Lights - is this available?

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jameso
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Lights - is this available?

Post by jameso » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:57 am

Ideal light for my MTB would be a small head unit (~300-400 lumens would do) that can mount to my fork, with a lead that goes to the frame bag that can take a power pack or a 4xAA pack.

I'm after something as small and effective as my Exposure Spark, but the rechargeable CR123s give a poor run time. You can buy super lithium CR123s that are far better but i'm not a fan of disposables unless bought as a back up in need. The light itself has been unreliable anyway despite a warranty swap.

If a light had a powerpack I'd be sorted for the more regular 3 day / 2 night trips, and could use AAs for longer rides or to back up rechargeables if needed. But I only want a minimal output for lanes or picking my way along singletrack, I'd take burn time over 1000 lumen plus output. Lightweight is important, I have an L+M Secca 1300 if I want full power.

Any ideas?

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whitestone
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by whitestone » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:05 am

That's pretty well how I use my Exposure Joystick. I'll pick the program with the longest run-times (either 2 or 3 from memory gives 36hrs on the lowest setting). I did the whole of the HT550 over five days on about half a charge, didn't do a lot of night riding apart from the last night when I rode through. Perhaps the only downside is that it's way too bright even on the lowest setting for close up work like reading. Oh yeah, they ain't cheap!
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jameso
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by jameso » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:10 am

Forgot about the progam-ability of some of their lights. Not too worried about cost if it's the right bit of kit.. and reliable. I think I'd only need 12hrs run time from this, 36hrs would be enough for a week's riding as long as the bulk/weight wasn't excessive for the summer Friday-Sunday trips where I like to keep it light.

Does the Joystick have a charge-out line? (will go and look them up..). If I could get 2000mah out of the light battery into the Garmin and have enough left for lighting on weekend rides it'd be a wider-ranging bit of kit.

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Mariner
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Mariner » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:21 am

Light & Motion Seca? A bit spendy and probably need extra batteries.
Does Torchy do anything that would work for you?

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:22 am

Image
:wink:
#corporate shill for hire

jameso
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by jameso » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:29 am

^

Aww cmon, all I want is a microfusion reactor for unlimited power.

benp1
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by benp1 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:45 am

AAs don't really make for good bike lights, there's rarely enough power in them. One 18650- battery is about the same power as 4 AA batteries, but it's lighter and smaller. The Joystick and many other small bike lights are powered by an 18650. Even good torches with proper outputs tend to be 18650, AA doesn't get you there unless you use lithium rechargeable AA size batteries. That's if you want decent power (or runtime).

A 2AA torch might work, but it would be a torch rather than bike light (i.e. you won't get the same runtime or flash type arrangements)

There are some lights with a removable and replaceable 18650 battery, the Exposures have them built in. This is good or bad depending on your perspective. You can carry a spare 18650 battery and a unit to make it a powerpack. I do this often (Nitecore F1) but also use torches that take 18650s. My bike lights are Exposure because they're really good and I like being able to switch runtime. I used to use decent 18650 torches as my bike lights but the functionality of Exposure, ahem, shone through :grin: e.g. last night I was using the 3/10/24 setting, but I could have changed to a different setting if needed.

The only downside to Exposure lights is you can't lock them out, unlike many torches, so if kept in a bag can be turned on by accident

If you're open to non-budget options, a brilliant torch brand is Zebralight. They edge it for me over lots of other brands like Fenix, Nitecore etc (I'm also a bit of a torch nut)

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PaulB2
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by PaulB2 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:52 am

jameso wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:10 am
Does the Joystick have a charge-out line? (will go and look them up..). If I could get 2000mah out of the light battery into the Garmin and have enough left for lighting on weekend rides it'd be a wider-ranging bit of kit.
You can get a Boost cable to charge devices - just plugs in to the smartport on the back of the light - there's just the one port for both input and output. They do boost cables in both usb micro and mini but not seeing the micro on their site so stocks must be low.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:02 am

If you're open to non-budget options, a brilliant torch brand is Zebralight.
Mike has one of these. Always very impressed by it.
#corporate shill for hire

jameso
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by jameso » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:07 am

