Results 1 to 66 of 66
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!

    This thread is about defining a headlamp beam style and addressing a need...

    For those that choose to define any old headlamp as having a 'cutoff beam pattern', here is what that beam pattern looks like:

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-projectorcutoff.jpg

    This type of beam pattern is produced by positioning a mechanical shield close the light source that serves to stop light at or just beyond the edge of the bright central region of the beam from exiting the light assembly in an upwards direction. This method is extremely effective, with almost all of the light entering the area above the cutoff being produced by imperfections in the reflector and lens.

    The purpose of a cutoff beam is to permit use of a lot more photons, so the road can be lit better and a lot further, without increasing glare for oncoming traffic. 3200lm per lamp is common.

    There are two ways to achieve a cutoff beam pattern:

    1) Place a shield between the light source and a projector lens. This is the design of most of the HID systems. There are also halogen projector systems.

    2) Incorporate a shield into the light source and use only a reflector lens. As far as I know, this is only executed with halogen bulbs. If you are going to the expense of HID bulbs and ballasts, incorporating a projector lens is little extra cost.

    So... what's the deal?

    There is a problem on the horizon that the new-fangled downward or sideward or whateverward fired LED's (onto a reflector) cannot solve. That problem is lumens per square inch of reflector surface. The LED reflector rage that is currently growing in the US is totally better than any of the optical lens systems available, but that only works at lower lumens. As you increase lumens, to reduce glare due to reflector surface imperfections, you have to increase the quality of the reflector. No, those $2 aluminum reflectors in Chinese lamps won't work. An order of a hundred times more precise is the starting point.

    HID lamps can put out a lot of light because they physically block unwanted light with a shield. Reflector lamps work because they spread light out over a large area, keeping the peak light any given point low enough to prevent our irises from contracting too much while improving aiming accuracy.

    Using a Hella 4x6.5" as a comparison (a typical size reflector area for automotive use)... probably about 16-20 square inches of reflector surface, using an H4 bulb at 1400lm, 50% light lost to the glare shield. 700 lumens across 20 square inches = 35 lumens per square inch.

    Point a 1400 lumen LED at a 2x2 reflector, you get 1400 lumens across 4 square inches = 350 lumens per square inch, or ten times the light per square inch of reflector surface.

    Imagine an approaching car running ten times the normal light out one of the headlamps! Even a 50w HID bulb (@5000lm - illegal to use on road, but douchebags do) mounted into the Hella 4x6.5 would only get to 125lm/sq in.

    Getting to the point... projector housing solution are needed for the higher lumen lamps some of us choose to, or need to run. Many cars that use groups of LED's for headlamps are doing this, so the tech is already among us, we just need to get some bike lamp mfg's on board.

    Some ideas:

    Make shield moveable to obtain full output for trail rides (was done with HID's).

    Instead of blocking, redirect unwanted light to the sides, run though yellow filters, and then a scattering lenses, to provide side visibility for road commuting.

    Why is this not a thing...?

    While it wouldn't solve the lumen/sq inch issue, a shield that extends 3-4 inches past the front of the light, sitting just above the top of the lens, would go a hell of a long way towards reducing glare enough so that I don't have to drop my Gloworm XS to it's lowest setting (250lm) to prevent upsetting oncoming traffic. Why don't we have accessories like this?

    Discuss...
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  2. #2
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Good idea and some modders have played with it but there is actually several reasons why they aren't implemented anymore.

    First is the failure point. Used offroad that hood would last up until the first plant hanging out in the trail that snags it. Broken light, expected warranty.

    Though people like you and I would have the decency to use it the vast majority of cyclists wouldn't.

    And truly why would you need almost 2500 lumens to ride on pavement. Automotive headlights are roughly half that on low beam and except for speeds in access of 45 mph, nothing more is needed.

    Also a hood would defeat the other main purpose of a light. To be seen. By blocking all light except whats pointed at the ground and oncoming vehicle can't tell the difference between a guy 20 ft from the road shining a flashlight on the road and you coming directly at them because their is no light source pointed in their direction.

    This is why reflectors and optics are used in automotive, not hoods. Your nothing more than a speed bump for a pickup truck. With a hood all hell see is the road lit up which quickly changes from your lights to his then your roadkill.

    If your riding to and from the trails then dealing with such a matter makes sense to find a way to make a light like that more road worthy vs carrying a second light. But thats a very small percentage of cyclists. Ive ridden off road most of the time ive been back in the sport, only last year did I get a road bike. I don't ride to and from any trails due to distance, so I have always had 2 separate lights since I got into riding offroad at night. For you that may not make as much sense, but with the costs of developing something like that its not something any brand could justify for a very tiny percentage of the cycling industry.

    BUT TRUST ME I wish half these bigger brand companies had half a clue about designing a light for road use and got a away from the "lets blind oncoming cars that way they see the rider" mentality.
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    22
    Well, I made a hood for my LED flashlight which I use on my bicycle while commuting to prevent the glare:
    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-dsc_1645.jpgTime for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-dsc_1648.jpg

    It cost next to nothing. There is an illuminated ring on the edge of the hood which can be seen from all angles. The pattern is not perfect as I would like the most brightest spot to be right below the cut-off but that is not really possible with this simple design.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    The technology is going to have to evolve from innovation in other markets first in order to get to a price point where it can be applied to the very tiny high performance bike light market. Already high bright lights that were $200-300 a few years ago are available for $60 (or at least well less than $100). That doesn't leave a lot of room for expensive optics or reflectors. Even that $2 reflector is an expensive component in the bill of materials at those price points.

    All that said, it might be an annoyance but we are not seeing any call for such a product based on actual accidents or incidents. There is a benefit to spraying photos in a wider pattern in terms of visibility but, granted, that can be annoying but I'm not sure it's unsafe base on a dearth of reporting on actual accidents or injuries.

    J.

  5. #5
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Actually there is a "demand" for it, many countries in Europe have banned the use of high powered lights on paths/roads and the lights require a cut off beam.

    Also cut off beam lights already exist.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,273
    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by hece View Post
    Well, I made a hood for my LED flashlight which I use on my bicycle while commuting to prevent the glare:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC_1645.JPG 
Views:	60 
Size:	22.1 KB 
ID:	1125677Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC_1648.JPG 
Views:	51 
Size:	13.7 KB 
ID:	1125678

    It cost next to nothing. There is an illuminated ring on the edge of the hood which can be seen from all angles. The pattern is not perfect as I would like the most brightest spot to be right below the cut
    Thought you might find this hood design interesting. Hard to take this light too seriously being make of plastic but the cut-off concept is cool.
    Mole

    https://cycletorch.com/collections/h...bike-light-set

    Name:  41dNujzNHrL.jpg
Views: 519
Size:  30.4 KB

    Name:  6204bdfc6eb104f8c47e9d12399ff3aa.jpg
Views: 532
Size:  45.0 KB

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Actually there is a "demand" for it, many countries in Europe have banned the use of high powered lights on paths/roads and the lights require a cut off beam.

