Cateye Micro Halogen Headlights HL-500II vs. MC-200?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Steve Sr., Feb 19, 2006.

  1. Dane Buson

    Dane Buson Guest

    In rec.bicycles.misc Peter Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >
    >> I tried Halogen once at night on a rough road and the filaments break
    >> under the stress of bouncing. The same thing happened on my cars on off
    >> road excursions or when I hit potholes.

    >
    > I've never broken a filament from "bouncing".


    I have. :-(

    Of course, it was from dropping the headlight on the floor. i.e.
    It was not attached to the bike the time. Still, at least it was
    a $5 B&M bulb and not a $20 Night Rider bulb.

    --
    Dane Buson - [email protected]
    "All mushrooms are edible. However, some of them only once"
    Ino!~
     


  2. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Bill Baka wrote:
    > Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    >> On Sun, 19 Feb 2006 21:20:07 -0700, Rich wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> [email protected] wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Bill Baka wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>> The Cateye 5 LED is much more efficient since the is a direct electric
    >>>>> to light conversion and no heat wasted. Go to their web site and you
    >>>>> will see the difference.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> ??
    >>>>
    >>>> Do you have a specific URL? I looked around their website a bit and
    >>>> didn't find anything relevant to that point. There is a comparison
    >>>> chart, but it doesn't list brightness measurements.
    >>>>
    >>>> - Frank Krygowski
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> I hate to agree with Iron Bill, but LEDs are much more effecient at
    >>> converting electricity into light than incandencent bulbs, as all
    >>> incandecent bulbs convert a significant portion of the electricty
    >>> they use into heat.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> This is true but not to the degree you may be led to believe by LED
    >> marketing. White LEDs are really just colored ones with filters, and the
    >> LED colors used to start with are not the most efficient ones.
    >>
    >> Getting back to the original topic -- I use an old Cateye Micro almost
    >> every day. Side by side it's brighter and more useful than the newer
    >> LED models, the EL-300 and EL-500. The latter is bright and
    >> efficient for a 1W light, but it's still just 1W, vs. 2.4W. LEDs are not
    >> *that* much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Also, to boost the
    >> brightness ratings, the LED models have very narrowly focused beams --
    >> too
    >> narrow. I'm not impressed. If the 1W LED units gave me an advantage I
    >> would have bought one.
    >> I don't know about the MC-200, but I've been told it's not as good as the
    >> older Micro. There are plenty of older Micros still around. I've seen
    >> them advertised for $10. Google is your friend.
    >>
    >> Matt O.

    >
    >
    > BZZZT, wrong. The LEDs are specially formulated with all kinds of exotic
    > materials beyond the Indium/Gallium/Arsenide/Silicon normally used. No
    > filters involved since they don't want to waste any of the precious
    > battery power. They are also (some of them) built up in layers that
    > generate light which is passed through the next layer, etc., until it is
    > emitted. All normal LEDs radiate at one and only one wavelength +/-
    > about a half a nanometer. The white ones tend toward a blue tint but the
    > result is close enough to white not to be noticeable on the road. Single
    > color LEDs also take about 1.4 volts to work and the white ones take
    > about 4.5 volts to come alive. Different chemistries. Google white LEDs
    > and you should find a lot more technical data than you can digest, even me.
    > Pure sunlight is not white, just a combination that we have evolved to
    > perceive as white.
    > Bill


    Some white LEDs work by combining color (RGB) LEDs, others, like the
    popular Luxeon Emitter, pump a yellow phosphor with a blue LED. Current
    efficiency is better than incandescent but still much less than metal
    vapor or fluorescent.

    <http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/techpaperspres/RumpSessionIII.PDF>
     
  3. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    Peter Cole wrote:
    <huge snip>
    >
    > Some white LEDs work by combining color (RGB) LEDs, others, like the
    > popular Luxeon Emitter, pump a yellow phosphor with a blue LED. Current
    > efficiency is better than incandescent but still much less than metal
    > vapor or fluorescent.
    >
    > <http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/techpaperspres/RumpSessionIII.PDF>

    If you can imagine it so can the manufacturers. They are working with
    frequency doubling the light from IR LEDs to get blue and all kinds of
    other things so anything I could say on the subject might be out of date
    by next week. So goes it with blu-ray super DVDs. Besides, metal vapor
    and fluorescent take a lot of electronics and the bike light makers
    don't want that. My Cateye has only batteries, resistors, and LEDs.
    Bill
     
