Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby matnz on Tue 16/Jun/15 11:30am

Its been a while since any updates here. I got two cheap lights off DX to get back into night riding after 6 or 7 years of life and kids getting the the way (well, that is my really poor excuse and I will stick to it :hmmm: ). Had them a two weeks now (lights, not the kids) and a few rides......

Generic XML T6
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Beam is very spotty, almost useless on the bars, usable on the helmet, really needs the diffuser lens (checkout ebay). Draws 4W (510mA), Measured battery at 2200mAH, lasting over 3 hours at room temperature on high. Longest night ride with this has been 1.5 hours, mostly on medium, will stick it outside one night when its <10 degrees and see what happens to the battery in the cold.

First I cut the straps off the headband mount (Its not really a helmet mount) and used a velcro strap through the vents on the helmet. Didn't like how high the light sat so used a mount from my old Vista light halogens I still had lying around. It bolted straight on giving a much lower profile and better mount than the rubber band one supplied. The supplied headband mount can be made to work if needed.

Based on the power consumption real lumens would be around 600.

Y-002 1200lm
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Beam is much better than the above light, still a bit spotty, usable on the bars. Brighter, but not as long range as the other light. Draws 5.2 W (800mA), Measured battery at 1900mAH, lasting 2:20 hours at room temperature on high. The 3 Led indicator apparently goes red when the last led is down to a few 10's of minutes - I would not count on it. ON my night rides (presumably from cold temps) the indicator goes to 1 led within 5 minutes and sits there. The handle bar mount is the rubber band - seems to hold OK, but you have to find a place on the bar that is straight as you cannot rotate the light to point straight ahead.

=========Summary==========.
As far as brightness goes -(Keep in mind I started night riding in 1998 with a 10W and a 5W halogen), I can ride Bottle lake with both on medium not a problem. With both on low there is enough light to ride, but it does make life more "interesting" - as a 'get home' with flat batteries it would be fine. Faster riders than me (that is most), or down hills, might be reaching for high, but I can't imagine many needing more light than these output.

So it looks like not much has changed over the last year or two - you get a lot of light for a very few dollars. If you are on a budget, can live with the crap optics mitigated by high light output and accept the dodgy claims as to output and battery capacity, these are great lights that offer an opportunity for many to try night riding without breaking the bank.

If longer battery life is important, getting the cheap lights and buying quality batteries from a reputable supplier would be worth it. The pack is 4 (2S2P) 18650's - Can get over 6000mAH in the same size using quality cells.

I am more than happy with these, I got what I expected- cheap lights for a good price, time will tell how long the batteries last or if they go up in smoke. If you have the readies, a quality light with good optics is the way to go.
matnz
Member for: 2 years 5 months

Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby Scotty on Tue 16/Jun/15 11:44am

Do the plugs on them run alright? I remember on some of them the battery to light plug could be a PITA to clip together sometimes.

or maybe I was just stoopid. :blush:
Scotty
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby Rik on Tue 16/Jun/15 11:47am

matnz wrote:(Keep in mind I started night riding in 1998 with a 10W and a 5W halogen)


Aaahh - Brings back fond memories of my first forays into the murky(literally) world of riding at night :love:

Nice review BTW
Rik
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby Percy Pig on Tue 16/Jun/15 12:25pm

I also have a light like the top one.

I prefer the spot, as it seems less distracting to me, can concentrate on the one spot and ignore the rest as you can't see it anyway!

Batteries seem ok, I've run it on full for over 2 hours no problem. :thumbsup:
Plugs on the lights and batteries are fine, we have 2 identical lights in the house, one of the charger plugs is a bit wonky donkey though.

My helmet (Lazer Oasiz) has a Go-Pro mount on the top, that comes with an adapter thingy to mount lights and other thingy's on it, so the light mounts to that just fine with teh supplied O-rings.

All things considered, not a bad light for the (very cheap!!) price. :)
Percy Pig
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 16/Jun/15 12:35pm

I too am a user of DX lights. and have one same or similar to your lower (double) one. I found it's beam was too focused for the helment, so use it mounted on the handlebars, with one similar to your top one (only with 4 or 5 leds in it, for much brightererness), which has a wider beam that i prefer on the head. For climbing i'll only use one of them, on low, unless we're on singletrack in which case both on low works well. When on traversing singletrack i'll spark the head one up to medium, and on descents both on medium or helmet on full beam. they tend to always last the entire lengths of rides, but too much medium and high beam for more than a couple hours and the helmet usually packs it in. I think the ones i've got are in their 2nd or 3rd season now. over summer i top them up maybe once, but always fully charge as soon as i'm home from a ride, and if it's more than a couple weeks between night rides, i'll very occasionally top them up before the next ride.
swtchbckr
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"Freakin' Mellonfarmer"
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby gristle on Tue 16/Jun/15 2:36pm

Good write up!

Watch out for versions similar to the lower light. Sold as being an aluminimum body, but in reality is a plastic injection moulded housing designed to look like a finned extrusion. Not a great heat sink.
gristle
Member for: 10 years 11 months

Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby znomit on Tue 16/Jun/15 2:49pm

Probably the best value at the moment is the dual XML KD10. It's got a programable driver so you can choose your own runtimes, warm white LEDs for betterer colour rendition, it doesn't cycle through off or strobe between modes, and has a nice beam. 16US$ for the light head. Get a battery pack from "Hunk Lee" on eBay.

http://www.kaidomain.com/product/details.S023808
znomit
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby ryda on Tue 16/Jun/15 3:12pm

swtchbckr wrote:I too am a user of DX lights. and have one same or similar to your lower (double) one. I found it's beam was too focused for the helment, so use it mounted on the handlebars, with one similar to your top one (only with 4 or 5 leds in it, for much brightererness), which has a wider beam that i prefer on the head.

Odd because I find almost the exact opposite, I have the double on my helmet but feel is not focus enough, and a single led single on my bars, which almost too focused, but have left it that way because the double is brighter, but deff not the claimed 1800lm or what ever 4 figures they think it is, IMHO it on par with a 800lm ayup for brightness, Most likely I have different models,

Scotty the plugs seem ok but they have changed as I now have had 3 different sizes, my current batch all have the same size but 1 of the leads is short on the battery and wont reach from my back paoket to my helmet. Experence also tells me I wont get any more than 2 winters from a set, and it take 6-8weeks to arrive so you have to pre plan
ryda
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 16/Jun/15 3:18pm

yeah, we've probably got slightly differenter models. and my round one has several leds in it, rather than just the one. I think both claimed to be up around 2000 lm, but i doubt that's true neither.

They both have the same sized plug (which is pretty much the same as my previous models from DX (which still work, but are like only 600lm)), and so I can use the same charger for both...
swtchbckr
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"Freakin' Mellonfarmer"
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby Scotty on Tue 16/Jun/15 3:19pm

ryda wrote:Experence also tells me I wont get any more than 2 winters from a set, and it take 6-8weeks to arrive so you have to pre plan

Is that because of the batteries or the lamps themselves?
Scotty
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby ryda on Tue 16/Jun/15 3:24pm

Scotty wrote:
ryda wrote:Experence also tells me I wont get any more than 2 winters from a set, and it take 6-8weeks to arrive so you have to pre plan

Is that because of the batteries or the lamps themselves?
both, but you can fix the lamp units, wires often break where they go into the unit. The battery's the heat/overload thingy gives up, I did short one out once to get home but wouldn't recomend it,
ryda
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"WTF"
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby Astoria Paranoia on Tue 16/Jun/15 5:55pm

matnz wrote:diffuser lens (checkout ebay)


Like this one?
I've got a very similar light from 1-day.
Looks identical to the Tioga one I bought from Torpedo7.
I find it too spotty for commuting, only have it on low setting coz I don't wanna be that guy.
Would like more periphery lighting.

Any links on a spare battery?
The one on the Tioga died but it's hard to find a battery with the specific plug so it snaps on tight and waterproof.
Astoria Paranoia
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Member for: 15 years 2 months

Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby ryda on Thu 18/Jun/15 9:32am

ryda wrote:
Scotty wrote:
ryda wrote:Experence also tells me I wont get any more than 2 winters from a set, and it take 6-8weeks to arrive so you have to pre plan

Is that because of the batteries or the lamps themselves?
both, but you can fix the lamp units, wires often break where they go into the unit. The battery's the heat/overload thingy gives up, I did short one out once to get home but wouldn't recomend it,

oops...as of last night this one didn't quite make it through a second winter.... without some repairs
light broken.JPG

but I should add there was some outside influence in this failure
I've soldered wire back in but the bracket maybe a bit more of a challenge
ryda
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Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby Percy Pig on Thu 18/Jun/15 10:55am

ryda wrote:
ryda wrote:
Scotty wrote:
ryda wrote:Experence also tells me I wont get any more than 2 winters from a set, and it take 6-8weeks to arrive so you have to pre plan

Is that because of the batteries or the lamps themselves?
both, but you can fix the lamp units, wires often break where they go into the unit. The battery's the heat/overload thingy gives up, I did short one out once to get home but wouldn't recomend it,

oops...as of last night this one didn't quite make it through a second winter.... without some repairs
light broken.JPG

but I should add there was some outside influence in this failure
I've soldered wire back in but the bracket maybe a bit more of a challenge

Bummer! :eh:

I just binned about 10 of those brackets last weekend. :(

I'l have a looksie in teh Garage Of Doom, but i'm pretty sure I got them all when cleaning the bench up.
Percy Pig
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"Got a bone?"
Member for: 15 years 5 months

Re: Review - Cheap Dx.com Lights For Night Riding.

Postby adikt on Thu 18/Jun/15 8:43pm

So I got one of those DX lights too, with 5x LED in it.
Had first ride with it tonight, was awesome right up until i realised I hadn't fully charged the battery .... halfway round the trail. Brilliant.

Had a Light & Motion Stella 300 on my helmet too though, so that got me back.

Amusingly, despite this, despite first night ride on new bike, despite first night ride at this track & first time at track on new bike .. PB for a segment on strava. Go figure.

Might order a few more of those DX lights though, and maybe find a better battery pack from somewhere.
adikt
Member for: 2 years 8 months

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