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  1. #1
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    Blackburn System X8 Led Light..advice/reviews

    There are no reviews on the Blackburn System X8 Led Light but there are plenty on the X6 and they pretty much suck. Does anyone know if the X8 are supposed to be better. Here is what is advertised:



    $129.00

    All LEDs are not created equal! Blackburn uses premium, super-bright LEDs in their bicycle light line. This yields a longer lifespan and more output. X8 includes two heads with LUXEON III emitters (1 spot beam, 1 wide beam). Both head units have 30%, 70%, and 100% modes, plus a flashing mode, so you can adjust them to suit your runtime and brightness needs.

    Claimed runtime 2.5 hrs with both lamps at 100%

    4 hour charge time with included SuperCharger


    Kit Includes:
    Light heads
    Charger
    Compact Li-Ion battery pack
    Helmet mount
    Handlebar mount

    Thanks!!
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  2. #2
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    90+ people look at this post and not one person has any input??? This is the bike lights section correct?
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  3. #3
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    cycle tim here goes

    I had the system x6 and was quite pleased but didnot know any better then .
    I then swapped out the luxions for 2 cree Q5`s and the difference was remarkable even though the optics were designed for the luxions .

    the x6 did get lots of bad comments on the forums and when the x8 came out not alot had changed . still luxion 3s when there are better leds out there .
    so people will still remember the bad press and steer clear so maybe of the 90 odd people who have looked no one has this light set.

  4. #4
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    Thanks troutie. I appreciate the help. I really need to get a good light for a good price before summer is up. This past winter, with it getting dark so fast, I found myself riding at night a lot more and as a result I almost got hit by cars on like 3 separate occasions. I don't want to deal with that again this coming winter. I have looked at some of the posts on here to make your own lights and that is very appealing to me. However, I have never worked with electronics and soldering stuff. Hell, your comment

    "I then swapped out the luxions for 2 cree Q5`s and the difference was remarkable even though the optics were designed for the luxions ."

    doesn't make much sense to me. I'm assuming you replaced the bulbs correct?? I wish I could make my own, there is always more gratification when you make something over just buying it.
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  5. #5
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    cycle tim
    That picture in your profile scared the crap outa me
    if that is you then you should only ride in the dark

    have a hunt around on here it is easier than you may think to build your own lights
    and you will get lots of help on here.


    I am off to hide now

  6. #6
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    I do believe the only difference between the X6 and X8 system is an updated battery.

    I rock an X6 setup, but I've replaced the stock bulbs w/Seoul P4s. Awesome setup.


    I say it's worth buying the X8s for cheap if you change the bulbs over. It's a pretty easy thing to do, and makes a world of difference.


    I may buy one of those sets, just for the new battery. Always good to have spare parts about, too...

  7. #7
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    Yeah, that was Halloween a couple years ago. This was Halloween last year:

    halloween 2007

    thanks again for the response.
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zahgurim
    I do believe the only difference between the X6 and X8 system is an updated battery.

    I rock an X6 setup, but I've replaced the stock bulbs w/Seoul P4s. Awesome setup.


    I say it's worth buying the X8s for cheap if you change the bulbs over. It's a pretty easy thing to do, and makes a world of difference.


    I may buy one of those sets, just for the new battery. Always good to have spare parts about, too...
    Hey, do you have any info or tips about cracking these open and replacing the LEDs. I would love to give it a shot but I can't find any information online and don't want to break open my 1 week old light system without any background knowledge. Also, what kind of LEDs would fit into the X8 casing without much modification these days and suck about the same amount of energy? The P4 has since been surpassed (though I'm sure it is better than the Lux III), right?

  9. #9
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    ^ Saw your email, but missed this post...

    How's your mod coming? You able to find/order parts ok?

  10. #10
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    here are some pics what a x6 looks like inside it is a 5 minute job to swap the stars for some thing better .
    I put in mine 2 Q5 stars from DX







  11. #11
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    I had one of these for a short while which got replaced by a Triple shot.

    It was not as bad as the reviews would make you believe. Most of the complains people had (me included) were about the battery having that odd stupid shape or arriving dead. I experienced both but got the battery replaced by the manufacturer at no cost. Blackburn now changed the shape of the battery so if you can update the leds you would end up with a nice system for the money. Something really nice of this light is that the electronics allow for different power levels and has a strobe setting for road riding.

