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  1. #1
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    Solarstorm x3 XM-L2 U2

    Hey guys

    I was reading about the Solarstorm xt40 and wrote GearBest.com, who I have had good experiences with my Dashcams, to see if they sold the XML2 version. I didn't have the best experience with Fasttech the last time.

    Long story short they said the can change the Emitters to XML2-U2, which made me think to ask about the same for the SSX3. They say that they can add XML2-U2 for $42.50 with battery. What do you think? Sounds great.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    Hey guys

    I was reading about the Solarstorm xt40 and wrote GearBest.com, who I have had good experiences with my Dashcams, to see if they sold the XML2 version. I didn't have the best experience with Fasttech the last time.

    Long story short they said the can change the Emitters to XML2-U2, which made me think to ask about the same for the SSX3. They say that they can add XML2-U2 for $42.50 with battery. What do you think? Sounds great.
    I've been waiting for the X3 to come out using XM-L2 for quite a while. So far I've not seen anyone marketing them on a website although I have seen a cloned version using the L2's over on D/X. Not to say that Gearbest won't do what you say it's just that I would find that very unusual for a Chinese website to take "Special orders " on a build that they aren't already selling on their website. FWIW, and without going into detail I've not had a good experience with Gearbest delivering on the promised goods that they already sell. If they actually would be willing to provide a "custom order" I would find that quite strange if not hard to believe.

  3. #3
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    Lots of SSX3's on Ebay showing XM-L2 emitters but listing XM-L in their description. It's a crapshoot what you'll get. My SSX3 came that way (came with XM-L2's). The BIGGER issue is concerning "pills". We are starting to see X3's coming with thin pills now (or mayeb it was no pills - can't remember).

    -Garry

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Lots of SSX3's on Ebay showing XM-L2 emitters but listing XM-L in their description. It's a crapshoot what you'll get.
    Just to chip in and say that yip, it is your total donald duck what you are going to get!

    I bought two SolarStorm X2 lights from the same eBay seller, a red one and a black one. I tried the red one for the first time today and on High the battery lasted about twenty-five minutes!

    When I Googled it I saw there there are various versions of the SSX2 out there, identical on the outside but different inside, so I popped open the two I have here. These two lights came from the same place, identical packing etc, but the two units are completely different inside! Including the pictures I've seen on the net there are at least four versions out there!

    But that's not the best bit. I checked the current draw of the two lamp units using a multimeter and the red lamp is drawing more than double the current of the black one!

    The red unit draws 367.3 mA on the low setting.
    The black lamp draws 154.6 mA on the same low setting.

    Also, when plugged into the same battery the three indicator lights on the black unit stay lit where as the red until drops to two lights straight away.

    I am going to try both lamps using the same battery to see how long they run for but it looks like the red unit is a dog. The seller has been informed.

    Point being that if I hadn't bought two of the things I would never have known. Scary stuff.

  5. #5
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    Is there a noticeable impressive difference between the current SSX3 vs the SSX2 ?
    Every time i walk into the LBS and see the price tags on new bikes it makes me enjoy and appreciate my Ol' ride even more.

  6. #6
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    I had both and didn't think there was much difference.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  7. #7
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    It depends on how good the units are you're comparing. I just received a very poor underdriven X2. I also own a pretty decent X3. So my X3 blows away my X2. Also, the X3 will be a floodier light due to three emitters vs. two at approx. same diameters.

    -Garry

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    It depends on how good the units are you're comparing. I just received a very poor underdriven X2. I also own a pretty decent X3. So my X3 blows away my X2. Also, the X3 will be a floodier light due to three emitters vs. two at approx. same diameters.

