LED Bike Lights Shootout3

Lights Shootout Pro Reviews

The 2011 Bike Lights Shootout is here >> http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/2011-bike-lights-shootout/

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Note: An update with 2011 lights is coming soon

Here is the summary data for the lights we have so far. We will publish our data and photos of each beam pattern in this article. In the coming weeks, we will produce a review and a video of each of the lights mentioned.

‘Claimed Lumens’ is the manufacturer’s claimed lumen brightness of their lights. It is usually not measured and is based on the best case scenario of the LEDs they are using. Measured Lux is mtbr’s light output measurement of the light. It is performed by bouncing the light off a white ceiling in a controlled environment. The measurements are consistent and are quite accurate in quantifying the light output.


Brand/Model


Price


Claimed Lumens


Measured Lux

Ayup 2010 bar V4 Adventure System (Full Review here)

$233

400

34

Ayup 2010 helmet (Full Review here)

$233

400

31

Baja Designs Stryker

$298

700

52

Exposure Toro (Full Review here)

$339

700

36

Exposure Diablo (Full Review here)

$249

700

34

Exposure MaxxD (Full Review here)

$399

960

48

HID Technologies Lumen8r Quad

$495

1000

60

Lupine Tesla 4 (Full Review here)

$420

700

52

Lupine Wilma 5

$459

920

66

Lupine Betty 7

$1,019

1750

165

Magicshine MJ-808 (Full Review here)

$85

900

37

Niteflux Enduro 8 Single

$249

540

NiteFlux Max Extreme 20

$480

1350

70

Niterider Pro 600

$499

600

46

Niterider Pro 1200

$649

1200

82

TrailLED Darkstar

$420

1200

81

Bike LED lights have come a long way. They have come from bike tail lights to affordable commuter lights to decent trail riding lights last year. Everything about them was better than halogen or HID except for light brightness. This year though, we heard that they are now brighter than HID. Brighter than HID? This we had to see for ourselves.

Beam Pattern Comparison is here: http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/bike-lights-shootout-beam-pattern-comparison/

Our own light output measurements can be found here: http://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/lights-shootout-light-meter-measurements/

November 3 Update: We received a new crop of amazing LED lights. They will be added to this shootout in the coming weeks.

’09 Updated Lights

Light

Price

Claimed Lumens

Overall rating

Ayup Wide

$230

320

4.75 stars

Ayup Narrow

$230

320

4.75 stars

Ayup Standard

$230

320

4.75 stars

Blackburn System X4

$259

170

Blackburn System X8

$259

170

BR Lights C2-K

$399

1000

4.75 stars

Cygolite Rover II

$160

255

Dinotte 400L

$269

400

5.0 stars

Dinotte 800L

$439

800

5 stars

Exposure Maxx D

$399

960

4.75 stars

HID Technologies Lumen8r

$305

720

Light and Motion Seca 700 Race

$549

700

Light On! 900

$475

900

4.5 stars

Lupine Wilma 5

$590

920

Princeton Tec Switchback 2

$299

na

Princeton Tec Switchback 3

$389

na

Trail Tech MR16 30W

$398

1850

4.5 stars

’08 Reviewed Lights

Light

Price

Claimed Lumens

Overall rating

Ayup bar (regular kit)

$190

280

4.25 stars

Ayup helmet

$190

280

4.25 stars

BR Lights C2.1H

$330

410

4.50 stars

BR Lights Jeni H

$299

410

4.0 stars

Cateye Tripleshot

$330

130

2.5 stars

Dinotte 200L

$249

200

5.00 stars

Dinotte 200L Dual

$349

400

5.00 stars

Dinotte 600-LI-4C

$399

600

5.00 stars

Exposure Enduro Maxx

$349

720

4.75 stars

Exposure Joystick Maxx

$199

240

5.00 stars

Exposure Race Maxx

$279

480

4.75 stars

Jet Lites Phantom Halogen

$295

675

Jet Lites Shadow Lithium

$500

675

4.50 stars

Knog 605

$399

300

2.50 stars

Levin Brightstar

$270

500

1.50 stars

Light and Motion Stella 180L

$300

180

4.50 stars

Light and Motion Vega

$175

75

3.00 stars

Light On Expedition

$409

500

4.25 stars

Lupine Betty 12

$1,185

1400

4.75 stars

Niterider Minewt.X2

$190

150

4.75 stars

Niterider Minewt.X2 Dual

$225

300

5.00 stars

Niterider Trinewt

$500

500

4.50 stars

Lupine Wilma 6

$695

830

5.00 stars

NiteFLUX Photon MAX

$400

800

4.75 stars

What’s so great about LED? Here are some advantages:

img_2333.jpg- more power efficient
- more durable and impact-resistant
- much longer lifespan
- cheaper to replace
- better light color
- runs cooler
- smaller
- beam pattern is more flexible
- instant on and off
- dimming and flash modes are available

img_1943.jpgA single LED lamp is not yet brighter than a single HID bulb. But because they are so light and efficient, it is not difficult to put more lamps in the same light head. Three LED bulbs is common. And one of our test lights even uses 7 LEDs for ground-breaking brightness.

New batteries are also helping improve bike lights dramatically. Nicad batteries gave way to NiMh batteries. And now Lithium Ion batteries are all the rage as they deliver better/longer performance in a lighter package.

With the combination of LEDs, lithium batteries, better electronics and chargers, this new crop of lights promises to deliver a much better and safer night riding experience. Do they live up to the promise? Read on and find out.

Now we know some of you are also considering halogen and HID bulbs or are wondering if it’s worth upgrading your current lightset. So we’ve included a halogen lightset and two HID lightsets in this review. We also hope to include a DIY lightset with a popular configuration.

Issues:

1) Lumens Ratings – Lumens is the measure of light output of a light. Most of these lights have lumens ratings specified by the manufacturer. The problem is most of these lumens ratings are not measured and are just based on the ideal case as specified by the LED bulb manufacturer. Several things can affect the actual light output of a light. Some of the factors are: amount of power driving the bulb, reflector design, and lens glass quality. Thus we can have three different lights all rated at 500 lumens and they will most likely look different in terms of brightness. The exceptions we know of are Niterider and Dinotte. It looks like they measure their light output and thus their lumen ratings are more conservative/realistic.

Despite this issue, it is great that we have lumen ratings. It serves as a good approximation for light output. And now that we have mtbr beam pattern photos, it will be much easier to decipher exactly how bright each light is.

img_4936.JPG2) Hotspots and beam patterns – A hotspot is a beam pattern with a very bright spot right in the middle, noticeably brighter than the rest of the beam. (left beam pattern in photo) This beam pattern allows the light to throw some light in a wide pattern and a more intense light in the center that can reach farther away. The problem with this is the beam pattern is not consistent and it doesn’t work well in some conditions. The eye adjusts to the bright spot and can’t see as well in the rest of the beam. When there is a hotspot, it is preferable for the spot to be large and not too much brighter than the rest of the beam. Ideally, there should be no hotspot at all.

It is best to ride with two lights, a helmet and a handlebar light. A low-mounted bar light casts shadows that help the rider estimate the size of objects in the trail. A wide angle beam on the bars will give the rider useful trail illumination even when the bars are pointed off the trail, as happens often on tight and twisty singletrack. A wide angle beam will also illuminate the periphery of the trail (which helps the rider with balance). A helmet mounted light can help the rider see around the corner before his bars are pointed the right way, and a narrow beam is useful for looking far ahead on the trail! for high speed riding.

3) Light levels and Flash Mode – Most of these lights have several brightness levels like high, medium and low. These are used for varying riding conditions and conserving battery life. The only issue is you have to scroll through all these modes when switching light levels. Thus two or three levels is ideal. Any more than that becomes cumbersome.

LED lights have made flash mode available again. This turns out to be useful for commuting situations. Tail lights obviously need to be flashing but a flashing headlight can aid visiblity to oncoming traffic as well. On trail riding however, there is very little need for flash mode. Thus, it is not ideal for the rider to scroll through flash mode every time the light level is changed or the light is turned off. It is best when flash mode is available but out of the way. Light and Motion and Dinotte have addressed this by having a special sequence to enter flash mode.

img_1964.jpg4) Mounting Systems and connectors – Mounting Systems and connectors – Some mounting systems do not easily allow left to right pointing and rely on the (lack of) curve on the handlebar to locate and aim the light. This is annoying at best but more significant for lights with a narrow beam pattern. Additionally, some bar mounts are specific to one diameter of handlebar, something to ask about before you buy.

img_1944.JPGConnectors ranged from the simple plugs of the Ayup to the screw-on connectors of Jet Lites and Light On. The ideal plugs are ones that are non-directional and just snap securely into place. Robustness and durability are an issue as well. If you plan to use your lights in the rain or very rough conditions, weatherproof cables is an important consideration.