    Also cut off beam lights already exist.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    If that demand is substantial enough and the market supports an adequate price point that will pay for the amortized R&D expense with a commensurate return plus the material cost, then somebody will build it. I'm skeptical of a bike light market at the high performance end being large enough to drive that innovation (and it's cost) as well as the cost of goods sold on the bike market alone. I'm betting the innovation will need to be driven by some other market (i.e. automotive or something) first.

    But we'll see.

    J.

  8. #8
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Cut off beams exist both reflector and optics based. Not even "high end" lights. And demand is there. But what op is asking is something much different but totally useful for some, just very few.

    As mole pointed out there are some lights that have small hoods already (even the wiz20 has a bit of one).

    Automotive industry already uses them, vehicle low beams. Reflector based.

    Bike lights are available with cut-offs, and not just in the high end market (well depending on what you consider high end which to me is anything over about the $250-300 range).

    In the US they aren't required and I don't expect to see some major outcry from drivers demanding it anytime soon. US isnt as cycling oriented as Europe (think number of cyclists vs cars in a given area).

    Now if it's made a DOT regulation (which many drivers think it's BS that cyclists aren't required to be up to DOT standards for lighting and such which I agree is wrong) then suddenly you would see how many are actually available because they would become mainstream.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    RAKC Industries: Automotive vehicles have half the output of 2500lm when a lower output bulb is used in a poor implementation of halogen bulbs. As a comparison, the Hella H9's I use are rated 2100 lumen, and the cutoff is estimated to block about 25-30%. That leaves me 1400+ per lamp, 2800lm total. Swap in HID bulbs, output jumps to 4480lm, getting close to double the output of my Gloworm XS.

    If only I had a dollar every time someone says I don't need over x-lumens on the road... I can only assume many of us ride on very bleached lanes with decent overhead lighting. There are two roads I hit that have pitch black tarmac with no lighting, a thick enough canopy that a supermoon barely peeks through, and enough of a grade that I run out of both gears and spin. Full power on the lamp isn't an option if I want enough time to recognize and react to a hazard, which can be deer poking their heads out from between tree trunks, a black garbage bag dumped on the road, branches on the road and hanging down from above, and those damn pedestrian ninjas.

    Some of us DO need major lumens, and EVERYONE would benefit from proven cutoff tech. Doesn't have to be in every offering... as I stated, lower power lamps are ok when they've got a decent size lens and reflector, and some of us only ride trails at night. This does not mean there can't be a few true cutoff lamps on the market, and cost is not an excuse. The technology is already proven and certified by the NHTSA, and the companies that make our LED lenses, can use the same materials to make projector lenses. Here's TWO projection lamps for HID bulbs for $28.98 shipped on eBay.

    JohnJ80: There is no great cost to produce parts for a projection lamp. The lens would be similar in size to the lenses currently used in LED bike lamps, and would replace them, most likely a net zero exchange. The shield is simply a slim piece of metal or plastic, no great cost there, possibly even incorporated into the lens production.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,316
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    ....If only I had a dollar every time someone says I don't need over x-lumens on the road... I can only assume many of us ride on very bleached lanes with decent overhead lighting. There are two roads I hit that have pitch black tarmac with no lighting, a thick enough canopy that a supermoon barely peeks through, and enough of a grade that I run out of both gears and spin. Full power on the lamp isn't an option if I want enough time to recognize and react to a hazard, which can be deer poking their heads out from between tree trunks, a black garbage bag dumped on the road, branches on the road and hanging down from above, and those damn pedestrian ninjas....
    ...which is why I will still use a regular lamp on the road ( when needed ), even if I have a lamp that provides cutoff. Cutoff for road use is good but like cars, a person on a bike needs to have a "High beam" option. F-taco got it right. Never know what you'll find on the shoulder of a road or what comes jumping out at you from the side of the road.

    Now what would be nice would to have a lamp like the two emitter Ravemen's, only have both emitters using cut-off lenses. One would be off-set to aim higher with the option to control the high beam with just a single push off or on from the remote. ( Note, the lens on the high beam could be modified to keep the spread narrow.) Ravemen's have the basic set-up now but just need a duel-button remote so you can control the high beam with the remote.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,273
    In regards to functionality and safety I see no benefit to a cut-off beam in the clearly high-beam situation described by Flamingtaco. Aiming a high powered cut-off beam high enough to gain necessary throw will still spill too much light into oncoming traffic. The ability to power down or switch to a correctly aimed cut-off beam quickly (like a car) is what's needed when on-coming traffic is present (for safety). When the road is clear power up your lights to what ever lumen output you need to see safely.
    Mole

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post

    Some of us DO need major lumens, and EVERYONE would benefit from proven cutoff tech. Doesn't have to be in every offering... as I stated, lower power lamps are ok when they've got a decent size lens and reflector, and some of us only ride trails at night. This does not mean there can't be a few true cutoff lamps on the market, and cost is not an excuse. The technology is already proven and certified by the NHTSA, and the companies that make our LED lenses, can use the same materials to make projector lenses. Here's TWO projection lamps for HID bulbs for $28.98 shipped on eBay.

    JohnJ80: There is no great cost to produce parts for a projection lamp. The lens would be similar in size to the lenses currently used in LED bike lamps, and would replace them, most likely a net zero exchange. The shield is simply a slim piece of metal or plastic, no great cost there, possibly even incorporated into the lens production.
    I agree with your point on high lumens. You and I ride in an area that sounds similar - rural, dark, forested, hilly and with lots of turns. On the road, I want to be able to see it all with no questions. FWIW, I just about ran into a deer last year that ran out in front of me.

    To the point about manufacturing - we'll see. It's not just a materials cost issue, it's the engineering and the tooling. Almost all of these high bright light companies largely are hand assembled lights with little automation because they are so low volume. "Low" and "High" are relative in manufacturing to some degree where "High" would be something on the level of iPhones or a million units a year or more. "Low" is on the order of 10's of thousands of units a year up to about 100Ku. So it still remains that these high bright lights are largely a cottage industry in the grand scheme of things manufactured. It's a tiny niche market that is going to have a hard time paying off a lot of tooling or engineering expense. So we'll see, I guess.

    J.

  13. #13
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353


    Flaming taco: the thing is I just don't comprehend the need for such lumens and I ride in the pitch black miles from anything.

    I can drive in the pitch black at highway speeds (70-80mph) rural, no light, miles from any town in nothing but standard low beams of our vehicles.

    Thing is I grew up out here, I'm "young" yet it appears and I make it a point to protect my ability to see well after dark. Just like some ride by moonlight only as a challenge, I used to drive the country roads here by moonlight only.

