Not Smart Enough to Quit
Phantom to Stella; Am I Backing Up?
I have been riding with a Jetlites Phantom Single Beam 20W (helmet mounted) as my only light for several years and have been quite happy with it. Thing is, now I need more burn time. I've been looking at the L&M Stella 180L because of the burn time & weight, but I'm concerned that I would not be able to run only the helmet light.
How do you think that the Stella will compare to the Phantom?
you could get one of the new Li-ion batteries from Jet?? forget it, they are not compatible just checked
hum... it's not going to be wide enough or enough light. I had the phantom for 5 years and 200 lumens is not going to be enough coming from the phantom....
I would sugest to check the Dinotte 600L (400$- 600 lumens)or even the 2x 200L(350$, - 400 lumens) for weight and output if you want to move to led.... or start to read about all the possibilities
the 600L it's going to be the best bet as far as ouput, burn time and weight for the price
Look for something in the 400-600 lumens at least
Or.... you could use the Stella as you main light and turn on your phantom on the technical sections just to light things more
The Stella isn't bad but it is not as bright as the Phantom. If you like the light, just buy an extra battery. Pack weight doesn't bother me much so I'd carry an extra battery. You could use the Stella on the helmet and keep the Phantom on the bar. Here in Colorado, we have long climbs so dimming or turning one light off during the climbs is easy enough. We can then turn both on for the fast descents or the rollers. I like having two lights- for the way trail definition is picked up, for the extra brightness, and for safety reasons (in case one goes out).
I have two friends that use the Phantom and one who uses the Stella. The Stella has a pretty effective beam but you will just have to get used to the brightness level being lower.
I used the Phantom as well and I love the reliability of Jet products. My Phantom is still roaming the trails at night; just not on my helmet. I went to a L&M ARC HID and now use the Lupine LEDs.
Yes, you would be going back in brightness.
Also, the phantom is a flood beam and the Stella is more of a spot beam. You should use them together. The Stella can fill the hole of the phantom.
Note that in these photos, the Stella is pointed a bit high at that beach ball and tent so it's hotspot is a bit lost.
3) your test crew getting teleported.
Excellent choice of trail section there, francois. As much as I like LEDs, there is something about the warm light that a halogen throws out that I like a lot.
Those blue lights on the bench are either the Lupine switches or the back of the Dinottes- unless others use blue LED indicators as well.
blue lights... Lupine I think... or aliens.
Originally Posted by Flyer
On my photo shoot last night, I included Jet halogen, Jet HID and a Niterider 35 watt halogen for comparison. I knew these upgrade questions would come up!
Not Smart Enough to Quit
Good thinking! I agree with Flyer about the yellowish light of the Phantom. I used a Jet HID at a 12 hour race and I noticed that while it was brighter, I couldn't necessarily see the trail better. Maybe the halogen had better contrast?
Originally Posted by francois
I am wondering if I may not be better off just waiting another year for the LED tech to improve. I really want a light that meets these criteria;
Bright enough to use as a helmet mount alone
Light weight (light head about like the Phantom and a smaller battery)
At least 3 hours run, 4 - 5 hours would be better
Quick attachment to helmet (I don't want to spend 15 minutes trying to mount it during a race!)
Adjustable light head mount (at least vertically)
Got any recommendations?
That's not asking too much is it?
Someof the LEDs are trying to produce slightly more amber-colored light over blue-white light for this very reason. I like the color of the Lupines but a little more amber would be even nicer. For $400, I'd go with the Dinotte 600L- you even get two Li-Ion batteries. The lighthead isn't too heavy and is under 200 grams. I'm 99% sure even though I have not weighed one. The Nightlightning iBlaast is another good option with a great beam but I'd get a 600L knowing they are US-based and have awesome customer service if needed. Rob is a stellar guy who will take care of a customer if needed.
EDIT- The Wilma will cost you around $200 more. I paid more to get it and would do it again but my criteria may be diff than your criteria. I bought the Lupine primarily for the light weight, brightness/color of light, quality of construction, and reputation for long-term reliability. To me, it was worth the extra money even though I'm far from being well-off. I like the best stuff that I can use for years and years.
Not Smart Enough to Quit
OK, how about this; I get the Dinotte Dual 200, put one on the bars & one on the head.
I was checking it out & it looks like a good deal if it's bright enough. You can upgrade to 4 cell batteries to give each light 8 hours burn time on high & the entire system (light heads & batteries) is still lighter than my Jet battery.
For $400 I would go with the Dinotte 600L.
Two 200Ls will still not be as bright and as wide as your Phantom. You will still be going backwards. I believe for $500, you can get that combo deal from Dinotte- one 600L and one 200L. That's not a bad way to go.
Do that or add another light to your current setup. That Phantom is a pretty bright halogen. You can't replicate that with a relatively low-powered LED light. The 22 watt Phantom kicks out around 670 Lumens. Even two 200Ls will be dimmer and much narrower. The 200L is only adequate if you already have a bright and wide beam on the bar and I still think it's a bit too dim and does not have enough reach for a helmet light on singletrack.
I like my helmet beam to have enough reach, especially when I'm flying up and down rollers or twisty singletrack. We have no choice but to go pretty fast since it's essentially all uphill and all downhill around here with several very sharp switchbacks that are always steep since they cut them along the sides of mountains.
If you're riding on flat land where you're going 10-12 mph and can see around most curves, maybe the 200L will be fine on the helmet and bar. I would not feel comfortable using that setup here unless I was just commuting.