Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40

    Ok Guys

    When we got the green light for the Neutral Yinding build, a lot of people were excited. It opened a new group of Mountain Bikers who preferred Neutral LEDs and they presented great reasons and advantages to go with Neutral.

    The only concern was mixing Neutral tints with cool tints. So I started thinking about making a neutral helmet light and the best I have used is the XT40. So I asked Dora last week if it was possible, and tonight she got the answer that SolarStorm said Yes to building both the XT40 and the X3 with Nuetral LEDs!

    So now it's up to you. Is this something anyone is interested in? Which one or both do you prefer? Is the XM-L2 U2 3C the right tint or is there better?

  2. #2
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    Seems me and you are on the same wavelength.

    Personally I'd like to see a *SolarstormX3 with the neutral LED's using the same driver as the *X3 that you own. I say that because I was very impressed with the first version you had from GB that was using XM-L2 U2. I figure an additional version of the SSX3 using the neutral 3C tint would make an excellent complement to the Duo clone/ Yindings.

    While I still like the XT40 for maximum output the X3 is lower profile and sits better on a helmet. For that matter I wouldn't mind seeing a MS808 clone with XM-L2 U2 ( 3C ). A single emitter thrower with a neutral LED would also give the buyers some choice.

    GJHS, I was going to tell you this in a personal PM but since you started this thread so fast I'll say it here; As far as I know no other Chinese website is offering a neutral version of the Solarstorm lamps using the Cree XM-L2 U2 emitters. Heck, for that matter K/D doesn't even sell SStorms with the standard XM-L2's!

    Since you have good rapport with the Gearbest people you can tell them that if they offer the SStorms with NW leds THEY WILL HAVE A CORNERED MARKET....at least for the time being. Truthfully, I'm surprised at how fast K/D has offered NW Duo clones so they likely won't be too far behind.

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    NITEFIGHTER begin to use neutral white LED for all their products last year, check the lastest model BT21 1800 LUMENS and BT70 2800 LUMENS
    NITEFIGHTER BT40S 4xCree XP-G2 Neutral White LED 1600 Lumens Mountain Bike Light

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    I can't believe I signed up for another light build, oh boy! I have to say though, I'm excited to see the SolarStorm in Neutral LED. I have always said that X3 is one of my favorites, Dora did a great job and yet so far it hasn't gotten as much attention as the XT40.

    I know I had a big part in taking the wants and needs of the forum to GearBest and oh does that make me nervous sometimes, yet it couldn't be done without Dora. It took her to listen carefully and then go to work. If that brings them success, then they earned it and I'm happy for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldens View Post
    NITEFIGHTER begin to use neutral white LED for all their products last year, check the lastest model BT21 1800 LUMENS and BT70 2800 LUMENS
    Very, very interesting. I see no price listings though. I like the 4-mode UI...as long as all LED's are lit for each mode ( referring to the BT70 ). BT70 looks like a monster, very big. The 4-emitter ( XP-G2 neutral ) BT40 looks like a retooled Magicshine MJ-872. With a neutral LED set-up should be interesting. I'd like more info on price and dealers.

  6. #6
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    Hi Cat,

    Yes, BT70 looks big, the size is 52.8mm(Width)x24.5mm(Depth)x37.5mm(Length), weight around 159g without battery and charger. The battery is 4x3400mAh Panasonic 18650 Battery, Charger is 8.4V 2A.
    And i agree with you BT40S looks close to MJ-872. It also uses 4xCree XP-G2 neutral white LED.

    You can check price on Amazon , no dealer in US now...
    NITEFIGHTER BT40S 4xCree XP-G2 Neutral White LED 1600 Lumens Mountain Bike Light

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    I think the reason GearBest isn't getting traction on the SS X3 U2 is that they only offer it with the battery pack.

    For example take a look at the pre-orders on the Neutral Yinding. Right now there are 93 purchases for the light head only vs 23 with the battery pack.

    I think most of the guys who are serious enough to want neutral LEDs, are into things deeply enough to prefer better battery packs than standard OEM for inexpensive Chinese lights. If they offer a light head only version in neutral, sales will take off.

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    Although I went for the Yinding in neutral, my reason for buying the Yinding is exactly why I'm not a fan of the SS X3 or the XT40 series... from what I've seen of the internals they both have very poor heat sinking. If SolarStorm would build these with a proper partition wall between the LEDs and the driver I'd definitely be interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Although I went for the Yinding in neutral, my reason for buying the Yinding is exactly why I'm not a fan of the SS X3 or the XT40 series... from what I've seen of the internals they both have very poor heat sinking. If SolarStorm would build these with a proper partition wall between the LEDs and the driver I'd definitely be interested.
    There is no question that on the "original" Yindings, not the clones, the construction and the heat sinking are great. I have to say, and I haven't taken it apart yet, that my SSX3 from GearBest really hadled heat well without stepping down. It was hot behind the LEDs and cooler at the edges, showing the fins really working. The XT40 on the other hand steps down a lot on high if you don't really provide a lot of cooling. A fan in front of it on Medium wasn't enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    There is no question that on the "original" Yindings, not the clones, the construction and the heat sinking are great. I have to say, and I haven't taken it apart yet, that my SSX3 from GearBest really hadled heat well without stepping down. It was hot behind the LEDs and cooler at the edges, showing the fins really working. The XT40 on the other hand steps down a lot on high if you don't really provide a lot of cooling. A fan in front of it on Medium wasn't enough.
    XT40: Solarstorm XT30 / XT40 - anyone?- Mtbr.com

    X3: Solarstorm x3 XM-L2 U2 - Page 3- Mtbr.com

    X3 looks a bit better because there is more contact between the LED MCPCB and the ledge it sits on, but still it could be so much better. Now are these "real" SolarStorm or clones its hard to know, but I have one of the original X2s before they became very popular and cloned like crazy and it has nice solid pills very tightly press fit into the body and the heat transfer seems quite good.

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    Did the original X3s have press-fit pills like the original X2?

    Can we make sure whatever pre-order deal comes together on the X3 doesn't expire until the end of January / early February? It might save a conversation with the spousal unit, that runs along the lines of "You don't need another light!! You haven't even received the one you ordered in December."

    At least by then I will probably have the Yinding in hand, and can pretend it wasn't a good as I expected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    Did the original X3s have press-fit pills like the original X2?

    Can we make sure whatever pre-order deal comes together on the X3 doesn't expire until the end of January / early February? It might save a conversation with the spousal unit, that runs along the lines of "You don't need another light!! You haven't even received the one you ordered in December."

    At least by then I will probably have the Yinding in hand, and can pretend it wasn't a good as I expected.
    I was wondering that myself, about the pills. I think Garry had one with pills. The heat sinking on these definitely has to be addressed, especially on the XT40. I'm not sure how it works exactly, but I was always under the impression that if they emitters get hot enough it dramatically cuts the lifespan of the lights. I would hate to have to rebuy everything 6 months from now.

    I don't even have the Solarstorm X3 from Gearbest that I ordered a few weeks ago, or the Gearbest Yinding with xm-l2 (A1 ?) emitters. So I'll probably hold off on the neutral stuff until I get a chance to at least try the lights that are still in transit. All these pre-orders are moving a bit too quick for me. I just hope the neutral led's are still an option two or three months from now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
    Did the original X3s have press-fit pills like the original X2?

    Can we make sure whatever pre-order deal comes together on the X3 doesn't expire until the end of January / early February? It might save a conversation with the spousal unit, that runs along the lines of "You don't need another light!! You haven't even received the one you ordered in December."

    At least by then I will probably have the Yinding in hand, and can pretend it wasn't a good as I expected.
    Spousal units need to understand that not all lights are the same. Ask Spousal unit if she has only one type of shoe or boot. This will help to put all things into perspective. Of course if you're dirt-poor and living off of bread crumbs than this likely won't work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    I was wondering that myself, about the pills. I think Garry had one with pills.
    Yep, mine has pills. Not sure if it's an original SS or not (it did come with phillips head screws and not hex heads). Some have been bought without pills too.

    Pic of mine:



    -Garry

  15. #15
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    I'm really hoping to get an SSX3 with neutral (NW) XM-L2 U2 or NW XP-L. Look, if this is going to happen I'd like to see it happen SOON. The new year is almost here and that means that the Chinese New Year is just around the corner ( February 19th ). When that happens most Chinese businesses close down for about two weeks. It would be nice to see the first shipments before that happens.

    I too would like to see a model with the pills but I'd be satisfied with a good MCPCB attached to a pronounced lip that contacts at least 75% of the outer edge of the board. Add to that I'd like to see at least 2A going through each LED. Anyway I hope the Gearbest people can come up with something along those lines. If they do I'll be the first to buy one.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Yep, mine has pills. Not sure if it's an original SS or not (it did come with phillips head screws and not hex heads). Some have been bought without pills too.

    Pic of mine:



    -Garry
    Those pills look like they were somewhat loose fitting? If they aren't a really tight fit there isn't much value since the heat transfer will still be bad. If you can get some thermal paste between the outer edge of the pill and the matting surface of the body that might help.

    On my sample of the SS X2 the pills showed no signs of being removable... I assume they were press fit in place, but I never tried to press them out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    Those pills look like they were somewhat loose fitting? If they aren't a really tight fit there isn't much value since the heat transfer will still be bad. If you can get some thermal paste between the outer edge of the pill and the matting surface of the body that might help.
    Yes, I call them a "loose press-fit". I did put thermal compound around the seats. I can't remember testing heat transfer to say how well it works. I've only had it on high for a few minutes at a time so far.

    -Garry

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    With the New Years Holiday here, I haven't been able to chat with Dora the last couple of days. I haven't seen much interest on this thread so I kind of dropped the idea. If there is interest let me know. I think, like the Yinding, the SSX3 has been so cloned that people are very skeptical about getting one and highly doubtful it will be quality. I'm really happy with the X3 I got from GearBest, I just haven't had the energy or the right tools to take it apart.

    @CatManDo I will hopefully chat with her at the end of the week and if we order, it should only be a week or two. Also, my offer still stands, they owe you that.

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    I think we need to find neutral white companion to the neutral Yinding for the bar. OK, someone would prefer to have Yinding on the bar, but some would like to have even wider beam. I don't own X3 so I can't judge, but from the posts here on the forum it is good candidate for such role. Still, me personaly I would rather see 3up light with TIR lenses where you can experiment with different angle lenses.

