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  1. #1
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    Need suggestions on good brands of lights for under $300

    I decided that Magic Shine was cheap chinese junk that wouldn't hold up in the long run and wanted to know what good other brands there are. I would like like to get a ~2000 lumen handlebar light for around the price mentioned in the title. Any good brands I should be looking at? The model of the light?
    Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches

  2. #2
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    Well, suit yourself if you consider MagicShine a POS...but I have bought 3 MJ808s (2x P7, 1x XML) and the originals have lasted over 2 years. Maybe I'm lucky, but other people I ride with have them and have also been satisfied especially considering the cost. I will say that my new Gemini Duo raises the bar as far as build quality, amount of light, and overall quality of the kit offered.

    Just keep in mind that any single light can fail, but two failing on one ride is highly unlikely. So I always recommend a dual light setup. I prefer one on the bars and one on the helmet, but two on the bars also works.

    Good bar lights:
    - Gemini Olympia - $269
    - Serfas 1500 - $220
    - Baja Designs Double Strykr - $349

    And for the helmet:
    - Gemini Duo - $234 (4 cell battery)
    - Baja Designs Strykr II - $225
    "Got everything you need?"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffinhead View Post
    I decided that Magic Shine was cheap chinese junk that wouldn't hold up in the long run
    Phew, good thing you told me, because here I thought I've been using a pretty great light for the last 3 years. I better hurry up and get rid of this piece of junk

  4. #4
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    Pretty much all the major players now have something really good under $300, goto the MTBR lights shootout and google up the 2013 models, pretty much everything has dropped big time.

  5. #5
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    I like the lupine piko, but it only provides 900 lumen!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fightnut View Post
    Phew, good thing you told me, because here I thought I've been using a pretty great light for the last 3 years. I better hurry up and get rid of this piece of junk
    Okay, so it may not break, but I've heard many comments about poor heat management, heavy battery packs, and jiggling components. Does your light have these problems?
    Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    I like the lupine piko, but it only provides 900 lumen!
    Lupine is SO expensive. If i wanted a 2000 lumen light, it would cost me $750
    Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    Well, suit yourself if you consider MagicShine a POS...but I have bought 3 MJ808s (2x P7, 1x XML) and the originals have lasted over 2 years. Maybe I'm lucky, but other people I ride with have them and have also been satisfied especially considering the cost. I will say that my new Gemini Duo raises the bar as far as build quality, amount of light, and overall quality of the kit offered.

    Just keep in mind that any single light can fail, but two failing on one ride is highly unlikely. So I always recommend a dual light setup. I prefer one on the bars and one on the helmet, but two on the bars also works.

    Good bar lights:
    - Gemini Olympia - $269
    - Serfas 1500 - $220
    - Baja Designs Double Strykr - $349

    And for the helmet:
    - Gemini Duo - $234 (4 cell battery)
    - Baja Designs Strykr II - $225
    Thanks for the suggestions
    +rep
    Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffinhead View Post
    Okay, so it may not break, but I've heard many comments about poor heat management, heavy battery packs, and jiggling components. Does your light have these problems?
    No, none.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muffinhead View Post
    Lupine is SO expensive. If i wanted a 2000 lumen light, it would cost me $750
    The lupine piko produces around 900 lumens in real live, but it's brighter than a lot of "claimed" + 2000 lumen lights.

    But it is ligth, small, practical, durable,...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    The lupine piko produces around 900 lumens in real live, but it's brighter than a lot of "claimed" + 2000 lumen lights.

    But it is ligth, small, practical, durable,...
    Yep, the Piko is a GREAT light. A riding buddy has two of these, and although spendy they are just about the smallest and lightest I've seen. And at the same time they put out a ton of light. For the money though I really think that the Gemini Duo is a better deal. Really solid construction, more light, and if you buy it from a company like Action-led-lights.com you'll have some good post-purchase support.

    My only complaint of the Duo vs.Piko is that the mounting options on the Piko are the best I've seen. The bar bracket is aluminum, is a solid mount instead of a rubber band, and puts the light right in the center and in front of the stem. The Duo is fine especially since it's so light, but the Piko mounting system just has that well built, well thought out feel. Still, not sure if it's worth over $100 for a light that's 2/3 as bright.

    "Got everything you need?"

  12. #12
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    Never saw the gemini in real live so I can't compare!

    The fact that company's try to copy the piko makes me think that lupine ha sa great produkt, but one of the key features of the piko is compakt place on the helmet, the gemini leems eager to catch branches.

    For me, I would either buy the real stuff, or I would go for a cheap Xeccon light. The expensive copies???

  13. #13
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    Never saw the gemini in real live so I can't compare!

    The fact that company's try to copy the piko makes me think that lupine ha sa great produkt, but one of the key features of the piko is compakt place on the helmet, the gemini leems eager to catch branches.

    For me, I would either buy the real stuff, or I would go for a cheap Xeccon light. The expensive copies???

