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The new lights thread

Sept. 9, 2008, 10:16 a.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

So night riding season is fast closing in on us. Last year, I was running a 10deg 12V 20W halogen overvolted to 14.4V, it's awesome, but battery life is not fantastic, and it gets hot if you aren't moving. This year I'm looking to upgrade to a LED/HID system, and hope to still use my batteries (4.2Ah, and 5Ah packs. So the question is:

What light systems are good, have great value for money, and can be bought as just a light, not necessarily with the battery?

I've been looking over at the Trailtechs on Batteryspace and they seem to fit except for two things; they don't have a voltage regulator, so I'm not sure if 14.4 is too much voltage, and the options for bulbs are 6/12 degrees. With my halogen I liked 10degree, but I know HID have a different beam pattern, what would be closer?

Sept. 9, 2008, 10:26 a.m.
Posts: 4794
Joined: Aug. 4, 2004

I bought a NiteRider HID light last season, and cannot go back to halogen because of that.
The area that's lit up is absolutely amazing. I now lead evening rides :lol:

I had a hell of a time finding an LBS that stocks HID, so I bought from Price Point. Best $300 I've spent (for night riding).

http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/14368-225_NITRG5-43-Brands-305-NiteRider-Bike-Lights/Niterider-Rage-HID-+-LED-Bike-Lights.htm

Sept. 9, 2008, 11:03 a.m.
Posts: 5225
Joined: July 22, 2003

I've been looking over at the Trailtechs on Batteryspace and they seem to fit except for two things; they don't have a voltage regulator, so I'm not sure if 14.4 is too much voltage, and the options for bulbs are 6/12 degrees. With my halogen I liked 10degree, but I know HID have a different beam pattern, what would be closer?

yeah you don't need a regulator if you have a LiON batt at the right voltage. i have a 11.1V LiOn batt and no regulators on my Trail Tech lights. this didnt work so well with my old NiMH batts though.

also def go for the flood light. i have never seen a spot HID that seemed worth it. the floods are way better for the shore and the slow speeds we have.

my trail tech HIDs are 3 years old and no issues with them yet. some find the velco attachment cheezy, but i have had no issues with it to date and it is nice as the light will come off your helmet when you crash instead of having to shell out for a new nite rider mount. it does mean that to run a bar or chin setup needs some custom work.

i would recommend ordering a LiON pack and smart charger from battery space. good stuff from them.

things is though, if you could wait another season or two, LEDs might start to get affordable enough. i'm betting that within 2-3 years HID will be old technology and the LEDs will be cheap enough. HIDs can't match LEDs except in price: way more durable (HIDs somewhat fragile), less power consumption, much longer life (HID bulbs do burn out eventually), better quality light too.

Sept. 9, 2008, 11:21 a.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

The big problem I have now is I have 2 14.4V battery packs, and I need to replace one of my bulbs, so I'm trying to decide if I should take the plunge with an HID light, or if I should wait a little longer.
Does anyone have any experience with Trail-Tech lights from Batteryspace?

Sept. 9, 2008, 11:25 a.m.
Posts: 5225
Joined: July 22, 2003

The big problem I have now is I have 2 14.4V battery packs, and I need to replace one of my bulbs, so I'm trying to decide if I should take the plunge with an HID light, or if I should wait a little longer.
Does anyone have any experience with Trail-Tech lights from Batteryspace?

what type of 14.4V batt?

if you can wait i would wait and look towards LED. HID will soon be outdated technology.

my whole post is about the Trail-Tech lights… i thought it says that?

Sept. 9, 2008, 11:34 a.m.
Posts: 11680
Joined: Aug. 11, 2003

what type of 14.4V batt?

if you can wait i would wait and look towards LED. HID will soon be outdated technology.

my whole post is about the Trail-Tech lights… i thought it says that?

D'oh. For some reason I read the reply, but didn't read the part about trail-tech. Silly me. I'm using a NiMH cell pack.