    Making an assumption that we all live in a city is way off. I get that some need more than 1000 lumens because of difficulties seeing after dark. But people like me the only way to live more rural is basically off the grid. Granted I live in a small town of 1600 and have one with 10k on the othe side, that's it for population, cornfields for 10-20 miles in any direction, another small town and repeat.


    The most interesting thing about this debate is 10+ yrs ago lights with this level of output didn't exist, not even close. Yet we all grew up riding after dark using nothing more than a flashlight. I used to ride the few miles to my friends place with nothing more than a minimag taped to my bars. Country roads of Illinois, nothing but the occasional house for miles.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post


    Flaming taco: the thing is I just don't comprehend the need for such lumens and I ride in the pitch black miles from anything.

    I can drive in the pitch black at highway speeds (70-80mph) rural, no light, miles from any town in nothing but standard low beams of our vehicles.

    Thing is I grew up out here, I'm "young" yet it appears and I make it a point to protect my ability to see well after dark. Just like some ride by moonlight only as a challenge, I used to drive the country roads here by moonlight only.

    Making an assumption that we all live in a city is well off. I get that some need more than 1000 lumens because of difficulties seeing after dark.

    The most interesting thing about this debate is 10+ yrs ago lights with this level of output didn't exist, not even close. Yet we all grew up riding after dark using nothing more than a flashlight. I used to ride the few miles to my friends place with nothing more than a minimag taped to my bars. Country roads of Illinois, nothing but the occasional house for miles.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    I'm not young and I have great night vision (and vision in general). But I doubt that you can do what you say without overdriving your headlights. See:

    https://policedriver.com/over-driving-your-headlights/. Where low beams are good for about 180 feet.

    Here's the stopping distance from 80mph or about 399 feet with 79 feet of that being reaction time. Even taking reaction time out of it, it's 320 feet of pure braking time for an average car. Even allowing for generous margins, there is no way that an average car is going to stop in the half the distance. So I don't believe that you can stop within your headlights in the conditions you describe. I do believe that you think you can - but those are two very different things. What does this tell us? Overdriving one's lights is tricky and you have less visual distance than you think you do.

    On top of that, it's all going to depend on what the object is that gets in your path and how reflective it is. If it's not reflective but large, you may stop getting older. . Add in opportunities for driver distraction etc... Good luck with that.

    All that said and back to the bike. I can see where the same illusion applies - someone thinks they are not overdriving (overriding?) their light but in fact they are in the same way that you think you can drive 80mph and not overdrive your standard low beam car lights on a dark road. For me, I can definitely say that with 1000 lumens of light descending on my road bike at around 30mph, I don't feel comfortable that I see all that I need to see. At 2500 lumens I'm pretty good and higher than that it's pure bonus points. So I think it's a mistake to project what may work for you onto what everyone else *needs* especially when there is evidence that may be wrong.

    J.

  15. #15
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Im not over driving my lights at all. Everyone here and within 100s of miles does the same thing on the 4 lane roads around here. And no one is over driving their headlights. Be happy to use my cameras to show you.

    55-60 down the 2 lane roads is viable on low beam but high beam is usually preferred so you get earlier warning to deer if possible.

    And only good to 180ft is WAY outdated and poorly aimed headlights. Even my Chevy Cobalt from the factory the low beams in rural conditions are good to 3-400 ft. Our Honda Odyssey is a slight bit more.

    It makes a HUGE difference in where and how you grow up. I grew up here, rural driving in all conditions is how I was taught to drive.

    Secondly living in a urban environment you actually require MORE lumens than less. Your eyes become accustomed to the ambient city light so your lights have to overpower that to be of any use.

    I not saying what everyone else "needs" though. I ride at the same speeds as most on half what is being suggested for a road light.

    But truly the abuse of high powered lights on the road is becoming a huge problem because something like gloworm X3 is far more blinding than the average car because they are literally pointed directly in the eyes of on coming drivers. It's a not a matter of what the guys with sense here will do, it's the 99% that don't need it, think it's ok to do and blind people.

    Like the picture above, bike path at almost 30mph out in the middle of nowhere. 1200 lumens, never felt like I couldn't see far enough.

    But I don't have to deal with cool white bike lights. Got away from that a long time ago. So I can actually see what's in front of me not be trying to distinguish details when everything looks white and frozen.

    Everyone has their preference, apologies if I think 2000 lumens and up is overkill for a bicycle on the road.


    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,316
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Im not over driving my lights at all. Everyone here and within 100s of miles does the same thing on the 4 lane roads around here. And no one is over driving their headlights. Be happy to use my cameras to show you.

    55-60 down the 2 lane roads is viable on low beam but high beam is usually preferred so you get earlier warning to deer if possible.

    And only good to 180ft is WAY outdated and poorly aimed headlights....
    I've never measured the reach of my vehicles low beam. I just know by instinct if I've got enough light or not. It needs to be said though that not all vehicles have headlamps that have the same reach. I've driven some vehicles with some really piss-poor headlights ( and some of those have been new vehicles ). I've also driven vehicles with excellent low beams. With good low beams you rarely have to go to high. Still, when in deer country the high beams are very useful in giving advance warning as long as you can use them without bothering the on-coming traffic.

    Right now when I use the single emitter Ravemen I have I don't feel comfortable if I'm riding faster than 16mph. My instinct is telling me I need to see farther. If I aim it higher when at speed it does work better though. Admittedly I do need more time with it. I've only had a handful of rides using it because of the weather. I figure I should be able to aim it up without guilt because the lamp still has a restricted upper output to the beam pattern. At 400-500 lumen I don't think any bike lamp should be an annoyance to any one in a moving vehicle. ( sitting still at a stop light or slow urban traffic might be different ) Then again at intersections you "want people to see you" because a lot of vehicles are turning. Everything is situational.

  17. #17
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    400-500 is definately too low for much more than 15mph IMHO as well unless it's got a focused beam then not so bad. Cut off beam the CR500 works good for around town but not enough on open country at higher speeds. 12-1500 when dealing with a cut off works much better.

    Now going with say a light like the XS. Having a mix of cutoff optics and thrower optics and operate separately like Ravemen PR series would do ok. A bit overpowered imo but you get the idea.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Im not over driving my lights at all. Everyone here and within 100s of miles does the same thing on the 4 lane roads around here. And no one is over driving their headlights. Be happy to use my cameras to show you.

    55-60 down the 2 lane roads is viable on low beam but high beam is usually preferred so you get earlier warning to deer if possible.

    And only good to 180ft is WAY outdated and poorly aimed headlights. Even my Chevy Cobalt from the factory the low beams in rural conditions are good to 3-400 ft. Our Honda Odyssey is a slight bit more.

    It makes a HUGE difference in where and how you grow up. I grew up here, rural driving in all conditions is how I was taught to drive.

    Secondly living in a urban environment you actually require MORE lumens than less. Your eyes become accustomed to the ambient city light so your lights have to overpower that to be of any use.

    I not saying what everyone else "needs" though. I ride at the same speeds as most on half what is being suggested for a road light.

