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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

It seem like lately the selection for new mountainbike oriented lights has become a bit boring. Lots of good lights available but not really large enough improvements to justify replacing what we already have. I for one would like to see the Gloworm Alpha in a triple configuration. Even adding 50% more weight (which it wouldn't require) it would barely weight more than an X2. In its current form the Alpha makes about 70% of the X2's lumen output (my measurements) but only lags behind the X2's max lux (throw) figures by about 10% (also my measurements). Additionally the Alpha runs cooler and only requires about 60% of the X2's current draw. So my hypothetical Alpha should weight about the same as the current X2, have a slight advantage in lumen output and max lux (throw) only slightly only slightly less than an XS. It should also be cooler running and draw less current than the X2 or XS so longer runtimes from a similar battery. So using existing tech. this looks like an improved light I'd happily spend my money on. Curious what you think and if you'd be interested in something like this + welcome any other ideas.
Mole
 

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It seem like lately the selection for new mountainbike oriented lights has become a bit boring. Lots of good lights available but not really large enough improvements to justify replacing what we already have. I for one would like to see the Gloworm Alpha in a triple configuration. Even adding 50% more weight (which it wouldn't require) it would barely weight more than an X2. In its current form the Alpha makes about 70% of the X2's lumen output (my measurements) but only lags behind the X2's max lux (throw) figures by about 10% (also my measurements). Additionally the Alpha runs cooler and only requires about 60% of the X2's current draw. So my hypothetical Alpha should weight about the same as the current X2, have a slight advantage in lumen output and max lux (throw) only slightly only slightly less than an XS. It should also be cooler running and draw less current than the X2 or XS so longer runtimes from a similar battery. So using existing tech. this looks like an improved light I'd happily spend my money on. Curious what you think and if you'd be interested in something like this + welcome any other ideas.
Mole
Might be a good idea ( about the Alpha ) but not sure that Gloworm would be willing to add another lamp to their line-up. Personally I've been very happy just using a nice torch with a single XP-L Hi. The Alpha, which is more groomed to work on a helmet, should be more useful for people who don't own a helmet that can easily mount a torch. In it's current state the Alpha should produce about the same amount of light as one of my ( single emitter ) XP-L HI torches.

As you know I already own a ITUO XP-3. While I don't use it that much anymore it's there if I want more NW light coming off the helmet. I was tempted for a while to order a Gloworm XS ( and ask Jim if it could be fitted with XP-L HI NW ( 4000K tint ) ) which I'm sure would blow the XP-3 I have away. However, I've come to realize I really don't need that much light anymore. I have all the light I need and lots of options to play with.

Do you own the cool white or NW version of the Alpha?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Might be a good idea ( about the Alpha ) but not sure that Gloworm would be willing to add another lamp to their line-up. Personally I've been very happy just using a nice torch with a single XP-L Hi. The Alpha, which is more groomed to work on a helmet, should be more useful for people who don't own a helmet that can easily mount a torch. In it's current state the Alpha should produce about the same amount of light as one of my ( single emitter ) XP-L HI torches.

As you know I already own a ITUO XP-3. While I don't use it that much anymore it's there if I want more NW light coming off the helmet. I was tempted for a while to order a Gloworm XS ( and ask Jim if it could be fitted with XP-L HI NW ( 4000K tint ) ) which I'm sure would blow the XP-3 I have away. However, I've come to realize I really don't need that much light anymore. I have all the light I need and lots of options to play with.

Do you own the cool white or NW version of the Alpha?
My Alpha is NW. I actually was just using the hypothetical 3up Alpha as an example of using existing tech. to make a smaller/more efficient/similarly performing (max lux) helmet light than my current higher speed trail favorite XP3. I'd like to see what could be done with some of the newer more efficient emitters. I've not had any experience with the dedomed Hi emitters but am skeptical about their efficiency since battery life/size is an important part of where I'm looking for improvements.
Mole
 

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My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.

I'm still intrigued by shaped beams like Outbound has, but those type optics have not been available to a DIY builder. Should spend some time on Ledil's website and see if they are offering anything along those lines now.
 

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My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.

