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Old 05-18-2013, 12:05 AM   #181
andrewhtf
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Originally Posted by genka View Post
Really? Why do you think they have high and low beams? Do they look the same for you?
Using high powered spot lights on a public roads is rude and dangerous. And using dimmers doesn't help. If you reduce the power to the extend the light will not blind the oncoming traffic, they will not illuminate the road.
Genka, are you infected by those mods and admins from candlepowerforum? i saw your thread there and as usual their usual response are expected.

Yes i know that, my aux lights are not on all the time, only in situations when the high beams are needed.

Well on my bike the stock high and low beam uses the same bulb and wattage giving the same amount of light. Only diiference is the reflector design that points the direction of beam.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:35 PM   #182
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These lights are very different. Baja Squadron are regular offroad lights, similar to the 10W discussed here, but they pack 4 of everything and draw 40W. You can find similar lights on ebay. JWSpeaker makes highway legal DOT complaint lights. I think they are the sole maker of DOT LED lights for bikes. Also they OEM for Harley.



As you can see, the optics look strikingly different from all other aftermarket lights.
These may turn night into day but a buddy has these and they do ZERO for daytime conspicuity.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #183
genka
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Originally Posted by andrewhtf View Post
Genka, are you infected by those mods and admins from candlepowerforum? i saw your thread there and as usual their usual response are expected.

Yes i know that, my aux lights are not on all the time, only in situations when the high beams are needed.

Well on my bike the stock high and low beam uses the same bulb and wattage giving the same amount of light. Only diiference is the reflector design that points the direction of beam.
People on that forum are self righteous to the extreme. Anyway, I found what I needed without them. If the parts I ordered will work as intended, I might be able to improve on the light and maybe make it even better than TT or Cyclops offerings.


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These may turn night into day but a buddy has these and they do ZERO for daytime conspicuity.
Yes, these lights are intended to through the light on the road while avoiding eyes of other drivers. To improve daytime visibility it would be the best to use large lights with flood or wide elliptical beam.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:59 PM   #184
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Good thread. I wonder what's brighter.

The 10W single LEDs
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-10W-Cree-...a4ff4e&vxp=mtr

OR something with FIVE XM-L T6
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5x-CREE-LED-...item43bc0da157

Even the 3X seems really bright http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai7CJAgNQt0

Unfortunately I can't find any XM-L 12v lights. They all seem to come with 8.4V battery packs..
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:16 AM   #185
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Good video. The author came to the same conclusion I did- the technology is developing rapidly, and buying expensive lights as a long term investment is not a good move.
I am a bit skeptical about the light with 5 XM-L LEDs. If they are driven to full power, it would consume 50W. Even a 10W light gets seriously hot. To dissipate 50W the light needs a large heatsink, which that one doesn't have. Also their lumen claims are inflated. XM-Ls are rated around 800lm. Lenses and reflectors are 80-94% efficient, no way that light gets 7000lm.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:00 AM   #186
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That is some serious BS specs there. No where near enough heat sink to run at 50 watts. But I'll bet it would still have some serious light. The big issue would be that you need to come of with a driver from the 12 volt motorcycle system that doesn't over heat it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:15 AM   #187
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If this light has a half decent PWM based controller, it should be able to deal with any voltage. I power the 10W light I have from a variable power supply, and its output doesn't change a bit with the voltage anywhere between 9 and 30 Volts. As the voltage rises, the current goes down, keeping the power at constant 10W. It would be interesting to know how they deal with the heat. Probably they have a temperature sensor, which cuts the power to LEDs if they get too hot. For such a small light to function, the power would need to be lowered by 50 to 80%.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:16 PM   #188
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I bought three more of these lights. The first one came from the same seller I bought the light I discussed before. It looked the same, but it used only 7W of power. It operated at reduced levels of light and heat, although was surprised that it was difficult to notice the difference. I don't know how to explain it, even the lowest tolerance parts today are made within 10% of the target value. Also the light colors were not exactly the same, indicating different bin groups of the LEDs. Manufacturing of high powered LEDs is not the exact science, parts with a thicker layer phosphorus will have a lower brightness and warmer color. LEDs are tested at the factory and binned (sorted) accordingly. The most common bin for Cree XM-L is T6, it accounts for about 75% of production. It is not the best bin, but close. Lower bin LEDs may be difficult to source and even the cheap lights may contain T6 LED. Anyway, the difference between the lights is visible even on a cell phone picture.



Two other lights came from different ebay sellers. They look identical to each other, but were a bit different from the first pair. The electronics boards inside were not the same as on the first pair. One of them used 8W, another one 9W. I left the first pair and one new light for 24 hours in a hot garage. The new light melted. When I took apart, I ripped off an inductor, which melted into the reflector. The LED itself has also darkened.



It is obvious that this light has no thermal management, but I think this test was too harsh. I placed the lights in the hot environment with very restricted air flow. It wouldn't reach such a temperature on a bike.

I removed the LED board and found that the thermal paste underneath wasn't evenly applied. The thread holes edges had some metal protruding outside, which prevented good contact of the board to the case, and it probably contributed to the failure.

