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First of all, have a look in the analysis section:
With USB power output:
Note about Sunup DS compatibilty: The Sunup DS provides 6V DC, not AC. Stricly speaking any dynamo headlamp/taillamp needs to be able to run on 6V DC as this is implicit in StVZO due to not specifying the exact power source. For this purpose lamps may work in both polarities, or just 1 and in that case that has to be specified by the manufacturer and indicated on the lamp. I presume the issue with the Luxos U has to do with the USB part, I've not tested this as when mine (the early version with loose control/USB cable) died, I didn't replace it for various reasons, one of them is that it doesn't priovide enough USB power.
Tested: From July 2008 (used regularly since the test). Sunup compatible: Yes
This headlamp was the best dynamo headlamp from mid 2008 to fall 2010. It's still an excellent choice but there are other options that are about as good. The Edelux, since ca. end of 2009, has a different reflector which has a longer beam (good) but also a big hotspot (very bad!) so in my view it's not as good any more as the one I tested. New beamshots of the original and version with later reflector to come to compare with the Edelux II, once I have the Edelux 2 and when the weather allows beamshots (dry roads).
No longer made...
Tested: From 22 October 2010 (used regularly since the test) Sunup compatible: Yes
This headlamp is one of the best currently available dynamo lamps with cutoff. Strong light beam up to ca. 45m, so it has a throw similar to the Edelux, too much light near the front wheel (but you only really notice this when switching to another headlamp while riding), no automatic on/off, the original mounting bracket is not stiff enough, the later one is much better, the lamp lets light go upward to your eyes (can be fixed with some black tape or paint). Conclusion at the end of 2010: Due to the low price compared to the 2 main competitors (Edelux and E3-pro-StVZO) and as it's about as good as those 2, this lamp for me is the best value for money. End of 2012 this conclusion was still true after testing the Luxos B.
2013-9-28: My conclusion after testing the Luxx70plus and Luxos U: In beamshape the Saferide 60 is superior to the Luxos and Luxx70plus, it is far more comfortable to ride with, but the Luxos U and Luxx70plus have the advantage of a USB power output. If you don't need a USB power output then the Saferide 60 is the best value for money.
2013-9-28: I'm wondering after having tested new version of the Saferide 80 with neutral white LEDs, whether the dynamo lamps have also been changed with lower colour temperature LEDs. I suppose I should try a new Saferide 60...
Tried it, and yes, the Saferide 60s are since at least manufacturing date week 46 of 2012, made with neutral white. Cool, ride report to follow.
No longer made since early 2014...
Tested: From 17 Nov. 2010 (used regularly since the test) Sunup compatible: ?
The beam shape is nowhere near as good as that of the Edelux or Philips SLD, but it is relatively cheap and produces a strong, usable beam, so this a good choice if you're on a budget.
More details: Dynamo headlamp: Trelock LS 885
No longer made...
Tested: 17 Nov. - 6 Dec. 2010. Sunup compatible: Yes
Worst bicycle headlamp I've ever seen despite the fact that it gives a wider and brighter beam than halogen lamps. The beam is a weird trapezoidal shape with very sharp cutoff and very sharply defined corners. These give a feeling of being trapped in a tunnel of light. I suppose it's hard to imagine that if you haven't experienced it. The sharp corners and the fairly strong hotspot attract your attention which is bad. The daytime running lights are annoying because of their colour (blue with a bit of purple), and because they are not diffuse and point sources of light. The beam is very weak, especially if you aim it far (so that you have light up to ca. 40m), it is much weaker than the Edelux, Philips SLD and Trelock LS885.
Note: This review is of course only relevant for the Cyo R and RT (for the R, disregard the parts in the review about the daytime running lights) which is the near field version of the Cyo (= 40 lux Cyo), not the Cyo sport (= 60 lux Cyo). The Cyo 60 has the same beam shape as the Edelux and is almost as bright as the Edelux.
