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  1. #1
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    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout

    Phase 1 is here:

    2014 Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    It is not perfect so please look it over and let me know about comments and feedback. I wanted to get it out as soon as the time changed.

    I'm testing a dozen more lights this week to add to the shootout for Phase 2. And I'll shoot a few videos to select my top picks.


    Here's the excel spreadsheet doc. Please make me some graphs that show the data better.

    claimed vs actual lumen

    lumen per dollar

    lumen per gram

    etc.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0i...it?usp=sharing
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    Great job as usual. Will you still put up the backyard beamshots in addition to the tunnel shots?

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    Many thanks for your effort, francois: excellent!

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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Great job as usual. Will you still put up the backyard beamshots in addition to the tunnel shots?
    Sadly, no. My backyard light studio gave up its life to a pump track.

    Feature: The Backyard Pump Track ? Construction | Mountain Bike Review

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    Francois, can you clarify the following statements that is on all the individual light reviews right above the tunnel photo?

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 yards."

    And then on some reviews it mentions..

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 80 yards."

    The photos don't look anywhere close to 80/100 yards. The markings on the ground I assume represent feet so the target on all these photos should be 120 feet. Right??

    Thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Phase 1 is here:

    ......

    I'm testing a dozen more lights this week to add to the shootout for Phase 2. And I'll shoot a few videos to select my top picks.


    ......
    Does that above statement mean that the lights you have already tested and provided the reviews on (as in already published in the 2014 reviews) aren't any of your top picks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Francois, can you clarify the following statements that is on all the individual light reviews right above the tunnel photo?

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 yards."

    And then on some reviews it mentions..

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 80 yards."

    The photos don't look anywhere close to 80/100 yards. The markings on the ground I assume represent feet so the target on all these photos should be 120 feet. Right??

    Thx
    Correct, 120. Last year was 80 feet and we bumped it up for the bigger lights. Let me find that inconsistency and fix.

    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Does that above statement mean that the lights you have already tested and provided the reviews on (as in already published in the 2014 reviews) aren't any of your top picks?

    I've already got some top picks in mind.

    Cateye 1200, Lupine Wilma, Serfas 750, Taz 1000.

    Now, I have to test the three Gloworms I have and the Bontrager Ion 700.

    Have you guys heard about the Bontrager 700? 700 lumens for $99.

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-img_0587.jpg  

    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-img_0581.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Sadly, no. My backyard light studio gave up its life to a pump track.
    Just a suggestion Francois. In the interest of showing which light performs best picking up ruts & obstacles on trails, terrain elevation and dips, a beamshot across the pump track may be a good idea. Hotspot intensity on the fence can demonstrate throw power.
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    I'm sure we will be seeing many self contained lights in the near future. 1200 lumens is not to shabby for self contained. Thanks for all the hard work Francois!

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    That Bontrager looks tiny. Very impressive. $99 for a 700 lumens self-contained light is going to be hard to beat. That 1200 lumen Cateye is going to be another big hit.

    One thing that I would like to see more info on is the battery replacement in the self-contained lights (especially if they are built-in). Does the manufacturer offer a replacement battery service and what is the cost of this? I know some of the older Luminas used regular 18650 that could be swapped out by the user. I would hate to see all of these lights end up in the trash three years from now, just because the battery life is a third of what it used to be. After all, the leds themselves should still operational years from now. The lights will undoubtedly be better at that point, but you could still use it for an around town beater bike.

    I'll miss the backyard beamshots, but it was sacrificed for a good cause. The pump track looks like a lot of fun!

    P.S. I think you forgot to sticky this thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Sadly, no. My backyard light studio gave up its life to a pump track.

    Feature: The Backyard Pump Track ? Construction | Mountain Bike Review

    fc
    Pump track turned out great Francois, I enjoyed the video. Once again thank you for all your hard work on the 2014 shootout. Looking forward to the rest of the reviews. Cheers!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    I've already got some top picks in mind.

    Cateye 1200, Lupine Wilma, Serfas 750, Taz 1000.

    Now, I have to test the three Gloworms I have and the Bontrager Ion 700.

    Have you guys heard about the Bontrager 700? 700 lumens for $99.

    fc
    I am very interested in seeing the beamshots and reading your thoughts on that bontrager. It isn't even on their website and I have a trek store close by that carries all their products so I am very very interested. Hopefully you can get that one up very soon and they hold a candle to the other 700 lumen contenders.

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    Also interesting you pick the lupine Wilma say over the beam pattern and light output of the seca 2000. But all good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    Just a suggestion Francois. In the interest of showing which light performs best picking up ruts & obstacles on trails, terrain elevation and dips, a beamshot across the pump track may be a good idea. Hotspot intensity on the fence can demonstrate throw power.
    I'll definitely give it a try. There's a gap in the track where the light can poke through the berms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Also interesting you pick the lupine Wilma say over the beam pattern and light output of the seca 2000. But all good.
    The Seca is awesome but it just a tired design. Long wire, old batteries. But it has a beautiful beam pattern and the old head can still handle the heat of all the lumens.

