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Cheap Bike lights, 800 lumens, 750 lumens, now testing the BL21

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  • Cheap Bike lights, 800 lumens, 750 lumens, now testing the BL21

    I have been getting into everything flashlight related (what I spent my lyme downtime on)
    and learned a lot about emitters and battery tech....
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shadow BL21 800 lumen

    good link (I buy from CNQ on occasion, OK)
    http://www.cnqualitygoods.com/goods.php?id=1640

    unknown on this site below
    http://www.intl-outdoor.com/shadow-b...ght-p-465.html
    ----------

    This is a lightweight and small light I am going to replace my niterider with.

    one thing for sure I am never paying over 100 bucks for any amount of lumens.

    anyhow, this is a smart-charger, 3x18650 battery pack, low-bright-strobe style 800 lumenx4 hour
    run time cheap light. why pay more ? maybe the waterproofing on this is not as good as niterider,
    maybe no race support...etc. but I paid 60 bucks delivered and so far it rocks.

    it has a screw hole which fits niterider bits, so I use the rubber trinewt strap for this.

    we'll see. If this gets me through the fall and winter with no hassles I will end up recommending it.

    I also strongly recommend, if you decide to buy this,
    to design a charging area for it that is flameproof, just in case...
    because chinese lithium packs (magicshine anyone ??) sometimes cheap out on the cells and well, if they want
    to catch fire you want to contain the flame. I have a metal tray, upon which is a terracotta birdbath, and that
    is where all my lithiums sit while on the charger or not in use. and I cover them up with a metal lid. I do not
    expect anything to catch fire, but hey, I'd rather have a smoky house than a burned down one.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    and this...Highly recommended headlight:
    I feel is the ultimate headlamp, because the COG is neutral and
    it doesn't flop or change it's aim whatsoever, and it is tiny and bright. I hate headlamps because they are
    funky to adjust and keep seated, and then what to do with the battery ? well...no more.

    zebralight H600 or H600w and eagletac protected 18650 cells. bad-ass, small, lightweight
    http://www.zebralight.com/H600-Cree-...8650_p_72.html
    I take the silicone holder and strap that to my helmet then slide the light sideways into it. absolutely bomber.

    Xstar wp2 charger for 18650's
    http://www.illuminationgear.com/14343.html

    Xtar gets great reviews
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Goodbye,
    (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
    You won't be missed.

  • #2
    Cheap and kinda interesting. Have you seen any real world reviews of these lights?? Nightrider stuff is overpriced with a high rate of problems. Great customer service and they need it.

    18650 batteries don't buy cheap ones IMO. Get good Panasonic, AW's or other really good cells not cheap Chinese crap. I use the Xtar charger also after doing much research. It's good.

    Zebralight makes some nice flashlights and headlamps. I have the SC600 XML 750 lumen flashllight and the thing is the nuts. Small, solid, nice UI and stupid bright. That new headlamp looks great....however take a look at these from Gemini Lights. More money for sure but the stuff is top quality, comes with great Panasonic 18650 cells, charger, mounts, optional spot or flood reflectors etc. I can personally vouch for the Xera helmet light which is fantastic and small and the 2 cell battery easily mounts to a helmet and you don't even know it's there. Flashlight is new but looks great and has the powerful XML U2 emitter and again comes with all the good stuff.

    Xera light http://gemini-lights.com/products/xera

    Xera flashlight http://gemini-lights.com/products/xera-flashlight

    Comment


    • #3
      I use eagletac protected 18650 3100mah for any 18650 light

      if the bl21 battery pack gives me grief, I have several 18650 holders I will strap
      together and fill it with eagtac 18650 and charge them independently

      no one has reviewed the bl21 yet. so....it is an experiment, but plenty of light and as I said, cheap.
      the only flaw I can see is beam is tad too narrow for tight singletrack, I needed to add a diffuser to get a little
      floodier beam (my diffuser technology is filling the lens 1/2 way with loose aerogel granules, and
      it works amazingly well and it is self-leveling, I have flood and throw as the same time)

      plus it is 18650 so if the batteries sour, no sweat using my own 18650 holders and 3 eagtacs...but the
      bl21 is wicked light. it is no 24hour race light... but for 3 hour rides, fine.

      flaws with niterider is they like to put the whole assembly way out in front of the holder, cog is way in front, so you are always trying to tighten and loosen it and
      going off drops makes it droop. Pain in the butt. this bl21 is light and centered so drops don't make it droop.

