What low cost chinese light is worth having (good beam patter (exposure maxx d))

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  • What low cost chinese light is worth having (good beam patter (exposure maxx d))
  • deanfbm
    Member

    Last winter whilst i was working in a shop, i had the luxury of using any of the exposure demo lights whenever i wanted, my favourite combination was a joystick on my head and a maxx-d on the bars, the maxx-d has ruined other lights for me.

    I’ve been using the cheap XML chinese lights for a couple of years (needed rebuilding a couple of times), got used to the really good even flood and penetration of the maxx-d, now my cheap xml lights are rubbish in every respect, battery life, battery quality, external battery pack, poor beam pattern, i could go on.

    I “upgraded” to a lezyne mega drive, beam pattern is better but not good enough.

    What new generation of cheap chinese light has a good, floody, consistent beam pattern?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    How cheap is cheap? Magicshine’s slightly outdated MJ-872 is still the best of the chinese lights IMO, usually costs £70-£90 though so not the cheapest. Quality charger, well made, excellent beam pattern- good flood and no major hotspots or rings or anything. Doesn’t look immediately impressive compared to some, but better to ride with. Not the longest range but frankly I don’t think it matters, I’d sooner have a good wide beam in the useful range than a searchlight that could beam out for miles, but can still only light up the next corner…

    (oh, there’s a Fluxient which is pretty much identical. And a Hope, though it’s not as well made 😉 )

    divenwob
    Member

    +1 Fluxient, have a search for them on amazon and you should find Torchy.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Rather than buy cheap Chinese rubbish, which all seem to have really crap unreliable batteries, how about spending a little bit more and going for One of these from Smudge (a regular on here) at MTB batteries

    They’re outstanding value for money, with a decent quality reliable battery, and unlike the Chinese crap, you’ve got proper back up. The customer service is excellent. Whenever we’re out at night there will always be a good few people with Smudges lights. For very good reason.

    They’re a really decent piece of kit for not much more than you’d pay for frankly crap Chinese stuff

    Rather than buy cheap Chinese rubbish, which all seem to have really crap unreliable batteries,

    Not true

    how about spending a little bit more

    £115 vs £20? That’s not “a little bit more”. That is “Almost six times more”.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    It’s hardly a fortune is it though, is it? And he does a cheaper set too which are also excellent. £110 for something that works? Or £20 for a piece of crap, with dodgy seals and a shonky battery that could pack up at any time.

    Having had a cheap set of lights die on me half way around Llandegla, leaving me whimpering like a girl in a pitch black forest, waiting for my mates to realise I missing and come and find me, I know which I think is the better option.

    There’s an awfully big difference between ‘cost’ and ‘value for money’. You want to trust a 20 quid piece of crap, out on the moors on your own? Best of luck….

    divenwob
    Member

    The fluxient is around £70 and so far has been perfect,not all lights are solar storm etc.No disrespect but pretty much all leds are from china inc the repacked UK versions.Surely anybody worried about light failure would have 2, bars and head therefore not leaving themselves in the situation Binners did? 😉

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    It’s a mistake I won’t make again. I was ****ing myself! All I could think about was the Blair Witch, while listening to the rustling in the trees. 😯 I carry a spare battery pack and a spare get-me-home light nowadays

    But I’ve seen a good few cheap Chinese batteries pack up without warning, when apparently fully charged. I believe the MTB Batteries … Erm…. batteries are made here, and a lot more reliable. Personally I think it’s worth it for the peace of mind

    divenwob
    Member

    Agreed I wouldn’t trust the £20 kits,some reveiwers charge their batts in saucepans in case of ignition, surely not a reccomendation then!

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    As other threads have shown, a large number of the batteries speed with the solarstorms are indeed rubbish, and the recommendation is to get just the light unit and a decent battery from torchy, or olly.

    I have a solarstorm and on max it it’s pretty good, although not as good as my gloworm x2 which is 1200 lumens.

    I bought a 1900 lumen 4xXPG fluxient from torch and think the solarstorm is better.