    -Garry
    The X3 that I got has a dimmer hotspot than the x2 that I have. It does have a much broader beam than the x2. Did I get one of the underpowered lights? Did you take it apart, is there a visible difference of the circuit?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    The X3 that I got has a dimmer hotspot than the x2 that I have. It does have a much broader beam than the x2. Did I get one of the underpowered lights? Did you take it apart, is there a visible difference of the circuit?
    It makes sense that 2 emitters throw further than 3 emitters when they are basically the same size and driven at nearly the same current level. You're trading off throw for spill generally moving up in number of emitters (unless there are other changes like reflector size).

    The circuits will vary widely! I don't have in-depth knowledge of the circuitry. All I can do is measure currents (and generally I just measure current pulled off the battery pack as I show in this BLF thread). Until you measure current you really don't have much to go on to say whether your unit is underpowered or not other than your eyes which can be deceiving since "throwy" lights will appear to be putting out more light. Case in point - check out post#22 in the HD-016 review thread. That light has one "flood" and one "throw" LED. Both are driven at the exact same current level, but take a look at the beamshots and how they trick your eyes.

    Yes, I've torn my X3 apart. Photo gallery here.

    -Garry

  10. #10
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    Hi all

    First post on the MTBR forum (although I spent quite some time reading it already)...

    I wanted to add my contribution to this post.
    I have myself a small collection of bike lights and I'm night riding at least once a week.

    My collection covers mainly chinese lights (except my first light that was the 2x halo light from Sigma).
    On my helmet, I have a single XM-L2 driven at 2.8A that fulfills its role quite well.

    On the bar; I've had a succession of lights but so far I was not enterely satisfied.

    The last one i used was a (bad) clone of a Solarstorm X2 bought at DX.

    2 weeks ago I was browsing a bit ebay to see what was out there. And I saw that one seller was selling Solarstorm X3 with XM-L2. Price around 35 pounds.
    Ordered and received a week later (from english warehouse).

    I'm used to test my lights the way Garry does it. Measure current pulled off battery pack. From the configuration of the lights, I can derive more or less an approximation of the real lumens I was getting out of it (if you forget the losses).

    Up to now, I think the most current I measured from my lights was about 2A at 7.2V (the last Solarstorm X2 being around 1.9A on the high setting).

    Today just did the test with the new Solarstorm X3 XM-L2.
    And... WOW!

    Low mode: 1.08A
    Mid mode: 2.2A
    High mode: 4.56A !!!

    About 32W of power... I had never seen that much...
    4.5A from the battery at 7.2V -> Current to each LED (3 in parallel) = 3A
    Lumen estimate (XM-L2 T6)... Something above 3000 lumens!

    Battery fully charged. Room temperature.

    Here is the link where I ordered it (they claim the object is a genuine Solarstorm): 2nd Generation X2 SolarStorm X3 Cree XM-L2 Energy Saving LED Bike Bicycle Light | eBay

    I will have to wait a bit more to test it in real conditions (still healing from a bad fall...) but wanted to share my findings already
    Last edited by jeanphi500; 11-05-2014 at 03:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    Wow! Thanks for sharing!

    -Garry

  12. #12
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    To follow up on my original post, I spoke with Dora from GearBest yesterday and she said the SolarStorm X3 with XM-L2 U2 emitters was finally finished and mine was sent out.

    I asked her for a link she said it wasnt fully updated yet and sent me Solarstorm X3 3 x Cree XM L2 2200lm 4-Mode 18650 LED Headlamp with 4-18650 Battery Pack-38.42 and Free Shipping| GearBest.com. She said there is a coupon code SolarstormX3 that makes the price $34.99 for Light and Battery. I can say this about GearBest, they do love their coupon codes, seems a lot of Chinese sites do.

    I'm happy with the price and will test it as soon as it arrives. She confirmed its definitely XM-L2 U2, it's real Solarstorm and before the build we discussed the pills so I'm excited to see how it performs.

  13. #13
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    I'd be interested to know a little more. The ebay link you sent lists the battery as 1s4p, so it only outputs 3.7V to get 8800mah. Did you measure the voltage coming out of the battery? Are you sure it's 4.5A at 7.2V or is it 4.5A @ 3.7V?




