Dosun U1 dynamo headlamp


It's been a really long time since I first heard of the U1, namely late 2010, and Dosun have not handled this well. They should have removed the flash-intro to their website so people can find their products via a search engine, and they should have advertised the U1 on their own website, which they still don't do (and yet some Dosun representatives complained in 2011 about the lack of interest in their lamps...). And of course they should have sold me a headlamp!

Anyway, the U1, since the time I last mentioned this lamp, has been 'enhanced' with daytime lights, which I'm not a fan of. The claimed lux value (as per StVZO) has also increased slightly from 45 to 50. Sales seem to have finally started in Oct. 2012. I hadn't been interested in the Dosun lamps up to now because of various comments from the manufacturer, but I was a bit curious to see what it is like and at the same time found it was being sold, finally. At this time Dosun will have a much tougher nut to crack in Europe with various manufacturers bringing out powerful dynamo headlamps... At the end of 2010 there were just the Cyo-60, Edelux, Philips Saferide 60, and Supernova E3. Now there are a few more, the Herrmans H-one S, Axa nano, and soon the Axa Luxx70 plus and B&M Luxos B/Luxos U.


Tested: From 8 Dec. 2012

Looks nice, aluminium cast housing and mounting hardware looks to be stainless steel.


Boxed Dosun U1, front view Boxed Dosun U1, rear view Boxed Dosun U1, contents U1, mass

Mass: ca. 129 g with mounting bracket and cable to dynamo.
Size: width: ca. 50.1 mm, height: ca. 57.6 mm, length ca. 63.5 mm.
LED: Cree XP-E. The LED light colour is a fairly standard cool white.
On/off: There's a knob at the rear to switch it on/off.
Price: € 50,-


The beam starts off a bit narrow which then becomes wider and then at about 15m narrow again. After this the beam gets wider. But the beam never gets really wide except at large distance where the beam is too weak. I can't see as far with it as with the LS 885 (which I had put on my bike for a while recently again) which is claimed to be just 40 lux, nor the Saferide 60, Edelux, Herrmans H-one S. I knew this about the latter 3, but still the throw and brightness at 30-40m distance of the bike disappointed me.

The daylight LEDs (5 of them) do their job and they are at least not annoying blue/purple as those in the Cyo RT that I tested. Annoyance for oncoming traffice, at least in the standlight mode was not so bad (still need to test it at speed). The standlight light that these LEDs produce works well so you can put your bike away in an unlit shed.

After a few more rides I got more used to the beam shape. The hotspot and the way the beam shape becomes narrower for a bit still stands out. Aiming the lamp is hard, you need to watch carefully at say fences or trees other objects on the side of the road to see whether the cutoff is below the horizon, and then it's still difficult. This is a problem I've had with just about all headlamps of less than 60 lux, and some beam shapes exacerbate the problem. Illumination is pretty weak at 30m-40m, more like other lamps of 30-40 lux.

Miscellaneous: This lamp, like many others, doesn't have the mounting hole beneath the centre of gravity, which means if the bolts to fix the lamp are slightly too lose it will nosedive. Why not position it a bit more towards the middle of the lamp? Also Dosun have missed an opportunity to make the lamp have a left-right swivel around the fixing bolt underneath the lamp. When riding on a roads on the rights, having the lamp point slightly towards the left is better so that you see more of the road, and less of the berm on the right of the road. The mounting bracket did come with a slight twist to the left, another one was the same. Is this on purpose?


I'm still evaluating the lamp... But I want so say this already: I mentioned before on the main page that for city use you don't need high lux rating, for outside the city on unlit roads and/or with parallel roads for cars you need a strong headlamp (preferably 100 lux!). This is the problem I have with headlamps like the H-diver and Dosun: The actual lux rating is not important, I mean 30 lux or 50lux, it doesn't matter, the beam is simply too weak at 30-40m. For city use almost all headlamps will do and then a 10 lux lamp is fine too. Of course most low lux headlamps also have a very narrow beam shape which can be a problem in the city too, if say the streetlights are out on a section of road. So this lamp is nice in some ways, but if it's up to me I would just buy a slightly more expensive lamp such as the Philips Saferide 60 or perhaps the Cyo 60. For a lower price I think the Philips Saferide 40 is a fairly good option.

High quality lamp, neutral looking (so not ugly :)), beamshape could be better, no auto on/off, all in all interesting but for about the same price I think I would prefer a Herrmans' H-one S.

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