lol, sorry I wasn't trying to sound like I was scolding anyone. I was just trying to be clear

  37. #37
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    I also just got one of these yesterday - no ride yet because we had tstorms and tornado warnings along with 2" of rain; did test it out on the porch, though.
    Compared to the DX 85210 it seems a step up in quality overall as other people have noted. The connectors are better, and include an O Ring seal; battery pack looks better sealed and the battery pouch is better with two straps rather than one. Connectors aren't interchangeable between the two lights.
    The beam pattern looks far better as well. My plan is to use this light on the helmet, and use the DX 85210 with a wide angle lense on the bars. When I get time I'll put up some comparison pictures.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy.T View Post
    Here are a couple of crappy iphone shots I took of the beam on last nights ride.

    [

    I'm trying to figure out how you managed to get the whole bike illuminated in the photo, not to mention that there are shadows being thrown by the bike ?... A second light source involved..??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I'm trying to figure out how you managed to get the whole bike illuminated in the photo, not to mention that there are shadows being thrown by the bike ?... A second light source involved..??
    I had a light on my helmet but I made sure to turn that off. After thinking about it, I did forget to turn the flash off my iphone - that probably explains what you are talking about. Overall though, I dont think that flash has any significant contribution to the beam pattern the bike light is projecting.

    also after looking at the shadows of the bike again, the flash would't cast a shadow in that direction so i really dont know what to tell you.

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    are the connectors and cables on the Ebay light the same size as the original 900 lumen Magicshine lights with the flammablebatteries?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mappable View Post
    are the connectors and cables on the Ebay light the same size as the original 900 lumen Magicshine lights with the flammablebatteries?
    At the bottom of your link there is a "Contact" listing. The seller would be best person to ask ( me thinks ) as far as connector issues go. I am confused by your reference to "flammable batteries". Aren't all batteries flammable ( per say ) given the proper abuse, negligence or outright pyrotechnic environment?

  42. #42
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    Tarheel & Jimmyt Just purchased two XML cree & reflectors from Amazon-ATC. They are now 76.00 free shipping. My old firestorm will get smoked I'm sure. You two made me go all in! Can't wait, I need a cold shower.

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    jimbowho, ha, cool, hope you like them. I used mine again a few days ago and still no complaints. This time I used the ATC light helmet mounted and my torch on the bars. The torch on the bar seemed to provide no benefit though b/c the ATC light is just so much brighter. Wish I'd have gone with two of these from ATC/ebay like you did instead of saving money by getting the torch. Guess they've been selling well since prices have increased on both Amazon and eBay.


    BTW, from Jimmy.T's pictures, I can see that he has the different style head case from mine but the beam looks to be a pretty accurate representation of what my light looks like in use too.

  44. #44
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    I'm sure I'll be happy if it's as bright as it looks x2 in my case. It's my gift to me for Christmas. Went with two mainly for spares, but will run them both until "hopefully not" any break downs. Can't wait to fiddle with the reflector doohickeys to find a sweet spot, no pun. No more high dollar lights for me. Technology is really kicking ass on lights.

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    Looking to buy one of these but I need clarification...

    I want one that will mount on my bars and cast the wider light - not a super tight spot. I checked the two on ebay and neither show a bar mount. Which one should I get?

    1000 Lumen CREE XML T6 LED Bicycle bike HeadLight Lamp Flashlight Light Headlamp | eBay

    or

    1000Lm CREE XM-L T6 LED Headlamp / Bicycle Light SET Flashlight Ship from US | eBay

  46. #46
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    The photo of the light connected to a head strap, is how it sits on the bars. Connects with O-rings. I'm guessing I will loose the straps and zip-tie the plastic mount to my helmet.

    In your case you will just place the light on the bar and stretch a O-ring under the bar.

    The spot gets dimmed or widened by seperate reflectors. Go to Amazon, under what other users purchesed below, it shows the 5.00 add on. I think Geo has them too. Good luck.

