Front lights again

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mjr
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Re: Front lights again

Postby mjr » 29 Jan 2019, 6:39pm

pwa wrote:I use two lights on the front and two on the back in case a light fails. It rarely happens but you never know.

I do know because I put the lights where I can see them and check them sometimes! Not much point having two rubbish lights because they're more likely to both fail than one good light.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front lights again

Postby Bmblbzzz » 29 Jan 2019, 6:40pm

Lots of points here, lots of good stuff. A useful thread. :D

Strada beam shape: As I said, mine is an old one (Mk2 I think) so possibly they've changed recently. Certainly the positioning of emittors in the lens has changed. But I'm sure mine did not have a symmetrical beam. I remember trying to use it upside down and it was no good. But I haven't used it since I went dynamo a few years ago, so caveat lector.

Certification: Certainly many cyclists will pay for better beam shapes. The success of Exposure shows this! As do the many "German style" lights. But it's the beam shape (and brightness, battery life where applicable, build quality, etc) that people will pay a premium for. Meeting a particular standard doesn't necessarily guarantee a decent beam shape. Compare the B&M Cyo (non-Premium version) and a Luxos. Both meet the relevant standard but the Cyo's beam is not one I would willingly pay for: far too narrow.

Alignment to avoid dazzle: All lights need proper set up to avoid dazzling other people! This definitely includes those which comply with Stvzo. A horizontal cut off is only horizontal if the light is correctly aligned. Annoyingly, not everyone realizes this, or some people just don't care.

pwa
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Re: Front lights again

Postby pwa » 29 Jan 2019, 6:52pm

mjr wrote:
pwa wrote:I use two lights on the front and two on the back in case a light fails. It rarely happens but you never know.

I do know because I put the lights where I can see them and check them sometimes! Not much point having two rubbish lights because they're more likely to both fail than one good light.

Any light can fail. I once had one fail as I went over a cattle grid at speed. That was nearly twenty years ago but it was and will remain the last time I went out with just one front light. I have had lights since then that have proved very reliable for a decade or more, but I wouldn't trust any 100%. A minimum for me is one good light and another that is good enough to get home by if the good one dies. But as a bonus it does give me the opportunity to point the secondary light where the main light is a bit lacking.

thelawnet
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Re: Front lights again

Postby thelawnet » 29 Jan 2019, 10:59pm

As I understand it the selling point of the Strada is switchable spot/flood beam?

Here's a comparison with the (slightly cheaper, with a bigger battery) Volt 1300:

voltexposure.png


https://road.cc/content/review/232608-e ... strada-600

All of the Stradas have two different lenses: a spot and a wide, flat flood. The LEDs are driven individually on the circuit board so that when you change between the modes the wide flood beam remains, but the spot beam is reduced to avoid dazzling oncoming road users.


That suggest that you send more light to the other side of the road than a non-adjustable light would be, as the flood is wider than the Volt 1300, which is otherwise twice as bright, and the switch seems to reduce the central peak.

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Re: Front lights again

Postby squeaker » 30 Jan 2019, 11:12am

Bmblbzzz wrote:Alignment to avoid dazzle: All lights need proper set up to avoid dazzling other people! This definitely includes those which comply with Stvzo.
Indeed: especially the guy I saw a while back with 2 StVZO Lidl lights clamped on his bike's front fork legs (ie rotated through 90 degrees) :shock:
"42"

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Re: Front lights again

Postby pwa » 30 Jan 2019, 4:58pm

thelawnet wrote:As I understand it the selling point of the Strada is switchable spot/flood beam?

Here's a comparison with the (slightly cheaper, with a bigger battery) Volt 1300:

voltexposure.png

https://road.cc/content/review/232608-e ... strada-600

All of the Stradas have two different lenses: a spot and a wide, flat flood. The LEDs are driven individually on the circuit board so that when you change between the modes the wide flood beam remains, but the spot beam is reduced to avoid dazzling oncoming road users.


That suggest that you send more light to the other side of the road than a non-adjustable light would be, as the flood is wider than the Volt 1300, which is otherwise twice as bright, and the switch seems to reduce the central peak.


If you use the same comparison tool to compare the Strada with the Diablo, another Exposure light but one specifically for off-road, I think you will see that as well as being much brighter the Diablo also makes a very round beam, as you might guess. Compared to that the Strada has a vertically flattened pattern, presumably due to the shaped component of the beam that is less intense and remains at a constant intensity when you dip the round beam.