Good info, thanks Ben. I have an old L+M commuter light head unit with an adapted 4AA pack wired on, it's OK but the lamp/LED is old and the beam's not great. 4AA should get ~3000mah I thought and they're easy to find in shops, that was the idea there, but what I'm after is the combo of a relatively small head unit and a remote and swappable power pack. Power-out now seems a useful thing too. Everything seems to be 3000l or something crazy but I ride easy XC trails happily with an Exposure Spark at ~250l. Spark has been relegated to torch duties though, for poor reliability and a hopeless bar mount : )

So my moon on stick lighting unit spec would be

6-8,000mah remote battery pack with a power-out for GPS / phone support. If remote battery you could plug in a smaller/bigger power pack if needed and remove to recharge w/o detaching the light, then the light can have a better mount (since so many light mounts are junk because they try to be QR). Lamp unit has a variable run time setting and mounts via common 6mm bolt pivot to make it adaptable to bar or fork mounts.

Thanks Paul - sounds like the Joystick might do it then. I can make a bracket mount for it. I looked it up on their site and there's no mention of power-out cables. Had to search for Joystick as I didn't know what they class as a helmet or road light .. but I do remember admiring the spec of Ben's Joystick in a bothy a couple of years back (...don't, it's too obvious :grin: ).

Only drawback is the capacity of a Joystick or Diablo is ~3500mah - are they sealed or can you swap in a second 18650 if needed?

lune ranger
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by lune ranger » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:15 am

Sealed.
Are you looking to mount the joystick at the fork crown?
I’ve found a neat way to mount exposure lights at the crown using mostly common parts.

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by lune ranger » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:18 am

In addition: if you want lowish output with long run time, want to charge stuff as well and don’t mind expensive options..... why not a dynamo set up? Either Revo plus charger orSinewave Beacon?

jameso
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by jameso » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:30 am

lune ranger wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:15 am
Sealed.
Darn. 3500mah is too small, but a 4000mah power bank could charge it further, effectively same thing.
Are you looking to mount the joystick at the fork crown?
I’ve found a neat way to mount exposure lights at the crown using mostly common parts.
Interested.. I was thinking of a rubberised P-clip and in this case some work on a small block of aluminium to make a mount to clamp onto to the spar of the Jones truss fork. A wire SON light bracket would fix a p-clipped light to a normal fork I think.
if you want lowish output with long run time, want to charge stuff as well and don’t mind expensive options..... why not a dynamo set up?
Jones truss fork, again... it counts out a dynamo unless i accept a narrow flange hub with spacers, defeats much of the point that wide fork and front hub. I have thought of a new 150mm truss and the SON fat bike hub but it's a high £ to use ratio. The battery pack and light covers me for 3,4 days and a longer trip could be supported by plugging in to recharge, since I've no plans for any races or ITTs, or much night riding on trips where I'd use this bike these days.
Last edited by jameso on Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Cheeky Monkey » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:32 am

Look for the older joystick models and you'll probably save a few quid for the sake of slightly fewer lumens which, from what you say, won't bother you.

I have some old Lumicycle halogen head units, some old Magicshine units. They don't sound like what you want but if you do I'm happy to donate. Might make up for that delaminating Montane jacket :wink:

The old Hope (R1?) units might do it as well but they're much less configurable compared to Exposure.

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by RIP » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:36 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:22 am
Image
:wink:
I thought you literally meant "ride by the light of the moon"! Missed the stick at first :wink: .

The dreamlike trance induced by my original interpretation has now been dashed like a falling star :cry: .
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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benp1
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by benp1 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:37 am

jameso wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:07 am
but I do remember admiring the spec of Ben's Joystick in a bothy a couple of years back (...don't, it's too obvious :grin: ).
:o :lol:
jameso wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:07 am
4AA should get ~3000mah I thought and they're easy to find in shops, that was the idea there, but what I'm after is the combo of a relatively small head unit and a remote and swappable power pack. Power-out now seems a useful thing too. Everything seems to be 3000l or something crazy
But AAs run at only 1.5V, disposable lithiums at 3V and rechargeable lithiums at 3.7-4.2V. So even though the mAh may look similar, the power of a rechargeable lithium will be more than double

Units sell on how much power they put out, not on how long really. So they need a good headline number. But anything with a big battery to power a big output will also run for ages at a low output, if there's a setting to do so. That's where Exposure win for me, their timed low outputs are excellent.

