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  1. #1
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    Review/test: KD 3 x Cree XM-L2 T6 White Stepless+5-Mode 2000 Lumens Bike Light

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    http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S023974

    OK. Quick first impression. Including cable it weights 139gr, so not the lightest. From outside there is no visible sign how to dissasemble it, no screw or anything else so it must be under the mount.

    I've got the version with neutral leds "XM-L2 T6 White 5000K". Suposedly it is 3C tint. Will make some picture for tint comparation later at evening. To bad it is very likely going to rain so output pictures are postponed.

    Now the user interface. It is quite funny and it takes some time to get used to. After power on it shows red dot onthe display and switch is lightly blue iluminated. It has 5 standard modes (Low, Mid, Hi, Strobe, SOS) + Off in the cycle. To switch it on it neds some sort of longer short press. To change modes you need to be quick with very short press. At any mode, including off, two quick short presses gives you stepless mode. Holding button it ramps up. Releasing the button and press again it ramps down until off. Pressing again it rumps up even from off. It is hard to catch bottom level just before it goes off. I have found one blink sometimes and don't know of its meaning. Maybe has something to do with very low battery level I had. To bad it doesn't show the brightness level on the display. On mode change it just show mode for a few seconds otherwise it shows battery output level.

    The housing is quite rough and it is unpleasant feeling when you have to hold two fingers in front when pushing button behind. Button is in the same level as the backplate so you can't touch it. It gets warm pretty quickly which imply good thermal path, but it also might be because of three leds.

    The light has visible hotspot which is expected with reflectors. Looking on the light front pannel from narrow side angle the front glass looks foggy when the light is on. Probably this is because the front is made of plastic intead of glass and it has a lot of internal reflection ie. looses. Oooops, sorry when testing just relized it is covered by thin foil. The same is valid for the back side. So I take it back, front plate is made of glass and you have to unwrap the foil on both sides:




    Cable has clasical Magicshine type of connector but unfortunately only 24AWG wire:


    Tint comparation, KD3 is second from left on both pictures.



    Don't know why but it looks to much cool white. By looking to the leds dye it appers there is enough phosphor on it to be neutral white. Is this because of reflectors vs. lenses? This was my setup:

    From left: Cool white Skyray 4up, KD3, Yinding 1A, NW KD880, NW KD2

    Power consumption
    My simple mettering system has some voltage drop, but the current is not so far from reality.
    On powering on:


    Three modes here I've managed to catch the mode sign:




    When entering stepless mode:


    Lowest I could get in stepless mode:


    Highest power in stepless mode:


    Wich is only 13W. In reality little bit more maybe 15W, but still way to low. This light should run at 20W at least. The one of the reasons must be only 24AWG wire. Will see more when I tear down the light.


    Will continue ......
    Last edited by ledoman; 04-18-2015 at 02:59 AM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the beam shots, ledoman!

    KD3 looks perfect white on iPad and best of all to me, doesn't seem cool because no blue tint. But of course camera sets white balance so results are comparative. Still Skyray does look blue and beside it KD3 almost a bit pink but still closest to pure white of the five. Agree though from color of phosphor would have expected warmer tone but seems very good the way it is, would choose that one over any of the rest.

  3. #3
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    ledoman: The tint I am finding RAPIDLY is a not only a function of reflectors vs optics, but the design and quality of each. Carclo and LEDDNA optics the tints look a bit different. 3c looks a bit more yellow on LEDDNA optics than it does with Carclo. Then reflectors/lens can throw the tints all over the place based on the glass lens and geometry of the reflectors. Its a PAIN, without actually switching all testing lights to the same bin and tint, you dont realize the difference that types of TIR and reflectors/lens makes.

    That said your new kd 3 looks the most similar to my xm-l2 u2 3c emitters. TOnight my lights are looking more yellow than normal cause humidity is up so its a bit hazy, but a good, dry clear night on a white wall, both mine look very close (with maybe a hair more yellow than your camera is detecting) to mine. Out of all your lights I like the KD3 tint the best lol. I hate REALLY YELLOW tint.

    Curisous for you to open this thing up, your doing an AWESOME reveiw and starting to get my attention to this thing. I hate the back of it but im not afraid to just wire in a remote button to avoid the burning the fingers to do anything.
    Trek Marlin 29er

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  4. #4
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    Just added pictures of power consumption in the OP. Beam pictures should come in day or two. It is raining now

  5. #5
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    So approx. 1.16A per LED. Not awful but not great either.

    -Garry

  6. #6
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    About the same weight as 880 clone so 20W might be fine. Tear down reveals the thermal path. Happy to hear the thing comes with a step less feature OTOH a bit awkward UI.

  7. #7
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    Nice review.

    You mentioned that two quick presses activates the stepless mode. If i have it on low and want to switch it to high with two presses do you accidentally activate the stepless mode?

    I like the idea of having in indicator display on the back. It's a shame you can't control what it displays.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Nice review.

    You mentioned that two quick presses activates the stepless mode. If i have it on low and want to switch it to high with two presses do you accidentally activate the stepless mode?
    Yes you can, but you need to be really really fast. The user interface it's not the best if you ask me. If it was at least similar to the "KD2" it would be much better.

  9. #9
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    KD told me the light is bonded together so it can't be dissassembled easily or at least not without damage. They promised to send me pictures of the driver in a day or two.

  10. #10
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    Dang it....that lights gonna be hard to use for me, u know me, can't leave anything alone lol.
    Trek Marlin 29er

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    KD told me the light is bonded together so it can't be dissassembled easily or at least not without damage. They promised to send me pictures of the driver in a day or two.
    Yay, I thought there may be a screw under the plastic holder. Still you can take the front or back plate off with a sharp tool and then glue it back. OTOH it is not very comfortable

  12. #12
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    Yes, I know. At least it won't look good anymore with dents, bites and scratches all over the light Will wait for the pictures of the driver first.

  13. #13
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    You may ask to send the internals and the driver photos to see as much as we can ;-)

  14. #14
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    Any updates on the internal pics? ;-)

  15. #15
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    No, I didn't get any. Since it is glued together I don't want to destroy it. Will ask KD again to get me some pictures (the prommise it for a driver).

  16. #16
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    I guess there is no reply from KD Sorry bothering with it, the light draws my interest

  17. #17
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    MK96, sorr it took so long. They've made some pictures, but they were pretty bad so I convinced them to send one. Finaly it arrived. Here are the lonks to the pictures:

    Shrani.si

    Shrani.si

  18. #18
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    Thanks a lot! One of the big drivers around with two 5A diodes :-P

  19. #19
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    If you need anything I can do with it, just ask. Yes it's quite big and has 3 sense resistors (R2, R10-R12) with space for another one. To bad it is glued. I would shurely try to add another resistor there.

    Three R200 resistors compunds 0.0666Ohm. If we take LEDA chip has 0.25V feedback voltage there is 0.25/0.066 = 3.8A to the leds. They should be in parallel getting little bit less than 1.3A per led.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    To bad it is glued. I would shurely try to add another resistor there.
    I might get one to play with. If there is a chance to diy metal and acryl plate and secure 'em with screws the glue shouldn't be a problem anymore :-) Optics will fit there nicely. The light is quite small and has some fins to dissipate heat. Anyway what is your estimation of the thermal path? Does it get hot quickly?

  21. #21
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    It doesn't got hot very quickly since it is not hard driven and has quite some mass. It doesn't get very hot even after some time being still. I guess is also because big fins. It gets hot maybe after 5-8 minutes at room temperature.
    If you would add another R200, this would be 5A to the leds and whole another story.....

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