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  1. #1
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    LED light review - DiNotte 5W and L&M Vega 4W

    The end of Daylight Savings time means 5 night commutes every week, plus our regular evening rides. Some of you will know that I've been using DIY LED lights for many years. Commuting, even if your commute is half on trails like mine, does not demand as much light as regular trail rides, so I was interested in these 2 medium powered LED lights when they became available. I've reviewed both separately, and added some comparison data at the end of the post

    Warning, this is a long!



    DiNotte 5W:



    Specs
    The DiNotte uses a 5W Luxeon emitter, driven from 4 AA batteries via a boost circuit that provides 2 power levels (Full/Medium). The battery pack is designed to attach to your stem, and the lamp to the handlebars. It is delivered with a good helmet mount, O-rings for different bar sizes. The batteries & charger are from the Battery Station. Run time is 1.75 on High, and 3hs on medium. The complete unit as mounted is 208gm. Suggested price is ~$250. Optional C cell battery pack and elliptical beam optics are available.

    The lamp head mounts with a large O-ring onto any part of the bar. It comes with 2 different sized o-rings to accommodate the different bar sizes. Although the light is easily re-directed (like when you are changing the brightness level) it stays put where it's pointed - fast rocky descent on a rigid fork (my ultimate test that has knocked many a light off the bar) didn't budge it. Crashes will not break the mounting hardware, and the O-ring is easily replaceable. However, the battery pack is strapped under the stem, and the stock strap & bag bounces around a fair bit (it's fine on the road, which is what it was designed for) - adding an additional Velcro strap that cinches around the stem & battery bag keeps everything nicely in place. The 4 AA batteries are so small and light, you don't notice them.



    On the trail, the light gives off a clean uniform slightly blue white light that shows trail details very well. The clear gasket around the front optic allows some light to escape laterally for commuting purposes, but it does not glare or affect forward vision. In technical single track, the beam feels just like my more powerful 12W systems. Visibility is good. Even with a 15W halogen glaring behind you, the DiNotte fills in the details. But you don't get something for nothing, the lack of a narrow hot spot means the light only projects so far down the trail. On fireroads and straighter double track, there is still enough light to motor alone at a fast pace. The medium beam will provide enough light to pick your way through a trail, or ride comfortably within a group. This is a good trail light. Supplemented with a spot beam helmet mount, it would make a decent race light.

    The 4 AA batteries gives a decent run time, with judicious use of the medium beam, I could get through our usual 2~3hour ride. (Longer runtimes are available with the optional C cell battery pack). The up-side of standard AA batteries is that you can get replacements and/or spares for ~$15 and a local store, and you can change the batteries mid-ride (although its a pain, especially in sub zero temps). The unit has a low battery warning, but it does not shut down the light. This is a good thing, since NiMH AA batteries cannot supply enough current at sub zero temperatures to drive 5W without depressing the voltage enough to trigger the low battery warning. The Green LED turns red, and the light flickers momentarily to warn you that the battery pack is below ~4.3V. At -10C, this happens around 15 min into the ride - but this does not mean the battery is low, the unit will happily draw 5W from the battery pack and continue driving the LED at full brightness for the next 1.5 hours. If you warm up the battery pack, the low battery warning will go off. This is just characteristic behavior of drawing this much current from a small battery - at full power, the DiNotte draws ~1100mA from the batteries (~600mA at medium). Since the low battery warning will not shut down the light, the DiNotte will try to draw every last bit of energy out of the battery if you leave it on - which is a good way of killing the battery. However, I prefer not to be left in the dark because some circuit thinks a battery is depleted when it's just cold and/or old ( - something that has happened to us alot), especially since the AA cells are cheap and easy to replace. Although it has held up fine, the battery connector (standard clip found on 9V batteries) appears to be a weak spot.

    Conclusion:
    This is an excellent light with a good attachment system (bar & helmet) and a great beam pattern. It uses it's modest 5W output with great efficiency, providing an excellent light for serious trail riding and commuting.

    Pros:
    Cheap replacement/spare batteries. Excellent beam pattern. Small & light. Good helmet mount.

    Cons:
    Beam does not project as much distance. Battery connector.

    http://www.dinottelighting.com








    Light & Motion Vega:



    Specs:
    It is listed as a 4W unit, but it uses a Luxeon-III, which consumes about 3.4W from 4 built in NiMH cells. It is a one piece unit that fits onto a standard L&M handle bar mount, comes with a plug and forget charger. Four light levels are full (2hrs), medium (4hrs), low (8hrs), flashing. The complete unit as mounted is 262gm. Suggested price is ~$180.

    All in one units are nice for commuting, the light snaps on and off the bars in seconds. As long as you don't mind leaving the mounting hardware on the bar, it makes for a very quick convenient setup. The beam is clean and white (slight bluish tinge) and very narrow. On fire roads and bike paths, it projects nice and far ahead and lets you motor at a good pace. On singletrack, the beam does not light up the first 3m very well so trail obstacles are hard to anticipate. This can be improved by point the beam down, at the cost of distance. You get a strobe effect (PWM circuit) as you ride by objects, not bad, but interesting.

    The medium and low beams are useful for conserving power when there is enough ambient light, but are not very useful on dark trails. At low temperatures (0C ~ -10C) the low battery warning kicks in after a little over and hour, and reduces the light output to medium, but you can still re-set the beam to high until the battery is empty. You cannot carry spare batteries, but then the unit is about the size of a battery back, so why not carry a spare light? Actually, this unit would be ideal as a spare backup trail light.

    Conclusion:
    Excellent commuting light, great for roads, bike paths, and OK for well known trails. A great backup light for those already using L&M bar lights.

    Pros:
    Single self contained unit without being too large. Simple charger. Good light for road and bike path commuting.

    Cons:
    Narrow beam angle not good for singletrack. Battery replacement requires factory service. No spare batteries.

    http://www.bikelights.com/



    Comparisons:

    Trail shots for comparison. For reference, I have included the beam patterns from my DIY triple Luxeon-III unit using a NightLighting housing, and Fraen optics (2x 10 deg + 30 deg) - this has been my standard light for the last 2 years. I have also added the beam of a 13.2V 12W NiteRider halogen system for reference (which is very similar to a Niterider 6V 10W beam). As always, photos don't show the subtleties of these lights.


    The DiNotte (left) provides ample foreground light for tight singletrack, while projecting far enough down the trail so you can lead a group at a moderate pace. The Vega (right) has a much narrower beam which projects farther down the trail, but you cannot see nearby trail object. The beam can be pointed downwards to illuminate the near field at a cost, but still does not provide as much illumination as the DiNotte.


    For comparison, here is the trail shot for my triple Luxeon-III unit (left) and a NiteRider 12W Halogen (left). As expected, more wattage give you superior distance coverage and decent foreground lighting.


    Here is an animated version of all the trail shots - it makes it easier to see the differences in how each beam lights up the foreground and distance (down the center of the bridge).



    Here are beam patterns measured using a Sekonic L-328 incident light meter, showing incident light at 4.25m measured in Exposure Value (EV) at 1000 ISO. EV is an logarithmic absolute scale so it "should" be repeatable, and mirrors how our eyes interpret light. The area under the curve can be used to calculate lumens. Most eyes can see reasonably down to 0EV, but trail details are comfortable visible at 2~3 EV. Eyes have a dynamic range of 8~10 EVs, meaning if you stare at a hot spot at 10EV, you may not be able to see detail at 2EV any more.


    Just for reference, I have plotted the beam profiles for my triple Luxeon-III light, and a NiteRider Classic at 12W and 32W.


    Beam shots to scale for the mentioned lights.







    Not responsable for grammatical errors and typos - I'm just to damn lazy!
    Last edited by itsdoable; 11-29-2005 at 09:09 PM. Reason: Trying to fix pictures

  2. #2
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    nice review. i've been researching LED and HID lights as i'd like to get something in the near future. right now i've had a NR trail rat for short night rides, about 1-2hr rides. its enough, but i definately can't go as fast. as i'll be working full-time soon i'll be doing more night rides in the future. i've been planning on buying an HID unit either a NR or L&M. But i've been reading over in the endurance forum about the new Cat Eye Triple Shot. i understand the the HID will be brighter but the initial cost of a unit and the cost of replacement lamps seem like it would add up. i understand LEDs will outlast an HID lamp by a huge margin.

    have you had a chance to test out the triple shot. i've seen it as low as $240. would it be a better trail light than the DiNotte?

    i'm thinking of the triple shot for the bars and possibly the double shot for the helmet. seems like i would be able to get both for the price of one HID unit.

    thanks

    ps may only be me but i can't see any of the photos

  3. #3
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    Thanks

    for a most informative review. These all look like pretty good lights.

    It's interesting to see the difference the optics make. My Cygo Night Rover (2x 6W) is just a bit too low powered to get a useful amount of light out of the flood, but I can tell from your outdoor beam shots that a spot light alone is not going to work well for a trail light. I'm thinking pretty hard about making my own 2 x 5 W LED light. Your 3 x 3 W unit is impressive. However, the 5 W Luxeons have improved to the point where they have a light intensity advantage, at least on paper.

    My guess is that LEDs are going to take the low end of the trail light market soon. It's surprising how much better the LED light looks than the halogen, even at similar intensity.

    Walt

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    Thanks for the research and pictures

    This was a timely review. Only an couple hours ago I received an order from Performance that included the DiNotte 5W. I had been struggling over what combo of lights to use as my current lights are almost ten years old and will be used as loaners. I can't tell from your picture just how the O-ring attaches to the handlebar when using the DiNotte.

    I had read a thread that suggested buying a 14.8V 4000mAh Li-Ion Battery + Smart Charger from batteryspace for $69 and then contacting trailtech to buy their Single Helmet Mounted HID light Kit for $135 that puts out 38 watts of halogen equivalent light while only drawing 13 watts. The burn time should be around 4 hours. The problem I had was after buying and receiving the Li-Ion battery I contacted trailtech to place my light order and found they were no longer offering the light. They were kind enough to tell me they had some design flaws and were redesigning the switch/voltage regulator, I believe. Should be available in February. Perhaps it would have been better to simply spend $400-$500 on a proven HID light.

    I'm looking forward to testing the new DiNotte 5W.



    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=1287

    http://www.trailtech.net/helmet_moun...ght_kits_1.htm
    .

  5. #5
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    Much cheaper LED solutions out there, that then can be adapted to variety of powersources, seems light technology is going to be the next HUGE sale item:

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/rev...ai_tm301x5.htm

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the detailed review Tom, great stuff. You've put in a lot of work there!!


    DiNotte - I'm really liking the look of the DiNotte. Great looks, nice looking beam, and respectable light output in a small and light package.

    It's a shame about the battery connector. I guess it would be an easy fix, but at $250 it's not really the kind of thing you'd want to do a DIY job on!! Hopefully future revisions might address this issue.

    Although more hassle, I really like having the battery pack external to the light. Makes swapping / recharging a lot, lot easier.

    This is the first serious review I’ve seen for this light. Good job!!


    Vega - I was a little disappointed with the Vega. I was expecting a little more light output. I would rather a duller, wider beam then a marginally brighter narrow beam too. Especially for commuting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom
    You get a strobe effect (PWM circuit) as you ride by objects, not bad, but interesting

    Yuk!! Was this the case all the time, or just when in lower power settings??


    ****************


    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy
    My guess is that LEDs are going to take the low end of the trail light market soon. It's surprising how much better the LED light looks than the halogen, even at similar intensity.

    To be honest I think you’ll see more and more LED based lights hitting the mid to high range markets very soon.

    There are already LED lights out there that give 10-20 watt halogen lights a good run for their money, and offer some serious runtimes and boast very light product weights.


    Cheers, Dave.
    Last edited by Low_Rider; 11-30-2005 at 05:55 AM.

  7. #7
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    Triple/Double Shot

    I got in my first night ride using the Cateye bar-maounted Triple Shot and the helmet mounted Doulbe Shot. After using a 10W and 15 W halogen combonation (Vista Light), I can tell you the difference is night and day (in an almost litteral sense). I like the Triple Shots focused center beam that still has enough "flood" in it to help out with periphial (sp?) vision. The helmet mounted Double Shot topped things off perfectly. It has enough sack to throw a beam ahead of the Triple Shot so you can get a feel for what's coming up far ahead, and also for looking down directly in front of you for chopping through the rock gardens and technical areas.

    The engineering of these light sets is impressive. The battery packs for both are identicle. The bar mounts included (2 sizes) are pretty slick, they tighten with a skewer type tensioning mechanism.

    I don't have a whole lot of night riding under my belt or experience with other types/mfg's of lights, but I feel confident saying that these lights are the cat's a$$. Paid $230 for the Triple Shot and $200 for the Double; together coming in @ about the same price of a single high end HID.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr711
    have you had a chance to test out the triple shot. i've seen it as low as $240. would it be a better trail light than the DiNotte?
    I have not seen a Cateye up here yet (or the BLT that was out in the summer). But I would gather that the Cateye would be somewhat similar to my DIY 3x Luxeon-III unit, same LEDs (mine are from a 2 year old batch though) different optics.

    There is no replacement for pure wattage, nothing is free. I considered the Vega & DiNotte for commuting, but a single DiNotte is trail worthy IMHO. A dual DiNotte setup would probably be comparible to the Triple Shot, and you can still put one on your helmet, one on the bars.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rooster
    I got in my first night ride using the Cateye bar-maounted Triple Shot and the helmet mounted Doulbe Shot........I don't have a whole lot of night riding under my belt or experience with other types/mfg's of lights, but I feel confident saying that these lights are the cat's a$$. Paid $230 for the Triple Shot and $200 for the Double; together coming in @ about the same price of a single high end HID.
    Prices I quoted are ~list, you can often get these things for less. The DiNotte is available (or soon to be) with a lithium battery, although the light units will not be interchangable with the NiMH versions. I like using the cheap easily replacable NiMH cells.



    Quote Originally Posted by Titan Go King
    I can't tell from your picture just how the O-ring attaches to the handlebar when using the DiNotte.

    Also check thier web site.



