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  1. #1
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    Light and Motion Stella

    I'm looking to get a good commuter light by the fall to replace my dying Niterider Classic. I basically ride both ways in the dark for most of the winter through all kinds of weather--about 30-40 minutes each way. I would like to keep it under $200 and don't really want a HID cause I don't want to blind other cyclists on the MUT. I was already leaning toward a Light and Motion Solo but then saw that this new Stella is coming out. What do you guys think of this light? Anyone planning to get one? Anything else you like for $200 or less?

    http://www.bikelights.com/News/Headl...e/stellapr.htm

    http://www.bikelights.com/Products/Stella180N.htm

  2. #2
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    Dinotte

    Henry,

    Just picked up the Dinotte 200L for $150 from Geoman. Tried it for the first time on my early morning (as in dark) training road ride. Very nice light. More than bright enough for commuting and sooo very small. Its output is 200 lumens and the beam shape is perfect.

    Bob

  3. #3
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    In the 200 L range, the Stella is the one I'd get. L&M is a fantastic company with rock solid CS and a long background in underwater imaging and bike lighting. They will have a brighter LED next year but the Stella will be fine as a commuter. I'd stay over 500L for mountain biking though- unless it's just dirt trails you're riding.

  4. #4
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    For a commuter light

    I'd suggest either Dinotte's Ultra 3 or Ultra 5. I have their lights for racing and couldn't be happier with the quality, output, customer service, and upgrade path (I've ridden with some of the pros running the high end L&M gear and I wouldn't have traded). Both lights mentioned are cheaper than the 180N, and lighter as well.

    The Ultra 3 is nice because it has the tail-light and optics that are designed to improve side visibility. While the burn time isn't as long it is more than enough for your needs, weighs about 1/3 as much and you can carry emergency batteries in your pack. If you're worried about total light output, the Ultra 5 might be the better choice. I'd be hesitant to go by just lumen ratings to compare, as the quality of optics and design play a big role in the how the light performs. The Ultra 3 should be bright enough for your needs, especially considering that you're worried about blinding other riders, unless you have some descents that get the speed up.

    Check out the specs and see if it makes sense for you.

    Dan

    edit: for racing I use the 500L; at your price point it's tough to get a lithium battery (the Stella w/ lithium battery is ~300). The AA based light is the best commuter option in my opinion because of the ability to carry those spares (as much as you never think you'll need them).

  5. #5
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    The 500L is brighter than the ARC HID? The only HID light I know of that is brighter with a proper beam pattern is the Lupine Edison. The only LED that is as bright as the Edison is the Wilma (for now).

    Check out the beam pattern pictures and call the companies you end up liking. I think the Dinottes look rudimentary but if they work; they work. They are also a great value. I'm not sure what the Lumen output is on those but they will definitely work for you, as will the Stella. For a helmet-mounted light, make sure the mount is designed to break away in case you hit a tree branch or take a digger.

  6. #6
    pedal like hell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    The 500L is brighter than the ARC HID?
    Never said that, I said I wouldn't have traded. On a pure lumens comparison, the 500L (which is now the "600L" if we're talking lumens) isn't as "bright" as the ARC HID, but I prefer the light temperature and beam pattern to a HID (including the ARC). It's personal preference, but I think it's easier to ride with (and I have ridden with L&M gear or with people running that and various other manufacturers). I also prefer the fact that I can step down the light if my laps start to run long and it will burn significantly longer (HIDs don't step down as efficiently). The reliability (It has three independent circuits for the bulbs and won't burn out/decrease output over the burn time) is also a nice plus and a reduced cost (no bulbs to replace)

    Also, I'm not sponsored so cost is a factor and there is no way that the ARC can compete once you start adding in spare batteries (which go for ~200/per from a quick check online). To get the same amount of run time without having to have my pit crew of 1 worry about charging batteries would've been about ~600 more than the Dinotte setup I have (I run two lights and have a total burn time of ~11 hours for both lights). The lights were good enough to get me on the podium at nationals this year and my night laps were no slower than my day laps. Worked for me.

    And if "rudimentary" means nicely machined aluminum (as opposed to molded plastic) then yes, they are rudimentary. I've used both (L&M and Dinotte) and I'm sticking with my Dinottes. But, there's a reason so many options are out there and what works for one person won't for another.

    edit: I've crashed with the lights at decent speed and they survived without a hitch (didn't even need to be repositioned); I also realized that the L&M setup would've been even more money than I thought (the Dinottes come with two batteries in the kit package, the L&M only one) to make it ~1000 difference.

  7. #7
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    I like the Dins- just not the mounting system and the connectors look cheap- prob just aesthetics. For that price, I think the value is solid. I used to have the Alu/carbon Lume too, and the Jet Phantom and prefer the ARC in construction and all those to the Dins but all are more expensive.

    I like the actual light and am looking forward to all the new LEDs next year. For now the only two lights I really like are still the Edison and ARC and the only LED is the Wilma.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    I like the actual light and am looking forward to all the new LEDs next year.
    What is coming out and when and how much?

  9. #9
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    In general, LEDs are going to see many more offering since it has basically just started. Specifically, Lupine has the Betty (crazy price but superb light). I have heard that L&M is coming out with a brighter light than the Stella. I would be surprised if Jet Lites didn't come out with their own LED. They make some durable and tough lights.
    Dinotte will probably keep advancing their offerings as well.

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