    But truly the abuse of high powered lights on the road is becoming a huge problem because something like gloworm X3 is far more blinding than the average car because they are literally pointed directly in the eyes of on coming drivers. It's a not a matter of what the guys with sense here will do, it's the 99% that don't need it, think it's ok to do and blind people.

    Like the picture above, bike path at almost 30mph out in the middle of nowhere. 1200 lumens, never felt like I couldn't see far enough.

    But I don't have to deal with cool white bike lights. Got away from that a long time ago. So I can actually see what's in front of me not be trying to distinguish details when everything looks white and frozen.

    Everyone has their preference, apologies if I think 2000 lumens and up is overkill for a bicycle on the road.


    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    I live in a similar area; very much wild and not urban. We all drive fast at night but the fact of the matter is that we are all overdriving our headlights. 70-80 on low beams is - any way you cut it - overdriving your headlights and it's not safe. You get an object that is non reflective (i.e. deer) and you have a problem at those speeds. Deer collisions here in Minnesota are epidemic so it's not like I don't have experience with the phenomena. The point in all of this is that you don't have as much light as your speed justifies, you just think you do and that helps make the case for more lumens, more throw, more spill. The alternative is to slow down. At speed, more lumens are generally a good thing and with some individual variance.



    J.

  19. #19
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    See that's how everyone is different. 70-80 on low beams on the 4 lane roads is normal. I deal with deer weekly spring and fall. I had 4 in my yard a couple weeks ago, scared the shit outta me when I come around the corner of my garage and their they were.

    2 lane road I don't mess with (not like I used to driving by moonlight to show off). The one time in my life a deer has caught me was when I was 19. 2 lane road curve up and over a hill, just as I came over the top and was in a Bronco II (like driving a jacked up Wrangler, will flip if you swerve hard at speed). Moved enough it only took out passenger grill and headlight. I put it in 4wd cause I was going after it but it didn't survive the impact, so just called it in when I got home.

    I see deer all the time on the high way and never had a single issue. Ya I've had to nail the the brakes and be ready to move where ever. But never have I had to swerve hard, lock up the brakes, use shoulder or anything.

    As you are probably used to as well, they clear roadsides a fair way back and wide center ditch.

    In fairness though is I think the way I set my headlights on used vehicles may partially play a part. I set them so they are effective farther out, something I learned long ago. Our Cobalt just came set perfectly out of the showroom as did the Honda Odyssey we have now. My caravan is older so I adjusted those and ditched the cheap bulbs when one burned out, went with the better ones. My Cobalt on trips with trunk loaded and more than one bike on the hitch rack I would get flashed for ppl thinking my highbeams were on. Till I pulled the lever back. High beams were rediculous on that thing. Part of why I hardly used them, very nice headlight design.

    Another trick I use is country road I turn down my dashlighting to just enough I can just make out the speedometer.

    Those things may be why I get by with doing things the way I do versus what others need.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    They try and clear roadsides here, but it's not unusual to have trees within 20-25' of the roadway - just too much forest. In those areas, that's where spill helps a lot.

    I've done much the same as you have with lights - aimed them properly and put in better bulbs or have higher end cars with higher quality lighting from the start. Either way, if an obstacle suddenly appears at 180' out from you, you're going to have to avoid it because you won't be able to stop.

    Last year, at 9am on a a Tuesday morning, I was driving on I=94 near a wooded area. The highway was above the surrounding terrain, cleared down to just high grass several hundred feet to the woods. Suddenly the car in front of me has the windshield explode as a (stupid) deer came fast up out of the grass right into the path of that car dead square into the grill and windshield - caving the windshield in on the two people in the front seat who, ironically, were on the way to a conference for EMTs.

    If an incident happens like that, 180' in front of you while you're doing 70-80 at night, good luck. So, the point again, is that we are often overdriving our lights. We just think we are not. From a bike perspective, the same thing applies and more lumens, more spill, more throw are generally a good thing.

    J.

  21. #21
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    At that distance your SOL but not crap you can do at that point. More or less light doesn't save you from them bolting out from tall grass/trees. And add on blinding on coming traffic running highbeams there's just times there isn't crap you can do unless you have a long range thermal cam

    I'm not saying that high beams don't offer extra safety but we're talking highway speeds. Bicycles don't reach half that unless coming down a mountain. Low beams of a car are more than sufficient at 45 and under so why would more power be needed at lower speeds?

    Question of comfort zone and eyesight at that point. That's why we have options. Just shocked there is many that really want that kind of output since we see most lights offered for road cycling lucky to come near 1000 lumens.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    At that distance your SOL but not crap you can do at that point. More or less light doesn't save you from them bolting out from tall grass/trees. And add on blinding on coming traffic running highbeams there's just times there isn't crap you can do unless you have a long range thermal cam

    I'm not saying that high beams don't offer extra safety but we're talking highway speeds. Bicycles don't reach half that unless coming down a mountain. Low beams of a car are more than sufficient at 45 and under so why would more power be needed at lower speeds?

    Question of comfort zone and eyesight at that point. That's why we have options. Just shocked there is many that really want that kind of output since we see most lights offered for road cycling lucky to come near 1000 lumens.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Two things:

    The deer out of the grass illustration is that you can have a serious obstacle appear at the range of your headlights (180' low beams) and you can't stop at 80 or within your headlights.

    On a bike, there is a need to see more than in a car because even a smallish rock or a pavement defect can cause a crash. So you need to see more detail albeit at slower speeds. Bikes don't stop great either in many conditions so you need extra room. Brighter and better lights aid in seeing the smaller detail a cyclist needs to see.

    J

  23. #23
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Your stuck on that 180ft which doesn't apply to everyone (not by far, many are as much as twice that). 180 ft is only 60 yrds, it's not that much. As I said before my low beam reach is 300+ ft.

    Peoples needs/what they can see are far different than the next person. I ride a road bike as well (the picture above) and plenty of debris, cracks, pot holes etc to deal with, no issues at 1200 lumens. If your doing what the OP is, which is using mountain bike (which is the topic) there is no need to avoid every little thing in the road. And if nuetral white emitters were used it would be a lot easier to see details on the road.

    But as I said, each person is different. Sticking to one number because some random website is quoting one line from another website doesn't mean everyone is doing something wrong. There is a reason why it's illegal to drive around with high beams on in town and if you have them on, refusing to turn them off when an officer is coming at you that you get pulled over.....

    Many details that makes every case a matter of personal necessity. Saying people are going to die because there is no way their headlights reach past 180ft is a very wrong approach to matters.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,158
    If you like look at prior posts, I addressed the difference. The stopping distance at 80mph is 399 feet for average car which still exceeds your claim that your low beams are twice as good at 360'. Point remains and thank you for proving it, you are overdriving your lights.

    J.

  25. #25
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    But there is many other factors being missed. Yes by definition in a lab environment going from speed to complete stop in a straight line would be over driving.

