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  1. #1
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    Update m808 light setup, suggestions wanted

    I've spent a week or so reading this forum to get acquainted. Lots of great information, and some goes a little over my head.

    Years ago I got my first set up, it is two knock off magic shine m808 lights. The battery pack they came with were crap, so I upgraded with two packs from action LED. I found a guy who makes aftermarket handlebar mounts for them with a quick release/ cam mechanism that I use for bar light. The bar light has the cheap wavy lense that spreads light, I usually turn this 90 degrees so it lights a vertical strip directly in front of me.

    The head lamp is on a little platform that Velcro straps to the helmet. I don't mind the cable running down into my pocket (I wear Lycra roadie kits), but the light rattles on tough terrain, and I can feel the weight. My head is .5" too big for small helmets in any brand, which means I'm stuck wearing a med, and strapping them down really far for a secure fit. I think this exacerbates those issues, but it's non negotiable.

    What I don't like about my lights:
    - hot spots are very bright, and narrow, and there is not an even spread after that. On close trails I feel the glare from the hot spot blind me, but outside of that place it's not actually bright enough
    - not completely secure, the helmet mount rattles as I mentioned, the bar mount can move a bit too on rough terrain
    -light feels heavy on my helmet
    - the old m808 I think only gets about 650 lumens, I would be up for an upgrade.

    What I like:

    -easy to use, I'm not really concerned with user interface or customizing controls
    - battery life is 3 hours with my 4 cell batteries from action LED. I will put them on medium for climbs etc, and I have never run out of juice
    - cost was great at the time
    - extension cord long enough to comfortably reach from back middle pocket to helmet (3 feet? I'm 5'7")
    - just a couple minutes to attach batteries, lights, etc from completely off to on bike, quick release cam mount on bar is fast, adjustable
    -while the spot light is very narrow, it throws far, which is nice for warning cars you're coming

    What I think I'm looking for:
    - more lumens with a more even spread 900-1200 lumen each would be a big improvement I feel
    - battery life 2hrs+, or light head only offerings that could use my existing batteries, as they still work great
    - helmet light head and helmet mount are light weight, I want to either adapt my bar mount or have a new one that is cam/ qr based (I don't like the o-ring mounts!)
    - use is primarily road, some mixed rides, occasional MTB.
    - I don't care about remotes, but I think a wired remote would likely be more annoying then useful, it's just another thing to think about/ attach
    - I don't want to spend lupine money. It would be great to do this as inexpensive as possible, but have some quality/ dependability. High class bells and whistles not necessary.

    I'll get some photos of the current set up too when possible.

    So what do you think would be a good solution for me? Thanks ahead of time for your input!

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

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  3. #3
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    The Fenix is pretty cool, the mount looks bomber too. Buying batteries is a bit of a pain, but I guess it's cool that I can't carry two spares easily to get almost 4 hours run time.


    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    Since you already have good batery packs you only need new lightheads. On the budget side BT40s/Yinding combo is one of the best and I think it should cover all your needs for <$50. Probably you can even use existing QR handlebar clamp.

  5. #5
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    Idea! Fenix BC30R

    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    The Fenix is pretty cool, the mount looks bomber too. Buying batteries is a bit of a pain, but I guess it's cool that I can't carry two spares easily to get almost 4 hours run time.
    If you don't want to be able to choose and replace batteries by your own, you can go for the Fenix BC30R with fixed cells. In return it gives you an OLED display and even better remote
    fenixlighting.com/product/bc30r-fenix-bike-light/
    fenix-store.com/fenix-bc30r-2017-edition-led-bike-light/

  6. #6
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    What's your budget? And are you ok with "budget" lights (which you've been using up til now anyway)? Sounds like you should just go light head only as your packs should be good for awhile.

    If you've looked into the BT40S you'll see it's a flooder with little throw and no strobe mode (in case you wanted strobe on the road). Be warned that you'll want to change the stock mount on the BT40S since the plastic mount is known to crack and fall apart. Sounds like you can reuse your Qr mount anyway. AND - where did you get your QR mount? We're always looking for sources of them!

    The Yinding (genuine only available at GearBest as far as we know) is a nice budget option, but be warned it gets very hot quickly on high mode as the case is too small to shed the heat. Getting a vancbiker alumninum heatsink GoPro adaptor for it is almost mandatory - AND the GoPro style attachment should be a huge improvement for you. I strap one of these GoPro mounts on my helmet and cinch it down tight. I have it setup nice and low on mine.