  12. #12
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    Well, I ordered the system from Jenson a couple weeks ago and it came in pretty quickly. BUT instead of having a spot light and a flood light, it came with two flood lights. I called up Jenson and they told me to ship them one of the lights back and they would send me a spot light as soon as I gave them a tracking number and they refunded the shipping. I'm happy that they are taking care of me but still a little off becuase there was a mistake to begin with and they didn't even overnight the correct light to me. Oh well, as long as everything works out in the end I guess. I should get the spot light today. The battery has been charging for like 10 days so I hope to get the full amount of lighting time from it. All over the owner's manual it tells you to charge the battery fully and drain it fully a few times in order to get maximum time from it. It also advises that you are to always keep it charging (if you aren't riding). Whether it be for a few days or a few months. I really hope that I have good luck from here on out. I will keep everyone posted either way. So far from what I have seen of the sytem it is very nice.
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  13. #13
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    So, I got the spot light in about 10 minutes ago and there is a chip out of the LED housing. The shiny silver cone thing. Anyways, just got off the phone with Jenson and I will again be sending them back this light and they will next day me another. I hope things work out because this is getting annoying. There customer service has been great though and as long as this gets fixed I will continue to do business with them.
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  14. #14
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    JensonUSA called me back tonight and advised that the "chip" I was seeing is on all the lights. They offered me a refund if I wanted to send the lights back. I'm testing them out now to see how it all works out. When I look closely at the flood light I can see the same issue in the same spot of it. Maybe this is just how things are supposed to be? I'll take pictures later and post them up. Right now I have a fully charged battery running both lights at full power and seeing how long they last. It's been an hour so far and beside the fact that they get pretty damn hot I think that they are working great. The two of them can light up my living room just fine. As long as the battery lasts then I think I made a good choice buying this system.
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  15. #15
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    2 hours and 46 minutes of run time with the lights initially on 100%. However, and I didn't notice this until about 2 hours 20 minutes into the running, the lights didn't run at 100% the whole time. They automatically dimmed. I noticed that they had dimmed so I hit the power button and the light went into strobe mode (should have gone to 70% after hitting the button once then to 30% if you hit the button a second time). I hit the button again to go to 100% and it would do it for a split second then dim down. I can't tell if it dimmed to 70% or 30%. I think it would be 30% because when going through the power ranges the strobe option is after the 30% option. I will try again tomorrow night and see what happens.
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  16. #16
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    cycle.tim
    I hope you had a fan blowing air onto the lights when you done your run time test.
    If they were getting to hot then the driver may have dimmed them to cool things down.

  17. #17
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    They did get pretty hot a couple times but i put them in front of my window a/c unit to cool them down. Tomorrow night I will make sure a regular fan is blowing on them at all times and I will try better to determine when they start to dim on their own. Thanks for the heads-up yetibetty.
    I only responded to this lame thread because I wanted to increase my posts count.

  18. #18
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    They will dim automatically when the battery gets low, to save you from having to walk out in the dark.

    I actually prefer running two floods, compared to a flood and a spot. Better light...

  19. #19
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    K Guys,

    I replaced my X6 with a crappy battery for an X8 (Thanks JensonUSA for refunding me for my 6-months old X6!)

    Charged the X8 up once (~2.5h charge time) and it immediately ran 3h at 100% before shutting off ie more than what Blackburn specs! (For comparison my X6 gave me <50 mins @ 100%...) Also, the X8 battery is MUCH smaller/lighter than the X6 battery.
    (Besides that, the X8 comes with a neat bag for the whole system unlike the X6)

    Bottomline: the X6 is way inferior to the X8, even if the X6 is decent value for the money the X8 is a much better option.

    Ok, now I've tested both the SSC P4 (U-bin) and the Cree XR-E Q5. They are both much brighter than the original LED so a swap is definitely recommended.

    The Cree is about 20% brighter than the P4. However the beam pattern of the Cree is not as nice with the supplied lens. I simply skipped the white plastic spacer that sat around the original Luxeon LED to make the lens come in closer to the Cree. That greatly improved the beam pattern. (Buy an o-ring at Homedepot (1,1/8" diameter) to hold the lens down - you don't want it to be moving around when you ride).

