We often receive this question and for us the answer is so clear. So we have summarised what makes Extreme Lights Cycle Lights different. You might be seeing similar light bodies and shapes sold by other retailers, but that is where the similarity ends. What is under the hood is by far more important than the outer aluminium shell. Let me explain: There are 4 things that stand out. Expand each of the sections to read what make us different. Battery pack
The light head itself is not the most costly part. It is relatively easy to make and the components are standard in most cases. What does make a huge cost difference is the battery pack. This is a vital part that is over looked far too easily... We do not
supply the cheapest battery available. Our standard battery packs are made of good quality Sanyo cells which are encased in a thick rubber shell for shock and water resistance. We have improved our standard battery pack pouch over the last year. It is made of thick durable padded material with heavy duty Velcro strap. Our K range are made of high quality neoprene material and is very strong and stretchy. The photo above is of our standard battery pack. We did a Cycle Light Battery Pack Comparison which showed a huge difference in runtime between the different quality batteries. Read it here Battery Charger.
Our changers are custom manufactured for us and adhere to strict SABS IEC 60950 safety standards. This is a requirement put in place by the South African government to protect its citizens. We support this and believe that you should be able to connect your charger to your high power battery pack without having to worry. We have searched high and low on the international sites for safe chargers and could not find any that meets the SABS IEC 60950 Safety standards. We therefore commissioned our factory to build all our chargers to meet this standard. The fact that we could not find any other manufacturer that meets this standard is very alarming. The charger can easily set the battery pack on fire causing loss of life or property. If the charger is not safe there is very little the user can do to prevent damaged to the battery. Damage can be inflicted while charging, but the battery might became unstable at a much later stage. Even while not connected to the charger and in storage. Read more about the risk of buying unsafe charger here Light Head Body
In most cases, the body contains the power converters and light emitters but it also acts as a heat sink to get rid of the excess heat. We opted not to redesign the wheel and have been selecting bodies based on function and shape. But we do specify that the heat path be improved using high quality thermal past and copper elements. In our K Range all the LED's are on a copper base plate. Copper has a thermal conductivity of double that of Aluminium. LED's that can't get rid of the excess heat have a reduced life span and much lower output. Light emitters
When a LED is manufactured, it is tested and then sorted in to bins based on performance. There are typically 7% efficiency differences between the bins on a LED model. It is impossible to see the different LED bins without testing the LED. For this reason most cheap lights opt for the cheaper bins but advertise the better type. Cree is the LED manufacturer. The Cree XM-L LED model has several bins starting at T3, T4, T5, T6, U2 and U3. The Cree XM-L U2 is 7% more efficient than the T6 which is 7% more efficient than the T5 etc. The more efficient the more poplar a bin is and the higher the demand which drives up the cost when mass-producing. In most cases, if not all, when buying from international buyers what they claim and what you get has nothing to do with each other. If they aren't building a brand they have no reason to honour their claims. The same holds true for the new Cree XM-L2 LED model. Driver
The driver converts the power from the battery levels to the LED levels. It is a very important part and effects the operation of the light directly. We give special attention to this part because it plays a vital role. For example the standard driver on the Extreme 2000 paired the LED's in to 1 and 2 sets. On high both sets all 3 LED had power but on low mode only one LED is on. We changed this and with the Extreme 2000 that we supply the low mode has all 3 LEDs powered but at a lower power level. The reason is that multiple LEDs is more power efficient at lower power levels. For example one Cree XM-L driven to 3W generates 415 lumen vs 3 LEDs driven to 1W each combined generates 477 Lumen. That is 15% more light for free. We have also added a battery level indication on all our lights. This will give you ample warning before you run out. On some of the lights the unit will enter a lower power mode which will attempt to extend the runtime of the unit, assisting you to get home safely. Our light output remains constant over the runtime of the light until it is battery is depleted. At that stage the unit will ether turn off or step down to a lower level. Summary
As you can see, cycle lights that appear to be identical are most of the time not! We pride ourselves in the fact that we have superior lights, and provide excellent backup, if the need should arise. Ask any of our many, many happy customers.