The 400L is a double LED light in one very small package. Like its predecessors the 400L series lights have all of the same modes as the 200L, but enjoys a tremendous amount of flexibility. It can be mounted on many size bars with horizontal or vertical orientation, and the user may experiment with different beam patterns, If you are considering a helmet mounted light, this is the light to choose! A headband option will be available in august. The 400L makes a great handlebar mount, there is just no quick release. Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.
I bought my 400L over 2 years ago, to replace a 30W halogen system. I use the 400L for long-distance commuting, year round. The light has been outstanding. I have not had a single problem, and it has performed in all weather. Among other top-notch features are the cable connectors. They are solid, and weather-proof, unlike those of many other brands.
Recently, I sent the light back to Dinotte for an upgrade that involved replacing all the "guts" of the light. It is now identical to the 400L+ that Dinotte sells. It has dual Cree XPG emitters, new electronics, and new lenses. With these upgrades, a great light became amazing. It’s about 30% brighter than before.
One of the best things about Dinotte is their customer service. By phone or email, all questions get prompt answers, by the people who design and build the lights, not some “customer service” rep. When I sent my light back for the upgrade, they received it, did the upgrade, and shipped it back out all on the same day.
I do very aggressive AM night riding, the 400L is a perfect helmet light, mount the 2 cell on the back of the helmet and the weight is fine. With the battery on top the helmet it's too much. I have 500 lumen on the bars & with the 400 on the helmet tight fast technical riding is no problem. The 400 lacks the throw for straighter high speed trail riding.
Service is good too.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 10, 2009
Strengths: Outstanding Customer Service and Support
Highest quality materials
Excellent battery life
I bought a 400L just before Christmas. Dinotte was having a special at that time and I could have gotten the 800L and the 400L together for $449.00, but due to funding I only could afford the 400L for $209.00. On 01/09/09 I e-mailed Rob at Dionette looking to purchase the 800L. When I mentioned the package I missed out on Rob offered me the 800L for $270.00! The next day the light was in my mailbox.
Thank kind of customer service more then anything else will keep me coming back, but the fact that Dinotte builds a quality product just cinches the deal
Strengths: Super lights, great build quality, super fast customer service with questions and purchase.
Weaknesses: None, I made a quick release mount for my helmet using a universal mount found on batteryspace.com for like $5.
Cant beat the price, the quality and the output when compared to other LED setups. I ride with the battery on my helmet since its so light. I opted for the 2cell and 4cell battery and the extra lens kits to get more beam pattern options.
Similar Products Used: 200 Dual, Cateye Halogens, and Lupine
Bike Setup: Fisher Paragon 29r 1x9 and Trek 8900 ss.
a Cross Country Rider
from Huntington LI
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2008
Strengths: Amazing helmet light. Easy to use, wide bright even beam. I can use this alone,
but paired with the 800l on the bar, it's insane. I ride twisty dark singletrack in the woods...I can see every detail, and ride as fast as I want.
I can't imagine a better more quality system.
Their customer service is the best, batteries are solid and charge well.
Versatile options, cables, etc...
Strengths: good light output, small and light batteries, good beams
Weaknesses: 400L has no "quick release"
There are some good reviews here already. I paid $479 direct from Dinotte's web site for the 400L and 800L kit and I got a second charger (so I'd have one for each battery).
For that price I decided I had to jump on these new lights. I have been very pleased with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone. I actually like the 400L more than the 800L, but as a combo they are really good together.
I am extremely happy with my purchase, and would buy again. My friend ordered the same set after one ride with me where he had the same old lights I had.
Similar Products Used: Jet Lites 6v and 13v Halogens
a Cross Country Rider
from Rochester, NY
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2008
Strengths: Lightweight, plenty of light for most trail riding. Comes with two batteries, both helmet and handlebar mounts. 3 power levels and flash modes for commuter duty.
Weaknesses: Not a ton of throw with the standard (spot) lens. On very fast fire roads I can outrun this light.
Great light for the money. About as bright as my Halogen light at about a quarter of the weight. Perfect amount of light for general trail riding. If you ride a lot of fast downhill fire road you may want something with greater throw.
I also picked up the optional headband ($20) so I can use this light for camping and night xc skiing/snowshoeing.
