Dinotte 1200 with Beamshots- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Dinotte 1200 with Beamshots

    I just received my Dinotte 1200L today. It's probably one of the first shipped. They are still getting together some of the minor collateral. I took it for a quick ride and then ran some beamshots.

    This light throws a lot of light, is much brighter than my 600L, a wider beam and is very usable. I'm kind of a lumen freak so I always run my lights wide open. With this one, I tended to ride it at half intensity and found that to be bright enough (more than adequate) for most riding. Riding with it full on is fun just because you can.

    Batteries are the standard 4 cell Dinotte batteries. Run time should be about 2 hours for a full battery. I did not test this.

    Some changes to this light over Dinotte's previous lights - this is a 6 LED light compared to the 4 LEDs on the 800L and 3 on the 600L. It has a much wider beam than my other Dinottes. Other changes are the dual switch is gone - not sure how I feel about that - and replaced with a single, easy to press switch that cycles between high, med and low.

    Here are the beamshots. All taken on manual, Canon 1Dmk3, 24-105 at 32mm, f/8.0, ISO800, and 2s exposure. I used that so it looked pretty close to my eye. I also added below shots with the Dinotte 600L and 400L on high. I aimed the light how I ride with it, not for maximum throw. End of Driveway is about 70', trees are at about 100-110'

    1200L on High:


    1200L on Med


    1200L on Low


    600L on High


    400L on High


    Test image (no lights pretty dark)


    Here are some shots of the light itself:

    Rear - note button


    Front - note 6 LEDs


    Side - Note new handlebar/helmet mount. This is a new mount that works really well. It's fast to install, nothing remains on the bike. You can set it as tight or loose as you want. The light also will pivot side to side. This is a great mount, very simple and effective. I did not try it on my helmet.



    Impressions riding with this:

    I rode this tonight on my road bike. I tend to ride pretty fast, up hills and down through winding country roads filled with uneven spots and pot holes. Hazards come up pretty fast and you can drop a wheel into a hole easy enough during the day much less at night. Prior I had been using the 600L and felt the need to be careful and slower. I also (after the first frost) would use a 400L on my helmet to supplement and especially around the turns. This is a problem for me in the summer because the bugs key on the headlight and I get a lot of bugs in the face/eyes. With the 1200L, I don't have that problem and with it's excellent side spill, I don't really need the headlamp to see into corners as I did with the 600L. Flick it on high, and you have more than enough light for any descent. In fact, with the 400L, the 1200L is so bright that the 400L's beam is pretty much lost unless you look wa-a-a-ay out to the side.

    Anyhow, a short and sweet view of this. I apologize for the actual product pics being not to great, the min focus distance was about my arm length and I wanted to get this out there for people to look at.

    Bottom line: nice light, very bright. Works really well. This light works great by itself for high speed descents and all around riding even on medium.

    J.
    Last edited by JohnJ80; 09-15-2009 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice...

    Looks like a great new light Rob has put out. Thanks for taking the time to get beam shots. Pictures are always better, right?

  3. #3
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    This is a great review, thanks! So the 1200L wasn't a hoax after all ;-)
    How heavy is the lighthead? It seems to be too heavy for the helmet.
    But other than that, I guess Rob now has a "Betty killer" too... I kinda like the new mount, but wondering why no bigger battery available for those who need it.

    Beware on the roads though, this beam is now as bright as a car's high beam, and can seriously blind drivers.

  4. #4
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    John, Many thanks for the review of the 1200L. It is definitely one heck of a flood monster.
    I'm glad that you also compared it to the 600L ( which I have ) and the 400L . Not sure I would buy one though and I will explain: Way too much flood for my taste. Much of that light is going off into the woods. Not a problem if you are on a wide trail or fire road but on tight Single track with thick foliage, much of that light is going to be reflected right back at you unless you power down or tilt the light head down. Unfortunately, the easy tilt feature of the 600L is also gone. One of the things I liked about the 600L was that most of the light ( with standard optic ) is centered on the trail. To illustrate this I took your photo's and cropped them down to where most of the light needed for trails is usually expected. ( I hope you don't mind..) First Photo is the 1200L on high, the second is the 600L on high. Beyond a doubt the 1200L has a wider beam ( no surprise there ) but if you notice, the 600L seems to have a more intense center throw. Notice the darker shadow thrown behind the flowers by the 600L. The beam from the 1200L looks a little warmer than the 600L as well so maybe thats why the 600L looks a little more intense in the center. No doubt some people will like the warmer tint. I know I would but only if I could keep most of the light on the trail. Is there a choice of optics with this set-up?