Note 2: Someone in a German forum mentioned the tolerances in LEDs/electronics cause my view that the Cyo R/RT is so dim. Not true. It's related to the light output and the surface area over which the light is spread when you aim this lamp such that you get light to about 40m (and compared to the Cyo 60, the retro-reflector/diffuser must cause some losses), further the beam is fairly wide at the end of the beam, which is not useful unless the LED produces more light, i.e. the light gets spread too thinly and thus the intensity on the ground is too low). Variations in total light output due to deviations in LEDs or the circuitry are inconsequential due to the logarithmic nature of human vision. If the LEDs were to produce 5% less at a given current, and the circuitry also 5% less current, then the total loss in light output (lumen) would be less than 10% and the total loss in perceived brightness just a few percent, i.e. not really noticeable...
Tested: 22 Dec. 2010 - 24 Jan. 2011. Sunup compatible: Yes
Good strong light beam to about 25 m (weak at longer distances, therefore I do not recommend this lamp for those who like to ride fast at night), not too much light near the front wheel, very weak standlight, no automatic on/off, the multimount is good (the also available bar mount is poor), expensive. At the end of 2010 until late 2011 this was one the 3 top headlamps, approximately equal to the other 2 which were the Edelux and Philips SLD (each has their strengths and weaknesses, so there are large differences in various aspects between them!). Since late 2011, various much cheaper lamps (esp. H-diver, Saferide 40) are available which are at least as good as the E3-pro in beamshape, though not in housing, and the housing is really what you pay for with Supernova.
More details: Dynamo headlamp: Supernova E3-pro-StVZO
Tested: Spring 2010. Sunup compatible: Yes
This headlamp is an example of obsolete technology... Not actually suited to riding on unlit roads, and not at all suited to riding on parallel roads where you're being blinded by car headlamps. The picture on the left was made on a wet road 3, its beam barely gets captured by the camera, the difference with good LED lamps is just astounding. It is obvious that even on a dry and ice free road, you don't get good/enough light. You should compare the beamshot with those I made of this lamp after modification with a neutral white LED on a wet road 2, which gave an enormous improvement.
In short: This is a worthless lamp! More details: Dynamo headlamp: Busch & Müller Lumotec oval senso plus: description and review
Tested: Since 10 Feb 2012 (used regularly since the test) Sunup compatible: ?
Although the beam shape is fairly pleasing, it's not good enough for unlit country lanes (not strong enough at distances of 30 - 45 m), and I have doubts about the durability (weak housing) and the quality control doesn't seem to be great either from the problems I had with the housing in 2 of 3 headlamps. This means unless you can't afford a better lamp, I would recommend a Trelock LS885, Cyo 60, Philips Saferide 60 (in increasing order of price and functionality). The Philips Saferide 40 is probably better than the LS885, but more about that in the future. Update Dec. 2012: I was told the composition of the plastic of the lamp's housing in early versions had some issues, and was changed...
In short: Good beam, weak housing. More details: Dynamo headlamp: Herrmans H-diver
Tested: 60/75 lux version since 23 Aug. 2012, 75/95 lux version: Since 2 Jan. 2013. Sunup compatible: ?
60-75 lux version (lux values are with/without taillamp): I don't particularly like the beamshape, and for some reason despite the high lux claim the illumination at 40m seems pretty weak compared to Saferide 60/Edelux. I think this is because the lux rating is a short peak as opposed to maintained over some distance. I mentioned such issues before, somewhere else on my website...
75-95 lux version (lux values are with/without taillamp): Mid-late November 2012 a new version of the H-one S arrived. I had already heard it was a big improvement though the reflector looks the same, the LED is different, bigger, more yellow. This headlamp may have been the first factory made dynamo bicycle headlamp with a neutral white LED, and it kicks ass in the rain and is more pleasant than cool white under all circumstances.
In short: Neutral white light is great, but all in all (beam/price) I'm not impressed. More details: Dynamo headlamp: Herrmans H-one S
Tested: Since 9 Dec. 2012 (test not finished). Sunup compatible: ?
