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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Exposure Spark: Let There Be Light..helmet Light that is...

Too little riding, too many gadgets accumulating... that's my problem these few months. However the need for a helmet light that would  fit my list of demands has been vegetating for too long. My LedLenser is good with its focusing lens to give a tuneable wide spread to tight bright spot beam as desired but the direct drive literally sucks-- the life out of 3AAA batt in about 40-50 mins even with good light discipline, ie dimming or shutting off when not needed.

I really need something bright but not too bright that lets me hit the trail for a couple of hours. My usual nite trailtime totals ~3.5- 4 hours including breaks and all. A light that could last a full 2 hours on high would be good as most time I don't max things out.. alternating between lo med to hi-- if its as what the specs says-- this would be just right.

"Not too bright?"-- yup that's right. LED technology is getting so bloody efficient these days I'm starting to see mobile stadium lights on wheels in the trails. It kinda defeats the whole purpose of night riding besides other issues like too much light reflecting off wet foliage causing temporary blindness. Besides most of the night riding spots actually requires us to be "tactical" if you get my drift...

Next--- No Wires.. Yup. that's the single most important condition apart from the right amount of basically it got to be a torch-like thingie
Next--- Not too long but that  probably means a compromise on the battery type.. in this case on the Exposure Spark that would be 2 x CR123 with stated run time on high for ~2.5hr

The link to the Exposure site doesnt seem to be updated as it still list the Spark as driven by a Seoul P4 LED emitter packing 220 lumens ... Online retailers have a more updated description and this is what I should be getting : CREE XPG LED 255 lumens.

Havent really been impressed with all the Seoul P4 and P7 so far regardless of brands which was where I stopped back then... this is my  first XPG LED light, guess it  kinda speaks volume of how long I havent been getting updated on lighting stuffs.

Nothing techie here nor following those default light-shootout test "parameters". Just a quickie light up in the office conference room testing first with 1 and then 2 Sparks together after batteries were juiced up in the chargers.

Aimed at about 6m to the front, its a little brighter in the pic than what the eyes can see as it reflected off a glossy wooden door. In reality the white is not as harsh and there is no weird hot spot. Side spill is a little wide but not too big a distraction though. I would prefer the beam to be a tad tighter as my intended purpose for it is on on the head rather than as a bar light but then that's just me.

Pics taken on the right were of 2 Sparks here on the respective modes on both lights. Find that it works best in a combo of 1 hi + 1 lo. In this manner it gives a bigger and brighter center spot and while the side spill is still there, it actually becomes easier to focus and see with a "bigger center".

Well, only one of the Spark here is mine but given what I "tested" so far. I'm contemplating getting a second piece now. Apart from the better light pattern, weight and function wise it would make sense comparing:

1 Lite+2 batt  with 2 spare batt
2 lites+ 4batt, no spares:  totalling ~160-170 gm on the head but need not to get down, take out pack changing batteries in the nite. Should one be down there is always another unless Mr and Mrs Murphy have both been hitching a ride to get a double failure.

Ok all that leaves now is an actual ride and run time testing to be done.

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