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More CREE LED Torch Solutions

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 6:07 pm
by uncle arthur
On the subject of lights - following a couple of posts re DealsExtreme and the Cree torches, I purchased two of these Image.

They arrived today so I've made up a mount using a Tioga LED base, some small holes drilled through to accommodate the two zip ties, and voila.....

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I'll let everyone know how they work out :)

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:13 pm
by nimm
Just so it's clear, even though these have Cree Q5 LED, due to being driven at lower voltage (and much lower overall power available in 1x AA) the intensity won't be matching the UltraFire C2s or similar torches driven by ~3.6V-9V (1x 18650s or 2x CR123As).

They'll still be bright and there are advantages to using the Q5 (or the R2) because they offer more light for the same power consumption - even if you're not running them to the max.

You're also going to get a lower burn time, it's about 3hrs for 1x 18650s but no idea about 1x AA in this case. Let us know how it goes.

Nice mount!

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:45 pm
by Kalgrm
Looking good. Let us know how they turn out (throw, brightness, etc.)

Cheers,
Graeme

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:17 pm
by MountGower
Nimm

I really need to start paying more attention or deciding that until I can afford the time to do so I should stop asking questions. Buuuut, am I correct in assuming that these torches all have the same lamp but run at different voltages in different torches? So Graeme's head set will run brighter (per torch) that Uncle Arthur's because of his custom battery pack?
I'm not knocking Uncle Arthur's lights. Buying them and wacking them on is obviously low hassle and I'm sure they will work very well.

I'm really trying to determine what to buy myself. The torches you bought. Can I assume that they run at higher voltage and have a larger lens? Larger battery capacity? The advantage of Uncle's and Graeme's being streamline and easily bound together and good enough for the job?

Am I getting somewhere. I'm just an electrician, after all.....who obviously hasn't had or allocated sufficient time to this. So I am just going to have a bit of a bludge on this until I'm told to push on.

Oh, one more question. What is the maximum voltage we can hit these babies with without severely reducing lamp life?

I'm actually getting a little bit exited by all this super torch bizzo.

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:30 pm
by uncle arthur
There were two key reasons I chose these ones:

1 - they take AA batteries and rechargeable ones are readily available (I have a batch of Sony 2300mAh ones here).

They are small enough to be bound together in this formation.

If I want to, I'm assuming that I could potentially do as Graeme has and use my existing NiMh rechargeable batterypack for the Nightpro light, but that requires electronics knowledge of which I have very little.

So for a smile solution which gives me flexibility in terms of flash/solid beam combinations this was an easy way to go.

The light throw is excellent - one beam alone lights up the back yard, and the two together is sensational. Weight wise it is lighter than my existing Nightpro setup, and I can, if I want, now put the Nightpro as a helmet light (or sell it).

I'm yet to find out how long the rechargeables will last in the new torches, but I will advise when I know.

Oh - and the front on shot isn't of the lights actually - that's the flash reflection off the reflectors.

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:33 pm
by MountGower
Oh, man, how am I supposed to sleep now?

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:49 pm
by uncle arthur
OK - here's the test shots.

Control - Frontyard
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Front yard - One lamp - full bright
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Front yard - Both lamps - full bright
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Control - side of house
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Side of house - one lamp
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Side of house - both lamps
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$50 delivered. I had the mount already.

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:36 pm
by Kalgrm
MountGower wrote:... am I correct in assuming that these torches all have the same lamp but run at different voltages in different torches? So Graeme's head set will run brighter (per torch) that Uncle Arthur's because of his custom battery pack?

My understanding (limited as it is) is that you will get similar run times run times with different voltages, but slightly brighter lights.. My bar lights will run with batteries between 3.2v and 9v, being only slightly brighter at 7.4v than they are at 3.7v. So I run mine at 3.7v to optimise run time vs brightness. My helmet lights are 1.3v to 4.2v, so the same battery pack does both lights.

The advantage of Uncle's and Graeme's being streamline and easily bound together and good enough for the job?

After I built my helmet lights, I realised they are every bit as good as my bar lights - probably even better, since the beam isn't as focussed. They would have been great as bar lights too, but I personally believe the size of the reflector helps drivers see the bike more easily. Small reflectors look like a point of light a long way away, so I think drivers might assume the tiny lights are more distant than they are. Just my opinion there.

What is the maximum voltage we can hit these babies with without severely reducing lamp life?

They are rated to a certain voltage, but it's not the lamp life which is reduced, but the controler running the LED which fries. Don't go above that voltage and they are supposed to last 5000 hours. :shock: Try to go above it and they won't last a second before the circuit board dies. There's no point trying to over-volt them anyway, since they are incredibly bright within the range specified. I had grand plans of putting 7.4v through them, but soon realised 3.7v is more than enough and the battery is half the weight for the same run time and similar brightness.

uncle arthur wrote:If I want to, I'm assuming that I could potentially do as Graeme has and use my existing NiMh rechargeable batterypack for the Nightpro light, but that requires electronics knowledge of which I have very little.