    But also look at the c&b seen stuff for value, a diffused 1200 on the bars and a normal one on the head might be good and good value.

    divenwob
    Member

    TG wanna sell the fluxient? 😉

    andylc
    Member

    My £25 Chinese 3 XMLT6 LED light is freakin awesome, batteries last up to 3-4 hours and light intensity is awesome, the single LED setting is fine for most riding and the 2 or 3 LED option is great for full speed downhill. It’s lasted through torrential rain and seems to be constructed well. Can’t see the point paying any more. Whatever overpriced one you buy will be out of date in 12 months or so anyway.

    Gribs
    Member

    There’s an awfully big difference between ‘cost’ and ‘value for money’. You want to trust a 20 quid piece of crap, out on the moors on your own? Best of luck….

    I certainly don’t trust my Solarstorm x2 but they’re cheap enough to buy a couple to have some backup. I also have a tiny little Lezyne micro drive light that would get me home if both the cheapy Chinese lights failed.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    my first ride out tonight with my Solarstorm from Olly (marmaduke). The garden test seems pretty good. Batteries replaced by Olly with decent ones houses in a fully waterproof case. Comes with fused three pin charger that does not look like it is going to blow up!

    Excellent service from Olly, he even refunded me £5 as he missed the Post Office when it closed early on New Years Eve!

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Maplin are flogging what look like the cheap Chinese lights.

    May be worth a go because you can always return them if when they kark it.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    It’s really interesting looking at the prices you pay for lights nowadays. And what you get for your money. I remember shelling out £250 for a set of Lumi Halogens, years ago, before the dawn of LED’s. Which had a massive, heavy water-bottle sized battery, that didn’t ‘t last that long, and are not a patch, power-wise on something you can now pick up for £70! In’t the relentless march of technology brilliant! 😀

    Or £20 for a piece of crap, with dodgy seals and a shonky battery that could pack up at any time.

    Sigh. Not every cheap Chinese torch is as you describe. I have several and they are perfectly reliable and have been serving me well for years.

    You can make wild and emotive assertions if you want to but they don’t give your point any more legitimacy.

    fudge9202
    Member

    I currently run a solarstorm and a gloworm copy both bought as lamps both paired to fluxient batteries and a UK charger bought from torchy. They have been faultless with runtimes of 3-4 hrs on full.
    Total cost for complete set-up is £103.00 exactly!
    A bargain in my eyes and since September no problems with quitting and leaving me crying like a kid in the dark. 😀

    tymbian
    Member

    @andylc…do you have a link to them lights?

    Goldigger
    Member

    One of the joys of having your own mill..you can just make your own.
    But then even that’s adds up to more than some of these cheap Chinese lights..
    But at least you know if the parts you put in are decent quality and reliable.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    binners – Member

    You want to trust a 20 quid piece of crap, out on the moors on your own? Best of luck….

    You have to be pretty daft to trust any one light regardless of price tbh, all it takes is a minor crash catching a wire or breaking a mounting and you’re boned. Or, just failing in some other way, as they might- spending more doesn’t guarantee reliability.

    Certainly I’d far rather trust 2 cheap (but halfdecent) lights than one expensive one.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    This looks awesome for the money on Amazon.

    If I needed another light I’d snatch one a them up. My “Chinese rubbish” has been very reliable.

    I don’t believe the Chinese ones are crap, they’re just torches at the end of the day, bit what I do believe is that the branded bike specific lights are piss-takingly over-priced.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Eh? What exactly is the advantage of having ‘several’ pieces of cheap Chinese crap then? What exactly is the point of that? You buy something to save money over more expensive, better quality kit, but you end up owning ‘several’, which end up costing more, but are individually all still rubbish?

    Some interesting ‘logic’ at play there fella 😀

    Mate, because my testicles have actually descended, I try not to get sucked into arguing with silly people on the internet. Run along now.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Ok. Thanks for your input. It’s been very enlightening.