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    Does this have enough throw for road riding?
    Do the rubber rings keep the light stable on the bars?

  48. #48
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    Do any of you guys have a BikeRay III? I'd like to know how you think these stack up to the BRIII.

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    thought I should chime back in on this thread.

    I got the light in the original post probably about a month ago, but haven't ridden with it yet.
    I can say though, that the beam does appear "spotty" based on shining it in the backyard. It's totally useable, but I'm sure there is a better balance of flood and spot than this. Perhaps some of the more expensive versions have a better optic for this. (Also, mine does have the orange peel reflector)
    The beam pattern shown in the pics above looks pretty accurate to what I bought.

    Mine was $60 with free shipping.

    I'll post some pics if I get a chance.

  50. #50
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    I just bought one of these on eBay for $60. I went the auction route instead of Buy It Now. I hope none of you pushed the price up on me.

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    ... and if we just ...

    figured it out!!!!!!
    Last edited by jimbowho; 12-17-2011 at 11:14 AM.

  52. #52
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    I've bought a set of these lights as well - and quite impressed with the amount light they put out.

    A question for those of you that have had them for a while. On the back of the unit is a push button switch to switch between off, high, medium, and strobe - and it appears there's a couple of green leds and a red led behind it.

    Logic suggests this would be some kind of 'remaining power' gauge, however - I've not seen them alter in any way since they've been going.

    Has anyone figured out how they work, if they work, or if they're just lights to show you where to push in the dark?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails  xml bike light- too good to be true?-imag0232.jpg  

     xml bike light- too good to be true?-imag0231.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    $55 shipping from Amazon here - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...sr=1-7&seller=

    Same light?

  54. #54
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    Yes, thats it.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokeypokey View Post
    I'm not an expert, but that looks like a different light. The one you listed doesn't look to have the orange peal reflector.

  56. #56
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    Just got one for Christmas but haven't field tested it yet. I did charge it enough to fire it up last night and take it outside. Man, this thing is bright! Feels well-built but it's a bit on the heavy side. Nice aluminum casing too. I'll report back after a night ride.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokeypokey View Post

    Nope. That's the same one you can get from DX for $44. Different reflector and housing, etc.

    I picked one up on eBay on a "best offer" for $45 shipped from California (got here in 4 days) that can be found here - eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

    Got mine for use as a helmet light to supplement my year-old bar-mounted MJ-836 since I prefer using 2 lights in the tight woods at night. It is more spot than flood and I may toy around with ways to diffuse that a bit.

    Either of these lights beat the snot out of the ones I paid over $100 for 5 years ago in terms of output, weight and value.

  58. #58
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    Overall its a great light.
    I Just posted a write up on the most recent XML T6 model

    Review of Ebay: 1800 Lumen CREE XML T6 LED Bicycle HeadLight Lamp

  59. #59
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    I bought one of these and used it for the first time this morning in my dull ride to work. It worked great for about 10 minutes then wouldn't stay on the bright setting (kept falling back to the weak one). I bought it around 3 weeks ago, fully changed it then put it back in the box for 2 weeks, pulled it out and used it today. I am hoping it was just low on juice, although I would have expected it to hold it's charge longer in the box.

    Anyone have any relate-able experiences?

  60. #60
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    The batteries in them tend to be 4x18650 lithium ion cells...two pairs of them in series. They generally (depending on the battery pack) have a protection circuit in them if the batteries drop in voltage below 3.0v (which is bad for the batteries) or if the voltage goes above 4.2v during charging (which makes them explode). The voltage that ends up coming out of the packs should vary between 6.0v and 8.4v when it's fully charged (if you're lucky and batteries are perfectly matched!).

    It sounds like one or more of the cells in the pair may be a dud - dropping your capacity back a bit.

    The way the chargers on these work is they charge the batteries up together in series...so the first pair of batteries to reach 4.2v will cause the protection circuit to cut in - cutting off charging power to the whole unit (and triggering your charger to indicate it's fully charged).

