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Dynamo lights can't approach 1000-lumen/100-lux lights in performance.

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Dynamo lights can't approach 1000-lumen/100-lux lights in performance.

Old 11-01-13, 08:05 AM
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northerntier
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Dynamo lights can't approach 1000-lumen/100-lux lights in performance.

The headline is a bit of a troll, but I'm frustrated at the lack of information regarding real lumens and/or lux of dynamo lights, and dynamo light users talking about how bright their lights are. I'm convinced they've never seen a reasonable battery light.

I have an edelux, and while the brightness can approach (not match) a decent battery light (diablo mk4, or lezyne megadrive) on a tiny patch, the total amount of usable light is quite small in comparison.

So, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd be happy to buy a 1000-lumen dynamo light (have SON-28), but I don't think they exist.
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Old 11-01-13, 08:45 AM
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the reason you need 1000 lumens is that 700 of them are going places you don't need to see. It may be comforting to light up the tops of trees, but it's bothersome to other road users. Some people with 1000 lumen lights say they point them down, so that just means they are ruining their night vision with a spot near their bike. My Luxos U doesn't put out all that much light, but it's a comfortable amount of light, even for descending mountains at high speed. I'm not going to go blasting other people on the road for no gain to me.
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Old 11-01-13, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
the reason you need 1000 lumens is that 700 of them are going places you don't need to see. It may be comforting to light up the tops of trees, but it's bothersome to other road users. Some people with 1000 lumen lights say they point them down, so that just means they are ruining their night vision with a spot near their bike. My Luxos U doesn't put out all that much light, but it's a comfortable amount of light, even for descending mountains at high speed. I'm not going to go blasting other people on the road for no gain to me.
What he said.

Disclaimer: my night riding is on the road, not on a fire trail. I got a new light last week to replace my helmet light, and WOW! How I hate it! With my dyno-driven IQ Cyo, I can see the road (and all the potholes and washboard shows up nicely), the drivers can see me, and I've got enough night vision left to see the runner with his dog coming down the cross road in the suburbs. With this new urban assault light, I can see, sort of, where the road is. The new light puts out so much light it washes out details of the road, like where they forgot to patch after the utility crew came through. The retroreflective signs are so bright I lose any dark adaptation I might have had. That runner in the road becomes visible when she gets into the main beam; reminds me of Sheldon Brown's rant on why side reflectivity isn't adequate or useful, I have very limited time to react.

So enjoy your battery powered light, and as far as I'm concerned, you can keep it.
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Old 11-01-13, 10:17 AM
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Please, I'm not trying to gather preferences, I'm trying to gather something objective.

Are there *any* objective (lumen/lux) comparisons between top-of-the-line dynamo lights and any reasonable battery light?

Failing that, objective comparisons between different dynamo lights, maybe w/ numbers?

Again, I have the edelux on my commuter bike, which a couple years ago was top-of-the-line. It doesn't compare to my battery lights. I would love to replace it with a much better dynamo light, if it exists.

Edit: I see that the Luxos B and U are rated at 70 lux (very good), and a new Edelux II should soon be in the same area. On the other hand, one site (starbike) claims that the original Edelux is 80 lux. WTF? There is no way this is true, or maybe mine is defective.

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Old 11-01-13, 10:57 AM
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If you really want a bright, unfocused, dyno-powered light - look at the E3 triple. I'll stick with my IQ Cyo - until I upgrade to a Luxos.
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Old 11-01-13, 05:45 PM
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My feeling about light numbers is that they leave a lot to be desired. I would put the Luxos U up against any of the battery lights for the amount of light it puts where you need it. You would need a 3d map of light flux to convince me that it's not as good.

Battery lights are always going to win on the grounds of strict numbers. You can only get 500mA out of a dynohub, whereas you can put 2A through a modern LED. So if they bothered to put decent optics on a battery light, there would be no contest
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Old 11-01-13, 06:06 PM
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I use a Cyo and usually complement it was a small floody battery light, which gets used at intersections or downhills.
I rode an overnighter with a guy who used a magicshine. He ditched it and got a Cyo. Definitely better for road riding.

New Cyo premium for 2014 looks like a significant bump in performance and is probably worth waiting for.
http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/forums/...p?topic=7409.0
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Old 11-01-13, 09:24 PM
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The best comparison of lighting patterns, not numbers, but actual pictures of the illumination on the ground, is on Peter White's website. (I believe.)

