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Thread: Philips LED bike light

  1. #1
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    Default Philips LED bike light

    I finally started sorting out my beamshot images. I would estimate the Philips light to be at least as good as any 1000 lumen (real lumen, not marketing) light with symmetric beam for on-road use. Note that I don't think symmetric beams are good for on-road use, on the contrary, in my tests it was quite clear they are dangerous when riding on dark/unlit roads: when riding with an Edelux and encountering a Magishine, I could not see anything (except the Magicshine) for a fair distance, so I was not being able to see the edge of the road either...

    Have a look here:
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~swhs/fiets/tes...20bike%20light

    (if you scroll back a bit on that page you see daytime images of the roads I've made the beamshots on)

    I've made various movies with comparisons with Edelux, Ktronik triple XP-G, Philips LED bike light but they are pretty big so I'm considering redoing them (320 pix instead of 640 and 1280) or perhaps upload somewhere else. This weekend I'll place more beamshots and probably also a few movies on my webpage.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Nice work. Recording lights static or video is neither as easy as it looks (for those of you who haven't tried) nor inexpensive when you have to buy the lights and decent cameras. Just finding spots you won't be run over or disturb dogs is an issue.

    Definitely looks a like a possibility. With a thrower on the helmet that you can aim where you want, it would be quite acceptable. I wonder how it shows in daylight as a running light to oncoming traffic? Some are so narrow, like my high bem light that they are great at 200-1200 feet where th cone of light is big enough to cover the oncoming lane, but lousy closer unless aimed at the driver.

    Looking forawrd to the pics and video.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Yeah, looks real nice. How quick is it to change the batteries? Are any tools required? It would be nice to have a spare set in my pack for those long, early rides.

    Also, since it's not available here in the U.S., what kind of adapter would I need in order to use the wall charger? I might just end up doing like you and take the batteries out and charge them in my Maha charger anyway, especially if it's stupid simple and doesn't cause any wear & tear on the unit.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg View Post
    Yeah, looks real nice. How quick is it to change the batteries? Are any tools required? It would be nice to have a spare set in my pack for those long, early rides.

    Also, since it's not available here in the U.S., what kind of adapter would I need in order to use the wall charger? I might just end up doing like you and take the batteries out and charge them in my Maha charger anyway, especially if it's stupid simple and doesn't cause any wear & tear on the unit.
    Well, I use my Maha charger too As I said in the other post, I didn't get the charger with it from the guy I loaned it from, so I can't tell how fast it cahrges, but according to the specs, the charger is 100-240 V, so you only need a convertor plug from EU -> US plug, nothing more. Taking the batteries out and making them external is also an option...

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    it would be quite acceptable
    Not sure what you mean by quite acceptable, it's damn impressive! Yes, visible well in daylight too. You might like to read the section about the truck that switched off its high-beam at 1 km distance because it saw the Philips light (this was at night) and nearly slowed to a crawl when passing me. This beam is better than what I've seen in motorcycles. Perhaps the truck driver thought "What the hell is that!". From riding on those unlit lanes, cars passing with my Edelux then the Philips back on, I get the feeling of having a car headlight. It's just that good. The shots as I say on my webpage look worse than they are because I photographed them too low (at just above handlebar height) because my tripod doesn't go high enough.

    But if anyone close to me (not far from Amsterdam) has a Betty and wants to do a comparison, I'm up for it ;-)

    I wonder how the Dosun D1 faires against the Philips, but really I'd like a dyno light with this much output, I don't like charging batteries.

