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Old 10-02-10, 07:45 PM   #1
Jeff Wills
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Compare Light On! and Supernova E3 dynamo headlight?

I'm going to upgrade my commuter light from a Shimano dynohub/Planet Bike Blaze LED system. I have a Schmidt Nabendynamo built into a wheel already, but what headlight to use?

My commute varies from a trip down the center of an Interstate (that's where the bike lane is) to unlit neighborhood streets. With my old eyes, I'm having issues adjusting to low light levels, so the more light, the better.

I can get either of these locally:
The Light On! DynoLight: http://www.lightonlights.com/dynolight/
Supernova E3 Pro: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=35867

Has anybody used both of them and can give a reasonable comparison? Failing that, any guesses based on their advertised specs? Are there other LED dyno-powered lights that I should consider?
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Old 10-03-10, 05:48 AM   #2
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Hi Jeff,

I've the asymmetrical Supernova Pro, a Schmidt Edelux and a B&M Lumotec IQ LED CYO Senso Plus R plus other dynamo light. I would recommend the Edelux or the Lumotec CYO considering the environment that you will ride in. Both the Edelux and the CYO use sharply focused optics to place the light brilliantly on the road while the optics of the asymmetrical Supernova Pro and the Light On scatter their light over a broader area effectively reducing the brightens which will leave your older eyes straining. Supernova does make a symmetrical version of their light which appears to focus the light more directly but as I've not used that one I'll leave it up to others to weigh in on.

T
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Old 10-03-10, 06:11 AM   #3
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I run a symmetrical Supernova E3 Pro and will agree with tacreamer that there is significant spill to the sides. I aim the light so that the core of the beam falls roughly 15 feet in front of the bike, and the spill is adequate to see the sides of a dark MUP at night. In traffic, the Supernova is easily seen by motorists - I've had them wait for me to pass before they pull out from a side street, thinking I'm a motorcycle! I can still see the beam on brightly lit roads, although it's more to 'be seen' at that point. I also run the Supernova taillight as well.

I've read that the blue cast from LED lights like the Supernova and others may be difficult for older eyes to see by. I'm pushing 50 and have no trouble, but I've heard that it's a concern. A halogen light might be a better option for you. If possible, experiment with flashlights in your back yard (LED and incandescent) and 'see' what works best.

FWIW, the E3 is VERY efficient with the SON. I leave it on even in the daytime and there's no noticeable drag at all. I like it so much, I'm trying to save up for the exact same setup for my other bike.
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Old 10-03-10, 07:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tacreamer View Post
Hi Jeff,

I've the asymmetrical Supernova Pro, a Schmidt Edelux and a B&M Lumotec IQ LED CYO Senso Plus R plus other dynamo light. I would recommend the Edelux or the Lumotec CYO considering the environment that you will ride in. Both the Edelux and the CYO use sharply focused optics to place the light brilliantly on the road while the optics of the asymmetrical Supernova Pro and the Light On scatter their light over a broader area effectively reducing the brightens which will leave your older eyes straining. Supernova does make a symmetrical version of their light which appears to focus the light more directly but as I've not used that one I'll leave it up to others to weigh in on.

T
OK- I guess Peter White hasn't completed editing his web pages (not surprising). I had to go looking for the Lumotec CYO light- I found it a little below this item: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/schm...lights.asp#fly . It looks pretty slick:

plus it's a bunch cheaper than the other choices. That's good, 'cause I'm trying to keep She Who Pays The Bills happy.
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Old 10-04-10, 01:13 AM   #5
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I only know the Supernova -- I decided to the swallow the high cost because it appeared to be the most bomb-proof option. 5000km of all weather commuting, rock impacts, etc. and it's doing fine. I would buy another if I had two bikes.
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Old 10-04-10, 09:49 AM   #6
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Jeff;

Why the change to the SON dynamo? Per a PDF downloadable from the Supernova web site the high end Shimano huibs actually have a bit greater output and they are way less expensive.
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Old 10-05-10, 08:39 PM   #7
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Jeff;

Why the change to the SON dynamo? Per a PDF downloadable from the Supernova web site the high end Shimano huibs actually have a bit greater output and they are way less expensive.
Well... partly because I got a deal on the correct Schmidt hub (my recumbent uses a 20" front wheel), partly because I didn't have the highest end Shimano hub ("just" a 3N71), and partly because She Who Pays The Bills wants a dynohub on her commuter 'bent.

OK, OK.. it's because the Schmidt hub looks so much cooler than the Shimano. :-)
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Old 10-09-10, 12:52 PM   #8
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I run the Supernova E3 with non dazzle beam from a SON dynohub. It is a great piece of kit and puts a nice bright shaped beam on the road in front of you with enough spill to the sides to be able to see what is there in the gutter.
It does not dazzle oncoming traffic if you set the upper beam cutoff at a suitable distance in front of you.
Supernova offer great service and can upgrade the LED as and when newer brighter ones come available.

I also have a Solidlights XB2 which is similar to the Light On and has a conical beam. I find it good on farm tracks where it lights everything up, but on the road it has to be pointed a long way down to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.

You will do very nicely in traffic with the non dazzle Supernova E3.

The only common problem with all these lights is the weight they take out of your wallet
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