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Old 07-13-15, 05:06 PM   #1
corrado33
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Total Lack of Dynamo Lights (and information) in the US

I'm going to be buying a dynamo hub soon. (Yay) However, I've found there is a total lack of dynamo light information online.

You can search for "Best bike lights" online and get 5-10 sites ranking the best battery powered lights by every different benchmark imaginable. However, that is not available for dynamo lights. Sure, there's the peter white site, but it's a bit scattered.

I've looked for the past few hours. I've found a few good lights. I've found a few good circuits for using battery lights with dynamos. But, I've learned that it's almost always easier (and cheaper) to buy something that'll do the job.

What I want in a dynamo light is this.
  • Light at least matching my BT-10, 350 lumens.
  • Standby light.
  • (Maybe) A usb port?

I've found the AXA Luxx 70, which has all of my features. I think. For some stupid reason, dynamo lights are measured in lux while battery powered lights are measured in lumens...

Anyway. The USB port is optional, but it's something that'd be great. Not only could I charge my phone if I forget to charge it at night, but I could also charge my battery powered lights. That way I always have a backup light if I need it. Heck, this light says it'll provide 5V at .5A, which is enough to power my BT-10 (maybe not at max brightness of course.)

Are there any other options like the Luxx 70?
I'm looking to spend ~$100 on a dynamo light. I can find the Luxx 70 for around 66 euro.

One last problem that I have is that the Luxx 70 isn't really available (without paying a premium) in the US. LUCKILY, I'm headed to the UK in 2 weeks, so I can buy whatever I want over there and bring it home.

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Old 07-13-15, 08:13 PM   #2
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I'm going to be buying a dynamo hub soon. (Yay) However, I've found there is a total lack of dynamo light information online.
Here's the best online dynamo hub information I'm aware of:

Peter White Cycles Home Page

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Old 07-14-15, 12:19 AM   #3
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Bicycle lighting, mostly powered via dynamo, and USB power from dynamo
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Old 07-14-15, 08:16 AM   #4
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Axa (NL) And Busch (D) and Muller put a USB out put in their Top Of the Line headlights.

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Old 07-14-15, 10:00 AM   #5
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The reason that battery lights are measured in lumens is that you end with with bigger numbers, and everyone knows that you should always have gadgets with the biggest numbers.

Lux, on the other hand, provides numbers that are actually useful--but since they're smaller numbers, they don't sell as many gadgets.

Anyhow.

Busch & Muller are by far one of the biggest, best dynamo lighting manufacturers. Their beams are shaped so that you actually put the light where it's useful--on the road, as opposed to in drivers' eyes or illuminating the tops of trees, which is generally what happens with most of the big-number battery lights. They sell lights in every conceivable price bracket, so check out their offerings online and pick the one most suited for your budget and needs.

As for buying them in the U.S.--yes, there's one official distributer. But I've found that buying them from starbike/bike24/wiggle usually saves 30-50% or more. Sure, you have to wait a week or so to get them shipped from Europe, but you're still getting exactly the same support as you would if we didn't live in the U.S.
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Old 07-14-15, 11:28 AM   #6
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From what I've read the Luxx is a cheap crappy dynamo light that competes with b&m by being the cheap crappy alternative, I do not recommend it:
Saw Luxx70 dynamo light + usb charging available on Amazon US (Luxos U alternative)

The easiest dynamo light to suggest is the b&m cyo premium, it's a high quality dyamo light with a long lasting standlight and it's the usually "cost efficient" recommendation: Busch & Müller Lumotec IQ CYO Premium T Senso Plus - Harris Cyclery bicycle shop - West Newton, Massachusetts

I know of several other lights, but I don't know of any that meet your critera. Schmidt Edelux II (twice as expensive for 10% more light), Supernova makes dynamo lights that are higher quality than the luxx but also more expensive and have a "meh" reputation usually, if you want a round beam they make one though. Phillips unfortunately left the bike lighting market, they made a decent 60 lux dynamo front light. Planet Bike makes a light with underpowered light output for seeing, but if you want a blinking "be seen" light they make the only dynamo light that blinks.

The Cyo premium is right around $100 here in the US:
Busch & Müller Lumotec IQ CYO Premium T Senso Plus - Harris Cyclery bicycle shop - West Newton, Massachusetts

I've heard it's even cheaper in Europe (and exactly the same light they sell here) if you're going to be there anyways...

