Cateye HL EL-500 light



P

Pete whelan

Guest
Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
in the dark.

They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
with £40 (Parkers) for one
 
Pete whelan said:
Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
in the dark.

They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
with £40 (Parkers) for one
I have one and like it. It does have a very narrow beam, and I use it in London which isn't rural riding. I think it's quite workable when there is a section with no streetlights. Plenty information from people on this light in the last couple of months - do a search on google groups.
 
In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
> Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
> in the dark.
>
> They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
> with £40 (Parkers) for one


A friend had access to one at work and wasn't too impressed. They have a
very narrow beam and apparently (waving them around at work) didn't seem
noticeably brighter than the EL-400.

Jon
 
"Pete whelan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
> in the dark.
>
> They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
> with £40 (Parkers) for one
>


Ah, the new '1000 candlepower' one. I have the now-'old' EL300, which I
think was rated at 400 candlepower. My impression of that, like most
people's, is that it is a good light to be seen by, but not a good light for
illuminating the road. There is something about the colour and spread of
the light which, while it is very bright to look at, prevents it from
providing good illumination to see where you are going. I got better
illumination off a standard 3watt dynamo bulb. Perhaps the EL500 would be
much better - it's 2.5 times the power after all, but I wouldn't count on
it. If I imagine putting two EL300s on my bars, I still can't see them
illuminating the road very much better - it's the narrowness of the beam and
the blue hue which somehow doesn't reflect well off tarmac, except for a
very bright spot which is almost just too bright to be useful - you want
illumination without glare.

Rich
 
Richard Goodman wrote:
>
> Ah, the new '1000 candlepower' one. I have the now-'old' EL300, which I
> think was rated at 400 candlepower. My impression of that, like most
> people's, is that it is a good light to be seen by, but not a good light for
> illuminating the road. There is something about the colour and spread of
> the light which, while it is very bright to look at, prevents it from
> providing good illumination to see where you are going. I got better
> illumination off a standard 3watt dynamo bulb. Perhaps the EL500 would be
> much better - it's 2.5 times the power after all, but I wouldn't count on
> it. If I imagine putting two EL300s on my bars, I still can't see them
> illuminating the road very much better - it's the narrowness of the beam and
> the blue hue which somehow doesn't reflect well off tarmac, except for a
> very bright spot which is almost just too bright to be useful - you want
> illumination without glare.
>


I've just got a couple of the Planet Bike equivalents. Haven't had the
chance yet to try it in anger on the bike but playing with it it has a
much more confined beam than the likes of the EL300 and throws a decent
patch of light. Will give it a try tonight or tomorrow night and let
you know.

Tony
 
Pete whelan wrote:

> Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
> in the dark.
>
> They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
> with £40 (Parkers) for one
>

According to the latest issue of C+, which has a rather weak light test,
it's not up to much. The EL-300 is better.
 
Zog The Undeniable said:
According to the latest issue of C+, which has a rather weak light test,
it's not up to much. The EL-300 is better.

I saw that, C+ didn't rate the EL-500 much. I also have the EL-300, and I think the 500 is better, if not by a lot. Have used both at once on my bike which gives quite nice light IMO.
 
Zog The Undeniable wrote:
> Pete whelan wrote:
>
>> Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights
>> yet in the dark.
>>
>> They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to
>> part with £40 (Parkers) for one
>>

> According to the latest issue of C+, which has a rather weak light test,
> it's not up to much. The EL-300 is better.


I tried my Planet Bike Superspot version tonight and its pretty good -
much better than the EL300 and a pretty white light. Also tried out my
new Nite Hawk 10W LED and its at least as good as my Niterider Digital
on the 12W spot setting so pretty impressive

Tony
 
In article <41659a43.0@entanet>, Zog The Undeniable wrote:
>Pete whelan wrote:
>
>> Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
>> in the dark.
>>
>> They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
>> with £40 (Parkers) for one
>>

>According to the latest issue of C+, which has a rather weak light test,
> it's not up to much. The EL-300 is better.


Matches my experience of seeing an EL-300 and EL-500 side by side in LBS
in daylight, but that's a _very_ weak test. I did a rural ride home last
week with only an EL-300 because I'd forgotten my battery pack for my
larger light, but it's more "adequate" than "reasonably good".
 
