Taking suggestions for a newbie...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Taking suggestions for a newbie...

    I've been skimming this forum the past couple of days and was wondering all of your opinions on which light is best for me. I'm looking for a bar light with a nice, strong, broad, even beam and a neutral white color. Seems like the Yinding is pretty popular here but the Solarstorm X3, new KD 2 and KD 3s, and even the pricier Nitefighters (BT40s and BT70) all seem to be heavy contenders. Which one would be your pick and why?

    Can someone also explain the difference between all the different types of LEDs? XML T6, XML2 T6, XML2, XML U2, XML2 U2. To my understanding, it seems the U2s are a little whiter and brighter?

    Also, any suggestions for a solid battery case/pack?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    First the emitter types.

    XML is previous generation, old tech.

    XM-L2 new generation, all around better

    Next is the t4 t5 t6 u2. Those are the bins. t4 east efficient, u2 most efficient/highest output. Bins apply to either XML or XM-L2 (or XML2 depending on the way the description is typed, but same thing) Bins have little to do with color, they are about how much light the emitter puts out vs power supplied.

    Now as for the lights, you want neutral white which means ordering from china directly, only way. KD lights bought a kaidomain.com, others from Gearbest ONLY, other sites have poor copies mostly and its a total crap shoot if what you order is decent or not.

    Yinding is supreme for 2 emitter light. KD2 has issues with heat, needs mods to fix that problem. KD is working on it but time frame unknown. Solarstorm X2 also a good contender, its second under yinding IMO. KD2 has programmable driver, thats the only up side but you cant run it on high for long, it overheats and steps down.

    KD 3 is BRAND NEW, and just now under review, nothing much known yet.

    Solarstorm X3, not a flood light, its wide beam is from us modifying it (go towards the end of the Solarstorm X3 Neutral white thread) it requires mods to fit optics to give it a good spread.

    Nitefighter is making a return it seems, they kind of faded to all but gone for a while. Only light head available is the BT40. And really its $30 vs $25 for the light head. The kit via amazon (yes same light) unlike the ss x3, yinding, kd2 kits with very poor battery packs, is why the bt40 is more pricey. Better quality batteries. THe Bt70 and BT21 are both in the works not available yet really from what i understand. My BT40 will be here any day, couple guys are having fun with theirs already and cant stop talking about how great it is.

    For a set up: BT40 is going to be best out of box for wide beam, yinding close second. for narrow beam for helmet yinding with spot optics imo is perfect. light weight, small but plenty of light. Then solarstorm x3 (or x2) for spot lights (unless your into modding lights). thats my honest opinion on what you listed and whats available for chinese lights right now.

    Ther eis one other option, we call it an mj880 clone (cause it is but easier to refer to as well cause it doesnt have a name, just a spec). KD2 MJ880. Great light head, getting myself one eventually cause its one that can be modded without having to add in a bunch of work for heat management. Another one for neutral white its from Kaidomain unless you know how to work on LED lights and change the emitters yourself.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for taking the time to explain everything in detail Tigris, really appreciate it. For the Yinding, how do I make sure I get an original or the best version that's out right now? Should I just get the one listed on gearbest?

  4. #4
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    My advice is to not to over-analyze this stuff - the minutia may be fun to talk about but makes little different when you are just looking to do some night riding. A set of two lights, one on the bar and one on the helmet will be the best set up for off-road riding (you don't specify but I would assume it based on being a mountainbiking site). The Yinding is great, love mine, and yes, just check the mega-thread for the discount code and get it through gear best to ensure you get the right one. The battery that came with mine is still going and I can get over an hour out of it on high. I suggest pairing the cheap lights like the Yinding with a battery from action-led-lights.com. The $30 Magicshine 4-cell (BAK) packs are v. good. For the helmet, the SSX2 is a great choice as it is more of a spot. Again, the battery with mine still works fine but you can upgrade to the one of the ones I mentioned above for better performance. Finally word of advice; make sure the tints of the two match as if they don't (mine don't), its a little annoying to look at...but its certainly not a huge deal. Good luck!
    Last edited by TiGeo; 04-19-2015 at 03:20 AM.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  5. #5
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    GeeKeR, think the best overall deal for a quality bar lamp, battery pack and charger is going to be the complete Nitefighter BT40S package on sale at Amazon. Because for starters, the cheapest you will find a decent 4-cell pack, whether you throw together your own from a SolarStorm holder and loose 18650s or buy a wired bundle, will be over $33.00; then there's a decent charger, which will set you back another $15, $17 after shipping (none eligible for Amazon Prime.) So you're looking at $48 or more right there without the lamp head. For just another $22 you can score that complete Nitefighter, was still only $69.95 as of this morning. Probably save some time over waiting for a Yindling or other to ship from China.

    Other possibility though, if you are also in need of a good tail light, you could pick up the MagicShine MJ-818 that comes with a decent set of BAKs (4400mAh) and a solid 1.8A charger, run you about $53 to $58 depending on which cell pack you want (one package includes the MJ-828, has an aluminum/clear polycarbonate case with built in, illuminating voltmeter/charge indicator and single, wide Velcro strap; cheaper set you get a very nice siliconized rubber/black polycarbonate case with integrated adjustable straps, no voltmeter.) Then you could buy what ever other NW light head strikes your fancy, along with a splitter Y cable to run front and tail from same battery. But those you'd be ordering from GearBest or KD so there'd be some wait.

