Exposure dynamo light

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  • Exposure dynamo light
  • fisha
    Member

    I have the supernova E3 triple on the commuter … at walking pace it pulses the single light. As soon as you ride, the single light goes solid and is enough to see by at slow speed, but all 3 kick in pretty quickly as soon as you gain any speed whatsoever. Stand light is nothing other than a be-seen light. I’d be interested to see just how quickly the exposure comes on solid.

    The only thing about the claims of lumens is that aren’t the standard dynamos limited power output at the moment ? 3W at 6V can only give so much power to the light unit … i’ve read that taking all the efficiencies out of the supply and lights doesn’t leave enough to be able to give 800 lumens? ( more like 450 ish )

    Unless the exposure one is a bespoke dynamo supplying more power, or the light has better efficiency leds???

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    RobDean will be along in a bit to explain it all, I suspect…

    bristolbiker
    Member

    Hmmmmm…. on my to-buy list this winter…. subject to piccy’s 😉

    avdave2
    Member

    I run an E3 on my off road commuter and it’s great not having to charge batteries all the time and always have a light ready to go. This looks to be a little cheaper which is good. I think the E3 is a claimed 800 lumen as well, but as the only thing I’ve compared it to is my very old cateye halogens I’ve no idea.

    The other great thing about a dynamo is you can charge up all those other gizmos you can’t leave the house without.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    OOh!

    3W at 6V can only give so much power to the light unit …

    But that depends on the hub!
    A SON hub can be set up to switch in additional lights as your speed goes up. I guess that with an Exposure light/SON setup the maximum output is only limited by how fast you can go (and if you fit the 20″ dynamo hub the world is your oyster!).

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    aren’t the standard dynamos limited power output at the moment ? 3W at 6V can only give so much power to the light unit

    I think they’re current-limited rather than power limited, ie the voltage keeps going up.

    Unless the exposure one is a bespoke dynamo supplying more power

    It’s the Shutter Precision hub, which seems to have attracted a fair bit of praise. It’s certainly the lightest out there so USE probably would have chosen it regardless 😉

    All I want to know is whether it’s got a simple “off” switch on it. If so then maybe I could wire it alongside my Cyo as a main beam, otherwise it’s not much use to me.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I’d be interested to see just how quickly the exposure comes on solid.

    I only know what I’ve been told, mainly by a mate who’s been given a prototype to test, but I think it has beefier integrated batteries than the E3, hence the better standlight and slow speed performance. Might be a problem if your ride starts off with a long, slow winch, but not many do.

    The prototype was a similar size to one of USE’s battery lights, which might have weight implications, but who cares. It’s an amazing everlasting light!

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Yeah, I assume the Revo has a cell inside it. Exposure say:

    when you stop riding the light dims slightly but remains lit for 10 minutes… There is up to an hour of light produced after this to help with all post ride activities.

    An hour is a lot of juice. Most other lights use capacitors for the standlight, AFAIK — my B&M Cyo claims 6 minutes for the standlight, IIRC.

    joemarshall
    Member

    Standard dynamo hubs are limited to 500ma output but unlimited voltage, unless you fit the special voltace limiter (intended for old fashioned bulb lights, to stop them blowing bulbs).

    Exposure light looks nice, but 200 quid for a light without a battery or charger or anything! Ouch. I guess it is t_e first commercially available proper off road dynamo, so they can charge whatever the hell they want, but I just hope it’s really successful so that some cheaper brands will start making good dynamo lights.

    avdave2
    Member

    The E3 only has a capacitor rather than a battery which would explain a difference in the stand light brightness.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    200 quid for a light without a battery or charger or anything!

    Actually, I’m guessing it’s got both inside it, as above.

    I guess it is t_e first commercially available proper off road dynamo, so they can charge whatever the hell they want, but I just hope it’s really successful so that some cheaper brands will start making good dynamo lights.