    Whatever you do, go neutral white on your LED tint and you'll see huge improvement from that alone!

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post

    So what do you think would be a good solution for me?

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
    First possible solution is for your current setup. Those fluted lens covers are designed to widen the beam not extend it vertically. Adjusted the way you described is either wasting light up in the air or putting most of the beam around the front tire and close foreground which will only make the hot spot situation worse and resulting glare will constrict your pupils limiting your distance vision. Correct setup of lens cover should smooth out the beam quite a bit.

    Ledoman's suggestion of a BT40s/Yinding is our go to setup of least expensive/reliable/adequate performing light combo. This would provide you with additional power, a much smoother beam, allow the use of your existing batteries for a pretty small investment. Gets the job done, not terribly exciting but your best option if price is what's most important on your lighting upgrade.

    https://www.gearbest.com/yinding-_gear/?querySearch=1

    https://www.gearbest.com/BT40s-_gear/

    Next possible solution (bar only) is a Ravemen PR900/1200. Self-contained so you wouldn't be able to use your existing batteries but has a very good 2.5 hr. runtime on high for a self-contained light (PR900, 1200 has 2 hr. limit). I own a PR900 and a BT40s and consider the Ravemen a better road and mountain light even though it has a small claimed lumen output.

    https://www.rakclighting.com/collect...led-bike-light

    The next few links are not available currently but will be soon. C&B Seen light is one I'm currently evaluating so should have more info. in a couple of days. Mtiger is a new brand and Gloworm is a new model for them so only info. currently would be from Vendors.

    https://www.rakclighting.com/collections/mountain-bike

    https://www.candb-seen.co.uk/category-cycling.html

    https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...men-bike-light

    If you have any questions on these lights just ask. We may not know answers yet but will help identify your preferences.
    Mole

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    What's your budget? And are you ok with "budget" lights (which you've been using up til now anyway)? Sounds like you should just go light head only as your packs should be good for awhile.

    If you've looked into the BT40S you'll see it's a flooder with little throw and no strobe mode (in case you wanted strobe on the road). Be warned that you'll want to change the stock mount on the BT40S since the plastic mount is known to crack and fall apart. Sounds like you can reuse your Qr mount anyway. AND - where did you get your QR mount? We're always looking for sources of them!

    The Yinding (genuine only available at GearBest as far as we know) is a nice budget option, but be warned it gets very hot quickly on high mode as the case is too small to shed the heat. Getting a vancbiker alumninum heatsink GoPro adaptor for it is almost mandatory - AND the GoPro style attachment should be a huge improvement for you. I strap one of these GoPro mounts on my helmet and cinch it down tight. I have it setup nice and low on mine.

    Whatever you do, go neutral white on your LED tint and you'll see huge improvement from that alone!

    -Garry
    I'm okay extending my budget to $300, but then it better be a damn fine set up!

    It would probably be best to re use my batteries, and I was looking at action LED and it sounds like the connectors work for magic shine, Gemini, and gloworm. I think they work on the bt40 and yingding.

    I think the bt40 if I can find neutral white would be the cheapest as a light head only. I don't need strobe, and would really be fine with just off/50%/100% settings. I would like a nice flood on the bars, does the bt40 do that okay? I need to find some reviews on here with beam shots.

    The gemini xera in light-head only looks like a good one for the helmet. Light, inexpensive, simple. But it doesn't look like I can get it in NW. I really don't like intense hot spots, and the beam in it looks direct, but even too.

    I haven't really looked at the yingding much. Using existing mounts would keep cost down over buying new ones, but I'll have to browse gear best.

    I'll try to find where I got these mounts. It was a random guy on eBay or something I'd I remember correctly.

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    First possible solution is for your current setup. Those fluted lens covers are designed to widen the beam not extend it vertically. Adjusted the way you described is either wasting light up in the air or putting most of the beam around the front tire and close foreground which will only make the hot spot situation worse and resulting glare will constrict your pupils limiting your distance vision. Correct setup of lens cover should smooth out the beam quite a bit.

