2008 LED Bike Lights Comprehensive Review - Intro
By James Sharp

It seems like it was a very short time ago that I was sitting down writing my review of LED lights for 2007... and yet, so many improvements have been made. In general, in the few short months since the last review LEDs have become more efficient, more manufacturers have embraced their use and price spread has ... well, there is actually a bigger difference between the most expensive and the least!

This time around, though, I need to have a little preamble. I'll mention the beams, but mostly I'm going to let the images do the talking -- and there are quite a few images. As per the norm, there are beam shots in an off road environment. The surveyor flags are spaced 20ft apart. At 100ft from the lights, there is a group of three flags. All of the lights, whether it appears this way or not, were aimed at this 100ft mark. In addition to this, we're adding images of the lights aimed at a target. The outer circle of the target is 3ft in diameter. There are two more circles that are 2ft and 1ft in diameter. The hash marks are located every 2 inches. The lights were 16" from the target. The camera was behind the target, in line with the lights. This image shows the difference in light spread -- the more circles lit up, the wider the beam. Next up are two graphs, one is a line plot that illustrates the beam spread and color. The other plot is a 3D plot made from the target images. The height of the 3D plot is the intensity. The more white you see, the brighter the light is. Finally, each light has a graph of run time. Using all of these images and graphs, I hope to leave you with a good idea of how the light outputs compare.

Another change from the last review, we only have three categories: Single Emitter, Dual Emitter, and Large Cluster. The self contained lights will be placed along side their separate-battery siblings.

The single emitters are:
DiNotte 200L,
Light and Motion Stella 180-L,
NiteRider Minewt.X2,
NiteRider Solmate,
Exposure Lights Joystick MaXx

The dual emitters are:
NiteRider MiNewt.X2 Dual,
DiNotte 200L Dual,
Exposure Lights Race MaXx,
Knog Gator 605,
BR Lights C2.1H,
Ay Up lights LCP4N in both spot and intermediate versions,
BR Lights Jeni-H

The large array lights have more than two emitters. Last winter, that meant three or four emitters. Now, there are as many as seven! They are:
Lupine Betty,
DiNotte 600L,
Lupine Wilma,
NiteRider TriNewt,
Exposure Lights Enduro MaXx,
Light On! Expedition 1000,
DiNotte Dual 600L

Not one of these lights is the same as last year. It's a clean slate, let's see how they stack up!

Single Emitter
Dual Emitter
Large Array

(click the image for a larger view)

James Sharp is a contributing editor for GearReview.com; more of his ramblings and a look at upcoming reviews can be found at his blog -- Lactic Acid Threshold.

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