Light & Motion 3-watt LED headlight



D

David L. Johnson

Guest
Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
something as usable.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | "Business!" cried the Ghost. "Mankind was my business. The
_`\(,_ | common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance,
(_)/ (_) | and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my
trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my
business!" --Dickens, "A Christmas Carol"
 
R

Rich Clark

Guest
"David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:p[email protected]
>
> Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
> light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
> My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
> something as usable.


I ordered one that I expect to be delivered tomorrow or Friday. The test I
read indicated that it might well be sufficient for standalone road use, and
it certainly looks convenient to use. Reviews are good; see:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2005/reviews/light_and_motion_vega

and

http://www.bikefriday.com/main.cfm?fuseaction=news.article&ID=453&Category=Shop

I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.

RichC
 
W

Wayne Pein

Guest
David L. Johnson wrote:

> Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
> light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
> My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
> something as usable.
>


I bought one for my wife. We took it for a test ride along with the car.
It's amazingly visible from the perspectives of another road user. She
thought it was adequate for seeing on an unlit street on a downhill
curve. We think its a great light.

Wayne
 
M

Mike Rice

Guest
On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 21:29:44 -0400, "David L. Johnson"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
>light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
>My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
>something as usable.


Check out the cateye EL500. I run a pair of these through a tinted
fairing & am very pleased.

Indiana Mike
 
R

Ron Hardin

Guest
Mike Rice wrote:
>
> On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 21:29:44 -0400, "David L. Johnson"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> >
> >Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
> >light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
> >My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
> >something as usable.

>
> Check out the cateye EL500. I run a pair of these through a tinted
> fairing & am very pleased.
>
> Indiana Mike


I use four EL500's, which means I like the light, but two is marginal.

One of them I use more as a canary, with a lower capacity battery, to warn
when they all need to be recharged, by its going dim (leaving the other
three working). Rechargeables with LEDs don't give enough warning to cover
the rest of the trip, otherwise, when they start to run out.

Don't run them far into dimness, or you'll reverse-charge the weakest of the
four AA batteries with the other three.

--
Ron Hardin
[email protected]

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
 
D

David L. Johnson

Guest
On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:18:12 -0400, Rich Clark wrote:

> I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.


Looking forward to it.

--

David L. Johnson

__o | The lottery is a tax on those who fail to understand
_`\(,_ | mathematics.
(_)/ (_) |
 
J

Joe Faust

Guest
On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:18:12 -0400, "Rich Clark"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>"David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>news:p[email protected]
>>
>> Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
>> light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
>> My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
>> something as usable.

>
>I ordered one that I expect to be delivered tomorrow or Friday. The test I
>read indicated that it might well be sufficient for standalone road use, and
>it certainly looks convenient to use. Reviews are good; see:
>
>http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2005/reviews/light_and_motion_vega
>
>and
>
>http://www.bikefriday.com/main.cfm?fuseaction=news.article&ID=453&Category=Shop
>
>I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.
>
>RichC


http://www.cateye.com/en/products/viewProduct.php?modelId=47&catId=7&subCatId=2
Cateye has a less expensive alternate to the Light & Motion Vega LED
Headlight. The cateye HL-EL510 costs about $60 or £40, and ouptuts 800
candlepower or approximately 62 lumens, vs Vega's $175 and 95 lumen on
high.

On High the Vega runs 2 hours on internal Nicad, vs the Cateye 30
hours on 4 AA.
 
R

rdclark

Guest
Joe Faust wrote:

> http://www.cateye.com/en/products/viewProduct.php?modelId=47&catId=7&subCatId=2
> Cateye has a less expensive alternate to the Light & Motion Vega LED
> Headlight. The cateye HL-EL510 costs about $60 or £40, and ouptuts 800
> candlepower or approximately 62 lumens, vs Vega's $175 and 95 lumen on
> high.
>
> On High the Vega runs 2 hours on internal Nicad, vs the Cateye 30
> hours on 4 AA.


Have you compared the actual lights, or just their published specs?

RichC
 
P

Peter Cole

Guest
Joe Faust wrote:
> On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:18:12 -0400, "Rich Clark"
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>
>>"David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
>>news:p[email protected]
>>
>>>Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights adequate to
>>>light the road --- to see as well as to be seen? Anyone use these yet?
>>>My Nightrider battery is dying and irreplaceable, and I am looking for
>>>something as usable.

