Help...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio

    It's time to upgrade my lights and I was about to pull the trigger on TrailLed DS lights for my next 24 hour race. There is a long portion of the race that is down hill and it looks like the average speed is between 15 - 20mph. I don't want to outrun the lights so I'm thinking the the DS lights are good.

    However, they're expensive. But they have a 1:1 charge ratio so I only need one spare battery instead of 4 like I have for my current set-up.

    Are there any other lights that offer the same type of real life lumens and runtimes as TrailLed DS's with a 1:1 charge ratio, but at a less cost? I don't see the charge ratio or charge time mentioned very often.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Shoot me an email to the address in my link and I can give you some information on my lights. Been building lights for quite a few years


    In fact, check out these pictures from 2007 I stumbled onto

    Help...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio-old-skool-amoeba-1.jpg

    Help...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio-old-skool-amoeba-2.jpg

    Help...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio-old-skool-amoeba-3.jpg


    Here is the link to a classic thread - http://forums.mtbr.com/apparel-prote...ed-354430.html

    ****

  3. #3
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    1:1 charge ratio....that sole depends on the charger vs the light. Charger needs to output about the same current as the light draws when in use. And that charge ratio can only be related to one mode.

    Probably not the route your looking at but even the budget nitefighter lights have about a 1:1 charge ratio with the charger they come with. Scar is a better option as is talking to action-led-lights.com.

  4. #4
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    Well, everyone I suppose wants different things when it comes to lights but in this case I would think the DS a bit much for a race venue. I'm not dissing the brand but I think having that much weight on the head for a long period would be hard to deal with. The XXX looks like it might be the better choice.

    Battery strategy in a race would depend on a number of factors. Typical times for each lap and typical usage of battery output. Since I can't answer those questions I'll leave that up to you. I figure in a race venue it would be smart not to cut corners but to play it safe and have more than enough batteries on standby.

    Fast charging is an option with any Li-ion battery pack but if you have enough batteries I don't see where it's necessary. If you own a hobby charger you could set the charging current for any battery you currently own. Usually it is not recommended to fast charge a Li-ion battery but if only done a couple times I don't think it would do major damage to the battery. I don't know what kind of cells the TrailLED lamps come with. Maybe they use a chemistry that works better with fast charging.

    Heck, nowadays good typical Li-ion batteries are much more affordable. I would think three or four sets of batteries ( for helmet and bar combo ) for a race would be enough but I don't race so that's just an opinion based on typical run times. With a good hobby charger set-up I would think you should be able to recharge a partially depleted Li-ion battery in 2-3 hrs. depending on how depleted it is. If you have three complete sets of batteries I would think you would be fine. Of course if you don't have the hobby charger you would need to buy one and learn how to use it. My opinion, easier to just have extra batteries. Typical chargers would have at least one set recharged in 6hrs. ( more or less depending on how depleted it is ).

  5. #5
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    The head unit only weighs 100grams so I don't think that will be an issue. They state, and the reviews I've read seem to confirm, that runtimes are 2 hours on full (which I won't use except on the downhill portions) and charge times are 2 hours. I believe 18.5v lithium polymer is what is being used. I was looking at the glowworm xs, which looks nice, but they take 4+ hours to charge (according to the guy I spoke to at action lights) which means I'll need to buy at least 2 additional batteries which negates the price savings.

    Weight is also an issue. I don't want to use a bar and helmet because it's going to add something like 8-10oz's. I know that's not much but over 24 hours, it is...plus it adds complexity, having to have multiple spares, etc. I will have a couple of backup lights available just in case.

  6. #6
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    Omg sorry but the more I read about trailled lights, the more I can't believe the poor performance.

    Use the XXX for base for this
    Xp-l emitters x3, so high is 600 lumens per emitter. Mtbr reveiw did a sphere test which matches up to lumen output prior to optics losses. Xp-l output at current required is ever so slightly above xm-l2. Maybe 75 lumen gain for added cost of xp-ls

    18.1v battery pack for 3 emitters (both ds and xxx use same pack). So OMG CRAP DRIVER EFFICIENCY. Especially when the xp-ls are driven at ~1.5A to reach 600 lumens. Vf of the emitters in series is about 9.6V total. So 50% voltage step down, so heat and wasted power.

