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  1. #1
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    2013 Budget Light Shootout

    Hey

    There are a lot of great budget lights out there to use for primary light or even just a backup. Then there are some complete duds, totally not worth buying. Unfortunately the company and the names of theses lights vary so much that the reviews are scattered, some are even listed only by the emitter.

    I thought it was a good idea to put them all in one place and make it easier to get reviews. Post your best budget light or budget setup. Maybe include some pictures, beam shots, the link to the store, a plus and minus of the light, whatever.

  2. #2
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    I like that idea, but we need to define our rules - template, e.g.:
    the name of the light
    where did you buy it
    what did it cost
    shots with defined aperture/time/ISO/distance
    current measurement
    etc ...

  3. #3
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    bhocewar had a nice beamshot comparison of six budget lights in this post:
    Gemini Duo clones - Page 8

    zaang had some nice shots of the Solarstorm X2
    SolarStorm/FandyFire X2 - Page 15

    Modig had a nice beamshot comparison of the Gemini Duo clone versus the triple xml
    Gemini Duo clones - Page 7

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    I like that idea, but we need to define our rules - template, e.g.:
    the name of the light
    where did you buy it
    what did it cost
    shots with defined aperture/time/ISO/distance
    current measurement
    etc ...

    Include

    The name of the light
    The store you bought it (preferably the link to the item)
    The price paid
    Any pictures of the light
    Type/shape of beam
    beam shots , if possible, using the MTBR settings
    Lumens
    Battery used
    how long you have used it
    A review with pros and cons
    recommendations

  5. #5
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    Here are 10 lights (most of them Chinesse budget lights) being tested


    pre-Magicshine MJ808 P7
    Magicshine MJ808e XML T6
    Magicshine MJ872 4xXPG
    Magicshine MJ880 2xXML
    SolarstormX2 2xXML U2
    Yinding YD 2xU2 2xXML U2
    Singfire SF530 3xXML T6
    MJ880 clone 2xXML U2
    Lupine Tesla 4 P7
    Cree 3x Clone 3xXML T6

    Lights weigh-in









    Size comparison (left-the lightest...right-the heaviest)


    Wall beamshots (1m away from the wall)








    Camera settings
    ISO200
    EXP. 1/50
    APERTURE F4.0
    W/B Daylight

    Outside beam shots coming soon
    Last edited by bhocewar; 11-21-2013 at 02:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    Trail beam shots
    The rock is cca 20m away, first bike cca 25m and second bike cca 40+m away

    Camera settings:
    ISO200
    EXP. 1,6s
    APERTURE F4.0
    W/B Daylight







    Two handlebar-helmet combos:

    First one with MJ872 on the handlebar and MJ880 on the helmet
    Price over 300€


    second one with budget 3xXML T6 clone on the handlebar and Yinding on the helmet
    Price less than 100€


    *Solarstorm X2 and MJ808 P7 have very bluish beam color giving the most discolored view. Although, I have another MJ808 P7 giving very greenish beam color.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhocewar View Post
    Trail beam shots
    The rock is cca 20m away, first bike cca 25m and second bike cca 40+m away

    Camera settings:
    ISO200
    EXP. 1,6s
    APERTURE F4.0
    W/B Daylight







    Two handlebar-helmet combos:

    First one with MJ872 on the handlebar and MJ880 on the helmet
    Price over 300€


    second one with budget 3xXML T6 clone on the handlebar and Yinding on the helmet
    Price less than 100€


    *Solarstorm X2 and MJ808 P7 have very bluish beam color giving the most discolored view. Although, I have another MJ808 P7 giving very greenish beam color.
    Awesome job! Your posts are becoming some of my favorite ones around here.

  8. #8
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    Thank you. Awesome job! That 3xml clone kicks ass!!


  9. #9
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    Thanks! Member Snakes helped me taking trail beamshots.
    Another thing about SolarStorm X2. Had two of them for testing, and both had occasional light twiching. Maybe a bad soldering or something weird with the driver.

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  11. #11
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    Great posts bhocewar. We needed something like that for a long time.

    It looks like the Magicshine 880 is the brightest, followed by the 3xml.

    The double led lights lights all look very similar, but I favor the less blue light of the Yinding. Is that a trick of the camera, or does it really look like that in person?

    Well done!
    Last edited by varider; 11-06-2013 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Thanked the wrong person!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Great posts Gharddog03. We needed something like that for a long time.

    It looks like the Magicshine 880 is the brightest, followed by the 3xml.

    The double led lights lights all look very similar, but I favor the less blue light of the Yinding. Is that a trick of the camera, or does it really look like that in person?

    Well done!
    These are BHOCEWAR's pics. I just put a few side by side. He did a great job.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gharddog03 View Post
    These are BHOCEWAR's pics. I just put a few side by side. He did a great job.
    Oops, thanks for pointing out my mistake.

  15. #15
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    Only thing missing for the clones in the above comparo is the particulars on the exactly model and where you got them. Great job!
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    The double led lights lights all look very similar, but I favor the less blue light of the Yinding. Is that a trick of the camera, or does it really look like that in person?
    No tricks SSX2 has quite bluish side spil

    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Only thing missing for the clones in the above comparo is the particulars on the exactly model and where you got them. Great job!
    I can post the links, but the thing with the links is, that they tend to disappear.

