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  1. #1
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    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable

    I've been using a TrailLED DS since 2015 and have been very happy with the performance Review: Trail LED DS - Mountain Bike Review- Mtbr.com.

    I've always wanted slightly warmer LEDs though and after owning several 90+ CRI flashlights, I've wanted the same color rendering in a helmet light. To make that happen, I sent my light to Vinh at https://skylumen.com/ I've been buying modded lights from him for years, so I had no issues trusting him with the expensive TrailLED light.

    Before modding, Vinh measured my light at 2,200 lumens. MTBR has tested theirs higher, but measured output can vary between test setups so the important part is the % gain rather than the actual measurement. After the mod, the high mode measured 4,300 lumens. That mode definitely uses more power and generates more heat, but I have the ability to choose from several different output levels depending on the light output and runtime needed.

    Mods:
    Replaced LEDs with Samsung LH351D, 4000K, High CRI
    Replaced heatsink with a new solid copper heatsink
    Replaced driver with VNX2 (programmable, more modes, and can turn off strobe. Also has step down that will keep the light on when batteries are low)

    I also wanted a bar light to match the modded helmet light, so I had Vinh put the same Samsunag LEDs in an Acebeam EC65. The is basically a wall of very even light, and the color blends seamlessly with the helmet light. I chose this light because it uses the new 5,100 mah 21700 battery.

    I'll never use it on the trail, but I should have a combined output now of around 8,000 lumens


    Here are a few pictures. Unfortunately they don't really represent what it looks like in person and I just left my phone camera in Auto. The lights are much brighter in person and the colors are very vivid.

    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable-img_20181009_192927414.jpg

    DS on one of mid level power modes (the hot spot and spill are bigger than they appear in this pic, but I wasn't able to get a good representation)
    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable-img_20181009_192625005.jpg

    DS looking at some trees outside the yard
    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable-img_20181009_192653137.jpg

    EC65 Nice wall of light that blends perfectly with the DS.
    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable-img_20181009_193201347.jpg

    The driver lets you select a group to use. Each group has different levels of output to choose from. For example, I'm currently using mode 11, which has 6 levels of output and no strobe.

    User Selectable Groups:

    1: 100 ** 100%

    2: 5 -100 ** 100
    3: 30 - 100 ** 100
    4: 70 - 100 ** 100
    5: 50 - 10 ** 100
    6: 75 - 20 ** 100

    7: 1- 30 - 100 ** 100
    8: 100 -30 - 1 ** STROBE

    9: 1 - 20 - 70 - 100 ** 100
    10: 100 - 70 - 20 -1 ** STROBE

    11: 1 - 5 - 15 - 50 - 70 - 100 ** 100
    12: 100 - 70 - 50 - 15 - 5 - 1 ** STROBE

    13: 100 ** STROBE
    14: STROBE ** 100
    15: 100 ** BLINK1
    16: 5 - 33 - 100 - BLINK1Hz - BLINK3Hz - BEACON ** STROBE

    User Interface:


    From OFF: A quick tap switches the light on in the previously used mode. (Last mode memory effect)
    From ON: A quick tap switches the light off
    From ON: A press&hold cycles through the modes in the selected mode group
    From OFF: A press&hold from switches the light on in the first mode of the selected group. (No last mode memory effect)
    From ON or OFF: A double-tap activate the hidden mode.

    To Set a Mode Group


    From OFF: Quickly tap the switch 8 time to enter the config menu, indicated by a blinking signal. *Battery Voltage Indicator: It's one blink for each 0.1V above 3.0V, so 12 blinks is full at 4.2V, 3 blinks = 3.3V or near empty.
    During the blinking signal quickly tap the number times for the mode number you want to set. Mode 13 = 13 quick taps. Note that the timing is more relaxed in the config menu. You have to be swift and uninterrupted, but not as rapid as the 8 taps above. However you must hit the exact number of taps.
    Configure the turbo timer
    Enter config menu by 8 (or more) fast taps, wait for the blinking signal, then enter turbo config mode by the 20 taps. The light then runs at full power. Let it run for the desired time (e.g. until it gets hot; use a full battery), then tap to switch off. That time is now set for the turbo timer. Setting a time below 4 seconds disables it. The turbo timer has a maximum of ~20 minutes (this is also the default). It applies to all modes above 50% and smoothly ramps them down to 50%.

    Low voltage protection:
    Whenever the battery falls below 3V under load, brightness is reduced (about half). The reduced load usually brings up the voltage a bit. When it drops below 3V again, brightness is halved again - and so on, down to a very low level. It will not switch off and leave you in complete darkness though.

    ================================================== ==========


    Anyway, I just wanted to share the results and experience of having my light modded. I can't recommend Vinh enough if you're wanting something unique.

  2. #2
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    So basically you ride in the daytime, but at night.

  3. #3
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    That light at 5k lumens is a bacon fryer! Awesome! I do have a 9x SST20 10W NW 4000K CRI95 light on the slowboat. Not totally sold on high cri, but 4K is a winner.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    That light at 5k lumens is a bacon fryer! Awesome! I do have a 9x SST20 10W NW 4000K CRI95 light on the slowboat. Not totally sold on high cri, but 4K is a winner.
    One of my biggest complaints is visible dust during group rides, and 4000K makes a very significant difference. It also seems to be less fatiguing.