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Re: Front lights again

Postby mjr » 30 Jan 2019, 6:31pm

So my light arrived today and I took some beam shots. Unfortunately, I don't have a big blank wall that I can get far enough away from (modern house) and I'm afraid I'm not going out in the cold dark icy weather just for this - maybe when it's warmer, I'll take some better shots. These are taken from about 3m away from a cream-coloured wall with a picture on it above where I was aiming and a double socket below.

For comparison, I tried an actual torch... it would actually be easier to aim my torch not to dazzle oncoming traffic than a 10-year-old UK-sold Cateye front light!

Both the modern German LED lights use reflectors and have rather similar trapezoidal beam shapes. Interestingly, the smaller Dansi lamp casts a wider light than the Lidl one... both are much narrower than the old BS Cateye which uses a lens, but they cost a fraction of that and don't have such a bright spot in the middle of the road.
Image Attachments
IMG_20190130_181445.jpg
An actual torch (1W LED) - small circular spot beam
IMG_20190130_181329.jpg
More recent Cateye sold to UK market - circular but very very wide fringe to the beam
IMG_20190130_181237.jpg
Very old Cateye British Standard 120 lumen light
IMG_20190130_181218.jpg
Dansi Melbourne 2xAA 1W 30/15lux @15lx
IMG_20190130_181141.jpg
Lidl Crivit USB rechargeable 40/20/10 lux light @10 lux
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front lights again

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Jan 2019, 8:35pm

You have to make a few assumptions translating from a wall at 3m to a road surface at a reasonable riding distance, but I think my favourite of those might be the Very old Cateye British Standard 120 lumen light. It's not the brightest but it has a decent spread into the edges horizontally, and I doubt if it's bright enough to present a dazzle hazard to others (though by the same token it's probably not bright enough to stop you being dazzled by oncoming headlights). My least favourite for riding would be the Actual torch. Too small, too intense. The Dansi and to a lesser extent the Crivit suffer from the same hotspot phenomenon that, for me, acts to blind me to the surroundings.

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Re: Front lights again

Postby Bmblbzzz » 30 Jan 2019, 8:36pm

Despite the limitations of the setting, thanks for the shots!

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Re: Front lights again

Postby pwa » 30 Jan 2019, 9:17pm

I do think shining a beam at a wall gives you an idea what the light is going to do on the road.

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front lights again

Postby Bmblbzzz » 31 Jan 2019, 1:15pm

Of course it does but you have to mentally transfer the pattern from a close vertical surface all at one distance to a horizontal surface at a wide variety of distances and with varying amounts and patterns of other light (other vehicles, street lights, buildings, moon, etc). I think mjr recognized this in taking the shots - too cold to go outside for it!

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Re: Front lights again

Postby mjr » 31 Jan 2019, 3:46pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Of course it does but you have to mentally transfer the pattern from a close vertical surface all at one distance to a horizontal surface at a wide variety of distances and with varying amounts and patterns of other light (other vehicles, street lights, buildings, moon, etc). I think mjr recognized this in taking the shots - too cold to go outside for it!

Yes. I had been outside yesterday but before dark. Freezing fog arrived in the evening and has only just started to lift, so I suspect it will return tonight.

Some other review sites also post wall beam shots rather than down-a-road ones, so hopefully it still allows some comparison. I'll take the lights to the neighbouring road (which is unlit and straight) when it's not foggy, but I'm particularly interested to see what that Dansi light does, as the way the trapezoidal bright spot fades to the bottom (much more than the Lidl one) suggests it should be pretty even once it's aimed at a road.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Bmblbzzz
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Re: Front lights again

Postby Bmblbzzz » 31 Jan 2019, 7:52pm

I'm looking forward to that when the fog clears and the temperature rises.

mercalia
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Re: Front lights again

Postby mercalia » 31 Jan 2019, 8:27pm

The Lidl one is good for close-to illumination and slowish speeds. SHould be adequate for many situations

pwa
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Re: Front lights again

Postby pwa » 1 Feb 2019, 8:40am

A quick update.

I now have the Strada 600 and have charged it.

Snow on the ground at the moment so I've not been able to try it outside.

For what it's worth, shining it on the wall gives you a fairly clearly defined rectangle, wider than it is tall. Within that rectangle is a central circle of more intense light from the spot. Its upper and lower edges touch the upper and lower edges of the rectangle, but the rectangle goes much further to the left and right. Outside the rectangle is just a little light spill. There is a more definite rectangle than indicated in online pics I've seen.

As I have said, in the dark I always have two front lights, and my initial thought is that this pattern is likely to combine easily with another light from my armoury. It is most definitely not a "blast everywhere" light. I think it is a halfway house between a round beam torch and an StVZO, but with the advantage of a remote button to reduce the beam strength for oncoming traffic and low speed situations.

It looks like being the most impressive £80 of light I've ever had.