Best LED Aux Driving Lights (at a reasonable price)?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by JimVonBaden, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Guys, look back at the thread title. Gene was simply saying that he found what he thinks are good lights that resemble other people's lights for a good price. As the OP I never intended to bash anyone's lights, I was just looking for an inexpensive solution (which I found) to getting some decent light down the road.

    Let's not take this off into a thread about price over quality by vendors and people looking to make vendors look bad. That was not the intent.

    Maoule, Gene rides, and he rides a lot. He is also very intelligent. Though it is not obvious here, he is not from the US, so he might come across a little differently than some of us, though it looked like he wasn't being intentionally slanderous to me.

    As I mentioned, I have seen the lights Gene is looking at, and we put them literally side-by-side with some Solstice, or Denali lights, I can't remember which, and they were virtually identical on the outside. That is what got this going last Saturday at my tech day.

    Anyhow, let's all just try to stay calm and carry on. This thread has some very good information in it, and I think Gene and Kevin, and the other vendor(s) carried themselves with dignity and put up very good points.:deal

    Jim :brow
  2. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    Jim, thanks! If you think my Engrish is hard to understand, try e-mailing Chinese sellers with questions about their wares:D
    I too feel that this thread went into direction no one intended, let me address the accusations.
    I like buying gadgets from China and consider it an inexpensive entertainment. Some of them are good, others are complete junk. When I came across the light we were discussing I noticed how similar it was to the lights sold by the vendors here. I thought that the "brand name" lights were OEMd in China based on a variety of designs offered by Chinese, see an example in post 138. It was a legitimate suggestion, and if Cyclops or TT didn't like it, they could ignore or rebuff. At the end Kevin showed the internals of his light and everyone could see that the electronics was different. That was it, I was wrong and have no problem admitting it. I have never suggested that this Chinese light was better than Cyclops or TT. I just voiced my personal opinion that the Chinese light was of a decent quality and I explained why. I also never accused vendors of rip-off, in fact several times I mentioned how much value they add. They offer a complete consumer ready solution, the light I bought is a part of DIY project. I also have no vested interest in that light, you probably noticed that I didn't even provide a link to the store I bought it from.
    I have purchased products from TT, spoke to them on shows and rallies and they have been open on what their products can or can not do.
  3. Maoule

    Maoule Been here awhile

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    I also was looking at the title of the thread and, because I'm in the market for aux lights, was wondering if Gene's lengthy posts were going come up with a recommendation. I went back and didn't find much other than chinese lights...sorry for my impatience, but where do I get these chinese lights? Sorry if I misunderstood the posts but, to me, they were starting to have a bit of a gotcha tone. So, my bad...I'll shut up and listen:ear:ear
  4. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    I don't want to give a direct link to avoid further accusations, but if you google "10W Cree LED Work Light" you'll find a plenty of places selling similar lights. I purchased that particular light simply because the seller put it on a no reserve auction and I snapped it cheap. I ordered another light and will install them on my bike and evaluate their performance in the real life.
    Just today I found another interesting light

    [​IMG]

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/360647781962

    Note the vertical beads on the glass. This light might actually produce a wide flat beam more fitting for the road use.
  5. SpeedyK

    SpeedyK Lone Rider

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  6. doc dogg

    doc dogg Adventurer

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  7. ToddB

    ToddB Mountain Tourer

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    I checked out this guy's site and he has some really nice stuff especially
    the 8 position fuse box. Thanks to Unstable Rider for finding this!!:clap
    -TB
  8. SpeedyK

    SpeedyK Lone Rider

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    Friend who bought the "originals" and then some of these just bought another set of the linked ones for another bike. Based on his experience with both, I'm likely to buy a set of the linked ones.
  9. genka

    genka SUV hater

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  10. ararat

    ararat Dr. BMW and Mr KTM

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    Based on my experience with clones.
    They are great. but not as good as the original.