Sept. 9, 2008, 11:43 a.m.
Posts: 5225
Joined: July 22, 2003

D'oh. For some reason I read the reply, but didn't read the part about trail-tech. Silly me. I'm using a NiMH cell pack.

i think you would want a regulator for NiMH, as the voltage drops when it starts to lose its charge/get drained. whereas LiON maintains a more constant voltage as its drained. i think for anything but LiON you want the regulator.

if you can contact batteryspace or trailtech i'd hope they could help? it's been so long since i looked at this stuff i'm not much help really.

when i ordered my lights they all came with regulators, and the one you linked to appears to come with one:

All Trail-Tech 13W HID light kit comes with high quality HID light controller technology.

  • Soft start switch provides optimum power-on conditions for HID lights.
  • Auto detects between 12 volt and 14.8 volt operating systems.
  • The switch will warn low battery at 11.5V by blue LED blinking, then cuff-off power at 8V
  • Battery Low protection prevents damage to rechargeable battery

other than having to wire the lights up yourself and sorting out the battery issues (which can be a big PITA), the TrailTechs are really easy to use and no complaints in 3 years of use …

Sept. 9, 2008, 12:01 p.m.
Posts: 4857
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

what's currently the best bang for the buck hid's out there?

Sept. 9, 2008, 12:31 p.m.
Posts: 3716
Joined: March 6, 2003

LED is the future for sure.

There are a few light companies out now that have performance as good or better than HID, but at high costs.

HIDs are cheap now. Lots on sale at Pricepoint and Jenson and Beyond bikes are all 15[HTML_REMOVED]#37; off right now.

I run a LED on the bars and HID on my helmet (trailtech). No issues at all.

I have to get my halogens back together to see if they are worth the effort and limited run time. But I am still figuring out a custom LED set-up with parts from 3W LED flashlights….cheap and really good run time. There are lots on super informative threads on MTBR that I would recommend people to check out. LOADS of very cool set-ups with instructions on how to make things yourself or what systems off the shelf are better than others.

http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=124

:canada: My Riding Journal….www.FVMBA.com :england:
"Do you even build?"
-DW-
"If everything seems in control, you're not going fast enough."
-Mario Andretti-

Sept. 9, 2008, 12:43 p.m.
Posts: 4857
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

^ sounds cool. will check that out. just got a cheap 1w led for the city [HTML_REMOVED] have to say the wee buggers are pretty impressive.

damn, some sweet homebuilds in there:

Sept. 9, 2008, 3:02 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: July 12, 2006

I have the trailtech HID and lithium battery from Batteryspace.com. I can't help you with you battery light compatibility question but I'd definitely give trailtech a thumbs up for service. After a crash inflicted cable/switch problem they fixed it free of charge(after warranty expired), it took 1 week to get it back and they even threw in a new handlebar mount plus 2 helmet mounts.

I really can't see how you would notice the difference between a 10 and 12 degree flood??

The only downside of the light is that it can be a bit heavy on the XC helmet- it makes the lid move around a bit too much!

Sept. 9, 2008, 3:07 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

If you want to research LED stuff go check out http://www.candlepowerforums.com/

Sept. 9, 2008, 3:17 p.m.
Posts: 9747
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

when you see the Lupine Betty 12's in action you realize that HID's are on the way out.

Pablo runs dual betty's and its like a freight train comming at you. too bad they still cost a fortune.

Sept. 9, 2008, 5:36 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Oct. 6, 2005

I have the trailtech HID and it is a real good light. I also just got a NiteRider TriNewt LED for my anniversary and it is sweet! There are so many good options right now.

Sept. 9, 2008, 6:37 p.m.
Posts: 3296
Joined: March 1, 2005

A thread about HIDs, Halogens, and NiMH batteries? I had to check twice to make sure this wasn't a 2002 thread revival. LED and Lithium Ion batteries are the way to go. The Niterider offerings are well-priced and make building your own set more of a separate hobby than a price-saving item…

-m

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