    Quote Originally Posted by jeanphi500 View Post
    Hi all

    First post on the MTBR forum (although I spent quite some time reading it already)...

    I wanted to add my contribution to this post.
    I have myself a small collection of bike lights and I'm night riding at least once a week.

    My collection covers mainly chinese lights (except my first light that was the 2x halo light from Sigma).
    On my helmet, I have a single XM-L2 driven at 2.8A that fulfills its role quite well.

    On the bar; I've had a succession of lights but so far I was not enterely satisfied.

    The last one i used was a (bad) clone of a Solarstorm X2 bought at DX.

    2 weeks ago I was browsing a bit ebay to see what was out there. And I saw that one seller was selling Solarstorm X3 with XM-L2. Price around 35 pounds.
    Ordered and received a week later (from english warehouse).

    I'm used to test my lights the way Garry does it. Measure current pulled off battery pack. From the configuration of the lights, I can derive more or less an approximation of the real lumens I was getting out of it (if you forget the losses).

    Up to now, I think the most current I measured from my lights was about 2A at 7.2V (the last Solarstorm X2 being around 1.9A on the high setting).

    Today just did the test with the new Solarstorm X3 XM-L2.
    And... WOW!

    Low mode: 1.08A
    Mid mode: 2.2A
    High mode: 4.56A !!!

    About 32W of power... I had never seen that much...
    4.5A from the battery at 7.2V -> Current to each LED (3 in parallel) = 3A
    Lumen estimate (XM-L2 T6)... Something above 3000 lumens!

    Battery fully charged. Room temperature.

    Here is the link where I ordered it (they claim the object is a genuine Solarstorm): 2nd Generation X2 SolarStorm X3 Cree XM-L2 Energy Saving LED Bike Bicycle Light | eBay

    I will have to wait a bit more to test it in real conditions (still healing from a bad fall...) but wanted to share my findings already

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the details Garry, I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by neons97 View Post
    I'd be interested to know a little more. The ebay link you sent lists the battery as 1s4p, so it only outputs 3.7V to get 8800mah. Did you measure the voltage coming out of the battery? Are you sure it's 4.5A at 7.2V or is it 4.5A @ 3.7V?
    I tested it with my own battery (a double one, 2S4P). And yes I'm sure it is 4.5A at 7.2V.
    The capacity of batteries is always overestimated by the sellers... They just think that if they have 4 batteries of 2200mAh connected together they get a battery with 8800mAh. Of course only true if they are connected all in parallel.

    And by the way the "waterproof" battery voltage coming with it was also measured at about 8V (without any load).

    My setup:
    Solarstorm x3 XM-L2 U2-x3.jpg

  16. #16
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    In keeping with posts 12-15;

    The listing for the X3 ( ebay UK ) looks promising but the listing for output current is only 3000ma. If the LED's are in parallel that's only 1A to each led on high, maybe 1200 lumen (?). Not worried about the battery, just a mistake in the ad. They at least seem to know it's XM-L2. Not sure about U2 or not and includes a UK charger ( not real useful unless you have an adapter ).

    What gearbest is offering is nebulous at best. No mention in the ad of what driver is being used. The included photo is showing a lamp with XM-L's ( not L2's ). That might not mean anything though. They just might not have a correct photo to show.

    It would be nice to get a 6A driver. That would put 2A into each LED giving more output ( assuming a parallel configuration ) They do make 6A drivers for these. My Nitefire Hero 2 ( DX ) ( using XM-L U2 ) is suppose to have one ( according to the ad ). The lamp is quite bright, very close to my Gloworm 1500 lumen X2 (v3) . Then again, who really knows how much output the drivers have unless you measure the current coming directly from the LED's themselves.

  17. #17
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    But knowing that you have 4.5A being pulled out of the battery tells you something about what goes to your LEDs.

