2017-11-9: I have reviewed most good products, and the bad products are good examples to show problems. This along with the fact that nothing seems to be really improving in products and that this site is not appreciated enough in the sense of giving sales, it means I will stop selling some time in 2018 and I will only review in future what seems interesting, i.e. produts that could from specifications/picture have a chance to be really be better than what is available now. I will split up the technical analysis, experiments, etc. which manufacturers and customers can use to see what needs to be improved and looked at, from the reviews.
2017-11-9: Removal of all Dutch and German pages, and beginning of separation of the analysis and experimenting pages, from the reviews.
2017-5-29: Final testrides with the H-black pro and Axendo 60: Direct comparison with the Saferide 60 neutral white shows that the Saferide 60 neutral white is the best, the Axendo 60 XDAS has auto on/off and DRL and is much cheaper than the the Saferide 60 was, but still, it's not better than the almost 7 year old Saferide 60... The beam of the H-black pro is poor, overexposure from ca. 7m to a bit further on, then the annnoyance from the colour fringing, the light going upward into your eyes, all in all makes me say "not recommended". I do recommend the Axendo 60.
2017-5-24: 2nd testride with Herrmans H-black pro vs. Roxim D6: The D6 has a nicer beam, not as wide as the H-black pro, but for a wide beam to be really useful (and not distracting when riding past fences) it needs to be shaped differently, as I mentioned in my review with description of issues that the IQ-X has, here it's almost the same. The 3 sections (as if there are 3 overlapping cones) of the beam of the H-black pro, annoy me far more than the artefacts of the beam of the D6... Also there is overexposure from about 7 metres from the tyre to a bit further, perhaps to 15m or so, compared to the brightness of the rest of the beam. I'm not impressed by the H-black pro at all, not in housing, not in beam shape, not in light output.
2017-5-23: Initial impressions of the Axendo 60 XDAS (auto on/off and daytime lights) and Herrmans H-black pro, from a 10km ride with these lamps and a comparison with the Trelock LS906 and the Saferide 80 (the last version, neutral white): on the H-black pro it says 1.3W. WTF? Is this for the stupid 1.5W DIN standard? Why not the normal 2.4W? I measured the lamp on my DC power supply and it was 0.22A at 6V (Axendo 60 almost 0.5A at 6V!), this agreed with the 1.3W. By just going for the normal standard it could have produced much more light, unless the cutoff limit of 2 lux is already reached at this power output with this lens/LED combination. The light output is reasonable, unfortunately cool white. You see colour fringing at the start (typical from diffraction by a lens), and it has 3 sections, 3 cones starting off at ca. 1.5m from the front wheel. The beam is wide but not where it's most useful. It doesn't work for tight cornering. The Axendo 60's beam is almost the same as the Saferide 60, and like most manufacturers have gone with cool white which is not so good though the advantages of neutral white become clearer at higher light levels. It seems a little more diffuse close to you (esp. the artefacts). Testing riding through tight bends, the artefacts can actually be used to see the bend and beside the road, it is when doing this, the best headlamp so far for in that respect. The beam is nice and fairly even, but as with the original Saferide 60 it has overexposure on the tyre. Despite that, after riding with the Axendo 60 I didn't like it when I went back to riding with the LS906, due to the narrower beam of the LS906 and the too many artefacts close to the bike, so the Axendo 60 may become the daily use lamp on my main bike. The H-black pro lets too much light go towards the rider and when you are riding in an aerodynamic position it becomes even worse, a lot of light goes, direct as from an almost point source to your eyes. It is if looking at a non-diffuse 5mm LED close up, it's bad, really bad, you need to make a shroud or put tape on the upper part of the lens if you want to do fast riding at night. Don't these people test their own lamps? The on/off switch on the H-black pro is fairly heavy going, it has a crappy plasticy feel too, there is no comparision with the switch on the Edelux or with the even better switch on the Bidi. Herrmans mentions automotive technology in the beam, well, most beams from car headlamps are quite poor and this beam is not really better. Nowhere near optimal. The Axendo 60 however for the price of about €45,- is very good in just about all respects. But I would have liked to have seen a lot more light output from headlamps in 2017!
2017-1-26: Start of the review of the Spanninga/Philips Elips and the Spanninga Vivo.
2017-1-21: For those into modifying taillamps: Long ago I opened the housing of the H-track (using a screwdriver to pry it open bit by bit along the edge as the glued bond isn't that strong) and then I desoldered the middle LED. This removes the annoying point source and it's then a good taillamp... (power use is also lower...)
2017-1-17: Start of review of the Union 4470 fender mounted taillamp supplied with rechargeable battery (also available with non-rechargeable battery) and the 4365 rack mounted dynamo taillamp. In construction these are good but the optics on the 4470 are not good, and partly fake. From the product picture the optic looks as if it distributes the light downwards too, but this is not so, it is just 'decoration'. The 4365 is fairly good but too bright, esp. at the centres where the LEDs are. Manufacturers should look at the Spanniga Solo and Lineo! Both have all bolts/nuts in stainless steel, except the embedded nut for the bolt to open the lamp in the 4470 which is brass. That's how taillamps should be...
