• 09-24-2013
    Gharddog03
    Hello everyone, new to the forum but have read many threads. I just received my 3cree from eBay. I fully charged it and if I lightly tap the switch it makes a quick burst like a short and the light will not turn on until I unplug the cord and re plug it. As if it resets. Is this common? Does it have a defective board? My batteries came with blue packaging. The light is extremely bright but not really happy with the switch issue. I guess I can't really complain since I paid 31$ for the light. I have read the battery should be replaced with better quality batteries. Any links for recommendations. My light does not have the nice machined circles on the back. Did I get an older model or just a different case?My rides are usually 1:30hrs max and if I can get that muh run time I will be a happy camper.


    -Genaro
  • 09-30-2013
    steelhmr
    Took the 3x on the trail today. It rained earlier and I was sore so it wasn't a long ride. I don't have my helmet mount for my 2x unit yet, so I mounted both on the bars and used a Lumina on my helmet as backup. Wasn't able to aim them optimally since 5 of my 6 LEDs were on the bar. Anyway, it's bright, but I'm still not that crazy about the hot spot, since it is so much hotter than the rest of the beam. I didn't get to experiment with it setup at many different angles either since, again, I was constrained by both of them being on the bar. I ran it on high for most of the ride and did some extra road riding at the end to give it more time. When I arrived home it was only slightly warm. I left it on while I put things away and within about 3 minutes it got rather hot and stepped down. My aim was to ride around on high until it stepped down, but my left leg was sore from squats today and I just wanted to go home after the first trail. Anyway, I did see very well on the downhill, but I was also using the Lumina on High since I needed a helmet light to see around bends. I forgot how the riding dynamics change in the dark and you have to lead with your head much sooner.
  • 10-10-2013
    steelhmr
    I am still looking for some guidance as to applying the thermal paste to help alleviate my heat transfer issue.

    I did want to report on one powerful aspect of this light - the flash (or perhaps pulse?). I was meeting up with my uncle for a road bike trail ride starting under a bridge. Unbeknownst to either of us, as I was crossing the bridge, he was driving perpendicular to it on the other side (he lives outside of the city). Later we caught up on an adjacent street near our meetup point and he commented on my front blinking light (3x). He said that he noticed me when I was just at the crest of the bridge. He wasn't looking towards the bridge, but the flash caught his eye and he looked over to see two cyclists cross the bridge. This was at 8 am on an overcast day and my best estimate is that we were at least 500m away from each other when he noticed the flash. Now he wants one too.
  • 10-10-2013
    varider
    I didn't see the pictures you posted earlier steelhmr. The potential heat problem occurs if the metal part that led sits on is not well connected to the outside shell. I can't really see what's going in those pictures. It looks that silver thing you pulled out is the reflector, right? That part doesn't matter (the reflector).

    So it's not clear what the led's are sitting on. Is it a thin metal plate loosely attached to the outside, or is it a cup shaped metal piece? If it's just a plate then you can run a bead of thermal glue around the edge. That's what Kir did with the d99. If it's a cup then you can coat the entire surface that touches the shell. Another way this thing is constructed is that the led mount base is actually part of the outside shell, i.e. it's cnc machined out a solid piece of metal. This is probably unlikely though, I believe it's a much more expensive way to make like this light. If this were the case, then there are no improvement you could make. Back to the first case, it's also possible that the plate is too thin and therefore provides too much thermal resistance. You would have to machine a new one.

    It's also possible that the outside case simply doesn't have enough surface area to cool the light.

    Another thing you should check is if there is any thermal paste/glue underneath the led stars. That's also critical.
  • 10-19-2013
    Gabe3
    the button on my light feels really thin like if I push it much the rubber will tear eventually. also the indicator light looks kinda defective. is this normal?

  • 10-19-2013
    krzysiekmz
    Not on mine. Rubber button is preety stiff etc. This is the best and brightest light I have owned from all the cheap units.

    Chris.
  • 10-19-2013
    Gabe3
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by krzysiekmz View Post
    Not on mine. Rubber button is preety stiff etc. This is the best and brightest light I have owned from all the cheap units.

