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  1. #1
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    Wink DesignShine... WOW!

    I just got me a DesignShine taillight... and it is astounding. I never though I'd see such a thing, but somebody has just bested the venerable DiNotte 400R. I put them side by side outside, the difference is plainly visible.

    I'll post a video shortly, but first I have some work-type work to finish, a very unfortunate circumstance. I'll get to play with my new toy this afternoon.

    I also got the DesignShine front light. But I can't really put it to work until it gets dark.

    More in a few hours... including a waterboarding.

  2. #2
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    In the interest of full disclosure:

    • I am not affiliated with DesignShine or any other company.

    • I paid the front light in full a few weeks ago.

    • I received the back light as a test with a NET 30 invoice.
      If I like it and want to keep it, I'll have to pay for it.


    The price of those lights is as follow:

    • Front light: $204
    • Read light: $185
    • 3-Cell battery: $35
    • 6-Cell battery: $55


    As far as I know, DesignShine (web site) is not a regular-type company. It's more like a guy building those lights in his garage as a labor of love.

    Next: is the labor of love waterproof? You know I have a beef with lights that are as waterproof as a pair of fishnet stockings.

  3. #3
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    The front light (with handlebar clamp) and the rear light.

    Sorry, this is a cell phone pic. You can find better pictures on the DesignShine web site.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-pic1.jpg  


  4. #4
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    And now for the fun... muhahaha!

    Like I said, the front light is mine, I paid for it. The rear one is not.

    Am I crazy to waterboard my own light? Well, I want to know that the darn thing will work next time I ride in a downpour. If it's not waterproof, f*** it! I don't get to choose when I get caught in bad weather, neither should my light.

    In the picture: two lights and two batteries.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-pic2.jpg  


  5. #5
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    So far so good, they've been submerged for 25 min, I don't see any bubbles and they are still working.

    And now the cat is drinking water from the bowl!

    Alright, 35 min. I'm calling it a successful test. Perfect!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
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    Silly cat's gonna be blind now.

  7. #7
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    interesting. glad to see a mix of XP-G and XR-E on the front, should make for a good mix of spot and flood. Don't know why he didn't just use 2 XM-Ls though - the optic/ reflector options for the XM-L at that size are far better than for small triples. Hope it makes a good run of it!

    rear light is a bit much for me though

  8. #8
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    Well, yes, the rear light is something Satan himself would use. I ride on the roads in an urban/suburban environment all the time and get buzzed within a few inches of my life by cars going 40-60 mph. I need something that will jolt those stupid drivers out of their cell phone/texting stupor. If it blinds them in the process, so be it.

    The light has 5 intensity modes, BTW. And DesignShine is adamant the brightest mode should not be used at night. Will see...

  9. #9
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    This is the video - side by side comparison of the DiNotte 400R and DesignShine DS-500 taillights.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVisFnaKjso

    Video was taken at 2 pm. Very bright sunny day. In these conditions a normal $25 taillight would be totally invisible. But these are not normal taillights, these cost $200+.

    The video was taken with a cell phone and is unedited. It is not entirely true to reality - the DiNotte 400R is quite a bit more visible to the eye than you would think watching the video. I think it has something to do with the flashing pattern of the 400R and the frame rate of the video. But the DesignShine DS-500 really is that much better.

    Note that both lights come short when viewed from the side. Again, the DS-500 is better at a 90 degree angle, but not as good as I would like.

    A word of caution:

    It does look like the DS-500 is eating the 400R for breakfast, doesn't it? It really is that much better. But the 400R is a phenomenally well built and reliable little light. It is not a gold standard for nothing. The DS-500 still has to prove itself in everyday use. Ask me again in a year if I still think the DS-500 is a better taillight.
    Last edited by Azra; 07-26-2011 at 01:29 PM.

  10. #10
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    This, hopefully, should take care of the video frame rate. Both lights are in steady mode, brightest setting. Both are excellent, but the DS-500 is quite a bit better. There really is no contest there.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DesignShine... WOW!-pic4.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Silly cat's gonna be blind now.
    Ha! Ha! Ha!.....Me's a laughing real hard.......Oh...but I think cats usually close their eyes somewhat when they drink....

