Chinese Lights for dummies- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Rod
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    Chinese Lights for dummies

    There's so much information about Chinese lights it's overwhelming. I'm hoping to condense this info for an easy to use guide to answer most questions. These are my my impressions of the lights based off the available information and I'm sure the regulars will correct any misinformation. Lastly, these are the most popular Chinese lights that have been reviewed on this forum.

    The contenders:

    Most recommended:

    Yinding $33.33
    Note: This item ships from China and you need to order neutral white.

    BT40s $ 24.95 Lighthead only
    Note: This item will ship from China.

    BT40s w/ Battery and accessories
    8.4V 2A Charger
    O-ring mounting strap
    Extension cable
    Helmet mount
    Cable tie

    This battery pack has been tested and it's recommended.

    The Yinding should be ordered in neutral white. The bt40s is only available in neutral white. You want the tints to match on both of your lights. Both lightheads would be 58.28 as of this post. Batteries are not included.

    If you need Batteries: Action Leds - within states, Hunk Lee eBay within states, and Kaidomain - China are the most recommended. Look for them in the battery thread here.

    Yinding Pros
    Best thermal transfer of the Chinese lights
    Waterproof
    Bright
    Good beam pattern
    Easy and inexpensive to replace/change the optics to optimize the beam pattern

    Cons
    It gets very hot so a vancbiker mount is recommended to help dissipate heat. He's a member on the forum.
    vancbiker to send a pm. or his site. You will need the finned mount in the first picture.
    User interface. To go from hi to low or medium you would need to cycle through off.

    Yinding review thread. Beam shots located in this thread.


    BT40s Pros
    Bright
    Great bar light due to the amount of flood.
    No hotspot
    Long runtime
    Flood lens not necessary

    Cons
    It doesn't have as much throw as some of the other lights so it may not be the best if you riding at a higher rate of speed, which could include gravel grinding, fire roads, or taking the road to the trail. Most users seem to love it, especially on slower technical trails.
    Can't change optics to manipulate the beam pattern
    Mount breakage
    You will need to purchase an aftermarket mount. There's a variety of options. Aluminum o-ring mount from DX, a Gemini base from Action LED, the quick-release mount from C&B Seen, or a vancbiker aluminum GoPro mount. See Vanc's link above. I would prefer the C&B mount or a vance mount. Personally, I'm not a fan of o ring mounts, but others use them without issue.


    BT40s review thread. Look here for beam shots.


    Other recommended lights

    C&B 1900 3 up $ 44.27 with remote
    (Remote is needed due to programming glitch)

    3 up Pros
    More throw than BT40s & Yinding
    Can be used on the helmet or bars
    Remote
    Bar mount
    Good customer support (MrMole has his remote switch replaced)
    No issues with overheating (MrMole has desert tested this light)
    Good value

    On the Fence (Not a Pro or Con)
    It's not neutral white. Tint is cool white, which is very similar to Glowworm X2 and 7up from C&B

    3 up Cons
    "The only issue I had is there is a programming glitch that would not allow to set any of the preset adjustments so stuck with 10/30/80% preset defaults. Actually not that big a deal since I can still enter the programming mode easily and scroll up and down to whatever level I want with the 2 button remote." MrMole
    No long term durability - light has been owned less than a year.

    Mole's review thread.

    C&B 7up
    Light-head + remote option $56.33 @ the current exchange rate

    7 up Pros
    2k+ lumens (calculated off MrMole's lux readings)
    Very affordable
    Fast shipping - 6 days once it's in the mail to the U.S.
    Excellent QR bar mount that has horizontal aim adjustment
    not super floody with excellent throw beam pattern
    no overheating issues (desert tested by Mole)
    Wireless remote
    Excellent Value
    Much better than BT40s for faster riders or trails due to the additional throw

    On the Fence (not a pro or con)

    Coolish white tint similar to the Glowworm X2, but not quiet neutral tint. Somewhere in-between.

