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  1. #1
    Do It Yourself
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    New question here. How much light is enough?

    In order not to derail thread further, I thought I would start a new post. There was a statement made in another thread that less than 700 lumens is useless. I completely scoffed thinking I've been night night riding over 10 years and only recently has that kind of firepower become readily available. I know this is a forum full of light geeks (why do you think I'm here?), however I really would like to know what everyone think about how much light is NEEDED.

    Used to be, the general recommendation was 10W halogen as minimum and a 20W Jet or HID were the gold standard (both around 450 lumens). Would you stay home and watch CSI reruns rather than ride if you only had 650 Lumens? Or do you think you'd have to drop 2mph average if you only had for example two Dinotte 200Ls?

    Now I fully agree that there is more to light than just lumens. Beam pattern, tint, etc play heavily on perceived brightness. But if you had to narrow it down to minimum, normal and overkill, what do you think? How much light is enough?
    Long Live Long Rides

  2. #2
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    450 lumens is enough. My Amoeba is bright enough. My dynamo lights are a little brighter.

  3. #3
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    Less lumens ='s more excitement.



    Around 500 helmet and 500 bar for twisty single track.

  4. #4
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    It's impossible to put one number on what is "enough". Too many varying factors. Trail type, riding level, quality of eyesight, and then beam shape, light tint, and I'm sure many more.

    I'm happy with different amounts of light for different rides.

  5. #5
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    6000 lumens is enough ...

  6. #6
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    I used to run only a Jet 12w and I could ride almost as fast and technical than during the day... I rode a new trail alone with only 225 lumens (Surefire updated with Q5) and had no probles about speed or been scared.
    2 Dinotte 200L would be OK but the color is perceived as less light for me cause I like warmer tints..
    I ride with 1500 lumens and I don't use them on high all the time because I think is excessive in many places where light gets reflected back to you. When dimmed to around 800lm I can ride as hard as I can through everything

    My two cents. 400-600 lumens in bars and 200-400 on helmet is more than plenty not only enough

  7. #7
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    My last build was an MCE with a boom SS reflector. At full power ~700 lu, it's hard to really say "i need more" without an ear to ear grin. The end of venturing, lets spend more time riding now!

  8. #8
    Goats Rule!
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    1200 lumens is plenty for me to comfortably ride most anything. I am known as 2000 lumen guy in the group I ride with, but I seldom use 2000. Seriously, that's just overkill in my opinion.

    Usually it's just two 400L's on the bars and one on the helmet.

    The only time I really run 1200 is on fast downhills - other than that, I'm usually riding with 400-600.

  9. #9
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    When I'm climbing fireroad stuff > 250-300 lumens

    When I'm on flat, twisty singletrack > 400-600

    When I'm on rocky, rutted singletrack > 500-700

    When I'm bombing down a beautiful stretch of technical goodness > 1500 lumens


    When I want the guys in front of me to think there is a semi rolling up on them - 2400


    Bob

  10. #10
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    My 500 lume HID died, which I thought was a lot of light. Ordered the L&M Seca 700, which arrived today and I took it out on our usual night ride. I love it, but to say 700 lumens is necessary is total overkill. Part of the fun of night riding is feeling like you are out at night. This doesn't give you that feeling, but on the other hand I did ride a lot faster on the descents. Also have a 120 lumen light on the bars.

  11. #11
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    Almost any light can be enough - if you are riding on your own, on familiar trails. Some of my best night rides have been frosty/snowy winter rides by full moon and no lights at all.

    Problem starts when you ride with others who have brighter lights than you. When they are behind you, their light drowns yours, and you end up riding into your own shadow. This is where the lights "Arms Race" begins - the logical ending being purchasing something that Mr Trout made
    When I die, I want to go like my Grandad, peacefully, in my sleep - not like his passengers - shouting and screaming!

  12. #12
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    I think that it's simple enough to say that the more light you have, the faster you can ride. I ride with a bunch of guys who usually leave me in the dust. At night, my lights will completely overpower what they are running. I can bomb all of the downhills just like it was the middle of the day.

    A long time ago, we thought that a mini maglight taped to our helmets was enough light to make it out of the park. Then a little Cateye handle bar light was better. Then 10 years with a Turbocat system made night riding awesome. These days I'm running 9 Cree R2's and I'm still searching for the "monster" light.

    Right now I have "enough" light for me AND the guy in front of me.

