Schmidt Edelux

Tested/used: From the end of July 2008 up to now. At least 5000 km in the dark...


To see and be seen
98 g (with 140cm cable, without lamp bracket, note that early models didn't come with a lamp bracket, but the Edelux is much heavier than old halogen lamps so a bracket for an old halogen lamp is often not good enough, as it results in the lamp vibrating on bad roads)
Meant for dynamo, Cree XR-E Q5 cool white LED, IQ reflector, current doubling circuit, on/off via sensor.
Originally €120, then when the lamp was finally available in numbers the (recommended retail) price was increased to 139,- Was this perhaps because the IQ Cyo was not that much cheaper than the Edelux was originally priced at? (i.e. was Schmidt asked by B&M to increase the price?)


For an image of the shape of the light beam see the IQ Fly's beam which is the same as that of the Edelux (ca. Oct 2010 I will finally start making beamshots of dynamo lamps):
IQ Fly beam

(more information at The beam shapes are the same as the Edelux uses the same reflector as the IQ Fly. The IQ Fly gives about half the licht of the Edelux in particular because of a pathetic (or rather 'absent') cooling. Schmidt further uses the Cree XR-E Q5 (in cool white) as opposed to the earlier Cree P4 version in the IQ Fly (apparently that was later replaced by a Luxeon Rebel in the IQ Fly?). Btw., the Cree lights usually give a nicer colour (depends on the colour selection WG/WH etc., but with the colour that gives the most light (i.e. a cool-white colour, not neutral or warm white), the Seoul P4 is more bluish; Note that this was written in 2008, this may have changed).


For background information on making beamshots see: Camera settings, lamp settings and roads used to make the beamshots.

Road 2 (rough asphalt)

Location: Road 2, Camera height: ca. 1.80 m, Settings: F3.5, ISO 80, 4s, Camera: Samsung ST70
Daytime Lamp: off Lamp height: 0.75 m Lamp height: 1.05 m
Road 2 nacht, Edelux uit
((original 14 mexapixel))
nacht, Edelux op 0,75m hoog
(original 14 mexapixel)
nacht, Edelux op 1,05m hoog
(original 14 mexapixel)
This will be remade, see the link above for the reason)

Road 3 (reddish asphalt, narrow), position 1, 2010-11-10

Beamshots on road 3: Camera height: ca. 1.55 m, camera aim: 2nd marker at 50m, position: 0.60m behind the lamp. There are some small white sticks (not retro-reflecting) on the ground at 10 m and 15 m distance on the left and right side of the road.
Daytime Lamp height: 0.75 m Lamp height: 1.05 m
Road 3, position 1 (daylight)
(Original 14 Mp)

(Original 14 Mp)

Artefacts in the Edelux's beam (near the front wheel)

This has been removed in Edeluxes from ca. late 2009 from what I've read: I will have a look at the new Edelux soon and compare it to the old Edelux.
[ Lamp height: ca. 0.75 m, camera height: ca. 1.80 m pointed downward, F3.5, ISO 80, 4s, camera: Samsung ST70, (N.B.: 14 megapixel images) ]:
night, edelux at 0.75m high, camera pointed downward to the artefact in the beam near the front wheel


I first used the Edelux with an old Soubitez dynamo (is a dynamo that doesn't have built in zener diodes required? Note that zener diodes cut off high voltages, but high voltages can be transformed to lower ones with higer current... At least the early IQ Fly used an unregulated current doubler). The amount of light you get is almost incomparable to halogen lamps. This is the first dynamo lamp I tried, with which I can safely ride at 30 km/h and more. I've aimed the lamp such that I have a light spot up to about 40 or 50 m from my front wheel (there is a dark spot a few metre in length starting at the front wheel btw.). The brightest spot is then placed at about 15 to 20 m from my front wheel. With this setting I've got enough light up to about 40 m ahead to spot junk (broken off branches for example) on the road.

With an old halogen lamp (IKU, identical to a later Axa) I've ridden up to 45 km/h several times (tailwind, or following a moped) which was, when I later thought about it, actually very dangerous. I've now tested whether fast riding is doable with the Edelux. I rode at ca. 42 km/h on a piece of road without street lamps, another time after rain at 45 km/h on a road with street lamps giving a fair amount of light and after that a few more times around 45 km/h on various roads with street lamps giving very poor to reasonable light. In all those case I never had the idea that I didn't have enough light... On a wet road surface (not while it's raining), the amount of light that gets back to me from the road is a bit less, but still sufficient (except on smooth/new and thus very dark asphalt).

Update 9 July 2010: I had the following experience (in Autumn 2009) that made 2 things clear to me:

  1. The Edelux doesn't give enough light when riding at 50 km/h in the rain on smooth (dark) asphalt.
  2. The Shimano DH-3N80 gives off fairly strong vibrations at ca. 45 km/h and more which, in rainy conditions, are disconcerting to say the least.

This is what happened: I was riding out of Alphen a.d. Rijn, I passed a cyclist who was going reasonably fast, but as you can read on the gears page I often even pass road bikes so someone needs to go really fast for me to not overtake him. Anyway, I was riding along a stretch of road outside the city, came to a trafficlamp and that same cyclist came a little later. It was raining a little at that time. He was accelerating more quickly than I when the light went green, but it was also beginning to rain heavily so I wanted to get home quickly (which was still about 7 km away). So I thought "I'll overtake him quickly". Which didn't happen... I think he tried to see how long he could keep me behind him, or something. I thought at the time "damn, it's taking very long to overtake him!". But as it was raining heavily I really went for it and never realized how fast I was going. I didn't see the speed on my bike computer but some time after having overtaken that guy, I felt that it was just too dangerous to ride as fast as I was going. There were 2 issues:

  1. I thought "What's wrong with the front wheel? It vibrates badly!".
  2. I didn't think the Edelux gave enough light with that heavy rain and at the speed I was going (on that road, new smooth dark asphalt).

So all in all I thought "This is too dangerous, I'll let that other guy pass". That didn't happen, which was understandable as it turned out from checking my bike computer when I got home, that my speed topped at 50 km/h at that long straight (ca. 2 km long). The Shimano DH-3N80 actually vibrates more at ca. 45 km/h and higher than the SON28 as I had noticed on dry rides earlier, which I didn't think of as being the problem during that ride, but thinking about it afterwards really made the point very clear to me. So, w.r.t. the Edelux, it doesn't give enough light when cycling at 50 km/h in the rain (at least on new/smooth/dark asphalt). That speed is of course very uncommon unless you live somewhere where there are large hills.

But more light may not be enough: On wet smooth asphalt you hardly see anything (Edelux or Philips LED bike light doesn't matter for example) and you're really dependent on reflections from objects beside the road to see where you're going (that's why a wide beam that the Philips lamp has is advantageous in the rain). Perhaps that a neutral or warm white LED light beam improves upon this in the rain, I'm still doing tests to compare them.

With this lamp I notice the reflections I get back from lots of places: little posts with white or red reflection stripes at the edges of roads, that I never noticed before, reflections of pylons where the road gets narrower, that I can see from hundreds of metre away (never noticed before that these reflect at all), and from various roadsigns that light up up to about 400 m. away. It's also odd to see your own headlamp reflect back from windows of houses. This happens with less bright lamps too of course, but it just doesn't jump out at you with other lamps.

What really makes it clear what amount of light the Edelux gives is the following: I cycle a lot through various villages, occasionally a car drives behind me, that can't pass me because there's not enough space (as there are parked cars and the road is not very wide). With a halogen lamp this was nice, gives plenty of light to really see the road. Each time when there came an opportunity for the car to overtake me, I felt 'pity' :) That's all different now. I've experienced the same sort of situation many times with the Edelux, and felt that the car's headlamp didn't really add anything. It was brighter (I've not experienced this with the brightest ones, those bluish Xenon headlamps), but mostly the beam was wider, more evenly spread on the road, in particular so at short distance. But, I didn't have the 'pity' feeling when the car passed.

Comparisons with most moped and scooter lamps are amusing. They are, with respect to both the amount of light and the beam pattern, almost always a joke compared to this lamp.

I also notice different behaviour from opposing traffic. People in cars may think there's a motorcycle coming, because they now usually wait for me to pass, before driving on on narrow roads where there are cars parked (giving little space to pass). I also noticed the 'deer in headlamps' phenomenon with a moped rider who slowly rode with a cyclist (next to him) and seemed almost too dazed to make room for me...

This was quite funny, but I want to examine this a bit further, and check out how much light opposing traffic gets to see. A first short impression when I let someone ride my bicycle, was 'wowzers, that's bright!'. And I did set the lamp such that it shines downwards (cutoff is below the horizon).

With (yellow) night vision glasses: The light colour (cool-white of the Cree XR-E Q5) is ok, slightly greenish, (note: neutral or warm white is usually not chosen for LED lamps as these give less light, even so, these may be a better choice...), and with yellow night vision glasses it's somewhat easier on the eyes, is this perhaps because of being used to the yellowish halogen light? In any case, this too is nice. The reflections of the small white poles on the left hand side of the road are somewhat less bright than without the night glasses, in which case they appear to light up much more than the little red poles on the right hand side of the road. With night vision glasses they appear about the same brightness.

Positive points: The brightest non-blinding dynamo LED lamp (fall 2008, true until ca. fall 2010) and at the moment (again, fall 2008) the brightest factory made headlamp. Home made LED lamps with 3 and more LEDs powered by a hub dynamo are no exception, but none of those have a cutoff... It gives more than enough light to ride at 50 km/h on unlit roads when it's dry (with rain, even the Edelux is not enough at 50 km/h). The illumination of the road surface is even and fairly bright.

Negative points:


The best (non-blinding) dynamo LED headlamp at this time (which was mid 2008, and this was still true up to ca. september 2010). The only competition is (again, mid 2008) the Supernova E3 which I've not seen in action, but I have seen pictures of its light beam and have read comparisons by other people which all show it to be inferior to the Edelux), but perhaps overkill for most people. Only if you ride a lot outside the city on country lanes as I do, or at least live somewhere with lots of poorly lit bike paths, will you need such a lamp. This doesn't mean it isn't useful for those who don't really need it. As I said earlier, it's easier on the eyes (e.g. car headlamps are less annoying as your eyes are accustomed to the amount of light from your own headlamp) and allows you to evade bad patches in the road.

You may want to have a look at the IQ reflector page, where I put more information on version differences and the results of the changes to the beam: B&M's IQ reflector versions. It seems the newer reflector was used since December 2008 in B&M's own products. I'm not sure when they went into the Edelux, but I noted on 2010-6-22 on this webpage: There's been a change in the Edelux's reflector (which is made by Busch & Müller), apparently since about late 2009, see I will have a look at the new Edelux soon and compare it to the old Edelux.

So, the reflector change could mean the current Edelux is not as good as the original version.

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