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  1. #1
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    Not another Dinotte thread!

    OK, so I had to do it. You can consider me one of the brainwashed Dinotte cult, but here's an interesting story. I've had a 600L / 140L headlight /tail light set for the last couple of years. Lately, since the sun is just thinking about rising on my commute in in the mornings, I've started using lights again.

    The day before yesterday on the way in, I passed a jogger. Jogger says, "Wow! That's a BRIGHT light!" "Yea", I said. "Nice", he said. A little while later, a city cop slows his cruiser way down as he approaches me from the other direction. "That's the BRIGHTEST light I've ever seen!", he says. "Thanks. I love it.", I say. "Awesome!", he says. I pass a school crossing guard a little later. She says "That light's really Bright! I like it." "Me too. Thanks.", I say.

    Honest, I'm not making this stuff up. This was 1 trip into work. So for the people who are worried about "blinding" drivers with these lights, I wouldn't worry about it. I've had positive comments over the last couple of years about these lights from all the drivers I know who have seem me. Mainly, they appreciate being able to see me.

    My commute consists of everything from quiet, dark country roads to more crowded city streets. I feel totally comfortable riding in any conditions with these lights, including fog. I also have no problem spotting glass on the road before I hit it. I know that there are many people who say you don't need lights this bright, but I couldn't go back to anything less bright.

    I can't say that I didn't have a couple of warranty issues with the lights after I bought them, but Dinotte's customer service is second to none, and they even took care of me, no questions asked, one time when I was technically out of warranty.

  2. #2
    Ths Hipstr Kills Masheenz cc700's Avatar
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    I agree.

    if you're in a car your lights shouldn't be blinding. bikes, motorcycles, pedestrians should all feel free to blind away.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sesmith View Post
    So for the people who are worried about "blinding" drivers with these lights, I wouldn't worry about it.
    No, you should worry about it. Point your lights so you're not blinding people. I've done this before, the mount for the dinotte 200L does not allow you to swivel it at all. Which is ridiculous for on-road use. Someoneo needs to start making a lense or a mount that allows you to bias your lights like cars.
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  4. #4
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    Dinottes are great lights, with a solid reputation. The tail-light in particular, is the brightest bike-specific tail light that's commercially available.

    The front lights are also great, but for bang for buck, flashlights from China have pulled ahead of the Dinotte by a fair margin. You can get over double the lumens of your front Dinotte for the same price if you use mounted flashlights. I can equal the total lumen of your Dinotte front lamp with 3 separate 200lumen flashlights that cost $28 each (shipped from the US - not from China/DX), and have 2 on the bars and one on my head for directionality. If you can wait for DealExtreme China shipping, you could get this same setup for <$40.

    I tend to recommend these flashlight solutions first over the Dinotte because of the pricing per lumen, but the Dinotte overall is still a great light and value. But you can definitely do brighter (a LOT brighter) for cheaper without sacrificing any functionality or convenience.
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  5. #5
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Day light comments on my 140L Tail light.

    From a lady in a van: That is a bright light.
    From a Tow truck driver: I had to see what was so bright, I thought there was a accident ahead.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

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  6. #6
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    I was pondering two options for winter tail lights, going with two PB superflashes or springing for the Dinotte tail light. After a couple of days digging through the pages in the electronics section I have definitely decided to spend the extra cash to get the Dinotte. Hopefully, it is as worth the money as everyone seems to agree it is.

  7. #7
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I've gotten plenty of comments on my 140L taillight; people at work have said that they easily noticed me almost a mile before they got to me. It's great for daylight visibility too, especially this week when we've had both rain and fog.

    My Magicshine headlight is a winner too; I imagine it's somewhere around 400 lumens of output. This morning I had cars pull up at stop signs on cross roads and stop and wait for me to pass, even though I was still probably a quarter of a mile away and it took me probably 45 seconds or more to get past them; they thought I was a motorcycle or something and just waited. It's the best $80 I've spent on the bike, for sure.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  8. #8
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
    I tend to recommend these flashlight solutions first over the Dinotte because of the pricing per lumen, but the Dinotte overall is still a great light and value. But you can definitely do brighter (a LOT brighter) for cheaper without sacrificing any functionality or convenience.
    How about runtime? Runtime is a HUGE convenience factor; everyone says "you can just change batteries in mid-ride" but I've done that in the past, and digging a battery out of my bag and putting it in a flashlight when it's pitch black and not a street or house light in sight is no fun.

