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  1. #1
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Dinotte lights- How good?

    I have been thinking of the 800 lumen package for 479 dollars.
    Any comments? Cheaper but equally effective alternatives now that Magicshine is no longer available.

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    I have a 400L, a 200AA, and their 140 taillight. All of their lights are very well made, and if you ever have a question or problem they have excellent service. I'm planning to get their new 300 taillight and sell the 140 taillight.

    For that kind of money I think that I would get the 400L headlight and the 300 taillight. The 400 puts out a lot of light. I run mine mostly at med power. It would be a bit cheaper then what you are proposing and still give a lot of light.

  3. #3
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I have a 400 taillight, I ran it on the medium steady mode since I felt that the 400 was far too bright in high mode for rear approaching urban motorists, plus it extends the run time of the battery.
    My only dislike for the DiNotte is the cost, I never was comfortable in having a complete lighting system being the same or more than the original purchase price of one of my commuter bikes, and having to replace the lighting system in case of theft.

  4. #4
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    I have their basic 200L, I believe they call it. It is an excellent light, but a good flashlight is more versatile and simpler to use. I am lazy so I usually end up using a Cree style flashight in a $2 handlebar holder.

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    I also just have the 400L as a headlight and a 140R taillight. I think anything brighter than the 400L is more for off-road riding as the beam patterns and power may blind oncoming traffic. I've had the 400L out on unlit, winding roads at speeds up to ~30 mph and never felt like I needed more light. Like others have said, I operate on medium power when in traffic.

    By the way, what happened to Magicshine?

  6. #6
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I have the (now discontinued) 600L headlight and 140R tailight. I bought them about two years ago, and have zero problems with them. My only complaint is that I'm thinking of switching to dynohub, and I'll be out a lot of money.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  7. #7
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    OP: How much light do you need? A 200L is almost sufficient for me on unlit suburban streets and bike/MUP trails (neighborhood lighting nearby but not direct) and plenty for "be seen", especially on flash mode. My commuting set uses as of last year a 600L on the handlebars and a helmet-mounted AA-version 200L on flash mode. I don't feel the need for more lumens - the 600L provides plenty of light to see objects on the pavement and warn me of ninja joggers. The 140L-type taillight is visible for at least a 1/2 mile, based on overtaking another commuter using one and using landmarks on the local trail to judge how far away he was when I saw him.

    I used to be concerned about spending more on the lights than on the bike (or at least the drive train or frame). Then I considered out of pocket expenses, co-pays, lost work/riding time, bike repair/replacement, etc... from even ONE accident or near-miss and decided I'm well worth the presumed increase in safety (my teenage daughter has seen my rolling light show in action driving past me when I was riding home and says it's "really obnoxious"), obvious behavior from overtaking drivers (especially when I was recently working until 11:30PM-midnight and what cars were out had no reason to change lanes unless they saw and were avoiding me) and peace of mind it gives family and co-workers that I don't have a death wish just because I commute by bike.

  8. #8
    Que CERA, CERA jefferee's Avatar
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    If Dinotte's output claims are accurate, a 400L will be just about as bright as the basic Magicshine headlight, which by my estimate from the various datasheets probably outputs about 500 lumens on high.
    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMantra View Post
    Cycling (taken to the typical roadie extreme) causes you to cough up your own soul as every fibre of your worthless being sings in choral agony. Once you embrace the pain everything is dandy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ks1g View Post
    OP: How much light do you need? A 200L is almost sufficient for me on unlit suburban streets and bike/MUP trails (neighborhood lighting nearby but not direct) and plenty for "be seen", especially on flash mode. My commuting set uses as of last year a 600L on the handlebars and a helmet-mounted AA-version 200L on flash mode. I don't feel the need for more lumens - the 600L provides plenty of light to see objects on the pavement and warn me of ninja joggers. The 140L-type taillight is visible for at least a 1/2 mile, based on overtaking another commuter using one and using landmarks on the local trail to judge how far away he was when I saw him.

    I used to be concerned about spending more on the lights than on the bike (or at least the drive train or frame). Then I considered out of pocket expenses, co-pays, lost work/riding time, bike repair/replacement, etc... from even ONE accident or near-miss and decided I'm well worth the presumed increase in safety (my teenage daughter has seen my rolling light show in action driving past me when I was riding home and says it's "really obnoxious"), obvious behavior from overtaking drivers (especially when I was recently working until 11:30PM-midnight and what cars were out had no reason to change lanes unless they saw and were avoiding me) and peace of mind it gives family and co-workers that I don't have a death wish just because I commute by bike.
    I ride rolling flat roads that are very straight and country quiet. 5-10 cars in an hour riding is busy. Sometimes go 2 hours and pass or am passed by only 3 cars. Very dark farmland, no street lights.

  10. #10
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiggermaxcocoa View Post
    I also just have the 400L as a headlight and a 140R taillight. I think anything brighter than the 400L is more for off-road riding as the beam patterns and power may blind oncoming traffic. I've had the 400L out on unlit, winding roads at speeds up to ~30 mph and never felt like I needed more light. Like others have said, I operate on medium power when in traffic.

