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  1. #1
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    Idea! New Night Lightning News!

    Many of you know that Iím a big supporter of these guys, and I have some very cool news.


    From now on all LED based lights from Night Lightning will now be based on Seoul Semiconductor emitters. This includes the triple emitter Endurenz which has been the ďflagshipĒ light in the Night Lightning range for a number of years now. Obviously this will mean a drastic increase in light output, or run time for those who would prefer the option.


    There is also a new model coming out very soon with a new integrated control module mounted on the rear of the light providing the usual full dimming and drive current control, but with adjustment between 50mA and 1200mA now possible. Previously the controller has been mounted externally, with a number of mounting options from in line housings to an ďall in oneĒ solution where the controller has been mounted on the back of the light. The newer solution will be a lot neater for those who want a single integrated unit.

    Expect more photos of the new setup soon, with availability for purchase within 8 weeks. As usual individual parts will be available for those of us who like to tinker and build their own systems, but the emphasis will be put into a kit with all the bits minus the emitter and optics for those who want to provide their own. As always there are a number of emitter and optic possibilities, which can be matched to individual requirements.


    There is also another light in the works that may be mentioned a little later on. All I can say for now is that as always, it will be bright!


    Cheers, Dave.



    The new control module teaser:


  2. #2
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    Good stuff! Should be very bright, I'm looking forward to some beam shots.

    -James

  3. #3
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    Goodaye Low_Rider

    I have in regular contact with Nightlightning - can't wait for more details. Don't suppose you have any inside information?

    Cheers,

    Jawry

  4. #4
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    I’ll try and get some Seoul powered Endurenz beam shots directly from Night Lightning as soon as I can.

    I would post some beam shots of my own Seoul powered Endurenz but apart from being not *quite* finished, it’s fairly different to what you would buy from Night Lightning as really the housing is the only original component in this particular personal light of mine.


    Basically to sum it all up all Endurenz lights are now triple Seoul emitters, which will give you either a lot more light or a lot more run time, and in 8 weeks or so you will have the option of a more refined housing with an integrated controller that has some new features with a wider range of dimming/ drive current control. I *think* I’ve got that right… the website will be updated with all of the juicy details in due time.

    I can provide you with information for any light that I have mentioned, although really I’m just repeating what Eric has told me I can post without getting myself shot.


    If you have any more detailed questions, feel free to ask and I’ll see what I can do.


    Dave.

  5. #5
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    Dave - what have you done with your setup? I too bought the housing but am going my own way with leds, driver, optics, and maybe mounting bracket too. Looking at 3xCree (if they ever come from cutter) or possibly seouls powered relatively gently by a 420Ma bucktoot housed in the threaded central hole for a compact setup to last through the night at solo 24 events with a reasonably sized/priced/weight battery. Should give just a bit more light than a triple lux 3 at 1A but last forever (or through the night section at least).

    Ian

  6. #6
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    I have Vista lights with night stick batteries. Lights are 5w, 10 w and 15w. How do the Night lightning's compare in brightness. Looks like the run times are exceptional. My Vista batteries are starting to get tired and I am planning on having them rebuilt at Batteries Plus.
    I have NIMH batteries.

    urmb

  7. #7
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    Ian Ė I really should have been documenting what Iíve done in the past a lot better then I have. Actually starting would be a great idea!

    I will hold off posting about my latest Seoul based setup until Iím happy with it and have things sorted out. Keep your eyes peeled for a post soon! At this stage though, I think Iíll run it at an 800mA drive current with my particular bin, with textured reflectors. That could all change though, weíll see how I go.


    I have had my Endurenz housing for a few years now. Itís a little longer then the housings that are made by Night lightning now, as it was a bit over engineered at the time. It has seen a few different emitters in its life! I tried some lower binned and under driven Luxeon Vís at one stage, and I tried some reasonable binned K2ís for a very short while too, before I wrecked one trying to see how much current I could push through it.

    For most of the time I have run it with three high binned Luxeon III emitters with Carclo P10003 optics. I have tried many different optics from many different manufacturers, and I always ended up putting the Carclo P10003 optics back in, which gave a 9 degree beam angle with the Luxeon III emitters. I have used a few constant current regulators of my own (crude) design from time to time, and have successfully ran these poor Luxeon III emitters at around 1200mA for quite some time. For most of the time though I have used an nFlex from George at TaskLED, running at the 1000mA drive current.