  4. Steve Sr.

    Steve Sr. Guest

    On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 08:40:49 -0500, Peter Cole
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Steve Sr. wrote:
    >> Lighting Gurus,
    >>
    >> Do any of you have any opinions of Cateye's halogen battery operated
    >> headlights?
    >>
    >> I believe that the MC-200 is the original Cateye Micro which is a 2.4W
    >> 4 AA light. These are supposedly bright enough to see by and I think
    >> they are popular with commuters and shorter brevet riders. This light
    >> appears to have been discontinued as there is no information except
    >> for parts on the Cateye web site.
    >>
    >> It looks like the replacement for the MC-200 is the HL-500II (Micro
    >> II?) It has the same battery and bulb arrangement as the MC-200. I was
    >> wondering if the optics and the overall light is better or worse than
    >> its predecessor. It does look like the reflector diameter is smaller
    >> on this one.
    >>
    >> It appears that these both use a proprietary over driven halogen bulb.
    >> Are these bulbs only available from Cateye? It looks like Cateye is
    >> really trying to push towards LED technology so am wondering how long
    >> bulbs for their halogen lights will be available.

    >
    >The MC-200 is a cheaper version of the HL-500II. The HL-500II has been
    >around for at least 10 years and has been very popular. The MC-200 was
    >not as well reviewed. The HL-500II is still sold, although I think time
    >is limited for incandescent lights.
    >
    >LED lights are slightly more efficient overall, more rugged with better
    >lamp life. The only drawback is the 3x price differential. A light made
    >from a 1W LED like the NiteHawk Emitter is somewhat less bright than the
    >Cateye Micro, but has a better beam pattern. Because of the intrinsic
    >optics of LED devices the beams will be better than incandescents, even
    >the tiny bulbs that Cateye uses.


    Peter,

    Thanks for the clairification of the model numbers. I had incorrectly
    surmized that the MC-200 was the older model. I don't know when it
    came out but it doesn't seem to be around any more except in Ebay
    land. So it looks like the HL-500II is the well received popular one
    and is still available. I didn't know it had been out for so long.

    I agree that the incandescents are probably going away pretty soon.
    However, if you compare similar power source lights you have the
    HL-500II halogen vs. the EL-500 LED. The current opinions that I have
    read seem to indicate that the light quantity and quality of the
    halogen is still superior to that of the LED. We're not quite there
    yet.


    Steve
     
  5. Peter Cole wrote:
    <snippage>
    >
    > I'm not sure what you mean by "prismatic optics at the aperture of the
    > lamp". If you mean the molded focusing elements on the lens, the Cateye
    > has these.
    >
    > According to Peter White:
    > <http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m.asp>
    > The B&M "Freelight D" has the same optics as the Lumotec.


    Peter -

    My apologies - looking back at what I wrote I can see I was none too
    clear. My phrase that you have quoted makes little sense. "Aperature"
    should have been "objective" and even then it is obtuse.

    I did mean a molded lens that serves the purpose of focussing the
    light. I was gearing up for a rant on MR11/16 based lighting systems as
    I have yet to see one of these with proper optics.

    I was not referring to any of the better low wattage halogen lamps such
    as the Freelight and the various iterations of CatEye. I am
    dissapointed that my NitHawk Emitter has no optics beyond the reflector
    and the characteristics intrinisc to the Luxeon.

    Regards,

    Tom
     
  6. Quoting Tom Schmitz <[email protected]>:
    >peter wrote:
    >>but the efficiency isn't yet all that much
    >>higher than halogen lights. Current production white LEDs produce
    >>around 30 lumens/Watt compared with around 20 lumens/Watt for halogen

    >I'll take you at your word. But a 50% increase in lumens/watt seems more
    >than "isn't yet all that much higher than halogen lights". In fact, that
    >seems a pretty significant increase.


    Bear in mind that this can be considered relative to the much greater
    efficiency advantage of rear LEDs. An incandescent bulb must be filtered
    to red; conversely getting red out of an LED is easy and requires no
    tricks like those done for white LED output. The efficiency of rear LEDs
    is such that using them is a complete no-brainer.
    --
    David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
    Today is Gloucesterday, February.
     
  7. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    [email protected] wrote:

    > I was not referring to any of the better low wattage halogen lamps such
    > as the Freelight and the various iterations of CatEye. I am
    > dissapointed that my NitHawk Emitter has no optics beyond the reflector
    > and the characteristics intrinisc to the Luxeon.


    I have both the Cateye and the NiteHawk. I prefer the NiteHawk beam,
    myself. Molded elements in the lens can help shape the beam, but they
    invariably introduce artifacts. The NiteHawk beam, while perfectly
    round, is also perfectly uniform, something I prefer. I guess it's a
    personal thing.
     
