fantastic headlight setup on the cheap!

Discussion in 'Spare Parts, Tools & Product Developement' started by datz510, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Scoured the web for days to find these items...

    Picked up 2 of these guys at $5.50 each. They are EXTREMELY bright. Together they are easily 100x brighter than my current bike headlight!!
    Super Bright 9 LED compact heavy duty flashlights:

    Then, pick up two of these which are designed to secure a flashlight to a bike handlebar (and also provides vibration dampening!!!)
    Two-Fish LockBlocks:
    (if you pick up 3 or more, you get them at $4.95 each)

    Then, you have a SWEET headlight setup. Single or Dual.. . plus you can aim the lights one above the other for better lighting of the road and obstacles in the distance!

    So, total expense, around $22.00 for a very very bright dual headlight setup. You could just run one on the cheap and it would still be adequate.

    I'll post up some comparison photos when I get mine on my bike.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008

  2. jared3377

    jared3377 Member

    Cool! :cool: Can't wait to hear how it works! :grin:
  3. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    The holder info states it can hold up to 1in but the light is 1.5in in diameter. The weight the holder can hold will be at its maximum also. I wonder........ I have 3 mag lites and a roll of duct tape in my tool box.
  4. datz510

    datz510 Member

    The amazon description is wrong.. the lights I received mic'd out at 1" diameter and are very lightweight. They are lighter than my 2 cell AA maglights.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  5. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Good looking lights and I might go for something like that.

    But I'll tell you what I've done mostly till now; $1.50 eveready flashlights mounted to the handlebars by hose clamps. A small one for the handlebars looped through a larger one for the flashlight. Make bushings out of strips of old inner tubes. For maximum life, you should seal up the flashlights with silicone sealer. But it doesn't really matter; they're dirt cheap and easily replaceable. You can fit four of them onto the larger handlebars. That's plenty of light. Two is plenty on a pedal cycle. And if one dies, you've got something to get along with until you get batteries or a new light.
  6. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Finally got both the flashlights and the handlebar adapters in and wow.. these things are really cool!

    Here are a few photos:

    Closeup of the flashlight installed on the handlebar:

    COuple more installed photos:

    And now here are the comparison photos... taken with NO flash, with a constant shutter rate to show the light difference.
    My original Bell headlight:

    Now, just one of the new headlights turned on (low beam):

    And both turned on (high beam!!):

    For around $20, I think this is a great setup.. can't wait to try it out on the road.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  7. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member

    These are good lights. I was over last night and datz showed me the diff. I ordered mine but in blue
  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Somehow I'm doubting these can be that great. "You get what you pay for" is hardly ever inaccurate.

    I've been asking the guys at what I should get for a bike headlight, and the general consensus was the Fenix L2D Q5 flashlight (maybe even two if you really need it), mounted with the TwoFish Lockblocks that you bought. Both of those links are to a company that provides FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING!! Plus, they have a discount coupon "CPF8" for 8% off purchases... so, a $62.50 flashlight + a $7.49 flashlight mount = $69.99 - 5.60= $64.39 for the best valued bike headlight.

    I had actually already bought a $95 Coast P7 flashlight because I have experience with the brand, and I got free shipping since I wanted another Coast 7732 flashlight, and that seller only gives free shipping on orders over $100.

    The big thing that I'm learning from the is that the Fenix light is regulated, which means the output of the light is constant for a couple hours... as opposed to the Coast flashlight I bought that is unregulated, and almost instantly the light starts fading... but it does last longer, which was what I was initially after. You can see the thread I started where I gained lots of info here:

    Highlights of the thread, IMO, are the beamshots & graphs...
    - Coast P7 beamshots
    - Fenix L2D beamshots, single & double lighting
    - More L2D beamshots
    - Graphs explaining why an unregulated flashlight will last for so long

    At any rate... I feel like I'll be happy with the Coast P7, but I prolly woulda been happier with two L2D Q5 flashlights, since it's regulated and the output is constant.... and getting two L2Ds woulda only cost me a few extra $$ over the P7.
  9. lennyharp

    lennyharp Member

    Boy that is a pricey flash light. But the systems I have seen develop over the years for bike are generally $120.00 and up to about $500.00 dollars for systems that light up the night for all night long for 24 hour racing. Here is an in depth article on lighting systems. Gotta love Sheldon Brown. Niterider is a company that has been making these high performance lights for 10 years. I am game to try a $20.00 solutions for a while and keep using it if it does as good as it looks. Mount is critical (we have one) and I felt the light weight and saw the briteness of the light so we will test for the group. Those FenixL2D are some great lights. Looks like you are onto the same type setup datz is putting together just the high class version.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Well, I do have a flashlight fetish... and especially ones that have lifetime warranties.

    I think I'll be getting my money's worth.
  11. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Yep, we'll see how these are. So far, they'v been very durable. I've purposely thrown them around the house and outside to see how the internals hold up. So far, not a single glitch. And for $5 for a stinkin BRIGHT waterproof & long battery life flashlight, that was enough for me to be happy with it. And if it breaks, I can order about 20 more and still be cheaper than a high end light.