    Next tests to be done: How long it last on high on full batteries, and what happens when batteries are low.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    Next tests to be done: How long it last on high on full batteries, and what happens when batteries are low.
    Please, please! You've got me very close to buying one of these, and those are two very good questions. If it really does last two hours on a freshly charged set of batteries, and if it switches to economy mode automatically instead of just shutting off as the batteries near exhaustion, I think that would be enough to seal the deal for me.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    Not sure what you mean by quite acceptable...
    'Quite acceptable'? A bit of dry humor called understatement meaning superior, excellent, or outstanding.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    ....
    I wonder how the Dosun D1 faires against the Philips, but really I'd like a dyno light with this much output, I don't like charging batteries.
    ...
    I've been thinking about that one, too. From the data, it looks like the LEDs are getting at most 1 A (probably more like 0.8 A - let's wait for the results from the runtime test) from the batteries in high power mode, so there are several possibilities, unfortunately most of which involve completely disassembling the electronics part of the light:

    1) charge the light from a hub dynamo, either through a DIY charger or maybe a b&m e-Werk. Should get a runtime ratio of (at least - e-Werk might give better results) 3:1 (6 hours charging for 2 hours runtime on high beam) in that way. Needs a check whether simultaneous charging and running is possible.

    2) rip out the electronics and batteries, just run the two LEDs in series from a simple rectifier/capacitor circuit (maybe throw in a series capacitor for enhanced output). Runs idefinitely, but will only yield about half of the high beam output on batteries.

    3) replace the electronics and batteries with something that will use both LEDs directly at low speed, then boost the current through the LEDs at higher speed (similar to the booster circuit in the Cyo/Edelux, but if possible with automatic switching between direct/boosted mode and the temperature management from the original circuit).

    4) get really involved and add a standing light to 2) or 3), with rear light supply thrown in.

    Bye
    Markus

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Update:
    Dynamo driven battery chargers were a central theme in the last two issues of the German online bike magazine 'fahrradzukunft' (http://www.fahrradzukunft.de/). One of the best systems (surpassing even the e-Werk) was the 'Forumslader' (http://www.forumslader.de/), a communal project from a German cycling forum.
    The principle of the Forumslader is simple: charge a 12V battery pack (10 NiMHs, 4 LiFePO4, whatever) through a low-drop regulator from the dynamo, then use an optional high efficiency step-down switcher to provide 5V for USB users. That'll yield something like up to 4.5 Watts in low-speed mode and >8 Watts in high-speed mode (i.e. with series capacitors engaged). Efficiency could probably be better (overall efficiency is about 50%), but simplicity and robustness might be worth it.

    Bye
    Markus(_really_ tempted now...)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Had a look at you new postings.

    I will have to look into hosting larger resolution pics and posting the thumbnails. Keeps our Moderators happy.

    swhs: I have pasted your comments from your web page and extracted them/praphrased them so readers don't have to go back and forth and get messed up. They are in bold typeface. I trust that is OK with you.

    The lens ..lets light go ... directly into your eyes. This is a serious design flaw!.

    It is easy for Phillips to fix and easy for an owner to remedy. I like that the lens wraps the front of the 'hood' of the lamp as you get good side marking and some straight down light. A piece of black tape or black enamel paint masked and sprayed onto the offending bit would fix it easily. I don't know what a factory masking and paint job would add to cost of production, but it would help their customers night vision.

    The blue 'fuel guage' LEDs ... should be less bright, they are to intrusive.

    Some older riders with less night vision may not agree, but that said, a piece of semi-transparent tape or a thin coat of clear paint with a little blue or black mixed in might tone that down some. Often, 'fuel gauges' are on a momentary switch to reduce power drain and prevent this issue. A good idea for an updaed version from Phillips.

    Pressing the button makes the light come on in low mode, additional presses ...switches between low and high mode. Keeping the button pressed for about 2 seconds switches the light off.

    Nice, neat, simple.

    My first impression on 1 August: Wow, that looks to be nearly a car headlight!

    Possible. A halogen car headligght is 900-1100 lumens but spread over a much wider area. So the narrow beam may be as bright at a fraction of the lumens.

    The owner of the Philips light and I, rode comparing four lights: the Edelux, Kerry's dyno powered triple XP-G, the Philips light, and an old halogen. We both felt that the Philips gave an extremely good illumination and we both had the idea that more light was not needed. Especially the little posts on the side of the road with reflective material while riding with high mode are almost annoying... more comparison tests this week.

    An excess of light where you don't want it is counter productive. I have had the same experience with my light setup. Less can be more.