    High CRI isn't necessary, but I really didn't need more lumens so I chose to sacrifice some potential output for color rendering.

    Vinh did mention that if I had wanted different LEDs with a focus on output, he could have modded the helmet light up to 7,500 lumens

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJDude View Post
    So basically you ride in the daytime, but at night.
    With the unmodded helmet light, I set a PR on my local 7 mile trail in the dark, so yes it's basically like daylight. I've literally ridden hundreds of laps out there, and couldn't believe I was able to beat my daylight PR on a night ride.

  6. #6
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    What's up with trailled.com? Is TrailLED still making lights? I considered them last time I was in the market because I love the low profile.
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol XXL
    2016 Fuse Pro XXL 29er

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    What's up with trailled.com? Is TrailLED still making lights? I considered them last time I was in the market because I love the low profile.
    They went out of business. Honestly I haven't seen another light that matches the TrailLED in design, UI, and form factor, but it's hard for most people to justify when they can get similar output from cheaper Chinese lights.

    One of the reasons I bought the light originally, was that they had a upgrade program where you could send the light in for upgrades as technology in LEDs advanced. To me it seemed like the big initial investment would be worthwhile since I could just have it upgraded over time. Unfortunately that's no longer an option, which is why I sent it to Skylumen.

  8. #8
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    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable-trailled.png

    As mentioned, they did go out of business about a year ago. Their low profile design was quite cool, and seems that the manufacturing was pretty simple. Was bummed to see them leave the space right as I was gearing up to get in it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    What's up with trailled.com? Is TrailLED still making lights? I considered them last time I was in the market because I love the low profile.
    Grady (TrailLED) has come and gone a couple times now. Would not be surprised if he reappears sometime.

    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    ....Honestly I haven't seen another light that matches the TrailLED in ...., UI,
    TrailLED used LED drivers from TaskLED. The TrailLED versions are flashed with a non-programmable U/I so users could not accidentally screw up the settings. I use TaskLED drivers in my personal lights. Best quality driver out there and the U/I works perfectly for my preference.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  10. #10
    arc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt Road View Post
    That light at 5k lumens is a bacon fryer! Awesome! I do have a 9x SST20 10W NW 4000K CRI95 light on the slowboat. Not totally sold on high cri, but 4K is a winner.
    Is this a bike light or a flash light?

  11. #11
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    I have a couple rides with the lights now, and overall I'm extremely happy with them.

    In group rides I only needed to run my helmet light at 15%, and 50% seems bright enough for just about anything. I haven't ridden too fast yet, but it will be interesting to see what speed I can carry for a lap with the light turned up to 70%.

    The tint is perfect, not too warm and not too cool.

    The high CRI seems to make a slight difference. Overall it just seems slightly easier to read the terrain and see differences between leaves, dirt, roots, and rocks when compared to my other lights

    Not the best picture, but i forgot to take one while on the trail.

    The Ultimate Helmet Light - 4,300 lumes, High CRI, 4000K, and Programmable-light.jpg

  12. #12
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    @Coke....Looks like you have a really nice setup there. That photo above, is that of both lights on or only one? I'm curious as to the beam pattern of the Acebeam torch you had modded. Glad you posted your thread because it's always nice to glean information I didn't know about. I didn't know that Samsung made LED's. Nice to see the 4000K NW Samsung versions as an option.

    Also glad you happened to mention the person who did the modding. Nice to know that if I have a lamp that I really like that I can send it to someone else who has better modding skills than myself... Money I have...modding skills, not so much.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    @Coke....Looks like you have a really nice setup there. That photo above, is that of both lights on or only one? I'm curious as to the beam pattern of the Acebeam torch you had modded. Glad you posted your thread because it's always nice to glean information I didn't know about. I didn't know that Samsung made LED's. Nice to see the 4000K NW Samsung versions as an option.

    Also glad you happened to mention the person who did the modding. Nice to know that if I have a lamp that I really like that I can send it to someone else who has better modding skills than myself... Money I have...modding skills, not so much.
    Thanks! I started this thread to let people know that through modding they may have options with a light they already own, or that a new light can be changed to fit their needs.

    That picture is with both lights on, but I don't think they were both on the high level.

    The acebeam basically has a giant hot spot. It isn't quite a pure flood light since there is somewhat of a defined hot spot, but it's much much larger than most lights and seems to be about perfect for a bar light. My first post shows this. Overall, I have absolutely no complaints with the acebeam light. If you're considering one, just be aware that some people have been unhappy with the tint of the Nichia LED option, which is why I went with Samsung. Mine has also has a clear lens instead of the frosted lens that the Nichia option has.

    The helmet light has more throw, so the two work really well together.

    I actually have a degree in electrical engineering, so these mods are probably something I could attempt, but I much rather just send it to someone who's been doing it for years, especially when I have to depend on the light while riding at night.
    Last edited by coke; 6 Days Ago at 05:48 AM.

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