    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    Tf.... I guess Rob now has a "Betty killer" too... I kinda like the new mount, but wondering why no bigger battery available for those who need it..
    Umm....I thought these were using Li- C size cells...maybe I was wrong..

    Photo #1 - 1200L on high
    photo #2 - 600L on high
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 09-15-2009 at 02:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    The 1200L does tilt easily. You just rotate it on the bar. It also has a swivel capability like the 600L does.

    The lighthead, per Rob, is slightly larger than the 800L as in a tiny amount. You would not notice the difference unless they were side by side.

    I would say that what these pictures don't show well, and that is due to the dynamic range of the camera, is that the center of the 1200L would actually be a bit brighter than the 600L. Also, I was holding the bike between photos and it looks like I didn't get the 600L aimed quite right. It is aimed a bit more down than the 1200L. The 400L was handheld because I use that on my helmet (or did).

    The 1200L does have a wider beam than the 600L. My 600L is the standard beam and tends to be rather narrow necessitating the 400L on the helmet to get light into turns etc...

    J.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    This is a great review, thanks! So the 1200L wasn't a hoax after all ;-)
    How heavy is the lighthead? It seems to be too heavy for the helmet.
    But other than that, I guess Rob now has a "Betty killer" too... I kinda like the new mount, but wondering why no bigger battery available for those who need it.

    Beware on the roads though, this beam is now as bright as a car's high beam, and can seriously blind drivers.
    It is definitely bright. The medium setting is great to ride with. I was on a bike path that is off the highway by about 30-40' from the edge of the shoulder. Two cars on the highway yelled out their windows about the brightness. So, I take that as a good thing.

    The new mount is great. I had it on pretty tight on my bars so that it didn't droop, but you could still move it if you had to. It also swivels.

    I'm not sure if it would be too heavy or not. I've used the 400L on the helmet with the small battery and I think it is less than that in weight. You wouldn't want to have this light AND the battery on your helmet however. I think it would be workable but many times this is an individual thing anyhow. One of my big reasons for this light is to get rid of the helmet light because of bugs during the summer (after the first freeze, not an issue).

    The runtime on the standard 4 cell battery is supposed to be 2 hours. There is a newer and better charger and I believe newer batteries have a slightly higher capacity. The new charger is supposed to top the battery off better too.

    J.

  7. #7
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    That appears to be the same mount used by my Seca 700. Which for me, is a big minus, because it didn't want to stay in position over the rough stuff, on-road or off-road, and tightening it enough to keep it in position has caused the rubber strap to begin cracking.

    Ironically enough, I disliked my Seca's mount enough that I grafted the Seca head onto a DiNotte 600L mount Hard to please everyone, isn't it.


  8. #8
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    You can't please everyone all the time. The old mount had it's advantages and disadvantages as well. This one is easier and less fooling around to install. Truthfully, either way it doesn't matter to me. I like them both.

    J.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    You can't please everyone all the time. The old mount had it's advantages and disadvantages as well. This one is easier and less fooling around to install. Truthfully, either way it doesn't matter to me. I like them both.
    I liked both too, until one type resulted in my headlight aiming directly at my front axle. I tried zip-tieing a piece of tacky rubber grip over the bar to give the rubber-strap mount more gription. But the DiNotte mount was a better solution for me. If I had a 1200L, I'd plunk it onto a 600L mount and call it done.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    John, Many thanks for the review of the 1200L. It is definitely one heck of a flood monster.
    I'm glad that you also compared it to the 600L ( which I have ) and the 400L . Not sure I would buy one though and I will explain: Way too much flood for my taste. Much of that light is going off into the woods. Not a problem if you are on a wide trail or fire road but on tight Single track with thick foliage, much of that light is going to be reflected right back at you unless you power down or tilt the light head down. Unfortunately, the easy tilt feature of the 600L is also gone. One of the things I liked about the 600L was that most of the light ( with standard optic ) is centered on the trail. To illustrate this I took your photo's and cropped them down to where most of the light needed for trails is usually expected. ( I hope you don't mind..) First Photo is the 1200L on high, the second is the 600L on high. Beyond a doubt the 1200L has a wider beam ( no surprise there ) but if you notice, the 600L seems to have a more intense center throw. Notice the darker shadow thrown behind the flowers by the 600L. The beam from the 1200L looks a little warmer than the 600L as well so maybe thats why the 600L looks a little more intense in the center. No doubt some people will like the warmer tint. I know I would but only if I could keep most of the light on the trail. Is there a choice of optics with this set-up?