Excellent construction, but I'd like to see a beam of even width, not a pinched section that the U1 has. Regarding beam I would prefer the H-diver...
More details: Dynamo headlamp: Dosun U1
Tested: Luxos B: Since 19 Dec. 2012 (test in progress), Luxos U: Since ca. 15 June 2013. Sunup compatible: No (at least the U, not sure about the B)
Luxos B: The cutoff is very sharp, but then, the reflector is huge (the larger the reflector, the better you can make the cutoff). Bad point is the strong hotspot and those daytime lights are not what I would want to see (see my suggestions elsewhere for what the optimal daytime light should look like, namely more like a good taillamp), but at least those daytime LEDs give white light and not blue/purple as with the awful Cyo RT that I tested and you don't get the direct light from the LEDs, which gives the problem of far too high luminance. But they are still of variety 'visibility by being annoying' which I don't like. Especially at night these are very annoying (and yes, they light at night because they don't just serve as daytime lights). The beamshape is very wide. In the rain the near field's exposure gives a big problem as it is far too bright in that case due to the rest of the beam not showing much from the road due to wetness and the light colour (see also the review of the H-one S). The artefacts near the bike also become very distracting in that case.
Luxos U: For this lamp all that goes for the Luxos B is also valid here, the Luxos U just has some extras: The Luxos U has a handlebar mounted switch/USB output. It also has a high mode which is made possible using the internal battery and it has 'panoramic' light (more light near the bicycle) which I didn't really notice except at about 6 km/h which is useless, but it's useless anyway as the Luxos overexposes the near field quite close the bike already. The handlebar mounted switch has a bad 3.5mm connector and the electronics is way too sensitive to it getting even slightly damp resulting in the lamp only flashing on and off. The Luxos kept unimpressing me regarding beam shape and comparing it to the Philips LBL (even though that is battery powered) made clear how pathetic the Luxos' beam is in every aspect except sharpness of the cutoff compared to this lamp from 2009. The overexposure near the bike is unbelievably bad and the irregularity of the beam too. The Luxos looks good on B&M's beamshots, but those do not represent what you see in reality. This is in general a big problem. I will make new beamshots on a gray and wider road and a bit more behind the lamp, which should show the artefacts better, as you can see them in the still from the video I made. The USB power output works, also when the lamp is on, but in the latter case it doesn't always work properly as I found on a long trip. Still the USB output makes it worth buying, but if USB power output is not important get the Saferide 60, or if USB output is desirable but not important at night then the Luxx70 plus is an option.
Additions: 1. My Luxos U died end of October 2013... 2. I forgot to add from a test long ago: The glare from the Luxos seemed OK only when just the main LED was lit. It was really bad with the DRL lamps lit, which do light up at night ('panorama' light)... 3. I got an email about the Luxos not working on the Sunup: Yes, it needs AC it seems and as B&M mentions. Many lamps work on DC but they are made for an AC dynamo, and I suppose a list of which lamps work on the Sunup, would be useful.
More details: Dynamo headlamps: B&M Luxos B & Luxos U
Tested: Since 17 March 2013. Sunup compatible: ?
Summary to come.
More details: Dynamo headlamps: Axa pico 30
Tested: Since 19 April 2013 (test is in progress). Sunup compatible: ? If not via dynamo input, then connecting the Sunups output to the USB input if that can handle 6V?
Lamp with internal 3xAA batteries that can be charged via dynamo, USB. The lamp can also supply power to devices via an USB cable, either a separate USB output, or a combined dynamo input + USB output cable... This is quite cool. The light of the lamp is cool white, and the beam pattern is nothing special, comparable to many middle class lamps, and not as good as the Saferide 40 / H-diver, but the qualities of this lamp are in the total package with USB input and output. Test is still in progress.
More details: Dynamo headlamps: Sheng Li: Banklight LD-101
Tested: Since 4 Jul. 2013. Sunup compatible: ?