I have next to no electronics knowledge. I just soldered a couple of wires in place and hooked them to some connectors. If I can do it, you can too. Really. It's that easy.

Cheers,
Graeme

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:16 pm
by nimm
Light output is a function of the LED, driver, and input voltage. Some of the reviews on dealextreme include people that have done testing. I've seen some tests with small V increments looking at power draw and light output. With the lights we have they increase rapidly (light output) up to around 6V then drop/flatten a bit. Usually using more power for no gain at that point.

Posted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:05 pm
by Dale E Grind
nimm wrote:Light output is a function of the LED, driver, and input voltage. Some of the reviews on dealextreme include people that have done testing. I've seen some tests with small V increments looking at power draw and light output. With the lights we have they increase rapidly (light output) up to around 6V then drop/flatten a bit. Usually using more power for no gain at that point.
How would one go about using a dynamo hub as the power source for something like this?

Posted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:31 pm
by Pushy
Dale E Grind wrote:
How would one go about using a dynamo hub as the power source for something like this?[/quote]
I'm sure it can be done, what you'll need to know is the specifications of your hub to know what or how many lights you can drive

Les

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:10 pm
by beebleb
Out of interest, have you had a chance to ride this through some serious rain yet? Thinking of buying one :D

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:07 pm
by Pushy
beebleb wrote:Out of interest, have you had a chance to ride this through some serious rain yet? Thinking of buying one :D

If you intend to ride in the rain with these then I would suggest some additional precautions. Sealing the lens with some silicone or an o-ring if the head can be disassembled and some vaseline on all the threads. I have been cought in some downpours and the only ill effects is some moisture behind the lens.

Les

Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:28 pm
by uncle arthur
Pushy wrote:
beebleb wrote:Out of interest, have you had a chance to ride this through some serious rain yet? Thinking of buying one :D

If you intend to ride in the rain with these then I would suggest some additional precautions. Sealing the lens with some silicone or an o-ring if the head can be disassembled and some vaseline on all the threads. I have been cought in some downpours and the only ill effects is some moisture behind the lens.

Les


The head on these cannot (it would appear) be disassembled and the battery cap does seal with an o-ring, to which I have added a smear of vaseline.

Re: More CREE LED Torch Solutions

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 12:43 am
by Rajik
uncle arthur wrote:On the subject of lights - following a couple of posts re DealsExtreme and the Cree torches, I purchased two of these Image.

They arrived today so I've made up a mount using a Tioga LED base, some small holes drilled through to accommodate the two zip ties, and voila.....

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I'll let everyone know how they work out :)

Let me know more about the battery power and warranty if it has.

Re:

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:24 pm
by eeksll
Dale E Grind wrote:How would one go about using a dynamo hub as the power source for something like this?


What sort of dynamo hub do you have? and have you looked at actual dynamo lights?

I started with the ultrafire WF-503B (run off 18650 battery) there was a stage where I was using 2 of them. I currently run ayups (helmet mounted) and a dynamo light (Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo Senso Plus). IMO, without the ayups on, the dynamo light lacks the "wow" factor but it has soooo much more usable riding light than the ultrafire.

If i did not get the ayups first, I would not have got them, but the ayups do have other advantage e.g night running and helmet mount is just very nice to have on a unlit bike path.

Re: More CREE LED Torch Solutions

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 6:31 pm
by MattyK
Random thread dredge by a first poster. Looks trustworthy...

FWIW 5 year old LED tech will be well out of date by now.

Re: More CREE LED Torch Solutions

Posted: Tue May 21, 2013 2:43 am
by kukamunga

Re: More CREE LED Torch Solutions

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 10:14 am
by InTheWoods
MattyK wrote:Random thread dredge by a first poster. Looks trustworthy...

FWIW 5 year old LED tech will be well out of date by now.


Haha. Yeh. He modified the quoted link in his second post to point at a different website :)

Re: More CREE LED Torch Solutions

Posted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:59 am
by barefoot
MattyK wrote:Random thread dredge by a first poster. Looks trustworthy...

FWIW 5 year old LED tech will be well out of date by now.


True.

But, FWIW, 1xAA power-LED torches are even cheaper now.

I got three similar Cree (or Luxeon or something) torches off DX years ago. After lots and lots of use, one of them is starting to get a bit dicky, so I just bought three more similar for about $10 each.

I currently have one of each generation on my commuter; on first outing, it seems the new one is noticeably brighter than the old. That could be due to degradation of the old one (do they do that?), improved emitter or driver technology, even just manufacturing tolerance (one of my original three was always a little bit dimmer than the others).

I attach them to my bar using these velcro mounts: http://dx.com/p/universal-adjustable-bi ... eter-31871

Obviously, these are not hardcore OMGWTF bright lights. They're just for commuting on lit streets. I use a Magicshine for rides in the proper dark.

tim