    Ledoman's suggestion of a BT40s/Yinding is our go to setup of least expensive/reliable/adequate performing light combo. This would provide you with additional power, a much smoother beam, allow the use of your existing batteries for a pretty small investment. Gets the job done, not terribly exciting but your best option if price is what's most important on your lighting upgrade.

    https://www.gearbest.com/yinding-_gear/?querySearch=1

    https://www.gearbest.com/BT40s-_gear/

    MORE INFO COMMING!
    Thanks, we were typing simultaneously. The bat light with wavy lense I have makes a very clear rectangle of light. Rotating the lense makes a rectangle hot spot where I point it, but every where else is about 1/3 the brightness. If I point it 25 feet in front of the bike, then 20-25 feet is lit up, but then it's dark from 20 to my front tire. That's why I have it rotated, so I can follow objects as they come towards me. I know it's not optimal, and I ran it the other way for a good 1000 miles. Neither one is great, so I may as well move on. 3 years out of a $40 light-head is okay with me!

    The bt40s claims 1600 lumen, but I'm guessing it's actually 1000 like many of the Chinese lights?

    Thanks for your input.

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    The gemini xera in light-head only looks like a good one for the helmet. Light, inexpensive, simple. But it doesn't look like I can get it in NW. I really don't like intense hot spots, and the beam in it looks direct, but even too.


    The bt40s claims 1600 lumen, but I'm guessing it's actually 1000 like many of the Chinese lights?

    Thanks for your input.

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
    Xera would have more throw than a BT40s but overall it's much more of a flood for a single emitter light.

    BT40s actually makes about 1350 measured lumens but is sooo floody the intensity (because of large coverage area) and throw appear limited. Yinding measures out at approx. 1050 lumens but the narrower beam is more intense and has more throw than the BT40s (similar optics + more lumens also gives it a little more throw than a Xera).

    ***I added a few more links to my last post for you to check out***
    Mole

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    It would probably be best to re use my batteries, and I was looking at action LED and it sounds like the connectors work for magic shine, Gemini, and gloworm. I think they work on the bt40 and yingding.
    They will work with the majority of lights out there, even the ones with the threaded "solarstorm" connector (just don't lock together well).

    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    I think the bt40 if I can find neutral white would be the cheapest as a light head only. I don't need strobe, and would really be fine with just off/50%/100% settings. I would like a nice flood on the bars, does the bt40 do that okay? I need to find some reviews on here with beam shots.
    The BT40S is only available in neutral white. Recently what we call the "BT40S Clone" has shown up on Amazon (been as low as $6). In the 2017 Cheap-o Chinese Light thread I tore one down and compared it to the "real" one. The real BT40S is available straight from Revtronic on Ebay for $24.95 light head only here. I would go this route as opposed to going through GearBest (unless you choose the clone on Amazon).

    Beamshots & reveiws posted all around of both BT40S and Yinding. Here are some of my beamshots of both. My Yinding was the first batch and came with a warmer tint than they now use (it will match the BT40S much better now). I actually prefer this warmer tint while others do not, but to each his own. All beamshots below at max output and lights are stock.

    Stock Yinding:



    and:



    Stock BT40S:



    and:



    Another link which might interest you, My Diffusion Techniques testing (before I had a DIY integrating sphere for better measurements). "My Bike Lights Thread" on BLF has a lot of info and beamshots (complete with mouseovers too) - just note that many links in the first post are broken, so you need jump to the post# +1.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  12. #12
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    Thanks to both of you!
    So I'm definitely going to do the bt40s on my bars. It's a bit too good of an option to pass up. I saw the light head only on eBay just now and asked the seller if it comes with the flood lens. I found the 2016 cat man review and thread of this light, and another one, and the flood is exactly what I want in my bar light.

    If I did that upgrade for $25 all in with my existing battery and mount I would be REALLY STOKED!!!

    I'm light on equipment, and my mountain biking is xc, so I should be good. In San Diego we go from tons of ambient light to none in seconds sometimes. Plus the dirt I ride on can sometimes be pretty white, and it's hard to spot Sandy sections for me. My eyes are sensitive to light change- even on bright days wearing sunglasses if I go under a tree I'll be totally blinded as my eyes adjust slowly. Really looking forward to that flood lens!

    The thing that is attractive on the xera is that it's decent throw, but still spreads a bit. Due to the above those narrow lights really mess with me sometimes. It's also a really light head unit, which would be awesome.

    If it was NW light, I'd probably just buy it now and be done with it.

    But I'll have to do some helmet light research now.

    Thanks again!

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Barry, by the way, I was just browsing your thread. Those beam shot mouse overs are genius. Thank you!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Barry, by the way, I was just browsing your thread. Those beam shot mouse overs are genius. Thank you!
    Barry? Who is Barry? (Just kidding.)

