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  1. #1
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    Regarding LEDs and HIDs...

    Regarding LEDs and HIDs...

    People here say that LEDs have surpassed HIDs. Maybe the technology and potential has, but what production LED is going to give me more light than a L&M arc? For that matter is there any other HID I should be thinking about?

    I have up to $350 to use and so far the L&M arc at $325 seems to be my best bet. -Right now I have too many projects so DIY make-a-light isn't an option. What do you think???

    (*things have changed a lot since I bought my last light in 2001, a 20w jet halogen. lets just say it isn't as bright as it used to be )
    Last edited by Locoman; 07-18-2007 at 01:55 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I think some of the latest top line LED's are now equal too or maybe even better than most HID's.
    LED's like: Dinotte 500, Wilma 4 (upgraded) & 6, & Nightlightning Blast to name a few with the added advantage in most cases of extended battery life and also the LED's being generally lighter.

    However the costs of these LED's remain simular to HID's so take your pick LED or HID

    Don't forget that a replacement HID bulb is still close to $100 and they don't like being turned on & off and are more fragile than LED's and will eventualy ware out

    The L & M Arc at $325 is still good buying
    Just Ride !

  3. #3
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    Most of the recent three or four emitter lights should be around the same ballpark as an average 10 watt HID, or a little brighter. Ambiguous I know, but there’s a fair bit of variation out there.

    LED’s are more robust, dimmable, and these days are more efficient. The downside is that a lot of manufacturers are slow in implementing the latest emitters, which is probably due to demand and financial based reasons. However many are still pricing their lights towards the upper end of the market just because they’re as bright as their expensive HID systems.

    While I do recommend and LED based system these days, the Light and Motion ARC is a great light for the money, and there are plenty of happy riders here on the boards using them without fault.

    Dave.

  4. #4
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    I'll echo what has been said here. Most of the current crop of emitter arrays, DiNotte 500L, Lupine Wilma, Night Lightning, etc. will be as bright (or brighter) than the Arc. The LED lights will be more durable (don't drop your HID), have a longer life, and generally have longer run times.

    The fact that you can dim the LED lights to very low levels will allow you to get outrageous run times. The Wilma, for example, can be dimmed to 1W allowing it to run for something like 30 hours.

    I've run the Arc for quite some time, and Light and Motion is a good company, but I like the LED based lights better.

  5. #5
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by James@GearReview

    I've run the Arc for quite some time, and Light and Motion is a good company, but I like the LED based lights better.
    Agreed.
    GeoMan
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  6. #6
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    While I agree with the rest that you can buy LEDs that are as bright or brighter and that the LED is much more robust. However, the fact of the matter is that they still aren't as cost effect as an HID with out some sort of DIY effort. I have no doubt that there will soon be a lot more of these on the market and one day soon we shall see some HID killers at a more reasonable price but we aren't there yet.

    On the other hand, I think two 200 lumen lights (one on the helmet and one on the bars) would be more than adequate for riding at full speed. With that, you're still looking at $500 or so for an official production model setup but could easily mod a couple of NR Minewts with some Seoul power for less than $300.
    Long Live Long Rides

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    On the other hand, I think two 200 lumen lights (one on the helmet and one on the bars) would be more than adequate for riding at full speed. With that, you're still looking at $500 or so for an official production model setup but could easily mod a couple of NR Minewts with some Seoul power for less than $300.
    2 Dinotte 200L AA's $169 each.

    -D

  8. #8
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    I agree that the commerical market for LED's are just catching up to the HID's but after comparing my homebrew 6 led to all my friends HID's I think they are here to stay and will be brighter and cheaper in time. Mine is about twice as bright as theirs with similar or better run times becuase i can dim it. I think the new bright LED's are so new that the commerical market is just finishing testing them to make sure they are feasable to sell as thier product and not run into problems they didn't see. But they are now starting to come on the market so i think alot more are going to follow real shortly. I already saw a 7 led light that is in the works and if its as bright or brighter than my 6 led light its going to kill the HID's. Don't know what the price will be for it but if its comparable to a HID light i don't see any reason why people wouldn't pick the LED.

