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Discussion Starter #1
Independent optical verification performed by www.deepsea.com

http://www.bikelights.com/info.asp?uid=358

Lupine Tesla
lumens (claimed): 700
lumens (actual): 492.1104 :nono:
Accuracy: 70.3%

Lupine Betty
lumens (claimed) 1400
lumens (actual): 784.0381 :nono:
Accuracy: 56.0%

Hope Vision 4
lumens (claimed): 960
lumens (actual): 608.97
Accuracy: 63.4%

Cygolite Tridentx
lumens (claimed): 600
lumens (actual): 381.7637
Accuracy: 63.6%

Niterider Minewt USD
lumens (claimed): 110
lumens (actual): 97.3741
Accuracy: 88.5%

Light&Motion Seca 900
lumens (claimed): 900
lumens (actual): 953.4991 :thumbsup:
Accuracy: 106%

Thanks L&M!
 

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I'll play Devil's Advocate....

Let's see some beamshots....Lumen testing is pretty silly and misleading in my opinion. That is like putting a "measuring" device right in front of a lens to capture the most focused part of a beam coming right of of the lens.

A true and representative test occurs (and is useful to consumers) when we test the beams and see the illumination, distance, beam pattern, and beam color on a trail. That translates to real-life experience.

So when this Lumen testing was done, were there any practical tests done and any beamshots captured? Who performed the test and how?
 

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Flyer said:
I'll play Devil's Advocate....

Let's see some beamshots....Lumen testing is pretty silly and misleading in my opinion. That is like putting a "measuring" device right in front of a lens to capture the most focused part of a beam coming right of of the lens.

A true and representative test occurs (and is useful to consumers) when we test the beams and see the illumination, distance, beam pattern, and beam color on a trail. That translates to real-life experience.

So when this Lumen testing was done, were there any practical tests done and any beamshots captured? Who performed the test and how?
Read the links.
Lumen testing is actually the opposite of what you described.
 

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On the contrary, I didn't describe lumen testing at all. I prefer testing lights on the trail, where it matters...and I'll leave the lumen testing to others....I just have better ways to test lights. ;)

znomit said:
Read the links.
Lumen testing is actually the opposite of what you described.
 

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Flyer said:
On the contrary, I didn't describe lumen testing at all. I prefer testing lights on the trail, where it matters...and I'll leave the lumen testing to others....I just have better ways to test lights. ;)
Its the opposite of a lux reading which is what you described:
That is like putting a "measuring" device right in front of a lens to capture the most focused part of a beam coming right of of the lens.

But yes, only gives part of the story.
Lumen testing is essentially the same as HP in cars.
MPG and 0-100 may be more useful to the driver.

Regardless, if you're going to provide specs for your lights they need to be correct, especially at the premium lupine price. These ones aren't even in the ballpark.
 

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I think we are talking about two different things. Some are concerned about claimed and standardized testing. I think most or many makers simply take the LED manufacturer's claimed output and multiply it by number of LED or measure lumens in some way if a reflector is involved (Tesla or ARC, for example).

So if Cree says each LED produces 200 Lumens, a 5 Cree LED light is claimed to produce 1,000 lumens. That same light can be diffused evenly through a lens (like a wide car headlight) or made to produce a really concentrated beam (with way more reach) though a reflector or through a special lens. So I'd rather test my lights on the trail, though I see why some would like to see standardized lumen output testing.

I am much more interested in practical testing and use claimed lumens simply as one data point. I prefer to look at beamshots when comparing and try to capture some of my own. I also like to ride with the light to see if it has a concentrated hotspot or if the peripheral beam is wide enough and transitions well from the main beam. I think lenses and reflectors can change the beam enough to where it can be very diffused or very concentrated so lumens can't be relied upon that much unless you are looking at the same lenses or reflectors between different lights. That said, I am sure some lumen claims are overdone but again, I'll figure it out through beamshots and practical testig/reviews, as should any buyer. Now I sound like a light geek!! :eek:
 

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I think this is going to get really interesting. I've been saying for a while that Lupine is going to be feeling some serious competitive pressure and will be compelled to reduce pricing. This is a major shot across the bow.

Here's how it I think it will go -

1. Study is published. DONE.
2. There will be the arguments made by users that "well, I know differently...." and will turn out to be largely subjective and not verifiable data. STARTING NOW.
3. Lupine will either (a) try and refute; a poor tactic or (b) change the rules of the game (make a big push on some other issue and attempt to hold their price premium); a better choice if they want to try and hold on to their premium - or at least some of it.
4. Lupine will lower price in face of competitive pressure. If they can't do this through cost reductions or other avenues, then they will be forced to sell unprofitably or retire from the market.

How many times have we seen this played out? Ask Sony about Walkmans. Or Palm about smartphones.

J.
 

