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  1. #1
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    Daylight or Neutral White?

    What's best for trail riding? Daylight or neutral white bike lights?
    Thanks..

  2. #2
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    Uhhhhg, Pandoras box has been opened again. *ggg*

    The answer is simple: it depends.

    It depends on your age, eyesight, the ground surface mostly encountered.

    I am 53, my eyes used to be better than they are now, our home trails mostly cover woods, so the ground is covered with a thick layer of dry leafs. I prefer slower, rather technical riding on steep, narrow singletrails over "brute force" speeding.

    So, having tried both light tints, I prefer the warmer "neutral" variant by a wide margin. Dry leaves tend to show a silvery "glare" under cool white "daylight" tint, so i struggle to recognize small bumps and the "structure" of the surface. Even worse so on snow.

    Given identical conditions and power, cool white seems to be more, brighter, and, well, "cooler".

    Neutral looks warmer, darker in the first place, but much easier on the eyes, more useful on the trail - for me(!!)

    As always: YMMV.

  3. #3
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    Idea!

    With the same color rendering, neutral white is better for cycling than cool white.
    swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/experimenten/index_en.html

    For driving during fog, warm white is the best option.
    swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/index_en.html#koplampen

    Casual bike lights have around 6.800K (cold white) and CRI around 72.
    jtl.mytinysun.com/mediafiles/Sonstiges/Puefbericht%2BPB%2B328.pdf

    The few lamps with neutral or warm white mostly have better CRI too.
    lupine-shop.com/en/accessoires-and-parts/lupine-extras/1423/4900k-colour-temperature-optional
    out-led.de

    separating warm, neutral and cool white:
    http://www.cerutti-automazione.com/P...df'page=12

    light source color temperature in kelvin
    warm white below 3.300 K
    neutral white 3.3005.000 K
    daylight white (also cool white) above 5.000 K

  4. #4
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    I prefer neutral to warm tints.

    Something that's not mentioned too often is dust. We do group rides at night, and there's a lot of dust in the air if you're in the back of the group. Warmer tints make it much easier to see, similar to how fog lights do better in fog.

  5. #5
    RAKC Industries
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    Cool white/daylight are pretty much one in the same still.

    Reason is that most that call their emitters "daylight" havent bothered actually looking at daylight on a sunny day. Not near as pure white/blueish as LED manufacturers seem to think (obviously they spend too much time in doors lol)

    Neutral white is actually the closest to natural sunlight in appearance and color rendition (CRI).

    Cool white/daylight has glare from hell. Dust and especially any moisture becomes tiny mirrors basically. Aka glare. Sucks for anything but road on dry rides.

    As the bottom of the "daylight" range becomes more common, 5500-5700k and with high CRI, (they do exist as of this year finally) maybe manufacturers will finally catch up with current LEDs.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post

    As the bottom of the "daylight" range becomes more common, 5500-5700k and with high CRI, (they do exist as of this year finally) maybe manufacturers will finally catch up with current LEDs.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    I have a few 90+ CRI flashlights. It's shocking how much difference they can make. I'm seriously considering having my current emitters swapped out to hi CRI, even if that would result in a slight drop in output. I emailed Vinh Nguyen at skylumen, and this is something he could definitely do.

  7. #7
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    In flashlights there nice but they are too warm for my liking running at speed down the trail.

    There are an elite few that have that cri that arent insanely warm tints but small, lower output emitters(nichia for one). Have an edc triple with them, love it

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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  8. #8
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    CRI and beam pattern are the most important things. High CRI gives your eyes a larger spectrum of visible light. IE a 100 CRI will vs a 70 CRI light with the same output will let you "SEE" 30% more light (this is a generalisation). When your eyes have full access to the color spectrum they are under less strain.
    Beam pattern is huge! You have to have an even density of light with no hot spots. Any variation will make your eyes over compensate and the total brightness will effectively be lower.
    Color is personal, but I like 3k-4k range. Any higher and it washes out the colors and strains my eyes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    CRI and beam pattern are the most important things. High CRI gives your eyes a larger spectrum of visible light. IE a 100 CRI will vs a 70 CRI light with the same output will let you "SEE" 30% more light (this is a generalisation). When your eyes have full access to the color spectrum they are under less strain.
    Beam pattern is huge! You have to have an even density of light with no hot spots. Any variation will make your eyes over compensate and the total brightness will effectively be lower.
    Color is personal, but I like 3k-4k range. Any higher and it washes out the colors and strains my eyes.
    You want the focus of a "hot spot" in something like a helmet light if your riding needs you to see at range. Smoothish transition is helpful but at least where I ride, too much light to the sides and even warm light gets some glare (moisture on plants etc)

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    In flashlights there nice but they are too warm for my liking running at speed down the trail.

    There are an elite few that have that cri that arent insanely warm tints but small, lower output emitters(nichia for one). Have an edc triple with them, love it

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Yes, the nichia LEDs are what I was referring to. I have some lights with those, and while the output isn't that impressive, the improved CRI is very noticeable.