    See what I did there? 😀

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Any light can fail or be damaged. As long as they’re of an acceptable standard, 2 lights makes more sense than one. Just logic, nothing too scary 😉

    beamends
    Member

    i think the cheap chinese lights are good, worst thing thought is most fit onto your bars with an o ring, which is fine if you have straight bars, if they have any curve at all light ends up shining to one side which is rather annoying….

    anyone seen these mini chinese lights il call them the mk2 as its alot smaller, still with external battery pack but looked perfect for helmet lights or x2 on the bars. if so post a link up ive been trying to re-find them since i saw them on ebay

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    The (smudge) customer service is excellent

    agreed
    I think maybe the best of all options is decent batteries/chargers via smudge or similar and the latest 10billion lumen head unit(s) from lightmalls or whoever – it’s what I’m on just now (2x “4 CREE XM-L T6” units for 40quid delivered). I opened them up – seemed quite well sealed – and shoved in some thermal jizz and they work pretty well. I suspect the drivers aren’t that great so could probably improve by replacing them but currently they’re fine by me

    I was told in a pub that the 18650 cells that accompany many chinese lamps are originally from Laptops.
    They are either used in China , or returned there for ‘recycling’. The ‘recycling’ involves removing the labelling and heat wrapping a new sticker onto them. I guess they test them and if they are seemingly OK stick 2500mah on them, if not so good 2000mah.

    Could also be rubbish .
    I have a triple xml torch and a yingding double xml.Both been very reliable so far, and if I was a serious night rider would buy brand new 18650 cells from Torchy , and make my own up. Batteryspace also do well priced power cells and chargers .

    divenwob
    Member

    Surely the highest risk is damage? Therefore 2 mid priced lights like the Fluxient at £65-£80 cuts your costs and as Binners has already said you need 2 lights,so why spend more??? I can see what you are saying but not everyone has the budget.

    st
    Member

    I met up with Smudge yesterday to pick up a Lumen 800 to try out and it looks like a cracking bit of kit. I think the retail is around £80 with full UK spec and excellent customer service. It was interesting hearing about the components that go into the batteries, lamps and chargers of the super cheap far eastern sourced gear.

    Having said that they hit a price that people seem happy with so if you get one with the knowledge of the potential pitfalls I guess it may be worth a shot. There do seem to be people with good long term reports of the cheaper lights which is cool.

    I’ve come from having some of the higher end lights over the years so the MTB Batteries options offer a massive ‘saving’ and if the light performs as I’m hoping it will on the first ride next week I’ll be pretty chuffed with it.

    milky1980
    Member

    But also look at the c&b seen stuff for value, a diffused 1200 on the bars and a normal one on the head might be good and good value.

    Exactly what I run, works very well.

    Premier Icon jkomo
    Subscriber

    Sorry to repeat from another thread, why is this not the perfect value light:
    The fluxient torch type thing
    http://bit.ly/JOw31n

    andylc
    Member

    Tymbian: If you put ‘3 xml t6 bike’ into eBay loads of similar ones show up. I agree about the o ring comment though – I thought that was poor and replaced it with the bracket from my old Vistalite halogen light set, which I still had lying around.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    TG wanna sell the fluxient?

    It was for a mate 🙁

    This looks awesome for the money on Amazon.

    that has the same head unit as the SSX2 I bought – it is pretty good at full, less good at medium, comparing to my Gloworm X2 at 1200 lumens. It looks less powerful than the Gloworm, which I have seen measured at a true 1150 lumens.

    Sorry to repeat from another thread, why is this not the perfect value light:
    The fluxient torch type thing
    http://bit.ly/JOw31n

    I have the previous model, which Torchy’s site showed as much better than the ‘much less powerful’ Exposure Joystick.

    Unfortunately, as a helmet light, it isn’t – the Joystick has a tighter spot but it is brighter and much more useful.

    That fluxient is OK as a helmet light, but not really as your only light on the bars as it is not floody enough so you get that disorientating riding into a tunnel of light effect.