>>
>>I ordered one that I expect to be delivered tomorrow or Friday. The test I
>>read indicated that it might well be sufficient for standalone road use, and
>>it certainly looks convenient to use. Reviews are good; see:
>>
>>http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2005/reviews/light_and_motion_vega
>>
>>and
>>
>>http://www.bikefriday.com/main.cfm?fuseaction=news.article&ID=453&Category=Shop
>>
>>I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.
>>
>>RichC

>
>
> http://www.cateye.com/en/products/viewProduct.php?modelId=47&catId=7&subCatId=2
> Cateye has a less expensive alternate to the Light & Motion Vega LED
> Headlight. The cateye HL-EL510 costs about $60 or £40, and ouptuts 800
> candlepower or approximately 62 lumens, vs Vega's $175 and 95 lumen on
> high.
>
> On High the Vega runs 2 hours on internal Nicad, vs the Cateye 30
> hours on 4 AA.
>


Something sounds a little fishy. If a 2.5W (halogen) light runs for 3 hr
on 4 AA's, how can a 1W light run 30 hr on the same batteries?

I have had a Nitehawk Emitter for about 6 months, which is a 1W LED
lamp. Its rated for 8 hr with 4 AA batteries. I find it to be comparable
to a 2.5W halogen like the Cateye MicroII (I have 3 of those). I paid
about $30 for the Nitehawk, the Cateyes are as low as $8 recently. The
current generation of white LEDs are somewhat more efficient than
halogen, perhaps 2x, but not 10x.
 
E

Eric Babula

Guest
"Rich Clark" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

>
> "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:p[email protected]
>>
>> Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights
>> adequate to light the road --- to see as well as to be seen?
>> Anyone use these yet? My Nightrider battery is dying and
>> irreplaceable, and I am looking for something as usable.

>
> I ordered one that I expect to be delivered tomorrow or Friday. The
> test I read indicated that it might well be sufficient for
> standalone road use, and it certainly looks convenient to use.
> Reviews are good; see:
>
> http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2005/reviews/light_and_m
> otion_vega
>
> and
>
> http://www.bikefriday.com/main.cfm?fuseaction=news.article&ID=453&Ca
> tegory=Shop
>
> I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.
>
> RichC
>
>


I'll admit I'm a little ignorant with regards to lighting. I have a
VistaLite Nightstick 15 (two lamps: a 5W and 10W). I mostly use the 5W
to shine at oncoming cars, and the 10W down on the road in front of me.
Even with the 10W lamp, I sometimes feel that I'd like even more light
than I have.

Now, this Light & Motion is only a 3W light. Is that really enough for
nighttime commuting on the road? Or, are there other standards I need to
know about, so that this lamp gives off as much or more light than my
VistaLite?

Just trying to learn a bit more....

--
Eric Babula
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention
of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body.
But rather, it’s to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a ride!!!'
 
R

Roger Zoul

Guest
Rich Clark wrote:
:: "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
:: news:p[email protected]
:::
::: Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights
::: adequate to light the road --- to see as well as to be seen?
::: Anyone use these yet? My Nightrider battery is dying and
::: irreplaceable, and I am looking for something as usable.
::
:: I ordered one that I expect to be delivered tomorrow or Friday. The
:: test I read indicated that it might well be sufficient for
:: standalone road use, and it certainly looks convenient to use.
:: Reviews are good; see:
::
::
http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2005/reviews/light_and_motion_vega
::
:: and
::
::
http://www.bikefriday.com/main.cfm?fuseaction=news.article&ID=453&Category=Shop
::
:: I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.

