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  1. #1
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    Brightest AA or AAA bar mount light?

    Looking for recommendations on a disposable battery light. Will be used for long winter treks in cold weather (Alaska). Not always possible to recharge a rechargeable so want something that takes AA/AAA.

    Haven't seen anything over 200 lumens? Am I missing it or is that about all I'm gonna get?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Brightest AA or AAA bar mount light?

    Walmart's line of Ozark Trail has several options worth looking at. I use a 250 LM with 4xAA rechargeables. They also have a 6xAA 500lm that might be worth your time.

  3. #3
    Rogue Exterminator
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    I use a 200 lm coast flashlight at work that uses AAA batteries and although it is a great flashlight, if I had to pay for batteries I wouldn't use it. The batteries just don't last anywhere near as long as I my cheap Chinese bike light with a rechargeable pack.
    I also haven't really seen anything much brighter that uses disposable batteries.

    If time worries you, I would buy an extra rechargeable battery pack.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  4. #4
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    Forget the lumens war. At this power level you want directed light so none of it is wasted. The new Busch Muller Ixon IQ Premium looks interesting. It takes 4xAA batteries.

    Product Review: B&M Ixon IQ Premium LED Headlight | Captain Overpacker



    Not sure when/if available in the US but can be purchased from various European stores.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    AAA/AA Amoeba

    I have been offering a AA battery pack for my Amoeba light for about 5 years now. The light has been put to the test in Alaska during the Iditarod Invitational by Pete Basinger for about the last 5 years. I can do a AAA also if that is what you want/need. I am thinking AA's are a little larger but runtimes will be better.

    Brightest AA or AAA bar mount light?-aaa-amoeba.jpg

    Would be using the latest XP-G2's or XM-L2's depending on your preference. Output would be about 700 lumens.

    Shoot me an email to the address in my signature if you would like some more info.


    ****

  7. #7
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    Dinotte also has single XM-Ls that run on AAs: XML-1 AA headlight ? DiNotte Lighting USA Online Store

    You can see a review of what I guess is still the same version here: Dinotte XML-1 ? 2012 Mtbr Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    Scar's lights get very good reviews from people who use them.

    Tim

  8. #8
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    Brightest AA or AAA bar mount light?

    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    I have been offering a AA battery pack for my Amoeba light for about 5 years now. The light has been put to the test in Alaska during the Iditarod Invitational by Pete Basinger for about the last 5 years. I can do a AAA also if that is what you want/need. I am thinking AA's are a little larger but runtimes will be better.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	AAA Amoeba.jpg 
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    Would be using the latest XP-G2's or XM-L2's depending on your preference. Output would be about 700 lumens.

    Shoot me an email to the address in my signature if you would like some more info.


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    I'm using tapatalk with no sigs visible. Let me know what's up!

  9. #9
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    Ended up going with a Fenix BT-20 after doing a little more searching...

    Thanks for the input!

  10. #10
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    These zefal Bike lights are quite bright..(Sold at wallyworld) I would not recommend them for narrow single track but for most open riding they work well. Amazon.com: Zefal Light Set: Sports & Outdoors
    When you've seen someone rupture their scrotum on a bike you won't take the standards for top tube clearance lightly!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCheesehead View Post
    Ended up going with a Fenix BT-20 after doing a little more searching...

    Thanks for the input!
    You can run the BT-20 on AA's? I was just researching these lights and saw that the lower powered bt-10 can run on AA, but I wasn't aware that run the BT-20 on AA's/
    Here's a kit for the BT-10
    Amazon.com: Fenix BT10 350 Lumen XP-G R5 LED Bike Light with four NiMH rechargeable AA Batteries, Charger & four EdisonBright AA Alkaline batteries: Sports & Outdoors

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    You can run the BT-20 on AA's? I was just researching these lights and saw that the lower powered bt-10 can run on AA, but I wasn't aware that run the BT-20 on AA's/
    Here's a kit for the BT-10
    Amazon.com: Fenix BT10 350 Lumen XP-G R5 LED Bike Light with four NiMH rechargeable AA Batteries, Charger & four EdisonBright AA Alkaline batteries: Sports & Outdoors
    The BT-20 runs on the CR123A which is a fairly common camera battery and works well in the cold... excited to try it out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCheesehead View Post
    The BT-20 runs on the CR123A which is a fairly common camera battery and works well in the cold... excited to try it out.
    tip if you are not using rcr123's and instead use primaries

    whenever I have gifted a power-led cr123 flashlight to someone, I supply a box of cr123 to get started. mainly because drugstore or grocery store cr123 are damn expensive I don't wanna gift a light that comes with a financial monkey on it's back out the gate...

    titanium innovations brand cr123 are the only UL rated -and-cheap cr123 around.
    others you pay more for quality (duracell procell as an example ) or you pay less for something sketchy 'high failure danger' and 'splody stuff

    anyhow if you use cr123 and not rcr's I suggest titanium innovations for a good batt that saves loot CR123A Lithium Batteries - BatteryJunction.com

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    anyhow if you use cr123 and not rcr's I suggest titanium innovations for a good batt that saves loot CR123A Lithium Batteries - BatteryJunction.com
    Excellent lead. I have a torch that uses CR123s that if it was not for being provided cells back when I worked, I'd have tossed it in a corner and forgotten about it. Too short a life and too expensive at about $7 for 2 at the local stores.