    Supernova and K-Lite would probably dispute that, although neither of them have really made a big dent in the UK market — but +1 to “more and better/cheaper dyno lighting please”.

    It’d also be interesting to see if this light generates any interest from the road fraternity, who are more into proper road beams like the Cyo, and whether that might encourage Exposure to make a proper road light…

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    This sounds good.

    And more keenly priced than I thought it’d be, too.

    Apparently it’ll keep full brightness even at around 5 mph, which is where previous dynamo lights have tended to falter (think riding up a grovelly techy climb, not the time you want you light to cut out or go dim). And the standlight is meant to be very usable too.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    200 quid for a light without a battery or charger or anything!

    But £280 (Is that a typo?) for a full light setup that’s bright and durable enough to race 24 hours solo or ride overnight compares very well to the other big light manufacturers. I think the cost of an E3 Triple and an SON is more like £350.(Yes, I’m sure someone will be along to tell us how many DX torches you could buy for that money. Whatevs.)

    A combination of the Revo and the Strada optics and switchable beam would be great. Dynamo lights don’t really seem to go in for adjustable power settings though – I’m sure there’s a reason that someone less electronically backward can explain.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    A combination of the Revo and the Strada optics and switchable beam would be great.

    The Strada optics are just weird, though. All it’s got for a “dip” is some horizontal spread of a beam that’s pitched at the same angle as the main beam. Still dazzles oncoming traffic, still fires half the light away from the tarmac.

    Dynamo lights don’t really seem to go in for adjustable power settings though – I’m sure there’s a reason that someone less electronically backward can explain.

    I don’t think it’s anything to do with the electronics, I suspect it’s simply that there’s no point cranking it down when you’re not trying to make a battery last longer. (Plus I think the German legislation, which most dyno lights are designed to comply with, restricts you to 2.4W — and there’s no point using less than that.)

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    I’ve not used the Strada – if that’s the case it sounds like something they need to sort out before adding another 8 operating modes.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Well, as a beam it’s quite good for road riding, but it’s no more traffic-friendly than any other light. It’s nice in the way that permanently using main beam in the car would be nice. The road-oriented bit is really the fact that it combines the remote control with just two modes, which allows you to dim (not dip) instantly.

    fisha
    Member

    Mine is powered off an Alfine hub … just cause it matched the rear alfine hub and was a good price for a complete rim.

    Have to say, wish I had gone down the dynamo hub route years ago… sooo much easier to jump on the bike and not worry about whether the batteries are going to last the journey.

    robdeanhove
    Member

    I have the supernova E3 triple on the commuter … at walking pace it pulses the single light. As soon as you ride, the single light goes solid and is enough to see by at slow speed, but all 3 kick in pretty quickly as soon as you gain any speed whatsoever. Stand light is nothing other than a be-seen light. I’d be interested to see just how quickly the exposure comes on solid.

    I started off buying a Supernova E3 triple, as it was supposed to be so much better than anything else, but quickly sold it as no cop for the techy, twisty riding I wanted to do at night that involved wanting a bright, flicker free light, when travelling at low speed, that lasted more than a few seconds. The Exposure light does just that, dropping to a minimum of 400lumens when you’re going really slowly (i.e. almost stationary) through nadgery sections and then the brightness starts to pick up as soon as you start moving again.

    If you’ve not ridden it for a few days, you’ll need to ride to the end of the road, or the car park to bring it to life, but that’s much easier than faffing around plugging it into the mains and waiting 12hrs for a battery to charge!

    My Exposure Revo just took me, off road, through over 800miles of techy off road in Aidan Harding’s EWE race, riding in darkness at the start and end of each day and at the other end of the scale has been a regular on mid week thrashes in the woods as well as my daily commute to and from work, both on and off road depending on how the mood takes me.

    The E3 however, flickered at low speed and had a standlight that barely lit the far end of the front tyre within 5 seconds. Both totally unacceptable off road.

