What light for night riding – sub 100 quid?

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  • What light for night riding – sub 100 quid?
  • scotabroad

    Hi folks I have been out of the loop for a while and realise technology has leapt forward in last few years. Out night riding last night for first time in years and my old HID light and motion was like lighting a match in the woods compared to the other midge friers.

    Want to keep the price modest, and looking for one that can be helmet mounted and switched on for the descents.


    Gloworm lights look smart, dunno whether they’re the “latest and greatest” at the moment though.


    Have a look here, awesome for the money and Smudge’s (from here) back up is legendary.



    how sub.


    do you want real lumens, claimed lumens, reliable, sealed, warrenty, delivery time.

    tons of info on here if you UTFS.

    my opinion – get a lumenator from smudge, the extra money you pay, you will save in time alone trying to get your head round all the options.


    Twin XML (LED) is this years forum favorite, single XML (cheapy chinese or the likes of gloworm x1) units are still available but I went for the twin, as they cost little more and are a lot better beam wise.

    Gloworm look great but are £170
    Gemini duo, similar system and again look great £170
    Luminator is similar twin XML unit and only £123, a chinese import but checked and have great support from MTB Batteries (and no bad battery/charger rep).

    Cheap and cheerful (or not) option:
    Solarstorm X2 a twin XML unit (other types are available), ignore the stupid lumen figures, really the output will be similar to those listed above (the beam might not be as refined), costs aprox £25-35 off ebay. Batteries and chargers ‘can be’ suspect (I have to say that but have never personally seen or heard of anyone I know real issues but there are forum posts about it), potentially you can get replacement batteries/chargers for another £28 from ebay sellers like Big_f_d_d or for greater piece of mind.. MTB Batteries for £68. All of a sudden the bargain isn’t such a bargain but that a ‘worst’ case senario… most ppl’s work just fine. I would recommend choosing a UK based ebayer, so if you do have issues, it can be resolved quickly.

    jonah tonto

    i bought one of these recently;


    ok there is a 3 week delivery time and the lumens quoted are plucked from thin air but its as least as bright as my mates £300 hope light and i think it was about £30. cant comment on reliability as its only 2 months old but so far so good


    Thanks folks 🙂


    I’ve had a no name Cree XML T6 based bike light for two or three years now that I got from a guy in Manchester off EBay. At the time it cost about £70 but you can get them for about £30 now. Most of them include a headband, charger, battery and rubber O rings to fasten it to your bars and apart from losing one of the O rings I’ve had no problem with it. Its been used on warm, dry nights, torrential rain and several times while caving and it easily outperformed my mates caving lights.
    My dads got the same and had no problems but my mates packed up after a year but they are that cheap he just bought another. It’s this potential quality control issue that you take the risk on but for those prices and the performance they beat the expensive brands hands down.
    The double XML U2 based lights look good so I might get one of those soon as well.


    Just look at lightmalls.com cheap as chips with more throw away lumens that you will ever need..end of!


    For MTB go to eBay type in SSC P7 1200 lumen and for £28.65? You’ll get all the light you need…….3.5 hours on FULL/HALF alternating or 2.5-3 on FULL …use it for 18 months … Ish …… Then repeat …. Simples

    Neil F

    I got a 2k lumens cree LED one from Ebay for £25 and its been totally reliable since I got it about a year ago, used for about 2 to 2.5 hours on full and roughly 4-5 hours on half power. At £25 a pop, I’ll be buying another when this gives up the ghost, or I might just buy a new battery for it. 😀


    Just to add a little for anyone reading investigating what light to buy.

    I have bought two of the following:


    The lights are good and powerful but the beam is quite direct as a spot, good if head mounted, but on the bars you sometimes find yourself quickly moving the bars left right to get a better view.

    Secondly on both battery packs, they had a PCB which I believe stops the batteries getting too far discharged. I found that both battery packs had two duff cells (after one year), both the same ones. I’ve removed the PCB and straight away I saw an improved amount of time the batteries held their charge.

    Someone else on the forum mentioned the PCB and I must admit, things seem a lot better since removing it.

    If I was to buy another battery pack the same, I’d personally remove the PCB straight away and solder the cable directly to the batteries.

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