    Now how is it 5200mah pack is only 2.5hrs run time.... So a 500mah+ current usage by the driver? seems a bit high especially being the voltage step.

    Use of li-poly battery pack wihtout a proper cases (that I can tell in located pics). And 18.5v (not sure how they get 18.1v) 5200mah for $50.....a quality pack that size used to be $200.

    Charging system is a large balance charger that runs at 2A. Nothing special about it beside balancing (I hope its on balance leads anyway). I have 2x 2A liion chargers that came with my nitefighter lights.

    Way too much money for something like that imho. I can mod a solarstorm x3 to that output and run time for less.than $100 for battery pack, light head and mod parts.
    Last edited by tigris99; 08-21-2015 at 10:13 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    18.1v battery pack for 3 emitters (both ds and xxx use same pack). So OMG CRAP DRIVER EFFICIENCY. Especially when the xp-ls are driven at ~1.5A to reach 600 lumens. Vf of the emitters in series is about 9.6V total. So 50% voltage step down, so heat and wasted power.
    You really don't know a lot about this stuff do you?
    Having a large voltage overhead means your light is in regulation until the battery hits cutoff, so you get constant brightness, it doesn't necessarily mean your efficiency is poor unless you're using a linear driver (that burns off the excess voltage). You can still hit >85% efficiency with a good buck driver.
    eg
    b2Flex Driver Technical Information

  8. #8
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    Znomit, ya maybe 85% which I get, but thats still pushing 10% worse than it could be. Thats extra heat wasted. And were not talking 18V, were talking 21v at full charge. 9.3 or even 9.6V Vf, thats still alot of waste. Could be in the mid 90% range if voltage was down where it needed to be. Thats more heat wasted, hotter running light. That instead could be made into a lot longer run time for the same size/weight pack.



    And the constant output is a very mute point with Li-poly cells. How they act under load is far different (and far better) that our usual Li-ion cells. If it wasnt for the concern of the cost of their battery vs the size of it, Id think it was great. But that big of a Li-poly pack for $50 as me very much questioning quality and safety of the cells. The DS which is 5 emitters on a 5S pack wouldnt drop out of regulation till about the point the battery was "drained" to what should be safe cut off. Where as the XXX the cutoff voltage is pushing 2x that of the needed voltage for the light.



    And After running plenty of lights and testing several, by the time lights drop out of regulation your already pushing into deep discharge of the cells anyway. The extra cells where possible (more referring to Liion than Lipoly but applies to both) are better used in parallel because the load is shared so voltage drop is far less. Which means more of the cells actual capacity is used up on top of the added capacity, before cells drop regulation/cut off.



    Not saying all their lights are wrong, but some things for the price could be done better, and the XXX needs a course correction for the battery.



    One thing I like that they GOT RIGHT, was using Li-Poly cells. Just for that reason, they can supply constant output for pretty much the duration of the batteries charge while running a 1:1 cell to emitter ratio. I may end up assembling Lipo packs for my light use when my 18650s start to die out. But for testing and experimenting with lights, now starting to machine and assemble my own light heads (just to do it), 18650s are a lot less dangerous than Lipos if something goes wrong. But Their batteries (from pics ive found) need to be in a properly protective case. A crash where a stick/rock etc penetrates into or crushes a cell.....could end badly for rider and/or bike.



    Also they took alot of other things into account that were "outside of the box" that others didnt.



    BTW, again not saying lights are bad, just playing a bit of "devils advocate" here since we all critique lights. Though Im with the op, they are really expansive for what you get.
    Last edited by tigris99; 08-22-2015 at 12:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    Are you riding this race solo or as a team? I have done ~6 endurance races (18-24) on teams, and never had issues with getting enough change in my batteries between laps to ride. This is in races with laps varying from 40 minutes to a 24 hour race with laps well over an hour. I always toss my batteries on the chargers immediately after getting done with my laps.
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  10. #10
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    I'm running solo. I've done plenty of 24+ hour races. However, I need powerful lights I won't outrun on long downhills at speed. Tigris99, although I appreciate your feedback, I don't really understand what you're saying...except they're inefficient. Laps are about 1:15 - 1:30. 3 mile climb 8% climb per lap so I can be on low/emergency for that portion. I'd like to get 2 laps between changes...which I could do with the DS.

