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Old 10-24-04, 04:18 PM   #1
slvoid
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I know this isn't scientifically accurate but here's what I did.
I just got a cateye EL500 and decided to compare the beam patterns of it against the lights I had with exposure lock. This was from about 10 ft away in a dark room.

I took the lights out and took some new pics here.
EL500 vs 5, 11, 16 watt halogen.
I think sign on the road is about 50 ft away.

Last edited by slvoid; 09-28-05 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:19 PM   #2
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This is the Cateye EL200 blinker. It's 3 white LED's and can be set to blink or steady. I had it on steady.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:20 PM   #3
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This is the new Cateye EL500 with a 1 Watt Luxeon LED and some pretty nice optics to throw the beam.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:22 PM   #4
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This is an old Specialized Astro 2.4 halogen light. It uses 4 AA batteries and runs 6V at approximately 4 Watts.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:23 PM   #5
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And this is my Light & Motion Dual (which is currently broken, the low beam doesn't work) with the high beam running 10.8V @ 16 Watts halogen.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:41 PM   #6
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here is my light 35 watts a high end halogen mr16 bulb running at 12v this is at about 20 feet or more from the source.
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Old 10-24-04, 05:38 PM   #7
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very cool thread, if only I had a digital camera

milo
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Old 10-25-04, 02:16 AM   #8
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Yep, I wish we had a sticky thread where we could accurately compare different lights.

Maybe a darkroom test of some sort....multi-color box at 12 feet or such, so we can somehwat accurately compare.

I know my cateye 3-led headlamp is decent, but my niterider is far better...and my cateye 110 is not even worth the light of day really.
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Old 10-25-04, 03:59 AM   #9
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Great thread - and seasonal, since everyone is thinking about lights at the moment.

I mentioned in a recent thread that I replaced the stock 2.4W halogen bulb used in a Cateye HL-1600 with a 4.2W version. This was partly because I was fed up paying an outrageous 4.99 each for new bulbs - the higher power version was available for around 1.30! There is also notable improvement in light output. I will try and get some pics.

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Old 10-25-04, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I know this isn't scientifically accurate but here's what I did.
I just got a cateye EL500 and decided to compare the beam patterns of it against the lights I had with exposure lock. This was from about 10 ft away in a dark room.
What camera, focal length, fstop, shutter speed and iso did you use? This would let others try and match the test somewhat.

Al
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Old 10-25-04, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
What camera, focal length, fstop, shutter speed and iso did you use? This would let others try and match the test somewhat.

Al
If only I knew, it's an old Kodak DC5000, still the only shock and water resistant digicam I know of at the consumer level. 2.1 megapixels, I exposure locked it to the original pic.
When I get a better camera, I'll go out to an actual road when it's dark and take some pics.
But still, if someone uses a common light such as the EL200 or something that almost everyone has or should know someone who has one and use that as the basis for comparision, you can get a pretty good idea of how other beams are.
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Old 10-25-04, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
If only I knew, it's an old Kodak DC5000, still the only shock and water resistant digicam I know of at the consumer level. 2.1 megapixels, I exposure locked it to the original pic.
When I get a better camera, I'll go out to an actual road when it's dark and take some pics.
But still, if someone uses a common light such as the EL200 or something that almost everyone has or should know someone who has one and use that as the basis for comparision, you can get a pretty good idea of how other beams are.
No problem, I just figured that if a camera could exp. lock, that the it at least would tell ya what the settings are. Overall a nice comparision you did!
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Old 10-25-04, 04:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
you got a pick of any o them new cateye blinkies?
I thought the EL500 WAS the new cateye light.
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Old 10-25-04, 06:04 PM   #14
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sight is not a good thing to use. because the color of the beam can throw your judgment off. a slightly blue cast liek from HID lights or the one I posted make the light look brither then it is.
you need to measure the lumens and beam shape to knwo what is what. I know fellows who ahve the tools and have done it. they are on a email list if anyone is interested.
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Old 10-25-04, 06:24 PM   #15
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I have a 12w HID, and also about 30 watts of halogen light.

The HID is fine.

The halogen light is MUCH better.

Either one is well out of the LED league. LED's are, today, nice for flashy's, but are not at parity with other solutions. I'm not sure why this is at issue. It's pretty obvious, once you get on the trail. I had an LED guy stop me just last night (the brightest one I'd ever seen - El500?) and ask, what is your light? I WANT one.
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Old 10-25-04, 07:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Either one is well out of the LED league. LED's are, today, nice for flashy's, but are not at parity with other solutions. I'm not sure why this is at issue. It's pretty obvious, once you get on the trail.
Trail? This thread is in commuting, not mountain biking. There should be a sticky "light religion" thread where people can take their
"my light is the only true light" babbling. (Not to mention a "frame religion" thread for some of the steel zealots. Begone ye zealots!
Shoo! Shooo, I say!)
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Last edited by bkrownd; 10-25-04 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 10-25-04, 07:57 PM   #17
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Here's some more comparisons from Chris. He started the Geek-light thing about the same time I did and then decided to develop hi-powered LEDs.

http://www.solidlights.co.uk/features/bright.php
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Old 10-25-04, 08:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
Here's some more comparisons from Chris. He started the Geek-light thing about the same time I did and then decided to develop hi-powered LEDs.

http://www.solidlights.co.uk/features/bright.php
The 10 watt LED unit runs the battery dry in 1 hour 20 min and costs $US 500.