    In the winter I'm riding at temps down to -25*F, and that is probably going to cut any light's runtime down to maybe 1/4 of what it would be in more comfortable temps, and my ride can be up to 55 minutes if there's been heavy snowfall and headwinds. I'm actually thinking I may need a second battery even with the MS P7's 3 hour runtime, when it gets that cold. Or maybe I'll just switch to helmet mount for the winter and keep the battery inside my jacket. Can't do that with a flashlight.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  9. #9
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    Last night I was driving home on a rural road and noticed flashing red lights in the distance. I immediately figured it was an emergency vehicle some 3 to 4 miles distant. To my surprise, it was a bicyclist only about 1 mile distant. I'm guessing that he had a PB Superflash or something close to it. His blinkie was definitely seen. The downside is that distance perspective is really lost with these lights, and it alarmed me because that is what I use. He also had a very weak headlight, almost not to be seen at least in the wash that my truck headlights spread over his. He also had a very weak blinkie on his helmet, but this was almost useless unless he used it as a backup in case of failure.

    This episode made me realize that a Dinotte tail light is in my very near future as I ride in the early morning hours for training. I feel like drivers will actually appreciate the brighter light as it gives them better depth/distance perception. I know I would like it. I already have a Dinotte 200L for a headlight but I'm thinking of adding a MS and moving the Dinotte to my helmet. I know that drivers respect and see my 200L as they dim their lights when approaching without blinding me or washing out my light. The tail light is my 1st priority though.

    Zagnut

  10. #10
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    I recently got a Dinotte 800L. Sofar I had only used it at dusk and dawn. Earlier this week I used it later at night when it was dark outside. I turn it on and get ready to leave when one guy walks up and says "That is one m*****f****** bright light! Even Steven Wonder could see that light!"

    I then proceed to ride home on the Lakefront path, a MUP that is still quite busy with runners at 7pm. I run my 800L on the handlebar and a 400L on the helmet. I noticed that a lot of runners would look over their shoulders well before I passed them. I can only think that is because of the light they saw around them. I previously had 2 Fenix L2D flashlights handlebar mounted and never noticed it before.
    Duppie

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up me too

    I just got my Dinotte Amber 140 -- only 2 commutes so far... but I'm loving it.
    I'm curious to see how long my AAs last ... and at some point I'll post a review w/ pics...

    I just wanted to chime in and thank all the others who pointed me to the brand.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Add me to the list of people who get positive remarks for the 140-series taillight (a sheriff's deputy even got ahead of me and stopped so he could ask me where he could get one), as well as my infamous Nova BULL (similar output but with more-aggressive strobe patterns, being an emergency-vehicle light). I wouldn't use these taillights on a MUP, but for the highways and arterials, they're excellent. When you're trying to safely get past a 500-foot / 200m right-turn lane in a 60mph zone, it pays to be visible from long range.

    The downside is that distance perspective is really lost with these lights, and it alarmed me because that is what I use.
    Show me any bicycle taillight that isn't essentially a point-source of light at a distance of 100 meters or more. There aren't any. No bike taillight, flashing or steady, gives the driver anything to triangulate in order to assess your range.

    To solve that problem, I can suggest the obvious: use multiple lights that have physical separation. For example, adding bar-end blinkies plus a powerful helmet-mounted blinkie, in addition to your usual taillight, give you both width and height. As the viewer gets closer, the lights diverge and give a range cue. Throw in a generous dose of high-performance reflective tape down the back of your fender, pin a DOT-style plastic reflector to each pannier, add reflective ankle bands (whoa, movement!) and an ANSI Class II reflective vest. Now you have visible height and width, instead of being a point-source of red light at an indeterminate range. Make sense?


    For those interested:

    video showing the Trek bar-end blinkies and a DiNotte at twilight, it was darker than the camera makes it appear. The bar-end blinkies do pretty well if your bar tips are aimed level.

    video showing a Nova BULL This one also has a brief over-the-shoulder clip of the BULL in action: clip #2, skip to about 1:45. An MUP user I ain't

  13. #13
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    Agree that the Dinotte is a killer rear light, but I do wonder if it's really necessary compared to something like a 1W PB Superflash at night. At night, the PBSF is really bright and really obvious if the batteries aren't run down. You really can't miss it. Add 2, and you can triangulate. If it's night out, I'm more than comfortable with PBSF, and I think there really is a decreasing return on brightness for such a "to-be-seen" light.

    During daylight hours, PBSF is pretty useless in daylight as a rear light. I guess in this situation the Dinotte would be a better solution, but with such ambient light around, hi-vis clothing is really good, from all angles.