Similar Products Used: Jet Lites Phantom Halogen (13 Watt)
from Jay, ME
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2008
Strengths: Super lightweight, great brightness with nice light pattern, durable construction
Weaknesses: None so far.
This light rocks. I use one standard 400L on the helmet and another 400L on the bars with the accessory wide beam lenses installed. Great system for 24hr/marathon races and taming singletrack at night. Best lights I've used.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 31, 2008
Strengths: More light than advertised
Weaknesses: Needs voice-activated controls ;)
My wife and I have two 400L helmet and taillight sets, and an 800L bar light. I previously tried out a 600L bar light.
1. The 400L is a "special" product, and by that I mean something amazing happened here to make this thing perform well beyond advertised specs.
It's basically an integrated-housing dual 200L, advertised as 400 lumens.
The mtbr/roadbikereview LED shootout measured a 0.08 reflected-lux to advertised lumens ratio for the dual 200L, which was the highest of any brand tested. For example 32 lux for 400 advertised lumens dwarfed the Lupine Betty's 12 0.046 ratio, 65 lux for 1400 advertised lumens.
Basically, if you have room on your bars for two 400Ls, you can get Betty 12's light output for $429 vs. $1185. Plus you have direct access to the manufacturer in New Hampshire, rather than have to go through the German manufacturer's USA middleman distributor/dealer to deal with any product defects or other issues.
2. Dinotte has an L.L. Bean /REI/Costco-type complete customer satisfaction, no-hassle refund policy. If a Dinotte works perfectly, but you find it doesn't meet your needs, you can return it.
This means, you can order a Dinotte single or set, demo it at home on your favorite trails, and decide if it works for you. If not, send it back, and your only cost is return shipping: they don't charge a "restock fee".
3. I don't know why this is, but the shootout measured only 33 lux for the 600L, and my own impressions on the road, trail and in my garage at night supported the shootout's finding that the 400L is almost as powerful.
I also checked the 400L against the 800L, and 400L at full power is brighter, in my opinion, than the 800L at half power. That's with the standard lens for the 400L which generates a bright central spot, versus the 800L, which produces a more even spread. But for example, the reflection from the back of my garage to the closed door and side walls, with both lights next to each other, and alternately hand-blocking either one, convinced me. Actually the 400L high seemed to light up the door and side walls and stuff in the garage almost as brightly as the 800L on high. I got a lens kit, but haven't tried the wide-diffuser for the 400L. The standard lens has a wide enough peripheral spread for me.
I don't race—not even close—but for those who do, I'd suggest trying out, if your bar-space permits, two 400Ls on the bar with y-connector to a 4-C batt, and if you can get a no-cost tryout for the Seca 700 (and/ or your favorite contenders), compare them head to head yourself. My hunch you may very well prefer the Dinottes. Here's why. Let's take the Seca for comparison, based on manufacturer's specs.
1. The weight for the Dinottes with one 2-C and one 4-C batt is 470 gms. This will give you 3.75 hours rated (actually 4.5+ when new, and it will take some time for batt performance to deteriorate to spec hours. Dinotte loves to give you MORE than they're saying).
The Seca Race is 520 grams (see rei.com as L&M's website doesn't have Race specs, only Ultra) for 3.5 hrs run time (probably more than this for many discharge/recharge cycles). The Dinotte set is almost 2 ounces lighter.
Let's say you have access to fresh batteries, such as on a circuit race. You can get 1.25 hrs using a 2-C (really 1.6 hrs) at 350 gms with Dinotte. Seca, still 520 gms, as L&M doesn't make a short runtime battery pack. That's a 6-ounce advantage for Dinotte.
2. If one Dinotte unit goes out, with a double 400L setup, you have a backup, and 400 lumens will get you home safely at moderate speed. If the Seca goes out, you better hope for a full moon and have been eating your carrots.
3. If you carry two Dinotte batts, at less weight than one Seca batt, you will lose time if you have to change the Dinottes mid-race. That's a consideration for racers. On the other hand, if you're out on the trail, you have the security of a backup battery with the Dinotte. There's a value to redundancy, and only you can decide if that's important to you.
4. Dinotte price for two 400Ls and a 4-C+2-C batt combo, $469. Seca 700 price $549.
5. The mtbr/roadbikereview shootout couldn't measure the Seca's lux / advertised lumen ratio, since the Seca wasn't out yet, but for the Vega and Stella it was 0.67. What are the odds that Dinotte's 800 advertised lumens aren't brighter than Seca's advertised 700? One way to check: give them both a test ride, and see for yourself. Dinotte lets you do this. Maybe you can find a Seca dealer who will do this without charging a restocking fee.