I could be wrong but I think there are a couple of dynamo lights in the photoset.
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Old 11-01-13, 09:37 PM
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However, since Phillips came out with the first aimed flat beam bicycle headlight others are beginning to follow suit because Phillips proved that with just 230 lumens their light can project a beam comparable to 1000 lumens all the while using less energy which will be a boom for Dynamo systems.

These are beam comparisons of dynamo lights, some are very bright: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/headlights.asp
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Old 11-01-13, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
Phillips proved that with just 230 lumens their light can project a beam comparable to 1000 lumens all the while using less energy which will be a boom for Dynamo systems.
As far as I know, this claim hasn't been independently verified. They also prominently compare their light output to a halogen light, which is a bit fishy.

Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
These are beam comparisons of dynamo lights, some are very bright: http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/headlights.asp
They look bright, but you have no idea until you see them in person. If Peter White included a battery light in his lineup we'd have a better idea.
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Old 11-01-13, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by northerntier View Post
As far as I know, this claim hasn't been independently verified. They also prominently compare their light output to a halogen light, which is a bit fishy.

They look bright, but you have no idea until you see them in person. If Peter White included a battery light in his lineup we'd have a better idea.
MTBR measured the SafeRide and found it compared to a ~500 Lumen light. http://reviews.mtbr.com/philips-safe...ights-shootout

Granted it could probably do as good a job as a "1000 lumen" MagicShine, but considering the price it better. http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-li...ttern-photos/2

It clearly has a good beam pattern, but ultimately it doesn't have as much as a 1000 lumen light. Its got a nice wide uniform illumination spot.

It basically comes down to two things:
1) How many photons do you have? (Lumens)
Battery lights win this category easily.

2) Are they going anywhere useful? (Lux/subjective)
This is a bit more murky, since beam pattern is a subjective thing. Some people like a narrow beam where they're going, others want more peripheral illumination.
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Old 11-01-13, 11:46 PM
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Great Caesar's ghost!! PW got his hands on an Edelux II prototype and posted a pic back on 10/27:
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Old 11-01-13, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by northerntier View Post
As far as I know, this claim hasn't been independently verified. They also prominently compare their light output to a halogen light, which is a bit fishy.

They look bright, but you have no idea until you see them in person. If Peter White included a battery light in his lineup we'd have a better idea.
The halogen is the old ones that people used to happily ride all night with, back in the day.

He does include a battery light, the Ixon IQ Speed.
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Old 11-02-13, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Great Caesar's ghost!! PW got his hands on an Edelux II prototype and posted a pic back on 10/27:
It is like a car headlight.. .dayum.

My wife runs the IQ Fly (40 lux) on her main commuter, it is a great light. Her townie has a Lumotec classic (25 lux) which is also very good and I still run an old Lumotec Halogen on my commuter which is also sufficient for my higher speed night riding but I will probably upgrade that to a IQ Fly or Cyo at some point.

I don't understand the need for people to run lights any brighter than what Dynamos and quality LED lighting can provide at 60 lux outputs.
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Old 11-02-13, 01:30 AM
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here's an 800 lumen generator light
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ex...Y0NhdDEwMDA0Ng
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Old 11-02-13, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
here's an 800 lumen generator light
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ex...Y0NhdDEwMDA0Ng
That's tempting, exposure makes good lights. I'd love to see a comparison between it and the upcoming Edelux II.
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Old 11-02-13, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I don't understand the need for people to run lights any brighter than what Dynamos and quality LED lighting can provide at 60 lux outputs.
I think a lot has to do w/ where you are riding. Most of my commuting is on the edge of Washington DC. Bad roads, bad neighborhoods, and, especially, bad drivers. What makes the drivers so bad is that most don't think bikers should be on the road at all. I do aim my lights down, but I want to do everything I can to make sure I'm impossible to not see. That means a Dinotte 300R taillight (also aimed slightly down), and lots of light up front (I make a big bright spot on the ground that can be seen from way back).

The second part of my ride is through a park. Very nice, but also scary as gangs have been known to like the park as well. Here I like to use a flood because I want to see everything in every direction.