  15. #15
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    In addition to the many choices above, you could also use one of Lezyne lights that have a field replaceable Lith Ion battery.

    the SuperDriveXL is $120, 500+ lumens. Decent replacement batteries are $20 each (not the lezyne ones. Orbtronic, Nitcore 3400 mah). I've got 2 + hrs on 500 (blast) with the orbtronic 3400.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  16. #16
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    IMO, AA or AAA batteries are garbage for this application. The NiMH batteries out there tend to go bad in less than a year, and they self-discharge pretty quickly. Alkaline batteries, of course, you use them once and they end up in the landfill.

    These days LiIon batteries and lights are so cheap, I don't see any reason not to go that route. Well, one. I guess if you are doing some rides out in the boonies, like if you went to India, Africa or rural China, and the only source of battery power was the little grocery stores in the villages, where they only stock regular batteries... and there is no electricity to recharge your LiIon batteries.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    IMO, AA or AAA batteries are garbage for this application. The NiMH batteries out there tend to go bad in less than a year, and they self-discharge pretty quickly. Alkaline batteries, of course, you use them once and they end up in the landfill.

    These days LiIon batteries and lights are so cheap, I don't see any reason not to go that route. Well, one. I guess if you are doing some rides out in the boonies, like if you went to India, Africa or rural China, and the only source of battery power was the little grocery stores in the villages, where they only stock regular batteries... and there is no electricity to recharge your LiIon batteries.
    That's exactly why I want disposable batteries.. where I'm riding it's very remote and lithium ions don't work worth a crap in cold weather.

  18. #18
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    I have a torch that uses CR123s that if it was not for being provided cells back when I worked, I'd have tossed it in a corner and forgotten about it. Too short a life and too expensive at about $7 for 2 at the local stores.
    For CR123 devices, you can use 16340 rechargeable LiIon, available on Amazon or eBay. Saves a bundle! I ordered 4 from eBay today for a total of about $8 delivered.

    Just be sure not to run them too low, or they will be destroyed. You can get them with built-in protection circuitry to prevent them from being damaged by too deep a discharge. However, they cost more, are more fragile, and the flashlights I use them with have built-in protection.

  19. #19
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    AKCheesehead, I have an idea for you. Don't use AA or AAA. Use C or D!

    Here is the MaH rating:

    AAA 1250
    AA 2800
    C 8200
    D 21000

    We have an old 3-cell D Maglite that I got the Mag LED retrofit for and got D-size NiMH. It runs 12 hours or so.

    The larger cells are more expensive, but I bet they are cheaper per mAh, and will weigh slightly less per mAh too.

    Energizer Watt-Hour Battery Specs | eHow

    If you could find a bicycle-specific LED light with a remote battery pack that uses a single LiIon, you could replace the LiIon with your own battery pack holding 3 C or Ds, and I think you'd have a good system.

    CREE LED XML XM L T6 LED 1800Lm Bicycle Light Bike Lamp Headlight Headlamp Set | eBay
    This one apparently uses one or two 18650 lithium cells. 3 alkalines are going to have a little more voltage than a single lithium, so it should work perfectly. If it didn't, you wouldn't be out much.

    That said, everything I can find says that Lithium is GREAT for cold weather.

    Which Batteries for Flashlights and Tools in Cold Weather | ToolGuyd
    Batteries: How to Choose

    Every chemistry will be degraded by cold, but apparently LiIon is the best. I use aluminum LiIon flashlights for biking, and they get warm. Perhaps you could work that to your advantage. I live in the South, so glad it's your problem and not mine

    You could use the above light and bring the LiIon pack to charge when juice is available, and use the Cs or Ds when it is not.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCheesehead View Post
    That's exactly why I want disposable batteries.. where I'm riding it's very remote and lithium ions don't work worth a crap in cold weather.
    So you went out and bought a lamp that runs off off of CR123's or CRC123A's.....which are Lithium primaries or Li-ion rechargeables ...

    In keeping with your original OP I'd a thought going with the AA's was the way to go. The only down side is that AA cells ( Lithium primaries or low-self-discharge ( LSD ) rechargeable NiMH's are not going to work well in cold arctic temperatures. Really no battery works great in arctic cold but Li-ion is better than most as long as you have a big enough battery.

    Since you originally wanted to be able to easily buy batteries on the fly I think going with the AA's was the better idea. Good Duracell or other Lithium primary AA's can be bought at most common convenience or drug stores. If it were me I'd of gone with the DiNotte XML-1 ( AA version ) and then contacted DiNotte to see if one could be bought with arctic level wiring ( which in my opinion would be really important in order to withstand the arctic cold.)