    Of course when planning your setup you'll also want to take into consideration how long your nite time jaunts will be, and calculate the run times you'll get from any setup. Four cell batteries can range from 4400mAh like what comes standard with MagicShine, up to 6800mAh if you build your own with 3400mAh cells. Most NW lamp heads you will see are rated 2800mA, but the Yinding is only about 2200 max. BT40S, which is supposedly 2800mA, comes with waterproofed/siliconized 5200mAh BAK pack and the charger is rated 2A, FWTW. I get great run time from mine, haven't yet discharged the battery below the Blue indicator LED between charges though so can't really quantify. Am also quite happy with my NW Yinding, SS X3 and KD 880 clone solo lamp heads. So kinda hard to go wrong no matter which you choose.
    Last edited by andychrist; 04-18-2015 at 07:15 AM.

  6. #6
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    Lots of good info here. Just be warned as you look at ads for Chinese lights that you take their specs with a grain of salt. There's usually no truth to the specs. Stick to the lights that have been reviewed and recommended.

    -Garry

  7. #7
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    If you buying a yinding or solarstorm lights BY FROM GEARBEST ONLY. They have the latest and best models for the same prices. Everywhere else is either old versions or worse, cheap crappy versions using the same name

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
    GeeKeR, think the best overall deal for a quality bar lamp, battery pack and charger is going to be the complete Nitefighter BT40S package on sale at Amazon. Because for starters, the cheapest you will find a decent 4-cell pack, whether you throw together your own from a SolarStorm holder and loose 18650s or buy a wired bundle, will be over $33.00; then there's a decent charger, which will set you back another $15, $17 after shipping (none eligible for Amazon Prime.) So you're looking at $48 or more right there without the lamp head. For just another $22 you can score that complete Nitefighter, was still only $69.95 as of this morning. Probably save some time over waiting for a Yindling or other to ship from China.

    Other possibility though, if you are also in need of a good tail light, you could pick up the MagicShine MJ-818 that comes with a decent set of BAKs (4400mAh) and a solid 1.8A charger, run you about $53 to $58 depending on which cell pack you want (one package includes the MJ-828, has an aluminum/clear polycarbonate case with built in, illuminating voltmeter/charge indicator and single, wide Velcro strap; cheaper set you get a very nice siliconized rubber/black polycarbonate case with integrated adjustable straps, no voltmeter.) Then you could buy what ever other NW light head strikes your fancy, along with a splitter Y cable to run front and tail from same battery. But those you'd be ordering from GearBest or KD so there'd be some wait.

    Of course when planning your setup you'll also want to take into consideration how long your nite time jaunts will be, and calculate the run times you'll get from any setup. Four cell batteries can range from 4400mAh like what comes standard with MagicShine, up to 6800mAh if you build your own with 3400mAh cells. Most NW lamp heads you will see are rated 2800mA, but the Yinding is only about 2200 max. BT40S, which is supposedly 2800mA, comes with waterproofed/siliconized 5200mAh BAK pack and the charger is rated 2A, FWTW. I get great run time from mine, haven't yet discharged the battery below the Blue indicator LED between charges though so can't really quantify. Am also quite happy with my NW Yinding, SS X3 and KD 880 clone solo lamp heads. So kinda hard to go wrong no matter which you choose.
    If he is going to spend upwards of $70 for a light from amazon he may want to consider looking at action-led-lights and get some Magicshines or Geminis that are much higher quality from a reputable dealer. To me, either go seriously cheap ($30) or spend a few more bucks for the real thing.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2018 Niner RKT 9 RDO - enduro AF

  9. #9
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    TiGeo, think you missed where the OP said he wanted a Neutral White lamp. Also everyone here who has purchased the BT40S has been extremely pleased both with its quality and communication from Nitefighter. Sure their lamps are kinda clonish but the originals are still not available in NW.

  10. #10
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    If he wants to spend a bit more gloworm is now a contender in the neutral white department, but a set of x2 and xs is gonna break 500 when all is said and done.

    That being said, if you want to have one set only that is dependable and just set and forget it's worth it

    I'm really liking the BT40S so far for the money so on a budget that plus a NW yinding or X2 (still can't get myself to grow fond of the looks of solarstorm though) plus a solarstorm battery holder and set of ncr18650s and charger would set him back less than 150 and get him out on the trail and provide more than enough light

  11. #11
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    Gonna say I have full set up with Panasonic cells and everything (quality is plenty good enough. Their led lights for crying out loud lol) and all I have spent is still less than anything dual emitter from action led. My wire/connectors may fall apart in a couple years but cheap and easy fix. Alot of higher priced awesome lights available but I can justify that money for some led lights in an aluminum housing.

  12. #12
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    I really like the BT40S but that current $70 price is a little too steep for comfort. If it happens to drop down to the $40 that andy bought it at or even $50 I'll be more than willing to jump.

  13. #13
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    If you would like, I can request a coupon code from Andy Wong over at nitefighter which will bring it down to 59.46 iirc. Honestly I don't see it going for less really as wholesale was only about 10 bucks less and they still need to cover amazon fees etc. It seems the price that a few members got it for was a fluke. Let me know if you want a coupon and I will message him

  14. #14
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    Price were getting ( I paid $25 via eBay auction, the head alone is on eBay for $30) is for HEAD ONLY. Not the hole kit and definitely not with decent cells in the battery like is what's being sold on amazon. $60-70 on amazon with 2 day free prime shipping, better battery pack than any other Chinese lighthead (magicshine/gemini/gloworm excluded) to me is very worth it. You don't get quality light (wont find yinding or the good "real" solarstorm lights on amazon, gotta wait for shipping from china via Gearbest) for that price anywhere else in the states.

    And all "cheaper" light kits the batteries are useable but barely.

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