    Umm....I thought these were using Li- C size cells...maybe I was wrong..

    Photo #1 - 1200L on high
    photo #2 - 600L on high
    I rode again with it tonight with this in mind paying closer attention.

    The photo is inaccurate vis a vis the dynamic range of the camera being 5-6 f-stops of light while your eye sees about 20. In riding, the spill on the light is considerably less bright. There is a brighter center of the beam that, if aimed out about 20-30' from the handlebars is about 3-4' wide and about 10-15' long. The light diminishes from that to the sides.

    I specifically rode down a bike path (I was on the road bike tonight) that is deep in the woods. The path was overgrown with branches over all but the middle of the 6' wide path. There was no glare or problem at all and it would be fine on a narrower trail. Worth a try, but I think it would be just fine.

    J.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    This is a great review, thanks! So the 1200L wasn't a hoax after all ;-)
    How heavy is the lighthead? It seems to be too heavy for the helmet.
    But other than that, I guess Rob now has a "Betty killer" too... I kinda like the new mount, but wondering why no bigger battery available for those who need it.

    Beware on the roads though, this beam is now as bright as a car's high beam, and can seriously blind drivers.
    I attached it to my helmet to see. It would be ok weight wise but you would need to use the long cord (included) and have the battery remote. I didn't spend anytime futzing with the mount which is curved underneath to mate with handlebars.

    J.

  12. #12
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    John, If you get a chance it would be nice to see some more beam shots. Preferably in a more open natural surrounding. If that's not doable than maybe one of those bike paths near you. Try to find an area where there is some open space away from the trail so we can get a better idea of the scope of the flood as well as the throw. Always useful too if you have some markers for distance reference. Also, try to use the camera settings that are generally used by others ( if your camera has manual settings ) I'm not quite sure what those settings are but I'm sure others will speak up if you need them. I know doing beam shots is a pain but right now you're the only one with one of these so I had to ask...
    What I said before about wide beams not being as useful....well...that's not exactly true ( of course ). When going around wide turns a beam pattern like that could be real useful. I just wish someone would design a light that had a led configuration that was switchable ( remote switch for wide illumination when needed ) or interchangeable ( easy switch out for optics for more or less flood ). Simply put....There are certain trails or areas that having a wide beam would be real useful and certain trails or areas where it wouldn't. Right now my own 1200 lumen bar lamp is my Dinotte 600L coupled with a P-7 torch. The combo does pretty well but *I doubt it has the sheer flood that the 1200L has. ( * It would make an interesting comparison though.. ) For most of my night rides though I generally only use the 600L bar mounted along with my helmet light ( HIDtech Lumen8R ). Unless I'm riding a place that has some high speed descents I generally leave the P-7 home.

  13. #13
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    I see your point - a light like the 600L would be great for narrow singletrack and then to be able to switch it into a 1200L for more open and higher speed descents/corners. That would be killer. There is an opportunity for the next innovation, I guess.

    I can probably do some more beam shots, but it won't be for a couple of days. Anyone have a fast link to exposure settings?

    Actually, the problem is going to be in different cameras more than the exposure. The dynamic range of cameras gets the funkiest in shadows. Unless you are using the same camera it's going to be difficult to compare precisely. Just from our conversation here and my experience in doing this quickly, it is obvious to me that the subtleties of the beam are really lost in most of these photographs. In other words, we can't really show the sensitive difference our eyes can see and that make a difference.

    The wider the beam pattern, the easier it is to see into sharper corners.

    J.