    But the Wilma is just a work of art at 2770 lumens, lumens/dollar, lumens per gram.

    I do like the Taz 1000 though at $250. That is a good one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    I am very interested in seeing the beamshots and reading your thoughts on that bontrager. It isn't even on their website and I have a trek store close by that carries all their products so I am very very interested. Hopefully you can get that one up very soon and they hold a candle to the other 700 lumen contenders.
    I have the Bontrager Ion 700. $99, about 680 lumens on my home lab, 1:45 run time, beautiful build nice beam pattern. Real integrating sphere measurement is coming tomorrow.

    It's only weakness is thermal management is not sophisticated and it doesn't step down when there's no airflow. So caution to high heat night riders.

    And the other weakness is it's not available for another month. But it looks like an industry shaker.

    fc
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    Hey Francois,

    Any ideas about the Betty coming in under Lupine's claimed output? Supposedly they use an integrating sphere as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    it looks like an industry shaker.
    looks like L&M Urban clone.

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    Some graphs:

    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-2014_mtbr_lights_shootout_graph1.jpg2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-2014_mtbr_lights_shootout_graph2.jpg2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-2014_mtbr_lights_shootout_graph3.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    The Seca is awesome but it just a tired design. Long wire, old batteries. But it has a beautiful beam pattern and the old head can still handle the heat of all the lumens.

    But the Wilma is just a work of art at 2770 lumens, lumens/dollar, lumens per gram.

    I do like the Taz 1000 though at $250. That is a good one.

    fc
    i understand your frustration with the Seca only picking up an extra 200 measured lumens over last year's model. that's why i picked up the last year's Seca 1700 over the new 2000, because the new one just wasn't enough of an upgrade to warrant the price difference ( $499 vs $320 at the time ).

    on the other hand with 2700 lumens for $600 the Wilma is more competitive on the lumens per dollar front, so i understand why you're leaning to make it a pick. i also like that it can be ordered with 13 amp hour battery, which is a lot.

    personally though, i would probably still get the Seca over the Wilma. the Seca isn't improved much because it was already perfect. the Wilma on the other hand is improved precisely in the area where it did not need improvement ( output ) and unchanged where improvement was needed ( beam pattern ).

    the Taz 1000 does look like a very interesting light for road use. very interesting pattern - almost like a German STVZO light, but brighter.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu06 View Post
    Hey Francois,

    Any ideas about the Betty coming in under Lupine's claimed output? Supposedly they use an integrating sphere as well.
    I will recheck it. I think it's related to heat. These light heads are so small compared to the 4500 lumen claims that they're too bright for the heatsinking available. We take readings at the the 30 second mark and our fan was tiny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    looks like L&M Urban clone.
    Yup. It's a $150 light for $100.

    fc
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    Francois, thank you for the shootout. Noob question follows: what would be the ideal number of lumens for trail/XC riding?

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike123456 View Post
    Francois, thank you for the shootout. Noob question follows: what would be the ideal number of lumens for trail/XC riding?

    Mike
    For XC riding this year... I would say 1200-1400 lumens. That could be one 1200 lumen light on the bar or 700 on bar and 700 on the helmet.

    Lumens get cheaper each year so I tend to ratchet up a little every year.

    Generally:

    - the faster you go, the more lumens you need so you don't outrun your light.

    - the more people you ride with, the more lumens you need. That's because someone will have a super bright light and your eyes will adjust to their bright light.

    What do others think?

    fc
    Last edited by fc; 11-06-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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    Waiting for gloworm reviews

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    I will recheck it. I think it's related to heat. These light heads are so small compared to the 4500 lumen claims that they're too bright for the heatsinking available. We take readings at the the 30 second mark and our fan was tiny.

    fc
    With the ever increasing outputs in these tiny lamp heads, do you think it may be worth re-visiting the time frame the measurements are taken to achieve that products max output? Maybe the ten or fifteen second mark just to help rule out that some power houses are stepping down due to heat before the measurements are taken. The Olympia is also one that had been discussed as been majorly over stated, and that there should have been some decent improvement over last years model.

    I understand by doing this it could alleviate motivation for these company's to improve their heat sinking

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    When are we going to get water cooled headlamps? Air cooling is so last century.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RojoRacing53 View Post
    Waiting for gloworm reviews
    Same here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    With the ever increasing outputs in these tiny lamp heads, do you think it may be worth re-visiting the time frame the measurements are taken to achieve that products max output? Maybe the ten or fifteen second mark just to help rule out that some power houses are stepping down due to heat before the measurements are taken. The Olympia is also one that had been discussed as been majorly over stated, and that there should have been some decent improvement over last years model.