6. Dinotte gives you versatility. For example, you might try installing wide-angle lenses the outboard lights, if you want more side illumination, and preserve the spot benefit on the inboard lights. (wide-angle lenses are $5 each)
7. For somebody who wants monster illumination for 50 mph road descents or daytime- speed offroad attempts, I'd suggest two 400L bar lights and a 400L helmet light. 1200 lumens, which is 96 reflected lux, for $649-800, depending on batt options, should suffice.
8. L&M has a great reputation. Their dive video lights and bike lights are well-regarded. But Dinotte had the foresight to go to an all-LED lineup three years ago. This means Dinotte has had more time to evaluate and improve its high-output LED lights via internal testing and rider feedback than anyone else, which is why, when you buy Dinottes, run through the instructions, mount and use them, you say, "Ahh, these are REALLY NICE."
But don't take my word for it. email Rob, tell him you want to order a set of lights to personally test, and ask him if they will refund if the lights don't measure up to your anticipation. They have total confidence in their products, and want you to be happy.
When they offered a special on the 800L a week after I got my 600L combo, I felt bad for being the last person to buy last year's top model at year end for this year's top model's price. Rob authorized a free upgrade. I had the new light 5 days later, and my only expense was return shipping, as they covered the new light's postage. That's top-notch dedication to pleasing their customers.
Strengths: light weight
solid connection/wire will not come loose leaving you smashed against something because of no light!
I customer service is not non existent! Rob spoke with me and answered all of my questions.
MADE IN NH USA
Mine came with the headband which I think will come in handy.
Weaknesses: Not a warm intelligent mountain biking female.
Did not come with bar mount.
FIRST RIDE WITH 400L
I like it much more than the NR Trinewt! It is far lighter and the big thing is the design and method of connection is much better on the Dinotte. It will not come loose on its own. The light stock is in between a flood and a spot in my opinion. The lamp is MUCH lighter in weight vs the NR. It is nice to have the dim setting also. For the first time ever I attached the battery and lamp to my helmet and it was ok, you definitely notice the weight but it is doable. To me it is a white beam not yellow or blue. The 2 cell battery is very light also. I do not have anything bad to say yet about the system.
I do want a bar mounted light to supplement though for high speed riding. The 400l is nice for most singletrack riding, but not bombing down hills(again in my opinion.)
I guess if I had to think of something negative I would say a tighter spot type beam may be better when used on a helmet with a bar mounted light.
Favorite Trail: woodsee technical, non horse destroyed/used
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Similar Products Used: NR, L&M(good stuff, Marwi, and others
Bike Setup: The Truth! Ellsworth
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2008
Strengths: Small, great feel on helmet. light
Weaknesses: Needs quick disconnect from helmet mount
I use this light on my helmet in tandem with a Dinotte 600L on the bars. The 400L, with the standard lens, is a spot beam and has a lot of throw. The 600L throws more light over a wider pattern than the 400L. The 400L fills in the 600 and adds a spot for things I really want to see and to look into corners and down to the bottom of hills etc... The two make a great combination for any ride (trail or road) at pretty much any speed.
Dinotte batteries are the most trim out there and they are the cheapest to replace ($50 and $75 for small and large respectively) when most replacements on most systems are $200 or more.
WIth both of these lights, I have more than enough light that reaches out far enough to go as fast as I want on whatever road or trail I'm on.
Specifically, the 400L is great. You can adjust its up and down pitch as you ride if you don't honk totally down on the screw mount. It has a long, long reach and yet some spill to see the close in road.
I'd put this at the top of the list for head lights. It is only slightly more than most especially if you already are using Dinotte lights and have the batteries already. It is light, you don't notice it on your head. The lens system on it is great and really gives a focused beam. There is a lens kit that you can buy ($10) that gives you two additional lenses to create progressively wider beams.
This light would be adequate by itself or road riding (you would override the beam at about 25-30mph) and would work fine on the bars too.
Workmanship and product quality is first rate. Solid and dependable. Ergonomics are terrific.
If you are on the road and worried about traffic, check out the 140L taillights. Absolutely excellent.