    The only thing about the claims of lumens is that aren’t the standard dynamos limited power output at the moment ? 3W at 6V can only give so much power to the light unit … i’ve read that taking all the efficiencies out of the supply and lights doesn’t leave enough to be able to give 800 lumens? ( more like 450 ish )

    Unless the exposure one is a bespoke dynamo supplying more power, or the light has better efficiency leds???

    Not wanting to be rude, but the full answer to this isn’t very exciting, and if you’re asking that question then you probably won’t be familiar with either the electronics knowledge or the way the legislation defines dynamo lights to get to the end of the answer without asking a dozen more questions or, more likely, just falling asleep! In a nutshell, the legislation was written around city commuter riding speeds and assumed a plain incandescent bulb (now superseded by the halogen bulb). The way an LED operates is not the same and allows any standard dynamo hub to produce way more power than the 3W classification of a dynamo hub, assuming you;re riding at more than walking speed, the faster you go, the greater the maximum available power from the hub you light can draw upon.

    The hubs supplied by Exposure for use with their lights, are not only lighter and more efficient than thir SON equivalent (comparing the 3W hub with a 6-bolt flange to the SON equivalent, not the 2.4W hub with the centrelock spline, as SON have done, naughty boys!), but I know that this hub has been durability tested at these higher powers, with the latest generation of lights in mind, something worth noting when choosing your hub 😉

    Oh, and as you’d expect, a company like Exposure have measurement equipment to check light output. When I took my 800lm Revo dynamo light out with a friend’s 1000lm ebay light, the Revo was waaaaaay brighter. Subjectively, it compares to my old MaXx-D light on full when on the trail. Please check your facts more thoroughly, perhaps use a demo light, or just as for clarification, before suggesting that the light might only be producing a fraction of the quoted, tested and verified output and badmouthing on a very popular forum what is potentially a great a new product trying to overcome a lot of outdated negative image based on old fashioned, incomparable technology

    Having said that, I will concede comparisons to older dynamo technologies are inevitable, with the lazy suggesting things such as; heavy, draggy, no light at low speed, flickery, turns off when you stop. however, this is like comparing a Six-Pack to an Eveready Nightrider D-Cell battery light!

    Bez The Mk1 production light I have been using for a while now is smaller and lighter than the prototype sample I think you have seen (plus the main beam is brighter and the standlight brighter and lasts longer too!) but no switch that I know of at the moment, however, I’m sure you’re a clever guy you could easily put an on/off switch in the power line from the hub to switch between full power and standlight power, which is approximatelyy half brightness, to “dip” your light (but no beam pattern change) for oncoming traffic?

    I hope that was, in some way, useful to at least some of the questions on this thread?

    RAGGATIP
    Member

    Rob, is the standlight powered via a large capacitor or a battery?

    I see potential in creating a lighting unit that also acts as a regulator with a cache battery to power or charge ancillary devices via a plug similar to the plug in exposures existing lights which supply power to the rear light.

    I’m sure this won’t be far down the road since it would get rid of the cables that exist with the e-werk system.

    The SP dyno hub by the way is great. I’m not sure whether it has serviceable parts but it has powered my B&M light everyday for the past couple of months flawlessly. I can’t wait for the darker nights. The light is hassle free and very bright and I have a system where I charge my Galaxy S2.

    robdeanhove
    Member

    GAGGATIP The beauty of the dynamo is that it offers many, many possibilities as you have a power source that travels with you do to many, many things. It doesn’t require too much imagination to come up with a combination of these to fit your own needs perfectly. However, it’s early days for everyone, so I guess we’ll all have to wait a few years until the available range of product options develop to include the various conbinations of things people want.

