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Light selection guide.

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Light selection guide.

Old 10-03-05, 02:14 PM
  #51  
allgoo19
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One type of light that is not listed and may be in interest of many cyclists is 2.4w micro halogen like this Cateye HL-500II.

I have seen a few varieties from other company but don't know the difference between them. At least I can tell you from my unit, it is(does)....

* Output is more intense than 1w LED(PlanetBike in this case) 4 times as much(guesstimate).
* Output is more intense than 5w Halogen(very disappointingly, about the same intensity as 1w LED)
* Once piece unit. Important to some cyclists.
* Relatively long burn time with AA NMH batteries(2300mah). 3.5+ hours(by real world test).

Only draw back I can think of maybe the life of the bulb which I haven't test it to burned out yet.

I'll post the photos of intensity comparison against 1w LED if anybody interested.

Last edited by allgoo19; 10-03-05 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 10-03-05, 02:30 PM
  #52  
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Please post pictures, it'll be good for comparison.
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Old 10-03-05, 03:55 PM
  #53  
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I was looking at the EL-500 which is a single LED light. Do you think this light would be brighter? It seems to be less expensive so that would be nice. I dont really care about the shorter run time because I'd be using rechargeables.

edit: I'd like to see some comparison shots too
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Old 10-03-05, 09:02 PM
  #54  
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Here's a comparison photos between Cateye HL-500II MicroHalogen(2.4w) vs. Planet Bike Super Spot(1w).

Photo 1: Target in full light. Two flashs used.
Photo 2: Light pattern Super Spot.
Photo 3: Light pattern HL-500II. (This can be adjusted to some degree)
Photo 4: Super spot (2", F3.2) exposure.
Photo 5: HL-500II same exposure above.
Photo 6: HL-500II 1 stop under (1", F3.2).
Photo 7: HL-500II 2 stop under (1/2", F3.2).

Distance from light source to the target: 10'.
Dimention of the target : 25"(H) x 23"(V)

Last edited by allgoo19; 10-03-05 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:52 AM
  #55  
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Uh, hate to say it, but 10' is a good distance for testing photo lens quality but not for testing lights.

Is it possible to get any worthwhile images from 40 feet away? Can you do a time lapse shot if needed?
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Old 10-04-05, 09:40 AM
  #56  
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Open up the ap and increase exposure and get a shot from about 30-40ft away. That's about 2 seconds of warning at 15-16mph.
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Old 10-04-05, 09:54 AM
  #57  
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It does look a little more intense but it seems like the LED is giving more illumination. In the real world maybe the 2.4 works better.
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Old 10-04-05, 07:43 PM
  #58  
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It is hard to duplicate real world look. For example, like some said, Super Spot looks better in this test. In reality, It hardly illuminates the road enough for a cyclist to see anything. In comparison, Micro Halogen's pattern is narrow but in the real world light moves, so when a object comes into its illumination, you know it's there. You see washed out part(most intense part) of Micro Halogen light and that's the part you use when you are riding in real world. If I have to choose one of two, I'll take Micro Halogen with me.

Take this test as a comparison between two models, and not with the one you have. Human eyes works very differently than a camera. The best and only way to compare two models are not side by side is to use your own eyes.

Now, can I see other people's test?
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Old 10-04-05, 07:58 PM
  #59  
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So I wonder if this would be a good time to point out that I have a light meter.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:23 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by wheezl
So I wonder if this would be a good time to point out that I have a light meter.
In a word, no.

Camera is not as good as human eyes but still better than light meter alone. In fact, last 30 years or so, just about all the camera made had a light meter built-in.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:29 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by allgoo19
In a word, no.

Camera is not as good as human eyes but still better than light meter alone. In fact, last 30 years or so, just about all the camera made had a light meter built-in.

Yeah but my light meter tells you more about the light level than the spot meter in a camera Which will only tell you what it is setting it is choosing given aperature or shutter speed priority.

And where are you getting this information from your human eye?? Oh yeah, the pictures people are taking with thier cameras which have all sorts of different exposure characteristics based upon what?? Oh yeah thier light meters.