    Philips' claim of a throw of 80 metres looks reasonable: I'd say, ca. 70 m from my first test. With the Edelux I get ca. 50 m and the triple XP-G ca. 40 m.

    With twin reflectors of that size and small die emitters, they should. To get throw from XP-Gs I had to resort to aspherical lenses so they'd fit an MR11 body. Bigger is better in lenses or reflectors for throw.

    ...The first ride with the Philips light .. I got a reflecting traffic cone at a distance of 630 metres. With the Edelux ...I got to about 450 metres.... very hard to improve on ...as that road just isn't straight enough ...

    I will check this on my system for comparison purposes. Good idea.

    What oncoming traffic sees:

    Sounds like the light should be aimed with the top at or just above the horzon or what's the point of the sharp upper cutoff?

    Conclusion (preliminary): Best bike light I've ever seen. ... except to have it dyno powered! ...a bit more closeup light. ... If that darker bit was a brighter I'd like it even more.

    So Phillips: Grade B+ to A-?. Version two needs a blacked out upper lip on the lens, a momentary switch for the 'fuel gauge', a bit more near field, and some fill in of the dark spot, and don't forget a dyno version.

    But in the mean time, it looks like a winner!

    swhs: Keep up the good work!

    I wonder if Geoman might be interested in an NA distributorship?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Another question: how water-resistant is it? I don't generally ride in the rain, but it would be nice to know that if I get caught it the rain it wouldn't damage it.

    EDIT: I don't see it in this thread, but I'm also curious whether this light can be charged on-the-fly via USB. Since it's powered by ordinary NiMH AA batteries it wouldn't be too much of a problem to stop and change them, but it would be fantastic if I didn't have to, for those rare occasions where I know I'll be out in the dark for more than 2 hours. Since the charger which comes with the unit is 1000mA, I assume there is no built-in circuit which limits the USB power to 500mA (USB spec). This may mean it's possible to entirely power the unit off the USB port, which is a really attractive option if I want to run an external battery pack.
    Last edited by steverosburg; 08-14-2010 at 10:45 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg View Post
    Another question: how water-resistant is it? I don't generally ride in the rain, but it would be nice to know that if I get caught it the rain it wouldn't damage it.
    The lid is on the bottom, and the aluminium bottom section sits in rubber that's probably glued on the top section. Looks to be waterproof, as it should be for daily use in germany and the Netherlands.

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg
    EDIT: I don't see it in this thread, but I'm also curious whether this light can be charged on-the-fly via USB. Since it's powered by ordinary NiMH AA batteries it wouldn't be too much of a problem to stop and change them, but it would be fantastic if I didn't have to, for those rare occasions where I know I'll be out in the dark for more than 2 hours. Since the charger which comes with the unit is 1000mA, I assume there is no built-in circuit which limits the USB power to 500mA (USB spec). This may mean it's possible to entirely power the unit off the USB port, which is a really attractive option if I want to run an external battery pack.
    Not sure, I suppose I can use a standard USB cable, just haven't tried it as I don't use USB stuff except for the camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    swhs: I have pasted your comments from your web page and extracted them/praphrased them so readers don't have to go back and forth and get messed up. They are in bold typeface. I trust that is OK with you.
    Yes, looks a good summary of my findings. I've added some more beamshots, timings of the light (blue leds etc.) on high and uploaded one of the videos:

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~swhs/fiets/tes...--04.47.14.mp4

    Note that the movies all look better on my camera than on the PC monitor; The latter is an oldish Samsung 701v which doesn't have a great contrast/brightness, so that could be the problem.

    It should be obvious when the Edelux is on (narrowest beam) and when the Philips is on. Let me know if this is useful or not, if so I will put up a few more including Edelux-Philips-Triple XP-G


    Btw, modifying a Philips for dyno is something I've been considering for a while.