  14. #14
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    800 vs 1200

    I just purchased a 1200. I really enjoy the light, but there is a ton of spill from it. I can see 10 feet to the right and left. I'm not sure I need to when riding even the tightest single track. The beam pattern on the 600 seems to be tighter with less light loss peripherally. I'm wondering if any of you have tested the 800? I'm not giving the 1200 back:-) but would like to know if anyone has compared the 800 to the 1200. Like I said, it's a ton of light and I think some of it might be lost from the spill. Maybe the 800 is a tighter beam pattern? Photos? Anyone?

  15. #15
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    John, MTBR agreed exposure settings here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=485574

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty
    John, MTBR agreed exposure settings here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=485574
    what ISO? If ISO is assumed to be a constant, this is only about a half stop off - very close.

    f/8->f/4 is + 2 stops
    2 sec vs 6 seconds is -1.5 stops

    net of +0.5 stop.

    If ISO is 100, then this is -2 stops or about 1.5 stops different. Relatively close.

    J.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty
    John, MTBR agreed exposure settings here: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=485574
    I've done beamshots at MTBR's agreed settings before, and they came out far, far brighter than the scene actually looked to the human eye. If you're trying for an apples-to-apples comparison, shoot all the photos with the same camera and settings.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon
    I've done beamshots at MTBR's agreed settings before, and they came out far, far brighter than the scene actually looked to the human eye. If you're trying for an apples-to-apples comparison, shoot all the photos with the same camera and settings.
    I agree. Good idea to shoot a control photo as well (no lights).

    The other really big problem is the dynamic range and performance of the camera. Eyes see about 20 stops of light, cameras about 6. So that range from dark to light where our eyes would see 20 gradations (where each gradation is a doubling of the light), the camera has to squish that into 6 gradations. That means that when you look at the beam shots, the areas that we are most interested in - the periphery where it fades to dark are going to be the place that have the worst rendering of detail or correlation to actual beam quality.

    The other huge problem is that the vast majority - probably except for serious photographers, don't calibrate their displays. That means that how they see the picture on their monitor and how it shows on someone elses will have pretty large variations in both color and brightness. I do have a calibrated monitor and the calibration equipment, and I can tell you I learned that lesson the hard way.

    So, It's probably better if the MTBR settings are ignored (basically worthless anyway) and each set is shot with a control and then provided so it looks good to the eye by the shooter. All that effort at pretend precision is basically a waste of time. Just get it so it looks right to your eye.

    Incidentally, there are many equivalent exposure settings. So if I set f/4 and 6 seconds (presuming same ISO) that is identical in terms of exposure to f/5.6 at 12 seconds or f/8 at 24 seconds. Each change in f/stop to a larger number is a doubling of the light and is equivalent to making the shutter speed half as long.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    I agree. Good idea to shoot a control photo as well (no lights).

    The other really big problem is the dynamic range and performance of the camera. Eyes see about 20 stops of light, cameras about 6. So that range from dark to light where our eyes would see 20 gradations (where each gradation is a doubling of the light), the camera has to squish that into 6 gradations. That means that when you look at the beam shots, the areas that we are most interested in - the periphery where it fades to dark are going to be the place that have the worst rendering of detail or correlation to actual beam quality.

    The other huge problem is that the vast majority - probably except for serious photographers, don't calibrate their displays. That means that how they see the picture on their monitor and how it shows on someone elses will have pretty large variations in both color and brightness. I do have a calibrated monitor and the calibration equipment, and I can tell you I learned that lesson the hard way.

    So, It's probably better if the MTBR settings are ignored (basically worthless anyway) and each set is shot with a control and then provided so it looks good to the eye by the shooter. All that effort at pretend precision is basically a waste of time. Just get it so it looks right to your eye.

    Incidentally, there are many equivalent exposure settings. So if I set f/4 and 6 seconds (presuming same ISO) that is identical in terms of exposure to f/5.6 at 12 seconds or f/8 at 24 seconds. Each change in f/stop to a larger number is a doubling of the light and is equivalent to making the shutter speed half as long.
    Well said.

    I've also found that, due to the adaptability of human eyesight, raw "brighter" isn't necessarily better if the beam pattern doesn't lay the light down where you need it. For road riding, for example, I prefer a spot beam with less peripheral light. For off-roading, I like a floody beam because the bike's going to be aiming all over the place.