    The point was, TrailLed DS are expensive, but they are what I am looking for and I only need 2 batteries. With the gloworm XS, I'd need multiple batteries which negates the price difference quickly. According to MTBR they are a realistic 2700 lumens I think at max. and probably 1300 mid. If not TrailLed DS, what? Give me some options.

    Thanks!

  11. #11
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    Sorry too pull off topic, this thread made me really look at trailled lights lol.





    And one thing to glowworm lights, you don't have to buy the glowworm packs (stupidly overpriced). They use what we call the "magicshine connectors". Which from the cheap china crap to some magicshine, xeccon, glowworm, etc use the same connector. So you could get the same 6800mah or even bigger capacity 8.4v packs from xeccon for A LOT less.





    For instance: Glowworm xs light head: $205


    2 10200mah Panasonic packs from xeccon at $70 each- $140


    Charger is under $20 I believe from either place.





    But with the 2 packs from xeccon your talking 3 laps at least between charges, if your conservative and use the glowworm programming so set just enough (and optics to get beam you need which 2 spot optics at least if not 3), 4 laps on a charge will be no problem. Even buy 3 packs and just not worry about charging on the course even running high all night without ever changing modes.



    Granted this is as "simple" as you have to order from a couple places, take a couple test rides to adjust the light where you want it. But an excuse to night ride, 30 mins of your time ordering then programming and trying a couple sets of optics to save a couple hundred...



    Big problem is alot of companies base their offerings on the 2 light, one bars one lid set up. So options are kind of limited if you want to keep the weight down but lumens up especially for a helmet mounted light.

    Edit: Actually thinking more about it based on what I can understand of the course and time assuming 1:30 a lap, your talking 10+ hours of run time only on 2 packs. And that not counting the run time gained by that long climb. So breaking down based on ride time, 2 packs and when u change, throw first pack on charge JUST IN CASE (dont know light vs dark hours for the race/location) and ur good.

    I will tell you 1600 with spot optics on a xs will do alot more than you'd ever think. Its far more about beam pattern and lumens.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10Ways2Sunday View Post
    I'm running solo. I've done plenty of 24+ hour races. However, I need powerful lights I won't outrun on long downhills at speed. Tigris99, although I appreciate your feedback, I don't really understand what you're saying...except they're inefficient. Laps are about 1:15 - 1:30. 3 mile climb 8% climb per lap so I can be on low/emergency for that portion. I'd like to get 2 laps between changes...which I could do with the DS.

    The point was, TrailLed DS are expensive, but they are what I am looking for and I only need 2 batteries. With the gloworm XS, I'd need multiple batteries which negates the price difference quickly. According to MTBR they are a realistic 2700 lumens I think at max. and probably 1300 mid. If not TrailLed DS, what? Give me some options.

    Thanks!
    The TrailLED DS is indeed an interesting product. The reviews look promising. I do question some things though. The lamp is suppose to weigh 100gm. That is extremely lightweight. By comparison the Gloworm X2 is 80gms but it is only two emitters. I don't know what the GW XS weighs but I'd estimate about 110gms. The Lupine Wilma 7 is 370 gm! Don't know how they get the DS so lightweight. The trade off though is that the battery is going to be heavier ( no doubt ).

    I was going to question the beam pattern of the DS but most of the reviews seem to indicate that most people are very happy with the beam pattern. From what they indicate the lamp seems to have very good throw. I guess that means that they are using a nice mix of flood and throw optics.

    There is a common complaint among the users though, basically the mounting. Once set it's SET..DONE. No changing on the fly. Well, that's not particularly good especially when you consider that the mode outputs are SET and also very high-output. With a lamp with this much potential output ( 3000-High/1500-Med ) if you start to get tired your head is going to drop ( at least mine does ). At that point you are not going as fast and the helmet lamp is more pointing down. With typical lamps this is not a problem. You power down the lamp to a usable low or mid-level ( 300-500 lumen ) and/or adjust the angle of the lamp and trudge on. The DS doesn't give you this option. The lamp position is set and mid-level is 1500 lumen. That's too much light if your head is pointed downward. Yeah, you have the emergency 300 lumen level but it would be more usable if you had a bar light in combo. Otherwise 3000 or 1500 lumen pointing down close to the bike is going to wash out the terrain ( in very dry or light-colored terrain ).