      I start using it on a regular basis real soon...this time of year 8pm is now dark thirty...can't see spending more, but you do need
      to know how to handle and maintain high power lithium's if you venture into the cheap light arena, just
      to be safe in case your cheap charging circuit is bad or the cells are lousy.

      I still have the minewt and trinewt as backups

      so my new current ride mode is: zebralight h600w in helmet, perma-mounted (all I do is swap battery)
      and then the bl21 on the bars. my testing playground is the boniest of bony top secret place, so if I come
      home with the same or less blood pouring out of me than daylight, I am doing OK
      Last edited by hogboy; August 1st, 2012, 09:34 AM.
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Goodbye,
      (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
      You won't be missed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lets see some pics of everything mounted up including the helmet with the Zebra Light.

        Your obviously comfortable dealing with and understanding the 18650 batteries. New users should keep it simple, pay for the good stuff and do the research to know the possible dangers involved.

        Night Rider has nicely designed stuff for the most part but their issues are more than just mounts (like the MiNewt flopping down and PIA battery setup). Plenty of quirky problems and failures from my research.

        How'd you like that Gemini stuff I linked to?

        Comment


        • #5
          zebralight h600 series (mine is a high CRI h600w, renders color more like natural sunlight)
          small, light, battery is internal, 750 lumens turbo and 400+ for 2.3 hours, or 6 other levels with various runtimes

          it stays where you aim it but also turns very easily...aiming and accessing it's modes is an absolute breeze




          Last edited by hogboy; August 1st, 2012, 09:50 PM.
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Goodbye,
          (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
          You won't be missed.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nice, and super low profile. Do you notice it at all being off center? I assume that's the spot not the floody version? It would be nice if they made that interchangeable optics/reflectors like the Gemini lights.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ktmdad View Post
              Nice, and super low profile. Do you notice it at all being off center? I assume that's the spot not the floody version? It would be nice if they made that interchangeable optics/reflectors like the Gemini lights.
              off center, like that matters why ? means nothing in use. doesn't need any better optics. believe me I spent >$3500 in the last 7 months
              researching everything and anything regarding power leds and systems, and I only own what I choose to own after hard research

              this is not to say I know it all, but there is no system for sale I have seen and want, that I don't already own

              I have entered the arena of high power lithium with individual protected cells and separate chargers, not the best place to
              be if you do not want to bother with testing batteries from time to time. expensive bike lights usually have idiot-proof circuits so there
              is about no way in hell the cells can get damaged from abuse or charging incorrectly. with 18650's and lights like the BL21, you
              just need to know to keep an eye on it, if it gets warm it means there is a situation occuring, if you crash and dent the battery
              pack you gotta know to replace it....worries like that are engineered out of the $500 dollar light systems.

              h600w is higher cri flood

              back to the off-center of the zebralight..if anything it makes riding with a headlight easier as
              a centered light hides the true dimensions of the objects you encounter, with this one slightly
              favoring one eye, each eye picks up a different shadow of any object and it is easier to gauge
              the dimensions. centered headlights always make me stuff myself on certain babyheads, which
              is why I usually never use headlights at all...but this side-mount gives better parallax representation of shadows,
              so I can better tell the depth...and sort 3 inch/5 inch/8 inch rocks apart...

              you don't notice it is off the the side, visually your riding space is just lit all the hell up.
              Last edited by hogboy; August 2nd, 2012, 04:56 PM.
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Goodbye,
              (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
              You won't be missed.

              Comment


              • #8
                I got more information about the BL21 light and charger

                1. Yes, the charger is smart charger, when the light is green, it means the battery is full-charged, and it will stop charging.

                2. Batteries are unprotected 18650, the circuit of the bike light has over-discharge protection; This will keep the battery and light safe.

                3. The 18650s are 2200mAh

                4. The driver of the light is current regulation, The current on High mode is 2Amp.
                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Goodbye,
                (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
                You won't be missed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Hogboy,

                  which 18650 holders do you use? That HL looks good. Do you think that would work OK standalone for riding singletrack?

                  Mike
                  The Brute Squad

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by If_Rider View Post
                    Hey Hogboy,

                    which 18650 holders do you use? That HL looks good. Do you think that would work OK standalone for riding singletrack?

