Gemeni Duo or Gloworm X2 more dependable?
I'm getting ready for a long bike trip in a couple months. I've always used the lupine piko lights and love them but for my upcoming race they are less than perfect with their set lumen output.
I've been looking into the Duo and X2 due to their form factor and mainly because I can set the UI to the power levels I want. Having control over the UI is perfect for me.
I already have plenty of 7.4v 3.4mah batteries that I made and I will change the connector on whatever light head I get to the lupine style so I can use my batteries.
Can anyone tell me which light wins out as far as durability goes? I will be running the light mainly at 20% / 300 lumens so I doubt there would be a huge difference in beam patterns. I will be in the middle of no where on the AZT for days and I'm looking for Durability above all else.
I own the duo and they are excellent lights with easy programming and very durable. I'm sure the gloworm are just as durable. Both lights will work well and meet your needs. I would get the xs over the two.
I will stick with one of the 2 led lights. I'm sure the XS is great but it's way more than I will ever need.
I have read that the programming is easy on the duo and I also like the simple single button. I think I would be worried about ripping the remote button off of the gloworm or something stupid like that.
One thing I don't see referenced on the Duo much is that it will drop down the 'low' light output when it heats up, and it can heat up relatively quickly. If you are doing technical climbing or similar type terrain, where you need lots of light without a lot of speed, or just don't want to bother with changing light levels all the time, the Duo may not be for you. I ended up going back to my old light despite really liking the size, light output and beam quality of the Duo because of the thermal protection kicking in so often.
The Glowworm is supposed to be better, or at least it dims down more gracefully. I've never tried one to confirm, though.
I was thinking about the thermal protection as well but I was assuming that running the light at 300 lumens wouldn't produce that kind of heat. Also, when I'm pushing it I will most likely drop down to the 150 lumen setting. Were you running it at high when this was happening?
Yes, I only experienced the issue when running on high. If you're going to be running at lower output, it probably won't be an issue.
My experience with the XS:
It is an excellent piece of work. The main part of the beam is paved road wide, with a smooth transition, no sharp edges or dark sports. I ran it at 60% the other day for about 15 minutes, rolling at slow speed, just checking the beam on varied terrain. Although the unit did get pretty warm, it did not dim.
The lead for the button is short. If you mount the light near the stem, the button just reaches the brake mounts. The cable is thick, lays against the bar, and does not flop around set up like this.
If you need to conserve weight, set up some low power settings and run a 2s1p pack. The XS is so ridiculously light. Being able to run at DUO and X2 max output without dimming, and having all that extra power on tap should you want or need it... worth it, I think.
Here's the X2 Vs DUO breakoout:
DUO is 0.3oz lighter than the X2
X2 is slightly larger, has more cooling slots, and metal brackets (thermal transfer)
X2 spins on axis, DUO rotates over axis (positioning control)
X2 has sharp and softening optics, DUO has sharp only
X2 tests out 300lm brighter than DUO at max rating
DUO tests out more efficient than XS at max rating
X2 remote button lets you keep you hands on the bar, or places control just forward of your ear on the helmet.
DUO button LED stays lit while battery is connected
I'd say they are about even since the X2 is $45 more. I'd go for the X2's versatility.
Rather than mess with the cable (which uses a very common plug), why not make a short adapter cable? This might be handy on the AZT... not every has Lupine gear.
The short adapter cable isn't a bad idea at all! Or just change the connector on my batteries to the standard MS style.
I guess I might have to get both the DUO and X2 light head just to see which one I prefer. Both of them seem to have things I like which is going to make deciding almost impossible without trying them.
I wonder if one of the smart guys on here has found a way to get the DUO led button to stay off?
Clip the LED's leads
But there would still be a live circuit consuming power like all units that use soft-touch (momentary) buttons. I suppose it serves as a good reminder to unplug the lamp if one were to need that kind of thing.
Be sure to do some beam shot comparisons, side-by-side if you do get both. Beware, though, you will most more likely to put one on the bar and the other on the helmet than to return one after making a decision!
If you buy a Lupine extension cable and a Gemini (or Magicshine) extension cable you can cut the ends off and make an adapter to go both ways.
Originally Posted by bncrshr77
The light draws very little power turned off but with the button lit. I tested it awhile back and if I remember right it would take 10 days to discharge a battery. So leaving it on overnight would be no big deal.
The best way to get the button light to stay off is unplug the battery :-)
I will be using 2 lights but I would prefer both of them be the same. If I end up with the DUO I will most likely end up just leaving the LED the way it is and unplug the battery when I stop riding.
Will Action Led take a return on a lighthead that has been used?
I own both a Gemini U2 Duo and Gloworm X2V3.1 and here's why I would definitely pick the X2.