Jon Senior wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
>
>>Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
>>in the dark.
>>
>>They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
>>with £40 (Parkers) for one

>
>
> A friend had access to one at work and wasn't too impressed. They have a
> very narrow beam and apparently (waving them around at work) didn't seem
> noticeably brighter than the EL-400.
>
> Jon


if the beam is narrow, I'm surprised they don't turn thr LED around to
face inwards to the reflector and then use the shape of the reflector to
bounce it forward. I know there will be losses on reflection, but it
can't be any worse than using brute force (electrically) to push a
narrow beam directly from the LED frowards.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for the comments so far.

Pete
 
Pete whelan <[email protected]> wrote:
: Anyone tried one of these new Cateye, single LED, megabright, lights yet
: in the dark.

: They sound reasonably good for rural road riding, but reluctant to part
: with £40 (Parkers) for one

Different than what you have here (and a tad more expensive), but I have
been very happy with my Cygolite Night-Rover 12w 6v Gell Cell Light.
It has dual beams -- one low, one high-- and frankly is so bright I only
use one beam at a time, and point it down a bit soas to not blind cyclists
coming in the opposite direction :) Can't seem to recall precisely, but
I think one charge lasts about 3hrs. I am also really pleased with a new
back light I bought, a cat eye SL-LD100. That baby gets me *seen* which
is the whole point. And at USD15.00, quite economical

HTH,
Tammy
 
Tony Raven [email protected] opined the following...
> I tried my Planet Bike Superspot version tonight and its pretty good -
> much better than the EL300 and a pretty white light. Also tried out my
> new Nite Hawk 10W LED and its at least as good as my Niterider Digital
> on the 12W spot setting so pretty impressive


I'm part way through building a high flux LED headlight for my bike.
Your post prompted a look at the Nite Hawk website which threw up a few
****les.

1) It's _not_ a 10W LED, it's n "Approximate light output of a 10 watt
halogen bulb."
2) Searching the worldwide patent databases shows no record of any
patents for a "Nite Hawk" patent that has anything to do with lighting.
The Nite Hawk Total Internal Reflection Lens, looks remarkably like the
Lumiled / FHD<?> join project for a Total Internal Reflection collimator
lens!
3) The special Nite Hawk emitter (From their illustrations of the base
unit appears to be a Lumiled emitter. Presumably they are using a 3W or
5W one. My guess would be the 3W version.

I wont ask you to investigate this since one of the major advantages of
solid-state lighting is the ability to seal the unit completely (No
lamps to replace) but I'd be interested to hear any comments that you
have on it.

My prototype is currently using a 1W emitter with built in optic for
simplicity's sake, but I'm considering building one using a 3W (Or maybe
a 5W!) if I can successfully align the lens.

For the record, I'm just being picky here. I'm glad to see LED
headlights making a headway (he he), but I dislike seeing companies
claiming patents that they don't own for technologies which aren't
theirs.

Jon
 
Jon Senior wrote:
>
> I'm part way through building a high flux LED headlight for my bike.
> Your post prompted a look at the Nite Hawk website which threw up a few
> ****les.
>
> 1) It's _not_ a 10W LED, it's n "Approximate light output of a 10 watt
> halogen bulb."


Whichever its certainly as bright and maybe a little brighter than my
NiteRider on its 12W setting. These days the trend seems to be to quote
"halogen equivalent watts" otherwise HID and LED output as newcomers are
difficult to compare.

> 2) Searching the worldwide patent databases shows no record of any
> patents for a "Nite Hawk" patent that has anything to do with lighting.
> The Nite Hawk Total Internal Reflection Lens, looks remarkably like the
> Lumiled / FHD<?> join project for a Total Internal Reflection collimator
> lens!


Patent searching can be tricky. There is a delay of at least 18 months
between it being filed and being on any of the databases.

As best as I can see it has a TIR light pipe with a lens on the end over
the LED which protrudes into the centre of a standard flashlight style
parabolic reflector. Its different as far as I can see from the Luxeon
collimator -http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/protected/DS26.PDF - which has
a solid acrylic parabolic reflector over the LED plus its much bigger
diameter.

Damn I've got scotomas all over my visual field from looking at the
thing when its switched on to its lowest setting!

> 3) The special Nite Hawk emitter (From their illustrations of the base
> unit appears to be a Lumiled emitter. Presumably they are using a 3W or
> 5W one. My guess would be the 3W version.


Its almost certain to be a Lumiled. The output of a Lumiled has been
compared with up to a 20W halogen -
http://www.dialight.com/Luxeon/Recessed Spot light.pdf - so 10W
equivalent should be pretty easy.

