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Lots of Dynamo Light Lumens!

Old 10-27-09, 05:45 PM
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tatfiend 
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Lots of Dynamo Light Lumens!

Per the Supernova web site the latest Supernova E3 Triple headlight is putting out 680 Lumens. If true then it is one powerful LED dynamo light.

http://www.supernova-lights.com/en/e3_triple.html

I personally have been skeptical of some of the light output levels claimed for dynamo lights on web published plans but this is from a respected German manufacturer so I hope that it is close to the truth.
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Old 10-27-09, 06:03 PM
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I have the E3 single, which is bright, but not super-bright. I also have the Dinotte 200L which is brighter. The E3 does have a nicely shaped beam so that you get a lot of use out of the light that it does put out. On my bike I use the E3 to see the road in front of me, and the Dinotte on flash mode to be seen. I ride in a relatively well lit urban area.
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Old 10-27-09, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
I have the E3 single, which is bright, but not super-bright. I also have the Dinotte 200L which is brighter. The E3 does have a nicely shaped beam so that you get a lot of use out of the light that it does put out. On my bike I use the E3 to see the road in front of me, and the Dinotte on flash mode to be seen. I ride in a relatively well lit urban area.
How long have you had your E3 single? Per recent added photos on Peter White's web site it appears that the latest versions have a lot more light output than the original. The latest single emitter ones are the E3 Pro and claim 275 Lumens.
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Old 10-28-09, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
I personally have been skeptical of some of the light output levels claimed for dynamo lights on web published plans but this is from a respected German manufacturer so I hope that it is close to the truth.
You mean respected like Lupine?
http://www.bikelights.com/info.asp?uid=358
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Old 10-28-09, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
How long have you had your E3 single? Per recent added photos on Peter White's web site it appears that the latest versions have a lot more light output than the original. The latest single emitter ones are the E3 Pro and claim 275 Lumens.
Problem is you can't get the "Pro" version over on this side of the pond, unless you order direct from Supernova, which costs more than ordering from Peter White or from Harris Cyclery (where I ordered mine from).

I figured I would keep mine as the single LED for the next year or two and then send it in to upgrade it to the triple.
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Old 10-28-09, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by canopus View Post
Problem is you can't get the "Pro" version over on this side of the pond, unless you order direct from Supernova, which costs more than ordering from Peter White or from Harris Cyclery (where I ordered mine from).

I figured I would keep mine as the single LED for the next year or two and then send it in to upgrade it to the triple.
Per the new Supernova catalog the Pro is the only version of the single LED dynamo light they are currently offering. Also Peter White now has a photo of the E3 Pro Asymmetrical beam on his web site and per the write up with the photo it it looks like his current stock is the Pro model. The descriptions in the Supernova headlight listings may need updating. Here is the write up with the beam photos.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Supernova E3 Pro Asymmetrical

Supernova now calls the E3 the E3 Pro. They did this to help people understand that since the E3 was introduced a few years ago, they have been making regular improvements to the light; by using brighter and more efficient LEDs and by improving the electronics. As of this writing, October 2009, they still are shipping some versions of the E3 Pro with housing that just read "E3", becasue they have lots of these housings. But the lights are all the same E3 Pro, the latest LED and electronics.
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Old 10-28-09, 10:33 AM
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Whoa! A person could drop some money getting these lights.

Why so costly?
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Old 10-28-09, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
Whoa! A person could drop some money getting these lights.

Why so costly?
No one really knows...
and while it hurt to spend that much, for that money I get a light I can use immediately, a five year warranty and the ability to send it in for upgrades.

Can I build one cheaper, sure but I don't have the patience and ability and time anymore.
I might still try to make one later but right now I enjoy riding more...without the batteries.
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Old 10-28-09, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
Whoa! A person could drop some money getting these lights.

Why so costly?
I suspect a combination of things.

German labor costs.
All aluminum CNCd housing and mounts.
Relatively small production.
Ongoing R & D costs as they seem to upgrade internals whenever improved LEDs become available.
Weak Dollar compared to the Euro.
Company overhead.

I note that the cost of the E3 Pro is about the same as the new Dynolight dynamo headlight being offered by Light On! which is made in the USA.