  9. #9
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    Are you suggesting that I could buy a commercial LED light and switch out the LEDs for a light brighter than a HID??

    Or is there more to it than that..?
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  10. #10
    Who are the brain police?
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    Quote Originally Posted by James@GearReview
    I'll echo what has been said here. Most of the current crop of emitter arrays, DiNotte 500L, Lupine Wilma, Night Lightning, etc. will be as bright (or brighter) than the Arc. The LED lights will be more durable (don't drop your HID), have a longer life, and generally have longer run times.

    The fact that you can dim the LED lights to very low levels will allow you to get outrageous run times. The Wilma, for example, can be dimmed to 1W allowing it to run for something like 30 hours.

    I've run the Arc for quite some time, and Light and Motion is a good company, but I like the LED based lights better.
    I'm way behind on the learning curve so forgive me but looking at dinotte's website the 500L only give 450 lumens at 2.5 hours run time. But the Arc has 675 lumens at 3 hours.
    Should I be keying in on something other than lumens??

    I'm aware of Lupines prices so I'm not even going to look into that one. *sigh*

    And is it me or is Night Lighting's website terrible? They might make a fantastic product, but I really don't know what to make of them..
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locoman
    Are you suggesting that I could buy a commercial LED light and switch out the LEDs for a light brighter than a HID??

    Or is there more to it than that..?
    No, I was suggesting that for $338 (rather than the $500 mentioned in another post) you can have 2 commercial 200lumen lights.

    -D

  12. #12
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    you need to take lumens with a pinch of salt

    most of it is "sales lumens" which is different to real lumens out of the front

    there are a few LED systems around that will match/beat the 10w HIDs

    but if you have a little diy skills then you can change the leds in an older led system
    or make your own light

    basicly with the very latest leds your looking at a tested (not sales) output of about 210 lumens per emitter then id take 80% of that as coming out of the front of the system
    so call it about 180 per emitter then times that by the number of emitters

    so if you get an old cateye tripple shot and put 3 of the new seoul led in it your looking at about 540 lumens for the same runtime

    all this is really rough guessing and dosnt help as all the HID ratings will probably be lies too

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derath
    No, I was suggesting that for $338 (rather than the $500 mentioned in another post) you can have 2 commercial 200lumen lights.

    -D

    I wasn't sure about the 200L because it isn't directly listed on their website or maybe I missed it. I only saw the 200L listed in the upgrade section. But again, I would rather have the Li-Ion batteries although not necessarily the NR batteries since the switch and electronics are in the battery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Locoman
    Are you suggesting that I could buy a commercial LED light and switch out the LEDs for a light brighter than a HID??

    Or is there more to it than that..?
    My suggested option of replacing the K2 with SSC P4 in two Minewts would still not be as bright as the HID but it certainly would be enough light. It would be lighter, more compact, allow for redundancy with two separate lights and two separate batteries, similar burn times and definitely less fragile than HID. The downside would be that it would be overall less bright. Pick your poison.
    Long Live Long Rides

  14. #14
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    LED are getting better, but right now there is still no comparison to HID if you figure lumens/watt/price. The L&M still puts out more light for less money and burns longer on the same battery than any commercially available LED light system.

  15. #15
    GeoMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derath
    2 Dinotte 200L AA's $169 each.

    -D
    Actually, $149.99 each or $299.98 for two...

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  16. #16
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    I think your best bet right now would be to wait about 6 to 12 months. I think the best setup would be a 3 LED light on the bar, which will be just as bright as an HID, and a single or double on your helmet. Unless you are doing nighttime downhill runs, that will be plenty of light.

    Also, that 570 lumen output is BS if you ask me. I have the datasheet from the Welch Allyn HID bulb (used in all of the 10w HID lights) and the rated output is 450 lumens. It can obviously be slightly overdriven, but not as much as a Halogen. But of course this will also shorten the lifespan. Basically, using 3 of the Souel or Cree LEDs will give you about the same amount of light as an HID.