Useful beam, reach is about the same as most dynamo StVZO lamps, ca. 45 m. Beamshape is not as wide as the Luxos, but also has fewer sharp artefacts (which are the annoying/attention grabbing ones). It's a bit comparable to the Trelock LS885 which I recommended as a good budget choice, and this beamshape is better than the LS 885 but compared to the best lights clearly not as good in width. The price with USB output makes up for that.
More information: Dynamo headlamp: Axa Luxx 70 plus
Tested: From 14 Dec. 2013. Sunup compatible: Yes
Not long after the Edelux was released, sometime in 2009, the reflector was changed as had happened with the Cyo earlier (but apparantly a different reflector), see my IQ reflector page. As the Edelux II with IQ premium reflector has been released, I thought it would be a good idea to take the last version made of the Edelux, so a 2013 version which has the latest LED (higher bin) and the 2nd version of the original IQ reflector and do a 3-way comparison with the Edelux-2008, Edelux-2013, Edelux II.
Experiences: It is not as bad as I thought, the hotspot is not annoying when pointing the lamp far (to about 45m) as I do. But it's not much of an improvement over the original Edelux, the light colour is a bit cooler, all in all, it's a good lamp, better than I expected, but barely better than the original Edelux.
For more on the Edelux, see the original review.
Tested: From 11 Dec. 2013. Sunup compatible: ?
I compared the Edelux II with the Saferide-60-neutral-white and the latest version of the Edelux and I'm disappointed. The Saferide-60-neutral-white is the best lamp except for riding through tight curves where the Edelux II lights up the road in the curve because of its wide beam, but weakly, too weak I think. The beam has 3 clear hotspots, which attract attention dus divert attention. Apart from those hotspots the beam is very weak. After making the beamshots on a damp road (to be remade) I made some rides switching multiple times between Edelux II and Saferide 60 neutral white, which confirmed that the Edelux II's beam may look good on long-exposure beamshots, but is not as good as the Saferide except for through corners. The LED light colour is a sterile cool white, inferior to the Saferide-60-neutral-white and inferior to the (greenish) colour of the Edelux too. Beamshots have been made, but on damp road, I sent the Edelux II to a friend for testing so I will put up the wet-road beamshots of all Edelux beamshots, Nov.2015).. Conclusion: Disappointed is a big understatement, it's simply not worth the money at all because of the awful beam pattern.
More information: Dynamo headlamp: Schmidt Edelux II
Tested: From mid Nov. 2014. Sunup compatible: ?
This lamp's beamshape reminds me of the Cyo R (Cyo 40). A similar main beam at the start with sharp corners close to the bike, becoming wider farther from the bike, but not the sharp far corners and with a brighter section at the end in the middle. B&M seems to have become an expert in making lamps with hotspots... I didn't like it, it is far inferior to e.g. the Pico 30 and H-diver. All in all not recommended.
I'm not going to do a full review, that would just be a waste of time.
Tested: From mid Nov. 2014. Sunup compatible: ?
I wrote in the section about lamps that I do not think are worth testing, about this lamp:
Despite that I gave it a go, and these are my experiences:
This lamp's beam is as usual with B&M in cool white (bad choice), and the lamp badly overexposes the area near the bike, and even more on the fender where it overexposes enormously. The lamp has a section in the middle on the wall shot that is much stronger and a bit higher than to the sides, which means that when aiming the lamp you can easily aim it too high, such that opposing traffic gets blinded. This is something I already lamented about the LS 885, and it's beginning to be a real problem that people don't aim their headlamps correctly, blinding others. In beamshape this lamp and the Avy are far inferior to the Pico 30 and H-diver. In construction I like this lamp, it can be openend and thus repaired if spare parts are available or if there is some loose contact. On the 2nd ride my lamp died, I opened it up but saw no loose contact...
In use this is one of the worst bike lamps I tried in years, so not recommended.
I'm not going to do a full review as that would just be a waste of time.
Tested: From 30 Nov. 2014. Sunup compatible: ?