    I understand by doing this it could alleviate motivation for these company's to improve their heat sinking
    We're using the 30 second mark since that is the FL1 standard of measurement for lumen output for flashlights. FL1 is becoming widely adopted now by light manufacturers. Here are some excerpts:
    http://www.streamlight.com/Documents/ansi/ansi-pres.pdf

    Bot on the review of each light, we have a 3 minute graph showing the lumen output, so one can see the output at any point within the first 3 minutes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Same here!
    They sent me three lights a few weeks ago. This week, they sent me three new lights of the same models since they made some 'significant' improvements.

    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtrax View Post
    Some graphs:
    Thank you!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    For XC riding this year... I would say 1200-1400 lumens. That could be one 1200 lumen light on the bar or 700 on bar and 700 on the helmet.

    Lumens get cheaper each year so I tend to ratchet up a little every year.

    Generally:

    - the faster you go, the more lumens you need so you don't outrun your light.

    - the more people you ride with, the more lumens you need. That's because someone will have a super bright light and your eyes will adjust to their bright light.

    What do others think?

    fc
    That sounds good to me. I think it's becoming more about beam shape than just pure lumens, because we have reached a point where all the lights put out enough light. If you have a light that puts 2000 lumens into a hotspot size of basketball it doesn't do you any good. You need some light between the tire and the hotspot, and some side-spill to see where you going. There is a lot of personal preference that comes into this as well. Some love the super-spot lights, where I prefer a floodier even beam. Some of the manufacturers are catching on to this, and providing different optics choices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    We're using the 30 second mark since that is the FL1 standard of measurement for lumen output for flashlights. FL1 is becoming widely adopted now by light manufacturers. Here are some excerpts:
    http://www.streamlight.com/Documents/ansi/ansi-pres.pdf

    Bot on the review of each light, we have a 3 minute graph showing the lumen output, so one can see the output at any point within the first 3 minutes.
    Does that three minute graph start when the light is first turned on,,,, or at the thirty second mark?

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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    That sounds good to me. I think it's becoming more about beam shape than just pure lumens, because we have reached a point where all the lights put out enough light. If you have a light that puts 2000 lumens into a hotspot size of basketball it doesn't do you any good. You need some light between the tire and the hotspot, and some side-spill to see where you going. There is a lot of personal preference that comes into this as well. Some love the super-spot lights, where I prefer a floodier even beam. Some of the manufacturers are catching on to this, and providing different optics choices.
    I just got the Lezyne Deca drive (800 lm) and it has plenty of light output on roads and fire roads.

    I totally agree that the beam pattern is more of a factor now. Running that light at higher light output would just be a waste of battery power.

    One thing I noticed on my Deca light is the cover lens appears to be replaceable. This has me thinking, "Can the cover lens be swapped to change the beam pattern to your liking?"
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    Good job!
    Looking for power lights?, see here

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    Updated the graphs with more info and larger.

    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-2014_mtbr_lights_shootout-claimed_vs_measured_lumens.jpg2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-2014_mtbr_lights_shootout-lumens_per_dollar.jpg2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-2014_mtbr_lights_shootout-lumens_per_gram.jpg

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    Sweet. Thanks fourtrax!

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Phase 1 is here:

    2014 Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    It is not perfect so please look it over and let me know about comments and feedback. I wanted to get it out as soon as the time changed.

    I'm testing a dozen more lights this week to add to the shootout for Phase 2. And I'll shoot a few videos to select my top picks.


    Here's the excel spreadsheet doc. Please make me some graphs that show the data better.

    claimed vs actual lumen

    lumen per dollar

    lumen per gram

    etc.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0i...it?usp=sharing
    How about some comparisons with lux instead of lumens? $/lux, lux/gram, etc. I copied this from another thread:

    Remember when "lux" was supposed to be more important than "lumens"? Compare the lux & lumens of the Gemini Olympia vs the Seca Race:

    Lumens: 1477 vs 2022 (Seca Race has 36.9% more lumens)
    Lux: 153 vs 170 (Seca Race has 11.1% more lux)
    $/Lux: 1.96 vs 2.94 (Seca Race costs 50% more $ per lux)

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    How about some comparisons with lux instead of lumens? $/lux, lux/gram, etc. I copied this from another thread:

    Remember when "lux" was supposed to be more important than "lumens"? Compare the lux & lumens of the Gemini Olympia vs the Seca Race:

    Lumens: 1477 vs 2022 (Seca Race has 36.9% more lumens)
    Lux: 153 vs 170 (Seca Race has 11.1% more lux)
    $/Lux: 1.96 vs 2.94 (Seca Race costs 50% more $ per lux)
    Lux is really not that relevant. It measures light output at a specific spot in the beam pattern.

    We do something called Mtbr Lux which is the ambient lux reading of a light meter when the light is pointed at the ceiling in a controlled room. This number is really easy for us to get but it is only relevant to us for the basis of comparison. We used this a lot when we didn't have access to a $20,000 machine that measures lumens, an integrating sphere.