  13. #13
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    I am behind the light forum, but I was running on a Digital Night Owl since 2000, with something like 15w max. It was a wee bit lacking, but perfectly usable. Now I picked up a cheapo Hope Vision 1, at 200 lumens and it's really bright and floods the area really well.

    I'm not against technology and increasing lumens or patters with less watts, but it really seems like a "MORE POWER" thing going down here

    However, this forum rocks with people experimenting and thinking outside the box.

  14. #14
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    Every time i think i need more light i switch off my main lights and switch on the single cateye el530 i use for back up (and used to ride the trails with until i descovered self build nirvana!) and it gives me a good "dont be so bloody stupid!" kick up the arse!
    Got 720 on me heed and 720 on the bars.
    (Although i have ordered a P7 torch to play with just because they are so stupidly cheap on DX!)
    Tommo.

  15. #15
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    I've been reading about those P7's on DX. The search doesn't work on the parameters i'm putting in, so mind telling about them? 900 lumens? What kind of battery and spread?

  16. #16
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    I ordered this one http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19189
    Not recieved it yet so dont know what its like,just after the led/lense really as in England it costs about 26 just for the LED plus packing!
    I paid 22 for the whole torch from DX with free P+P to England no brainer really.
    Have bought a 2800mA driver from Kaidomain? so i can mess about with driving it properly (if it needs it) but there are useful modes on this one already like 300Lm setting and 800Lm strobe which would be handy for be seen road mode.
    Tommo.

  17. #17
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    Wow, nice, and I can likely order to Germany, and then wire in a Ni-MH pack into it.

  18. #18
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    Apparently the drivers in the flashlights can be a bit weak but only time will tell.
    Setting up a Battery pack in series/parallel for better run times is a good idea
    its just gonna be about how robust the driver is.
    Will probably power mine with the 2 18650 i ordered from there as well in parallel
    and see how it goes,just hope if the driver does melt down with the extended run times
    it doesn't take the LED with it!
    Tommo.
    Tommo

  19. #19
    I don't huck.
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    400 lumens on the bars and 200 lumens on the helmet with the right beam patterns has been very rideable. I don't think I would want less, but really, it would just mean I need to slow down a bit, not that I could not go ride.
    Blog Ramblings
    West Coast writer for twentynineinches.com

  20. #20
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    Sorry I couldnt resist it

    this is too much light


  21. #21
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    Lol your an animal and should be barred from this thread!!!
    Ahem Troutie that is.
    Tommo.

  22. #22
    Bigger is better!
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    A bit off-topic, but for XC skiing I found that repair-mode aka moonshine-mode, was more than enough with my MC-E/Boom headlight:



    Full mode (500mA through each die) was WAY overkill!
    And I am VERY pleased with the beam-pattern of the Boom reflector. Hotspot + big spill = perfect!

  23. #23
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    I was thinking about this the other night, and I think lights now are just approaching the point where we are getting to the point, there really is enough light. I see the situation similar to when we went from v-brakes to disks, at first everyone used 160mm front an rear, and only the downhill guys used anything larger. As time has moved on we are seeing bigger rotors on lighter use bikes.

    With the maturing of LED technology we really get the best of both worlds. We get the option to have brightness when necessary but dim the lights down when not necessary. The amount of light necessary depends on how and where you are riding.

    As a reference point lets start with car lights as a comparison. Excluding the efficiency differences of the housings (which in modern automotive lamps are in the 40-55% range) most car lamps today are putting out 1700-3000 lumens for each lamp on low beam (3000 is for an HID lamp). High beams are in the 1800 range per each lamp. That means on the modern car have between 7000 and 10,000 lumens with the high beams on.

    With my poor eye site, I have found that the 500 or so lumens from my L&M Arc is just adequate for night riding on paved roads. For off road trails I really need a headlamp or brighter bar lamp. IMHO, about 1500 lumens is getting to enough for most off road riding.

    One thing nobody has mentioned is how much light is necessary for a tail light. I have both the Sigma 1100 and the Planet Bike Superflash, which are far brighter than the older lights, but still inadequate. I think that to really be seen on the road, you need to have something in the neighborhood of 50 lumens for a tail light.
    Riding slowly since 1977.

  24. #24
    Feet back and spread 'em!
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    wow, what is that an H-bomb test?
    the time is right for violent revolution

  25. #25
    Lets RIDE!
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    Oh no, not the "how much light?" thread again.

