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  1. #1
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    Luminous DIY eva-lution

    Any reviews out there on the Luminous DIY Eva-Lution 750? Looks like a pretty good deal for quality light... couldn't find much searching the boards. Thanks in advance...

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    Little pricey considering you still assemble it. Similar housing and parts kits sold here are much less. For what they charge, I'll stick with Dinotte or my own inventions. The Dinotte models look better IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Little pricey considering you still assemble it. Similar housing and parts kits sold here are much less. For what they charge, I'll stick with Dinotte or my own inventions. The Dinotte models look better IMO.
    Thanks emtnate. What other housing/parts kits are you referring to?

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    http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...t=38425&cat=27
    look for user deesta and the dstar kits.

    of course the ones you linked are here too:
    http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...?product=38124

  5. #5
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well A light is more than the price

    Quote Originally Posted by tweezerGlint
    Any reviews out there on the Luminous DIY Eva-Lution 750? Looks like a pretty good deal for quality light... couldn't find much searching the boards. Thanks in advance...
    Hi,
    First, let me say hello, and thank you for asking. I’ll try to keep this short

    Luminous DIY is pretty new. It will take some time before there is an MTBR following. Scar and a few others have been making their little lights for a while now, and they definitely have a following.

    If you haven’t already, read about us in the most recent issue of Mountain Bike Action Magazine, “Lighting your own way” You should do so, then ask yourself, do the other DIY kit makers have the support of a mainstream mountain bike publication? Hmmm ..wonder why?

    Before gravitating to the price, or falling for someone pushing you away who probably doesn’t know anything about the product (or perhaps has other motives ...not calling emtnate out, just generally stating), I would ask you to consider what you're actually getting in a Luminous DIY kit.

    HIGH QUALITY!

    Most importantly you're getting the actual Lumens you think you’re getting because Luminous DIY lights run cool. NO other DIY kit on this entire MTBR forum has taken a real world thermal solution into account, and none can stand behind the light quality for this reason (they may claim w/o the facts). Furthermore, if I was like the other guys, I would say my Eva makes 960 Lumens instead of the more accurate 750. I have maxed out what this chip can safely make.

    You’re also getting a well written step-by-step instruction that guides you through the whole DIY process; some might even consider building a light fun. Call me crazy!

    You’re getting a light designed by a fully certified engineer. Why this matters is you get a 1st class design layout and properly designed components. Bare witness to the thermal design work, the proofing out and extensive testing of each design; product polish such as custom molded plastic holders, upgradeable led options, user replaceable Li-Ion cells, the precision form and fit parts and hardware. Can I also emphasize that ALL the metal parts in the kit are made on a precision computer control 3 axis milling machine; the parts are flawless. They are not hack sawed and filed out of SQ tubing like many other diy lights.

    But I digress from my rant, and conclude by saying in my opinion you are getting more than what you are paying for with a Luminous DIY kit. My marketing friends call me stupid and say I should be designing and selling assembled lights for the upwards of $500.

    Send me a PM if you like, we can chat more offline.

    Thanks for asking ~ Chris Pratt

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    Didn't intend to call your product out quite like that. You're right, I know nothing about your lights, just comparing them to others offered like any other consumer.

    For a DIY kit however, I'd be more interested in a CNCed housing option and picking my own hardware to go inside. YMMV.

    edit: seems like you're in a different market than the links I provided. Comparing your lights to the more premium brands makes your price a steal.

    I'm still happy with my hacksawed conduit tubing lights, but they do get extremely hot.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    Didn't intend to call your product out quite like that. You're right, I know nothing about your lights, just comparing them to others offered like any other consumer.

    For a DIY kit however, I'd be more interested in a CNCed housing option and picking my own hardware to go inside. YMMV.

    edit: seems like you're in a different market than the links I provided. Comparing your lights to the more premium brands makes your price a steal.