    You indicate you want an internal cache battery, others have expressed a preference for a USB charger plug for all manner of electronic devices, others a rear light (this compatibility currently comes as standard), oithers want various combinations of light output control and on/off switched. Most of these add cost size and weight but, assuming this is a successful product, I am sure the options will come in future years. However, most of this functionality is available, as you point out, through external bolt ons that already exist in the market. In fact, I prefer this as I have already used my dynamo for a very mixed variety riding:

    1) Commuting – I used the front and rear light, having both lights on all the time and not worrying about batteries is wonderful, especially with a super bright (normally battery hungry) rear light

    2) Mid week night riding – I just leave my light on full beam all the time, while others fumble for switches to turn their lights down on the climbs to preserve batter life. particularly good in winter when everybody’s battery life suffers.

    3) Epic rides & Bikepacking – I use the front light at night and an external charger (that I remove for commuting) to recharge my garmin, phone and headtorch in daylight

    4) Touring – Same as bikepaking, but I take an external cache battery to give me USB power to recharge things if/whhen I set up camp in one place for a few days

    A dynamo USB charger would also be ideal for using your smart phone and Strava, as you phone could be on all day, with the battery hungry GPS and you’d not have to worry about battery life or massive, heavy external batteries

    Hope that helps? Although I suspect you’re aware of all of this from your post. I hope the next product is one with an internal USB charger, allowing me to plug in my phone, GPS or just an external battery, without the external wires, and just have one thing clipped to my bars that does everything (provides light and charger power)

    Oh, and IMHO internal batteries are a bad thing for a dynamo. Heavy, suffer in the cold and after 500-1000 cycles will potentially be a gonner, not something capacitors suffer from. However, as you’ve seen with your current light, and as commented above on the Supernova E3 triple, normal capacitor standlights have severe limitations too. As for the internals of the Exposure light, well, I’ll let them reveal that of they choose to! I’d recommend the Revo over the B&M, it’s incomparibly brighter, you couldn’t compare the B&M to a MaXx-D now could you?!

    Aidy
    Member

    Hmm, just had a look over the spec page.

    XPG LEDs? Is that as XMLs weren’t available at the point of development (although I note that the Reflex gets them), or are XPGs more efficient at the kind of power that a dynamo can generate?

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    Are these dynamo hubs available in 15/20mm options or just 9mm qr?

    RAGGATIP
    Member

    Just 9mm QR at the mo. I was chatting to the bloke who sells them on ebay and he was discussing with the manufacturer to get a similar set up to Hope where you can easily convert to 15 or 20mm. Whether they do or not is another matter. It would give them a huge edge over the SON dyno hubs, even though in my opinion they have an edge already being half the price with better power curves. My only concern is whether they’re serviceable or not. Nothing has gone wrong with it yet so I haven’t needed to know at this stage.

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    The convertable hub idea seems like a good one.
    I’d love a this setup but none of my bikes use a 9mm QR.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Subscriber

    Cheers for the info Rob, useful as always; points re batteries make perfect sense, so the internals sound intriguing.

    Very much with you on the thought of an integral USB power port being a killer feature. I have my Kemo charger in parallel with the lamp, which works great but ain’t pretty.

    I’d recommend the Revo over the B&M, it’s incomparibly brighter, you couldn’t compare the B&M to a MaXx-D now could you?!

    True enough, experience suggests the B&M is knocking on a Toro for lux on the tarmac ahead, but with a lot less spread. Of course, that’s a Good Thing with oncoming traffic and a Bad Thing on empty roads – I want the best of both worlds*, damnit 😉

    * and at £200 or less, just to add the stick to the moon 🙂

    robdeanhove
    Member

    XPG LEDs? Is that as XMLs weren’t available at the point of development (although I note that the Reflex gets them), or are XPGs more efficient at the kind of power that a dynamo can generate?

    XMLs have slightly different electrical characteristics, which may mean a re-design or re-tuning of the circuit. I know from first hand experience that designing circuits for dynamo lights that work as well as the Revo is very hard. Making a circuit that works from a battery requires many more components, but is just a matter of chosing the power output(s) you wnat and throwing it together and is easily changed for a different LED type.

