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  1. #1
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    Light recommendations needed

    Iíve been interested in night riding for the longest but never got around to shelling for a good light. Iím entering my first 12hr XC soon and the last few hours will be at night. So, I need and want a good light. The places that I ride are your typical single-track trails with technical, as well as, fast sections.
    I want a quality light thatís proven. I need plenty of light to be safe along with adequate battery life. Iím sure everyone has a favorite. Iíd really like to know some lights that I canít go wrong with. Then I can compare specks, deals, etc.
    Thanks much!

  2. #2
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    Do you have a budget in mind? That may narrow down the suggestions.

  3. #3
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    Budget... Well, money is tight but I'm pretty much willing to spend what it takes to obtain a good mtb light. I've been told that less than a 100.00 should take care of it but I haven't found any that I'm interested in at that price.
    I probably couldn't stomach any more than about $300.

    Thanks, looking forward to your suggestions.

  4. #4
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    I would suggest one helmet mount and one on the bars. You should be able to do that for well under $300 with the MS clones or similar.

  5. #5
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    $300 will get you a very good choice of higher end lights if just needing one, however as Maximus_XXI mentioned two is really what you need for safety reasons. I saw on Action led lights website a few MS light sets that would be in your budget give you good output and run times. One that i wrote down is the MJ-808-L2. It is using the new XM-L2 emitter and was measured at 829 OTF lumens. It is priced at $90each and for an extra $17 you get an upgraded 5600mAh Samsung battery well worth the money in my opinion. You can opt out for a wide angle lens for the bars and keep the stock set up for the helmet. Forgot to check to see if the helmet mount is included so if interested make sure to check that out. Cheers!!

  6. #6
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    Wow, I had no idea that purchasing the right light could get so complicated.
    Great info. Thanks for the help! I went to the site. Pretty reasonable. Have you actually used these lights? If so, are they dependable?

  7. #7
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    Years ago I bought the P-7 version because of all the hype at that time. I have to be honest and tell you that I wasn't impressed with the product. But they have improved and with the Samsung battery's you should have a pretty reliable set up and bright. Also purchasing from Action led lights is smart as they will be there for you after your purchase.

    I would be a little more comfortable recommending a pair of Action's Fenix BT-20's, but it doesn't look like it includes the battery's and charger. If you could go a touch over your budget and allow aprox $100 for those options,(4X 18650 battery's/charger) I think you would have a smoother delivery of those lumens. Guessing you would be a bit over $300 for everything. Sorry!! not trying to complicate things for you. Cheers!!

  8. #8
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    No, your not complicating it! It's just a complicated task in comparison to choosing other biking components.
    Your first recommendation actually looks like a pretty good choice. Are these lights considered to be "clones" or a genuine name brand light? I'm not familiar with them at all...
    Thanks a ton!

  9. #9
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    All the new led lights are good enough to go riding.
    Cheapest of the cheap is an a xml clone (clone being a copy of the Magicshine 808) which you can get as low as $25. Magicshine started the low cost trend a few years ago with a semi-reliable light for around $80. It was a revolution. Their lights are more reliable now and come with warranties when purchased from action led.

    The most expensive lights are $500 or $600 and will burn your buddy's eyes out.
    Every light that is new,cool, interesting, or good is being discussed on the first page of the mtbr light forum.

    Brand name light are usually better, brighter, warrantied and more expensive. Cheap chinese lights are also bright, not as reliabe, no warranty, really really cheap. The batteries are usually not so good. It's all about what you comfortable riding with or risking (if the light breaks).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    No, your not complicating it! It's just a complicated task in comparison to choosing other biking components.
    Your first recommendation actually looks like a pretty good choice. Are these lights considered to be "clones" or a genuine name brand light? I'm not familiar with them at all...
    Thanks a ton!
    No,, these are a brand name,(MagicShine) which were originally Chinese knock offs of Lupine's Tesla, but have come into their own now with much better products.

  11. #11
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    Also noticed the weight adds up quickly when adding lights!

    Good info... Sure appreciate y'all laying out the basics. Looking forward to my first night ride soon!

  12. #12
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    Dinotte (see ad at the top) makes a top quality product IME, at a decent price point. My XML3 has been outstanding the last 2 years. Great beam pattern, and run times. USA company, if that matters to you. Get an XML3 (all the light you'll really need), and a cheaper backup to run on the bars... you're set.

  13. #13
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    I know this will be about 4X your budget but i don't feel comfortable recommending anything less for off-road racing:

    helmet - Light & Motion Seca 2000 Enduro ( $570 ) or Lupine Wilma 14 ( $745 )
    bar - NiteRider Pro 3600 DIY ( $560 )

    if you get that it should last you 3 years before you'll want to upgrade.

    if you stay in your $300 budget you will probably feel like you can't see where you're going as soon as you either go up to speed or the track gets twisty.

    if you said i just want to get my feet wet riding at night i would say get two $50 chinese lights like SolarStorm and you would be fine. you might simply need to slow down here and there.

    ps: i have used the NR Pro 3600 DIY, the Seca and Lupine ( although i only used a 900 lumen Lupine, the one i recommend is 2800 lumen, i returned the 900 lumen one because it wasn't bright enough )

    here's a video of NR Pro on singletrack:


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    I know this will be about 4X your budget but i don't feel comfortable recommending anything less for off-road racing:
    Someone posts their budget, and you make a suggestion that is 4x their budget?!!
    Pure ridiculousness, smh.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightnut View Post
    Someone posts their budget, and you make a suggestion that is 4x their budget?!!
    Pure ridiculousness, smh.
    behold ! i will give you a hypothetical story.

    imagine i am on a diet / fitness forum and a person comes in and says the following:

    " i'm 50 years old, 5'10" i weigh 300 lbs, i'm diabetic and i just had my first heart attack last month - my doctor tells me i need to lose weight - what should i do ? PS: I DON'T WANT TO DIET OR EXERCISE "

    my answer to him would be - YOU NEED TO DIET AND EXERCISE !

    in other words the answer doesn't change simply because it's not what the asker wanted to hear. to give any other answer would simply be irresponsible.