    Happy new year to all of you!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    I think we need to find neutral white companion to the neutral Yinding for the bar. OK, someone would prefer to have Yinding on the bar, but some would like to have even wider beam.
    I don't own X3 so I can't judge, but from the posts here on the forum it is good candidate for such role. Still, me personally I would rather see 3up light with TIR lenses where you can experiment with different angle lenses.
    Happy new year to all of you!
    Yes, ideally a parallel configured ( Duo-clone ) 3-up lamp ( similar to the Gloworm XS ) that used optics would be great. Having a less expensive lamp that enabled the switching of optics would be a nice option. Still the present Solarstorm X3 is a pretty good candidate for helmet use because the beam pattern has a moderately wide spot. That said it also has a decent amount of side spill to function well as a bar lamp as well.

    Tonight I played around with my KD2 *Duo clone again while on the job. While I like this lamp primarily for bar use I figure with the right optics it might make a very nice helmet lamp as well. Sadly the KD2 *D-clone doesn't have easy access to the front of the lamp ( no front screws ). Anyone who thought about buying one might want to reconsider if they have any plans on modding. The Yinding might be easier to work with ( assuming the front comes off easier ). Yep, I was going to buy another KD2 D-clone but now I'm leaning towards the Yinding in NW ( for helmet use ) although I'd much rather have the SSX3 in NW.

    Now if find I can service the KD2 without too much problem I might change my mind. The KD2 is pretty bright. With some tighter optics it might work better than the SSX2's ( for helmet use ).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Yes, ideally a parallel configured ( Duo-clone ) 3-up lamp ( similar to the Gloworm XS ) that used optics would be great. Having a less expensive lamp that enabled the switching of optics would be a nice option. Still the present Solarstorm X3 is a pretty good candidate for helmet use because the beam pattern has a moderately wide spot. That said it also has a decent amount of side spill to function well as a bar lamp as well.

    Tonight I played around with my KD2 *Duo clone again while on the job. While I like this lamp primarily for bar use I figure with the right optics it might make a very nice helmet lamp as well. Sadly the KD2 *D-clone doesn't have easy access to the front of the lamp ( no front screws ). Anyone who thought about buying one might want to reconsider if they have any plans on modding. The Yinding might be easier to work with ( assuming the front comes off easier ). Yep, I was going to buy another KD2 D-clone but now I'm leaning towards the Yinding in NW ( for helmet use ) although I'd much rather have the SSX3 in NW.

    Now if find I can service the KD2 without too much problem I might change my mind. The KD2 is pretty bright. With some tighter optics it might work better than the SSX2's ( for helmet use ).
    What tighter optics are you concidering ?
    Hit the trails with your bike and get freaky. :cornut:

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    Cat, KD2 is very easy to dissassemble and change the lenses. You get off the back cover, then you have just two screws to take off the led PCB and you are already at the lenses. Then you can experment with lenses. LED-DNA ones should fit nicely. Once you choose the right lenses, you add thermal paste on the copper layer and screw it tight. I would add some thin (0.1-0.2mm) copper sheet around the PCB. I have plan to experiment with soldering copper sheet at the edge of the PCB. In prior to that I would sand down dielectric layer on the PCB to reach copper layer. This would give you possibility to solder the copper sheet all around the edges. I'll document that when I get to that. I think this should significanly increase heat transfer to the body. Of course everything will get very messy with thermal paste everywhere.
    KD2 should be much better than any SSX2, IMHO. And no strobe mode, too.

    I'm going to get neutral KD2 in a 3-4 weeks so I would compare it with the cool one and to the Yindings. It is just we need to get good 3-up neutral light for the bars.

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    It's true that with two seperate screws to remove the front cover, without messing with any electronics, it's easy to swap lenses on the Yinding. The screws are nice quality and have good threads.

    I was surprised by how well the bar/helmet combo of the two Yindings worked, it had more throw than expected. I was always impressed by the ouput and size of the Yinding, now I'm on board with the original group for build quality and versatility. I tried using it with the supplied headband as a hiking headlamp and was impressed. It's light and bright, with the battery in my pack, I hardly noticed it. I have yet to try the SSX3 up top.

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    Hi guys,

    I just needed a reason to join in and getting a better version of the SSX3 with a warmer tint would definitely be a very good reason

    I modded my cheapo SSX3 (from ebay uk lottery with xm-l2 T6) to my demand of a bar light with a smooth wide beam but still decent throw. So I put TIRs (measures like duo clones) instead of the outside reflectors keeping the middle original. My red driverboard pulls 4,5A so as a parallel led configuration itīs 1,5A for each. I didnīt want to invest much time and machining and did an quick&dirty improvement of the thermal absorption with some cheap copper fittings from the hydraulic department. They fit nicely and are glued in with arctic alumina thermal adhesive. The contact area to the MCPCB is covered with AS thermal compound. For my usual temperatures at nightriding and that specific current its good enough and the body heats up faster.

    Since I managed to reflow my Ultrafire LZZ-U3 (the duo clone with 10-mode driver) to XM-L2 U2-4C 4300-4500K quite easily Iīm thinking of trying this on the 3x MCPCB. I also have some XM-L2 T6-3B 5000-5200K left which I like. A tint matching pair of duoclone helmet light and more powerful SSX3 on the bar is my goal.

    So a good SSX3 offer from gearbest should have separate warmer tint leds with pills and a higher current than my clone - then it should be very interesting. I donīt think we might get TIR lenses at stock and the middle one has a uncommon bigger diameter.

    A good well-lighted start in the new year 4 everybody

    Mike

    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-1.jpg
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-2.jpg
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-3.jpg
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-4.jpg

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    Cool! Thanks for sharing! Which degree TIRS did you use? And the TIRS drop right in?

    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    Cat, KD2 is very easy to dissassemble and change the lenses. You get off the back cover, then you have just two screws to take off the led PCB and you are already at the lenses. Then you can experment with lenses. LED-DNA ones should fit nicely....
    I'm going to get neutral KD2 in a 3-4 weeks so I would compare it with the cool one and to the Yindings. It is just we need to get good 3-up neutral light for the bars.
    Okay, that's good news. I'm going to look around to see if I can find optics and try out a couple different ones. I'm assuming that the OEM ones are likely 15°. I'm thinking maybe a couple 10° or maybe even 6° if I can find one that small. Then I might try mixing, 15+10°, 10+6°..etc. For the bars I might try to find a wider 20° and mix that with the 15°.

    I'm expecting to get the neutral board by next week. I'm a little worried that it might be a bit underpowered, we'll see.

    About the KD2 vs. SSX2, I want to do a direct comparison using the OEM set-ups. I too think the KD2 might be better/brighter. If I can switch to some tighter optics on the KD2 then it would be more an apples to apples comparison. Right now I already know the KD2 has a VERY wide and even beam pattern at distance. If I can focus a little more of that intensity in a smaller area ( for helmet application ) than it might turn out to be quite awesome.

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    @Garry

    I am using the TIRS from my LetterFire duo, thatīs actually the housing of the 10-mode driven simplified clones that ledoman reviewed as KD 2 x Cree XML-U2...

    I have a comparison to 25° TIR which are sold as spare parts, so I assume itīs a 25° version or maybe at most 30°. I have to get into the field of optics to learn more about the effect of the hole in the middle of these original lenses, the beam looks somehow "better". And they donīt have the tiny feet at the base which disturbed the beam in my experiments at a particular distance led dome to TIR base.

    They fit in after I grinded off just a little bit of the outer rings to accommodate them together with the center glass. The outer cover plate moved about 1mm outside, but now its even tighter and better sealed as it was stock with the glass plates ratteling around.

    Mike

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    I would be in for a neutral white original SSX3 with XM-L2 emitters - headlamp only.

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    OMFG GB is selling the SSX3 XM L2 light head for $25.04, sale ending today. Too bad it's not the Neutral, D'oh! Though at that price how could it not be a fake???

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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    OMFG GB is selling the SSX3 XM L2 light head for $25.04, sale ending today. Too bad it's not the Neutral, D'oh! Though at that price how could it not be a fake???
    Price seems OK, but nothing terribly special considering it is just the light head without batteries or accessories.

    Or who knows, maybe it includes batteries? They don't show any of the accessories but in the description it says batteries included. I think that's probably a mistake.

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    Neutral White SSX3 Light Head on Sale at GearBest?

    Guys, think the SSX3 light head I saw on sale yesterday at GearBest might actually be the Neutral White. Doesn't say so in the copy but one of the links to it reads:

    Solar Storm X3 3 Cree XM L2 Neutral LEDs Low Carbon... $27.98.

    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-image.jpg

    Clicking on the link, it omits any mention of the color but it's at a further discount again:

    Solarstorm X3 3 Cree XM L2 LEDs Low Carbon Water-resistant Headlamp - 2200 Lumens 4 Modes 4 x 18650 Battery $25.04 Promo ends in 00:00:00

    I emailed G/B but have as yet to hear back from them.
    Last edited by andychrist; 01-05-2015 at 11:32 AM.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Solar Storm X3 3 Cree XM L2 Neutral LEDs Low Carbon... $27.98.
    What the heck is "Low Carbon"?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    What the heck is "Low Carbon"?
    LOL! I was about to post the same thing! Maybe it's to say it's "low carbon footprint" because you're riding a bike instead of using your car???

    -Garry

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwarwick View Post
    What the heck is "Low Carbon"?
    Google Translate for "Energy Efficient"?

    That GearBest site is kinda whack but I did receive notification from them today that the [Neutral White] Yinding I ordered from them is preparing for shipment, to go out within the next three to five business days.

  35. #35
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    I checked the ad for the X3. Only the teaser ( pre-sale ) ad says anything about "neutral LEDs". When you open the link nothing in the rest of the ad says anything about the LED's being neutral. On the other hand it mentions the leds being CW ( cool white ). If this is an error in the ad it needs to be corrected. I would not buy one unless the ad is more clearer.

    On the other hand the XT40 is listed there as well. Says nothing about "Neutral" in the teaser ( pre-sale ) ad. On the other hand when that link is opened on the very last line it does mention having neutral LED's. Still, the ads are not clear. Likely they both are neutral but there needs to be a clearer indication that such is the case.

    I have no idea what this , "Low Carbon" is suppose to mean. Likely it is just some sort of "tech-talk BS " added to make the product sound more unique. Than again it could be just something in the translation software that didn't come through just right.

    @GJHS, Anyway, I'd like to order one of the Solarstorms. Anyway to get some confirmation that these are indeed using the XM-L2 Neutral white LED's??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I checked the ad for the X3. Only the teaser ( pre-sale ) ad says anything about "neutral LEDs". When you open the link nothing in the rest of the ad says anything about the LED's being neutral. On the other hand it mentions the leds being CW ( cool white )...
    Yeah but that is just in the old stock imagery they are still using from the XM-L, this is listed in the header as an XM-L2. These cheapo sites are not all that conscientious about updating their pics.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Yeah but that is just in the old stock imagery they are still using from the XM-L, this is listed in the header as an XM-L2. These cheapo sites are not all that conscientious about updating their pics.
    ...the point is, you have contradiction within the ads. Very important to have all the correct information on every line within the product description.