  8. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Steve Sr. wrote:

    > I agree that the incandescents are probably going away pretty soon.
    > However, if you compare similar power source lights you have the
    > HL-500II halogen vs. the EL-500 LED. The current opinions that I have
    > read seem to indicate that the light quantity and quality of the
    > halogen is still superior to that of the LED. We're not quite there
    > yet.


    I don't know. I haven't seen the EL-500, but comparing the HL-500II to a
    NiteHawk Emitter side-by-side, it's close. The NiteHawk is a bit dimmer,
    but the light is whiter and the beam is more even. With 3x battery life
    and better light toward the end of battery life, including a long time
    for dim, but still white, light, I think the Emitter is a better choice.
    I have 3 of the Cateyes, but I don't think I'll buy any more, even at
    the $8 price of my last purchases.
     
  9. On Mon, 20 Feb 2006 18:55:28 -0500, Steve Sr. wrote:

    > I agree that the incandescents are probably going away pretty soon.
    > However, if you compare similar power source lights you have the
    > HL-500II halogen vs. the EL-500 LED. The current opinions that I have
    > read seem to indicate that the light quantity and quality of the
    > halogen is still superior to that of the LED. We're not quite there
    > yet.


    I disagree. We are definitely there in all ways but price, and that is
    getting close. I have a 1-W Planet Bike led as a back-up light, and as my
    absolute favorite general purpose flashlight. The light is better than
    the older 4-AA halogens, and the batteries last much longer. You can't
    just go by numbers, since the spectrum is different (bluer for the led)
    and the beam pattern can make a huge difference.

    On the high end I've also replaced a failing 15W niterider with a 5W
    diNotte LED, and couldn't be happier. True, much of the improvement comes
    from the fact that the diNotte never just shuts off for no reason, and it
    holds a charge even when not plugged in constantly, both problems for the
    NiteRider. But the light, though not quite as bright, illuminates the
    road better due to its better beam pattern. The NiteRider focused too
    much of the beam at a center spot, which you could aim way down the road.
    Great for seeing things hundreds of feet away, but not so good for seeing
    things you are about to run over.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I can
    _`\(,_ | assure you that mine are all greater. -- A. Einstein
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  10. Peter Cole wrote:
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > > I was not referring to any of the better low wattage halogen lamps such
    > > as the Freelight and the various iterations of CatEye. I am
    > > dissapointed that my NitHawk Emitter has no optics beyond the reflector
    > > and the characteristics intrinisc to the Luxeon.

    >
    > I have both the Cateye and the NiteHawk. I prefer the NiteHawk beam,
    > myself. Molded elements in the lens can help shape the beam, but they
    > invariably introduce artifacts. The NiteHawk beam, while perfectly
    > round, is also perfectly uniform, something I prefer. I guess it's a
    > personal thing.


    It must be a personal thing.

    I recall reading test reports of a particular Union halogen headlamp,
    back when that headlamp was on my bike. Some testers complained
    strenuously about the "fingers" of light that the Union sent angling
    off, low and to the sides.

    Their complaints absolutely baffled me. I don't think I'd ever noticed
    those "fingers," but in any case, they certainly never bothered me at
    all.

    Still, if you do have a round beam, there's certainly room for
    improvement. The amount of light needed certainly varies by direction.
    The most sophisticated lamps have an upper cutoff for most of the
    light, and have the top part of the remaining beam brighter than the
    bottom part. (Since the bottom part hits the road closer, it needn't
    be as bright.) If there are enough lumens to play with, the beam can
    also be spread horizontally more than vertically.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  11. dvt

    dvt Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > I recall reading test reports of a particular Union halogen headlamp,
    > back when that headlamp was on my bike. Some testers complained
    > strenuously about the "fingers" of light that the Union sent angling
    > off, low and to the sides.
    >
    > Their complaints absolutely baffled me. I don't think I'd ever noticed
    > those "fingers," but in any case, they certainly never bothered me at
    > all.


    My Union lamp has those fingers. They're moderately annoying, but only
    when you realize that the extra light could be put to use. Andreas
    Oehler posted on this NG that the presence/absence of those fingers is
    probably related to the position of the bulb within the reflector. I
    tried to test his theory, but I couldn't adjust the fore/aft position of
    the bulb.

    It annoys me to ride under a bridge and see the pattern of fingers from
    my headlamp on the bottom of the bridge.