I'll be looking forward to your follow up. I got my Nite-Hawk Emitter out
the day before yesterday...bought it last winter but didn't use it because I
didn't feel comfortable riding without being able to see off the the sides -
the beam is pretty narrow. So now i'm thinking of two lights on the handle
bars and one on the helmet. Anywho, I been testing the run-time on the
Nite-Hawk on the high beam. It's supposed to last 9 hours in that mode, but
so far it's been going for well over 24 hours -- it will be 36 hours by
12:35 pm today...the beam is a nice bright white and hasn't weaked at all.
In fact, last night the power in my neighborhood went out for over 2 hours.
So I used this light to see...since I couldn't go to the gym (no power), I
decided to do a dumbell workout at home. After that, as I was getting hot, I
went for a nice walk (I didn't go for a bike ride simply because I didn't
want to spend time trying to put the mounting bracket on the bike in the
dark - in my garage - where creepy crawly things live). Anywho, the light
was able to enable me to see the road well, even though there was a partial
full moon out. I'm a little concerned that maybe I'm not getting the
appropriate amount of light out of this unit as it's been going well over
the rated 9 hours for the high beam...the low beam is supposed to go for 92
hours or something like that. And these are the same batteries I put in
there last winter, even though I haven't really used the unit much. Also, I
do enjoy the bright white light...I'm not sure how I'd feel about the blue
tint on the Light & Motion....I'd be happy to hear your comments about that,
Rich.
 
R

Roger Zoul

Guest
Peter Cole wrote:
:: Joe Faust wrote:
::: On Wed, 12 Oct 2005 22:18:12 -0400, "Rich Clark"
::: <[email protected]> wrote:
:::
:::
:::: "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
:::: news:p[email protected]
::::
::::: Has LED lighting come of age yet? Are these 3-watt LED lights
::::: adequate to light the road --- to see as well as to be seen?
::::: Anyone use these yet? My Nightrider battery is dying and
::::: irreplaceable, and I am looking for something as usable.
::::
:::: I ordered one that I expect to be delivered tomorrow or Friday.
:::: The test I read indicated that it might well be sufficient for
:::: standalone road use, and it certainly looks convenient to use.
:::: Reviews are good; see:
::::
::::
http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=tech/2005/reviews/light_and_motion_vega
::::
:::: and
::::
::::
http://www.bikefriday.com/main.cfm?fuseaction=news.article&ID=453&Category=Shop
::::
:::: I'll follow up next week after I've had a chance to use it.
::::
:::: RichC
:::
:::
:::
http://www.cateye.com/en/products/viewProduct.php?modelId=47&catId=7&subCatId=2
::: Cateye has a less expensive alternate to the Light & Motion Vega
::: LED Headlight. The cateye HL-EL510 costs about $60 or £40, and
::: ouptuts 800 candlepower or approximately 62 lumens, vs Vega's $175
::: and 95 lumen on high.
:::
::: On High the Vega runs 2 hours on internal Nicad, vs the Cateye 30
::: hours on 4 AA.
:::
::
:: Something sounds a little fishy. If a 2.5W (halogen) light runs for
:: 3 hr on 4 AA's, how can a 1W light run 30 hr on the same batteries?
::
:: I have had a Nitehawk Emitter for about 6 months, which is a 1W LED
:: lamp. Its rated for 8 hr with 4 AA batteries.

May I ask why you got ride of it? I bought one last winter that I never
really have used because I don't like having dark to the sides and also due
to the fact that I can't see my bike on a really dark night. so I'm thinking
of getting a helmet light too, and maybe adding a second light on the
handlebar, just to get a wider beam. I have been testing my Nitehawk
Emitter since the night before last....so far it's still going on high beam
for over 24 hours....sounds fishy to me, perhaps this unit is defective and
my high beam is not what it should be. I have no means for comparison,
since I don't have another Emitter.

I find it to be
:: comparable to a 2.5W halogen like the Cateye MicroII (I have 3 of
:: those). I paid about $30 for the Nitehawk, the Cateyes are as low as
:: $8 recently. The current generation of white LEDs are somewhat more
:: efficient than halogen, perhaps 2x, but not 10x.
 
P

Peter Cole

Guest
Roger Zoul wrote:
> Peter Cole wrote:
> :: Joe Faust wrote:
> ::: On High the Vega runs 2 hours on internal Nicad, vs the Cateye 30
> ::: hours on 4 AA.
> :::
> ::
> :: Something sounds a little fishy. If a 2.5W (halogen) light runs for
> :: 3 hr on 4 AA's, how can a 1W light run 30 hr on the same batteries?
> ::
> :: I have had a Nitehawk Emitter for about 6 months, which is a 1W LED
> :: lamp. Its rated for 8 hr with 4 AA batteries.
>
> May I ask why you got ride of it? I bought one last winter that I never
> really have used because I don't like having dark to the sides and also due
> to the fact that I can't see my bike on a really dark night.


I still have it, I bought it for my son, who crashed and broke the mount
(oddly, the light was not on the bike), I've been debating whether to go
through Nitehawk's reportedly crappy customer service to get a new one.
I've been using it as a work light, unfortunately I found that exposure
to automobile brake fluid (don't ask) caused the lens to crack. It still
works fine though. As a matter of fact, last week it allowed us to pick
our way through a narrow 3/4 mile harbor channel when we got caught out
after sunset on our sailboat in a very dense fog.


> I have been testing my Nitehawk
> Emitter since the night before last....so far it's still going on high beam
> for over 24 hours....sounds fishy to me, perhaps this unit is defective and
> my high beam is not what it should be. I have no means for comparison,
> since I don't have another Emitter.


I'm still on my original batteries, I'm guessing my total time used so
far is several hours, although I haven't been keeping track. I'd be
surprised if the light's burn time was really that much longer than
Nitehawk's own spec of 8 hr -- which relates roughly to a 1W electrical
load. My concern with the lights that claim 1W and 30 hr is that they're
using some kind of "incandescent equivalent" rating, like some of the
florescent bulb makers do.

During your lifetime test are you sure you're on the "high" setting?

When I first got the light I did a comparison with the Cateye MicroII
and felt that the Emitter was perhaps slightly dimmer and narrower, but
had a more even and much whiter beam. I judged them to be about equal in
usability, with the big Emitter advantage primarily being much longer
battery and bulb life, the low beam and whiteness over battery life
being a bonus. I like it well enough that I'll probably get another when
I can find it for $30-35USD.
 
D

David L. Johnson

Guest
On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 12:48:32 +0000, Eric Babula wrote:

> I'll admit I'm a little ignorant with regards to lighting. I have a
> VistaLite Nightstick 15 (two lamps: a 5W and 10W). I mostly use the 5W
> to shine at oncoming cars, and the 10W down on the road in front of me.
> Even with the 10W lamp, I sometimes feel that I'd like even more light
> than I have.
>
> Now, this Light & Motion is only a 3W light. Is that really enough for
> nighttime commuting on the road?


Don't you have any compact florescent lightbulbs? "60 watts of light for
only 14 watts of power"? Different lights use power differently.
Florescent bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, since less of
the energy is wasted as heat.

It's the same idea with various bike lights. Current halogen bulbs are
more efficient than standard incandescent, and HID is even better. But
LED lights are better still, in terms of light per watt. The limitation
with LEDs has been getting one big enough with enough output to use as a
headlight, and with a decent color. Taillights are almost universally
LEDs now, since they give off great be-seen light and even tiny batteries
last nearly forever. That was not the case for incandescent rear lights.

Or, are there other standards I need to
> know about, so that this lamp gives off as much or more light than my
> VistaLite?


This is more or less the question I asked. It seems at least close.


--

David L. Johnson

__o | What is objectionable, and what is dangerous about extremists is
_`\(,_ | not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant.
(_)/ (_) | --Robert F. Kennedy
 
R

rdclark

Guest
David L. Johnson wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 12:48:32 +0000, Eric Babula wrote:


> Or, are there other standards I need to
> > know about, so that this lamp gives off as much or more light than my
> > VistaLite?

>
> This is more or less the question I asked. It seems at least close.


I have a 15W single-lamp Niterider halogen, which has been a reliable
and sufficiencly bright light. But the battery uses up a bottle cage,
and now alsoneeds to be replaced.

I have a dual-halogen Performance light, with 15W total (one flood, one
spot), that has also been reliable but is not as subjectively bright as
the Niterider, and the very heavy battery also takes up a bottle cage.

And I have an Emitter, the Performance-branded one. It is not
sufficient by itself, but I value it as a supplement/backup in case of
lamp or battery failure of my main light.

I'm trying the L&M Vega in hope that it can equal the Niterider in
terms of overall brightness on the pavement, and allow me to reclaim
that bottle cage. Not having that second cage available makes me have
to carry my coffee thermos elsewhere, which forces me to add a pannier,
and the whole thing ends up adding an inordinate amount of weight to
the bike just to accommodate the battery. So it will be worth it to me
if I can use this new self-contained light instead, perhaps in tandem
with the Emitter.

RichC
 
David L. Johnson wrote:
>
> Don't you have any compact florescent lightbulbs? "60 watts of light for
> only 14 watts of power"? Different lights use power differently.
> Florescent bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, since less of
> the energy is wasted as heat.
>
> It's the same idea with various bike lights. Current halogen bulbs are
> more efficient than standard incandescent, and HID is even better. But
> LED lights are better still, in terms of light per watt.


I don't believe that's the case.

I know LEDs are improving very rapidly. But people have been claiming
for years that white LEDs are more efficient (more lumens per watt)
than halogen bulbs. It's my understanding that it only _recently_
became true for some white LEDs, but not most of them.

AFAIK, nobody is claiming that LEDs are more efficient than HID lamps.

Admittedly I'm just going by memory, and I've found data rather hard to
come by. But see
http://www2.whidbey.net/opto/LEDFAQ/The LED FAQ Pages.html#Q7
as one reference on this point.

Again, LEDs are improving rapidly. And that page is a few years old, I
think. But it's a little early to imagine LEDs beat all comers.

BTW, I think red LEDs beat red incandescents long ago, partly because
the incandescent actually puts out white (i.e. a mix of wavelengths)
and the red lens absorbed most of that white, leaving only the red to
pass. That caused much less efficiency than a white incandescent.

- Frank Krygowski
 
S

SMS

Guest
Peter Cole wrote:

> I have had a Nitehawk Emitter for about 6 months, which is a 1W LED
> lamp. Its rated for 8 hr with 4 AA batteries. I find it to be comparable
> to a 2.5W halogen like the Cateye MicroII (I have 3 of those). I paid
> about $30 for the Nitehawk, the Cateyes are as low as $8 recently. The
> current generation of white LEDs are somewhat more efficient than
> halogen, perhaps 2x, but not 10x.


Unfortunately, much of the efficiency gain is lost because it is not
possible to focus the output of the LED very well.

When you move to the 5W LEDs, they have a very short lifetime, and are
expensive to replace, but the 3W LEDs have a reasonable lifespan.

For "being seen" the LED lights are excellent, but for lighting up the
road they are not great.

REI has a good deal on the CygoLite Night Rover NiMH XTRA, for $70. It's
one 6W and one 10W beam.
"http://www.rei.com/product/47842645.htm?vcat=REI_SSHP_CYCLING_TOC"
 
S

Stephen Harding

Guest
Eric Babula wrote:

> Now, this Light & Motion is only a 3W light. Is that really enough for
> nighttime commuting on the road? Or, are there other standards I need to
> know about, so that this lamp gives off as much or more light than my
> VistaLite?


I believe candlepower ratings are what you'd want to compare.

Three Watts can be plenty sufficient for night time *road*
commuting. I use a 3W Lumotec Plus light powered by a
generator on my primary commuter.

How the lense shapes the light is really more important I
think than a Wattage rating.


SMH
 
P

Peter Cole

Guest
SMS wrote:
> Peter Cole wrote:
>
>> I have had a Nitehawk Emitter for about 6 months, which is a 1W LED
>> lamp. Its rated for 8 hr with 4 AA batteries. I find it to be
>> comparable to a 2.5W halogen like the Cateye MicroII (I have 3 of
>> those). I paid about $30 for the Nitehawk, the Cateyes are as low as
>> $8 recently. The current generation of white LEDs are somewhat more
>> efficient than halogen, perhaps 2x, but not 10x.

>
>
> Unfortunately, much of the efficiency gain is lost because it is not
> possible to focus the output of the LED very well.


Given that the actual emitting surface of the LED is small, I'd think it
would be easier to focus them. The uniformity of the narrow Nitehawk
lamp seems to bear that out, if anything, the beam might be too narrow,
suggesting that it collimates well with a relatively small reflector. I
find them impressive side-by-side with a 2.5W halogen, but not
stunningly so -- by that I mean comparable light at a bit more than 1/3
the power consumption and a nicer beam pattern. Like those halogens, I
think it qualifies as a "bare minimum" bike light.

http://members.misty.com/don/led.html#w

UPDATE 7/31/2005: Lumileds white Luxeons typically produce 45 lumens at
350 mA with a typical voltage drop at 3.42 mA. This works out to 37.6
lumens/watt, although at a chip temperature of 25 degrees C which
requires a heatsink temperature of typically 1 degree C.