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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,
been trying to understand LED lights and they make no sense to me yet.

I want to use a good 700-900 lumen flashlight for my night photography + handlebar mount.
Looks like DX is too slow on the shipping, and Kaidomain has so many choice of the alphabet soup that it makes my head swim. I like the solarforce site.


So, given these basic criteria, please suggest a flashlight for me where i can get all of these:
1. 700 lumen or more of the whitest possible light
2. Comes with battery
3. Is rechargeable, plus has a charger unit
4. bar mount
5. $50 tops.

Thanks
 

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Bear in mind that most of the 900 lumen rated flashlights will most likely only put out 300-500 lumen.
Some of them will need cleaning up inside to work properly.
I got lucky with the 3 I ordered from DX.
Only one of them had some metal swarf floating around inside. Once I knocked it out, and cleaned it up, it worked pretty good.
2 out of 3 needed some tinkering with the switches. They needed to be tightened.
Didn't take alot of time, and they worked great since then. Probably comparable to my MS900, which is about 550 lumens OTF.
You will also need a charger and at least 1 battery. I suggest getting a few spare cells, as they are pretty cheap.
Read the reviews on the DX site for each one before plunking down your $$.
 

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savagemann said:
Bear in mind that most of the 900 lumen rated flashlights will most likely only put out 300-500 lumen.....
If you're talking about actual OTF lumens measured in one of those sphere devices, perhaps you are right. However if you are just comparing torches to other known light systems, a P-7 torch produces a beam almost identical to a Dinotte 600L ( which I own ). The comparison I did compared a P-7 torch ( fresh battery @ 2200ma ) against the 600L. Because of this I generally refer to P-7 torches as outputting about 600 lumens. A torch like the SF-15 ( D-bin @ 2700ma ) will be a little brighter. Since I'm not about to buy one of those sphere thingies I have to use something as a bench mark. The Dinotte 600L makes a good bench mark. Just another point of view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, this will be my first LED flashlight, so a few lumen here or there doesnt matter for photography and the occasional evening ride. What i am looking for is that it is a fairly reliable unit that comes with a battery and charger.
I am considering this one from Solarforce (i like that site coz it presents fewer options)

http://solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=LF&s=32&id=156

Also, can you guys recommend a bar bike mount?

Many thanks in advance!
shridhar
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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I just got the Baja Designs SSC P7 Flashlight and as far as output goes, I would tend to agree with Cat-man-do. I don't have a Dinotte 600 or a Magicshine to compare to, but I did look at it vs a Strykr (700 L), a NR Sol (180 L) and A Fenix L2D Q5 (~200 L). All this is subjective, not instrument readouts.

Setting on high is definitely not as bright as the Stryker, but easily 3 times as bright as the NR, and definitely more than twice as bright as the Fenix. Medium setting was still quite a bit brighter than the Fenix, and the difference was striking at distance. I would guess 500 Lumens, with good throw.

Very Solid build and a two year warranty on the whole shebang. Doesn't take weeks to get delivered, US customer support/order fulfillment. It comes with charger (very cheap one, looks identical to the Solarforce) and one 18650 battery, which says it is Protected 3000 mAh. Only drawback is weight - it is probably 2+ times the weight of the Fenix and it has a larger head unit, but comes in at the same body and length. Still fits in a Lock Block just fine.
 

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Its got what plants crave
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I bought a 20 dollar P7 torch from DX. I already had a charger that works for 18650 cells, so I just bought two 18650 batteries to go with it. I'm about 28 dollars into the setup, and it's been extremely useful. Since my Magicshine doesn't hold a great charge anymore, it's an excellent backup, and puts out enough useful light to ride with it exclusively if I have to. I don't know how long it really runs, but I'd imagine a solid hour, maybe hour and a half before starting to dim. It's been a great addition to my setup. It's not as bright as my Magicshine, but it's still really bright, especially for 20 dollars.
 

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srileo said:
Thanks guys, this will be my first LED flashlight, so a few lumen here or there doesnt matter for photography and the occasional evening ride. What i am looking for is that it is a fairly reliable unit that comes with a battery and charger.
I am considering this one from Solarforce (i like that site coz it presents fewer options)

http://solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=LF&s=32&id=156

Also, can you guys recommend a bar bike mount?

Many thanks in advance!
shridhar
srileo, I can't see why the Solarforce combo you linked to wouldn't work. However you need to know that it is a torch that is using a P-60 drop-in. In this case a P-7 P-60. The beam on this might be a little more confined than a standard "pill mounted" torch but it should still work. Just keep in mind drop-in torches tend not to have the greatest thermal transfer. I don't own a L2P host so perhaps it will work better than my Ultrafire WF-501B's. Also, if you buy a L2P you can upgrade to an XM-L drop-in later if you want for another $17.