    Rating: I'd say 8.5 out of 10. Just a few small imperfections, but it's already about as good as you will need for on-road use. Wet smooth asphalt is another matter, then you never have enough light and you are really dependant on reflections from other objects, therefore the wide beam is good.
    Last edited by swhs; 08-15-2010 at 05:45 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    Not sure, I suppose I can use a standard USB cable, just haven't tried it as I don't use USB stuff except for the camera.
    You should just be able to use a USB type A to mini B (the kind that come with digital cameras and other electronic devices) to connect from your USB port on your computer to the light. I'm curious whether the light will still function while plugged in, and whether it would extend the run time. I know it's asking a lot for you to test this, but it would be tremendously helpful to know in advance. Then you could be the official "unofficial Philips LED bike light evangelist", as several more of us may owe our purchase to your excellent information...

    Regardless of whether you have opportunity or means to perform this test, many thanks already for all the information you've posted. I had never heard of this light before, and seems I never would have otherwise.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    I was curious about the question of whether you need a tool to change the cells, as was an earlier poster.

    One of swhs's web page photos clearly shows the underside and that a hex (Allen) key is needed. I hope the bolt is captive (looks like it could be).

    I also wondered about the inside attachment so I took the liberty of taking a section of one of swhs's web site pics and lightening it. You can clearly view the means of attachment of the base to the rest of the light.



    Can I add to the wish list for the Mark II version that a better design of latching the back end of the base to the top is used. That looks like very little alloy in those two little grooved posts (ringed) holding the back of the base to the top ..... although the bolt will take a lot of the load. They look like they could be easy to accidently break at the thinnest point.

    Great detail in your reports ..... appreciate the effort you've put in.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    I'm thinking that the Philips emitters aren't really that efficient (or bright) . The burning question is... can the emitters be swapped out for two (or more) XPG's?

    I read here that the case is made of brushed aluminum, so there is some passive cooling, and a flat surface on top for placing more cooling if needed.
    Last edited by Uzzi; 08-19-2010 at 03:16 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by Uzzi View Post
    I'm thinking that the Philips emitters aren't really that efficient (or bright) . The burning question is... can the emitters be swapped out for two (or more) XPG's?

    I read here that the case is made of brushed aluminum, so there is some passive cooling, and a flat surface on top for placing more cooling if needed.
    panicmechanic suggested just that when he mentioned the Phillips light in the 'Let's design a road front light beam' (or whatever its title) thread as opposed to modding the Schmidt or B & M lights.

    The XP-G mod should give less heat, more light, and more runtime. That was before we'd seen anything but the distributor pics and one beam comparo.

    The XP-E emitters are closer in physical die size to the Luxeon emitters, but they are less efficient (more heat) and only go to R3 (less light) whereas the XP-G should soon be available in an S2 (another 7 lumens per watt) for about 280 raw lumens for two (no lens losses counted) at 350 mA if the XP-g die will behave with this lens.

    The bottom of the light case is also metal, but without a good thermal contact/path, something a modder could fix along with reinforcing or backing up the rear clips, a momentary switch placed in line with the fuel gauge, and masking of the top lens wrap around. With luck, the bigger XP-G die may help near field and the dark spot.

    No cash here to try it, Anyone want a go at it?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    panicmechanic suggested just that when he mentioned the Phillips light in the 'Let's design a road front light beam' (or whatever its title) thread as opposed to modding the Schmidt or B & M lights.