    I understand what you are saying but if you really want to order the product with "neutral white LED's" it would be best to confirm with an e-mail before ordering. I'll be doing this myself unless GJHS or someone else confirms before I order.

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    Ok guys, I spoke with Dora last night and she is ordering the Neutral X3 and XT40. They are listed under presale in the first page of GearBest.com and some have found them as Low Carbon, whatever that means. As always wait a day or so to order since she is setting a coupon that will make the X3 $21.99 and the XT40 $27.99. These are light heads only, the listing is incorrect, no battery is included. I've asked for the listing change yet with them coming back from a weeks vacation, it may be slow.

    The tint will be 3C and I will confirm all tonight and report back.

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    Last edited by GJHS; 01-06-2015 at 12:36 AM.

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    Thanks GJHS!!!

    Now I can't decide between the two models.

    Uh-oh, think I know what's gonna happen.

    Please, somebody stop me before I spend again. Oh noooes!

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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Thanks GJHS!!!

    Now I can't decide between the two models.

    Uh-oh, think I know what's gonna happen.

    Please, somebody stop me before I spend again. Oh noooes!
    I know exactly how you feel. I already have both models in standard white tint so know that either one will do the trick. I went with the new X3 because I just wanted a little more power coming off the helmet to compliment the NW Duo-clone I'm getting. For me this is just another big experiment.

    Unfortunately when the lamp arrives I probably won't be able to do much with it in way of comparisons because where I live the winter is just starting. Matter of fact I am getting the first snow of the year as I write. The best I can hope for is that when it finally does come that there will be no snow so I can play with it outside.

    I can't wait to get the NW lamps! It's going to be fun when the spring hits. Now in the mean time if I can lose that 20lb spare tire I'm carrying it will be even more fun.

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    Yeah Cat it just snowed here too for the first time this winter. Say, the new Gemini clone you're getting, is that the Yinding or this "new"tral KD 4+10-Mode 2200 Lumens jobbie? So you're planning to use one of those as a bar light and the SSX3 on your helmet? Huh. Cause I was hoping to be able to use the new Yinding up top, as it's so light, and from all the shots posted here the beam seems pretty well defined. Is it not high enough powered to use that way in conjunction with an SS? Thought the X3 might go well on the bars because its beam was a bit broad. In case its short hot throw drowned out that of the Yinding, was thinking I could mod one or two of the SSX3 lenses with diffusers, or maybe get narrower angle lenses for the Yinding. But dang, that XT40 looks like a great spot, and reports say it's not too heavy for its size. Geez, just sorted out how I was gonna match all those new lights to my bikes, now it looks like I'm gonna need more heads. D'oh!

  44. #44
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    ^^...Mine is the KD2 Duo clone. Yeah I suppose you can use the lamps anyway you want. I just like the brighter lamp on the helmet as it might have a bit more throw. I just like lamps with optics on the bars.

    An X3 is not really heavy so makes a good helmet lamp. No reason why a Yinding or Duo clone can't work on the helmet as well ( with the right optics ), with that in mind I might get one of the Yindings just so I can play with different optics.

    I choose the KD2 duo clone over the Yinding for the bars simply because it has the 10-level sub menu. Since I sometimes ride without turning the helmet light on the ability to program the bar lamp to help maximize run time can be a big plus. This is one of the reasons why my Gloworm X2 (v3) is still my primary go-to bar lamp. I buy the Chinese stuff just to play around with.

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    I hear you Cat, a thing I like about my three beam MJ-816 is that it has stepless progression in each light combo. First one I owned, would mostly ride on low beams, dimmed down as much as possible to conserve battery power. But the new model with the XM-L2 high beam has me spoiled, it's pretty close to Neutral whereas the satellite XP-Gs are noticeably blue in comparison. So decided to be a big shot and instead of mainly running those little lights at 5%, have gotten into the habit of starting out with all three beams combined, dimmed all the way down to I guess about 12%. Much more comfortable and safer than squinting all the way home. Can easily click and hold up to max brightness and back down again without having to pass through the other modes (which includes off.) So no need to switch into any other combo, save to really conserve power when running low. Anyway that Mickey Mouse MagicShine has just about a perfect balance in beam form and intensity, great throw and super spread. Can't say I need more lumens either though of course I wouldn't refuse any extra. Only sore point like I said is the blue in the side beams; not such an issue in the summer when the sides of the road are lush and verdant but later it becomes difficult to distinguish the dried up beige grass from the crusty grey gravel without running on high the whole time and no 4x18650 would make it the length of my journeys. That's where neutral lights come in and am hoping all the lamps GJHS has lined up for us fellow MTBers will help reveal all the dirt.
    Last edited by andychrist; 01-06-2015 at 03:36 PM.

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    I would say, ultimate, couldn't ask for more would be the X3 on the bars and the XT40 on the helmet. Combined on high, your looking at easily 3000-4000 lumens. Combined with decent batteries, you would get a good 2 hours out of them.

    A more weight weenie and reasonable set up, would be two Yindings. They're no slouch, I was surprised how far that Yinding could throw and maybe the pictures didn't show it well, it was a nice even brightness far afield. I may do some video in the future to help. The Yinding is a sweet light for sure, which is why it's so popular.

    I ran the X3/XT40 combo on low and that was enough light in all the right places for my trail. Too much light is harsh for me and I'm hoping the Nuetrals will take away that glare.

    I have confirmed that the BG neutral X3 will be the same build/components as the BG XML-L2 X3. I have yet to take it apart to confirm the build yet it handles heat well and is super bright. Hopefully Varider or someone will get his soon and dissamble it for us.

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    Question about the interface, as there is only one button on the SSs and the Strobe mode is "hidden;" is there a way to cycle back and forth through H, M & L without passing through Off? Thanks!

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    Ok, good new and not so good news. Dora is changing departments and will no longer be handling lights and flashlights. In her place will be May ([email protected]) who will now handle lighting and all requests and issues. So write her with questions and problems, she is very sweet and is happy to work with us.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Question about the interface, as there is only one button on the SSs and the Strobe mode is "hidden;" is there a way to cycle back and forth through H, M & L without passing through Off? Thanks!
    No, just L-M-H-Off. I requested a different driver and Dora said the factory turned it down. I'm guessing it's not cost effective for them in small batches.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    No, just L-M-H-Off. I requested a different driver and Dora said the factory turned it down. I'm guessing it's not cost effective for them in small batches.
    Thanks GJ. Yeah if you want to be able to hide both Strobe and Off guess you'd need either a two button system like the MJ-880 & clones or a driver that supported both long hold and double-click? Apparently a lot of us really dislike having to cycle through Off or Strobe. Maybe not a deal breaker for everyone but if there were an alternative am sure we'd all jump on it. Was one reason I went for the KD 2xCree XM-L2 U2 Neutral White 4-Mode 2200 Lumens [MagicShine clone] without hesitation. But that was before you'd secured these two GB SSs in NW, in what you attest are original build quality. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

    But after this I'm through.

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    This started by me asking GearBest if they had an XM-L2 SolarStorm XT40 that lead to them building it then also building the X3 in XM-L2. Since I had a willing seller, I asked her to find the "original" Yinding and you know the rest.

    I've said it before, I don't work for GearBest and while I'm happy to help, this has been a bit of work. I was a little nervous while the first couple lights were made, now with the XT40 in the hands of many, a bunch of X3s being sold and confirmation that the Yindings are quality I can relax a little. I have not taken the X3 apart, I don't have the right screwdriver, so I can't guarantee anything except that in testing the light was perfect, no heat issues, no dimming and super bright. I'm counting on Varider getting his XM-L2 soon. Anyone know what screw is on the front?

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    GJHS...I'm hating on you...you are putting too many good deals together that I just can't resist! And the prices and packages are just perfect. Light-head only and amazing prices!

    I already have 3 lights and just bought a 4th (the GB Yinding NW). I have 1 helmet and 3 bikes, so 4 lights is as mcuh as I can have to justify to my wife that I need one per bike...

    Now I want this SSX3 XM-L2 X3 NW. I always wanted the SSX3 since my good experience with the X2, but was fearful of all the bad quality clones in the market, which is why I started modding my other lights.

    Thanks for putting all these together. Much appreciated.

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    Sorry, your math is wrong. 3 bikes with one light on the handlebar and one on the helmet equals you needing two more. So go with X3 and the XT40, both great on a helmet. You don't drive your car with only one headlight, do you? And that's on a smooth road with street lights. Safety first (Hope that helps wife your wife)

    Don't hate on me, click approve and send me some Rep points

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    Yes, thanks again GJ, I am in awe of your deal-getting prowess.

    Few more stupid questions, if anyone here can answer:

    How does the strobe function work, does it come on from hidden mode at the same L-M-H or only at full brightness?

    Also, the SSX3 has two slightly different size lens, right? Is there an elliptic wide-angle available anywhere that would fit one of them in their current incarnation? Wonder if anybody here has already done that mod and posted beam shots.

    There's an elliptic for the XT40 too, n'est ce pas? In the graphics accompanying it on GearBest, it shows the unit set up with both red and blue filters. Are those still availalbe anywhere? Would make a great add-on if the strobe is actually dimmable: pair could be run as tail light and front warning light in the city, and with the addition of a wide-angle, as helmet and bar lamps on the trail. Wonder how easy it is to make the swap-outs.

    Thanks again (and again and again).

    Dang, my wife is going to kill me. And I'm not even married!

  55. #55
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    It sometimes feels a little spooky when Google's AdSense shows links to things you've searched for, or websites you've recently visited. It just showed me a link to GearBest listing the SolarStorm X3 XM-L2 with Neutral White LEDs. The world keeps screaming at me "You Want One!!!" LOL

    Andy: To activate the slow strobe, from any mode, hold the button down for about three seconds. The strobe always uses high & off. To deactivate, a quick press returns the light to the same level it at was when you activated the strobe.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Thanks GJ. Yeah if you want to be able to hide both Strobe and Off guess you'd need either a two button system like the MJ-880 & clones or a driver that supported both long hold and double-click? Apparently a lot of us really dislike having to cycle through Off or Strobe.
    This is why I've been having others work up a custom driver for my ideal light (using the HD-016 as a host).