    See picture below where I have the Cree without (left) and with (right) the spacer (both spot lenses). The P4 looked much like the left beam only a bit weaker. An added bonus(?) with the Cree is that the die of the LED is smaller than for the P4, which theoretically means that you can focus it narrower. That would be good for the spot but maybe not terrific for the wide beam.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Marcelo72; 10-19-2008 at 05:07 PM.

  20. #20
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    Ok, I've done a bit more testing...

    Using the Cree's without the spacer gives you a nice beam spot - true, but the total output is not optimized. I found that I could squeeze out about 10-15% more light if I modified the spacer (see picture 2, Post#11, little white ring to the right).

    Take some sand paper, grind the spacer down to half it's height, with your exacto knife make cutouts so the spacer sits tightly against the LED board. Voila! Nice beam - high output.

    Stay tuned for more tips from the cheapest rider around... ;-)
    Last edited by Marcelo72; 10-22-2008 at 02:23 PM.

  21. #21
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    How are people running the two lights on this system? both on the bars? my thought was to run the flood on the handlebars and the spot on my helmet, but it doesn't look that feasible given the single battery..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEstinkyrider
    How are people running the two lights on this system? both on the bars? my thought was to run the flood on the handlebars and the spot on my helmet, but it doesn't look that feasible given the single battery..
    Well, you can... The X8 comes with two cables and they are long enough for you to have both one on the bars and one on the helmet. You end up having a whole lot of cables wrapped up everywhere and it'll be messy when you dismount and even worse if/when you fall.

    I'm considering getting a second set and mount the two spots on the helmet and the two wide beams on the handlebar. After upgrading the LED's I'll have 1000lm for less than $300!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lchelmin
    Hey, do you have any info or tips about cracking these open and replacing the LEDs. I would love to give it a shot but I can't find any information online and don't want to break open my 1 week old light system without any background knowledge. Also, what kind of LEDs would fit into the X8 casing without much modification these days and suck about the same amount of energy? The P4 has since been surpassed (though I'm sure it is better than the Lux III), right?

    found this:
    http://www.socaltrailriders.org/foru...men-setup.html

  24. #24
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    New question here. Problems with changing the LEDs: Has Blackburn changed the design????

    Hi guys,
    After reading your posts about "pimping" the X8SL I've bought an Blackburn X8SL Set a couple of days ago and ordered some new LEDs.
    Now I wanted to change them, opened my lights and now I've a problem:
    They look totally different to your pictures.
    The LEDs in my two X8SLs are not mounted on a star???
    And also the "heat sink" (the piece made of copper in your pictures) is missing?!
    What can I do now?
    Just mount the star in? But what's about the heat transfer?
    Thanks for your help.

    P.S.:
    Sorry about my bad english....

  25. #25
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    Started off as a Blackburn X6...



    ended up as a 3xSSC w/ a bflex

  26. #26
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Hmm...

    Indeed it looks like they have changed the design. Thanks for the info!

    You have two options (at least)

    1. Buy the LED emitter (without the star board). Unsolder the original ones and solder the new LED onto the Blackburn board.

    2. Can you screw the starboard LED onto the new X8 design? If so, unsolder the cables from the X8 LED board and solder it to your new LED. Make sure they sit tight and don't use too much thermal grease. Run them at full power and check if they get too hot (>60-70C. If they do get too hot they will lose a lot of their output, temporarily.) If they run to hot you can try soldering some copper/metal ribbon from back of the star board to the lamp housing.

    Solution 1 is more elegant but if I were you I'd try solution 2 because you already have the LED's.

    Lemme know how it worked out! Good luck!

  27. #27
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    Hi.
    @Marcelo72: Thank you for your answer.
    As you you, I tried to use the stars. It seems as a standard 20mm star fits into the new body.
    I soldered the wires and screwed the star into the body.
    But due to the fact that my accu is on the way to my dealer ('cause of its low runtime of under 2h) I could not try out if its works fine.
    But I wanted to, and so I took my old Sigma Ni-Pack (6V) attached it to the X8 and tried to switch the light on.
    And it really worked - for about 4 seconds.
    Maybe a connection problem?
    The body got pretty warm, so I think it should not be a heat problem of the Led?! - or am I wrong?
    But what happened? Do you think I could have smashed the electronic?
    I don't have the guts to try it again with the Sigma Ni-Pack 'cause I'm not sure I connected it right and if the electronnic stands the ~6V?
    Does anyone have an idea if I can use an other accu (current?) and how to connect it?

