Why you should not buy cheap ebay lights....

Discussion in 'Lights' started by Torrent77, Feb 10, 2017.



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  1. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Dave
    Lured by the high luminus, lumini, lumenses?.. LM found on alot of the ebay headlights. I finally spent the $12 and ordered a magicshine clone. Here is where things went wrong.

    1. The light circuit is improperly grounded and any moderate hit breaks the circuit which turns the light off.
    This is amusing on a long climb, but less so when you are screaming downhill in the dead of night.
    2. The poor algorithm for sensing battery use. Most lights use voltage, amperage, and other factors to sense battery capacity and usage. Seems like the cheapies use an internal clock set at a predetermined time.
    3. Wires are extremely long and shielding are prone to fall out. My front handlebars look like I'm using wires as grip tape.
    4. Doesn't stay in one place. Despite 2 rubberband sizes, the lights constantly want to spotlight my front tire, rather than the road ahead.

    That is all. Lesson learned.
     
    Kreature, MrGreedom, Mikie and 9 others like this.
  2. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    2 SC and a STDM
    #1 sounds like a fun time... As long as it's on someone else's bike. :p

    I run cheapies (2 on the bars), but I have not had any issues with them so far. I get 3+ hours on high... I usually run one on the way up on low power, and then turn them both on high for the ride down. Every now and then, I let them drain completely just to see if the run time has degraded at all. Not so far... :thumbsup: I see that the same company has a brighter model now, so I may add a helmet light in the future. My only modification is a strip of tape on the bars to keep it from sliding around.

    I bought a 3rd for my son's bike at college. The USB charging makes it pretty simple, even for a college kid. :p

    Edit: The Amazon link wasn't working right... This is the one I have:
    Untitled 2.jpg
     
  3. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    The are Good Expensive Lights and Bad Cheap lights... trick is figuring out which is which...

    Got a whole train of thought on lights but gotta get back to work.
     
    Mikie, pperrelle, mike and 2 others like this.
  4. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion Well-Known Member

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    It's a bummer that the magicshines went away after Geo-man's passing. The price couldn't be beat. I don't want to jinx myself but I have two....no problems so far...Never sent away for the battery replacements...Hope I didn't jinx myself.
     
  5. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Magic shine is still areound. I got a new one last year. If anything it is a great improvement over the originals.

    I am a Niterider guy. Have been since 2002. My free Magicshine that I got has been great so far. Bright burn times upwards of 5-6 hrs. It is brighter than the NR Pro 1200 that we also have.
     
  6. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion Well-Known Member

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    I stand corrected. Pricing is still nice!:thumbsup: I guess I just stopped paying attention after I got mine.
     
    MrGreedom, Mikie, mike and 1 other person like this.
  7. Rumpled

    Rumpled Well-Known Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Jim Martin
    Current Bike:
    2018 Specialized Epic Carbon C
    Man, lights are so relatively cheap right now that not buying a name brand is not so smart. Just my opinion.
    NiteRider, Cygolite, Lezyne, and a few others all have the magically all in one units that USB charge, run a good length of time and are priced right about $10 per 100 rated lumens.

    So much better than my first real light, $250 or something for 10 watts than ran just over an hour.
     
  8. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    No problems with my cheepo light!!!
     
    mike, MrGreedom and Mikie like this.
  9. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    I got the Magicshine MJ-906.

    I will be honest, my expectations were pretty low. It was free and I figured I would give it a try. I have been using it for a year, and just now realized that it came with a wireless remote that I have not been using.

    I still think my NR Pro 1200 DIY is a nicer light, but the MS is definitely brighter.
     
  10. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    I've had pretty good fortune with the cheapies. Except for the one battery that smoldered in my backpack.

    Magicshines were good two although both light heads that came with mine stopped working - wiring seems to have failed. Their batteries are still going strong though. I got mine replaced under the GeoMan recall and had a couple others purchased elsewhere.

