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  1. #1
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    User Review: Nitefighter BT40S ( CAt Review )

    First Ride; Initial first impression;

    I received the BT40S just before leaving for work yesterday. Today I had some good weather so I put the lamp on my bars and took off for a test run.

    The BT40S I found to be an interesting lamp. I'll speak more about the setup later but first I want to talk about the ride. Starting temperature for the ride was about 70F. The 40S is much smaller than I expected, slightly smaller than a typical Tri-clone lamp. Being smaller than expected I was a little worried about over heating. The lamp did get slightly warm to the touch on the higher modes but over all was not a problem. The lamp is set-up with 4-neutral XP-G2 Cree LEDs.

    I was pleasantly surprised that the output and beam pattern were quite useable regardless of mode being used. The lamp ( with standard optic ) throws out a medium wide beam pattern that expands the farther out it goes. Because of this the throw suffers a little but not to the point of being unusable. In all I had a very pleasant ride and found I could actual ride almost anything in the lowest mode with no problems unless I really began to ride faster. With the standard optics the beam pattern shines everything very well close to the bike. Distance throw on low is maybe 40-50 feet depending on terrain. The lighter the trail surface the more the light would carry. Over all I was very please with the low mode, that too was unexpected ( Note* I did try the flood optic and yes it supplies a very massive flood beam. No doubt some may like that but sadly it absolutely kills the throw which IMO makes it unusable. )

    Distance viewing with the BT40S is a little different than the other bike lamps I have. I have yet to measure the useable distance throw but judging from the initial trail ride and the test I did on a soccer field later after the ride, I would think about 150ft max ( on high ). While this is not near as far as my Gloworms or KD2 lamp can throw it is still enough for general bar use IMO. I also found the lamp worked very well with my other helmet lamp I was using ( SSX3-neutral ). With both lamps on low I could ride almost anything and had no problems seeing, even when riding fast.

    The two higher modes of the BT40S ( the lamp has four modes ) were of course better for seeing things a little farther out. During the ride when I used my SSX3 ( on helmet ) I found the two beam patterns complemented each other very well. So much for the initial ride. I'll follow up with more ride reports as I go. As with all my reviews I comment on the things I notice as I go along.

    Now a little more about about the BT40S lamp itself. In this section I'll talk about the good and the not so good. The lamp has a large back section where the mode buttons are. Yes, I said "buttons" with an s. Some people will like this type of switch but I've not yet made a decision on it. Press any button and the lamp comes on. The upper button moves the lamp to lower mode levels, the lower button move the modes to upper levels. For the most part I had no problem working the buttons but it does take getting used to.

    I did have to do something about the translucent plastic piece that covers the rear buttons. When you turn the lamp on a very bright green voltage indicator illuminates the entire back of the lamp. This I found not to be to my liking. Before leaving for the ride I just cut out a round piece of black duct tape and placed it in the middle, leaving just a small illuminated edge which turned out to work very well for me. Without doing that I would of had WAY too much light shining in my face from the voltage indicators. After the quick fix all worked well and I had no problems seeing or working with the lamp while riding. I'm not completely sold on this two-part UP/Down switch but it worked fine and as such I'll not count it as a negative.

    Well, every lamp has some flaws and the BT40S is no exception to the rule. The 40S comes with two sets of optics. The standard and the flood. When I took the retaining ring off the front of the light to try the flood optic I was not impressed with what I saw. First, the emitter board is only held down with a bit of thermal paste ( and the pressure from the quad-optic once installed ). Not a big problem as I see it but you do have to make sure to reposition the emitter board if it slides around while putting in the optics. I had no problem doing this and when finished I found that the lamp got warmer when on. No doubt the retaining ring needed to be tightened to make sure the board was getting better thermal contact.

    Last but not least; the biggest negative issue ( IMO ) is that the design of the front of the lamp doesn't seem to take much thought into preventing water ingress.
    There is no O-ring at all toward the front of the lamp. That being the case I can see two places that water might be able to enter. . First, around the retaining ring and secondly where the ring contacts the plastic one piece quad optic. A flat good size O-ring might help the water around the optic but if it's too thick the retaining ring won't be able to completely seal. Sadly , the only fix I can see that might work is to use some kind of light grease or sealant to prevent water ingress. That said I've tried doing that to other lamps before without much success. Going forward, I have to try because otherwise I'd never use any lamp on my bars that I wasn't sure could handle a good rain. Hopefully someone else will have some ideas or perhaps the grease idea will be sufficient. It would be a shame to dismiss this lamp for such a problem. Later, I'll test the lamp for water ingress once I do something to fix the problem.