    By the way, what happened to Magicshine?
    Geoman suspended sales due to problems with the battery. I do not know of other US dealers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    I ride rolling flat roads that are very straight and country quiet. 5-10 cars in an hour riding is busy. Sometimes go 2 hours and pass or am passed by only 3 cars. Very dark farmland, no street lights.
    Given that, my guess is that the 400 would be plenty. Even the 200 might work if you are young with good eyes

    Personally I think that riders need more light in more crowded areas with street lights and cars. Thee streetlights and cars tend to wash out the bike lights.

  12. #12
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    Given that, my guess is that the 400 would be plenty. Even the 200 might work if you are young with good eyes

    Personally I think that riders need more light in more crowded areas with street lights and cars. Thee streetlights and cars tend to wash out the bike lights.
    Old with crappy eyes. Just what you want to hear from your surgeon!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    I ride rolling flat roads that are very straight and country quiet. 5-10 cars in an hour riding is busy. Sometimes go 2 hours and pass or am passed by only 3 cars. Very dark farmland, no street lights.
    I TYPED A LONG answer before then deleted it by accident.
    Things to consider out on the flat farmland
    a) How fast do you plan to go. The faster you go the MORE light you "may" need. This really is more a factor for decents.
    b) How long in time is your ride? Would you need a larger battery or carry an extra one?
    c) Keep a spare light with you "Just in case". When does JIC kick in? If I knew that I would play the lottery.

    A thought from my friend who Does Long Distance rides called brevets when I spoke about a new light and my idea of a dynohub or a Dinotte which I know he had several 400 and then a 800.
    Oh yeah the 400 is Removable with a screw driver. It does not clip off or use velcro, a big negative if you use multiple bikes or worried about theft.

    Here's his thoughts and mind you when you ride 1200K you ride at night on desolate hilly rides. You do need the best you can buy that doesn't weigh 5000 pounds either.:
    "I noticed your recent post on the NYCC message board re: DiNotte lighting. My go-to lights are now B&M Ixon IQ Speeds even though I have several high-end lights from other manufacturers that pump out more lumens than the IQ Speeds. The Speeds are reliable, waterproof, and have an excellent mix of brightness and run time. The Speeds focus all the light on the road, so you are not wasting lumens illuminating the sky or tree tops. Each light delivers around 50 Lux on the high setting, so running two simultaneously yields 100 Lux where they overlap; very bright! Also, like the other B&M lights, they focus more light further away and less light close up, so your eyes and brain interpret the image as an even spread of light. Not sure what your price point is, but the Speeds run about $250 per set (I have two). Additional light-heads without the battery and charger are available for $140. You can run two lights simultaneously off of one battery. With a complete set and an additional light head you can run both on high for 5 hours or both on low for 25 hours with the single battery. You can also run one on high and one on low if desired. Running both lights on low provides adequate visibility. Additional battery packs (NiMH) run around $80 each. I usually run two lights off of one battery on the high setting although you can see well enough with just one light on high. With my five batteries, I can run two lights for 25 hours (ie. 3 summer nights) on high or two lights on low for 125 hours. Maybe I'll get a chance to demo them for you next season since you will begin riding the longer brevets, right? I think Peter White will send you a demo if desired. So much for my sales pitch for the Speeds, and no I am not a B&M stockholder. I don't have anything bad to say about Dyno hubs, but I have chosen to go with battery powered lights. My reasoning is that they are easier to transfer between bikes, and if you go the dyno route you will still need a battery powered light as a back up. My back up for the Ixon IQ Speeds are Ixon IQs; good lights in their own right but not as bright as the Speeds. The IQs run on rechargeable NiMH AAs. They can run on alkaline AAs in a pinch, but run time is significantly reduced"

    So to the OP, you need to think this a bit more and buy from a reliable supplier such as Peter White or Dinotte.
    I like Dinotte simply because they design and build their products to their specs. Geoman buys a ready made item and sells it.
    I import products and if you think thatGeoman has a REAL say to the factory on specs that will not happen. The factory overseas has sub-factories that make several parts for them such as the lense, electronics, shell, cable and the battery. That is what happened here. Magicshine says I can pay $2.00 and someone says okay I'll do the job. The specs are simply to fit the unit and no care for run time. WHo even knows if we receive first quality batteries.
    In my products we have AA batteries to run clocks. I pay more to get Panasonic or Toshiba in my units because if the batteries are dead then people assume the product is bad. I could save $0.06 per unit on a $3.00 item and for me it's an easy decision, too many they will save the $0.06.

    Good Luck

    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  14. #14
    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    Old with crappy eyes. Just what you want to hear from your surgeon!
    I disagree in part about more lights in City conditions, well kind of.
    Your are correct that lower lux lights do get washed out, too bright a light can be confused as a car or motorcycle.
    The brighter light will make seeing the road better but will I BE NOTICED?

    I like my Dinnotte 200 for the BRIGHT flashing options and switching over to SOLID high when needed is okay, not great.
    My opinion is that Flashing gets you noticed and noticed as a cyclist.