    I'd say go for it if you got the money. You can also "rent" the set-up according to the website. I need to look more into that but that sounds like an interesting option. Likely if you rent you also have the option to buy later if you chose to keep the set-up.

    I still think you'd be better with a bar / helmet combo. Use something like the TrailLED XXX ( or DS ) on the lid and Gloworm X2 on the bars. The X2 could be set-up with just a two-cell and pre-set ( program ) ( on race ) for a nice 300 lumen output on low. That's enough for 4hrs of light at that level. Keep in mind with this kind of set-up you might be able to squeeze in another lap before switching batteries. All food for thought.

    Now what would I do in your situation?...good question. Not sure what I'd use for a helmet lamp but I do know I'd go with the Gloworm X2 (neutral leds ) on the bars. I would consider the TrailLED XXX but only if I can get it in the highest output rated neutral bin emitter available. Of course I could use a GW XS on the helmet ( neutral bin ) but then I'd have to get used to using a remote on the helmet. Not sure I'd like that. I already have a Solarstorm XT40 for helmet use but not sure how well a cheaply made Chinese lamp would hold up under race conditions.

  13. #13
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    Solo....got it. What lights are you running now for a baseline?

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  14. #14
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    As Scar suggests earlier in the thread, perhaps contact him and see what he can do for you. Many people on this site report great lights and service. He'll custom build you lights and batteries to suit your purpose.

    Tim

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    The max you can get is about 500 Lumen. The setup i use is the following:

    Shutter PD-8, Son28 or Shimano 3D72 (3N72, 3N80 etc work too) dynamo hub
    Forumslader (forumslader.de) hub charger
    Fenix BT20 Light

    The Forumslader ist not your average buschmueller, etc crap. This baby is many times as efficient as most other solutions out there. On the dynamo hubs mentioned about it will generate about 5-10W of 5V or 12V power (it has 2 90%+ efficiency 3A usb outputs + 1x 5A 12V output) between like 15-30kmh. Overall you are looking at about 25-30Wh of usable energy after conversion -10% for usb/12v output conversion per 100km. In comparison current smartphones like the GS6 hold about 10Wh when 100% charged.

    The Fenix BT20 is the key because it has got a 400Lumen or so mode where it draws about 4W. The Forumslader will easily produce those 4W in pretty much any riding condition. If 200 lumen is enough you are looking at around 2-3W and got 3-5W left for charging the internal battery / GPS device. The BT20 is special in a way that it has a variable power input. It can officially be powered with 12V instead of 9V. The Forumslader will produce you those 12V contentiously.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10Ways2Sunday View Post
    It's time to upgrade my lights and I was about to pull the trigger on TrailLed DS lights for my next 24 hour race. There is a long portion of the race that is down hill and it looks like the average speed is between 15 - 20mph. I don't want to outrun the lights so I'm thinking the the DS lights are good.

    However, they're expensive. But they have a 1:1 charge ratio so I only need one spare battery instead of 4 like I have for my current set-up.

    Are there any other lights that offer the same type of real life lumens and runtimes as TrailLed DS's with a 1:1 charge ratio, but at a less cost? I don't see the charge ratio or charge time mentioned very often.

    Thanks!
    Let's for the moment leave brands and models out of the equation. What are your current lights and how did they perform in the last few races? What was missing? What is your budget for the new set up? It seems quite open ended - you willing to spend more but then hoping to spend less for a section which may shave a few seconds per lap compared to "ordinary lights".

    I don't know your racing skillset so I will speak as if most reading this is new to 24 hour solo racing. Ride safe consistently and clock up laps one after another rather than sheer speed in certain sections thus mimimizing OTB situations. Switching brightness up and down means inability to calculate how much juice you have left in a battery unless you've done a realtime runtime on that particular race circuit only switching at certain points like clockwork. It is recommended riders stay on one brightness (nothing less than max IMO) from start to finish as that gives you power supply predictability and the science of visual dark adaptation. In short, keep lighting constant and the human eye will adjust (over time) for optimum night vision.

    Many appreciate solo racing is stressful as it is, without possible issues with charging stations ie, charge port availability, charge reliability and battery security - more importantly when one depends on that one spare battery during transition. You should be self sufficient when it comes to power - having absolute confidence your batteries will last the night whether it's 2 or 7 laps. I also recommend people carry a 2-cell back up strapped to the frame which can be used for the helmet or bar as back-up. Most 24 hour racing has about 8.5-10 hours of lighting requirement for Spring or Autumn/Fall when these events are normally held.