    The stock BT40S has plenty of flood. The light head only option probably doesn't come with the flood lens anyway. Well, I take that back - my first BT40S light head didn't come with it, but the 2nd light head did (both come with o-rings). Don't forget to replace the plastic mount with your QR or this aluminum one from DX. Mole has also reported that this QR C&B Seen one works too.

    I'm not sure if anyone has ever taken beam pics with the flood lens on the BT40S, but I think everyone has agreed it's too floody for MTB use.

    -Garry
    "My Bike Lights" Thread on BLF teardowns, measurements, and beamshots. Moving my photos, PM or post up if you can't see them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garrybunk View Post
    Barry? Who is Barry? (Just kidding.)

    The stock BT40S has plenty of flood. The light head only option probably doesn't come with the flood lens anyway. Well, I take that back - my first BT40S light head didn't come with it, but the 2nd light head did (both come with o-rings). Don't forget to replace the plastic mount with your QR or this aluminum one from DX. Mole has also reported that this QR C&B Seen one works too.

    I'm not sure if anyone has ever taken beam pics with the flood lens on the BT40S, but I think everyone has agreed it's too floody for MTB use.

    -Garry
    Hahaha - sorry dude. I couldn't see your post when I was typing - I think the double 'r' threw me.

    Well I'll see if they have it or can throw it in for $5. It's worth it to have to experiment with or for different situations. I saw a review + beam photos on candlepower - linked below.

    [REVIEW] Revtronic BT40S bike light

  16. #16
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    Great info! In the same situation as the OP with one MJ808 clone, just was not working for me now that I'm riding more in the dark. Ordered the Amazon BT40 clone for the bar and ThorFire BL30 for helmet. The ThorFire on the bars alone is a huge improvement but will move that to helmet once my Vancbiker mounts and the BT40 arrive.

  17. #17
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    I emailed action LED and they got back to me very fast. All Gemini lights are nw LEDs, so I'm going to go with the xera. I think the form factor will work very well. They have a spot optic for $5 I'll probably throw in to experiment with. This will work with my existing batteries and mount, so I'm stoked.

    The last thing I am curious about is rear lights for the road. I didn't ask at first because I cared most about the head lights and didn't want to distract.

    I currently have two planet bike super flashes. They're pretty dang good, but I know they don't stand out as well when there's a ton of ambient light or during the day. I am looking to get a rechargable rear light, with decent battery life, that is bright, but not too the point of blinding every other guy out there. I'll likely attach it to my seat post, and keep a super flash in my helmet.

    The Gemini iris is on action LED and is enticing, but I don't know anything about tail lights so it's kind of a shot in the dark. Any input?

    https://www.action-led-lights.com/co...ris-rear-light

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  18. #18
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    Idea! Cateye Capid X3 (TL-LD720-R)

    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    The last thing I am curious about is rear lights for the road.
    I currently have two planet bike super flashes. They're pretty dang good, but I know they don't stand out as well when there's a ton of ambient light or during the day.

    • rechargable rear light
    • decent battery life
    • bright, but not too the point of blinding every other guy out there
    • attach it to my seat post


    I don't know anything about tail lights so it's kind of a shot in the dark.
    Any input?
    How about budget, desired runtime, beam angle, quick mount option?

    Here you find first informations:
    bikelightdatabase.com/best/taillights/
    VISIBILITY IS A CYCLIST'S BEST DEFENSE BY DAY OR BY NIGHT | CATEYE

    Good taillights:
    TL-LD720-R | CATEYE
    knog.com.au/bike-lights/rear-lights/blinder-mob-v-mr-chips.html
    orfos.us/pages/flarepro
    smart-bike.squarespace.com/taillight-1456
    specialized.com/us/en/equipment/accessories/flux-expert-tail-light/131113
    specialized.com/us/en/equipment/accessories/flux-expert-tail-light-flexible-seatpost-mount/131200
    specialized.com/us/en/equipment/accessories/flux-expert-tail-light-seatpost-mount/132561

    Good brands:
    Product categories | CATEYE
    knog.com.au/bike-lights/rear-lights/sort-by/price/sort-direction/desc.html
    bumm.de/en/products/akku-batterie-rucklichter.html



  19. #19
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    Thanks for your help guys, want to give y'all an update as I know how annoying it is when you don't find out what happened!

