Flood Monster: Bright and Reliable?
Any suggestions for a bright light with a floody beam pattern?
I hear Dinotte 1200L, are there others? I would like >1000 lumens and 2.0-2.5h runtime.
I read to stay away from NiteRider because of reliability issues.
calling out socalrider, your input is welcome
anyone using a floody flashlight?
My DiNotte 1200+ and my old 600L both had floody beams. They also shared a common issue: in lower temperatures, they would signal "LOW BATTERY" quite early. The 1200+ is currently doing this after about 35 minutes when running at full power at 25°F. So if you're a cold-temperature rider, expect it to give you the what-for much sooner than full rated runtime, if you use it at full power.
BTW yes, I discussed this at length with DiNotte.
This looks like a very bright home made light design. I am sure one can do a bit better now on efficiency.
I have a 600L + 140R which I run off of one battery pack via a "Y" cable. There is one particular busy road with a fast descent where I put both on high setting. This is about midway thru a 30 mile ride. I was getting the low battery setting on the descent, and swapping out the battery when I reached the bottom. Then it occurred to me that just maybe it wasn't that the battery was low, but that a cold battery just couldn't feed both lights on high. So the next time, I didn't swap the battery, but continued on using lower settings for most of my ride. The battery pack lasted all the way home, confirming my suspicions.
Originally Posted by mechBgon
What's your budget and what kind of riding are you doing?
Budget would be $400.
Riding is standard, with on road, and bike trails.
I've been using Dinotte lights for quite some time now and they have always worked very well for me. I just upgraded to the XML-3 and 300r from my old 800L & 140r. I no longer have the 800L but I do still have (and use) the 140r.
My vote is for Dinotte.
That seems like a tough order for $400 and a 2 to 2.5 hour runtime. Most of the lights with those specs seem to start at around $500. Aside from DiNotte the other one that comes to mind is DesignShine, which got some good comments on this years MTBR light shootout.
Originally Posted by Snowsurfer
And there is also the Serfas True 1500.
Certified Bike Brat
No suggestions myself at this point but I'm looking for something similar and am currently working on a small project of my own. My biggest concern with lights marketed specifically for the bike industry is reliability. Considering that an LED array has a projected life expectancy of 50,000hrs - which should translate into about 20 years of normal use for an average rider, and since most consumers will upgrade when technology changes rather than when a product wears out - my own option is that a warranty of 1 year or 6 months is probably indicative of a build quality and heat disapation issues resulting from trying to make something too light.
Anyway - I've ordered some of those fancy LED modules that are used by NASA and law enforcement agencies and will be hooking them up to a battery pack on a MTB. Output is about 1600lumans a pair, limited lifetime warranty and submersable to 3 meters.
They're not featherweight but neither is a front suspension fork. The stuffs in the mail and I'll probably post some photos once the installation is done. I'm figuring $300 for a pair of lights and a 5Ah battery that should give over 4 hrs of runtime.
Just to summarize the DesignShine (DS-1300) highlights in one place...
Dual lens (spot + wide) for optimal beam pattern. Replaceable lenses.
Unique side- and down-lighting. (Down-lighting super for night-time trials maneuvers.)
6 LEDs total, underdriven for better efficiency and lifespan.
3hr 45min run time on a 5200mAH 11.1V battery at the highest 1300 lumen output. (Measured at ambient temps. Freezing temps will reduce by some amount, maybe 20%?)
Nice power options in steady and flash mode.
30+ square inches of cooling surface area to adequately dissipate the 13+ watt total power consumption.
Solid mounting system (Cateye) with quick release (no o-rings). Helmet mount option.
Light weight (130g w/mount) and low profile (2"w x 1.8"d x 1.125"h)
3yr warranty on light head. (< $300 for complete HEADLIGHT setup with 5200mAH battery)
Matching taillight (DS-500).
Last edited by Recumbentracer; 12-30-11 at 10:32 AM.
