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Candlestick Maker
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3,109 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a Spark ST6-500CW headlamp yesterday with visions of using it as a self-contained bike light (no wires, no remote battery pack). The headlamp uses a Cree XML and is powered by a single 18650 battery.

Quick specs:

LED: Cree CW XM-L T6
5 modes
Super: 500lm 1.4hours (Only triggered by quick double click)
Max: 320lm 2.5hours
Med1: 150lm 8hours
Med: 50lm 28hours
Low: 8lm 8days

I thought about how I might mount the light to my helmet, rummaged around through my parts box and found my Magicshine helmet mount from geoman. Spent about 10 minutes cutting and shaping the mount with a dremel so that the Spark sits nice and snug. Drilled 4 holes in the mount, threaded through 2 zip ties to hold down the Spark and was all done!

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5573417326/" title="DSCF5447.JPG by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5013/5573417326_01ef480c52_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="DSCF5447.JPG" /></a>

Turned out much better than I thought it would.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5572827789/" title="DSCF5444.JPG by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5255/5572827789_d5942e810e_z.jpg" width="640" height="480" alt="DSCF5444.JPG" /></a>

Took it out for a spin.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5572827409/" title="DSCF5443.JPG by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5092/5572827409_d52868812b.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSCF5443.JPG" /></a>

Worked very nicely. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised at how effective the 320 lumens really is. The difference in the 500 lumen "super" mode is barely perceptible to my eyes.

Total weight with light, battery, and helmet mount is only 142 grams. With the light mounted to the top of my helmet, it feels nicely balanced. I won't say it is unnoticeable, but I could ride for a long time with this light on my helmet.

I can easily change batteries while the light is still mounted to the helmet.

I think this would make a great endurance light and a great commuter light. I plan to use this light in conjunction with my Supernova E3 Triple.

The only thing that bums me out: the "super" mode will drop back down to max after 5 minutes. A crude attempt at thermal management and probably unnecessary when used on a moving bike.
 

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That's kinda nice. 320 lumens is pleanty adequate lighting. Surprising it doesn't come with some kind of mount. Did you pay full retail or get a deal on it somewhere?
 

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Generally you can get away with much less light on a helmet light because you can aim it exactly where you need it. A narrower beam helps.
 

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Candlestick Maker
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3,109 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
betweenrides said:
That's kinda nice. 320 lumens is pleanty adequate lighting. Surprising it doesn't come with some kind of mount. Did you pay full retail or get a deal on it somewhere?
The light does come with a very nice headstrap for using as a headlamp (not on a bike helmet).

I picked the light up at sbflashlights.com . I found a coupon on candlepowerforums for 10% off...
 

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Very interesting. Any comment on what beam pattern it produces? Does it have a hot spot? How far does it throw?

Not sure I would like the weigh dispersion of this set-up but if it works for you that is all that counts.
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter #6
It seems to have a pretty good combo of throw and flood. There is a fairly distinct hotspot, that is not too tight. Lots of spill, too. If I can remember, I'll try to grab a comparative beamshot with one of my Magicshines or Gemini Titan.

Not sure what you mean by the term weigh dispersion. Maybe the concentration of weight all in one location (directly on top of the helmet)? It seems to tug less on the helmet than other configurations I've used (mostly because I always find the battery pack/cord pulling back, and the light making the helmet want to tilt forward).

One ride is not enough to know whether I'll really like the setup or not. Gives me a good excuse to get out for some more night-riding.
 

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Candlestick Maker
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3,109 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Beamshots - MS900 vs Spark ST6-500CW

OK, grabbed some quick beamshots. Had to use a bit of a strange location, due to massive gusting winds blowing over my stool and tripod.

I'm not sure how to interpret the beamshots. It looks to me like the Spark "super" falls in between the MS900 "high" and "medium." The Spark seems to have less of a hotspot and a bit more wider spill.

Spark low
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5576049754/" title="Spark ST6-500CW low by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5189/5576049754_e6374d9e9a.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Spark ST6-500CW low"></a>

Spark med
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5576050050/" title="Spark ST6-500CW med by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5184/5576050050_4156efff78.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Spark ST6-500CW med"></a>

Spark med1
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5575463871/" title="Spark ST6-500CW med1 by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5253/5575463871_e8cfd7faec.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Spark ST6-500CW med1"></a>

Spark max
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5575464141/" title="Spark ST6-500CW max by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5060/5575464141_2ecfe20007.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Spark ST6-500CW max"></a>

Spark super
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5575464457/" title="Spark ST6-500CW super by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5304/5575464457_716dc99321.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Spark ST6-500CW super"></a>

MS900 high
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5576048498/" title="MS900 high by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5297/5576048498_3bcefd18ab.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="MS900 high"></a>

MS900 med
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5576049026/" title="MS900 med by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5024/5576049026_f7a4155f02.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="MS900 med"></a>

MS900 low
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/thebakerz/5576049364/" title="MS900 low by bbaker22, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5188/5576049364_03c460a369.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="MS900 low"></a>
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter #8
Ceiling bounce test results

A bit surprising to me...

Spark
low 50
med 59
med1 75
max 113
super 132

MS900
low 72
med 92
high 133

I guess that actually might be consistent with claims that the MS900 only puts out around 550 lumens. And, that would mean that Spark is rating their light much more realistically and accurately.
 

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Impressive for the price. I like that it's all self-contained and bit less bulky than some of my torches. Thanks for the photos and bounce test. Let us know when you've had a chance to test the runout times. Too bad they don't offer a simple helmet mount, but that would probably be easy enough to rig.
 

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I second Robs questions.

I am in need of a light that will work with my Army ACH helmet, it'd be great to use the same 18650 batteries that our torch employs. We are working on an ACH mount for the Strykr Pro but it's not there yet. How robust is the build on this light?

Shannon
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter #12
I haven't done a runtime test. I use WoW batteries that I learned about on Candlepowerforums. I picked them up on ebay and they are quite high capacity and reasonably priced.

The light appears to be quite robust.

I didn't see the mount listed seperately, but never asked. I think the mount they provide would work well for caving/military style helmets.
 

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baker said:
I haven't done a runtime test. I use WoW batteries that I learned about on Candlepowerforums. I picked them up on ebay and they are quite high capacity and reasonably priced.

The light appears to be quite robust.

I didn't see the mount listed seperately, but never asked. I think the mount they provide would work well for caving/military style helmets.
Sweet!! Thanks Baker!
 

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Candlestick Maker
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Discussion Starter #16
It has worked well the few times I've used it as a helmet light. I've used it more as a regular headlamp and really like it for that purpose.
 
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