    Chris.

    does the whole button light up or just part of it like mine?
  • 10-19-2013
    krzysiekmz
    Most is lit. There is a spot about 4o'clock as you would be looking at your watch that is not lit.

    Overall if the light works I would not worry.
  • 10-20-2013
    fightnut
    Gabe3, mine is like yours. Never been an issue, going on a year.
  • 10-20-2013
    -Archie-
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    I am still looking for some guidance as to applying the thermal paste to help alleviate my heat transfer issue.

    There's no rocket science here: just apply it between LED-mounting pill and outer case, so that all the contact surfaces are covered with thin layer.
  • 10-20-2013
    -Archie-
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe3 View Post
    does the whole button light up or just part of it like mine?

    On the light's PCB inside, two small LEDs are soldered near power button. As they're not centered but have offset of several mm, it's impossible for each of them to illuminate the button cap evenly.
  • 10-20-2013
    Gabe3
    I'm able to see through part of the button when its not even lit. is yours like this?
  • 10-21-2013
    mb323323
    Mine is the same. But I like the fact that the button is lit very dimly. Still working as well. But not w/ the supplied battery. Had an older GEO 6.0 that I use and still works. The supplied battery couldn't power this thing for more than 40 minutes or so.

    My light head broke off the mount. I super glued it back and it been fine since. Can't complain for 49.99 delivered.

    Since I got a year out of it, now I get to spend 30-50 on another cheap light but w/ new emitters, etc. LOL
  • 11-02-2013
    steelhmr
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    There's no rocket science here: just apply it between LED-mounting pill and outer case, so that all the contact surfaces are covered with thin layer.

    Still not sure if I did it right, but I emptied an entire 3.5 gram tube of Arctic Silver around the pill & outer case. I'll let it dry for a while and try some run times to see if it improves.
  • 11-04-2013
    the mayor
  • 11-04-2013
    Snakes
    How does the beam of these 3x xml lights look like? I am thinking of buying one for bar.
    According to beamshots that I saw they are quite floody but also have visible spot.

    This is the light that I was looking, the cheapest xml2 that I could found:
    LM 3L2 3xCree XM-L2 4000-Lumen 4 Modes LED Bike Front Light(Lamp cap Only) - Bicycle Lights Lamp Cap - Bicycle Light & Headlamp Worldwide Free Shipping!!!
  • 11-04-2013
    MK96
    Mayor, you can upgrade your current XM-Ls if you have the knowledge & tools, but the difference won't be very noticable.

    Snakes, I have a Skyray S6 a 3 XM-L light and the beam is floody with a quite visible hot spot - but I don't notice that hotspot since the light is aimed a bit far away. The light can support up to 3 mtb riders (each one next to another if the terrain allows it) :-) Very good bar light IMHO both 3 XML and Skyray S6.
  • 11-05-2013
    the mayor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MK96 View Post
    Mayor, you can upgrade your current XM-Ls if you have the knowledge & tools, but the difference won't be very noticable.

    Snakes, I have a Skyray S6 a 3 XM-L light and the beam is floody with a quite visible hot spot - but I don't notice that hotspot since the light is aimed a bit far away. The light can support up to 3 mtb riders (each one next to another if the terrain allows it) :-) Very good bar light IMHO both 3 XML and Skyray S6.

    MK86...yes, upgrading my currnet light doesn't make much sense...considering how cheap complete units are.
    I was just pointing out that they are available.

    Snakes...you are answering your own question...and there are plenty of beam shots on this thread. At $24...that is a deal...as long as you have a good battery.
  • 11-05-2013
    Snakes
    I was asking because I didn't see it by myself, and I've found only one or two beamshots, quality of which was so-so.
    Tomorrow I will check one 3x xml in person.
  • 11-05-2013
    Cat-man-do
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Snakes View Post
    How does the beam of these 3x xml lights look like? I am thinking of buying one for bar.
    According to beamshots that I saw they are quite floody but also have visible spot.