When I worked at a division of Xerox that made daisywheel printers the suggested retail price for our printers was about 10X the actual parts and direct labor manufacturing cost. Even those sold OEM in large quantities to companies such as HP sold for about 5X direct manufacturing cost. In a western economy the costs associated with product development and running a manufacturing plant are very high.
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Old 10-28-09, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
You mean respected like Lupine?
http://www.bikelights.com/info.asp?uid=358
Gee! Looks like according to Light & Motion everyone lies except them. Niterider is the only one even close to claimed output other than L&M.
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Old 10-29-09, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by sauerwald View Post
I have the E3 single, which is bright, but not super-bright. I also have the Dinotte 200L which is brighter. The E3 does have a nicely shaped beam so that you get a lot of use out of the light that it does put out. On my bike I use the E3 to see the road in front of me, and the Dinotte on flash mode to be seen. I ride in a relatively well lit urban area.
Yep, my experience is almost the same as yours. I purchased the E3 Asymmetrical version in mid-September of this year. It's nice but nowhere near as bright as I would have expected. And it does not say "Pro" on it.
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Old 10-30-09, 10:59 PM
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Both of the most powerful dynamo LED lights, the Light On! Dynolite which claims 375 Lumens and the Supernova E3 Triple with a claimed 680 Lumens do not reach full output until relatively high speeds. Per the Light On! web site the Dynolite reaches full power at 18 to 20 MPH and per an email answer from Supernova maximum output is reached at ca 25 MPH.

IMO this makes both more performance riding oriented lights than ideal for urban use. Be nice if both manufacturers published at least approximate light output versus speed graphs for various wheel sizes. I realize that this would also be dependent on the hub dynamo being used but even approximate data would be of use.
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Old 10-31-09, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
Per the Supernova web site the latest Supernova E3 Triple headlight is putting out 680 Lumens. If true then it is one powerful LED dynamo light.
If this is true, they're not using 3 single emitters. The XP-G R5's (most efficient currently available single emitter led) are good for a dynamo-limited 500ma output of 190-some lumens each. The S2's might hit 220 lumens, but they're not available beyond a few samples for testing.

If I had to guess, they're using an off the shelf MR11 board and Ledil optics. 35mm diameter, that's exactly where you'd be with an MR11 kit. Cree XR-E, Q5 bin led's -- They're rated at 228 lumens at 1000ma. 228*3=684, concidentally.

The hub they're using doesn't put out 1000ma, however. Not without some electronics going on in that tiny space. Significantly, Peter White's site has an faq answer to why they flicker. Which means they didn't bother with a capacitor. Which means solid-state current modulation is out of the question, because the current is not managed well enough to support such a circuit, also because if they can't cough up fifty cents for a capacitor, why would they make a much more significant investment in the circuitry? Also, 130 grams? Subtract the led's, the board they're on, optics, and wiring, and you might have 1.5 cubic inches of aluminum left to build the rest of the light with. Nothing to see in there.

So, they're either lying or didn't do the math.
Here's the math: Q5's produce about 140ish lumens at 500ma. 140*3=420 lumens. But that's with superconducting wiring and no optics losses. Adjusting for that will knock this light down into the mid-300's, actual output. Regardless, not a bad light at all. Just not what they're claiming. If they're using the latest XP-G's, the R5's, that would get the output up into the mid-to-upper 400's. And that's as good as it's gonna get, there's nothing better they could be using right now. If it's operating at useful speeds without some circuitry, it's not using more than one die per optic. So no MC-E or P7.

BTW -- PSA time. The hub limits current at RMS. Which means that at the fully rectified - but unsmoothed - (remember that flicker?) 500ma you will have voltage peaks at about 4.6-4.7 volts. Which exceeds the maximum rated forward voltage for these led's. Which will slowly kill the led's over time. In other words, if you own one of these lights, and want it to last for a long period of time, you'll need to hack into the thing and add a capacitor from Radio Shack. Good luck.
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Old 10-31-09, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by KnhoJ View Post
BTW -- PSA time. The hub limits current at RMS. Which means that at the fully rectified - but unsmoothed - (remember that flicker?) 500ma you will have voltage peaks at about 4.6-4.7 volts. Which exceeds the maximum rated forward voltage for these led's. Which will slowly kill the led's over time. In other words, if you own one of these lights, and want it to last for a long period of time, you'll need to hack into the thing and add a capacitor from Radio Shack. Good luck.
1) what is the mechanism of damage if not thermal?

2) Have you plugged a dynamo direct-driving an LED into an oscilloscope and seen what the actual waveform looks like? It's not a sine wave.
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Old 10-31-09, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KnhoJ View Post
If this is true, they're not using 3 single emitters. The XP-G R5's (most efficient currently available single emitter led) are good for a dynamo-limited 500ma output of 190-some lumens each. The S2's might hit 220 lumens, but they're not available beyond a few samples for testing.
You're assuming the dynamo is only putting out 500mA. In fact you can get over an amp with the proper circuit (it is peaky though).
See this thread over at CPF.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=202121
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Old 10-31-09, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zzyzx_xyzzy View Post
1) what is the mechanism of damage if not thermal?

