Lumicycle LEDs anyone ??

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Graham
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Lumicycle LEDs anyone ??

Postby Graham » 5 Oct 2007, 10:16am

I had cause to dust-off my Lumicycle halogens yesterday evening. 5w & 10w

I'm quite content with this setup, but do wonder about the performance of their multi-LED "bulb". Is the spot any good to see with ??

PS. In general, I'm waiting a couple more years for LED developments to be so bl**dy good that they are the only mainstream offering for bike front lights.

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Si
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Postby Si » 5 Oct 2007, 11:24am

I used to night ride with a guy who used LEDs attached to his lumi battery. They weren't lumicycle LEDs but a similar offering from NZ I think. The light that they gave was very similar to a lumi 10/5 halogen set up but they lasted longer.

Although perfectly useable (especially if riding alone and on road) he gave up on them in the end as he was somewhat out gunned by other riders in the group using halides: it's no fun when riding down a rocky descent and the bloke with a halide behind you means that you are riding into your own shadow!

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Postby PW » 5 Oct 2007, 1:02pm

I'm contemplating that along with a 12W halogen spot, the LEDs to act as a battery saver under streetlights. If you do it Graham please post back.
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Postby Graham » 5 Oct 2007, 4:21pm

Thanks for this info Si.

PW: I will report back if & when . . . but don't hold your breath, my purchase decisions are slow . . .

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Postby andrew_s » 5 Oct 2007, 7:22pm

Si wrote:I used to night ride with a guy who used LEDs attached to his lumi battery. They weren't lumicycle LEDs but a similar offering from NZ I think. The light that they gave was very similar to a lumi 10/5 halogen set up but they lasted longer.

Although perfectly useable (especially if riding alone and on road) he gave up on them in the end as he was somewhat out gunned by other riders in the group using halides: it's no fun when riding down a rocky descent and the bloke with a halide behind you means that you are riding into your own shadow!


I expect it was this light from NightLightning
As with most things LED, last year's model is completely outgunned. As you can see from the beamshots at the end, it's just as good if not better than an HID now. About £100, no battery/charger.

The performance of LEDs is now such that I very much doubt whether anyone will be bringing out any new HID lights, or halogens except at the very cheap end of the market.

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Postby Si » 5 Oct 2007, 7:35pm

Hmmm, looks very tempting. Although still costs a bit more than my HID but the run times are impressive!

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Postby PW » 7 Oct 2007, 6:15pm

Hmmm, my 15 year old home brew setup is looking a little long in the tooth.....
It'll compete for brightness, run times are good, but the lead/acid gell cell & 2 miners' lamps are a tad heavy by modern standards. :lol:
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Postby specialist » 16 Oct 2007, 6:09pm

that nz site looks good, anyone experience of importing?

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Postby Raph » 19 Oct 2007, 8:58pm

My ha'pennyworth:

I'm a Lumicycle devotee - so I don't say this lightly - their LED lamp is abysmal. It's just a get-you-home backup cos it uses so little power that the battery would probably recover a bit of voltage after running out on halogens or a HID.

Everything else they do is so utterly superb, I don't understand quite why they think the LED they do is ok, let alone worth £20. I bought a wide and a spot just on the assumption that it couldn't possibly be bad. I was wrong! I did email them and ask if they had any plans to make a better one, perhaps with a Luxeon or two, but they were too busy to respond.

I've just made a foray into Solidlights territory, albeit with a Schmidt dynamo, and I'm thoroughly impressed so far.

That Blaast thing looks pretty stunning. If that's not trick photography then HIDs are doomed.

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Postby Graham » 19 Oct 2007, 11:28pm

Thanks for the info Raph. That has just saved me some dosh.

I too emailed Lumicycle to ask whether they had any plans for a "killer" LED lamp.
Several days later : no reply !

cheers
Graham

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Postby Raph » 19 Oct 2007, 11:56pm

Good - if you were about to spend £20 on that LED they do then I'm very glad you didn't. From that Blaast website it seems you won't have to wait a couple of years for LEDs to get good.

I'm totally happy with my Lumi HID light, but it does have a couple of significant downfalls, which are a) if you drop it, it's £75 to replace the bulb, and b) you can't flash it, in fact switching on wears it out i.e. its lifespan is measured by how many switchings-on, also if it gets switched off accidentally or a cable gets pulled out, it takes at least five seconds for the ballast to recharge to be able to give the 6000 volt kick to strike an arc for it to switch on again - not what you want to be thinking about while crashing about the undergrowth on yer MTB or steaming down a hill at 40mph. In practice those aren't really problems cos you just make very sure nothing hits the switch and that cables don't get snagged, but a less fussy lamp of similar efficiency would be a great thing - for example I could then have a true dipped/main beam setup and only use the main beam when it doesn't dazzle anyone. The Lumi HID is so awesome I have to shield it with my hand when cars come the other way, which makes it a pain to use. If I don't, they just veer into the ditch - can be embarrassing when I'm winching up a 1:6 at a snail's pace and it take a minute to get past them. At least if it were as easy going as a LED and could be switched on and off without fuss I could have one pointing downwards, or somehow masked to make a dipped beam, and the other for use when nobody's coming the other way.

Sorry - you didn't ask what the drawbacks of a HID light were, but I ranted on anyway! I haven't so far seen any LED that comes anywhere close to HIDs, but who knows, maybe that Blaast thing is up there already.

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Postby Graham » 20 Oct 2007, 9:19am

Raph wrote:Sorry - you didn't ask what the drawbacks of a HID light were, but I ranted on anyway! I haven't so far seen any LED that comes anywhere close to HIDs, but who knows, maybe that Blaast thing is up there already.

No apology necessary. Your info on HID was very useful, in that it confirms ( for my circumstances ) that ignoring HID and waiting for LED supremacy was a good tactic.

For me bike lights are an overspend danger-zone. You may know what I mean :wink:

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Postby Raph » 20 Oct 2007, 12:46pm

I DO know what you mean - I'm terrified of adding up what I've spent on bike lights over the years!

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Postby PW » 20 Oct 2007, 1:01pm

Hmmmm - 1 bagful of surplus miners lamps, £5 +vat, two 10a/h 6v gel cells at £18 each, that's £41-87 over 15 years. :lol: :lol:
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Postby Raph » 20 Oct 2007, 1:39pm

That's good - but what does a 10ah gel cell weigh? I assume that's lead acid? I'm not being a weight freak but I remember my very first battery "system" was a car headlight with a 10ah 12V battery on a front rack - it practically flattened the front tyre.

About 6V lead acid batteries - I've been there. I even cobbled an "intelligent charger" so they wouldn't fry if I forgot they were on charge. To be fair to them, they're still working after about fifteen years of alternating occasional use and total neglect. Until recently my total lifetime expenditure on bike lights was less than £100.

BUT - the capacity per weight is pathetic compared to Li-Ion, 6V's worth of halogen doesn't produce many watts without crippling itself, beyond about 10W the voltage starts to wilt.

You can cobble stuff together for cheap, but I find by the time I've done all the trial'n'error, I might as well have let someone else with more technology at the their disposal do all that and just buy the result of their efforts. Well... within reason! (and there's the rub - what's "reason"?)

If cost is more of an issue than performance then surplus miner's lamps sound excellent, and much better value than all the lead-acid cycling systems that are still sold for £40 and over. In fact you could probably use them with a fancy NiMH or Li-Ion battery and not have to get quite so fit lumbering a 10ah lead acid battery around :lol: .