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Thread: To Dim or not??

  1. #1
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    To Dim or not??

    I would like to ask your opinion on dimming circuits.
    Do you feel it is absolutely necessary for a MTB specific, high powered light to have a dimming circuit?
    How often do you use this feature?
    Do you consider it fluff?
    Thank You!!!

  2. #2
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    If MTB lighting system has only one mode, I don't even consider it a MTB lighting system.

    Of course, I assume getting to the top of the hill (during the night time) is part of the MTB exercise...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by off road rider
    I would like to ask your opinion on dimming circuits.
    Do you feel it is absolutely necessary for a MTB specific, high powered light to have a dimming circuit?
    How often do you use this feature?
    Do you consider it fluff?
    Thank You!!!
    Absolutely need and use dimming every ride. Both on the bar light and helmet light. Why have tons of light when grinding up a climb? What to do about oncoming other riders (rare, I know, but occasionally for me). Helmet light on low for flat/mechanical repair times. Too many reasons to list that need low settings.

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    I would never buy a light that has no dimming, I used it just the other night when I had to go into stealth mode when I took a wrong turn through a farm and ended up ridding on a track with no permission from the owner. I soon dimmed my lights when I heard his dogs growling and rode back out with my light as dim as I could get it yet bright enough to find my way out without being spotted. Thank you bFlex

  5. #5
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    yes, not only to conserve battery but sometimes when the singletrack is too narrow with too many trees/bushes, if I use full power I blind myself so I dim it. Also when running out of battery I can dim the lights to get home/car
    BBW. MS, RD

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    I dim while climbing as to not blind riders coming down -- when climbing its' more about being seen than seeing where I am going. Also, yesterday while coming down I was actually up in the clouds. With both my helmet light and bar lights I could not see where the hell I was going. I had to turn off my helmet light and put my bar light on low to see the trail --- just like driving a car in the fog.

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    If you are using a light that is < 200 lumens, you will likely not need dimming. The higher the output of the lamp, the more important it is to have dimming. Having multi-dimming modes allows the user to adjust the light output to the level needed for the moment.

    Examples:

    1) Full output: fast downhills or fast technical terrain.
    2) Medium output: easy non-technical or medium speed trails
    3) Low output: slow non-technical uphill climbs or repairs.

    Adjusting the output also allows the user to conserve battery power. Real important for those longer rides. Personally I like having three modes but two will work in a pinch. There are lamp drivers made with 5 modes ( or more ) but IMO consider that a bit overkill. Anyway, to each their own.

  8. #8
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    Ayups get by without it.
    You obviously need a battery with about 2X the capacity of a dimming model (assuming you do a bit of climbing), and you need really good cooling so the light doesn't fry when stationary.
    But you don't need to ever interface with the light while riding. Turn on and forget.

    Ideally.... speed sensitive dimming.
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
    A few Dynamo builds and some Small battery lights

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    While riding, I only use full power on my light and I see little use for a dimming function. BUT if I start to run out of juice, I need to dim the light to get me home. Also, if we stop riding for a little break or a chat about the trail, I need to dim the light to prevent it from over heating.

    Give me a 1500 lumens light, that can run for 5 hours at full power, the same size and weight as Lupine Pico and a battery that charges in 15 minutes. THAT's all I'm asking for...

    OT: MAN I'm struggling with my pizza addiction....I'm thinking about it 24/7....

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    Thanks for the replies.. No doubt some sort of dimming would be beneficial for sales to the masses.Cyclops has always been about race lights, But with new markets we must adapt. We wish to keep the fluff to a minimum.

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    at the current, you can have one, I'am working on two, but 3 you won't get.
    never mind the price.

    working on the charger, that can pump 4-5 times the juice, into the battery,
    it's just the battery what has some limitation.
    with the lumen, comes the heat, you'd like a toaster, strapped onto your head?
    never mind that , backpack, what carries the juice.
    welcome to the 15.000+ lumen headlight, flames thrower included.
    8 hours runtime, that's one shift.
    oh, well, it never ends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian78
    While riding, I only use full power on my light and I see little use for a dimming function. BUT if I start to run out of juice, I need to dim the light to get me home. Also, if we stop riding for a little break or a chat about the trail, I need to dim the light to prevent it from over heating.

    Give me a 1500 lumens light, that can run for 5 hours at full power, the same size and weight as Lupine Pico and a battery that charges in 15 minutes. THAT's all I'm asking for...

    OT: MAN I'm struggling with my pizza addiction....I'm thinking about it 24/7....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rschultz101
    at the current, you can have one, I'am working on two, but 3 you won't get.
    never mind the price.

    working on the charger, that can pump 4-5 times the juice, into the battery,
    it's just the battery what has some limitation.
    with the lumen, comes the heat, you'd like a toaster, strapped onto your head?
    never mind that , backpack, what carries the juice.
    welcome to the 15.000+ lumen headlight, flames thrower included.
    8 hours runtime, that's one shift.
    oh, well, it never ends.
    There are lots of guys (MTBRs) here in the NW running the Cyclops Solstice or Phoenix 1900 lumen HID.. so they have the 1st and second.. but not the 15 Minuit charge.
    That light is certainly not for the masses. Designed for Motorsports nothing else touches it..without a doubt the winning-est helmet mount light in off road racing.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by off road rider
    There are lots of guys (MTBRs) here in the NW running the Cyclops Solstice or Phoenix 1900 lumen HID.. so they have the 1st and second.. but not the 15 Minuit charge.
    That light is certainly not for the masses. Designed for Motorsports nothing else touches it..without a doubt the winning-est helmet mount light in off road racing.
    It's good to see you guys got smart and went with NiteRider's idea of mounting the helmet light on the chin bar (Just kidding - or am I...) The lights look good dude, and yes, you definitely need more than one wattage level on a high-end bicycle light, I think a bunch of other guys laid out the reasons very well, Cat-man-do's explanation was particularly good.

    Good luck with everything!

    Shannon

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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
    It's good to see you guys got smart and went with NiteRider's idea of mounting the helmet light on the chin bar (Just kidding - or am I...) The lights look good dude, and yes, you definitely need more than one wattage level on a high-end bicycle light, I think a bunch of other guys laid out the reasons very well, Cat-man-do's explanation was particularly good.

    Good luck with everything!

    Shannon
    Thanks Shannon
    Ive missed you the last few years. always good times..Honestly, I am still not a fan of the chin mount. But we aim to please... Hopefully we can touch bases in person soon

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by off road rider
    Thanks Shannon
    Ive missed you the last few years. always good times..Honestly, I am still not a fan of the chin mount. But we aim to please... Hopefully we can touch bases in person soon
    That would be cool, when's your next mountainbike event?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaDesignsShannon
    That would be cool, when's your next mountainbike event?
    Not Sure on the MTB stuff.. we will see how it goes.Most likely we will wait for the new light to be complete. But I'll be in San Diego soon

  17. #17
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    Cool, well when you get into town let me know, I have some fun secret trails I could show you around here.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=znomit]Ayups get by without it".

    The newer Ayups have two modes.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=BeanMan]
    Quote Originally Posted by znomit
    Ayups get by without it".

    The newer Ayups have two modes.
    We did live without multiple modes back in the old HID days, I am pretty glad those days are over though to be honest.

  20. #20
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    I'd like my lights to have 3 modes.
    If it is only going to have 2 modes, the low needs to be configurable.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

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    What would you think about a totally variable system.Maybe like a dial.I'm not sure how we could package that. but might be a thought?

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    I run everything Medium ( Torches ) more than enough for everything but fast sections where the Full power comes on, have to change the batteries to often on Full though.

    Fire road climbs 1 torch on the bars on Medium does it for me.

    Low modes for fixing stuff is fine to.

    HID no modes, can't turn them on / off as you wish as puts to much wear on and gets stupidly hot, melted a hole in my rucksack the once which stunk, real glad those days are over.

  23. #23
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    Dimming is necessary in my opinion. It saves the batteries and on humid nights dimming makes a huge difference. I use 3 step dimming on both my helmet and bar light and I wouldn't want any more than 3 dimming levels or any less for that matter. I did have a NR HID before and that did have a dimming option, but it wasn't nearly as effective as LED lights are now. My very first bike light was a halogen light that had one 10 watt bulb and also a 20 watt in the same housing and you could run them separately so that helped extend the runtime.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by off road rider
    What would you think about a totally variable system.Maybe like a dial.I'm not sure how we could package that. but might be a thought?
    Like the stepless dimming on the Magicshine 1400?

    I too use dimming constantly, i tend to run my MS1400 just the two XPE's on full for most of the ride, switching to full power on tech singletrack and descents.

    Then i'll run My MS900 on head on med most of the ride (5 mode), then full for tech singletrack, then add the power of my XM-L or MCE Torch on helmet for the Full on DH sections.

    This will allow for upto 4 hours runtime all in. And considering i only ever plan to ride 3 hours max at night, this works out well!

    So in response, dimming/multiple light on/off is of great use. Extending run times, reducing chance of heat damage, suiting the conditions (high power = no good in fog).

    I would personally steer clear of anything that hasn't got at least a high and med mode!

    Moggy

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    Thanks for the replies.. It sounds like battery life is a big reason why many use the dimming feature. If you had a light that would burn at a true 900 lumen and run for 6hrs with no heat build up would that make a difference?
    No Doubt we need to put a dimmer of some sort on this next LED. Without it the market is just to limited.
    I totally understand about riding in fog.. Living in the NW I'm accustom to either fog or Dust..I also do a lot of 24hr racing, It seams to always be dusty or raining.Usually if the conditions are to extreme we turn the helmet mount lights off.
    The HIDs we use are most likely nothing the Mountain bike crowd has really seen and certainly do not compare to any mr11 HID. they are a serious flame thrower.And built for the Off road Motorcycle market. I haven't seen any LED that can even come close. An led arrangement can come closer even higher in lumen output but not penetration. .Good for 70 mph.. really

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