    I've not bothered to check what the standby draw is...but when it's operational it's about 1000ma, and at halfpower about 500ma. With the standard 3400mah (measured), it should give you about 3.5 hours - if you've been able to charge both batteries up fully - which you can't do with the included charger unless the batteries charge up at exactly the same time (as per the 'perfectly matched') comment above!

    Long winded reply...but really...I reckon one of your cells is a dud...which is stopping you from 'fully charging it'.

  61. #61
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    I have it re-charging now. I should know pretty quick on my ride in to work in the morning. I sent a message to the seller to give them a heads up too.

    BTW, I also bought the diffuser lens. The spread and brightness of the light is awesome... Even if I do have a dead cell, I'll be giving it another try.

  62. #62
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    A bad cell is a reasonable diagnosis for XYCARPS low runtime problems...and IF true -

    should be immediately followed by a dire warning: Stop using the light until the battery pack is replaced! Do not charge the battery!

    Of course, there are other possibilities like: the charger not providing a full charge (prematurely terminating the charging cycle), or thermal management kicking in... but if there is a possibility of a bad li-ion cell continued use would be a risky proposition.

    (a couple of months ago I came close to finding out if a halon fire extinguisher is capable of putting out a battery pack fire... luckily unplugging the pack and kicking it into a heavy cookpot and flinging the popping and sizzling pack in the backyard averted disaster - don't take a chance if you're not sure).

  63. #63
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    Thanks for the warning. I just unplugged it. It looked fully charged, based on green light. I'll update tomorrow.

    Thanks again.

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    charging...

    So just to be clear, you're saying never leave these things alone when they're charging?

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by claytonedge View Post
    The way the chargers on these work is they charge the batteries up together in series...so the first pair of batteries to reach 4.2v will cause the protection circuit to cut in - cutting off charging power to the whole unit (and triggering your charger to indicate it's fully charged).
    Unbalanced (dumb) Charging:

    As you mentioned, 2S2P has two sets of parallel batteries in series. the two parallel batteries will always have the same voltage (otherwise they're not in parallel).

    However, the voltage of the two sets in series may well be different.

    What often prevents a pack from charging / causes it to explode is a failure of one of the cells in a parallel pair.

    Now, if one of the cells is a dud and has a lower capacity, its voltage will increase more rapidly than the other normally functioning cell for the same amount of charge and since cells in parallel all have the same voltage, the other cell in parallel takes on the extra slack to keep it's voltage in line.

    If the cell is protected, it will limit the current and then shut off to prevent further charge, thus forcing current through the other battery in parallel (if it's a constant current charger) and causing it to ramp up voltage.

    When both parallel cells in a battery shutdown at their nominal safety voltages, no further charging can take place. since current cannot pass to the other batteries in series.

    The real killer is Dumb chargers charging unprotected cells. They stop charging when a series pair's combined voltage reaches 8.4 or so (yes yes, constant current constant voltage modes etc...). the damaged cell and the cell in parallel with it will reach their 4.2 v limit before their series counterparts and the dumb charger just keeps pumping them until the combined total is 8.4. Raise you hand if you think you know what happens next

    "Balance or Die" is my motto...

  66. #66
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    ...agree with all the above...and yes...don't leave these batteries charging unattended. Try youtube-ing LiPo fire. Google it and count how many people have burned their houses down by charging them unattended.

    If you're at all nervous...you could build yourself up a battery pack out of AA NiMh batteries that's only slightly bigger than the lithium pack you've got, and only slight less capacity and use that. Get a 6pack AA battery holder from Jaycar, DickSmith, Maplin, or Radioshack and hook those up to a 2.5mm in line socket.

    I would recommend picking up a balancing charger though - they're so cheap these days from ebay - and learning about how to use it will give you an idea of how careful you need to be with lithium batteries. To use it with these included batteries you will have to modify the battery to have a balancing lead between the two batteries pairs in series.