    I'm still happy with my hacksawed conduit tubing lights, but they do get extremely hot. ;)
    No worries. No offense taken, and none meant at you so hopefully doesn't come across like that. MTBR is a place for sharing ideas, so it's just part of the process. If anything I thank you for extracting the passion from me!

    I have so many countless hours into the entire project, spread out over a year solid now, I couldn't begin to recoup them @ my asking price, and not trying to; so it just gets me going when price becomes the only object; all other details put aside like it adds nothing worth while, and especially when the price is still market wise low.

    Luminous DIY started here on MTBR in the forums, researching and designing replacements for my two halogen lights I'd used for so many years. Many many lights later has become something I can confidently share with others, knowing it truly is a good product.

    So I think I have a DIY grassroots product that has some serious refinement behind it; I like to think performance wise it rivals & even humbles many of the mainstream uber expensive lights (I know I have made a few people I ride with VERY uncomfortable about talking about their fancy lights …how much? always gets a few ummm ahhh umms. I usually don't mention brightness at all). It definitely lacks in the bells and whistles, but never was intended to have those in the first place. Keep it DIY at heart right!

    Here ya on the housing, but that's where the costs are, especially when you CNC them and then start working the design to further refine it. A fully functioning kit isn't that much more of an investment for me, plus I know not everyone gets a kick out of spending countless hours rounding up components and not to mention there still is real bucks on all those little components (it always adds up fast, especially shipping and the trial and error stuff).

    Generally the people who have bought my kits like the DIY concept, want to get a cutting edge product at a good price, and still want to have a polished looking light that is better than they could have made from the ground up all by themselves. That’s what they get. I’ll even put them together for those who just want the middle statement in the above.

    lol ...off my soap box now ~C

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    This is by far the most informative and most comprehensive webpage I've ever seen regarding bike lighting. So even if someone is not interested in the build kits, the information alone is worth a visit. Well done!

    ps. even though I don't agree with some things you say. The "dark ring" for example is something that I very much like in the case of a bar light, because of the increased contrast it adds to the illumination. But YMMV, and at least you take the effort to explain these things to the unexperienced ;-)

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    SDnative, I have some questions and some comments both about your web site and the light kits you are selling. First, I'd like to start off saying that I am very impressed with your web site. It is very comprehensive and well thought out, kudos on that part. Some comments about the X-5 ( MC-E & R-2 (?) combo ) helmet light. A couple weeks ago I was messing around with my MC-E torch. For a lark I pulled out the old R-2 torch ( very tight beam ) and combined the two beams. The result was absolutely magnificent, more throw with a brighter center spot. As I looked on I couldn't help but wish that someone would offer a light with such a configuration. Now I have stumbled upon your X-5 with that exact configuration. I have to admit I am very impressed. It looks like a solid system. Does the X-5 MC-E use a Ledil Iris optic? What is the weight of just the light head, switch and helmet mount together ( just the stuff that sits on the helmet ). If I didn't already own a 900+lumen helmet light I would seriously consider buying one of these. They are a little pricey considering that these are kits. If the price for an X-5 kit was more near $300 ( USD ) I would be highly tempted to buy one of these. Your web site mentions possible future up-grades. It's quite possible that when the Cree XP-G's become availble that the R-2 (?) you are currently using will be easy to switch out with the XP-G for another 110lm....which would be sweet. Anyway, I posted this to give you some feedback about your products and to let you know that they are drawing attention..

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok
    This is by far the most informative and most comprehensive webpage I've ever seen regarding bike lighting. So even if someone is not interested in the build kits, the information alone is worth a visit. Well done!

    ps. even though I don't agree with some things you say. The "dark ring" for example is something that I very much like in the case of a bar light, because of the increased contrast it adds to the illumination. But YMMV, and at least you take the effort to explain these things to the unexperienced ;-)
    First thank you! I'm glad you appreciate the content and it sounds you took the time to read around as well. I can say you are spot on with it being worth the visit, so you reading this go take the time to learn a bit more about night riding! You couldn't imagine how long content like that takes to create; all from ground zero, absolutely no cut and paste there. A tad overboard one might say...but there was a need for it.

