2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout

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  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout
    Phase 1 is here:

    2014 Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review

    It is not perfect so please look it over and let me know about comments and feedback. I wanted to get it out as soon as the time changed.

    I'm testing a dozen more lights this week to add to the shootout for Phase 2. And I'll shoot a few videos to select my top picks.


    Here's the excel spreadsheet doc. Please make me some graphs that show the data better.

    claimed vs actual lumen

    lumen per dollar

    lumen per gram

    etc.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0i...it?usp=sharing
  • 11-05-2013
    varider
    Great job as usual. Will you still put up the backyard beamshots in addition to the tunnel shots?
  • 11-05-2013
    -Archie-
    Many thanks for your effort, francois: excellent!
  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by varider View Post
    Great job as usual. Will you still put up the backyard beamshots in addition to the tunnel shots?

    Sadly, no. My backyard light studio gave up its life to a pump track. :(

    Feature: The Backyard Pump Track ? Construction | Mountain Bike Review
    :)
    fc
  • 11-05-2013
    cue003
    Francois, can you clarify the following statements that is on all the individual light reviews right above the tunnel photo?

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 yards."

    And then on some reviews it mentions..

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 80 yards."

    The photos don't look anywhere close to 80/100 yards. The markings on the ground I assume represent feet so the target on all these photos should be 120 feet. Right??

    Thx
  • 11-05-2013
    cue003
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Phase 1 is here:

    ......

    I'm testing a dozen more lights this week to add to the shootout for Phase 2. And I'll shoot a few videos to select my top picks.


    ......

    Does that above statement mean that the lights you have already tested and provided the reviews on (as in already published in the 2014 reviews) aren't any of your top picks?
  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Francois, can you clarify the following statements that is on all the individual light reviews right above the tunnel photo?

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 120 yards."

    And then on some reviews it mentions..

    "Cones and targets are set up with the far target set up at 80 yards."

    The photos don't look anywhere close to 80/100 yards. The markings on the ground I assume represent feet so the target on all these photos should be 120 feet. Right??

    Thx

    Correct, 120. Last year was 80 feet and we bumped it up for the bigger lights. Let me find that inconsistency and fix.

    fc
  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    2 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Does that above statement mean that the lights you have already tested and provided the reviews on (as in already published in the 2014 reviews) aren't any of your top picks?


    I've already got some top picks in mind.

    Cateye 1200, Lupine Wilma, Serfas 750, Taz 1000.

    Now, I have to test the three Gloworms I have and the Bontrager Ion 700.

    Have you guys heard about the Bontrager 700? 700 lumens for $99.

    fc
  • 11-05-2013
    mtbRevolution
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Sadly, no. My backyard light studio gave up its life to a pump track. :(

    Just a suggestion Francois. In the interest of showing which light performs best picking up ruts & obstacles on trails, terrain elevation and dips, a beamshot across the pump track may be a good idea. Hotspot intensity on the fence can demonstrate throw power.
  • 11-05-2013
    Gharddog03
    I'm sure we will be seeing many self contained lights in the near future. 1200 lumens is not to shabby for self contained. Thanks for all the hard work Francois!:thumbsup:
  • 11-05-2013
    varider
    That Bontrager looks tiny. Very impressive. $99 for a 700 lumens self-contained light is going to be hard to beat. That 1200 lumen Cateye is going to be another big hit.

    One thing that I would like to see more info on is the battery replacement in the self-contained lights (especially if they are built-in). Does the manufacturer offer a replacement battery service and what is the cost of this? I know some of the older Luminas used regular 18650 that could be swapped out by the user. I would hate to see all of these lights end up in the trash three years from now, just because the battery life is a third of what it used to be. After all, the leds themselves should still operational years from now. The lights will undoubtedly be better at that point, but you could still use it for an around town beater bike.

    I'll miss the backyard beamshots, but it was sacrificed for a good cause. The pump track looks like a lot of fun!

    P.S. I think you forgot to sticky this thread
  • 11-05-2013
    indebt
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Sadly, no. My backyard light studio gave up its life to a pump track. :(

    Feature: The Backyard Pump Track ? Construction | Mountain Bike Review
    :)
    fc

    Pump track turned out great Francois, I enjoyed the video. Once again thank you for all your hard work on the 2014 shootout. Looking forward to the rest of the reviews. Cheers!!:thumbsup:
  • 11-05-2013
    cue003
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by francois View Post
    I've already got some top picks in mind.

    Cateye 1200, Lupine Wilma, Serfas 750, Taz 1000.

    Now, I have to test the three Gloworms I have and the Bontrager Ion 700.