    For an example google "Balancing the Magicshine MJ-836 Bike Light Battery"

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by xycarp View Post
    Thanks for the warning. I just unplugged it. It looked fully charged, based on green light. I'll update tomorrow.

    Thanks again.
    1. many thousands of battery packs are charged without incident...

    2. so, the risk of an incident is very low on a percentage basis

    3. however, if you suspect a bad cell or pack - i would be careful

    4. if you continue to use the pack but are not 100% sure it's behaving properly... you might want to charge on garage floor away from anything flammable or outside on the patio?

    5. budget light sets aren't know for selecting higher quality, well matched cells OR chargers with ideal charging algorithms and true end of cycle termination

    6. some may think this approach is an overreaction, but after a near miss... all my battery charging is now either 'monitored' (i.e. I'll unplug if I'm not around to keep an eye on it) or 'isolated' (i.e. charging outside on a concrete patio)

    7. even if somebody 'proves' the chance of something happening is less than 1/10,000 or even 1/100,000... I'm not going to be that 'one'

    8. having said all that though - I'd still give a shot at seeing if that pack will behave better after a couple of charges... just watch out during charging and unplug after the cycle is complete

    9. higher quality cells/battery packs are often more expensive than the entire budget light sets. just check out geomangear's replacement pack costs, lupine, open light systems, etc... Not cheap, but there's a reason for the cost due to higher quality cells, better electronics, build quality, etc.

    10. just saying - know what the worst case scenario might be, and be careful (maybe I overreacted with my earlier post, but a sizzling battery pack can do that to you)
    Last edited by abacojeff; 01-31-2012 at 01:38 PM.

  68. #68
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    Ok, my update...

    I charged them last night until the green light came on, then plugged them (around 10pm). Hooked 'em up this morning at 6am and started my ride. They lasted longer but not much. I would guess it was around 17-20 minutes into the ride when it switched back to "dim" mode. I cycled it back to bright using the switch, but it dropped back to dim again after an additional minute.

    I am guessing / hoping they are expected to last much longer than that on the bright mode with a full charge. I will contact the seller and arrange for a replacement today.

  69. #69
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    Those are all good points Abacojeff. Batteries are one of the easiest and most cost effective places to cut corners. Not all of them are bad because of it, but it does significantly raise the chances of defective units. I do not mean this as a knock against the budget sets or batteries, just be aware what you are getting and take the proper precautions.

    Josh
    Open Light Systems

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    I have had the same experience with short battery life. The first use I got 5 minutes on high before it shut down to low. I turned it back to medium and it lasted several hours. I ran it down until it wouldn't stay on the low setting and then charged it. I ran it on my desk on high for 1 hour 15 minutes this time and figured that battery just need to be conditioned. The next ride it only lasted 15 minutes on high. The next theory is the battery pack doesn't like cold temps. The temp was around 20-25 degrees on each ride.

  71. #71
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    hmmm, interesting idea about cold temps. Anyone else have that experience? Am I expecting too much from a $50 light?

  72. #72
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    update... I fully charged the battery and tested it inside. It ran on high for 1 hour 44 minutes, then dropped into dim mode. It definitely appears related to the outside temps. My first two uses were in 10 to 20 deg F temps.

    When I went to turn off the light, I found it to be very hot. Too hot to touch for more than a second. The battery was fine, not even the slightest bit warm. I thought these lights were LEDs so they wouldn't get hot. What gives?

    I guess this is only a warm weather light.

  73. #73
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    I think there is a little misunderstanding about battery packs here. The cells that make a parallel pair must be closely matched as they will charge together to 4.2v.
    The protection circuit in a 2S2P will continue to charge each pair separately until they are both at 4.2v to balance the pack.
    Also be aware. You should not charge your pack outside if the temperatures are below 30˚F. Inside in a fireproof container is a much better choice. A low cost solution is a metal pan or large can with about 2-3" of gravel in the bottom. Set this on a non-flammable surface.
    About the light getting hot. LED lights are about 50% efficient, which is way better than the 10-15% of a halogen. However, the other 50% ends up as heat. These lights all require some air moving over them to keep cool lest they fry themselves.
    xycarp, if I was you I would try and return the whole setup as defective and take a look at the Gemini P7 we have on sale. You would get a top quality high capacity battery, close to as much light, not much more money and a 1 year warranty.
    Jim Harger
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  74. #74
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    I have since learned that the light works fine in "normal" weather (above 20F) but drains quickly when the temp is in single digits. On those cold mornings I have used it on the medium brightness setting without issue. Overall, it's a decent light and meets my needs.

