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  1. #1
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    18650 Helmet Mounted Flashlight - Big lumens small size

    Can anyone suggest a small form factor light, using one 18650, currently use a Quark 123 but want a little more light/time without the size/weight increasing too much...

    http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....oducts_id=2500

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm using a DX XPG light for my helmet light. Bright enough that I can run it on medium mode (2.5 hours run time, at least).

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafi...-1-18650-42972

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1rports
    Can anyone suggest a small form factor light, using one 18650, currently use a Quark 123 but want a little more light/time without the size/weight increasing too much...

    http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....oducts_id=2500

    Thanks
    How heavy (light weight) of a light do you want, and what kind of output are you hoping to pull out of it? We have a light made for us (very similar to a lot of the DX lights) it's nothing super special but it does come with a two year warranty and they are always in stock right here in San Diego.

    I have rigged a mount (the little Two-Fish set-up would work) on my helmet and have used it a few times and liked it, very much reminded me of most P-7 emitter torches, pretty strong spot with fairly good width. It 900 Lumens etched into the side of the light but it's not that strong, more along the lines of 550-650, similar to a Magic Shine I think. It is a burly little beast so if you want something super-light I wouldn't consider it, but if you want something tough, effective, and pretty inexpensive you may really like it.

    One of the riders here on MTBR did a review of it on one of these threads, but to be honest I am not sure where that thread is at the moment, I will try to find it and paste it up for you.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Shannon

  4. #4
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    I use a dx-body with a glued in XM-L drop-in . With a 18650 and the mount it sums up to 109 g. When I put nicely ballanced on top of the helmet, I don't feel it so much.
    Something like this headlamp with a XM-L put in might be nice too

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1rports
    Can anyone suggest a small form factor light, using one 18650, currently use a Quark 123 but want a little more light/time without the size/weight increasing too much...

    http://www.4sevens.com/product_info....oducts_id=2500

    Thanks
    I'm assuming this is for a helmet light (?). In keeping with the "small form factor" requirement: I'll recommend this one from D/X. It uses the XP-E emitter which makes a rather nice confined beam pattern for the helmet. It does use a P-60 drop-in module so a good idea not to let it run on high if you're not moving. Once you buy a drop-in type torch if you want you may want to try one of the SST-50 drop-ins ( or other drop in ) To do so you just switch out, simple as that. The one I have I bought from Kaidomain ( $45 ), it has no stupid flash modes ( only 3 modes ) and puts out a brighter but wider beam. Still, a decent option for the helmet. Output is around 500 lumens as the emitter is driven around 1500ma on high. Unlike the XML ( which can be brighter still ) the SST-50 with smooth reflector has a more confined beam.

    So, which do I like more(??)....That's a tough question but the XP-E / WF-401B host gives you everything you need in a helmet light and has better run time than with the SST-50 drop-in. DX has other options as well that might be as good or better. Anyway, the WF-501B torch I recommended is very light-weight and should output more light than your Quark 123 which is under-driven to accommodate the smaller battery. P.S , I also like the look of the torch that qdave mentioned. The reviews on that torch are very good, worth consideration.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 03-09-2011 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    just a cr123 if rechargeable won't last long, think 45min run time, if not rechargeable it'll cost you huge to run the sucker.

    This is my currently helmet torch / LED!!

    http://www.kaidomain.com/ProductDeta...roductId=11098


    It doesn't look great in test around the house, but slap it on your head and the colour is spot on, the throw is amazing, leaves my previous even much bigger P7's and MC-E's and really expensive SST-50 for dead, no spot, no rings just near day light way out there, impressed me so much I've just recieved a 2nd 1, 2 of them on my head

    Got 1 of the bars aswell I was that impressed

    Run time seemed to be 2hours aswell, so it's no where near 1000lumens ofcourse, but it just works and I don't understand why, got 3 and there all pretty much identical to.

  7. #7
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    I've bought a couple of Yezl torches to try as a helmet lamp - have a look here:
    http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/category.php?id=53
    well made - a few options for 18650 and XML, delivered to the UK within a week or so and cheap!

  8. #8
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    Hey Turveyd

    What do you think the actual lumen output is. Also, with the 2 hr run time you are getting on high, does the light stay bright or does it dim. Wondering if it has the electronics inside to keep it bright throughout the 2 hr run time.

    Thx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323
    Hey Turveyd

    What do you think the actual lumen output is. Also, with the 2 hr run time you are getting on high, does the light stay bright or does it dim. Wondering if it has the electronics inside to keep it bright throughout the 2 hr run time.