    But lab tests as proven 100s of times mean little in real world use.

    First is coming to a dead stop is not needed. At those speeds your on a highway. Which brings it to how much warning you need to simply decrease speed and be able to avoid the issue safely. On a highway you have 2 lanes and wide shoulders.

    Also properly attentive drivers will notice sudden loss of line of sight of reflective markers and other vehicles ahead due to something none reflective blocking that line of sight.

    So technically every driver every day overdrive's their headlights based on "lab tests". But so many factors make those numbers pointless. Otherwise anyone that have seen deer on the road would have collided with them. But the actual only collisions of any time are either sudden without time to react regardless of using high or low beam or impacted/distracted drivers.

    This is why I don't pay attention to data like that because it means so little, too many variables are completely ignored.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,192
    Name:  200.gif
Views: 383
Size:  48.5 KB

    Enough please!
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  27. #27
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    No it's fun to beat a dead horse . Isnt that a requirement for MTBR?

    But to be honest we did get off topic a bit. It happens.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,192
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    No it's fun to beat a dead horse . Isnt that a requirement for MTBR?
    Seems like it sometimes. At some point the parties involved just need to figure out that each one's ideas/opinions are not gonna change and it's time to move on or back on topic.

    So back to the topic. Is there anyone besides me that thinks a cutoff beam would work well in a trail application? I've never made a really successful cutoff beam light despite trying a hood (too short to do much, but my buddy who has it now uses it regularly as his main road light) and cut up parabolic reflectors. I was trying it to see if it worked on the trail. The typical conical beam throws a fair amount of light upwards if the aim is directed very far in front of the bike. I don't need to light up the underside of the trees so have thought that a cutoff would be good to limit upward light.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  29. #29
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    I like the trees being lit up, especially when a lack of warning I now have neck issues (split a helmet) due to lack of warning of a big branch being to low.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    130
    Different folks for different strokes.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    It's not just a materials cost issue, it's the engineering and the tooling.
    I don't know how much in the way of Big Bucks is spent on R&D, but I do know it's not so much that we can't buy good quality LED lenses for a few dollars retail. Even if the cost is double or triple, who is going to cry over a lamp costing $110 instead of $100?Of course, a month won't pass by before the Chinese make copies. Oops, too late, the Chinese have been producing borosilicate aspheric lenses for flashlights going on nearly a decade now for a few dollars each.

    I honestly don't think there is a great engineering feat here as we don't have to meet NHTSA regs for beam pattern, aim and min/max lumens like is required for passenger vehicles. You can somewhat sloppily align the lens with the light source and it just shifts the aim. Distance between the light source and lens impacts the beam width, hence flashlights with adjustable beams. If the shield is set to far inward, we lose some lumens, too far outward, the cutoff is beyond the hotspot. Buuuuut... we mount our lamps high and aim them closer (since we don't do 75mph), so we've got a more tolerance for the cutoff point. If my Gloworm had a cutoff 20 feet further down the road than the edge of the hotspot, it would still be out of driver's eyes.

    It is my unprofessional opinion that the true issue here is 'We're not regulated, so we don't care'. The automotive mfg's didn't bother until they wanted super bright headlamps as a selling point (HID) but still had to meet glare requirements.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  32. #32
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Totally right. It's not "big bucks" depending on what you consider big dollar amounts.

    But I'll put this into perspective:

    To make a mold to blowmold plastic into a part, the cost of building that mold (to say a 4'X2' box of aluminum when closed) which is CNC work among other processes for cooling and such:. $10000 is the starting point for getting that mold made. That does include anything else, just the cost of a mold.

    Now for parts our size obviously not that high. But you can easily expect the design, set up and tooling costs to hit $10k easily.

    So then it comes down to demand for the ROI to justify it, if your going an entirely new light. Now just updating and retrofitting a previous design, not so bad but still talking a few thousand in changes and such then the cost of manufacturing and such. It adds up ( I spent the last 3 years in manufacturing, you don't realize how fast it adds up).

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post


    Flaming taco: the thing is I just don't comprehend the need for such lumens and I ride in the pitch black miles from anything.

    I can drive in the pitch black at highway speeds (70-80mph) rural, no light, miles from any town in nothing but standard low beams of our vehicles.

    Thing is I grew up out here, I'm "young" yet it appears and I make it a point to protect my ability to see well after dark. Just like some ride by moonlight only as a challenge, I used to drive the country roads here by moonlight only.

    Making an assumption that we all live in a city is way off. I get that some need more than 1000 lumens because of difficulties seeing after dark. But people like me the only way to live more rural is basically off the grid. Granted I live in a small town of 1600 and have one with 10k on the othe side, that's it for population, cornfields for 10-20 miles in any direction, another small town and repeat.


    The most interesting thing about this debate is 10+ yrs ago lights with this level of output didn't exist, not even close. Yet we all grew up riding after dark using nothing more than a flashlight. I used to ride the few miles to my friends place with nothing more than a minimag taped to my bars. Country roads of Illinois, nothing but the occasional house for miles.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    In your image, the road you are on is reflecting more light that the vegetation beside it. The two roads I referred to in my earlier post reflect significantly less light than the vegetation. Add some brand new reflective demarcation paint busting my iris's chops. I cannot see the surface of the road with my nearing 50yo eyes with the lamp set low enough to avoid getting flashed by drivers.

    What I think you are missing is above 20% output (@500lm) is the threshold at which I start blinding opposing traffic, yet at times I need more than 500lm to maintain good visibility. The 9003's in my Escape are rated for 900+ lumen, they put out 1000lm+ together (some loss to shielding), which is double what I can use on my bike. When there's a car with HID or LED lamps headed towards me, I can experience significant vision loss, even in the Escape, as the reflection off the road can be significantly brighter than the reflection from my vehicle or bike's lights.

    Our experiences in passenger vehicles can't be used to quantify our lighting needs on bikes. You are in a protective cage, your vehicle is not going to skip a beat when it strikes things that can throw us from our bikes, and you've got a dipped beam that can throw useable light a lot further down the road. If you are legally doing 70mph, vegetation and trees are cutback so they can't drop onto the road, a large area of land adjacent to the road has been cleared to provide room to make emergency maneuvers, or barriers are installed to contain the vehicle within the roadway. You will most likely walk away from a 30mph impact with a tree in a car. You will most likely not survive a 30mph impact into most any solid object while on your bike.

    tl;dr This is not about I WANTING or NEEDING massive lumens to see the way, it's about bike lamps producing so much glare that even reasonable outputs can blind opposing traffic. What we need is the ability to set to whatever output we feel we need at any given moment without any worries of causing vision issues to others.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  34. #34
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Now that makes sense and can totally agree. Ability for options without compromising safety of others. Be a nice idea if implemented. But of course the lack of regulation here is a hurdle for seeing something like that really pushed.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Im not over driving my lights at all.
    Is that 300-400ft good for lighting everything, or just the reflectors at the edge of the road? IOW, do you trust that you'll be able to pick out the numbskull walking along the edge of the road dressed in black at 300-400 feet while driving? I almost ran one over on my bike when I was doing 20mph with my light set to about 1200lm. I've also had the same issue in my car while doing 35. Black objects are hard pick out against a black background... and even harder when we are in motion and doing a lot more than just watching the forward edge of the light bubble in front of our vehicle. Visual cues for dark object occur a lot later than for lighter colored objects, and it also takes more time than usual to determine it is a threat.