    The new Magicshines are nicer. Compact and light.

    I would like to get a USB chargeable helmet mounted light at some point, so if you guys have recommendations for some thing that is fairly light, decent illumination (7-800 lumens ok) and reasonable price let me know. Thx!
     
    mike, MrGreedom and Mikie like this.
  11. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.7
    Never bought a EBay light. Always a Niterider. I know some people swear by Magic shines or Ebay lights. I love the customer service that Niterider provide when I have a problem, which is rare.
     
    mike, Runs with Scissors and mtnbikej like this.
  12. scan

    scan Well-Known Member

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    The cheap ebay lights are about 40$ for 1500 lumens, which is a huge difference from what youre talking about. Again I've had no issues, although I don't ride a ton at night.
     
    Sasquatch9billion, mike and Mikie like this.
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    I'm just so proud of you dropping this thread in the light forum, lol!
     
    Sasquatch9billion, mike and MrGreedom like this.
  14. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    I am more than willing to pay when it comes to lights. I use a NR 750, and though it was a tad spendy it's been worth it since I use it mainly for commuting. Works, lasts forever on one charge, and got me down Black Star without issues. :thumbsup:
     
    Sasquatch9billion, mike and MrGreedom like this.
  15. bvader

    bvader Well-Known Member

    Location:
    HB
    Name:
    Mr. Brown
    LOL CRAP I Meant

    The are Good InExpensive Lights and Bad Cheap lights... trick is figuring out which is which

    I think you can get some pretty solid lumen for your buck. lights for $90-125

    Of course the are all good expensive lights...I own some mine are Denoitte

    The new magicshine are pretty good bang for buck
     
    mtnbikej, mike and Runs with Scissors like this.
  16. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    I knew what you meant...:cool:
     
    bvader likes this.
  17. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
    Serfas has some good lights out now. I got a deal on a 950 lumen light, about the size of a small flashlight, USB rechargeable, and a user-replaceable Samsung battery.
    Msrp is about $90.
    The light looks suspiciously like the NR, and the Portland Design Works, and several others, hmmmm.....
     
    mike likes this.
  18. siata94

    siata94 Member

    Location:
    lake forest
    Name:
    siata
    Current Bike:
    lazy goat
    if you want custom built flashlights w/ your choice of emitters, tint... I know a guy :)

    FWIW, my helmet light is a triple XP-L making 4000 lumens (measured, not ebay lumens) on one 18650 battery. Light weighs
    roughly 150g w/out battery I recall. You can get one built similarly for $75 (that was cost last year for 5 lights). Battery/charger not included.
     
    rossage and mike like this.
  19. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Vendetta/Smash
    Gotta +1 this. The case for my NR 1800 fell apart, so I contacted the company. They directed me to the web site where I could buy a new case for $20. I was like WTF? and emailed them a fairly concise summary of my thoughts about that solution. Un/Fortunately they had changed their mind and sent me another email offering to send me a new case which crossed my outgoing email, oops ; }
     
    mtnbikej, Cisco Roots and Danmtchl like this.
  20. Cisco Roots

    Cisco Roots Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Maple Valley WA
    Name:
    Cisco
    Current Bike:
    YT Jeffsy 29
    In Spanish there is a saying "Lo barato te sale caro" (buying cheap ends up costing more in the end) so true!!
     
  21. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    It loses something in the translation...
     
  22. Cornholio

    Cornholio iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    _
    Name:
    _
    I hedged my cheap magicshine knockoff with a Niterider, NR on the bars and Chinese knockoff on the helmet.
     
  23. Sasquatch9billion

    Sasquatch9billion Well-Known Member

    Name:
    trinidad j. mendez
    Whoa! I've never heard that one! And my mom is the queen of those Spanish mom-isms.
     
  24. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    !Porque estamos como estamos [upside down exclamation point...don't know how to do that here.]
     



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