    Trying to pick out rocks, lumber and deer at range? Put most of the lumens way down the road. This photo's plagued with the usual camera sensor fall-off problem you described, but the speed-limit sign is about 400-500 feet away, and the beam is usable even farther than that:


  20. #20
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    The thing about the 1200L is that there is so much available light, you pretty much get both pieces. I've been riding it on the road lately at full speed down hills on roads that have a lot of issues. I'm much more comfortable than I was with the 600L and 400L on the helmet. The 1200L has good spill to see into the corners and it has a nice beam that goes far enough out with enough light that i can easily see stuff coming up the road. It's back to the issue of Quantity is a quality all onto it's own.

    As for Deer - that is a flood issue too. They typically hang out in the weeds at the side of the road and then come across. That's when you need to see them - when they are off the road. We get a lot of that here in MN.

    J.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    As for Deer - that is a flood issue too. They typically hang out in the weeds at the side of the road and then come across. That's when you need to see them - when they are off the road. We get a lot of that here in MN.
    When I'm riding that highway, I usually run a helmet light. Deer eyes are reflective, and a light that's close to one's eyes shows reflective stuff especially well And of course it can be aimed off into the fields, up the banks and into the ditches. In all fairness, the deer are seldom in the road, but one's all it takes on a 45mph descent.

    I don't have that problem and with it's excellent side spill, I don't really need the headlamp to see into corners as I did with the 600L. Flick it on high, and you have more than enough light for any descent.
    I'm guessing your favorite trails don't have switchbacks or gully S's, because a helmet light is handy for those no matter how much bar light you've got. I was up at Mt. Spokane and even with a 600L plus a Seca 700 on the bars, my helmet light still had work to do, to name a recent example.

    Thanks for the pics, btw, they're informative

  22. #22
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    When I'm on the trail, then a helmet light is essential. I also tend to ride a lot on the road, which is windy, poor pavement using my road bike. I used to use a helmet light for that, but the bugs in the summer make it impractical when they are attracted to the head light - and dangerous. For that, a big light on the bars seems to work the best.

    I think it is also fair to say, that for me where I ride on trails at night, the need for big lumens is less (tends to be wooded trails in the midwest).

    With the 1200L, though, it is has enough spill that there is much less need for a headlight than before. The beam is a nice wide beam that gets progressively "hotter" towards the center. Again, it's a case of quantity (of light) is a quality all it's own.

    I like it a lot. At night in the woods, I'd ride with a headlight too just for redundancy if nothing else. On the road, for redundancy I carry a 120 lumnen high tech little flashlight that could get me home if necessary.

    J.

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    dam you, I freakin love that light...........i have a 200/400/600/800L.............400 for helmet........although i am considering using the 600L.......but 400 is nice and lightweight and compact and doesn't stick up too much............i don't really like how high on the bar the 800 sits, and it seems the new 1200 mount puts it much closer to the bar...........

    and yes I too am a lumaholic............i don't do many rides over 2 hours, esp that start after dark.....you could always dim the 1200 to get more run time........if your gonna carry the extra weight of the 4c battery, you might as well get all the light you can out of it........

    i guess i'll have to order one pretty soon, unless i can talk myself out of it......lol

  24. #24
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    have you noticed a central yellowish color in the beam pattern for the 1200L, I just got mine and it is def noticeable, looking back at your beamshots I think I see it there as well......

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    I guess I hadn't noticed it. I do notice that it is not blue - a good thing. Seems to be a really neutral tone to me.

    I have several hundred miles on mine now and really like the 1200L. I don't use a head light anymore - don't need it. The 1200L completely overpowers the 400L beam. This works perfectly for me and I can ride full tilt boogie on the road through turns and everything at the same speeds and output I would during the day.

    I do wish Dinotte had stuck with their two button controls. I liked being able to go to the high beam without cycling through the other settings. But, not a big deal - the light head is small and trim and work really well for my purposes. The mount is great. I'm a very happy camper with this light.


    J.

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    Whats with everyone issue of the blue ?? I like the blue especially on wet muddy ground, my ownly issue with blue is my mates cheap HID is so blue it's unreal ( crap output though ) but around him my lights seem useless cause the blue screws with my eyes too much when he's around.

    1200L looks a nice beam pattern for bar useage to me, likely too many pennys for my likings.

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    I just got my1200 yesterday and tried it out last night.I saw the yellowish spot in the center of the beam too. I wondered if it was just me. The new mount seems a little slippery on my bar though. I like the extra wide beam the light throws.

