Written by kill your ATV on Wednesday, 25 Aug 2010.
I couldn't help but to try out one of these cheap Torches to mount on my helmet.
I currently roll with a Cygolite TridenX bar-mount, but needed some more shine on my helmet (don't we all). It's always been very frustrating seeing what all the big names in lighting charge for their offerings. Don't get me wrong, many of these brands are extremely high quality, but for me, it's hard to justify spending $200-300 on a 200 lumen helmet light to supplement my rides. Enter the Trustfire TR-801 Cree Q5 LED torch for $16, yes $16!
The Tr-801 has a CREE Q5 Emitter in it, so it's bright, rated at 230 lumens. Has 5 modes (High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS). The strobe and SOS is completely useless for MTBing. It runs on one 18650 rechargeable Lithium Ion battery.
I first spotted this torch on MTBR forums and some other techno-geek LED websites, and many riders were extremely happy with them. So, I bit and ordered this setup from http://www.dealextreme.com. To my knowledge, DX is the only website that carries these.
This light: SKU 15335, TrustFire TR-801 Cree Q5-WC 5-Mode Memory 230-Lumen LED Flashlight $16.42
These batteries: SKU 05790, TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery (2500mAh 2-Pack Blue) $8.18
This charger: SKU 06105, Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger $7.92
And I had this mount from before: SKU 12000, Universal Nylon Mount for Flashlights and Lasers $2.21
The helmet mount works splendidly with my current helmet and holds the light very secure. I think it would work with 90% of helmets out there, but may need some slight altering and basic jimmy-rigging to get it right. Then again, you're a human, and this is what we do well, right?
Mounted on Helmet:
Here's a beamshot. Keep in mind my camera doesn't have manual settings to get this 100% accurate, but this is a [somewhat] close representation of what my eyes see.
- Small and light enough to fit in your pocket, no battery pack or cord to worry about, so perfect for helmet mounting.
- Big, easy to reach switch on the back makes it easy to use with gloves on.
- Bright, very bright. Whitish clean-looking light. Decent spill. Good throw.
- Gets around 2 hours on high with a full charge. Swapping another battery during a ride would be simple.
- It's a torch; you can use it for hiking, power outages, or spotting a racoon in your garbage.
- CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!
- Free shipping from hong kong.
- Made in China with [sometimes] poor QC. There have been some reports of these shipping with fake CREE Q5 LED's which are nowhere near as bright as the real thing. From what I have read though, DX has made good on returning them and stated that the Supplier shipped a wrong batch of LEDs and they had since fixed the problem. I do believe the latest batch is genuine though, as mine is bright.
- DX lights can be a little quirky and sometimes take some basic fiddling to get them 100% reliable.
- Shipping from Dealextreme takes a looooong time. They are out of Hong Kong, so don't figure on receiving your package in their stated 14 days. I'd say 20 days to delivery
is more like it (at least). Also, customer service from DX isn't steller by any means. Very difficult to contact them.
- DX advertises this as a Orange Peel/textured reflector, but ships with the smooth one which isn't as floody. I managed to fix this by unscrewing the head about 1 turn and wrapping it with a piece of electrical tape to keep it in place. No big deal. This is a much better helmet-specific light than a bar-mount.
All in all, I highly recommend this for someone needing to add some more light down the trail. These lights from DX are usually a good value, just don't expect perfection. Sometimes they need some basic troubleshooting. I had to steel-wool the threads a bit to remove some anodizing, as the light would flicker a bit on low and medium because of poor contact. Tracing the threads with a drywall screw would work nicely too. Seems to be great now.
Would I trust this TR-801 as my only light on a solo ride? Absolutely not! But dang, for the price and the level of output, this little torch is nice and is quickly becoming a favorite. Great for substantial supplemental light or to get you out of the woods if your rides carry over into night.