4.1.1 Philips LED bike light (battery powered with cutoff) (abbreviated as LBL) = Philips Saferide 80 (name change from ca. 2011)

Tested: 1-21 August 2010, and may times after that. In Sept. 2013 I tested a new version with neutral white LEDs.

Best bike lamp I've ever seen (for on-road use), at a relatively moderate 270 lumen with its superb beam pattern and even illumination of the road surface it blows the Magicshine MJ-808, Edelux and Ktronik's dynamo powered triple XP-G away (and that's true for any other bike lamp I've tested so far except the Betty, up to Sept. 2013: Update 2015-1-6: This is still true, I have not yet seen a better headlamp). It lights up the full width of the road (at least 7 metre) and throw is about 70 m. Bad points: Some versions have a timer to swtich to low mode to make sure you can get home with light, which is set rather short, so the runtime on high is just over an hour. Further, on bad roads the lamp slightly rattles on the mount.

2013-9-27: The new version with what appear to be neutral white LEDs, was made at least since week 41 of 2012, so perhaps this was the first bicycle headlamp with neutral white LEDs? The electronics is also much improved, and the status LEDs too. This is (still) the best bicycle headlamp you can buy...

More details: Philips LED bike light (battery powered): description and review + comparison with Edelux and other lamps

No longer made since early 2014...

4.1.2 Q-lite QL-269 (battery powered with cutoff)

Tested: 29 June 2011 - 4 Dec. 2011

Interesting in that it uses a Cree MC-E running at about 5W which should give a similar amount of light to the Philips LBL, but the reflector isn't able to put enough light at the top of the beam, which means little throw. For fast nighttime riders some 2.4W dynamo lamps such as the Edelux or Philips SLD are in fact better. For those who ride at a more leisurely pace at night (say 20 km/h) this lamp is suited very well. I would then only use the low beam, which gives a very wide, very even and very bright beam which lights up the road up to about 40m. I don't like the fact that the cutoff is different for low and high modes, as this means the lamp will blind oncoming traffic in high mode once it's been setup properly in low-mode. The rules in StVZO should be changed to take a changing cutoff into account, i.e. that should not be allowed! Cyclists will likely not turn off the high beam, just like often moped riders don't do that... Using a lamp with good cutoff beam, a high beam is not needed in both cases.

More details: Q-lite QL-269

4.1.3 Philips Saferide 40 battery (battery powered with cutoff)

Tested: 28 Nov. 2011 - sometime early 2012

Even beam, but the plug doesn't seem sturdy enough, which gave me problems. A stronger lightbeam is desirable in many cases, so I'm not going to a buy a replacement to do further tests.

More details: Philips Saferide 40 battery

No longer made since early 2014...

4.1.4 Philips Saferide 80 pedelec (battery powered with cutoff)

Tested: Feb. + Nov. 2012

Pedelecs are classed in 2 categories: The first is 25 km/h electric bicycles with pedal assist, the second is fast-pedelecs which can go up to 45 km/h, only allowed in some countries. This lamp is a souped up version of the Saferide 60. It was originally meant for OEMs only, but became available for loose sale in 2012 (from ca. March 2012...)

I had trouble with this headlamp as the first came without instructions, before testing the second I asked for the instructions but they can be interpreted in different ways (due to the drawings in the manual but also the input/output voltage specs printed on the lamp). These instruction really need to be changed! I have used the 2nd one on dynamo, which is possible directly, but that gives a very weak beam (far weaker than a Saferide 40 or Cyo), and when I tried it with a battery it died. New instructions were found by a reader of my website, but it was too late for me...

I'm not going to test any more samples of this lamp, what you can expect from the beam can be seen on my Saferide 60 modification/dissection page where I run the Saferide 60 with the LBL driver.

More details: Philips Saferide 80 pedelec

No longer made since early 2014...

Other headlamps with cutoff that run on batteries that could be of interest

The reference lamp is:

Which is the best lamp for on-road use I've seen (as of summer 2011). The rest of this page was originally part of the review of the Philips LBL, but it has expanded so much that it is worth a separate page, and here I describe all lamps with cutoff that could be of interest, but that I haven't got a sample of to review.

Vienna's beamshots

Addition 2011-4-30: 'Vienna' from Japan made a series of beamshots with the camera on a tripod, see: http://photozou.jp/photo/list/214524/3815481

Update: More beamshots from Vienna, also with the Roxim RX5: http://photozou.jp/photo/list/214524/4445699

Here are Vienna's beamshots of the lamps that interest me most:

Click on the thumbnail for the original size:
Big bang, Philips LBL, Dosun D1 Bright-mode, Dosun D1 Regular-mode:


Trelock LS950 and Ixon IQ on high:

The hut is at 40m, the wall behind that at 50 m. Lampheight is 1.00m, camera height is 1.20m. Camera settings: ISO200, F3.2, 1.3s, which is about the same as my beamshots (ISO 80, F3.5, 4s). The surface is fairly light gray, probably lighter than the rough gray asphalt of road 2.

Pondering about the beamshots:

So, for me the question is still: How good are the Big bang and D1 compared to LBL? I think I need to do some tests with the cutoff of lamps against e.g. a wall at long distance as well.

Lux and lumen measurements (estimates) by Vienna

2011-5-29: Very good work by Vienna again, giving lumen output values calibrated using the known output of a given flashlight. The way this works is as follows:

So the room is essentially used as an integrating sphere which is calibrated using the torch of a type that was measured somewhere else. See Vienna's results here: 2011-5-29: Vienna's lux measurements and lumen estimates.


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