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More competition simply produces better products. Each light plays out on the trail- nobody will bother much with refuting or championing anything but each will simply produce better and better products. Lupine is a high-end player and people who buy them don't care as much about price. Dinotte is more of a value play. I don't like Nite Riders myself but they have sold well. Local shops move Lupines as well. Dinottes sell well too, as more of a value brand...as do some others. Very rarely do these buyers ask for lumen ratings and tests. At best, they get recommendations from friends or light them up in a dark room at the shop or the parking lot after dark.

I like the competition...makes everyone up their game and that is always good for us...the night riders.
 

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Flyer said:
More competition simply produces better products. Each light plays out on the trail- nobody will bother much with refuting or championing anything but each will simply produce better and better products. Lupine is a high-end player and people who buy them don't care as much about price. Dinotte is more of a value play. I don't like Nite Riders myself but they have sold well. Local shops move Lupines as well. Dinottes sell well too, as more of a value brand...as do some others. Very rarely do these buyers ask for lumen ratings and tests. At best, they get recommendations from friends or light them up in a dark room at the shop or the parking lot after dark.

I like the competition...makes everyone up their game and that is always good for us...the night riders.
But often not by the same players who started it all. It's hard for companies used to high margins found in expanding markets to scale back when the competitors figure out how to make it better and cheaper and the market matures.

The point you missed is when the competition comes up with an equivalent solution at a cheaper price, then suddenly all those who swore never ending loyalty to the brand suddenly aren't around anymore.

Presuming this testing is accurate (I believe it is) AND you just know there have to be more lights about to pop with more capability at a lower price. Then Lupine needs to be dropping their pricing dramatically this fall or they will lose market share quickly. The proper strategy would be for them to lead the market down and to make barriers to entry for competitors by removing the ability to recoup investment. Unfortunately, most companies don't do this and try and survive by holding their margins up when they should have been looking at ways to make their businesses more efficient and leaving no room for their competitors.

We'll see what happens here shortly.

J.
 

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For L&M to play the lumen-counting game while leaving their product's shortcomings unaddressed is a bit disappointing. That's my take on it. Their new mounts are disappointing (particularly for helmet use, but bar use as well), and the Seca control button is vague, to name two things that would be relatively easy to fix without a full redesign. I could name some more. Seems like they've gotten heavier on the marketing side of the marketing/engineering see-saw.
 

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L&M is a bit annoyed since the ARC used to be the king (well, Queen...second to NR) of high-sales HIDs. They really had some awesome beam patterns. The Seca has a lot of catching up to do. In the LED arena, L&M was late to the game and showed up with okay-ish lights. They do still have some good engineers and I expect they will improve their offerings. I was a huge ARC fan but they are mid-pack now and there are too many superior choices. The new L&M lights are clunky, heavy, and not cheap either. They are still being outsold by the cheaper Nite Riders and are trying to go after the high-end market without really being high-end anymore. If yoiu ask the shops that sell L&ms, most will tell you that they don't sell anywhere near the volume of ARCs they used to sell. The two-ARC setup is still a common sight here in Colorado and second to Nite Rider, (ARCs are way better) the most common HIDs.

Heck, when the Wilma first came out, I said the ARC beam pattern was superior for a one-light setup even though the Wilma was brighter. They know reflectors but don't know compactness and weight and mounts. I can't figure out why- they did such a fantastic job with the ARCs.
 

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First of all, I am not any kind of authority on light testing. That being said, I always view these types of test results with skepticism. Evidently L&M hired the cited firm (Deepsea) to conduct an experiment comparing lumens of L&M lights with others. I looked at the graphs that plot something called uW/nm on nm. L&M claims the area under curve (i.e., integrate the function between two given values of nm described by the curve) is "more light" and imply more area means more lumens. But we have no way of knowing if the results are significant. Most experimental designs take into account replication, which means you average the results of several tests. Impecision in testing procedures means you need to replicate results to identify whether the observations are really true or a consequence of random experimenal error (anybody remember "cold fusion?"). The form of the results, for example Cygo Tridenx has 381.7637 lumens, implies a level of precision that I suspect is not really there. L&M cites an important feature of the data is that the lights were tested to a NIST standard. What that means is that the contract lab has periodically calibrated their testing instrument using some device that is traceable to a NIST standard. That means that their test results are reliable. Clearly that is a good thing, but just because your equipment is calibrated doesn't mean that your experiment and its analysis is correct. As long as they are citing NIST, they should have cited the test method used (ASTM, ANSI, or whatever) so we could properly couch the results. I would imagine there must be various methods of measuring lumens and probably each method means something a little different. Another issue is that this is not really an independent study, and to their credit L&M is careful not to claim that it was. I think L&M just hired a lab to run tests and it could be more accurately described as independent testing. An independent study means L&M would have turned everything over to a independent firm to conduct the study. Maybe they did that, but it's not what the info says. An independent study would be a lot more credible. Such testing would be blind, i.e, the testing firm does not know whose lights they are testing. There should have been a placebo (for example, an L&M light with "lumens" purposely dialed down to see whether the testing caught it) used so that we could judge the reasonableness of their data and experiment. Similarly, it would make most sense for the independent lab to collect the lights to be tested. Maybe they did that. Probably the best evaluation would have been for the independent lab to test lights that been in service for a given period of time.

