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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just got the new iBlaast2 in from Nightlighting in NZ today. They say it's the first one to ship with the new LED's (Cree R2 I am assuming). So here is my first impressions of it, but keep in mind that it is Cinco de Mayo and the Patron has been flowing...

Anyway, I have been using a Jetlites Phantom (helmet mount) for two years using a 14.8v Li-ion battery, which I have always preferred to any other light I have seen in person so far, halogen or HID. I haven't really ever run across anyone with a decent LED to compare with. The Jet light is just as nice as you can get with a halogen IMO.

The first impression of the iBlaast2 was that it was bigger than I thought it would be. The lens diameter must be close to if not equal to a MR16 bulb, but then maybe all triple LED lights are. It's bigger than the Jet anyway. But, after measuring the height of the light after mounting it, it was the same as the Jet because of the higher mount of the Jet. My digital scale is out of 9V battery at the moment, but the listed weights are 135 for the iBlaast2 and 70 for the Jet Phantom. I haven't ridden with the iBlaast2 yet, though, so I can't really comment on the difference.

The programming of the iBlaast2 is pretty easy, but requires reading the instructions pretty closely to get the hang of it. Once you do, it all makes sense. The whole procedure took 45 seconds, but was not actually necessary, I just wanted there to be two light levels instead of three and make sure the high setting was the highest possible.

As far as light output, the iBlasst is not only whiter light, but it is decently brighter as well. I always thought the Jet was pretty much the whitest of the halogens, but it looks pretty yellow compared to the iBlaast2. Jet claims 750 lumens from the 25W light and iBlaast2 claims 885 lumens if these LED's are the R2 Cree's. But, maybe they are something more potent, as they waid it was going to be a 1000 lumen light. Either way, it's a noticable difference how much brighter the iBlaast2 is than the Jet Phantom.

The beam patterns are actually quite similar between the two, with the Jet having a sharper peripheral halo than the iBlaast2, which is a gradual fade out.

I took some photos of the two, but they aren't really all that impressive. The thing to remember is that the camera settings were the same, actually the same as in the LED light shootout, except the aperature was 5.6 instead of 4.0. And they are a little out of focus, but I am not an expert night photographer and rember the aforementioned Cinco de Mayo comment... Also take into account that the Jet light is using a fresh 14.8V battery that is actually at 16.75V when photographed, and the iBlaast2 is using a similar battery, but at a lower actual voltage. The difference is, I believe, the Jet can is actually using the 16.75V at the bulb, but dims slightly as the battery gets down to around 13V. I think the iBlasst uses the same voltage at the bulb regardless of battery voltage output.

The telephone post in the first two shots is about 175 ft away.

I'll try to get some better shots another day, but for now, maybe you'll get the idea.

Overall, I am very pleased so far with the light. The build quality is perfect and I will cry when I first scratch it. I'll get some more info after my first ride as well.

The Jet Phantom 20W with 14.8V Li-ion battery (actually at 16.75V when photograph was taken).


Same pic of iBlaast2 (with 15.5V li-ion battery at time of photograph).


Different shot of Jet light.


Same different shot of iBlaast2.


Shot of both lights, shining at same time, Jet on right, iBlaast2 on left.


EDIT for more information:

Here are some comparison pix of the two.

iBlaast2 on Giro Xen (without adapter, which may or may not be needed):


Jet Phantom on Giro Xen:


Side by side:


Head to head without adapter:


Head to head with adapter:


The adapter on the iBlaast looks like it will solve a problem with mounting lights on a Xen. The Xen has vents down the centerline of the helmet instead of a rib like most do. It has a rib down each side of the vents connected by two bridges. Without the adapter, you would need to mount the iBlaast on one of those two bridges. The Jet mount always felt to far forward on the Xen to me...the vents on it just aren't really condusive to mounting a light that uses straps. I'm not sure if the adapter will be necessary yet, it depends if the light will be aimed right on the bridges on the Xen.
 

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Thanks for getting this write-up up! I'm looking forward to your ride impressions as well.

I currently use a 6v Jetlite on my helmet, and a 13v Jetlite on my bar. I don't think the 13v is 25w like your though. I'm trying to decide if I should get one or two of these (and just completely replace my lights)...
 