    The XP-G mod should give less heat, more light, and more runtime. That was before we'd seen anything but the distributor pics and one beam comparo.
    Yes, that was then, and now, after seeing swhs's pics, I'd say: just take it as it is. Even if there was a chance of gaining brightness, you would not profit from it, unless you could broaden the beam pattern or add some lumens to the top of the beam.
    The light patch seems bright enough for many riding conditions, so much so that swhs mentioned people turning to 'low' when riding close to retroreflective signs and posts.
    I wouldn't say the chances for improvement are zero, but then Uzzi's question was also about "two (or more) XP-Gs". I don't see how adding emitters would help, the reflector of this lamp is (obviously very well) designed for single die packages.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmechanic View Post
    Yes, that was then, and now, after seeing swhs's pics, I'd say: just take it as it is. Even if there was a chance of gaining brightness, you would not profit from it, unless you could broaden the beam pattern or add some lumens to the top of the beam.
    The light patch seems bright enough for many riding conditions, so much so that swhs mentioned people turning to 'low' when riding close to retroreflective signs and posts.
    I wouldn't say the chances for improvement are zero, but then Uzzi's question was also about "two (or more) XP-Gs". I don't see how adding emitters would help, the reflector of this lamp is (obviously very well) designed for single die packages.
    Indeed. Reflectors have been designed for specific LEDs. Changing the LEDs with a different type will change the beam pattern, which means there could be artefacts or too much light close up. More light further away is not really needed for normal use, perhaps for high speed descents but even car headlights don't shine much better/further than this light. At least, that goes for the car headlights I've looked at closely since starting the tests with the Philips light. Some are actually much worse, with large distracting artefacts in the beam.

    What the Philips light shows, is that we're coming to a point where you don't really need more light, but attention should go to other things:

    - Neutral white or even warm white are less annoying to oncoming traffic, easier on the eyes for the rider using it too, and they may be better in the wet (I've done a few short tests with cool vs. neutral, I'm going to test warm white soon).

    - Perhaps optimize the beam slightly to remove the problem of reflective posts on the side of the road just reflecting too much which is almost like someone shining a torch in your eyes. I will make some pictures of this too. This may be difficult for various reasons that take too long to explain here. Perhaps this will simply be solved (or at least improved), by mounting the light lower (fork crown height, which is the usual place where dyno lights are positioned), I'm going to check that too.

    - A little more light near the front wheel, i.e. just iron out small imperfections in the beam.

    Btw, on my webpage I've made some additions and mentioned some possible competitors to this light:
    1. B&M IXON IQ, IXON IQ Speed (obviously completely outclassed, because even the Edelux is outclassed)
    2. Dosun D1, but I've put a link on my website to a Japanese website with beamshots which show the unevennes in the beam. So I doubt it's better. I doubt it's even close. I don't know what else is being said on that page btw., Google translation produces ununderstable rubbish.
    3. B&M Big bang: Too expensive, HID = bluish and fragile.

    So, at the moment there is no real competition.

    Btw, USB cable: I have some, I think the right ones, but I have to look where they are...

    Btw2, the latches of housing are probably strong enough. I think if those are damaged in a crash, the light would have had such a shock that something else is damaged beyond repair anyway. This because of the way the bottom section fits into the top section, and because the latches are placed in the right direction so that in most cases, there is no force on them (think about that when considering what can happen in a crash or if you drop it, by looking at the housing and how something can move in a crash against it, or the loose light itself is dropped).
    Last edited by swhs; 08-20-2010 at 03:27 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Is Philips selling these lights in North America, specifically Canada, he asked hopefully, yet?

    I'm wondering how it would compare against a Planet Bike Blaze 2W, or perhaps more fairly, against two such units.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    @tandem: I didn't find it on their canadian web site. Over here, it was listed under 'automotive' at first.
    You might want to contact them.

    @swhs: changing to a more neutral tint could be a solution to several issues. Might solve the retroreflective blinding as well.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    @panicmechanic: made great points about why it might be a complete waste of time to stuff XP-Gs in there. Since the XP-E is available in warmer tints and is a similar size and more efficient (more light on medium setting for same or longer run time) a warmer tint XP-E pair may be a thought. A real crap shoot, but someone might get lucky.

    @swhs:Since you cited your blog page and it has the Sanyo hub generator I will ask an OT but related question: what is your take on it in daily use? It is $40 US, the Novatron $50, the more recent 70 and 80 series Shimanos in the $110-125 range, and the Schmidt is in the $250-300 range depending on exchange rates. At $40, the Sanyo is a bit cheaper than a Shimano 105 front hub. More drag than either the Shimano or Schmidt but I didn't get a sense of whether it is good for the money or to be avoided. I has looks going for it. Considering a 650B wheelset for the errand bike and a dedicated generator light system is on the wish list.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    @swhs: I see that you've posted run times on your site. Looks like the light is exactly as-advertised with the 2 hour run time. It must be drawing ~0.6A per LED, which would definitely seem to indicate more than 270 lumens total, since a single Luxeon Rebel at 0.6A should be close to 200 lumens.