    Quote Originally Posted by Titan Go King
    I had read a thread that suggested buying a 14.8V 4000mAh Li-Ion Battery + Smart Charger from batteryspace for $69 and then contacting trailtech to buy their Single Helmet Mounted HID light Kit for $135 that puts out 38 watts of halogen equivalent light while only drawing 13 watts. The burn time should be around 4 hours. The problem I had was after buying and receiving the Li-Ion battery I contacted trailtech to place my light order and found they were no longer offering the light. They were kind enough to tell me they had some design flaws and were redesigning the switch/voltage regulator, I believe. Should be available in February. Perhaps it would have been better to simply spend $400-$500 on a proven HID light.
    One of our ride buddies (fast guy) bought a TrailTech setup recently, it's a very nice light. But he won't let me make any measurement on it yet... it's still too new.

    I am not an HID fan, you cannot easily dim them, turn them off and on, and they over power your night vision so you can't fully enjoy the moon-lit night... (besides my DIY 12W luxeon does all that already). But if you are a serious compedative 24hr racer, there's no such thing as "too much light" (it's so easy to out-run your lights), and if you have poor night vision, or are not comfortable out at night, then more light is better.



    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Teeth
    Much cheaper LED solutions out there, that then can be adapted to variety of powersources...
    DIY modified flashlights are also a good way to go, but by the time you have jury rigged a mount, drilled and wired in a battery, purchased a charger, your out of pocket cost + time gets up there. But, if you like to do those things (like I do), then that's a very good route to go.



    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    It's a shame about the battery connector. I guess it would be an easy fix, but at $250 it's not really the kind of thing you'd want to do a DIY job on!! Hopefully future revisions might address this issue.
    Although the connector looks fragile/out of place, it seems to work fine, and Rob @ DiNotte agreed it looked poor, but said it's been reliable. Although the mounting hardware is unlikely to break, even if you manage to knock the light off the bike, the connector is the likely weak spot - which is a good thing since it's the easiest part to fix/replace.

    FIY DiNotte is planning to upgrade the connector.



    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    I was a little disappointed with the Vega. I was expecting a little more light output. I would rather a duller, wider beam then a marginally brighter narrow beam too. Especially for commuting
    The Vega is actually pretty good - keep in mind they were one of the first ones out. But I also prefer a wider beam - road commuters would probably find it fine.



    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom
    (Vega) You get a strobe effect (PWM circuit) as you ride by objects, not bad, but interesting
    Yuk!! Was this the case all the time, or just when in lower power settings??
    In all settings, but it's not bad - the PWM is very high frequency, so you only see it when something is moving very fast (like the branches whipping by you), and you can just make out the strobe. At speed, rain looks like fine dotted lines in the beam.
    Last edited by itsdoable; 11-30-2005 at 02:11 PM.

  9. #9
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    Rooster where'd you find them at that price?

    thanks
    sorry for stealing the thread


    Quote Originally Posted by Rooster
    I got in my first night ride using the Cateye bar-maounted Triple Shot and the helmet mounted Doulbe Shot. After using a 10W and 15 W halogen combonation (Vista Light), I can tell you the difference is night and day (in an almost litteral sense). I like the Triple Shots focused center beam that still has enough "flood" in it to help out with periphial (sp?) vision. The helmet mounted Double Shot topped things off perfectly. It has enough sack to throw a beam ahead of the Triple Shot so you can get a feel for what's coming up far ahead, and also for looking down directly in front of you for chopping through the rock gardens and technical areas.

    The engineering of these light sets is impressive. The battery packs for both are identicle. The bar mounts included (2 sizes) are pretty slick, they tighten with a skewer type tensioning mechanism.

    I don't have a whole lot of night riding under my belt or experience with other types/mfg's of lights, but I feel confident saying that these lights are the cat's a$$. Paid $230 for the Triple Shot and $200 for the Double; together coming in @ about the same price of a single high end HID.

  10. #10
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    Nice review! Great shots comparing the four different lights.

  11. #11
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    upgraded batteries for DiNotte light

    I charged the 2300 mAh batteries that came with my new DiNotte and it ran on high for over two hours. At least I think it was on high. Hard to tell. This afternoon I ran over to a battery store in town and bought a set of 2500 mAh Ni-MH batteries to extend the run time. They mentioned that someone was making a 2700 mAh AA battery. All they had at Radio Shack was 2000 mAh AA's. I like the light but was not happy with how the on/off button worked. It took several tries to get it to come on.
    .

  12. #12
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    on / off button

    The on/off button was designed to avoid accidentally turning it on while sitting inside a backpack. This was accomplished by requiring a double click to turn the light on, and a Press and hold for three seconds to turn the light off.

    Just a hint when purchasing new batteries OR using our batteries for the first time. Assume the batteries are completely dead - charge the batteries in the smart charger overnight, use your light for 30 minutes or so, then charge the batteries again. It might take 2-3 charges before reaching maximum capacity.

    Dr Li suggests this will wake up the chemistry by exercising the cells in both directions. He also cautions us against draining new batteries the first time out as it can create long term capacity issues.

    If you are looking for a higher capacity battery I have found the Annsman 2600 batteries to work quite well - The 2500 mAh Energizers also perform well and are available everywhere.

    Within the next week, we're going to have a battery tips sheet that can be downloaded from our website - Dr Jason Li has taken the time to help us provide NiMH AA battery users with some guidelines we believe will be useful.

    In the next couple of days we'll post a picture of the new 9V battery snap that is much more cosmetically appealing. I think you will like what you see!

    Rob

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    Some Corrections

    I've been looking at the colour of the photos that I posted, and I don't think I've given the Halogen pics a fair shake. All the photos were taken with the colour balance set to daylight (5500K). The Halogen pictures look very neutral white when you set the camera to Incandessant colour balance (3800K~4200k). The reality is that there is a big difference in the colour of the pictures, but your eyes compensate for this (we have a built in organic white balance) such that halogen lighting look very white (not yellow as posted above).




    To the eye, this is what the beam spot colour should look like (in the absence of other lights)




    The trail shots look more like this when you are there. (LED left, Halogen right)

    Keep in mind that the CCD in the camera will accentuate the red channel with the halogen (due to IR light) which makes it look warmer in the picture than in person. But there is a big difference in colour - the LED is very close to the colour of white on a cloudy day, while the halogens are much warmer in colour.
    Last edited by itsdoable; 11-30-2005 at 08:17 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan Go King
    I like the light but was not happy with how the on/off button worked. It took several tries to get it to come on.
    Without gloves, my switch was fine, a little stiff and spongy, but with a definite click. Remember you have to push it twice to turn on. With winter gloves, the switch was a bit tricky, but that's true with almost every water proof push button switch I've ever used (Vega, Vistalites, BLT's, Niteriders, Marwii, etc...) But once you figure out the "touch", you can usually get it without accidentally re-directing the light... (I put 2 finger over the front of the light and the thumb on the switch).

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsdoable
    Without gloves, my switch was fine, a little stiff and spongy, but with a definite click. Remember you have to push it twice to turn on. With winter gloves, the switch was a bit tricky, but that's true with almost every water proof push button switch I've ever used (Vega, Vistalites, BLT's, Niteriders, Marwii, etc...) But once you figure out the "touch", you can usually get it without accidentally re-directing the light... (I put 2 finger over the front of the light and the thumb on the switch).
    I think I've got the hang of it now.

    I'd like to hear more about your friends batteryspace / trailtech HID system when he lets you look at it. I'm going to have to wait a while before trailtech offers the headlamp again but I was planning on getting a single beam to pair up with the Li-Ion 14.8V 4000mAh battery pack I already have.
    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by jr711
    Rooster where'd you find them at that price?

    thanks
    sorry for stealing the thread
    I got the Triple Shot mailed order from Alfred E. Bikes http://aebike.com/site/intro.cfm A Google search showed several sources that come in around that price.