    I hate dark rings, as it is super distracting to your peripheral eyesight, and tends to excessively and immediately darken the trail when you are turning around a corner. It’s like someone just covers your eyes; hate it. But ...never did until I experience a system entirely w/o it though.

    Thanks again!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    SDnative, I have some questions and some comments .....
    Cat-man-do,
    Sorry, laggin on that answer. Well respected name on MTBR, and good contributor on the forum so want to answer in more than a 1 liner. Got super busy making making light kits ... just need 30 free minutes ....till then, I will say, YES

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do
    SDnative…First, I'd like to start off saying that I am very impressed with your web site. It is very comprehensive and well thought out, kudos….

    Some comments about the X-5 ( MC-E & R-2 (?) combo ) helmet light. A couple weeks ago I was messing around with my MC-E torch. For a lark I pulled out the old R-2 torch ( very tight beam ) and combined the two beams. The result was absolutely magnificent, more throw with a brighter center spot. As I looked on I couldn't help but wish that someone would offer a light with such a configuration. Now I have stumbled upon your X-5 with that exact configuration. I have to admit I am very impressed. It looks like a solid system….

    Does the X-5 MC-E use a Ledil Iris optic? What is the weight of just the light head, switch and helmet mount together ( just the stuff that sits on the helmet ). If I didn't already own a 900+lumen helmet light I would seriously consider buying one of these….

    It's quite possible that when the Cree XP-G's become availble that the R-2 (?) you are currently using will be easy to switch out with the XP-G for another 110lm....which would be sweet
    First, apologize for lagging so much. I have been totally swamped by kit orders; both lights and holders. Unfortunately, I dropped the forums entirely for 2+ weeks, as I needed to focus on customers and turning product. Sunday now so have a few minutes to breath

    Your expression “The result was absolutely magnificent” was spot on, and will use it to paraphrase my own impressions back when I made the first x5 proto and posted it on DIY MTBR. I let the thread go dead because I knew I had something very sellable there and the cooling was 100% addressed which was something that is till this day very unique on DIY MTBR. Lots of neat lights get made and posted, but almost none address the importance of cooling. The X-5 is exactly as you put it, “magnificent”, because of that combo beam you also discovered, and it stays cool so assures peak performance. There is no need for the tight beamed but oversized IRIS, as effectively I have found a combined lens work around that is a more compact solution. You called my led combo otherwise; the flood prone MCE, with a super tight lens XRE. The combo is an amazing beam that I am continually impressed with each and every ride. I had to keep the physical size for good heat dissipation though, otherwise would have gone w/ a tiny enclosure and small optics.

    I stand by my asking price, as the parts are all CNC quality and precision, the design finish is top notch, and its even engineered as opposed to just thrown together. Attention to detail takes time so therefore costs $.

    The XPG will be adaptable, and there will be a shift once lens tech catches up. Till then, will roll along with what works well. Luminous lights will be a LOT brighter in the future …‘when’ is the only question left to answer, and that is an entirely out-of-my-control situation at the moment.

    The X5 light headlamp itself is approx 145 grams (this is off a postal office digital OZ scale, so I say approx here). It’s lighter than the pictures make it appear, as the physical size is a tad on the big side, but the parts are very thin aluminum. The EVA comes in at just over 100 grams. They are both very very light in your hand, so I think those numbers are pretty accurate if I compare and contrast against known weight.

    Your other comments and praise are greatly appreciated!