    Anyway....Wow!...Just over $200 for a duel triple! That is like a killer deal! I will be watching with baited breath! BEAM PIC's!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    interesting. glad to see a mix of XP-G and XR-E on the front, should make for a good mix of spot and flood. Don't know why he didn't just use 2 XM-Ls though - the optic/ reflector options for the XM-L at that size are far better than for small triples. Hope it makes a good run of it!

    rear light is a bit much for me though
    Just a point of clarification...
    One triple is an XP-G
    while the other is an XP-E

    The XM-L actually didn't exist at the time I was finalizing the design. The XM-L triple is coming, however, in the same way that the XP-G creates a wider beam than the XP-E for the same optics, this will happen again for the XM-L. So the improvement over the XP-G may be minimal with the 20mm triple optics. I agree that the larger single optics and reflectors are a better way to go for the XM-L. One of the design aspects was to be able to actually use the light that escapes out the side of the optics, so the triples fit the bill nicely for that.

    Full disclosure - I'm the "guy in the garage" designer of these lights. My intent for posting was just to clarify some details and answer some questions.

  13. #13
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    Wow, I really wish I had heard of DesignShine before I bought my Magicshine. Yeah, its about 1/2 the price, but the beamshot comparison between the two is astounding! If I ever get into night riding in a serious way, I will be buying one of these lil bastards!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Just a point of clarification...
    One triple is an XP-G
    while the other is an XP-E

    The XM-L actually didn't exist at the time I was finalizing the design. The XM-L triple is coming, however, in the same way that the XP-G creates a wider beam than the XP-E for the same optics, this will happen again for the XM-L. So the improvement over the XP-G may be minimal with the 20mm triple optics. I agree that the larger single optics and reflectors are a better way to go for the XM-L. One of the design aspects was to be able to actually use the light that escapes out the side of the optics, so the triples fit the bill nicely for that.

    Full disclosure - I'm the "guy in the garage" designer of these lights. My intent for posting was just to clarify some details and answer some questions.
    that makes sense - I've read of other builders mixing XP-E and XP-G, either as 2 triples or in a 7-up, to get a good mix of flood vs. throw. As for the XM-L, I agree, it's easy to forget the time lag between design and production, plus all the effort that goes into sorting out optics. I can't off the top of my head remember what depth 20mm triple optics are, but if these are 20mm triples, then a 20mm XM-L star + LXP-RS optic should drop in easily and would provide an awesome beam pattern (I have a dual XM-L light with a Laura RS (square LXP-RS) and CXP-RS and the beam is amazing). THe housing looks like it should be able to dissipate 2x XM-L@3A and the Lflex from Taskled would work perfectly with a twin LED setup and the 2S Magic Shine batteries you existing lights work with. Oh, and if you're thinking triple XM-L, the 35mm Cute SS optics are supposed to be awesome, though that might need a rethink of the housing (3 XM-L U2 @3A = ~3000lm theoretical though )

    None of that is meant as criticism of your current lights, I think they look awesome and great value (the batteries especially so), just some ideas for future versions.

    Azra - I can see how the rear light would help in city environments, I'd just be careful of roadrage that's all!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    Silly cat's gonna be blind now.
    half my ebay listing have furry little 'helpers' in the photos
    Quote Originally Posted by HamfisT
    I understand that engineering has value in and of itself. But in the end, it's still just a pile of aluminum tubes.

  16. #16
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    Thanks Matt, I REALLY appreciate your ideas and comments on any possible improvements. I'm about to ship my first light for a helmet-mounted off-road-only MTB application. He's said that he intends to write up a review here (MTBR) on his experience, which should be interesting. When I last checked, the single XM-L 20mm optics offerings from Carclo were a couple of mms taller than the triple optics and required a holder, so I couldn't use them with the current design. I'd be curious to see the spec dimensions on the LXP-RS. So who's the supplier of choice for the Ledil optics? Newark?. Thanks again.

  17. #17
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    Oh, and just to clarify one more thing...
    The Magicshine 2-cell packs (8.4V) work fine with the taillight (with a minor programming change to the controller).
    But the 2-cell is really pushing it for the headlight (read not recommended) since the internal drive voltages are so high. Better to go with the 11.1V (3 cell) for the headlight.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    Thanks Matt, I REALLY appreciate your ideas and comments on any possible improvements. I'm about to ship my first light for a helmet-mounted off-road-only MTB application. He's said that he intends to write up a review here (MTBR) on his experience, which should be interesting. When I last checked, the single XM-L 20mm optics offerings from Carclo were a couple of mms taller than the triple optics and required a holder, so I couldn't use them with the current design. I'd be curious to see the spec dimensions on the LXP-RS. So who's the supplier of choice for the Ledil optics? Newark?. Thanks again.
    you're very welcome

    Last time I checked, the Laura RS (I'm assuming the LXP RS is the same) was 12mm from base of holder to top of optic. Although they come with a holder (I use them after cutting screw/ solder pad cutouts) they optic itself is easily removed and lots of builders (Troutie for one) on the DIY forum machine a lip on their housing for the bare optic to sit in at the right height. Laura RS are from Newark and you can get LXP RS from Digikey.