If you choose to go the torch route you really do need two just in case one goes up while you are using it. Sam2391 suggested the BikeRay II. It would be more money but it would be well worth it. I can see something like a BikeRay II or Gemini Titan on the bars and an XP-E or XP-G torch ( more narrow throw ) on the helmet. FWIW the L2P Solarforce host can work with an XP-G or E drop-in just as well.

If you go the two torch route you should be able to by two P-60 torch hosts, 4 X 18650 batteries and one charger for about $80. If you want more suggestions to follow that route just ask.
 

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I'm also interested in a flashlight setup, cat can you give more info on the combo you are talking about in your last sentence?

Cat-man-do said:
srileo, I can't see why the Solarforce combo you linked to wouldn't work. However you need to know that it is a torch that is using a P-60 drop-in. In this case a P-7 P-60. The beam on this might be a little more confined than a standard "pill mounted" torch but it should still work. Just keep in mind drop-in torches tend not to have the greatest thermal transfer. I don't own a L2P host so perhaps it will work better than my Ultrafire WF-501B's. Also, if you buy a L2P you can upgrade to an XM-L drop-in later if you want for another $17.

If you choose to go the torch route you really do need two just in case one goes up while you are using it. Sam2391 suggested the BikeRay II. It would be more money but it would be well worth it. I can see something like a BikeRay II or Gemini Titan on the bars and an XP-E or XP-G torch ( more narrow throw ) on the helmet. FWIW the L2P Solarforce host can work with an XP-G or E drop-in just as well.

If you go the two torch route you should be able to by two P-60 torch hosts, 4 X 18650 batteries and one charger for about $80. If you want more suggestions to follow that route just ask.
 

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xhailofgunfirex said:
I'm also interested in a flashlight setup, cat can you give more info on the combo you are talking about in your last sentence?
My Last sentence:

If you go the two torch route you should be able to by two P-60 torch hosts, 4 X 18650 batteries and one charger for about $80. If you want more suggestions to follow that route just ask.
I generally run a "pill mounted led" torch on the bars but I do use a Ultrafire WF-501B host with an XP-E led on the helmet because they are smaller and lighter than the other kind.

If I were to use two P-60 hosts I would likely use my other WF-501B host with my 5-mode XM-L drop-in. While I have yet to test the XM-L drop-in it is brighter than any other drop-in I own and provides a nice mixture of flood and throw for the bars. The mid mode should work good as well. As a good all-around bar use setting mid-mode will help extend run time. The XM-L five modes are available from Kaidomain for about $17.

Now for the helmet I suggest using either an XP-E or XP-G drop-in. I also own a very nice SST-50 drop-in that has a nice beam pattern for throw but it is like $45. This is the torch ( and drop-in ) I recommend for the helmet that works well and won't break the bank, > see link < . I just bought one of these last year and I am very pleased with the output and beam pattern, very good for helmet duties. If you choose to go with an XP-G ( a little brighter than XP-E ) don't buy the drop in from Kaidomain. Solarforce sells an XP-G drop-in as does ThruNite although they will cost a bit more. The Solarforce XP-G drop-in might be the better deal ( I just might buy one of these myself ;) > see link <

Anyway, all of this is just food for thought. Here are some other links to chew on....

A nice host without the drop-in > link
A nice XP-G torch using a standard pill setup, I likey this ...Wish I had one > link
A WF-501B host with XM-L included ( DX )...Uh, nevermind...this drop-in has a lower output driver than the Kaidomain version. You have to watch for stuff like that.
Some XML stuff from Kaidomain > Solarforce host with XML....XM-L drop-in 5-mode
Another L2 Solarforce host > link
Batteries > I own these and these
Then you need a charger...something like this

Hope this is helpful...well you did ask. :D
 

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Cat-man-do said:
My Last sentence:

I generally run a "pill mounted led" torch on the bars but I do use a Ultrafire WF-501B host with an XP-E led on the helmet because they are smaller and lighter than the other kind.

If I were to use two P-60 hosts I would likely use my other WF-501B host with my 5-mode XM-L drop-in. While I have yet to test the XM-L drop-in it is brighter than any other drop-in I own and provides a nice mixture of flood and throw for the bars. The mid mode should work good as well. As a good all-around bar use setting mid-mode will help extend run time. The XM-L five modes are available from Kaidomain for about $17.

Now for the helmet I suggest using either an XP-E or XP-G drop-in. I also own a very nice SST-50 drop-in that has a nice beam pattern for throw but it is like $45. This is the torch ( and drop-in ) I recommend for the helmet that works well and won't break the bank, > see link < . I just bought one of these last year and I am very pleased with the output and beam pattern, very good for helmet duties. If you choose to go with an XP-G ( a little brighter than XP-E ) don't buy the drop in from Kaidomain. Solarforce sells an XP-G drop-in as does ThruNite although they will cost a bit more. The Solarforce XP-G drop-in might be the better deal ( I just might buy one of these myself ;) > see link <

Anyway, all of this is just food for thought. Here are some other links to chew on....