2017-1-5: Update on the Secula: The mounting for any fender mounted taillamp should be stainless steel, not standard steel which is esp. important for fender mounted taillamps as in that position a lot more water gets onto the bolt... Mine was rusted so badly that in getting off the nut, the bolt damaged the housing and it is now loose in the lamp, so I will cut it open soon. A reader mentioned that the battery powered version of the Secula has bad weather proofing, and the switch far too easily switches the lamp on, already doing so 'when you look at it' ;-) That's bad for battery powered lamps, you don't want your batteries drained and then to cycle without functioning taillamp! To be tested soon: Union 4375/4470 taillamps for dynamo/battery on fender, Union 4365/4460 taillamps for dynamo/battery on rear rack, Spanninga/Philips Elips (dynamo), Spanninga Vivo, B&M Toplight 2C.
2016-11-13: Some updates are delayed further (some beamshots from headlamps/taillamps in particular) until I remake them or rescue more data from the hard disc.
2016-11-10: I removed the IQ-X from my main bike a few weeks ago and replaced it with the LS906. Much nicer in use, but the light colour is as with most LED bicycle headlamps, quite poor, esp. today after rain. Neutral white is far better then, and I hope the Spanninga/Philips lamps use neutral white, or will they have gone with what the average people think is 'brighter'? (i.e. cool white). In Spring I demonstrated the Bidi neutral white comparing it to a Luxos U and the guy could not be made to understand/see that with proper light distribution and better light colour, you can actually see better, even with less apparent (seemingly less bright) light! This was quite interesting but nothing new. It is a big problem in making changes, in making improvements! Neutral white is far better, so why are manufacturers not all using that light colour? Well, people are not critical, not interested in reality but in that which confirms their view of reality. This is also the reason for various of the invalid criticism on my dynamo/light reviews...
2016-11-3: Spanninga took over the lights from Philips and redesigned versions of the taillamps and headlamps (of at least the Saferide 40, Saferide 60, Lumiring) will appear soon and I will test them as soon as I can get my hands on them. If you want one when I can get them, see my sales page.
2016-10-5: For the Renak dynamo hub, see the updated website, also with a history of the company: http://nabendynamo-renak.de, but it's only in German. You can leave comments, experiences, suggestions there. Comments about future versions can be sent to me too...
2016-10-4: Due to a faulty (only intermittently working) hard disc and incomplete backups of relatively recent files, updates will appear again in a while after I rescued more data... (Perhaps only end of October Sometime in November)
2016-4-10: After some emails, updated the section on Revolights with a few comments on why it would not be possible to get this approved in Germany, added links with older somewhat similar devices, and added some of my ideas on mounting large to-be-seen lights on the front/rear fork and fenders.
2016-3-16: Update about the clutch on the Renak hub: It needs some time to 'settle in', see Renak dynamo hubs.
2016-3-14: Testride with the experimental Renak hub with 2 gears, silent, but lower power, see Renak dynamo hubs.
2016-3-12: Started using the Renak dynamo hubs. I will build the wheel with the Renak-experimental and do some tests with that and beamshots of some lamps, update my site with it all, then I need some time off soon to recover from sleep deprivation from all the testing with taillamps, headlamps, dynamos and other stuff the past few weeks! :)
2016-3-5: The review of the IQ-X is almost done, I've done a comparison with Trelock LS906, Roxim D6, Philips Saferide 80, Silva Speed trail elite head-mounted 600 lm lamp for beam shape, colour temperature etc.
2016-2-29:Dissection of PD-8 finally written up and today uploaded it with pictures. Next to come PD-8x.
2016-2-21: First testride with IQ-X in stormy conditions, so not optimal for watching the beamshape, see B&M IQ X
2016-2-16: The past few days I made beamshots of these taillamps: Sigma Stereo (battery), Sigma Mono (battery), Sigma Nugget (battery, standard and with obscured centre because of the too high brightness there), Spanninga Solo, Axa Blueline, B&M Line small, Spanninga O (= O-guard). I will crop the images and upload them soon and finalise the reviews of these taillamps too.
2016-2-6: Started with review of Trelock Bike-i-prio LS 906. I will say already that I'm not impressed... The instructions are pathetic making me waste my time, the beam is too uneven and too narrow at larger distances, the level setting doesn't seem to work and the on/off/level switch can only be fitted on 22.2mm sections of a handlebar. This wouldn't be so bad for me if esp. the morons at Shimano didn't make their gear levers such that they take up almost all the space on the handlebar! Of course, at Shimano nobody ever wants to mount a bell, computer, lamp, or anything else on the handlebar, right? It does put out a lot of light and I will compare it to the Saferide 60 for the final judgment.
2016-1-19: I will probably disassemble a dynamohub for my site soon, without caring for what happens, i.e. destructively, or not, doesn't matter, as it's dead... It was caused by my main test bike which is always outside, falling over several times in the very stormy season of 2015! This is a problem for dynamohubs, all hubs actually, as this will very likely mean rainwater gets into the hub. With dynamohubs it's worse because if there's a failure (in winter, when freezing), it's not just a rough running wheel, but likely will give a dead dynamo from ice killing some wire inside... So it made me write down another idea I've had for ages, which instead of a dynamo hub uses a magnetic clutch.
2015-12-12: PD-7s are again available from me, via a source who still has some in stock, this is the lowest priced option to give nearly vibration free riding in almost any bike ($127/EUR 130 incl. postage). Email if interested, I've made some combination offers on the sales page too.
2015-12-3: The Bidi XML lamp with taillamp will be available via me for ca. EUR 90,- + postage from ca. mid December 2015, in gray and taillamp is in black. LED is neutral white. Black headlamps will probably be available from February at the earliest. Email if interested...
2015-11-30: To come: reviews of Sigma battery taillamp Nugget, Herrmans H-trace (for the StVZO-DIN 1.5W standard which seems pointless to me, but hey... I'll just check it out for use on standard 3W systems), and finally all missing taillamp beamshots. Perhaps I will review Shimano's dynamo hub "DH-T4000" (for 1.5W standard, which seems to me a pointless standard, the regulators should just allow headlamps to use less power from the dynamo hub than as prescribed by TA, as was already allowed with taillamps...) From a comment: "it offers a significantly lower weight and a smoother running". I doubt it. The weight is apparently 581g which is more than all SP's series 8 and 9 3W dynamos, and smoother running, what does that mean? Less drag? Not necessarily and not actually an issue anyway. The price (RRP ca. EUR 55,- is a lot lower than SP's dynamos though))
2015-11-3: I'm reorganising headlamp beamshots, this may take a few days, beamshots may not be visible from various pages during that time. See until then this section directly where they are all placed: koplampen/lichtbundel/index_en.html
2015-11-2: Finally time, inclination and reasonable weather conditions combined so that I made beamshots a few days ago, of: B&M Eyc, B&M Avy, Herrmans H-flow, Roxim D6, Axa Blueline 30, Axa Blueline 30 aimed too high, Axa Blueline 50, Bidi 2015 neutral white (low end of the neutral range, about 4200K according to the maker), and for reference: Edelux 2008, Edelux 2013, Philips Saferide 80 neutral white (high end of the neutral spectrum, I think around 5000K). All pictures made with the RX100. See beamshots 2015-10-29. Comments on how to interpret them and what is bad/good about them are included but for more on this see each review/review summary. Note that interpretation of beamshots is needed, what you see on beamshots is NOT what you experience in reality. I wrote that in various places on my site already. If you just look at beamshots without knowing the issues, it does NOT tell you at all what a good and bad beamshot is...
2015-9-2: Just saw this: Volvo lifepaint, to make the whole bike reflective:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfWzeGlaFvI. Looks interesting except that it only lasts a week or so (with rain) from reading the specifications. What's the point?
2015-9-2: Just saw this: Volvo lifepaint, to make the whole bike reflective:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfWzeGlaFvI. Looks interesting except that it only lasts a week or so (with rain) from reading the specifications. What's the point?
2015-8-17: To come, after an enquiry from someone in Brazil (quite a while ago, again lots of stuff got on the way of finishing this): Measurement/estimation of the area of light emitting surfaces of taillamps.
2015-8-17: A few comments about Revolights after an enquiry by a reader.
2015-8-13: Also to come: Reviews of the Axa Blueline 30, Blueline 50, Blueline taillamp. The taillamp looks good from first impression, I can't say much yet about the headlamps except that their design is nice.
Note: 2015-7-10: To come very soon a review of the Bidi 2015 dynamo powered headlamp (no cutoff) + taillamp. In construction/housing this lamp is better than anything else I've seen, including Supernova. The switch is as in the original version, the best I've ever seen, the selected cables too. Beamshots will be made very soon, along with the Roxim D6, and a bunch of sucky headlamps: Herrmans H-flow, B&M Avy plus N, B&M Eyc N plus.
2015-4-9: Reorganisation of the main page to make it more readable and smaller [ links don't always work yet ]. All technical explanations are placed in separate pages as I already did partially, and summaries will be placed on the main page. The review summaries (for headlamps, taillamps, dynamos) are placed on separate pages, only a list of tests and the results of which lamps/dynamos I recommend and for what reason remain on the main page. Also to come are some additions/changes to the page on Croation bike lighting rules.
2015-2-27: Added pictures to the reviews of the Philips lightring, Herrmans H-track (at 10m, 30m), Basta Ray, Solo battery.
2015-2-23: I sent my query about the contradictory requirements in StVZO/TA, namely between TA.14 and TA.14b for bicycle taillamps, with a list comparing all points in both sections, to someone from the "Lichttechnisches Institut der Universität Karlsruhe" because that is the "zuständige Prüfstelle" (where all dynamos and lamps are tested), and because publisher Kirschbaum said both sections are really part of TA. If that doesn't give a useful reply I will send my list with comments + my comment/explanation that the headlamp aiming requirement in StVZO.67 doesn't make sense, to KBA (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt)...
2015-2-23: Added pictures of the Axa Luxx70plus.
2015-2-23: For your information and amusement I have placed on my site my final response to someone who doesn't understand anything about bike lighting, has no ability to reason and doesn't behave. Anyone else who wants to share his views in a similar manner: Don't bother, I am not interested and will not waste further time on (and give no attention on my site to) anyone like that. I have enough experience with people who are indoctrinated, to know that trying to convince such people of reality, doesn't work... What may be interesting in my reply, is my explanation and correction of his view of what sirens and flashing lights on police cars and ambulances are for... And note that flashing lamps on slow moving vehicles or stopped cars are orange/yellow, so if anything is to be flashing definitely NOT the taillamp, but an extra lamp, orange or yellow, some distance from the taillamp so that speed/distance estimation remains possible. This is what pedal reflectors also do already! (in a far better way than flashing)
2015-2-21: Added pictures of the Spanninga O, Sigma Mono, Spanninga Solo.
2015-2-19: Added pictures of the Spanninga Vena and Nr.9, started the review of Herrmans H-flow.
2015-2-18: Added pictures of the SP PD-8x, Velogical Special (blue), Axa Slim, B&M Secula + beam shots. More to come soon.
2015-2-8:Bicycle lighting standard WHS-2015. The rules used in StVZO and BS are too limited, even contradictory in case of StVZO, illogical, bad, not free, don't explain the requirements, show no sign of really understanding people (psychology, physiology) nor physics, nor logic.
2015-1-30: 1.5 W dynamos (which the Velogical rim-dynamos have been approved as) are ruled by DIN33958. I read somewhere else that at some point TA (technical rules in the German StVZO) could be replaced by this DIN standard. Or at least supplemented? It is possible by virtue of TA.1.3 which says "The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) can deviate from the technical requirements wenn road safety allows it and the technical development requires it.". So they could choose a conformance to DIN 33958 if they think it's a good idea, to give a StVZO approved dynamo or lamp. With 2 dynamos it's been done, the first a Shimano, the second the Velogical rim-dynamos, but what are the rules exactly and what do they say about headlamps and taillamps? Oh, and by the way, all standards used in any laws/approvals should be free (to download etc.)!
2015-1-19: I did a test in reasonable (not very thick) fog to see whether retro-reflection due water droplets is a contribution or even most of the "wall of light" phenomenon. Someone on cpf mentioned this in 2014 or so, I disagreed that it would be a big part theoretically, due to the refractive index. Today I tested this. I looked at the beam a a strong flashlight in fog from the rear and sides. I see the wall of light from the side of the direction of light too. Shining a second torch to an object but far below me (not looking must through the beam of that torch), and shining the other torch to the side, gives a similar obstruction of what you see as when looking through the 1 one torch close to my face. But in this case, in the direction of light it is a bit stronger, logical, because you look through a wider layer of scattered light (namely in the direction of the light, as opposed to that of the width of the beam of the sideways shining torch).
2015-1-6: Because especially some (still very good) headlamps and taillamps are no longer made, I'm now putting links to reviews in brackets for any products that are no longer made (you may still be able to find them in some shops). I will also add notes of when a product went out of production.
2014-12-30: Recently SP released the SV-9 dynamo hub, which I alluded to long ago (April 2014) in my review of the PD-8X... A new record low mass, and efficiency should be very high like the PD-8X. This hub is of interest to weight weenies or people with bicycles with small wheels, but not really to me. I'm not sure whether a review is that useful, except in a bike with small wheels, but I don't have such a bike...
2014-12-1: Review of the Roxim D6, preliminary, pictures to be added.
2014-11-26: Reviews of the B&M Avy and B&M Eyc, only the summary written, and pictures to be added, but the pictures and full text are barely important with these 2...
2014-11-13: Soon lots of updates including reviews of the Avy, Eyc, Roxim D6 and update on the review of the Velogical rim dynamo.
2014-7-28: Velogical are going to send me a dynamo (thanks!) to test myself long term (in all weather conditions, and I will try rear and front wheel and various wheels, new and old to see how much the rim influences any slipping of the dynamo.
2014-7-21: Another user report on the Velogical rim dynamo added.
2014-5-7: A reader of my site notified me of an announcement by Osram which may help explain why Roxim didn't reply to my email about buying a D6: Osram bike lamps 2014-7-5. The shape of the 70 lux lamp FX70 is the same as of the Roxim M6 (which is very similar to the D6), so is it a Roxim? And the FX35 looks like Roxim's RS3. So perhaps Roxim when I enquired about buying a D6 was working on making a deal with Osram and didn't want to respond yet to enquiries? However Osram seem to be going to sell only battery powered lamps, not dynamo powered...
2014-4-11: Added pictures to the Acxing go go shine page and the PD-7 review (flat part of the axle). Added information with the dynamos on whether they are user serviceable. Added a link to a page with SON28 disasembly using a self-made tool. I'm working on a huge backlog of images to be edited and added to this site. Not just lighting, also saddles, kickstands and more. I'm also working on (non-destructively) disassembling SP PV-8/PD-8/PD-7 hubs for a maintenance section.
2014-4-4:SP PD-8x review: Update with vibration experiences (probably the best ever dynamo hub I tested in this respect, I only need to compare with the PD-7, although the results seem to make this not needed (but of course I'm going to compare with swapping wheels))
2014-3-30: Updated the reviews of the SP hubs with information about cost to replace bearings, if needed outside warranty, updated the link to the Sapim spoke calculator, and added the measurements the flanges of the PD-7 for that.
2014-2-5: Very disappointing news (if real, no confirmation yet): http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/ philips will discontinue its bike lamps. Related to this: I still haven't had time to put up the comparison beamshots of the Saferide 60/80 neutral white and cool white, hopefully this week I will have time to edit the pages. 9-4-2014: In the mean time less and less can be supplied by the distributor so I presume the posting was correct and that Philips quits. Bad move!
2013-12-20 Made beamshots of Edelux 2008, Edelux-2013, Edelux II, Hermans H-one S neutral white, Philips Saferide 60 neutral white, and unfortuntely at the wrong mounting height also of 0.75 m Philips LBL/Saferide80 on H-diver and Philips LBL/Saferide80 neutral white. The road was unfortunately still somewhat damp, which means esp. not a good view of illumination of the road at long distance and at the sides. But the results are still very interesting, and again show that beamshots tell by no means the true story. The Edelux II looks great on the longer exposure beamshots (but not on the shorter exposure which shows the difference in how the light is spread), not so much when I use it and compare it to the Saferide 60 never mind the LBL/Saferide 80. I will upload the beamshots soon and start some more test to make sure the results get interpreted correctly (anyone who thinks beamshots tell everything as I saw not long ago on the IBC forum just doesn't know what he's talking about, see for example here for a comprehensive but readable overview of one of the issues in interpreting beamshots, how experienced brightness varies:http://www.telescope-optics.net/eye_intensity_response.htm, note that gamma correction should be in camera JPEGs but this is not enough apparantly as the dark areas do not get shown brightly enough and camera images do not show what I see in reality...). I think I can make sense of the results of especially Edelux II vs. LBL/Saferide 80 with this: A smooth beam pattern is essential to be able to see far... And a smooth beam pattern that is where the LBL/Saferide 80 is king. More soon.
2013-12-16: Updates on the B&M IQ reflector page. After my tests of a newer Edelux I had a closer look at the reflector... Pictures to follow. Added a report on using the Velogical dynamo. If anyone else has experiences with this he'd like to share, send me an email...
2013-12-15: Lots of updates on the review of the Edelux II.
2013-12-13: Updated the H-one S page with pictures of the beamshots as they have been used on this main page already and with some other information, in particular an issue with the mounting bracket, which broke 3 times with one of the readers of my site.
2013-12-11: Added some clarification about lux values of bike lamps, they are different for wall projection and ground projection (where the lux values are far, far lower) and about candela in 'terminology'. First ride done with the Edelux II.
2013-12-1: Tested a Saferide 60 from week 46 2012, and it has neutral white LEDs like the Philips LBL/Saferide 80 from end of 2012 on, excellent! Oh yes, and I got 2 emails quite a while ago about the Saferide 60 messing up radio reception. I don't listen to radio, so I've not tested this, but it is caused just like the problems that lots of LED based headlamps cause for wireless bike computers, by the electronics to regulate the power to the LEDs. Increasing distance between bike computer and headlamp usually works, but for radio reception with the Saferide 60 you keep getting too much interference. I expect that this problem with radio reception is not limited to the Saferide 60.
2013-12-1: Note on LEDs: As I'm working on a reflector program again, to see what's possible, I thought back to something I wondered about along ago already: Why doesn't Philips (which has its own LED factory) make LEDs that are not square but long narrow rectangles? That would make very sharp (vertical) cutoffs possible with a small reflector. Well, it will give unsharpness too, but different. I will calculate what the effects would be, in v3 of my reflector program.
2013-11-30: Small update: I got an email from someone who bought a Luxos U and it doesn't work with the Sunup dynamo. So I added a bit more to the section on dynamo types and some warnings in the review summaries.
2013-11-26: Just a note to say that I will update the pages of the Luxos U, Secula, Stereo, Saferide 80 in neutral white, Luxx70 plus with pictures, beamshots, and camera comparison RX100/EX1 etc. soon. I'm working on some computer programs and electronics at the moment which I need to spend time on first.
2013-11-20: I knew about the new version of the Luxos U with fixed switch wire long ago, but today I saw this http://www.bumm.de/news/detail/article/luxos-u-lieferbar-mit-neuem-tasteranschluss.html where B&M blame the users for 'occasional' problems with the switch because they're not plugged in correctly. Yeah right! Btw. I sent my Luxos U back to the distributor end of October, not just because of the leaking switch but it didn't work at all any more.
2013-11-6: Now something I should have perhaps written a few years ago, about advocacy, so how do we get changes in bicycle lighting? As you can see from my pictures of neutral white vs. cool white, neutral is far better, and taillamps with point source are as you have probably experienced, annoying and even blinding (in 2 senses, physiological and psychological): When buying a headlamp ask for neutral white LEDs. Ditto in case you send an email to a company making bicyle lamps. For taillamps, ask why they make taillamps with point sources which are simply bad and annoying and worse than old incandescent taillamps... Perhaps then if more people enquire about why bicycle lamps are as bad as they are, will the manufacturers will see the light and make changes. B&M gave a bogus reply to a reader of my site about whey they make taillamps with point source, that it would be too expensive to have all use proper optics that distribute the light. This is rubbish! They just want to make more money off of the newer ones and that they still introduce garbage like the Toplight mini after the Toplight plus is disgraceful. Neutral white headlamps are being produced now which is excellent, but it is strange that most manufacturers still don't see the light...
2013-10-8: Start of test of the Sigma Stereo taillamp which looks fairly well thought out: proper optics, NiMH batteries, micro-USB rechargeable, nice!
2013-10-4: A few days ago I tried for fun, even though I expected that it wouldn't work, a Philips 2 LED headlamp without electronics (so just the 2 LEDs with reflector in the housing) driven by the driver from a Herrmans H-diver on dynamo. I hoped it would work as StVZO lamps are generally current limited which means about 0.73A through the LEDs as typical LEDs used run at ca. 3.3V to get tot 2.4W. It works! The taillamp even works! (but with taillamp the headlamp gives noticeably less light). It gives a huge amount of light, almost as much as the Saferide 80 on battery. At least, that's what it looks like (comparing the dynamo modified and original versions side by side). Measurements gave strange results... I guess I need better equipment, in particular a setup so I can measure 2 channels (voltage /current) with a PC at the same time. More to follow.
2013-9-27: The new version of the Philips Saferide 80 with neutral white LEDs is fantastic. Never mind the ballhead mount. I read on a German forum that there is an exchange action to get an old style mount.
2013-9-27: I bought a newer version of the Saferide 80 (production date week 41 of 2012) with the ballhead, but only beause I got a report that the light colour is warmer. Which it is... I will report on the different status LED(s) and how it acts when the battery is getting empty, and make some comparison beamshots with the old version.
2013-7-29: Finally got some time to spend on bike tests and did the long expected beamshot session: H-diver (need to redo these, bit blurry), H-one S old version, H-one S new version (colour difference doesn't show well on the beamshots), Dosun U1, Luxx 70 plus, Luxos B, Luxos U standard mode, Luxos U high mode (but these for some reason turned out identical to the low mode, not sure what happened, so will remake these soon), Bidi triple LED dynamo lamp, Philips LBL at 0.75m (should have made it at 1.05 m as well, another time!), old Soubitez halogen headlamp for fun. Beamshots will be added soon to the website.
2013-7-1: I mentioned a long bike trip, and it will be (if all goes well) from early August starting in NL, through Germany, Poland (also to meet a bicycle lamp maker there), to Ukraine, where I will travel the country and then back again to NL, possibly via another route, through the Czech republic for example. I will test USB charging devices (Luxos U, Luxx 70 plus?, Sheng li powerbank), headlamps (as mentioned) and taillamps, namely Philips Lumiring, Lightring, Spanninga Lineo and I intend to try a DIY job of the type of Dinotte just to see what will happen (to see whether the ground-flood works) and how well the lights work on the various road conditions and style of driving in the particular countries. Note that I heard a lot about the dangerous driving style in Ukraine, but I didn't see that at all while I was there on a vacation. So what will happen? Especially lawyers should apply to make predictions about some of these possibilities! ;-)
I get arrested for running multiple taillamps at the same time, in Germany
I am warned for not using a flashing taillamp in Poland ;-))
I get into a trafffic accident in Germany despite using the best available bike lights, but not Poland nor Ukraine
I am complimented by police in Germany despite my illegal lights (according to StVZO, but note the rules about travelling from one EU country to the next in the rules section)
Cyclists in NL growl at the glare of the Luxos U
Cyclists in Ukraine plead to let them have some of my lights
What will happen? What could happen? Send your comments!
2013-6-22: Updated the links to forums and added some comments in the section References.
2013-6-17: Started writing down my experiences with the Luxos U. Beamshots will follow once I've gathered all stuff needed for that (I'm still missing a few things after a temporary move).
2013-6-13: I want to make a long cycle trip this summer, and use the dynamo to generate power for USB devices, in particular for navigation with a tablet and smartphone (both Android). Which other devices besides say the Luxos U/Luxx70plus headlamps and the 'Bank light' could be useful? Pedalpower? Which would you like to see reviewed? Perhaps this should go into a separate section though it fits into the lighting pages for now.
2013-6-5: After a long break I will hopefully soon be doing beamshot sessions, a test of the Luxos U, more on the Bank light, using the Sunup rear wheel dynamo without power limiting circuit and more. Life got in the way for a long time... Another thing, perhaps I should add a request section, for dynamos or lights to be tested, or for different test methods you might be interested in. I'm always interested in suggestions, new ideas or refinements of older ideas. For myself I take a often rigorous viewpoint esp. in which lamps to test, though I am willing to compromise depending on feedback. So email with suggestions... I will also add an experience of being blinded by a Edelux in April 2013 just before my trip, to show how serious the issue in aiming lamps is.
2013-4-19: Got a Sheng-li LD-101 Banklight, a headlamp with cutoff using 3 AA batteries that are charged by dynamo or via USB and the batteries can power USB devices... Review to come soon.
2013-4-18: Finally got my hands on a Luxos U. Review to come soon.
2013-4-17: I hope I can soon start making beamshots, lots of other stuff (AKA life) got in the way... I bought a Sony RX-100 camera which should give better nighttime video than the Samsung EX1. I will compare the RX100 to the Samsung EX1 for my purpose for this site, and in general for say on holiday. I have Bidi 3 LED (non-cutoff) dynamo headlamp for testing. Quality is as good as anything you can buy for lots of money, but this will be a lot cheaper. Power output is dependant on the dynamo driver of course and this I will test this in the next few days.
2013-3-21: The OEM line-plus taillamp without reflector from B&M seems to be older, from 2012, at least they are shown in a distributor catalogue as coming with some models of a few brands of rear rack, such as Hebie. That reminds me, in 2011 I put some more of my ideas for a fully modular system on this page, I removed most of it as I wanted to do more with this, didn't get round to it sooner, but I will put these on a new page soon as part of an expanded section on what direction bicycle lighting should and/or could go to.
2013-3-17: The section Vibrations caused by dynamo hubs has been expanded with a summary of how to choose a hub in this respect and what you might be able to do to mitigate this problem somewhat if you already have a dynamohub that you can feel the vibrations of.
2013-2-26: Something curious: Long ago I mentioned a modular system such as splitting the taillamp into reflector and emitting part (see further on on this page) and on 23-2-2013 I saw a new taillamp on a bike that's probably OEM-only where B&M do exactly this. Here are some pictures.
2013-2-15: No tests/beamshots of headlamps for at least 3 weeks due to circumstances.
2013-2-6: Start of review of the current version of the Spanninga 15 (which is as I feared not the same as the original version), and of the Axa Go steady taillamps.
2013-2-2: Wall shots etc. for Spanninga 15 with 0.6W bulb (instead of 0.3W).
2013-1-20: Wall shots etc. for Spanninga Pixeo, Spanninga SPX, Axa Spark steady, B&M line brake plus, Spanninga Brasa, Spanninga Lineo, Philips Lightring.
2013-1-4: Started doing dynamo power measurements at various speeds using the method used to test them for StVZO compliance. More testing of the H-one S with new LED, and compared it with the Luxos B during rain.
2012-12-31: I've been working on headlamp reflector design the previous weeks. I will not tell much about it yet but the results are interesting. I've also been working on finishing the latest version of my switchbox to compare headlamps and taillamps. See here, pictures to follow.
2012-1-3: Philips Saferide 60 modifications and a disassembly (with a hacksaw :) ). Also, running it on the LBL's driver, running the LBL with an h6flex at 0.92A (instead of 0.70A of the factory version). See here.
2011-9-26:SP's 2.4W SD-8 tested in a standard sized wheel (622mm rim). Also added a note about power output and vibration on the Sanyo NH-H27 review page as that is apparently lower than StVZO requires and probably explains why vibrations are less than with e.g. Shimano hubs.
2011-8-5: Automatically generated taillamp beamshot overview pages allowing you to choose the light intensity and thumbnail size.
2011-6-25, 2011-7-26 & 2011-8-5: Website reorganisation: Headlamps, dynamos, taillamps, StVZO, camera stuff etc. have been put into separate directories. This means old direct links to reviews of a specific taillamp or dynamo won't work any more... Some old references are forwarded, others go to an index page. For a link the best course of action is to take the link as in the table of contents to a summary on the main index page.
2011-2-14: I just wanted to share that my estimates about the maximum output of the Supernova Airstream have been confirmed by 'Siam'. My estimate for the XP-G version was: at most 240 lm, well the results are: http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpost.php?p=8019707&postcount=1145: 217 lm for the XP-G version, and 175 lm for the StVZO version. This is lot less than the Philips LBL (270-291 lm) which also doesn't have a diverging beam, which confirms that my estimate that useful illumination of the road surface and throw by the Supernova Airstream would never get close to the Philips LBL, was also correct. I was of course already pretty sure of this after my tests of the E3-pro-StVZO, but it's nice to get objective confirmation by virtue of measurement of the light output of the Airstream.
2011-2-13:Update of the StVZO page about the ability for endusers to open housings, and about the differences in requirements between car- and bicycle headlamps which largely explain the problems cyclists have on parallel roads.
End of January 2011:
Due to circumstances all tests of lamps & dynamos had been postponed until early June (and it only got going slowly at that time). I did make some missing pages in Dutch and several pages in German.
2010-12-4 & 2010-12-5: Various updates with examples of decoding what's in StVZO: Standlight, taillamp shining forwards, and what I think is the reasoning behind the power limits for headlamps and taillamps.
2010-11-20 and later: Test of the runtime on high of the Philips LED bike light that I bought. There's probably a batch of these with incorrectly programmed electronics... I've done various tests and sent my findings to Philips.
2010-11-17 - 2010-12-16: Tests of the B&M IQ Cyo RT, Trelock LS 885, Lupine Betty 2011. New beamshots of the Philips LED bike light on road 2 with camera at 1.65 m. New beamshots of the Edelux and Philips Saferide LED dynamo with lampheight of 1.05 m and angled properly to give best illumination of the road up to ca. 50 m.
2010-11-17: I tried out foglamps on a bicycle. I made pictures of torches in the fog at various distances from the camera lens to see at which distance a lamp should be from your eyes so you won't get blinded in the fog. See Experiments with LEDs.
2010-11-11: I made new beamshots of the Philips dynamo, Edelux, Frankenlamp on road 3 at 0.75m, 1.05 m both with camera height of ca. 1.55 m which is more as you'd see the beams when riding slightly less upright. But I think the final camera height setting is going to be 1.65m... These new beamshots are at the moment only shown on the new beamshot page, not the individual review pages.
2010-11-9: Added a section on dynamos that could be of interest (Note that I already mentioned them with their strengths and weaknesses, since the start of these webpages, in the review of the SON 28 and the section on magnet strength). Added beamshots of torches with LEDs in various light colours on a wet road and in fog, see Experiments with LEDs.
2010-11-7: The main bicycle lighting page got too long, so it has been split up into various webpages. Each review of a lamp or dynamo is now on a separate page. A synopsis will be placed on the main page for each lamp/dynamo. It may take a bit of time for all links and image locations to be fixed.
2010-9-12: The LED experiments page is now linked from the main bicycle lighting page.
1 &2 September 2010:
Added a description of tests with the Philips LED bike light I had already done ca. 21 August: Mounting the lamp lower at fork crown height just to see what would happen. No beamshots yet. Also comparison in light output on the road of symmetric beam vs. beam with cutoff.
1-21 August 2010 Tests of 2 lamps that are not for dynamo and/or road use but give a view of what's possible in future dynamo lamps with cutoff:
30 June & 1 July 2010 A new page with descriptions of annoyances from bike/car lamps, but also LED streetlamps (to be added: LED traffic lamps). The section on parallel roads was also moved to that page. Also, a few days ago I elaborated a bit on what you see when someone with a Magicshine P7 lamp is riding towards you: My description was for the worst case scenario (a completely unlit road), and I added a description of what you see when encountering someone with this Magicshine P7 lamp at night on a well lit street.
14 & 15 & 21 June 2010 I've done various tests on ca. 6-15, 21 June 2010. Result:
A comparison of the Schmidt Edelux (180 lumen at 30km/h) and Magicshine (P7 LED lamp with Li-Ion battery, ca. 550 lumen), to see how more light influences what you can see on the road, but also how annoying they are for oncoming traffic.
Pictures showing the difference of a neutral- and cool white LED in what you see at night (garden pictures).
fall 2008: My experiences with the Shimano DH-3N80 dynamo hub.
2008-9-16: Bicycle lighting page created, with a review of the Edelux, the union roller dynamo, the SON28 dynamo hub and various other information in response to the pathetic 'reviews' in magazines. I made earlier mention of my ideas of what's needed in good reviews, and some issues such as the vibration problem I had with the SON28, on the dutch forum of cyclingmagazine 'Fiets'. Neither the people from that magazine nor the other readers of that forum were interested...