    Plus the switch on mine has always been a little dodgy, but turns out to be terminally dodgy when used outside, which I have only done once, where it wouldn’t turn on. Shame as the case matched the fluxient I bought my mate and so I was planning on giving it to him.

    I was told in a pub that the 18650 cells that accompany many chinese lamps are originally from Laptops.

    this appears to be the case, or using other dodgy batteries and/or chargers. Look at torchy’s site which shows what they are like inside.

    Whereas some people on these threads will say that they have had no problem, there have also been lots that have had issues and it is getting tiring seeing posts from people towing the old ‘why pay more’ line. You might get lucky, you might not.

    Olly has been selling a good battery option for the SSX2 which has a waterproof box/case for a set of high quality panasonic cells, and he has been selling this with charger and SSX2 for £55.

    It seems to me that this would be a good option as you can actually take the cells out and use them in a smarter charger, which are about £20, which can charge the cells individually and help keep the cells in good condition.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    you can actually take the cells out and use them in a smarter charger, which are about £20, which can charge the cells individually and help keep the cells in good condition.

    Genuine question, does a smarter charger really make a difference? In what way is it smart?

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Well….. If I put my daughters rubics cube down near where my lights are charging, then leave the room, I always return to find its been completed. Though, if I’m honest, I can never be sure whether its done it properly, or just taken it apart and put it back together again to try and impress me

    sv
    Member

    Havent read all the post but a Solarstorm XT40 from Fast tech and it comes with a waterproof battery box, then add some decent 18650 batteries/charger from torchy. Also the ‘Yinding’ light (fast tech or deal extreme) is great as a head torch.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Genuine question, does a smarter charger really make a difference? In what way is it smart?

    depends on which smart charger but they can treat the cells individually, can discharge them before charging, can switch to alternate charging style when the cell is near full, etc.

    Also the ‘Yinding’ light (fast tech or deal extreme) is great as a head torch.

    Also bought one of these, not a lot different from the SSX2 but does get quite a bit hotter, so probably would need to switch to lower power when not riding.

    The yingding is a bit smaller than the SSX2 so I am probably going to carry it as a spare just in case. I also carry a Joystick as a spare – normally it is someone else that gets to use it as their batteries give out early – probably because their charger isn’t smart enough ?

    Put them next to the Gloworm though. and also look at the light quality, and it is obviously why the gloworm is more money…

    fbk
    Member

    Another vote for Smudge and mtbbatteries.com here. Yes, there are always folk who are going to go with the cheapest they can get and good luck to them – I’ve done the same in the past and nothing wrong with that. It’s just refreshing to have a light that arrives when you order it, works well, looks good and you have great backup should something go wrong. I feel it’s a happy medium.

    deanfbm
    Member

    Do any of these suggestions put out light that is anywhere near as pleasent as a exposure maxx-d?

    If it costs £20, it costs £20, if it costs £100, so be it. Just as long as it’s not exposure prices, im happy. Not contesting whether exposure prices are worth it, they are really, really good, just not what im looking to spebd at the moment.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Solarstorm XT40 from Fast tech and it comes with a waterproof battery box,

    that is the same box as olly sells.

    Here’s an apparently good smart charger :

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390698413063&ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:GB:3160

    Just keep away from any batteries with ‘Fire’ in their name…

    sv
    Member

    that is the same box as olly sells.

    They can be had from Blackshadow Technology along with the Solarstorm lights. Decent prices too email ‘nancy@blackshadow.co’ for a quote.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    deanfbm – Member

    Do any of these suggestions put out light that is anywhere near as pleasent as a exposure maxx-d?

    TBH very few. Some are very entry-level suggestions, like the single-XMLs, others are in the same ballpark powerwise like the Solarstorms but more spotlighty. Trouble is that few of the budget lights do a really good spread beam which is what the maxx-d does, so it’s harder to find something to match that.

    The ones I mentioned- the 4 XPE/XPG Magicshines and Fluxients- are a very similiar light design to the maxx-d, just not selfcontained.

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