Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084

    Spark ST6-500CW headlamp as a bike light

    I picked up a Spark ST6-500CW headlamp yesterday with visions of using it as a self-contained bike light (no wires, no remote battery pack). The headlamp uses a Cree XML and is powered by a single 18650 battery.

    Quick specs:

    LED: Cree CW XM-L T6
    5 modes
    Super: 500lm 1.4hours (Only triggered by quick double click)
    Max: 320lm 2.5hours
    Med1: 150lm 8hours
    Med: 50lm 28hours
    Low: 8lm 8days

    I thought about how I might mount the light to my helmet, rummaged around through my parts box and found my Magicshine helmet mount from geoman. Spent about 10 minutes cutting and shaping the mount with a dremel so that the Spark sits nice and snug. Drilled 4 holes in the mount, threaded through 2 zip ties to hold down the Spark and was all done!

    DSCF5447.JPG

    Turned out much better than I thought it would.

    DSCF5444.JPG

    Took it out for a spin.

    DSCF5443.JPG

    Worked very nicely. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised at how effective the 320 lumens really is. The difference in the 500 lumen "super" mode is barely perceptible to my eyes.

    Total weight with light, battery, and helmet mount is only 142 grams. With the light mounted to the top of my helmet, it feels nicely balanced. I won't say it is unnoticeable, but I could ride for a long time with this light on my helmet.

    I can easily change batteries while the light is still mounted to the helmet.

    I think this would make a great endurance light and a great commuter light. I plan to use this light in conjunction with my Supernova E3 Triple.

    The only thing that bums me out: the "super" mode will drop back down to max after 5 minutes. A crude attempt at thermal management and probably unnecessary when used on a moving bike.
    baker

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    129
    That's kinda nice. 320 lumens is pleanty adequate lighting. Surprising it doesn't come with some kind of mount. Did you pay full retail or get a deal on it somewhere?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Glynis27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    792
    Generally you can get away with much less light on a helmet light because you can aim it exactly where you need it. A narrower beam helps.
    '12 Soma Analog SS
    '10 Transition TransAM
    '07 Felt F1X
    '97 Schwinn Mesa SS
    '89 Fuji Saratoga
    '86 Fuji Club

  4. #4
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084
    Quote Originally Posted by betweenrides
    That's kinda nice. 320 lumens is pleanty adequate lighting. Surprising it doesn't come with some kind of mount. Did you pay full retail or get a deal on it somewhere?
    The light does come with a very nice headstrap for using as a headlamp (not on a bike helmet).

    I picked the light up at sbflashlights.com . I found a coupon on candlepowerforums for 10% off...
    baker

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    3,763
    Very interesting. Any comment on what beam pattern it produces? Does it have a hot spot? How far does it throw?

    Not sure I would like the weigh dispersion of this set-up but if it works for you that is all that counts.

  6. #6
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084
    It seems to have a pretty good combo of throw and flood. There is a fairly distinct hotspot, that is not too tight. Lots of spill, too. If I can remember, I'll try to grab a comparative beamshot with one of my Magicshines or Gemini Titan.

    Not sure what you mean by the term weigh dispersion. Maybe the concentration of weight all in one location (directly on top of the helmet)? It seems to tug less on the helmet than other configurations I've used (mostly because I always find the battery pack/cord pulling back, and the light making the helmet want to tilt forward).

    One ride is not enough to know whether I'll really like the setup or not. Gives me a good excuse to get out for some more night-riding.
    baker

  7. #7
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084

    Beamshots - MS900 vs Spark ST6-500CW

    OK, grabbed some quick beamshots. Had to use a bit of a strange location, due to massive gusting winds blowing over my stool and tripod.

    I'm not sure how to interpret the beamshots. It looks to me like the Spark "super" falls in between the MS900 "high" and "medium." The Spark seems to have less of a hotspot and a bit more wider spill.

    Spark low
    Spark ST6-500CW low

    Spark med
    Spark ST6-500CW med

    Spark med1
    Spark ST6-500CW med1

    Spark max
    Spark ST6-500CW max

    Spark super
    Spark ST6-500CW super

    MS900 high
    MS900 high

    MS900 med
    MS900 med

    MS900 low
    MS900 low
    baker

  8. #8
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084

    Ceiling bounce test results

    A bit surprising to me...

    Spark
    low 50
    med 59
    med1 75
    max 113
    super 132

    MS900
    low 72
    med 92
    high 133

    I guess that actually might be consistent with claims that the MS900 only puts out around 550 lumens. And, that would mean that Spark is rating their light much more realistically and accurately.
    baker

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    129
    Impressive for the price. I like that it's all self-contained and bit less bulky than some of my torches. Thanks for the photos and bounce test. Let us know when you've had a chance to test the runout times. Too bad they don't offer a simple helmet mount, but that would probably be easy enough to rig.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    353
    neat !
    what runtime did you get ?
    what battery did you use ?
    think it comes with a nice mount.
    Can you get the mount separate ? and just remove the straps ?
    rob mtbl.robs-x

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Baja Designs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    579
    I second Robs questions.

    I am in need of a light that will work with my Army ACH helmet, it'd be great to use the same 18650 batteries that our torch employs. We are working on an ACH mount for the Strykr Pro but it's not there yet. How robust is the build on this light?

    Shannon

  12. #12
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084
    I haven't done a runtime test. I use WoW batteries that I learned about on Candlepowerforums. I picked them up on ebay and they are quite high capacity and reasonably priced.

    The light appears to be quite robust.

    I didn't see the mount listed seperately, but never asked. I think the mount they provide would work well for caving/military style helmets.
    baker

  13. #13
    Its got what plants crave
    Reputation: Jim311's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    5,936
    Cool, but kinda pricey.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Baja Designs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    579
    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    I haven't done a runtime test. I use WoW batteries that I learned about on Candlepowerforums. I picked them up on ebay and they are quite high capacity and reasonably priced.

    The light appears to be quite robust.

    I didn't see the mount listed seperately, but never asked. I think the mount they provide would work well for caving/military style helmets.
    Sweet!! Thanks Baker!

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: spankone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    279
    How ya' getting on with it. mine should arrive this week it looks like a nice all rounder.

  16. #16
    Candlestick Maker
    Reputation: baker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,084
    It has worked well the few times I've used it as a helmet light. I've used it more as a regular headlamp and really like it for that purpose.
    baker

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: spankone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    279
    I'm enjoying mine now it's here. It's a nice compact light. Easy to mount because of it's shape. It's a great light for good money.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •