New Smart lights

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
BE1
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Joined: 22 May 2009, 10:56pm

New Smart lights

Postby BE1 » 21 Nov 2014, 11:03am

It is the time of year to be talking lights.

I was wondering if anyone had seen the new Smart lights in the flesh and could comment on beam pattern, build quality etc.

http://www.sigmasport.co.uk/item/Smart/700-Lumen-USB-Front-light/4BDN

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Sweep
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Location: London

Re: New Smart lights

Postby Sweep » 21 Nov 2014, 4:40pm

Question - not about the light but Sigma.

Are they are a retail outfit.

Or a distributor?
Sweep

SteveHunter
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Joined: 24 Aug 2014, 10:02pm

Re: New Smart lights

Postby SteveHunter » 21 Nov 2014, 5:20pm

I would say they are a retail outfit, they have a shop in Hampton Wick that I seem capable of spending lots of money in easily.

I haven't looked at the lights.

bogmyrtle
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Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 10:29pm

Re: New Smart lights

Postby bogmyrtle » 21 Nov 2014, 8:48pm

Don't know about the light but it's cheaper at Chain Reaction

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/smart-bl-185-700l-front-light/rp-prod123967
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

MikeF
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Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: New Smart lights

Postby MikeF » 21 Nov 2014, 9:55pm

It doesn't meet German regs. It mentions lumens (bigger numbers!) and not lux on the road so light could go anywhere.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

iviehoff
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Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: New Smart lights

Postby iviehoff » 22 Nov 2014, 5:27pm

Although it doesn't cover the specific light you mention, this article has a clever tool for comparing the performance of quite a lot of bicycle lights, just below the main text of the reviewed light, which actually isn't included in the comparison list.
http://road.cc/content/review/102919-sm ... light-set#

The Moon Meteor 200 looks pretty amazing in the price category you are looking at.

Exposure Lights have a similar tool on their own website, just comparing their own brand lights.
http://use1.com/exposure-lights/cycle-lights-2015

Having met someone with some Exposure lights the other day and been impressed, I just invested in an Exposure Sirius Mark III, rather cheaper than they have it on their own website. Nevertheless I wish I'd found the above broader comparison first, I might have got the Moon Meteor instead. Though the Exposure lights do seem to have unusually good build quality, small with an entirely metal casing that is beautifully machined. I don't really regret buying them.

TonyR
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Re: New Smart lights

Postby TonyR » 22 Nov 2014, 5:51pm

I haven't used that one but been very pleased with other Smart lights I've had in the past. Well made and bright.

freeflow
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Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 1:54pm

Re: New Smart lights

Postby freeflow » 22 Nov 2014, 5:57pm

There's also an interesting light comparison database by Torchythebatteryboy

http://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/p/bi ... abase.html

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gentlegreen
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Re: New Smart lights

Postby gentlegreen » 22 Nov 2014, 8:14pm

MikeF wrote:It doesn't meet German regs. It mentions lumens (bigger numbers!) and not lux on the road so light could go anywhere.

Indeed it's just another hideously bright strobing torch.

iviehoff
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Re: New Smart lights

Postby iviehoff » 22 Nov 2014, 8:41pm

freeflow wrote:There's also an interesting light comparison database by Torchythebatteryboy
http://www.torchythebatteryboy.com/p/bi ... abase.html

Bear in mind that he is advertising his own Torchy lights, as well as some special rechargeable batteries to run them on - which adds to the price. Such a large and successful operation his main outlet is ebay, though of course many very successful operations start small. I wish him very good business, he clearly has his head screwed on. But I expect the prices will go up if scale means he moves out of his garage.

Overall he does make me feel I made a sensible choice among the established commercial offers, though maybe Moon would have been a better choice. Moon shows very well on his comparison. You have to consider the power options and you are going to pay a premium for the attractive option of an internal rechargeable with USB connection, avoiding the need to have a separate recharger.

edocaster
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Joined: 10 Apr 2013, 10:43pm

Re: New Smart lights

Postby edocaster » 23 Nov 2014, 12:19am

iviehoff wrote:Although it doesn't cover the specific light you mention, this article has a clever tool for comparing the performance of quite a lot of bicycle lights, just below the main text of the reviewed light, which actually isn't included in the comparison list.
http://road.cc/content/review/102919-sm ... light-set#



road.cc have updated the comparison list. Unfortunately they've taken down the eBay Cree beamshot and chart, so it's hard to compare and work out what angles are required to avoid dazzling, etc.

Some interesting new lights on the list include the B'Twin V100 700 and the Lucas KOTR City 500f, both of which appear to have road-specific beams (although the Lucas isn't mentioned as STvZO-compliant anywhere I can see). They seem to compare well for value to the B&M Ixon Core.

iviehoff
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Re: New Smart lights

Postby iviehoff » 23 Nov 2014, 6:28pm

This stuff about dazzling is daft. Common sense needs applying. If you are in a car going down an unlit road, you put on full beam which dazzles on-coming anythings. Then you dip when something comes.

Saying that a bicycle mustn't dazzle under any circumstances is basically saying that bicycles aren't allowed to be able to see where they are going in the way cars are. As with a car, you need a light bright enough, but, as with a car, you need to manage it to avoid dazzling when required.

With my previous light I could see where I was going only when I was dark-accustomed. But as soon as a car came I lost that and couldn't see where I was going any more for some time. I often couldn't see the road when cars were coming towards me, because they overwhelmed my own lighting of the road, until they were close enough to light up the road I needed to see. I had to deliberately cycle towards cars until they were close enough, and then duck left, because any other strategy, short of stopping, risked hitting the hedge.

With the new, illegal-in-Germany, light I have, I can see where I am going. Because the fixing on the handlebar is flexible, I can manually dip it either by tipping it. I can also selecting a lower power by pressing the button, just as cars do. I did get flashed by the first car I met, but I quickly learned to manage it and they now seem OK. They also give me a lot more respect.

BE1
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Joined: 22 May 2009, 10:56pm

Re: New Smart lights

Postby BE1 » 23 Nov 2014, 8:20pm

Thanks for all the comments so far.

It is interesting that while Smart use lux for their lower powered units they have chasten for the first time, as far as I am aware, to use lumen for their high power lights. I guess they decided that they had to follow the majority.

Beam shape is important but I am not hung up on German regs. All the Smarts I have used in the past have had a very narrow pattern but what works for a lower powered light might not work on this new one. In any case I am less interest in full power than in the long run time at 350 lumens.

Edited to remove the reference to AAs..the new 60 lux runs of these, the 700 Lumen does not.
Last edited by BE1 on 24 Nov 2014, 11:43am, edited 1 time in total.

MikeF
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Re: New Smart lights

Postby MikeF » 23 Nov 2014, 11:52pm

iviehoff wrote:This stuff about dazzling is daft. Common sense needs applying. If you are in a car going down an unlit road, you put on full beam which dazzles on-coming anythings. Then you dip when something comes.

Saying that a bicycle mustn't dazzle under any circumstances is basically saying that bicycles aren't allowed to be able to see where they are going in the way cars are. As with a car, you need a light bright enough, but, as with a car, you need to manage it to avoid dazzling when required.

With my previous light I could see where I was going only when I was dark-accustomed. But as soon as a car came I lost that and couldn't see where I was going any more for some time. I often couldn't see the road when cars were coming towards me, because they overwhelmed my own lighting of the road, until they were close enough to light up the road I needed to see. I had to deliberately cycle towards cars until they were close enough, and then duck left, because any other strategy, short of stopping, risked hitting the hedge.

With the new, illegal-in-Germany, light I have, I can see where I am going. Because the fixing on the handlebar is flexible, I can manually dip it either by tipping it. I can also selecting a lower power by pressing the button, just as cars do. I did get flashed by the first car I met, but I quickly learned to manage it and they now seem OK. They also give me a lot more respect.
"Common sense"! Oh a phrase beloved by politicians. One person's common sense is another's common nonsense.

Dazzling means in simple terms disturbing someone's vision by a light from another source so much they cannot see what they need/want to. A bright light does not have to be dazzling to other users if its light output is directed correctly. This is what most modern German lights try to do, by having a bright but shaped beam. Sounds as though your previous light was inadequate for your needs. The problem with having a "flexible" mounting on the handlebars is that a jolt might cause it to move when you don't want it to, and also pushing light mountings around in the dark is not always the safest thing to do.

Older cars used to lower the power on headlights on dipped beam, by using double filament bulbs, but I'm not certain if modern ones do. Mine doesn't - two use a dipped beam and two use a high beam - so for an open road four headlights are working. Perhaps that is what you mean by lower power. It depends how fast you cycle at night, but for a fast cyclist perhaps two lights might be better - one set on a high beam with the other one on a dipped. You would need to be able to rapidly turn off the high one though. It's an idea I've thought about, but I found a Philips Saferide 60 or B&M Luxos Cyo etc give more than adequate light to be seen on lit streets or to see with in unlit areas. However though I don't cycle that much in the dark now, when I do I like to have good lights.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master