Features of our Test

diy-combo.jpg1) Beam pattern photographs – We photographed the lights in the same trail setting with the same camera settings. The trail featured is a narrow fire road with a tree canopy. We placed orange cones at 10 yard intervals and a beach ball at the 50 yard marker. We also took another set of photos in the back yard. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern. The camera settings we used are the following:

canong9_front.jpgCamera – Canon G9

Setting – full manual

ISO – 100

Exposure – 6 seconds

Aperture – F4.0

Focus – Manual

White Balance – Daylight

A full review of the Canon G9 Camera is available here: http://reviews.photographyreview.com/blog/canon-powershot-g9-review/

2) Run time tests – We ran each battery at full power until the battery ran out. Most of these lights have auto shut-off or auto step-down to a lower light level. When either one occurs, we record that time and note that time as the capacity of the battery. When there is no shut-off or step-down, the light dims over a couple of hours and it is much harder to draw the line where the battery run time is. When the light is about 50% as bright as a fresh battery, we recorded that time.

3) Ride tests – We rode these lights on local trails and evaluated them for usability and trail worthiness

img_2724.jpg4) Light Meter measurements – We used a light meter to measure the output of each light in Lux. Lux measurements are not easily translated to Lumens measurement. However, they provide a good basis for comparison. We found that measuring the ambient light of a bike light is quite effective and reproducible. We shine the light on the ceiling and measure the light by pointing the light meter at the ceiling.

We hope to provide a good resource for bike lights in this article. We will be providing reviews and data for the the following lights over the next few days.

img_2019.jpg img_2018.jpg

We will release a new review each day starting Jan. 4 so check back daily!!

Read all the light reviews here:

Mtbr Lights Shootout>>

Mtbr Lights Reviews | Mtbr Lights Forum


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  • Keith C says:

    How did the Princeton Tec lights not make it into an LED shoot? I this the Switchback is one of the best lights out there. I don’t even recognize half the companies on the list!

  • Jim S says:

    Just wondering why no iblaast.
    Other than that it looks like a great test. It would be fun to see some homemade lights also.

  • Francois says:

    Princeton Tec is coming. They are sending two lights and will be added later.

    fc

    >>Keith C Says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 7:33 pm e

    How did the Princeton Tec lights not make it into an LED shoot? I this the Switchback is one of the best lights out there. I don’t even recognize half the companies on the list!

  • chas_martel says:

    To Keith C,

    Do you really not recognize
    half the companies on this list?

    It looks like the who’s who
    of bike lights to me.

  • Matt M says:

    What about Cygolite?

  • Dude says:

    It would be nice to see the new Hopes (due out this month) in the test. the 4 led is claiming nearly 1000 lumens and ths single 240.

  • Francois says:

    Cygolite really wants to send lights but they say they are sold out at the moment. They’ll send when available.

    Hope has not responded to us.

    Iblaast is a New Zealand company with no US distributor. We’ll go international on the next update.

    fc

  • Ben says:

    Why not test the Trail Tech against these systems? It is a comparable price ($400 ish), has batteries ranging from 2.5 – 4 hours. With an output of 1850 lumens it makes these other systems seem quite obsolete.

  • Ben says:

    My bad, I see these are LED only tests. Trail Tech is an HID

  • Francois says:

    >My bad, I see these are LED only tests. Trail Tech is an HID

    Not a bad idea. We’ll try add Trail Tech if we can get our hands on them.

    We included a couple HIDs and one halogen for comparison.

    fc

  • fishman473 says:

    These lights range in price from expensive to preposterous. Any chance we could get some more entry level models in there to see how they stack up to the big boys?

    How about the Planet Bike Blaze, Princeton Tech EOS, PT Apex, Cateye HL-EL530…. etc.

  • Richard a.k.a heatstroke says:

    I suggest we also include a couple of DIY kits such as Achealots, nightlighting and a cutters kit since they are so popular.

