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Thread: Thrower wanted.

  1. #1
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    Thrower wanted.

    As some of you may know, I plunked down for two Gloworm X2s, which I am enjoying immensely.

    However, while I dig the sheer amount of light they put out, I would really like more throw and a tighter, far more focussed beam for highway road rides. I'm looking for something better built than the 808E.

    I'm thinking around the USD 200 mark (if they use regular batteries, light head only would be fine) and better made than an 808.

    I have heard good things of the Dinotte XML3, Gemini Titan and Xera and the Designshine DS-1300 with twin xp-e and spot optics "throw monster" is looking promising, too. (I would need a new battery, though, putting me over budget).

    But would any of these give me significantly more throw than the Gloworm X2s?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    As some of you may know, I plunked down for two Gloworm X2s, which I am enjoying immensely.

    However, while I dig the sheer amount of light they put out, I would really like more throw and a tighter, far more focussed beam for highway road rides. I'm looking for something better built than the 808E.

    I'm thinking around the USD 200 mark (if they use regular batteries, light head only would be fine) and better made than an 808.

    I have heard good things of the Dinotte XML3, Gemini Titan and Xera and the Designshine DS-1300 with twin xp-e and spot optics "throw monster" is looking promising, too. (I would need a new battery, though, putting me over budget).

    But would any of these give me significantly more throw than the Gloworm X2s?
    Hey GraXXor,
    On the double-triple XP-E (aka "throw monster"), I can easily build you a custom version with the XP-E boards wired in parallel. I have LOTS of these boards, so it'll be easy to "cherry pick" a nice matched set so that the currents split evenly between the two boards. The forward voltage on the LEDs would range from 9.6V to 10.2V (low/high, respectively), which is ideal for using the Maxflex boost controller with your existing supply of 7.4V batteries. This would put it very close to your price range.

    This is some serious power though, so you'd need to be sure that your batteries can supply around 2.3 amps continuously when running on high. I wouldn't think this would be a problem for most packs, but it just depends on how the PCB has been designed. You'd definitely want to run a dedicated battery. Run time on high would be around 2 hours with a typical 4400mAH pack. Just something to consider as you're looking around. Nice tight beam, but not overly tight. Easily puts effective illumination out to 150' and covers both lanes of a two-lane road.
    Just for reference (I think you've seen them already), here's the link to some of the beam shots. Cones are spaced every 30 feet starting from the front wheel of the bike. Soccer ball at 150'.
    Last edited by pethelman; 02-07-2012 at 11:06 AM.

  3. #3
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    I would also suggest a custom build to use your existing batts like pethelman has already laid it out nicely for you.

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    the XML3 - may not be a tight enough beam for your wants. It's not super floody, but has no hot spot. Pretty sure they use their own batteries / chargers, and connectors too.

    It's a fantastic light though, and I think the beam pattern is great. I'm not a fan of a tight, hot spot, so....

  5. #5
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    @pethelman

    That's really great news, how is the build #2 coming along, haven't seen many updates in a while.

    @d365

    Yes XMLs need BIG reflectors to focus the beams from their large dies...

    I am only a fan of tight hotspot in as much as I like to run two lights on my bars: one spot, one flood.

    It's a bad habit I picked up from the excellent yet inelegant MJ-816 which has dedicated floods and spot.

    I believe that like many things, a dedicated system is better than an all rounder, so a dedicated spot and dedicated flood is likely better than a combo light.

    The MJ-816 is an exception because it is basically two completely independent light systems in one lighthead. I just wish the design was a little less "Mickey Mouse"

    Troutie's "Spider Eyes" lighthead on the DIY thread is looking really promising with separate floodlights and a pair of aspherical, highly focussed spotlights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    @pethelman

    That's really great news, how is the build #2 coming along, haven't seen many updates in a while.
    Getting very close to having the next round of housings in my hands. All other parts are basically sitting on ready. I've been trying to maintain status on the Build Blog rather than hit folks with too many unsolicited emails, but definitely making good progress.

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    Hi Graxxor,

    I highly recommend one of our XERAs for a helmet light. You may opt to use a reflector or the standard optics that comes with it.

    The XERA-2 is great to have the complete system on your helmet and can last 2 hours on maximum. As some other MTBR people have said, they make a great combo.

    Lastly, here is a coupon for the Gemini XERA that brings the light well within your budget range.

    50XERA2 - (XERA 2-Cell)
    60XERA4 - (XERA 4-Cell)

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    Hey GraXXor

    The Dinotte XML-3 is pretty floody and provides big light in front of the bike up to around 70 feet in front of the bike. I would say it's not a huge thrower. It's an awesome light however.

    I have one of those cheap MS clones w/ a smooth reflector that I decided to leave in. It's a very tight spot but works well w/ the huge light the XML-3 since no other light is needed in front of the bike. It does throw quite a ways down the trail for 45 bucks.