    (55mph x 5280ft) / 3600 = 80.6ft/s = 4.97 seconds to receive visual cues, recognize them, form a reaction plan, reposition the extremities (foot from gas to brake, turn wheel), and wait out latencies of physics (brake torque, vehicle rotation are not immediate).
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  36. #36
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Point taken, I need to realize most don't have the "background" I do. God I wish my reflexes and response time in a car translated to my mountain bike, would be less painful lol.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    I like the trees being lit up, especially when a lack of warning I now have neck issues (split a helmet) due to lack of warning of a big branch being to low.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    This is where flashlight style beams shine. Trail conditions can change, even when the weather doesn't. The maple beside my driveway let an 8" branch go on a windless day, smashing the back of my Taurus. Probably cracked during the windstorm we had a week prior, but the crack did not propagate through the bark. The trail may look dead still every time you ride, but if you view a time lapse video, everything is moving like it's breathing.

    Until we find a way to eliminate low hanging branches and keep dead heads from falling onto the trail, we are going to continue to need good lighting of high obstacles.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Point taken, I need to realize most don't have the "background" I do. God I wish my reflexes and response time in a car translated to my mountain bike, would be less painful lol.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Good points aside it was a true question. I'm trying to get fix on your definition of good visibility, as we all define these things differently. Even for different products the definition can change for the same person. Ex. A flashlight I'm using on the trail I might say has good visibility for a hundred yards (can pick out motion reasonably consistently at that distance), but mounted to a bike I would only say has 50 yards visibility as it's harder to pick out motion when everything is in motion (relative to me).

    Good discussion everyone!
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,273
    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    So back to the topic. Is there anyone besides me that thinks a cutoff beam would work well in a trail application?
    Yes, but with the cut-off @ the bottom to reduce excessive foreground glare. Tried running my Ravemen PR900 upside down and it worked to reduce glare but to adjust distance correctly the cutoff was too far away from the front of the bike. That technologh would work but with far fewer horizontal light deflecting bars.

    I've never made a really successful cutoff beam light despite trying a hood (too short to do much, but my buddy who has it now uses it regularly as his main road light) and cut up parabolic reflectors. I was trying it to see if it worked on the trail. The typical conical beam throws a fair amount of light upwards if the aim is directed very far in front of the bike. I don't need to light up the underside of the trees so have thought that a cutoff would be good to limit upward light.
    I think an elliptical style optic may give you what your looking for. Gloworm's wide angle XS optic is designed different than most of these (more vertical coverage and less horizontal, H25/V15 instead of typical H30/V10) which works better for off-road IMO. Still provides a wide beam but allows some extra coverage for low branches and still cuts down some on the foreground light that causes glare @ higher lumen settings. Works really well for me riding in the desert where elevation changes tend to be more gradual. Light characteristics need to be evaluated by each individual depending on the terrain.
    Mole
    Last edited by MRMOLE; 03-17-2017 at 04:55 AM.

  40. #40
    Action LED Lights
    Reputation: Action LED Lights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    571
    The best cutoff bike light beam I've seen is a Magicshine 808 (which has a very focused beam pattern) with one of our wide angle lenses which spreads that beam out only horizontally. I hate to say it but the cheap 808 knockoffs with a smooth reflector work even better in this regard. They're a terrible beam pattern by themselves but with the wide angle lens they're much better. We sell a lot of them to that market.

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-lens3.jpg
    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-lens-4.jpg

    A reflector is much better at focusing than a TRI optic which usually have a fair amount of spill. (Though I have seen some larger 1.5" - 2" optics that do pretty well) The shield that's in a car headlight is really a reflector that stops light coming directly off the filament and redirects it back into the main reflector. The outer cover then has the cylindrical lenses that spread horizontally and usually some prism lenses at the top that grab that part of the beam and direct it down. You've got to control the beam first drawing it all into a spot and then use the proper lenses to direct it were you want it. Underwater Kinetics uses a different approach on some of their lights. They have the led mounted on a copper crossbar in front of the reflector shining back into it. That eliminates the need for a shield.
    CREE makes an led that directs all the light out the sides. (or at least the used to) I've always thought that could be used to advantage in a bike light.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,192
    [QUOTE=MRMOLE;13087181]
    Yes, but with the cut-off @ the bottom to reduce excessive foreground glare. Tried running my Ravemen PR900 upside down and it worked to reduce glare but to adjust distance correctly the cutoff was too far away from the front of the bike. That technologh would work but with far fewer horizontal light deflecting bars
    Keeping the area near the bike rather dimly lit is why I prefer reflector based beams rather than optics. The sharp transition from main beam to low intensity spill on a spot reflector does a great job for me.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MRMOLE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,273
    [QUOTE=Vancbiker;13087494]
    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post

    Keeping the area near the bike rather dimly lit is why I prefer reflector based beams rather than optics. The sharp transition from main beam to low intensity spill on a spot reflector does a great job for me.
    I keep forgetting you run reflectors. Availability of high performance reflector lights is pretty limited unless you go the DIY route so I think in terms of optic applications. Elliptical lens application works for both optic and reflector lights but "Action-LED-Lights" wide angle lens is the only lens cover for reflectors I know of and is a bit limited on top spill to protect you from low hanging branches (would still be better than a true cut-off beam for off-road).
    Mole

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    The shield that's in a car headlight is really a reflector that stops light coming directly off the filament and redirects it back into the main reflector.
    if you are referring to the permanent shield in reflector headlamps, they are typically black on the bulb side, and certainly not of optical quality. They are not designed to reflect light back to the reflector.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    76

    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    The best cutoff bike light beam I've seen is a Magicshine 808 ....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lens3.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	76.4 KB 
ID:	1127023
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	lens-4.JPG 
Views:	28 
Size:	70.9 KB 
ID:	1127022

    ....
    I have the Cateye Gvolt50 with a beam that looks like this:

    HL-EL550G-RC | CATEYE

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-dsc02076.jpg

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-dsc02071-t-1-.jpg

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-dsc02132.jpg

  45. #45
    Action LED Lights
    Reputation: Action LED Lights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    571
    Quote Originally Posted by Stark View Post
    I have the Cateye Gvolt50 with a beam that looks like this:
    Interesting lens on that light.
    It's also interesting that it's listed on the German site but not on the US site. Tell me if I'm wrong but aren't there laws that require a cutoff beam in Germany?
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    76
    Yes there is.The regulation is called "StVZO". It also dictates dynamo or rechargeable battery for all bikes above 11 kg in weight, if I remember correctly. :-)

    Peace!