    To whom it may concern; This lamp was provided by Nitefighter ( free of charge ) for review purposes. I have no interest in selling Nitefighter or any other brand lamp. My intent is to do an honest user review of the product and give an honest opinion ( pro or con ) on the quality and usability of the product. Thank you. CAt

  2. #2
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    Nice description Cat, thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The upper button moves the lamp to lower mode levels, the lower button move the modes to upper levels. For the most part I had no problem working the buttons but it does take getting used to.
    What if you open rear side and just rotate circuit inside for 180deg? It seems to me it is just wrongly assembled. Magicshine MJ-872 has it proper designed Up for increase and Down for decrease. I think BT40 should operates the same.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    What if you open rear side and just rotate circuit inside for 180deg? It seems to me it is just wrongly assembled. Magicshine MJ-872 has it proper designed Up for increase and Down for decrease. I think BT40 should operates the same.
    Yes it is very easy for the circuit board to rotate along with the silicone boot during rear assembly. There is a white plastic/nylon retaining ring that presses against the back of the board; tamping it down tightly in place helps hold the board in position when you re-assemble the lamp. You will probably also have to keep a thumb on the boot too, in order to keep it from rotating out of 12:00/6:00 as you tighten the alloy end cap back on.

    User Review:  Nitefighter BT40S ( CAt Review )-image.jpg

    Yeah Cat I was surprised too at Garry Bunk's tear down of the BT40S showing there was no gasket or O-ring between the lens and retaining ring. Wonder whether the MagicShine or other clone version are similar in that regard. OTOH, one in my lamp is screwed down so tight, seriously doubt water could ever penetrate. Perhaps because the lens is frosted resin rather than glass it has enough give to be self-sealing or at least provide a highly water-resistant barrier.
    Last edited by andychrist; 04-19-2015 at 10:52 AM.

  4. #4
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    My thoughts too Andy on that seal against the optic. I doubt it's waterproof, but would expect it to be very water resistant.

    My switch came properly installed with upper button increasing and lower button decreasing.

    I agree with CAt on the battery indicator light being way too bright. This is evident in my beamshot pics.

    -Garry

  5. #5
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    My concerns for waterproofing have diminished after a few cold to warm cycles with most of my lights causing condensation anyway. It seems almost impossible to keep moisture out altogether so as long as it's reasonably closed off its good enough for me. I'd like to see manufacturers begin to start potting the circuitry, though I guess it would make modding a bit tricky. The retaining ring on my BT40S was snugged pretty tight so I think that would suffice, otherwise a bit of grease would probably do the trick. It may be worth mentioning to Andy though, as it would likely only cost them a few pennies to implement

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Yes it is very easy for the circuit board to rotate along with the silicone boot during rear assembly. There is a white plastic/nylon retaining ring that presses against the back of the board; tamping it down tightly in place helps hold the board in position when you re-assemble the lamp. You will probably also have to keep a thumb on the boot too, in order to keep it from rotating out of 12:00/6:00 as you tighten the alloy end cap back on.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah Cat I was surprised too at Garry Bunk's tear down of the BT40S showing there was no gasket or O-ring between the lens and retaining ring. Wonder whether the MagicShine or other clone version are similar in that regard. OTOH, one in my lamp is screwed down so tight, seriously doubt water could ever penetrate. Perhaps because the lens is frosted resin rather than glass it has enough give to be self-sealing or at least provide a highly water-resistant barrier.
    About the position of the switch; I see it can be rotated. It took a couple tries to get it right. You just have to make sure you don't hit the board while removing the plastic ring. I also had to reposition the outer plastic membrane because it got out of alignment. No big deal though. Total process took about a 5 minutes. On a side note I like how tight the back of the lamp screws on to the rear. I can't see water getting anywhere inside the rear unless the rear membrane somehow cracks.

    About the water resistance of the front area; Where the retaining ring contacts the plastic lens; I'm not convinced "tight" contact alone is enough to prevent leakage. No doubt a thin layer of light grease might add some insurance. Same for the threads on the front retaining ring. I'd just feel better if the compartment that holds the emitters/electronics were more isolated.

    Not everyone rides in the rain but some people are die-hards that ride in all kinds of weather. Usually when I get caught in rain it is totally by accident...and as we all know weather can be unpredictable at times.

    Going forward my gut tells me I need to do a good shower test on this lamp. If the light grease keeps out the water than I'll be sure to report that. Regardless, I don't feel this lamp should need to be modded OTB so perhaps I'll test it first "as is" just to see if it's worth the price. Personally I expect more quality and better features from any lamp that is a step above the "entry level" Chinese lamps that can be bought for $25-$30. This said if the BT40S doesn't perform well in a wet environment I will be disappointed and will need to point it out. In saying this I'm going to hold the BT40S to the same standard I would expect from a lamp like Magicshine, Xeccon or any other lamp in the same price range. More on this issue as I progress in the review.

  7. #7
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    Nice review cat!