    The lens quality is pathetic and that affects the beams capability.
    I got spot (15 deg) that are more like euro beam (30 deg), i wanted a euro beam :norton:D:norton.
    The beam's "spot" fades quickly about 150m away from the bike to a mush white.
    The lens also throws alot of light to the sides, unlike the "spot" it needs to be.
    My 1W led maglite puts a more concentrated beam.:deal

    Quality wise time will tell but for quater of the price they are the best.:deal
  11. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    I did a little bit of reading on the subject, trying to understand the optics better than what I learned in high school. Forming a correct beam is not a trivial task, and understanding the basic laws of physics is as important as the quality of the materials. If you are into these things this article may be of interest http://www.mikewoodconsulting.com/articles/Protocol Winter 2012 - Etendue.pdf
    Both brand name and Chinese lights form their beams with TIR reflectors. TIR (total internal reflection) lenses don't use mirrors and made of a clear acrylic.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    There are different designs of the reflectors for different shapes of the beam. The Denali light uses an additional diffusers to make the beam a bit wider. Clearwater Krista, which are one of the most expensive lights on the market, are also based on TIR reflectors.
    [​IMG]
    They appear to use a 12W version of Seoul Semiconductors P7 LED emitter.
    From what I learned, I wouldn't call these Chinese lights "clones". They use high quality American Cree LEDs and commercially available TIR reflectors- probably Chinese. Top quality TIR reflectors for different beam shapes are available, and would be interesting to experiment with. Although even the best reflector will not form a road legal beam.
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Gene, we need to have several drinks some day so I can get my head around what you are saying!:freaky

    Seriously, you never fail to impress me with your explainations, and how easy they are to understand!

    Jim :brow
  13. ararat

    ararat Dr. BMW and Mr KTM

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    Mine are CREE 10w led with a great looking TIR reflector but they still seem to spread way more then what i would expect a 15 deg pencil lens as it is described.
  14. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    Jim, I'm trying not to venture beyond my competencies, and my knowledge of optics is basic. I'd be glad if someone who knows more would pitch in. There is a good discussion in Baja Design thread in vendors.
    Ararat, even the best TIR reflector is too simple to provide automotive quality beam. Almost all aftermarket lights have a bright spot in the center surrounded by a "halo" of spillover light.
    The "pencil beam" should only be used offroad or to complement the high beam with absence of the oncoming traffic. They don't provide good daytime visibility.
  15. andrewhtf

    andrewhtf Been here awhile

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    Baja designs squadron lights or jw speaker ts3000r lights

    Best for what it does. But it ain't cheap.
  16. genka

    genka SUV hater

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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.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the optics look strikingly different from all other aftemarket lights.
  17. andrewhtf

    andrewhtf Been here awhile

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    they may be different, but to me, their purpose is the same, that is to throw lights bright and far enough to see where I'm going. :)

    that being said, over here in my place, the enforcement on lighting regulation are quite lax, So i took advantage of it by installing offroad lights on my bike and used it on road.
  18. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    Just a comment, if you can solder, those cheap LED lights are quite repairable.

    One of the connections on mine popped loose, and I didn't think enough when soldering it back on, result, one dead no-name 7W LED.

    Curse, hit ebay, O.K. good price for 10W CREE LED's, replaced all four for $20.

    Now, before someone jumps in, the originals used 7W LED's, but it's the driver that determines the current so I shouldn't gain any more light - true enough. But the newer LED's are more efficient, and have a slightly higher voltage drop. The result could perhaps be called excessive in the light department :eek1

    Just FYI for anyone else who has a failure, it's not unrecoverable and the repair may be 'better' than the original.

    Pete
  19. leafman60

    leafman60 Long timer

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    I'd worry about obstruction of airflow to the oil coooler with this set-up. The lamps (and rock guard grill) are bound to restrict needed air to the cooler. Just sayin.
  20. genka

    genka SUV hater

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    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.