    On the other hand, the Supernova Airstream should be powering the XP-G at 1A (based on the 2.5 hour run time using a 2500mAh 18650). At 1A, an XP-G R5 should put out almost 350 lumens (data sheet indicates 347.5 at 1A, Supernova claims 370 lumens), so the values are mostly real and not too much fantasy.

    Dollar for dollar, the Philips light definitely looks like the way to go. However, I think the Airstream has a bit more practical range of settings (1A, 750mA, 350mA), which should translate to 347.5, 280-ish and 139 lumens. You mention that the Philips light can be too bright in some cases, but on low (20 lux) it would be under 100 lumens total and a bit low for my liking (unless I were in an urban area which already had considerable ambient light and I just wanted to be seen). I definitely need more than 2 hours of runtime, as I usually do a 2.5 hour ride before work and leave my house about 1.5 hours before the earliest light of dawn (and it will only get worse as winter approaches). That's just cutting it way to close for a single set of batteries, and I'd prefer to not have to stop if it can be avoided. The big outstanding question for me is still whether the Philips light can be charged via the USB port while it's on, then I could hook up one of these and coax some additional run time out of it: http://www.batteryspace.com/batteryh...compliant.aspx.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg View Post
    @swhs: I see that you've posted run times on your site. Looks like the light is exactly as-advertised with the 2 hour run time. It must be drawing ~0.6A per LED, which would definitely seem to indicate more than 270 lumens total, since a single Luxeon Rebel at 0.6A should be close to 200 lumens.
    Probably more like 0.7 or even 0.8A. From the datasheet, possibly 390 lumen minus optical losses which would give 320. But measuring is the only way to make sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg View Post
    On the other hand, the Supernova Airstream should be powering the XP-G at 1A (based on the 2.5 hour run time using a 2500mAh 18650). At 1A, an XP-G R5 should put out almost 350 lumens (data sheet indicates 347.5 at 1A, Supernova claims 370 lumens), so the values are mostly real and not too much fantasy.
    The Supernova figures are 100% fantasy just as the Cree datasheet contain fantasy values. The XP-Gs have been measured at 270 lumen at 1A, as you should have seen from the I gave in the thread about battery powered dyno lights. And that was not just 1 LED (that may have been bad or whatever), and an R4 was also measured. They come nowhere near the datasheet values.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    Probably more like 0.7 or even 0.8A. From the datasheet, possibly 390 lumen minus optical losses which would give 320. But measuring is the only way to make sure.
    Unlikely, as your 2250mAh batteries would not have been able to last two hours at that rate. However, good enough is good enough. My only concern at this rate is with the low run time.

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    The Supernova figures are 100% fantasy just as the Cree datasheet contain fantasy values. The XP-Gs have been measured at 270 lumen at 1A, as you should have seen from the I gave in the thread about battery powered dyno lights. And that was not just 1 LED (that may have been bad or whatever), and an R4 was also measured. They come nowhere near the datasheet values.
    Okay, whatever it is, it is. Nobody will know for sure until it is available and measured. As I mentioned above, the only issue I have with the Philips at this point is the run time. If I knew I could extend the run time without having to resort to running in eco-mode or getting off the bike and disassembling the light to put in a new set of batteries, I'd be a happy camper.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg View Post
    Unlikely, as your 2250mAh batteries would not have been able to last two hours at that rate. However, good enough is good enough. My only concern at this rate is with the low run time.
    I think it would. Assuming 1.2V average at 2.25A, a driver efficiency of 90%,, forward voltage of ca. 3.25V which is what it is at around 0.7-0.8A (see Luxeon Rebel datasheet) then the result is that the LEDs get ca. 0.75 A. All in all my lowest estimate is 0.70A.