    My custom driver was to be (from post#12 in that thread):
    ********
    My desired modes are: Low (10%-15%), Medium (40%), High (75%), Turbo (100%) with turbo step down to "high" after +/- 90secs. ImA will be adjusting the firmware to hit levels close to my goals. I wanted a low that wasn't anything like "moonlight" and was enough to leave on while stopped to light up the surroundings. Turbo is intended as generating more heat than the small light body can handle (this is really just a guess) but for those times that you just want a quick boost to see just past the fringes of "high". High at +/- 75% should be around 2.0A per emitter and likely at the limit of heat the body can handle, while yet still providing pretty good runtime on an 8.4v 5200mAh battery pack.

    The U.I. is as follows:

    Blinks once when the light receives power, just to let you know it’s connected.

    From off:
    Short click for low.
    Long press (2 seconds) for strobe.


    While on:
    Short click to increase brightness by one level. Loops from turbo back to low, bypassing “off”. If in strobe, short press goes to high.
    Long press (2 seconds) to turn light off.

    Strobe timing: 4Hz, 20% duty cycle

    My intention was to have "Off" and "Strobe" only accessible intentionally so that a cyclist is never left in the dark, nor accessing stobe while riding.

    *********

    As seen at the end of that thread, we ran into some complications with the firmware with temp. monitoring and controlling the battery status LEDs and now KD has come out with the "KD2 10 Mode Programmable Driver" available separately which we are going to try out.

    The firmware was written. I have it right now in a test light and it works great! We modified the strobe a little (since being programmed in this test light) as it was a little annoying the way it was.

    -Garry

  57. #57
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    I was just thinking some very similar ideas about the KD driver. It is sooo close an ideal bike light interface. With just a few tweaks, it could be stellar.

    A light's user interface has always been just software. Development cost to give us a top notch driver are negligible. It would drive these inexpensive Chinese lights into direct competition with the big guys.

    My thoughts on UI were:
    - Short Click = Move to "higher" mode (1->2->3->1)
    - Double Click = Move to "lower" mode (3->2->1->3)
    - Long Click = Off
    - Extra Long Click = Strobe
    - Extra Extra Extra Long Click = Programming mode

    A really nice extra programming feature would be to set the two values for Strobe mode, similar to how this this driver can set modes 1,2,&3 (eg Off-100% / 10%-50% )

    I'm not sure how I feel about a Turbo mode.

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    Except lines 2 and 4, KD2 driver has already those features.
    Line 2 - no big need, any mode is just two click away.
    Line 4 - you get strobe only from Off, true, but how often do you need it with MTB?

    You don't really need Turbo or very, very seldom. This just complicates UI. It should be keept as simple as possible. The other thing can be with handheld lights. There we can play with modes and features. On the bike you mostly don't have time.

    Of course this is my personal opinion. No push on anyone.

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    Back to these SSX3s and 4s, I notice from the review pics that they come with the screw-together connectors. But the complete set with battery pack and charger is not being offered with the NW lightheads, is that correct? Already ordered mine, is there a place I can get a decent battery box or pack with the matching connector? Have a few spare MagicShine type battery packs around which I hear may be forced on but will not establish a waterproof bond. Plus when my hands are wet or numb I already find it enough of a PITA separating the regular MS battery and light plugs. Thanks in advance.

    Edit: Okay I'm an idiot. Had read that the new SolarStorm battery boxes had been refitted with Magic Shine connectors but a close inspection of the accompanying pics reveal they still have screw threads. So either of the SolarStorm boxes, old or new, should work fine with the SSX3 and SSX4 light heads on offer here. Whew!
    Last edited by andychrist; 01-08-2015 at 05:10 PM.

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    Hey guys. Wondering if the xt40 might be a bit overkill for the helmet and if there is another light you would reccomend instead of it for the helmet, to complement the neutral x3 on the bars.
    Thanks

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    couple of more questions here too.
    1. are the battery packs offerd by gearbest.com good as well or is it better to go somewhere else
    2. what are the benefits of neutral lights?

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    Quote Originally Posted by murrdogg11 View Post
    Hey guys. Wondering if the xt40 might be a bit overkill for the helmet and if there is another light you would reccomend instead of it for the helmet, to complement the neutral x3 on the bars.
    Thanks
    I think the XT40 on the helmet and the X3 on the bars is a great combo, you can't have too much light. You can see them together here

    Quote Originally Posted by murrdogg11 View Post
    couple of more questions here too.
    1. are the battery packs offerd by gearbest.com good as well or is it better to go somewhere else
    2. what are the benefits of neutral lights?
    I would say the Hunk Lee Panasonic packs are the way to go. Check the Battery Thread for more reccomendations.

    Neutral lights have better color rendition, are less harsh and put more light on the ground in wet conditions.

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    thanks for the reply, and for setting this up GJHS...
    if i wanted something that was lower profile and wouldnt eat up as much battery, would you recommend the yinding?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by murrdogg11 View Post
    thanks for the reply, and for setting this up GJHS...
    if i wanted something that was lower profile and wouldnt eat up as much battery, would you recommend the yinding?
    I think with the included optics, the Yinding is a great bar light. With that said, though, when I took the two Yindings out to compare, I was really surprised how much throw it had, so it would work on the helmet. So for light weight, low profile, and versatility, I think the Yindings can't be beat amongst the Chinese lights and yes on high they run twice as long as the X3 and XT40.

    Everything depends on how long you ride and what terrain. For me, I'm doing a short, familiar 30-40 min technical singletrack loop with tons of roots and steps/drops. I don't need huge run times nor high speed brightness. The X3/XT40 is the all you could ever need combo, true, yet two Yindings on my trail would be great. I actually ran my first night run on that trail with only one Yinding, which was on low most of the trail and medium for the steps (bright was too harsh). I thought back then if I had one more on my helmet light for the twisty sections, I would be happy. The only question, unanswered in my mind is how much in perceived brightness will the Neutral Yinding lose and will that make the X3/XT40 better?

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    Finally got the XT40 from GearBest, took about three weeks to get here. I haven't tried it on the trail, just the backyard. It's definitely bright but the beam pattern is very "round" with a clear hot spot in the middle. I plan to use it on the helmet and a wide pattern light on the bars.

  66. #66
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    I got an e-mail from Gearbest yesterday telling me the neutral X3 I ordered is being processed for shipping ( 3-5 business days ) I figure I should get it somewhere in the first week of Feb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    I think with the included optics, the Yinding is a great bar light. With that said, though, when I took the two Yindings out to compare, I was really surprised how much throw it had, so it would work on the helmet. So for light weight, low profile, and versatility, I think the Yindings can't be beat amongst the Chinese lights and yes on high they run twice as long as the X3 and XT40.

    Everything depends on how long you ride and what terrain. For me, I'm doing a short, familiar 30-40 min technical singletrack loop with tons of roots and steps/drops. I don't need huge run times nor high speed brightness. The X3/XT40 is the all you could ever need combo, true, yet two Yindings on my trail would be great. I actually ran my first night run on that trail with only one Yinding, which was on low most of the trail and medium for the steps (bright was too harsh). I thought back then if I had one more on my helmet light for the twisty sections, I would be happy. The only question, unanswered in my mind is how much in perceived brightness will the Neutral Yinding lose and will that make the X3/XT40 better?
    Ok sounds good thanks for the advice....i ended up ordering two neutral X3's after all, as they are a bit lower profile and a bit better battery life compared to the xt40...plus it was an easier transaction as i could get them both in 1 order with express shipping, where as i would have had to make a second order to use the coupon for the xt40....here's hoping they won't take too long!

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    will these neutral x3's be much or any less bright than the X3's with the regular Cree XM-L U2's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by murrdogg11 View Post
    will these neutral x3's be much or any less bright than the X3's with the regular Cree XM-L U2's?
    That remains to be seen. Normally Neutral LEDs are lower in lumen output compared to the same Cool white LED.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by murrdogg11 View Post
    will these neutral x3's be much or any less bright than the X3's with the regular Cree XM-L U2's?
    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    That remains to be seen. Normally Neutral LEDs are lower in lumen output compared to the same Cool white LED.
    Wrong in this case (only). In general you are right.

    U2 bin is brightness bin so the same lumen class. It is just they appear to be less bright since 3C tint has different wavelenghts. 3C makes better color rendering compared to casual U2 having tint around 0A-0D. This means also less cool white light is bouncing back which appears less bright to human eyes.

    So the lumens (in average) are the same, but human eyes sees it differently.

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    Ledoman, you need to start a thread about LED tint and human perception!

    Murrdogg11, I wouldn't worry over brightness at all because either of these two monsters is going to be quite blinding on High regardless of tint. Must confess here I already own enough light heads to keep me in business untill the cows come home, including a perfectly decent MagicShine with a single CW XM-L2 U2 center beam which alone meets all of my needs; excuse to myself for ordering the NW SSX3 being my antipathy for Cool White emitters but quite frankly the real reason was GREED, GREED! for even more lumens because quite frankly I am ADDICTED TO LIGHT and don't care how little it costs.

    At any level of illumination, Cool White LEDs do tend to bleach out earth tones, which makes it difficult to distinguish between gray and beige. OTOH, Neutral White is maybe not so great between blue and lavander. In effect, NW works really well for illuminating the ground, CW is better to light up the sky.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    Ledoman, you need to start a thread about LED tint and human perception!
    That would be to much for MTBR I think. It is probably pretty complicated and scientific. I don't know much about it, either. I think we could digg up some threads there at BLF or CPF. If you go really deep you would see the leds tint is shifting left-down when heated and that you have different CRI (Color Rendering Index) LED classes (75,85,95).

    You'll already see the small difference with 3C tint, but if you would get really warm tint the difference could be huge. With cool white (brightest) everything would be in grey while more you move towards warm white you will see more and more saturated colors and less brightnes (ie. reflection).

    Huh, I've already gone to far...

    If we simplify it - more warm led tints renders colors better than cool ones.

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    thanks for the advice guys, my neutral x3's arrived and had a quick look at the lights.... nice and bright and warm. i'll be sure to post back after a ride....however don't know when that will be.

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    My test lights came in and look great! The Yinding appears to be more neutral than the SolarStorms. Even just testing them indoors, the light is much easier on the eyes. I will try to get them out for beam shot comparisons in the next few days.

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    More Neutral than which Solar Storms, the first XM-L2 U2s you had made or the last batch with the 3C tint? I thought both the Yinding and SS were supposed to have the same emitters. Do Optics versus Reflectors make that big a difference? My Yinding is still with USPS.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    More Neutral than which Solar Storms, the first XM-L2 U2s you had made or the last batch with the 3C tint? I thought both the Yinding and SS were supposed to have the same emitters. Do Optics versus Reflectors make that big a difference? My Yinding is still with USPS.
    The 3C Yinding is more neutral than the 3C SolarStorm X3 and XT40. I m not sure as to why

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    The TIR optic could easily cause a slight colour shift vs the reflectors and glass.

