2014 Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout: Lumen Measurements

Lights Lights Shootout

Bike light manufacturers can put any ‘Lumens rating’ on their product that they want. There is no governing body out there that states that they have to measure or be truthful about what they claim their light output to be. What many of them do is read the LED spec that they are using, get that LED’s max rating and multiply by the number of them that they are using, and voila, magic Lumen number.

The problem is that number is a best case and impossible number. The real output is somewhere below that. The reasons for lower output are:

  • Heat dissipation – as the LED gets hot, it gets dimmer to protect itself
  • Power source – if the power source is not at the perfect voltage, it gets dimmer
  • Reflector light loss – the mirrors on glass on a light will result in some light loss
  • LED Binning – all LEDs at birth are sorted for their brightness. So all LEDs of the same model are not equal

That’s why Mtbr works so hard to demystify LED output.  The ultimate test is using an integrating sphere to measure light output. This piece of equipment costs about $20,000- $100,000 to purchase and requires a trained technician to operate. Mtbr is using the integrating sphere of Light & Motion and Lezyne to measure Lumen output.  We are present during all measurements and we will cross-check their work with each other.

YouTube Preview Image Video: Lumen measuring process using an integrating sphere with Chris McCaslin.

As you can see, it is not a simple process and that is why so many light manufacturers do not measure their output.  There are very few independent labs around this country too that can do this work.

We realize of course that Light & Motion is a manufacturer and they are testing competitors’ lights. But we have evaluated their process and were present during testing. Furthermore, we are double-sourcing by testing at another manufacturer called Lezyne and cross-checking their work. We have already compared four lights that they each measured and the results match up within 1-2%. Finally, this is just a piece of our lights testing and is supplemented by our own Mtbr Lux lab testing and light beam image data.

These Lumen readings were recorded 31 seconds after the light was turned on. This is according to the FL-1 Flashlight Standard that specifies Lumen measurements to be recorded 30 seconds after the light is turned on. The FL-1 Flashlight Standard was created so manufacturers have a standardized method of measuring lights and making claims such as brightness and waterproofing. Some light companies are using the FL-1 standard and are fighting for its use in the bike light industry. Learn more about the FL-1 Flashlight Standard here.

2014 Lumen Test Results

2014 Claimed vs Measured Lumens Graph

2014 Lumens per Dollar Graph

2014 Lumens per Gram Graph

To complement these lumen measurements, please check our Tunnel Beam Patterns Comparisons and Individual Light Reviews of these lights.

2014 Lumen-Hour Graphs

The Lumen-hour graphs below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.

2014 Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout: Lumen Measurements Gallery
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    CatEye Volt 1200

    This light measured 1234 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1200 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    CatEye Volt 300

    This light measured 349 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 300 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Gemini Duo 1500

    This light measured 1208 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1500 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Gemini Olympia 2100

    This light measured 1477 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 2100 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Gemini Xera 950

    This light measured 789 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 950 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lezyne Deca Drive

    This light measured 896 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 800 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lezyne Macro Drive

    This light measured 307 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 350 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lezyne Mega Drive

    This light measured 1175 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1200 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lezyne Mini Drive XL

    This light measured 256 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 250 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lezyne Super Drive XL

    This light measured 589 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 575 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Light & Motion Seca 2000 Race

    This light measured 2022 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 2000 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Light & Motion Taz 1000

    This light measured 1030 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1000 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Light & Motion Urban 700

    This light measured 708 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 700 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lupine Betty R 10

    This light measured 4082 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 4500 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lupine Piko 4

    This light measured 1120 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1200 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lupine Wilma 7

    This light measured 2770 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 2800 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    NiteRider Lightning Bug 100 USB

    This light measured 122 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 100 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    NiteRider Lumina 550

    This light measured 558 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 550 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    NiteRider Lumina 700

    This light measured 692 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 700 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    NiteRider Lumina Flare 650

    This light measured 673 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 650 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    NiteRider Lumina Micro 220

    This light measured 240 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 220 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    NiteRider Pro 1200 Race

    This light measured 1310 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1200 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Princeton Tec Push

    This light measured 212 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 150 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Serfas True 350

    This light measured 420 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 350 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Serfas True 550

    This light measured 577 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 550 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Serfas True 750

    This light measured 773 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 750 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Serfas TSL-T1000

    This light measured 1130 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1000 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
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    Lumen Comparison Chart

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    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout - Lumens per Dollar

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    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout - Lumens per Gram

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    2014 Mtbr Lights Shootout - Claimed vs Measured Lumens

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    Integrating Sphere Lumen Measurement

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    Integrating Sphere Lumen Measurement

Return to 2014 Bike Lights Shootout Main Page »

Related Links
2014 Tunnel Beam Pattern Comparisons »
2013 Bike Lights Shootout »
2012 Bike Lights Shootout »
Mtbr Lights Reviews »
Mtbr Lights Forum »

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