I'm still intrigued by shaped beams like Outbound has, but those type optics have not been available to a DIY builder. Should spend some time on Ledil's website and see if they are offering anything along those lines now.
I think the custom Convoy M1 torch I bought for mountain biking is using the same emitter ( 5000K range if I'm not mistaking ). I had the option to go warmer but at the time I thought 4000K might be too warm. Anyway just one of these ( XP-L HI 3C ) emitters does a super job as a helmet lamp. I can just imagine that two ( @ 3.5A ) is likely giving you excellent throw, fantastic spill and likely over 2200* OTF lumen even after it gets hot. Have you ever done a lumen test on this lamp, just wondering. *This is likely what our XP-3 lamps put out before they even start to get hot and those are using three first generation NW XM-L2's . I should note though that the XP-3 lamps were built using much warmer LEDs, maybe something in the 4200-4500K range. (* ball park estimate )
 

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I think the custom Convoy M1 torch I bought for mountain biking is using the same emitter ( 5000K range if I'm not mistaking ). I had the option to go warmer but at the time I thought 4000K might be too warm. Anyway just one of these ( XP-L HI 3C ) emitters does a super job as a helmet lamp. I can just imagine that two ( @ 3.5A ) is likely giving you excellent throw, fantastic spill and likely over 2200* OTF lumen even after it gets hot. Have you ever done a lumen test on this lamp, just wondering. ......
According to the ANSI chart the 3C is supposed to be around 5000K. It is a nice tint. The beam shape has the characteristics you note and that's why I just have not felt a need to try a build with something else. It suits my preferences for a light.

Prior to the current design, I built 3 other designs with different LEDs, optics, and one with reflectors. They each were good lights, but always left me wanting something better.

Unless I'm on a fast (15+ MPH) trail I run it on lower setting. I don't have any light measuring equipment so no idea the true lumen output.
 

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My current helmet light works so well for me that I've not had any motivation to put something else together nor keep up to date on advances in emitters. Dual XPL-HI 3C emitters at 3.5A with 20mm spot optics make a really nice helmet light beam.

I'm still intrigued by shaped beams like Outbound has, but those type optics have not been available to a DIY builder. Should spend some time on Ledil's website and see if they are offering anything along those lines now.
Just a thought, but you can buy Cyo series light from Busch und Mueller fairly cheap. I can tell you from experience running a Cyo Premium and an IQ-X light driven by a dynamo off road, that if they had a more powerful emitter/battery to go with it, they would make a formidable light, if you were so inclined to tinker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Prior to the current design, I built 3 other designs with different LEDs, optics, and one with reflectors. They each were good lights, but always left me wanting something better.
Having the ability to build what you want definitely has its advantages! Since I don't I'm still in the "left wanting something better" category. I wouldn't say I'm suffering too much since I'm quite happy with the amount and quality of light I get with a XP3/XP2 combo but wouldn't mind having something a little lighter that draws less current than the XP3 and maintains adequate beam width and max lux for the helmet. My exposure to the Alpha, 3up C&B Seen, and some of the torches I've recently tried have convinced me there's certainly a good deal of room for improvement for what I'm looking for. My hypothetical 3up Alpha should end up having similar mass as an X2 with the throw of a XS and still be able to squeeze around 2 hrs. out of a 21700 2 cell. I could probably get similar results by upping the current draw on my 3up C&B Seen light or maybe even just doing an emitter swap in one of my X2's to something like a 5000K SST40. My eyes have gotten so bad for doing any closeup work but I could always have Jim @ Action-LED-Lights do the emitter swap though less sure of results than if a 3up Alpha was available.
Mole
 

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Just a thought, but you can buy Cyo series light from Busch und Mueller fairly cheap. I can tell you from experience running a Cyo Premium and an IQ-X light driven by a dynamo off road, that if they had a more powerful emitter/battery to go with it, they would make a formidable light, if you were so inclined to tinker.
For a while I was checking ebay looking for a cheap deal on a used Phillips Saferide to rob the reflector out of. The B-M CYO might be an option too. Maybe I'll get motivated to do something next winter.
 