  75. #75
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    Some of these comments have been intriguing. If it's of any use - I have attached a balancing lead to my battery - so each pair of cells can be monitored. The downside of these cheap batteries, is even if there is a fantastic protection circuit that does all sorts of great things - if you have no instructions, it's a bit of trial and error to figure out what's going on.

    In my attempt to understand what's going on, I've kept a track of how it's working while I'm using it.

    Performances to date:
    Turning the light on from brand new - for 3x1 hour sessions on full - lasted for 3 hours.
    After attaching the balancing lead, and before charging. Cell pair - 7.2v
    After attaching the balancing lead, and measuring voltage. cell1 3.5v, cell2 3.7v
    After charging with the balancing charger. cell1 4.2v, cell2 4.2v
    After riding for about 3 hours on full (and after the power cut off). cell1 3.4v, cell2 3.4v

    My suspicion at the moment is that once either pair of cells drops below 3.4v the power from the battery is cut. This is a bit annoying since it's really 3.2v before we start getting any damage to these cells....but it could well be that the temperature we're riding in is influencing the cut off voltage.

  76. #76
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    Are you measuring that voltage under load? Most of the "budget" 18650s have a fair bit of voltage sag under load. That may explain the light shutting down when a no load voltage reading is 3.4V.

  77. #77
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    Argh! No, very good point! Thanks, will run the battery down a bit and have a look.

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    tagged for future reference
    roccowt.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by claytonedge View Post
    My suspicion at the moment is that once either pair of cells drops below 3.4v the power from the battery is cut. This is a bit annoying since it's really 3.2v before we start getting any damage to these cells....but it could well be that the temperature we're riding in is influencing the cut off voltage.
    claytonedge,

    Here is a typical discharge curve for a 4400mAh 2S2P pack under load. Your light probably pulls about 1.5A on average so the red line would be about right. You can see that by the time it reached 3.4V per cell or 6.8V it's headed south pretty fast so the difference in run time between 3.4 and 3.2 would be pretty small. However, this test was on an assembled pack and ran down to 5.6V without the PCB cutting out. I believe the cutoff under load is 5.4V.
    I don't know about your pack but the Magicshine and Gemini packs have a balancing lead between the pairs to monitor and charge each pair separately.

    Jim Harger
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  80. #80
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    Thanks Jim - very kind of you to post the discharge chart, and to share your experience.

    On these batteries there's certainly no balancing lead between the pairs (I've attached one myself), but it is good that the fancier/pricier batteries do have some mechanism to balance the charging.

    For others reading as well - the capacity of these cheaper batteries is more in the 3400mah region than the 4400mah....but I'm even quite dubious of this!

  81. #81
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    Oops, now that I look closer at the graph is see this particular test was with a 5200mAh Gemini pack. The shape of the curve is the same with 4400mAh, just shifted a little to the left.
    Jim Harger
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  82. #82
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    Updates here.

    Full charge, cell1 4.2v, cell2 4.2v
    Cut out after 90 mins of riding in freezing temps
    Voltage, cell1 3.7v, cell2 3.7v both under 0.7a load.
    After charging the battery normally takes 3400mah from empty, but from this cut off state only took about 1300mah.

    It appears the protection circuit is cutting in very early when it gets cold.

    Have ordered another battery, an rc type Lipo and will see how this goes.

