The Supernova Airstream seems to play by a different set of rules. Instead of creating a low-cost, ultra bright light that will be rendered useless in a few years under harsh conditions, Supernova set out to make the best light for commuting. They figured 200 Lumens is enough for a self-contained light, so this German company made the best light for commuting in the harshest weather while conforming to the tough German regulations.
In Germany, they’ve recognized that ultra bright bike lights aimed high on the road can blind oncoming drivers as the upper part of the beam hits their eyes. So they’ve passed regulations to restrict the beam pattern of bike lights that are to be used on the road. In simple terms, the light needs to be cut off cleanly on a horizontal plane so the light can be directed towards the road and not on oncoming drivers’ eyes. The Philips SafeRide we reviewed a couple years back is another light that is in compliance with the law.
The light itself is built like a watch. Every surface, every button is the highest quality and the light exudes build quality and longevity. The lens itself is a thick piece of very clear plexiglass that is designed to tightly control the beam pattern.
The beam pattern itself is not very bright at a measured 214 Lumens, but it is enough to commute with and enough to be seen. The beam is indeed controlled and one can aim it for optimum height without hitting the eyes of drivers.
The cooling of this light is overbuilt and is a work of art with huge, long fins that guide air from front to back. The light doesn’t get too hot to the touch even when left sitting. Thus the light output as well is stable even in low airflow conditions.
The light can also be matched with a small but bright tail light. The tail light has three LEDs that will wrap around the seatpost and it has a wire to the headlight to share that power source.
- Price: $217
- Claimed Lumens: 260 Lumens
- Measured Lumens: 214 Lumens
- Measured MTBR Lux: 22 Lux
- Lumens per $: 0.99 Lumens
- Lumens per gram: 1.24 Lumens
- Time on High: 2.5 Hours
- Charge Time: 6 Hours
- Mounted Weight: 172 grams
- Category: Flashlight, Commuter 2.5
- Extremely good build and quality
- Beam pattern is safe, clean and controlled
- Built to last decades
- Not that bright for the price and weight
The bar mount is performed by a shaped mount that is finished off with an elastic band. The mount can be pivoted front to back, so the light can be mounted in front of the bars, on top or behind.
Charging is done with an external lithium charger.
Mtbr Light Meter Measurements
This light measured 22 Lux on our ambient light measurement facility. The light output measurement is performed by placing a Lux light meter beside the light. Both are pointed at the ceiling (five feet above) of a dark room. This measurement uses the ambient light produced by the bike light.
Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens
This light measured 214 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 260 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle.
Beam Pattern Photo
We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photos were taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. These photos feature many objects and a distinct background to analyze detail and beam pattern.
For more information visit supernova-lights.com.
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