    An integrating sphere measures lumens, which is the total output of a bike light. It measures by capturing all the light from a light and bouncing it on a sphere and collecting the light output. So lumens is the end all, be all for measuring light output.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fourtrax View Post
    Updated the graphs with more info and larger.
    Can I get a hell ya.

    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Does that three minute graph start when the light is first turned on,,,, or at the thirty second mark?
    It starts when the light is turned on, or second or two before the light is turned on.

    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Lux is really not that relevant. It measures light output at a specific spot in the beam pattern.

    We do something called Mtbr Lux which is the ambient lux reading of a light meter when the light is pointed at the ceiling in a controlled room. This number is really easy for us to get but it is only relevant to us for the basis of comparison. We used this a lot when we didn't have access to a $20,000 machine that measures lumens, an integrating sphere.

    An integrating sphere measures lumens, which is the total output of a bike light. It measures by capturing all the light from a light and bouncing it on a sphere and collecting the light output. So lumens is the end all, be all for measuring light output.

    fc
    Lumens ( when independently measured using an Integrating sphere ) are certainly a more useful metric than Lux.

    however Lux i think can also be useful for measuring the "throw" of a light.

    going by Lux alone is a good way to mislead the customer, but using Lux in addition to Lumens i think would be interesting and informative.

    while it can be argued that the Tunnel beam pattern shots already convey the information about "throw" of the light, they do not do so in a way that can be easily entered into an excel spreadsheet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    They sent me three lights a few weeks ago. This week, they sent me three new lights of the same models since they made some 'significant' improvements.
    I have the X1v1 for helmet and the X2v2 for the bar.

    Would love to see you include the 3 lights from a few weeks ago plus the 3 new lights to see the differences and whether it's worth upgrading.

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    Francois, can you share your thoughts on the Duo and Olympia? Gemini seems to be a hot topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    The Seca is awesome but it just a tired design.
    X2. Awesome beam pattern though but it needs a revamp!

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    It starts when the light is turned on, or second or two before the light is turned on.

    fc
    Thanx, good to know as it rules out my concern about the thirty second mark as graph will show a cool lamp head's output in the beginning. Cheers!!!

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    Lumens ( when independently measured using an Integrating sphere ) are certainly a more useful metric than Lux.

    however Lux i think can also be useful for measuring the "throw" of a light.

    going by Lux alone is a good way to mislead the customer, but using Lux in addition to Lumens i think would be interesting and informative.

    while it can be argued that the Tunnel beam pattern shots already convey the information about "throw" of the light, they do not do so in a way that can be easily entered into an excel spreadsheet.
    Good points. I think it's too much detail and not enough background and it's hard to be consistent. A light with a very focused beam pattern will be rewarded with a high lux number. But then, that's really not what we want for biking.

    In this FL1 document,
    http://www.streamlight.com/Documents/ansi/ansi-pres.pdf
    The standard measure for light throw is determined by the distance where one can get a reading of .25 lux at the center. Unfortunately, that lux number is too low for these modern lights and I'll have to go hundreds and hundreds of yards to get to that low a reading for the big lights.

    So, I'd say the photographs will be a better indicator of throw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    I just got the Lezyne Deca drive (800 lm) and it has plenty of light output on roads and fire roads.

    I totally agree that the beam pattern is more of a factor now. Running that light at higher light output would just be a waste of battery power.

    One thing I noticed on my Deca light is the cover lens appears to be replaceable. This has me thinking, "Can the cover lens be swapped to change the beam pattern to your liking?"
    Have you compared the Mega Drive with the Deca Drive? Is the extra throw of the Mega Drive useful for road use or is the Deca Drive enough? Thanks.

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    Attached is the Excel file that I used to make the graphs.

    I added a couple columns to convert the run time and charge time to minutes in case anyone wanted to use them in a calculation. There were a couple I couldn't decipher from the original data (highlighted in yellow). I added a couple macros so you can re-sort the graphs.

    I can update as new lights are added.

    2014 Lights Shootout.zip

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    Francios

    Can you tell me if the Cateye 1200 batteries can be removed and replaced on the fly. Are they just 2 separate 18650's or is it in a Cateye proprietary battery pack.

    Thx

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    Hopefully Francois will have a definitive answer for you mb323323. Looking on Cateye's website and checking out the manual, it appears that the battery's are in a proprietary format. The disturbing thing though is I couldn't find anywhere on their website where you could order a spare battery. Hopefully an oversight on my part.

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    Look at this page
    HL-EL1000RC | CATEYE

    They have a replacement battery listed. It actually looks like the whole back of the light (the black part) is the battery cartridge. My guess is that it is not meant to be on-the-fly replaceable though, not like the lezyne lights.

    Edit: It takes two or three allen bolts to remove the battery. I attached a picture from the manual. I wouldn't do this on the trail.

    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-cateye-1200-battery.jpg

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    Francois are you testing the lights stability (or lack thereof) while mounted and riding or just primarily the light output?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Look at this page
    HL-EL1000RC | CATEYE

    They have a replacement battery listed. It actually looks like the whole back of the light (the black part) is the battery cartridge. My guess is that it is not meant to be on-the-fly replaceable though, not like the lezyne lights.