2) Have you plugged a dynamo direct-driving an LED into an oscilloscope and seen what the actual waveform looks like? It's not a sine wave.
BTDT, have the Q2's to show for my laziness when I plugged them into the hub without a capacitor. Remarkable thermal events are the usual culprit, but noise exceeding safe thresholds will nibble on semiconductors, too. A thousand hours of constant transient spikes have whittled those Q2's away to Luxeon spec. The previous thousand hours of battery powered illumination didn't do a darn thing to them.
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Old 10-31-09, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
You're assuming the dynamo is only putting out 500mA. In fact you can get over an amp with the proper circuit (it is peaky though).
See this thread over at CPF.
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=202121
Which involve capacitors that this light doesn't seem to have. I'd love to see the inside of one. 3 led's and a rectifier?
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Old 10-31-09, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KnhoJ View Post
Which involve capacitors that this light doesn't seem to have. I'd love to see the inside of one. 3 led's and a rectifier?
Theres plenty of room inside for the tuning capacitors.
The fact that the supernova doesn't hit max brightness until 25mph indicates there is more than just a rectifier+smoothing cap which peaks and stays there at 12mph, see here.

Yes I'd love to see inside too!
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Old 11-01-09, 10:18 AM
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The Supernova lights have to have capacitors as they all have a standlight function which keeps partial illumination going for several minutes when stopped. The web site indicates that this is a capacitor handled function. IMO the flicker at very low speeds is due to dynamo output power and frequency being so low that the capacitors cannot charge enough to keep the LEDs going between input pulses. I know that on my B&M IQ Cyo dynamo headlight the flicker is gone by 3 to 4 MPH speed after an initial start. So far as I know all LED dynamo headlights show some flicker when the bike is just starting to move and the standlight capacitor is discharged.

BTW the Supernova E3 Triple apparently has some relatively sophisticated circuitry as only one LED is initially lit at low speeds and the other two are automatically switched on once dynamo output is high enough.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:11 PM
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I have recently (late October) acquired a Supernova E3 with the latest non dazzle beam.
The beam shape is quite a big improvement in traffic over the asymmetric of a year ago and the light is definitely brighter too.

I also have a Solidlights XB2 which gives a similar amount of light, but from two LEDs and it's beam shape is very similar to the E3 standard beam, that is quite a lot of light is projected forward and upwards.

I power either lamp from a Schmidt SON dynohub and both flicker on setting off, but soon steady up as you reach walking speed and are very bright by 10mph.

Compared to my Sturmey Archer dynohub and dim headlamp of the late 1950s I feel I have reached lighting heaven!
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Old 11-04-09, 03:43 PM
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julk;

Thanks for the information and comparison. I will find out how the Supernova E3 Triple light is soon hopefully as I have ordered one. Should be the latest version as Peter White Cycles is out of stock and waiting for a new shipment from Germany. I will be able to see how much oncoming traffic hates it.

I will also compare the output and beam shape to my Cygolite TridenX with a claimed 600 Lumens and Magicshine with it's claimed 900 Lumens. Per estimates and reports I have seen actual output of both of these is in the 400 Lumens range.
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Old 11-05-09, 02:38 PM
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tatfiend,
I suspect the traffic you approach with the Supernova E3 triple will be wondering what is coming towards them.

I think you will have a lot of fun riding with it in the dark.
Please post about using the triple, once it arrives.

How do you go about connecting the different lamps?
I have just converted my bike wiring loom to using the small gold connectors as sold by Supernova.
My Solidlights is supplied with a Binder 710 connector, so I have a small extension with Binder 710 one end and the gold connectors the other.

Whichever front light I am using is disconnected and taken off when I leave the bike locked outside anywhere. I live in an area where anything easily removeable is stolen.
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Old 11-06-09, 03:32 AM
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The Cygolite and Magicshine are battery lights for use on my non dynamo equipped bikes. Both have mounts that allow easy light removal from the bike.

I have been running a B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo hard wired on the dynamo hub bike, bolted on so tools would be needed to remove it. Dynamo lights are so scarce in this area though that they should have little attraction to thieves. Unlike in Europe dynamo lighting is still relatively uncommon here.

The Supernova will be installed with quick disconnect polarized plugs on the power and taillight wiring similar in concept to the Supernova gold connectors which are not yet being imported by the american importer. I know as I tried to get them from him.

Here is a link to what I intend to use.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3870003
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Old 11-06-09, 08:03 AM
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tatfiend, look into using Dean's plugs for your electrical connectors, they are small with no electrical loss and won't corrode like those Radio Shack plugs.
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Old 11-06-09, 02:54 PM
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tatfiend 
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canopus;

Thanks. Not being into RC I did not even know those connectors existed.
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