Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

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madnomad   1 W

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Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by madnomad » Jan 06 2015 10:21am

So my new bike light arrived today, and its pretty disappointing:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/191304896814? ... EBIDX%3AIT
It has an extremely focused beam, and although it has 3 modes, high, low and strobe, it doesn't have a switch to go between them. The only way is to turn it off and on again. Was expecting great things because its got good reviews on Amazon. But its nowhere near as bright as the one I'm already using at the moment, which is one of these:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4X-CREE-XM-L- ... 35cd8eda53

This is the second motorbike bike light I have bought, the first one was this one:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/191146908569? ... EBIDX%3AIT
and was equally disappointing. Could it be that the CA doesn't put out enough amps to run these kind of lights?

I'm not going to bother with lights designed to run off the battery any more. Now I'm just going to get an adjustable converter that can turn 56v into 8.4v so I can power decent bicycle lights. Seems to be impossible to find a nice waterproof one though- you need to put them in your own waterproof box :( . I need something a bit like this, but with adjustable output, and hopefully nowhere near as expensive:
http://www.ebikes.ca/shop/ebike-parts/d ... -dual.html
Does anyone know if anyone makes something like this?
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 06 2015 10:54am

you could strip the light a dump the driver circuit and add a custom one..


http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php ... uct_id=276

Custom firmware to select what modes you want. There are many more on that site, I just picked one at random..there are many others.



While you are at it, swap the LED too, go for a XM l2 U3 on what ever size star your light currently has.

http://www.mtnelectronics.com/index.php ... duct_id=80


again that is just a random selection from the LED list.

International Outdoor also do drivers and LED's on stars.



You will need your 56-8.4 volt dropper though
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by speedmd » Jan 06 2015 11:13am

The T6 led lamps kick ass. I just got one with a focus ring and single led and like it much better than the fixed focus one I had already for cross country skiing. Should be relatively easy to run a 8v circuit off the main battery.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 06 2015 11:21am

If you scroll down the page I link to you will see a T6 is a lower emitter brightness bin than a U3. go with U3 for maximum efficiency / brightness

http://flashlightwiki.com/Cree

there isa a quick screen capture


Screengrab 2015-01-06 at 16.20.52.jpg
Screengrab 2015-01-06 at 16.20.52.jpg (233.2 KiB) Viewed 2498 times
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 06 2015 4:29pm

Since you don't like the User Interface of the light as it is, and an LED upgrade would be good too, you are probably going to have to change the driver board. So rather than choose a 2 series (8.4volt) board, go for a 3 series 12 volt board, paired with an off the shelf Meanwell dc-dc block and you are done.
One of the SKA60 'C' series with input up to 72VDC will be just fine.

http://www.meanwell.com/webapp/product/ ... prod=ska60
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by speedmd » Jan 06 2015 4:30pm

Not much output difference in u3 vs t6 chips. The U seems to be best certainly in cold light output. Newer versions of the T6 are even better than older U3. I do not like the cool (blue) color lamps in general, and in damp conditions I find they do not show up as well. Regardless, you do not get anywhere the light output with a single U3 to come close with 4 of the T6 chips all running at once. Six of them in the same lamp housing is insane amounts of light. Too narrow a Focus is biggest problem with most of these inexpensive lamps. Agree that the step/ cycle switch is a pain. A head light switch control / regulator is in dire need for Ebikes to properly take advantage of these great LED chips.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 06 2015 4:45pm

Well of course , 4 of anything so close is bound to put out more light than just a single emitter. All depends if the original lamp has its optics built around s 4 emitter or single emitter star.

From my understanding the bin numbers we are talking about (T6/U2/U3 etc) are a different thing to the colour temperature. It's tint would be denoted by the second letter group, so after the efficiency designator (T6/U3 etc) then comes the tint teference, like 1A. 2C 3B.