    200 is enough. Until you try 400. Then 200 is not enough. Then your buddy buys 800, and now your 400 sucks.

    Buy/build what you can afford, and go ride, and enjoy. And try not to get caught up in the nuclear arms race.

    I, I'm ashamed to say, am caught up in it

    JZ

    and don't ride in front of a guy with more light than you!
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  26. #26
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    If you can see where you are going then you have enough, if you build your own lights and enjoy it (like myself) then you will never have enough.

  27. #27
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    my five pence worth...

    depends on what type of riding your doing and how good your eyesight is, mine is really poor so for me......

    road in town with street lights, (can get away with a flashing front light) anything will do.
    road with no street lights out of town - 300 -500 lumens is great
    off road non technical bridleways - 500 - 700lumens just right.
    off road technical with roots, drop off's, tree's wild animals etc.. unknown territory well as much as i can get without it being too bright...

    basically best for all situations would be a light which takes away the dark but does not white out the trail infront of you, troutie hit the nail on the head - his pic shot was too bright to see what's on the ground in front, but i do like the idea of being able to ride as if it was daylight in a dense forrest with no surrounding light at all - that's my perfect light..

    so Bar mounted high low beam say of ranges say 400 - 700, then a good headmounted light with decent throw and spot around 600 - 1000.. :-))))

  28. #28
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    How much is too much.. I guess its more like how much do you need.

    On a lit road.. not that much.. On an unlit road.. a little more.. But off road is a different game.. I currently have around 3000 and a set of googles with special prescription lens in and as time has gone by, still feel the need for more light.. but that has more to do with wanting to attempt crazier stuff in dangerous places..

    I would say my currentl lights give me (at full blast) very good spread and depth but not enough width.. I have a remedy for this that will take my lumen count to over 4000 but for some this is major over kill, for me its all part of the game of night riding in places that in daylight many would not go..

  29. #29
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    To much light gets me busted my either the rangers, or scaring away people doing bad things in the night.

    So far the Ayup setup is the cats meow. 300 on top, 300 on the bar. Any more and it takes away from the adventure and alle around axe murder hiding in the bushes feeling of night riding.

  30. #30
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    Ive been riding on the trails in the dark for well over 15 years. Although we had some nice Turbocats, NRs, Moon Units and others back then (many DIY projects as well), having a dual, 12+20 low-high double beam also meant heavy and huge batteries and short, 1-2 hour max charge (if you were lucky). A spare, emergency torch was mandatory.

    Not anymore. As we all know, things have changed considerably in the last few yrs. The fun-factor is the same, but now I can enjoy much bigger firepower and run times, as well as much smaller, reliable, easier to use and lighter batteries. Most DIYs display stunning numbers in both output, size and run times. Amazing.

    I now use a Lupine Wilma 6, ~800lm and thats enough for 80% of the night riding I do on the trails. Even some fast night racing on the trails. When Im into some really technical and fast singletrack or in the mood to draw some "ahhhs" "wooows" and "ooohhhs" I put my L&M ARC on the bar and the Wilma on the helmet. Thats about 1.400lm and I am yet to face a challenge to that much of light, both in terms of speed and/or technical terrain. Im considering a Tesla for helmet to go with the Wilma on the bar, but more for weigh and size reasons than anything else.

    IMHO, around 700-800 is a good balance between safety, fun and adventure - and perhaps also cost. More is of course safer but not necessarily more fun or adventurous. And less is not more, at least not for me hehehe... Its plenty of light but it doesnt take any fun or joy from night riding for me. It used to be a bit more daring, perhaps, but I was younger as well Now I enjoy it all the same, and more, since I can ride longer and with greater confidence.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    I've been reading about those P7's on DX. The search doesn't work on the parameters i'm putting in, so mind telling about them? 900 lumens? What kind of battery and spread?
    Go on Deal Extreme and hit up SKU 12060 for a 900 lumen p7 with 5 modes and a handlebar mount. Plenty for almost all rides on medium, run it with a TrustFire TR801 5 mode on your helmet if you need a bit more. Don't forget batteries and chargers.

  32. #32
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    1900 in total currently, was out tonight and despite wet ground day light riding speeds without worrying about enough light at all

    But I used to ride with a 80Lumen L1, 2 mates have these on there heads still with other HID's and LED's still cracking little torches, so anything is possible.