    Efficiency in the driver could be higher I suppose, lower is possible but even general purpose drivers (taskled) that deal with a variety of input/output conditions get to about 90%..

    Runtime: Make the battery pack external! One advantage of an internal battery pack is that the batteries are kept warm in winter. the low setting is good enough to see the road, not as bright as an Edelux, but much wider/longer. As to possible design improvements in the light: 3 settings would be good. Even better perhaps to have 3 buttons to directly switch to the given desired output level.

    I may not get to do the USB test as I need to post back the light soon. I may buy the light myself as a reference light but not sure yet.

    Reflecting poles: I tried a cool white and neutral white torch, and even though the neutral white one appears less bright when shining at a white wall, when shining at those polse with white retro-reflecting material, the neutral white one is actually brighter!

    Sanyo NH-H27 dynohub: See my webpage for updates. I like it a little better than the DH-3N80 due to vibrations being gone at 25 km/h instead of ca. 27-28.

    Btw., I had a agreement to buy an old heavy gitzo tripod (good for windy conditions, and also good as it could be set at even 2m and higher), but the seller sold it to someone else before I could come round. This is why I'm almost certainly not going to do any more beamshots any time soon. I've had enough of this sort of idiocy (one of the reasons to be honest to not buy second hand stuff in the Netherlands, it'll drive you crazy lots of times) and I couldn't find any affordable new tripods that aren't too light-weight and that get high enough. Perhaps there are, but there are so many types/brands it's hard to check them all.

    So, result: No more updates on my light page the coming time, I'm not in the mood any more.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic pe2er's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Europe - Holland - Almere
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    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    Btw., I had a agreement to buy an old heavy gitzo tripod (good for windy conditions, and also good as it could be set at even 2m and higher), but the seller sold it to someone else before I could come round. This is why I'm almost certainly not going to do any more beamshots any time soon. I've had enough of this sort of idiocy (one of the reasons to be honest to not buy second hand stuff in the Netherlands, it'll drive you crazy lots of times) and I couldn't find any affordable new tripods that aren't too light-weight and that get high enough. Perhaps there are, but there are so many types/brands it's hard to check them all.

    So, result: No more updates on my light page the coming time, I'm not in the mood any more.
    Are you near Almere? I Have a heavy tripod you can use ;-)

  26. #26

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by swhs View Post
    I think it would. Assuming 1.2V average at 2.25A, a driver efficiency of 90%,, forward voltage of ca. 3.25V which is what it is at around 0.7-0.8A (see Luxeon Rebel datasheet) then the result is that the LEDs get ca. 0.75 A. All in all my lowest estimate is 0.70A.
    My math is simpler: 0.7A * 2 * 2 hours = 2.8Ah, which is more capacity than your batteries have. Also, I managed to dig up some specs from their website which says 0.625A, which would fit perfectly in line with the 2450mAh batteries and claimed run time of 2 hours. Still, I don't really care all that much, bright enough is bright enough, and I'm not a flashaholic. I just want the best bike light possible that is both within my budget and will meet my needs.

    As for making the battery pack external, yes I could do that if I have to, but why do it if I don't have to? I've sent in an e-mail to Philips to see if I can get information regarding whether I can use the USB charging socket while the light is running. If it's possible, that will give me longer run time with no modifications, and I don't have to use the external battery for shorter rides.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the information you've posted thus far; it's been very helpful and informative.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Well, I ordered the Philips LED Bike Light from Bike24.com. (Darell adds link) I never heard back from Philips regarding whether the light can be charged while it's on, but I'll give it a shot, and if it doesn't work I can always modify the light to use an external battery pack. Including shipping to USA (and excluding VAT), it came out to 103.90€ (about $132.28 US at the time of purchase).