    BTW: are the glass lenses in the X3's antirefective coated?

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    Thanks for the update GJHS, if the difference in tint is very noticeable I might pick up another Yinding for the helmet. I wear yellow tinted eye wear so maybe it wouldn't make a huge difference after all.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    The 3C Yinding is more neutral than the 3C SolarStorm X3 and XT40. I m not sure as to why
    I would tend to think that because the Yindings are using optics that the beam patterns from the Yindings are going to be more evenly dispersed. With the lack of a true hot spot this should ( I would think ) make them appear more warmer. Both the Solarstorm X3 and XT40 have more forward throw. Even though their hot spots are wider than most single emitter lamps they still have most of the light centered in a general more forward area. That said this should make the X3 and XT40 look a bit cooler ( or brighter ) when compared to the Yindings ( or Duo clones ).

    Just keep in mind that when comparing Yindings to SStorms we are comparing apples to oranges. To notice the difference between cool white and NW with the Solarstorms you need to compare them to the other Solarstorms using the typical bright or cool white XM-L U2 or XM-L2 bins. Since I have an X3 with cool white XM-L U2 emitters I figure I should be able to tell the difference when I compare the two. I also figure that since people are just now starting to get their neutral white X3's that I should have mine sometime early next week....I hope, I hope, I hope.

  80. #80
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    Here are the beam shots of the Neutral SolarStorms

    X3 Low
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-x3-neutral-low.jpg
    X3 Medium
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-x3-neutral-medium.jpg
    X3 High
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-x3-neutral-high.jpg
    X3 on the Bars + XT40 on the Helmet
    Both on High
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-x3-nuetral-xt40-neutral.jpg

    For comparison, here is the Cool White vs Neutral X3
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-x3-high-1.jpg
    Click image for larger version. 

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    XT40 Low
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-xt40-neutral-low.jpg
    XT40 Medium
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-xt40-neutral-medium.jpg
    XT40 High
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-xt40-neutral-high.jpg

    For comparison, here is the Cool White vs Neutral XT40
    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-xt-high-1.jpgClick image for larger version. 

Name:	XT40-Neutral-High.jpg 
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  81. #81
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    Interesting. The brush along side the trail responds much better to the Neutral while the gravel seems more legible under the Cool White. Neutral looks brighter but with a lot more glare than the Cool White, which is kinda weird. Would have expected the opposite.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    Here are the beam shots of the Neutral SolarStorms...
    I think perhaps you have the exposure set too high for these newer (NW) photos. I say this because there appears to be more glare coming off the road than what I would expect using NW emitters.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I think perhaps you have the exposure set too high for these newer (NW) photos. I say this because there appears to be more glare coming off the road than what I would expect using NW emitters.
    I'm using the MTBR camera settings, the same as the Cool Whites

  84. #84
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    What was your experience, GJHS, did you find there to be more glare under the Neutrals or was that something which only your camera picked up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    What was your experience, GJHS, did you find there to be more glare under the Neutrals or was that something which only your camera picked up?
    The ground was frozen with a lot of ice, so maybe that's why. Color seems accurate.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    The ground was frozen with a lot of ice, so maybe that's why. Color seems accurate.
    Yes, the color does look right. Obviously the photo's were taken at different times of the year. Could be the road had some light colored sand run off over it during the change of season ( or the road was just drier and hence more reflective than before ). Stuff like that happens. Then again maybe just ice crystals on the road surface. Also, sometimes the light sensors on cameras can act funny in cold weather ( at least it does with mine ). Only way now to know is to do two quick photos at the same time with the different lamps.

    Whatever, I'm just really anxious to get mine so I can go out and do my own comparisons. On the up-side, no one is going to say these aren't bright enough. FWIW, thanks for doing the photo's. I know how much a PITA it is to do them.

  87. #87
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    I was just looking at the Cool White Nitenumen and noticed that the road seemed different than my previous Yinding Pictures. The road was filled with ice and completely frozen. You can see ice directly in front of my bike

    When I put the X3 and XT40 both on high my nephew was super impressed! He didn't think they could be that bright. Together they are super bright and you get some glare for sure. I would redo them, except it's getting tougher and tougher because of the cold.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    I was just looking at the Cool White Nitenumen and noticed that the road seemed different than my previous Yinding Pictures. The road was filled with ice and completely frozen. You can see ice directly in front of my bike

    When I put the X3 and XT40 both on high my nephew was super impressed! He didn't think they could be that bright. Together they are super bright and you get some glare for sure. I would redo them, except it's getting tougher and tougher because of the cold.
    Ha, ha...I was just looking at that thread when you posted. I was going to comment about the nitenumen photos and how much more white the road is. Definitely the road is much more lighter in color than before. This would explain the glare. On a more natural surface ( think the normal color of dirt ) the neutrals should look much better.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Ha, ha...I was just looking at that thread when you posted. I was going to comment about the nitenumen photos and how much more white the road is. Definitely the road is much more lighter in color than before. This would explain the glare. On a more natural surface ( think the normal color of dirt ) the neutrals should look much better.
    We have snow here now. As soon as it melts I will take a grass field shot for a better reference. I thought about it last night, it was just so cold. I'm sure by then you will have yours and others in warmer climates can post a few. The X3 has a nice tint, you will be impressed.

    The funny part of all this neutral light talk is that I used to avoid them. Though I didn't like Cool White's harshness, I didn't want to give up brightness to try neutral. GearBest sent me two DQG Fairy 120 Lumen keychain lights, one Cool and one Neutral. I like the neutral better, it's just a more natural light and easier on the eyes. I'm becoming a convert.

  90. #90
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    Just rode with the XT40 tonight for the first time and I've gotta say I'm impressed. The light feels light on the helmet and it's plenty bright. I do wish the beam pattern was a little wider instead of round but the beam pattern is big enough that it wasn't a problem. I ran the light mostly half of the time on low and I felt I had enough light; I did turn it up to medium on the highly wooded areas and it was plenty bright. I only did about an hour ride in 55 deg weather so cooling wasn't an issue. I used the battery that came with the light and it lasted through the entire ride with one led left. I did try the light on high for the last section of my ride and it was almost too bright since the shadows became too harsh and started messing a little bit with my depth perception. I have a Serfas T1000+ and a generic 3 cree led light from ebay to compare it. The XT40 does a well enough job to keep my Serfas as a bar light or a back-up helmet light.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    ....The funny part of all this neutral light talk is that I used to avoid them. Though I didn't like Cool White's harshness, I didn't want to give up brightness to try neutral. GearBest sent me two DQG Fairy 120 Lumen keychain lights, one Cool and one Neutral. I like the neutral better, it's just a more natural light and easier on the eyes. I'm becoming a convert.
    I'm not really sure I'm going to be a true convert to neutral white because I really do like the lamps I currently have. Still, I'm willing to give the neutral's a run for the money. The hardest part will be waiting till late spring/ early summer when all the trail side foliage comes out with all the green brush. Only then will I be able to tell just how useful the NW emitters are going to be. All I can say now is that I'm hoping for the best. The good part is that you don't have to fork out a boat load of cash to see if it's going to work. If I don't like it I can always go back to my regular lights.

  92. #92
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    between X3 and XT40

    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    I'm using the MTBR camera settings, the same as the Cool Whites
    I like the more power of XT-40 but I think X3 can have a better performance cause X3 looks has better heat dissipation , it is true??

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by mentawais View Post
    I like the more power of XT-40 but I think X3 can have a better performance cause X3 looks has better heat dissipation , it is true??
    Better heat management and a better beam for bars

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    Better heat management and a better beam for bars
    Yes, the X3 is better for the bars but only because it is 3-led wide. Would be nice to see an "optic version" for even better bar use. Then again an XT40 with optics would be just as nice.

    The first week of Feb. is here. This should be the week I get my neutral X3. I'm thinking Weds. or Thurs.

    ....and while I'm writing; Chinese New Year is just a couple weeks away. If you're still on the fence on what to order, you might want to take your best shot and roll the dice before the websites close down for the ( usually ) two week holiday.

  95. #95
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    Just Not Delivered!

    USPS just this morning did not deliver my SS X3. No sign of it on Tracking past Amsterdam, Netherlands but the mail carrier called me on the intercom and departed before I got downstairs. Didn't leave either the package or any notice.

    Apparently USPS has udergone some serious cutbacks starting this past January.

  96. #96
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    Neutral SolarStorm X3 has arrived!

    It took about 4 days longer than expected but that is not unusual when getting things from China. Usually when I get packages from China I have to sign for them but for some reason the postman just decided to leave it in my mail box. Not much in the way of packaging as it was just inside a large white envelope with some bubble wrap.

    Not much I can say about it other than the tint is very much like the neutral LED torch I have so tint wise everything looks okay ( at least at first glance ). Emitters are XM-L2. First thing I did was compare it to my older X3 with cool white XM-L U2's. Big difference in tint but that of course was expected. Of course the cool white also appears brighter but that too is expected when just shining the lamps around inside the house. The real test will be what it does on some natural surface. Sadly tomorrow night I'll likely be in an urban environment so not much chance to play with it.

    Damn shame this didn't come yesterday ( 45-50°F ) when I could of took it for a ride. Now the cold weather is back and likely that will keep me off the bike for a good while. Tonight I had to fight an ice storm to get home. Thank God I don't live in Boston though. I don't think I could deal with that kind of winter.

    Right now I don't know what's worse; The Cold Winter or this post-Superbowl diet I'm now sworn to.

  97. #97
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    Wtf?!

    Well mine departed the local sorting facility a mile from me in NYC yesterday and is now IN NASHVILLE, TN.

    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-image.jpg

  98. #98
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    Wow what did you do to your local post office? I told you mine went up to MA for a day. After waiting so long, it's annoying.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    Wow what did you do to your local post office? I told you mine went up to MA for a day. After waiting so long, it's annoying.
    If I told you I'd have to do the same to you.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    If I told you I'd have to do the same to you.
    Hey remember how I said I could meet you to compare the lights? Guess what, I was just shipped to Nashville TN too. Oh well so sorry

  101. #101
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    Oh, no problem GJHS. Spoke with CS at USPS, who insisted there was nothing out of the ordinary for my parcel to have been routed from the local sorting center here in NYC all the way to Nashville, Tennessee. So looks like I'll have to be heading down that way myself to collect it. Let's say we meet up behind the PO there...

  102. #102
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    Well I got a chance to sneak out today at work to do a little comparison with my new solar storm x3 and one of the older model X3's I have. Wow! I am really impressed with how the neutral white x3 really lit up those trails. now I can't wait switch the emitter board on my KD to lamp over to neutral white. I'll probably get around to that by this weekend. Now the only thing I need to test with the neutral white x3 is just how far it can actually throw. The trails that I was using tonight we're really not that long so I couldn't really get a good idea as to just how...or I should say what its limitations actually are. I'm really looking forward now to doing a test with both of these new neutral xm-l2 lamps.

