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Prez NMBA
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anybody using a LED light for night riding on trails? like one of the ones that claim to be equivelent to a 20 watt bulb? Im just curious if they work well, they seem to be reasonably priced compared to an HID set up and have great run times
 

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How does LED compare to halogen.

I can get a 3w luxeon LED light for a bargain online. The quoted run times are the most attractive feature. (it's a Nightpro Stellar light out of interest.)

I'm currently running a 12.5w halogen light, and would hate to go backwards.

How will the 3w LED compare, or should I look at spending more.

Cheers.:thumbsup:
 

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blackjack said:
I can get a 3w luxeon LED light for a bargain online. The quoted run times are the most attractive feature. (it's a Nightpro Stellar light out of interest.)

I'm currently running a 12.5w halogen light, and would hate to go backwards.

How will the 3w LED compare, or should I look at spending more.

Cheers.:thumbsup:
The spot would be about as bright, but you wouldn't have the same light spill. If you don't think you'll need the light spill to illuminate either side of your path, you might be all right. For a primary light, off road, I'd get something brighter, or combine two of these. For a secondary light, this would be fine.

That being said, I have not used the NightPro (nor do I know the brand of your 12.5W halogen), so I am basing my opinion on my useage of other brands' 3W lights, but they all seem pretty similar.
 

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Thanks for that James. I guess you ultimately get what you pay for.

The article relating to LEDs on your link looks interesting. I'll have a read now.
 

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ravingbikefiend
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I am running a 10W Nighthawk with a runtime of 9 hours and a 1W LED light / flasher ... my commute to and from work has been in the dark and it's only now that the days have started getting lomng enough where lights aren't needed.

These lights are good enough that I can blast through the singletrack with no worries about not seeing what's ahead.
 

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Gone riding
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Hi nmba guy,

There are many of us who ride solely with LED based lights. Unfortunately there is a trend in the industry to compare lights to an equivalent halogen wattage, which is a misleading and pointless statement. You can read into a few of my thoughts about this here. Colour temperature, tint and the optical qualities of lights all have a huge impact on perceived light output.

Generally you can expect a currently available commercial triple emitter light to illuminate the trail just as well as a 10-20 watt halogen, depending on the manufacturer. Certainly most commercial triple emitter lights that I have seen have provided more then enough light to ride flat out on serious trails in the dark.

Most riders seem to be happy with a triple emitter light, sometimes using a twin emitter light on the helmet as a spot, and using the triple emitter light on the bars as a more of a fill. Others feel they can get away with a pair of single or twin emitter lights too, and others are even happy with just a single emitter light depending on where they're riding. Obviously it comes down to personal preference and what you normally ride with, and what you want to use your light for.

LED based lights have a serious advantage over HID's in a number of areas. You don't have the issues of fragile bulbs and expensive bulb failures, and unlike HID you have instant turn on regardless of "hot" or "cold" starts, highly efficient dimming, and usually longer burn times and lower system weights. Another advantage is that LED based lights allow for manufacturers to have a huge impact on optics and reflectors, really customizing the beam shape, unlike HID where you have a limited ability to change the beam shape at all. This can be a disadvantage too, but most manufactures have got things right.

Current drawbacks with commercial LED systems is in raw light output which isn't quite up there with HID yet, reasonably high system prices, and a huge variance between manufacturers in terms of optical quality and beam shapes. However if you do your research like you would with any other system, you'll quickly work out what you need to look out for.

Some members have mentioned home made LED systems, and currently you have an advantage if you go this way as manufacturers have been quite slow in adopting the use of the latest LED emitters available on the market. A number of members here have built lights that are brighter then any other commercially available LED light, and are really close, if not exceeding HID efficiency and raw light output. However you will start to see these newer LED's released in products throughout the year. :thumbsup:

Keep on reading, there are plenty of great reviews both here on MTBR and on other websites, and if possible try and see some of these lights in action. There is also a reasonable sized list of various lighting manufacturers here, although nowhere near comprehensive. ;)

Cheers, Dave.
 
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