    Here is a section of an e-mail I sent to a first time 24 hour participant:

    I have the Scott 2014 results in this link:
    my race result : : 2014 Scott Australian 24hr Mountain Bike Championships . There are screenshots in the attachments.

    I am not sure how many laps you can aim for in this race. Jason English's 32 laps in certainly unattainable. At this time lets work on 20 laps for the entire race.

    So comparing with Solo Male 40+ , #28 Ken Martin - ranked 4 in class: his fastest lap was 0:46:41 Average 1:10:52. From his lap times - he didn't sleep but rather took a few minutes off for rest and refuel every lap. We will work on 1 hour 10 mins average per lap. His lap times for the 20 laps is here: http://my4.raceresult.com/31283/28/Lap%20Times

    The question would be your race strategy. Looks like Ken did 7 laps from noon to dusk. Approximately 6 laps in the night and then finished the race from dawn to noon with 7 more laps to total 20. Time yourself crossing the start/finish line about 11-30-11.45am and you're able to put one more lap in - more laps, higher up the ladder.


    For those who want to get into 24 hour racing, I think a PM to TiGeo would serve your best interest. He's a Do-er. I am mostly in the brightness and power supply department. That said, look after the organic being. Hydrate, eat, rest and repeat and keep clocking up those valuable laps. It's not no much about speed, but consistency. The tortoise WILL triumph over the hare.....in 24 hours.
    Leonard - All things Xeccon + Beyond
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    .... That said, look after the organic being. Hydrate, eat, rest and repeat and keep clocking up those valuable laps. It's not so much about speed, but consistency. The tortoise WILL triumph over the hare.....in 24 hours.
    I'm inclined to agree. I still think a helmet/bar combo is the way to go, particularly if they are both programmable. That way you get to program the modes to get the efficiency that will best serve your needs. In some situations I can get by with just 150 lumen ( or less ) but a lot depends on terrain. I have a feeling the OP will be using the 300 lumen setting on the DS most of the time. I also think it will probably be a good idea to not even use the 3000 lumen setting if you want any kind of decent run times. Heck, even 1500 is going to be wasteful after 12 hrs on a bike. Downhill or not, at some point I would think that most people won't have the energy to control a bike at high speed so the added light would just be wasted.

  18. #18
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    I wouldn't hesitate to use my current Gemini set up for a solo 24 hour race. I mainly run my lights on full 100% of the time when I ride and don't typically fool with the settings...not saying I don't ever mess with them, but off road I almost always want the brightest setting to ride fast. I can see the value in setting them up at 80% or so to give you a little more run time but again..this is all personal preference. I run a Gemini Duo (bar) and Xera (helmet) and have ridden some v. fast DH sections here and never out run my lights - there are certainly brighter set-ups out there but this one is 2000+ lumens I believe on high..plenty. I would just bring several batteries. For ~10 hours of night riding, I think you could get away with 2-3 sets of basic 4-cell batteries or get the larger capacity ones for more run time. If you have support, you can have them toss the set on the charger when you switch and this should get you through.
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    Quickly - - I've done multiple 24 hour races, even more ultra distance mtb races (250+ miles) and work with one of the top coaches in the industry. I've got my race strategy well dialed in. This difference in this race is that there is a 3 mile, 8% climb at the beginning...I can use minimal light here (I think I'll mount my Fenix ld22 or maybe my pd35...they'll work a backups also). Then there is basically 8 miles of downhill, much of it open. In my opinion, unlike other races, being able to maintain top speed at night on this downhill is a significant advantage in this race. So agreed, consistent lap times are important. To do that, I'll need good lights.

    My current light set-up depends on the race. I've run with 2 ld22's, I have a k-lite dynamo set-up I'll use in combination with my pd35 and I have a magicshine. (the k-light set-up is awesome but requires about 4 watts decrease in power)

    So really the question is about downhill. It sounds like maybe a 2000 lumen with a good beam pattern may work. Understanding all of this, what brands and lights would you guys recommend.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by 10Ways2Sunday; 08-24-2015 at 09:16 AM.

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    ...or maybe I purchase something like the trailled xxx and run it on my helmet with my pd35 on the bar. The pd35 runs at 960 lumens max. It would provide a really good spot too, I believe, and I could easily carry a spare 18650. That would give me around 2700 lumens total plus more flexibility. What do you think?

  21. #21
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    Hell if you want to go dual, visit mtbrevolution.com. They'll get you fixed up with everything you need. A flashlight your gonna be carrying more than one spare, on high you'll only get an hour out of the flashlight per cell.

  22. #22
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    Okay, just wanted to update this thread as I have been swapping emails with 10Ways2Sunday. It really helps to understand the users requirements. Since the majority of the course is downhill, I am suggesting one of my triple Amoeba set-ups with Vancbiker's GoPro adapter and using the new Cree XP-L High Intensity LED's for a little extra punch and 2 5200mah four cell Li-Ion packs. Light head measures
    2.25" long x 2.25" wide x .75" tall and weighs about 75 grams. The 4 cell Li-Ion battery packs are the size of a bi-fold wallet and fit nicely in a jersey pocket. Two 4 cell batteries should take charging out of the equation. Or you do multiple 2 cell batteries and add charging to the equation.



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  23. #23
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    ^ This is an awesome setup!
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  24. #24
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    Trail led has an upgrade a program too. One of the reasons I bought the xxx.



    =Tapatalked on the go=

  25. #25
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    I have a couple questions about the XXX and the Amoeba triple: Can anyone tell me if any of these can be ordered with "Neutral emitters". Since Scar mentioned that his could be built with the new XP-L ( High Intensity ) emitter I couldn't but wonder if there is a neutral ( 4500K ) version of the XP-L HD yet. (?) If not there is also the XM-L2 T6 3C ( or XM-L2 U2 4C ) which should do a good job of providing "neutral" tinted lighting.

    Anyway, would be nice to see one of these 3-up lamps using neutral LED's n actual use. The Solarstorm X3 ( neutral ) I have has a decent output but is likely under-driven due to poor heat sinking.

    Scar, you have any estimate on how much light your triple puts out and can you get neutral emitters?

  26. #26
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    Hey Cat, I will build with whatever tint you want. Cree XP-L High Intensity are available in 6200K, 5700K, 5000K, and 400K.

    What exactly are you guys calling "neutral"? I thought it was 5000K-5700K?

    I would set the LFlex driver to 2500ma output on max for the triple. Will let you estimate lumens


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    3-4c tint which seems to range from just above 4k to 5k.. I think that's the excepted range of NW. I think for snow 4000k is a good tint, I have 5000k triple that tint matches 3c almost dead on. 3c is what we all aim for, 4c some think is a bit yellow but i like 4c-5a-c when its shining on something white.

  28. #28
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    Here's my xxx

    Help...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio-uploadfromtaptalk1441510410038.jpgHelp...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio-uploadfromtaptalk1441510443704.jpgHelp...24 hr race lights with 1:1 charge ratio-uploadfromtaptalk1441510471714.jpg

    =Tapatalked on the go=

  29. #29
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    Oh scar, need to know if your running in series or parallel

    My guess is 2000 lumens (after loss) on max.

  30. #30
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    Trail LED

    Sorry I missed this thread, but I would like to say unlike normal internets there is a lot of misinformation going on here I am not going into details, but I will confirm a few things.
    1.Yes the DS light head is 100 grams. Maybe a little less now.
    2. Yes the charge ratio is 1:1
    3. Yes we use a neutral color temp of 5700k which is a pure daylight white and have the lab tests to prove it.
    4. We get efficiency of above 90%
    5. The patented shape eliminates the need for a bar mount and I have the 24 hour race reviews to prove it.
    6. These were purpose built for 24 hour racers as I am one myself, and we have lap time plots to show how much our lights help in maintaining consistent lap times through the night, especially when you see the wizards around 3-4 am.
    If you have other questions you can contact us at [email protected] or respond here as I am now tracking this thread.
    Last thing our original Darkstar won the best of MTBR award back in 2010 and we are hand built in the USA. No compromises.
    P.S. sorry if I missed anything as running a small business is a continual 24 hour race in its own regard sometimes and have been up for more than a bit at this point.

