Internal battery or external pack?
Hi. I'm just learning about night riding and am confused on the right equipment. Is it better to get lights with an internal battery, or does that limit the power and instead should I be looking at a light with an external battery pack?
I'm currently looking at a Niterider 1800 for the bars and a slightly smaller light (not sure which one) for the helmet. I'm not sure I want to carry two battery packs and was wondering if it is a decent option to go for a helmet light with an internal battery.
thanks a lot.
External battery will supply longer lasting power. I use this for my higher power bar light. To keep weight down on my helmet, i use a lower power internal battery type unit that i can swap batteries during the ride if i am going to ride longer than 3hrs (depending on power level i use). Nightrider, cygolite, and lezyne are some offerings with 200lm-700lm units with an internal battery. I use the lezyne super drive xl because i wanted swappable batteries.
Basically, the more power used whether it be lumens, bulb type (xm-l, q5, etc.), number of bulbs (leds), driver, or any combination of those that will equate to power drain will drain a battery faster. External packs will have a larger tank for more milage. My MJ-816e came with a 4400mah pack. My SD XL came with a 2400mah 18650 battery. In general, at the same output, the 2400mah will drain sooner. This means i usually run the bar light at a higher output and my helmet at a lower lumen level to equal runtimes.
If you want you're helmet light to run at a high lumen rating for extended periods, you will need to get an external battery. If you can handle 200-400lm levels for the helmet, you can get an all-in-one unit or an external battery version with a lighter pack (2 batteries). The external versions can probably balance on the helmet better since the weight is distributed. It really depends on what you want and how you're going to use it. Sometimes, it sucks to have choices... lol.
I would say that generally speaking, the lights with internal batteries are cheaper to buy and do double up as general use flashlights. There outputs and run time are also lesser that lights with external battery back, but they do give the advantage of being able to carry spare batteries. I spend my first 2 years of night mtb ridding using them, and I still do has helmet light but now I use the big capacity external battery driven bar light.
Originally Posted by moldau94