I can get a HID that is not only brighter but runs for up to 4 hours for around $500.

Still pretty cool that it's LED and doesn't have the problems associated with HID's I guess.
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Old 10-25-04, 08:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
I have a 12w HID, and also about 30 watts of halogen light.

The HID is fine.

The halogen light is MUCH better.

Either one is well out of the LED league. LED's are, today, nice for flashy's, but are not at parity with other solutions. I'm not sure why this is at issue. It's pretty obvious, once you get on the trail. I had an LED guy stop me just last night (the brightest one I'd ever seen - El500?) and ask, what is your light? I WANT one.
Why do people have this fear of inferiority that they always have to brag about their lights?
This isn't the "i have the brightest light" thread otherwise I'd have one of those 1 billion candle power stadium HID's that can illuminate a spot on the road for a solid MILE and sucks up kilowatts.
This is for commuting, seen and/or be seen. Pick any one or a combination of both. That's all.
Not bombing downhill at 30mph in the dark.
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Old 10-25-04, 11:57 PM   #20
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I like the way that one company (I forget now) did their beam comparisons outdoors on the same trail. Basement
beamshots are a bit out-of-place, though. Try some in the same spot outdoors. It's pretty hard to compare
the lights that are wildly different, since the camera responds so much differently than the human eye, but
the UK(?) company's website with shots of the umpteen lights on the same trail was pretty interesting nevertheless, with high quality pictures.
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Old 10-26-04, 04:50 AM   #21
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"That one company" would be German Lupine. I'll re-post their URL once more for reference:

http://www.lupine.de/en/produkte/leuchtvergleich.php

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Old 10-26-04, 07:24 AM   #22
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I was told by an engineer: Watts=Volts X Amps. Using this formula, I use a 6w halogen bulb in an older Union headlight. 6V GelCel battery rated at 5Amp-Hours. Cold weather shortens my battery run time but it still gets me a safe 3.5-4 hours of decent light. My setup is fairly fixed by the formula. A 10w halogen is brighter but will run my battery down quicker. A better battery is possible....at a much higher cost.

I personally like all of the arguments about the bicycle lighting issue hoping it will lead to better batteries, brighter and more efficient bulbs, and better focused optics (reflectors). To all who are inventors....Keep up the good work!
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Old 10-26-04, 02:25 PM   #23
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Best comparison of lights I have found is at

http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/lights/index_byrating.shtml


A more controlled example of light test:
http://www.mtbr.com/spotlight/lightshootout/


Huff
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Old 02-12-05, 04:39 PM   #24
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LED Front Lights: Cateye EL500 v. Planet Bike Super Shot

I recently picked up a Cateye EL500 front light (one 1 watt LED). Last year I got a Planet Bike Super Shot (one 1 watt LED) to use on brevets as a secondary light to a Cateye Micro-halogen HL-500II. Here's my observation about the differences between the two LED lights.

I shined the Cateye EL500 and the Planet Bike Super Shot on a white wall in a dark room. The Cateye has a very bright center spot that is 1/2 or less of the total illumination angle of the EL500. The total illumination angle of the Cateye EL500 is about 1/2, or less, of the total illumination angle of the Planet Bike. In addition, outside its bright small spot the Cateye is less bright than the wide angle illumination of the Planet Bike. The wide angle illumination of the Planet Bike light is generally pretty uniform, except for several (6-8?) distracting line shadows that are cast in the forward direction.

Overall, I can't say that one light is significantly better than the other. They just do different things.

I like wide angle illumination for commuting because I think it helps cars on cross streets see me coming. Also, my road surfaces are pretty predictable and my commute is in-town with a fair bit of ambient light, so I can get by without having alot of direct illumination on the road. For these conditions, I'd lean toward the Planet Bike for its brighter wide angle illumination. (I also like it as a secondary for my brevet riding to complement the bright spot beam of my Micro-halogen light.)

But if you need to see the road surface, or if you think a bright narrow beam gives better visibility than a wider dimmer light, then the Cateye would be the way to go.

From what I read at other web sites, both lights use the same 1 watt LED. If that is correct, the differences are mainly in their optics.
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Old 02-12-05, 05:23 PM   #25
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good thread. i will post a picture when i get that new cat eye led system that i ordered. http://www.cygolite.com/light/products/14HiFlux200.htm
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