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Sep 4, 2010 - 5 minute read - Comments -

CREE LED Based Bicycle Lights and Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries

References:

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  <a href="https://www.redilast.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=88" target="_blank"><img alt="image" border="0" src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TXzwfMjo9jI/AAAAAAAAE68/uT_jrHDqtN8/image21.png?imgmax=800" height="200" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="image" width="273" /></a>
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  According to <a href="https://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/p/batteries_21.html" target="_blank">Torchy’s 18650 battery tests</a>, at 1A load, *everything* drops off well before 3000mAH.</p> 

  <ul>
    <li>
      SenyBor, Panasonic, Sanyo & Samsung rated the best… unfortunately they’re much less prevalent on eBay and are more like $10+ per battery rather than ~$5 like all the UltraFire fodder out there
    </li>
    <li>
      Apparently UltraFire’s *never* perform up to their advertised rating… bummer, UltraFire’s cheap & prevalent 3000 & 4000mAh were particularly lousy
    </li>
    <li>
      Another top end brand is “AW”, <a href="https://www.cpfmarketplace.com/mp/showthread.php?230876-AW-s-LiIon-Batteries-Sales-Thread-*Part-12*" target="_blank">Protected “true” 2600mAh = ~$17 per</a> (ouch)
    </li>
  </ul>

  <p>
    Before I knew this, I got a simple charger combo with 3600mAh UltraFire’s 18650 x 2 = $19 w/shipping, <em>so far so good</em>
  </p>

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    <a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SaVNUKa8LCI/TVe3a_WgRfI/AAAAAAAABiI/13CK2uvi31o/s1600/Capacity.jpg"><img alt="image" border="0" src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TXdhxOj5s0I/AAAAAAAAE5o/infzpJ4UDgw/image%5B8%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="347" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="image" width="593" /></a>
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    <a href="https://lygte-info.dk/info/Batteries18650-2011%20UK.html" target="_blank">Another big battery test rundown</a>… RediLast appear to be top notch… <a href="https://www.redilast.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=56&Itemid=88" target="_blank">$17 per 2900mAh cell (ouchy) + $6 USPS Priority shipping</a> … I ordered 4 of these… we shall see…
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    <a href="https://lygte-info.dk/info/Batteries18650-2011%20UK.html" target="_blank"><img alt="image" border="0" src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TXzwfgZV-6I/AAAAAAAAE7A/2SPog0bsFvk/image7.png?imgmax=800" height="413" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="image" width="677" /></a>
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    <a href="https://light-reviews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=513" target="_blank">Another 18650 Shootout:</a>… The UltraFire 3000 Protected (Red/Silver) does uncharacteristically well on his test???
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    <a href="https://light-reviews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=513" target="_blank"><img alt="image" border="0" src="https://lh6.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TXzwgf_A87I/AAAAAAAAE7E/m4T7SO-SHE0/image15.png?imgmax=800" height="541" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="image" width="725" /></a>
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  <a href="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TX5muKZa2bI/AAAAAAAAE7g/pyOXzhuRzUs/s1600-h/Untitled-4%5B7%5D.png"><img alt="Untitled-4" border="0" src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TX5muriUSfI/AAAAAAAAE7k/MikF2rZ07Bo/Untitled-4_thumb%5B3%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="240" style="background-image: none; border-bottom: 0px; border-left: 0px; border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="Untitled-4" width="236" /></a>
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  I picked up a couple of these 360 degree Handlebar mounts for $5.25 ea w/shipping… found some more for $2.43 w/ship… they’re worth every penny </p> 

  <p>
    Mini review: The ones like this with 360 rotating feature are harder to find, very necessary for aiming the light from my “long horn” beach cruiser style handlebars.&nbsp; This item feels real good in actual usage, definitely recommended… made of a very flexible rubbery plastic, soft enough that I added a washer to both ends of the tightening bolt so that the bolt heads didn't just cut right through… the good thing is, after several trips in ~5C German weather, I can tell that this material will never shatter like so many others. </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> 