  • Keith C says:

    To chas_martel,

    I guess I really haven’t paid attention recently. I have owned a NiteRider (minewt) and Cateye (double shot) in the past year and I know that the Princeton Tec (Switchback 3) I got recently blows those away. I realize that the first two were “first gen” while the Princeton Tec has a newer generation of LED but since I got that, I haven’t felt the need to look further. AYUP, BR, Exposure, Levin, and Light On just don’t ring a bell.

  • nick says:

    i own a blackburn x3 and a blackburn x6 and have mixed feelings about both. I’d like to see a review of those, as they seem to fit nicely within the scope of this shootout.

  • DT says:

    I am sorry to see the iblaast is not on the test list. That light does not seem to make it to many tests yet it appears to be a very interesting light.

  • EJ says:

    I see that the test includes the NiteRider MiNewtX2 Single. It would be nice to see the Dual version included to be able to compare the effectiveness of a dual light system versus a single light system. It would allow seeing the the true results of doubling the light output and effectiveness of “stacking” the lights.

  • Fishboy says:

    I have this light and it craps all over my HID lights (I’m not kidding!)

    Niteflux have US distributors, so maybe you could see if they want to send you some product for review.

    Cheers men.

  • MC says:

    It would be interesting to thow in the infamous Fenix L2D QE for comparison. This powerful AA flashlight/barlight/headlight seems like a very reasonable entry to the LED revolution for those of us on ‘mere mortal’ budgets, and I’d like to see how it stacks up against The Big Dogs.

    I’d let you borrow mine for this task…. but I’m using it too much right now. :)

  • Francois says:

    >> It would allow seeing the the true results of doubling the light output and effectiveness of “stacking” the lights.

    We’ll get the double Minewt.X2. Stacking or duplicating small lights really does work. We did it with the Dinotte 200L and the Exposure Joystick Maxx. It makes the light a lot more useable and the beam pattern can be widened as well.

  • Francois says:

    >> I am sorry to see the iblaast is not on the test list. That light does not seem to make it to many tests yet it appears to be a very interesting light.

    We’ll contact Iblaast and see what happens.

    fc

  • Cino says:

    Are you not looking at ranges beyond 50 yards. That might be OK for trail riding but 80 to 100 yards is a better range for roadies. Don’t we count?

    Great undertaking, by the way. We are all indebted to you.

  • Stevo says:

    For those that don’t know, Ay-Up are an Aussie mob, rapidly growing in popularity here. I’ll be looking forward to your test of them…

  • Alan Striegel says:

    Runtime tests conducted at what temperature? Also, was there any air flowing across the batteries and light heads? Temperature can have a significant effect on the operation of battery systems and LED controllers.

  • Francois says:

    >>Runtime tests conducted at what temperature? Also, was there any air flowing across the batteries and light heads? Temperature can have a significant effect on the operation of battery systems and LED controllers.

    Run-time tests were conducted at 70 degrees Farenheit.

    There was a powerful fan directed at the lights during the test.

  • Wow! I am truly impressed so far. I have been scouring the internet looking for a realistic all inclusive LED light test and finally here it is! I have been using AyUp lights for about a year now and I can’t say enough good things about them!!
    i have been slowly showing people the light (pun intended) about the low cost, super bright, incredibly lightweight, simple, bomb proof, and most bang for your buck light system here in the Seattle/Tacoma area. I am a true believer and would never use another lighting system, hands down!

    Thanks guys

  • Ben says:

    Yeah Trail Tech now make a complete system which is great. You no longer have to go through a sketchy 3rd party (ahem Batteryspace) to get a complete Li Ion kit. Make sure you get the 30watt HID model though. Any dealings I’ve had with Trail Tech and their customer service has been very good.

  • Matt says:

    Loving it so far!

    Can you create a title page with links to each review as they are created rather than haphazardly posting them on the front page?

    In your original intro page you listed each of the lights that you were reveiwing. How about just make those clickable links as the review is completed. It would make it much easier to find the desired review and make the page cleaner.

    Just a suggestion.

  • Nathan Torres says:

    Awesome shoot out so far!!! I am waiting to see what your thoughts on the Lupine lights are. I have used a Wilma 6 and am sold on it, head & shoulders over the other brands. Not only because its an awesome bike light, but I can use it on a headband for night skiing and Search & Rescue work. Try that with some of the other heavier bulky light systems….. Keep up the good work MTBR

  • mykel says:

    What about NiteHawk ?
    ie K2 Digital

  • Francois says:

    >>What about NiteHawk ?
    ie K2 Digital

    Nope, but we have these coming:
    Princeton Tec Switchback 2
    Princeton Tec Switchback 2
    Niteflux Photon Max 12 watt LED $375.00
    Niteflux VisionStick Photon 4 Enduro $203.99

  • ssmike says:

    Any chance of an excel spreadsheet being available for download that contains all the information in one nice tidy file?

