Looking for a budget light set.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Looking for a budget light set.

    I've been tempted to start night riding by a buddy of mine and looked around on ebay for a set of cheap lights but the amount of choices is overwhelming. I'd like to spend less than $75 for a setup and my criteria are a rear blinky that can be transferred between my cross bike and mountain bike, a handlebar mounted light with a battery pack that is swappable in case I ever decide to do night races (plan on buying extra batteries later and swapping them between laps), and finally a helmet mounted light. I will primarily be using this for my mountain bike and maybe my cross bike. Obviously I don't expect to have the greatest set of lights at this price point. I just want to test the waters to see if night riding is something I want to get into and it would be nice to have them for some night races.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    The most important purchase are the 18650 cell battery packs. It's worthwhile to spend more on a better battery pack and save money on the light itself. You can find Panasonic (best) or Sanyo (second best) four cell packs on ebay and purchase your headlight separately. Make certain though the connectors between battery pack, recharger, and headlamps are compatible.

    For night mtb riding I have one headlight on the handlebar and another mounted on the front of my helmet, both are spot-beams. Of the two the helmet mounted light is more critical because you need to have light in the direction of your gaze, for example when you hallucinate that a mountain lion or bear is directly behind you. In my opinion you don't need multiple emitters on your lights. One emitter is enough. It's highly desirable to have more than hi-low and strobe modes. What you really need are useful medium and low power modes. Two medium powered lights each of about 500 lumens is all you really need for typical off road use, and the low power mode is good for repair work. The high-power mode is useful for fast descent road rides. The o-ring mounts work fine if your bars are 31.8 diameter but they can swivel off aim on smaller bars.

    For a rear light I recommend the rechargeable Cygolite Hotshot.
    Last edited by esXso; 02-22-2015 at 04:50 PM.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004

    $75 is a little tight considering you want two lamps and a rear blinkie. For a little over $100 you can buy two lamps with considerable output and two decent batteries. Best to buy the batteries separate if you are buying Chinese made lamps.

    Only you can decide what type of lamps you want. Lots of choices; multi vs. single emitter lamps....Reflector vs. Optics....programmable vs. non-programmable...Weather proof vs. weather resistant.

    You need to read some of the threads on some of the newer Chinese made lamps. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Thanks for the responses. I'll be getting the cygolite for the rear for now. I'll do some more research on a bar mounted lamp and battery packs. I guess the last purchase will be the headlamp.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    I would highly recommend you jump in on the Yinding group buy GJHS got started. I'd also suggest choosing the neutral white version. (See the Yinding thread.) I only bought a lighthead, but others vouch for the battery in the full set being okay. The Yinding is perhaps the best Chinese bike light out there right now.


  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Does the code "Yinding" still works for the discount coupon on gearbest.com or has it expired? Don't see where the've added the options for red or blue anodizing yet either, huh.

    Also wonder where those batteries are coming from with the Yinding complete package. Anybody here know if the Yinding factory supplies them or does GearBest just throw them in?

    My Neutral White Yinding light head does have the best color and smoothest beam pattern of any in my collection. Only little niggle is the difficult to press power/mode button. May not be the absolute brightest bicycle lamp out there right now but suppose it is purposely a bit underpowered, because of its tiny case and the heat thingy. Upside is that even on High it gives great run times. How many real lumens does it pack, has that been established here? I forget already.

  7. #7
    EMBA Member
    Reputation: Ladmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by esXso View Post
    The o-ring mounts work fine if your bars are 31.8 diameter but they can swivel off aim on smaller bars.
    I wrap my bar with an old tube, then attach the light over that. Holds position better that way. I'm thinking of just wrapping some gorilla tape around the bar for a more permanent solution.

  8. #8
    Me Worry?
    Reputation: OldTiGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    For $39 you could get a - Bright Eyes Bicycle Lights

    Why I recommend them -

    A tail light and helmet mount are included.

    Lifetime warranty on the light itself, 1 year on the batteries.

    U.S. based customer service - they replaced an underperforming battery pack (2.5 hr on high, supposed to be ~3hr) for me no questions asked.

    It's a very good Magicshine MJ-808 clone. The one thing I dislike about it was the O ring handlebar mount (which all these lights use). I kept having to readjust it on the trail. I solved it by doing this - FAQLoad - Magicshine (and clone) better bar mount. Now the light mount is rock solid with the added bonus of being instantly removable. This setup works perfectly for me on the trail.
    Last edited by OldTiGuy; 02-25-2015 at 10:30 AM.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Not to mention this package that PHeller here discovered on Amazon, the KD version of which ledoman recently reviewed:

    Amazon.com : Mudder® CREE XM-L L2 2-LED 1200LM 3-Mode Flashing 10-Level Brightness Adjustable Rechargeable Headlamp with Battery Pack & Charger Set for Outdoor Cycling, Hiking, Camping : Sports & Outdoors

    Dunno anything about it myself but for $22 complete, seems a steal. Even if a dud still covered by Amazon. Add in the Cygolite and free shipping.

  10. #10
    Stand back
    Reputation: dbabuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I am happy with my Bright Eyes light, but plan to add a wide beam lense and a 2nd light for my bars.

    IMO, one light is plenty bright enough for night riding (and so much brighter than the Nite Rider I paid 5x for 14 year ago), but for the price, why not.

    I think I'll also try that Hope bar mount, too. Thanks for the link!
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