BUT, if you want a separate battery unit, Exposure isn't for you. That's one of their USPs, although other manufacturers now cottoning on. Maybe check out units from places like Gemini, Ayup, Hope etc. If they can be put on a low setting they'll run for yonks. But most will have an 18650 based battery pack, often with four set up two in series and two in parallel. This double the voltage which gets you the high output, and why AAs will never compete (plus they can't sustain big current draws), but can also run for long time.

For example my Zebralight will run for months on its lowest output setting on a single 18650 battery but the output is super low, no riding on that setting! More like creeping around the house (I use it for checking on the kids and dealing with the toddler when she wakes up at night)

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by jameso » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:51 am

Ha, thanks CM .. the jacket is perfect for the Brompton S-bag pocket and commuting use so all's well there. This may end up as an electronics project, will let you know if so.. cheers. Reminds me, I have some old L+M halogens and a box of old kit, might have a rummage
I thought you literally meant "ride by the light of the moon"!
:grin: I do try to plan on clear full moon trips - nothing better than pootling on open 'white road' byways like the Ridgeway w/o needing lights, magical kind of riding. KAW was only clear on the Friday night after the cloud then rain had made the tarp-up decision for me.
But AAs run at only 1.5V, disposable lithiums at 3V and rechargeable lithiums at 3.7-4.2V. So even though the mAh may look similar, the power of a rechargeable lithium will be more than double
Oh yes .. P=IV :oops: more spec study needed. I wonder why I got such good run times on TDR with Panasonic Lithium CR123s but the Exposure rechargeable Lithium CR123s (3.7V) are so poor - had a few sets of them (one set overheated and blew in the charger)

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by lune ranger » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:53 am

jameso wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:30 am

Are you looking to mount the joystick at the fork crown?
I’ve found a neat way to mount exposure lights at the crown using mostly common parts.
Interested..
My work around won’t be so good for the joystick. It revolves around replacing the cleat with this:

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/mob ... gLEKPD_BwE

A few shim washers and you can take your pitch of Schmidt/Supernova/ B&M light mounts. Works a treat to place a Revo at the fork crown and sit underneath my bar roll.

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by benp1 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:21 am

jameso wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:51 am
I wonder why I got such good run times on TDR with Panasonic Lithium CR123s but the Exposure rechargeable Lithium CR123s (3.7V) are so poor - had a few sets of them (one set overheated and blew in the charger)
Primary cells often have more power than rechargeable cells, but they're expensive to run so lots of folks (me included) opt for the latter. BUT, an 18650 is the same size as two RCR123s (and two CR123s) but has a low more power than them because there's no air gap in the middle. So most folks running a light with two cells (is your Spark might be a single battery?) tend to opt for an 18650 light. Less voltage than two RCR123s but much more current. Lots of hand torches can mess around with the voltage to not have any impact. Will be different on a light running a few LEDs looking for lots of output

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Lazarus » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:42 am

Either Revo plus charger orSinewave Beacon?
Th revo only has enough utput for a rearlight it cannt really be used to charge anything
The beacon does both - though considerably more spendy and also runs of an external battery that you can use for onstant ourput whilst charging from the dynamo

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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by PaulB2 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:56 am

jameso wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:07 am
I looked it up on their site and there's no mention of power-out cables.
You'll need one of these I believe.

https://exposurelights.com/products/bik ... oost-cable

They do a micro usb one too, it just doesn't seem to be on their website at the moment.