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For a while I was checking ebay looking for a cheap deal on a used Phillips Saferide to rob the reflector out of. The B-M CYO might be an option too. Maybe I'll get motivated to do something next winter.
I forget now where I seen it but years ago there was someone who modded a Phillips Saferide with something like two XM-L2's. I remember the beam photos as being absolutely sweet.
 

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I forget now where I seen it but years ago there was someone who modded a Phillips Saferide with something like two XM-L2's. I remember the beam photos as being absolutely sweet.
That was probably this thread.....

http://forums.mtbr.com/lights-diy-d...lips-saferide-parts-1-through-5-a-800662.html

The beam pattern of that modded light is one of reasons I hoped to find a cheap dead Saferide to salvage the reflector from. Nice subdued spill near the bike transitioning sharply into an intense center beam with little going upward.
 

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A sled-contained light with enough of a wide beam plus good battery time would be fantastic but I'd always want to know the weight. I think my Tesla weighs 75 grams. I wold not go heavier than that. I'm starting to look at the Lupine Blika and Piko, with the edge going to the Blika for its impact resistance and since it is waterproof. I think both lamp heads weigh around 55 grams so that is great for m. Heavier lamps tend to move the helmet around too much and a lower profile is helpful in that regard too. I think I will go for that Blika but I still want to research more. Since I have other Lupine lamps and batteries which are still going strong, I'll stick with them so I can reuse batteries, chargers and not have to carry two types. I don't need more light but less weight (mostly in case of helmet lights) and more self-contained options would be great. Remotes are very useful for me too, so I can quickly dim the light for oncoming riders or traffic without taking a hand off the bar.
 

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A self-contained light with enough of a wide beam plus good battery time would be fantastic but I'd always want to know the weight. I don't need more light but less weight (mostly in case of helmet lights) and more self-contained options would be great.
That's the incredible engineering challenge. Weight + runtime + enough light.

It's why we outfitted Hangover with an 18650 battery instead of a 21700. We wanted to blend the lightest we could make a light, with a decent runtime, and long operating range.

Will we make a brighter and more powerful Hangover in the future with a 21700? Probably, but that will add another 20-ish grams once account for the larger housing and the extra battery weight. So I think always going to try and keep an 18650 option for a really lightweight alternative.

Unfortuantly unless you get into really low lumen lights with smaller batteries, around 100g is about as light as you get a modern, moderately powerful light that actually puts out a long runtime without overheating or severly stepping down in power. Plenty of flashlight like options out there with plastic housings, no heatsinking and a single reflector bowl that might be 70-80g, but then have it sticking way above your helmet, which creates a moment force that's no different than a 100g light tucked close.

We looked into everything we could to get as light as possible but still balance out everything everyone else wants in a helmet ight, and that's how hangover was born.

In order to have anything lighter, absolutely have to go to a wired light with a remote battery like the Lupines you mentioned.
 

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Good thoughts! LiPo batteries will lower the weight of the self-contained light unit. I have two self-contained lights (Exposure Diablo and Ravemen PR1200) and I relegated them to my road/gravel bikes when I need an hour or two (max) light getting back from an evening ride. In a pinch, I can use them on my MTB but there is not enough light and not enough duration for a real ride.

I will try to move my light more forward (so it is lower) and see if that helps. Another option is to get a light that goes on front and the battery in the rear of the helmet, like the Lupine Piko. I am not (yet) aware of who else does that similar to the Fastclick system. I'll look around.

Bontrager has a helmet system now with powerful magnets built in so you can pop their front and rear lights on, as well as a GoPro. It is a cool concept for road and gravel but not sure how much light those smaller front light will provide and of course, the weight issue is to be watched. I have their road and mountain helmets now but have not mounted or even bought their lights. The magnets seems quite powerful though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Will we make a brighter and more powerful Hangover in the future with a 21700? Probably, but that will add another 20-ish grams once account for the larger housing and the extra battery weight. So I think always going to try and keep an 18650 option for a really lightweight alternative.
After living with your Hangover for a while, given the choice I'd be more excited about having more power than the larger battery. In its current form I just leave it on my helmet all the time (without discomfort) and its approx. 1 hour runtime works fine for most of my rides that I only need the helmet light for part of the time. If I know I'll be using it for longer periods, having the ability to run it off a remote power source covers my needs. Not sure how much an extra 20g would affect the comfort factor but as long as the battery is accessible you could still use either the 21700 or a lighter 18650 (using a generic flashlight reducer tube and magnetic end button). Not sure which way I'd prefer but I always run my Hangover on the highest setting and know I'd like more power.