A nice host without the drop-in > link
A nice XP-G torch using a standard pill setup, I likey this ...Wish I had one > link
A WF-501B host with XM-L included ( DX )...Uh, nevermind...this drop-in has a lower output driver than the Kaidomain version. You have to watch for stuff like that.
Some XML stuff from Kaidomain > Solarforce host with XML....XM-L drop-in 5-mode
Another L2 Solarforce host > link
Batteries > I own these and these
Then you need a charger...something like this

Hope this is helpful...well you did ask. :D
So, cat man,
What is the primary difference between the host in the first link to the Solarforce L2 host and the host in the link to the MG P? I'm trying to figure out the differences in torches to acquire some inexpensive lighting that will last about two hours for semi-technical trails, but even after reading through some of the monster threads on the torches it seems I only become more confused about what is what.
I have been looking at this combo from Solarforce (a P7 light)but am unsure about the ability of the driver, etc.:
http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=LF&s=32&id=156
Would you suggest this as helmet or bars?
What else might compliment this light?
Maybe add : http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=LF&s=41&id=163

Any and all help is appreciated.
Barry
 

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Acero853 said:
So, cat man,
What is the primary difference between the host in the first link to the Solarforce L2 host and the host in the link to the MG P?
I'm trying to figure out the differences in torches to acquire some inexpensive lighting that will last about two hours for semi-technical trails, but even after reading through some of the monster threads on the torches it seems I only become more confused about what is what.
I have been looking at this combo from Solarforce (a P7 light)but am unsure about the ability of the driver, etc.:
http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=LF&s=32&id=156
Would you suggest this as helmet or bars?
What else might compliment this light?
Maybe add : http://www.solarforce-sales.com/product_detail.php?t=LF&s=41&id=163

Any and all help is appreciated.
Barry
The MG p-rocket torch I only mentioned because I think it would make an excellent helmet torch. However it is not a P-60 host torch like the Solarforce L2P. The led on the MG is permanently mounted to what is usually referred to as a pill. The pill holds the led on top and the driver is mounted on the other side. The advantage of this set-up is that you get better heat transferal to the outer torch body because most times the pill will screw directly into the battery tube ( giving it a much better thermal/electrical path ). Some torches made like this will allow you to take the torch apart but sometimes they are glued so you can't access the pill. ( I hate it when they do that BTW).

Torches made to handle a P-60 drop-in module will always be made so you can disassemble them. This allows you to use whatever P-60 type module you want ( depending on the battery set-up and P-60 driver limitations of course ). To change the module you just unscrew the top of the torch and either lift out the old one or drop a new one in. That is why they are called drop-ins. It is that simple. The disadvantage of a P-60 module is that the thermal and electrical pathways are not as tightly set as the other kind. This tends to make them a little more problematic. Still with a little lite maintenance here and there they work fine *as long as you don't let the emitter overheat. As with all torches is is best to either turn them off or use a lower output level if you are sitting still.

Once again, the torch you linked to would likely be fine. The only thing I don't like about it is that it is only one mode. You will get much more run time from a P-7 if the driver has more than one mode. The high mode I would only use for downhills and faster trails.

Now about the Solarforce XM-L (P-60) torch you linked to...It is only one mode. It does not list the current output of the driver however it does list the runtime on one 18650 cell. This gives you an indication that they are *under-driving the emitter ( led ) *because they list runtime as 2.5hr. they can't be driving the emitter at full capacity*. (. Real lumen output is likely around 400lm. Compare this to the one that I linked to before > Solarforce host with XML..
The one I linked to is 5-mode. It is likely using the same 5-mode drop-in sold separately on their web site. Since I own one I know the high mode draws about 2700ma on a fresh cell. The more information the seller gives you the better it is. Sometimes you have to read between the lines or use your best judgment. In your case you have the added advantage of asking others. Just remember at some point you are going to have to decide. It's kind of like buying a new car only in this case the cash outlay is much less...:thumbsup:
 

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Thank you, Cat-man
I appreciate you taking the time to explain the differences. This is the kind of interaction that I love about this forum.

Barry
 

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I agree, thanks a ton Cat-man, I would be very lost without your assistance. I appreciate you taking the time and also posting all the links you did, I'm sure that took a decent amount of time. I'm still digesting all this info, but I am glad I have that info to digest!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks a lot CatMan, its terrific advise and explanation that you gave. Really appreciate the time you took for this. I'll let you know what i order tommorrow.
 
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