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  1. #1
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    Better helmetlight ideas


    It seem like lately the selection for new mountainbike oriented lights has become a bit boring. Lots of good lights available but not really large enough improvements to justify replacing what we already have. I for one would like to see the Gloworm Alpha in a triple configuration. Even adding 50% more weight (which it wouldn't require) it would barely weight more than an X2. In its current form the Alpha makes about 70% of the X2's lumen output (my measurements) but only lags behind the X2's max lux (throw) figures by about 10% (also my measurements). Additionally the Alpha runs cooler and only requires about 60% of the X2's current draw. So my hypothetical Alpha should weight about the same as the current X2, have a slight advantage in lumen output and max lux (throw) only slightly only slightly less than an XS. It should also be cooler running and draw less current than the X2 or XS so longer runtimes from a similar battery. So using existing tech. this looks like an improved light I'd happily spend my money on. Curious what you think and if you'd be interested in something like this + welcome any other ideas.
    Mole
    Last edited by MRMOLE; 06-11-2020 at 05:05 PM.

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    Wait till you see what we got in store this fall.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Wait till you see what we got in store this fall.
    Love hearing that! Can always rely on you to keep things interesting.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    It seem like lately the selection for new mountainbike oriented lights has become a bit boring. Lots of good lights available but not really large enough improvements to justify replacing what we already have. I for one would like to see the Gloworm Alpha in a triple configuration. Even adding 50% more weight (which it wouldn't require) it would barely weight more than an X2. In its current form the Alpha makes about 70% of the X2's lumen output (my measurements) but only lags behind the X2's max lux (throw) figures by about 10% (also my measurements). Additionally the Alpha runs cooler and only requires about 60% of the X2's current draw. So my hypothetical Alpha should weight about the same as the current X2, have a slight advantage in lumen output and max lux (throw) only slightly only slightly less than an XS. It should also be cooler running and draw less current than the X2 or XS so longer runtimes from a similar battery. So using existing tech. this looks like an improved light I'd happily spend my money on. Curious what you think and if you'd be interested in something like this + welcome any other ideas.
    Mole
    Might be a good idea ( about the Alpha ) but not sure that Gloworm would be willing to add another lamp to their line-up. Personally I've been very happy just using a nice torch with a single XP-L Hi. The Alpha, which is more groomed to work on a helmet, should be more useful for people who don't own a helmet that can easily mount a torch. In it's current state the Alpha should produce about the same amount of light as one of my ( single emitter ) XP-L HI torches.

    As you know I already own a ITUO XP-3. While I don't use it that much anymore it's there if I want more NW light coming off the helmet. I was tempted for a while to order a Gloworm XS ( and ask Jim if it could be fitted with XP-L HI NW ( 4000K tint ) ) which I'm sure would blow the XP-3 I have away. However, I've come to realize I really don't need that much light anymore. I have all the light I need and lots of options to play with.

    Do you own the cool white or NW version of the Alpha?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Might be a good idea ( about the Alpha ) but not sure that Gloworm would be willing to add another lamp to their line-up. Personally I've been very happy just using a nice torch with a single XP-L Hi. The Alpha, which is more groomed to work on a helmet, should be more useful for people who don't own a helmet that can easily mount a torch. In it's current state the Alpha should produce about the same amount of light as one of my ( single emitter ) XP-L HI torches.

    As you know I already own a ITUO XP-3. While I don't use it that much anymore it's there if I want more NW light coming off the helmet. I was tempted for a while to order a Gloworm XS ( and ask Jim if it could be fitted with XP-L HI NW ( 4000K tint ) ) which I'm sure would blow the XP-3 I have away. However, I've come to realize I really don't need that much light anymore. I have all the light I need and lots of options to play with.

    Do you own the cool white or NW version of the Alpha?
    My Alpha is NW. I actually was just using the hypothetical 3up Alpha as an example of using existing tech. to make a smaller/more efficient/similarly performing (max lux) helmet light than my current higher speed trail favorite XP3. I'd like to see what could be done with some of the newer more efficient emitters. I've not had any experience with the dedomed Hi emitters but am skeptical about their efficiency since battery life/size is an important part of where I'm looking for improvements.
    Mole

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    My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.

    I'm still intrigued by shaped beams like Outbound has, but those type optics have not been available to a DIY builder. Should spend some time on Ledil's website and see if they are offering anything along those lines now.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.

    I'm still intrigued by shaped beams like Outbound has, but those type optics have not been available to a DIY builder. Should spend some time on Ledil's website and see if they are offering anything along those lines now.
    I think the custom Convoy M1 torch I bought for mountain biking is using the same emitter ( 5000K range if I'm not mistaking ). I had the option to go warmer but at the time I thought 4000K might be too warm. Anyway just one of these ( XP-L HI 3C ) emitters does a super job as a helmet lamp. I can just imagine that two ( @ 3.5A ) is likely giving you excellent throw, fantastic spill and likely over 2200* OTF lumen even after it gets hot. Have you ever done a lumen test on this lamp, just wondering. *This is likely what our XP-3 lamps put out before they even start to get hot and those are using three first generation NW XM-L2's . I should note though that the XP-3 lamps were built using much warmer LEDs, maybe something in the 4200-4500K range. (* ball park estimate )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I think the custom Convoy M1 torch I bought for mountain biking is using the same emitter ( 5000K range if I'm not mistaking ). I had the option to go warmer but at the time I thought 4000K might be too warm. Anyway just one of these ( XP-L HI 3C ) emitters does a super job as a helmet lamp. I can just imagine that two ( @ 3.5A ) is likely giving you excellent throw, fantastic spill and likely over 2200* OTF lumen even after it gets hot. Have you ever done a lumen test on this lamp, just wondering. ......
    According to the ANSI chart the 3C is supposed to be around 5000K. It is a nice tint. The beam shape has the characteristics you note and that's why I just have not felt a need to try a build with something else. It suits my preferences for a light.

    Prior to the current design, I built 3 other designs with different LEDs, optics, and one with reflectors. They each were good lights, but always left me wanting something better.

    Unless I'm on a fast (15+ MPH) trail I run it on lower setting. I don't have any light measuring equipment so no idea the true lumen output.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.

    I'm still intrigued by shaped beams like Outbound has, but those type optics have not been available to a DIY builder. Should spend some time on Ledil's website and see if they are offering anything along those lines now.
    Just a thought, but you can buy Cyo series light from Busch und Mueller fairly cheap. I can tell you from experience running a Cyo Premium and an IQ-X light driven by a dynamo off road, that if they had a more powerful emitter/battery to go with it, they would make a formidable light, if you were so inclined to tinker.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Prior to the current design, I built 3 other designs with different LEDs, optics, and one with reflectors. They each were good lights, but always left me wanting something better.
    Having the ability to build what you want definitely has its advantages! Since I don't I'm still in the "left wanting something better" category. I wouldn't say I'm suffering too much since I'm quite happy with the amount and quality of light I get with a XP3/XP2 combo but wouldn't mind having something a little lighter that draws less current than the XP3 and maintains adequate beam width and max lux for the helmet. My exposure to the Alpha, 3up C&B Seen, and some of the torches I've recently tried have convinced me there's certainly a good deal of room for improvement for what I'm looking for. My hypothetical 3up Alpha should end up having similar mass as an X2 with the throw of a XS and still be able to squeeze around 2 hrs. out of a 21700 2 cell. I could probably get similar results by upping the current draw on my 3up C&B Seen light or maybe even just doing an emitter swap in one of my X2's to something like a 5000K SST40. My eyes have gotten so bad for doing any closeup work but I could always have Jim @ Action-LED-Lights do the emitter swap though less sure of results than if a 3up Alpha was available.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    Just a thought, but you can buy Cyo series light from Busch und Mueller fairly cheap. I can tell you from experience running a Cyo Premium and an IQ-X light driven by a dynamo off road, that if they had a more powerful emitter/battery to go with it, they would make a formidable light, if you were so inclined to tinker.
    For a while I was checking ebay looking for a cheap deal on a used Phillips Saferide to rob the reflector out of. The B-M CYO might be an option too. Maybe I'll get motivated to do something next winter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    For a while I was checking ebay looking for a cheap deal on a used Phillips Saferide to rob the reflector out of. The B-M CYO might be an option too. Maybe I'll get motivated to do something next winter.
    I forget now where I seen it but years ago there was someone who modded a Phillips Saferide with something like two XM-L2's. I remember the beam photos as being absolutely sweet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I forget now where I seen it but years ago there was someone who modded a Phillips Saferide with something like two XM-L2's. I remember the beam photos as being absolutely sweet.
    That was probably this thread.....

    http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-do...-a-800662.html

    The beam pattern of that modded light is one of reasons I hoped to find a cheap dead Saferide to salvage the reflector from. Nice subdued spill near the bike transitioning sharply into an intense center beam with little going upward.
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    A sled-contained light with enough of a wide beam plus good battery time would be fantastic but I'd always want to know the weight. I think my Tesla weighs 75 grams. I wold not go heavier than that. I'm starting to look at the Lupine Blika and Piko, with the edge going to the Blika for its impact resistance and since it is waterproof. I think both lamp heads weigh around 55 grams so that is great for m. Heavier lamps tend to move the helmet around too much and a lower profile is helpful in that regard too. I think I will go for that Blika but I still want to research more. Since I have other Lupine lamps and batteries which are still going strong, I'll stick with them so I can reuse batteries, chargers and not have to carry two types. I don't need more light but less weight (mostly in case of helmet lights) and more self-contained options would be great. Remotes are very useful for me too, so I can quickly dim the light for oncoming riders or traffic without taking a hand off the bar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
    A self-contained light with enough of a wide beam plus good battery time would be fantastic but I'd always want to know the weight. I don't need more light but less weight (mostly in case of helmet lights) and more self-contained options would be great.
    That's the incredible engineering challenge. Weight + runtime + enough light.