  14. #14
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    Gemini products from Action-LED are great. Prices are really good and customer service is amazing. I now own a Duo, Xera and Olympia. All are ourstanding products. I chose to source the parts separately to save money. Action-LED allows you to piece together the kits of your choice. For example, the Olympia kit I got: Light head - $145, Battery Pack - $65, Extension cord - $10, Charger - $10, shipping included, total = $230. Xera kit: Light head $81, battery - $65 = $146. 2600 quality lumens for under $400 ain't bad. Nice quality, ultra-small, light-weight package for a great price.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    Never saw the gemini in real live so I can't compare!

    The fact that company's try to copy the piko makes me think that lupine ha sa great produkt, but one of the key features of the piko is compakt place on the helmet, the gemini leems eager to catch branches.

    For me, I would either buy the real stuff, or I would go for a cheap Xeccon light. The expensive copies???
    I can't speak for other helmets, but I mount my Duo right on the front, so it doesn't stick up very far. The unit is bigger than the Piko, but is still surprisingly small for the amount of light it puts out.

    "Got everything you need?"

  16. #16
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    I have no problem recommending the Bajadesigns dual strykr,I have been running one on my bars since last year and could not be happier. It might be a few more $'s then your budget but if you can pull it off (or talk to Shannon and see what he can do) but the quality is outstanding,lifetime warranty on the head - 2 years on the battery,capable of going under water to 33ft,includes a awesome solid bar mount and love the wide/spot beam. good luck with whatever light you chose and get's you night riding

  17. #17
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    I just got the Serfas 1500 for $199. You could get that and another Serfas 500 starter kit (no helmet mount) for $89.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I can't speak for other helmets, but I mount my Duo right on the front, so it doesn't stick up very far. The unit is bigger than the Piko, but is still surprisingly small for the amount of light it puts out.
    It might be a nice copy from the lupine, slightly different and sligtly less expensive, but I never considered it, Either I spend money and buy top of the range, knowing that there are no compromises in parts, build quality, service,... or I take a gamble and I go for the really cheap copy.
    I would or buy something like Xeccon, majicshine or from ali express, or go for the real a brands: niterider, lupine, exposure,.....

  19. #19
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    I've narrowed it down to the NiteRiderPro 1800 race, the Serfas True 1500, the Baja Double Stryk, and the JetLite E-Lite Dual Beam. Which of these have you guys tried and would recommend? I'm pretty sure that the NiteRider and JetLite are made in the USA, but don't know about the Serfas and Baja. Does it really matter (besides ethical issues) where it's made? Of course I would always love to have that "Made in USA" stamp on my light
    Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches

  20. #20
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    I bought the 1500 last week. Seems awesome so far. Here it is for $199. Jenson will price match.

    Serfas TSL 1500 Headlight at Price Point

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    The lupine piko produces around 900 lumens in real live, but it's brighter than a lot of "claimed" + 2000 lumen lights.

    But it is ligth, small, practical, durable,...
    I;ve heard quite a bit of hype behind brand XYZ light being brighter than the other guys. I had quite a few halogens lights back in the day and those worked very well, then had a few cheap LED and they worked with reliability being an issue on some. Now I have a 550 lumen Piko and 1500 lumen Wilma. The Piko is good for the price and even considered upgrading to the 900 lumen version. On the trail the 550 lumen Piko has never let me down same for the Wilma. Several years later my Lupine lights are still kicking and keeping pace with most current offerings. I do not have any hard evidence comparing lumen to lumen between companies, just an off calibrated eyeball, from what I've seen I'd buy a Lupine Piko again if I were in the market.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nothing's impossible View Post
    It might be a nice copy from the lupine, slightly different and sligtly less expensive, but I never considered it, Either I spend money and buy top of the range, knowing that there are no compromises in parts, build quality, service,... or I take a gamble and I go for the really cheap copy.
    I would or buy something like Xeccon, majicshine or from ali express, or go for the real a brands: niterider, lupine, exposure,.....
    That doesn't make any sense at all. And I'm not sure the Duo is a copy of the Piko aside from being two lights side by side. Niterider has been doing that for years, and I'm sure other brands as well. The bottom line is that Gemini is a good company that produces a quality product. Just check out the reviews on the Xera, Olympia, and the Duo and you'll find them overwhelmingly positive. On the other hand if you pay the absolute cheapest POS you can find, you'll likely get what you pay for. At least buy it from a reputable vendor that will back a product up and take care of you. Ali/ebay/DX.com are done with you as soon as the purchase is completed.
    "Got everything you need?"

  23. #23
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    The Designshsine DS 1300 is right around 300.00 and made in the great US of A.

  24. #24
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    Have a look at Lumintrek

    A good combo is the TB 1000 and the TB1600. Soon to come is the Twin Beam 2000 and the available TB 3000 as well but you can't do wrong with two 1600's or the 1600 (bar) and the 1000 on the knogen

    Best prices are actually through amazon and can be had within your price range.
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  25. #25
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    I have just ordered the Cygolite TridenX 1100 Xtra for $270. You can get the smaller bettery version for less than $250.

    I have had good luck with the Cygolite Mitycross in the past so I am willing to give the TridenX a go. While the 1100 does not sound that high, these are real world numbers. In the 2012 light shootout the prior version of this light (then rated at 750) outshone a number of lights that were rated far higher.

    I have good expectations for the 1100. I will let you know how it goes.

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