    For power I have always run a 4 cell 14.8 volt, 2200mAH Lithium Ion pack built by Siomar, but purchased through Eric at Night Lightning. This pack has been used quite regularly for the last three years without any issues, apart from those caused by my negligence! Mounting the light to the bars I have used a modified version of the system that I assume Night Lightning still use, but now I have made the switch to an oversized Lupine handlebar mount. Iíll post photos a little later on as mentioned.


    I like the sound of your proposed setup, plenty of light and heaps of burn time. You donít need anything super crazy for an endurance event like that anyway. The burn time, weight and reliability of a system like this is just whatís needed! I canít remember the exact dimensions or specifications of the Buck Toot, but I recall MTBR member itsdoable doing something very similar. I think he used a boost driver of some description with some Lumileds Emitters, with the driver slotted in between two of the stars. Obviously itís just a matter of doing the measurements and sorting things out.


    urmb Ė I really canít make any detailed comparisons for you until I have a few rides on the exact systems that are now being offered. I can tell you though that they will blow your old lights out of the water. They will be substantially brighter, and cast a much whiter light.

    Cheers, Dave.

  8. #8
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    urmb - I just thought I would add that it’s well worth having a search through the GPS and Lighting board here for comparisons between triple emitter Luxeon and Seoul setups to give you a better idea.

    I always compared my Luxeon based system to a 10 watt halogen and a friend’s overvolted 20 watt halogen. My system was brighter then the 10 watt, but not the overvolted 20 watt. However I think due to the optic choice and colour temperature my light illuminated the trail just as well as this light. This comparison has always attracted comment, so take it as you will. The new Seoul Emitters that are now being used in these lights are substantially brighter as I have mentioned, or they can be under driven for the same amount of light, but a much longer burn time.

    Again all of this is based off my own personal setup and other posters lights, and it may not reflect 100% on what is sold by Eric at Night Lightning. I would imagine its mighty close though.

  9. #9
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    Dave - thanks for the info, look forwards to seeing the pics etc. Hopefully at some point Cutter will come good and deliver the Cree order I've had with them since December :-( I've had the nightlighting housing sitting looking forlorn since just after Xmas waiting for drivers and LEDs from cutter... Already meant I had to beg borrow and steal for a 12hr night solo effort (including an LED dynamo) and will be doing the same again this weekend for a solo 24... I've done the measurements and a 420Ma Buck will fit in the central hole drilled and threaded for the clever little barrel screw that houses the leads and waterproofs them too, so no need even to try to squeeze it into the main LED area :-) And 3x Cree Q2 at 420Ma should give approx 300lm so hopefully good enough for a bar light. I'm also planning a single 1A Cree Q2 or seoul based tiny helmet lamp, with approx 200lm that should be pretty good for the corners too and again last for ever on a smallish camelbak mounted battery.

    URMB - I've been running vista lights for approx 8 years now! Started with a 5/10/15W plus 2x 4.5Ah Nicad battery combination, when they were cheap in the sales over here, and have added various second hand bits including NiMH and Nicad lightsticks. Impressively, the nicad original bats are still going strong despite a fair amount of use and some commuting duties. With LEDs, so far I've made just a single lamp based on a 3W luxeon III emitter driven at 1A and 9degree Fraen optic. Comparing this with a 10W spot nightstick lamp unit, I reckon that the LED is marginally dimmer but with a slightly broader beam.

    For my recent 12hr night solo race I upgraded some vista lamps - in a helmet mounted unit I used a new 20W 12v 10 degree spot bulb overvolted with a 14.8v Li-ion battery, and on the bars ran with an original 10w 6v bulb overvolted with a 7.4v Li-ion battery. The 20w effort was really bright, and the 10w overvolted a bit brighter and definitely a whiter light than the original 6v batteries powering a 10W bulb (I did a side by side comparison).

    I also ran a borrowed 2x 3W luxeon III dynamo light off a shmidt dynohub, which was good for slow fireroad sections but not bright enough for technical riding, but meant I didn't have a million batteries attached to the bike all night! I'd be interested in upgrading the dynamo (www.solidlights.co.uk) with 2x Seoul P4 emitters to see if I could triple the light output, and might post later asking how easy this would be (I understand (ish) buck and boost constant current drivers but have no idea whats going on inside dynamos regarding power supply)! Although it's not my dynamo so my frined might not be too happy with me butchering the lamp..

    Ian

  10. #10
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    Dave - ps - interested in your use of a lupine mount, any pics of attachment to the lamp unit? Am considering drilling mine to fit a vist clamp as I like them, they seem to work well, and I have some spare, but keen to see what you've done too.