    This is the light that I was looking, the cheapest xml2 that I could found:
    LM 3L2 3xCree XM-L2 4000-Lumen 4 Modes LED Bike Front Light(Lamp cap Only) - Bicycle Lights Lamp Cap - Bicycle Light & Headlamp Worldwide Free Shipping!!!

    Looks like a pretty good deal. That price is hard to beat. I have one of the original tri-clone lamps and they really do have a nice beam pattern for the bars . These are using the XM-L2 emitters so output should be a little brighter. Just expect typical 1-2-3 led operation for changing modes and yes it has the strobe in there as well. As long as that doesn't bother you you're good to go.

    It would be nice to find a tri-clone with XM-L2 emitters that has the stepless menu. When I see one of those I just might buy it. So far Kaidomain is the only one selling a stepless tri-clone that I know of ( but not XM-L2 )

    **UPDATE**....I stand corrected. STEPLESS TRI-CLONE with XM-L2 U2!!
    buy one before they sell out. Too much money for me right now or I'd be on these toot-sweet.
  • 11-05-2013
    varider
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    **UPDATE**....I stand corrected. STEPLESS TRI-CLONE with XM-L2 U2!!
    buy one before they sell out. Too much money for me right now or I'd be on these toot-sweet.

    Is that the same design that steelhmr is having heat problems with?
  • 11-05-2013
    steelhmr
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Is that the same design that steelhmr is having heat problems with?

    Yep, that's the one. I just applied some thermal paste, but haven't tested it out yet. Was supposed to go for a ride tonight, but I destroyed the rear mech on my bike running over a stupid branch on Sunday. Might do some indoor testing if I have time.
  • 11-05-2013
    the mayor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    **UPDATE**....I stand corrected. STEPLESS TRI-CLONE with XM-L2 U2!!
    buy one before they sell out. Too much money for me right now or I'd be on these toot-sweet.

    WHY did you have to post that?
  • 11-06-2013
    Cat-man-do
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Is that the same design that steelhmr is having heat problems with?

    Oh hell, :blush: Yeah, it's the same light. That discussion happened a couple months back. Sorry, I forgot about it. Hummm...I still want one though even if there are potential thermal power-down issues. This lamp gives the user a choice of ten levels to set the modes and all three LED's remain lit through all the modes. I like that. Since I rarely use high modes for long periods this lamp might work for me.

    Could also make a good cheap choice for someone who plans on doing endurance events and would like to dial in a setting with just the right amount of output to extend run time on their battery.
  • 11-06-2013
    steelhmr
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Oh hell, :blush: Yeah, it's the same light. That discussion happened a couple months back. Sorry, I forgot about it. Hummm...I still want one though even if there are potential thermal power-down issues. This lamp gives the user a choice of ten levels to set the modes and all three LED's remain lit through all the modes. I like that. Since I rarely use high modes for long periods this lamp might work for me.

    Could also make a good cheap choice for someone who plans on doing endurance events and would like to dial in a setting with just the right amount of output to extend run time on their battery.

    Cat,

    Just so it's clear, you can operate this light in the stepless mode as well. That is to say, you don't have to reprogram the 3 modes to access stepless. If you want to ride around and use all 10 levels, there is the option to do that.

    It sucks that my bike broke when it did because yesterday was pretty much the start of the night riding season for me. Hopefully I will have my bike fixed by the end of the week and commence night riding early next week. I still haven't had a real ride (~1.5 hr) with the 3x on the bars and 2x on my helmet yet.
  • 11-07-2013
    Jeepdude
    So, in looking at these two...which is better?

    http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S021404

    New 5000LM 3X CREE XM L2 LED Cycling Head Lamp Front Bicycle Bike Light Headlamp | eBay

    I don't have a lot of money and have looking through these threads for some time. I am starting with the light for the bars first, then moving into the helmet light. I will need to use the cheapo battery at first, but night rides rarely last more than an hour...and need to finish a ride when it gets dark mostly.