    --
    Dave
    dvt at psu dot edu
     
  12. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Peter Cole wrote:
    >
    >>[email protected] wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I was not referring to any of the better low wattage halogen lamps such
    >>>as the Freelight and the various iterations of CatEye. I am
    >>>dissapointed that my NitHawk Emitter has no optics beyond the reflector
    >>>and the characteristics intrinisc to the Luxeon.

    >>
    >>I have both the Cateye and the NiteHawk. I prefer the NiteHawk beam,
    >>myself. Molded elements in the lens can help shape the beam, but they
    >>invariably introduce artifacts. The NiteHawk beam, while perfectly
    >>round, is also perfectly uniform, something I prefer. I guess it's a
    >>personal thing.

    >
    >
    > It must be a personal thing.
    >
    > I recall reading test reports of a particular Union halogen headlamp,
    > back when that headlamp was on my bike. Some testers complained
    > strenuously about the "fingers" of light that the Union sent angling
    > off, low and to the sides.
    >
    > Their complaints absolutely baffled me. I don't think I'd ever noticed
    > those "fingers," but in any case, they certainly never bothered me at
    > all.
    >
    > Still, if you do have a round beam, there's certainly room for
    > improvement. The amount of light needed certainly varies by direction.
    > The most sophisticated lamps have an upper cutoff for most of the
    > light, and have the top part of the remaining beam brighter than the
    > bottom part. (Since the bottom part hits the road closer, it needn't
    > be as bright.) If there are enough lumens to play with, the beam can
    > also be spread horizontally more than vertically.


    I suppose it's personal, one of the most annoying lights I've ever used
    was the Bell Vistalite, which has a distinctly "donut" shaped beam. I
    hated it, but a lot of people claimed to like it. I'd much rather have a
    completely uniform beam, even if the geometry wasn't ideal for efficiency.
     
  13. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    On Tue, 21 Feb 2006 07:45:04 -0500, Peter Cole wrote:

    > I don't know. I haven't seen the EL-500, but comparing the HL-500II to a
    > NiteHawk Emitter side-by-side, it's close. The NiteHawk is a bit dimmer,
    > but the light is whiter and the beam is more even. With 3x battery life
    > and better light toward the end of battery life, including a long time
    > for dim, but still white, light, I think the Emitter is a better choice.
    > I have 3 of the Cateyes, but I don't think I'll buy any more, even at
    > the $8 price of my last purchases.


    LEDs do seem to produce a more even beam than incandescents, which are not
    only blotchy but inconsistent from one example to the next. Sometimes
    they can be improved by bending the bulb back and forth in the mount, but
    not always. I've thrown away several lights that were never quite right.
    It seems LEDs can be mounted more accurately in their reflectors.

    One reason bike light companies use MR lamps is that the optics are
    pre-engineered and pre-made. ("MR" means "matched reflector.") But even
    these vary *a lot* in quality control.

    Matt O.
     
  14. Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    > LEDs do seem to produce a more even beam than incandescents, which are not
    > only blotchy but inconsistent from one example to the next. Sometimes
    > they can be improved by bending the bulb back and forth in the mount, but
    > not always. I've thrown away several lights that were never quite right.
    > It seems LEDs can be mounted more accurately in their reflectors.


    It's not obvious to me that LEDs would be mounted significantly more
    accurately than a filament bulb. As I understand it, flange mount
    filament bulbs exist for the specific purpose of controlling the
    filament position very accurately. After 100 years, and using the
    highly automated processes they now use, I'd expect they'd have things
    under control.

    But then, I'm already on record as being a person who's not bothered by
    a less-than-smooth field of light.

    > One reason bike light companies use MR lamps is that the optics are
    > pre-engineered and pre-made.


    Right, but they're pre-engineered for illuminating things like
    Christmas trees and paintings on walls! The requirements for road
    riding are much different!

    The bigger reason for using them is that they are readily available in
    bulk, even if they're a long way from optimum. The manufacturers can
    buy low and sell high.

    - Frank Krygowski
     
  15. SMS

    SMS Guest

    Bill Baka wrote:

    > It wasn't made up. I am an electronics engineer by trade and the quantum
    > physics are there for anyone to look up if they can understand them. The
    > only heat loss is in the resistors used to limit the current to the LEDs
    > so they don't get too much current and burn out.


    In fact, managing the heat generated by the high power LEDs is very
    difficult, and Lumileds has whole papers dedicated to the subject.

