Cold Weather Lights- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Cold Weather Lights

    Its going to be getting dark and cold soon. I have been through a few lighting set ups in the last couple of years, and have not found one that has a battery that lasts for a reasonable time, or even anywhere close to the advertised run times, when temperatures get into the single digits. Does anyone have a recommendation?

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Didn't have any problems last winter with my cygolite. Only 800 lumens, but I looked at the higher power model and compared the run times. If I was running at a similar power setting, there wasn't any longer run time, and the 800 provides a good spot. I never ran the thing down, but I felt pretty good doing 2hrs out there with no fear of lights going out. Always bring a backup though IMO.

    How long are you looking to run?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
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    I bought the Cygolite Tridenx last year and it works pretty well. A friend claimed I could land an airplane with this light but I don't ride it on the highest setting. It is a bit spendy but I managed to get it from Amazon for about $20 more than the 800 lumen light. I'm pretty happy with it.

    I recommend charging it after each ride just so you don't get caught with it going out. Probably good advice for any light. Definitely carry a spare light, maybe a headlamp, just in case.

    CygoLite TridenX 1300 OSP Front Bike Light - Free Shipping at REI.com

  4. #4
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    I ran a Dinotte XML-3 last winter--morning rides--zero degrees for 50 minutes no problem--even when running at full power, but, how much light output are you looking for and for how long?

  5. #5
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    I would love to get 3 hours of 400-600 lumens. I have an older Dinotte right now, but at 5 to 10 degrees I only get about a third of the battery life that I get when it is above freezing. Two cell battery on medium setting (about 250 lumens) I don't even get an hour when it is cold.

  6. #6
    Light freak
    Reputation: scar's Avatar
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    Lagopus Lagopus - I have had excellent results with my Amoeba light with customers up in Alaska. Shoot me a PM or an email (see my signature) and I can give you some more info.

    ****

  7. #7
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    Cold Weather Lights

    I've got 2 of the Amoebas, narrow and wide. I like em a lot. They seem to last a good long time, but I've not kept track. I charge every night during winter commute season. Kinda spendy but I'm very pleased with them.

  8. #8
    Jesus is coming Look busy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lagopus Lagopus View Post
    Its going to be getting dark and cold soon. I have been through a few lighting set ups in the last couple of years, and have not found one that has a battery that lasts for a reasonable time, or even anywhere close to the advertised run times, when temperatures get into the single digits. Does anyone have a recommendation?
    I have had great success with Magicshine.. I know servral other long time riders here that night/winter ride that have had good results with their Magicshine lights.
    They are cheap. 90$ for 800-1000 lumen. On super bright mode 2.5hr burn. On the low setting 10hrs or so.
    Look for them on Amazon.

    I have used many different lights over the years. Really expensive ones too. The Magicshine works by far the best for the pricepoint..

    Cheers to great winter season!

    SB
    I'm deteriorating faster than I can lower my standards

  9. #9
    Bikes are good
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    Plus 4 on Magic Shine lights. Can't beat the price, and they put out a ton of light. Because of Superblinky's advice I bought one years ago, and everyone I ride with rolls with them now. The light works great without snow too. Some lights do nothing in the woods in the summer/late fall. This thing allows for equal speeds at night that you'd hit in the daylight.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  10. #10
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    I have a Light & Motion Stella 500. I've skied with it at ~5 degrees F using a combination of the medium and high settings for upwards of two hours without running low on juice. The battery pack is on a cord about three feet long, which lets me keep it in a jacket pocket if needed. Overall seems like a really nice piece of gear.

  11. #11
    Yeah!
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    The light isn't the problem, it's the batteries. Getting a magicshine isn't going to solve his issue, outside the fact that so many of those lights don't put out their claimed lumens.

    A couple of ideas for the OP:

    More batteries (dur). Are you using a 4p pack? What about a 6p or 8p for winter and really long summer rides? Or a second 4p and a y-cable? You'll have to make the cable yourself, and charge both packs on the same charger. This is my temporary fix until I machine 6p and 8p carriers next year.

    Heat pads are used to keep car batteries warm... what about insulating the batteries and providing a mild heat source? Something like https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11288

    Was reading someone's comments on placing those in his motorcycle handlebars. Got me thinking... a pad, an 18650, and a magnetic reed switch inside the bar beneath each grip...
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  12. #12
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    I like a light that has a battery pack with a cord long enough to put it in one of your pogies. There is enough warm in your pogies that you will get close to what the manufacturers run time is

  13. #13
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    The trick to any lights in cold weather is to use lithium batteries. I learned this from mushers years ago. They are not effected by the cold at all.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
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    True, it is the battery that is the problem. I have two 2 cell batteries. Keeping them warmer, by putting them in an inside pocket does help somewhat, but not that much. Dinotte sells spare batteries, but they are not cheap. And when I asked Dinotte about the battery life, I got a really snotty response about how I must have overcharged them or undercharged them or done something else wrong (I had followed the Dinotte instructions to the letter). So I am not inclined to spend more money there. And because lights have gotten quite a bit brighter and cheaper and more efficient over the last few years it seemed time to replace the whole set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    The light isn't the problem, it's the batteries. Getting a magicshine isn't going to solve his issue, outside the fact that so many of those lights don't put out their claimed lumens.

    A couple of ideas for the OP:

    More batteries (dur). Are you using a 4p pack? What about a 6p or 8p for winter and really long summer rides? Or a second 4p and a y-cable? You'll have to make the cable yourself, and charge both packs on the same charger. This is my temporary fix until I machine 6p and 8p carriers next year.

    Heat pads are used to keep car batteries warm... what about insulating the batteries and providing a mild heat source? Something like https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11288

    Was reading someone's comments on placing those in his motorcycle handlebars. Got me thinking... a pad, an 18650, and a magnetic reed switch inside the bar beneath each grip...

  15. #15
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    I love my Glo-Worm lights. They are reasonably priced, well built, and run true to lumen claims. Many lengthy threads on mtbr as well as reviews during the annual light shootout are posted here.

    The good:
    -run true to lumen claims
    -power button/mode switch is on a remote cord that runs to your hands under pogies
    -reasonable lumens/dollar
    -very good build quality (better than magicshine, not as good as lupine)
    -user programmable light modes (50-1400 lumens, 2 blinky modes)
    -excellent customer service
    -long battery life
    -customizable (switch lenses, batteries, mounts, etc..)

    The bad:
    -cords are thin and fragile in extreme temps (not able to be converted to arctic cord)
    -the "spot" lens doesn't focus narrow enough for a true spot pattern

    I run the X2 (v2) on the bars with 2 spot lenses that gives great throw and spread. In winter I usually travel at 600lms and step down to 100lms when passing others on trails. I use blinky mode on all roads all year round. 600+lms is definitely necessary in true (lower 48) summer darkness. Look at the shootout to compare true lumens vs. manufacturers (or theoretical) lumens, which is reported 99% of the time. I recharge my battery pack once weekly and get about 6-20 hours of it depending how bright I run it. The lithium batteries they come with are very long lasting and resistant to the cold. My battery pack lives in my 'gastank' bag. Oh and I do run a small petzl on my head allowing me to see in my bags or fiddle with my bike and for additional visibility for cars/bikers/pedestrians.

  16. #16
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    I've been using the Stella for 4+ years now. It has a nice large battery pack, but you can only run it on high in below zero temps for a couple of hours. I usually run it on low in the winter because the snow reflects a lot of light. I orginally bought it for the fall because I needed a brighter light for my commute home. I don't get off work until 11pm.... works great and never had any problems.

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