  • Francois,

    I noticed that you have not included the lux measurements with the past two or three reviews. Any reason why? Just curious, Thanks

    B

  • Francois says:

    >> I noticed that you have not included the lux measurements with the past two or three reviews. Any reason why? Just curious, Thanks

    I’m just forgetting to add the Lux section. There will be a page dedicated to that. A sneak peak is here:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=370170

  • Jeff says:

    Can you post lumen ratings for some standard HID and Halogen lights so we can calibrate and understand the relative brightness of your tested lights?

  • Jeff says:

    DOH!! never mind my previous post.

  • professed says:

    I see the Lupine Betty on the list. Well done.
    Suggest everybody wait for the review of this monster before touting how great they think anything else is here.
    This light is in another league when compared to all the little cup cake party candles listed – including ANY HID on the market !

  • steve says:

    Great effort!
    Thanks for doing this comparison – it will help me decide on a LED lightset to replace my HID

  • Byron says:

    Love the info … not wild about the useability. The excel spreadsheet idea is great … maybe also graphics. How does a newbie compare across models without it? Also, I wouldn’t mind 2 or 3 of your guys opinions on the “best” models in your opinions … or at least for certain applications. Yeah, I know that worries about endorsements/ethics … but welcome to the real world. Your integrity isn’t in question in MY mind. Keep up the good work!

  • Anonymous says:

    “I see the Lupine Betty on the list. Well done.
    Suggest everybody wait for the review of this monster before touting how great they think anything else is here.
    This light is in another league when compared to all the little cup cake party candles listed – including ANY HID on the market !”

    You may be tasting your boot if you were to ever encounter me on the trail with my $400, 1850 lumen HID.

  • Francois says:

    >>Love the info … not wild about the useability. The excel spreadsheet idea is great …

    More summary and conclusion pages are about to be released.

  • Nathan Torres says:

    “I see the Lupine Betty on the list. Well done.
    Suggest everybody wait for the review of this monster before touting how great they think anything else is here.
    This light is in another league when compared to all the little cup cake party candles listed – including ANY HID on the market !”

    “RE: You may be tasting your boot if you were to ever encounter me on the trail with my $400, 1850 lumen HID.”

    Nathan – That may be true two hours into the ride BUT after that, when your light has to power down, the Betty will still be rocking 3-4 MORE hours PLUS HID’s are not dim’able The Betty 12 can run for 40+ hours on a lower light setting!! Plus if you are a caver, climber, EMT, Ski Patroler, mountain rescue, etc… can you put your monster light on a headband for night use? The beauty of Lupine is in its ability to be used in multiple arenas, and not just for mountain biking. Between it’s clean design, weight, light output, burn time, reliability, user friendlyness, and cross-use THERE IS NO EQUAL!! That quality has to come at a price.

  • Omar says:

    What about the Cygo Lite TridenX LED Li-ion. It seems to be popular on the reviews pages? Have you thought about including it?

    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Lights/product_131247.shtml

    http://www.cygolite.com/2-Products/18-TridenX-LiIon.htm

  • 29er says:

    LUX per dollar, please.

    (Or did I miss it somehow?)

  • Titus says:

    >>It would be interesting to thow in the infamous Fenix L2D QE for comparison. This powerful AA flashlight/barlight/headlight seems like a very reasonable entry to the LED revolution for those of us on ‘mere mortal’ budgets, and I’d like to see how it stacks up against The Big Dogs.

    I have both a Dinotte 200L and Fenix L2D Premium 100 flashlight which I use on the handlebars with a “Two Fish” mounting block. The light output appears comparable. The Fenix has a much tighter spot, but a very smooth and usable spill. The 4 cell dinotte battery obviously provides a much longer run time. The Fenix (and other state of the art digital flashlights) at about $70 does indeed offer an economical and usable alternative to dedicated bike lights

  • Grant says:

    Is it over? Are the Princeton Tecs not going to get the once over? Frankly it’s between them and the Dinotte 200L dual set up for me. I’m curious to know how those to compare.