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Looks Good

Thanks for posting the review up. I have just ordered my Iblaast 2 and will hopefully recieve it in the next few days. I was impressed with beam shots of the original I blaast and intend to use the Iblaast2 as a helmet light to compliment my Hope 4 led which is brilliant.
I have also been quoted by Nightlightning as the light emitting 1000lumens and they state that it is considerably brighter than the original I blaast. They inform me that the LEDS are the Cree R2's but I am unsure as to how they have got maximim power out of these.
Another writer on the forums told me to expect 25-30% increase in power over the original IBLAAST so this could well mean it is approaching the 1000lumens. Although in theory this is irrelevent as long as the light is much brighter as they say.
I'll post a review once I recieve mine.
Happy Night Riding!!!!

Ps. Are you UK based, if so did you get charged UK vat by customs.

Pete
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wish I Were Riding said:
Thanks for getting this write-up up! I'm looking forward to your ride impressions as well.

I currently use a 6v Jetlite on my helmet, and a 13v Jetlite on my bar. I don't think the 13v is 25w like your though. I'm trying to decide if I should get one or two of these (and just completely replace my lights)...
The 25w number is just a 20w/12V bulb driven at 14.8V, which is why Jet has changed the listing on their site. Yours, at 13.2V is what they list as a 22.5w. They all still say 20w on the bulb. The iBlaast2 will be even more noticably brighter than the 22.5 light than my crappy beam shots show.
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Pete N said:
Thanks for posting the review up. I have just ordered my Iblaast 2 and will hopefully recieve it in the next few days. I was impressed with beam shots of the original I blaast and intend to use the Iblaast2 as a helmet light to compliment my Hope 4 led which is brilliant.
I have also been quoted by Nightlightning as the light emitting 1000lumens and they state that it is considerably brighter than the original I blaast. They inform me that the LEDS are the Cree R2's but I am unsure as to how they have got maximim power out of these.
Another writer on the forums told me to expect 25-30% increase in power over the original IBLAAST so this could well mean it is approaching the 1000lumens. Although in theory this is irrelevent as long as the light is much brighter as they say.
I'll post a review once I recieve mine.
Happy Night Riding!!!!

Ps. Are you UK based, if so did you get charged UK vat by customs.

Pete
I'm also not sure how the 1000lumen number is being reached. From all that I have read on the Cree R2 LED's, their max output is 295lumen, which would put this light at 885, not 1000. Someone can correct me if my logic does not hold up here, but the 295 lumen number is at 350ma on the R2 LED, which with 3 lights would be 1050ma. The driver has a 1100ma capability, so would the extra power be enough to create the extra light? I know halogens ramp up pretty quickly with more power, but do LED's as well?

EDIT: OK, I didn't know all that much about LED power at all. Ignore most of the previous paragraph.

I live in the US in Nashville, TN. They actually have not billed my credit card yet, but there was an invoice in the box. $339 for the light and $27 for shipping are listed in NZ dollars. I guess I have to ask them about it.

EDIT: $286.40 total charge, just came through on my CC. I guess it takes longer to post overseas.
 

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Bandolero
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saw this in CPF

rotobob said:
I'm also not sure how the 1000lumen number is being reached. From all that I have read on the Cree R2 LED's, their max output is 295lumen, which would put this light at 885, not 1000. Someone can correct me if my logic does not hold up here, but the 295 lumen number is at 350ma on the R2 LED, which with 3 lights would be 1050ma. The driver has a 1100ma capability, so would the extra power be enough to create the extra light? I know halogens ramp up pretty quickly with more power, but do LED's as well?

I live in the US in Nashville, TN. They actually have not billed my credit card yet, but there was an invoice in the box. $339 for the light and $27 for shipping are listed in NZ dollars. I guess I have to ask them about it.
I saw this in the CandlePowerForums (emphasis mine)

jtr1962 said:
Default Re: White LED lumen testing
Cree 7090 XR-E bin R2 (acquired March 2008)

I borrowed an R2 Cree XR-E, bin WG, from CPF member nein166 for testing. The R2 bin is specified at 114 to 122 lumens at 350 mA. The color temperature of the WG bin is roughly 6000K. The results are as show below:

These results are nothing short of amazing! The output at 350 mA is nearly 122 lumens, well above any previous results for power LEDs at that current. Despite the middle of the road Vf of 3.31V, efficiency at 350 mA is still 105.3 lm/W. It remains above 100 lm/W past 400 mA. Even at 1000 mA, efficiency is nearly 75 lm/W. Things get even more interesting at low currents. Under 50 mA, efficiency hovers around 145 lm/W. This represents a wall-plug, or power-to-light conversion efficiency, of around 45%.