    Also, do both of the above lights have he thermal issues spoken about on this thread?

    Also, can someone please explain the difference between a stepless mode and non-stepless mode light?

    Thanks to all of those who have been posting this information to make it somewhat easier to pick a more cost effective lighting solution.
  • 11-07-2013
    the mayor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jeepdude View Post
    So, in looking at these two...which is better?

    http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S021404

    New 5000LM 3X CREE XM L2 LED Cycling Head Lamp Front Bicycle Bike Light Headlamp | eBay

    I don't have a lot of money and have looking through these threads for some time.thread?

    If you don't have a lot of money...you may not be able to afford buying cheap lights.
    You may...and probably will...get a poor battery, and you will have to buy a replacement.
    You may get a bad light....good luck on getting a replacement.
    I bought a 3x that has a very good light head...but came with a battery that wouldn't run it for the time I wanted. I then bought a cheap battery pack that wasn't that much better. I then ended up getting a very good battery pack from mtbrevolution. I knew going in that this was all an experiment and might end up costing more than the $50 original ...which it did.
    If money were a concern....I should have bought a light a good shop or distributor so I knew what I was getting.

    BTW...this is where I bought my light. I paid around $50 a year ago. This may...or may not...be the same light and battery ( another problem: you never know WHAT you are getting inside).
    3800Lm 3X CREE XM L T6 LED Headlight Headlamp Bicycle Light Torch Battery US | eBay
  • 11-07-2013
    Gabe3
    I ended up returning mine with the weird button from the previous page. free amazon return shipping ftw. ordered again from the same seller (epathdirect). this time a slightly different light came. the button is firmer and doesn't feel paper thin and not see-through. and a battery that lasted 140 mins! :), compared to the previous one that lasted 80.

    also, the new one doesn't have the green ring around the light head like the one below, not sure if that means anything:

  • 11-07-2013
    varider
    Jeepdude, the first one has heat problems and the second is so new that no one has it.
  • 11-07-2013
    Jeepdude
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    If you don't have a lot of money...you may not be able to afford buying cheap lights.
    You may...and probably will...get a poor battery, and you will have to buy a replacement.
    You may get a bad light....good luck on getting a replacement.
    I bought a 3x that has a very good light head...but came with a battery that wouldn't run it for the time I wanted. I then bought a cheap battery pack that wasn't that much better. I then ended up getting a very good battery pack from mtbrevolution. I knew going in that this was all an experiment and might end up costing more than the $50 original ...which it did.
    If money were a concern....I should have bought a light a good shop or distributor so I knew what I was getting.

    BTW...this is where I bought my light. I paid around $50 a year ago. This may...or may not...be the same light and battery ( another problem: you never know WHAT you are getting inside).
    3800Lm 3X CREE XM L T6 LED Headlight Headlamp Bicycle Light Torch Battery US | eBay

    Thanks for the feedback everyone who posted.

    I understand the issues the battery can cause. I would probably try to build my own pack eventually, but for the time being it seems that many people have been OK for shorter rides? Like I said, most of my rides start before dusk...I just need something to help me finish my ride.

    I understand it is a gamble...like getting a box of chocolates.....

    So, for 40 bucks I may just pull the trigger. Not sure that I like the diamonds around the front outside ring of the light though... Will probably try to pop them out. Interesting that it looks like one of them already fell out in the pictures.
  • 11-07-2013
    the mayor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jeepdude View Post
    Thanks for the feedback everyone who posted.

    I understand it is a gamble...like getting a box of chocolates.....

    Just because it's brown doesn't mean it's chocolate ;^)
  • 11-07-2013
    Jeepdude
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Just because it's brown doesn't mean it's chocolate ;^)

    That's funny...hope I don't end up with that!
  • 11-07-2013
    Gabe3
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jeepdude View Post
    Thanks for the feedback everyone who posted.

    I understand the issues the battery can cause. I would probably try to build my own pack eventually, but for the time being it seems that many people have been OK for shorter rides? Like I said, most of my rides start before dusk...I just need something to help me finish my ride.

