2016 Lights Shootout

The new Piko 4 comes with a wireless Bluetooth remote switch and an iPhone app.

The new Piko 4 comes with a wireless Bluetooth remote switch and an iPhone app (click to enlarge).​

Editor's Note: This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview's 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.

The Lowdown: Lupine Piko 4 Smartcore

Lupine impressed us five years ago with the introduction of the first Piko with an output of 550 Lumens. We were wowed by the output and heat management from such a small package. But how could it wow us this year while maintaining its small, useable form factor?

Our questions have been answered with the Piko 4 with 1500 Lumens that we were able to validate in the lab. They then added a wireless remote that's easily mounted on bar. This becomes very convenient when using the Piko in its natural habitat, helmet-mounted. And if that wasn't enough, they added a sophisticated iPhone app that can control, configure and monitor the light.

Claimed Lumens: 1500 LumensMtbr Lux: 149
Measured Lumens: 1489 LumensMounted weight: 218 grams
Lumens per $: 3.97 LumensCategory: Headlight
Lumens per gram: 6.83 LumensPrice: $375 ($325 with normal battery)
Run time on high: 1:45 HoursRating:
5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
5 Chilis-out-of-5
Stat Box


Pluses

Minuses
  • 1500 Lumen in a 200 gram package
  • The light can get hot when not moving
  • Bluetooth wireless remote is included
  • $375 is a big investment
  • iPhone app is very powerful
  • Beam pattern is not huge
  • Best temperature management auto adjusts light quickly
  • 1:45 run time on high is great and double that time on medium is very useable

The entire system weighs in at only 218 grams.

The entire system weighs in at only 218 grams (click to enlarge).​

Full Review: Lupine Piko 4 Smartcore

Beyond all the technology, what stands out most about the Piko 4 is its usability and flexibility. Here is a light that can be mounted on the bar/stem or on the helmet with light head in the front and battery counterbalanced on the back. It's incredibly bright with a run time of 1:45 hours on high and 3:30 at 750 Lumens of output. Its weight is hardly noticeable but its light is big and bright.

The Piko 4 now comes with a Bluetooth remote.

The Piko 4 now comes with a Bluetooth remote (click to enlarge).​

Bluetooth Remote

That functionality is enough for most but Lupine added Bluetooth remote functionality. The remote is wireless so it is particularly easy to adjust or turn off the light specially when its mounted on the helmet. It is extremely fast with Bluetooth technology and it can control another Lupine light simultaneously with the same switch (up to five). How cool is that to turn your bar and helmet light on and off with one button. You can dim both your lights easily when climbing or when coming upon another rider.

Continue to page 2 for more on the Piko 4, beam pattern and Lumen measurement »



The app shows the current health of the light given the existing airflow and ambient temperature.

The app shows the current health of the light given the existing airflow and ambient temperature (click to enlarge).​

Smartphone App

Another remarkable feature is the Lupine Smartphone App that is free for new Lupine owners to use. Why you might ask does a light need an App? Configurability, Control and Monitoring.

The most useful asset of the App is configuring the lights and its available light modes. Want five levels of light or two? No longer will you have to play Morse Code with your light switch to configure the light. Also, you can have infinite light adjustment with the App slider bar if you want ultimate control of the light while riding.

And finally, monitoring the status of the light's temperature and output is useful in understanding if your light is getting enough airflow. Lupine lights and other sophisticated temp controlled lights throttle down output when the light gets too hot. Using the App lets you determine if this is occurring in your local rides and make some adjustments like purchasing the optional heatsink for example.

Lupine Piko 4 Smartcore Beam Pattern

Beam Pattern Photo

We photographed the lights in the same location setting with the same camera settings. The photo was taken in the back yard that is approximately 25 yards long. The backyard beam pattern allows you to gauge the throw and the width of the light. Compare all Beam Patterns here »

Lupine Piko 4 Smartcore Lumen Measurement

Integrating Sphere Measured Lumens

This light measured 1489 Lumens in an integrating sphere. Claimed Lumens by the manufacturer is 1500 Lumens. The Lumen-hour graph below shows how the light performs over the first three minutes of its battery cycle. Compare all Lumen Tests here »

The light output of the Piko is quiet honest and stable. With a small fan directed at the light during testing, one can see that the light starts out at its claimed output level and is very linear with no jagged spikes or drops in output. It gently dims very slightly as the light head gets hot.

Options and Accessories

The available options for the Lupine Piko are quite staggering. There are different mounts that are machined. There is also a plethora of battery options as all Lupine batteries are cross-compatible with any light. There is a battery that will run the Piko for over 12 hours for example.

Optional heat sink can dissipate heat better in low airflow/speed conditions.

Optional heat sink can dissipate heat better in low airflow/speed conditions (click to enlarge).​

New this year is an optional heat sink for the Piko that will allow the light to run at higher output levels during low airflow conditions or in hot weather areas.

And finally, there's even an USB adapter that can turn your light battery into a USB charger for your phone and other devices.

For more information visit www.lupinenorthamerica.com.

This article is part of Mtbr and RoadBikeReview's 2016 Bike Lights Shootout. See the 2016 Mtbr Headlights Index and the RoadBikeReview Commuter Lights Index.