    So I got the bt40s from revtronic. It's great. Warm light, okay throw, nice wide beam. I got the flood lens too, but haven't yet used it. Other than a quick test. I think it would be great on slow, tight, technical trails, but right now I'm riding a lot of mixed trail/road rides so it might not have the throw. We'll see. With 4 LEDs it seems to drain batteries, but it is plenty bright, so I think using the highest setting is pretty superfluous 90% of the time. My batteries are a couple years old so many they aren't working quite like day 1 either.

    I received and mounted the Gemini xera Friday and did a quick ride. It doesn't have as much throw as the m808, but it's just because the spot is wider and has smoother dispersion- I am sure lux would still read much much higher. I have a spot lens for it, if I so choose, and that seems to narrow the beam closer to the m808. The light-head gets warm, as advertised. JRA at 65F, I can feel the heat through light gloves. I didn't hit the thermal step down though at stop lights etc. I went ahead and got the package so I have a backup battery. I don't think I'll be a fan of the hard case one, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I don't like the band mounts. I moved it to my existing helmet mount, which I need to alter a tiny bit, but it works great. Much lighter than the m808. The NW LED of the gemini is not quite as neutral as the Bt40s. There's noticeably more blue in it. It is still better than the m808 I had though.



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  20. #20
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    Good to hear! The BT40S really doesn't draw much power by today's standards (about 1.75A on Turbo) and you can save power by using High at 75% output. Even mediocre battery packs (4cell, 5,200mAh) should provide 3 hours using Turbo continuously.

    -Garry

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    Thanks for your help guys, want to give y'all an update as I know how annoying it is when you don't find out what happened!

    So I got the bt40s from revtronic. It's great. Warm light, okay throw, nice wide beam. I got the flood lens too, but haven't yet used it. Other than a quick test. I think it would be great on slow, tight, technical trails, but right now I'm riding a lot of mixed trail/road rides so it might not have the throw. We'll see. With 4 LEDs it seems to drain batteries, but it is plenty bright, so I think using the highest setting is pretty superfluous 90% of the time. My batteries are a couple years old so many they aren't working quite like day 1 either.

    I received and mounted the Gemini xera Friday and did a quick ride. It doesn't have as much throw as the m808, but it's just because the spot is wider and has smoother dispersion- I am sure lux would still read much much higher. I have a spot lens for it, if I so choose, and that seems to narrow the beam closer to the m808. The light-head gets warm, as advertised. JRA at 65F, I can feel the heat through light gloves. I didn't hit the thermal step down though at stop lights etc. I went ahead and got the package so I have a backup battery. I don't think I'll be a fan of the hard case one, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I don't like the band mounts. I moved it to my existing helmet mount, which I need to alter a tiny bit, but it works great. Much lighter than the m808. The NW LED of the gemini is not quite as neutral as the Bt40s. There's noticeably more blue in it. It is still better than the m808 I had though.

    Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
    Just take our word for it; the flood lens on the BT40S is just too restrictive. The standard lens has more than enough spill to light up a wide trail and just enough throw to be useful. Used in combo with a good helmet lamp the BT40's make a decent bar lamp.

    Doesn't surprise me that the Gemini Xera comes standard with the wider optic. Since you have the spot lens I highly suggest using the spot lens unless you really don't need the added throw. It also doesn't surprise me that you feel the Xera isn't using a NW emitter. All the Gemini lamps seem to use the same tint. I don't know why Gemini considers these NW LED's because to my eyes they are more like "Bright White" which is likely somewhere in the 5500K temperature range.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    It also doesn't surprise me that you feel the Xera isn't using a NW emitter. All the Gemini lamps seem to use the same tint. I don't know why Gemini considers these NW LED's because to my eyes they are more like "Bright White" which is likely somewhere in the 5500K temperature range.
    5500K? Really? Are you sure that your Gemini is of the type after they changed emitters?

    I bougth one Titan and one Dou at the same time this fall. The tint didn't match, the titan was cooler and the duo warmer. Tried to measure it with a canon dSLR by taking phot in RAW of a white balance card and using the white balance dropper tool in the RAW conversion software (Adobe) (*).

    Result was
    Titan (old): 5850 Kelvin
    Duo (new): 4450 Kelvin

    Turns out that the titan I got was old stock. It came in a cardbord box, while newer versions come in a zippered case. Don't know If the box change happend simultaniously as the emitter change, probably not. I sent it back and got a new one, with instructions to make sure it was current stock. This second one has the same tint as my new duo measured above. According to this forum the change from CW to NW emitters was around march 2016.

    (*) My digitial camera is not a calibrated measuring instrument device, but I don't excpect it to be thousends of Kelvins off.

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