    I understand it is a gamble...like getting a box of chocolates.....

    So, for 40 bucks I may just pull the trigger. Not sure that I like the diamonds around the front outside ring of the light though... Will probably try to pop them out. Interesting that it looks like one of them already fell out in the pictures.

    those aren't diamonds lol. they are just holes in the metal for looks I guess.
  • 11-08-2013
    Snakes
    I still didn't decide what to buy for my bar light.
    I am deciding between 2-3-5 LED lights.
    Contendor no. 1, Contendor no. 2, Contendor no. 3, condendor no. 4 (even cheaper).

    I am a little afraid of overheating and power comsumption of 4-5 LED lights, especially in cheap Chinese lights.
    Power/light wise 4-5 led lights are probably better than 3 LED. I assume that each LED gets less power, than in 3 LED lights, so they are more effective.
    One thing that I like on 5 LED light is that it has High and low mode and not 1LED, 2LEDs...

    Main question is, what to try 3x XML2 or 5x XML?
  • 11-08-2013
    -Archie-
    I can speak for sure about contendors #1 and #4 only.

    The first one is well-made light, but requires some modding to unleash its power. My review posted here:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...ew-873039.html

    The last is a piece of junk, with inferior thermal management: no way to improve it without making relpacement internal parts (LED pill) etc. Don't recommend it.
  • 11-08-2013
    Snakes
    Ok, thank you Archie, that is what I needed. I will check your review. It looks like that picture urls don't work anymore. Is it possible to you fix them, please?
    I thought there must be some reason that this 5 led light is so cheap...
  • 11-08-2013
    steelhmr
    Snakes,

    Here is the 5x I have been considering. Might pick it up with a new battery for next year. http://kaidomain.com/product/details.S022598.
  • 11-08-2013
    luigi4711
    I have a Solarstorm XT40 on it's way to me... will be several weeks though until I can tell if it's any good or bad...
    2800 lumens Solarstorm XT40 high quality bike light, View bike light, Solarstorm Product Details from Shenzhen Blackshadow Technology Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com
  • 11-08-2013
    the mayor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by -Archie- View Post
    I can speak for sure about contendors #1 and #4 only.

    The first one is well-made light, but requires some modding to unleash its power. My review posted here:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...ew-873039.html

    it.

    One thing to keep in mind is that although they look the same ( that outer casing is readily available in China)...the insides may be completely different!
    I have one that is like Archie's inside.....and has been great.
    A friend bought one that had 1 dead LED out of the box....and when we took it apart...it was a mess of bad wires and soldering inside.
    So....even if it's brown and in a bon-bon wrapper...it doesn't mean it's chocolate!
  • 11-08-2013
    -Archie-
    Yes, that's true.
  • 11-08-2013
    the mayor
    I am kind of interested in the first one, though. XM-L2 for $25. It MIGHT be a little brighter.....might being the operative word.
    Who knows what's inside it.....
    I guess there's only 1 way to find out.
  • 11-08-2013
    Jeepdude
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe3 View Post
    those aren't diamonds lol. they are just holes in the metal for looks I guess.

    They look like diamonds to me...here is a picture of a red one I found...

    Attachment 845350

    I guess with the high level of craftsmanship and high quality components they use to build these lights they would dress up the outside to indicate what is in the inside. :nonod:
  • 11-08-2013
    Gabe3
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jeepdude View Post
    They look like diamonds to me...here is a picture of a red one I found...

    Attachment 845350

    I guess with the high level of craftsmanship and high quality components they use to build these lights they would dress up the outside to indicate what is in the inside. :nonod:

    oh I thought you were talking about the one I posted. that is funny. theres a lot of 3x cree variants out there. I don't see a reason to buy that blinged out version. I'd stick with the ones people have been buying.
  • 11-08-2013
    Jeepdude
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gabe3 View Post
    oh I thought you were talking about the one I posted. that is funny. theres a lot of 3x cree variants out there. I don't see a reason to buy that blinged out version. I'd stick with the ones people have been buying.