  47. #47
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Cut off lights don't really exist much in the US. There's a few I gather but seeing as they aren't required the market for them isn't what it is for everything else. Strange though because some many cyclists understand the need for the type of beam pattern and would use them if they were available.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  48. #48
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Stark - StVZO dictates the used of dipped beam lamps for bikes, not cutoff beam lamps.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    76
    What's the difference?
    To get a long throw the beam has to have a sharp cutoff.

    Peace.

  50. #50
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    You realize they are basically one in the same. A dipped beam has a "cut off". It just uses the reflector or optic to do the job. It is what is referred to as cut off by us over here. But it's the exact same thing as discussed among any for of transportation lighting. Simple matter is they use the "proper term" where as the rest of people refer to it as a cut-off type pattern.

    The version your wanting is basically a hood. Something that completely blocks any light that is emitted in it's direction.

    And truly that can be dangerous proposition. You have no light above the cut off created by the hood. Can't be seen except for a lit up area of the ground, cant see anything that's much above ground level until your on top of it if at all (depending on how high).

    Sounds interesting but the first low hanging branch you catch a cross the face may have you rethinking that idea.

    Now for the purpose you propose, something long enough to cut off just the intensity from the top of the optics/reflector but allowing the rest of the optic to emit light where it's not only useful but needed makes much more sense. But that's just my thoughts on a hard cut-off hood.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by RAKC Ind; 03-21-2017 at 12:08 PM.
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Agreed that a dipped beam uses reflector optics (and also lens optics for many vehicles). I disagree that it is the same as a cutoff beam:

    Name:  ProjectionBeam.gif
Views: 209
Size:  44.6 KB

    Dipped headlamps direct the hot part of the beam towards the ground, but have spill all around it, much like a typical flashlight beam:

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-reflectorbeam.jpg

    This image illustrates one of the reasons you can't install an HID bulb in a reflector housing. The system is limited in it's ability to control the amount of light that reaches driver's eyes:

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-hid_reflectorvsprojector.jpg

    To clarify, a projector with a shield emits a dipped beam. It is the quality of the glare reduction that is the point.

    Reflector optics can produce a sharp cutoff, but for whatever reasons, and I'm betting it has to do with reflector size and cost of production, you just don't see reflector housings with a tight, sharp cutoff. This (and heat management) forces a limit on the total lumens that can be used as a light source to keep glare in check. Apparently it's cheaper to go projector for HID's and LED's, and I'd like to see the same with bike lamps. No, I do not want hoods, but that would be better than what we have now, which is nothing in the US, and only low power dipped beams in the EU.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Here's one of the roads I mentioned, the picture was taken from the front seat of my Escape:

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-20170318_024857_small.jpg

    Dark things are difficult to see (rusty nails, branches, black garbage bags that jackwagons like to dump on the road) with my lamp set low enough to make drivers happy.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    52
    Looks like Lupine has finally taken a shot at providing a real solution. Reading their description, the Lupine SL-A should have a lot going for it, like high output, good cutoff pattern, and a large, rounded output surface that should make it less sensitive to raindrops, fingerprints, snow etc. I personally would like to see a self-contained unit instead of a separate battery pack, and a simple additional high beam would be nice. But you can't have everything, I guess.

    I'll be looking for one this fall, I think. Expensive, but probably worth it if you use it daily.

  54. #54
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    Ravemen and others already have that style beam out. It's nothing new in that regard (optics or reflector based cut-off, or as by technically terms, dipped beam).

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    52
    My personal opinion, I think the Ravemen approach is a good start in the right direction. I've been using the PR600 for several months now, it does put more light out in a downward direction on low beam but also quite a bit is misdirected/lost in upward directions as well (low beam). If you are convinced the Lupine SL and the Ravemen (and others) have the same beam pattern, fine. You can ask yourself why Lupine thinks people would consider buying them at 5x the price and maybe get one yourself to find out. Competitive analysis.



    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Ravemen and others already have that style beam out. It's nothing new in that regard (optics or reflector based cut-off, or as by technically terms, dipped beam).

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  56. #56
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    I'd never pay for lupine lights. Way too over priced IMHO. And their price is in the fancy features and top tier quality parts inside. But big drawback too, external battery pack.

    Lupine, Serfas, Ravemen (and others that we are starting to see, I forget the one company in Germany that has them) all have light that goes "upward" but it's very little. And for road safety it's needed. If you cut it off completely drivers can't see you. It's not wasted light, it's safety. No light without a solid piece of metal or plastic is going to 100% block all light going upwards. Lupine is no different.

    Lupine of course has several points making their lights nicer and cost more but even the videos I've seen show that light is "lost" upwards like any other.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  57. #57
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Lupine SL-A... now we're getting into e-bike lamps, which might serve to provide proper dipped beams of decent power, albeit in bigger packages and price territories. I don't care for the low output of 900lm, though.

    I'm more interested in Supernova's M99 Pro, with 1100lm ECE compliant dipped beam and an additional 500lm of dedicated LED's and reflectors for the 'high beam'. They use an automotive LED matrix and multi-facet reflector; pretty modern tech and the looks to go with it, IMO. Dedicated daytime LED's as well.

    Not going to hold my breath on a price break to make it worth putting on my pedal bike, though. The M99 Pure E is on Treefort for $279, but it's only rated for 500lm.When the 99 Pro gets stocked, I'm sure it will be perfectly priced for a self contained light assembly designed to be integrated into central control systems that are becoming popular with eBike mfg's. I'll hazard a guess of $800-1000 for the opening msrp.

    Here's the new M99 Pro with the DRL's running...

    Time for REAL cut-off beam patterns!-m99pro.jpg
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  58. #58
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    That supernova looks awesome! That's a light I'd actually like to have. That's true innovation into a bike light!!! Though one steep ass price tag. I'd buy that over the lupine though even if it cost more.

    Though their sales pitch on the home page is a "really???". Automotive LEDs. I get the idea of the selling point to make but they are no different than what we use. I've see several (considering putting a set in my Odyssey) that can be disassembled and run nothing more than multiple xm-l2 LEDs. Sadly "cool" white by our standards but if I buy a pair it'll be ones I can tear down and reflow 3C tint emitters onto.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    If you cut it off completely drivers can't see you. It's not wasted light, it's safety.
    No one cuts it out completely. There are enough uncontrolled internal reflections in projector lamp design to guarantee you will always see the headlamps.