Output scales with current in pretty much the same manner as other XR-Es I've tested. At 1000 mA output is over 270 lumens. It approaches 400 lumens at 2000 mA. Cree has continued to raise the bar for LED performance. While we won't see as dramatic improvements as in the past, Cree has continued to squeeze every last ounce of perfomance from its XR-E line of LEDs. I expect we'll have R4 bins and beyond by this time next year.
They may be pushing them to 1.2 A using a MaxFles or higher if they have a custom driver.
 

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notaknob said:
I saw this in the CandlePowerForums (emphasis mine)

They may be pushing them to 1.2 A using a MaxFles or higher if they have a custom driver.
I've been looking at the nightlighning site, might get an iblaast head unit and put 4 R2s in it for my dynamo MTB light(they are pretty cheap at $100).
They run at 1.2A using a modified taskled driver. With 3 R2s thats over 900lm. Yes the CPF link shows "only" 915lm... still huge and its a very tidy setup.
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
OK, I rode with the iBlaast2 for the first time tonight. I rode with other guys, one using my old Jet Phantom 25w and one with a HID and two others that were just pretty dim and yellow.

My first impression was that I could tell a slight weight increase over the Phantom (135g to 70g), but it was better centered and didn't feel to far forward like the Jet did. But, the weight difference was completely gone from my thoughts in the first 10ft on the trail.

The mounting bracket secures with 3M dual-lock to the helmet and only came with enough to be able to put it in one position. I was close in my approximation, but ultimately it was pointed just a few degrees too far down for my liking. I'll just have to get some more to put on my helmet farther back so I can put the light farther back. EDIT: Actually it came with a strip of dual-lock to attach it to the helmet if you don't need the adapter, so I didn't need to buy more.

As far as light output goes, it is beautiful. The "hotspot" is just big enough and the peripheral spill is nice as well. The light seems perfectly white. The Phantom always looked pretty white when first turned on, but sometimes seemed yellower after my eyes would get used to seeing it. This is not the case with the iBlaast. On an 1 1/2 hour ride tonight it seemed just as white and as bright as when starting out.

Durability wise, I accidently dropped the light head about 5ft today onto concrete. The first impact hit right on the front bezel and it bounced about 9 inches high. I only know because I saw it fall, otherwise I cannot see on the light where it hit. Not a mark at all and it worked fine after.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the light. It completely fills the trail with very bright completely white light. I hit a patch of downhill where I hit 23 mph and wasn't anywhere close to out running the light. There is also a concern of having too bright of a light that it bothers others when riding behind them. This light will bother riders with dimmer lights and create shadows for them. The guy riding with my Phantom said it wasn't an issue for him, but the Phantom is a pretty bright light at 25w. Anyway, if it's an issue, just rider farther back.

I'll try to get some more beam shots later tonight.
 

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Wanderer
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What site did you buy the light from?


edit:
Well, it seems that they just sell over the phone and they won't ship to a different address than the billing address (ie: Work).
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think you have to call them or email to order. I emailed them at first, twice actually, but they said they never got it when I called a few days later. I just gave my CC information and told them I wanted an iBlaast and that was it. Later in the day they called back and asked if I wanted the new iBlaast2 before they shipped with more lumens and that it was the first one to ship. I agreed and the light was in my mailbox in Nashville in 7 days via NZ post.
 

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Wanderer
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What wsa the total cost in USD if you don't mind sharing.

Also, did the box fit in a normal sized mailbox?

I'm just not there at times when UPS, FedEx deliver and don't want a box waiting outside my door for hours. I don't live in a bad neighborhood but still...
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
$265 according to today's exchange rates for light, $285 with shipping. I can't really tell you what the actual charge is because they haven't billed my CC yet, which is odd since i received it two days ago.

