bye bye LED, you have served us well; HID is back with a serious vengeance-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Dec 2005

    bye bye LED, you have served us well; HID is back with a serious vengeance

    Seems like an interesting development to me.
    Of course, for those who are ready to counter-attack, the title of my posting is meant ironically (with some analogy to the Lupine message saying good buy to HID technology). Who knows maybe LEDs are still better suited to the rough world of mountainbiking or maybe this technology just will not deliver what is promised.
    I do realize this technology is still not ready for our bikes yet and may never reach that stage, but it sure does have some potential. Even the prototype seams useable for our application, with an apparently still somewhat bulky "microwave oscillator" that could be attached to or integrated with the battery and one (or several?) "metal antenna's" feeding the apparently small light(s).

    Furthermore they do claim the design to be low cost and available as of today for release to customers.
    Who knows, maybe a bike-company will give it a try, I sure hope so as I have postponed buying a strong light for way too long already in hope for an affordable yet powerful system...
    Of course I have no doubt the price of the LED systems will also go down in time and efficiency will still go up, but more options are always a good thing.

    * edited to correct some of my non-native mistakes...
    Last edited by SurfHenk; 07-25-2007 at 12:07 AM.

  2. #2
    Reputation: Speedub.Nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    By "buy buy" / "good buy" should I buy or say <i>bye-bye</i> for my bi-
    ∑ MTBR Hiatus UFN ∑

  3. #3
    Gone riding
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    The idea itself isnít all that new, but it looks like it will be the first example that will go in to serious production.

    Ceravision reportedly started working on this idea over five years ago, and I have seen references to similar ideas going back another five years. It will likely be targeted at the automotive and building industries. Apparently like many high intensity discharge lamps they donít scale down well, so I doubt it will ever be practical for portable lighting, but who knows.

    Basically they are zapping a noble gas / metal halide salt mixture with focussed microwaves. Itís an HID lamp without the electrodes and arc. Colour temperature and brightness can be adjusted by using different halides and gasses, and by applying different power levels. I imagine focussing and manipulating the light this thing would spit out would be interesting however.

    I vaguely remember reading a white paper on a similar microwave halide lamp that achieved somewhere around 2000 lumens at 30 microwave watts. I have no idea how accurate that is, and I assume the electronics would guzzle a bit more on top of that. Supposedly they can be started and reignited a little quicker then a conventional HID too.

    I imagine the main downside would be extremely complicated electronics and control, weight, and focussing and using the light it produced. Apparently dimming is limited like a conventional HID too. The upside is more light emitted, more robust then a conventional HID, quicker start, longer life time and more electronic control over the ignition and running of the lamp.


  4. #4
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    Reputation: James@GearReview's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    That is interesting. I think Dave summed it up well, though, I'd be conerned about weight and the electronics package. The fact that it retains the same dimming limitations as conventional HID is too bad, too.

    I do like the longer life -- 20,000 hours, try that with a normal HID -- and the quicker start is cool too.

    Frankly, I like seeing the innovation that is happening across the board here. And if this isn't suited to cycling, it might be perfect for automobiles.

  5. #5
    Gone riding
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I just thought I’d note that it is probably not a wise idea to take everything I say as being perfectly accurate either. I don’t have any specific information on this exact product, just a couple of bits and pieces of information I’ve read from time to time about the technology itself!

    Out of interest, I have seen lumen / watt numbers anywhere between 80 and 150. This is likely measured at the bulb, with the electronics drawing a bit more power to actually create the microwave and control it. Obviously these lumen / watt numbers would substantially decrease with package size.

    I do imagine that it’s likely that they will be implemented in applications where one high powered unit replaces many lights, perhaps with fibre optics to distribute the light.

    To put this in perspective, and I’m trying to find a document that I have read before, but it mentioned the use of a 1.2kW microwave for an astounding output. Apparently in the industry that is a little on the small side! The technique of using microwaves has also been used on Sulphur lamps for a long time now.
    Last edited by Low_Rider; 07-25-2007 at 04:45 AM.

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