    As far as an external hood completely shielding opposing traffic from direct light, that would require a very long hood. A 1.5" lens angled to -2 would need a 43" long hood to completely shield the lens. Lower lumen lamps that are aimed more steeply would require less hood, but it's still a ridiculous length (-10 = 8.6"). I think at best we can hope to only slightly reduce glare with hoods.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Though their sales pitch on the home page is a "really???". Automotive LEDs.
    I don't think they are incorrect. The lamps are for up to 45mph e-bikes. If those bikes do not currently fall under NHTSA purview, with their popularity, I think they will eventually. I certainly won't take issue with a mfg of e-bike components classifying their products as for automotive use. Anything that can sustain 45mph certainly needs components meeting similar durability and performance goals.

    Edited to add: These lights are designed for 6V and 12V power sources. That's straight up 'automotive' style power requirements.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    10
    Been lurking for a while, finally registered.
    I am looking to get a PR1200 when it's available round here. Not expecting miracles from a "fancy" lens, but just interested.
    With regards to these ebike lamps, I would expect better throw/output for this kind of speeds.
    I looked into the Supernova Airstream as well, and it doesn't look too good. Certainly not good enough for the astronomical price (supernova, huh): actual output below 200lm, beam pattern too narrow for me. The optics are nice and the cutoff certainly works, but. I guess cutoff lights will be held back in output until someone comes along with proper optics/reflectors, like Philips once did

  62. #62
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,316
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    I don't think they are incorrect. The lamps are for up to 45mph e-bikes. If those bikes do not currently fall under NHTSA purview, with their popularity, I think they will eventually. I certainly won't take issue with a mfg of e-bike components classifying their products as for automotive use. Anything that can sustain 45mph certainly needs components meeting similar durability and performance goals.

    Edited to add: These lights are designed for 6V and 12V power sources. That's straight up 'automotive' style power requirements.
    Wow, I'm impressed with the Supernova lamps. Like others I'd be willing to buy one of these but....

    The lamp itself is likely big and heavy. It's designed to dissipate the heat of the LED's so that's one of the reasons why it's so big. Otherwise I love that it offers both low and high beams. For higher speeds you need a high beam.

    The Supernova M99E is the lamp at the moment that could work for people on regular pedal bikes. Voltage requirement for the 99E is 6volts. Doable with a normal size battery. Sadly, I wish it were rated at least @ 900 lumen. A 500 lumen high beam is not going to be that impressive.

    The Supernova 99 Pro on the other hand is showing great promise. Once again it's going to be heavy no doubt but the trade off is a superior road ( cut-off ) beam pattern and a high beam with some actual throw. Unfortunately the down side is that the Pro version is being marketed for the battery systems of E-bikes. The minimum voltage rating of the Pro is 24 volts. Not going to work for the pedal biker unless you are willing to carry a brick as a battery.

    Oh, and BTW ( @taco ), they're rated at 45kph, not 45mph. 45kph is about 38mph. Anyway, I'd love to see a user beam shot of the 99E on high and low. I'd like to see how well these things use that 500 lumen.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    220g is twice as heavy as my XS light head, which is peanuts compared to a battery pack.

    I see no issue here except for weight and aero weenies. I run a quad-pack for the XS on the bar and wish it was a six-pack. I use an X1 or 2 on my helmet with a duo-pack. I carry four spare 18650's and spare quad and duo case for whichever light craps out first each week. Lunch, work clothes, bike clothing for the 20F cooler ride home, I've got 12-20lbs of gear during the three coolest seasons.

    Commuters are the most common source of glare inducing lights, but we are also the least concerned about trading less than 1% of our total mass for safer commutes. Unfortunately, we are also one of the smallest segment of riders.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  64. #64
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,353
    I don't think that commuting by bike is really that low of a number. I find that actual cyclists that are in it for the enjoyment also commute.

    But there is a tiny percentage that will ride real trails during their commute or ride the same bike for both.

    I truly wish laws regarding cutoff beam lights would get passed here though.

    Had a couple on straight bar road/touring bikes running about 700-800 lumen singles, not nuetral white lights pointed straight ahead just totally blind the hell out of a line of traffic as we we're crossing the bridge. Running them straight forward and full power. And it was only dusk. 2 lane bridge they had their own walked off sidewalk(I ride that bridge all the time)

    I have never done that though, my lights are always tilted down at least so their not right in everyone's face driving across the bridge.

    There is plenty out there that could make use of proper beams for road use but as I got reminded tonight, most just don't care.

    I did feel bad for them though because the guy ahead of me rolled down his window and yelled at them. They don't realize how badly aimed their lights are or how harsh they are for drivers and I was in no place (going opposite of them on a bridge) to stop and explain to them about tilting lights down. People here are pretty chill about most things but when you blind them on a narrow 2 lane bridge they are going to get angry.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for ITUO and Ravemen:
    www.rakcindustries.com

  65. #65
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,156
    Confused as to why the lights would be pointed straight ahead. Not much light would hit the ground, and reflective signs would blind the riders.

    Doing a right-angle calculation (light 43" off the ground, center of beam 30ft out), I'm running between -6 and -7 with the XS. An X1 on my helmet turns street signs into naval beacons even on 20% (@200lm) if I look straight ahead. Can't imagine blasting myself with 600 lumens straight at a sign. Complete and utter devastation of night sight.

    A lot of brand new signage in my section of the county, includes 2ft square 'No Dumping' signs in what I can only describe as 'Center of a Supernova white'. Nothing like moving along at 25mph through deer country and trying not to forget to put both lights in moonlight mode to avoid retina damage. They really wanted to ensure the signs were visible. Ever try to avoid a black garbage bag at 25mph with only 40lumens, 'cause the signs certainly didn't curb the dumping?
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Cat-man-do's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,316
    When I'm riding road ( or driving ) I just try to ignore the bright lights, whether they be bright reflective signs or a super bright light. Just the other day I saw a guy on a bike with a rather bright front light. I looked at it for a moment then just turned my head and looked away. This actually works very well most of the time. Then on the same night ( as I'm driving home ) I had a mini bus approach from behind with a 3 ft. LED light bar mounted on their grill. *is that freaking legal*? For that I had to tilt my side mirror down till they passed. Super bright car and truck lights still are the things that are the hardest for me to ignore but only because they are so prolific and so overwhelming ( if in your 6 or 12o'clock ).

    FWIW, just the other day I ordered some of those "polarized night-time amber clip-on's" for my glasses. I'm hoping I didn't just throw away a perfectly good Andrew Jackson for a non-functional piece of plastic. I'll let you know if they were worth the money when they arrive.

Similar Threads

  1. why no lights with high beam/low beam?
    By lighty in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-06-2016, 09:20 AM
  2. Do I need lights with cutoff beam patterns?
    By particle in forum Lights and Night Riding
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 10-11-2015, 08:05 AM
  3. Real time help if possible
    By stingray230sx in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-11-2014, 05:54 PM
  4. 1995 Ritchey Lite Beam Softride Beam bike
    By First Flight in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 06-15-2011, 11:05 AM
  5. Anyone have any real time on a trek scratch air 9?
    By RPG in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-08-2011, 04:39 AM

Members who have read this thread: 119

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •