How to make cheep Chinese lights brighter-
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  1. #1
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    Dec 2014

    New question here. How to make cheep Chinese lights brighter

    I recently bought a backup torch, which features 7x Cree XM-L T6 Lights. It also came with a pack that features 4x18650 batteries. The light is bright, and never overheats. However, I was a little dissapointed with the brightness, seeing as the XM-L T6 are rated to produce about 800-1000 Lumens @3A.

    I doubt that I am able to pull 21A from my current battery!!, and it probably does not even bull 6A. However, I was wondering, is there maybe a way to supply the drivers with more current?

    Could I use something like a high spec 2 cell lipo (nominal 7.4V Fully charged 8.4V) to power the torch. My current battery charger also charges with 8.4V. Otherwise, could multiple battery packs in parallel be able to supply more current?

    Or, could it be that there is some current limiting circuit in the torch??

    I feel like this light could go alot brighter than it is now, its barley warm to the touch right now, and with 7 cree XM-L T6s, I feel like I should be seeing at least 4000 Lumens, while I feel like the light is outputting closer to 2000 Lumens right now.

  2. #2
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    Apr 2012
    There is a whole chain of things that limits the power to the leds. Starting with batteries (tipicaly 18650 Li-Ion cells), PCM on the battery pack, to thin wires, connector, length of wires, driver and its efficiency, wires to the leds, heatsinking,...

    It would be good to publish the link to the light description and pictures so we would know about which one you are talking about.

    I'm shure the driver is also limiting factor, but intentionaly because most elements are very likely not suitable for higher power and heatsinking is poor. To know better you would need to open the light and inspect internals. Sharp macro pictures would be good source to start discussion.

    I bet you have only 22AWG wires. They are to thin. If you want more power to the leds you need at least 20AWG wires.

    Li-po battery pack could help, but I've never tried one. Using two pack would be also better than one, but you would loose some energy in additional wires and connector. I would advise you to use quality 6 cell battery pack. If you are handy you can build one by yourself. To get some ideas you might read this.

  3. #3
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    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    I've used some RC car batteries with my cheapo cree lights, and no light difference than the stock battery. I think a lot of it is with the individual lights. The emitter, the driver, the wire, the solder. For the price, the quality control isn't that consistent. If it works well and you think it puts out enough light to ride, I'd stick with it. If you want a brighter light, have to spend money for a good light.

  4. #4
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Dont try to push much more light out of it, itll overheat rapidly. The reason for using more emitters at lower current is because generates more light with a lot less heat issues. What a light pushs for amps is limited by the case. You try to push those to 3amps each you'll fry the entire light in a matter of minutes if it takes that long to fry.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    Sounds like your describing a 7x Skyray King. Your best to read the mod threads on the Skyray King over at Home | .


  6. #6
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    May 2015
    How much were the cheap lights? I just bought some for $80 3000 lumen.With a run time of 2.5 hours. I haven't gone on a ride that long at night yet so I can't vouch for the run time but they are bright, especially having two of them. I did buy some 1600 lumen light but they were more of a spot light and the diffuser seemed to reduce the lumen output. The ones I bought were almost twice as much but also almost twice the brightness. Here is the link where you can compare it with the light you have currently.
    StupidBright SB3000 LED Bike Light Set: 3000 Lumen LED - SEALED Battery & Helmet Mount Option

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    With my limited upgrade experiences, I have found that if you start with a good quality Chinese light that is a great starting point.. then buy two of them, cos you are bound to mess one up.

    That said, I chose to check and upgrade any wiring issues.. then I replaced the driver and in my case that cost more than the light but was well worth it.. then heat sinking, I went a bit ott.. I used good thermal pads and pastes and added a small coin over the pads to link that more carefully to the metal light body.

    My end result was to take a claimed 3200L, which I did not doubt to a light that was getting a true 3A per LED and the difference is quite amazing.. I added to that a decent RC Battery pack which gives me a good 3-4 weeks of use per charge for my type of both day and night riding (I always have my lights on regardless of time of day).

    In a recent back-back with a new 2015 Lupine Betty with its claimed light did not just out shine it by some margin but the Lupine, while stationary cut off after about 4-5mins where as my light, standing right next to it stayed on and without getting silly hot for about 15mins before stepping down.. out on the ride my light was warm to touch but nothing more where as the Lupine kept stepping down which made me question why they try so hard to make so much light in such a small unit..

    Here is my upgrade link..

  8. #8
    Reputation: tigris99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Good work with a mod but there is a few problems with your post.

    Betty uses optics not reflector, so your light will have a brighter spot without the wide angle coverage of the betty. So regardless if lumens is the same (which lupine dont over exaggerate) or not, yours will appear brighter.

    Secondly is the 3A to the emitters yet claim of barely getting warm. Either thermal path on the light head is total garbage, light head is insanely heavy, or your NOT getting 3A per emitter. The betty though is obviously very much smaller and lighter while producing 5k lumens, so trying to compare is just comparing apples to oranges. Lupine relies on air flow (proper use not testing while standing still) which keeps it cool. Yours obviously relies on shear mass to dissipate the heat.

    Your mod is awesome no doubt about that, but trying to put it off as better than a betty is like trying to say you upgraded a Prius so its better than a Ferrari. And not a dang thing wrong with that, its light output and heat dissipation may very well be better, just you sacrifice mass (weight) to achieve the performance.

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