    I don't know what driver you're using (boost I'm guessing? Maxflex?) but if you were interested in a twin XM-L helmet light, the Lflex running off a 2S pack would be ideal. Max drive of 3.5A, all the bells and whistles (temp monitoring, battery warnings, different user modes) of the bigger drivers but smaller (20mm) and cheaper ($25). I'll be ordering one soon to make a single XM-L light for a friend so no first hand experience, though I've used b2flex and h6flex drivers to great effect.

    If you want more advice (and better quality too, I'm still new at this), jump on over to the DIY light forum, they're very helpful and friendly.

  19. #19
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    WOW, the beam shots are stunning! So I'm guessing 2 of these on the bars would be overkill?

    Tremendous work Pethelman!

    https://sites.google.com/site/design...ot-comparisons
    Last edited by Chromagftw; 07-27-2011 at 12:23 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post
    WOW, the beam shots are stunning! So I'm guessing 2 of these on the bars would be overkill?

    Tremendous work Pethelman!

    https://sites.google.com/site/design...ot-comparisons
    Chromagftw, thanks for the link to the beam shots. Very impressive they are. I do have some questions for the builder....Mr. Pethelman, very well done I do say. What degree/brand optics are used? For the battery, why not a 14.8volt? About the driver, can it be programed for 3 or 4 mode operation and how do the modes change ( circular or up/down ) ?

    Any now the big question: Is there any way to buy one with a remote? ( custom order? )

  21. #21
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    I'm going to play the devils advocate why give beams shots comparing it to an old p7 magicshine?
    wouldn't a more realistic comparison be made between maybe a Bikeray4 . That would be more apples to apples.
    I like the look of this light might have to pick one up just to check out
    Last edited by Rakuman; 07-27-2011 at 12:50 PM.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  22. #22
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    I'll answer than last one, Catman.

    As shipped, the thing has 5 steady modes, 5 flashing modes, and one button to control all that complexity. Personally, I didn't like it at all. It's too complex and too confusing. But that's me. Somebody else may like it.

    But it's possible to reprogram the thing into something a bit simpler. I found the manual for the maxFlex5A online last night and I reprogrammed my light - probably to Mr. Pethelman horror. Just imagine what damage I can do now... like crank up the current to 2 amp and get 2000 lumens out... muhahaha!

    Anyway, I got my light in duomode - steady hi/low, flashing hi/low. I like it much better now.

    It's not possible to completely customize it - you just get to select from a number of preset modes.
    Last edited by Azra; 07-27-2011 at 01:17 PM.

  23. #23
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    Rakuman - yes, I agree with you, comparing the DesignShine to the old MS is not entirely fair. Comparing it to the BR IV would be more meaningful.

    And that's exactly what I've done last night. I want to ride some more with the DesignShine before I comment further. But based on one short ride, I found this:

    - The DS puts (rated at 1300 lumens) puts out more light than the BR IV (allegedly rated at 1500 lumens).

    - The DS has more throw.

    - The BR IV may have a little bit more flood, but not much.

    Anyway, I want to ride again tonight and then I'll post some more impressions.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azra View Post
    I'll answer than last one, Catman.

    As shipped, the thing has 5 steady modes, 5 flashing modes, and one button to control all that complexity. Personally, I didn't like it at all. It's too complex and too confusing.

    But it's possible to reprogram the thing into something a bit simpler. I found the manual for the maxFlex5A online last night and I reprogrammed my light - probably to Mr. Pethelman horror. Just imagine what damage I can do now... like crank up the current to 2 amp and get 2000 lumens out... muhahaha!

    Anyway, I got my light in duomode - steady hi/low, flashing hi/low. I like it much better now.

    It's not possible to completely customize it - you just get to select from a number of preset modes.
    Azra would you happen to have that linky to the manual? I'd be interested to take a looksie.

    2000 lumens do it!!! You might melt your front knobbies.

    EDITED:

    Thanks Azra: http://www.taskled.com/leds/maxflexuni_v4.00.pdf
    Last edited by Chromagftw; 07-28-2011 at 05:40 AM.

  25. #25
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    Just google maxflexuni_v4.00.pdf

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