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looking for testimonials from HID buyers/users(14 posts)

looking for testimonials from HID buyers/userscommuterguy
Sep 3, 2003 6:51 AM
I am considering upgrading my light, and specifically thinking about getting an HID system. Both the Light and Motion and the Niterider get almost overwhelmingly positive reviews. Niterider gets zinged by some people who have bad customer service experiences, and Light and Motion gets (fewer) zings for slightly subpar parts and build quality.

Does anyone here have first hand experience with either system that is inconsistent with the above? Also, will either or both these systems attach to an oversized handlebar? I had an older Performance halogen system that could only attach to the old-style handlebar--I had to get their "space bar" but just looked too weird.

Final question--can either of these lights be dimmed so oncoming traffic--especially oncoming bikes on a MUT--isn't blinded. This has been my issue with these in the past, but I am thinking that (however hypocritical it is) I may have to answer candlepower with candlepower. I think I read once that these bulbs, once turned off, needed to cool down for about 10-15 minutes before they could be turned back on. Is this (still?) true?
Got the L&Mmohair_chair
Sep 3, 2003 7:09 AM
I have an L&M Arc that I use on my mountain bike. It's the greatest light ever made, since Edison's first one. I've used it on many rough rides and never had any problems, so I don't agree about sub par build quality. I've had it a year, put at least a hundred hours on it, and it still looks and works like new.

The Arc has a "low" setting that isn't much lower than the "high" setting, but it does save a little power. Other than that you can't dim the lights. No one on the MUT will be blinded if you have it aimed where it should be aimed. Even so, that's life on the MUT in the dark.

As far as cool down, I've never heard that, I've never done that, and I don't recall reading anything like that in the L&M manual. Out on the trail, we turn off our lights while we wait for the stragglers to come in, then we turn them on again. It's never more than a couple of minutes.
I have a Niterider Blow Torch HIDRoger2
Sep 3, 2003 7:31 AM
Great light and long running battery. I did have a problem with a wire in the battery, but the customer service I received was very quick. I know they did have some issues a couple years ago with customer service but I think they've tried to go that extra step to satisfy their customers.

I have two Niterider systems and am happy with both.
FWIW: I have the NR HID...biknben
Sep 3, 2003 7:48 AM
I have the NightRider HID. It's the one that goes in a pack, not the water bottle one. The quick release mount will can be adjusted to fit any size bar.

I use them on the MTB and the road bike for commuting in winter months. The NR doesn't offer any low beam or lower setting. It's on or off, that's it. It takes a couple seconds to get up to full power when you turn it one. I've never heard of having to wait before turning it on. 10-15 minutes would be rediculous.

When dealing with the possibility of blinding someone I put my hand over the top of the light temporarily. I let enough light go through my fingers so that I can see but filter it so someone coming towards me isn't blinded. I would do this on the trail or MUT. I've never had a car flash me on the road even thogh I have the light set to look pretty far forward.

I'm on my fourth NR light system. My origianl batteries gave out after many years. The tech. is better now and the batteries last longer. I started with NR becuase they were by far the best a few years ago. They also offered great support at 24-hour events. The LBSs around me only carry the NR stuff so it's easier for me to get deals, parts, and support. Other manuf. are catching up now and narrowing the gap but I still lean towards NR.

I currently use the HID for commuting. When on the MTB, I use the HID and an old NR Classic together.
re: looking for testimonials from HID buyers/usersCary1
Sep 3, 2003 8:04 AM
I have the light & Motion ARC and can not recommend it enough. It has great output and will run for 3+ hours a charge. To answer your questions:

1) I do not believe the mount will fit an oversized bar (call L&M they are very helpful)

2) The L&M does dim, but the amount of dimming is minimal. Because is it a HID lamp, you can not dim it very much or you will loose the arc.

3) It is not true that you have to wait 10 to 15 minutes to turn an HID back on, never has been true. You should wait about 5 seconds, but you can restrike the lamp immediately.

If I could change one thing about the L&M light for MUT paths it would be to have a more focused beam. As is the light has a great beam with no holes and smooth falloff. It also lights up the trail for about 1/4 mile. I just like a lot of light down the trail. Finally, you will blind people comming the other direction. I personally am willing to live with this because I can at least see them instead of having to swerve at the last minute.