    "http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/AB05.pdf"
     
  16. Mike Kruger

    Mike Kruger Guest

    "Dane Buson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In rec.bicycles.misc Peter Cole <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> Bill Baka wrote:
    >>
    >>> I tried Halogen once at night on a rough road and the filaments break
    >>> under the stress of bouncing. The same thing happened on my cars on off
    >>> road excursions or when I hit potholes.

    >>
    >> I've never broken a filament from "bouncing".

    >
    > I have. :-(
    >
    > Of course, it was from dropping the headlight on the floor. i.e.
    > It was not attached to the bike the time. Still, at least it was
    > a $5 B&M bulb and not a $20 Night Rider bulb.
    >

    I just broke one Sunday, from dropping the bulb on a concrete floor when
    changing the batteries. This is one of the Cateye halogen bulbs for the
    micro-lights with 4 AA batteries. Since these lights are a common bike shop
    item, I'm hoping these are easy bulbs to find. I will probably be
    unpleasantly surprised.
     
  17. Bill Baka

    Bill Baka Guest

    SMS wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >
    >> It wasn't made up. I am an electronics engineer by trade and the
    >> quantum physics are there for anyone to look up if they can understand
    >> them. The only heat loss is in the resistors used to limit the current
    >> to the LEDs so they don't get too much current and burn out.

    >
    >
    > In fact, managing the heat generated by the high power LEDs is very
    > difficult, and Lumileds has whole papers dedicated to the subject.
    >
    > "http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/AB05.pdf"


    The LEDs do get a little warm but not hot in the sense that anything is
    going to get hurt.
    Bill
     
  18. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Bill Baka wrote:
    > SMS wrote:
    >
    >> Bill Baka wrote:
    >>
    >>> It wasn't made up. I am an electronics engineer by trade and the
    >>> quantum physics are there for anyone to look up if they can
    >>> understand them. The only heat loss is in the resistors used to limit
    >>> the current to the LEDs so they don't get too much current and burn out.

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> In fact, managing the heat generated by the high power LEDs is very
    >> difficult, and Lumileds has whole papers dedicated to the subject.
    >>
    >> "http://www.lumileds.com/pdfs/AB05.pdf"

    >
    >
    > The LEDs do get a little warm but not hot in the sense that anything is
    > going to get hurt.
    > Bill


    The figure used for incandescent efficiency is around 5%. That means 95%
    of the electrical energy becomes heat. LEDs of the kind used in bikes
    lights are less than 2x as efficient, so perhaps 10% -- 90% of
    electrical energy converted to heat. A 5W halogen will generate around
    4.5W of heat, a 5W LED 4W, only slightly less -- there are electrical
    and optical losses which have nothing to do with quantum physics.
     
  19. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Matt O'Toole wrote:
    >
    >>LEDs do seem to produce a more even beam than incandescents, which are not
    >>only blotchy but inconsistent from one example to the next. Sometimes
    >>they can be improved by bending the bulb back and forth in the mount, but
    >>not always. I've thrown away several lights that were never quite right.
    >>It seems LEDs can be mounted more accurately in their reflectors.

    >
    >
    > It's not obvious to me that LEDs would be mounted significantly more
    > accurately than a filament bulb. As I understand it, flange mount
    > filament bulbs exist for the specific purpose of controlling the
    > filament position very accurately. After 100 years, and using the
    > highly automated processes they now use, I'd expect they'd have things
    > under control.


    Incandescents have a fairly large filament, which makes them non-point
    sources, giving hot spots in the beam. The typical solution for his is
    to use a diffuser. Edison bulbs are usually frosted, spotlights have a
    "pebbled" lens, and miniature lamps have faceted reflectors -- all to
    achieve uniform lighting. Unfortunately, these techniques make it more
    difficult to collimate (focus) the beam so can't be used where a narrow
    beam is needed.

    LEDs are much closer to a point source. The actual radiating surface is
    tiny, usually a lens is built into the housing. White LEDs, like the
    high power ones in the better bike lights use phosphors (like
    fluorescents), so they have a somewhat larger radiating surface, but the
    radiation pattern is uniform and the surface is still small relative to
    incandescents.

    When riding with lights, you pick out much surface detail by the shadows
    cast. It isn't helpful when the light source casts its own shadows.
     
  20. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Peter Cole <[email protected]> writes in part:

    > When riding with lights, you pick out much surface detail by the shadows
    > cast.


    {\mini_rant
    That's one of the things I have against having to mount "to see by"
    lights way up on the handlebar.

    The light mfgrs have plenty of room for more imagination when it
    comes to designing and making available mounting/attachment systems
    for their products.
    }


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     
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