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    I am a confessed lightaholic, and don't think I will be able to tolerate this yellow color in the hotspot.........think I will be returning this one, the 800l is still pretty dang bright.........will be taking a closer look at the wilma 5.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by suvowner
    ...will be taking a closer look at the wilma 5.......
    Wait a few weeks if you can, the Betty & Wilma will be upgraded, light output will increase significantly. The output of the new Wilma will be close to the 1200L... except it's not going to be that floody.
    Though you cannot beat the 1200L on price/performance. Lupines will always be more expensive... Is the yellow spot really that bad?

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    I don't see the yellow spot in mine that you guys are talking about. I just did a ride last night for over an hour and used in all three levels. I'd say it is a consistent color that I'd characterize as pretty neutral and consistent throughout the beam. I've found that I climb with it in low, flats are in medium and descents or turns (or just because) are in high. I don't need a headlight any more.

    J.

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    photo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Dinotte 1200 with Beamshots-photo-8-.jpg  


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    update.........

    sent this photo to dinotte, and they have made some changes to the light, and are sending me a replacement, which shipped today, with a return envelope for the original light.........

    hopefully the new one will not have the yellow color in the hotspot..........I'll post up a pic when I get it....


    another example though of their great customer service............

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    That's a good depiction and I now see what you are talking about. Mine does not have that yellow spot in the middle. Very even color all around.

    What a great light! I'm really happy with the 1200L, I ride in low when climbing, medium on the flat, and high downhill. But, I wonder what it would be like with two of them on the bars.....

    J.

  34. #34
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    Is the 1200L compatible with the 4-cell 600L battery packs?

  35. #35
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    Yes. But you should get the new charger as it tops them off better. It also just a better charger.

    J

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    That's a good depiction and I now see what you are talking about. Mine does not have that yellow spot in the middle. Very even color all around.

    What a great light! I'm really happy with the 1200L, I ride in low when climbing, medium on the flat, and high downhill. But, I wonder what it would be like with two of them on the bars.....

    J.

    would you mind posting up a beamshot of your light onto a white wall or garage like i have, they sent me another light that still has some yellow in the hotspot, but not as bad as what I have posted here......

  37. #37
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    I wrote to Dinotte about the yellow spot. They replied that "some want the yellow for bad weather/desert apps.. Iím guessing we got them mixed up.." I never saw any option on the website for optional beam colors. They offered to exchange mine but since the yellow is not that noticeable and the fact that we have really nasty rainy weather here I decided to just keep mine.
    Dinotte customer service is great,they gave me a very fast response and offered a solution. OveralI like this light.

  38. #38
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    That makes sense. I've been talking to them about the 1200L all summer as they geared up for shipping the first few. I'd believe that they would attend to their customers this way and to experiment/collaborate with their customers on application.

    It's a great light. Very happy with mine. If it would just stop raining now.....

    J.

  39. #39
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    that is interesting, i hadn't thought about the light color on off weather conditions, sort of like a built in fog light ??

    it really isn't very noticeable on offroad situations.......

  40. #40

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    hi
    I have a 1200L which is fabulous. I wonder if I ever would have noticed the slight yellowish tinge to the middle of the beam if I had not seen this posting. I didn't notice it while it was being used as a light to illuminate the road. It is worth sending it back because of this?
    BTW I am a recumbent rider and this is the only forum where I have seen any consistent discussion of bicycle lights. Any others out there?
    The candlepower forums get a bit too technical for me, and I am not about to start soldering to make my own lights.
    thanks

  41. #41
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    DiNotte 1200L + 400L + 400R - FWIW

    Dear All,

    Wanted to share my impressions of DiNotte LED lights. I recently got back into cycling after a 7 year hiatus. In order to ride into the night, I decided to buy a new LED lighting system. Based upon many of the posters here, I went with DiNotte:

    1 x 1200L (on bike)
    1 x 400L (on helmet with battery)
    1 x 400R (rear light on seatpost)

    I have had 5 rides (4 off-road, 1 road) using these lights thus far. My impressions:

    400L: The 400L is an excellent light. It is very lightweight, even with the 2 cell battery on my helmet. The 2 LEDs work well together, throwing a relatively tight spot anywhere your eyes look. Perfect for singletrack or the road. Specifically on the road, I was able to slowly move my head side to side, allowing cars to see me, preventing me from being roadkill.