    Otherwise I'll wait till next week and check it out with the original accu.

    Thanks for your help.

  28. #28
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    Hi,

    I think you overdrived the LED. Depending on the LED you purchased the maximum drive voltage is around 4V. That's why it worked a little while then it got overheated and shut down. It will probably still work (but maybe not...).

    Since you can't run it of the battery pack you have home I suggest you wait to test them until you get back the original battery (or hook up 2 AA batteries in series if you just want to check if the LED is alive).

    Good luck!

  29. #29
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    Hi
    My accu arrived back today.
    I pluged the cable to the original - untouched light, the LED turned on for a few seconds and went off immediately.... Maybe the accu was empty.
    So I charged the accu completely and tried out the other (modified) light.
    Same procedure: The light turned on for a second and went off...
    Ok. Next attemp with the original light -> now it didn't happen anything. Only the indicator light on the accu tuned on.
    What happend????

    Is the accu defect?
    Could someone measure out the current etc. or does someone know how to find out if it's an problem of the accu?

    Hope you can help me.

    Thanks

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaSte
    Hi
    My accu arrived back today.
    I pluged the cable to the original - untouched light, the LED turned on for a few seconds and went off immediately.... Maybe the accu was empty.
    So I charged the accu completely and tried out the other (modified) light.
    Same procedure: The light turned on for a second and went off...
    Ok. Next attemp with the original light -> now it didn't happen anything. Only the indicator light on the accu tuned on.
    What happend????

    Is the accu defect?
    Could someone measure out the current etc. or does someone know how to find out if it's an problem of the accu?

    Hope you can help me.

    Thanks
    When you turn the lights on - have you screwed them back onto the light/heatsink? If not they CAN get overheated in seconds and shut off. Also the light cycles from 100% => 70% => 30% => flash. Try running them at 30%.

    Have you checked your cables? Plus-plus minus-minus etc...
    Have you checked your soldered connections - no short circuits?
    Do you have a multimeter? => Check the voltage on you battery

    Good luck!

  31. #31
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    Hi.
    Yes I did screw the Emitter inside the housing and I did use thermal paste.
    Also the + / - Pol was right.
    I think the Akku was damaged, because the untouched light worked right at the left port of the accu. Attached to the right port it did not function right.

    Now I'm tired of that and I'm going to send the lights back and buy a Lupine or Hope.
    ( I hope not to have any problems with them )

    Thank you for your help.

  32. #32
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    Hi, I'm planning on replacing the star on my Blackburn System X8. I have a few questions for all you experts. What is the brightest star emitter available as of now? If I were to upgrade both, will they still be one spot and one flood or will they change? Do you have preference, say one R2 for the flood and some other type of emitter for the spot? Thanks.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbong87
    Hi, I'm planning on replacing the star on my Blackburn System X8. I have a few questions for all you experts. What is the brightest star emitter available as of now? If I were to upgrade both, will they still be one spot and one flood or will they change? Do you have preference, say one R2 for the flood and some other type of emitter for the spot? Thanks.
    I don't know if for sure if there are others out there brighter than these but I'd say the difference would be pretty small if there are: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.15943

    Short answer on question 2: The beam profile is largely dependent on the LED lens not (so much) the LED emitter.

    Longer answer on Q2: The LED lens, LED emitter/s size, and LED - LED lens spacing will have an impact on the beamprofile. But for a 3.7V LED on a star board they will be pretty much the same except for the choice of LED lens. That's the assumption of the short answer. The CREE LEDs require a little bit smaller LED - lens spacing than the stock Luxeon (and Seoul) LEDs, but you can just grind down the spacer a tiny bit until the beam looks nice and even.

    When it comes to which LED to use - pick one. If you like it (color, brightness etc) use that one for all lamps.

    Good luck!

  34. #34
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    Two of my mates recently each got a set of the Blackburn System X8 lights. Seeing them at night I was most impressed. The few rides they've been on so far they are delighted with the performance of the light.

    As a set itself, it looks very impressive. From the cables, to the battery etc. I am seriously contemplating getting some for myself.
    2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp | 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp | 2008 Specialized Langster New York

  35. #35
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    So I finally got the lights. They are pretty darn bright. I'm looking forward to trying them out!

    2009 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp | 2009 Specialized Roubaix Comp | 2008 Specialized Langster New York

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