This lamp surprised me in a good way. I tried it on still wet roads from rain, and I could see 50m far with it, incredible, but perhaps because of the light colour, I had seen the different light colour of the 2 LEDs to the side (I think they serve mainly as lights to be seen) which are bluish (cool white) and the LED in the centre for the main beam which is yellowish. Is it neutral white? It's definitely good, it works. This lamp is a relief after trying the B&M Avy and Eyc, which are just awful. It doesn't suffer from the issue of tending to aim it too high which happens with certain beamshapes. The light near the bike is a bit strange but perhaps useful in slow climbs? I will experiment with a shroud soon to limit light to the sides. The lamp needs to be mounted in a non-aerodynamical position, not as it is shown on the website! I don't understand why Roxim didn't reply to my email long ago, I quite like this lamp. It's not as big a beam as the Luxos, and of course it doesn't come close to the Saferide 80, but the beam is very good, and the main section is very smooth, no artefacts there, just near the front wheel. I will ride more with it on dry roads soon and compare with a few other headlamps.
Note: The beamshot was made with lamp mounted at 0.75m height, I liked it better at 1.05m in action (which it was also designed for or at least meant for), but I forgot to make such a beamshot. Next time...
If you can get hold of one: Recommended.
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Roxim D6
Tested: From 19 Feb. 2015. Sunup compatible: ?
I don't like the output of this lamp. The lamp gives various patterns close to the bike, the beam itself is irregular with a hotspot and you can't see far with it. But I will compare it with the H-diver to give my verdict (as it's about the same price)... Result: Just get an H-diver, that is much better.
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Herrmans H-flow
Tested: From 13 Aug. 2015. Sunup compatible: ?
You will tend to aim it too high because the dropoff in intensity to the bottom of the beam is not enough, and the cutoff is not sharp enough. I will check what opposing traffic experiences of a too-high aimed beam. In lightoutput the lamp is pretty good, I can see farther with it (when aimed too high) than with the Blueline 50. The beamshape reminds me of the E3-pro-StVZO. Very comfy to ride with such a beam, but you get it only by aiming the lamp too high. This problem means I cannot recommend it. This headlamp from Axa has a housing design which is nice, the price is low which is good, but I don't like the beam, people will tend to aim it too high, this is big problem and should have been taken care of in regulations such as StVZO...
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Axa Blueline 30
Tested: From 13 Aug. 2015. Sunup compatible: ?
The beamshape has way more artefacts than the Blueline 30 and you can't see as far with it as with the too-high aimed Blueline 30. There is a hotspot ca. 2 metres from the bike, and then a hot section some distance further. The beam is nowhere near as pleasant as the Blueline 30 and it doesn't seem to give as much light. I already had this impression when running it at home (indoors)...
Lightoutput only starts at about 7 km/h, on the path to/from my house where I ride slowly (around 5 km/h), I get almost no light, whereas the Blueline 30 gives enough light. This is Axa's best headlamp so far, and the design is nice, the price is not high, but I don't like that there is almost no light at low speed and I don't particularly like the beam...
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Axa Blueline 50
A somewhat narrow beam but very strong, the remote control is not worth it, get the cheaper one (LS 905). As with the LS885 this is a lamp for fast riding, on mostly straight roads, as the beam doesn't get very wide (then again, other bike lamps with wider beams such as Luxos and IQ-X don't work in bends either, that requires a different beam shape). For a comparison with Saferide 60/80, IQ-X and Roxim D6 and more experiences, see the review.
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Trelock LS906
The best beam of all B&M's bike lamps since the Edelux/Cyo 60, but it again overexposes near the bicycle, and the beam consists of 2 parts, which is actually annoying in some cases (unlike in other beams, e.g. the Saferide 60 has a small dark area but this gives none of the weird sensations that this beam gives). It seems B&M really need a good critisiser in their design process because the beam is nowhere near the quality, still, of the Saferide 80 (from 2009!). But it puts out a lot of light, and it is in a small way useful for meandering roads, but only as advance, not while you are cornering... (but no other bike lamps are usable for that). The design is beautiful, but from the start it annoyed me and the good and bad qualities made me indecisive about recommending it or not. After riding a lot with it, the annoyance of 2 beam sections, which I notice strongly, made me in Nov. 2016 decide that I just can't stand riding with it any more...