    The Double Shot was a different story. Cateye told me they were not going to be available here in the States until December or early January (they have been available in the UK for some time). I really wanted one, so I kept on Googling and E-Baying until I found a seller on E-Bay that had one (they literally had ONE), but said they were going to get more shortly. The name of the E-bay store is "Ultimate Sports and Nutrition". They were very easy to deal with and fast shippers. Here's their E-Bay link http://stores.ebay.com/Ultimate-Sports-and-Nutrition If you're interested,give them a call.
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    Wow! Awesome detailed review. You should give courses on how to do this.


    Makes me feel good about my Dinotte purchase. My only concern with the Dinotte is the water sealing of the battery pack and the 9 V connector.

    Thanks also for explaining why the thing tells me it's going into low battery mode in the cold weather after only a few minutes.

    Good job.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan Go King
    I think I've got the hang of it now.

    I'd like to hear more about your friends batteryspace / trailtech HID system when he lets you look at it. I'm going to have to wait a while before trailtech offers the headlamp again but I was planning on getting a single beam to pair up with the Li-Ion 14.8V 4000mAh battery pack I already have.
    .
    I run the trailtech / batteryspace Li Ion 4Ah combo. Has worked great for me. No probs during regular night riding or 24 hour races. The cabling is too long as delivered, but not so bad that I've bothered to shorten it (yet).

    Great review, itsdoable! I have diy LuxIII light that will be a Tri-LuxIII by the end of the week. Good to see those beamshots. The Tri-LuxIII looks great. I thought about going w/ just a single LuxV, but your beamshots make me happy to have chosen 3 3 watters...

    baker

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by baker
    Great review, itsdoable! I have diy LuxIII light that will be a Tri-LuxIII by the end of the week. Good to see those beamshots. The Tri-LuxIII looks great. I thought about going w/ just a single LuxV, but your beamshots make me happy to have chosen 3 3 watters...
    Keep in mind that optics are critically important for creating a good beam - The 3x luxeon-III shots above use 2x 10deg and one 30deg optic from Fraen (thier tri-optic system). I have another using a 10, 30, & 50deg optics from Carclo - which I think is better for singletrack, but I used the Fraen version to compare because the beam more closely matches the Niterider halogen bulbs.

  20. #20
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    great thread

    Itsdoable,

    I have an Exposure Race (2x5 watt luxeon) I would like to add some beam shots of it and post to this thread. I'm out in California so I wouldn't have any snow to use as a backdrop but I could take some shots of a decent trail.


    What were your camera settings for the shots?
    ISO
    shutter speed
    white balance
    aperature


    Thanks

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    I have an Exposure Race (2x5 watt luxeon) I would like to add some beam shots of it and post to this thread. I'm out in California so I wouldn't have any snow to use as a backdrop but I could take some shots of a decent trail.

    What were your camera settings for the shots?
    ISO
    shutter speed
    white balance
    aperature
    il2mb, here are some parameters from the EXIF info on the pictures used for the trail shots with the LED light.

    ExposureTime - 10/10 seconds
    FNumber - 2.80
    ExposureProgram - Manual control
    ISOSpeedRatings - 100
    LightSource - Daylight
    FocalLength - 7.90 mm (38mm equivalent to 35mm)
    CustomRendered - Normal process
    ExposureMode - Manual
    WhiteBalance - Manual
    Contrast - Normal
    Saturation - Normal
    Sharpness - Normal

    Unfortunately they will probably not reproduce quite the same if you use a different camera, even when you use manual mode, the image processing will: window, level and normalize accross the field depending on it's own internal program (I didn't have a RAW mode). However, if you can measure the profile with an incident light meter (the type used for photographic purposes) that would be a better method.

    I'd really like to see a USE Exposure light in person, especially on the trail.

  22. #22
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    USE exposure Race

    Itsdoable,

    If you want to see a beam shot look in the MTBR classifieds. I'm selling two Races. I included a photo of a beam shot I took in my backyard. I used 2 seconds shutter speed instead of the 10 you employed. Had I done so the brightness would be much higher. Also the lack of snow in my picture doesn't add a reflective enhancement to the beam as it does in yours. The camera settings I chose were based on those MTBR used in their light test. Of course they employed a DSLR and were able to take the ISO up to 800 without noticeable noise in the picture. I raised my exposure to 2 seconds rather than the 1.6 MTBR used to compensate for a lower ISO setting. I cannot achieve the 800 ISO settings. My FZ5 will do 400 but the beam shot is too bright and I don't think it reflects (no pun intended) an accurate picture. Your low aperature setting would also tend to allow for a brighter image. MTBR used 5.0.

    The Race as you know is a 2x5 watt Luxeon. I do like riding with them a lot. While not as bright as my Edison 5 or L&M arc (I have a lot of lights, including a few halogen) I actually prefer the Race when doing a tight and twisting singletrack. The beam pattern is literally perfect. Highly uniform, very pure white color, and with just the right amount of side spill. The only weakness is the "throw distance." They provide about 40-60 feet of down trail illumination, which is fine for most trails. My Edison throws a VERY long beam. Almost 200 feet on a fire road and lights up everything in its path. Really a remarkable light.

    Thanks for posting such a great report.

  23. #23
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    Good job!

    Nice review, thanks.

    I am running two DiNotte lights instead of the DIY 3x3W from NightLighting (definitely sexier), the lenses are changeable so you can add a wider lens to really light up the close areas and point the other one outward with the narrow lens or just point one out and one in with the narrow lens. The big advantage with this light is the size; it just looks a lot better on the bike than those bigger lights (if you can’t ride then you gotta look good ) and can be easily switched between bikes without the hassle of getting a clamp under the brake/shifter cables (e.g. Campy) plus you can easily carried it in your jersey. The other big advantage is the generic batteries, cheap and plentiful with an option to extend you ride time buy adding parallel packs or bigger cells and because it only takes four the weight is much less than those 12V+ battery packs of the Cateye and DIY lights. Two of the lights does the trick and who knows DiNotte would be smart to offer a dual package deal for those needing more light (Rob: hint, hint ).

    I also have a L&M Solo Mv, which is a great light but after two years I replaced the bulb three times ($20 + shipping each time) and the battery pack is beginning to loose some capacity so a new one is $100 or I have to hack the old one open and replace the cells. Not that I am cheap but over time (two years or more) the DiNotte will be cheaper to own. BTW you can replace the LED if ever needed (the light is easily disassembled) for about $20 + shipping (http://www.futureestore.com/estore/) but you do have to have good soldering skills or know someone who does so longevity of the light is not really an issue.

    Happy with the lights so far.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    ...I used 2 seconds shutter speed instead of the 10 you employed. Had I done so the brightness would be much higher....
    Actually, my shutter speed was 1 sec - the EXIF file reports it as 10/10 sec, I just cut & pasted the data. The bridge in the photo started ~15ft away. It's always hard to judge these things from photos, I tried to use an exposure that generated a picture that was as close to the apparent brigtness & detail that I saw while standing there with my night adapted eyes.