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Old 05-29-2013, 10:02 PM   #189
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This quite an interesting thread. I have experience with both "branded" and Chinese lights. For me its like buying a ratchet wrench from Snap On or Harbor Freight. Both wrenches will perform the same job, but I know that the if the Snap On fails I have some recourse, if the Harbor Freight fails, its price dictates that it is disposable. Same thing with LED lights. If you want something that you will have for years and move from bike to bike, then there might be value in the more expensive branded lights that are backed by (in some cases) life time warranties and someone to talk to. If you are looking to save some money, and are not concerned with support or warranties, than there are quite a few Chinese products to experiment with.
I do know, for a fact, that the TT and Cycleops lights are not made in the same factory or even the same country as the Chinese products.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:14 PM   #190
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Yes, the Chinese lights are essentially throwaway items. Even if the sellers are willing to provide warranty, the shipping costs make it impractical. But otherwise why do you think Snap-On/ HFT analogy is valid? I don't see any dramatic differences in quality. In fact, the Chinese lights use newer LEDs.They are definitely better than the aquarium lights so popular on the forum.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #191
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Good info Genka

i was thinking of this like buying a chinese scooter, it works just fine, but you need to go through it first and make sure its put together well, that is a common theme on all of the LED stuff from deal extreme

cold solder joints, loose screws, bad thermal paste, check those things, and those lights would likely last the rated 20K hours.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:23 PM   #192
graygoat657
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Yes, the Chinese lights are essentially throwaway items. Even if the sellers are willing to provide warranty, the shipping costs make it impractical. But otherwise why do you think Snap-On/ HFT analogy is valid? I don't see any dramatic differences in quality. In fact, the Chinese lights use newer LEDs.They are definitely better than the aquarium lights so popular on the forum.
What I have noticed, in informal testing, is the Chinese lights do perform the job they are designed to do. You could split hairs on the performance side, as far as output, beam spread, light temperature, etc. As you have found with your informal test, with certain lights, there may (I stress may) be a long term durability issue. Especially if the lights do not have any thermal protection circuitry. I know I can take a 10 watt Vision X light and leave it on for 24 hours in a hot garage and it will be working when I come back or will have gone into thermal protection mode. I supply lights to mining companies that use the lights in 24 hour duty cycles. I would not feel comfortable recommending them a Chinese product.
So back to the wrench analogy. Both wrenches can and will perform the same function. But the SO will most likely still be in my tool box 20 years from now. It just depends what your value threshold is. Like wise I probably pay too much for the tires I prefer or even the chain and sprockets I use. But those are items I don't care to skimp on as I know the downside of those items failing can have catastrophic results. And for me, the same applies to lights.
As far as the latest LED tech, VX just released a 25 Watt single LED fixture and has a 50 watt single LED fixture in the offing. Some time in the future the Chinese will probably have something similar, but not right now.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:12 AM   #193
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As far as the latest LED tech, VX just released a 25 Watt single LED fixture and has a 50 watt single LED fixture in the offing. Some time in the future the Chinese will probably have something similar, but not right now.
To do that, I would suspect that the die is HUGE. That would mean it would be hard to focus and you will get a lot of light scatter.
I suspect.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:50 AM   #194
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Genka, you're hardcore!
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:35 PM   #195
genka
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Originally Posted by graygoat657 View Post
What I have noticed, in informal testing, is the Chinese lights do perform the job they are designed to do. You could split hairs on the performance side, as far as output, beam spread, light temperature, etc. As you have found with your informal test, with certain lights, there may (I stress may) be a long term durability issue. Especially if the lights do not have any thermal protection circuitry. I know I can take a 10 watt Vision X light and leave it on for 24 hours in a hot garage and it will be working when I come back or will have gone into thermal protection mode. I supply lights to mining companies that use the lights in 24 hour duty cycles. I would not feel comfortable recommending them a Chinese product.
Have taken Vision X lights completely apart? It would be interesting to see their assembly quality. After all, they also not quite Swiss made :) I don't think it is possible to properly evaluate the optical qualities at home This is the reason why vendors tend to be very optimistic with their lumen ratings. Some side by side photos sort of provide useful results, still the camera dynamic range doesn't come close to the human eye and photos often don't reflect the real world look. Electrical parameters are easier to measure. If the light takes 7W instead of 10, it would be safe to guess that the LED in it puts puts out about 600lm instead of 850.
One type of the lights I bought might have a thermal protection. I say "might" because its power consumption went down only about 5%, which is not enough for the significant temperature reduction. These lights were hot, but they didn't suffer any damage from my 24 hour test. The big question is if this test is relevant for us. I had 3 lights locked together sitting on a top of already warm lab power supply I used power them. Airflow is critical, and bikes have plenty of it.
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So back to the wrench analogy. Both wrenches can and will perform the same function. But the SO will most likely still be in my tool box 20 years from now. It just depends what your value threshold is. Like wise I probably pay too much for the tires I prefer or even the chain and sprockets I use. But those are items I don't care to skimp on as I know the downside of those items failing can have catastrophic results. And for me, the same applies to lights.
If you take the Snap-On wrench, you'll immediately see quality, workmanship and mechanical performance superior to the HF tool. But the Chinese lights don't look any worse than Vision X and they performance is comparable. Reliability is unknown, but no one is going to rely on those lights with his life. Bikes are already equipped with the factory lighting and aux lights are usually installed in pairs, their simultaneous failure is unlikely.
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As far as the latest LED tech, VX just released a 25 Watt single LED fixture and has a 50 watt single LED fixture in the offing. Some time in the future the Chinese will probably have something similar, but not right now.
The only innovation there is by the LED chip manufacturer. Everything else is the same.
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