    It's why we outfitted Hangover with an 18650 battery instead of a 21700. We wanted to blend the lightest we could make a light, with a decent runtime, and long operating range.

    Will we make a brighter and more powerful Hangover in the future with a 21700? Probably, but that will add another 20-ish grams once account for the larger housing and the extra battery weight. So I think always going to try and keep an 18650 option for a really lightweight alternative.

    Unfortuantly unless you get into really low lumen lights with smaller batteries, around 100g is about as light as you get a modern, moderately powerful light that actually puts out a long runtime without overheating or severly stepping down in power. Plenty of flashlight like options out there with plastic housings, no heatsinking and a single reflector bowl that might be 70-80g, but then have it sticking way above your helmet, which creates a moment force that's no different than a 100g light tucked close.

    We looked into everything we could to get as light as possible but still balance out everything everyone else wants in a helmet ight, and that's how hangover was born.

    In order to have anything lighter, absolutely have to go to a wired light with a remote battery like the Lupines you mentioned.
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    Good thoughts! LiPo batteries will lower the weight of the self-contained light unit. I have two self-contained lights (Exposure Diablo and Ravemen PR1200) and I relegated them to my road/gravel bikes when I need an hour or two (max) light getting back from an evening ride. In a pinch, I can use them on my MTB but there is not enough light and not enough duration for a real ride.

    I will try to move my light more forward (so it is lower) and see if that helps. Another option is to get a light that goes on front and the battery in the rear of the helmet, like the Lupine Piko. I am not (yet) aware of who else does that similar to the Fastclick system. I'll look around.

    Bontrager has a helmet system now with powerful magnets built in so you can pop their front and rear lights on, as well as a GoPro. It is a cool concept for road and gravel but not sure how much light those smaller front light will provide and of course, the weight issue is to be watched. I have their road and mountain helmets now but have not mounted or even bought their lights. The magnets seems quite powerful though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Will we make a brighter and more powerful Hangover in the future with a 21700? Probably, but that will add another 20-ish grams once account for the larger housing and the extra battery weight. So I think always going to try and keep an 18650 option for a really lightweight alternative.
    After living with your Hangover for a while, given the choice I'd be more excited about having more power than the larger battery. In its current form I just leave it on my helmet all the time (without discomfort) and its approx. 1 hour runtime works fine for most of my rides that I only need the helmet light for part of the time. If I know I'll be using it for longer periods, having the ability to run it off a remote power source covers my needs. Not sure how much an extra 20g would affect the comfort factor but as long as the battery is accessible you could still use either the 21700 or a lighter 18650 (using a generic flashlight reducer tube and magnetic end button). Not sure which way I'd prefer but I always run my Hangover on the highest setting and know I'd like more power.

    We looked into everything we could to get as light as possible but still balance out everything everyone else wants in a helmet ight, and that's how hangover was born.

    In order to have anything lighter, absolutely have to go to a wired light with a remote battery like the Lupines you mentioned.
    Hangover does pretty good, all things considered. High powered tiny remote battery powered lightheads still have heatsink/surface area limitations that affect usage duration and output intensity. A lot of the higher powered XM-L equipped lightheads may be the able to thermally maintain higher lumen numbers than the Hangover but because of their higher lumen to max lux (throw intensity) requirements end up with less throw ability or more weight than the Hangover. I have a couple of XP-G throwers (Gloworm Alpha, C&B Seen 3up) that do much better in this regard and would love to see what could be done with some of the more current (and more efficient) emitters available.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Would love to see what could be done with some of the more current (and more efficient) emitters available.
    We do have some pretty cool stuff coming soon using the XD16 emitters that have proven to be extremely efficient. Pretty excited about implementing that into a newer version of Hangover in the future. Can't drop it into the existing optics since the emitter size is different and you end up with some color separation issues that are pretty annoying.

    To implement it in Hangover will require some retuning of the optics, which means need to move some stuff on the PCBA boards around, which means have to tweak the inner substrate a bit, which means... eh **** it might as well make a whole new light at that point!
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    Good points! There are so many considerations in a helmet-mounted light. Looking forward to the new emitters and to seeing what you do with them.

    Since I am still usually rocking the Tesla (yeah, I'm dating myself here) on the helmet at 75 grams, something like a 60-gram low-profile light is probably the ticket given the current technology, even with the new Cree emitters. That's maybe a 20% greater light output and no other significant benefits. I mean- it is still nice but not an earth-shattering difference. I'll prob just target a 60 gram 2000-2300 lumen lighthead with a 3.5 or 4 Ah separate pack that get me a 2-2.5 hour runtime. That is the minimum in runtime that would be good enough for real night rides. The Tesla gives me almost 3 hours and is decent at maybe 700-800 lumens but it is probably safer to get more light for real night rides. While I have a Betty for the bar, I like each light to be good enough on its own.

    Sometimes, I can get away with just a bigger light on the handlebar but not on all the trails. They are too twisty and fast, even in my neighborhood where there are steep and tight switchbacks on our trails. It is doable but I may have to walk a few switchback so I don't overshoot and fall 20 yards downhill. Tomorrow, we have a gravel evening ride so maybe an hour in the dark. The Ravemen will do and I could prob do it in the moonlight if I had to slowly ride back sans light.



    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    That's the incredible engineering challenge. Weight + runtime + enough light.

    It's why we outfitted Hangover with an 18650 battery instead of a 21700. We wanted to blend the lightest we could make a light, with a decent runtime, and long operating range.

    Will we make a brighter and more powerful Hangover in the future with a 21700? Probably, but that will add another 20-ish grams once account for the larger housing and the extra battery weight. So I think always going to try and keep an 18650 option for a really lightweight alternative.

    Unfortuantly unless you get into really low lumen lights with smaller batteries, around 100g is about as light as you get a modern, moderately powerful light that actually puts out a long runtime without overheating or severly stepping down in power. Plenty of flashlight like options out there with plastic housings, no heatsinking and a single reflector bowl that might be 70-80g, but then have it sticking way above your helmet, which creates a moment force that's no different than a 100g light tucked close.

    We looked into everything we could to get as light as possible but still balance out everything everyone else wants in a helmet ight, and that's how hangover was born.

    In order to have anything lighter, absolutely have to go to a wired light with a remote battery like the Lupines you mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    We do have some pretty cool stuff coming soon using the XD16 emitters that have proven to be extremely efficient.
    Are those XD16 Emitters similar in characteristics to the automotive Lumileds or Osram Chips? Meaning high intensity but with a tad better efficiency than the Lumiled/Osram?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    We do have some pretty cool stuff coming soon using the XD16 emitters that have proven to be extremely efficient. Pretty excited about implementing that into a newer version of Hangover in the future. Can't drop it into the existing optics since the emitter size is different and you end up with some color separation issues that are pretty annoying.

    To implement it in Hangover will require some retuning of the optics, which means need to move some stuff on the PCBA boards around, which means have to tweak the inner substrate a bit, which means... eh **** it might as well make a whole new light at that point!
    Interesting. Looking at the data sheet for the Cree XD16, by golly these these things are small ( 1.6 x 1.6 mm ). Depending on the number of these used, either in a bike light or a torch, the end result could be quite interesting. Definitely depends on what kind of optics are used as to how usable something like this would be for using as a bike light. At least one good aspect of the XD16 is that it looks like there will be a wide array of nice NW options. The 7000K version though ( very cool white ) would be the ones to use it you want the brightest output. Just thinking....just two of these in the current version of the Raveman PR1200 would increase the efficiency and total output, depending of course on how hard the designers wanted to drive the LED's at a given mode.

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    Yep, the XD16 is a hair bigger than the 1x1 Lumiled and OSRAM automotive chips, but since we aren't doing matrix lighting that's okay.