    7 up Cons
    Same programming issue as the 3up. "The only issue I had is there is a programming glitch that would not allow to set any of the preset adjustments so stuck with 10/30/80% preset defaults. Actually not that big a deal since I can still enter the programming mode easily and scroll up and down to whatever level I want with the 2 button remote." MrMole
    Remote has proven to be a little glitch requiring use of the mode button on the lighthead to shut the light off sometimes.
    Long term durability test - owned for less than a year

    7 up review thread

    The last recommended light is the BL70s.

    Pros
    Warm tint
    More throw than the bt40s
    Wide beam with no hotspot
    User interface
    Great beam pattern
    Very bright

    Cons
    It isn't as popular since it hasn't had a thorough review by the regulars here at mtbr.com. I do not know the specific lumen output.

    Thread on BL70s here

    Other contenders
    There is a clone of the BT40s on Amazon.

    BT40s Clone Pros
    11 dollars cheaper than BT40s as of this post
    Amazon return policy and faster arrival

    Cons
    Worse thermal path due to the sleeve over the body.
    Mount breaks like the BT40s.
    Currently out of stock

    KD2 $15.98

    KD2 Pros:
    Best user interface of the Chinese lights. 10 step programmable driver
    Bright
    Low price $15.00

    Cons:
    Bad thermal path - modding necessary to control heat
    Not waterproof

    KD2 review thread

    BL2S

    The Bl2s is a clone of the KD2.

    Bl2s Pros:
    Better thermal path than the KD2
    Bright
    Price $15.00

    Cons
    Same interface as Yinding. 4 modes Low, Med, High, Off
    So if you want to turn your light from high to low or medium you would need to turn your light off before you can access the other modes.

    Review thread doesn't exist for Bls2, but it is mentioned in the KD thread starting with the posting date of 1-14-17.
    Last edited by Rod; 01-12-2018 at 07:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Rod
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    Reserved. Feedback is welcome
    Last edited by Rod; 01-07-2018 at 07:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    Good synopsis. Few bits of information to add:

    The BT40S is also available on Amazon (full kit at least, though I think light head only has been on Amazon in the past). The light head only is best bought through Revtronic's (aka Nitefighter) eBay listing (note it will ship from China).

    As far as mounts for the BT40S, I'd just stay away from the Gearbest GoPro adapter and choose either the aluminum o-ring mount from DX, a Gemini base from Action LED, the quick-release mount from C&B Seen, or a vancbiker aluminum mount (of course).

    Add the C&B Seen lights (specifically the triple emitter) to your listing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    The Bl2s is a clone of the KD2.

    Bl2s Pros:
    Better thermal path than the KD2
    Bright

    Cons
    User Interface is a deal breaker. 4 modes Low, Med, High, Off
    So if you want to turn your light from med to high for a downhill you have to turn your light off before you can access high.
    Wait - to go from Med to High would simply be one press, correct? I think you meant to go from High to Low or Medium would require going through off to get there. Note that this is also how the Yinding operates (so should list as a con for it). Another con for the Yinding is the that the button doesn't protrude much from the case so it can be hard to press, esp. with gloves on. A pro for the Yinding is that it's easy and inexpensive to replace/change the optics to optimize the beam pattern.

    Don't forget the BL70 from KD. I think the reason it hasn't had a lot of attention is because it's never had a real thorough review, but there's enough information in the thread to point to it being a decent option.

    Those are my additions off the top of my head.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  4. #4
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Good synopsis. Few bits of information to add:

    The BT40S is also available on Amazon (full kit at least, though I think light head only has been on Amazon in the past). The light head only is best bought through Revtronic's (aka Nitefighter) eBay listing (note it will ship from China).

    As far as mounts for the BT40S, I'd just stay away from the Gearbest GoPro adapter and choose either the aluminum o-ring mount from DX, a Gemini base from Action LED, the quick-release mount from C&B Seen, or a vancbiker aluminum mount (of course).

    Add the C&B Seen lights (specifically the triple emitter) to your listing?