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: B&M IQ-X
Poor beam, overexposure close to you (about 7m to let's say 15m), compared to the rest of the beam. The beam is wide where it's not useful (i.e. very far away from the rider) and this even annoys me, similar to what happens with the IQ-X when riding past fences or hedges etc. you get the impression of a lopsided beam and/or that the lamp has rotated on the mount (not horizontal). It lets far too much light go directly upward to your eyes, esp. if riding in an aerodynamic position. Expensive compared to the Axendo 60. Not recommended.
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Herrmans H-black pro
Direct comparison with the Saferide 60 neutral white shows that the Saferide 60 neutral white is the best because of the light colour, but 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 first version of the Saferide 60 with cool white LEDs...! (and it's worse than the 2nd version of the Saferide 60 that used neutral white LEDs). I would liked to have seen more light now, 7 years after the Saferide 60, but it's better than the recent H-black pro and one of the best headlamps you can buy in 2017, for a fairly low price, so Recommended.
More information: Review: Dynamo headlamp: Spanninga Axendo 60 XDAS
This lamp is based on the Philips Saferide 40, but is smaller, cheaper and has auto on/off.
2018-2-23: Finally a testride with the Axendo 40 XDAS headlamp. It's really cheap (ca. €25,-), small, light weight and has a good beam for normal circumstances. It does not properly light up bends, but then that's true for just about all bicycle lamps. It lets just about no light go directly towards the rider, good! Also not much light on the fender, good! Light colour is cool white, that's bad, it should be neutral white. This is my favourite low cost lamp. For those who ride a lot at night on unlit roads, or fast (say 30 km/h) I'd recommend a Axendo 60 or Roxim D6 first. Recommended.
More information: Review in progress: Dynamo headlamp: Spanninga Axendo 40 XDAS
Tested: From 2023-6-10. Sunup compatible: Eh, not yet tested, will likely work due to the standard StVZO requirements (which apply unless there is a 'dynamo only' pictogram), but I will get onto that later.
Expensive at ca. €300, and it is not worth the price considering the bad points which are in particular: 1) The high beam is not that useful, I would want that to have much more power. 3) The cutoff beam is uneven, similar to the M99 pure for ebike that I tried a few years ago, and far inferior to the Philips LBL (LED bike light/Saferide 80).
To come in Feb. 2024.
NOTE 2024-2-12: I didn't see much of interest in headlamps the last few years, but in any case: I will not review any cutoff bike lights with a lux rating lower than 80 any more. For in the city most lights will do but there are enough cheap headlamps already at 60-80 lux, so I suggest a cheap one of those if you are not picky. For riding outside cities on unlit roads and on roads next to roads with cars where their headlamps will blind you, you need a good lamp of 80 lux or more, and that is what I'm only interested in in testing.
B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo premium (2013), with new IQ premium reflector: For now I restrict myself to testing the Edelux II which uses the same LED/reflector. The Cyo premium will be almost as bright I presume.
2013-11-13: I just saw a beamshot from video of the Cyo premium on a German forum (http://www.radforum.de/threads/593170-busch-und-mueller-lumotec-iq-cyo-premium-t-senso-plus-80-lux) which shows the beam is not as even as I thought from another beamshot, with many lines/artefacts in it:
Here is another thread with a few more beamshots including the Cyo premium 80: http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpost.php?p=11108392&postcount=12
The Cyo premium looks OK there, though the beam has a lot of artefacts. All in all I'm not that impressed by B&M's latest offerings.
B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo premium R (2013): The beamshot I saw of the Cyo R premium on a German forum is just as crappy as the Cyo R (huge hotspot in the middle, sharp corners) so I'm not considering testing that.