    Thx
    Not speaking for Turveyd but I have one of those too. High mode on mine draws a current of about 2000ma. How that translates to Lumen output is hard to say. Because of the beam pattern I prefer to use mine on the bars. I suppose it would be fine on the helmet only I prefer a tighter beam. Actual lumen output is subjective and is likely a matter of opinion. Since I usually compare the output to other lights I own, I'll go ahead and ballpark an estimate near 600lm. That's with a fresh Ultrafire (red) 2600mAh battery. Likely you will get near a hour of run time before major dimming but I have yet to do a run time test. Personally, I'm hesitate to do an extended run time test on high. Drop-in modules are simple not designed well enough to dissipate the heat build up if left on ( high ) for extended periods ( IMO ).

    When I use torches that use drop-ins I mostly use the mid-level if bar mounted and only switch to high for faster sections. If using one on the helmet I take a different approach. I use only on high but for shorter durations. I can get away with doing that because usually the bar light I'm using will be bright enough for most of the sections that I'm riding.

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    Maybe the ShiningBeam S-Mini? Very, very compact and light. It's lighter with an 18650 than my 1AA Romisen flashlight with a AA.

    Mine did start to randomly turn off, I need to email Bryan at ShiningBeam and request a swap. But anyway, it's got a high lumen-to-weight ratio and a useable runtime, could be worth considering. Oh, and the beam pattern's fairly good... not too spotty, but not a total flood either.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    Maybe the ShiningBeam S-Mini? Very, very compact and light. It's lighter with an 18650 than my 1AA Romisen flashlight with a AA.

    Mine did start to randomly turn off, I need to email Bryan at ShiningBeam and request a swap. But anyway, it's got a high lumen-to-weight ratio and a useable runtime, could be worth considering. Oh, and the beam pattern's fairly good... not too spotty, but not a total flood either.
    Mech, how good is the S-mini at dissipating the heat? It being so small and lite I have to wonder. Are you using the XP-G R5 version or the R4? Oh, by the way nice review on those rear lights. I just wrote Shiningbeam an e-mail asking about more info on the MG P-Rocket ( XP-G R5 )

  12. #12
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    I have read a LOT of info and reviews on candlepowerforums.com and I have found that these flashlight connoisseurs love the offerings from Solarforce. the L2P has a hard-anodized finish, takes commonly-found P60 emitter drop-ins, and runs on 18650 li-ion batteries. you get to pick from several emitters and "lego" the parts and accessories.

    on top of that, they are CHEAP. I hear generally better reviews over anything from dealextreme and, unlike DX, you won't be waiting three months for your order.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323
    Hey Turveyd

    What do you think the actual lumen output is. Also, with the 2 hr run time you are getting on high, does the light stay bright or does it dim. Wondering if it has the electronics inside to keep it bright throughout the 2 hr run time.

    Thx

    Run time is likely going to be short of 2 hours, 1 kept switching off todays the end of the ride, but I had 2 running on Medium power, think I was out for just over 2hours with some high, so thinking 90mins abit more than a P7 torch.

    I'd say 700 lumens, there is a large spot which fades out gradually and not much spill, which seems to give them a good punch but lights up enough of the trail to easily see whats happening.

    I tried on my bars first, wasn't impressed at all.

    With 2 running at once, on high ( I like 2 incase 1 goes off or something at speed ), it was daylight speeds on a few of the descents, very nice.

    With 2 on Medium that handled everything inbetween easily!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Mech, how good is the S-mini at dissipating the heat? It being so small and lite I have to wonder. Are you using the XP-G R5 version or the R4? Oh, by the way nice review on those rear lights. I just wrote Shiningbeam an e-mail asking about more info on the MG P-Rocket ( XP-G R5 )
    I have this one, the R5: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...sh-G-R5/Detail I also posted some info and beamshots at http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-powered-light if anyone's interested. The beamshots compare it to a Fenix L2D Q5, a Romison 1AA light, and a Romison R4 light.

    Bryan got back to me on the problem I mentioned, and suggested snugging down both the pill and the switch-retaining ring to see if that was the issue, which I did, and that seems to have resolved the problem of it switching off at random. I did a night ride tonight with it as my helmet light, no problems.

    Regarding the heat dissipation: the pill threads into the interior of the head and has a lot of threading. The threads have some type of aqua-colored grease which I presume is thermally conductive. Holding the light in my hand and switching it on, I can feel the head section begin to warm up gradually after about 30 seconds, so I think it does get the heat to the exterior OK. From there, there's not a ton of surface area to dump the heat into the air, but in a cycling scenario the light's in a constant airstream, so I think it's OK as-is.

    Anyway, it hits a reasonable price/weight/performance point for those of us who already have 18650s on hand. I also like not having to wait 2-3 weeks for it to arrive from DX! The P-Rocket flavor weighs about 3x as much, which still isn't completely out of the question (I have a Romisen RC-2R4 II that's about that weight).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    ...The P-Rocket flavor weighs about 3x as much, which still isn't completely out of the question (I have a Romisen RC-2R4 II that's about that weight).
    The S-mini sounds like a really nice option. Super lite-weight and has a screw-in pill, two really great selling points. Definitely the lightest 18650 torch I've seen. Can you tell me a little more about the beam pattern. The photo you did doesn't really reveal a lot. Does it have any kind of central hot spot at all or is it a flood or medium type beam with no apparent hot spot?