    Diminishing returns though, you get double the lumens and it looks like 5% more once your eyes have adjusted


    I've got 1 P7 on the bar, that 400Lumen low powered MCE, a full power MCE on my head and a Q5 driven at 1200ma's to raise the distance and MC-E's colour abit.

    PERFECT

  33. #33
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    How much light is too much?
    "When you have to nightride with sunglasses!" That's too much.

  34. #34
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    Matters who has to wear the sun glasses. I am fine. My buddies though need sunglasses when I roll up on them. That rocks in my world.

  35. #35
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    I was out riding on a wide but flowing fire trail last night and while using the "duster" it was boring There was too much light.

    I was also testing a twin r2 i had built for a mate on the same track. It was so much more fun. The difference in 1200+ lumens verses 400 lumens made the trail interesting again.

    So to answer the OP. When the trails aren't any more fun at night than they are during the day is when you have to much light.

  36. #36
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    I think 500-600 is enough...just about. I run way more but I'm on unfamilair trails and try to keep up at times. Fireroads can be done with much less but techy or fast trails demand more light, especially if there are drops or babyheads. You could always buy the Wilma in the Classifieds...I think I have the only one there. That should be enough.

  37. #37
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    go the ay ups
    280 on the bar and 280 on the helmet
    just perfect

  38. #38
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    I remember the days of running a single 10 watt halogen light. It really was fun, but I remember not seeing things until it was too late at times lol. I ran 30 watts of halogen after that which did the trick for a number of years. Then I went to a HID for a few more years which was great b/c of similar output to my halogens, but with long run-times. Finally we started seeing LED lights that could do the job and now we can have bright lights with long run times are very durable too.

    Nowadays on trails I find that more often than not I can run my bar mounted Betty at 40% and my helmet mounted Wilma at 60% which puts them both at similar outputs and gives me excellent run times. There are times, when I am hauling butt, that I am happy that I can bump the lights up to full power though. I would say that 500 lumen on the helmet and 500 on the bars would be good for most people, but certainly having more that that available isn't a bad thing considering most any new LED lights will have dimming options.

  39. #39
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    I have 400 lumens on the helmet and 600 lumens on the bar. So far, I could use more. How much is enough? Don't know, I'll let you know when I get there. So far, we're not there.

    J.

  40. #40
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    Im thinking about puting 1 of these http://www.bdonlinestore.com/product...=BDT+VEC156BD&. and replacing the blub with a silverstar one.

  41. #41
    Mai
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    this would be enough. It is only 3,000 lumens, needs two tank batteries to run and you can get it with an optonal .50 caliber machine gun for those trail nasties


    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I,
    I took the road less traveled by and
    It has made all the difference. R Frost

  42. #42
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    I wonder what that thing weights.

  43. #43
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    who cares? It's got 3000 lumens.

    J.

  44. #44
    Mai
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    10 lbs

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I,
    I took the road less traveled by and
    It has made all the difference. R Frost

  45. #45
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    It's not how much light is enough but more how it's controlled. In perfect conditions the more the better especially in singletrack. I've done a couple events the it was so dry and dusty that unless you were able to change brightness on your system you were riding blind. Like driving your car in a snowstorm with the high beams on. Big downfall with HID.

    As for how bright, well I'm running Exposure Maxx D's on each bike and they are rated at960 lumens on full, medium should be somewhere around the 500 mark and low is around the 250. No hot spots with this system either.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mai
    you can get it with an optonal .50 caliber machine gun for those trail nasties
    Sierra Clubbers?

  47. #47
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Hi I ride with a 30w HID Trail tech light 1850 lumens & its great,Yes its over kill but not as much as you would think.

    Know body will ride in front of me because they end up riding in there own shadow.

    I had a 13w HID light & I have run 50w halogen & although they were more than enough to see where you were going they were not bright enough to studdy the ground befor you got there to pick the best line.

    With 1850 lumens I can go as fast in the night as I can in the day even down hill.

    I would no longer ride in the forest with less than 700 lumens I would ride with 900 lumens but would not race in the forest with less than 1000 lumens

    I do most of my training at night & would do a night ride over a day ride by choise.

  48. #48
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    How much is too much, not sure really, I am a bit of a light junkie and love riding off road at night. My on road riding requires very little lighting as the roads are well lit; that said, I still ride during the day with my front lights on because I want to minimise the excuses car drivers have to say that they did not see me.


