2016 Bike Lights Shootout: Beam Patterns

Gauge the throw and width of a light in a controlled environment

Lights Lights Shootout

2016 Lights Shootout

Beam Pattern

Editor’s Note: This article is part of Mtbr’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Headlights Index and Commuter and Tail Lights Index.

These backyard beam patterns allow you to gauge the throw and width of a light in a controlled environment. The bike in the middle is set at about 25 yards and can show far the light can throw. The width, consistency and color of the beam are key information that can be learned from these photos as well.

For lights over 3000 Lumens, we’ll photograph the beam in a much bigger landscape to really showcase their brightness.

The camera settings we used are the following:

  • Camera: Olympus OM-D
  • Setting: Full manual
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure: 1.6 seconds
  • Aperture: f/4.0
  • Focus: Manual
  • White Balance: Daylight
  • Quality: JPEG High

Click on the backyard beam pattern photos below to enlarge.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview’s 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.


About the author: Mtbr

Mtbr.com is a site by mountain bikers for mountain bikers. We are the best online resource for information for mountain bikers of all abilities, ages and interests.


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  • JIM says:

    curious why the beam shot backyard photo of the cateye volt 800 does not even come close to the light and motion urban 850 trail or the niterider oled 800 yet they all tested around 800 lumens thanks for your time

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      JIM, not sure but shall doublecheck and reshoot. The Volt has narrower bearm pattern and it may be aimed too high in this photoshoot, putting most of its light on the tree above.

  • Craig Ricker says:

    The Candlepower TT3000, looks to have very little light in comparison to the TrailLED DS, although both are supposedly rated at 3000 lumens. What is the actual output of the TT3000?

    • Elvis Tam says:

      I had the same reaction as well. Also why is the Candlepower the only one that is shot much closer then the other ones that have equal lumen supposedly?

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