    Mark

  17. #17
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    Here's how I look at it right now:

    The Lupine Edison is the brightest HID followed by the L&M ARC. The ARC starts at around $35 while the Edison is close to $1K.

    I have not run into any HID that compares favorably to these two. The ARC is a steal at that price.

    I have also seen a pic or two the 7-LED Lupine that is going to come out soon. That WILL be the brightest LED around and will be brighter than the ARC (though I can't outrun the ARC) BUT it will be more expensive than the Edison. So we are looking at over $1K for it. Also, with 7 LEDs, it makes for a big lamp unit

    So till a 2-3 LED 800-1000 Lumen light comes out WITH a good beam pattern and no hot spot (if in doubt, compare the ARC beam pattern to some of the other HIDs) at a price point close to $400-$500 ($350 would be great), the value simply isn't there for many riders, myself included.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GEOMAN

    Well yes, from you. But I bought mine direct so I could take advantage of the free upgrade for my older 5W

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Here's how I look at it right now:

    The Lupine Edison is the brightest HID followed by the L&M ARC. The ARC starts at around $35 while the Edison is close to $1K.

    I have not run into any HID that compares favorably to these two. The ARC is a steal at that price.

    I have also seen a pic or two the 7-LED Lupine that is going to come out soon. That WILL be the brightest LED around and will be brighter than the ARC (though I can't outrun the ARC) BUT it will be more expensive than the Edison. So we are looking at over $1K for it. Also, with 7 LEDs, it makes for a big lamp unit

    So till a 2-3 LED 800-1000 Lumen light comes out WITH a good beam pattern and no hot spot (if in doubt, compare the ARC beam pattern to some of the other HIDs) at a price point close to $400-$500 ($350 would be great), the value simply isn't there for many riders, myself included.
    What's up Flyer? I couldn't agree more.

    I was about to jump on the ARC deal but had to hold off for a couple of weeks, so I've been using my time to research all I can on the subject of lights... and I totally agree with your take.

    ..Although LEDs might be a cost effective if you take the DIY approach, but I don't have the time.

    Long story short, I'll be making that call on Friday
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  20. #20
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    There already is a 800 some lumen LED out now. It uses 4 LED's but not 2-3, and has an excellent beam pattern, NO hot spot. I realize it's not $350, but there's reason's why they cost the way they do.

  21. #21
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    Solarc lamps (made by Welsh Allyn) that are used by L&M and others will produce (from the Solarc site
    Solarc™ lamps have an output of about 45~60 lumens for every watt of input power.

    The average would be 52.5 lumens/watt or 525 lumens at 10 watts. L&M advertises 675 lumens @ 13.5W, which is 50 Lumens / W. I think the claim is quite reasonable

    I'm not sure which Cree LED you refer to, but the best I have seen are 80-100lm each (averge 90lm?). Three of those would give you an average of 270lm. That's not too close to the 675 that you get from L&M. It looks like LEDs are half way there.

  22. #22
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    I'm riding with 2 ARC lamps and couldn't be happier THe NiMH batteries are very light. Buy the NiMH version. You can upgrade later when Lithium drops in price. The charger and connectors on the NiMH are the same for the Li batteries

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shorts
    Solarc lamps (made by Welsh Allyn) that are used by L&M and others will produce (from the Solarc site
    Solarc™ lamps have an output of about 45~60 lumens for every watt of input power.

    The average would be 52.5 lumens/watt or 525 lumens at 10 watts. L&M advertises 675 lumens @ 13.5W, which is 50 Lumens / W. I think the claim is quite reasonable

    I'm not sure which Cree LED you refer to, but the best I have seen are 80-100lm each (averge 90lm?). Three of those would give you an average of 270lm. That's not too close to the 675 that you get from L&M. It looks like LEDs are half way there.
    I am not going to argue about the claimed lumen output from the L&M unit, but a couple of other thoughts: That 13.5 watt power is the input, not taking into account loses in the ballast, which will be 5% to 10%.

