Lights - yawn - yet again! Electron / L&M / Lumicycle???

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melw1

Lights - yawn - yet again! Electron / L&M / Lumicycle???

Postby melw1 » 15 Oct 2007, 8:02pm

Sorry to bore you all but I'm still contemplating my light situation. I ride rural unlit roads and also through small towns. I bought a Cateye EL350 thinking that would do the trick - around town and whilst there is street lighting and for short slow progress down unlit sections its great. Far better than my old "traditional" light. BUT not reassuring for much over 10mph in the dark dark, trying to avoid potholes / debris etc.

I would have loved dynamo but I think that would be too expensive as I have two bikes currently in regular use. The ideal light has to be transfered quickly and easily between the bikes. My trips would be no longer than an hour / hour and a half.

So I'm thinking again.. using the cateye 530 in town and as a backup and one of the following:

Electron 5 + 10w here

Electron 8 + 8 LED here

Light and Motion Solo logic 13w here

or Lumicycle, probably 20w mid beam, here

I know lights have been discussed ad nausum in the past but, even though I;ve searched through past posts I still can't decide. Basically I want the cheapest and best (ie not compatible!) system!

I'd love to go down the LED route but not sure whether or not it would be bright enough.

Any comments on any of the above products?

Thanks in advance,

Melanie

PW
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Postby PW » 15 Oct 2007, 8:50pm

Additionally, check out the websites for Busch & Muller and Dinotte :wink:

Doing a little homework on this subject. It appears that Halogen is bright, reliable, a bit heavy on power consumption, and at the limit of its development. Halide is VERY bright & even more VERY expensive, with a limited lifespan determined by the number of times you fire it up. LEDs are upcoming, getting better by the year & will eventually be the pick of the bunch - but they aren't quite there yet.
I think if you have a system then stick with it for another year, then see what's around. If not then a modular system such as the Lumicycles would allow updating in future, maybe go with a pair of 12W halogen spots & the LI-ION battery with the possibility of going LED in the future.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

melw1

Postby melw1 » 15 Oct 2007, 8:59pm

Yes my favourite I think is the Lumicycle....thought that if I go for that I'd get the battery with two leads for the future....

Why Li-Ion battery over the NiMH? Which is easier to look after ie less likely to damage and more likely to keep a good charge for longer?

Can't afford too much though, that's why i thought I'd go for the cheaper battery. Do you reckon the Li-Ion is worth the extra though?

ps - the Lumicycle do do an LED but it is more expensive and not as powerful as the Halogen bulbs

PW
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Postby PW » 15 Oct 2007, 9:03pm

Li-Ions are lighter for the same capacity. I'd spotted the Lumi LED, in fact fancied it as a power saver under streetlights and I think our mod. Graham is thinking the same way. Couple it with a high output halogen?
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

melw1

Postby melw1 » 15 Oct 2007, 9:07pm

Yeah - I spoke with Lumicycle this arvo - we discussed maybe that LED light and the 20w mid beam. Trouble is it's more than I want to spend at the moment. The LED is more expensive than a secondary halogen.

AndyB
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Postby AndyB » 15 Oct 2007, 9:37pm

I use Lumicycles: Li-Ion battery with 10W spot and 20W mid. I actually normally use just the 10 for the dark lanes (with which I am familiar), then add the 20W in town, where I figure the broader beam will make me more visible from the side. They're great lights, and I can't really fault them, although I'm considering the new LED to use instead of the 20W mid.

Andy.

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Graham
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Postby Graham » 15 Oct 2007, 9:46pm

melw1 wrote:Yeah - I spoke with Lumicycle this arvo - we discussed maybe that LED light and the 20w mid beam. Trouble is it's more than I want to spend at the moment. The LED is more expensive than a secondary halogen.

Ebay Sporting Goods > Cycling > Cycling Accessories > Lights
Search keyword "Lumicycle"
. . . with the usual Ebay caveat emptor.

. . . and just to confuse matters further this variation on a Lumicycle lamp looked rather interesting . . .

Cheers

melw1

Postby melw1 » 15 Oct 2007, 10:14pm

That link does look interesting, and thanks for prompting me to search ebay!

Andy - are you saying you don't really need the 20w, since you are thinking of switching to the presumably weaker LED version? You find the 10w bright enough then for dark lanes....