The box it came in should fit into any mailbox, but there might be a bigger box if you get more than the light assblmly and the helmet mount as I did. It was packed in bubble wrap inside.

EDIT: $286.40 total charge, just came through on my CC. I guess it takes longer to post overseas.
 

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Meh
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Wilma6

How would this iBlaast2 compare to the Wilma? Seems like a bargain if you can live without some bells and whistles.

Looking for a replacement for my HID down the road..
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
special k said:
How would this iBlaast2 compare to the Wilma? Seems like a bargain if you can live without some bells and whistles.

Looking for a replacement for my HID down the road..
I have never seen a Wilma in person, so I can't really say. I bought the iBlaast2 having not seen it either.

The light output of the iBlaast2 looks to be as much or higher than the Wilma just from specs and the beam shots on Nightlighting's website seems to look slightly brighter just on the original iBlaast. They have the two side by side.

As far as features go, they are nearly identical, but seem to work in slightly different ways. They both have 2 or 3 step dimming. They both have a few flashing modes, likely the same (I have not really looked at it on mine because I'll never use it for flashing). They both have battery level indicators, but the Wilma seems to be little LED's on the switch, like a guage, and the iBlaast "blips" the light as you drain pass certain voltages. The switch is on the back of the lamp on the iBlaast and on the Wilma it is a separate "pigtail". The Wilma is 10g lighter. The Wilma has 15 and 18 deg lenses and the iBlaast2 has 10 and 25 deg lenses. The LED and optics are upgradable in both.

The biggest advantage I can see of the Wilma is the auto dimming when the electronics heat up. Also, the mounting system is what most would call better quality and you get a carrying case. But, it also is a 15w light compared to the 10-11w of the iBlaast2 so it will drain the battey faster.

I didn't get a battery from Nightlighting, so I can't comment on those at all, but they seem a little pricey.

In the end, though, I bought the iBlaast2 because it was very bright and LED and seemed to be very well made as well. I use on and off and one level of dimming when I stop. The rest didn't matter to me. I already had 6ah Li-ion batteries so I just needed the light head.
 

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So the light itself cost you $285, and if you HAD purchased a battery it might have been another $220 or something? That's getting expensive fast. I must have been reading these prices wrong before, because I thought it was as lot cheaper than that (okay maybe not a lot)...
 

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Wish I Were Riding said:
So the light itself cost you $285, and if you HAD purchased a battery it might have been another $220 or something? That's getting expensive fast. I must have been reading these prices wrong before, because I thought it was as lot cheaper than that (okay maybe not a lot)...
Well the Wilma head unit alone is almost 500US$, so the iBlaast2 is looking not too bad.
Batteries here in NZ are stupidly expensive.
 

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blithering idiot
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree, it is expensive with everything you need to use it, just from a stand alone view. But, it is a brighter light than the Wilma6 and is $200 cheaper for the same battery capacity, if you are buying the whole system.

I've never bought a "system" light set. Even the Jet Phantom was pieced together for me. The light was $70 +$25 for the helmet mount. I got 3 6000mah 14.8V li-ion batteries for $45 on ebay and a charger for $45. The batteries and the charger would have been $500 from any of the light mfg's. I bought $20 worth of quality connectors from batteryspace to connect the three batteries to the light and one for the charger.

I guess my point is, this light is a bit of money, but it is one of the brightest out there. I think the best way to buy this light is to get it from Nightlighting and get the battery/charger from batteryspace or similar. Or, if you already have a decent battery and charger, buy some connecters and wire it yourself. In my case, the light was $285 and a charger and 3 batteries that will run for 6+ hours each cost $90. That's what makes it an incredible deal from my point of view...$3000 les than the Wilma 6 with one battery.
 

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Killer b.
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Battery prices.

The batteries are expensive from Night Lightning, not doubt about it. But that has a lot to do with buying them from Canada and then paying the 12.5% sales tax to bring them into New Zealand, (which is where I live.)
The cool thing about Night Lightning is that they will happily sell you a whole light or any of the bits you need to make your own. They are happy to sell me the Cree 2 leds either as an upgrade for my iBlaast or individually to make my own light heads. Good people.
 
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