    Edit: It takes two or three allen bolts to remove the battery. I attached a picture from the manual. I wouldn't do this on the trail.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ugh!! man i'm blind,,, thanx.

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    don't see why people are so excited over this Volt 1200 light. yeah it's self-contained so what.

    to me Gemini Olympia is the standout light here.

    from top to bottom: Seca / Olympia / Volt :





    the first light ( Seca ) is expensive out of the box, and a replacement / additional 6 cell L&M battery is $200, which IMO is downright unethical. The last one ( Volt ) is clearly inferior, but the middle one ( Olympia ) has a great price / performance balance IMO, and the ability to use MagicShine batteries IMO is a huge plus.

    the beam pattern of the Olympia looks incredible - a work of art ! they were able to get beam quality similar to the Seca from a much smaller and simpler light head and for much cheaper - outstanding !

    if you look carefully starting from the top beam shot and going down, the Seca lights up everything more or less evenly, going down to the 2nd beam shot the Olympia looks similar to the Seca but is just slightly narrower. going down again to the Volt suddenly it just turns to !@#% with mostly one giant artifact instead of a beam - too much light in the nearfield, almost none on the sides, and an ugly abrupt transition.

    yes i understand i am comparing a self-contained system to wired systems. the Volt isn't bad for a self-contained light, but the obsession with self-contained is IMO irrational.

    as for the Olympia - yes it is unfortunate that they lied about the Lumens, the cooling looks questionable for the output, and the mount is not what i would prefer but if we were looking at beam patterns alone this would be my top pick !

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    Yeah, got an email from Cateye and they said it can be replaced but you do have to buy their battery. They don't have the cost yet but said around 100. That takes me out and it's is probably too big for the helmet anyway.

    So far I still can't beat my cheap Ultrafire 502b w/ several Panasonic 3100 mah batteries. 15 for the light and about 20 for the batteries and charger and yes, I can replace on the trail no issues.

    Still waiting for Dinotte to come out w/ something awesome that is self contained and very small for the helmet.

    MB

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    Have you checked out the Cygolite Expillion 800. New product 800 lumens and an hour and a half on the highest setting. Self contained with interchangeable 18650's on the fly. Our MEC in Vancouver has them listed at $109.

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    I just bought a Nitefighter BT40 with a claimed 1600 max lumens for only $80, (and it is every bit as bright as a Lezyne MegaDrive, if not more so)...pretty good deal if you ask me!

    The Nitefighter BT40 is essentially the same thing as the MagicShine MJ-872.
    "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Yeah, got an email from Cateye and they said it can be replaced but you do have to buy their battery. They don't have the cost yet but said around 100. That takes me out and it's is probably too big for the helmet anyway.

    So far I still can't beat my cheap Ultrafire 502b w/ several Panasonic 3100 mah batteries. 15 for the light and about 20 for the batteries and charger and yes, I can replace on the trail no issues.

    Still waiting for Dinotte to come out w/ something awesome that is self contained and very small for the helmet.

    MB
    Ouch! $100 for what is probably a two cell battery is way overpriced.

    The Lezyne mega/deca drive battery is much more reasonable at $40.
    LIR 2 Cell Rechargeable Battery (MEGA DRIVE / DECA DRIVE)

    The cost of the battery replacement is a huge factor in determining what light I would buy.

  61. #61
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    Re: 2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout

    Quote Originally Posted by Warshade View Post
    I just bought a Nitefighter BT40 with a claimed 1600 max lumens for only $80, (and it is every bit as bright as a Lezyne MegaDrive, if not more so)...pretty good deal if you ask me!

    The Nitefighter BT40 is essentially the same thing as the MagicShine MJ-872.
    "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Have you checked out the Cygolite Expillion 800. New product 800 lumens and an hour and a half on the highest setting. Self contained with interchangeable 18650's on the fly. Our MEC in Vancouver has them listed at $109.

    Cygolite... It's very frustrating dealing with them since they don't want to send lights. They just do not want independent reviews of their lights.

    We might purchase them for the review but they don't like that either. Just strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warshade View Post
    Yes that light is probably the most copied/sold one under different brands. It's a good light with a wide beam. We reviewed the original one.

    Magicshine MJ-872 ? 2013 Mtbr Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Cygolite... It's very frustrating dealing with them since they don't want to send lights. They just do not want independent reviews of their lights.

    We might purchase them for the review but they don't like that either. Just strange.

    fc
    Yes it's to bad their so uncooperative as my experience with their products have been very good. My 2009 Triden-X Extra is still going strong with the new owner and with the original battery to boot.

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    I'm curious how the Magicshine 880 with new xm-l2 stacks up against similarly priced lights. Jim from action led produced a nice graph which showed a noticeable improvement in performance. Any chance you could review this light?

