This should really be an Ol' Skool, New Skool, Home Skool post. I had a chance to take out my new Kinfire dual CREE XML light that I got from T-Mart (KINFIRE Waterproof Owl Shape CREE-XM-L-T6 4 mode 1400LM LED Headlight with Battery Indicator for Bicycle Black - Tmart.com). I decided to compare it against the other lights I have. This new school light really held up well in comparison to my ol' school NiteRider HID. I was also somewhat impressed with my home school light that I finally had a chance to take out on a ride.
The webpage for the owl light says it has 4-modes, including a flash mode--my light has low-mid-high-off, if there is a flash-mode it must be a special button press. I'll found out later. This light cycled through all the modes including off. This was a little annoying, if this was your only light it would be an issue to go 'black' while adjusting the light while riding. I wish it had a way to cycle low-mid-high and then a way to turn it on/off. My home school light has a switch and driver that allow to cycle low-mid-high, and then do a full click to turn on/off.
On other minus on the Kinfire was the light difference between the modes. The low could of been a little lower, and the high a little brighter. I really liked the mid setting and did most of my riding on the medium setting with no issues. In fact, I think this will be my goto light instead of my HID. It weighs a lot less, and the light is actually better overall. The light dispersion creates a slightly better flood, it is still bright in the center, but not as spotty as the HID. Plus the HID only has one level of light, and if you turn it off, you are suppose to wait until it cools down before powering it back up. What I really love about the LEDs is there's no warm up, you can turn them on and off at will and the light is really good.
The HID picture is a little mis-represented because it is more focused at the ground, and the other pictures I was pointing them at the tree.
I might put the battery in a water-bottle just so it is easier to mount and unmount. The carrying case for the battery has a velcro strap that you can use to secure to your top-tube or seat-tube, but old habits die hard, and I still like having the battery in my bottle cage.
I still can't believe the kind of light you can get for ~40.00. My original HID was ~300. That's the equivalent of 6+ LED-lights in the new world of LED technology. And the batteries are so much better. My home school light has 4-18650s in parallel. I don't think I can ride long enough to run out of light on a ride.
If your looking for lights to do some extended evening rides, now is a good time to jump onto some 21st century technology for a reasonable price.
Now onto the pics...
The following pictures were all taken with 1/15sec f2.0...
Home School Low
Home School Medium
Home School High
New Skool--Old Skool--Home Skool
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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