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  1. #1
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    Best dual-LED clone as of late? Overwhelmed with options.

    Hi guys,

    I'm new here. I'm just a humble commuter with a road bike and I need a good light. The huge variety of clones and the amount of variations between them is very overwhelming and I'm a bit lost as to what to choose. You guys seem to have a grasp on the latest, so I thought I'd just ask what you'd recommend for a dual-LED light for commuting.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Me too brother

    I am looking for a dual-LED clone and have almost decided on the Gemini Duo clones..but there are others that look good and are slightly cheaper. As I see it, from reading lots of posts here, there are:

    The Genini Duo clone (Yinding):$46.46 Yinding 2 x CREE XM-L U2 1800LM 4-Mode White LED Bike Light / Headlamp-Black(4x18650)
    The Magicshine 880 clone (KD): http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S021521
    The Solarstorm X2:http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S021329

    There are also clones of clones!!

    I am v. close to getting the Yinding but I see these others and honestly am having some paralysis through analysis!

    My main goal is trying to get a little bit more light on the bars; my helmet light works fine. I have been doing a lot of night riding lately (winter) and just want more flood in front of me...not really slowing me down...just want it more than need it I suppose. My bar light is a Magicshine 808 but I use the wide-angle lens which although spreads the light out...it also dims it quite a bit as well. These dual LEDs seem to be the ticket.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  3. #3
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    There's only a few proven double led lights.

    bhocewar has a beamshot comparison of bunch of lights in this thread
    2013 Budget Light Shootout

    As TiGeo mentioned the Yinding and the solarstorm x2 are good lights, as well as the KD 880 clone:
    K/D 2 x XML, MJ880 Clone

    The main differences with these lights is the beamshape (spot vs flood) as you can see in the pictures. They are similar though. Another main differentiator is the user interfaces and how the light turns off. The solarstorm has off as part of the mode rotation, and the KD 880 clone has a separate button for off.

    There have been some problems Solarstorms arriving without the led pill (a round disc) and the new Yinding (which we call the Gemini Duo clone) that are maybe not as good as the original Yindings.

    I think they are all good options. Don't expect the best batteries to come with these though, it's one of the places they cut corners first.

    As Cat-man-do mentioned, there is a Chinese holiday coming up, so expect a two week delay on top of the usual wait times for things coming out of China. There was one guy who ordered Solarstorm through ebay and got them in a week. Maybe you can track that post down.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    There's only a few proven double led lights.

    bhocewar has a beamshot comparison of bunch of lights in this thread
    2013 Budget Light Shootout

    As TiGeo mentioned the Yinding and the solarstorm x2 are good lights, as well as the KD 880 clone:
    K/D 2 x XML, MJ880 Clone
    Thanks for that! After looking at the beamshot comparisons there, it seems like the real MagicShines do best followed by the Yinding tied with the 3xXML. The Yinding was more focused beam and the 3xXML seemed more of a flood light style. Since I'll just be commuting, it might be for me to have a flood-style 3xXML - so I might have to change my plans with that.

    What about the battery packs? As TiGeo linked to, it looks like the Magicshine 880 clone comes with a really nice looking aluminum battery pack that has replaceable cells. It's talked about in this thread here. I'm sure as you say, the cells are all quite bad, and needing replacements is sure to come at some point. So I guess that's something consider. I'm pretty sure you can buy those separately though. Though with the 3xXML, they take a larger battery so those nice aluminum cases won't work out.

    The good news about the 3xXML style lights is that are many options on Amazon for it (with Prime shipping), and while the product pictures all look exactly the same, the price differences are a bit confusing:

    One ~ $37
    Two ~ $36
    Three ~ $31
    Four ~ $43

    Even though all of these look the EXACT same, I wonder if any of them would have any differences in the product? I couldn't find any differences in the description either.

    Too many choices!!!

    EDIT: # 4 that I linked to does have a slightly different housing... and a lot of the reports on all of them are mixed. Now I'm just lost again...

    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I am v. close to getting the Yinding but I see these others and honestly am having some paralysis through analysis!


    Let me know what you decide once you order it!

  5. #5
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    We have a whole thread on batteries! Personally I would just order a magichine pack from action led or maybe one of the xeccon packs. There's also a case you can buy (panova ?) that you fill with your own 18650 cells.

    The triple xml are a good option also. Try to stick with version described in the mega-thread. Older design, a bit heavier, wonky user interface, but they have around for a while and they held up.
    New clone 3 x XML T-6 49.88 shipped
    It's a highly copied design. Out of the four you linked too, I'm not sure which one is the best.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by allthethings View Post
    Hi guys,

    I'm new here. I'm just a humble commuter with a road bike and I need a good light. The huge variety of clones and the amount of variations between them is very overwhelming and I'm a bit lost as to what to choose. You guys seem to have a grasp on the latest, so I thought I'd just ask what you'd recommend for a dual-LED light for commuting.