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Old 07-14-15, 01:32 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone who answered. I appreciate it. I'll probably end up buying B&M something across the pond since I'll be there already.

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Planet Bike makes a light with underpowered light output for seeing, but if you want a blinking "be seen" light they make the only dynamo light that blinks.
Who the heck would want a blinky dynamo light? Doesn't that defeat the point of having a dynamo?
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Old 07-14-15, 03:54 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone who answered. I appreciate it. I'll probably end up buying B&M something across the pond since I'll be there already.
If you buy a Cyo, make sure you get the premium model. It's poor product naming, the non-premium is last years model that isn't nearly as wide and has a gap in front of the tire (depending on the model). I mean I used one, it worked ok, but in my experience the premium is nicer.

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Who the heck would want a blinky dynamo light? Doesn't that defeat the point of having a dynamo?
Low powered, front blinking lights give you the maximum visibility at night as a biker. Having any reasonable light is better than no light. Having a front (low powered) blinking light identifies you visually more as a bike in a sea of headlights and looks like movement so it gets drivers attention better than a steady light.

So far I have not bothered putting a front blinking light on my bike because it hasn't been worth the hassle of having two lights, but that's the theory.

I just list out everything I can think of and assume that person reading will know their own needs for the most part - there could a scenario for some people where they only want "so other people can see me" lights and they go with a dynamo to avoid battery issues. Or they're buying the cheapest system they can think of for their kid who can't be trusted to remember to recharge batteries, and they want them safe. Just mentioning it, I don't know anyone using it.
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Old 07-14-15, 04:30 PM   #9
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Dynamo lights generally put out less light than battery lights. I don't think there is one that puts out close to 350 lumens. You might figure that you just won't be satisfied with any of them. But because the optics are so carefully engineered, you just might be impressed. I've been putting B&M lights on my bikes and my wife's bikes, and I'm very happy with them.

Peter White's site is very wordy, and it's not easy to absorb all of it, but it is worth your time. Annoying but informative.

It's good you're switching to dynamo lights. When I did, I wished I had done it sooner. It's great to be able to jump on a bike and go without needing to think about the state of your battery, even if you take a long ride.
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Old 07-14-15, 04:58 PM   #10
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Low powered, front blinking lights give you the maximum visibility at night as a biker. Having any reasonable light is better than no light. Having a front (low powered) blinking light identifies you visually more as a bike in a sea of headlights and looks like movement so it gets drivers attention better than a steady light.

So far I have not bothered putting a front blinking light on my bike because it hasn't been worth the hassle of having two lights, but that's the theory.
I ride a couple thousand miles per year at night, equally between urban,suburban, and rural settings, and the "Front blinking lights make you more visible" reasoning has never made sense to me; the number of times I've been worried about a motorist/etc in front of me or coming in the opposite direction being able to see me have been absolutely minuscule. It's way more important to have a light that effectively illuminates the road in front of you far enough out that you can ride at a good clip but be able to avoid hazards.

One could even argue that if you're worried about being left-hooked in the dark that being unambiguously identifiable as a cyclist works against you, since motorists are more likely to assume that you'll be going slow, and thus they can cut in front of you and have room to spare.
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Old 07-14-15, 09:08 PM   #11
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I ride a couple thousand miles per year at night, equally between urban,suburban, and rural settings, and the "Front blinking lights make you more visible" reasoning has never made sense to me; the number of times I've been worried about a motorist/etc in front of me or coming in the opposite direction being able to see me have been absolutely minuscule. It's way more important to have a light that effectively illuminates the road in front of you far enough out that you can ride at a good clip but be able to avoid hazards.

One could even argue that if you're worried about being left-hooked in the dark that being unambiguously identifiable as a cyclist works against you, since motorists are more likely to assume that you'll be going slow, and thus they can cut in front of you and have room to spare.
I speak as a driver, the bikes with reasonably powered blinking front bike lights stand out to me as people in a sea of other lights, and catch my attention the most.

That being said, any decent steady light is a huge increase in safety compared to the people I see with no lights. I almost hit one pulling out of a parking space last year, guy had no lights, all black clothing, and only the fact that my car tail lights lit up hit front reflector kept me from pulling right into him as he was biking by my car.