    Basically, it came down to the fact that this light is going to end up costing me half what a Supernova Airstream would, and that's a pretty hefty chunk of change. I also like the semi-permanent mount on the Philips, versus the O-ring style on the Supernova Airstream. The weight (the Philips is about twice the weight of the Airstream) is not an issue for me, because I ride a 30lb recumbent, so the few extra ounces will not be noticed. The primary downside is the lower run time (as I only intend to run the light on high), but hopefully it will end up that the light will allow current from the charging socket while it's on, and that would satisfy all my needs. I will report back when I have received the light and had a chance to test such.
    Last edited by Darell; 10-26-2010 at 08:51 AM.

  28. #28
    Unenlightened
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    1

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Hi All,

    Nice to read that you also are discovering the Philips LED Bike Light.
    I have a lamp and it completely blew my mind that this was possible.

    My brother and I go biking in the local forests almost every week on monday. It really does not matter that the sun went down. I cannot bother anymore about the sun. I don't need it to have the fun.

    Please enjoy these movies that have been taken by myself on my Nokia N82 handheld. You may recognize my brother in law :-) having lots of fun.

    This is the movie of the ride.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lej8pbR5RDQ

    This is how easy it is to mount the Bike light:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOmM0fmDTf4

    Some guy even tried out the water-proof-ness of the light, you won't believe this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZUSlXqdpOU

  29. #29

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    I just received my Philips LED Bike Light via the postal carrier. I popped in some AA NiMH batteries I had which were recently charged, and turned it on. My initial impression (against the wall, in the middle of the day): bright, but not noticeably brighter than my dual X2000 P4 setup. I could easily believe that a single LED light (e.g. the Supernova Airstream) could be as bright as this, although I don't plan on buying one to find out. The true test will be Thursday morning, when I take it out at 4:15 AM in the pitch black for my next morning ride.

    As for whether the light can be run while power is connected to the mini-USB charging jack, the answer is a most definite NO, and this really bums me out. As soon as you connect power to the USB jack the light shuts off and goes into charging mode. This means I'm going to have to mod the light if I want more than 2 hours burn time, which I almost always do except in the middle of summer when it gets light early. Therefore, I give a huge advantage to the Supernova Airstream in this regard, since (at least according to Supernova) you can supply current to the charging jack while the light is running.

    This really was the easiest test in the world to perform, I wish I hadn't had to shell out $132US in order to get the answer.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Philips LED bike light

    Quote Originally Posted by steverosburg View Post
    I just received my Philips LED Bike Light via the postal carrier. I popped in some AA NiMH batteries I had which were recently charged, and turned it on. My initial impression (against the wall, in the middle of the day): bright, but not noticeably brighter than my dual X2000 P4 setup. I could easily believe that a single LED light (e.g. the Supernova Airstream) could be as bright as this, although I don't plan on buying one to find out. The true test will be Thursday morning, when I take it out at 4:15 AM in the pitch black for my next morning ride.
    Okay, so the against-the-wall test is completely useless -- this thing throws down way more light than my P4's. It's a whiter light, and the beam pattern is both much wider and longer than my P4's can deliver at the same brightness. You can't really appreciate how the beam will project until you shine it down the street on a level surface; only then can you really see how much light it's putting out. While the light can certainly reach 80m, I wouldn't say the light at that distance is bright enough to really see by; however, I would certainly say that the usable light extends 40-50m, more than enough for all but really fast downhills. If I were to do a lot of fast downhills in the dark (I don't), I would want to add a helmet light which had a pretty tight spot, and just point that into the distance to see what was coming.

    I did end up modding the light to use a supplemental external battery pack (actually, two 4 x AA packs wired in parallel, since AA are so cheap, available and easy to charge). I went on my ride super early this morning so I could spend the entire time in the absolute dark, and it worked like a an absolute dream. I noticed that the battery indicator dropped from 3 bars down to 2 bars after about 30-40 minutes, to 1 bar at ~75 minutes and to no bars at ~100 minutes. However, once it reached zero bars, it just kept running and running all the way until I got home, a little over 150 minutes total. Basically, wiring an external battery pack in parallel with the internal batteries renders the battery indicator pretty useless.

    Thanks again to swhs for recommending this light -- it was a bit of a pain to mod it, but it was well worth it for me.

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