    The arrangement we are using with the XD16 has 3.5 the epi area of the Lumiled chip used in Trail/Road, partly why only genuine CREE chips are what we can use to achieve it, that kind of lumen density can only be had with some extreme manufacturing techniquies. The XHP35 is essentially 4 of the XD16 emitters placed into a dome.

    Similar to hangover, I prefer the approach of multiple LED dies over one since it's easier to control the thermal and better use of space. By doing that it allows for multiple short focal length optics instead of one large long focal length optic which is what would be needed to get similar optical performance.

    The XD16 has surprised us in testing, and the efficiency can't be denied. We'll be dropping more hints about what's coming in the next few months. No pre-order this time, screw that. Last year that pre-order for Hangover was essentially a hail mary to keep the company going while trying to spin up the product, it's not cheap to do. This year in a much better financial position. Excited to have this dropped by (semi) surprise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The 7000K version though ( very cool white ) would be the ones to use it you want the brightest output.
    Remember... we don't care about actual lumen output in a measuring sphere, we care about the usable actual light available when riding. No one wants to ride behind a blue light no matter how bright the datasheet says.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Yep, the XD16 is a hair bigger than the 1x1 Lumiled and OSRAM automotive chips, but since we aren't doing matrix lighting that's okay.
    The arrangement we are using with the XD16 has 3.5 the epi area of the Lumiled chip used in Trail/Road, partly why only genuine CREE chips are what we can use to achieve it, that kind of lumen density can only be had with some extreme manufacturing techniquies[...]
    We'll be dropping more hints about what's coming in the next few months.[...]
    Looking forward to your new products. Any chance that this is the once thought of road light with high beam function ? Thanks for the tech/design insights! What is an "epi area"?


    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    That was probably this thread.....
    The beam pattern of that modded light is one of reasons I hoped to find a cheap dead Saferide to salvage the reflector from.
    btw, Spanninga took over the bike light division from Philips, and the Saferide reflector is still used in the spanninga "axendo 60/80" lights, which can be purchased for less than 50 EUR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Remember... we don't care about actual lumen output in a measuring sphere, we care about the usable actual light available when riding. No one wants to ride behind a blue light no matter how bright the datasheet says.
    I agree. Not sure why you think the output would be bluish @ 7000K. I have a torch that uses a single XP-L HI that is at the 7000K temperature range. Bought that one for helmet use when riding road. I detect no bluishness in the output, just a very cold white light. To date it is my best thrower. I have another one ( same model ) that I bought for mountain biking ( helmet use ) using the same emitter only a bit warmer tint @ 5000K. Both appear white but the 7000K is just a brighter white and has more throw. ( I only use the model with the 7000K emitter for spotting purposes. I don't ride road with a helmet lamp on full time. )

    Looking forward to your new lamps. I hope to see your bar mount lamps sold with some type of remote control in the future. I also hope that the mountain bike version be sold with not only remote control but with a 4500K NW option as well.

    An upgraded ( brighter ) Hangover would be nice but I'd be more inclined to buy one if there was a NW version coupled with the ability to "switch out" batteries ( 18650's, to keep things lite )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Remember... we don't care about actual lumen output in a measuring sphere, we care about the usable actual light available when riding. No one wants to ride behind a blue light no matter how bright the datasheet says.
    It would be nice if bike lights could move away from sub 70cri emitters. The Nichia E21a's are similar to XD-16 and available in 80+ cri in many colour temperatures while still being reasonably efficient.

    If efficiency is the main goal it's hard to beat an xhp70.2. No need to invest a lot of time and money making the perfect optic, most of us are going to screw up the light distribution by running a bar light with a helmet light anyway. Just sell it with narrow, medium and wide Ledil Jenny style optics and let the user decide what they want. It would only take one emitter and a simple buck driver to make 3000 lumens on high and have industry leading runtimes at normal levels. I know it doesn't match your ideals, but a lot of us would buy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
    If efficiency is the main goal it's hard to beat an xhp70.2. No need to invest a lot of time and money making the perfect optic, most of us are going to screw up the light distribution by running a bar light with a helmet light anyway. Just sell it with narrow, medium and wide Ledil Jenny style optics and let the user decide what they want. It would only take one emitter and a simple buck driver to make 3000 lumens on high and have industry leading runtimes at normal levels. I know it doesn't match your ideals, but a lot of us would buy it.
    I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but if that really was the best option don't you think we would have pursued it? And wouldn't the automotive sector also pursue it?

    I have rayfiles for any and all chips, I can plug it into my simulation software and we have looked at large high power "efficient" chips like those plenty of times for off-road automotive lighting and always found ourselves going back to the smaller emitters for the basis of performance, cost, supply, beam control, etc.

    Also when we are developing lights to sell thousands of (we have sold 3000+ Trail/Road lights, and 2000+ Hangovers to date) the customizing of an optic far outweighs picking out something off the shelf that is designed for streetlamp lighting. The initial tooling is expensive, but the benefits outweigh anything off the shelf.

    There have been plenty of companies that did what you suggested, and they have all folded. I think the most impressive one was the guy that did the wrap around helmet light (name escapes me at the moment). Problem was that he did a CNC aluminum housing, was using off-the-shelf drivers, off-the-shelf optics, and off-the-shelf integrated LED star things that he hand soldered each one for. The end result was a lamp that cost $1000 for the customer. Only sold a few and folded after a few years doing it part time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but if that really was the best option don't you think we would have pursued it? And wouldn't the automotive sector also pursue it?

    I have rayfiles for any and all chips, I can plug it into my simulation software and we have looked at large high power "efficient" chips like those plenty of times for off-road automotive lighting and always found ourselves going back to the smaller emitters for the basis of performance, cost, supply, beam control, etc.

    Also when we are developing lights to sell thousands of (we have sold 3000+ Trail/Road lights, and 2000+ Hangovers to date) the customizing of an optic far outweighs picking out something off the shelf that is designed for streetlamp lighting. The initial tooling is expensive, but the benefits outweigh anything off the shelf.

    There have been plenty of companies that did what you suggested, and they have all folded. I think the most impressive one was the guy that did the wrap around helmet light (name escapes me at the moment). Problem was that he did a CNC aluminum housing, was using off-the-shelf drivers, off-the-shelf optics, and off-the-shelf integrated LED star things that he hand soldered each one for. The end result was a lamp that cost $1000 for the customer. Only sold a few and folded after a few years doing it part time.
    The Cree XHP series of LED's are indeed very impressive but there doesn't seem to be optics at this time that are able to control all the light they can produce, focus it more forward and do it with a typical small form factor. As far as I know the only bike light companies using them at this time also have them coupled with some of the smaller XML2 or XPL LEDs to provide additional throw.

    As to that light you mentioned that had the "wrap around the helmet" idea. The name escapes me as well but what I remember about it the most was that one, it was very expensive ( although I don't think in the $1K range as you suggested ). I remember there being a 3-emitter version and a 5- emitter version. The largest version I forget now how many emitters it used. The largest version was supposedly designed to be "a single light system" ( no need to use a bar lamp ). I had thought at the time that I might buy one of the 3-emitter versions but I didn't like the limited U.I. and the fact that it also ran on higher voltage batteries. The battery to power the largest version must of been very heavy and would of had to have been carried in a backpack. The few people who bought them claimed to love them but I don't think they were big sellers. I forget now how they mounted the helmet but I remember thinking that I didn't like how it was done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The Cree XHP series of LED's are indeed very impressive but there doesn't seem to be optics at this time that are able to control all the light they can produce, focus it more forward and do it with a typical small form factor........
    True in my experience. There are some newer XHP versions that may be better, but when the XHP first came out, I played around with an XHP70 on a test setup and found that anything less than a 35mm optic or reflector did not make a good beam. Way too large for a helmet light.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    As to that light you mentioned that had the "wrap around the helmet" idea. The name escapes me as well .......
    The wrap light was from Trail LED.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The Cree XHP series of LED's are indeed very impressive but there doesn't seem to be optics at this time that are able to control all the light they can produce, focus it more forward and do it with a typical small form factor. As far as I know the only bike light companies using them at this time also have them coupled with some of the smaller XML2 or XPL LEDs to provide additional throw.
    Gloworm's XSV uses the XHP50.2 emitters and its performance pretty much supports what your saying. These seem like very good efficient emitters but not particularly well suited for throwers (XHP35 maybe?).
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.
    I agree with Vancbiker's statement. 2x Cree XP-L High mated to Ledil Regina reflectors driven by a TaskLED driven at 2000mA's has been my weapon of choice for quite awhile now. I shorten up the LEDIL regina reflectors a bit which really widens the beam pattern out nicely without losing much punch. The 2 1/8" L x 1 1/2"" W and 3/4" H and ~65 grams on the light head up front and ~100 grams on the 2x 18650 pack on the back balances out when using on the bike. 21700 cell pack adds a few more grams to packs. Running medium (1000mA's) of majority of ride and reserving high (2000mA's) for technical/fast sections helps give useable runtimes and light output. Low (500ma's) is great for those long, slow climbs.

