Bicycle light for night use

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mercalia
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby mercalia » 27 Oct 2019, 12:09pm

thelawnet wrote:
Sweep wrote:
pwa wrote:Much though I like the idea of using regular AA rechargeable batteries in a lamp, this format seems to be an endangered species. The Ixon seems to be the best of a not very impressive bunch.

I fear you are right about it being an endangered species.
But disagree with the tone of your post which implies that there is a good reason for it being so.
LED tech will improve and battery rechargeable tech will improve.

not particularly true in either regard.

LEDs will likely improve in the future but they are not improving very quickly

battery tech will improve but virtually none of that will improve in AAs

Eneloop was introduced in 2005 at 2.4Wh, a few years later a new variant with 3Wh mAh but fewer cycles.

Since then not really much different just minor improvements. Energy density is 110Wh/kg.

18650 lithium cells were only about 3.2Wh but by 2005 9.3Wh, and now up to 13 Wh. This is around 280Wh/kg.

AAs are out-dated in many ways, I.e. voltage and density.

That's why everything is now using lithium ion. Future battery tech improvements will not be available in AA format.

AA batteries are obsolete in the same way that bulbs are obsolete - they provide less power/light for a given size.

It doesn't make sense to use a better light source but then put rubbish (AA) batteries in it



AA is a cell size. You can get AA lithium cells. I dont agree that standard AA NimH cells are obsolete, their capacity has increased over the years to from 1800mah to around 3000mah now? your comparison with filament bulbs is false. Better if your comparison was with the olde AA Zinc based ones - now they are obsolete ( why Poundland can sell them). Your last sentence explains why it does, light sources have gone from olde filament to halogen to led from NeverReady to very reliable Lidl battery lights that last up to 10hrs on a more than adequate low setting.

steelframe
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby steelframe » 27 Oct 2019, 12:12pm

LiveFree wrote:So, if I can overcome this slight irritation and accept this- I am wondering what front dynamo lights you good folks would suggest? As far as I am aware, the pashley front dynamo only pushes out around 2.4w- I'm afraid that my understanding of dynamos and ratings is basically zilch- with this very low output (it seems low to me anyway??) is it actually possible to use a dynamo light that will light up a dark road at night time, as we have all discussed? If yes, does anybody have any helpful suggestions as to which dynamo light might work for this job- with the dynamo that is on there? Preferably a lamp that looks very similar to the light that's on there- since it looks quite 'in keeping' with the bike, to me anyway. In other words, chrome/chrome coloured would be ideal.


In terms of dynamo hubs: The "fire and forget" solution ist the SON (https://nabendynamo.de/en/products/hub-dynamos/) - light, reliable, longlasting, lowest drag on the market, mechanically and electrically the best of bread. It comes at a steep price but once you've bought it you'll never look back.
On the other end of the relevant spectrum are the various Shimano hub dynamos - from cheap to mid-range pricing they offer a broad range of dynamo hubs.
The economically best compromise between price and value are currently probably the Shutter Precision 8- and 9-series (http://www.sp-dynamo.com/ShutterPrecision.html). Massively cheaper than the SON and at the upper price-range of the Shimanos but electrically not much worse than the SON. Obviously not as excessively mechancally perfect, so probably won't last forever but a little bit less than forever.
I own various SON-dynamos along with a SP and two Shimanos of different ranges. I clearly prefer the SONs but cannot say anything bad about the SP until now. The Shimanos do produce recognizable drag in my opinion.

Electrically it does not matter to a relevant extent which dynamo hub you choose - the output is more or less the same in practice, just the drag, the weight, the robustness and the looks and obviously the price are different and a little bit the output at lower speed.

Choosing a frontlight for your purpose is a different story. As others have said: Forgot lumens, watch for lux as it is more relevant in practice. Unfortunately the lux does not say anything about the beam pattern, so lux alone is not enough. Especially you should have in mind that a near field beam pattern is very desirable but lowers the lux value - so the better light may have the lower lux value sometimes). You can see this when comparing the BUMM CYOs with their CYO premium siblings - the premiums are more expensive, the better lights and do have the near field pattern while the non premiums do have a slightly higher lux value as no light is "wasted" for near field view.
Choosing the right light is in my opinion more relevant for the pleasure of night riding than choosing a certain dynamo hub model.

Within the top of the range of the stock products there are three models:
- Schmidt Edelux2 from the makers of the SON. Again craftsmanship at absolute top notch level. 90-100 LUX, fire and forget - again at a price (~140€).
- Busch und Müller (BUMM) IQ-X: A bit brighter than the Edelux but with downsides regarding longterm quality and the fine details. Mine died after a year or so and quality issues are to a degree kind of common, though not the majority. Is also has an enerving switch that makes it impossible to turn the thing on or off. The makers assume that you use the light sensor and run with daylight illumination, so manual switching on and off is not always possible and not the intention of the makers. A bit surprising. List price is on par with the Edellux while the street price is far lower at ~85€.
- Hermanns Black Pro: ~90 Lux, a beam pattern that is a bit special (and differs from the other two) due to the use of a projection lens. ~60€ street price. Good value for the money.

Of those three I very much prefer the Edelux but the others are valid choices as well, depending from your taste and needs.

One category lower in terms of lightness and price are the smaller brother of the IQ-X, the IQ-XS (btw. both available in silver as is the Edelux) and the well known classic range of BUMM CYO premiums along with the Herrmans MR8. The Herrmans offers best value for the money as it is available from ~25€ on ebay and very very decent for the money. The CYO premium range is totally fine (and has a mechanical light switch in opposite to the IQ X) but more expensive, starting at ~40€ street price, depending from the model. The IQ XS is a little bit more expensive and I have no personal experience with it.

I would not bother too much with other lights and brands. In general a serious light for riding at night starts at ~60Lux minimum in my opinion. I would consider near field view a must as it gives a lot of additional safety and comfort. Given these criteria surprisingly not too many lights are left in the field - many or most brands do offer nothing at all here.

Additional to the ones above there are the Spanniga Axendo lights (formerly known as Phillips Saferide) which have a good reputation but are a little bit at the lower end of the lux-spectrum. I've always wanted to try them but have no personal experience with them until now. Then there is the range of lights from Supernova, small and beautiful and a lot of people seem to like them. However: they are expensive, more or less in the price-range of the Edelux, and the company has a bit of a reputation for having marketed too high light values in the past, so until now I always opted for the Edellux instead. People who know both tend to say that the Edelux has the way better beam pattern, but consider this as second hand opinion - no personal experience of mine.
Then there is the Eyc range, again from BUMM. Nice and really tiny but with the same miserable switch as the IQ-X series and with ~50 lux a bit too dark for serious night riding for my taste. I do own one a the difference the mentioned brighter ones is more than massive.
Avoid cheap dynamo lights from China even if they are marketed with high lux values - this is just phantasy. Maybe one out of ten models may be somewhat acceptable but in general they are rubbish and even the best ones a lightyears behind even the middle class models from above.

Personally I am a huge fan of the Edelux2, preferably in combination with the SON. The price is eyewatering, but will immediately be forgotten once you ride at night. If you do that a lot in my eyes this justifies an investment and trust me: You'll eagerly look forward to your night rides. It is no doubt a bit of luxury, but I consider it to be a justified luxury due to fire and forget and never looked back.

There is an interesting alternative left: This guy https://www.laempie.de/ modifies various lights for higher power output and as a very interesting feature with a high beam and low beam possibility. For overland riding a very interesting feature. Again no personal experience, but I am very tempted to try one of his lights.

As you probably can imagine from my post I am a huge fan of dynamo lights for night riding. :lol: In my experience they offer a way way better experience and are far more reliable than battery lights in every aspect you can imagine. Especially when you ride outside of towns in the dark regularly. In opposite to others I am clearly of the opinion that more light is better, especially if you ride fast. The claim: "less light is better as you get used to the darkness" probably results from riding with lights that have a very bad beam pattern such as torchs or cheap battery lights. Just imagine when riding with a car at night on country roads: Is less or no light better and more comfortable and safe or as much light as you can get? :wink:

LiveFree
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby LiveFree » 27 Oct 2019, 2:58pm

Wow, what an awesome response! Many thanks 'steelframe'- your reply seems to be a pretty comprehensive source of information about dynamo hubs and their accompanying lights :D I must say, that for now I am veering towards buying the B & M ixon iq premium that has been mentioned by several people: it seems to be a pretty good light pattern and output, and whilst I understand that it is a bit of a compromise compared to, for example, the SON dynamo lights- the truth is, having thought about it today while out walking the dog, I don't really want to be restricted to only being able to ride my pashley roadster at night-time. On top of that, finances dictate- £50 approx for the B & M ixon battery job, along with a 5 year warranty from 'rose bikes' seems pretty good; the edelux lights are really a bit too rich for my blood- for now at least. But, I am still very grateful for this information- and the information from others about the dynamo lights- as it might come in handy in the future, if I end up riding more at night.

So, I think thanks to you all I now have the information I need and know how I will proceed. Thanks again to you all for posting and for helping me to make a decision.

Happy cycling :D

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squeaker
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby squeaker » 27 Oct 2019, 5:43pm

squeaker wrote:Last LiDl light set I saw had a stretchy rubber front light mounting :( The earlier ones had a B&M compatible screw on mount, IIRC :)
Not only that, but the mounting plate type had changed and was no longer B&M / Smart (thanks Horizon) compatible :roll:
"42"

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andrew_s
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby andrew_s » 27 Oct 2019, 5:58pm

LiveFree wrote:I don't really want to be restricted to only being able to ride my pashley roadster at night-time.

Why on earth would you think that?

LiveFree
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby LiveFree » 27 Oct 2019, 6:06pm

"Why on earth would you think that?"

Um, I think perhaps you mis-read that my friend or took it out of context! Or, perhaps you were being amusing :lol: I meant that I don't want to be only able to ride my pashley at night time- as opposed to any of my other bikes- because it is the only bicycle with a dynamo-light attached to it. As I think I said, finances dictate that I would only be able to afford to attach a dynamo light to one bike.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby The utility cyclist » 27 Oct 2019, 9:38pm

squeaker wrote:
The utility cyclist wrote:And here's one of the LIDL variants that takes 4xAAs https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Crivit-Led-B ... SwUS1b4fix and here's one that has the built in Li-ion battery which should have a slight longer run time than the original as it has a 1300m/Ah capacity compared to the 1000 of the first. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Crivit-LED-B ... SwgS5df7jh

Last LiDl light set I saw had a stretchy rubber front light mounting :( The earlier ones had a B&M compatible screw on mount, IIRC :)

The grey one with the built in battery deffo has the perma mount and slide off fitment as it's shown in the photos, I agree that for some people they don't like the rubber mount straps. I bought a great light by BBB but the mount is not particularly good on rough ground which makes the light bounce around a bit.

thelawnet
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby thelawnet » 29 Oct 2019, 5:44am

mercalia wrote:AA is a cell size. You can get AA lithium cells. I dont agree that standard AA NimH cells are obsolete, their capacity has increased over the years to from 1800mah to around 3000mah now? your comparison with filament bulbs is false. Better if your comparison was with the olde AA Zinc based ones - now they are obsolete ( why Poundland can sell them). Your last sentence explains why it does, light sources have gone from olde filament to halogen to led from NeverReady to very reliable Lidl battery lights that last up to 10hrs on a more than adequate low setting.


AA lithium cells are non-rechargeable. AA-sized lithium ion cells are rechargeable, but are a different voltage (3.7V), so they are no use in appliances designed for AA.

NiMH 3000 mAh are a bit rubbish because they will have high self-discharge, you are better off with something under 2500 mAh and low self-discharge.

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andrew_s
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby andrew_s » 29 Oct 2019, 1:02pm

LiveFree wrote:"Um, I think perhaps you mis-read that my friend or took it out of context! Or, perhaps you were being amusing :lol:

I was a bit amused at the phrasing.
"I don't really want to be restricted to only being able to ride my pashley roadster at night-time" says you can't ride the Pashley during the day.
"I don't really want to be restricted to being able to ride only my pashley roadster at night-time." says you can't ride any other bike at night.
Same words, different order.