  • Nathan Torres says:

    what about the Lupine Wilma 6…..god the suspense is killing me!!!!

  • Francois says:

    >>what about the Lupine Wilma 6…..god the suspense is killing me!!!!

    The light is here and the report will be ready by Monday. The Lux reading is 44 btw.

  • Francois says:

    >> Is it over? Are the Princeton Tecs not going to get the once over? Frankly it’s between them and the Dinotte 200L dual set up for me. I’m curious to know how those to compare.

    They are here and the report will be ready by Monday. The Switchback 3 measured in at 19 Lux but is heavy at 828 grams

    fc

  • Grant says:

    Thanks, Francois. Didn’t mean to whine. Your work in compiling all of this has easily been one of the most informative efforts of this kind I have seen. Good stuff.

  • Nathan Torres says:

    yes, thank you for your awesome efforts!!! Its like you have started a cult following of people waiting to see what the new light reviews will tell us.

  • Dave Harvey says:

    Where are the Supernova range of lights? They simply are fantastic and are well worth a review…

  • Muddy by Nature says:

    Great work! Can’t wait for more.
    Hope your putting up trail comparason photo’s!!
    Thanks for all the info.

  • Brad Luther says:

    please consider the Busch & Muller line of lights, specifically the LED lights, Ixon IQ and Ixon IQ Speed.

  • Nathan Torres says:

    where is the Wilma review….

  • Anonymous says:

    are you gonna review the Cygolite Tridenx?

  • The sigma sport has an adjustible clamp that can be clamped to a tree limb or anything very hand when doing roadside repairs like changing a flat.

  • John says:

    Both the Jetlite links go to the same page. So the halogen review is not accesible…

  • John Barnes says:

    Ayup set comes with helmet and bar lights. Really great lights but expect £60 -£80 import duty/ tax / admin fees when you import to the UK!

  • richard says:

    AYE… I also wanna see Trail-Tech. This light seems to be the holy grail of night lighting!!!

  • Jivkonik says:

    Thanks for the reviews! They’re very useful. I am looking forward for Switchbacks reviews! Are they going to be here soon?

  • BBW says:

    Hey Francois did the shootout stopped??
    Are you sick?
    We missed you hahaha
    Keep up the good work!
    Thanks

  • How do I get you a light for submission into the test?

  • 29er says:

    Francois are you still working on this?

    Lights on, but nobody’s home . . .

  • Dan says:

    What about the Blackburn x systems. I have seen these at a good price but and would like to know how they compare.

  • Sin says:

    I’ve been following this review, and eagerly await it’s completion. I wonder what’s going on with the unexplained delay.

  • riderbax says:

    I am running the iBlaast-have been all winter. I’m a regular commuter in the Seattle area and frequently, ride on wet dark roads. This light kicks butt. I had a nice lion battery already and got the iBlaast DIY version (basically, you assemble it from the parts sent) for $230 delivered to my door. It took 4 days from order date to arrival. The only thing I changed was the mounting system. That seemed a bit on the weak side for me but that is my only complaint. I prefer a bar mount for road riding-it comes with a helmet mount standard. If you want to upgrade to the new LED world and don’t want to break the bank, this is a good way to go. I’ve been more than happy with mine and it has my HID riding buds feeling a bit jealous. Beam pattern is very nice, Many light settings that are user programmable, battery voltage gage to prevent battery over discharge, accepts anything from 11-24 volts in any battery chemistry. The key for me was that it is fully capable of being upgraded when newer LED’s come out.

  • Nathan Torres says:

    Francois,
    I am not sure if you were going to finish the rest of the light shoot-out, but could you post a review for the Brunton L5 light. How they claim it (i.e “Worlds brightest hedlamp”) I wonder if it would be good enough for MTB rides, and absolteul no retail store close to me even carries it.

  • Ben says:

    Great reviews! I think the information could still be slightly better organised, but there’s so much of it, and it’s rather high-quality!

    However, I’m amused and perhaps a little disturbed at the repeated comments along the lines of “The flashing commuter modes don’t get in the way of normal use.” This seems backwards. Or are you all rich kids who go for offroad night rides more often than you go to work?? ;) Surely commuting is the primary use? Ok, I admit it… I frequently telecommute, and much of my transportation use is on unlit bike paths where flashing modes don’t work. But still, I’ll sit here and rage against the prevalent American attitude that a bicycle is a toy, never used for anything but play. Much of the beauty of the bike for me is that it transitions so perfectly between toy-mode and useful-mode! Am I alone?