  13. #13
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    the cooling was 100% addressed which was something that is till this day very unique on DIY MTBR. Lots of neat lights get made and posted, but almost none address the importance of cooling. The X-5 is exactly as you put it, “magnificent”, because of that combo beam you also discovered, and it stays cool so assures peak performance.
    sdnative, you may wish to look at posts 37 & above, not that I'm selling them, just pointing out that others do care about thermal management.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=537193

  14. #14
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    Yeti...That environmental meter you have has me drooling. I checked out the web site you listed but I don't see a price list on any of the models. The one you showed ( entry level ? )..
    how much $$$ for one of these? ( it's okay to give it to me in U.K.lbs, I can do the converson.. )

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    Cat, the meter is meant to go for around £150 but with a lot of companies going under you can get them for a lot less. It's not that entry level as it has passed the british standerd for use in the work place.(health & safety)

    It's just another handy tool to have but man does it eat batteries,

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetibetty
    sdnative, you may wish to look at posts 37 & above, not that I'm selling them, just pointing out that others do care about thermal management.
    https://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-do-yourself/maximum-safe-temperature-housing-537193.html
    Yetti cares ...and did something about it what looks like a scientific logical process. 1 well earned check mark

    Honestly, it is great to see some of the work you did there. Trying different heat sinks, TC's, I can 100% relate! I was watching that thread at first but lost interest after reading a few of the first posts as the rubber wasn't meeting the road from an engineering standpoint, and I’m beyond that level anyway....

    I'm lucky as I get to do some serious computer test run-ups before commiting to hardware. I can try out different thermal paths, more fins, less fins, big air scoop, little air scoop... then make the proto with the thermal design almost 100% done. I used to just go for it, but never quite got all the way there. Luminous DIY lights are designed using a process.

    Will do a search for a few more good yetti threads. Keep it up.

    PS, I have seen many other threads about heat, and caring about it, just nothing done (completely) to address the watts I’ve seen bolted onto DIY lights. Anyone can slap a crap load of LEDs to a block metal and awe a crowd for a minute or two as they had just enough time to snap off an impressive beam shot. People just don't know better, and think there's nothing more too it than that

    Who has the lumen staying power though? …not many I know this as I've done the design work, know where I stand in the cooling arena, so know I can judge accordingly.



    Big scoop vs little scoop flow analysis


    Temp of air directed by small scoop


    Top view of same


    Looking at fins ...no added benefit


    Flow velocity around headlamp explaining cap fin observation. (red fast, blue slow)

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    sdnative, first of all, thanks for the very good website - lots of straightforward useful information. And I really like your design and component selection…..very nice work putting together what looks like an excellent product. I'm interested in buying a combo package (X5 + Eva-lution) but have a few questions:

    1. I have the skills to put together the kits, but not a whole lot of spare time (two toddlers running around the house). What do you estimate assembly time is for someone who has never built a light before but is comfortable with tinkering and can solder well?

    2. Is there a gasket between the two halves of the housing? I realize a gasket may have some impact on thermal conductivity to the heatsink, but if there is no gasket how do you stop dust or moisture from getting in the housing? I ride in SoCal and Oregon, so dust and moisture are factors.

    3. The only element of your design I’m not too excited about is the switch and battery connector…..to this lighting newbie the switch looks a bit large and somewhat cumbersome to mount, and neither the switch or plug look like they would do well in wet operating conditions. Are my concerns overblown?

    Thanks again.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorillafeet
    sdnative, first of all, thanks for the very good website - lots of straightforward useful information. And I really like your design and component selection…..very nice work putting together what looks like an excellent product. I'm interested in buying a combo package (X5 + Eva-lution) but have a few questions:

    1. I have the skills to put together the kits, but not a whole lot of spare time (two toddlers running around the house). What do you estimate assembly time is for someone who has never built a light before but is comfortable with tinkering and can solder well?

    2. Is there a gasket between the two halves of the housing? I realize a gasket may have some impact on thermal conductivity to the heatsink, but if there is no gasket how do you stop dust or moisture from getting in the housing? I ride in SoCal and Oregon, so dust and moisture are factors.