    Ya, that is what I was thinking as well.

    So; out of all the 3X cree variants out there...is there any one that is better than the others (of the clones)? I think that some of these vary the brightness level by turning off/on one LED at a time as apposed to reducing the current but keeping all three LEDs lit? is there any benefit to one over the other?

    For the one that had the thermal issue, can it be solved by applying the thermal paste to it?

    I know it is a lot of questions...thanks in advance.
  • 11-08-2013
    MK96
    Most of 3 clones are 1-2-3 led & strobe(can be modified replacing the uC, but sometime difficult to do), the one that is stepless & runs all leds every time reducing current has actualy heat problems. I have Skyray S6 and the leds stick on a case (it is drilled from front and back to suit the driver in the back and reflector in the front) - the best heat transfer. Maybe you should consider this one. I know ... it is from lightmalls, but the case should be similar to Skyray S6, so heat transfer should be fine & I suggest to buy a quality battery pack from the thread here.
  • 11-11-2013
    Snakes
    steelhmr how is your stepless doing?
    I am deciding between Manta Ray stepless and the light with diamonds posted a few posts before, both have XM-L2 leds. I like this one with diamonds, because housing good, it has nice fins for cooling.
    On the other hand Manta ray has no fins and you had overheating problems, so I am not sure if I want one. But stepless feature sounds nice...
  • 11-11-2013
    steelhmr
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Snakes View Post
    steelhmr how is your stepless doing?
    I am deciding between Manta Ray stepless and the light with diamonds posted a few posts before, both have XM-L2 leds. I like this one with diamonds, because housing good, it has nice fins for cooling.
    On the other hand Manta ray has no fins and you had overheating problems, so I am not sure if I want one. But stepless feature sounds nice...

    I still haven't done a real night ride with the 3x (other than a couple short test rides). Other people have gotten that light and had no issue with overheating (that I know of). My particular light did not have any thermal paste where the pill and the outside body meet, which caused the heat transfer issues. I haven't given it a real test since adding the paste. Before adding the paste, it ran for 20 min on high before stepping down. If adding the paste can add even 10 min then I doubt it will ever be an issue since I don't tend to leave the light on high for more than 10-15 min at a time on the trails. The stepless feature is definitely awesome to have. All lights should have it.
  • 11-20-2013
    steelhmr
    Okay, I did my first real night ride with the 3x unit on the bars. As for the overheating, I did the last 24 minutes of my ride on HIGH and then left the unit on as I took the bike back into my house. It ran for another 5-6 minutes (no fan) before powering down. It seems like the thermal paste definitely made an improvement since it ran for 30 minutes on HIGH this time, and the last 5-6 minutes had no air flow. Additionally, it was running on medium & HIGH for quite some time before switching it to HIGH at the end. I will hopefully ride again tomorrow and try to extend the time that I leave it on at the end of my ride.

    Now, as to the brightness of the light, it definitely is a major improvement over last year's setup (2 Lumina 650's). I did have some trouble getting the unit to stay in place, as it had a tendency to slump downward a little, but I will try adding some grip tape to the bars to get a better coefficient of friction between the o-ring and the bars. It's very bright on the singletrack and looks even brighter (and fuller) on the firelanes.
  • 11-21-2013
    steelhmr
    Got a 2nd ride in today. This time I left the light on HIGH for the last 31 minutes of my ride. Left it on for another 8 minutes when I got home (no fan) before it stepped down. Outside temperature was 50 degrees F.
  • 11-22-2013
    Cat-man-do
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Got a 2nd ride in today. This time I left the light on HIGH for the last 31 minutes of my ride. Left it on for another 8 minutes when I got home (no fan) before it stepped down. Outside temperature was 50 degrees F.

    Sounds to me like your stepless 3up is working fine. When I tested my old 808e a while back with no fan in ran about 10 minutes before shutting down. This is about the normal amount of time it takes for overheating to take place with no air movement. Of course with better heat sinking it might be a little longer but I think 8-10 minutes without air movement over the lamp is about right.