Extreme performance bike light - Zora "Scorpion"
This light received a brief mention from MTBR member PeterG in November - see post # 6 in this link 2012 Mtbr Lights Shootout.
The lights are made in the Czech Republic by enthusiast Michal Solc.
His lights at the current state of development claim just over 6000 OTF lumens for the 6 x XML U2 version driven @ 3.6 amps per emitter on a copper PCB and using a 22.2 volt Li-pol battery.
I read as much of his website as I could (it's partly in English) using Google Translator, and was impressed enough to email Michal for more info. I'm seriously considering buying one, but will probably wait for the XML-2 version now.
The price is not bad. Michal quoted me an all up price of 569 EUR delivered here to Australia for one with "the lot". That includes an upgrade to U3's for a quoted 6400 ANSI lumens and their largest 129Wh battery.
I'd like to see if we can generate some discussion about this light, even if many people will view it as unnecessary or over the top. But from what I can see it's potentially at the very top of the tree in pure output terms as far as commercially available bike lights go.
For those of you with far greater engineering knowledge than me, I'd love to here your opinion about what Michal Solc has created here - is it all that he claims?
Here's another link.
ZORA - svtla na kolo
The chart on the bottom claims that you can see up to 400m. Realistically when do you need to see that far at bicycle speed? It would take almost a minute to ride that distance at 15mph.
I wonder if reflections from common objects will actually blind you.
The design of the light looks good from a layman's perspective, look at all those cooling fins! I also like the dial to adjust the brightness and the battery monitor. If I was going to spend $400 on a light I would want it to be from a reputable manufacturer with a warranty.
You can buy 9xT6 non-cycling-specific torches from China on ebay so we can know that 6xU2 is possible technically without issues. Here's a 7xT6 for comparison: youtube.com/watch?v=zheq3lrfEMw
I'm pretty sure Michal offers a global warranty.
As for seeing 400m, you're right, no one will ever need that capacity. But, having the means to illuminate the 70 - 100m zone as well as some other high end lights do in the say 30 - 50m zone could have significant benefits on those rare occasions when your downhill speed warrants it.
If you really need that much light and have the money, sure, why not? Personally, I wouldn't want to carry around the battery needed to power that (~800g) for any length of time and I think he's being a little disengenious in not quoting that yet highlighting the 288g weight of the light unit.
For that money, I'd also expect something a little more sophisticated to change modes with than a rotary dial pinched off a 1950s radio. A remote at a minimum and being able to configure both levels and how to change between them - cycling through every mode is fine on a $40 Magicshine, less fine on a $400 light where you'll most likely be changing modes more often due to the absurd amount of light it produces.
Finally, I think it looks pug ugly, which is entirely subjective.
If he can spend a little more effort on the driver/ UI/ switch, he'll have a winner.