    The next real issue you now need to focus on is , "How to keep the batteries warm", so you get the maximum run time from the battery set-up. You can try isolating the battery in a frame bag but at the temperatures you are likely dealing with this will only help for a matter of a half hour or so.

    Over the years I've tried to tackle this problem myself and have come up with two possible solutions: First, you carry the battery inside your coat next to your body to keep it warm. This of course precludes that you will need a long extension wire ( attach to the light leading to the bars if you use bar mounting. An easier alternative would be to use a helmet mount and forgo a bar lamp. For me though this is not a viable option. I like my bar lamps.

    The long wire to the bars would work but for safety sake you would need to add an "easy disconnect" connector set-up just in case you fall off the bike. All this can be done but a PITA to deal with a wire sticking out the front of your coat.

    Solution #2 was to make a battery bag that I could lightly insulate
    and then add a small Zippo catalytic hand warmer. While this might sound dangerous ( and it can be ) if you aren't an idiot and take precautions it can work. When I tested mine ( @ 10F ) the battery never got below 60F. ( I used cheap digital thermometers with remote sensors to monitor the temperature of the battery to make sure it didn't get too hot or too cold ) Where you live you might need more than one but I'd start with one and see how that works. Cheap digital thermometers can be bought on the web anywhere. If you follow my suggestions follow all of it. Regardless of what method you use to keep a battery warm it is all, "ONE MAJOR PITA". ( **edit, The more I think about it the more I think that a dynamo set-up for the bars and a battery lamp for the helmet would be the way to go and much simpler to deal with when dealing with the really cold temperatures ).
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 03-01-2014 at 04:11 PM.

  21. #21
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    Carrying C's or D's is a little to heavy for me and the price of a lithium C or D is a bit much. I haven't had any issues finding CR123 batteries, just as easy as finding AA/AAA and price is roughly the same.

    Cat-man-do, all that sounds well and good, but seems like a lot of unnecessary work to me. Sorry if I was confusing before but I wanted a lithium battery, not any form of a rechargeable. For all the years I've used AAA/AA headlamps and such this little bike like performs just as well
    with the lithium CR123A, batteries are super easy to find, not expensive in my eyes ($1 a battery) and have been just fine being stored in cold temps just like I expect them to. My primary focus is riding the bike, not worrying or caring about battery temp, when it dies, change it out... Simple and so far very effective.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCheesehead View Post
    ...Cat-man-do, all that sounds well and good, but seems like a lot of unnecessary work to me. Sorry if I was confusing before but I wanted a lithium battery, not any form of a rechargeable. For all the years I've used AAA/AA headlamps and such this little bike like performs just as well
    with the lithium CR123A, batteries are super easy to find, not expensive in my eyes ($1 a battery) and have been just fine being stored in cold temps just like I expect them to. My primary focus is riding the bike, not worrying or caring about battery temp, when it dies, change it out... Simple and so far very effective.
    Hey, whatever works for you. In my neck of woods AA cells are cheaper / easier to find and the lithium CR123A's are about $8 for two in the local stores. Yeah, on-line you can buy them for just a little over $1 a cell but on-line you can buy anything cheaper.

    Since you already have the lamp you want I would still suggest buying a handful of the rechargeable CRC123A type batteries and a charger and just use those when you have access to electricity. This type of battery is simple and fast to recharge, then use the lithium primaries for back up. Assuming you are using the lamp on a regular basis having some rechargeables should save you some buck$. On the other hand if you're not using the lamp on a regular basis then you are probably good just having a good supply of disposable lithium cells on hand.

    Now about the battery / temperature issue; You can ignore this issue and carry as many batteries as needed but the issue still exist and is a hindrance to battery performance. This said since you are using disposables you are probably going to be throwing batteries away that aren't dead but just too cold to properly operate the lamp.

    Anyway, hard to give advise to a person if you have no idea how long they generally ride, how often and the conditions in which they generally ride. Hopefully the advise being offered is going to help at least a little.

  23. #23
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    Carrying C's or D's is a little to heavy for me and the price of a lithium C or D is a bit much.
    Ok, I was referring to alkaline C or Ds as they are readily available. Unless one set of AA or AAAs is enough to finish the ride, there would be no weight penalty to carrying the same capacity packaged in fewer, larger cells. Unless you have trash cans along your ride where you can dispose of the empty cells.

    Anyway, glad you found something that works for you. Stay warm!

  24. #24
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    Jeez, out by me 123's are 11-13 for a pack of two. Amazed to see how much the price varies by area

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by manbeer View Post
    Jeez, out by me 123's are 11-13 for a pack of two. Amazed to see how much the price varies by area
    Yeah, you're right. I haven't bought these batteries in a good number of years. As I recall I paid maybe $12 for two which at the time I thought was outrageous. I was ballparking a Walmart price which I figured would be lower. Two Rayovac 123's are about $10 at Walmart. Most places are likely more, especially if you want Duracell.

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