    Yes, the P-rocket is an alternative I think looking into if you can handle the added weight. Doing a quick comparison, looks like the P-rock is about 0.3 oz. lighter than a standard MTE P-7 torch. The front of the P-rocket should also be a slightly smaller than the MTE's.
    Personally it wouldn't be a problem for me. I like the idea that the P-rocket is driving the XP-G @ 1400ma. At that drive current it has to be bright! I just wish I knew what the beam pattern was going to be like. I asked Bryan from SB but he doesn't have any beam pics. He suggested I try CPF

    Thanks again for the feedback Mech. *sigh*..I have three new torches that I bought over the winter. I have yet to test them on a bike. I'll likely wait a while before buying any new ones...at least for the time being.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    The S-mini sounds like a really nice option. Super lite-weight and has a screw-in pill, two really great selling points. Definitely the lightest 18650 torch I've seen. Can you tell me a little more about the beam pattern. The photo you did doesn't really reveal a lot. Does it have any kind of central hot spot at all or is it a flood or medium type beam with no apparent hot spot?
    It does have a central hot spot, let me shoot a quick white-wall photo here...



    From left to right, that's the Romison RC-2R4 II, the S-Mini R5, and a DereeLight DBS v2 R2. My camera took serious damage from being dropped on chipseal at over 20mph so I can't do much more than a quickie photo until I get a new camera

    In practice, when combined with my DiNotte 1200+ bar system at full power, the S-Mini's hotspot is the only part of the beam my eyes see, because the DiNotte's causing the S-Mini's spill to just get lost. If I want to see further out, I can bring the DiNotte down to low and then my eyesight adapts down to where the S-Mini's beam has more "weight," if you know what I'm saying.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    I'm assuming this is for a helmet light (?). In keeping with the "small form factor" requirement: I'll recommend this one from D/X. It uses the XP-E emitter which makes a rather nice confined beam pattern for the helmet. It does use a P-60 drop-in module so a good idea not to let it run on high if you're not moving. Once you buy a drop-in type torch if you want you may want to try one of the SST-50 drop-ins ( or other drop in ) To do so you just switch out, simple as that. The one I have I bought from Kaidomain ( $45 ), it has no stupid flash modes ( only 3 modes ) and puts out a brighter but wider beam. Still, a decent option for the helmet. Output is around 500 lumens as the emitter is driven around 1500ma on high. Unlike the XML ( which can be brighter still ) the SST-50 with smooth reflector has a more confined beam.

    So, which do I like more(??)....That's a tough question but the XP-E / WF-401B host gives you everything you need in a helmet light and has better run time than with the SST-50 drop-in. DX has other options as well that might be as good or better. Anyway, the WF-501B torch I recommended is very light-weight and should output more light than your Quark 123 which is under-driven to accommodate the smaller battery. P.S , I also like the look of the torch that qdave mentioned. The reviews on that torch are very good, worth consideration.
    Reading all of this thread with interest, but I have a question that's related mostly to this post.

    I'm thinking of upgrading my 501B host with an XML drop-in. DX has this 5-mode, but it has a textured reflector. The drop-in they sell with the smooth reflector is 1-mode.

    Since it will go on my helmet, I'd prefer a tighter beam so the smooth reflector seems the way to go. But I'd like to go with multi-mode (although I don't use the blinky modes). So instead of buying two drop-ins and swapping reflectors, would this reflector work with the XML?

    Also, if you have any recommendations on an alternate XML drop-in, I'd appreciate it. I've been away from these threads for a while and trying to catch up

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by random walk
    Reading all of this thread with interest, but I have a question that's related mostly to this post.

    I'm thinking of upgrading my 501B host with an XML drop-in. DX has this 5-mode, but it has a textured reflector. The drop-in they sell with the smooth reflector is 1-mode.

    Since it will go on my helmet, I'd prefer a tighter beam so the smooth reflector seems the way to go. But I'd like to go with multi-mode (although I don't use the blinky modes). So instead of buying two drop-ins and swapping reflectors, would this reflector work with the XML?

    Also, if you have any recommendations on an alternate XML drop-in, I'd appreciate it. I've been away from these threads for a while and trying to catch up

    I had the same idea regards trying with a smooth reflector, although I like it just fine as is currently, a bit more punch over the summer for faster speeds would be nice, I've got a Q5 with smooth reflector at a mates I'm trying to get back to test.