  • Norman says:

    Any chance of getting a review of the new Hope Vision LED light?

  • Matt says:

    I was wondering if these reviews were going to be completed. I am in the market for a light and have found this website incredibly useful. I have narrowed my selection to the nightrider Minewt Dual, Dinotte 200l Dual, or the Princeton Tec 3. I am basing this on my perception of price value.

    I almost bought the Princeton on Ebay yesterday but hesitated becaue I could not compare it to the other reviews.

    I feel the LED bike light market will be without my hard earned cash until the reviews are completed, and that is truly a sin.

  • Dave H says:

    This is GREAT. This is exactly what I have been searching for. I’d be willing to bet you could make a viable enterprise with a site dedicated to evaluating lights exactly as you did here and sell ad space on it. Excellent approach, technique, and tools: side/side, lumens/$, etc.

    Keep it up!

  • crazylax42 says:

    still waiting on princeton tec…………!

  • R H says:

    Great review – very helpful. I would like to see Cygo included – I saw that they were out of stock in January, have you checked back recently?

    Or is it to Cygo to send you some lights? If so, Hey Cygo, send in some lights so that we can see them reviewed. Your not chicken are you?

  • bikecop says:

    will you test the nite flux vision stick 4s already!>?!?!?!?!

  • Rob says:

    What a great review, but what a shame its seems to have come to an end with some good lights still not reviewed. The iBlaast II and the HID Tech Lumen8er LED would have to be serious contenders and worthy of completion.

  • Glenn says:

    Appreciate your work. I’ve spent a bunch of time looking things over, still have not been able to find the report on Princeton Tec Switchbacks. Can you point me to it?
    Thanks

  • PAL says:

    I currently run a combination of X3 + X6 and a levin brightstar. none are really very satisfactory but it would be useful to see some benchmark comparisons. out of interest why no written review for the levin?

  • Daz says:

    How about testing some of the Fenix torches (L2D, L2T, E20) with a handlebar mount.

  • adam says:

    just reviewed some Princeton Tec commuter lights – http://tinyurl.com/swerveandeosbike very nice little things if you are in the market

  • Brandon says:

    I see the iblaast 720 lumens but no iblaast II 1000 lumens, I’m wondering if both lights will be tested?

    Thanks

  • Tom T says:

    will you also add the LIght & Motion Seca line? Hope so

  • John S says:

    Great review, but you missed out this pretty amazing new bike light, http://www.bicygnals.co.nz/indicator-bike-lights.html , designed for the commuter cyclist, a front and rear set with integrated wireless indicator lamps!

  • sslos says:

    Any idea when you might have an opportunity to give some feedback on the new Ay Up lights? I know you just got ‘em, and it’s not like you’ve got anything better to do…

    Los

  • Eric Luxembourg says:

    Great reviews. Thanks a lot. Just got two lights.

    Number 1 : Dinotte 600 – 600 Lumens. Great performance, light, long battery life, 400 USD.

    Number 2 : Trail Tech SCMR16 HID Flood – 1.850 Lumens. 350 EUR. It really blasts any other light I have seen so far. It is almost like riding in full daylight ! Very nice chrome look. Very easy to fit it on a bike thanks to the special Trail tech kit. Con: a bit heavy.

  • Jordan says:

    not to be a pain but i am curious to see the ratings for the Dinotte 800L compared to some of these other lights. very curious about lux. also curious about the 10W hid TrailTech MR11 500 lumen light because it has more practical running times with a lighter battery and sufficient light output. thanks. and of course the seca line too.

  • John says:

    I also missed seeing reviews for Cygolite. Any update on this? Based on my research, their lightsets offer great value. Can we look forward to seeing Cygolite included in the next shootout?

  • Ed says:

    Is the trail tech the spot or flood version?

  • arc says:

    Is that levin brightstar faulty ?

  • arc says:

    the 30w Trail tech looks like a flood beam. Lupine website quotes Betty at 18dgre and this is wider. Hid isn’t for everyone – high maintenance costs, requires a lot of power to ignite and then uses more power than led, often heavier and bulkier, not upgradeable – but what can beat a hid flood and spot combo on the road ? I prefer its colour to led.