    Better helmetlight ideas-img-2430.jpg

    Better helmetlight ideas-img-2436.jpg

    3x Cree XP-L High version is 2 1/8" L x 2 1/4" W and 3/4" H which only adds ~10 grams to light head. Main body on both is 1/8" wall aluminum extrusion which helps shed heat.

    Better helmetlight ideas-img-2432.jpg

    Also using Cree XM-L2's for a little less throw and more sidespill when needed. I run my personal XP-L High Intensity and XM-L2's lights using 6200K but can build with your temperature choice

    Older beam shot (XP-G's or XM-L's but pretty similar)
    Better helmetlight ideas-amoeba-xp_g-beamshot-1-.jpg

    Video using XP-L High Intensity helmet and XM-L2 bar light, you can see the helmet light jumping left and right out of the beam pattern






    ****
    Last edited by scar; 06-27-2020 at 06:08 PM.

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    Put whatever batteries into a Hangover you need to give it an honest, not calculated, not theoretical, I mean HONEST real life tested 2.5 hour runtime on high at 25 degrees F without any of that step down nonsense and I'd be a happy customer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    Put whatever batteries into a Hangover you need to give it an honest, not calculated, not theoretical, I mean HONEST real life tested 2.5 hour runtime on high at 25 degrees F without any of that step down nonsense and I'd be a happy customer.
    None of what you say here is likely going to happen but I certainly can agree that 2.5 hr. on high ( without step down ) would indeed be a great thing to have in a self-contained helmet lamp. Of course if you're riding at 25F, that range of temperature is always going to effect the run time of a battery. Of course with self-contained lamps there is some advantage if the lamp body warms when in use and helps keep the batteries from getting too cold ( at least in theory ) but with that said at some point ( if it gets cold enough ) even that won't make a difference.

    Of course none of this would even be an issue if the Hangover was made with "in the field" switchable batteries. Not only would this make the lamp more usable and allow for longer run times but it would also make buying one more of a long term option. I say that because no matter what lamp you own or decide to buy that has a self-contained / non-serviceable battery, at some point the battery(s) will age, lose capacity and therefore bring about the need for a new light. Being able to replace the batteries at any time or place would eliminate this issue. No problem carrying a couple extra fresh 18650's if I feel I might need the extra run time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    None of what you say here is likely going to happen but I certainly can agree that 2.5 hr. on high ( without step down ) would indeed be a great thing to have in a self-contained helmet lamp. Of course if you're riding at 25F, that range of temperature is always going to effect the run time of a battery. Of course with self-contained lamps there is some advantage if the lamp body warms when in use and helps keep the batteries from getting too cold ( at least in theory ) but with that said at some point ( if it gets cold enough ) even that won't make a difference.

    Of course none of this would even be an issue if the Hangover was made with "in the field" switchable batteries. Not only would this make the lamp more usable and allow for longer run times but it would also make buying one more of a long term option. I say that because no matter what lamp you own or decide to buy that has a self-contained / non-serviceable battery, at some point the battery(s) will age, lose capacity and therefore bring about the need for a new light. Being able to replace the batteries at any time or place would eliminate this issue. No problem carrying a couple extra fresh 18650's if I feel I might need the extra run time.
    Well right now my work around solution is to carry and second light in my pocket. I have a Bontrager helmet with two Blendr mounts so it is quick and easy to change lights. I've even done it on the move with gloves on. I have a Hangover on one mount and a NiteRider Lumina Micro 750 on the other. Actually it works out okay because I use the NiteRider to ride to and from the trail because I prefer its deeper penetrating beam pattern and color while riding on road and bike paths plus they can be had for ~$45 if you watch for a sale and then swap to the Hangover when I get to the trail head.

    It's only when I drive to a trail for a longer ride that I am in need of a longer running Hangover. But that said I wouldn't want to be fiddling around replacing batteries with my gloves off in cold temps. I ride in a snowboard helmet in the winter that fits snugly enough that another 3-4 oz. for a larger battery and heavier Hangover wouldn't bother me at all. I'd make that trade off for the extra runtime in a heartbeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Of course none of this would even be an issue if the Hangover was made with "in the field" switchable batteries. Not only would this make the lamp more usable and allow for longer run times but it would also make buying one more of a long term option. I say that because no matter what lamp you own or decide to buy that has a self-contained / non-serviceable battery, at some point the battery(s) will age, lose capacity and therefore bring about the need for a new light. Being able to replace the batteries at any time or place would eliminate this issue. No problem carrying a couple extra fresh 18650's if I feel I might need the extra run time.
    While not field changeable It's my understanding that the Hangover is easy to dis-assemble and replace the battery. Field changeable would be nice but personally I would rather just strap a 2 cell battery or small powerbank to the back of the helmet and connect it with the extra long usb c cable that comes with the light when I need more runtime.
    Mole

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    I'll put it out there now, field replaceable 18650 or 21700 cells are most likely never going to happen with our products. Especially now with the ability to quick charge with USB-C. That may turn off a few of you from ever using our lights, but its a decision we've come to in order to continue trying to make cost effective lights that we can assemble stateside.

    We polled a lot of current and future customers about field replacements. Overwhelming majority said they did not want to carry extra batteries and would rather have something they could quickly charge if needed with an external powerbank. Going to field replacement opens up a lot of issues of the varying quality of batteries, proposed runtimes, more protections, etc. It's one of those very niche things that only a few flashlight enthusiasts seem to care about to be honest.

    With the decreased cost of decent USB powerbanks out there, the ability to quick charge very rapidly it doesn't make sense in our case to sacrifice more weight, space, and assembly complexity for something very very few customers would ever actually use.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    It's only when I drive to a trail for a longer ride that I am in need of a longer running Hangover. But that said I wouldn't want to be fiddling around replacing batteries with my gloves off in cold temps. I ride in a snowboard helmet in the winter that fits snugly enough that another 3-4 oz. for a larger battery and heavier Hangover wouldn't bother me at all. I'd make that trade off for the extra runtime in a heartbeat.
    Is there a reason you don't use a small powerbank to extend the runtime of your Hangover? Simple to mount, distributes the weight better, and far cheaper than having a second light.


    Well right now my work around solution is to carry and second light in my pocket. I have a Bontrager helmet with two Blendr mounts so it is quick and easy to change lights. I've even done it on the move with gloves on. I have a Hangover on one mount and a NiteRider Lumina Micro 750 on the other. Actually it works out okay because I use the NiteRider to ride to and from the trail because I prefer its deeper penetrating beam pattern and color while riding on road and bike paths plus they can be had for ~$45 if you watch for a sale and then swap to the Hangover when I get to the trail head.
    I gotta ask about your "deeper penetrating beam" comment in reference to the Lumina Micro 750. Are you saying the Lumina has a longer throw distance than your Hangover?
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Is there a reason you don't use a small powerbank to extend the runtime of your Hangover? Simple to mount, distributes the weight better, and far cheaper than having a second light.
    I apologize in advance because this will probably sound snarky but when I choose to use a self contained light its because I want to use a self contained light. If I wanted to mess with a chord and battery pack I'd use my much larger and longer running NiteRider.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    I gotta ask about your "deeper penetrating beam" comment in reference to the Lumina Micro 750. Are you saying the Lumina has a longer throw distance than your Hangover?
    Mole
    Perhaps my brain is being tricked by the beam color or narrower pattern...but, yes, to my eye it seems the NiteRider Lumina Micro 750 penetrates noticeably deeper down the road than my Hangover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    We polled a lot of current and future customers about field replacements. Overwhelming majority said they did not want to carry extra batteries and would rather have something they could quickly charge if needed with an external powerbank. Going to field replacement opens up a lot of issues of the varying quality of batteries, proposed runtimes, more protections, etc. It's one of those very niche things that only a few flashlight enthusiasts seem to care about to be honest.
    I don't doubt that and given the option of choosing between field replaceable batteries and a quick charge external battery pack I would be in the external battery pack camp too. However, what I would be curious to know is if your poll offered a third option to choose for the light to just have a larger battery in to begin with?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    I apologize in advance because this will probably sound snarky but when I choose to use a self contained light its because I want to use a self contained light. If I wanted to mess with a chord and battery pack I'd use my much larger and longer running NiteRider.
    Snarky or not (in this case not perceived that way) everybody's entitled to choose what they think is best for their wants/needs, so no problem.