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Now the only thing I need to test with the neutral white x3 is just how far it can actually throw. The trails that I was using tonight we're really not that long so I couldn't really get a good idea as to just how...or I should say what its limitations actually are. I'm really looking forward now to doing a test with both of these new neutral xm-l2 lamps.
    It's pretty close to the XT40, not 100% yet pretty close.

  104. #104
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    Upset

    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-image.jpgNuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-image.jpg

    Hmm, I paid for insurance on this shipment. Wonder if GB or one of the carriers will cover the damage. Not only is the one lens cracked, but there is a small rough dent in the case body over it. Oh well, at least the connector mates perfectly with that of the SolarStorm battery case.

    Hmm, what optics might replace these two different size lenses? Assuming that plastic resin would offer more resilience than glass...

    Compared to my KD NW XM-L2 MJ-880 clone, NW XM-L2 SS X3 is maybe a bit less bright. Neither Cool nor Warm White, color tending ever so slightly toward a murky green. Perhaps the bin should be called Sickly White? Beam pattern surprisingly smooth though, tight hotspot and even spill. (KD, even with its OP reflectors, is noticeably ringy, at least at short distance indoors. Will have to test that one out on the trail before deciding whether to switch it over to optics, if there are are any that fit its latest iteration.) To my eyes NW Yinding recently received has best color so far, though of course it isn't quite as bright as either the SS or KD. Observing all three NW lamps together, from a distance they each look pretty pure White, unlike any of my MagicShines and older clones, which glow glaringly blue.

    Anyone else here beside Cat-man-do and myself receive their NW SS X3 from GB yet? Don't tell me we two were the only ones besides GJHS who ordered it!?

  105. #105
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    I liked the tint of the nw xt40 i saw over the x3. The xt40's tint seemed a bit more pure white. I didn't look at the yinding 3c next to the x3, but they appeared very similar. I hope GB takes care of the damaged lens. I think in this case the seller files a claim and handles the insurance work.

  106. #106
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    It will be taken care of when they return from vacation.

    I noticed the X3 had a very slightly warmer tint than the XT40 yet as I pointed out to Jokaankit, it's partly because the X3 has a more concentrated beam, I think.

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokaankit View Post
    I didn't look at the yinding 3c next to the x3, but they appeared very similar.
    That's funny, because my Yinding looks dissimilar to either the SS X3 or KD 880, the latter two of which are the closest. Guess my YD is kinda warm, but in a very good way.

  108. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    It will be taken care of when they return from vacation.

    I noticed the X3 had a very slightly warmer tint than the XT40 yet as I pointed out to Jokaankit, it's partly because the X3 has a more concentrated beam, I think.
    Thanks GJHS.

    Yeah, spooky how perfectly the three beams of the SS X3 overlap.

  109. #109
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    God there are so many new lights I want to try. They should set up light a group buy for a light of the month club, or something like a spend x amount and we send you x amount of lights at random

  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by manbeer View Post
    God there are so many new lights I want to try. They should set up light a group buy for a light of the month club, or something like a spend x amount and we send you x amount of lights at random
    I know of a job you can have to get some more lights. I will warn you the hours suck

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJHS View Post
    It will be taken care of when they return from vacation.

    I noticed the X3 had a very slightly warmer tint than the XT40 yet as I pointed out to Jokaankit, it's partly because the X3 has a more concentrated beam, I think.
    Yes, I believe this to be true as well. The more emitters used the more white the light will appear. I'm assuming this is the reason why there appears to be a difference when looking at the neutral 2 emitter clones. The optics spreads the light out more which tends to make it appear more warmer. No problem for me, both types are going to work.

  112. #112
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    I think the blue gasket they use against the lenses of the SS X3 colors the beam outside of the hot spot. Holding the light close against a wall, the three blue rings project clearly; drawing away, they blend into the spread. Makes only a very subtle difference to the Neutral White, am confident it won't be noticeable on the trail. Well, at least not with all those soy aphids flying into my eyes, dagnabbit. Little buggers come out right around sunset soon as it gets warm.

    Anyway, May at GearBest has been very helpful in dealing with my X3 light head that came with the one cracked side lens. Offered me a choice of replacement or refund. I asked if they could ship me a new one inside of a little box, along with the blue Yinding I have on order, and could I add on insurance again:

    Hi Andy,

    I will informed our related staff to ship them together, and about the box, after communicated, yes, we can put it in a box.

    When we can ship the refund order and the yinding ordr together, I will ask our related staff to send you a paying link about the insurance and raise costs.

    Regards,
    May.

    Now who says you can't get good CS from a cheapo Chinese company?

  113. #113
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    How's the build quality on these?

    I'm debating between the Yinding & the SSX3 (both in NW) to compliment my Fenix BC30. Will be used on the helmet and will replace my SSX2.

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    For helmet use I would go with Yinding rather than SSX3. It is lighter and better quality any you can adjust the beam with different angle lenses.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by walloftvs View Post
    How's the build quality on these?

    I'm debating between the Yinding & the SSX3 (both in NW) to compliment my Fenix BC30. Will be used on the helmet and will replace my SSX2.
    For throw, go with the XT40

  116. #116
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    yinding or xt40. Depends on how picky you are about weight. And depends on why you dont like your ss x2. XT40 from everything I have read is an INSANE little light, but IM partial to yinding/kd2

  117. #117
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    I like my SSX2, but would like to get something with a color temp that matches the NW Fenix BC30 I recently purchased.

    Are the claims on the xt40's poor thermal management something to be concerned with? I like to run my gear on high, even in the goat trail sections.

  118. #118
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    XT 40 will run hot. size, output, and simple round housing.

    What tint is your light? your ss x2 can be changed fairly easy with a soldering iron (trick I accidently learned but done it a couple times now works great)

  119. #119
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    The XT40 on high is super bright so unless you're running a high speed trail, you shouldn't need to run it that high. Slow speeds on high may cause it to step down if it's warm out.

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by walloftvs View Post
    I like my SSX2, but would like to get something with a color temp that matches the NW Fenix BC30 I recently purchased.

    Are the claims on the xt40's poor thermal management something to be concerned with? I like to run my gear on high, even in the goat trail sections.
    The XT40 is surprisingly light and I've used it on the helmet without weight issues. That said the SSX3 is light as well and I've used one of those on the helmet without problems. If you're comfortable using the SSX2 on the lid the additional output of the X3 is worth the slightly heavier weight.

  121. #121
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    omg mine will FINALLY show up anyday, through customs in Garden city NY now.... about freaking time (paying for expedited next time like I did with SS cases)

  122. #122
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    Got mine in today, NOT 3C tint like id hoped, more yellow (compared next to my known u2 3c emitters in my KD2) Wish I knew if it was U2 or T6 bin though. Not a big deal, gotta order 3C emitters anyway now.

    Screws were a BIATCH to get outta case, had to drill one out, others I had to grind an allen wrech so it would have to be crammed in so it would break the screws loose and take them out. Have my own screws in now.

    This part is for Ledoman:

    have this driver:


    3x r25 and 2 r300, roughly 1.5A per emitter parellel???

  123. #123
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    Board looks like mine except that yours is red and mine is black:






    Mine pulls 2.48A on high from an 8.4v pack, so roughly 1.60A per emitter.

    -Garry

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post

    Mine pulls 2.48A on high from an 8.4v pack, so roughly 1.60A per emitter.

    -Garry
    How do you calculate that?

  125. #125
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    Garry, lights in parallel last I though meant divide current by number of emitters. Series is amps stay equal across but voltage drops.



    What are the "r" resistor numbers on each, how many and are ur emitters in parallel or series? What light pulls directly from pack means little, driver changes current to emitters. All measuring from pack does is calculate drain on cells.

  126. #126
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    I do rough calculations by first converting the amps to what they'd be at 4.2v input (single cell) - so just take the amps x2. Then I divide tgat by the number of emitters. It's rough, but on this particular light I measured the actual current at the emitter wire and I was darn close to the 1.60A (I'd have to search back to see what it actually was). Yes it's a battery pack drain measurement but it's good enough for a rough number and much easier to measure. There will be losses in the driver, but I kind of account for that by measuring on full cells and determining current at 4.2v rather than the much lower vF of the LEDs.

    I'm not sure of my sense resistor values, but they are in my Photo bucket album pics I believe. Seems R8 & R9 are "R020".


    -Garry

  127. #127
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    Urs is a weird set up but seems parallel, multiple wires coming off driver instead of one pair for emitters



    Ur calculations r weird to me lol, I use ledomans way, online parallel resistor calculator then divide that number by the feedback voltage of the chip which is .25. So you should have 3 r250 (or r25, same thing) near edge of board then 2 r300 next to coil. I dont mess with trying to figure out based off pack load just cause online calc and 1 simple math problem on phones calc. Your way is good for a rough quick guess ill have to remember it if I need an idea without tearing case apart.

    Btw not impressed for what was supposed to be a "revised" version. Crappy single emitter plate that's loose in the case, under driven and stock heat dissipation is almost as bad as the kd2 was. I could have spent $8 more on the head, not paid for insurance and tracking, had it here with pack and all in 2 days. I waited because it saved money for neutral emitters that I dont even think r u2 bin. I played chance of correct tint but this is 4c maybe, rather yellowish light. I hope a yinding is as refined as thread says so I dont have to mod the holy crap outta it just to make it comparable to my kd 2.

    My ss x3 is already down to bare case, did thermal test, couple mins in, thermal step down tripped. So emitter board cut case stripped and in line for overhaul.

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    @Tigris99, can you make closeup pictures of a driver with coil lifted. Is there LEDA chip somewhere? Sense resistors should be connected to that chip. I don't see any R250 resistors.

    @Garry, from your pictures it looks like your 3 leds are connected in paralell while I can't see how the Tigris99 led PCB is constructed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I waited because it saved money for neutral emitters that I dont even think r u2 bin. I played chance of correct tint but this is 4c maybe, rather yellowish light. I hope a yinding is as refined as thread says so I dont have to mod the holy crap outta it just to make it comparable to my kd 2.

    My ss x3 is already down to bare case, did thermal test, couple mins in, thermal step down tripped. So emitter board cut case stripped and in line for overhaul.
    That sounds very strange tigris. NW SS X3 that I scored during GearBest's pre-sale is just about identical in tint to both my NW XM-L2 U2 KD 880 clones, slightest difference maybe from the blue gasket in the X3; phosphors on emitters look the same. And mine has never stepped down in all my testing. Wonder if GB has started sending out different/inferior models since the first batch went out? Still waiting for them to ship the replacement cause of the cracked lens this one came with, told them to hold off until the new blue anodized Yinding was ready so I'd only have to sign for a single delivery. Guess it's gonna be a while...