Lastly, these results would mean a lot more if they were published in a peer reviewed professional journal. I would not normally bring that up, but somebody above mentioned that the study was "published" which probably is not true. If L&M is going to market their products with what they want us to think is a sophisticated scientific study, then I believe it is fair that their science be questioned. Maybe I missed it, but this experiment is not even mentioned on the deepsea.com web site much less published. If this study has been accepted by and published in a credible, peer reviewed journal, then I gladly stand corrected on all my points.

Bob
 

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Do you honestly think that the average consumer of these lights cares if it is a "peer reviewed journal?" (or even knows what that is.) They will take these messages back with varying degrees of agreement but it will definitely leave the perception (and, therefore, reality) that Lupine is not what they say they are.

This is about marketing, you can diss it all you like, but it will have an impact on the marketing. In this sort of stuff, every action generates a reaction from the competition. Until now, Lupine has owned the high lumen output high premium corner of the market. For years, nobody could touch them. They will need to respond or it will be tantamount to giving up that market space to these guys. What can their response be? That will be the interesting part.

My bet is that they did this well so that it will be tough to argue with. The response will need to be something else. If it gets into technospeak from Lupine, these guys win because it will be "me too" and now Lupine doesn't own the differentiator anymore.

J.
 

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L&M must know that Lupine and others have the money to make them look like fools and prove them wrong with their own (perhaps independent) testing.

Like JohnJ80 says, L&M must have done a very accurate test for that very reason...........
..........if they didn't they are fools and the other light makers will never let them forget it.
 

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Exactly right. None of these companies are large companies so there are no GE size war chests to fight protracted battles. This should play out quickly. If Lupine doesn't answer quickly with a powerful argument they will lose the title of being the brightest - a big piece of their ability to charge such a high premium.

J.
 

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Test Conditions

So I cruised over the Lupine forum and found this posted by a German rider. I have cut/pasted so I hope nobody has a problem with that since we should hear all sides.


================================================================
So, with a little help from a friend who owns a SECA and some test equipment I could find out a little bit more.

The SECA uses a PTC for temperature regulation which works like a level sensor and a switch.
The lamp starts with 19,5 W (measured) and has an outstanding light output for the first 1 to 2 minutes. Than the temperature exceeds the switch level of the PTC (even in a test with a cooling fan) and the lamp regulates down to 7,9W with an visibly lower output.
As a result of this regulation technique the SECA has a very high output even in the lumen-measurement sphere for approximately 1 or 2 minutes which is enough for the measurement.
The LED’s and electronics are overheated in this moment (you could smell it) which decreases the lifetime of the lamp. Not good for a 700$ product.

Lupine uses a NTC which works like a sensor which continuously measures the temperature and regulates the light output to prevent the LED’s and the electronics.
As a result in a closed room like the lumen-measurement sphere without any airflow the Betty regulates the output down immediately after switched on. This prevents the electronics from overheating as fast as possible.
So it is almost impossible to measure the maximum output properly in a lab because of the influence of the test equipment to the test result.

On the other hand this does not mean that the Lupine also regulates the power on the trail down to the same level. The CNC-machined aluminum body is not to show off but works as a heat sink (like the cooler in your PC) an with the airflow which usually is on the trail the temperature in the lamp is much lower than it would be in a similar lamp with a plastic body.

My conclusion is, that the SECA is constructed for better test results in the lab but not for better beams on the trail.

By the way, I couldn’t find out why L&M tested an two year old model of the Betty. The current version was improved in output and temperature regulation.


Greetings from Germany

Jörg
==============================================================
 

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Just like a thought. If this is their response then they have just lost their position as the "bright guy." and have been "me too-ed."

J.
 

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JohnJ80 said:
Do you honestly think that the average consumer of these lights cares if it is a "peer reviewed journal?" (or even knows what that is.) They will take these messages back with varying degrees of agreement but it will definitely leave the perception (and, therefore, reality) that Lupine is not what they say they are.

This is about marketing, you can diss it all you like, but it will have an impact on the marketing. In this sort of stuff, every action generates a reaction from the competition. Until now, Lupine has owned the high lumen output high premium corner of the market. For years, nobody could touch them. They will need to respond or it will be tantamount to giving up that market space to these guys. What can their response be? That will be the interesting part.

My bet is that they did this well so that it will be tough to argue with. The response will need to be something else. If it gets into technospeak from Lupine, these guys win because it will be "me too" and now Lupine doesn't own the differentiator anymore.

J.
Of course, you are exactly right, nobody cares about peer reviewed journals on this forum. Again, I only brought it up because you said the study was "published." I'm guessing you probably meant "advertised" or "posted." Actually I agree with you, it's for sure marketing and may or may not be good science. Somewhere on here it was said that competition would result in better products. I agree with that. Along those same lines, I might add that more critically thinking consumers (who try to understand and be wary of and call BS on marketing hype) sometimes result in better products.

In any case, good discussion.

Bob
 
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