    Thanks

    Grady
    Owner
    Trail Led
    Last edited by zen bicycle; 09-06-2015 at 05:21 AM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    Hey Cat, I will build with whatever tint you want. Cree XP-L High Intensity are available in 6200K, 5700K, 5000K, and 400K.

    What exactly are you guys calling "neutral"? I thought it was 5000K-5700K?

    I would set the LFlex driver to 2500ma output on max for the triple. Will let you estimate lumens


    ****
    About the "Neutral tint" range. I'm not sure but I think a lot changes with bin level ( T-6, U2, U3..etc. ) so like the designation ( 3C or 4C ) is not always going to tell you what you need to know. Not to mention there are other bins listed as neutral as well. Temperature range ( in Kelvin ) is more important. I have a XM-L2 U2 3C rated at 4700-5000K. It is ( supposedly) the top of the neutral range but since I have one of those I can tell you first hand it is so white it is almost cold white. This might have to do with the U2 bin, a brighter bin.

    The neutral Solarstorm XT40 I have is supposedly using XM-L2. I'm guessing it is a T6 3C but really I don't know for sure. I do know it is a very nice tint I would consider neutral. Right now I'm thinking 4200-4500K is the preferred temperature range but without visual verification on a known bin I don't know for sure. Before I spend a couple hundred on a better lamp I need to test the different bins myself so I know for sure what I want.

  32. #32
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    Now Im curious on the emitter:

    Xm-l2
    Xp-L either HD or HI
    Xp-g2

    But your post referred to a non-existent emitter, xp-l2 so assuming you meant xm-l2.

    That's assuming you use cree emitters (which are hard to beat) so im going to say xp-l. Which is nothing more than a xm-l2 (but bit higher output). And XP-L HI is just a dedomed xm-l2. Which give xp-g2 throw but about 20% more output.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle View Post
    Sorry I missed this thread, but I would like to say unlike normal internets there is a lot of misinformation going on here I am not going into details, but I will confirm a few things.
    1.Yes the DS light head is 100 grams. Maybe a little less now.
    2. Yes the charge ratio is 1:1
    3. Yes we use a neutral color temp of 5700k which is a pure daylight white and have the lab tests to prove it.
    4. We don't use an XP-L2 emitter we use something better for longer throw while keeping our smooth even beam pattern.
    5. The patented shape eliminates the need for a bar mount and I have the 24 hour race reviews to prove it.
    6. These were purpose built for 24 hour racers as I am one myself, and we have lap time plots to show how much our lights help in maintaining consistent lap times through the night, especially when you see the wizards around 3-4 am.
    If you have other questions you can contact us at [email protected] or respond here as I am now tracking this thread.
    Last thing our original Darkstar won the best of MTBR award back in 2010 and we are hand built in the USA. No compromises.
    P.S. sorry if I missed anything as running a small business is a continual 24 hour race in its own regard sometimes and have been up for more than a bit at this point.

    Thanks

    Grady
    Owner
    Trail Led
    Glad to see some feedback. I'm assuming you had a type error on #4? What emitter are you using? You said the emitters you use are "Neutral white" (?) [email protected] 5700K ?...

    Unfortunately the designation "Neutral White" has changed over the years. Three years ago I would of called 5000-5700K "Neutral White" because it is a very plain white without any over-tones of green or blue.

    The people who are now seeking a "Neutral white" emitter are seeking something that is a bit warmer but not TOO WARM. 4000-4500K I would consider "Neutral White". Anything lower and I would call it "Warm White.

    The Cree XP-L HI is available in a 4000K tint and is call "Neutral White". XP-L HI at 5700K is being called "Cool White" by Digi-key.

    I should mention here that I am using for ( tint ) reference the emitter that was supplied me by Mountain Electronics for a torch I ordered. I ordered the XM-L2 U2 3C, that was rated at 4700-5000K. They called this bin "Neutral White". Looks like I made a mistake with my order because I thought that "3C" was an indication of a neutral bin. I read the temperature rating on the website and ignored it, my bad. The 4C was rated ( same emitter ) at ~ 4500K. The 3C just looks too white to my eyes so unless they made a mistake with my order and gave me the wrong emitter, I'm going to go by the Kelvin temperature rating for now on. FWIW, I feel the designation "Neutral White" is sometimes misrepresented.