    I suspect that it’s more that an XML has similar outputs per current than an XPG, but is far mor expensive. XMLs are adopted by battery lights as you can use fewer of them, reducing cost, for a dynamo light the advantage is questionable, the same number of LEDs may be required for the same light output ad the ost per LED is higher for an XML. So I suspect (note this is my opinion only!) that the main driver for XPG is that they represent better value for money for the same light output.

    Not to mention of course that the XPG has a smaller LED element, meaning a better light pattern from the LED in the optic compared to an XML. Not important in a battery light if the XML is putting out far more light, but for the same light an XPG may well be the LED of choice for the currently available optics, irrespective of price. This may well change in the future. It’s worth noting, looking at Hope, Exposure, Lupine etc. that still more top end lights use the XPG than the XML.

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    the XML`s dont come alive until 1.5 amps drive and peak at just over 3 amps .

    Nothing wrong with the XPGs as Rob says and also there has just been released the XPG2 with more lumens at a higher temperature with slightly lower forward voltages so even better suited to the Dyno drive .

    It does look like for the serious rider in the dark a Dyno setup after you have invested in the wheel is a great idea and good for the planet too.

    I do suspect the continuation of the XPG by the main players also has a little to do with using up existing stocks .

    wont be long before the chinese have a dyno and charge all gadget light out if they see the Exposure one selling well .

    Premier Icon DoctorRad
    Subscriber

    I believe folks got a dynamo version of this old thing running very well: http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/diy-700-lumen-batteries-inside-light

    Also, has anyone yet cracked the matter of running a helmet light from a dynamo? It’s either got to involve charging from the dynamo during daylight hours, or some horrible cabling…

    Aidy
    Member

    That sorta makes sense – Thanks rob & trout. (btw rob, I was the anon asking about smart port USB on your blog).

    However, I do sorta think there’s a certain amount of truth in

    I do suspect the continuation of the XPG by the main players also has a little to do with using up existing stocks .

    Historically, the bigger players have always been a bit slower to adopt newer LED tech.

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t sound like a good idea to have a cord from your bike to your head

    Aidy
    Member

    Perhaps some sort of magsafe type connector? But yeah, pretty horrible cabling…

    robdeanhove
    Member

    However, I do sorta think there’s a certain amount of truth in

    I do suspect the continuation of the XPG by the main players also has a little to do with using up existing stocks .
    Historically, the bigger players have always been a bit slower to adopt newer LED tech.

    I believe Trout has answered the question fully. Pointing out that not only is there nothing wrong with an XPG but also that

    the XML`s dont come alive until 1.5 amps drive and peak at just over 3 amps

    as a dynamo nominally puts out 0.5A, so unless more parts are added (and with this an increase in size, cost, weight and reduced reliability), to create a new efficient LED driver arrangement for all ranges of bicycle speeds and power requirements to drive the XML family (not easily done, nor necessarily a desirable solution) I believe that the XPG family of LEDs is actually better suited to a dynamo application than an XML application.

    Exposure have developed two totally new lights for 2013, one dynamo and one battery, I suspect that the volumes of their existing range (Toro, MaXx-D, 6-Pack, Joystick, Flash, Strada, Race, Diablo) is more than enough to just “use up old stock” if that is what they were trying to do, why develop a totally new product based on a technology you intend to use up?! From what I’ve seen of their product development, I firmly believe if they thought a technology would give them an advantage for their target application they’d adopt it, and ditch the old one, as fast as possible.

    As for head torches, I’m a rider who prefers the bar light as the main light most of the time, so I use my joystick, or diablo on a medium power to supplement the bar light, see found corners, into dips etc. and then I recharge it from the dynamo during daylight hours, I used this setup for the 10 days of the EWE, riding past 11pm most nights and always started with a fully charged joystick every evening.

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