    400R: The 400R red tail light is very bright, even at the 'medium' setting. The 'high' setting is probably overkill. BUT, just knowing you can be seen is well worth the $$.

    1200L: I have mixed feelings about the 1200L. I was kind of expecting to be blown away by the 1200 lumens of light from the six LEDs. Don't get me wrong, it is very bright on the 'high' setting, but like many posters after discussed, there is a significant amount of light spillage. I personally would have preferred harnessing all those lumens and focusing them into a more tighter beam, perhaps being 'thrown' a bit further. I haven't researched if the light can focused (like the 400L). If anyone has, please let me know. One other thing that might be a problem with my light only, I get a weird greenish/brownish tint in the center of the light beam. I asked my wife and she sees it too. I may call Rob and ask him if this is normal. If anyone else has this tint, please let me know. FWIW: This light is very bright and there is no doubt that you will be seen by anyone out on the open road.

    Overall: The 400L and 400R are definitely worth the $$$. I will likely keep the 1200L, but but would consider trading the 1200L for another 400L (yes, downgrade the amount of lumens).

    I did not test the published runtimes for the lithium-ion batteries. Will re-post impressions on reliability after another 20 or so rides.

    Happy Riding,

    Hootie

    Hootie.

  42. #42
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    I think the choice between flood and spot is a pretty personal one. In other words, I don't think there is one right answer and either for trail or road.

    I used to ride with a 400L on the helmet and a 600L on the bars. The 600L is much more of a spot than the 1200L is. In the spot, it was plenty of light, but you definitely needed the 400L to look into the corners. The problem with that setup is that it was difficult to ride at night before we had our first frost. The bugs were attracted to the helmet light.

    With the 1200L, the 400L is no longer needed. I'm quite happy with mine, it works great for road or trail riding. (I do most of my fall riding on the road). A slightly tighter beam would be fine but I'd like it to be not so much that I'd have to go back to a light on the helmet.

    How to evaluate how much spot vs flood? That's a tough one. I guess if I can ride full speed downhill (30+mph) and feel comfortable, see everything, then that is what works for me. With my spot like 600L I didn't feel safe doing that. With the 1200L, no problem.


    J.

  43. #43
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    I have to have a wide peripheral beam. That's why I like beam patterns like the Tesla and ARC. I cannot stand narrow beams- they make me feel like I'm in a light tunnel. While I like a long reach, a wide peripheral beam is great to provide transition for my eyes and make it more day-like. I also feel way more comfortable at speed. I prefer lights with reflectors and not just LED lenses, though a really wide beam with lenses that provide a wide spill would be fine.

  44. #44
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    1200L flood vs throw

    I had an 800L then upgraded to the 1200L.

    My view is that the throw of the 800L was more than sufficient. One section where I ride is a smooth straight downwhill fireroad where I can hit 35mph. I never outran the light at that speed. I keep my handlebar light pointed far ahead to maximize throw for this purpose, and use my helmet light to aim right where my eyes are looking.

    The 1200L doesn't seem to have much more throw than the 800L to my eyes, maybe just a bit. But does have a wider and brighter beam pattern which for me is perfect. I also run a 400L on the helmet and the 1200L generally washes it out, except when I'm looking to the side for some reason.

    BTW, as othrers have reported I was also able to update my 1200L after I complained about the yellow spot in the middle. They sent me a new one and I sent back the old one. The new 1200L still has a very slight yellow tinge but it is now over a smaller portion of the center spot.

  45. #45
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    I have a 400L. I'd appreciate it if owners of the 1200L and 400L could tell me how the 1200L on medium and low settings compare with the 400L on full power.

  46. #46
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    I used to use the 400L on my helmet with a 600L and they were about the same. I tried the 400L with the 1200L and it was pretty much lost in the 1200L or provided little benefit. I typically run the 1200L on medium and then put it to high for downhills. The 400L is much more of a spot where the 1200L has a much wider beam and much wider and just a lot more light.

    In general, the 400L and 600L are very similar. The 1200L is a ton more than either. These pictures don't show it properly because the camera only handles 5-6 f-stops of dynamic range whereas your eyes handle 20-21 f-stops of light. Especial more so when there is such a disparity in light levels such as the 1200L to the 400/600L.

