I just received my latest issue of Bicycling Magazine and there was a Cateye ad
advertising their latest handlebar mounted light, model HL-EL100. it is a 3 LED,
4xAA battery system that looks similar to all their other $15-20 handlebar mounted lights. They advertise 180 hrs of run-time.
has anyone seen or bought these yet? any opinions? price?
That's why looking at millicandelas alone is a bad way to measure brightness.
A Nichia NSPW500BS puts out 5600 mcd across a viewing angle of 20 degrees at 20mA, but the LED can draw up to 30mA, resulting in even more output.
And if the Cateye's lens focuses the light of three of them into an even narrower beam, 50,000 mcd is definitely possible, but it's questionable whether such a narrow beam would be practical for bicycling.
Officially 5600mcd. Rank-S, the rarer and more expensive brighter ones are officially up to 9000mcd. But as we all know, most LED torch manufacturers overdrive the LEDs and so usually a Nichia white will put out more like 12000-18000mcd, so 3 of them could certainly put out 50000mcd in total if overdriven. It probably wouldn`t stay that way for long unless it were regulated though.
And of course as Dugggg (is that too many Gs?) pointed out, if their light is focussed narrower than normal, the candela rating will go up anyway since it relies on the total light output and the beam angle among other factors.
For example a (single LED) Turtlelite-1 gets to about 65000mcd or more, but it is in a very narrow, almost unusable beam.
Recercare: precisely true. I built a bicycle taillight out 13 Hosfelt Orange 10mm LEDs that claim a 26,000 mcd output each, and they really throw that beam out there for sure. It looks like a fire on my butt, and cars really give me room. These LEDs are useless for illumination but the point is, in the right circumstances a narrow, high candlepower beam is excellent, as is with both of these applications. I bet the Cateye really helps with safety even in broad daylight. In that sense it's really valuable. You could put one on the back too for that matter.
Roger: the numbers I have gathered are: one LS= 14 (or more) white LEDs; comparisons of either of these with halogen type lights-if that's what you're comparing- are very hard to make because halogens are so much more suited to headlighting. A more revealing comparison would probably be in terms of lumen output: a well driven white LS is rated at 18 lumen, a Surefire E1 is about 20 lumen, as is a 2D maglight; the Surefire M3 is rated at 125 lumen with the MN10 bulb. The last one is also rated at 9.1 watts so maybe this helps a little. If we bought lights by the numbers we would never get it right, and these values are just vague indicators at best due to the variety of things to consider. My final, absolute end of the day answer is : about 7 LS's all aimed perfectly with heat sinks and regulation, and oh, did I mention this light doesn't exist?
Right on! I bought the same Hosfelt 10mm orange LED a while back.
Although totally useless for illumination, I mounted it on my helmet, and as I approached intersections, I got good at aiming it at cars approaching from the side. I have no doubt it helped being seen, which for road riders, is probably more important than lighting the road anyway.
Sadly, that LED quickly bit the dust when one of my test circuits went awry and it suddenly dealt with six unrelenting volts. Really melted the heck out of it!