    Have you guys heard about the Bontrager 700? 700 lumens for $99.

    fc

    I am very interested in seeing the beamshots and reading your thoughts on that bontrager. It isn't even on their website and I have a trek store close by that carries all their products so I am very very interested. Hopefully you can get that one up very soon and they hold a candle to the other 700 lumen contenders.
  • 11-05-2013
    cue003
    Also interesting you pick the lupine Wilma say over the beam pattern and light output of the seca 2000. But all good.
  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbRevolution View Post
    Just a suggestion Francois. In the interest of showing which light performs best picking up ruts & obstacles on trails, terrain elevation and dips, a beamshot across the pump track may be a good idea. Hotspot intensity on the fence can demonstrate throw power.

    I'll definitely give it a try. There's a gap in the track where the light can poke through the berms.

    fc
  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    Also interesting you pick the lupine Wilma say over the beam pattern and light output of the seca 2000. But all good.

    The Seca is awesome but it just a tired design. Long wire, old batteries. But it has a beautiful beam pattern and the old head can still handle the heat of all the lumens.

    But the Wilma is just a work of art at 2770 lumens, lumens/dollar, lumens per gram.

    I do like the Taz 1000 though at $250. That is a good one.

    fc
  • 11-05-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    I am very interested in seeing the beamshots and reading your thoughts on that bontrager. It isn't even on their website and I have a trek store close by that carries all their products so I am very very interested. Hopefully you can get that one up very soon and they hold a candle to the other 700 lumen contenders.

    I have the Bontrager Ion 700. $99, about 680 lumens on my home lab, 1:45 run time, beautiful build nice beam pattern. Real integrating sphere measurement is coming tomorrow.

    It's only weakness is thermal management is not sophisticated and it doesn't step down when there's no airflow. So caution to high heat night riders.

    And the other weakness is it's not available for another month. But it looks like an industry shaker.

    fc
  • 11-05-2013
    stu06
    Hey Francois,

    Any ideas about the Betty coming in under Lupine's claimed output? Supposedly they use an integrating sphere as well.
  • 11-05-2013
    androgen
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by francois View Post
    it looks like an industry shaker.

    looks like L&M Urban clone.
  • 11-05-2013
    Fourtrax
    3 Attachment(s)
  • 11-05-2013
    androgen
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by francois View Post
    The Seca is awesome but it just a tired design. Long wire, old batteries. But it has a beautiful beam pattern and the old head can still handle the heat of all the lumens.

    But the Wilma is just a work of art at 2770 lumens, lumens/dollar, lumens per gram.

    I do like the Taz 1000 though at $250. That is a good one.

    fc

    i understand your frustration with the Seca only picking up an extra 200 measured lumens over last year's model. that's why i picked up the last year's Seca 1700 over the new 2000, because the new one just wasn't enough of an upgrade to warrant the price difference ( $499 vs $320 at the time ).

    on the other hand with 2700 lumens for $600 the Wilma is more competitive on the lumens per dollar front, so i understand why you're leaning to make it a pick. i also like that it can be ordered with 13 amp hour battery, which is a lot.

    personally though, i would probably still get the Seca over the Wilma. the Seca isn't improved much because it was already perfect. the Wilma on the other hand is improved precisely in the area where it did not need improvement ( output ) and unchanged where improvement was needed ( beam pattern ).

    the Taz 1000 does look like a very interesting light for road use. very interesting pattern - almost like a German STVZO light, but brighter.
  • 11-06-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stu06 View Post
    Hey Francois,

    Any ideas about the Betty coming in under Lupine's claimed output? Supposedly they use an integrating sphere as well.

    I will recheck it. I think it's related to heat. These light heads are so small compared to the 4500 lumen claims that they're too bright for the heatsinking available. We take readings at the the 30 second mark and our fan was tiny.

    fc
  • 11-06-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    looks like L&M Urban clone.

    Yup. It's a $150 light for $100.

    fc
  • 11-06-2013
    Mike123456
    Francois, thank you for the shootout. Noob question follows: what would be the ideal number of lumens for trail/XC riding?

    Mike
  • 11-06-2013
    francois
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mike123456 View Post
    Francois, thank you for the shootout. Noob question follows: what would be the ideal number of lumens for trail/XC riding?

    Mike

    For XC riding this year... I would say 1200-1400 lumens. That could be one 1200 lumen light on the bar or 700 on bar and 700 on the helmet.

    Lumens get cheaper each year so I tend to ratchet up a little every year.

    Generally:

    - the faster you go, the more lumens you need so you don't outrun your light.

    - the more people you ride with, the more lumens you need. That's because someone will have a super bright light and your eyes will adjust to their bright light.

    What do others think?

    fc