    Thanks!
    Since you are posting and asking about the cheaper Chinese made lamps I'd probably have to recommend the Solarstorm X2 or clones there of. The X2 uses reflectors that are more forward throwing. This is more useful ( when mounted on the bars ) on a road set-up than for mountain biking. For MTB'ing I'd prefer something with a bit more spill ( for handlebar use ).

    Just keep in mind that commuters often have to ride in rain. That said I really don't know how weather resistant any of the newer Chinese clone type lamps are going to be. Can they hold up to heavy rainfall?....Hard to say. If I were going to use a clone lamp for commuting I don't think I'd do so without first doing some minor modding to make sure it could hold up to a good down-pour.

    My Solarstorm X2 looks like it should be easy to make more waterproof but if modding a lamp is something you might not want to do than you might want to consider a name brand lamp with a good reputation for being "weather proof". Brand names you might think about; DiNotte, Gloworm, Xeccon, these three I've heard good things about how well the lamps hold up to inclement weather.

    Another avenue to consider is one of the "Amoeba" duel LED lamps. To date I've never heard anyone complain about an Amoeba lamp failing in bad weather. This is a testament to the Builder/Seller "Scar" who builds, sells and stands behind his own product.

  7. #7
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    I feel like the Terminator when he goes into the gun shop..should I get the Uzi 9mm? How about the 12-gauge auto-loader? The 45 long slide with laser sighting sure looks good...but wait...do you have a phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range (hey....just what you see)? So what it'll be pall? ALL.
    Last edited by TiGeo; 01-24-2014 at 10:18 AM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Don't expect the best batteries to come with these though, it's one of the places they cut corners first.
    Rode with a friend last night who has a new solarstorm. Great little light, but only getting barely 1.5 hours on high before dying. When we got back to the trailhead we had this very discussion quoted above. Just to compare, my 3 year old Magicshine 816 had just gone orange (50%) about 15 minutes earlier.

  9. #9
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    My rides are rarely over an hour so no real issue there and I can always just use my existing Geoman batteries.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  10. #10
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    I picked up the 880 clone (Kaidomain) because of the battery case. After a little thermal paste and inspection, it're pretty perfect for commuting. I did swap the batteries for some quality ones and since I only commute with it on low, it has yet to need another charge. Assuming the build they are currently offering is the same, I'd recommend it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by arphaxhad View Post
    Rode with a friend last night who has a new solarstorm. Great little light, but only getting barely 1.5 hours on high before dying. When we got back to the trailhead we had this very discussion quoted above. Just to compare, my 3 year old Magicshine 816 had just gone orange (50%) about 15 minutes earlier.
    Can you tell us "where" the friend bought the SSX2 (?) I always like to ask this so people know which seller provides a decent battery and which provides a crap battery.

    ...And while on the subject, D/X sells a Yingling Duo clone that one person ( a DIY'er ) who said he measured the battery @ 4200mAh. It should provide about an two hours and 20 min of run time..est. As cheap batteries go that's not bad. Not that I'm stumping for D/X but they sent me a lamp last year to review which did have a half decent battery as well. It gave the provided quad lamp exactly 2 hours. This of course is not the best you can get by any means but for a dirt cheap battery I'd consider that decent.

  12. #12
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    KD pack cells are about 1800mAh/~200mOhm/3V/1A discharge. I measured all 4 cells in 2 packs that arrived recently.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Can you tell us "where" the friend bought the SSX2 (?) I always like to ask this so people know which seller provides a decent battery and which provides a crap battery.
    He said it was "private sales" from China.

    Ill see if I can get better info...
    Last edited by arphaxhad; 01-24-2014 at 04:48 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ...And while on the subject, D/X sells a Yingling Duo clone that one person ( a DIY'er ) who said he measured the battery @ 4200mAh. It should provide about an two hours and 20 min of run time..est. .
    I was looking at that light the other day. Is that the original Yinding (Geminin Duo Clone) is it a clone-of-clone?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    I was looking at that light the other day. Is that the original Yinding (Geminin Duo Clone) is it a clone-of-clone?
    Looks original.
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
    A few Dynamo builds and some Small battery lights