    Off road, then my current setup plus a helmet mounted Tesla gives me now approx 3350 L and that is plenty enough for me to light up the most technical of trails in the dead of the night. I am not an expert MTB but I like Free Riding and Downhill stuff and find it testing to do it in the middle of the woods at midnight.. daft, but fun.

    The light pattern and beams produce this kind of effect - (its been shown before, so excuse the repeat) - The far posts by the tree is approx 275ft away.


  49. #49
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    HA Yep you are the man

    I have 3 of the 1850 Lumen Trail tech lights but have only ever used 1 at a time & find that good for me,But if it ever gets to cold & want to heat up the air befor I get there I might have to put on a second one.

    Even at the 1850 L on the halmet light I don't see the need to turn on the 900 l HID light I have setup as a spare on the handle bars I get enough greaf form the people I ride with now.

    I build up lights & sell them so have many HID,Led,IRC light setups & have played with lots of combo's like 900L on bars & 900 L on halmet & as you will already know that doesn't throw out half what the 1 30w HID does, So I stick with the big light on the halmet & the 900 l on the bar just as a keep me riding if I have a big off & brake the other.

  50. #50
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    What is a more important characteristic in a light, the beam pattern or the actuall brightness?

  51. #51
    Fortes Fortuna Iuvat
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    A mix of both honestly. The best beam pattern is useless if the output is dim. Likewise, an a$$load of light is pointless if it is shining in every direction but the ones u need.
    Maverick Durance Ano-DUC32/C KING/XTR
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  52. #52
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    Do people really notice rings in lighting on the trails?

  53. #53
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    Yes. Rings are very disconcerting on high speed descents and can either hide or be interpreted as holes/obstacles.

    J.

  54. #54
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    okay, thanks john

  55. #55
    The Beast Breathes
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    Really depends on how you like it. I like my night rides to look like day, so crazy bright lights around 1500 lumens fit that bill, but I ride very well with 200 lumen lights. There's never really too much, just too little.
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  56. #56
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    When you start running the risk of lighting the scrub on fire as you ride past then you know you have enough light

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam2051
    When you start running the risk of lighting the scrub on fire as you ride past then you know you have enough light
    .
    Good luck with that, mister 300-Mile Turn Radius.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortOrdDirt
    okay, thanks john
    See this post for a particularly bad example.
    Anyone tried the Airbike lights yet?

  59. #59
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    I have build 3 lamps, one is about 800 lumens (4xR2) and two are about 600 lumens (MC-E). Two of them are on the handlebar and one is mounted on the helmet.
    That's about 2000 lumens all together.

    I found that I do not need so much light on my MTB trails. In fact, in one stupid experiment I have burned the driver in one MC-E lamp, and can not say that third lamp is missing to me. So, I think that 1500 lumens (but divided on two lamps) is enough for most circumstances.

  60. #60
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    I think I'd add this too -

    During the summer (bug season), you need more and wider light on your handlebars. I find that if I put a helmet light on, I get a lot of bugs in the face that are attracted to the light. So, during the summer if you have a more powerful beam on the handlebars with a wide spread, that sort of drives the lumen requirement on the bars up a bit.

    J.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    I think I'd add this too -

    During the summer (bug season), you need more and wider light on your handlebars. I find that if I put a helmet light on, I get a lot of bugs in the face that are attracted to the light. So, during the summer if you have a more powerful beam on the handlebars with a wide spread, that sort of drives the lumen requirement on the bars up a bit.

    J.
    What type of light are you using on your helmet mount?

  62. #62
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    400L Dinotte on the helmet which works well. I have a 600L on the bars but I'm going to upgrade that to more lumens - maybe 800L.

    J.

  63. #63
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    Normally bug's aren't that big of an issue with LED's because they put out little heat through the lens and no UV or IR rays. Interesting that you say that.

  64. #64
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    Since going from Halogen to LED, haven't had an issue with bugs being attracted to the light. Have had a bat buzz the light a couple of times on a certain trail. The bat clipped my buddy in the shoulder the other morning on our 5am ride before work, totally freaked him out. Had me rolling on the trail

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by zen bicycle
    Normally bug's aren't that big of an issue with LED's because they put out little heat through the lens and no UV or IR rays. Interesting that you say that.
    uh, ever look at the porch light in the midwest after dark? Covered with bugs that are positively heliotropic. It is visible light that attracts a whole slew of bugs. If you are riding down a road or trail, especially in wooded areas, they key on the light and fly towards it. With the light only 4" above your eyes, it gets nasty. Do NOT ride with your mouth open.