    My main bike light has 5 cree LEDs and has a large external battery pack. I think I could have the cree LEDs swapped out for hi CRI Nichia, and still have plenty of output.

  11. #11
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    Higher CRI is more useful when you have more total luminous output to work with. That's because the warmer tint is not as noticeable with higher outputs. If I use a 600 lumen torch that has emitter temps below 4000K the output is going to look noticeably yellowish. Now if the output on that same torch is say, 1500 lumen than in use it doesn't look as yellow and begins to look more natural.

    Anyway, that's why when it comes to most mtb lights I prefer a tint in the 4500-4700K range. At those temps you get some of the benefits of NW ( seeing colors better, less glare ) and some of the brightness of the cooler emitters. NW is a compromise that works best when using limited output. That's why they are so popular on bike lights.

  12. #12
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    You want the focus of a "hot spot" in something like a helmet light if your riding needs you to see at range. Smoothish transition is helpful but at least where I ride, too much light to the sides and even warm light gets some glare (moisture on plants etc)

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Agreed that helmet lights should have a more focused beam. I still want an even spread of light in that focused beam.
    Bars I like more of a flood. I'm running 3300 on the bars in flood and 1300 on the helmet in spot. Focus is lumen dependent.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryarroyo View Post
    What's best for trail riding? Daylight or neutral white bike lights?
    Thanks..
    My old eyes like warmer better.

  14. #14
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    I have a set of each but my primary are cool white and I have no issues charging hard with them. Given the choice and some time on my backups that are neutral white, I do think that is a better tint for offroad riding but again, no issues with the other.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  15. #15
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    I prefer daylight (6000K-6200K)




    (but can build using anything )


    ****

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    I have a set of each but my primary are cool white and I have no issues charging hard with them. Given the choice and some time on my backups that are neutral white, I do think that is a better tint for offroad riding but again, no issues with the other.
    Really, it's a matter of personal choice based on one's own eyes. I rode for years using the cooler tints and never paid it any mind. Once I saw what using a good NW LED was like I started thinking it might be interesting to actual have bike lights that were built using NW emitters. Thankfully, that became a reality and like myself others were seeing the same thing.

    The NW emitters are more useful on terrain that is "loomy" and filled with ruts, roots and rock outcroppings. The warmer tint helps bring out the trail details and is most useful if the trails you ride tend to require a slower pace.

    The cooler tints still have their place for MTB'ing but a lot depends on the trails you ride and the fitness level of the rider. Cooler tints are likely better when riding smoother trails at speed. Cooler tints are brighter and can help you see farther but like all bike lights a lot of what you see depends on the type of optics and beam patterns being used as well.

  17. #17
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    Our current car has LED headlights that are supposed to be daylight. Can I see a massive improvement over the old lights?

    No.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    I prefer daylight (6000K-6200K)




    (but can build using anything )


    ****
    Nice video!!!

    Were the lights used in this video built around your modded Regina reflector?
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Our current car has LED headlights that are supposed to be daylight. Can I see a massive improvement over the old lights?

    No.
    As a road professional I see a lot of cars at night. Many vehicles I see with LED lamps absolutely suck. When I see one of the ones that suck passing me I shake my head wondering how the people driving can see. On the other hand I see others that absolutely blow my mind they are so bright. Some of the brightest are on the Cadillac's and some of the Acura's. Not all car LED lamps are the same; whether in brightness or in lamp design.

    Right now my work vehicle is a 2017 Subaru Forester. Not sure if it's got LED headlights but I think it might. I would rate them as "normal" but better than typical halogens. Still, I get people blink their lights at me from time to time when I'm just using the low beams. I'm just glad that the low beams let me see deer before it's too late.

  20. #20
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    Idea! Irritation caused by bicycle- and other lamps (by W.Scholten (Netherlands))

    There's a interesting article about irritation by lamps:
    swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/irritant/index_en.html

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
    There's a interesting article about irritation by lamps:
    swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/irritant/index_en.html
    Seems like more of a rant than an article.
    Negative rep, please.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Nice video!!!

    Were the lights used in this video built around your modded Regina reflector?

    Yep, 2x Cree XM-L2 w/LFlex driver on the bars and 2x Cree XP-L High Intensity w/LFlex driver on the helmet both with Ledil Regina reflectors (shortened).


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  23. #23
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    I'll tell you what works best for me


    1) on bars, a whiter led, to light up the trail and roots and rocks
    and produce sharp shadows (5500K~)

    2) on the noggin, a high CRI (4500K~)

    this contrast in lighting allows me to see everything, but sharpens the
    surface features and the softer noggin light doesn't wash out everything
    straight ahead or above, or to the sides.

    I believe it is the ultimate, to have two different color temps
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    ....... 2x Cree XP-L High Intensity w/LFlex driver on the helmet both with Ledil Regina reflectors (shortened).
    Hey, that is an interesting sounding combination. The XPL-HI makes the nicest beam I've used so far, with optics, but have not done a reflector with them yet.
    GoPro adapters for bike lights http://www.pacifier.com/~kevinb/index.html

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