    Just FYI for you there.

    MB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Lights View Post
    Hi Graxxor,

    I highly recommend one of our XERAs for a helmet light. You may opt to use a reflector or the standard optics that comes with it.

    The XERA-2 is great to have the complete system on your helmet and can last 2 hours on maximum. As some other MTBR people have said, they make a great combo.
    This is the combo I'm using, a Xera on my helmet and the Gloworm X2 on my bars. It seems like a nice combination - and the Xera with a 2-battery pack is really light on the helmet.

    I'm using the standard optics. I'm not sure it is really the thrower you are looking for, though. It does very well for me, I'm super pleased with it, but it doesn't really punch through the X2's light. (And that is with the standard flood-spot optics on the X2.) Maybe with a reflector it would be different, I haven't tried that, but it could be worth considering.

    I will say that the Xera construction is really top-notch. It's too early to tell about long-term durability, but everything looks really good. I'd say it and the X2 seem very comparable.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini Lights View Post
    Hi Graxxor,

    I highly recommend one of our XERAs for a helmet light. You may opt to use a reflector or the standard optics that comes with it.

    The XERA-2 is great to have the complete system on your helmet and can last 2 hours on maximum. As some other MTBR people have said, they make a great combo.

    Lastly, here is a coupon for the Gemini XERA that brings the light well within your budget range.

    50XERA2 - (XERA 2-Cell)
    60XERA4 - (XERA 4-Cell)
    Great news.

    Has anyone compared the reflector vs optic?

    Are there beamshots anywhere?

    Also, how would you say it rates against the 808E?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Great news.

    Has anyone compared the reflector vs optic?

    Are there beamshots anywhere?

    Also, how would you say it rates against the 808E?
    There are some beamshots on the Gemini website Light Test & Beam Shots | Gemini Lights. Some others in the Titan/Xera thread (Gemini Lights TITAN LED and XERA LED (2012)).

    And here is the beamshot of the reflector Gemini Lights TITAN LED and XERA LED (2012) (page 9 of the thread, halfway down the page). When first looking at these, I didn't think there was enough of an increase in throw to make it worthwhile, so I just went with the stock optics. I think that's still a good choice for my riding on the local trails, but it might work for you.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by agoura_biker View Post
    There are some beamshots on the Gemini website Light Test & Beam Shots | Gemini Lights. Some others in the Titan/Xera thread (Gemini Lights TITAN LED and XERA LED (2012)).

    And here is the beamshot of the reflector Gemini Lights TITAN LED and XERA LED (2012) (page 9 of the thread, halfway down the page). When first looking at these, I didn't think there was enough of an increase in throw to make it worthwhile, so I just went with the stock optics. I think that's still a good choice for my riding on the local trails, but it might work for you.
    Is it just me, or does it look like the reflector makes the beam look yellow/green.

    Also, I notice that although the reflector has the tighter spot, it looks like it just simply cut off the flood without achieving a noticeable improvement throw...

    Anyone have both and like to comment?

  13. #13
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    I have a 808E, Xera (with the optic), and the X2 with spot/spot. I played around with the three lights and testing which lights throw the farthest and also which one can pick out objects on the road. Based on what I seen, so far the 808E still have the best throw and define road objects better than the Xera on high and the X2 on boost. The reflector diameter and depth is what make a thrower. Although the Xera and X2 has more lumens, the larger reflector of the 808E simply uses all the photon in one spot with minium spill waste. Between the Xera and the X2, the Xera does have a better throw over the X2.

    I hate to say this, but so far, the better throwing lights don't comes in the form of a lighthead that is design for bicycle. There seem to be a trend toward small compact light with lots of lumens but lack of a strong throw. All my best throwing lights are in the form of flashlights with larger reflector that are at least 35mm in diameter and deep. I own a Thrunite TN11 and a KD C8 and both are better thrower than the 808E. My best thrower is my Jetbeam BC40 flashlight which utilize a large reflector. It puts the 808E to shame, however it is not a single cell light and I'm still thinking of a method to mod it to use external battery and shorten it so I can use it on my helmet.

    If I have to pick a thrower with a better quality than the 808E, I choose two Xera over the 808E, however if I was limited to one Xera, I'll pick the 808E as a dedicated thrower. One interesting note, I tried to hit a distant power pole from a distant and two Xera did not quite hit it as bright as the single 808E did. This shows just how important a good deep and wide reflector can make.

  14. #14
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    Perhaps one of these?

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    I have a similar question. I would like a long thrower for my helmet. I currently have an old NIghtlighnting iblaast II. NIghtlighning will sell me new optics and 4 xCree XPGs for 90 bucks. So I will be abe to use the old housing and battery. Do you think this would be a good helment option? Then I will just buy a new bar mount probably one of the many 3 x XML options.