  17. #17
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    I turned the pictures into a gif. The colors might be slightly different when converted to gif



    full size:
    http://oi39.tinypic.com/29wmkqs.jpg

    full size and half speed
    http://oi43.tinypic.com/2qjxid1.jpg

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    I turned the pictures into a gif.

    You beat me by 10 minutes

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhocewar View Post
    You beat me by 10 minutes
    You don't have to do all the work!

  20. #20
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    Did you try to sort them by brightness? Otherwise the sequence is not correct.

  21. #21
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    Yeah, I tried to sort them by increasing brightness and I grouped the double emitter lights together.

  22. #22
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    Thanks Bhocewar and Snakes. Great job, it really helps. Those beam shots are fantastic. Could you post a link to that 3xml?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Great posts bhocewar. We needed something like that for a long time.

    It looks like the Magicshine 880 is the brightest, followed by the 3xml.

    The double led lights lights all look very similar, but I favor the less blue light of the Yinding. Is that a trick of the camera, or does it really look like that in person?

    Well done!
    I am amazed at the output of the Yinding! That's going to make a great backup light.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Only thing missing for the clones in the above comparo is the particulars on the exactly model and where you got them. Great job!
    Done!
    I edited my first post in this thread

  25. #25
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    There is interesting difference between MJ-880 and its clone. The MJ-880 seems to have more flood and warmer led tint.

  26. #26
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    MJ880 clone is not exactly clone. MJ880 has optics, clone has OP reflector with glass.
    MJ880 has the best beam and also led tint is the best in my opinion.
    But the price difference is huge 170EUR vs 30-50EUR...

  27. #27
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    Does MJ880 have optics similar to gemini duo clones?

  28. #28
    Kir
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    Yes it uses TIR lenses instead of reflectors.

  29. #29
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    Very well put together guys.. thumbs up for the effort! I have the MJ880'clone' on the way. Lots of great info on these threads, it certainly helped me make an informed decision. This will now be my second light thanks to these threads and hopefully i'll be as happy as with the first one (mini cree).
    Once again kudos to you guys here and in the other threads as well!

  30. #30
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    Great and timely thread.
    How is the included Yinding helmet mount? I assume that the 1 x Headband (40~80cm) is a helmet mount. Kind of looks like it. Or is that intended to mount it as a headlamp?

  31. #31
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    Recently I did interesting measurements of my SS X2, KD 880 clone and Skyray S6 - they seem to have the highest brightness at 7.0-7.1V power source (they take 2.4A, 2.4A, 2.6A on high). Other lower or higher inputs decrease the brightness. Posted here without shots for now, but after a night ride with 7.0V power source I'll try to update it ...

  32. #32
    Kir
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    Yes because there are 2 leds connected in series with buck driver that needs about 1v overhead (3v for each led = 6v for 2 leds = 7v on input) or it will go out of regulation and leds will start to dim below 7v. Higher input voltage shouldn't decrease the brightness but it will decrease current.
    We really need a FAQ for chinese lights in this forum...

  33. #33
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    This means that eficiency of the driver is about 6/7*100 (85%) at 7V. With higher voltage the lights seems to drop a bit/not much as by lower voltage.

  34. #34
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    Thanks so much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. #35
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    I tested original Yinding battery and its capacity is around 3500mAh. Green indicator light goes red at around 6,2V. Charger charges battery pack to 8,22V and when charging completly empty batteries it overheats and alternating on/off (red/green). I drilled some holes to add some cooling and we will see if it gets better.

  36. #36
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    There is no stock of the below at DX, any other source please?
    YINDING YD-2XU2 2 x Cree XM-L U2 1200lm 4-Mode White Bicycle Light / Headlamp - Black (4 x 18650)

  37. #37

  38. #38
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    I was also thinking of getting a better battery pack, holder and charger for this, but no idea what and where to buy from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superkermit View Post
    I was also thinking of getting a better battery pack, holder and charger for this, but no idea what and where to buy from.
    Mtb revolution..no need to look any further

    Batteries

  40. #40
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    Action led is also good for batteries, chargers and lights.

  41. #41
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    Could I use this battery holder (forum member's ebay page often quoted) as then I can use my existing batts?

    1 Battery Holder Case FOR LI ION 18650 17670 Battery 2S2P W PCM Output 6 8 4V | eBay

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggdog View Post
    Mtb revolution..no need to look any further

    Batteries
    Any specific batt and charger (Awesome help by the way)

  43. #43
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    Ok in hopes of getting all the Budget Lights reviews in one place, here is a link to Kir's great review of the Gemini Duo clone Yinding XML2 T6

    User review: YINDING YD-2XU2 (Gemini Duo clone)
    Last edited by GJHS; 11-17-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  44. #44
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    Please add any reviews or links to any great reviews that worked their way down the line. This way will we have a great resource to Budget Lights, the same that we have for the higher price lights

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by superkermit View Post
    Any specific batt and charger (Awesome help by the way)
    i just bought the Samsung 7800mah hard shell. Nice powerhouse pack. Also as others have mentioned, action led also has some great quality batteries. I have bought lights from both these shops and use the chargers that came with the setup..

  46. #46
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    Excellent.

    I would like to buy just a case to use my protected 18650 batts with it. I would rather do this as I have a charger at home already for 18650 and can always add batts to my collection.

    Any recos on just a case to take 4 x 18650?

  47. #47

  48. #48
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    Awesome and just ordered. Thank you

  49. #49
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    Great thead! Thanks to those that made choosing my first light so easy.
    Ride

  50. #50
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    Ditto

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