  16. #16
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    Any issues with ordering these same lights off eBay vs. the other online retailers?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Any issues with ordering these same lights off eBay vs. the other online retailers?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    I don't think there's a definitive answer to that question. Many eBay vendors ship directly from China so with that in mind I don't believe there is going to be a whole lot of difference when it comes to quality.if there is a difference it is likely reflected in the fact that the eBay vendor can more easily bail if he gets a bad reputation for selling shoddy merchandise. In such case he can easily close his account and start over using another account/vendor name. Conversely with the China website retailers they must stand behind their website and their products because they're not likely going to change their website if they get a bad reputation. My opinion, with the "Direct" China websites you have a better chance of getting a more reliable product, particularly batteries...BUT!....that depends on the company/website that you're buying from...
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 01-25-2014 at 03:41 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeDrinkable View Post
    I picked up the 880 clone (Kaidomain) because of the battery case. After a little thermal paste and inspection, it're pretty perfect for commuting. I did swap the batteries for some quality ones and since I only commute with it on low, it has yet to need another charge. Assuming the build they are currently offering is the same, I'd recommend it.
    Which one did you get (xml-u2 or xml2-u2)? The xml-u2 version was great for myself, kir & others. The xml2-u2 version appears to have suffered from some solar-stormification (lower price point, questionable to bad quality, etc.). I've seen at least two bad reviews of the newer version, which is a real shame since it previously was a very high quality light. That last $7 or so that they shaved off was not worth the nosedive in quality. Hopefully those issues have been resolved?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    solar-stormification
    Excellent term!

  20. #20
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    Definitely a great term regarding the quality issues with these budgetlights

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Which one did you get (xml-u2 or xml2-u2)? The xml-u2 version was great for myself, kir & others. The xml2-u2 version appears to have suffered from some solar-stormification (lower price point, questionable to bad quality, etc.). I've seen at least two bad reviews of the newer version, which is a real shame since it previously was a very high quality light. That last $7 or so that they shaved off was not worth the nosedive in quality. Hopefully those issues have been resolved?
    I got the xml-u2. It was a duplicate build to that shown in Kir's photos. I believe (take that with a grain of salt) that the new batch were primarily the light-head only orders. Now, of course, ordering one with the battery comes with wait-time issues, but if the light + battery is still the same as the one I received I would say it is good enough to recommend.

    The solar-stormification is always an issue (and congrats on coining a useful phrase!)

  22. #22
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    If anyone gets the SolarStorm X2 from fasttech (I got the XML2 T6), the battery I got with it is 1130mAh (4x18650, not a typo).
    Not worth getting the battery, the light itself is OK.

  23. #23
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    Best dual LED light now?

    Hello, first time poster here (been lurking around reading reviews for awhile). I'm a flashaholic from over at BLF (Budget Light Forum) and recognize a few posters over here.

    Anyway, I (like the thread title says) am interested in what the best budget dual XM-L bike lamp is right now. I'm more of a rails-to-trails rider looking to eventually get into some double track riding. I'm looking for a light which has a very wide flood with decent throw to it (not tons of throw - any well driven XM-L should provide enough throw). I'd like a bright center with good gradual fade to the sides.

    I have already ordered the Pannova battery case from DX with the intent of using my own cells, so I am looking for a light head only. I also want neutral white emitters (4C or 5B1 tints) and expect to need to swap those with almost any light I get.

    I originally thought I was going to choose the SolarStorm X2, but I poured through reviews over here and see it's known for heatsinking issues and I see from beamshots that it's more of a thrower than I desire. This has led me to look at the FandyFire D99 (from DX warehouse), the KD MJ880 clone, and the Yinding from Simon on Aliexpress. (I'm familiar with Simon from over at BLF, though I've not personally dealt with him.)

    I'm really liking the one from KD with it's dual switches. I also love the beamshot seen in the 2013 Budget Light Shootout thread (wow that was helpful!). What I don't like is the lack of heatsinking in the updated XM-L2 version! I'm wondering how hard this is to fix (I'm used to modding, but not sure if this is getting out of my capability). The one from Simon is tempting as I would be ok with the stock 3B tint, but i didn't care as much for the beam and it's a lot more expensive than the KD or DX one. Oh, and I'm concerned about the light being so small and susceptible to overheating, so I'd like a light with some "meat" to it.

    So any thoughts? Am I missing one? I'd like to stick around $30 for a head only, but could swing higher if something is way better for just a little more money.

    Thanks,
    Garry

  24. #24
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    If you are moving there is no big issue under normal temps with solar-stormified X2, 880 clone. Problems arise if you are not moving with the lamp on high. Maybe periodical check can save you from lamp malfunction outdoors. Since SS X3 is not solar-stormified yet I would consider this also - wider hotspot and still small enough. Fandyfire D99 is not as powerfull as yinding, 880, X2 and X3.

  25. #25
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    Ah, thanks! I didn't catch on to Lightmalls selling the X3 as a head only! Now I guess I need to search and see if there is a thread devoted to the SS X3, hopefully with teardown pics.

    I expect I'm going to want to either spritz the reflectors with clear coat to get an O.P. like reflector or maybe change out reflectors for TIR's.

    Off to search again.

    -Garry

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