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  1. #1
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    Review: HIDTechnologies-Lumen8r-LED Quad Lighting System

    Hi all.I just received my new light system from HIDTechologies. > www.hidtechnologies.com.au It is a very nice quad Cree R-2 helmet light setup. About a month ago there was a thread on the HIDTech systems and it just so happened I liked very much what I was seeing. For a long time I have been in a quest for the perfect helmet light system. Since this is just my initial impression after only one ride I will hold off on whither I think this is the end of the quest. Let's just say at this point I am very impressed. It is by far the brightest helmet light I've ever owned. I'll not go too overboard for the moment about how well it works till I can give it more time on the trails. I will however give some basic feedback on the system and how it stacks up to other systems.
    The light engine: housing Diameter- 42mm, length-55mm...A very nice housing if I say so...very compact and very lite, I never noticed the weight of the light engine while riding. There is a small metal bracket that the light engine is mounted to. Operating the light is very simple. The button sits on top of the light engine and is very light-action. One push turns it on. More pushes ramps up the intensity of the light ( 3 modes ) until it reaches the highest setting. In order to dim the light you must push and hold the button. When you do that it ramps down (dims). This took me some time to get used to. The Dinotte 600L I own simply goes through all the modes in circular fashion. The Lumen8r ramps up and down...after a half hour or so it became second nature. To turn the light off you once again have to press and hold the button down. If you are in the highest mode when turning off you will see the lamp quickly ramp down the modes and then turn off. This is a little strange and takes a couple seconds. The good part is that the light engine has mode memory. When you turn it back on it returns to the last mode you were in. The wire that connects to the back of the light engine does not come off. There is a pigtail setup on the rear of the light but it just there to protect the cord. The system looks to use the TrailTech type connectors and wire. The connectors I have no problem with but I hate the wire that has a small section of curly-Q wire on it. I much prefer just straight wire but with that said it all worked fine.
    The Helmet mount: The light engine is mounted to a metal bracket. This allows the user to tilt the light engine once it is mounted on the helmet. The screws on the bracket were a little tight but that was no real problem and it worked fine. There are a couple slots in the bracket that allow the user to use the included velcro (buckle-type) strips to help fasten the light to the helmet. There is also a piece of industrial type velcro mounted under the
    bracket. I hate to say it but all the stuff they gave me for mounting was useless to me because of how my vents line up. Instead I took a longer piece of Velcro and threaded it through the slots and around the vents on my helmet. I then took a small piece of rolled rubber tube and slid it under the mount to take up slack and prevent sliding. It worked great and there is very little if any movement on the bracket at all. Just to let you know I don't consider this a fault in the system. I had the same problem with my Niterider setup years ago. I simply used the same fix...no problems.
    The Battery: The battery is a 5 cell (18650) 18.5volt, 2200mah Li-ion setup. It is suppose to run the light on high for 2.5hrs. A larger battery is available. I chose the smaller for weight purposes and because I rarely ride more than 2.5hrs anyway. It will be a while before I can do my own run test. The battery weighs about 8.5oz. (supposedly). It uses a fast smart charger. Tonight after I did my ride it took less than two hours to charge...nice. Only one problem...The Aussie's forgot to give me an adapter plug for the charger...at's okay mates...I picked one up toot-sweet at the local Radio Shack.
    The Beam output and pattern: The Lumen8r is marketed as a helmet setup. You do however have a choice of optics. I went with the narrow setup. I'm beginning to come to the conclusion that when it comes to LED optics, they can only get so narrow. Yes the beam is narrow but they are 4 optics so there is still some spilling of light. If you shine the beam down on the ground in front of you about ten feet away you will see a very intense ball of light about 5-6ft. across with very little spill. When you point the light out about to 20-25ft that ball of light expands to fill the whole trail...from that point and beyond the beam expands and lights up everything. The brighter the setting the more it lights up. How far can it throw?..the million dollar question...I've not done any throw test yet but I had no problem seeing anything I was riding ...and that includes some very technical downhills. My gut tells me it is throwing over 200ft on the trails but when I hit the high beam on the road all I could say was OMG!...300+ft?...who knows. Probably the most useable mode is the medium setting. Ballparking a bit, I would say the medium setting is in the 500+ lumen range. This is a very nice setting for all-around use. Using the medium mode will of course give you much longer run time and you always have the high mode for faster/more technical/down-hill stuff. I really love the color rendition of the Cree LED's. They are bright, white and easy on the eyes. With the Lumen8r on max I had a hard time telling what setting my Dinotte 600L was in as the Lm8r overpowers the throw of the Dinotte! Thank God the dinotte has rear display leds that blink to indicate mode! I should add though that when using the Lm8r with narrow optics you will still very much need a bar light to fill in the void close to the bike. For this purpose my 600L works very well. The low setting on the Lm8r is very low, probably somewhere around 150lms. Good enough for climbing steep hills. This is the only setting where the Dinotte 600L won...the low setting on the 600L is much brighter than the Lm8r. I know people out there want beam shots. Eventually I will get around to it but for now I just want to ride with my new toy...
    Photos: 1) Lumen8r is top left. Dinotte 600L top right, old Marwi halogen lamp bottom left, Jett 13watt halogen bottom right
    2+3) Lumen8r mounted on my helmet.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-21-2008 at 09:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looks Great, I am very tempted to get one of these Initially wanted to wait until April next year just in case some new improvements came out but the neighbour talked me into going in a 24hr race as a pair that is on in 3 weekends. I was also waiting to see if there was any comparisions between this light and the Hope 4 vision but as they come from different sides of the world I don'tthink anyone wants to try compare the two.