While a human eye is more sensitive. You can't look at something and reliably quantify it.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:50 PM
  #62  
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So I was thinking something along the lines of incident light readings at various distances from the light source. Taking readings a few degrees off center would be good for beam spread also. We could also do reflected spot readings off of an 18% grey card from the rider's position and move the card to the same points.

Might be more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:55 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by wheezl
So I wonder if this would be a good time to point out that I have a light meter.
I have a light meter too and I tried a few months ago to compare different lights, it was next to useless. It doesn't measure reliably the quantity of light, let alone the quality.

A good way usually is to take a picture of a scene during the day, then one with a reference light, then lock it and take pictures of the other lights.
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Old 10-04-05, 08:59 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I have a light meter too and I tried a few months ago to compare different lights, it was next to useless. It doesn't measure reliably the quantity of light, let alone the quality.

A good way usually is to take a picture of a scene during the day, then one with a reference light, then lock it and take pictures of the other lights.

The quality of light certainly cannot be recorded that way. I have to wonder what light meter you were using if it couldn't reliably measure the quantity of light.

Maybe it needs new batteries.
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Old 10-04-05, 09:43 PM
  #65  
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Nah, cause we have a guy here who designs light sensors, he just uses that one to compare readings.
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Old 10-04-05, 10:02 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
I have a light meter too and I tried a few months ago to compare different lights, it was next to useless. It doesn't measure reliably the quantity of light, let alone the quality.

A good way usually is to take a picture of a scene during the day, then one with a reference light, then lock it and take pictures of the other lights.
Can you explain this a little more? I have quite a few different types of lights. I guess a lot of forum members do. I have a good digital camera too. But I am not sure that I can do anything that is a good comparison. You probably remember the taillight pictures I took outside. That was taken with the camera on auto exposure. I assume auto exposure will just ruin a comparison.

But, what about an object at a certain distance, with a fixed exposure? Is this what you're getting at?

Of course if I compare 6 different lights to each other, you could see a relationship between all of my
lights, but that may have no comparison to another members photos.

edit post: The Lupine comparison photos. http://www.lupine.de/en/lighttest/lighttest.html

I can compare led's to 2.4w 4AA lights, to halogens, to different HIDs etc. But I would like to do something that makes sense when you compare it to another forum member's photos with some kind of common settings or environment etc..I have access to outside places that are dark enough and long enough, maybe some others need to keep it inside like allgoo19 ?

Did you go to the Lupine comparison photos in the dark? They gave some information about camera settings and the distance etc. I was thinking I could try and copy that to start with.

Or something easy for others to duplicate, as much as possible? Maybe there is no accurate way to compare photos from one member to another, just compare lights at one location?

Last edited by 2manybikes; 10-04-05 at 10:06 PM. Reason: incomplete
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Old 10-04-05, 10:09 PM
  #67  
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It basically means if you want 100% accurate scientific information, a light meter's good as long as you get the entire scene in there, otherwise, a camera gets you close enough to get a relative feel of the differences between two or more lights if you don't want to measure it absolutely.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:34 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
It basically means if you want 100% accurate scientific information, a light meter's good as long as you get the entire scene in there, otherwise, a camera gets you close enough to get a relative feel of the differences between two or more lights if you don't want to measure it absolutely.
I'm thinking just a cardboard box on the ground at 25 - 50 -75 feet, or what ever distance away in a dark place. And putting the light on the bike each time to get the height the same. Then just putting the camera on the tripod at about the same height as my eyes if I sit on the bike. That's about it. That's the best you can do if it's going to be done in different locations. If this was repeated by others, it would help a little, not make it accurate, just better. I'm trying to find something that others could repeat. Maybe that's not worth it because of the huge amount of variables.