  83. #83
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    Ordered the $60 ebay light and got it three days later from a US seller. I have to say I was very impressed with the packaging and the overall design. No short-cuts that I could see, OP reflector, etc... It has three light levels plus strobe. This is my first bike light but this thing puts out an incredible amount of light. I will ride with it next week. The only flaw I see with the light is the mounting bracket is designed to fit a thinner bar - not the 31mm MTB bar. Seems like it will work ok with the provided rubber band mount but not ideal.

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    just bought one

    i just pulled the trigger on one with a smooth reflector. Hopefully i will get it soon. I did see that the ones from over seas are on sale and last time i looked about a 1000 had been sold they are going at about $42 shipped? not bad.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    I have an original P7 MS900 with the new, replaced-under-warranty Geoman battery. I'm having difficulty with the switch on the back of the MS900 (I have to push it very hard to get it to change modes, hard enough that it's difficult to maintain the pressure for 2 seconds to turn it off). I'm considering upgrading to the newer XML version. I'm trying to decide, is it worth it?
    I've had this problem a few times with my MS light. The problem is that the retaining nut that holds the light puck in place inside the head gets loose over time.

    All you have to do is take the crown off and remove the reflector to get to the retaining nut. It has two holes which are used to tighten it. You can use a pair of needle-nose pliers to do this.

  86. #86
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    Riding with mine tomorrow AM in Az. Probably dark for an hour ride time. I charged it to green (about 2.5 hrs). It's maiden voyage and I'll report back on the performance.

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    Are most people using this light on their handlebars or helmets? If using on your helmet, is there enough cord to run the battery to a pocket on your jersey? If stuffed in you pack, does the battery get hot?

  88. #88
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    I bought the exact same light about 3 weeks ago, for 38 euros. It's amazing! I am using it for about 2 hours and the battery can keep for more.

    I haven't used it on my helmet yet, but i'm sure it's gonna be stable enough.

  89. #89
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    Rode with my light tonight. Rode an hour on bright and no problems. The amount of light is excellent. Overall I am extremely pleased. If I had one change it would be to make the beam pattern a little wider as where I ride has a lot of tight switchbacks and with the light on the bars having more light on the turn before I actually turn the bars shining the light into the turn would be nice but it is still pretty good as is. Someone asked if the cables are long enough - short answer is yes no issue - I have the battery mounted on my seat post and the light on the handlebar and still have about a foot of extra cable.

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by shellshocked View Post
    If I had one change it would be to make the beam pattern a little wider as where I ride has a lot of tight switchbacks and with the light on the bars having more light on the turn before I actually turn the bars shining the light into the turn would be nice but it is still pretty good as is. .
    See our Wide Angle Lens.
    Jim Harger
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    Action: Thank you - I just placed an order with you.

  92. #92
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    The wide angle lens from Action LED works great. I have one in my MS light and it was a perfect fit. On the knockoff MS lights all you have to do is leave the stock lens in place and put the wide angle on top. It then fits great and the light still seals nice.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch View Post
    The wide angle lens from Action LED works great. I have one in my MS light and it was a perfect fit. On the knockoff MS lights all you have to do is leave the stock lens in place and put the wide angle on top. It then fits great and the light still seals nice.
    I would suggest you put the stock lens on top smooth sides together with the ribs pointed into the reflector. The effect is the same either way and then the glass protects the plastic lens. This won't work on a true Magicshine as it won't seal with the added thickness.
    Jim Harger
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  94. #94
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    That's exactly what I did. wide lens, then stock lens on top with smooth sides together. It has held up great thru some really nasty conditions. I just listed the pieces wrong above, but anyone installing the lens would figure that out quickly!

  95. #95
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    Just checking in to provide an update and some extra info...

    1. Update - It's been pretty darn warm in Michigan the last few weeks and the light has been working much better. I am able to get 3 20+ minute rides out of it without recharging.