    Perhaps my brain is being tricked by the beam color or narrower pattern...but, yes, to my eye it seems the NiteRider Lumina Micro 750 penetrates noticeably deeper down the road than my Hangover.
    Thanks, I just wanted to clarify your meaning. The only Lumina's I've tested are the 1200 and 1800 both of which have more floody beam patterns but lower max lux. readings (throw measurement) than my Hangover. The buddy I gave my 1200 to has an older 800 that uses a reflector style lens system that I think is similar to what your Micro 750 has so out of curiosity will have to see if I can borrow the 800 to run a few tests on it. It doesn't seem probable that these lights would have more throw than the Hangover but I've been surprised before.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    I don't doubt that and given the option of choosing between field replaceable batteries and a quick charge external battery pack I would be in the external battery pack camp too. However, what I would be curious to know is if your poll offered a third option to choose for the light to just have a larger battery in to begin with?
    How much larger a battery would be the important question to ask. I think a 21700 + the 20-25 grams of additional weight might be a popular choice but much more than that would probably push the Hangover off most of its buyers radar.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    How much larger a battery would be the important question to ask. I think a 21700 + the 20-25 grams of additional weight might be a popular choice but much more than that would probably push the Hangover off most of its buyers radar.
    Mole
    I'm not an electronics guy and I don't know enough about the technicalities to answer that question so all i can do is reference back to my first reply in this thread and say I have worn an older NiteRider Lumina 350 that weighs 173g on my helmet without issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stahr_Nut View Post
    Put whatever batteries into a Hangover you need to give it an honest, not calculated, not theoretical, I mean HONEST real life tested 2.5 hour runtime on high at 25 degrees F without any of that step down nonsense and I'd be a happy customer.

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    21700 is about the max we'd put into a new helmet-specific light for sure. That puts the weight back at around 125g which is about what the Lumina 1200, Urban, etc. all are.

    The next step up would be a dual 18650 would be around 200g like the Taz which is just too heavy for the majority of people to treat it as a helmet light, dual 21700 would be way too heavy for a helmet mount.

    It's a challenging balancing act for sure, trying to balance weight, runtime, and light output. Everyone has different opinions and trying to get them all to fall under the same brand will only take time to build out a product lineup.

    Some people will want the absolute lightest powerful helmet light, and Hangover is there for that. Some will want a more powerful version of Hangover and be fine with the weight and additional cost, and we'll probably produce a variant of that at some point. Others only interested in handlebar lights, others only in cutoff line lights, and of those people they want high-low beam, but majority of riders also want a cheap powerful light with those optics.

    Every time we launch a new light, it's roughly $200-250k to startup the tooling, development, R&D, prototyping, freight costs, packaging costs, advertising, and the larger initial production runs so we don't run out right away. Not quite something we can just dump into 10 different lights and call it done and good. No seed funds here, no investors calling the shots, just myself and Tom doing our best to bring the best lights we can at a pace that is sustainable.

    But I'm always happy to read and participate in these threads because it does indeed help shape what we prioritize for the next product. As we grow we'll be able to launch more lights at a more rapid pace.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    ...We polled a lot of current and future customers about field replacements. Overwhelming majority said they did not want to carry extra batteries and would rather have something they could quickly charge if needed with an external powerbank. Going to field replacement opens up a lot of issues of the varying quality of batteries, proposed runtimes, more protections, etc. It's one of those very niche things that only a few flashlight enthusiasts seem to care about to be honest.

    With the decreased cost of decent USB powerbanks out there, the ability to quick charge very rapidly it doesn't make sense in our case to sacrifice more weight, space, and assembly complexity for something very very few customers would ever actually use.
    Polls can be deceiving ( i.e. 2016 election polls ) If you poll people who are buying the current setup they will undoubtedly favor a sealed lamp. Poll people who have used setups that allow for a battery exchange and undoubtedly they will favor being able to exchange batteries. Same can be said for what tint of LED is going to be preferred. For mountain biking I'm always going to prefer a warm NW setup for both bars and helmet. With that said most people polled will likely prefer a bright white beam tint. That's because most people have never used a NW lamp before or just think something brighter white is better. Thankfully years ago some manufacturers responded to the request for NW lamps. Not to mention some also responded to the desire that some ( like me ) had for having a remote button. All these features came about because people like me started talking about what they would like to have when it came to lights for mountain biking and someone was listening.

    I'm going to have to agree with what Stahr_Nut said about the use of an external battery. "If I have to use a wired external battery to extend the run time I might as well just use a regular wired set-up". At least if I use one of those I can choose to buy one that can provide at least 1800 lumen with just two XP-L HI's and even get the tint and beam pattern I want. Heck if I buy a Gloworm X2 I can even buy one with wireless remote.

    MrMole commented that the Hangover's battery can be replaced, although not in the field. I don't know if this is something the average user can do themselves but if true it makes the light more worth owning since lamps with sealed batteries will eventually get old and need to be replaced. With self-contained lamps this can happen very fast if the lamp is used a lot on a regular basis. I'm already seeing this effect with the Raveman lamps I use for road use. This is why I am so much in favor of "Field replaceable batteries". Eventually the sealed battery will need to be replaced due to loss in capacity. If that's not possible than you have no choice but to buy a whole new light. Need I say, much cheaper to just buy new batteries.

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    Extreme lights Endurance lighthead. Basically a C&B Seen 1900 3up but with 5000K XP-L's and no remote. I asked if the C&B Seen remotes would work but my contact didn't think it would (I'll try it anyway just in case!). Claimed 2100 lumens. They estimated about a week to ship it to me so hoping the heat breaks by then.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    We do have some pretty cool stuff coming soon using the XD16 emitters that have proven to be extremely efficient.[...]
    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Wait till you see what we got in store this fall.
    Did tomdangerplace just spill some beans yesterday with his instragram story? That looked like a XL version of the Hangover , with 9 lenses in two rows

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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post
    Did tomdangerplace just spill some beans yesterday with his instragram story? That looked like a XL version of the Hangover , with 9 lenses in two rows
    Dammit Tom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Dammit Tom.
    Go on show us more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Kiwi View Post
    Go on show us more.
    You'll need to sign up for our OnlyFans account to see more sweetie. 😘

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    ^^^
    More output is the number one thing I would want out of the original Hangover which appears to be addressed with the new design. Longer runtimes would be nice too (and may be possible with more efficient emitters) but after using the Hangover for a while I'm fine going totally self-contained for shorter rides and using an external power source when I need more runtime. The existing Hangover is very light + mounts in a manner that hides what weight it has so expected additional weight shouldn't be too noticeable. Sounds like it has the potential to be exactly what I'd wish for in an improved flavor of Hangover and a "better helmet light idea"!
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    ^^^
    Sounds like it has the potential to be exactly what I'd wish for in an improved flavor of Hangover and a "better helmet light idea"!
    Mole
    Well, I'll say one thing, it's not a helmet light. Designed to be a bar light only. Bit too heavy for a helmet mount. Think Taz 2000 but ridiculously better.

    But it basically addresses every customer criticism of the Trail Edition (despite nearly 100 5 star reviews on our site, and like 2 bad reviews) along with lessons learned from Hangover.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Well, I'll say one thing, it's not a helmet light. Designed to be a bar light only.
    Does it imply that you have more than one light in the pipeline for this fall, since we are in a helmet light thread?? And then there's your taillight which has been sneak previewed on IG...

    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    But it basically addresses every customer criticism of the Trail Edition.
    What was there to critizise besides lacking a bit of throw and that super annoying step down???

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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post
    Does it imply that you have more than one light in the pipeline for this fall, since we are in a helmet light thread?? And then there's your taillight which has been sneak previewed on IG...


    What was there to critizise besides lacking a bit of throw and that super annoying step down???
    Still only one light coming this fall, potentially a new light by year end, kind of depends on how well this new light does to reinvest before year end.

    For one, I want to move away from external battery packs. We have an insane reliability rate, but the main pain points come from the battery packs and the input wires. So focusing on self-contained lights since that is what we heard from a lot of people on why they didn't buy a Trail or a Road Edition, they wanted something self contained.

    Trail is our highest volume light by far, so feel can capture more of the market with a self contained high power bar light and a matching helmet light (Hangover, eventually a higher power larger hangover too). When we were at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo I noticed a lot of people get a disappointed look on their face when we explained the Trail had an external battery pack, especially after showing them the beam pattern and our thought process in designing the light. They essentially wanted a Hangover for the bars.

    We've got some more info coming soon, I'll start a new thread when we start droppin stuff. We are working with the initial production samples right now and on our way to production startup. Learned a lot of lessons with the launch of Hangover.
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    This will be interesting to see. For a bar light for trail riding it is hard for me to figure out the strong desire for self-contained. It's not so tough to hang a battery under the seat and run a cable IMO. To get a powerful, self contained bar light with decent run time it's getting heavy. I know I can feel the difference in how my bike steers with an extra 1/2 pound or more hanging out in front of the bars. Put most of that weight under the seat and you never notice it.

    For 24 hour racing it seems even less desirable. Instead of just swapping a battery pack one is probably going to have multiple lights so they can be recharging. Of course team make up and course length will determine if there is enough time to recharge a single lamp or if one would need a spare. A lot less worrisome to leave spare batteries at the neutral charging station instead of an expensive light.