    J.

  66. #66
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    I don't even know how many lumens I have, but I have a 14.8V lithium battery with a 20W halogen setup and haven't really needed much more.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    uh, ever look at the porch light in the midwest after dark? Covered with bugs that are positively heliotropic. It is visible light that attracts a whole slew of bugs. If you are riding down a road or trail, especially in wooded areas, they key on the light and fly towards it. With the light only 4" above your eyes, it gets nasty. Do NOT ride with your mouth open.

    J.
    Lol, how many porch lights in the Midwest are LED's? I do understand what you're saying though. Heat is a big factor of drawing bugs in (and burning them to death-Ha!) once they get close to the lights.
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  68. #68
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    Yeah what he said. I live in the south and ride through woods at night. The only time I have problems with bugs on an LED setup is when I ride through a swarm. They don't really come at me.

  69. #69
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    Not here. I turn on the headlight - I get bugs in the face. I turn it off, I don't.

    J.

  70. #70
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    Lol. Easy way to get that mid-ride protein intake. Hehehe. Try going faster so the bugs can't catch ya. Haha, just kidding.

    I keep a small can of bug spray in my Camelbak for the particulary bad bug infested rides. Don't know if that would help keep them out of your face though. I tend to turn into a huge, slow-moving bug breeding ground, especially after a few hours of profuse sweating.
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  71. #71
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    Bugs here in NY don't discriminate, they come at my Halogen, HID, and LED lights with seemingly equal intensity.

  72. #72
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    1700 Lumens for bombing is enough; if it's focused right. About 1000 for just cruzing along otherwise.

    I ride with my X5 on my head, and Eva on the bar. Has just enough throw, and is well balanced illumination so the hotspots don't blind me.

    But I used to ride with a single 12 watter on my bar and a big smile on my face. Ahh, ignorance is bliss.

  73. #73
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    1200 is enough IMHO.

    I ride with a 400L on the helmet, two 400L's on the bars and an 800L on the bars (yes, all are on there at once). I rarely turn on the 800L - it's on there more as a backup than anything, and to tell the truth, one the 400L's usually run on medium unless I'm going dowhill, in which case they both go on high. The helmet one runs on medium most of the time as well - high on downhill stuff.

  74. #74
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    6400 lumens is good. At least that's what I run in the dunes with a couple Fuego hids. Honestly at nignt you can never have enough light. For mountain biking I am comfortable with 700 lumens. Our Stryker mountain has more than enough light for me.
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  75. #75
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    I have a Dinotte 200L dual setup that I use for night riding and 24h racing. It works for me. I have the flood lens on the bars and a spot lens on the helmet. I can even run the bar light at 50% and get by fine.

    So, I say 300 lumens and up is acceptable if you have the light in the right places with appropriate beam patterns.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  76. #76
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    Having a move around, going for 2 x R2 XP-E 1200ma spot torches on my head, 1 with a smooth reflector for a better range than the MC-E + a 1200ma Q5 Smooth to give me the range I need, less lumens and less weight the MC-E is heavy.

    Moving the MC-E to the bars though with a P7 so 1200lumens approx on the bars


    The best part is the 2 torches for 500+ lumens are costing $36

  77. #77
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    Funny to go back a couple years and read response to this same question. The average suggested lumen output then is dramatically lower than what is suggested now. I am guilty of upping the lumens in my answer too.

  78. #78
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    The other night on the most technical trail in the area i was happy enough with about 1000 lumens worth of halogen on the bar in a 25 degree flood pattern along with about 100 lumens of LED in a 3 degree spot, and about 300 worth of 10 degree halogen spot on my helmet. Those are small sized lights though (MR11 bulb sizes), my MR16 setup I'm cranking out several thousand from one 15 degree halogen and that works quite well on its own.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  79. #79
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    For normal night riding (not racing), 200 lumens is fine for me. The key is to moderate your speed to the amount of light you have.

    If you're doing technical downhill racing on a tricky course, maybe 700 lumens is useless.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  80. #80
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    Questions for an expert :)

    Quote Originally Posted by muzzanic
    I have 3 of the 1850 Lumen Trail tech lights but have only ever used 1 at a time & find that good for me,But if it ever gets to cold & want to heat up the air befor I get there I might have to put on a second one.