Like I said I haven't been motivated enough to deal with 2 lights with batteries enough to do it myself, I'm not proselytizing that everyone should do it, just mentioned it as what I've seen as a driver the way to be the most visible.
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Old 07-14-15, 09:15 PM   #12
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Dynamo lights generally put out less light than battery lights. I don't think there is one that puts out close to 350 lumens. You might figure that you just won't be satisfied with any of them. But because the optics are so carefully engineered, you just might be impressed. I've been putting B&M lights on my bikes and my wife's bikes, and I'm very happy with them.
I don't know, I would guess my top end dynamo lights put out about the same amount of light (maybe a little more) than my 2 Dinotte 400L's did (400 lumens each, 800 lumens total). Might be 400 lumens, but seems like double that because of the shaped optics.

I mean my Seca 900 puts out brighter light but it's less wide, and my Taz 1200 puts out far more intense light, it covers a wider are but doesn't go as far.

Are you thinking of the 80/90 lux dynamo lights they have out now, or a cheaper or older model for the dynamo output?
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Old 07-14-15, 09:37 PM   #13
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This is a good buy IMO at about $62:

B + M Lumotec IQ Cyo Premium T senso plus front headlamp offers at the cycling shop ROSE Bikes

plus this at $22

B + M Toplight Line plus back light offers at the cycling shop ROSE Bikes

or this for seatstays at $20:

B + M Secula plus back light for mounting on seat stay or seat post offers at the cycling shop ROSE Bikes
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Old 07-15-15, 08:33 AM   #14
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Just blinking lights on bikes are not Legit on bikes in Germany and NL, so the companies based there dont make lights that blink

Planet Bike has a Dynamo wired version of their 1W battery powered super flash headlight.

Asian made it does flash, & comes off the bars and stows in your pocket ( to not get stolen when bike is parked)
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Old 07-15-15, 12:08 PM   #15
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Maybe my knowledge is out of date. Come to think of it, I'm sure it is. My main commuting bike has a Philips Saferide dynamo light. It's good, but it's not amazingly bright. I wouldn't want to go more than 20 mph in total darkness.

I put a newer B&M headlight on my wife's bike. I don't remember the model. It's the one that's so tiny, it looks like a joke. I haven't tested it yet in darkness, but I was a quarter mile ahead of my wife on a ride at dusk. I looked back at her, and her light seemed to be blaring. It's probably a good light for seeing, but it is definitely an excellent light for being seen. Maybe some dynamo lights really do compete in brightness with battery lights.
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Old 07-15-15, 02:22 PM   #16
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I put a newer B&M headlight on my wife's bike. I don't remember the model. It's the one that's so tiny, it looks like a joke.
I think that must be an Eyc. It's pretty attractive on price.
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Old 07-15-15, 02:26 PM   #17
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I think that must be an Eyc. It's pretty attractive on price.
Aha, you're right. Forgive me for not buying it locally. I bought it from a French web site.

LINK

Right now, it's selling for 37.42€, which is only $41. But better if you buy it from Peter White or someone.

I can't wait to try it in the dark.
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Old 07-15-15, 02:58 PM   #18
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If you buy a Cyo, make sure you get the premium model. It's poor product naming, the non-premium is last years model that isn't nearly as wide and has a gap in front of the tire (depending on the model). I mean I used one, it worked ok, but in my experience the premium is nicer.
[...]
Indeed, I've used both the 60/70-lux Cyo (it was advertised as 60-lux but said 70-lux on the package) and 80-lux Cyo Premium and IMO the Premium with the "IQ-TEC P" (with the "P", very important) lens assembly is vastly superior to the non-Premium Cyo lamp. IMO it really hits the sweet-spot between functionality and price for a dynamo headlamp with good, even road illumination and a nice wide beam. Last year's prices was less than $100 US to my door (~$80-$85 IIRC) importing from Germany, shipping included.

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Aha, you're right. Forgive me for not buying it locally. I bought it from a French web site.

LINK

Right now, it's selling for 37.42€, which is only $41. But better if you buy it from Peter White or someone.