    For commuting, a self-contained seems the ticket.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    This will be interesting to see. For a bar light for trail riding it is hard for me to figure out the strong desire for self-contained. It's not so tough to hang a battery under the seat and run a cable IMO. To get a powerful, self contained bar light with decent run time it's getting heavy. I know I can feel the difference in how my bike steers with an extra 1/2 pound or more hanging out in front of the bars. Put most of that weight under the seat and you never notice it.

    For 24 hour racing it seems even less desirable. Instead of just swapping a battery pack one is probably going to have multiple lights so they can be recharging. Of course team make up and course length will determine if there is enough time to recharge a single lamp or if one would need a spare. A lot less worrisome to leave spare batteries at the neutral charging station instead of an expensive light.

    For commuting, a self-contained seems the ticket.
    Believe me, I still kind of prefer the external battery pack from a performance standpoint, but the number of emails I've gotten asking if I am making a self contained trail edition, or facebook comments on "im never buying a light again with a battery pack" are quite astounding.

    I would say this is targeting more of our typical customer, who is out there riding for a few hours a couple times a week, not the ones doing 24 hour endurance challenges (though does have the QC and pass through charging like hangover). In time we'll be trying to cover all the bases as I mentioned before, just takes time and money to reinvest. Based on our customer data, conversations with shops, wholesalers, existing customers and wanna-be customers who talk smack on Facebook... this is what we feel is the next step to capture that.

    What we have come up with is kind of really a set-it-and-forget-it bar light that does have an astounding FOV and penetration for the rider that just does not want to deal with wires. Plus a pretty great runtime (extensively verified and tested this time!).
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    This will be interesting to see. For a bar light for trail riding it is hard for me to figure out the strong desire for self-contained. It's not so tough to hang a battery under the seat and run a cable IMO. To get a powerful, self contained bar light with decent run time it's getting heavy. I know I can feel the difference in how my bike steers with an extra 1/2 pound or more hanging out in front of the bars. Put most of that weight under the seat and you never notice it.

    For 24 hour racing it seems even less desirable. Instead of just swapping a battery pack one is probably going to have multiple lights so they can be recharging. Of course team make up and course length will determine if there is enough time to recharge a single lamp or if one would need a spare. A lot less worrisome to leave spare batteries at the neutral charging station instead of an expensive light.

    For commuting, a self-contained seems the ticket.
    Vanc, I have to agree with everything you just said. Doesn't make sense ( to me at least ) that someone doing a 24hr race series would want a bar light that is self-contained. I could understand wanting a self contained bar light "IF" it were possible to switch batteries in the field however. That said if I'm doing an epic ride I know that just the self-contained battery is not going to get me through the night but like I just said no problem if I can pop out the batteries and keep rolling. For the bars I see no issue with using a bike light with a separate battery pack. Much easier to have a spare battery pack waiting in the pit area if you're in a race.

    I too am interested in this new bar light that Outbound is offering. If it has the battery capacity to last two or more hours it should work for anyone who tends to only ride a couple hours after dark. Currently I'm using self contained lights for both bars and helmet ( of which I can switch out batteries if need be ) but if I were to plan an epic night ride ( or racing ) I'd likely use one of my dedicated bike lights with the larger 4 cell battery pack for the bars.

    The self contained light I use on the bars is a very nice multi-emitter torch that uses 21700 cells. It is small, uses only one cell and takes up very little room on the bars. That said on boost it can kick out close to 3000 lumen ( although the website claims 6800 lumen which is nonsense ). I generally only use it with the output set around 12-1500 lumen. I tried using a self-contained bike light that contains two side by side 18650's for MTB'n but the wider footprint takes up more room on the bars which I tend not to like. That said if it were using NW LED's I'd likely use it more.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Vanc, I have to agree with everything you just said. Doesn't make sense ( to me at least ) that someone doing a 24hr race series would want a bar light that is self-contained. I could understand wanting a self contained bar light "IF" it were possible to switch batteries in the field however. That said if I'm doing an epic ride I know that just the self-contained battery is not going to get me through the night but like I just said no problem if I can pop out the batteries and keep rolling. For the bars I see no issue with using a bike light with a separate battery pack. Much easier to have a spare battery pack waiting in the pit area if you're in a race.

    I too am interested in this new bar light that Outbound is offering. If it has the battery capacity to last two or more hours it should work for anyone who tends to only ride a couple hours after dark. Currently I'm using self contained lights for both bars and helmet ( of which I can switch out batteries if need be ) but if I were to plan an epic night ride ( or racing ) I'd likely use one of my dedicated bike lights with the larger 4 cell battery pack for the bars.

    The self contained light I use on the bars is a very nice multi-emitter torch that uses 21700 cells. It is small, uses only one cell and takes up very little room on the bars. That said on boost it can kick out close to 3000 lumen ( although the website claims 6800 lumen which is nonsense ). I generally only use it with the output set around 12-1500 lumen. I tried using a self-contained bike light that contains two side by side 18650's for MTB'n but the wider footprint takes up more room on the bars which I tend not to like. That said if it were using NW LED's I'd likely use it more.
    The light will probably be similar to the Light and Motion Taz series, a battery pack version of that is the Seca. Two lights that have been around for a long time which have never been popular here. The Outbound lights will probably look better in a parking lot but out in the trails with light reflecting back from the foliage and undergrowth its hard to say if one will be better than the other. Both of my Seca's and my Taz don't get used until the frost kills that stuff off, just too much side glare. Maybe the Outbound lights are different but my L&M lights need to be run with a helmet light due to not having enough light up high to see low hanging branches in the faster sections.

    The great thing about Ituo and Gloworm lights is you can adjust the light to suit the situation. This is the reason why I stopped buying L&M lights even though they've been the most durable and longest lasting lights I've owned. The oldest one started with hideous 6500k xpg emmitters and has survived a couple emitter swaps. It's currently 4000k 90cri and is perfect for snow and short range rail trail use. And not much else.

    I don't understand the interest in Outbound lights a lot of people have here. If the light pattern does not suit your conditions you have no options. If you don't like the lights tint or colour there are not many led options that will suit the specialized optics. Red is a very inefficient colour to make, the led's used in these lights are efficient partly because they make very little red. They're better than the old led's at keeping excessive blue under control but are mostly missing one of the three primary colours. Nothing is going to look right and everything is going to look washed out which is why most of us moved to neutral white a long time ago. Nowadays led's are getting efficient enough to move up the light quality ladder. Why go down when there's better options available?

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
    ....I don't understand the interest in Outbound lights a lot of people have here. If the light pattern does not suit your conditions you have no options. If you don't like the lights tint or colour there are not many led options that will suit the specialized optics. Red is a very inefficient colour to make, the led's used in these lights are efficient partly because they make very little red. They're better than the old led's at keeping excessive blue under control but are mostly missing one of the three primary colours. Nothing is going to look right and everything is going to look washed out which is why most of us moved to neutral white a long time ago. Nowadays led's are getting efficient enough to move up the light quality ladder. Why go down when there's better options available?
    The draw with the Outbound(s) are the custom optic arrangement. This new lamp being talked about is suppose to be a bar light. Just pointing that out since the discussion has morphed to include bar lamps.

    Personally I would always prefer a wider beam pattern for a bar lamp. That said you are correct to point out the problems with bar lamps using cool white LED's. If you routinely ride trails with a high degree of foliage lining the trails then there is going to be problems with close-in reflective feed-back glare if the emitters being used are "Cool white". This problem is lessened though if the LED's in the lamp are using a warmer tint somewhere in the 4000-4500K range. The new torch I use on the bars is using 4000K emitters. This torch has a wide beam pattern yet has decent throw as well. The trails I ride have lots of foliage lining the trails and feedback glare is not a problem.

    Apparently not everyone who rides MTB's at night wants NW LED's. Those of us who see the advantages of using NW emitters have to look far and wide to find someone who is selling bike lights with NW emitters nowadays. Thankfully there are some but they are increasingly becoming more harder to find. Can't begin to express how sad I was to find out that ITUO had bellied-up. The LED tint of their lamps were a perfect NW. I own one of their XP3's and wish to God I had bought one of their XP2's when they were selling off their old stock on Amazon. Could of had one for a song.

    The other night I took my road setup out for quick late night spin using my Fireflies E07 on the bars. While railing through a section of curvy paved MUP at speed I was able to see many ~2" long baby frogs just sitting in the middle of the path. The warm 4000K tint of my lamp enabled me to make out the detail in enough time to avoid hitting the frogs. Same thing has happened on a couple of my recent MTB trail rides as well. I think my record misses on any particular ride is 6-7 baby frogs. I think if I were using my cool white lamps the baby frogs would of just looked like a small rock.