    J.

  47. #47
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    I used to use the 400L on my helmet with a 600L and they were about the same. I tried the 400L with the 1200L and it was pretty much lost in the 1200L or provided little benefit. I typically run the 1200L on medium and then put it to high for downhills. The 400L is much more of a spot where the 1200L has a much wider beam and much wider and just a lot more light.

    In general, the 400L and 600L are very similar. The 1200L is a ton more than either. These pictures don't show it properly because the camera only handles 5-6 f-stops of dynamic range whereas your eyes handle 20-21 f-stops of light. Especial more so when there is such a disparity in light levels such as the 1200L to the 400/600L.

    J.

  48. #48
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    1200L compared to 400L

    deejayen:

    I happen to own a 1200L and a 400L. Both are great lights. Comparing the two lights is difficult at best because, IMO, the 1200L is more of a 'flood' light. It throws light in a relatively wide beam. On the other hand, the 400L is much more focused (again, IMO). IF I had to choose over, I would probably go with TWO 400L's. One would be on the bike and the other on my helmet. Again, to 'each his own' but this is what I would do. As it turns out, my Wife has the 1200L mounted on her mountain bike as well as one of Dinotte's ultra bright tailights. There is NO doubt she can be seen! I typically ride with the 400L on my helmet on an almost pristine fire road here is Southern California. The 400L is plenty for the simple fire road. If I were to venture off into the singletrack, then I would take a second light (another 400L) for redundancy and more lumens. Hope this helps!

    Hootie

  49. #49
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    Thanks for that, John. Are you saying that the 1200L is brighter than the 400L even when itís set to medium or low?

    Iíll need to try another ride or two with the 400. Iíve not used it much on the bike because itís a bit of a hassle changing between mounts. However, I donít remember it as being all that great when used as my only light on the handlebars on my road bike. Iíd like something better, but with the option of greater run times.

  50. #50
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    You know, I never checked. I think the 1200L on low will be dimmer than the spot of the 400L on high but I'm not sure. The 1200L has so much light that it is just as easy to punch it up to full brightness than to have two lights.

    J.

  51. #51
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    dinotte 1200L vs Niterider 1200

    I am interested in the comparison between these lights. Anyone do a side by side?

    Also I wonder how the magicshine prices will affect the prices on these really expensive lights?

  52. #52
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    I would expect that the magicshine pricing will put some downward pressure on them. There are differences in quality and construction so it's not an apples to apples thing.

    J

  53. #53
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    dinotte

    Hi guys. Just wondering if any of you are having issues with the "run time" of the 1200. My runtimes are right around an hour on high. Maybe less sometimes. The batteries that were "dying" were new. Kept in a cool dry place. The reason I know this about the lights is that the first use was in a 24 MTB race. After 50 min of an hour lap I would get the dreaded warning flash. Plus the mount for this light is horrible. I can't tell you how many times I had that light shining at my feet when I hit a bump, rut or hole. If you have any hints that also would be great. Not sure if the new quad is more efficient?

    Thanks,

    sEan

  54. #54
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    Crank the mount a notch tighter.

    Call Rob at Dinotte. You probably need the new "TI" charger and/or you have either an (a) old battery or (b) if new, one that is not at full capacity - happens sometime. Rob will take care of you.

    J.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mangobike1
    Hi guys. Just wondering if any of you are having issues with the "run time" of the 1200. My runtimes are right around an hour on high. Maybe less sometimes. The batteries that were "dying" were new. Kept in a cool dry place. The reason I know this about the lights is that the first use was in a 24 MTB race. After 50 min of an hour lap I would get the dreaded warning flash. Plus the mount for this light is horrible. I can't tell you how many times I had that light shining at my feet when I hit a bump, rut or hole. If you have any hints that also would be great. Not sure if the new quad is more efficient?

    Thanks,

    sEan
    Sounds like a faulty battery, unless you are using a 2 cell battery instead of the 4 cell. For a solution to the mount, see this thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...t=dinotte+1200
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  56. #56
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    Good point. The 1200 can not be used with 2 cell batteries (if that is the problem).

    j.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80
    The 1200 can not be used with 2 cell batteries.
    Why can't it?
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

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