    4.5A at 7.2V means 9A at 3.6V...
    That means that each of the LEDs is driven at something around 3A.

    I was really very surprised when I measured it. So surprised that I redid the same test with several of the lights I own to check that there was nothing wrong with the setup.

    I'm always very cautious when I read the specs of the listings. They mostly copy things from the manufacturer when they are not copying things form other sellers

    It's a pure lotery and this time it seems I put my hand on something good !

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanphi500 View Post
    But knowing that you have 4.5A being pulled out of the battery tells you something about what goes to your LEDs.

    4.5A at 7.2V means 9A at 3.6V...
    That means that each of the LEDs is driven at something around 3A.
    That's exactly how I roughly determine LED currents too, though sometimes I estimate some driver loss. Congrats! You won the lottery! Warning though to anyone jumping on the same listing - you're still not guaranteed to get the same driver!

    -Garry

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    What gearbest is offering is nebulous at best. No mention in the ad of what driver is being used. The included photo is showing a lamp with XM-L's ( not L2's ). That might not mean anything though. They just might not have a correct photo to show.

    It would be nice to get a 6A driver.
    True and the wait on these Chinese lights makes it difficult to just give quick answers (basically I hate waiting) so we won't know until it arrives.

    I will write Dora at GearBest and see if she can ask the supplier about the driver. I asked her to upgrade this light after asking about the XT40 with XM-L2, so it's all new to them. I asked about the X3 because, besides the recent listing in England, I haven't seen any for an X3 with XM-L2 U2 and thought it would make a great upgrade. I asked her to confirmed real SolarStorm, stressed about the pill quality and asked for the XML2 emitters, I didn't ask for a specific driver unfortunately. It at least shows the seller is open to customer suggestions and willing to customize products. She even threw in a coupon code to make the new light cheaper.

  20. #20
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    BTW Dora is in charge of Flashlights and Bike Lights at GearBest. Her email is Dora@gearbest.com

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    It depends on how good the units are you're comparing. I just received a very poor underdriven X2. -Garry
    I just looked up my SolarStorm branded X2 eBay purchase from last Oct, one I sent back($17shipping) for a refund, died on first ride. The other works fine but isn't as bright as my now dead 808 clones.

    The seller now seems to specialize in "Adult" Cosplay wear...
    always-boutique on eBay

  22. #22
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    Why not just go to GearBest and tell them what we all desire on this thread and see if we can do a group buy? The last group buy failed because to me, it isn't about saving a few bucks. It is about getting the best specs for the light at a fair price.

    I think if a X2, X3, X40, or an old quality Yinding clone came on with the stuff we all want, they would sell a ton of them. I would initiate, but have no idea what I would be asking for.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawgman25 View Post
    Why not just go to GearBest and tell them what we all desire on this thread and see if we can do a group buy? The last group buy failed because to me, it isn't about saving a few bucks. It is about getting the best specs for the light at a fair price.
    Lots of companies sell the specs we all desire, Xeccon, Gemini, Gloworm, etc...

    All for far less than I have "invested" in my Bottom Drawer...

  24. #24
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    Yes, I realize that, but here we all are still buying these lesser lights at a discount price. My point being, if they would just get the specs right, the sales of these knock offs would skyrocket instead of playing the game of roulette.

  25. #25
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    The SSX3 with the XM-L2 U2 is on many checklists and should be amazing. As I said before I have some experience with GearBest on the DashCam/Action cam side with SJ4000 and Dora was a pleasure to work with so if there is a group buy we can all agree upon I'm sure she would be willing to help. I told her I didn't want a group buy deal after reading the previous thread, only saving a few bucks.

    I personally think this SSX3 will be great, so I can't wait to get it and test it out. I was really wanting another Yinding for sure, it's a great light. Too bad the factory screwed it up. I'm in for a custom Yinding XM-L2 group buy if there's interest.

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