  60. #60
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    I'm running 4000k bar lights as well. Two times I've spotted the white hairs of a skunk on the other side of a turn through undergrowth and have been able to get stopped ten feet from them. 5000k or higher I don't think I would have seen them. In the past I'd either stop within five feet or try blow past them and get out of range before they could turn, aim and spray. Its amazing how wild animals that depend on their sight and hearing for survival can't detect a mountain bike approaching them.

    I missed out on the Ituo clear out as well, managed to get two Wiz 1's but would have liked another xp3 so i could mod the first one. The plan was to mod the Wiz1's with xml3 emitters but they are taking forever to hit the shelves. Mouser has 6500 and 5700k in stock, currently they aren't much more efficient than an xml2 but are rated for an extra two amps.

    It's strange how few mountain bike lights are for sale right now, everything seems to be road oriented shaped reflector or a pos with a big brand name on it. Gloworm seems to be the last of the good stuff. I'm seeing a drop off in night riders as well even though the trailheads are packed full of cars during the daytime. It's mostly just me and the skunks these days. Currently running a heavily modified Kaidomain KD2 for a helmet light. Solid shelf with Noctigon mcpcb's, Ituo optics, 4c xpl hi's and an aluminum go pro adapter bolted to it to help keep it cool. It works ok but could use another emitter, I'm looking forward to the next evolution of lights.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
    It's strange how few mountain bike lights are for sale right now, everything seems to be road oriented shaped reflector or a pos with a big brand name on it. Gloworm seems to be the last of the good stuff. I'm seeing a drop off in night riders as well even though the trailheads are packed full of cars during the daytime. It's mostly just me and the skunks these days. Currently running a heavily modified Kaidomain KD2 for a helmet light. Solid shelf with Noctigon mcpcb's, Ituo optics, 4c xpl hi's and an aluminum go pro adapter bolted to it to help keep it cool. It works ok but could use another emitter, I'm looking forward to the next evolution of lights.
    Hardly anyone is doing a real road light except for the bigger name brands in the euro markets, or cheap lights that are using giant emitters in a snowshovel reflector to make a square beam pattern. All the euro brands really seem to have shifted their focus towards E-bikes, and it makes sense. FAR more e-bikes in Europe with customers who have deeper pockets. The charging circuit and the battery are the most expensive part of these builds, yet they are charging more for the same light, I love it. Just wish e-bikes were taking off faster here in the states, ha.

    All the other major brands haven't brought out anything new in the last 6-7 years since I think they kind of feel they couldn't do any better with battery tech, and stuff keeps selling. Niterider came out with the Dual 1800 a bit ago but nothing too groundbreaking there. I honestly was terrified starting this company 3 years ago that right before I launched my first light that one of the big name brands was going to come out with something crazy.

    To be fair after the LED revolution, it's been nothing but incremental evolution. Battery density is getting better and can thank the EV market for that. Will be some really cool power solutions in the next few years for sure. Hopefully self contained form factors can get smaller, and more energy dense external battery packs too.

    Aside from road lighting (lots to improve on there IMO), there isn't too much to improve on in the MTB side of things except to refine beam patterns to better distribute light, make more efficient optics (more simulation, inject mold prototypes, more expensive spark eroded tooling) and improve the thermal cooling. QC3.0 has helped improve charging times for self contained units, and once the very finicky PD gets under control that will also usher in a new evolutionary jump in charge times, but most likely will require proprietary or specialty wall chargers. I also believe that mounting systems can get better. More durable systems that are part of the bike rather than just cluttering the bars. But every rider also has a different idea of what they want, so also have to try and cater to a few different personalities.

    All in all.... I think the future is bright. Our sales have doubled every year without a big change in ad spend, so we see a lot more interest in night riding than usual actually. Especially once the pandemic hit. It's part of why we ran out of stock in July again. It's just that the future takes investment, along with trial and error.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arc View Post
    I don't understand the interest in Outbound lights a lot of people have here. If the light pattern does not suit your conditions you have no options. If you don't like the lights tint or colour there are not many led options that will suit the specialized optics.
    if you don't like the pattern, you probably won't buy it, since there are enough videos and beamshots of those lights available. I guess the fraction of users who modify their lights is just very small...

    Most people do not seem to care much about beam color. Since Outbound didn't respond to the beam tint issue, his new light will probably use the same tint as the exisiting lights. a bit a pity, since i agree that warmer tint is better offroad and the new XD-16 from Cree are at least on the data sheet avaialble in warmer tint and higher CRI values, of course then with less lumens, as you said



    Quote Originally Posted by Outbound View Post
    Hardly anyone is doing a real road light except for the bigger name brands in the euro markets, or cheap lights that are using giant emitters in a snowshovel reflector to make a square beam pattern. All the euro brands really seem to have shifted their focus towards E-bikes, and it makes sense. FAR more e-bikes in Europe with customers who have deeper pockets. The charging circuit and the battery are the most expensive part of these builds, yet they are charging more for the same light, I love it.
    a bit OT, anyway....
    i don't know which brands you thought off, when writing all of them are focusing on e-bike versions only and selling them at the same price tag as the battery versions. B&M offers for it's high end dipped beam light as either e-bike version (IQ-XE) and as battery version (IXON Space), Supernova does (with a lot of delay) the same (Mini Pro 25 and Mini Pro B54), and Lupine offers all high-end e-bike lights as battery versions as well (SL, SLF, SLX). In all of the said cases, the battery versions are sold at higher prices than the e-bike version...
    But you are right, the boom of e-bikes in germany pushed the light development a lot, and lights like Lupine (SL, SLF, SLX) and Supernova (M99 Series) would have never been developed otherwise. I think Outbound is probably the only company founded by someone with competence in optical design, neither Lupine nor Supernova do have these competencies in house (whilst B&M and others bigger players catering the mass market do have them in house).

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    Quote Originally Posted by biking_tg View Post

    Most people do not seem to care much about beam color. Since Outbound didn't respond to the beam tint issue, his new light will probably use the same tint as the exisiting lights. a bit a pity, since i agree that warmer tint is better offroad and the new XD-16 from Cree are at least on the data sheet avaialble in warmer tint and higher CRI values, of course then with less lumens, as you said
    Curious if you know how much output efficiency you typically lose by going from 5000K to 4000K with the same model emitter? My only experience with 4000K (90cri) is with an HL01 Astrolux (SST20) and the same light with a 5000K XP-L so it may be apples to oranges since the emitters are different. Comparing those two lights the 5000K model produced double the lumen output and had a very slight runtime advantage and if similar emitters have even close to that much of an efficiency drop it's easy to understand why most manufacturers shy away from using the warmer tints. Also curious if the warm tint emitters tend to run hotter since poorer efficiency usually results in the wasted energy being converted to additional heat? I do prefer 4500K solo off-road but have found it loses any advantage when riding with others who typically use the more common 6500K lights.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Curious if you know how much output efficiency you typically lose by going from 5000K to 4000K with the same model emitter?[...]
    Mole
    Well i just know the data sheet (for cree Xd16), and that tlists for both 4000k and 5000k the same binnings, so same efficiency. but probably the highest listed binning for 4000k might be harder to get.. If you go from 70 to 90 CRI the data sheet lists a drop in efficiency of 20-25%, irrespective of the CCT. (between the highest listed binning for 70CRI and the highest listed binning for 90 CRI there are 4 binning steps...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Extreme lights Endurance lighthead. Basically a C&B Seen 1900 3up but with 5000K XP-L's and no remote. I asked if the C&B Seen remotes would work but my contact didn't think it would (I'll try it anyway just in case!). Claimed 2100 lumens. They estimated about a week to ship it to me so hoping the heat breaks by then.
    Mole

    https://extreme-lights.com/collectio...icycle-light-2
    Unfortunately this ended up being a bust (sort of). It's not a bad light and has a couple of advantages (more efficient, more useful med mode level, wider beam) over the similar C&B Seen version, it's just not as good a helmet light (less throw) and costs almost double what the C&B Seen light does delivered. Deleting the remote and programming mode + its not as claimed 6500K tint are what kills this light for me. Not much needs to be said about the incorrect tint representation. Comparing the two lights UI program the preset levels seem identical when measuring current draw but in the programming mode on the C&B Seen light that's only the 80% level so actual maximum current draw is 1.71A where as the Extreme light shows 1.37A. The Extreme light ends up being more powerful at each preset level but the maximum lumen output ends up being almost identical because the programming mode (stepped ramping mode) allows the C&B Seen light to be pushed a little harder. XP-G's have more throw than XP-L's at the same lumen output level (and a narrower beam) so the C&B Seen light ends up with a max lux (throw) advantage that I find desiurable for a helmet light. So Extreme lights you need to bring back the remote and programming mode that your endurance lights used to have and put in actual 5000K emitters like you claim. Until then I'll be sending people to C&B Seen where they can get a better performing helmet light for less money.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Unfortunately this ended up being a bust (sort of). It's not a bad light and has a couple of advantages (more efficient, more useful med mode level, wider beam) over the similar C&B Seen version, it's just not as good a helmet light (less throw) and costs almost double what the C&B Seen light does delivered. Deleting the remote and programming mode + its not as claimed 6500K tint are what kills this light for me. Not much needs to be said about the incorrect tint representation....
    When I took a look at the link you provided I immediately thought, "Gemini Olympia clone"!