  • Anonymous says:

    Check out the Cygolite Trion 600. It’s a new self-contained 600 lumen light. On paper, it compares favorably to the Exposure lights but with slightly less run time on high.

  • Andrew says:

    I am interested in hearing what people’s opinions are on entry level lights for city riding. I do the maintenance on the Police bicycles in my city and had chosen the Nitehawk 5500 single led light with two modes (10% and 100%) which was a perfect setup for a police bike, one mode for being seen and one to loght up dark alleys etc. Unfortunately, due to last years earthquake in China, Nitehawk’s manufacturer has not been able to produce their product and the company has since gone under. I am looking for a substitute for the police fleet but have not been able to find an led light with the two modes at a decent price. I would appreciate any advice from any out there who are more knowledgeable than myself. Thanks for reading.

  • Tom says:

    Is there going to be a review of Photon Max Extreme? Available now.

    (Still there Andrew? try Candlepowerforums, transportation lighting – bicycle)

  • francois says:

    >>Is there going to be a review of Photon Max Extreme? Available now.

    I just received the light this morning from Fedex! I turned it on and whoah. It is bright!! I have some night rides scheduled this week so I’ll be able to test it out right away.

    francois
    – light shootout author–

  • Min says:

    I’ve been using the latest AYUP lights for a couple of months now and rate them very highly. No variable settings (sorry Andrew, Jan ’09) but just great output (enough to ride comfortably at speed on an unlit track on a cloudy night) and a sturdy construction.
    Cheers, Min

  • Brad B. says:

    You need to check out this new rear light for bikes. It will attach to almost anything and it is as bright, or brighter than any other rear light on the market. The FlashBak is bright & unnoticeable to the wearer. The FlashBak is waterproof/weatherproof, bright as hell, very light weight, and the new rear lighting system that you have to see to believe! The power switch hangs over your shoulder, and blinks when the lights are ON. Now, for the first time, you can tell if your rear light is ON without having to have a friend tell you if it is on, or remove your pack to see for yourself that it is ON. The power switch hanging up front also let you power ON or OFF without having to take your pack off. Check out FlashBak Lighting Systems now!

  • Tom says:

    A couple more requests…

    First the Magicshine P7. A Chinese designed P7 light, undercuts all competetion in price by using cheap components, similar to a Dealextreme flashlight but with external battery pack. The retailer Geoman reports that it is popular.

    Second the Busch and Muller Big Bang, a 10w hid with a unique reflector providing an automotive style beam pattern. Designed more for road than off road.

    Sure, this is Mtbr, but this blog really has become an essential reference for anyone interested in cycle lights that includes a lot of commuters who are interested in very narrow beams or beams with a cut-off.

  • LED Morgane says:

    I use LED light myself, and I really think that it is a good way to save energy and money for the same result!

  • Wiily S says:

    Here are beamshots for both flashlights and a number of bike lights, HID and LED. I think many of you will be pleasantly suprised by the Magicshine. P7-Lion battery, and only $80. Interesting……….http://fonarevka.lux-rc.com/
    These are great beamshots, be sure to look at the different bike shots, bike & bike 2.

  • Doodle says:

    regarding http://fonarevka.lux-rc.com/Body/LUX-RC%20L30-2/—/1.JPG – Does anyone know something about L30 lights? It’s so small and lightweght (just 12grams). I guess this is the best option for helmet and multiple-light configuration.

  • Dwight says:

    Trail LED informed me that they are sending you a light set the week of 10/26/09. How quickly will you review and publish it?

  • Paul says:

    The 11/03/09 update says, “We received a new crop of amazing LED lights. They will be added to this shootout in the coming weeks.”

    Will the Light & Motion Seca 900 and the Niterider Pro 1200 be included in the new lights that will be added soon?

    Thank you.

  • HIDKIT says:

    Excellent post with useful information.Well done.

  • Peter Kesel says:

    An HID lights is called a high intensity discharge light, and it offers several advantages over standard halogen light bulbs to the benefit of indoor gardening. The main advantages are the high light intensity and low power consumption.

  • Linda says:

    Love these LED lights. Great for everyone on bike, even with in the day time. My family used them everyday in the park.

  • Francois says:

    The 2011 update is coming soon.

  • LedFx LED Lighting says:

    Great to see something so well researched (and positive) about the benefits of LED lighting.

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