>
> I wont ask you to investigate this since one of the major advantages of
> solid-state lighting is the ability to seal the unit completely (No
> lamps to replace) but I'd be interested to hear any comments that you
> have on it.
>
> My prototype is currently using a 1W emitter with built in optic for
> simplicity's sake, but I'm considering building one using a 3W (Or maybe
> a 5W!) if I can successfully align the lens.


There was an article in Silicon Chip Online about doing that. Best way
to avoid subscription is to Google for it and read their cached version.
>
> For the record, I'm just being picky here. I'm glad to see LED
> headlights making a headway (he he), but I dislike seeing companies
> claiming patents that they don't own for technologies which aren't
> theirs.
>
> Jon
 
Tony Raven [email protected] opined the following...
> Whichever its certainly as bright and maybe a little brighter than my
> NiteRider on its 12W setting. These days the trend seems to be to quote
> "halogen equivalent watts" otherwise HID and LED output as newcomers are
> difficult to compare.


Having played with a few I figured they'd be comparable in brightness.
At some point this week I should finish the case for the light and
regulator at which point it will become my normal front lamp.

> Patent searching can be tricky. There is a delay of at least 18 months
> between it being filed and being on any of the databases.


True. Publication is delayed as part of the process so I guess it
probably wont appear yet.

> As best as I can see it has a TIR light pipe with a lens on the end over
> the LED which protrudes into the centre of a standard flashlight style
> parabolic reflector. Its different as far as I can see from the Luxeon
> collimator -http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/protected/DS26.PDF - which has
> a solid acrylic parabolic reflector over the LED plus its much bigger
> diameter.


There are two different lenses. The one that is built into the 1W ones
(As shown in DS26.pdf) and the separate ones available from FRAEN
(http://www.theledlight.com/luxeonaccessories.html). The latter ones
quite closely resemble the the Nite Hawk one.

> Damn I've got scotomas all over my visual field from looking at the
> thing when its switched on to its lowest setting!


Odd light quality isn't it? It's almost like laser light. Even without
the collimator it has what I would describe as a speckled appearance.

> Its almost certain to be a Lumiled. The output of a Lumiled has been
> compared with up to a 20W halogen -
> http://www.dialight.com/Luxeon/Recessed Spot light.pdf - so 10W
> equivalent should be pretty easy.


Cool. Hopefully by tuesday I'll be able to provide a review of what I've
built.

> There was an article in Silicon Chip Online about doing that. Best way
> to avoid subscription is to Google for it and read their cached version.


Still looking for it. If you have a link (Or a set of search terms for
Google), I'd appreciate it. On the other hand, I suspect that my case
design will have to improve significantly if I want to start playing
with the 5W beasts!

Jon
 
Jon Senior wrote:

>
>
> There are two different lenses. The one that is built into the 1W ones
> (As shown in DS26.pdf) and the separate ones available from FRAEN
> (http://www.theledlight.com/luxeonaccessories.html). The latter ones
> quite closely resemble the the Nite Hawk one.
>


Errr no (said as someone who has the Nite Hawk in his hand). Its a
different style and different size. There is no light pipe over the LED
in the FRAEN lenses either.

>
> Odd light quality isn't it? It's almost like laser light. Even without
> the collimator it has what I would describe as a speckled appearance.
>


Errr no (said as someone who is quite familiar with laser speckle)

>
> Cool. Hopefully by tuesday I'll be able to provide a review of what I've
> built.
>


Look forward to it

>
> Still looking for it. If you have a link (Or a set of search terms for
> Google), I'd appreciate it. On the other hand, I suspect that my case
> design will have to improve significantly if I want to start playing
> with the 5W beasts!
>


Try searching lumiled collimator and look for the cached version of the
second in the list.

There is also some interesting stuff at http://dmcleish.com/CPF/index.html

Tony
 
Tony Raven [email protected] opined the following...
> Errr no (said as someone who has the Nite Hawk in his hand). Its a
> different style and different size. There is no light pipe over the LED
> in the FRAEN lenses either.


There is in the one in front of me in my flat. Assuming that the "light
pipe" is the empty cylinder immediately over the emitter.

> Errr no (said as someone who is quite familiar with laser speckle)


Really? I thought it was quite similar when viewed from a distance. It's
certainly a strikingly different light quality from standard tungsten /
halogen lamps (Said as someone who's career involves playing with
lighting!).

> Try searching lumiled collimator and look for the cached version of the
> second in the list.