Any other comments from peeps on the other options? Any experiences of them? The Light and Motion I guess is a direct rival for the Lumicyle with the Electrons as the cheaper versions. I gather the build quality of the Electrons can leave a little to be desired.... I'm tempted if I get the Lumicyles and if I go for two lights, to get the weaker one with the white translucent ring to give me extra visibility from the side.

Had a look at the dinotte but I'm not sure they would be bright enough... and also do they give a wide beam? For the spec they seem quite expensive.

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Postby PW » 15 Oct 2007, 10:28pm

I'm looking for a lightweight high power system for the new 953 for night rides on the moors. The current home brew set up is 15 years old, totally reliable, extremely bright, but it weighs more than it could with modern technology. So I'm looking to replace a pair of miners' helmet lamps, offside 6v 3w dynamo bulb, or 2.4w with a tail lamp, nearside 4v4w Mines & Quarries jobbie for methane atmospheres. Power pack a 6v 10a/h gel cell. The M&Q lamp is more than adequate for a 50mph descent of an unlit moorland hill in the small hours, the other one will give 20 hours burn time between charges. Can anyone beat that under say £400??
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

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Postby AndyB » 16 Oct 2007, 8:54am

melw1 wrote:Andy - are you saying you don't really need the 20w, since you are thinking of switching to the presumably weaker LED version? You find the 10w bright enough then for dark lanes....


That's right, although this is for a commute, and I pretty much know all the potholes. It is a bit nicer with both lamps on, but most of the light comes from the spot - its more focused beam means it is actually brighter than the 20W mid. The mid is nice for a wider view though, and like I said, for traffic coming from the side (although this is just an assumption!). If I'm worried about battery life though (and using both does wear it down pretty quickly) I just use the 10W - that's why I was considering an LED for a wider beam, probably with a glow ring.

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Postby Graham » 16 Oct 2007, 10:50am

melw1 wrote:That link does look interesting, and thanks for prompting me to search ebay!

Upon reflection, buying a (cycle-light) battery through Ebay could be a risky business. Or rather buying one from any second-hand source could be risky.

NiCads & NiMh types can easily have their capacity damaged by over-charging AND/OR over-discharging. So how do you know if the previous owner read and followed the instructions ??
Li-ions I don't know much about (yet).

Extrapolating a bit further I'm sure that I would never buy a HID lightset secondhand.

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CJ
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Postby CJ » 16 Oct 2007, 2:00pm

Having seen all the latest lamp developments at Eurobike, it's clear that LEDs now exceed the efficiency of halogen bulbs and HIDs.

On batteries: Lithium-Ion not only stores more energy per unit weight and bulk but is also much easier to use and charge than Nickel-whatever.

So get an LED lamp powered by a Li-Ion battery, but make sure it's a new design that uses the very latest and most efficient LEDs.
Chris Juden
One lady owner, never raced or jumped.

cyclistjohn
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Postby cyclistjohn » 16 Oct 2007, 5:59pm

CJ wrote:... it's clear that LEDs now exceed the efficiency of halogen bulbs and HIDs.

On batteries: Lithium-Ion not only stores more energy per unit weight and bulk but is also much easier to use and charge than Nickel-whatever.

So get an LED lamp powered by a Li-Ion battery, but make sure it's a new design that uses the very latest and most efficient LEDs.


Agreed on LED's!

I use a 2 AA "flashlight" from this chap:

http://www.glowgadgets.co.uk/index.jsp? ... pg=1&mnu=1

It's a terrific light for up to 18 mph, easily swappable to other bikes, & very handy for puncture repairs, finding house numbers, etc.

If you look at the site, you'll see he does Li-Ion battery versions, but I prefer (Ni-mH) AA's, as they're in several bits of my electronics, so I can swap around in emergencies to the most important bit of kit :-)

melw1

Postby melw1 » 16 Oct 2007, 6:17pm

Cyclist John - which model do you use? The video on his site looks quite interesting..... Is yours the orange peel reflector type for a wider beam or the smooth one?

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Postby cyclistjohn » 16 Oct 2007, 6:23pm

melw1 wrote:Cyclist John - which model do you use? The video on his site looks quite interesting..... Is yours the orange peel reflector type for a wider beam or the smooth one?


I'm just nipping out, so I'll look at the orange peel when I get back.

Mine's a "L2DCE" - 2 AA's, which last about 2 hours at full beam. Far better value than the dedicated "bike" lights, IMHO