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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Any bike lighting using projector lens optics?

    Are there any bike lights using projector lens optics like you see used with many automotive xenon HID headlights? I'm not sure if LED lighting is really compatible with or would benefit from projector optics with cutoff shield or not. But I've been a fan for many year now of projector HID lighting with a sharp cutoff, as it yields excellent light throw and dispersal width, while preventing the light and glare from blinding oncoming drivers.

    As I said I'm not sure if LED lights would really work with a cutoff shield or not, since LED light is much more directional already, while a halogen or HID capsule throws out light all around and needs the parabolic reflector, cutoff shield, and convex lens to help focus that light. However looking at some of the bike lighting in here lately, some of it seems over the top such that it might actually blind oncoming traffic. On a dark 2-land road that could be pretty dangerous. Not sure if there's a way for an LED array to be made such that it throws light only downward (below horizontal) and to the sides, as opposed to equally all around in all directions, including up.

    I'm just thinking that a beam pattern like this would be pretty cool to have on a bike. This is my Integra with retrofitted Hella bi-xenon HID projectors, same as those used in Mercedes E-class and late model Nissan Maxima cars:

    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I believe German law requires bright bicycle headlights to have a cutoff similar to automotive projector lights. There a number of lights that comply. Check out the following:

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/philips-safe...ights-shootout

  3. #3
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Yep, and pretty much all German-made lights fit the standard: B&M, Supernova, etc.
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    I don't believe any LED bicycle lights are utilizing a "projector lens optic" consisting of an ellipsoidal reflector and a condenser lens. LED emitters generally have a much different radiation pattern than a incandescent [or HID] bulb. As others have said, the German made bicycle lighting has cutoff, but I don't think they would be considered to have a "projector lens optic".

    I have used a B&M Lyte, it appears to have an aspherical optic that is split in the middle. It provides a cutoff. I have also used a Edelux light, it has a reflector and a window. It too provides a distinct cutoff.
    Last edited by krome; 05-31-12 at 10:52 PM. Reason: added [or HID]

  5. #5
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    I see that B&M has a gas discharge battery-powered bike light... for over $1,000!!! I spent a whopping $400 on my HID projector conversion on my car in 2004 and I thought that was crazy!
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

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    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Thats pretty much what I'm running - LEDs optomized by internal projector lenses with a beam spread fine-tuned by a frontal lens. Not primarily intended for bikes, but IMO does the job better than anything on rhe market specifically for bikes. The beam shot of what I'm running with, in another thread on this page, is very similar to your projector coverage shot. Vertical coverage is limited to 15 degrees; horizontal coverage is 45 degrees.

  7. #7
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    I saw the pics of the beam shots. Any pics of the actual lights themselves that you're running?
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  8. #8
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    For LEDs an aspheric lens will project a die image giving very very good throw.There are a few diyer who have hatched designs over at CPF and MTBR. Troutie has a nice one he calls spider eyes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken Philips makes one.

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/philips-safe...ights-shootout

  10. #10
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    I saw the pics of the beam shots. Any pics of the actual lights themselves that you're running?
    You'd be interested in what exactly?
    Pictures of the disassembled units?
    Pictures of the installation on the bike?
    Pictures giving a reasonable unit size reference?

  11. #11
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  12. #12
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    If I'm not mistaken Philips makes one.

    http://reviews.mtbr.com/philips-safe...ights-shootout
    Couldn't find any reference to that myself, although I did like the beam pattern.
    "Philips SafeRide controls the beam pattern by carefully controlling its reflectors. One look at the light head and it is clear that the main trick is the LED emitters are not even visible from the front. This means that the light from the LED is reflected and directed only. It is not allowed to throw directly to the front"

  13. #13
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    I checked out Peter's site before starting my own little project. Not only are none of the lights he carries a projector style - what he does carry is not overly bright. Adequate for bike paths but I wouldn't want to mix with traffic using it for visibility.

    "Attention!

    If you only look at the photos, you will come away with a false impression of the relative merits of the headlights used......


    The camera's ISO speed, shutter speed and f stop are identical for all of the images; ISO 3200, Shutter 1 second, f/5......


    The brightest point of each headlight's beam is aimed at the horizon, or more specifically, at the end of my driveway, about 140 feet away from the camera.....


    If you think that, based on these images, buying one of the expensive headlights towards the bottom of this page will give you a headlight that's as bright as an automobile's headlights, you're going to be very unhappy. None of these headlights are as bright as a car's headlights."

    Nawwww .... driving in traffic I want something BRIGHTER than an automobile headlight! It needs to stand some chance of being noticed by a bunch of bored, frustrated motorists primarily concerned only with their OWN safety.
    Last edited by Burton; 06-03-12 at 03:59 AM.

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