    BTW, Lenny, I have the two extra handlebar mounts sitting here at the house, so dont order any of those.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  12. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Does it really stay bright the whole 20 hrs, tho?

    I'm highly doubting that only one of these could be effective in real nighttime MB riding scenarios. Perhaps two, but then you're still talking about $10+$10~14 for two bike mounts.

    I think something like the other Coast flashlight I bought, the Coast 7732 or something else could be had for $40 or less and would provide a brighter, wider, & longer lasting beam.

    But I think the Fenix L2D Q5 is still the flashlight to beat for bike riding at night. There was also the Dosun M1 bike headlight for $72 with the "CPF8" discount. There's also a cheesy video at that link. Tell me if that $5 light compares in a similarly dark environment.

    P.S. - that light is only water-resistant. :p
  13. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Tell you what.. I'll go turn on one of the lights and let it run all night and into tommorrow to see how long it lasts. These still have the cheap crappy chinese batteries in them too, so it should be interesting.

    I have a full set of high output NiMh batteries I can drop in that will provide even better performance if needed.

    So, its around 11:30pm now.. I'm gonna go turn the light on and take a photo of the resulting beam. I'll be up all night, and will take photos every 4-6 hours and see how long these cheap lights last.

    I am willing to bet that these little lights will run pretty close to 20 hours on one set of batteries.. I dunno about the cheap chinese batteries that come withe them, but next test could be with some nice high output Energizers or Duracell lithiums.. But realy, if the batteries do die out on one light while rding, then what?? grab spare set of batteries out of bike pouch swap them out and keep on biking... Or just use the other light to get home?

    So, here goes.. starting the test now.. Exactly 11:30pm Sunday night.

    edit: Light is now on.. Photo taken of the beam @ 11:30pm.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  14. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Stilll.. this is a $5 flashlight that you're comparing to a $40, $70, or $100 light? For $20 for lights plus mounts, these will defnitely get me down the road safer than the crappy $20 Bell headlight I had before.

    Tell you what, we can test the water resistance too.. I'll go throw one in my pool overnight if you want if that would prove anything. If it doesnt work afterwards, I'll order another one for $5. You can throw yours in your pool overnight as well and we'll compare in the morning. ;)

    My point is that these are a very economical solution and are much superior to just about anything else out there that is $20.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  15. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Lemme know how far it is away from your target, and the other lighting info, so that I can *try* to replicate it when my light(s) gets here. If you have windows, it might let light in by your third shot and ruin the whole experiment.
  16. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Ok, will do.. going to measure target distance right now.

    distance is 30ft to target.. a white door in my hallway. Right now, there is no ambient lighting at all other than the flashlight.

    The other thing is that cameras are not made equal.. I set mine to shutter speed control with no flash. 1.5 second shutter speed. I'll see how its doing after about 6 hours with a comparison shot using the same settings.

    Also, these flashlights have had an hour or so put on them already, as I've been using them around the house, so we'll need to keep that in mind as well.

    edit *** Its funny that I'm even bothering with doing this.. but I have nothing else to do...
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  17. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Somehow I'm doubting this. I don't give a dern about the water-resistance because I never ride my MB in the rain. I'm most interested in the power of the beam over time and how it actually works while riding... how much you can actually see.

    I was reading some reviews of that light, and most seem to say that the $10 light with 20+ LEDs is easily worth the money... but lots of them also have problems with the connection, or the light just dimming or cutting off on its own.

    I'm sure there are other quite a few lights by Fenix or Coast that would be worth the money over a $5 light. They have LOTS of different flashlights.

    But we'll see for sure soon enough.
  18. datz510

    datz510 Member

    And lemme know if you want to take me up on the pool challenge.. I throw mine in the pool for 24 hours.. you throw yours in the pool for 24 hours.. and we compare afterwards.

    I'll even throw mine in the water while its turned on to make it more fun...
  19. datz510

    datz510 Member

    true.. I read about the connection issues as well. Looking at the internal construction, i can see why it would happen. THere is a single circuit board at one end of the light with the LEDs on it. THen there is a plastic battery carrier that the batteries fit into. This is where the problems are going to occur. Nothing a little wire and a soldering iron couldnt fix. Its still a $5 flashlight.

    I also saw the 20 LED lights. I wanted to go with two lights. Mainly for backup, also for form factor. Total of 18 LEDs between both of these.
  20. datz510

    datz510 Member

    Went and checked on the light.. 1.5 hrs later, brightness has dropped considerably. I'm sure it is due to the cheap chinese batteries that came with the light. Definitely still enough light to ride with though. We'll see if it runs all night.

    Next test, I'll throw some high output NiMh batteries in and see how the light does. I'm gonna go find my NiMh batteries and throw them in the charger now to get them ready.