Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Bikes: Haro MTB for commuting and a LHT for everything else.
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I though this was going to be long.....
Keep in mind that bike lights are miniature forms of lights used elsewhere, so things like heating may come into play once you push the lights beyond specs and install them in a small housing, fail to dissipate heat away from the heat source, overpower, etc.. A car light is huge, so it can dissipate heat easily.
I've used all forms of lights and heat was always a by product of light production (even more so when it comes to halogens as a good deal of power is wasted heating the filament). Low power lamps, inclusive of halogens and LEDs may not give off much heat, but the high power stuff does; look at the fins on the Dinotte 600L.
Many manufacturers provide bike specific lights, but some firms, like TT, do nothing but take off the shelf products and install into a aluminum housing. This simplistic approach provides a product at a competitive price, but open for problems, like the one mentioned above. I have not heard of anyone who suffered the "cloudy light" problem with a L&M product. To TT's defense, they did replace my bulb when my bulb became cloudy.
So, yeah, I have run into these problems. I'm now using a high powered LED which has the ability to run anywhere from 1 - 15 watts. At 1 watt, it never gets hot. At 15 watts, it gets hot when I sit at traffic lights and such. Interestingly, Lupine claims the light's output will vary based upon ambient temperature, so while it gets hot, I don't think the performance is degrading.
As for your friend with the Stadium III, I have one of the first NiteRider Trail Rats and it's still going some 13 years later. The light may not be bright, but it's a simple design which equates to resilience to abuse and high dependability.
Last edited by paulrad9; 09-22-07 at 10:15 AM.