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  1. #1
    Senior Member Blue Roads's Avatar
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    Planet Bike HID, Hope Vision 4 LED, Lupine Tesla 4, or something else?

    I need some help.

    I rode home tonight using my Planet Bike Alias HID for the first time in total darkness. It was fine, but admittedly, less illumination than I expected.

    I regularly ride at night on a combination route of pitch-black MUP, ambient-lit MUP, and streetlight-lit bike lane and in traffic. Moderate to heavy car traffic on the street.

    I want a bright light, but want to pay no more than $500. I only need 2 hours of run time on high, though I'll occasionally use longer run times with lower settings. I love Planet Bike products and their service, but I'm considering selling the Alias HID.

    I'm looking at the Hope Vision 4 LED. I like its specs: On high, 960 max lumens at 2 hours; claimed waterproof connectors; and secure looking, quick release bar mount. $410. Beam output shown in the link below.

    I also like the Lupine Tesla 4, but something about those thick rubber band mounts bug me (my DiNotte tail light, which is fantastic, has one). Shouldn't a decent light have a decent mount and not a rubber band that will someday deteriorate and break -- always at the wrong time? Good specs on the Lupine Tesla 4 though: On high, 700 lumens at 3 hours. $488. Beam output shown in the link below.

    I'm leaning towards the Hope Vision 4: Brighter, cheaper, better mount, though lower run time.

    If anybody has any input or opinions regarding overall quality, real brightness, beam pattern, anything else between the two, or other suggestions, I'd appreciate reading it.

    Here is a good link to some beam output comparisons, courtesy of mechBgon: http://terrengsykkel.no/index.php?id=2440

    Questions:

    A) Anybody know the approximate lumens of the Planet Bike Alias HID? It has a "Welch Allyn 10 watt High-Intensity Discharge bulb with Solarc technology." Couldn't find it online.

    B) Will the Hope Vision 4 LED and Lupine Tesla 4 be perceived as much brighter than the Planet Bike Alias HID? In other words, though the Planet Bike Alias HID may have less lumens, does its beam pattern make up for that weakness?


    I don't have experience with anything but cheapie LED lights, an old Planet Bike Insight 15w halogen, and my Planet Bike Alias HID.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Blue Roads; 10-23-08 at 10:37 PM.
    Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
    - Master Yoda

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    From the beam pattern that mechBgon posted, the Light & Motion Seca 700 seems to have the best beam pattern I've seen.

    BTW, don't worry about rubber bands breaking; most brands give you several, and by the time you go through them (if you actually do) you'll be ready for a new light. It's totally a non-issue.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    To cut to the chase, let me suggest looking at the Light & Motion Seca 700 Race. It lays down very uniform illumination up the road, without an excessively-bright area right in front of your bike to inhibit your distance vision. See these beamshots for a sample of the Seca's beam pattern, or my own review & remarks at MTBR. For road riding, it's a big improvement over my DiNotte 600L because of the intelligently-arranged distribution of the light on the road.

    Another option would be to supplement your Alias HID with a decent flashlight that addresses the Alias's shortcomings, whether that means not enough throw, or not enough flood.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Blue Roads's Avatar
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    Thanks to you both for the input.

    I won't be too concerned about the rubber bands and I'll check out mechBgon's Seca 700 review. At first look, the Seca 700 Race looks like what I might need: bright, good run times, good mount, and the right price. Your review looks great and I appreciate the links.
    Last edited by Blue Roads; 10-23-08 at 12:45 AM.
    Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
    - Master Yoda

  5. #5
    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    i said drop them all, can go for a P7 plus anything else, and you'll have more than enough
    Mu SL Gone in 10 sec!
    Matrix The perfect commuter bike for all terrain!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Blue Roads's Avatar
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    I've read through the The P7 Flashlight Thread a couple of times. Lots of good info there and some passionate P7 proponents. I gather the P7s run ~1 hour on high, unless you get the Elektro Lumens EDC-P7 which advertises 2 hours run time with 1 x 18650, at $129.99.

    As the P7s are apparently floody, I'm curious to know if the EDC-P7 is flood or spot with its "Custom 27mm reflector." It's probably a flood.

    I need throw for commuting and I’d prefer about 2 hours run time on high. So, based on info in this forum, only way I'd go P7 is with the EDC-P7 assuming it's a spot -- then maybe combine that with either a cheapie P7 floody or a pricey LED like Seca 700, Hope, or Lupine.