The subtleties of the English language :)

LiveFree
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby LiveFree » 29 Oct 2019, 1:11pm

The subtleties of the English language indeed! My English teacher would have been ashamed of me :lol:

Happy cycling :D

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andrew_s
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby andrew_s » 29 Oct 2019, 1:18pm

thelawnet wrote:AA batteries are obsolete in the same way that bulbs are obsolete - they provide less power/light for a given size.

AAs have their place.

Using AAs, you get to easily carry spares, and it takes hardly any time to put them in and get going again.

With built-in lithium, charging takes a significant amount of time and can only be done with mains access, and the whole light is useless until charging is finished.
You can try to be organised, but that won't always work (eg the phone call suggesting a ride just after the light has gone on charge).
A few bike lights use separate 18650s, but the cells are expensive (or at least decent ones are), and have enough juice that loose spares can be hazardous.

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Sweep
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby Sweep » 29 Oct 2019, 5:59pm

andrew_s wrote:
thelawnet wrote:AA batteries are obsolete in the same way that bulbs are obsolete - they provide less power/light for a given size.

AAs have their place.

Using AAs, you get to easily carry spares, and it takes hardly any time to put them in and get going again.

With built-in lithium, charging takes a significant amount of time and can only be done with mains access, and the whole light is useless until charging is finished.
You can try to be organised, but that won't always work (eg the phone call suggesting a ride just after the light has gone on charge).
A few bike lights use separate 18650s, but the cells are expensive (or at least decent ones are), and have enough juice that loose spares can be hazardous.


Convinced me Andrew - will be sticking with my collection of AAs and intelligent charger.

I like to keep things simple.

And don't demand the ultimate in "performance".

Thanks.
Sweep

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby The utility cyclist » 29 Oct 2019, 10:16pm

andrew_s wrote:
thelawnet wrote:AA batteries are obsolete in the same way that bulbs are obsolete - they provide less power/light for a given size.

AAs have their place.

Using AAs, you get to easily carry spares, and it takes hardly any time to put them in and get going again.

With built-in lithium, charging takes a significant amount of time and can only be done with mains access, and the whole light is useless until charging is finished.
You can try to be organised, but that won't always work (eg the phone call suggesting a ride just after the light has gone on charge).
A few bike lights use separate 18650s, but the cells are expensive (or at least decent ones are), and have enough juice that loose spares can be hazardous.

I was always led to believe that AA run lights were more efficient than Li-ion based lights whether internal or external 18650/26650. I know my Sigma light isn't the most powerful but it's certainly a bloody good light and the 14 hour run time on the highest setting with 4xAAs exceeds that multiple times over of pretty much any comparable Li-ion based light I've seen that is a similar size, e.g Lezyne 800XL which struggles to get even 3 hours on its 'blast' mode at 400lumens.

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mjr
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby mjr » 29 Oct 2019, 10:45pm

andrew_s wrote:
thelawnet wrote:AA batteries are obsolete in the same way that bulbs are obsolete - they provide less power/light for a given size.

AAs have their place.

True.
Using AAs, you get to easily carry spares, and it takes hardly any time to put them in and get going again.

True.
With built-in lithium, charging takes a significant amount of time

True.

and can only be done with mains access,

False

and the whole light is useless until charging is finished.

False.

I have a German-spec StVZO AA-powered headlight which gets moved between non-dynamo bikes but let's not over-egg the drawbacks of Li-ion ones.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Graham
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby Graham » 9 Nov 2019, 4:00pm

I used my recently-purchased Lidl front for the first time yesterday.

+ Rather good light pattern
+ Sufficient light for anything except v.fast downhills
- The rubber-band mount is a bit wobbly - seems secure enough, but light-beam jumping about on rough surfaces

This is very much lighter than my LED-converted Lumicycle ( with big, heavy NiMh battery ).