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Best bang for the buck light

1023 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  POG
I am looking for the best bang for the buck light.

Currently I have a 3-4 year old Night Rider HID helmet light. I don't remember the model but it is one of there more popular if no most popular helmet mounted lights.

I also have a Performance dual non-HID handlebar mount light. It's OK but definitely like the HID better.

What I am after is some as powerful as possible. I want to light up the woods but don't want to spend $550 to do it. I prefer to stay somewhere around $200-$250ish. I little more if its for something good enough. Less is OK too!

I see some triple lights advertised but wonder if that's all just gimmick?

I will use the light for general trail riding and possibly a 24 hr race next year.
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Wow, this same question is asked once a week.

Here is where it was last asked:
I'm a big fan of the 400L by dinotte. Just bought mine on sale for $209, ~400 lumens, helmet mount, handle bar mount, charger and 2 batteries. Lightweight too. It's not blinding by any means, but I find 400 lumens is plenty where I ride.

Also, night rider is famous for great customer service; I know several people who have sent their lights back and had them totally rebuilt (new battery, new lighthead) for basically nothing. If you're having any issue with their light I'd give em a call.
Just got my Dinotte 800/400L combo 2 days ago, from the special on their website.

I could not be happier - these lights are way better than the pictures show. Best Xmas present I've ever had the wife sanction and then get for myself.
kbell said:
.... I prefer to stay somewhere around $200-$250ish. I little more if its for something good enough. Less is OK too!...
I have tried a couple of LED lights (cygo & dinotte 200's) . I have built 3 DIY dinottes with Q5 Cree leds with different optics (DX and L2 Osram). I put 3 Q5s in a Maglite head with DX optics and a Buckpuck 1A driver. All of these lights are great and well under $200.
Having said that, I think for an all inclusive, bang for the buck light, a Niterider HID is very tough to beat. The downside is, if anything goes wrong, they are expensive to repair. It ended up costing me $80 to get a new ballast in mine this year, but I was glad when it came back. It has a great beam pattern that fits my riding style.
I am using my HID on my helmet and a DIY dinotte with a floody pattern on my bars since I have it.
While I am a huge LED fan, cheap + bright = over-volted halogen. Basically, you run a 12V halogen bulb at 14V. You'll get huge light out of a 20W bulb, the bulbs cost $5, and you can use any kind of battery pack you want. DIY build cost is in the $50 range including NiMH batteries.
I second the photon max recommendation

JimZinVT said:
I don't have one but riding buddy does - great light. I have an L&M arc and the nightflux photon max is better. The photon max has a spot which is as bright as the arc spot but much wider - The arc may have an overall wider beam but the spot is tiny compared to the photon max. The photon max also has a more natural color. The light head seems to be about the same weight as the L&M - perhaps a tiny bit lighter. The pics I've seen of the photon max light head make it look much bulkier than it actually is. Unless something better comes along in the interim, I will get a photon max when my arc finally dies. Shouldn't they send me a free one after such a glowing testimonial?
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