    Maybe tigris you could post side by side shots of the emitters on your KD2 and SS X3, so we can see how their phosphors compare? Thx.

  130. #130
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    Ledoman: Ya there is a LEDA chip under the buck.



    Best I can tell all 5 route back to the chip. Dont have a microscope but I can see traces that look to be linked back to it. Just noticed in the pic ONE OF THE 25s IS BACKWARDS, not sure how much itll matter but WTF,lol.

    Andy one thing Ive figured out, after the first batches go so they get good reviews, they cheap out to improve profit margin. Thermal paste will help but not as fast as it steps down. As for pics of emitters, not really feeling like tearing my kd down AGAIN. I do know 100% for sure my KD is now XM-L2 U2 3C, I ordered them very specifically. My ss X3 isnt 3c, my guess is 4C, yellow tint, reminds me of a standard incan mag-light. Could be more to 5c direction I dunno havent looked up beam shots of the 3 yet.

    Edit: I forgot I still had tock emitter plate I had transfered new emitters to, XM-L2 U2 3C



    I SEE no difference, but SS is way more yellow when I was checking it out earlier. Reflectors/lens???

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    I SEE no difference, but SS is way more yellow when I was checking it out earlier. Reflectors/lens???
    Yeah tigris, unless your fluorescent lighting is bleaching out one of the phosphor groups more than the other, because the spectrum is discontinous. You might wanna check 'em out under daylight just in case, shoulda mentioned that earlier, sorry. But I've noticed that reflectors tend to cause some kinda color separation that doesn't happen with lenses, more obvious in the alternating rings of blue and sickly yellow around the center of the beam. Effect more pronounced with warm or neutral emitters than with CW, guess because the latter is lacking in yellow to begin with, so there's less contrast between the rings. Be interesting to see what difference optics might make in the SS X3. Wish I could crack mine open but haven't got the tools to re-thread the screw holes anyway. Eh.

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    @Tigris99, I'm speculating. Is it possible the driver doesn't use PWM, but rather different combinations of sense resistors directed by gates Q1 and Q2 to compose the modes. If I take two group of sense resistors and calculate combinations (0,25V feedback voltage for LEDA chip) I get:

    - 1.66A
    - 3.01A
    - 4.71A

    Divided by 3 assuming leds are in paralell the highest mode is 1.57A per led which corespond to Garrys measurments.

    Can you somehow check if you see any PWM? For example over the screen of camera or with some frequency meter.

    PS. I don't see thermistor anywhere. On the Garry's circuit it can be seen as a small black resistor like without any markings.

  133. #133
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    On my driver board they ran two sets of wires to the emitters. One set drives one LED, the other set goes to a second LED. That second LED then has jumper wires to parallel connect the third LED. Result is that all LEDS are in parallel with the driver. Mine has never stepped down (though it's not been run hard). My pills are slightly loose and I added thermal compound to the seats.

    -Garry

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    Garry where did u get yours cause mine doesn't have pills, its a single aluminum plate that all 3 attached to.

    Ledoman, that very much makes sense being low and medium have a high pitch squeal /buzz. Thought my light was just weird. Guess ill need to test which resistors are doing what modes. Whats ur "theory" on how the resistors are being used on low and medium? im going to try and run some testing/calculations to figure it out, but im hoping the mode steps are opening up through each 250, would make sense, 3 modes, 3 steps.

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Garry where did u get yours cause mine doesn't have pills, its a single aluminum plate that all 3 attached to.
    Mine came from Ebay seller "Jingle-Shop" (or Jingle_Shop, or . . .). Doubt you can reliably get the same one.

    So you have a floating emitter pcb? Just the aluminum emitter pcb sitting on "lips" of the body or something? My PhotoBucket album pics clearly show my pills.



    -Garry

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    Ya look back I posted a pic of it next to my kd2 stock plate (to compare emitters for 3c tint). Mickey mouse with his ear too low.

    @ Andy, took outside in the sun, emitters look IDENTICAL. Which means has to be lenses/reflectors. So im ok there, stand corrected. Probably why the yindings had the issue with NW versions, to lol same as this they needed a more yellow tint since optics dont pull yellows out. Thanks for that!

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    Well tigris, the first YDs that went out definitely were not same 3C as you have there, phosphors were noticeably orangey like egg yolk. Anyway, dunno if the difference between optics and reflectors affects the color tint in center of the beam any, just that you can notice that weird separation in the rings around it with a lamp that uses SMOs. Optics generate a smooth beam with such gradual fade out from the center that you don't see rings. Have you managed to fit those new lenses into your SS yet?

    Funny but I had thought the SS X3 that GJHS arranged from GearBest was supposed to be made with pills, like Garry's. Wonder now whether I'm mis-remembering or the manufacturer played bait and switch. Maybe GJHS can confirm what the build was supposed to have been?

    Never mind, looks like no one ever reported on the inner build of the new GB SS X3. Guess GJHS couldn't get the screws outta his, either. Darn.

  138. #138
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    Ok so adapter to fit optic in center done, designs for internals is done, aluminum prepped for machining.

    Making another uni-pill design and since this housing has set up for pills, im going to machine it to fit in, holes between been tapped for screws and so on.

    Have a bunch more optics, variable sense resistors, 18 awg silcone wire, and so on. Got a good case for getting crazy with.

  139. #139
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    OK this is going to be pic heavy but its done. I dont even really mess with output that much, maybe boost high a tad but thats it.

    Noctigons, 18 awg silicone wire throughout, new uni-pill (6mm thick aluminum after machining) to move leds out to fit optics, made a spacer for the center than also turned into a press fit copper pill retainer,lol.

    But this light is AWESOME NOW!!! Color is EXACT same now with optics, I just switch emitters from stock board to 16mm noctigons. I honestly am not sure if it puts out any less than my KD2 cause KD 2 is set up spotty, this is set up flood (with eliptical spot optic in the middle). Didnt even notice output difference till medium and high which isnt much less.

    Granted I have a yinding on the way (I like the looks better than my kd2, steal my driver, emitters, optics from it) but IM ready to go, couldnt be happier and this light went from pissing me off to MAKING MY DAY!!!

    Pics:









    Beam shots are same power, different exposure times (show beam pattern better)





    Tomorrow run some thermal tests... but not a single issue so far.

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    Tigris99, nice job but we are missing final front panel picture with optics in place. How did you manage to make it rainproff?

    Could you prove it your SSX3 uses PWM or not?

  141. #141
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    Not sure what pwm means, hoping it is what my theory is, each of the 250s is opened as gate is opened, going to test that today. I left wires from driver to emitters extra long so I can run tests. I gotta sort that out cause with mods I dont think I need airflow to maintain high lol. Means I can boost it. Too bad I can't boost individual emitter.





    Btw, sorry here's the finish pic.




    Looks like im gonna be outfitting my son finally (long story) so now to decide what he's getting. Thinking my kd2 (turn it down)cause I have a yinding coming and mod up a ss x2 or just another kd 2 set flood. Or get kd mj880 clone for his bars. Decision decisions though mj880 clone gives me a new light to tinker with lol.

  142. #142
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    PWM - Pulse With Modulation or in another words pulsating current to the leds. Shorter the time of the pulse is less light human eyes sees. 100% period/pulse make highest mode, 50% period make mid mode for example, etc... The spikes are always 100% current it is just the time period that counts. I hope you got it. If the frequency is to low then you can see the flickering otherwise with higher Hz
    human eyes doesn't recognise those spikes and see only an average brightnes. Read also Pulse-width modulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The other way to make modes is to use different sense resistors and switch between them. This is what I suspect is implemented in this driver. So no PWM used while Garry's driver is different and probably use PWM.

  143. #143
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    Well I think mine does being the buzz that comes from it, sound like an old television.



    But I did notice this:



    R 300 each separate, r250s 2 are soldered directly side by side to each other, 3rd is next to them but separate solder point. Having trouble sorting traces gonna see about a magnifying glass to help but still a mess in there lol.

    Also would a standard digital camera see modulating light?

  144. #144
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    PWM of my GB NW SS X3 is quite visible to my iPad's camera, there is evident banding on Low and Medium but not High.

    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-image.jpg

    I don't notice the flicker from any of my bicycle lamps save when riding slow, then the strobe effect sometimes makes my front wheel seem like it's turning in reverse or not even rotating at all. Kinda neat but at the same time a bit disconcerting...

  145. #145
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    Well my kd 2 does that, notice it when on the air flow generator, messes with the looks of the fan, low not bad medium the big fan looks to be running backwards.

    That being the case sense resistors have me confused slightly as to function of 5 of them. Especially when 2 are directly soldered to each other.

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    Ledoman, ur exactly right full open all the time. Read voltage drops at sense resistors as I increase to med and high. However not sure how or y but our calculation for low and med right on, high however is 2.6-2.7A. Voltage is .8, 1.8, 3.4.







    Tells me we missed a detail on output, something different here but 50% (med) doubled matches up.






    Now that I know how to do these tests (current resistors are a function of negative side not positive, cost me a dmm fuse lol) want to go back through and check my kd2. So I did. Hooked up solid in series and only got 2.25A on high (that's vs 3.28 calculated). Not sure where loss is there.



    Edit: Shit now garry's method makes perfect freaking sense.
    Last edited by tigris99; 04-03-2015 at 09:57 AM.

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    So got leddna optics and tried them in my x3. Imo they do better at projecting light foward and now my emitter plate sits properly instead of needing the copper plate to bring it forward. But now gotta make a new copper spacer lol, but that takes like 10mins.

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    What size[s] lens didja get for the X3? The reflectors it comes with are two different sizes but guess they could all be replaced with the same 20mm, unless theres something a trifle smaller?

  149. #149
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    I just wanted to make a quick comment:

    I've noticed that Gearbest is now advertising on the MTBR website. If you see one of their ads be sure to click on it just to let them know that they are being looked at. BTW, they do have some nice torches as well.

  150. #150
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    Andy: Standard 20/21 mm. First carclos then LEDDNA (same at fasttech it seems). Blue gasket does make things a bit interesting. Doesn't like to quite go around on the outers and almost too big for the middle one. But enough in the middle it holds it fine once tightened down.

    Cat, I want to get a cool torch or 2, already in the group buy on blf. There is one that looks like it holds 4 18650 and has 3 "barrels" which I think is cool, gotta see how good it really is. Thanks for the heads up, keep spreading the word to get everyone to click on adds.