    But I've just ordered 2 smooth reflectors from your link so thanks

    And some more 18650's.

    If i get to try to smooth reflector before these arrive in many weeks time, I'll post up, or when they arrive.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by random walk
    Reading all of this thread with interest, but I have a question that's related mostly to this post.

    I'm thinking of upgrading my 501B host with an XML drop-in. DX has this 5-mode, but it has a textured reflector. The drop-in they sell with the smooth reflector is 1-mode.

    Since it will go on my helmet, I'd prefer a tighter beam so the smooth reflector seems the way to go. But I'd like to go with multi-mode (although I don't use the blinky modes). So instead of buying two drop-ins and swapping reflectors, would this reflector work with the XML?

    Also, if you have any recommendations on an alternate XML drop-in, I'd appreciate it. I've been away from these threads for a while and trying to catch up
    Random, the link to the smooth reflector looks interesting. Looks like the opening for the emitter is designed for a XRE so I'm thinking it should be large enough to fit the dome of the XM-L. For the money definitely worth the try.

    I also like the link to the XM-L single mode with smooth reflector. Just keep in mind the driver on this drop-in is only set-up to output 1400ma. The 5-modes are about 2000ma, therefore they are brighter ( initially, on a fresh battery ) Still, this single mode drop-in is set-up with the smooth reflector. That is a big plus as I see it. Sometimes there are minute adjustments needed to make a smooth reflector work right ( with less ringing ). This drop-in should already be dialed in and set to go, worth taking a shot at. I might buy one of these myself, just for the reflector.

    In retrospect, I tried my XM-L 5-mode drop-in with a smooth reflector that was designed for a SST-50 drop-in. Initially I wasn't impressed with the wall beam pattern ( somewhat ringy )...BUT...I might have made a premature judgment. I never did take it outside to see how the more condensed beam translated to actual use. That being the case I think I'm gonna give it another go, just to be sure.

    A word of caution when trying different reflectors on your drop-in. Make sure none of the metal on the reflector contacts the emitter dome or any of the soldered electrical junctions. That could cause big problems. It is also important that the reflector be tight and snug on the threads as the reflector provides a big part of the drop-in's heat sinking path. Believe me I found that out the hard way. If the reflector is too loose your emitter will over-heat and not last very long.

    Turveyd, let us know how yours does with the smooth.

  20. #20
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    Thanks Turveyd & Cat.

    If that $3 smooth reflector works, this could result in a nice XML helmet light for ~$30:

    UF 501b host, $10 (DX part with K2 colored LED, ditch the drop-in)
    XML 5-mode drop in, $15
    smooth reflector, $3

    For the sake of experimentation, though, I'll probably drop the extra $13 on the 1-mode drop in and see what reflector yields a better pattern.

    Interesting idea in the comments section for that reflector: "To avoid the possibility of short circuiting emitter leads, I made 2 donut shaped insulators from my stock of TO-3 transistor mica insulators and stuck them to the reflector base using some silicon grease."

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    BTW when I originally bought that reflector, my intent was to swap it for the textured reflector in this UF 501b MC-E light. That combo might satisfy the OP's goal -- it's got a lot of output on high, comparable to my SF-15 SSC P7. I don't have any ride time with it, though, just some backyard tests.

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    Funny, I'm just timing the high beam burn time on my new Shiningbeam s-mini, neutral white, and I'm over 2:15. (2900 mAh Panasonics, protected and wrapped by AW.) Maybe by the time I'm finished this post it'll have run out.
    I'm really happy with this light, and the service from Bryan at Shiningbeam. I got it to the UK in 8 days, which impressed me. The light is well-made and bright. The beam is middle of the flood/spot range. The head does get warm, but as mentioned, I've been running it on high for the last 2 hours indoors, and I can hold it comfortably. It's regulated, so burns a very flat line, then abruptly turns off. (Or maybe that's my battery turning it off. Not sure.)

    Anyway, 2:22 and still burning bright.

    edit: F%^$ me! 3:05 until shutoff! (I was beginning to wonder if I was on the mid-bright mode.)
    Last edited by borrower; 03-23-2011 at 05:40 AM.
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    Not had time to sort the smooth reflector from my mate just up the road yet.

    Remember the position depth wise can change the pattern a lot aswell, a reflector designed for the XML would ofcourse be better.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turveyd
    Remember the position depth wise can change the pattern a lot aswell, a reflector designed for the XML would ofcourse be better.
    I agree, that's why I'm probably going to sacrifice the extra $13 to get the 1-mode smooth reflector XML module so I can compare how the different reflectors perform (on the 5-mode).

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    I've got the others on the way already, so might be here for end of next week maybe, then I can test standard reflector against the smooth and see if it works.

    I do like the current splodge of light which comes out it's clean, smooth might ruin this, but sure I'll find other uses for smooth reflectors

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