    XM-L2 Comes to Magicshine

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Serkaian View Post
    Have you compared the Mega Drive with the Deca Drive? Is the extra throw of the Mega Drive useful for road use or is the Deca Drive enough? Thanks.
    Deca Drive is enough and is better I think. $50 cheaper, longer run time and wider pattern with the 3 LEDs.

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    It would be great if you did get one of the Expillion 800's and test. I'm curious as to output and real run time test.

    I would really like a bike light dedicated self contained helmet light. My Ultrafire is ok but even w/ 3100's it dims after 45 min or so.

    I imagine the Cygo would not dim but power down when the battery is drained which I'd prefer.

  68. #68
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    Went to the integrated sphere lab yesterday. Gloworms all measured up to claims, Bontrager Ion 700 measured in at 682 lumens. We got 4250 lumens now for the Lupine Betty as we had better cooling. Detailed charts to follow. Meanwhile, here's a really cool Wind Speed simulator for our extended run time tests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Deca Drive is enough and is better I think. $50 cheaper, longer run time and wider pattern with the 3 LEDs.

    fc
    Thank you. It would be interesting to see how Cygolite's Expilion 800 compares with the Deca Drive's 800 lumen rating and features. Keep up the great job providing such objective and comprehensive reviews.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Serkaian View Post
    Thank you. It would be interesting to see how Cygolite's Expilion 800 compares with the Deca Drive's 800 lumen rating and features. Keep up the great job providing such objective and comprehensive reviews.
    In the past, Cygolites have been ok. Decent beam with good light level programming. But they measured about 10-15% lower than lumen claims on average in their Expilion line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    to me Gemini Olympia is the standout light here.


    the beam pattern of the Olympia looks incredible - a work of art ! they were able to get beam quality similar to the Seca from a much smaller and simpler light head and for much cheaper - outstanding !

    as for the Olympia - yes it is unfortunate that they lied about the Lumens, the cooling looks questionable for the output, and the mount is not what i would prefer but if we were looking at beam patterns alone this would be my top pick !
    I agree with you on this one. The Olympia lights up the entire tunnel with a very even pattern and still allows you to see directly in front. The Lupines are so intense up front you can barely read the 45 degree and 20' marks. Everyone has been throwing Gemini under the bus for the lumens claims, and they threw the baby under the bus with the bathwater.

  72. #72
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    Can you test new Magicshine Eagle 300 and 600 USB lights?
    Looking for power lights?, see here

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by pabcor View Post
    Can you test new Magicshine Eagle 300 and 600 USB lights?
    I have the Magicshine Eagle 600 and will publish soon. It is awesome. About 610 lumens and the digital readout really works and it adds value. It displays run time or charge time in real-time based on the current light level.

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    Good, thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Serkaian View Post
    Have you compared the Mega Drive with the Deca Drive? Is the extra throw of the Mega Drive useful for road use or is the Deca Drive enough? Thanks.

    Take a look at this video after about 5 min, they show beams

    Link here
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    Francois, are you getting the Exposure Equinox? That would be interesting to see its beam and how it stacks up with thermal protection etc. That is a ton of output at 2000 lumens off a single cell. It will probably be a must to purchase a support cell to go along with the equinox.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Cygolite... It's very frustrating dealing with them since they don't want to send lights. They just do not want independent reviews of their lights.

    We might purchase them for the review but they don't like that either. Just strange.
    Yes, quite strange and IMHO highly suspicious. They obviously don't want to disclose real parameters...

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Francois, are you getting the Exposure Equinox? That would be interesting to see its beam and how it stacks up with thermal protection etc. That is a ton of output at 2000 lumens off a single cell. It will probably be a must to purchase a support cell to go along with the equinox.
    Yes, I'll follow up on this. The only gotcha is they do poorly on the claimed vs. actual lumen tests. They just always claim so high.

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    Video on the 700 lumen lights.



    comments?
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    Thanx for the video review Francois. Before you said it in your video, I was thinking the Serfas True 750, and MS new light as my top two picks. Same reasons as you already mentioned. The pure output of the Serfas True 750 with it's interchangeable battery, plus the fact it looks like it would dissipate the heat well with it's size.

    And the MS as their disclosing true and honest lumen claims which is a 180 from just a couple of years ago. The display feature is a front runner as well. If I missed it my apology's,,, but i'm guessing the battery is none interchangeable?? If interchangeable, those readouts would only be accurate with a designated aMh of what MS put in stock say 3100aMh, or 3400aMh?

    Of coarse my opinion may change as real world use would show what your review cant and that is how the beam quality is on the trails despite the tunnel beam shots. Based on those i'd give the L&M 700 best beam for my taste.

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    Thanks for that video Francois. Good to see how the lights stack up against each other in that self contained 600-800 category. Lots of lights to chose from in the video and I know you mentioned best display and best price etc but......