    Not trying to knock to the DiNotte, but I suspect that all those rear light dollars are really on the decreasing end of bang for buck for the dollar as a rear light once you're over PBSF level lighting.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    dinotte

    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
    Agree that the Dinotte is a killer rear light, but I do wonder if it's really necessary compared to something like a 1W PB Superflash at night.
    I've used a PB Superflash for several years, but broke down and bought a Dinotte last fall when they had them on sale. It's well worth the $100 in my opinion, although the Superflash is certainly adequate. The Dinotte tail-light is very visible in daylight, which is a big plus for me. I still use a Superflash as a backup tail-light because it holds a charge very long and sometimes my Dinotte loses its charge during a ride.

  15. #15
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
    During daylight hours, PBSF is pretty useless in daylight as a rear light. I guess in this situation the Dinotte would be a better solution, but with such ambient light around, hi-vis clothing is really good, from all angles.

    Not trying to knock to the DiNotte, but I suspect that all those rear light dollars are really on the decreasing end of bang for buck for the dollar as a rear light once you're over PBSF level lighting.
    The immediate impetus for buying my 140L was daylight visibility, particularly in adverse conditions. If it's raining really hard, or there's a very heavy fog, hi-vis clothing isn't all that effective. You need a really bright light with aggressive strobe patterns. In daylight, I set mine to the 5 pulse strobe.

    At night, I use the single slow pulse over low light, much less aggressive. I don't think it's wasted anyway. Unless it's so bright that it dazzles drivers eyes, the extra light isn't hurting anything. I think it's a good idea to be visible a long way back, at least a half a mile, given the amount of crap that car drivers are messing with these days; they may be messing with their radio, or looking for something on the seat next to them, for 5 or more seconds at a time.

    If you didn't get their attention 1/2 mile before they got to you, they could be not looking at the road for long enough to pass from where you're too far away to notice to where they hit you in the time that they're not paying attention. So yeah, even at night, I think it's worth having the extra light, though it's not necessary to run the retina-pounding strobe patterns.

    Also, the 140L disperses light over a wider range than the SF.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    The immediate impetus for buying my 140L was daylight visibility, particularly in adverse conditions. If it's raining really hard, or there's a very heavy fog, hi-vis clothing isn't all that effective. You need a really bright light with aggressive strobe patterns. In daylight, I set mine to the 5 pulse strobe.

    At night, I use the single slow pulse over low light, much less aggressive. I don't think it's wasted anyway. Unless it's so bright that it dazzles drivers eyes, the extra light isn't hurting anything. I think it's a good idea to be visible a long way back, at least a half a mile, given the amount of crap that car drivers are messing with these days; they may be messing with their radio, or looking for something on the seat next to them, for 5 or more seconds at a time.

    If you didn't get their attention 1/2 mile before they got to you, they could be not looking at the road for long enough to pass from where you're too far away to notice to where they hit you in the time that they're not paying attention. So yeah, even at night, I think it's worth having the extra light, though it's not necessary to run the retina-pounding strobe patterns.

    Also, the 140L disperses light over a wider range than the SF.
    Agree with all your observations, and if you've got the cash, that Dinotte rocks.

    Still, although I've got no hard data to prove it, just from personal observations during day, night, and cloudy conditions, I would highly question the need for all those extra rear lumens. It might give you mental peace of mind, but in terms how much extra safety benefit it confers, I question it, after seeing how effective 2 PBSF (or 1) work.
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  17. #17
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Here's the SF and the 140L on my bike. By the time it's 200 feet away, the SF is certainly visible but not, IMHO, unmissable. CERTAINLY not if there's rain/fog or ambient lighting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI52d5bGKHQ
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by duppie View Post
    I recently got a Dinotte 800L. Sofar I had only used it at dusk and dawn. Earlier this week I used it later at night when it was dark outside. I turn it on and get ready to leave when one guy walks up and says "That is one m*****f****** bright light! Even Steven Wonder could see that light!"

    I then proceed to ride home on the Lakefront path, a MUP that is still quite busy with runners at 7pm. I run my 800L on the handlebar and a 400L on the helmet. I noticed that a lot of runners would look over their shoulders well before I passed them. I can only think that is because of the light they saw around them. I previously had 2 Fenix L2D flashlights handlebar mounted and never noticed it before.
    Duppie
    Did you also give you that "OMG I'm staring into the sun, wtf are you doing?" look if they were jogging towards you?

    It's a topic of debate about whether you can blind drivers with a handlebard front light, being that they are all the way over in the other lane. And of course you can always turn down the brightness of a really bright light when appropriate.