Just been looking over the Meanwell site again
For a smaller wattage DcDc
http://www.meanwell.com/webapp/product/ ... od=nsd05-s

Plenty more DC-DC convertors on the Meanwellsite that will take 56 volt in. If you dig enough you may find one with variable output too.

Or just stick with the 12 volt and the get an adjustable CC LED driver board from ebay
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.vi ... 1059502388
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by speedmd » Jan 06 2015 5:13pm

From my understanding the bin numbers we are talking about (T6/U2/U3 etc) are a different thing to the colour temperature. It's tint would be denoted by the second letter group, so after the efficiency designator (T6/U3 etc) then comes the tint teference, like 1A. 2C 3B.
Hi Neil, Yes the second letter group dictates the color temp. In the 2700-K range (warm) it falls more to the T5- T6 class chip. Great color temp for fog or precipitation. In the 4000 K range it narrows to the U or V class chips going by the data sheets. They just keep getting better and better. Driver board looks to be the ticket with a high low setting / switch.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by Eclectic » Jan 06 2015 7:06pm

madnomad wrote:This is the second motorbike bike light I have bought, the first one was this one:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/191146908569? ... EBIDX%3AIT
and was equally disappointing. Could it be that the CA doesn't put out enough amps to run these kind of lights?
Actually this is pretty much what I am using now. It puts out a lot of light but it throws it everywhere. I tamed it pretty well by creating the right hood for it (I'm planning a post on that when I get the time to document the process). The other thing I found was if I mounted it on the handlebars, it was just about the height of most car passenger compartments so it was really blinding others on the road until I moved down to the top of the forks instead of the handlebar. As far as waterproof, I couldn't tell you because California has been in a drought since I built my bike.
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 07 2015 1:57am

What you probably need is a lamp with a proper shaped reflector beam

Justin over at E-bike.ca is developing one right now,

Or there is the Specialised Flux Expert
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... -Intensive

It has twin down shining LED's for low beam and a single third more forward higher pointing 'high' beam. In low 2 LEDS in High, all three

You can strip that down if you wish as it is all screwed together, remove the battery pack (2x 18650) and possibly fit a DCDC convertor in there. I havd DeNoitte bike lights, that are originally designed for 8.4 volt input but happily accept 12volt. I asked DeNoitte first and they confirmed the higher input voltage to be OK.

You may find similar with the flux expert.

Edit : The Flux Expert Actually Runs At 4.2 Volt, and does also have a 5volt USB input for external poet and charging. SO there is a fair chance the light can be run direct from 5 volt. So fit one of the Meanwells as I linked to earlier inside the Flux Expert battery tray to drop your 56 straight down to 5 volts and your are good to go.

There are also properly shaped reflector units from a Busch & Müller, like the B&M Lumotec IQ Fly Senso Plus , a Dynamo
Powered German TUV approved road bike light. , They have proper non glare reflectors too.
Most current bike lights are really just torches with round beams/ reflectors that waste half their light upward as glare.
Last edited by NeilP on Jan 07 2015 6:24am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 07 2015 3:36am

speedmd wrote:
From my understanding the bin numbers we are talking about (T6/U2/U3 etc) are a different thing to the colour temperature. It's tint would be denoted by the second letter group, so after the efficiency designator (T6/U3 etc) then comes the tint teference, like 1A. 2C 3B.
Hi Neil, Yes the second letter group dictates the color temp. In the 2700-K range (warm) it falls more to the T5- T6 class chip. Great color temp for fog or precipitation. In the 4000 K range it narrows to the U or V class chips going by the data sheets. They just keep getting better and better. .
OK, I get it...I have not looked that closely. I assumed you could get all tmps in each efficiency class. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by crea2k » Jan 07 2015 8:11am

I have two of those lights you posted and they work ok for me on 75v pack, just angle them up a bit so the beam spreads out.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by crea2k » Jan 07 2015 8:13am

If you want something nice and bright though try this : http://www.fenixtorch.co.uk/Shop/Fenix- ... Light.html
I know from my candlepower forum days that Fenix make bad ass lights, iv got a TK 70 and its brighter than my car.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by Ykick » Jan 07 2015 8:23am

I request people who run insanely bright headlights on their bike please be aware of how easy it is to blind oncoming bicycles and vehicular traffic.

