After some resistance over the price, I recently purchased the new Dinotte 500L. Before I start let me say I'm cheap and rarely buy into the cutting edge of technology. There are risks, such as premium pricing to support development costs and possible issues with product reliability, so it is better to wait a bit before embracing something new. But this time I needed a new light to replace my ailing Cygolite, which started working erratically in its second winter season. I commute yearround now and I'm doing a 24 hour mountain bike race this summer, so I had to buy something and I wanted a bright light to cover both uses (I also recently purchased a 3W Black Diamond headlamp for night skiing, so was intrigued by the new power of LED technology). I've had it out on a handful of test rides now and here are some initial reactions:
- It's clear to me LED technology has surpassed halogen and HID lights. The new Dinotte setup, while expensive now, offers a bright light with great coverage, versatile lighting adjustability, light batteries and decent runtimes. If it also proves durable, then a light like this is to me much more desirable than a HID. Some HIDs may be brighter but the overall cost coupled with bulb replacement costs is a showstopper. There are mighty good halogen options out there for half this price, but the light power, quality and battey runtimes all offset against going halogen.
- Unlike my old light, this product throws a broad beam that lights up what is in front of me and throws light out diagonally, lighting up the distance of turns. I'm impressed with the beam pattern for use both on and off road. In fact, I think I can use this light alone for night trail riding - even the race - but am doing some more testing on this front. (I do plan to attach the 3W spotlight mentioned above to my helmet for use in clutch situations, but I don't think I need anything more).
- The light is well-designed for commuting. I really like the flashing mode because it will deliver flashing bursts of light for dusk/dawn riding. The light also has three power settings, so you can set it to the conditions. Full power is more than enough for any road riding and may not be necessary in many conditions.
- The light comes with everything one needs for both road and off-road use. Mounts for bars and helmet and 2 batteries, which is enough to get through a team 24 hour race without visiting a charging station. The batteries are also light enough that one can carry them both while commuting, so there's a backup power source at all times. Or conversely one battery can be charged while the other is in use if you are forgetful like me.