    Ian

  11. #11
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    I'm getting a bit behind on my mtbr forums! I'm letting work and kids get in my way, imagine that!

    I'm a long time user of the NightLighting housing, and have had 2 Luxeon-III units running for the last 3 years. Back then I suggested to Erick that he should integrate the controller into one housing, and I see that it's finally happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    ...I can’t remember the exact dimensions or specifications of the Buck Toot, but I recall MTBR member itsdoable doing something very similar. I think he used a boost driver of some description with some Lumileds Emitters, with the driver slotted in between two of the stars...
    That's me, I used a Sandwich Shoppe boost controller (designed for AA flashlights), modified to 1A and stuck it inside the housing thus:

    No variable power setting though.

    You can see the controller inside the unit:


    The other one was a custom length unit to housing the Fraen tri-lens - which was the most efficient optic 3 years ago....


    They are almost due for an upgrade, but they still provide plenty of light for our night rides.

  12. #12
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    Very nice itsdoable - those were my thoughts exactly, nice housing but would be neater if it were all in one - hence the 'squeeze a buck toot down the hole in the middle' attempt. Also interested in your mounts - is the top unit using the original L shaped plastic but a different bar mount? The lower unit seems quite different but with more length to play with you can easily drill into the LED housing part to bolt on someone elses mount; the problem I see with the shorter units is that the front lens cap will interfere with any mount bolted into the LED housing area, and the finned section can't be drilled. I don't have any taps otherwise I'd consider drilling and tapping the solid section between LED housing area and the start of the fins. Alternatively - how do the original nightlightning mounts work in practice? I'm not convinced by the velcro attachment or possibility of bounce between the L bit and the unit, but haven't tried it in anger on the trails yet (grrr, cutter!).

    Nice work - let me know if you decide to drop in some Seouls and how that goes.

    Ian

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSBonty
    .... Also interested in your mounts - is the top unit using the original L shaped plastic but a different bar mount? The lower unit seems quite different but with more length to play with you can easily drill into the LED housing part to bolt on someone elses mount; the problem I see with the shorter units is that the front lens cap will interfere with any mount bolted into the LED housing area, and the finned section can't be drilled. I don't have any taps otherwise I'd consider drilling and tapping the solid section between LED housing area and the start of the fins. Alternatively - how do the original nightlightning mounts work in practice? I'm not convinced by the Velcro attachment or possibility of bounce between the L bit and the unit, but haven't tried it in anger on the trails yet (grrr, cutter!).

    Nice work - let me know if you decide to drop in some Seouls and how that goes.

    Ian
    The top unit does use the stock "L" shaped plastic bracket, but I found it allowed the unit to bounce too much, there is a tie-wrap holding the front down. The Velcro actually holds fine, and having the housing detach during a crash is better than something breaking. I'm sure it works well on a helmet, but I didn't like the way it bounced around on the bar (especially on a rigid fork!), so I've modified it a bit, and mounted it to an old Sigma bar mount.

    The second unit has a cnc mount from TurboCat, and is bolted to a clear spot on the housing (with a nut inside). Although the mount works very well, it is very bar-specific, and needs an allen key adjustment if you move it to other bikes, so I've since substituted it with another bar mount (from BLT)

    Here are how they look today, the Norco mount is not as secure as the old cnc TurboCat unit, but it can be moved between bikes easily. The other unit still uses the same mount, but I've replaced the controller with a variable power unit and placed it in the battery instead of the head lamp unit.

  14. #14
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    Hi Ian,

    I’ve been extremely busy the last week, sorry for the slow response! I will take some before and after photos of my mounting setups as soon as I can.

    Regarding the stock Night Lightning “L” shaped bracket, mine was actually bent at such an angle that there was a fair bit of preload against the housing once I put the light together. I had no issues with any bounce at all, and that was on a rigid bike for a fair while too.

    As a point of interest, I found that with some extremely hot water you can carefully bend the “L” shaped bracket to where you want it too.

    As for the mount itself I had no issues with the Velcro. It held just fine and it had its fair chare of mud baths and abuse. The only issue I had was that it was a little fiddly to take the mount itself off the bar, but it’s no real drama as the light is separate to the mount anyway. The main reason I went for the Lupine mount was that it was a little nicer solution for my oversize bars, and it does simplify things a little too.

    Cheers, Dave.

  15. #15
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    Goodaye Dave and Co

    ....probably teaching Grandma how to suck eggs....but Nightlightning has the new 720 lumen digital blast up on the web site.