                    Mike
                    I got 18650 holders from dealextreme

                    http://www.digikey.com/product-searc...K-18650-PC2-ND

                    leaf-spring ends, two tabs stick out on the bottom you can solder

                    The HL you mean zebraight or BL21? I have been riding the zebralight only, as the days get darker and I am
                    out past 8...and when I do use it I don't need anything else...I am getting used to it so far

                    no you don't need anything else, but I have depth perception deafness with only a light on head (due to the way shadows
                    are almost non-existent with a head mount, rocks look flatter, therefore many mistakes) oddly however, this zebralight doesn't
                    seem to cause that problem...is it the neutral tint, or the offset mount ? I will be using both when it is for sure -dark-.

                    But as a light and photon cannon, the Zebralight is fine. What I like most is it's mount is loose enough to easily
                    rotate the aim anywhere, but the light will not move on it's own because it doesn't have a fat head to flop around

                    changing the 2+ hour single 18650 on trail would be cake too. reach up, unscrew cap, drop out/in, screw cap, hammer.

                    my primary goal is BL21 on high, on bars, and zebralight around 300 lumens (3+hours) on the noggin
                    however I have not had depth perception issues with this light in that position.


                    ----
                    The BL as a sole light ? Fine, but I would add a 1/2 lens diffuser for singletrack, as it seems to have a tight beam, which is great, but I
                    need to light up bailout spots too, and the trinewt does that job better. I made a 1/2 lens diffuser out of aerogel which
                    gives the perfect mix of throw and up front flood. Yes I have loose aerogel grains sloshing around in the front of the
                    BL21 and it -really- rules as a diffuser that is always level no matter how it is mounted. and the beam has no artifacts
                    ever, it just always has flood and throw. here it is on the trinewt mount
                    Last edited by hogboy; August 11th, 2012, 12:11 PM.
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Goodbye,
                    (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
                    You won't be missed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok

                      been riding with the BL21
                      ---
                      yup, if you need a bright bike light, and want to save major coin, this one is small, light, CHEAP, and works great

                      for really bony singletrack, you may want to add 1/2 diffuser film (get at camera shops) to
                      improve the flood. it has all the throw you need.

                      smart charger goes red when charging, yellow when topping off, green when done.

                      light is so well balanced that bumps, jumps, and get-offs do not screw with the aim

                      and did I say cheap ? and small ? and light ? get 2 of them, and it is still cheaper
                      than most light sets.

                      ----
                      being 18650 parallel powered, you could make your own battery pack,
                      2, 3, [or 4 batteries in parallel, you would get extended runtimes]. it already does
                      3.5 hours just fine on it's 3 18650's, says it goes to 4 hours.

                      the housing has a threaded hole which fits existing niterider hardware...so if you have
                      a tired old niterider mount or minewt, parts can be interchanged.

                      oh and also this....aerogel does make an awesome diffuser, it has amazing optic effects (pure diffusion, no artifacts)
                      and i have a giant jug of it. so if anyone wanted to play with it for a diffuser, I can supply enough aerogel for ya.
                      Last edited by hogboy; August 14th, 2012, 04:02 PM.
                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Goodbye,
                      (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
                      You won't be missed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cool. I'd like to get some of that aerogel from you if you don't mind.
                        The Brute Squad

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          pm sent

                          bring a clean dry empty aspirin or pill bottle and i can fill it up
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Goodbye,
                          (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
                          You won't be missed.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OK,


                            review update:

                            The BL-21 light itself and battery pack is fine, this thing works great for a long time

                            The charger, however, is junk. It already died (only charges to 3.99 volts then stops)

                            --
                            so I am keeping the light and will charge it's pack using my Xtar wpII and some gator clips


                            I cannot recommend this light 100% due to the cheezy charger,

                            but as a light with a small battery pack (3x18650), the BL-21 is pretty awesome
                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            Goodbye,
                            (4S,4aR,5S,5aR,6R,12aS)-4-(dimethylamino)- 3,5,10,12,12a-pentahydroxy- 6-methyl- 1,11-dioxo- 1,4,4a,5,5a,6,11,12a-octahydrotetracene- 2-carboxamide.
                            You won't be missed.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just got a Magicshine knock off (I know! a Magicshine KNOCKOFF!) from Amazon for $37 (IIRC). It says 1200 lumens, supposedly the old MS were 700 lumens. I can see that it is definitely a different LED in there and a quick wall test says that the new one is indeed a lot brighter than the old one. Can't wait to get it out on the trail and see for sure. Same quality as a MS as far as I can see - which is to say, not great, but not bad either.
                              Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

                              Comment

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