    I think I could of told you by just looking at the provided beam shot photos on the website that the lamp wasn't going to be a thrower. Now as to the beam tint representation; total misrepresentation if indeed like you said looks like something in the 6500K range. To me the beam photos on the website make the lamp look as if it is using NW 4500K emitters. Looks very warm. However the specs on the website gave me pause but only because they called the LED tint, "natural white light". When I read that I thought to myself," Natural White light"... Just what the heck is that suppose to mean.

    I have a Gemini Duo that is using 5000K emitters. These were originally advertised as NW when I was buying one back in the day. If you didn't know it was 5000K you would swear it was more like 6000K-6500K. Of course if you compare 5000K to 6500K side by side only then can you tell that one is indeed an every-so-slightly warmer tint. This is why I personally do not consider 5000K to be in the class of what should be called "Neutral white" emitters. Maybe call it something like "bright white".

    Now if these were using emitters in the 4500K range I think these would make for a half decent bar lamp although if they were, more than likely the throw would suffer even more. I own one of the Olympia's and I just never liked the beam tint or the beam pattern. That said the optics on the lamp you linked to looks very much like the optic that was used on the Olympia. Interestingly, Gemini no longer sells the Olympia. It's been replaced by a brighter version of the dual LED Duo.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    When I took a look at the link you provided I immediately thought, "Gemini Olympia clone"!

    I think I could of told you by just looking at the provided beam shot photos on the website that the lamp wasn't going to be a thrower. Now as to the beam tint representation; total misrepresentation if indeed like you said looks like something in the 6500K range. To me the beam photos on the website make the lamp look as if it is using NW 4500K emitters. Looks very warm. However the specs on the website gave me pause but only because they called the LED tint, "natural white light". When I read that I thought to myself," Natural White light"... Just what the heck is that suppose to mean.

    I have a Gemini Duo that is using 5000K emitters. These were originally advertised as NW when I was buying one back in the day. If you didn't know it was 5000K you would swear it was more like 6000K-6500K. Of course if you compare 5000K to 6500K side by side only then can you tell that one is indeed an every-so-slightly warmer tint. This is why I personally do not consider 5000K to be in the class of what should be called "Neutral white" emitters. Maybe call it something like "bright white".

    Now if these were using emitters in the 4500K range I think these would make for a half decent bar lamp although if they were, more than likely the throw would suffer even more. I own one of the Olympia's and I just never liked the beam tint or the beam pattern. That said the optics on the lamp you linked to looks very much like the optic that was used on the Olympia. Interestingly, Gemini no longer sells the Olympia. It's been replaced by a brighter version of the dual LED Duo.
    It actually is a very good thrower (about equal to the first long optic gloworm X2's set up s/s) its just not as good as the less expensive C&B Seen. Pretty sure if driven as hard as the C&B Seen it would out throw it and the newest version of Gloworm X2 and definitely the newest Gemini Duo and require far less current to do it. Potential is there for more lumens and throw or you could just run it as is and probably get 5 hrs. of high beam runtime out of a 6800mAh battery. Like I said it's not a bad light, just not as good as it could easily have been. I did see the natural white label in the description but asked and was specifically told 5000K which is why I'm a little miffed about the tint. I will say the purchase experience (customer service response very quick and shipped out right away) was far superior to the weeks I had to wait to get my light and to get any response from C&B Seen. They seemed pretty interested in what I thought of the light so maybe they'll change its specs. as I suggested. If they do that it will be well worth the $99 ($20 was shipping) I paid, but I'm not holding my breath! Time to go for a ride.
    Mole

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    It actually is a very good thrower (about equal to the first long optic gloworm X2's set up s/s) its just not as good as the less expensive C&B Seen. Pretty sure if driven as hard as the C&B Seen it would out throw it and the newest version of Gloworm X2 and definitely the newest Gemini Duo and require far less current to do it. Potential is there for more lumens and throw or you could just run it as is and probably get 5 hrs. of high beam runtime out of a 6800mAh battery. Like I said it's not a bad light, just not as good as it could easily have been. I did see the natural white label in the description but asked and was specifically told 5000K which is why I'm a little miffed about the tint. I will say the purchase experience (customer service response very quick and shipped out right away) was far superior to the weeks I had to wait to get my light and to get any response from C&B Seen. They seemed pretty interested in what I thought of the light so maybe they'll change its specs. as I suggested. If they do that it will be well worth the $99 ($20 was shipping) I paid, but I'm not holding my breath! Time to go for a ride.
    Mole
    Could be they figured if they drove it harder that it would overheat too easily and then have to step down ( which was exactly the problem with the Gemini Olympia ). Then again maybe under driven in order to provide longer run times with the battery it is using. (*shrug*) I'm surprised they showed interest in your opinion of their lights. Usually the manufacturers shrug off the negative comments and do what they think is in their best interest. Interestingly though that when the first Nightfighter BT-40S's came out that they sold out really fast. Even though they were just cheap Chinese made lights the fact that they were equipped with 4 very nice NW XP-G emitters had people buying these faster than they could make them. Not to mention if they could have included a better tighter spot optic ( quad optic in this case ) they might have even made for a decent helmet lamp. The current optic though was only really good enough for the bars.

    Got a nice road ride in last night after it finally stopped raining. The tropical storm that went through the east coast kept me off the bike for two days and since it dumped at least 5-6 inches of rain in my area it pretty much meant that I could forget trying to get a MTB ride in until at least this up coming weekend. Of course if the heat wave continues I'm still screwed. This has been one extremely long hot summer.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Could be they figured if they drove it harder that it would overheat too easily and then have to step down ( which was exactly the problem with the Gemini Olympia ). (*shrug*) I'm surprised they showed interest in your opinion of their lights. Usually the manufacturers shrug off the negative comments and do what they think is in their best interest. Interestingly though that when the first Nightfighter BT-40S's came out that they sold out really fast. Even though they were just cheap Chinese made lights the fact that they were equipped with 4 very nice NW XP-G emitters had people buying these faster than they could make them. Not to mention if they could have included a better tighter spot optic ( quad optic in this case ) they might have even made for a decent helmet lamp. The current optic though was only really good enough for the bars.
    I'm guessing at the current draw levels of either the the Extreme light or the C&B Seen that overheating shouldn't be a problem but haven't done any thermal testing yet. The one short ride I did with the Extreme light (bar mounted) I used high very little but light never got even close to being hot to the touch in 100F ride temps. The Olympia is actually slightly smaller and lighter (80 vs. 90 gram lighthead) but the same as a X2 weight wise. Current draw on my original version Olympia is 2.09A (1.37/1.71/2.62 - Extreme/C&B Seen/Gloworm X2) which is driven less hard than the model you had. I also took a pic. of the optics of the Olympia and Extreme lights and it does look like they're identical so emitters probably responsible for differences in performance characteristics. Probably won't do a separate thread on the Extreme light rather just some comments in the C&B Seen 3up thread since the lights are similar. Will be less critical of the light there since its not a helmet light thread.

    Then again maybe under driven in order to provide longer run times with the battery it is using.
    Could be possible, it is called their Endurance light and one of the things they seemed concerned with was my runtime measuremeents and the quality and capacity of the battery I would be using (since I only got the lighthead).
    Mole

    Better helmetlight ideas-007.jpg
    Last edited by MRMOLE; 4 Days Ago at 02:01 PM.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    I'm guessing at the current draw levels of either the the Extreme light or the C&B Seen that overheating shouldn't be a problem but haven't done any thermal testing yet.
    After 20 min. running in high in front of a fan in 82F ambient temp. the Extreme lightead registered a 108.5 max. temp. so runs pretty cool for this type of light and a long way from anything close to overheating.


    Pretty sure if driven as hard as the C&B Seen it would out throw it and the newest version of Gloworm X2 and definitely the newest Gemini Duo and require far less current to do it.
    I think my estimates may have been a little off here. I remeasured @ the highest preset level (identical current draw) and Extreme (XP-L's) showed around a 17% lumen advantage over the C&B Seen (XP-G's) but almost identical max. lux so those two lights and the X2 would probably end up equivalent in throw. While I believe the Extreme Endurance has the potential to be the best of these lights for helmet use speculating how it would have performed if Extreme hadn't deleted the remote and internal programming doesn't make it a reality so because of it's much lower current requirements compared to the X2 the C&B Seen best suits my needs here + is the lease expensive. This does make me think though, and using XP-L's or maybe something else would likely make my OP suggestion 3 up Alpha an even better idea.
    Mole

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