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It sounded pretty good so I visited their website and my calculations are $500 and 1,000g for headlight, tail light and just 1 battery. Probably closer to $600 after tax and shipping.I'm hoping for 6 hrs run time and less than 1,000g myself.
Originally Posted by Recumbentracer
Did I miss something?
Last edited by Burton; 12-30-11 at 06:52 AM.
I don't really understand why you want a floody light. The lights with vertical cutoff put the light where you need it and don't blind other road users. If you were a mountain biker, it would be a different matter, but a flood on the road really does you no good at all because the light is going all over the place and not on the road.
Originally Posted by Burton
Sorry about that... I went back and edited my previous post for clarification. Since we were just talking about the headlight, I only listed the price of the headlight. I just mentioned the fact that there was an available matching taillight just as a point of interest.
6 hrs is a long time on one battery, especially with this kind of power. However, you do have options. If you drop the headlight back to 870 lumens (level 4), then you can get roughly 7 hours continuous burn from the 5200mAH battery. If you want to throw the taillight in the mix and still maintain 6+ hours operation, then you need to add another battery. The smaller 2900mAH battery (half the weight of the 5200) will give you roughly 7 hours on high, flashing mode for the taillight (daytime only), and much, much longer on level 3 or lower for nighttime use.
These are ridiculously powerful lights in a very small, painfully over-engineered package. Designed for extreme daytime visibility. I'm the designer and also build and fully test each system before letting it out the door. Each light is sold on a "demo" basis, so there's no risk for the buyer. Run it hard for a month or so, and if it's not exceeding your expectations for any reason, just pack it up for a refund and you're only out the shipping.
Headlight with clamp mount: ~ 130g (the weight currently listed on the web site was for build #1)
Taillight with clamp mount: ~ 130g
2 extender bars ~ 80g
5200mAH battery ~ 306g
2900mAH battery ~ 180g
826g total dual battery system weight. I'd say round up to 850g just to be safe.
Total dual battery system cost ~ $537, plus roughly $12 shipping.
You can meet your 6hr run-time goal for both lights off of a single battery, but it does require some judicious power level selection. You can get an idea from the combined light, single battery run-time table on the web site as well. The 6600mAH battery is an option, but it's pretty expensive and doesn't quite have the power density of the other options.
Having light going all over the place can be beneficial when you're trying to be seen among an ocean of cars. It's not without its uses. But yeah, when I saw Snowsurfer was looking for a floody light, I figured it would be for mountain biking... aim a flood light at a road at the usual angle, and what you end up with is way too much light in the immediate foreground, and not enough at a distance where you'd have some time to avoid an obstacle at road speeds.
Originally Posted by unterhausen
Then again, not everyone rides at higher speeds either. To each his own
The spill from a flood monster becomes more effective. It isn't totally dispersed since the reflector is still present as opposed a bare LED emitter. There is a diffuser that spreads the light a bit more yielding a big hot spot that merges seamlessly into the spill. That is the light pattern I want.
Because it is 1000 lumens it creates a large patch of light that is useable and intense.
This is when I compared my Surefire 6P to my Malkoff Wildcat V3.
The Surefire M61W gives a small hotspot, the Wildcat gives a killer patch on the ground.
The brighter spill (and bigger spill) means that drivers at the periphery can see me better.
I can also slap on the Surefire to my helmet if I needed.
To get more useable runtime, I would need an MD4 body (2x18650's), but that makes the light difficult to mount onto my handlebars. The MD3 (2x18500's) that I have now barely fits.
Certified Bike Brat
Thanks for that clarification! Nice to see someone actively involved in the design end of things actually posting here. So I'll go back and have a closer look at that site. If things look interesting enough I'll e-mail you. At this point I'm not interested in trying to compete with anyone already making this stuff- have simply ordered some existing components and modules to make a couple one-offs just for fun.
Originally Posted by Recumbentracer
But I took that route because I couldn't find anything already built that would cover all the bases so it might make an iteresting discussion because cost wasn't an issue.