    How long in the cord? Can you easily put the battery in the jersey back pocket? Would you think the other battery would be annoying heavy in the jersey back pocket?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris-crisis
    ...How long in the cord? Can you easily put the battery in the jersey back pocket? Would you think the other battery would be annoying heavy in the jersey back pocket?
    Since I've never been a fan of having anything too heavy in a jersey pocket, I want to let you know I tried this out just for you....Yes!...it will reach a jersey pocket. Beyond a doubt the larger battery would feel like a brick in your jersey since it is over 1lb. I should mention though that the setup comes with a nice little zippered kit bag. Included in that kit is a another smaller bag for the battery. If you wanted to it would work well with a belt. That way it wouldn't flop around. Personally I just use a hydration system that has lots of room for goodies. As for the improvements....yes...I wanted to wait for the MC-E's to come out but I couldn't pass this up. Just to let you know, when I was dialogging with the HIDtech. people
    they told me that they had plans to use the MC-E. They are talking about building a system with an output in the ~2400 - 3000lm range! Just remember, the Lumen8r is suppose to be upgradeable. I was thinking it would be ( should be ) easy to retro fit the Lumen8r with a triple MCE...maybe somewhere around 1500lm?? I don't think I would want something in the 2000+lm range as it would require a much bigger battery.

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    Hi,

    Thanks for that, I think you are right that a Hydration system is the way to go.

    How well does the light fit on the handle bars?

    I am in Australia and only have one more week of riding to work before daylight savings kicks in so apart from this one 24hr race in 3 weeks I could easily just keep using my 30WT Halogen fitted into my old 30WT MR16 Trailtech HID that broke. I will have a talk to the HIDTech people about when theMC-E will be available and whether the light is upgradable. However you might be right that the battery will be heavier so I might be happy enough withthe current setup.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris-crisis
    ...How well does the light fit on the handle bars?
    There is no bar mount. It is sold as a helmet system. With wider optics, a shorter cord, a platform for the bracket, handlebar use would be doable.

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    A few questions that I have in mind:
    1. What's the optics specs (in degrees), and how "sharp" is the hotspot? I had a DIY 3-led light with a 4 degree very sharp and narrow spot, and I found it annoying. Even if the throw was superb (over 100 meters).
    2. What's the battery spec (voltage)? Can I get it to work with the Dinotte 7.2V batteries? Just because I have 4 of those - two that have never been used.
    Edit: sorry, I was being write-only - you mentioned it is 18.5V. What a pity.
    3. Beamshots - I know, you promised some for next week :-)
    Thanks for the info.

  7. #7
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    Someone at work just bought one to enter the same 24hr race I am going in and is raving about it. Luckily someone else at work with the older HIDtechnologies 3led version is going to lend me his for the race.

    I think I will buy one in April when I will need it for winter commuting. That way I can decide if the MC-E version is any better and worth getting.

  8. #8
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    radirpok wrote:..A few questions that I have in mind:
    1. What's the optics specs (in degrees), and how "sharp" is the hotspot? I had a DIY 3-led light with a 4 degree very sharp and narrow spot, and I found it annoying. Even if the throw was superb (over 100 meters).
    I think it is probably 8 degree but I will have the real answer shortly when the HIDtech people get back to me. Actually, there is no discernable hotspot in the beam pattern. The outer lens has a pattern on it that helps even out the beam. I suppose a more accurate description of the beam would be to call it "a confined beam" vs. a flood or standard spot pattern. There is very little wide spill until you start to aim the light farther up the trail. At the 20ft mark the beam expands to cover an area equal to what you might see riding a fire road. The farther you aim it the more it expands. I find the beam pattern very comfortable even when I have to aim it close. When I do the beam shots you will get some idea of how the beam pattern works as I will do them on a gravel/dirt service road. Depending on how much time I have ( I have to work this Saturday ) I will try to get at least a couple shots of single track as well. ( Rats.. ...long range forcast shows a chance of rain this weekend )

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    I think it is probably 8 degree but I will have the real answer shortly when the HIDtech people get back to me...
    Confirmed...8 degree for narrow, 28 degree for wide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Confirmed...8 degree for narrow, 28 degree for wide.
    OK, so the 8 degree is a 4 degree then (depending on how you count it).
    I'm leaning towards the iBlaast - I've just noticed that they do sell their light with a boost driver, so I wouldn't need to ditch my battery packs, also, the beam is a tiny bit wider (5 (10) degrees). The lighthead-only purchase would save me some money.
    Although the iBlaast is 3-led "only" and the helmet mount is crap.
    Oh my.
    Maybe I should go with a new Wilma :-)

    btw. there is one nice trait of the dual-600L setup that I'd like to keep - the two beams meld together so nicely. How's the Lumen8r performing together with your 600L in this regard?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    ...btw. there is one nice trait of the dual-600L setup that I'd like to keep - the two beams meld together so nicely. How's the Lumen8r performing together with your 600L in this regard?
    I like how the beams merge....let me explain that. The Lm8r is brighter than the 600L and since the Cree LED's tend to be a bit warmer in color, it tends to to blend the beam of the 600L to a warmer color. Since the 600L's are thought to use SSC P-4's, the P-4 bins seem a bit colder and slightly more blue.
    Of course you can't notice this unless you compare the beams side by side. Anyway for me this was a good thing as the Lm8r tends to soften ( *remove glare ) from the 600L. ( * note: not that this was a problem when I use it bar mounted but when I used my 600L helmet mounted, the glare was a big problem. ) It would of been nice if Dinotte had offered to retro-fit the 600L with Cree's and gave you a choice of bins and more narrow optics. That would of been sweet. Actually, it was my understanding that when they first released the 600L that they did offer a narrow optic but decided most people wouldn't like it.. and so it was not offered to the public. More than likely the decision was made so people wouldn't keep sending the light engines back for a optic switch. Too bad the optics weren't user switchable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris-crisis
    [snip/] I will have a talk to the HIDTech people about when theMC-E will be available and whether the light is upgradable. However you might be right that the battery will be heavier so I might be happy enough with the current setup.
    Chris-chris,

    Did you get the opportunity to speak with HIDTech to see if the Lumen8r is upgradable?

    Thanks,

    Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    OK, so the 8 degree is a 4 degree then (depending on how you count it).
    [snip/]
    I don't understand what you're implying with the 8/4 degree statement? Can you please expand on it?

    Thanks,

    Frank

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    Quote Originally Posted by garberfc
    I don't understand what you're implying with the 8/4 degree statement? Can you please expand on it?

    Thanks,

    Frank
    Yeah, that kind of got by me too now that you mention it. I'm sure he'll explain when he sees your question.
    Just to let others know, I'll be doing beam shots this weekend so be watching..

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    I just pulled the trigger and ordered the Lumen8r Quad. They're sending me both the narrow and wide lens. I don't think I'll need it, but I went w/ the 5hr battery. Gives me some piece of mind.

    I'll let you know my impression when it arrives and I get to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garberfc
    I don't understand what you're implying with the 8/4 degree statement?
    Take a look at this beam profile as an example:



    (Image taken from Gearreview.com)

    The typical measurement procedure goes like this (copied from a Fraen optics datasheet):
    "Example calculation:
    If the Fraen narrow beam lens FC-N2-XR79-0R is used on a cool white Cree XR-E LED at 350 mA,
    the typical luminous flux of the LED is 80 lumens:
    The calculation is: (27 candela/lumen) x (80 lumens) = 2160 candela peak on-axis.
    The beam angle specified in the table above is 8 degrees full beam-width measured at half-peak.
    This means at 4 degrees off-axis (half of 8 degrees), the intensity should be half of 2160 candela, or
    1080 candelas."


    I couldn't find an "official" led optics beam angle measurement sheet, that's why I used James' graph (the Wilma does not use Fraen optics) but I hope you get the point.
    You can either quote the "full beam width" or the "off-axis" angle on either side. Since the beam is symmetrical (usually), one defines the other.

    So in my understanding: if the picture above were an "official" measurement chart, then the beam angle would be around 35 degrees off-axis, or 70 degrees full beam width.

    (btw. I am not an expert or something, so if I wrote something stupid please someone correct me!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by garberfc
    I just pulled the trigger and ordered the Lumen8r Quad.
    Update!: Bad news, the manufacturer informed me that due to a spike in demand (apparently a big race is happening "Down Under") my order would be delayed several weeks :-(.

    I was given the option of canceling and I did. I went w/ the L & M Seca 700 Race instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garberfc
    Chris-chris,

    Did you get the opportunity to speak with HIDTech to see if the Lumen8r is upgradable?

    Thanks,

    Frank
    No, I was going to wait until the next model is available as I managed to borrow a light for the 24hr.

    Quote Originally Posted by garberfc
    Update!: Bad news, the manufacturer informed me that due to a spike in demand (apparently a big race is happening "Down Under") my order would be delayed several weeks :-(.

    I was given the option of canceling and I did. I went w/ the L & M Seca 700 Race instead.
    The big race is the Scott 24. It is its 10 year aniversary and it is rumoured that numberone was one of the first 24hr races held worldwide. Crazy thing is daylight saving starts here this weekend and the next weekend is the 24hr. People are buying lights that are then likely to not get used for 6 months when daylight savings finishes.

  19. #19
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    Beam Shots! Okay here they are. I don't know why but sometimes life s**ks and sometimes it doesn't. The same can be said with digital pictures. Sometimes photos turn out okay, sometimes they don't. Such is life.. After I took the the first sequence of photos I wasn't satisfied with the results so I turned everything around and took the shots looking down the hill. Sadly I should have used white paper cups rather than the red ones as the white would have been much easier to see, still things turned out pretty good considering. Edit: note, conditions were damp but not wet. Temperature was near the dew point
    The Set-up The camera once again is my Sony Cyber-Shot 2.1mp. Cups were set up at 75ft. (one cup), 100ft (two cups), 150ft. (one cup) 200ft. (two cups). All of the photos were taken "helmet style" and were aimed for maximum distance unless stated otherwise. Generally speaking I was aiming towards the 100ft mark. For some reason the first picture didn't come out right. It was taken with my R-2 powered torch alone. A real shame it didn't turn out because it has some real throw. At least all the others turned out and I think some will be surprised by the results.
    The Photos:
    #1) R-2 torch combo'd with a Dinotte 200L (both aimed in the same direction )
    #2) Dinotte 600L standard lens ( on High..of course )
    #3) HIDtechnologies Lumen8r ...on high
    #4) Lumen8r (helmet style) Dinotte 600L (bar style) This is my current setup. This is what I see when riding. You think I need more light?

    I'll just let go with the photos for now and let others make some comments before I say anything else...enjoy...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 10-04-2008 at 10:04 PM.

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    Wow, nice photos, I'm impressed. Especially that the 600L (which is a decent system) seems to be the least bright of all these lights.
    Checking the 1400L configuration, is there not too much light in the foreground?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Beam Shots! Okay here they are. I don't know why but sometimes life s**ks and sometimes it doesn't. The same can be said with digital pictures. Sometimes photos turn out okay, sometimes they don't. Such is life.. After I took the the first sequence of photos I wasn't satisfied with the results so I turned everything around and took the shots looking down the hill. Sadly I should have used white paper cups rather than the red ones as the white would have been much easier to see, still things turned out pretty good considering. Edit: note, conditions were damp but not wet. Temperature was near the dew point
    The Set-up The camera once again is my Sony Cyber-Shot 2.1mp. Cups were set up at 75ft. (one cup), 100ft (two cups), 150ft. (one cup) 200ft. (two cups). All of the photos were taken "helmet style" and were aimed for maximum distance unless stated otherwise. Generally speaking I was aiming towards the 100ft mark. For some reason the first picture didn't come out right. It was taken with my R-2 powered torch alone. A real shame it didn't turn out because it has some real throw. At least all the others turned out and I think some will be surprised by the results.
    The Photos:
    #1) R-2 torch combo'd with a Dinotte 200L (both aimed in the same direction )
    #2) Dinotte 600L standard lens ( on High..of course )
    #3) HIDtechnologies Lumen8r ...on high
    #4) Lumen8r (helmet style) Dinotte 600L (bar style) This is my current setup. This is what I see when riding. You think I need more light?

    I'll just let go with the photos for now and let others make some comments before I say anything else...enjoy...

    Looks a good combination to me, what did you think of the Lumen8r package, does it look well made compared to the Dinotte lights e.g. build quality, battery connections, control switch?

    I'm looking to buy one soon but just need a little convincing over buying a Hope Vision 4 LED for similar money?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannon44
    I'm looking to buy one soon but just need a little convincing over buying a Hope Vision 4 LED for similar money?
    The prices on their website are in AUD and include 10% GST which does not apply to international orders. If you are buying from the US that means $481.5 AUD = $358.68 USD according to xe.com.

    That is a fair bit cheaper than the Hope 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cannon44
    I'm looking to buy one soon but just need a little convincing over buying a Hope Vision 4 LED for similar money?
    Apples vs oranges? The Hope is a totally different light. This Lumen8r is has a spot beam with a huge throw, the Hope however has a wide beam with not so much throw. The best would probably be to combine the two, the Hope on the bar and Lumen8r on helmet... :-)

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    ops...

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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    Apples vs oranges? The Hope is a totally different light. This Lumen8r is has a spot beam with a huge throw, the Hope however has a wide beam with not so much throw. The best would probably be to combine the two, the Hope on the bar and Lumen8r on helmet... :-)
    This light comes in wide also, 28 degrees. Plus you can get Lion or LiPo batteries - not too many companies offer a choice. Hopefully we'll see some companies offering LiFePO4 in the future since they are longer lasting than either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    Confirmed...8 degree for narrow, 28 degree for wide.

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