    Any thoughts from you light experts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    Perhaps one of these?
    Now THATs funny... love it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sqzdachrmn View Post
    I have a similar question. I would like a long thrower for my helmet. I currently have an old NIghtlighnting iblaast II. NIghtlighning will sell me new optics and 4 xCree XPGs for 90 bucks. So I will be abe to use the old housing and battery. Do you think this would be a good helment option? Then I will just buy a new bar mount probably one of the many 3 x XML options.

    Any thoughts from you light experts?
    Just for what it's worth, you'll only get a so-so thrower with the XPG+compact optics. It's the same problem that the XMLs suffer, just not quite as profound, and it's all related to the physical size of the LED itself. The bigger the die, the harder it is to achieve a good spot with the small optics. In this "thrower" arena with small form factor and optics, the XP-E still rule, but beyond that, there's a big jump up in PURE spot beam performance when you go to the single LED with large/deep reflectors (as colleen rightly states), which are mostly not amenable for helmet use. The 808e does work quite well, though.

    The double-triple high-output XPE, however does make a very fine, bike-specific thrower in a small form factor. In the front shot of the light body, you'll note that one of the lenses is "frosted." For a pure thrower, it would need to be two spot lenses. In this case, you get about a 16 degree beam, which is still nowhere near as tight as a big reflector. A comparable beam with the XPGs would be around 24 degrees, so you'd lose quite a bit of illumination at distance. Note in the beamshot (double-triple-XPE) that the first cone is 30 feet from the light. 30 ft separation between cones. Soccerball at 150 ft. Fence in the far background at 300 ft. Terrain is slightly downhill.



    Last edited by pethelman; 02-09-2012 at 01:06 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chainsawgeoff View Post
    Perhaps one of these?
    That'll do nicely chum. PULL!!
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    Well, for thrower it looks like I'm stuck with a magicshine 808E... Or a 45 dollar smooths reflector job. Was hoping for something a lite more refined and less Chinese. How about the Titan XML?
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    I'd be inclined to wait a few weeks for the Gloworm X2 version 2

    It should have significantly more throw, a tighter beam and also greater overall output with the changes that are being made.

    Gloworm has offered the light head to previous Gloworm buyers for a bargain price too. I'm really looking forward to seeing the beamshots for the new optics.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by neninja View Post
    I'd be inclined to wait a few weeks for the Gloworm X2 version 2

    It should have significantly more throw, a tighter beam and also greater overall output with the changes that are being made.

    Gloworm has offered the light head to previous Gloworm buyers for a bargain price too. I'm really looking forward to seeing the beamshots for the new optics.
    Yes, and as a presales purchaser of their V1s, they have stated that I'm entitled to a V2 for $50...

    Now that's what I call customer care... I'm really glad I made the leap...

    BTW... I'm currently running my old Mickey Mouse inverted on my lid. It's really surprising the great beam pattern that cheap-shite Chinese light offers and the throw, from helmet height is great, too. I'm really looking forward to running a pair of V2s. I might pass the V1 off to a mate of mine who's struggling along with a Cateye EL-530. Poor sod.

    Apparently they run a Panasonic battery pack, too. In that case, I'll pick a couple up and pass a Magicshine pack on, too.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    I hate to say this, but so far, the better throwing lights don't comes in the form of a lighthead that is design for bicycle. There seem to be a trend toward small compact light with lots of lumens but lack of a strong throw. All my best throwing lights are in the form of flashlights with larger reflector that are at least 35mm in diameter and deep. I own a Thrunite TN11 and a KD C8 and both are better thrower than the 808E. My best thrower is my Jetbeam BC40 flashlight which utilize a large reflector. It puts the 808E to shame, however it is not a single cell light and I'm still thinking of a method to mod it to use external battery and shorten it so I can use it on my helmet.
    Yes you need at least a 35mm diamter optic/reflector per XM-L for enough throw (like the KD C8 or the magicshine lights with XM-L and P7). The only way to go smaller are the 25mm aspheric lenses that troutie uses in his spidereyes or bigger reflectors cut in half. The best small optic I found is the Tina3 S. Of the 35mm optics I like this maggione one best.
    If I wouldn't build my lights myself, I would get the spidereyes, which is probably the best helmet thrower you can get at the moment.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrradlos View Post
    Yes you need at least a 35mm diamter optic/reflector per XM-L for enough throw (like the KD C8 or the magicshine lights with XM-L and P7). The only way to go smaller are the 25mm aspheric lenses that troutie uses in his spidereyes or bigger reflectors cut in half. The best small optic I found is the Tina3 S. Of the 35mm optics I like this maggione one best.
    If I wouldn't build my lights myself, I would get the spidereyes, which is probably the best helmet thrower you can get at the moment.
    That spidereyes is a super sweet looking unit. very well thought out design... probably worth the $500 + ship. I didn't see any run times, though.

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