We looked into everything we could to get as light as possible but still balance out everything everyone else wants in a helmet ight, and that's how hangover was born.

In order to have anything lighter, absolutely have to go to a wired light with a remote battery like the Lupines you mentioned.
Hangover does pretty good, all things considered. High powered tiny remote battery powered lightheads still have heatsink/surface area limitations that affect usage duration and output intensity. A lot of the higher powered XM-L equipped lightheads may be the able to thermally maintain higher lumen numbers than the Hangover but because of their higher lumen to max lux (throw intensity) requirements end up with less throw ability or more weight than the Hangover. I have a couple of XP-G throwers (Gloworm Alpha, C&B Seen 3up) that do much better in this regard and would love to see what could be done with some of the more current (and more efficient) emitters available.
Mole
 

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Would love to see what could be done with some of the more current (and more efficient) emitters available.
We do have some pretty cool stuff coming soon using the XD16 emitters that have proven to be extremely efficient. Pretty excited about implementing that into a newer version of Hangover in the future. Can't drop it into the existing optics since the emitter size is different and you end up with some color separation issues that are pretty annoying.

To implement it in Hangover will require some retuning of the optics, which means need to move some stuff on the PCBA boards around, which means have to tweak the inner substrate a bit, which means... eh **** it might as well make a whole new light at that point! :)
 

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Good points! There are so many considerations in a helmet-mounted light. Looking forward to the new emitters and to seeing what you do with them.

Since I am still usually rocking the Tesla (yeah, I'm dating myself here) on the helmet at 75 grams, something like a 60-gram low-profile light is probably the ticket given the current technology, even with the new Cree emitters. That's maybe a 20% greater light output and no other significant benefits. I mean- it is still nice but not an earth-shattering difference. I'll prob just target a 60 gram 2000-2300 lumen lighthead with a 3.5 or 4 Ah separate pack that get me a 2-2.5 hour runtime. That is the minimum in runtime that would be good enough for real night rides. The Tesla gives me almost 3 hours and is decent at maybe 700-800 lumens but it is probably safer to get more light for real night rides. While I have a Betty for the bar, I like each light to be good enough on its own.

Sometimes, I can get away with just a bigger light on the handlebar but not on all the trails. They are too twisty and fast, even in my neighborhood where there are steep and tight switchbacks on our trails. It is doable but I may have to walk a few switchback so I don't overshoot and fall 20 yards downhill. Tomorrow, we have a gravel evening ride so maybe an hour in the dark. The Ravemen will do and I could prob do it in the moonlight if I had to slowly ride back sans light.



That's the incredible engineering challenge. Weight + runtime + enough light.

It's why we outfitted Hangover with an 18650 battery instead of a 21700. We wanted to blend the lightest we could make a light, with a decent runtime, and long operating range.

Will we make a brighter and more powerful Hangover in the future with a 21700? Probably, but that will add another 20-ish grams once account for the larger housing and the extra battery weight. So I think always going to try and keep an 18650 option for a really lightweight alternative.

Unfortuantly unless you get into really low lumen lights with smaller batteries, around 100g is about as light as you get a modern, moderately powerful light that actually puts out a long runtime without overheating or severly stepping down in power. Plenty of flashlight like options out there with plastic housings, no heatsinking and a single reflector bowl that might be 70-80g, but then have it sticking way above your helmet, which creates a moment force that's no different than a 100g light tucked close.

We looked into everything we could to get as light as possible but still balance out everything everyone else wants in a helmet ight, and that's how hangover was born.

In order to have anything lighter, absolutely have to go to a wired light with a remote battery like the Lupines you mentioned.
 

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We do have some pretty cool stuff coming soon using the XD16 emitters that have proven to be extremely efficient.
Are those XD16 Emitters similar in characteristics to the automotive Lumileds or Osram Chips? Meaning high intensity but with a tad better efficiency than the Lumiled/Osram?
 
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