Many of these LED lights on the bridge path I ride blind to the point of having to stop until these things pass. I think most don't even realize the effect they're having on others but someday, they're gonna piss off the wrong dude and their insanely bright headlight(s) may wind up in their ass....
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by speedmd » Jan 07 2015 9:10am

Agree, they are a potential hazard. One of the main issues is the chip come with a uniform tight angle cone pattern shaped lens built on the chip. Reflector design alone is a difficult task for road applications with this type lens as it is set up as a sort of self contained mini spot light that really does not need a reflector. I would think this chip lens could be greatly improved for road application to keep it down and out of the eyes of oncoming traffic. Like the multiply light approach to help spread it out.
I assumed you could get all tmps in each efficiency class.
Not 100% sure! I see some data sheets listing the T2-T5 class mainly in the lower color temps and the T6- U3 mainly in higher color temps. Interesting product. Lots of variation in color temperature across the efficiency classes. Lots of range in voltage and current handling also. Much to learn.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 07 2015 1:16pm

Ykick wrote:I request people who run insanely bright headlights on their bike please be aware of how easy it is to blind oncoming bicycles and vehicular traffic.

Many of these LED lights on the bridge path I ride blind to the point of having to stop until these things pass. I think most don't even realise the effect they're having on others but someday, they're gonna piss off the wrong dude and their insanely bright headlight(s) may wind up in their ass....
Yes this is the big problem...but not because they are insanely bright, but because they don't have a road use suitable reflector. They are all designed as torches / flash lamps,

The problem is they are not actually that bright, well bright but when looked sat directly but they don't illuminate the ground very we'll because half of the light is going upwards, and in to the eyes of oncoming cars/ pedestrians.

I e-mailed Justin about this, and he already has some proper designed lamps in the pipeline.

Up until now all bike lights are just as creak2k is suggesting , like the Fenix or many others, they are standard flashlights packaged in a bike friendly package, but they still have the same axial pattern reflector..totally unsafe on the road.


It seems that the Germans already have regulations about this, hence the B&M lights or the Flux Expert and soon Justins bike.ca lights.
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by d8veh » Jan 07 2015 6:06pm

madnomad wrote:
I'm not going to bother with lights designed to run off the battery any more. Now I'm just going to get an adjustable converter that can turn 56v into 8.4v so I can power decent bicycle lights. Seems to be impossible to find a nice waterproof one though- you need to put them in your own waterproof box :( . I need something a bit like this, but with adjustable output, and hopefully nowhere near as expensive:
http://www.ebikes.ca/shop/ebike-parts/d ... -dual.html
Does anyone know if anyone makes something like this?
You don't have to give up on lights that run off the battery. This one is pretty good. I tried that first one you listed and found the same as you:

http://www.banggood.com/LED10-U_S-CREE- ... 36965.html

It doesn't have hi/lo beam. The listing is incorrect. This one does though, and is even brighter, but you have to make your own bracket for it, which is easy enough:

http://www.banggood.com/LED100-U_S-CREE ... 36991.html

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 07 2015 8:59pm

Trouble is that again even though it is called a motorcycle light, it is still a straight conical beam pattern,so probably illegal as motorcycle main headlight any way. Pretty sure most headlamps needs to be properly designed not to dazzle for on-road use. As Ykick says, pretty soon someone is going to get fitted in a place where a medical procedure is required to remove it!
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by biohazardman » Jan 08 2015 1:59am