1) Better mounting system. The only way to mount the Duo and still get at the control button is directly on the top of the bars where it is most exposed to damage in a crash. You can mount the X2 below the bars and run the remote wires under the bar and mount the button on the back of the bars, side of the stem, etc (safe, usable and out of the way). Nobody plans on crashing but it happens and the last thing you want is to have your light taken out in a crash on a ride like you have planned.
2) The X2 seems to run cooler. Not really an issue for you running @ 300 lumens but I live in the Arizona desert where a cooler running light is always better.
3) The X2 has a far better beam pattern. With the versions of each light I own they have equal flood but the X2 has a lot more throw. This is not such a big deal used as a bar light but as a helmet light (what I got the Duo for) I found the Duo lacking and preferred my Xera and now my X2. Looking at the beam pattern graph published on Actionledlights website for the newer XML2 Duo it has better throw (still not near the X2), but sacrifices a good deal of flood to get it. Better for the helmet but no so good for the bars.
In the end both are good lights I just like the X2 more!
Off topic question for JIM @ ACTION. Regarding the beam pattern graph for the new Duo. It doesn't look to me like the beam pattern changes come from just a newer emitter. Did Gemini change the optic for better throw and if so will it fit the older U2 versions? I know a lot of original Duo owners wanted a better spot optic for helmet use.
The XM-L2 seems to make more light straight ahead for all the lights I've tested. The optics have not changed for the Duo.
Originally Posted by MRMOLE
I've purchased some new equipment for beam pattern testing so I'll be re-doing all the graphs soon. I'll put a date in the corner of all of them. When I get caught up with all the lights we stock I'll be putting out a call for any competitive lights that anyone would like to see tested for comparison.
We have a 14 day return period. Your just out the shipping cost as long as the light comes back in like new condition. No problem with taking them both for a test ride.
Originally Posted by bncrshr77
Looks like I'll be getting one of each in about a week and a half!
Got mine in two days, I hope you don't have to wait that long.
Where did you order if from. I don't see your order at our site.
Originally Posted by bncrshr77
I won't be home for another week and a half so I was talking about ordering them just before I head home.
On another note, has anyone had any issues with the o-ring mount system on the DUO? I'm wondering how the o-rings would hold in rain or snow? I'm seriously think about changing the stock plastic base mount on the DUO to one of Vancbiker's aluminum Go-Pro adapter mounts. This would allow me to quit changing helmet straps and the extra aluminum would give a bit more heat-sinking. Probably not enough to matter though. I hear the Gloworm has a great mount but I would most likely to the same thing to it just to keep everything universal.
Because the Duo is so light weight and balanced, the O-ring really holds it quite well. With any concern about an O-ring mount I recommend wrapping the bar with a little friction tape. That really makes it stay put. We also sell a modified Cygolite clamp-on quick release mount for the Gemini lights.
Originally Posted by bncrshr77
I am interested in this comparison. While I applaud Action LED for putting solid data on their site, the comparison on the Action LED site was a bit difficult to do since the various charts are in different places and some use different scales.
Celebrating my inner nerd, I decided to try to address this problem. I eyeballed some of the Gemini, Gloworm and a few MagicShine charts from the Action LED beam comparison page and a few other charts on their site and plotted them together:
Based on this, the Gloworm X2v3.1 seems to be the clear winner with both the highest lux measurement at 0 degrees (straight ahead) and the highest measurements moving off center. I think this should translate into "throw" and "spread", respectively. The MagicShine MJ-808 L2 is pretty bright but doesn't have much spread compared to the others.
There are some oddities that I can't readily explain:
- The Gemini Olympia values are much lower than expected for a light claiming 2100 lumens. I know lux are not lumen, but I think the conversion is possible knowing the test setup. I also expected the Olympia values to be much higher than the Xera.
- I don't know why the Gloworm X2v3.1 spot-spot combination has a broader spread than the spot-flood or flood-flood combinations. It seems like the flood optics have a negative effect.
- I expected the Gemini Duo would be more competitive.
I could have captured the measurements wrong or Action LED could have used different setups for the various measurements. Jim did mention that they are getting new equipment and will be posting new results, so this analysis may need to be updated.
As noted above, I am not throwing stones at Action LED or any of the manufacturers. In fact, I think providing this type of data is part of the value that Action LED offers their customers and is an important factor in choosing which light and which retailer to work with.
Nice comparison! I really want to like the DUO with it's simple in housing button, lighter weight and supposedly easier programing to navigate.
It's looking more and more like the gloworm X2 will end up being my weapon of choice but my head to head comparison will have to wait about 1 1/2 weeks.
Yes, I have gotten some new improved test equipment and I'm in the process of re-doing all the test. I hope to have all of our lights posted this week. (I'll mark the new results with a date in the lower right)
Got both 2014 lights in the mail so hopefully in the next couple days I'll get to do some nighttime comparisons!
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