  16. #16
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    That's not even a a good analogy.

    Trophy needs lights and he doesn't want to spend more than 300. There's plenty of lights in that price range that will work for general riding and even racing. Actually pretty much every light on this forum is good enough for that. Your recommendation adds to up at least $1100. How is that helping Trophy?

  17. #17
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    you would probably tell a person that is 50lbs overweight - that they need to have their stomach stapled, instead of diet and exercise.....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    you would probably tell a person that is 50lbs overweight - that they need to have their stomach stapled, instead of diet and exercise.....
    hahahaha ! ! !

    now that i think about it - you're probably right

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    There's plenty of lights in that price range that will work for general riding and even racing. Actually pretty much every light on this forum is good enough for that.
    This is absolutely true. When I did 24hr races it was with a single bar mount 15W halogen. Any of the better dual XML lights will be double what that halogen produced. Prices are such now that it's far easier to afford a bar and helmet light, but if one is on a tight budget, get a good helmet light and a good LED flashlight for backup. Unless you have night vision problems you'll be fine.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    This is absolutely true. When I did 24hr races it was with a single bar mount 15W halogen. Any of the better dual XML lights will be double what that halogen produced. Prices are such now that it's far easier to afford a bar and helmet light, but if one is on a tight budget, get a good helmet light and a good LED flashlight for backup. Unless you have night vision problems you'll be fine.
    that's a bit like saying when i used to race we raced horses. a horse has 1 horsepower. therefore if you're going to race motorcycles surely 2 horesepower is enough, so a moped will be more than you will ever need.

    or "why do you want a cell phone? i didn't have no cell phone when i was your age" etc.

    or as Bill Gates i think said "surely 64 kilobytes will be enough for everybody" or something like that ...

    by that logic there are a lot of things people don't need like internet, plumbing, computers, refrigerators, microwaves, heating, cars, public transportation, fire department, police, roads etc because there was a time when people were fine without any of these things.

    different kinds of logic can be applied to the same problem. neither is necessarily right or wrong, just a different perspective.

    i could even look at it this way: you don't want to show up to the race with the best equipment then finish last basically it's about priorities and stuff like that.

  21. #21
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    Androgen I've read some gargantuan piles of crap in my time but the stuff you come out with is on a new level! He doesn't need to spend anywhere near a grand to see where he's going. I do know what I'm talking about, because like many others on this forum, I actually head out into the woods at night. You apparently don't.

    OP, may I suggest you take a good look at a Gloworm X2. It works great on a helmet, and if you want to double up (which I do recommend), then you could move it to uour bars and look at an X1 for the helmet. Very nice light-weight lights with changeable optics and decent output designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, and brought to the market at a great price. (No commercial relationship).

    I'm sure there are a large number of other good lights out there within your price range. Androgen keeps going on about the Light and Motion Seca, and while I agree it has a nice beam pattern, it is big and heavy and uses a lot of LEDs to put out a fairly moderate amount of light. And one of them by itself costs considerably more than you need to spend. Don't drink that particular Coolaid.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Understater View Post
    Androgen I've read some gargantuan piles of crap in my time but the stuff you come out with is on a new level! He doesn't need to spend anywhere near a grand to see where he's going. I do know what I'm talking about, because like many others on this forum, I actually head out into the woods at night. You apparently don't.

    OP, may I suggest you take a good look at a Gloworm X2. It works great on a helmet, and if you want to double up (which I do recommend), then you could move it to uour bars and look at an X1 for the helmet. Very nice light-weight lights with changeable optics and decent output designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, and brought to the market at a great price. (No commercial relationship).

    I'm sure there are a large number of other good lights out there within your price range. Androgen keeps going on about the Light and Motion Seca, and while I agree it has a nice beam pattern, it is big and heavy and uses a lot of LEDs to put out a fairly moderate amount of light. And one of them by itself costs considerably more than you need to spend. Don't drink that particular Coolaid.
    Gloworm X2 puts out 12 lumens per gram of light head. Seca 1700 ( which i use ) puts out 13.5 lumens per gram of light head. Seca 2000 that i recommended should in theory put out 15 lumens per gram of light head. so disagree with the notion that Seca is heavy and puts out a moderate amount of light. only Lupine really has better output to weight ratio but Lupine steps down that output half the time for lack of cooling, and once stepped down it has the same output to weight ratio as Seca.

    it is true that 2000 Lumen could be achieved with only 3 LEDs instead of 6, so you could say that Seca wasted 3 LEDs but even an XML LED is only $5 so that's a total of $15 wasted - not a big deal IMO - and L&M probably gets them for less than that. besides, running the LEDs at half-power should extend their life considerably. you should be THANKFUL that Seca uses 6 LEDs instead of 3 because that way you get a more reliable light - and it's not like the extra 3 LEDs add any weight - the weight is in the heatsink, which is proportional to output, not number of LEDs.

  23. #23
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    Trophy I though of another good option for you look into:

    Amoeba - The simplest "light" form
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    you should be THANKFUL that Seca uses 6 LEDs instead of 3 because that way you get a more reliable light
    No.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by The Understater
    Trophy I though of another good option for you look into:

    Amoeba - The simplest "light" form

    Thanks for the mention Understater! Was waiting to see what was being suggested.


    Trophy, shoot me an email and I can forward you some information on my lights. I think the size, weight, output, runtimes, price, and quality all fit your requirements.


    ****

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