    I think you are mis-understanding the lumen output of the current LEDs. The newest Cree XR-E Q5 bin have an output of 107 to 114 lumens at 350mA. This seems to be a common current for manufacturers to rate their LEDs against each other. According to Cree's output chart, when these LEDs are driven at 1 amp, their output is 220% of the output at 350mA. That makes between 235 and 250 lumens per LED or between 705 and 750 for 3. Also, each LED will use about 3.7 volts, which for 3 will be 11.1 volts. So a light with 3 of these will be brighter than the L&M HID, and also last longer. Not to mention that it can be dimmed very easily, and actually gets more efficient when dimmed, so your battery will last even longer. I won't even go into the longer life expectancy, lower replacement cost, or the more robust nature of LEDs over HIDs.

    These are of course all theoretical numbers, (but so are the L&M numbers), and no production light uses these LEDs yet! But I have some Q5s in my hands and am working on just such a light. When it is done I will do a good comparison with my current HID light (also homemade) that has been going strong for about 5 years.

    Mark

  24. #24
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    Importing them from Europe is one reason. The Euro has been very strong and I'd rather not buy Euro imports and pay the currency valuation premium against the dollar. If you (not any poster but just in general) trade currency, you will know exactly what I mean. Even the Indian Rupee has appreciated 20% against the dollar lately so imports from India are becoming more expensive as margins are being squeezed. It was the other way around this past decade or two.

    I'll wait till the 800 lumen and higher LEDs are in that price range and I bet they will drop in price as the technology advances- at least the American ones.

    I bought the ARC because it was the best one out there barring the Edison but I can't outrun either one anyway and at $400, the ARC rules the $900 Edison. The Edison is slightly brighter but not $500 brighter and like I said, I can't outrun either one even on fast downhills runs. That $500 went towards a fork.

    I appreciate the Lupine quality but it's seriously handicapped coming in from Europe. It will have to really play a superb game to be worth over $1K- and there is a small demographic willing to pay that to begin with- for ANY light.

    L&M is also working on their next gen LED light beyond the Thelma. It will be taking aim at the 800-1200 lumen range at an affordable price. I'm definitely not saying that LED isn't a great option but get them to HID brightness at an affordable price and the buyers will flock. I am not taking a 300 lumen LED out on these trails and I cannot let myself pay $1K or who knows how much more for the new Lupine LED. I can buy 3-4 HIDs for that much. The price can be justified in many ways but I also know that if the Euro falls, the Lupines will cost less for distributors. Whether they pass the savings on to consumers is another story. I'll wait till LEDs are cheap enough AND bright enough at the same time. $350 and 800 lumens with 3 LEDs is my magic #. Sorry for having such stringent standards

    Hey Locoman, it's going well. My buddy's Halogen died the other night (the other had a commuter LED bright enough to light the handlebar) and I had to guide two of them all the way down 1,000 ft. My neck was killing me. The ARC lit the way for all three of us- two in front and me trying to keep the light pointed far enough ahead on the twisty and steep downhill- painful but we all survived.

  25. #25
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    I'm not anti-LED, but, like Flyer, ....until a commercially available led bike light becomes available, in a comparable or smaller package as HID, with as much light output, at an equivalent price, there's no reason for me to switch.

    Everyone talks about how much more robust LED is, but I've never broken an HID lamp. I expect the useful life will be around 4-5 years, by which time I'd want a new system anyway. The only advantage LED holds for me right now is the dimming capability. Other than that, I get more light at a much lower price....with a superb light pattern than any currently available LED system.

    edit: Could you list the reliability specs for the bin 5 LED at 1A. I'm curious what the life is. I can't find anything about bin 5 on the Cree site. Thanks
    Last edited by Blue Shorts; 07-25-2007 at 03:51 PM.

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