    @Grady; About the XXX or other lamps you sell; are you able to take special orders for those who might want a different emitter? For the record I am considering a better lamp for the helmet but I want the emitter tint I feel that will supply a true ( 4000-4500K ) Neutral white tint.

    Right now I have 4 bike lamps and 3 torches that use "so called" neutral white emitters. All have been bought within the last year and all are what I would call "neutral white". Only the torch I just bought from Mountain electronics seems to be too white.

  34. #34
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    Cat, you have asked for neutral white for years, and keep changing the color temperature down in K. Once you get too yellow below about the 5000k range you get some interesting stuff, what I forgot to mention is that we have a high CRI at 5700k so maybe pure daylight white is a better way to describe the bin we use. CRI is just as important if not more important than color temp to some degree as it is a measure of how our eyes are able to see more or less.

    Yes I misread #4 and have replaced with different information.

  35. #35
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    We have the same conversation issues in the automotive world with HID's. Not that it correlates 1:1 but the general consensus is 4300-4500K is natural daylight. This will have a hint of yellow. I think the XXX lighting color temp is rather nice, which is more pure white.

    Does it look good to you? then 4500k/5500k doesn't matter much. A lot will depend one your eyes and what you like.

    ... and the kid in me just digs the green glow after turning them off.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle View Post
    Cat, you have asked for neutral white for years, and keep changing the color temperature down in K. Once you get too yellow below about the 5000k range you get some interesting stuff, what I forgot to mention is that we have a high CRI at 5700k so maybe pure daylight white is a better way to describe the bin we use. CRI is just as important if not more important than color temp to some degree as it is a measure of how our eyes are able to see more or less.

    Yes I misread #4 and have replaced with different information.
    Yes, that's true. When I first began to see the tint ( ~ 5000K ) I liked the fact that is was without over-tones. Back then it was referred to as "neutral white". At that time I had never seen an emitter with a lower temp rating and the Kelvin scale was always something that was used even back when people used halogen.

    Not too many years ago people ( like myself ) were beginning to want emitters outputs that were softer and more reminiscent of the days of halogen. Finally, this year some of the lamp manufacturers began to market lamps using LED's with warmer tones. These LED's were also being called "neutral white" by the manufacturers so this is why there is confusion with the term, "Neutral White" (...so don't blame me.. ). Personally, I think the 4700-5500K range should be called something like "basic white" or "plain white" and the 4000-4500K range be designated as "Neutral white" just to avoid confusion. Sadly though, I'm not the person who sets the standards.

    Anyway, once I saw the output from emitters using warmer tones ( warm but not too warm ) and how they really improved the visual acuity when on trails, I knew I had stumbled onto something great. The warmer tone just lets the user see detail better when on natural surfaces. Not to mention that when used with the right optic set-up there is less reflective surface glare and less reflective glare from particulate matter in the air ( a big plus when using bright helmet lamps ).

    Now here's where things get sketchy; With more lumen output the more you need warmer and warmer emitters. Even when using the new "neutral white" led's if you have too much light in one area the glare factor increases and the output begins to mimic the output from cooler LED's.

    About the CRI scale; Yes, it is another scale use to judge color output ( of which there are many ) but the lighting industry for years has tended to use the "CCT" scale ( Correlated Color Temperature ) which uses the Kelvin temperature scale. Since it is the scale most often used when buying LED's it is what I tend to go by. No scale is perfect as there are always going to be variables when dealing with artificially produced light. CRI might be more useful but unless the user has a real world point of reference when dealing with artificial lighting it really isn't going to be that much more useful than what we already have.

    I guess what it boils down to is this; When it comes to color rendition of LED's or beam patterns of optics, you know what you like when you see it. This of course doesn't mean that there will never be anything better.

  37. #37
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    I have been night riding for a few years and have done a couple of endurance events. I really like the XXX from TrailLED. I was using a MagicShine on my helmet and a second light on my bars. With the TrailLED on my helmet the bar light is now for backup only. I also use the XXX when training at night on the road. On high it is as bright as a car headlight. Great on dark roads, and super for visibility to drivers. Compared to other batteries that I have used (and seen on lighting setups of other riders) the XXX battery is smaller and lighter than most with excellent life.

    The XXX is lightweight, and low profile, so is easy to wear for hours. The light color seems quite neutral to me, no blueness, no yellow cast. I do think that light color is a personal thing.

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