DiNotte 200L AA lights (single source helmet) for trail riding- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    DiNotte 200L AA lights (single source helmet) for trail riding

    I am thinking of getting DiNotte 200L AA lights with the long cords as my single source of light for some XC trail riding. I am planning to use this on my helmet... and possible duct tape some cheap cree flashlights on the handlebar if need be, as I don't want to put an additional $150 into getting bar lights.

    I chose this because it offers:

    * They're 200 Lumen lights (15-20W Halogen) [I heard 10W is the absolute minimum for trails]... so since this is minimum 15 W I should be in good hands?
    * runs on AA battery (I'll carry 4 extra AAs just in case the ride lasts longer than 2 hours)... it pretty much seems like all the other top rated lights such as JET Phantom, Cygolite Dual Cross, TurboCat Dual source are on rechargeable NiMH's... new rechargeable AAs are $25 but a cycling battery pack is apparently $100+).
    * comes with both bar and a helmet mount (I plan to use this as a helmet mount, as my single source of light. But I can always decide to switch these to a bar mount if I get an additional helmet mount later)

    What do you guys think? Is this sufficient for trail riding, in some XC trails with some rooty sections and some switchbacks?

  2. #2
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    depends

    I've ridden with the 200L on the helmet and on the bars solo. It will work for you if you don't go too fast. 200 lumens is a lot of light but not sufficient for moving fast on technical trails. If you use it exclusively on the helmet most shadows will wash out due to the high angle the beam path is making with the trail. I preferred it on the bars - if I was using it solo. I don't ride with it solo any more but keep it on my helmet as a backup light. My bar light is a Wilma. If $150 is a price limit there are some good DIY designs on this forum that can be had for about that price or slightly higher.

  3. #3
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    I am willing to spend up to $350... originally, I was thinking of getting the JET Phantom, whic has rave reviews on this site and is $320, but it is only available in NiMa.

    Can't DIY... I can't trust something that I make :P

  4. #4
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    I purchased the 200L with the longer cord for helmet use as my only light and it has worked well. I'm able to ride singletrack safely. I can see how it would be nice to get a bar mount light as well, however if you are only going to spend $150 and get one light this is a really good one. Since this was my first real night riding light I wasn't sure of what to expect, but it seems bright enough for me.

  5. #5
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ting
    * They're 200 Lumen lights (15-20W Halogen) [I heard 10W is the absolute minimum for trails]... so since this is minimum 15 W I should be in good hands?
    Actually 200 lumens is about a 10W halogen but LED light makers love to make comparisons to more powerful halogens to make their lights seem better than they are. NiteHawk compares their K2 lights which are about 80 lumens to a 15W halogen for Brightness for example. Also most of these comparisons are with halogens using MR11 bulbs. MR16s typically have more than double the lumens as the 11s (though this comes at increased bulk and heat). A 20W MR11 will be about 400 and in the MR16 you're around 850. Most HID's are around 550 to 675 lumens for a single light. In terms of overall light given the available bulb/emitters on the market, its hard to beat an MR16 halogen for bicycle lights.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  6. #6
    n3rd
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    I run a 200L on the helmet and a 600L on the bars.. I've turned the 600L off before and didn't like having just the 200L.. definitely not enough light for riding very fast over any kind of technical stuff.

  7. #7
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    I run 2, one flood, one spot. For casual night riding they are great- I do wish I had a bit more throw for faster riding, but they are definitely brighter than any of my friends halogens, MR11 or MR16. 10-15W lights. Also, since the light it more 'white' it is easier to make out trail detail because it doesnt appear as flat (to me) as my old halogen setups. Also, Ron at DiNotte has been great to deal with as far as support and questions are concerned. Your mileage may vary, but the only drawback I see with these lights is the throw of the light for higher speed night riding.

  8. #8
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    I must agree with DeeEight on the halogen vs lumens comparison.
    I've been using a 10w MR11 based spot light, and compared to that, the Dinotte 600L (the 200L's big brother) is brighter - but not as much as you would expect. I've bought one with the wide lens, to complement my spot halogen helmet light, and I hope it will do that well - however it is by no means "unbelievably bright", and based on James' beamshot pictures I can easily imagine that the 200L is pretty much in the same ballpark as the Sigma EvoX 10w.
    Of course, there are certain advantages of the 200L that cannot be underestimated: color, runtime, reliability, which is why I'm seriously considering to purchase one and replace the old Sigma. It would not be brighter for sure, but using the same batteries as its big brother I could have 8 hours runtime, which is seriously cool (instead of the 1.5hrs I get now).
    Back to the original question: I can say that the 10w halogen / 200L by itself alone is on the verge of being acceptable on the road, and offroading is also possible when mounted on the helmet, and cutting back speed (I know, I've been doing that during last winter). However if runtime is not an issue and 150$ is the budget, consider halogen lights - 10w helmet plus 10w on the bars could be a very nice setup.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    I run 2, one flood, one spot. For casual night riding they are great- I do wish I had a bit more throw for faster riding, ...
    By "throw" you mean lack of distance (you do not see far enough ahead of you) or lack of light spill (not enough peripheral view)?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartecs3
    I run a 200L on the helmet and a 600L on the bars.. I've turned the 600L off before and didn't like having just the 200L.. definitely not enough light for riding very fast over any kind of technical stuff.
    Can you please tell me more about your setup?
    What is the configuration of these lights, are they both the spot ("standard") or any of them the wide lens? How well does this setup work? Is the 200L sufficient as a helmet light (complementing the 600L)?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    By "throw" you mean lack of distance (you do not see far enough ahead of you) or lack of light spill (not enough peripheral view)?
    Lack of distance- I dont need peripheral at distance, so I have the 200L flood pattern on the bars for the peripheral- does that make sense?

  12. #12
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    A 200 lumen light is not going to be sufficient for many situations unless it is just around town on lighted streets. I think you should aim for closer to 500 lumens for night riding on XC trails. Maybe see if you can find a 600L for a price close to the $350 you mentioned.

  13. #13
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    I moved from 2 halogens to 2 Dinotte 200L's. My old set-up was good. My new set-up is much better.

    My take - one 200L is enough for trail riding, albeit at a not-too-fast pace. Also, my one 200L was defiitely brighter than my previous Marwi NightPro Elite 12w Halogen. I'm not sure what type of bulb it ran, but it was a great helmet light.

    Ant

  14. #14
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    Hey Ting

    You don't have to spend 350.

    I have a Turbocat Trail guide 15w helmet light and a 15w Planet Alias on the bars. The Planet has a low setting that is plenty bright enough for climbing. The run time on high is 2 hrs but I typically get 2.5 and sometimes 3 hrs controlling light output.

    The Trail guide is incredibly bright. It's a spot bulb. My group is always amazed at how bright the combo is at full power. Drawback is a 2 hr run time on high for each. Good is that you can probably purchase both for about 200, total. Check on line. The Planet is readily available. You'll have to search a bit more for the Turbocat.

    Lots of new LED options as well. Too many to list w/ long run times however, a 150L to 200L gets smoked by the Turbocat hands down. No comparison but the LED's have a much better run time. Just depends what you need.

    Hope this helps.

    MB

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