    I do have a question, the lamp head is the same price as about any other Chinese lighthead that's decent quality (yinding, solarstorms via GB) so I personally expect about the same. The "kit" to me seems questionable on price until pack is shown to be worth the extra vs other Chinese packs.

    But that's my 2 cents im going off what lights ive tested vs what ive paid thus far.

    And mine will finally be here I think tomorrow if not Tuesday at the latest (head was at a hub between me and Chicago as of Saturday night, headed my way)
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    About the water resistance of the front area; Where the retaining ring contacts the plastic lens; I'm not convinced "tight" contact alone is enough to prevent leakage. No doubt a thin layer of light grease might add some insurance. Same for the threads on the front retaining ring. I'd just feel better if the compartment that holds the emitters/electronics were more isolated.
    NOOO, Cat, do NOT put any grease where it might make contact with the lens! Carclo specifically states their resin lenses are vulnerable to oils and should not even be touched with human hands or they could degrade. Dunno whether silicone lubricant might be of any benefit here but I still doubt the front of the BT40S will offer any less water resistance than other lamp heads. If you are all that concerned about water ingress the first place I'd recommend for improvement would be the cable hole under the screw mount, it does not appear to have a gasket. The fit is fairly tight so I'm not all that worried myself but can imagine with a good soaking water might be able to migrate into the lamp head through capillary action.

    User Review:  Nitefighter BT40S ( CAt Review )-image.jpg

    Anyway, hope you enjoy riding with the Nitefighter, Cat.

  9. #9
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    Good review Cat-man-do!

    I have to question if it's worth the extra money when you can get this light for $15
    USA Stealth Black 1600 LM 4 CREE XP G LED Bike Light Light Head Only 872 A | eBay

    I know Garry compared the two light here
    New cheap-o Chinese LED bike lights 2015 - Page 5- Mtbr.com

    and he said the Nitefighter was superior. But I can't see myself spending the extra money on a Nitefighter.

    The "[USA] Stealth Black" is obviously a clone of the Magishine 872. I bought mine about two years ago for around $32 and used it for 6 months before I moved on to other lights. I was ecstatic with the light at the time. My only other modern light at the time was an Magicshine 808E and I preferred the 872 clone because it just put out tons of light in broad flood. It's an awesome light. The major downside of the light that it doesn't have the super-long throw. Here's a thread were a couple of guys discussed the light
    Good Chinese flood for bars

    The thing that bugs me about Nitefighter is that they have been around for at least two years and nobody ever posted anything about them. In fact there are only 6 threads with the name "Nitefighter" in the thread title. The oldest three threads (nearly two years ago) only have a total of three replies for all three threads. They were completely ignored! Plus the threads were started by someone appearing to be working for the company. In my opinion they were always too expensive and too unknown to make it worth a purchase. I never really trusted them, to be honest. In my opinion they sold copies of Magicshine lights at nearly the Magishine price so you might as well buy a Magicshine. Plus you can buy a Magicshine from Jim at action led who will give you excellent customer service as well as a warranty. The Nitefighter lights were always a clone light with twice the price.

    Now there is a renewed interest in this brand. I guess because because they have dropped their prices. Was that it? Or is it marketing strategy 2.0? Maybe they were they just under-appreciated for the last two years? I don't know. I'm still skeptical.

  10. #10
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    Well, as far as the lighthead anyway. They were one of the first companies to offer NW from the factory which is a plus, and they also use the xp-g2 not the xp-g. So for an extra 15 dollars I feel that is worth it. As far as quality I don't have both but I do have an mj872 that I just need to get back from a friend to compare to

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    The Magicshine 872 also isn't without it's flaws. I remember in the main mtbr light shoot-out the light initially put out a great amount of light, but then stepped down by a huge a amount as it became hot and then would stay at that reduced output for the remainder of the run-time.

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    I liked mine, never ran it much without good airflow so I didn't have that issue, just some voltage sag/indicator light quirks. I wound up lending it to a friend who started night riding and need to get it back. I bought a pair of kd2's I plan of giving him instead

  13. #13
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    So, initial thoughts on this light, IMPRESSED.

    Found there is oring behind the optic. That's where the seal is. Ring pushes optic against it make case seal there.

    Battery wire has rubber grommet at the case. I dont think it'd handle being submerged but waterproofing is better than/on par with yinding.

    And holy crap that's alotta light for a simple round head. I need to put it up against my ss x3. Still has a "spot" but its freaking NICE.
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    Actually I just checked mine and there is an o ring too. It stays on a lip in the housing and is black so it's easy to miss

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    Yeah, I'm probably just being overly skeptical. $30 for a lighthead with upgraded emitters is a good deal.

    I wonder how well it throws compared to the yinding and solarstorms.