    Then of course people have to look out for you and not talk on their phones, etc

    WORTH TAKING A LOOK At
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/category/lights-shootout/
    Last edited by Not the Slowest; 11-10-10 at 04:47 PM. Reason: added
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  15. #15
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Thanks ... this helps.

  16. #16
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    You can ride faster based on the quality of your lighting.. Some may consider 200 lumens adequate, I personally do not... I use 2 - 500/600 lumen lights, normally when on roads that have decent lighting, I will use 1 light, darker roads, both lights come on..

    If you go the flashlight route there are plenty of options and decisions to make.. If you want higher powered lights you will need to use 18650 L-Ion rechargeable batteries.. The initial investment for a good charger and a few cells is worth the money..

    If you want to go this route, let me know and will post good options for flashlights using USA based providers..

  17. #17
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Dinotte lights are great. If it were not for Dinottee, I would not know how a battery should strap on to a bike. Or how a good light provides a beam without a hot spot. Or how a good voltage regulator works to preserve battery life. or how intelligent customer service, with non bull chat answers works.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Dinotte lights are great. If it were not for Dinottee, I would not know how a battery should strap on to a bike. Or how a good light provides a beam without a hot spot. Or how a good voltage regulator works to preserve battery life. or how intelligent customer service, with non bull chat answers works.
    I've been using the Dinotte 300R tail light. It IS GREAT. No desire to learn about battery straps, wires, regulators, or customer service---which, by the way, I've read is also great. No affiliation, just a very satisfied customer.

  19. #19
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Dinotte lights are great. If it were not for Dinottee, I would not know how a battery should strap on to a bike. Or how a good light provides a beam without a hot spot. Or how a good voltage regulator works to preserve battery life. or how intelligent customer service, with non bull chat answers works.
    This sounds good. I average 18 mph solo am am leaning towards the Dinotte 800 Lumen tail/Head combo. My LBS sells the HightRider Pro600 which is amazingly bright for 469. The Dinotte combo 800/300 is 479.

  20. #20
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    This sounds good. I average 18 mph solo am am leaning towards the Dinotte 800 Lumen tail/Head combo. My LBS sells the HightRider Pro600 which is amazingly bright for 469. The Dinotte combo 800/300 is 479.
    Your average speed is very close to mine, you will need some good lights to be safe at 20+ .. Depends on how much lighting you have on your route..

  21. #21
    Senior Member VeloBusDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surgeonstone View Post
    This sounds good. I average 18 mph solo am am leaning towards the Dinotte 800 Lumen tail/Head combo. My LBS sells the HightRider Pro600 which is amazingly bright for 469. The Dinotte combo 800/300 is 479.
    I LOVE my Dinotte 600L. I dropped it recently which broke the LED lens cover. I sent it back to Dinotte for a "minor" repair that would have cost about $20. I decided to buy a 140L taillight, to supplement my existing Planet Bike Super Flash taillights, so they did the repair for free. The light came back good as new. (Note: The light is not fragile - I've dropped it several times over the last 3 years with no problems. This is the first time it needed repair)

    The higher power Dinotte lights (600, 800, and presumably the 1200 - Check with Dinotte to be sure) have two buttons to control the light level. The left button kicks you into HIGH Power (100%) while the right button cycles you through 100%, 50%, and 25% power. I currently run my 600 at 50% most of the time and kick it into HIGH when doing 20mph descents in areas with no street lights. An 800 or 1200 would be nice but I can see well enough to be safe.

    High quality, durable, repairable at a reasonable price, engineered and built in the US to boot - what more could you ask for.
    I leave *at least* 3 feet when I pass a cyclist while driving my bus, can you all extend the same courtesy to buses that you pass while cycling? Trust me when I say that this is a good idea...

    "Assimilation turns us all into friends" - Borg Queen

  22. #22
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    I have a pair of 200AAs which I love. They are durable, well built and well thought out.

    I too have been considering an 800 for the other bike, but these days >$300 just seems like too much. So I am currently leaning towards the Jetlite A-51: 720 lumens, 1 yr warranty, $200/$230 w/bar mount.

    Dinotte often has a sale starting around Thanksgiving, so I am waiting to see if the 800L goes on sale to make it closer in price to the A51. Sometimes it is just the 200AAs that go on sale.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Bat56's Avatar
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    My 300R is so bright that my shadow blinks.

  24. #24
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Just a follow-up about my Dinottes. They are two years old now, and battery life has shortened somewhat. This is true of all rechargeable batteries. Dinotte sells replacents: $50 for the two-cell and $70 for the four-cell. I'll probably have to pony up for new batteries eventually.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  25. #25
    Senior Member ItsJustAHill's Avatar
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    I have the basic 200AA and the AA taillight. The lightheads are well built, but if I were to do it again I would gladly spend the money for the lithium versions. The AA battery holders have repeatedly failed, including one that appeared to develop a dead short and partially melted.

    I live in a semi-rural area with lots of two-lane roads and no street lights, so I prefer a lot of light. One of the high-output Dinottes with lithium battery may be in my future.

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