    But the one place where these super bright, non-shaped beam lights are completely obnoxious is on a MUP. You *will* be blinding anyone coming in your direction as they're just on the other side of a dotted line, unless it's a one-way path. And don't even get me started on these ******** who run a *bright* front blinking light while coming down the MUP. I swear I've considered carrying water balloons so I could throw at them.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Here's the SF and the 140L on my bike. By the time it's 200 feet away, the SF is certainly visible but not, IMHO, unmissable. CERTAINLY not if there's rain/fog or ambient lighting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI52d5bGKHQ
    Put 2 of 'em on there, and there's really no way anyone can miss you with 2 PBSFs. Actually, they might even be able to triangulate your position and judge distance better with 2PBSF compared to one light.

    Your video actually convinces me even more that a PBSF is more than adequate for rear lighting, and that 2 is pretty great. I saw a guy with three (2 panniers & one helmet) and it was quite impressive from my car - no way you'd miss that one in the dark.

    No argument from me though with daylight - PBSF isn't good in daylight, so you'll need the Dinotte if you really need that peace of mind (although I strongly suspect that type of rear-blinker during daylight is not that useful.)
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  20. #20
    Senior Member duppie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    [...] And don't even get me started on these ******** who run a *bright* front blinking light while coming down the MUP. I swear I've considered carrying water balloons so I could throw at them.
    Maybe you could try "Hey! You're blinding me, buddy" instead of profanities and (thoughts of) physical assault? I doubt that most people are aware they are blinding others. I am one of them and I definitely open to suggestions, but profanities and physical threats don't make me any more cooperative.
    Duppie

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Here's the SF and the 140L on my bike. By the time it's 200 feet away, the SF is certainly visible but not, IMHO, unmissable. CERTAINLY not if there's rain/fog or ambient lighting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI52d5bGKHQ
    Nice video. Exactly the reason why I like my Dinotte lights and why I wouldn't want anything dimmer. Do you want them to see you or do you want them to SEE you. Add a little fog and rain into the ride and the difference is night and day. Also, I noticed that the cars gave me much more space when passing, when I first started using the Dinotte lights. I rarely feel I have to use my rear light on flash mode except in the fog.

  22. #22
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I've got a couple of years on my Dinotte 600L headlight and 140L taillight. A few comments on the Dinotte lights vs. some of the other solutions:

    1. I also use my 600L for night time Mountain Biking. I've crashed with the light on my helmet, had it knocked off the helmet going under branches, etc. and this light has taken all the abuse, plus two wet Seatle wintertime commutes and just keeps working.

    2. If you get the Li battery version of the Dinottes, you can use the same battery to power all your lights. My 600L came with two batteries which is really sweet - I can have one charging while I am using the other one. Dinotte makes a Y cable and extension cables that makes it easy to power all your lights from a single battery.

    3. Some of my friends have purchased the cheaper lights and they always seem to be fiddling with them...especially the connectors. On the Li Dinotte lights, to connector system is foolproof and solid.

    Sorry to be such a Dinotte Fanboy, but they have served me well.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I've got a couple of years on my Dinotte 600L headlight and 140L taillight. A few comments on the Dinotte lights vs. some of the other solutions:

    1. I also use my 600L for night time Mountain Biking. I've crashed with the light on my helmet, had it knocked off the helmet going under branches, etc. and this light has taken all the abuse, plus two wet Seatle wintertime commutes and just keeps working.

    2. If you get the Li battery version of the Dinottes, you can use the same battery to power all your lights. My 600L came with two batteries which is really sweet - I can have one charging while I am using the other one. Dinotte makes a Y cable and extension cables that makes it easy to power all your lights from a single battery.

    3. Some of my friends have purchased the cheaper lights and they always seem to be fiddling with them...especially the connectors. On the Li Dinotte lights, to connector system is foolproof and solid.

    Sorry to be such a Dinotte Fanboy, but they have served me well.
    Lol, I bought the Dinotte lights thinking "It is so awesome that they come with 2 lith-ion batteries! I can totally leave one charging and switch the used one with the charged one after each ride!"

    But once I got it, in practice, I never use the 2nd battery!

    Once I got the light and the batteries, I realized the easiest solution (if you store your bike indoors, like I do) is to plug the charger in next to where you store the bike, then when you get done riding after using the lights just plug the charger into the battery, right on the bike, every time.

    Works great! Only problem is, the 2nd battery is completely unused...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post

    Works great! Only problem is, the 2nd battery is completely unused...
    Sell it? Buy another light? hehe
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  25. #25
    Bikus Commuterus CFXMarauder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Here's the SF and the 140L on my bike. By the time it's 200 feet away, the SF is certainly visible but not, IMHO, unmissable. CERTAINLY not if there's rain/fog or ambient lighting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI52d5bGKHQ
    I hope you get a rash man....I was all content with my PBSF but daamn if that video didnt just squash that dream..Now I wanna buy a 140l dangit...

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