Here are a few beamshots among which is the Cyo premium R: http://www.mtb-news.de/forum/showpost.php?p=11108392&postcount=12
This confirms that the Cyo R premium produces junk (as did the original Cyo R), the Eyc has way too much light close to the bike, the Cyo premium looks OK though the beam has a lot of artefacts. All in all I'm not that impressed by B&M's latest offerings.
I only got a battery powered one for testing. It was a pre-production sample with some issues in switching on. Well, no problem but the beamshape is where I was not impressed. I might have bought a Saferide 40 dynamo for a proper review, but such lamps are as all lamps with low lux rating, not great in various situations we have in NL. Then from my experiences on a bike trip in 2013 I added on 2013-9-22: For Germany I would say you need even better lamps than in NL. So my recent experiences confirm that we need to-be-seen headlamps (perhaps similar to taillamps) and very strong to-see headlamps. In the end I didn't buy one and in 2014 Philips quit. Hmm...
No longer made since early 2014...
Busch en Müller IQ Cyo (2008, 2009): (not the Nahfeld/near-field version, and also not the 'T' version which is has daytime lights that only do 1 thing: annoy oncoming traffic): This has been available since early October 2008 and is an improvement on the IQ Fly. It has the same beam shape as an Edelux, but produces a little less light and is a lot uglier. The Cyo and recent Edelux'es have a hotspot in the middle which attracts your attention which is bad. The Cyo has an auto on/off but I don't know how good that is (in the Edelux it is useless as the light almost always goes on). It has no near-field light so all in all this lamp seems inferior to me on just about all points, including construction, to a Philips Saferide LED dynamo (unless you think the automatic on/off is very important).
Supernova lamps from 2011 and later: I'm just not interested, they keep listing lamps with bogus light output (*), and the low lux rating means these lamps are unsuitable to people who need a strong beam when getting blinded on cycle paths parallel to roads for cars, or low lying cycle paths. Since late 2011 a lot of headlamps have been introduced with fairly good illumination that is strong up to about 30m, in particular the Herrmans H-diver and the Philips Saferide 40 which are as least as good with respect to the beam (but not in sturdiness). What you're really paying for with Supernova is the desire to have a 'Rolex' :) Note that since end of 2010 this is actually also true for the Schmidt Edelux, because of the introduction of the Saferide 60 and thus since that time the Edelux could no longer be recommended as 'expensive, but if you want the best. that's the one to get'...
(*) Oh, on 2013-9-22 I checked their site because of something written on a German forum and see that they are now listing values that could be real, amazing :) Although, the output of the Airstream-StVZO (claim: 205 lumen) is the same as the dynamo lamp E3 pro 2. It seems a little unlikely that the light output of dynamo and battery powered versions are exactly the same, it wouldn't surprise me if the dynamo lamp's output is actually lower... Then something else, when mentioning the light output of the E3-triple (supposedly 640 lm) they do not say at which speed this is achieved. I'm sure the power output in this lamp is not speed limited as with the StVZO lamps, so not mentioning speed means what? Can you guess? (Answer: This is possibly the output at a high speed you won't normally achieve, say 40km/h).
They write: "Die neue E3 Triple2 ist mit ihren drei gut gekühlten CREE Hoch- leistungs LEDs der mit Abstand hellste Dynamoscheinwerfer der Welt". So they say this is by far the brightest dynamo powered headlamp in the world. This is of course not true. My triple XM-L running on the special dynamo driver gets 800+ lumen at below 30 km/h and is thus brighter. I would wager the Exposure Revo Mk1 is brighter as well and the Ktronik headlamps too.
Yet another issue: On their site they say that:
In 2013, our LED manufacturer has changed its LED reference values: instead of a measurement related to 25° C chip temperature it is now referring to 85°C. Therefore, we have also adjusted our values in this year’s measurements to remain comparable. This means that the lumen-values may be lower for some lights in spite of the fact that they have actually become15-40% brighter than their predecessors because of improved LED efficiency. With a cool wind the real-life values can again be higher than those in the tables. Not every manufacturer establishes lumen values under the same conditions and therefore it happens very often that lights that are weaker in reality are given lumen values that are too high. This means that lumen values of different brands can often not be compared. Only a direct comparison - at least of beam shapes - and if possible in real life conditions is truly valid.