I lived in Cambridge, England a few years back. Commuting to work there was an entirely different experience. The cars and riders were in close proximity (scary), but the drivers expected bikes to be present and made allowances. When everyone from kids to senior citizens (almost none w/ helmets) are riding with rush hour traffic, it's an entirely different vibe.
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Old 11-02-13, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
MTBR measured the SafeRide and found it compared to a ~500 Lumen light. http://reviews.mtbr.com/philips-safe...ights-shootout

Granted it could probably do as good a job as a "1000 lumen" MagicShine, but considering the price it better. http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-li...ttern-photos/2

It clearly has a good beam pattern, but ultimately it doesn't have as much as a 1000 lumen light. Its got a nice wide uniform illumination spot.

It basically comes down to two things:
1) How many photons do you have? (Lumens)
Battery lights win this category easily.

2) Are they going anywhere useful? (Lux/subjective)
This is a bit more murky, since beam pattern is a subjective thing. Some people like a narrow beam where they're going, others want more peripheral illumination.
But if you go to the beam shots taken by MTBR in 2012 you see that the Phillips did better than the higher lumen Magicshine and better than most other lights! Compare the Phillips to other lights on pages 1, 2, and 3. Look at the actual beam in the useful area, don't look to see if tree tops are lit up brightly and think gee that light is better because the tree tops can be seen is useless for any light on a bike. In fact if you look at the Phillips on page 2 right above it is a Magic Shine 400, that MS is so dim even 100 lumen lights were beating it! Then look at the MS MJ808 just up one row from the other MS, that light has 1000 lumens and still pales in comparison to the Phillips. In fact if you compare all the lights on all the pages and there is only a handful of lights that are much more expensive that are equal or better then the Phillips. http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-li...pattern-photos This is why companies are slowly going to aimed optics because they can get more light on the road where it matters while using less energy. But in the meantime the cost of the Phillips has dropped, you can go to Amazon and pick one up for less than $125.
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Old 11-02-13, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by northerntier View Post
That's tempting, exposure makes good lights. I'd love to see a comparison between it and the upcoming Edelux II.
That light price does not include the hub.
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Old 11-02-13, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
the reason you need 1000 lumens is that 700 of them are going places you don't need to see. It may be comforting to light up the tops of trees, but it's bothersome to other road users. Some people with 1000 lumen lights say they point them down, so that just means they are ruining their night vision with a spot near their bike. My Luxos U doesn't put out all that much light, but it's a comfortable amount of light, even for descending mountains at high speed. I'm not going to go blasting other people on the road for no gain to me.
Let's start with "night vision". The retina contains rod cells and cone cells. Cone cells provide our color vision and function best in high luminous flux conditions, i.e. daylight. They are less sensitive to light and recover quickly when exposed to light. Since they are less sensitive they don't get saturated and are thus constantly ready to receive and process light.

Rod cells can generate a signal with as little light as a single photon. They are extremely sensitive to light but even a small amount of light can saturated them. Once saturated, it takes a far amount of time for them to recover. If you have ever camped in a dark area or done any stargazing, you notice very quickly that you can navigate under only star light and see an amazing amount of detail until you turn on some kind of light. Once the rods have been exposed to even a flash of light, their sensitivity decreases and you can't see the same detail. That's why most star gazing parties ban lights of any kind with the exception of very low (>10 lumen) red lights which don't saturate the rods as much.

All that said, once you expose the rod cells in your eyes to any white light of even moderate intensity, you've saturated them and made your night vision essentially useless. What's even worse is that the cells take about 15 minutes to clear the saturation of light. You can test this yourself by going driving your car or riding your bike to a dark (not city dark but country dark) and trying to navigate across the field just after you've turned off your lights. Wait 15 minutes without exposure to any light and try it again. Under just the stars in the sky, you can see enough detail to walk across an open field at a pretty brisk pace.

But if you are riding a bike or driving a car or walking with a flashlight or exposed your eyes to just about any light of any intensity, you have saturated the rod cells and you don't have "night vision". That includes highly focused shaped beam lamps, probably more so because the illuminous or "lux" of a highly shaped beam is more intense than a wider angle beam. The shaped beam puts more lumens per area in one spot than a wide angle beam does.

To say that 3/4 of a parabolic reflector light is going to places where you don't need it is overstating the issue. The nice thing about light is that you can see where it is going. If you were really shooting 3/4 of your light off into the trees, you'd see it. I've ridden with light beams of from beam angles of from 7 degrees to 35 degree. The 35 degree beam's pattern is more diffuse but it still has a well lighted central core to the beam. 7 degree beams are like a lazer.