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    Throw isn't the best with either optic imo. It's seems to be better suited to the bars. I'll let Cat do his thing and elaborate more but I would imagine that they would do better to include a tighter optic instead of a super super flood and a normal flood

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Battery wire has rubber grommet at the case.
    Thanks! I was wrong before but thrilled to see there actually is a grommet there, so perfectly set into the case it is almost invisible. So between that and the O-ring behind the optic, looks like the Nitefighter should live up to its declared specs after all.

    Glad to hear you are impressed with the lamp head, hope you get a lot of use out of it, tigris.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by manbeer View Post
    Actually I just checked mine and there is an o ring too. It stays on a lip in the housing and is black so it's easy to miss
    For the record, I knew about that O-ring. I didn't mention it because where it was mounted ( found mine down inside beyond the lip ) just didn't make any sense. When I first looked at it I didn't see how it could serve any purpose down inside the lamp. Maybe it's suppose to sit higher up on the lip and seal the underside of the optic. (?) I need to take another look at it. I figure even if I can position it to do that it still does nothing to prevent water from getting beyond the outer retaining ring. If water gets inside the ring there might be fogging of the optic if the emitter area isn't completely sealed off.

    I haven't had time to take another look at mine but last night when I was cleaning the front of mine I noticed the optic made a small popping/creaking noise when I pressed against it. Once again this might be happening because the optic needs to sit on the O-ring and the O-ring isn't there anymore ( I took mine out ). I need to fix this or it's more possible that water will get inside.

  19. #19
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    Its gonna be hard to beat the flood of my ssx3 but this light is awesome. Like there rings for the mount too, much better/easier to deal with.
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    Hmm, I'm gonna have to take another look at that O-ring to optic seal (guess I missed it).

    I could try posting comparisons to my SSX3 as I take my photos at the same locations. I already posted comparisons between the 872 clone and SSX3 elsewhere. I don't think I have Yinding photos yet since I already had snow on the ground when I received it (i.e. never got a chance to take pics in decent conditions).

    By the way, remember this lights driver pushes the LEDs a tad harder than the EBay clone too.

    -Garry

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    Well I got sent back home from work tonight so wait for it to get dark to start working on all this. Yinding up first, then ill do comparisons on bt40 and ss x3, both are already mounted to my bike, black yinding will be added to bars and blue one (which I switched emitters around already) on my helmet. If it doesn't rain, ill head down to the park again where ive got space (and paved trails which are basically paved, wooded double track). And work on some pics.



    Hope cat can get more done on his review tonight, he's way better at this than me so want his full honest thoughts on this thing.

    Oh and @ cat. The oring has a seat around the perimeter that should be at the edge of the optic, but its slightly too big so urs very well may have popped out and fallen when you started to remove the optic. Mine is a little big. Nitefighter needs to know and correct that one, its a nightmare to get it to stay well enough to reassemble.

    And ignore my question, I understand your thought process now.
    Last edited by tigris99; 04-20-2015 at 08:17 PM.
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    Ok im gonna let cat do his thing but I opened mine up all the way...i can't find anything that needs attention.....the usual basic needs aren't needed here, other than the battery wire which is obvious and waiting for order from dx to see if those ones are actually 20awg (magic shine arent more like 20ga so in between 22 and 20awg). But im lost and confused, got 2 light heads in today and both....beside adding remote to yinding..... Nothing to do besides take pics lol.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    ....Oh and @ cat. The o-ring has a seat around the perimeter that should be at the edge of the optic, but its slightly too big so urs very well may have popped out and fallen when you started to remove the optic. Mine is a little big. Nitefighter needs to know and correct that one, its a nightmare to get it to stay well enough to reassemble...
    I took a look at it again when I got home tonight. This time with fresh eyes. I repositioned the O-ring so it sits closer to the top of the lip but like was said, the o-ring is a little big so hard to say if it's going to remain flush with the underside of the optic. I think it would of been better with a slightly smaller size O-ring and perhaps a tad thicker.

    Anyway, I put it back together and all seems normal as far as I can tell. I'm not feeling or hearing any creaking from the optic so I guess it's seated better. Sometime this week I'll test it with a shower to see how it holds up.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    waiting for order from dx to see if those ones are actually 20awg (magic shine arent more like 20ga so in between 22 and 20awg).
    Just cut one of mine open to send light head portion out to the guy custom modding my HD-016. It seems to be 20awg to me. Matches up perfectly to wire bought as and labeled as 20awg.

    -Garry

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    Sweet. I had to do some better measuring of magicshine cable and I guess is kind of is 20awg. Caliper had it slightly below that of my 20awg silicone wire I get from mtnelectronics but much larger than the 22awg china stuff. Plus now using the case from my mudder kd2 kit, magicshine cable for the case on Panasonics I dont get noticable voltage drop even with the roughly 400mA I just boosted my driver
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