    Wait - to go from Med to High would simply be one press, correct? I think you meant to go from High to Low or Medium would require going through off to get there. Note that this is also how the Yinding operates (so should list as a con for it). Another con for the Yinding is the that the button doesn't protrude much from the case so it can be hard to press, esp. with gloves on. A pro for the Yinding is that it's easy and inexpensive to replace/change the optics to optimize the beam pattern.

    Don't forget the BL70 from KD. I think the reason it hasn't had a lot of attention is because it's never had a real thorough review, but there's enough information in the thread to point to it being a decent option.

    Those are my additions off the top of my head.

    -Garry
    Thanks Garry. That's exactly what I needed to hear and you're right about the button. I'll get it updated. Mole's C&B lights are a great value. I'll reword the BL2s as well. If it isn't a deal breaker on the yinding, it shouldn't be a deal breaker on the bl2s. I'll have to go through the bl70 thread again. It's been awhile since I read it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Thanks Garry. That's exactly what I needed to hear and you're right about the button. I'll get it updated. Mole's C&B lights are a great value. I'll reword the BL2s as well. If it isn't a deal breaker on the yinding, it shouldn't be a deal breaker on the bl2s. I'll have to go through the bl70 thread again. It's been awhile since I read it.
    I think with some more input this thread could become a sticky!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Good synopsis. Few bits of information to add:
    As far as mounts for the BT40S, I'd just stay away from the Gearbest GoPro adapter and choose either the aluminum o-ring mount from DX, a Gemini base from Action LED, the quick-release mount from C&B Seen, or a vancbiker aluminum mount (of course).
    -Garry
    Definitely agree to stay away from the Nitefighter adapter from gearbest. They need to be modified to work with the BT40s + had one fail on a larger BT70 after a few rides (mount tab cracked). I've been using the C&B Seen QR mount. Only other mount I can think of not mentioned I know will work is the strap mount off a L&M Taz series light. $16 price is a bit high but works well on all size bars.
    Mole

  7. #7
    Rod
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    Updated the post. Hopefully, it's getting to be a little more useful so the regulars can start pointing people here and newcomers won't be overwhelmed. The C&B lights seem like the best Chinese light at the moment. I would like to see them in neutral white and the programming glitch updated. They're still a great value though. The Yinding and BT40s may have lost the throne.

  8. #8
    Rod
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    bumping to the top so users can find it easier

  9. #9
    what a joke
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    Hey All, just wondering if the lights listed in this thread are still the best of the current crop?

    I have had a Lupine Edison10 HID many years ago, a few Magicshines, a Troutie 7up (needs repair) Execcon S12 for the last few years. I like the Execcon S12 on my helmet as its had great throw and the Magicshine MJ80? on my bars. I usually run all my lights on medium for battery life and longevity overall. I need to buy lights for my kids and wife who want to get into night riding.

    I just purchased a BT40s Nitefighter and a Brighteyes 1600. Have done one ride with these and both seem ok for the money. Had the BT on the bars and the BE on my helmet. I will swap the lens in the BE to the flood and try it on the bars and head for my next ride. Are the C&B seen 1900 and 3000 significantly brighter than the BT and BE?

    I have been doing a weekly group night ride for the last 15 years. Quite a few guys run the sub $40 lights that last a year or two then die. I prefer to spend a little extra as they seem to last significantly longer.

    We ride mostly single track, but some fire roads and country roads depending on each ride.

    Thoughts?
    blah blah blah

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder View Post
    Hey All, just wondering if the lights listed in this thread are still the best of the current crop?

    I have had a Lupine Edison10 HID many years ago, a few Magicshines, a Troutie 7up (needs repair) Execcon S12 for the last few years. I like the Execcon S12 on my helmet as its had great throw and the Magicshine MJ80? on my bars. I usually run all my lights on medium for battery life and longevity overall. I need to buy lights for my kids and wife who want to get into night riding.

    I just purchased a BT40s Nitefighter and a Brighteyes 1600. Have done one ride with these and both seem ok for the money. Had the BT on the bars and the BE on my helmet. I will swap the lens in the BE to the flood and try it on the bars and head for my next ride. Are the C&B seen 1900 and 3000 significantly brighter than the BT and BE?