    I’m also considering mechBgon’s recommended Dereelight DBS V2 with 1S pill and his reported 1.7 hour run time on high, at $120 with smooth reflector for throw. That with an above-mentioned pricey LED might be optimum.
    Last edited by Blue Roads; 10-24-08 at 01:02 AM.
    Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    I have both the smooth and textured reflectors for the DBS. If you get to where you might order one, then first let me get you some real-world photos, because the smooth reflector's focus is very, very tight. I think the textured (aka OP for "orange peel texture") reflector may be the better pick for all-around use.


    Teaser pic of the DBS (with OP) running alone in a showcase situation, a dark straightstretch of country highway:



    The beam reaches even further than it looks. For spotting larger stuff, it effectively reaches about as far as you can see the white line on the road (about 200 meters). This particular area is swarming with white-tailed deer, so it's nice to be able to see a long way here. Due to the adaptive nature of human vision, adding a really bright flood light in the foreground (DiNotte 600L, P7, etc) would make the DBS seem dimmer, reducing my effective distance vision in favor of being able to see the stuff at point-blank range quite well. That's not optimal to me, I prefer to keep my eyes up the road further, about 4 seconds out at ~18mph.

    As Einstein said, "everything should be made as simple as possible... but not simpler"

  8. #8
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I spent a whole lot of money buying poorly built and dimmer than I needed lighting systems before I finally bit the bullet and bought the lighting system I should have bought to begin with. Thats my lesson to anyone willing to listen.

    I now use a Lupine LED light. It throws off gobs of bright white light that lights up not just the spot right in front of me but to the sides of that spot too (good if I need to swerve right or left). It has the best connectors made, the best switch made, a great charger and a great battery. It works flawlessly in any weahter conditions I ride in.
    It doesn't use fixed mounts so if I crash the light just swivels on the bar (rather than break off) and I can remove the light in a second to take it with me or I can put it on another bike without a second mount.
    It is the best lighting system made, costs more than others but has the kind of quality that will ensure it outlasts the others too. The choice is up to you, buy several over the years or buy one to last years.

  9. #9
    Some Guy russ3706's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gear View Post
    I spent a whole lot of money buying poorly built and dimmer than I needed lighting systems before I finally bit the bullet and bought the lighting system I should have bought to begin with. Thats my lesson to anyone willing to listen.

    I now use a Lupine LED light. It throws off gobs of bright white light that lights up not just the spot right in front of me but to the sides of that spot too (good if I need to swerve right or left). It has the best connectors made, the best switch made, a great charger and a great battery. It works flawlessly in any weahter conditions I ride in.
    It doesn't use fixed mounts so if I crash the light just swivels on the bar (rather than break off) and I can remove the light in a second to take it with me or I can put it on another bike without a second mount.
    It is the best lighting system made, costs more than others but has the kind of quality that will ensure it outlasts the others too. The choice is up to you, buy several over the years or buy one to last years.

    Agreed, Lupine is the bees knees. I have used dinotte, seca 700, lupine wilma and betty. The lupine system is definately the highest quality of them all, so I can assume the tesla would be nothing short of the rest of their lineup. The tesla seems great from what everyone says, and I have used the seca 700 and can say for sure it is a fantastic light but costs around $500. So why not get the Lupine Wilma 5 from geomangear.com (on sale, geoman is great) for around $520... Its 920 lumens, 3 hrs runtime, and is fairly light weight, and lupine quality, its awesome... Or for anyone else interested, bump up to the Betty 7 for $899 and be done with the quest for the best light and going through different lights for years to come, as it is upgradable =)

    Whatever you go with, rest assured that you are getting a great light that no one could have imagined owning 3 years ago. The beauty of such a decision is that they are all going to be a great choice!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/13848555@N06/
    Last edited by russ3706; 10-25-08 at 08:54 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Blue Roads's Avatar
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    I much appreciate everybody's replies, links, and pics. All have been very helpful. I considered everything and ordered a Lupine Wilma 5. I'm looking forward to receiving it and I'll post my impressions here.

    Thanks!
    Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.
    - Master Yoda

  11. #11
    Senior Member maximushq2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Roads View Post
    I much appreciate everybody's replies, links, and pics. All have been very helpful. I considered everything and ordered a Lupine Wilma 5. I'm looking forward to receiving it and I'll post my impressions here.

    Thanks!

    I have a feeling you are gonna like it. I have the 830 lumen version and I really love it and you are getting the new version which puts out even more light.

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