    Quote Originally Posted by il2mb
    ...The only weakness is the "throw distance." (USE Exposure) They provide about 40-60 feet of down trail illumination, which is fine for most trails. My Edison throws a VERY long beam. Almost 200 feet on a fire road and lights up everything in its path. Really a remarkable light.
    The DiNotte similarly gives good visibility to ~50ft, minimally adequate to ~100ft. For a low wattage light to be trail worthy, you have to compromise somewhere. Nothing beats pure wattage & lumens if you want to see 200ft.



    Quote Originally Posted by Road Rider
    ...Two of the lights does the trick and who knows DiNotte would be smart to offer a dual package deal for those needing more light (Rob: hint, hint ).
    ... like he shows on his web page... - I agree, a dual beam setup (dual handle bar or helmet/handle bar) would be a great package for trail riding. Thats coming from someone who's happy running just one...
    Last edited by itsdoable; 12-04-2005 at 08:44 PM.

  25. #25
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    Hi all,

    Some questions regarding DiNotte Ultralight:

    1) In plain English: How many hours will the 5W luxeon work before burning out?
    2) How much do they charge for the large (C) battery holder/case?
    3) Is the mount really suited for MTB riding? I have troubles with my Cateye EL-400 mount, and, of course, I don't want another light which bounces after each bump. (I later fixed the Cateye by adding a rubber strap to the mount, but now it's harder to put on/remove, and I don't want to go through that again!!!)

  26. #26
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    answers in plain English

    1) In plain English: How many hours will the 5W luxeon work before burning out?

    I don't think you'll see a LED burn out, the question is when will it lose about 30% of its light. We have seen a light run almost constant since May and it's still going strong - Still I feel comfortable with the answer "well over 2,000 hours" - far more than halogen or HID.


    2) How much do they charge for the large (C) battery holder/case? We have a buy direct special for 79.00 - I'd explore all AA options such as the Annsman 2600 batteries if you're looking to maximize time. (annsman AA get 2h 15min HIGH, 4h 30 min Low) -- Then carry a 2nd set -- also keep Lithium AA batteries in your saddle bag (2 hours + on high and virtually infinite shelf life) -- overall it's the hot setup using AA. Unless you need 4 hours on HIGH day after day and don't want to stop to change batteries the AA solution should work. We'd be happy to sell you a C Cell pack, but don't want you to own stuff you won't use. (though our C Cells are extreme so you could make use of them in flashlights, etc.)


    3) Is the mount really suited for MTB riding? THE LIGHT IS NOT COMING OFF! Because it only weighs about 60 grams and it's mounted in the center, it just doesn't take much force to hold it on - It's the question everyone asks BEFORE they buy, but is never a problem after they have used it.

    Hope this helps - This is not a solicitation, just trying to answer your questions. If you have any other questions, email me directly at sales @ Dinottelighting.com

  27. #27
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    I'm going to second what Rob said. I don't see any need for the C-cells. It is so easy to change batteries that I would just take an extra set if you are going on along ride.

    The light mount is awesome.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackDoggy
    ...3) Is the mount really suited for MTB riding? I have troubles with my Cateye EL-400 mount, and, of course, I don't want another light which bounces after each bump. (I later fixed the Cateye by adding a rubber strap to the mount, but now it's harder to put on/remove, and I don't want to go through that again!!!)
    That was one of the important items I wanted to test, We're quite familiar with bouncing lights (both on the bar & helmet). The DiNotte honestly stays put very well, very minimal bounce on a rigid fork on a rocky downhill at speed, attached to the narrowest part of the bar (where it's most likely to slip or move). We even tried some wheelie drops with a rigid fork - no movement.

    Keep in mind, the O-ring mounting system makes it easy to nudge/move/accidentally re-direct your beam when you go to press the power switch, especially with winter gloves (although I've figured out the technique now). If you crash and hit your lights, you probably will not break the mount, it'll just move. But left alone, it stays put just fine. And it mounts and dis-mounts very easily.

    The battery pack is a different story, with the stock mount, it will bounce around a fair bit. If you add a velcro strap around the battery & bar/stem/TT, it does not move. I too would like slightly longer run times, but you can judiciously use the medium beam, and/or carry a spare battery (along with a spare battery holder). I prefer the tiny AA battery pack and spare batteries over the C-cell route. Being a DIY'er as well, I might make up a 4x 4/3A cell pack for it.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  29. #29
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    A little more than AAs

    I found that the AAs just don’t have the juice for a cold weather 1 ½h ride or just barely make it but sub-c batteries at 3300mAh do, weigh less than 2 sets of AAs at 228 grams plus the glue and you can buy them cheap. Take a look at http://cgi.ebay.com/15-Pcs-of-Matche...QQcmdZViewItem the deal starts at a quantity of 15 (3 packs plus spares) or more but for $27.99 + 9.75 shipping that is only $1.87 a cell plus shipping . You have to make the pack but modest soldering skills and hot glue is all you need, the lack of a wrapping lets the heat out when you charge them at higher rates than can be done with AAs. The pictures show the finished product with the heavy-duty 9-volt connectors from Radio Shack but don’t forget you need to switch the polarity when attaching the battery connector to the battery to get the correct polarity for the light. You should be able to hit these guys with a 3A charge if you need them fast or a modest 2A charge at other times and BTW use a RC car charger, they are cheap (relatively for the features), computer controlled, and extremely configurable.

    If you use Rob’s estimate for the 2600mAh batteries than the sub-c batteries should last 2h 51min on high, my first discharge yielded 2h 49min before the light actually did switch to low on it’s own.

    I don’t know if this will work for mountain biking but this http://www.nashbar.com/profile_morei...ku=11544&brand holder works great for the road.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  30. #30
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    Rob, Enel, Tom, Road Rider - thank you for your replies!

  31. #31
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    agree with the review

    This is one of the best reviews I have read on the Dinotte!

    I have the Dinotte, and echo the review to a "T"

    I would also like to mention that the company's customer service is excellent-I wrote to them inquiring about the fact that I seemed to be getting the full rated time while running the light indoors (just to test it) but outside, I would get somewhere around 20-30mins-turns out, the weather was so cold that the batteries themselves weren't operating at full capacity. I learned this by testing all sets of batteries I had both indoors/outdoors.

    I hope that the new battery connector can be retrofit to the older lights should that become necessary.

    I live/ride in Boston, and I am VERY impressed and satisfied with the Dinotte light.

    I cannot recommend it highly enough

    Chris
    cvaneyck@mac.com

  32. #32
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    Tom,

    You should do all light reviews. Your thoroughness, organization, and writing are...brilliant! Thank you!
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  33. #33
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    Very, very nice. I suddenly feel a craving need for some dual DiNottes...
    WTB: Ritchey Plexus
    DiNotte 200 lights

    automobiliana.blogspot.se

  34. #34
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    I stumbled across this Blog by “James Sharp” today:

    http://acidinmylegs.blogspot.com/

    Although nothing too in-depth, he has heaps of data on various lights similar to (and including) the DiNotte.

    No real beam shots as such, but he has a few comparative runtime plots that may be of interest.

    The idea of getting / building yet another light keeps crossing my mind. I think it will be a DiNotte.

    Cheers, Dave.

  35. #35
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    Low_Rider,

    I'll have beam shots and more of the run time graphs in the official review. The official review will be posted in the next couple of days at www.gearreview.com. Not trying to spam, just clarify the reason for the lack of in depth comments. The blog is more of a teaser, if you will.

