Full Beam Fusion SpeedLED
Ok, this requires special mention. Has anybody heard of this light?
I've been testing this light a bit and it's been giving me a headache. It's a light with variable output and it gets brighter the faster the bike goes.
How am I going to photograph and measure that?? Why would I want to bother with a wired sensor to my wheel when this is a self-contained flashlight already?
Anyway, the light is insanely bright on my photographs.
Full Beam Fusion Speed LED | Mountain Bike Review
even though it only measured 2200 lumens instead of its claimed 3000 lumens.
But then I learned that the light was only at 70% brightness capacity. I was testing it in 'static' mode (non speed sensitive) and it is defaulted to 70% brightness unless a special programming sequence is selected.
So it opened up a bunch of questions for me. Why is at 70% on static? Why is it 100% at speed sensitive mode?
I entered the special cryptic programming sequence and it is now 100% brightness. It is a staggering 260 lux on my meter and is about 3000 lumen. But it does get hot quickly. It is obvious to me that it is not meant to be kept on at 100% brightness for the whole battery cycle.
But here is the secret. By using speed sensitive mode, it is assured that the light will only be at max brightness for a short duration. And it is known that there will be max airflow (default 15 mph) when the light is on full bright. The battery demand won't be as prolonged either.
And the magic is they are allowing the human eye to adjust to lower light. The eye is a powerful device in low light but it needs a few seconds to adjust. So lowering the light level on a prolonged climb is ok since it gives your eyes a chance to adjust and be more sensitive.
It's all configurable too. The threshold speed for full brightness, the responsiveness of the step-up and down can be tailored
Anyway, all theory but I finally rode with the light tonight. It is a groundbreaker. The light defaults to a few hundred lumens and it ramps up to about 3000 lumens at 15 mph. Then it drops down (but slower) when the speed goes back down. It is pretty amazing
Around 3000 lumens, 380 grams, they say around 4 hours in Speed sensitive mode.
$650 bones though. Jenson is going to be the US retailer.
I will take a fixed exposure video on the bike asap. And this is all stuff that I'm going to say in the video review of this light but I wanted to bounce it off you guys.
Is it fair to compare it to other lights at max setting when it is not shipped at 100% brightness? And it can not sustain 100% brightness for the whole battery cycle?
photo: backyard beam is at 70% brightness
Theres a lot to be said for a light that always gives the appropriate light level and you never have to touch it.
Self-contained is the way to go. But a wired speed sensor???? Great concept though (variable light output based on speed). Hopefully they'll be at a more realistic price in a few years. Or they'll have an 'entry' level model with 1500 lumens available at $200. Does the beam pattern change with a change in speed? That would be really neat.
My 2-cents worth on this light...
First, fantastic innovation. I can totally appreciate the effort that went into creating the concept. Reminds me of the old days, with the 12V generator lights and no regulator. Continuously increasing brightness as you increased in speed. The bad part was that if you went down a steep enough hill, the bulb would blow... pretty funny.
In any case, they've largely succeeded in addressing the very tricky subject of human eye sensitivity at night. There's one question that has to be asked though, "Why would speed sensitive intensity be a desirable feature on a bike light, and not, say, on a motorcycle or car?" The answer is in the beam shape. With the uniformly wide cone of light produced by the triple XML, there's no way to avoid having the highest intensity of reflected light near the leading edge of the projected beam.
In vehicles with a "beam cutoff", the intensity of the light gets progressively higher towards the top of the beam. The end result is a uniformly bright area of illumination over the entire distance of the beam. This is what our eyes really need at night and what the "Speed LED" is trying to simulate by varying the intensity. In my opinion, the value of this new idea is probably weighted more toward battery conservation than it is the quality of the beam on the ground.
Many of the "dual beam" lights accomplish a very similar result by combining a more narrow, high intensity spot beam with a broader flood beam. Although not as ideal or efficient as a fully shaped asymmetric beam, it's a very good half-way point. Especially given that off road riding can benefit from "some" light above the horizon for spotting obstacles. In practice, the dual beam concept can be just as effective, if not more so, than a uniformly shaped single beam of much higher intensity exactly because of the problem that "Speed LED" is trying to alleviate.
So to answer your question, I don't think it matters whether you photograph at 70% or 100%, it's still probably more light than you would need for most situations, and the perceived increase from 70% to 100% is going to be very small at these lumen levels.
A couple misses IMO.....
1. Wired sensor. Wireless speedos have been around for years at cheap prices.
2. Self contained. Heavy on the front of the bike. Is battery pack user replaceable?
I applaud the innovation, but maybe version 2.....
Great feedback so far.
Pethelman, I think they're conserving battery and keeping the heat down (so they can boost light output) by using speed sensitive mode.
They said they are stepping the light down slowly to allow the human eye to adjust. Of course this is more relevant when riding solo since your friends may still blind you with their lights.
One interesting scenario is this. You're descending at full speed then you get on a realllly tricky section where you have to slow down. You don't really want your light to decrease in brightness. The programming needs some kind of delay or configuration to allow these kinds of situations.
Thanks for all the great data Francis! You truly have become the clearing house for bike light reviews. Although the uber-bright "mono-beam" lights are certainly fun to see (just for the shear lumen output), I still think the concept found in the Philips Saferide from last year may someday be the next quantum leap in performance. I pulled a "monster garage" on the PSR for a customer this past year, retrofitting it with (2) XML and a new driver with external batteries. The results were nothing short of stunning. I'm really surprised that somebody like Lupine hasn't taken up the challenge.
Wow!!! Philips talked to me about your project so they certainly noticed it. I never saw the beam patterns until now.
Originally Posted by pethelman
Philips at the time was not impressed since they thought their LEDs were so much better than anything else. I told them they had no idea what was out there.
Just got your lights. I'll play with them now.
Well, that's certainly very interesting... You just have to wonder what they may be cooking up next. The beam shots of the modified PSR, athough good, were just sort of "OK" to me, having seen it in person. They didn't do a good job of really capturing the "super easy on the eyes" nature of the beam. I did the re-fit with neutral tint XMLs which made it even nicer. Even though my DS-1300 definitely gave it a run for the money, there was just no denying the extra reach achieved by Philips' unique reflector. The BIG difference on the road obviously being that you could actually ride in traffic with the PSR on high because of the cut-off, whereas the DS-1300 needs to be turned down to level 3 (medium) for oncoming traffic.
Originally Posted by francois
I shot about 10 show 'n tell videos last night. They came out a bit dark but at least now I have full manual settings on my video camera and it doesn't compensate for low/bright light.
Full Beam Fusion Speed LED – 2013 Mtbr Lights Shootout | Mountain Bike Review