    Even at the 1850 L on the halmet light I don't see the need to turn on the 900 l HID light I have setup as a spare on the handle bars I get enough greaf form the people I ride with now.

    I build up lights & sell them so have many HID,Led,IRC light setups & have played with lots of combo's like 900L on bars & 900 L on halmet & as you will already know that doesn't throw out half what the 1 30w HID does, So I stick with the big light on the halmet & the 900 l on the bar just as a keep me riding if I have a big off & brake the other.
    Hey Muzzanic...I need some help and it sounds like you are an expert in the subject so I hope you will take the time to help someone that is getting more and more lost as I read. Here is my situation....I have a turbocat S47 with a nimh battery that is shot. I went to get a new one and they want $195 for nimh and $155 for nicad....ouch! The one I have is a 13.2v.....I found some aftermarket ones here....one being a 13.2v and one a 14.4v (can I run this on my light and will it give me a brighter light?).

    http://www.batteryspace.com/waterbot...bikelight.aspx

    http://www.batteryspace.com/waterbot...emaleplug.aspx

    Will these work or should I bite the bullet and get the OEM battery?

    I also considered getting a couple flashlights (900 lumen) and mounting anywhere from 1-3 of these (3--one on helmet, 2 on bars...or even just 1 on helmet by itself if it will be strong enought to ride fast off road) Here are the ones I am looking at:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19189

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13336

    PLEASE HELP!!

    This is the type of riding I do mostly:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INuyCYJEhUw

    ~Doug

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by faithrider1
    Hey Muzzanic...I need some help and it sounds like you are an expert in the subject so I hope you will take the time to help someone that is getting more and more lost as I read. Here is my situation....I have a turbocat S47 with a nimh battery that is shot. I went to get a new one and they want $195 for nimh and $155 for nicad....ouch! The one I have is a 13.2v.....I found some aftermarket ones here....one being a 13.2v and one a 14.4v (can I run this on my light and will it give me a brighter light?).

    http://www.batteryspace.com/waterbot...bikelight.aspx

    http://www.batteryspace.com/waterbot...emaleplug.aspx

    Will these work or should I bite the bullet and get the OEM battery?



    I also considered getting a couple flashlights (900 lumen) and mounting anywhere from 1-3 of these (3--one on helmet, 2 on bars...or even just 1 on helmet by itself if it will be strong enought to ride fast off road) Here are the ones I am looking at:

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19189

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.13336

    PLEASE HELP!!

    This is the type of riding I do mostly:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INuyCYJEhUw

    ~Doug
    To be honest this is the time to go for a 30w Hid 32 deg there are lots of good lighs out there that are bright but they are like a spot light & if you are riding on flat single track they are great but if you are doing lots of rolling country & switchbacks & drops not even 3 900L lights would give you the volume of light as the 1 30w HID light its not just bright it kills the dark spots,

    I tryed 2 900L hid lights at a 12 relay race about 3 months back I did 1 run with them & went back to the 1850L 30w HID it gives something like 4 X the light of a single 900L light.

    You don't even realy have to adjust the light level on your helmet the light just goes every were.

    Any more questions just ask.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by muzzanic
    To be honest this is the time to go for a 30w Hid 32 deg there are lots of good lighs out there that are bright but they are like a spot light & if you are riding on flat single track they are great but if you are doing lots of rolling country & switchbacks & drops not even 3 900L lights would give you the volume of light as the 1 30w HID light its not just bright it kills the dark spots,

    I tryed 2 900L hid lights at a 12 relay race about 3 months back I did 1 run with them & went back to the 1850L 30w HID it gives something like 4 X the light of a single 900L light.

    You don't even realy have to adjust the light level on your helmet the light just goes every were.

    Any more questions just ask.


    thanks so much for the input. So which 30w HID would you recommend? It sounds like this is the way to go I just don't know if it is in the budget. Bang for the buck for this system...which brand? This is why I'm considering the options I shared with you Lost the job 6 months ago so splurging to much won't make the wife to happy Best options for the system you recommend and would either of the two batteries I sent a link to work for my turbocat s42? It is a nice light if I can get it going for less than $80. Thanks again for your input!

    ~Doug

  83. #83
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    Look around for decent quality batteries for your Turbocat first....ask in the DIY Light forum. The Turbocat is one of the top two halogens available and still one of the best beam patterns out there.

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