    -James

    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    I stumbled across this Blog by “James Sharp” today:

    http://acidinmylegs.blogspot.com/

    Although nothing too in-depth, he has heaps of data on various lights similar to (and including) the DiNotte.

    No real beam shots as such, but he has a few comparative runtime plots that may be of interest.

    The idea of getting / building yet another light keeps crossing my mind. I think it will be a DiNotte.

    Cheers, Dave.

  36. #36
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    Hi James,

    Thanks for the heads up!! I got the impression from your blog that you were working on something more detailed.

    I'm looking forward to the release of your review.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Cheers, Dave.

  37. #37
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    WANTED: Feedback from Dinotte users!

    I am in the market for a light right now and I am torn between HID and LED. I am afraid one Dinotte 5 watt LED will not be enough, but I don't know anyone in my local area that is using one to see it in person. The pictures and review posted at the beginning of this thread are excellent, but I would like to hear from some other Dinotte users on their experience with the light. The LED lights are definately a cheaper/lighter weight option.

    So ...What do you think of your Dinotte light? Good enough for fast single track? What type of burn times are you getting? I could not find the spread sheet that rob@dinottelighting said would be posted on their website with approximate burn times based on different AA batteries.

  38. #38
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    Are you planning on using it helmet or handlebar mounted?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsda
    I am in the market for a light right now and I am torn between HID and LED. I am afraid one Dinotte 5 watt LED will not be enough, but I don't know anyone in my local area that is using one to see it in person. The pictures and review posted at the beginning of this thread are excellent, but I would like to hear from some other Dinotte users on their experience with the light. The LED lights are definately a cheaper/lighter weight option.

    So ...What do you think of your Dinotte light? Good enough for fast single track? What type of burn times are you getting? I could not find the spread sheet that rob@dinottelighting said would be posted on their website with approximate burn times based on different AA batteries.

  39. #39
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    First off let me say that you guys do a great job a gearreview.com. The past couple days I've been reading some of the reviews after someone from bikeforums linked your blog. This LED review in particular I've been waiting for and I think is awesome. Great work James, I envy your job.

    Itsdoable, your review of the Dinotte Ultralight and L&M Vega are also excellent. Thank you for the great review.

    The Dinotte Ultralight or dual light system from Dinotte seem like the lights I've been looking for, but I have a few questions. I plan on using these lights for road riding so keep that in mind when you're answering. How fast do you think you could go with these lights, particularly the Dinotte Dual? Does anybody know if Li-Ion is less susceptible to cold weather performance drops than NiMH? Is there a discernible difference in the throw of the Dual compared to the Ultralight?

  40. #40
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    Ken, thanks for the comments!

    Beam throw... kind of tricky. The deal with the Ultralight, as you can see in the beam image, is the darker area in the middle. The limits the throw. The Dual eliminates this. It allows you to fill in the right in front of the bike, but still adjust the spot to shine out a ways. I think that it'd be a good light for road riding. I'd be comfortable cruising at 18 mph or so, with the occasional downhill. over 25 mph and you'd be pushing it, though. I guess the question is, how much light do you think you'll need? At 18 mph, I can see well enough to avoid most things, but not glass or small debris. I can see well enough to avoid big things like sticks in the road, larger potholes, garbage cans, etc.

    As far as Li-Ion, if I recall correctly, they fair worse in cold weather than NiMH. The real gain in Li-Ion is weight, it's got a higher charge density, and its low self discharge rate. NiMH are as good or better in every other category (# of charges, temperature fluxuation, etc.)

    Hope this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Wind
    First off let me say that you guys do a great job a gearreview.com. The past couple days I've been reading some of the reviews after someone from bikeforums linked your blog. This LED review in particular I've been waiting for and I think is awesome. Great work James, I envy your job.

    Itsdoable, your review of the Dinotte Ultralight and L&M Vega are also excellent. Thank you for the great review.

    The Dinotte Ultralight or dual light system from Dinotte seem like the lights I've been looking for, but I have a few questions. I plan on using these lights for road riding so keep that in mind when you're answering. How fast do you think you could go with these lights, particularly the Dinotte Dual? Does anybody know if Li-Ion is less susceptible to cold weather performance drops than NiMH? Is there a discernible difference in the throw of the Dual compared to the Ultralight?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by James@GearReview
    Ken, thanks for the comments!

    Beam throw... kind of tricky. The deal with the Ultralight, as you can see in the beam image, is the darker area in the middle. The limits the throw. The Dual eliminates this. It allows you to fill in the right in front of the bike, but still adjust the spot to shine out a ways. I think that it'd be a good light for road riding. I'd be comfortable cruising at 18 mph or so, with the occasional downhill. over 25 mph and you'd be pushing it, though. I guess the question is, how much light do you think you'll need? At 18 mph, I can see well enough to avoid most things, but not glass or small debris. I can see well enough to avoid big things like sticks in the road, larger potholes, garbage cans, etc.

    As far as Li-Ion, if I recall correctly, they fair worse in cold weather than NiMH. The real gain in Li-Ion is weight, it's got a higher charge density, and its low self discharge rate. NiMH are as good or better in every other category (# of charges, temperature fluxuation, etc.)

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the response, James.

    The more I think about it, the less these seem like the perfect light for me. While I love the way they look, the two-push turn-on method, and their lightweight, I just don't think it's enough light. Ideally I would be getting something closer to the super high-end Lupine Wilma, but it's too expensive.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by James@GearReview
    ...official review posted at www.gearreview.com....

    -James
    Hey, great review(s) James! Wish I could get my hands on some of those, but then I wouldn't have enough time to try them all out. I find I need ~1 month of trail riding on a light to really get to know it's strengths and weaknesses.

    If you could plot all the intensity vs runtime curves on one graph, then it would be easy to compare them all. But better yet, if you mount the lights on a turntable, you can measure the beam profiles with your data logger - I think that would be a better comparison of beam quality - it would give you peak intensity, total lumens (area under curve) and width of the beam pattern. I find that pictures of the beam pattern never really show what it looks like in person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Wind
    The more I think about it, the less these seem like the perfect light for me....
    The DiNotte's definitely do not compare to HID's for raw light output, but they are the first 5W light that I would ride everything with - and keep in mind most of my riding is off-road, and I've only tested the 5W version. They are ideal for minimalists and weight weenies. And commutters. I know an older road rider that will not go out at night with anything less than an HID. And one of our trail riders who's night vision is not what it use to be, will find a single DiNotte insufficient, although I think a Dual 5W would be fine (He's borrowed my old DIY dual 5W LED and found it good). Ideally, you should try before you buy... Batteries are personal, my opinion is that NiMH are reliable and cheap.
    Last edited by itsdoable; 01-20-2006 at 03:09 PM.

  43. #43
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    dual 3 Vs Dual 5

    James tested a dual 3 putting out approximately 140-160 lumens. A dual 5 will put out more like 240 to 280, and a 3/5 combination will put out about 220.

    The dual starts with a lithium Ion single and you add Li Ion powered engines so you can configure it as you wish.

    Most road riders actually use a 5 on the bars and a 3 on the helmet, but our ability to stack lets you mix and match. More information will be on the website in the next couple of weeks.

  44. #44
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    product feedback

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I didn't realize this post was here and only check the forums weekly. feel free to email me directly with tech questions.
    Here is the basic on applications.