    Being of the non technical type (read - lazy and unable to build the likes of yours) i have tentatively placed an order for one (just awaiting confirmation on a few points)

    My current Jet lights will go to my 12 year old daughter - a fine up and comming MTBer who is about the have her first single track experience under lights!! Look out Gap Creek!!

    Cheers,

    Jawry

  16. #16
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    New Nightlighting - Mini Review

    I just got in one of the new Nightlighting units, and it is pretty
    darned sweet. I don't have beam shots, but it is most definitely
    significantly brighter than my Niterider HID, and has a better
    pattern as well.

    I'm using this battery and charger:
    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.as...OD&ProdID=2196

    So I should have 5+ hours runtime at full power.

    This battery came with really nice o-ring sealed screw connectors and
    a spare connector, so I removed the stock Night Lightening conector
    from the light and used those.

    Customer service from Night Lightning was awesome - Questions answered
    quickly and thoroughly... good folks.

    Anyway, it came out real nice. The whole shebang was < $350, which is
    still a ton of money, but compared to $500 for the Dinotte and $620 for
    the Lupine, I think it's a steal.

    Two thumbs up.

    ZB
    Yeah, it's strange. But oh well.

  17. #17
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    Ahhh ZB...

    ...thats what iv'e been waiting to hear. Comparable to HID!!

    Do Nightlightning claimed runs times for the 2.2 ah 14.8V Li-ion seem a little high? Digital blaast (12watts?) for 3 hours - sums don't seem to add up?

    14.8 x 2.2 = 32.56
    32.56/12 = 2.71 hours

    Am i right in assuming that 3x3=9 - driven at 1amp = 12 watt?

    i am just being a pedantic bugger really - 2.7 hours at full tilt is probably heaps for me anyway.

    As soon as the treasury approves the fun vouchers - i'm getting me one!

    cheers,

    Iain

  18. #18
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    Watts etc

    The watts thing is a little bit more difficult to determine than taking the 3 LEDs as 3 Watts each; it's dependent on the the Amps they're driven at and the Forward Voltage (Vf) of each LED. Assuming each is 3.5 Vf (reports suggest the seoul LEDs may be lower but that's approx the right values for the luxeon III's I've dealt with) then we have:

    14.8x2.2 = 32.56Ah

    3 (LED's) x 3.5 (Vf) x 1 (Amp) = 10.5

    32.56 x 0.85 (approx efficiency of buck drivers) = 27.68

    27.68/10.5 = 2.6 hours

    Hah, that comes out amusingly close to your estimate! But if lower Vfs are used i.e. 3.25, then the result comes out as 2.8 hours, a bit better but still less than the 3. Hmm, the only option I can think of is that the driver is operating at greater than 85% efficiency which is quite possible. Of course the battery voltage is just an average too as it will start around 16v fully charged and prbably drop below 14 when close to fully discharged, don't know if that would average a higher voltage and so greater runtime? I guess you'll be looking at 3 hours max, possibly slightly less, unless you use the dimmer from time to time.

    I'm not certain how they calculate the 12 watts thing either...

    Ian

  19. #19
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    have just paid for a set of the new 'all-in-one' 720 lumen digital blasts - should be here early next week.

    will put some beam shots up when i get some usefull tips from the 'photographing lights' post i put up.

    Hey James - your pretty good at photo's - could you have a look at that post and provide some tips please.

    Cheers,

    Iain

  20. #20
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    This looks very interesting, I was hoping for the simplicity and reliability of LED but
    with the brightness comparable to HID.

    Is there anyone else who isn't electronically DIY minded who has bought one of the
    fully assembled kits and can describe their experience?

  21. #21
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    Sorry folks, itís been a while since Iíve been about!

    The Website has been updated to reflect the current offerings, and a few members here on the boards have recently made purchases, so you can look forward to some reviews soon!

    I think the confusion with wattage and runtime has been cleared up to. For those trying to fathom the run times and power draw, the naming scheme of previous lights got a little confusing and many lights went through controller and emitter changes without the whole page being updated. Although still an approximation due to the various options and tolerances, I think youíll find the figures on the site are now pretty accurate.

    After doing the maths with my own system a long time ago, I actually found my 2.2Ah pack was likely a little larger in capacity. Either that or my maths was a little off!

    For those who are interested here is a photo of my modified mount I mentioned earlier, based on the Lupine bar mount:





    Cheers, Dave.

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