I can't wait to try it in the dark.
Now that's funny! It's like when you buy a new bike it starts raining for three weeks, you buy a new lamp and the sun won't set...
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Old 07-15-15, 03:02 PM   #19
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Now that's funny! It's like when you buy a new bike it starts raining for three weeks, you buy a new lamp and the sun won't set...
Well, we are not exactly in the Arctic Circle. I have to make a point of taking it out at night. I'll try it on Saturday night.
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Old 07-15-15, 04:41 PM   #20
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Indeed, I've used both the 60/70-lux Cyo (it was advertised as 60-lux but said 70-lux on the package) and 80-lux Cyo Premium and IMO the Premium with the "IQ-TEC P" (with the "P", very important) lens assembly is vastly superior to the non-Premium Cyo lamp. IMO it really hits the sweet-spot between functionality and price for a dynamo headlamp with good, even road illumination and a nice wide beam. Last year's prices was less than $100 US to my door (~$80-$85 IIRC) importing from Germany, shipping included.
Lol, it's a hell of a lot wider that's for sure.

Cyo:


Cyo Premium (well the very tiny bit brighter schmidt):


I think the Eyc has more of a Cyo sized beam though...
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Old 07-15-15, 04:51 PM   #21
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If you're comparing brightness of 500 lumen+ battery light to dynamo lights, you will be disappointed. I have the Eyc, it's not very bright, not if you want to ride more than 30km/h. The real life beam brightness is nowhere close to the photos taken by peterwhitecycles.com.

To the person recommending the Planet Bike 1W dynamo light, that is a be-seen light only, if it's anything like the 1W battery version I had (which I gave away), the beam pattern is one weak spotlight on the road.

Although I keep getting disappointed with B&M products, I will throw in a Cyo Premium on my next order from bike-discount.de.

Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo Premium T senso plus | Front Lights Shop
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Old 07-15-15, 06:56 PM   #22
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If you're comparing brightness of 500 lumen+ battery light to dynamo lights, you will be disappointed. I have the Eyc, it's not very bright, not if you want to ride more than 30km/h. The real life beam brightness is nowhere close to the photos taken by peterwhitecycles.com.
The Eyc I believe is a cheaper lower powered version of the cyo premium, I think. Same brightness but far smaller patch that it lights. Though frankly 50% of the people I see out biking have no lights at all, so for city biking it's often enough.

The problem is that the Peter White shots are acccurate if you're riding in the country with no competing lights whatsoever. I've actually tried it.

But they don't look that bright when you have any competing light sources - streetlights, oncoming car headlights, etc.

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To the person recommending the Planet Bike 1W dynamo light, that is a be-seen light only, if it's anything like the 1W battery version I had (which I gave away), the beam pattern is one weak spotlight on the road.
That was me and it pretty true, but again about the people biking with no lights, and I think I was saying it was mostly a "be seen with" light. It's just if your only goal was "be seen" it's the only front light that blinks.

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Although I keep getting disappointed with B&M products, I will throw in a Cyo Premium on my next order from bike-discount.de.

Busch + Müller Lumotec IQ Cyo Premium T senso plus | Front Lights Shop
The advantage of the premium model is not that it's that much brighter, it's that it's beam is far far wider. If your problem with previous Cyo models was that they were not bright enough, the premium probably won't change that.

I'm getting older, and I feel like even compared to 5 years ago my ability to see in poor light is not as good as it used to be. I really wish Phillips had not exited the light business - their battery powered Saferide does a **really** nice job of having a nice led color output / temperature, it's brighter light on the ground, and it would have been really interesting to see what they came out with for an updated dynamo light for the "need more light to see with" crowd (which unfortunately seems to be me as I get older).

If you would feel comfortable riding across with no light if there were no cars and no other traffic, then the Cyo Premium is completely sufficient. If you feel like you would still be blind without a light, it's probably not be bright enough.

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Old 07-17-15, 08:29 AM   #23
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Did a B&M headlight [Eyc T] install on my Brompton .. works fine.. I just leave it on.. taillight wired up on it too.
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Old 07-17-15, 10:32 AM   #24
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Cyo Premium is pretty attractive, like the Luxos without the complexity. For in town use, I have had a Lyt for a number of years, and I'm perfectly happy with it
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Old 07-18-15, 04:18 PM   #25
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My Breezer Uptown 8 came with B&M lights. The tail light is probably adequate. The head light is an older model of the Lumotech Lyt. The current Lyt is rated at 20 Lux. It didn't seem to be particularly bright when I rode at night for the first time.

I'm glad I got my Cygolite Expilion 850 and mounted it on my helmet. I think I would have been fine without the Cygolite, but with both lights I feel a lot more confident about spotting potential flat hazards and things like that, especially when I start riding on the MUP I use the most for commuting. It can get pitch black in spots.
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