    DiNotte 5W - Great for road, good for single track trail

    DiNotte Dual (3) - good for trail

    DiNotte Dual 5 or DiNotte Dual 3+5 - great for trail

    My feeling is if you're going to have just one light, the five is the way to go - after that, a light on the helmet is good, and if that's not enough, stack another light (a 3 or 5) on the bars. The Lithium Ion powered product line will have such stacking capabilities.

    Burn times vary with stacking configurations and whether you're talking NiMH AA batteries or Lithium Ion batteries. This will all be on the website soon (it's being published as we speak!)

    Rob


    Quote Originally Posted by adamsda
    I am in the market for a light right now and I am torn between HID and LED. I am afraid one Dinotte 5 watt LED will not be enough, but I don't know anyone in my local area that is using one to see it in person. The pictures and review posted at the beginning of this thread are excellent, but I would like to hear from some other Dinotte users on their experience with the light. The LED lights are definately a cheaper/lighter weight option.

    So ...What do you think of your Dinotte light? Good enough for fast single track? What type of burn times are you getting? I could not find the spread sheet that rob@dinottelighting said would be posted on their website with approximate burn times based on different AA batteries.

  45. #45
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    Awesome! Thanks a lot Rob. I was wondering if you guys would sell a dual 5 watt.

    Does that attach to one battery pack?

    I'm not sure I understand the part about the Li Ion engines though. Could you elaborate for me please?

  46. #46
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    dual 5 wiring

    Several of the pictures of the new product are "hidden" in the website.

    If you go to www.dinottelighting.com/06 images (there is a space between 06 and images)
    you will see a directory full of product pictures. The Dual wiring picture shows how a dual connects. In essence, a dual is nothing but a Li Ion Single light system plus a Y connector to attach another light engine to the same battery.

    The single lights have extension cables and helmet mounts for helmet mounting.

    You will also notice the cables are different between the Lithium Ion line and the AA NiMH line so you need to realize the two lines are not interchangeable. The Li Ion line is called the endurance series and the NiMH line is the performance series. The performance series style cables are not stackable which is why some products have long cables while others have shorter cables.

  47. #47
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    Thanks for the pics

    I see what you mean now by stacking. Having the connectors work like that is a great idea.

  48. #48
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    Hey guys the DiNotte is on sale at performance for 170$ and I think I even still have active 10% off cupon and .99$ shiping codes... You think I should grab it and put it on the visa, or hold out and make a DIY and save some $$?

    edit: too late for feedback 170$ with 10% off so it was about 153$ I think thats pretty dirt cheap and ordered it. one of the best lights around IMO, now to just build a custom Li Ion battery for it...
    Last edited by 古強者死神; 05-31-2006 at 10:21 AM.

  49. #49
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    Depends

    The 5W Lux emitter puts out about 150-190 lumens. Compare that to the 500 lumens of a HID lamp. A lot of people feel that a single HID is the minumum needed for endurance racing.

    If you are not racing, or riding fast rocky descents, a 5W emitter would probably be adequate for night riding IMO. If your time is worth anything, it would be hard to come up with a housing of the quality (so I hear) of the DiNotte out of your own efforts.

    My $0.02 is to buy the DiNotte unless your feel a strong compulsion to tinker, or unless you are pushing yourself on night rides.

    Walt

  50. #50
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    It looks like a great price for the 5 watt unit.

    For most people I would say grab it, but as a fellow tinkerer I would probably hold off on a purchase? Not sure on that one. You could quite easily build your own three by 3 watt light for that kind of price, but then you face the challenge of making a suitable housing that is not only functional, but looks the part too.

    It just depends if you want a simple, small, well designed 5 watt light now, or a home made creation later on. I don’t think I would be keen to run a single 5 watt unit as my primary light off-road either, although it would make a very nice helmet or secondary light, and a great light for the road.

    Tough call!

    Dave.

  51. #51
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    Well besides the houseing being so small and solid, it was the whole idea of it being a nice LED unit. If I was to DIY it would be halogen most probably and they tend to break and be very hot.

    This thing fits the bill, its advertised to do about the same light output as a 10-12w halogen and the pictures/videos and personal testomonies seem to confirm that so I grabbed it.

    Later on I can make a DIY for the handlebars and this super small/light baby can be on my helmet.

    also I needed somthing so I can ride legal at night on the roads.

    Im still going to be doing a small DIY project with it by making a custome Li Ion battery pack for it instead of the standard AA rechargeables.

  52. #52
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    I've been meaning to post a followup review of the 5W DiNotte, but other things just seem to keep me busy!

    In short, we've had the whole winter season on them, and several in our group have then now. They have been helmet and bar mounted (and both), and we have riden in groups with halogens (10W to 30W) and HIDs (NR's only). I also got an updated DiNotte that is ~20% brighter than the original (which was pretty old stock). So far so good, no one is unhappy with them.

    Again, they simple do not compare with the current HIDs (5W DiNottes have a nice wide clean beam while NR HID's have a very intense spot beam and 2x wattage), but they give ample light and hold thier own in a group ride with mixed light sources. I'll try to get the review posted this weekend, and if not, well... you know where I am....

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by 古強者死神
    Hey guys the DiNotte is on sale at performance for 170$ and I think I even still have active 10% off cupon and .99$ shiping codes... You think I should grab it and put it on the visa, or hold out and make a DIY and save some $$?

    edit: too late for feedback 170$ with 10% off so it was about 153$ I think thats pretty dirt cheap and ordered it. one of the best lights around IMO, now to just build a custom Li Ion battery for it...
    That is one heck of a deal, I couldn't help but take advantage of it after researching the DiNotte.

    - Steve

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    yeah I already emaled the company too and got feedback that for 100$ I can have it upgraded to the Li Ion verson, so now im in debate on doing that or making a Li Ion batery pack myself, still 150$ is the price of lower tier cheapo lights (IMO) so I think even tho I was over spending abit that it was worth it.

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    Good job! Dinotte 5w Li-ion works awesome.

    I've been using the Dinotte light for several weeks of night rides now and thought I should give my opinion to the forum. For reference, I've used TurboCat and BLT halogen lights for the past few years, almost always using a 10 or 15 watt flood (or both when using a bar and helmet light together. For tight singletrack with lots of close vegetation, I find spotlights induce a little vertigo, but some people like that feeling of riding through a tunnel. I used to enjoy the romantic warm light of the low watt halogens, like I was carrying a candle through the forest. Now it just feels like I'm moving through the woods totally bathed in ghostly white light. Many of the riders here use a homebrew light setup with giant battery packs and 35-50 watt halogen lights, or HID's from the popular manufacturers.

    My single Luxeon 5W Li-ion Dinotte allows me to lead the group through the woods at top speed if I know where I'm going. I've been using the light mounted on my helmet, so it does flatten everything out, but that's due to mounting so close to eye level where there is little shadow definition. It's good to know that I won't be able to outride my battery capacity, or if I forget to charge my lights, a quick top-off with the charger will provide plenty of power. Our trails are probably the rootiest in the country, and even with a rigid fork, the light does not bounce, or move. The battery pack, connectors, and light unit look like they are waterproof and nothing has come off, unexpectedly unhooked, or left me stranded in the swamp. I was skeptical of the o-ring mounting system at first, but it has proved it's efficiency, we'll see to the durability in a few months.
    The taillight is too bright for riders to follow, but looks like coplights in flash mode, so it will be seen by everyone. I wish it had a remote switch, as I've been reaching down blindly to turn it off. Sometimes it is difficult to turn off, with gloves, while pedaling on the trail. I do feel much safer occupying a lane in traffic with the light activated. I've recommended this light, and their less expensive commuter version to many people already, it is certainly the leader in LED bike light technology, and thankfully, also has style.