I have a bit of experience with these lights myself. Usually pressing the switch in halfway will change modes and yes 5 mode lights, which most are, are a pain. The best thing about the 5 modes is when you turn it off it toggles to the next setting when you turn it back on so you constantly have to run through all the settings to get back to what you normally use. GRRR Most single LED units are decent for bicycle lights that run at normal bicycle speeds <20mph speeds. Two light units are so-so at 20MPH and I like at least three for 25-30MPH without street lights. Edit; Sorry did not understand at first. Narrow beam lights like the one you just purchased are only good if you are running more than one light. It probly is a single T6 U2 your older four light unit most likely has four T6 XM-L so 3 to 4 times the output in a much wider and more usable beam. If you need that much light why not just run them both and see if that is what you are after. That's what I do if sometimes when I know I am going to be out and away from street lighting.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 08 2015 5:43am

biohazard man wrote: The best thing about the 5 modes is when you turn it off it toggles to the next setting when you turn it back on so you constantly have to run through all the settings to get back to what you normally use. GRRR

I am guessing since the Grrrr comment that you did not mean it was the best thing about them!!


I hate that function..so any light like that I get, gets its driver PCB swapped out for another...with these boards costing as little as $3 or 4 USD, it is not a big issue.

Usually just a matter of unsoldering two wires, fitting the new board and soldering the two wires back.

Mountain Electronics ...drivers
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by biohazardman » Jan 08 2015 6:05am

NeilP wrote:
biohazard man wrote: The best thing about the 5 modes is when you turn it off it toggles to the next setting when you turn it back on so you constantly have to run through all the settings to get back to what you normally use. GRRR

I am guessing since the Grrrr comment that you did not mean it was the best thing about them!!


I hate that function..so any light like that I get, gets its driver PCB swapped out for another...with these boards costing as little as $3 or 4 USD, it is not a big issue.

Usually just a matter of unsoldering two wires, fitting the new board and soldering the two wires back.

Mountain Electronics ...drivers
Yup, I hate the five mode stuff and have found some three mode drivers for my flashlights while looking for single mode on/off with lower voltages to do 940nm IR stuff. I tried to mod one, some are easy but had no luck with this one it does not werq the way I thought. I have not even thought about doing the same to the bike lights. Thanks for the thought like I don't already have enough of them, with all the voices, :wink: and all now I have just one more. Another thing to do now that I just retired looks like I have at least a year or two just to finish what I started, but never completed, before I retired. Oh, thanks for the link I found 4 other places to get drivers but not that one.
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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by crea2k » Jan 08 2015 10:25am

At a guess its just got a 555 timer chip on it that jumps it to the next output circuit each time the button is pressed.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by speedmd » Jan 09 2015 8:30am

got a 555 timer chip on it that jumps it to the next output circuit each time the button is pressed
Wonder if you can bypass / jumper the circuit settings that are not needed, to give just a hi/ low. Off can be done up stream.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by friendly1uk » Jan 09 2015 8:42am

NeilP wrote:The problem is they are not actually that bright, well bright but when looked sat directly but they don't illuminate the ground very we'll because half of the light is going upwards, and in to the eyes of oncoming cars/ pedestrians.
I'm sticking leds to mirrors and getting a nice pattern. Good clean cut-off and what went up now goes down. It's not going to be improved upon by tir's or anything else fancy. It's just what the doctor ordered. Ultimately, a bit of mirror from a disco ball might be all a lot of these lights need to make them right.

Thanks for the meanwell links.
bmsbattery sent me broken and incorrect stuff, and won't even talk to me about it.

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Re: Got my new bike light... pretty disappointed...

Post by NeilP » Jan 09 2015 9:29am

speedmd wrote:
got a 555 timer chip on it that jumps it to the next output circuit each time the button is pressed
Wonder if you can bypass / jumper the circuit settings that are not needed, to give just a hi/ low. Off can be done up stream.
Only way to know for sure is to take photos of the driver boards and post up on the Budget Light Forum modification pages. CPF munch are not as helpful for mod info as the guys on the BLF.
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