    <p>
      Notes:
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    <ul>
      <li>
        Handy eBay search: <a href="https://desc.shop.ebay.com/i.html?LH_BIN=1&LH_TitleDesc=1&_nkw=cree%20q5%2018650%20-headlight%20-headlamp%20-bulb&_trkparms=65%253A15%257C66%253A4%257C39%253A6&rt=nc&_dmd=2&_dmpt=US_Flashlights&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14.l1513&_pgn=4" target="_blank">cree q5 18650 –headband –headlamp -bulb</a>
      </li>
      <li>
        Lithium rechargeable “18650” seems to be the preferable cell (see candlepowerforums.com) <ul>
          <li>
            vs <u>R</u>CR123 (aka 16340) = rechargeable
          </li>
          <li>
            CR123 = non-rechargeable
          </li>
          <li>
            <a href="https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=274657" target="_blank">physical dimensions & other good basic background</a>: <ul>
              <li>
                18650 = 18 mm dia, 65 mm long
              </li>
              <li>
                CR123 = 16mm dia, 34 mm long
              </li>
              <li>
                my 3 x AAA cage = 21.5mm dia, 52mm long (this appears to be a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_facto_standard" target="_blank">de facto standard</a>)
              </li>
              <li>
                typical eBay fare will be a light that’s electrically <u>compatible</u> with 3 x AAA or 1 x 18650 or 2 x CR123… but one must consider how they physically provide for the various battery configurations when pairing your desired light with your desired power source… these photos told me a lot:
              </li>
              <li>
                <a href="https://cgi.ebay.com/1-set-CREE-Q5-3W-Bike-Headlight-Battery-charger-Ring-/330467170592?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf160d920" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="https://lh4.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TIIui6mylgI/AAAAAAAAEv4/XUFGISHnVkc/image%5B19%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="128" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline;" width="244" /><img border="0" src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TIIujdiVJ8I/AAAAAAAAEv8/qWIPf2oEeP8/image%5B20%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="191" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline;" width="244" /><img border="0" src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TIIuj-4_ifI/AAAAAAAAEwA/wAr22LRURnQ/image%5B21%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="139" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline;" width="244" /><img border="0" src="https://lh3.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TIIukQcz6zI/AAAAAAAAEwE/CO2wPfPLmvk/image%5B22%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="77" style="border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline;" width="244" /></a>
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            </ul>
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        </ul>
      </li>

      <li>
        Nashbar / NiteRider models: <ul>
          <li>
            <a href="https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_517190_-1_10000__200399" target="_blank">NiteRider MiNewt 350 = $190</a>
          </li>
          <li>
            <a href="https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_516807_-1_10000__200399" target="_blank">NiteRider Minewt Mini 150 = $80</a> (Andrew’s model, very bright)
          </li>
          <li>
            <a href="https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_504114_-1_201529_10000_200399" target="_blank">NiteRider MiNewt 200 = $150</a>
          </li>
        </ul>
      </li>
    </ul>
image
My first time up at bat was a CREE Q5 bike light: 5 mode, rated at 345 lumens = $17.50 w/shipping
Mini review: just charged up the batteries and tried the new Q5 345Lm torch… it’s pretty flippin nice for <$25!… very intense center spotlight, but also a lot of wide spread to light up a full trail in the dark… looks like a winner!

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  <p>
    [Update 09 Mar 2011] <br /> CREE T6 seems to be latest/greatest , <a href="https://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=%2B750+%2Bcree+%2BT6" target="_blank">750Lm T6 = ~$30 w/shipping</a> <br /> CREE R5 *might* be a slightly better bang/buck bargain, <a href="https://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=%2Bcree+%2Br5+%2B600" target="_blank">600Lm R5 = ~$20 w/shipping</a>
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        ** careful, there appears to be a regularly advertised bogus 800Lm R5 that is actually a Q5 (which might still be pretty good 🙂 many of the auctions of these mention Q5 in the package contents
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        <a href="https://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=%2B800+%2Bcree+%2Br5" target="_blank"><img alt="image" border="0" src="https://lh5.ggpht.com/_XlySlDLkdOc/TXzweWK3qfI/AAAAAAAAE64/4RAkDJG3m7s/image%5B5%5D.png?imgmax=800" height="106" style="background-image: none; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-top: 0px;" title="image" width="93" /></a>
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