  56. #56
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    FYI: follow-up review of the Original Post was placed <a href="http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=2406866#post2406866"> here </a>

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    Nuwai as bike bag backup?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Teeth
    Much cheaper LED solutions out there, that then can be adapted to variety of powersources, seems light technology is going to be the next HUGE sale item:

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/rev...ai_tm301x5.htm
    Hi Brown_Teeth!
    Interesting that you selected a link to the flashlightreview of the Nuwai 5 Luxeon with the hot, even, wide-angle beam. I have that light. The sight picture looks identical to the Dinotte photo in the great review, above. Started taking the Nuwai on the MoPac Trail when fall-back, CST change meant I was heading out in twilight and coming back in dark. Held the tiny, middle-finger-sized light in a pen grip between fingers. (It has shooter style flat sides.) Still had solid grip on bars and brakes. Then I stretched a Nite Ize grip 'n clip over the Nuwai and could hold/direct it with one finger loop. It's not ideal as a dedicated bike-mounted light, and only whetted my appetite for the Dinotte. However, I believe the Nuwai makes a great contingency tool for the seat pack. Or stick it in a jersey pocket as a strong talisman in case you get caught out in the dark, foreboding void. Best regards, Mike

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    I've been using a pair of the 5w Dinottes on the street for awhile in conjunction with a pair of Brinkmann 3w 3aaa polymer flashlights clamped with SS aircraft wire clamps to my bar ends. (the Brinkmanns give the "throw" the Dinottes lack and 4 lights across the bar give a perception of size to cars) I'm happy with the setup, though I have the described problem of the Dinottes showing "low voltage" mode when switched to high almost immediately. I'm in San Diego and talking 70 degrees so it ain't the cold, and I have dozens of Nimh batteries and it's not one set (and I have various chargers, 4 battteries ready to run are 5.56v) I had thought it might be the somewhat weak 9v snap connectors, am a fairly skilled solderer so replaced those with 12v 2 conductor weatherproof trailer plugs, from any auto parts store. (good thing I did a continuity check on the 9v plugs VS insulation color on the wire from the light head, one was red positive,the other, bought months apart, was negative- you sly dogs!) unfortunately the gremlin remains. The solution of course is a higher than-AA capacity battery pack since they just won't flow the current that the hungry Luxeon V wants without dropping the voltage to trigger the low battery mode. I have sone Nimh batteries I soldered into a 4pk unit with the compatible trailer plug, they're a little bigger and heavier than AA (same length, maybe 50% add'l diameter) but smaller than C. Picked 'em up at a surplus place I get my project stuff at for pennies. Obviously no relevance to mass produced product procurement, but.....
    So on that note I gotta ask how this annoyance got by the techies at Dinotte before you put it to market? While I love the lights NOW, it's only because I'm a techie that I've had the confidence to fiddle with the things to make 'em so I didn't want to roundfile them.
    That's my 2 cents and I'm hardly here just to rip on Dinotte, in fact I am still considering purchasing that bright as the sun taillight they make, but for premium dollars they shouldn't require this kind of modding.

  59. #59
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    Thats curious, mine dosn't give the pesky premature low battery warning until the temperatures drop below 0C. And that is with 2 sets of batteries, one on thier second season and one on it's third (recharged 2~3 times a week all winter). Perhaps you should contact Rob at DiNotte and check with him, there might be a defect in the voltage sensing circuit. I built a 4x4/3A cell pack for it, which solves the low battery warning issue in the winter, but I've just stuck to the AA cells.

    However, in the winter, I ignor the low battery warning, and just use runtime - after all, thats what we did in the old simple halogen days. And even if you run the batteries right down, it's unlikely that you'll damage them, and even if you do, they are pretty cheap. Several guys in our group regularly run the batteries right down (don't recharge between rides) and the only batteries that have beed destroyed were the spare ones that shorted out in his camelback...
    Last edited by itsdoable; 12-10-2006 at 04:42 PM.

  60. #60
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    I'd conservatively estimate that I own 3-4 dozen Nimh AA batteries that I've bought in the last 5 years, not one of them has gone bad. I've been on the "rechargeable wagon" for a long time, and was using ni-cads since around 1990, and they dropped like flies after a few years use. Then again most chargers available in those early years were constant on, easy to forget for an extra day or so and overcharge.
    One issue to explore is the "conditioning" of Nimh batteries. Like do they respond favorably or otherwise to being run near zero once in awhile, or should they be charged as often as possible, or......
    I have 6 different chargers I can use, with a variety of controls from dumb timers to smart sensing, lost track of what works best. None of them charge in less than an hour, I hear those 15-30 minute chargers are bad news.
    I bought an Elektrolumens "my little friend" 3x3w LED flashlight from wayne over at candlepower forums and ponied up $33 for the nimh charger he was selling for that, intending on using it for the Dinotte battery packs. (I ended up hardwiring the MLF battery pack so can't use it on that anyway) It charges any battery pack up to 7.2 volts, works pretty good I think.

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    Ive always found beam angles to be the biggest issue but actually there seems to be some very good products out there that are coming competitively close to incandescent lamps. Its when im going round corners, im looking ahead and around the bike is pointing forward so I end up looking into darkness, maybe I should just get a load of LED strip of the flexible type like this. Twirl it around a broom handle and have 360 degree :P....no I guess not.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick4u1
    Ive always found beam angles to be the biggest issue but actually there seems to be some very good products out there that are coming competitively close to incandescent lamps. Its when im going round corners, im looking ahead and around the bike is pointing forward so I end up looking into darkness, maybe I should just get a load of LED strip of the flexible type like this. Twirl it around a broom handle and have 360 degree :P....no I guess not.
    ....So for your first post on the forum you decided to dig up a thread that was over 4 years old and go completely off topic... ....

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    Ill tell you the main issue, is that when im looking for topics on bike lights or anything else the first results I get I often think are going to be recent...I didnt even notice how old it was...besides you didnt think the light sabre idea was good to get around the beam angle issue?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick4u1
    Ill tell you the main issue, is that when im looking for topics on bike lights or anything else the first results I get I often think are going to be recent...I didnt even notice how old it was...besides you didnt think the light sabre idea was good to get around the beam angle issue?
    My suggestion: Go the the start of the "Lights and Night riding" forum. ( Link at the top of page ) Click on the "New Thread" button and start your own thread. Title it in such a way that others will know how to best respond. Since you're new here I'm being nice and polite.. * Update...sorry needed to make a change so it will read, "New Thread".My bad..:-)
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 01-12-2010 at 02:58 AM.

  65. #65
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    Hi guys, I am looking at the led torch holder for bicycle, I am wondering if it can be adjusted as the size of torch.

    I may also use a led strip lights to decorate my bike headlights,where is a rope light now. Can I use a led controller to colour the rgb led strips ? Any one used a led strip on your bicycle ?

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    Dude as posted 2 posts above Start a new thread!

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