The LED manufacturer (Cree) has not changed reference values. I checked a 2013 datasheet of the XML and 25°C is still the norm. The datasheet has curves showing how efficiency drops at higher temperatures, but Cree datasheets had such curves in 2010 too. So this is a lie but also, the value-drop by going from 25° to 85° junction temperature does NOT explain the drop in claimed-lumen output of newer lamps versus older ones. If looking at for example the E3-pro-StVZO: If running the XP-E R4 at 1.00 A (not enough to produce the then claimed 305 lumen due to optical losses but running the XP-E at a higher current would be outside the specification by Cree!) the output would drop from ca. 307 datasheet-lumen to ca. 263 datasheet-lumen (theoretical values from pct.cree.com, actual values may be lower as Cree is often very 'optimistic' in their values, esp. the XP-G produces not what the datasheets promise), but their top lamps now are only claimed to produce 205 lm which is far lower while the LEDs only got better in the mean time. Also such an earlier lamp was measured at only 140 lumen at 20km/h by Olaf Schultz (see my review of the E3-pro-StVZO)... So this is another lie by Supernova...
2014-2-5: Not long ago someone mailed me and wondered about not wanting to review the newer Supernova lamps and my answer in brief is this: The newer ones are definitely better in light output and the beamshape of the cutoff lamps is not bad (I liked riding with the E3-pro-StVZO), but should I put a review on my site which gives advertising to a company that is immoral? Their lamps definitely don't perform better than the competition so I don't see the point of doing a review.
Union 4265/4268: I got a few suggestions to test this as a very cheap reasonably high lux lamp (35 lux). Experiences described on a German forum show that these seem to have a very narrow beam shape. 35 lux doesn't say much except about the maximal intensity, and thus how far you can see with it (if the beam is fairly even, otherwise it becomes more complicated). How the light is spread out on the ground can be very different for the same lux value of course. Good cheap headlamps aren't available as far as I know (addition: The Axa Pico 30 is probably the first very cheap fairly good headlamp) For me the Saferide 40 despite its 40 lux is pretty good in beam shape, somewhat nicer than the H-diver, and both have a wide beam which you really need if you ride on unlit roads... This is about the cheapest headlamp that I consider to be fairly good. With low lux rating lamps there is always an issue of aiming too high without being aware of it, and the Philips and H-diver seem to be least problematical in this respect due to the wide even beam. The experiences with the Dosun U1 show again how problematical low lux ratings are (well, more than 10 lux but less than 60-80): They are/will be often pointed too high. I'm not sure if this will be an issue with the Union, but I suspect so.
Inoled (Extreme): I got some questions about why I had not reviewed it. Well, the Inoled Extreme is not StVZO compliant but it has a cutoff. A low lux rating of 35 (manufacturer specification) means throw will be limited to about 35-40 m with low intensity at that distance (similar to the QL-269 and the E3-pro-StVZO). I also read in postings from ca. 2008 that overvoltage protection is not built in. I see 'inoguard' as an accessory on Inoled's website, so that hasn't changed. It is also apparently not as waterproof as it should be. But the price is ca. €109,- so I'm doubtful this lamp is worth it compared to the others I tested.
Axa Nano 50 plus (2012): Has an USB output but most important is the beam shape and this is not very good as has been shown in German magazines and in German language forums. What I saw warrants no test from me, as the beam shape is such that you tend to aim too high, more so than with the Trelock LS 885. This is bad, and that people don't aim their headlamps correctly is beginning to be a real problem, blinding many other cyclists. Addition 2013-9-22: Since the Luxx70plus this lamp is even less interesting as that supercedes it for about the same price.
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Last modified: 2017-11-9