    2. Extra info - The rubber ring that holds the light on the bars broke. It's an oddball rubber ring that I could not find in the hardware store. I am not surprised as I have been riding in some pretty crappy and extreme weather (like 7 deg F). I ended up making my own ring out of surgical tubing. That stuff is awesome. If your ring breaks, buy a few inches of tubing and make a ring. Not to mention the stuff is so strong it's worth keeping in your riding toolbar for misc trail repairs.

    The light is working fine!

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by xycarp View Post
    Just checking in to provide an update and some extra info...

    1. Update - It's been pretty darn warm in Michigan the last few weeks and the light has been working much better. I am able to get 3 20+ minute rides out of it without recharging.

    2. Extra info - The rubber ring that holds the light on the bars broke. It's an oddball rubber ring that I could not find in the hardware store. I am not surprised as I have been riding in some pretty crappy and extreme weather (like 7 deg F). I ended up making my own ring out of surgical tubing. That stuff is awesome. If your ring breaks, buy a few inches of tubing and make a ring. Not to mention the stuff is so strong it's worth keeping in your riding toolbar for misc trail repairs.

    The light is working fine!
    can you explain about the tubing.(more detail)
    roccowt.
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    Introduction

    Ok - I've done as much experimenting on this as I am likely to. I embarked on this as the light draws about 1A of current, and from a 4Ah battery I'd expect about 4 hours. When using this in the cold from Monday to Thursday, I would get about 2.5 hours. Admittedly this was in the depths of winter - when it's super cold anyway. This experiment is to try and understand what is going on.

    First some vital stats on the light - current drawn at
    A - high - 0.93A
    B - low - 0.36A
    C - off - 0.02A

    Executive summary - the light draws a fair amount of current even when it's switched off. The battery performs worse when it's cold. The available capacity reduces the longer it is left in the cold.

    Methodology - carried out three discharge tests - each discharging at 0.7a until the battery voltage dropped down to 6.0v. All tests were done discharging the cells individually by passing the protection circuits.

    Test1 - charge battery to full capacity, and discharge at room temperature. This is the top line in the chart.

    Test2 - charge battery to full capacity, freeze battery over an hour, and discharge in a cool box. This is the middle line in the chart. Temp started at 0c (32f) and finished at 4c (39f).

    Test3 - charge battery to full capacity, freeze battery for four days, discharge in a cool box. This is the bottom line in the chart. Temp started at 0c (32f) and finished at 4c (39f).

    Results
    Battery will cut out at about 6.4v if left to its own devices.

    Test1 - around 4000mah
    Test2 - around 3700mah
    Test3 - around 3500mah

    Conclusion
    When it gets cold - for several days - the capacity of the battery drops - even when it's not being used.

    This in part explains why the performance of the light was impaired in cold temperatures.

    Secondly - the light when plugged in, even without being switched on, draws 0.02A of current. The light on standby would therefore drain a fully charged 4Ah battery in 174.59 hours - about a week.

    My usage of the light would see it operating over four days, a total of 2.5 hours on high - and a total of around 90 hours on standby. Thus - 2.2Ah consumed by the light while being used on the bike, and around 1.8Ah being consumed by the light while in standby mode.

    Recommendation
    1. Keep your battery warm to get the best power out of it.
    2. If you want your battery to last longer - when not in use either unplug it, or manually install an in line switch and turn it off.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails  xml bike light- too good to be true?-discharge.jpg  


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    Oct 2011
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    I have 4 of these batteries (disassembled) if anyone wants them. Pay shipping and there yours, PM me.

    They have been charged 4 times.

  99. #99
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    I bought this light and gave it a 1 1/2 hour workout last night. It performed flawlessly.
    Biggest bang (brightness) for the buck...
    $32 shipping included off ebay.



    >
    Last edited by sc redneck; 04-04-2012 at 08:32 AM. Reason: wrong price

  100. #100
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    do you mind posting a link to the light and battery that you purchased?

    Quote Originally Posted by sc redneck View Post
    I bought this light and gave it a 1 1/2 hour workout last night. It performed flawlessly.
    Biggest bang (brightness) for the buck...
    $32 shipping included off ebay.



    >

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