I thought you meant take one picture with one light and see where the auto exposure takes the camera, then lock it on that exposure and do the other lights?
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Old 10-05-05, 08:39 AM
  #69  
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I wouldnt rely on auto exposure. It depends on how your camera meter is set up (spot, partial, evaluative, etc) but if it sees more of the darkness, you're going to overexpose your light, and if it sees the bright spot of light, you're going to underexpose. I'd probably just manually set the exposure and view the LCD to get the scene as close as possible to what you see with your eyes.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:44 AM
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Yeah just lock the exposure or manually set it. All you want to do is get a good idea of how much wider a beam is compared to another one and how much farther it is.
Or if you want an absolute value without comparing one light to another, use a light meter.
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Old 10-05-05, 08:48 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by nitroRoo
I wouldnt rely on auto exposure. It depends on how your camera meter is set up (spot, partial, evaluative, etc) but if it sees more of the darkness, you're going to overexpose your light, and if it sees the bright spot of light, you're going to underexpose. I'd probably just manually set the exposure and view the LCD to get the scene as close as possible to what you see with your eyes.
Good point, I didn't think about what type of meter in the camera. All that can probably be acomplished is a comparison of lights to each other at one location.



Originally Posted by slvoid
Yeah just lock the exposure or manually set it. All you want to do is get a good idea of how much wider a beam is compared to another one and how much farther it is.
Or if you want an absolute value without comparing one light to another, use a light meter.
OK, that's what I thought. I think the photo is actually better info. for a person trying to select a light.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 10-05-05 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 10-05-05, 09:37 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Ok, I realized that my light has a more efficient reflector and apparently, light & motion uses custom halogen bulbs that get 30 lumens/watt. Which means that the 16 watt beam that I normally run gets about 480 lumens, and the 11 watt beam gets 330 lumens, which explains why it gets almost as much light as a HID. And on both beams, I'm running around 800 lumens.
Anyway I updated the chart with slightly more reasonable speeds and added a few things.
I'm not sure this is clear, so I just wanted to point out that the "11" and "16" in MR-11 and MR-16 lamps is not referring to wattage, it's referring to the diameter of the reflector. MR-11 lamps are 11/8" in diameter and MR-16 Lamps are 16/8" in diameter.

You can get almost any wattage of MR-16 Lamp from 5w/12v to 250w/240v.

I'm pretty sure MR stands for metallic reflector, but nowadays everyone makes the reflectors out of dichro glass because it's more efficient.

bk
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Old 10-05-05, 10:09 AM
  #73  
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All these talk and no samples.

Have you thought about posting photos of comparison? Any photos! People will tell you if they like it or not. That would be a beginning of the standardized test. Just post it.

As far as incident metering is concerned, it's a silly idea. Look at Super Spot light pattern. It looks flat and even but it still has about 3 stops difference from center to the edge of the target. Micro Halogen, 5 stops easily and you have to measure every inch of it. Incident metering is not designed for this kind of light but the lights that falls even on the subject like sunlight. Even if you do that tedious job and post the numbers, it's hard for the viewers to translate it in the real world view. Just try it once, people are going to tell you they don't like it and much prefer, photos where you can see where the intensity is high or low without explaining it.

Last edited by allgoo19; 10-05-05 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 10-05-05, 11:29 AM
  #74  
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[QUOTE=slvoid][Moderator Note: Since lights are so important in the winter, I'm making this a temporary sticky. Please post your bicycle light comments, suggestions, and questions here. For Home-made bike designs and questions, see Total Geekiness.]



Since so many people are starting to get lights for the fall and I was bored, I came up with this.


That'll teach you for permitting yourself to be bored. I do have a question, why nothing listed from Nightsun? They are still around and I've got several units that work fine after 10 years or more of use. One or two after some spectacular crashes. Check out their offerings here.

http://www.night-sun.com/htmldocs/civilian.html
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Old 10-05-05, 01:16 PM
  #75  
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how about the planet bike beamer 5? i had emailed them asking how the super spot compared to the cateye el500, and if it was water resistant and they downplayed the superspot in favor of the beamer- "However, I would suggest checking out our new Beamer 5. It is super compact and puts out a ton of light (though I don't know the exact candlepower.)". not like they'd actually give the candlepower to me or anybody else, like for the rest of their models.

and of course the only information google can find on this model is at the interbike product preview page:
The new Beamer 5 showcases Planet Bike’s new Extreme LED technology in a compact 5 LED headlight. These blazing new white LEDs, manufactured by the Nichia Corporation of Japan, are 300% brighter than the previous generation.
MSRP: $29.99
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