    3. The only element of your design I’m not too excited about is the switch and battery connector…..to this lighting newbie the switch looks a bit large and somewhat cumbersome to mount, and neither the switch or plug look like they would do well in wet operating conditions. Are my concerns overblown?

    Thanks again.
    Thanks for asking!

    1) 1st light will be the learning curve, 2nd one goes fast. If you have a very clean area to work in, and you have read the instructions before starting. I can say a conservative 1 hour per max if you factor in some learning curve and working at normal careful speed.

    2) There is such a tight gap between halves that normally no light even escapes. A very thin film of thermal grease around the edge (included in kit) will 100% seal it. In San Diego where I ride it is very dusty, and I frequent small full speed stream crossings. Haven't had a problem with any light. Some strategic silicone application can make the light 100% submergeable too if you wanted to go that route.

    3) Switch box is actually very small, has a low height profile, and is out of the way for shifting etc, so don't worry too much there. Looks bigger than it is. It has a neoprene backing so it conforms and locks to whatever it is mounted against, curved handlebar included. The big button actually makes it easier to press while wearing gloves. The drive circuits that are contained within it are also very sealed so this addresses your previous concerns.

    The connector has an o-ring to keep out moisture and dust. The connection is very firm and has a tight tolerance, so it's not likely to create problems.

    But lets just say that even if you did have problems and needed help with any of the above, I'd be there to help. So don't begin to think you're on your own after purchase

    Best ~Chris

  19. #19
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    X5 user comments

    FYI, Some comments from an X5 owner can be found here >>

    Come on MTBR owners!!

    I know you guys buy luminousdiy kits. You send me emails telling me how much you like them.

    Let some MTBR readers know what you think, and lets stop people from buying those overpriced low performance mainstream lights.

    High performance DIY is where it's at

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    I have to jump in here and say how much I like the light and dealing with Chris. I screwed up the assemble due to some sloppy solder work and this guy corrected the problem for me FAST. If you are having any doubts about the honesty and integrity of this guy forget about it. He responded fast to my questions and he worked extra hard to correct the problem when he really didn't have to do anything (again the problem was caused by ME). Don't think you are just getting a bunch of parts and you are left on your own, that is not the case.

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    I don't visit this site much but thought I'd see what the latest comments were on the LuminousDIY lights. First, let me say I don't think anyone should be comparing them to other DIY kits who hasn't actually used, touched, or even seen one in person. That's like comparing pictures of items on eBay. Pictures just don't tell the whole story.

    I bought a NiteRider Classic several years ago, when that was the best light out there. With the technology advances recently, I decided to upgrade to an LED light. After looking at the prices for good ones, I realized I couldn't stomach paying near $700 for a light and went about finding parts online to build one. I was sucessful to some extent and had a pretty decent light made from a gutted cheapo for under $100. The only issue I had with it was heat dissipation from the 750 lu LED and no on/off switch. Even though I installed a finned heat sink, it melted the lens eventually. I built another one with a bigger heat sink and more cooling air flow around it. It works great and I still use it. Then I happened to ride with Chris one night (LuminousDIY) and I couldn't even tell if my light was on when he was near me. His lights are not your typical DIY kind of stuff. He told me about the website and I was floored when I saw all the research and engineering he put into it. (No wonder his lights killed mine!)

    I bought the EVA helmet light kit from him and put it together in less than an hour. It was easy and pretty straight forward. The quality of construction and the design is outstanding. Although I am still proud of the light I came up with myself, this one drowns it out and is lightyears ahead in terms of quality and durability.

    Having a bar light and helmet light is definitely the way to go. I didn't realize what I had been missing. I plan to get another light from him to replace my home-made bar light eventually. I want to say to the doubters here that there is no question that his lights are comparable to the best out there and considering I saved about $200 for an hour's work, the price is well worth it.

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    ...toddler mashed keyboard

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