  151. #151
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    Ok just cranked my ssx3 up to a hair shy of what should be 2A per emitter

  152. #152
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    Holy crap didn't realize how much cheap china batteries suck. Got 1st set of Panasonics in today and vs the cells that came with my KD 2 that I had been testing on, there's a noticeable difference in light output.

  153. #153
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    Yep. It's also not a bad idea to check current AND voltage levels with thick short input wires (wire up a custom 2x18650 battery holder) to see how badly the stock cable is causing losses. It was a big issue on my 4.2v KD2.

    -Garry

  154. #154
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    Oh I know about that issue, can only imagine. I plan on ordering some wire sets I found here in a couple weeks. Not cheap (well 7 a set but shipping sucks). But offer 18 and 16awg wire.

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    First ride with SSX3 and KD2 Duo clone: both neutral XM-L2's

    First ride went pretty good tonight. KD2 on the bars, SSX3 on the lid. Trails were damp to wet but some were fairly dry. As soon as I got out on the darker trails it was apparent that I had to increase the output of the low mode on the KD2. No problem there, KD2 is simple to program, just takes a couple seconds.

    The first thing I couldn't help but notice with the neutral emitter lamps is that when you first start using them they don't seem near as bright as the lamps with emitters in the 6500K range. That of course was expected. As I rode along I found myself wishing for more output ( for the modes I generally use ). If there is an "Achilles heel" to the neutral emitters this is certainly their biggest shortcoming. This is not to say that the neutral emitters didn't give me enough light, I just had to get used to the different mode outputs and what they had to offer. Properly adjusted the KD2 seemed to work fine on the mid-mode and the SSX3 was most usable on mid and high modes. On the down-side, I was missing the remote function of the Gloworms big time. Yeah, I could put one on the KD2 but I think *I'll just get the spare Gloworm X2 I have changed over to neutral emitters. ( * Action LED is now offering this service to their customers ).

    Most of the ride I wasn't riding real fast. I'm out of shape so I wasn't pushing it. Still, none of the lamps ever got warm to the touch as long as I was moving. Temps were about 57-60°F. I guess the real test for over-heating will be done in the summer when at times the night time temps get near 85°F ( on the warmest nights ). I'm pretty much satisfied with the output of the KD2 ( although more output would be welcome ) but I do wish I had a little more output on the SSX3. I guess I got spoiled by the XT40 I bought last year. I could buy an XT40 with neutrals but for the time being I'll let that idea ride and maybe consider tweaking the output on the SSX3. @tigris99; if you can give the low-down on what you did to the board on the SSX3 to boost the output I'd be much obliged. ( hopefully you have some photos )

    In the mean time I'll likely continue to use the lamps with "cool white" emitters while the trails are wet and muddy because glare off of wet or dark dirt is not really a big issue and the trail side foliage have yet to come into bloom to be a "close in reflective issue". The neutral emitters though are going to be great when the trails are "light colored" and dry. I did take some photos tonight buy can't share them till my data plan renews in a couple days. Surprisingly the phone camera I have takes pretty good night photos ( without using a tripod ).

    Should have the Nitefighter BT40S sometime this week to compare the other neutral lamps to. I look forward to that.

  156. #156
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    Cat, I have to tear mine back down to drill and tap new mounting hole for heat sink mount so I take pics then. Basically just 2 r400 sense resistors soldered on top of 2 of the r25s.

    Also optics help it out alot if ur not already converted. The lens/reflectors suck.

    As for remote, I linked in kd2 thread a remote switch is $6 and takes a small drill bit and 2 mins with a soldering iron to install, if you want to mess with it. I transferred my switch to my yinding but have 2 more on the way, be here tomorrow.

    I am surprised the matter of 3c vs whatever they use for cool white. 3c to me seems to have the cool white light but doesn't bleach out all the colors. But ssx3 cause of the reflectors/lens, the color gets separated and looses alot of output.

    I'm set up to run opposite, I put 10deg optics in the yinding and 1x45 2x60 spot optics in the x3. X3 puts out some insane light with the 500mA output increase and optics.

    Gonna hit the paves paths this next weekend since most of it is dark wooded area ran along the sides (20-30ft off) the roads so I can get a good feel maybe a bit of video if my Ion will do ok in that low of light.

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    I rode tonight with Jokaankit, he had the XT40 on his helmet and neutral Yinding on the bars and I had the XT40 on my helmet and the X3 on the bars. I also noticed what you said Cat, that even though the XT40 was bright I felt the need to step up one level to feel as if it was bright enough. It was more perceived brightness than actual, the neutral has such a nice mellow tint that after being used to cool white it does seem dimmer. The X3 had a more defined hotspot so it felt brighter on the bars.

    The neutral tint was much nicer on the eyes and when the green grows in, it will really help with glare. Now with everything still being brown and the trails wider maybe cool white would be brighter yet also make things seem colder. Tonight's ride was my first with any neutral light and I definitely see the advantages people have been talking about.

  158. #158
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    Guess im not "used to" cool white since my night rides consist of the ride home from work that lasts 10mins and lit streets lol. I need to put cw emitters back in something and see the difference side by side. This will be my first season actual trail riding at night.

  159. #159
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    Aight here's beam shots, yinding on lid at 3A max output and x3 at 2A max per emitter.

    Low


    Medium


    High


    Yinding doesn't get much brighter from medium to high but ssx3 can really see the difference.

  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Yinding doesn't get much brighter from medium to high but ssx3 can really see the difference.
    Of course, I've talked many times about this. Human eyes are adaptive not linear (more logaritmic) and this is one of few shortcomings of Yinding - mode spacing. That's why it is good to use KD2 10 level driver and adjust modes to your needs.

    Yinding it's not the only one with this problem, 880 clones have the same problem having (about) 33, 66, 100% spacing where human eyes doesn't see much difference between 66 and 100%.

  161. #161
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    Ya I remember reading it from you and I think others too, I would have a kd driver in it but KD took forced to ship my order and think even though it was supposed to go air mail they sent it by boat. But honestly medium now is pretty good. Think medium is perfect riding level for most things except a couple descents here.

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    Yeah I notice a greater difference in my unmodded SS X3 between Medium and High than between Medium and Low. Yinding with "wrong" [5C?] tint is not so clear cut, think difference between Medium and High is equal to or even greater than between Medium and Low, just that the slow fade between levels takes so long. Am happy with both lamps as they are.

  163. #163
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    Ya both lights are great stock, but like I can leave anything alone. And for me, medium on both now is enough (though love high on the ssx3 giving it a 500mA boost) for most things. So I dont have to worry about thermal near as much since won't need to be on high except the really fast descents that are only a couple minutes long. I'm gonna be hard pressed to find a replacement for my ssx3, boosted, converted to optics set for flood on the bars, that thing is amazing for such a small package. Seeing more why more emitters at lower current are better. More light less heat.

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Seeing more why more emitters at lower current are better. More light less heat.
    Correct. Leds are more efficient at low currents. Theoreticaly it would be much better to have 20 leds than two leds at same power. It is just a problem of optics size and electronics eficiency when you have many leds (besides the cost of course).

  165. #165
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    I honestly wonder what would happen if if paralleled a second set of 2 emitters (each pair in series) to say, a kd driver. Been contemplating it lol just to see what would happen. I have stock emitter plates (with emitters on them) from kd2 and yinding. Thermal paste them to a hunk of aluminum and , solder them to the driver and hit the power button....

    Well hell i have my kd2 driver that's on its last legs from soldering and desoldering (it works but board itself has about had enough)...set my camera up, hit record and see if it holds or smokes.

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    Aight cat, here's a pic.



    But putting them over the r300s instead cause as I found out those r250s are really close to the case inside and the extra solder if not really careful ends up touching the case.





    And now go my finned mount on and made an adapter to fit the extension cause they don't make aluminum mounts small enough (unless I paid out the nose)


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    Quote Originally Posted by ledoman View Post
    Correct. Leds are more efficient at low currents. Theoreticaly it would be much better to have 20 leds than two leds at same power. It is just a problem of optics size and electronics eficiency when you have many leds (besides the cost of course).
    Yes, LED's are more efficient at lower current BUT also not as bright. The Chinese already sell bike lights using several LED's being run with lower power levels, the problem is they are BIG....nobody likes BIG, and generally they aren't that bright if they aren't supplied with enough current. Some people have modded some of the bigger lamps which make them more useful but sadly most of those type of lamps have crap for UI's ( generally two modes, low and high ) and crap beam patterns because of the crap multi-reflectors.

    That said if the Chinese start to use better drivers with better UI's that supply more useable modes we may start to see some really bright mult-LED bike lights for cheap.
    Quite possibly, the Nitefighter BT70 could be one of the new breed of Chinese lamps to offer output over an actual 2000 lumen *OTB ( *out of the box ). Many of us are waiting to see if the BT70 is going to live up to the hype. So far it is not yet available. Could be the Chinese are still trying to figure a way to make it run cooler ( which of course is the real trick with multi-emitter lamps ).

    My take on all this is, "If I'm given the choice between two 2000 lumen lamps: One like a Gloworm XS and one like the BT70 I'd likely chose the XS because of size and better optics". However...If the BT70 ends up providing similar output with a very good beam pattern ( for the bars ) coupled with a decent UI I might very well chose a BT70 if the price for the lamp head is substantially lower. Then again I don't know if I could ever get used to riding without a remote on the bars. ( Now if the Chinese put a decent wired remote on the BT70 with programmable mode setting then THAT could possibly change EVERYTHING. )

  168. #168
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    Edit: Sorry mistake.

  169. #169
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    Crack in XT40 lens

    Anyone else?

    There is a crack in my XT40 covering lens. I don't think I've smashed it so I think it has come out of to much heat.

    Nuetral LED SolarStorm X3 and XT40-xt40crack.jpg

    Don't think it is a real problem though. Can't see that there is a crack in the beampattern.

  170. #170
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    is that lens cover plastic or glass? hopefully not plastic.

  171. #171
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    Just the other night I noticed a problem with my neutral SSX3. Just like the X3 I bought from D/X the switch on the Gearbest Neutral X3 "occasionally" fails to change modes when pressed. Since I use mine on the helmet this is kind of a PITA. It will switch modes but you have to press it more slowly, not something conducive when changing modes on a helmet lamp. You can't " rapid-fire " the X3 because it will not always catch every mode. Wish I could figure out a fix for this. Dang it, I might just have to try taking it apart and that's not something I always want to do.

  172. #172
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    I know the feeling with ssx3 driver. My original wont maintain high for more than a couple minutes before "stepping down" and this is regardless of mods and case temps. Luckily since mine gets used on the bars and I turned it up, medium is all I need.

    I did find a replacement driver that I just installed, well see if its any better.

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