Cheap as Chips Lights - Test Shots

by the-yorkshire-pk-ripper   October 29, 2008  

Tested my three bike lights against each other this evening, and here are the results.

Lights are:

MTE 900 - Costs about £25 from Dealextreme.com

Ultrafire WF606A - Costs about £12 from Dealextreme.com

Fenix L2D Q5 Premium - Costs about £40 from Photonshop.co.uk

All have had freshly charged batteries in, and were mounted on the handlebars of a road bike, and focused on the 5m carton. All photos were taken from 'helmet' height (the head one) using a Canon EOS 450D on 1/80, 800 ISO, with an autofocus 18-55 lens.

The orange cartons (I had nothing else!) are spaced in 5m intervals, with the first being 5m from the bike. The trees at the end of the drive are approx 30m from the bike.

So, here's the results:

MTE 900:

Low Beam:

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

Medium Beam:

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

High Beam:

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

Ultrafire WF-606A:

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

Fenix L2D Q5 Premium:

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

MTE 900 (bars) + WF-606A helmet focused on 15m carton

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

Fenix L2D (bars) + MTE 900 (helmet)

http://www.sublimedelusion.com/singapore-0.9.11/galleries/Light%20and%20...

Conclusion:

Well, a month ago I would have said the Ultrafire WF-606A offered unbeatable value for money - and that statement still has a lot of merit. But technology marches on at a pace, and therefore so does the available light at a pricepoint.

The MTE 900 is a cracking buy for approx £25. Quality is very good, with threads well machined, and there's an o-ring as well to keep out the worst of the weather. The head is glued on, so there's no real chance of modifying it, but you don't need to - it offers a decent flood, whilst still giving a bright central section. The only drawback is that it uses the non-standard 18650 batteries, but a pair of these and a charger adds another £15.

The Fenix L2D Q5 Premium is very good, but in the face of the competition, the price really is a bit too much. It's very well made, and looks like it'll last for a good while. It's light is similar to the 606A, and is in the form of a spot with less flood, but it's bright, and the addition of the flashing mode means that cars will see you. Also, it takes AA batteries, so if you're stuffed out on the bike and need a set of batteries, they're readily available.

But the WF-606A is still a steal at the price as it does offer a focussed beam similar to the Fenix, but at a third of the price.

My personal choice at the moment is an MTE 900 on the bars as a flood, plus 2 x 606A on the helmet to act as spot for where I'm looking. That's approx. 800-1000 lumens worth of light for £70, which is fine with me.

When the two additional MTE's arrive, I think they may go on the helmet for a full-on light assault. Rabbit in the headlights? Nope, that's a BMW that's just crapped it's pants!

(Dave / Tony - couldn't get the pictures to post using the [img][/img] thing, so have left them as links for now - cheers, ant)

4 user comments

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 The MTE 900s look awesome, will anybody actually be able to look at you when you've got all that lot in play without risking retina damage?

Oh, and we'll have a look at the image upload to find out what the problem is.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
29th October 2008 - 23:22

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BBcode should be all up and running now in posts and comments.

 

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7500 posts]
30th October 2008 - 11:36

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What's the run time on those MTE900 ones? I'm guessing if it's short then there's no option but to fork out for the extra batteries?

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [232 posts]
30th October 2008 - 11:38

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I'm guessing from my "having to fix the bathroom light at 11pm using only the MTE 900 to light the room as I've turned all the electric off" test I ended up doing the night before last, around an hour or so on full, so probably 2 or 3 + on medium, and by all accounts about 10 hours on low.

Given that the batteries work out about £3.50 each, I'd say that's not so bad. With the added advantage that if a battery gets stuffed, you're not stuck with a custom powerpack.

Oh, and yes, I was angry about the bathroom light. But the MTE (shone at the ceiling from the floor) was able to light the room really well - more so than the ceiling light!

posted by the-yorkshire-p... [180 posts]
30th October 2008 - 13:34

1 Like