Ditto Cary1 and mohair-chairpedalAZ
Sep 3, 2003 3:26 PM
Recent convert from NiteRider digitals to L&M HID. No complaints. Boy does it light up the trail (MTB). I went for the helmet mount for MTB riding, so I could see into the turns. For road biking, the bar mount seems more logical.

The surprising thing was how it is so bright it kind of washes out some of the depth prerception cues on the terrain. It is also supposed to be tough if you are back in the pack on a dusty trail, because of hoe much relefction you get back off the dust particles in the air.
re: looking for testimonials from HID buyers/userscommuterguy
Sep 3, 2003 9:38 AM
Thanks for this feedback. Two additional questions: how long do HID bulbs last, and how much are replacement bulbs? Perhaps this is bad information too, but I think I have heard they are about $100 each.

Also, regarding the NR batteries failing to hold a charge, how expensive is it to replace the battery?
I haven't replaced mine yet...biknben
Sep 3, 2003 10:18 AM
I have had my HID since it was first out. Been commuting with it 3-4 days a week in the winter. Haven't had a problem with bulbs or batteries (I haven't had a problem at all).

I don't know how much the bulbs cost. Batteries are typically the most expensive item to replace. I spent $100 to replace one on a NR classic. The "smart" chargers and similar technologies have greatly extended the life of the batteries. If you're hearing chatter about batteries dieing, be sure they aren't talking about old batteries/chargers.
I think about $40-$60 bucksRoger2
Sep 3, 2003 12:19 PM
so they're kind of expensive. Not sure what the expected useful life is o a bulb, going on two years and mine is going strong with regular use commuting, except for the longer days in mid summer (light not necessary)
re: looking for testimonials from HID buyers/usersHereford Flyer
Sep 3, 2003 11:59 AM
You should take a look at the British maker Lumicycle they make a really nice HID system (40watts output equivalent) which has a run time of over 4 hours. They also have agood FAQ page about HID lights + bulbs. To maximise HID life they should not be switched on + off all the time.
They export to the USA as well.
There website:-
re: looking for testimonials from HID buyers/userscommuterguy
Sep 3, 2003 1:07 PM
Thanks, that is a good tip. The FAQ page does seem to say that, once shut off, an HID bulb should cool down prior to being relit.

Comparing this site to the light and motion FAQ, I was confused a little by the different battery charging strategies. L&M boasts about their d(Temp)/d(time) measuring charger, which they claim prevents over charging. Lumicycle says something else, but I am not electronically literate enough to understand what it is.

Thanks again for all the helpful info.
I'd wait for LED technology to get better...2melow
Sep 3, 2003 2:18 PM
..I might be really far off on this one, but i'd go with something cheaper for now and wait until the LED technolgy gets better. HID is ok, but $$$ bulb replacement and experience through friends misfotunes have kept me away.

I give HID 3 more years and LED to push through with more reliability, longer run times, and a whiter light.

So I bought some cheap Marwi light and they work really good for night mtb rides and road bike commuting during the winter.
I don't own one, but...MShaw
Sep 3, 2003 4:54 PM
I ride with 4-6 guys that do. They all have the NR HIDs in either bar or helmet mount.

I'm running some older 6v NR lights myself, and the difference is just amazing! Their lights are much brighter, bluer, and generally wash mine out. If I'm riding directly in front of one of the HIDs, I can hardly see because of the shadow I cast (with my light ON!).

For off-road, they're great. For MUTs/commuting, I'd probably say stick to the 6v "old-style" NR products. They're plenty bright, almost indestructable, and if you get the non-digital kind, you can make your own battery packs. I have a battery that came out of an exit sign 6v, 4.5ah that drives my 15w light for several hours. I had a friend a few years ago that was using 10-12ah batteries for his marathon night rides. Yeah, the battery was heavy, but not as heavy as carrying 2-3 of them...

I'd upgrade in a minute if there were a way to re-use some of the lights pieces that I already own... I have too much $ invested in the 6v systems to make the jump till things start breaking.

That help?

yes, thanks, that is very helpfulcommuterguy
Sep 4, 2003 7:01 AM
This is a very complicated decision, and I know I have to get a pretty tight argument pulled together before raising it with my SO.

I also have the problem of riding into my own shadow, even with my light on, when I get wheel suckers who have HID lights. That is really dangerous. That is why I am kind of leaning towards getting an HID, even though (in isolation) a normal good quality halogen light is sufficient. Also, I like the idea that the automobile drivers will have absolutely no excuse for not seeing me.

Thanks again for your input.