I'd found that one. Not the lens that I'm thinking of but an interesting
article (Didn't need the cached one, the normal link worked fine!).
http://qurl.net/5l (Links to RS Components website) shows the FHS Lenses
that I'm planning on using. The photo at the top is of a medium lens
which is what I have in front of me.

While browsing earlier today I finally found a photo of the lens holder
in use which made a lot more sense. Now it's just a case of using enough
aluminium in the case design to heat sink a 3W. According to the
article, the 5W ones have a significantly reduced life time of around
500 hours for the white ones. Presumably their phosphor coating is
degrading under the intensity. At over £20 a shot plus the time to fit
the lens correctly, I don't fancy having a replaceable item like this.

> There is also some interesting stuff at http://dmcleish.com/CPF/index.html


Had a look. Some pretty cool stuff there. There was a great mod of a 5W
luxeon with the control circuitry built onto the back.

Jon
 
Jon Senior wrote:

>
> There is in the one in front of me in my flat. Assuming that the "light
> pipe" is the empty cylinder immediately over the emitter.



An empty cylinder does not pipe light - the surrounding index needs to
be lower to get light piping - think optical fibre. My best
interpretation of the Nite Hawk is it is a negative of the Luxeon lens
i.e. there is a solid rod over the lens and then air until the reflector
surface as opposed to a solid lump with a hole up the middle and a
reflective coating on the outside.

>
> Really? I thought it was quite similar when viewed from a distance. It's
> certainly a strikingly different light quality from standard tungsten /
> halogen lamps (Said as someone who's career involves playing with
> lighting!).
>


Laser speckle is very distinctive - it moves as you move. In any case
there is no way with the white light source that you would get any sort
of coherence effects. FWIW my light is a bright white uniform circular
patch with some peripheral light. You may just be seeing changes in
angular distribution from thermal and power change effects but I have
not run one on its own to see.


>
> I'd found that one. Not the lens that I'm thinking of but an interesting
> article (Didn't need the cached one, the normal link worked fine!).
> http://qurl.net/5l (Links to RS Components website) shows the FHS Lenses
> that I'm planning on using. The photo at the top is of a medium lens
> which is what I have in front of me.


That's quite different from the one in front of me. The FHS seems to
just follow the Luxeon optical guide with a reflector and Fresnel lens
judging by the picture.

>
> While browsing earlier today I finally found a photo of the lens holder
> in use which made a lot more sense. Now it's just a case of using enough
> aluminium in the case design to heat sink a 3W. According to the
> article, the 5W ones have a significantly reduced life time of around
> 500 hours for the white ones. Presumably their phosphor coating is
> degrading under the intensity.


I suspect it is just the same chip having been screened to run at higher
power. That would reduce the lifetime by about that amount due to chip
degradation. The phosphor shouldn't have a problem.

Tony
 
Tony Raven [email protected] opined the following...
> An empty cylinder does not pipe light - the surrounding index needs to
> be lower to get light piping - think optical fibre. My best
> interpretation of the Nite Hawk is it is a negative of the Luxeon lens
> i.e. there is a solid rod over the lens and then air until the reflector
> surface as opposed to a solid lump with a hole up the middle and a
> reflective coating on the outside.


Interesting. There is no reflective coating on the outside of the FHS
lenses and as I understood it, they also relied on internal reflection
to direct the light. I wonder how the efficiencies compare, and what the
beam is like... what is the beam like?

> Laser speckle is very distinctive - it moves as you move. In any case
> there is no way with the white light source that you would get any sort
> of coherence effects. FWIW my light is a bright white uniform circular
> patch with some peripheral light. You may just be seeing changes in
> angular distribution from thermal and power change effects but I have
> not run one on its own to see.


Sorry. I was thinking of the colour ones. I have a 1W green and have
seen a 3W blue in addition to the white that I'm using to build a light
out of.

> That's quite different from the one in front of me. The FHS seems to
> just follow the Luxeon optical guide with a reflector and Fresnel lens
> judging by the picture.


I haven't put the two side-by-side, but they are quite different. I'll
have to take a closer look next week.

> I suspect it is just the same chip having been screened to run at higher
> power. That would reduce the lifetime by about that amount due to chip
> degradation. The phosphor shouldn't have a problem.


The 5W has a larger emitter according to Chip Online. Something like 2mm
square as apposed to 1mm sqare. It could just be that they were playing
with pre-release ones. This is a _very_ fast moving industry.

Jon