    If YOU can have only 2 of the lights in your video...which two would you have? And they can be two of the same. Where would your hard earned dollars go? And would your decision/selection change if it was for mtbr vs road? I mean taking everything into play from:

    A) stability in mounting system for use on rough terrain
    B) light output/beam pattern
    C) heat sinking/cooling
    D) runtime at various output levels
    E) price

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    It would be cool if we could see the beam shots for the gloworm XS with three flood lenses as well as the OEM setup(whatever combo it is) I think most of us will be mounting it to the bars anyways and would like it as a flood beam.

  83. #83
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    1200 lumen flashlight show 'n tell
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    Good videos. Thank you very much to include Magicshine Eagle 600.
    Last edited by pabcor; 11-12-2013 at 02:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Thanks for that video Francois. Good to see how the lights stack up against each other in that self contained 600-800 category. Lots of lights to chose from in the video and I know you mentioned best display and best price etc but......

    If YOU can have only 2 of the lights in your video...which two would you have? And they can be two of the same. Where would your hard earned dollars go? And would your decision/selection change if it was for mtbr vs road? I mean taking everything into play from:

    A) stability in mounting system for use on rough terrain
    B) light output/beam pattern
    C) heat sinking/cooling
    D) runtime at various output levels
    E) price
    I think my favorite is the Serfas 750. It measured brighter at 773. Good mounts, good cooling, charger included and spare optic included for $160.

    The other cool light is the Bontrager Ion 700. It's small and polished and very handy as a flashlight. And it's only $100.

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    Francois, will you be posting updated lumen measurements of all of the lights using the new fan cooling system?

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    Nice set ups of all-in-one lights, the heavier weight of which brings up the issue of light mount solidity or the lack there of.

    I can see myself picking up a Lupine TL MiniMax which looks like an ideal throw-in-the-pack stop-and-go commuter light.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by stu06 View Post
    Francois, will you be posting updated lumen measurements of all of the lights using the new fan cooling system?
    No, just the Betty. I tested a few other lights and they are unaffected since it's only a 3 minute run. That fan system is really good for a full battery drain.

    The Betty had a couple other problems at lab #1. It was already warm at the start of the test and it had some light leakage since the port hole was too big. A few % of error on that light translates to hundreds of lumens since the numbers are so big.

    I do have a bunch of new data though and I'll need the graphs redone soon.

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    On a good note, my backyard light studio may make a comeback. I tested some lights on it and it's still tells a good story.

    Here's the Cateye Volt 1200

    fc
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout-pb120104.jpg  

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    Do you have the numbers on all three of the GloWorm products yet?? Or better yet ,,,the reviews??

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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    I do have a bunch of new data though and I'll need the graphs redone soon.
    Post or send me the data and i'll update the graphs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    Do you have the numbers on all three of the GloWorm products yet?? Or better yet ,,,the reviews??
    Not to sound pushy but this^

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    I can't wait for the new Gloworm XS review, but my best light to date is Serfas true 1500.

    The only problem is the weight of the head!!! I think the new Gloworm XS will be the light to get if it ever comes out.

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    Francois,

    I realize your shootout is mainly targeted at the big named brands, sold in local bike shops.

    In the Lights and Night Riding forum there are three very highly discussed inexpensive ($55 or less) Chinese import lights, available from online retailers. We all know their claimed output bares little resemblance to their actual output. and their batteries don't stack up to the claimed capacity. Another downside is the variability in quality that seems to depend on which seller the light is purchased from. Certainly their fit and finish and quality control don't stack up to the big boys.

    If you'll pardon the expression, where they would really shine is in the Lumens per Dollar chart. It would be fascinating to see the results from controlled standardized tests, and their tunnel beam shots compared to the others in the field.

    The three I'm referring to are the SolarStorm X2 (XM-L or XM-L2 version), the YINDING YD-2XU2, and the KD 2 x Cree XM-L2 U2. At $20 to $30 (light head only) and $30 to $55 for full kits with battery, they are game changers for entry level bike lights.

    It would be great to see your take on each, after giving them the once over. I'm sure there are member who would gladly loan them to you testing. Is there any chance of getting you to take a look at them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    Francois,

    I realize your shootout is mainly targeted at the big named brands, sold in local bike shops.

    In the Lights and Night Riding forum there are three very highly discussed inexpensive ($55 or less) Chinese import lights, available from online retailers. We all know their claimed output bares little resemblance to their actual output. and their batteries don't stack up to the claimed capacity. Another downside is the variability in quality that seems to depend on which seller the light is purchased from. Certainly their fit and finish and quality control don't stack up to the big boys.

    If you'll pardon the expression, where they would really shine is in the Lumens per Dollar chart. It would be fascinating to see the results from controlled standardized tests, and their tunnel beam shots compared to the others in the field.

    The three I'm referring to are the SolarStorm X2 (XM-L or XM-L2 version), the YINDING YD-2XU2, and the KD 2 x Cree XM-L2 U2. At $20 to $30 (light head only) and $30 to $55 for full kits with battery, they are game changers for entry level bike lights.

