Tested my three bike lights against each other this evening, and here are the results.
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:
Fenix L2D Q5 Premium:
MTE 900 (bars) + WF-606A helmet focused on 15m carton
Fenix L2D (bars) + MTE 900 (helmet)
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 thing, so have left them as links for now - cheers, ant)
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