Supernova M99 DY

Used from: 2023-5-


Mass: ca. ?? g, no mounting bracket, cable to dynamo, and remote control.
Size: width: ca. ?? mm, height: ca ?? mm, length ca. ?? mm.
LED: ?
On/off: Remote control to use low and high beam.
Price: ca. € 300,-


Supernova-M99-DY, front view on bike Supernova-M99-DY

The M99 pro is claimed by Supernova to put out 1100 lumen, which is possible as already 10 years ago I ran a triple XML that put out ca. 800lm from dynamo, so with higher LED efficiency this is not a special achievement. The really important factor in lights is the light distribution, and here as with the M99-pure for battery that I tested, it is not good. The M99 put has a big hotspot, the M99 DY has 2. This is probably related to the LEDs and optics for the low and high beam being shared, which is obviously not ideal.

What is also not ideal is that the high beam only works at higher speeds than 10 km/h, whereas I feel the most use of it would be off road, such as I experienced on my trip in Germany in 2013, where I found that the Saferide 80 with a special driver running on dynamo+battery putting out about 330 lm (instead of 270 lm for the standard battery powered version), was insufficient on unpaved sections when I needed to find the road again after Osmand sent me the wrong way. With a cutoff beam it is impossible to see much if there are even slight hills, so that is where either a standard round beam or a high beam (which has specific requirements for the light distribution such that it may be used as a high beam on public roads) would be useful. However in such situations the speed is low and the high beam doesn't work or doesn't give enough light. I already felt the high beam is not bright enough on road, and for such situations off road I would like more light than off road, so also because the light is spread out a lot, I feel the high beam is generally too dark.

You can see about 70m far with the low beam on road, a little more at farther distances is lit up with the high beam but distinguishing anything at such distances is difficult. It works mostly to see large things on the road, not say a pothole at such a distance, that works only when you are close.

The light colour is cool white, a poor choice as usual. With neutral white of ca, 4000K you can better distinguish colours on the side of the road and the different types of asphalt (standard, repaired which can look more shiny, a bit like tar, and worn where a lower layer is visible). This is useful especially when roads are partially wet and you want to look out for the more slippery layers with repairs.

In my tests in rain I found that neutral white is far superior to cool white. In fog neutral white is a bit better than cool white, but neutral white with high CRI stood out even more: the SST20 4000K lamp gave a huge improvement in what I could make out over a low CRI XML-4C (neutral white, ca. 4200-4500K).

Conclusion: Not worth the price of EUR 300.
- The low beam has too many artefacts, esp. 2 big hotspots, and it is barely better than say a Roxim D6 because of this.
- The high beam is not that useful, it only works at speeds more than 10 km/h whereas in my experience the high beam would have been most useful at low speeds on unpaved roads to make out the shape of the terrain and then decide where to ride, to evade low hanging branches etc. - LED light colour is cool white, a poor choice.

To email me go to the email page