    It would be great to see your take on each, after giving them the once over. I'm sure there are member who would gladly loan them to you testing. Is there any chance of getting you to take a look at them?
    I have gone the way of 2 YINDING YD-2XU2s.

    Ordered from fasttech but now I want to add in the rear MJ-818 Bike Tail light - (Tail Light with Y-Cable)

    I am trying to find a case that will allow me to just put 4 x 18650 batts in it (have batts and charger at home) and use this to run my lights.

    Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    Francois,

    I realize your shootout is mainly targeted at the big named brands, sold in local bike shops.

    In the Lights and Night Riding forum there are three very highly discussed inexpensive ($55 or less) Chinese import lights, available from online retailers. We all know their claimed output bares little resemblance to their actual output. and their batteries don't stack up to the claimed capacity. Another downside is the variability in quality that seems to depend on which seller the light is purchased from. Certainly their fit and finish and quality control don't stack up to the big boys.

    If you'll pardon the expression, where they would really shine is in the Lumens per Dollar chart. It would be fascinating to see the results from controlled standardized tests, and their tunnel beam shots compared to the others in the field.

    The three I'm referring to are the SolarStorm X2 (XM-L or XM-L2 version), the YINDING YD-2XU2, and the KD 2 x Cree XM-L2 U2. At $20 to $30 (light head only) and $30 to $55 for full kits with battery, they are game changers for entry level bike lights.

    It would be great to see your take on each, after giving them the once over. I'm sure there are member who would gladly loan them to you testing. Is there any chance of getting you to take a look at them?
    You already answered your own question. Doing any kind of controlled testing would not accomplish much since the light output varies so much from light to light with those units. The results wouldn't be representative or reproducible. The purpose of these reviews is to be able to purchase a light that at least meets the performance that it showed in the formal testing. Given the claims and acutal performance of some of the budget lights & batteries, I doubt those manufactures even want a formal test performed.

    Additionally, that Yingding light is far from one of the most popular budget lights. Barely anyone even owns one. There are way more people who own budget 3x units or the like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Doing any kind of controlled testing would not accomplish much since the light output varies so much from light to light with those units. The results wouldn't be representative or reproducible. The purpose of these reviews is to be able to purchase a light that at least meets the performance that it showed in the formal testing. Given the claims and acutal performance of some of the budget lights & batteries, I doubt those manufactures even want a formal test performed.

    Additionally, that Yingding light is far from one of the most popular budget lights. Barely anyone even owns one. There are way more people who own budget 3x units or the like.
    I've followed the discussions fairly closely, and I don't think I've seen people noting brightness differences between branded units (other than XM-L vs XM-L2). There are several unbranded SS look-a-likes with different drivers and seller upgraded units. But the stock branded units from a good supplier (like FastTech) seem to be consistent between samples. I suppose Kir could really answer that, as he has SS units from several different suppliers.

    With lights at this price point, I really don't care about the difference between the claimed output and the actual output. We know that depending on the seller, the amount of exaggeration can range from somewhat inflated to ridiculous. I'd be interested in seeing the output and beam shots as compared to the bigger name brands/higher priced units.

    Who cares about the manufacturer's involvement. Francois has already stated that Cygo-Lite (one of the bigger players) has been unwilling to supply test samples, but he may purchase some to include in the shootout.

    Admittedly the Yinding is new to the scene (I think it showed up around July). But it is extremely highly discussed, and picking up speed in the number of people acquiring it.

    Yes more people have the 3x units. But how many of them have the SAME 3x light? Every Ebay seller seems to have a different body style, and different drivers. There is no trusted source supplier on those, so repeat-ability might be impossible. Though something like the Sky Ray S6 3T6 with that solid walled, mid body, LED mounting plate would be an above average representative for the 3x. So heck - yes - throw one of them into the mix too. It would be great to see their ratings and beam shots compared to the name brands.

    My main point is that many of us have opted for the cheap Chinese lights. It would be nice to see how they really stack up to the field. A ball park of their actual output would suffice. If nothing else, the beam shot comparison would prove interesting.

    Francois has tested the Best in Class lights. His impression of the bottom end would be interesting. He was surprised by the $100 Bontrager. He might be amazed by the offerings in the <$55 class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Additionally, that Yingding light is far from one of the most popular budget lights. Barely anyone even owns one. There are way more people who own budget 3x units or the like.

    This is a subjective statement...do you have anything to back up "Barely anyone even owns one. There are way more people who own budget 3x units or the like."? Sounds like we need a good poll to see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    My main point is that many of us have opted for the cheap Chinese lights. It would be nice to see how they really stack up to the field. A ball park of their actual output would suffice. If nothing else, the beam shot comparison would prove interesting.

    Francois has tested the Best in Class lights. His impression of the bottom end would be interesting. He was surprised by the $100 Bontrager. He might be amazed by the offerings in the <$55 class.
    Agree 100%.
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