    I have been doing a weekly group night ride for the last 15 years. Quite a few guys run the sub $40 lights that last a year or two then die. I prefer to spend a little extra as they seem to last significantly longer.

    We ride mostly single track, but some fire roads and country roads depending on each ride.

    Thoughts?
    Shameless plug here, but you mentioned the Bright Eyes specifically, it is what is used to compare in this video: https://youtu.be/IBcJUYLPYSo?t=49s

    I developed, engineered the lights myself, and assemble them in-house; not an overseas supplier, and guarantee the product for a 30-day return-it-if-you-aren't-happy deal, and 3 year warranty.

  11. #11
    RAKC Industries
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder View Post
    Hey All, just wondering if the lights listed in this thread are still the best of the current crop?

    I have had a Lupine Edison10 HID many years ago, a few Magicshines, a Troutie 7up (needs repair) Execcon S12 for the last few years. I like the Execcon S12 on my helmet as its had great throw and the Magicshine MJ80? on my bars. I usually run all my lights on medium for battery life and longevity overall. I need to buy lights for my kids and wife who want to get into night riding.

    I just purchased a BT40s Nitefighter and a Brighteyes 1600. Have done one ride with these and both seem ok for the money. Had the BT on the bars and the BE on my helmet. I will swap the lens in the BE to the flood and try it on the bars and head for my next ride. Are the C&B seen 1900 and 3000 significantly brighter than the BT and BE?

    I have been doing a weekly group night ride for the last 15 years. Quite a few guys run the sub $40 lights that last a year or two then die. I prefer to spend a little extra as they seem to last significantly longer.

    We ride mostly single track, but some fire roads and country roads depending on each ride.

    Thoughts?
    Fyi the bright eyes is far from 1600 lumens, it's about 800-900.

    All those lights listed above are all part of the "Chinese lottery". Which means if you get a bad one your stuck with it (little to no warranty support). Early versions of all of them were solid but that as always changed after a year or 2, price and quality both tank substantially, the "brand" enjoying the profits from sales do to good reviews of the first production runs.

    Not saying you cant get a good one that lasts but if you dont...

    You dont have to spend big bucks to get a solid light (even the high end ones have short comings) but looking more into the $75-200+ range you get proper stateside support, 2-3 yr warranties (and very low cost crash repair), lights that will hold up much better and specs will be honest, not completely false. So you know exactly what your getting for you money.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder View Post
    Hey All, just wondering if the lights listed in this thread are still the best of the current crop?

    I have had a Lupine Edison10 HID many years ago, a few Magicshines, a Troutie 7up (needs repair) Execcon S12 for the last few years. I like the Execcon S12 on my helmet as its had great throw and the Magicshine MJ80? on my bars. I usually run all my lights on medium for battery life and longevity overall. I need to buy lights for my kids and wife who want to get into night riding.

    I just purchased a BT40s Nitefighter and a Brighteyes 1600. Have done one ride with these and both seem ok for the money. Had the BT on the bars and the BE on my helmet. I will swap the lens in the BE to the flood and try it on the bars and head for my next ride. Are the C&B seen 1900 and 3000 significantly brighter than the BT and BE?

    I have been doing a weekly group night ride for the last 15 years. Quite a few guys run the sub $40 lights that last a year or two then die. I prefer to spend a little extra as they seem to last significantly longer.

    We ride mostly single track, but some fire roads and country roads depending on each ride.

    Thoughts?
    Here's a link to a thread I posted in about the C&B Seen 1900.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-night-...p-1059474.html

    Pretty much any information I have on this light will be in that thread. I also own the 3000 version but prefer the 1900. If you want a 2000+ actual lumen bar light the 3000 is a great deal but that's more light than I can use on the bars and I don't care for the 3000's beam pattern as a helmet light. If you have any specific questions on these lights I'll be happy to try to answer them!
    Mole

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