Saying that a wide angle beam would also be more bothersome to other road users...not path users but road users...shows a lack of understanding of optics and light. A wide angle beam spreads the light out over a wider area making the number of lumens per area less than a narrow angle beam. A highly concentrated beam has more a higher lux than a wide angle beam. If you are going to cause another road user problems, it will be with a narrower angle highly concentrated beam than with a wide angle beam. A good analogy is a Klieg light that illuminates the whole stage vs a spot light that illuminates a single actor. Which appear brighter?
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Old 11-02-13, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
But if you go to the beam shots taken by MTBR in 2012 you see that the Phillips did better than the higher lumen Magicshine and better than most other lights! Compare the Phillips to other lights on pages 1, 2, and 3. Look at the actual beam in the useful area, don't look to see if tree tops are lit up brightly and think gee that light is better because the tree tops can be seen is useless for any light on a bike. In fact if you look at the Phillips on page 2 right above it is a Magic Shine 400, that MS is so dim even 100 lumen lights were beating it! Then look at the MS MJ808 just up one row from the other MS, that light has 1000 lumens and still pales in comparison to the Phillips. In fact if you compare all the lights on all the pages and there is only a handful of lights that are much more expensive that are equal or better then the Phillips. http://reviews.mtbr.com/2012-bike-li...pattern-photos This is why companies are slowly going to aimed optics because they can get more light on the road where it matters while using less energy. But in the meantime the cost of the Phillips has dropped, you can go to Amazon and pick one up for less than $125.
I was judging most of the beam pattern based on the illumination of the fence. If you follow the LED light reviews, the "1000 lumen" MagicShine is more like 600 lumens.

I agree aimed optics are absolutely the way to go. Unfortunately, MTBR hasn't done a more review since that would provide some better beam pictures. Their Lux measurement placed at 40 "Lux", which was comparable to most other 500-800 Lumen lights. I'm especially curious to see how it compares to something like a L&M Taz or Seca series, which do offer shaped output.

The MagicShine is clearly never going to best the best comparison, since the MagicShine is optimized for one thing, cost. If you want a cheap light, the MagicShine is way better than anything else.

We really are living in the golden of age bike lighting. You can now get a lightweight compact headlamp that approach the brightness of a car headlight. The main difference between battery and dyno lights is that a dyno light can't achieve the same brightness since the battery has stored energy while the hub is limited in output. Batteries are cheap, but have limited run time. If you need a light to last 1 hr, a battery wins. If you need a light to last 4+ hrs, hubs are the way to go.
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Old 11-02-13, 12:20 PM
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Now look at the fence again, the lower part of the fence in the Phillips is still brighter than most others, and that light beam is where it's suppose to be like a motorcycle light.
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Old 11-02-13, 02:32 PM
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My cheap battery light is very good at concentrating the beam where I want it. I started with a $30 "1600 lumen" battery light that is very spotty, and added an Action LED Lights wide angle lens. It puts most of the light (probably 75% of it) in a patch about 10 degrees high and maybe 40 wide. This is just about perfect. I do need to see to the sides of the road a bit because on my route, it's almost guaranteed that at least a couple of times a year some kind of animal will jump out of the bushes and I'll have to avoid. Usually deer, sometimes pheasant or chicken or something. The coyotes, foxes and turkeys are smart enough to just stand there and watch me go past.

EDIT: wide angle LENS not LIGHT.
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Old 11-02-13, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by northerntier View Post
The headline is a bit of a troll, but I'm frustrated at the lack of information regarding real lumens and/or lux of dynamo lights, and dynamo light users talking about how bright their lights are. I'm convinced they've never seen a reasonable battery light.

I have an edelux, and while the brightness can approach (not match) a decent battery light (diablo mk4, or lezyne megadrive) on a tiny patch, the total amount of usable light is quite small in comparison.

So, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd be happy to buy a 1000-lumen dynamo light (have SON-28), but I don't think they exist.
The compelling reason for dynamo lighting is the reliability without batteries. They're bright enough.

Marc
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Old 11-02-13, 05:56 PM
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My dynamo light is bright enough for me. I'm sure I could get more with a battery system, but I don't ever need it. And I don't ever have to worry about charges and such. The headlight and taillight are always there and always (1 burned out bulb in 10 years, and now using LED) working with never a concern or second thought.
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