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whitestone
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by whitestone » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:19 pm

One problem with the Joystick and similar form factor lights is that they aren't ideal for mounting at the fork crown, looking at Exposure's site I can't see a fork mount (Joystick, Exposure, forking mount? crikey it's a double entendre comic's dream :lol: ). Could you not use one of the bar extenders and mount the light on that in order to avoid handlebar bags, not ideal I suppose.

There's no easy way to convert mAh, well Wattage, to lumens because it depends on the efficiency of the various circuits and the LEDs themselves. About the simplest way is to take the run time at the quoted lumens and multiply them together to give you "lumen hours". You can then use this to work out the lumens at whatever run time you are after. If I do this for the 1000 lumen Joystick then its single 18650 battery (3500mAh) with 1.5hrs run time on "full" gives 1500 lumen-hours. So for the longest run-time of 36hrs that's just 42 lumens. For the "medium" settings with 10-12hr run-time you've 125-150 lumens.

The Joystick can act as "sink" or "source" depending on what you plug into it. This is the blurb from the manual:
SPT+ works as an output and allows the light to power ancillary Exposure accessories, such as the RedEye, whilst the light is on. SPT+ can also be used to turn your light into a power bank to charge your USB devices.
SPT+ will automatically activate when the light is on.
You can also use SPT+ when the light is off, but you will need to activate it. To activate SPT+ hold down the Function Button and immediately release when the light emits rapid flashes.
You can then charge your devices with the Exposure Boost Cables. However, please test your device before intended use as not all devices may be compatible.
To deactivate SPT+ simply turn the light on and off again.
NOTE: Ensure that SPT+ is deactivated before charging.
NOTE: We do not recommend charging devices whilst using your helmet light as the battery can drain considerably faster.
Moving away from Exposure, I've one of the original Hope Vision 2 lights. I had a couple of "endurance" battery packs made up for it with longer leads than the standard Hope battery packs for use in Rovaniemi so I could have the pack inside my clothing to keep it warm. "Endurance" = 4 x 18650 cells. Of course in the snow you don't need a huge output to begin with - would have to work out what the run-time on low with that pack would be, they claim 30hrs on low with their own 2 cell battery pack!

As Ben notes, you need a certain amount of shell material around the actual chemical mass to prevent leakage and deal with things like thermal expansion as charge is added or removed.
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Leerowe76 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:00 pm

whitestone wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 9:05 am
That's pretty well how I use my Exposure Joystick. I'll pick the program with the longest run-times (either 2 or 3 from memory gives 36hrs on the lowest setting). I did the whole of the HT550 over five days on about half a charge, didn't do a lot of night riding apart from the last night when I rode through. Perhaps the only downside is that it's way too bright even on the lowest setting for close up work like reading. Oh yeah, they ain't cheap!
Not cheap no, but you get what you pay for and for me a cracking light
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Alpinum
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by Alpinum » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:18 am

Perhaps a Yinding XM L2.
It's practically the build of a Lupine Piko at 1/10 price. Zee Germans have taken them to pieces to compare against the Piko and found no difference which would concern someone looking for a compact, lightweight light.

I've had two for what must soon be 4 years, very regularly in use and they work great.
Very sturdy & simple. Solid weather proofing.

Cable with fit a bunch of 3rd party power supply. Eg the older Magic Shine stuff.

Whilst Lumen isn't the measured brightness of a light, these are said to have an output settings of 200, 400 and 800 Lumens.

Focus is great for fast paced biking.

At < 70 g it can be used for just about anything. Mine mostly sits directly on the helmet (the rubber mount is screwed on and for low profile the light can be eg velcro'ed to the helmet).
I see no problem mountin it to a fork.

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atk
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Re: Lights - is this available?

Post by atk » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:28 am

If you go up a few models with Exposure to the smallest Strada*, it could be quite easy** to fit to the fork crown as it'll have the screwed cleat. Break the loctite on it and you've got just enough threads to attach to various mounts***

EDIT: Just realised they don't make the small Strada (600 lumen) anymore. This was shorter/thinner than the 1200+ versions.

Image

* depending on bike/angles/mount even this might not clear the HT
** with a general level of bodging and 2-3 cups of tea
*** again, maybe a little drilling/filing/swearing required

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