Light-Test.info

Most of us know that feeling ... "Does this %#*&^$!! in his piece of junk who had just passed me by a few centimeters even see me?"

To break into the driver's brain with information about the cyclist on the road the best would be the laser (we can do some 500mW eyes burning toy on 1x18650 but it isa bit unethical and the burn time is a bit too short). Besides, who said that the driver with burned eyes doesn't run over you.

Let's get to practice. On the market there is now 3 lights ensuring visibility from a distance of approximately 500m.

 

CatEye TL-LD600
Born : 2002
Weight : 59g
Power source : 2AAA
Burn time : 15 Hours
Made in Japan

 

 

CatEye TL-LD610
Born : 2007
Weight : 49g
Power source : 2AAA
Burn time : 30 Hours
Made in China

 

 

Smart RL-317R
Born : 2006
Weight : 53g
Power source : 2AAA
Burn time : 30 Hours
Made in Taiwan

 

 

Who will be the winner ?

Pattern test - shot behind white paper.
Smart / 600 / 610

Ok, first comparison shots...
Distance 0,6 m, white paper A4, 1/60 sec.
Smart / 600 / 610


So now first conclusions :
- they have very similar light output in constant mode
- there is no visible improvement in output between LD600 and LD610 *,**
- LD600 have the best focused beam from these three***

*. TL-LD1000 wasn't most powerfull CatEye blinkie ever.
* maybe they simply lowered the current to get longer burnt time 15 instead 15 hours and light output is the same.
*** theoretically the smart should have the best focus (as a 1 led lamp) but after testing 4-5 of these they all have irregular beam pattern - probably there is some problem with optics positioning during production.

Electronic Measurement

As we know, the human eye is not reliable measurement instrument (although I think a pretty good fit for the job;]). So I use light meter measurement in a darkroom.

Measuring the distance : 1 m, to obtain the maximum value

  • EL-610 => 141,5 lux
  • EL-600 => 135,1 lux
  • RL-317R => 134,8 lux

Some night photos... distance 50m, time 1sec..

HL-EL600
CatEye TL-LD600
HL-EL610
CatEye TL-LD610
RL-317R
Smart RL-317R
These are 640x480 cuts from 10MP photos - no resizing or any additional edition.

 

And her are some head to head vids:
RL-317R vs HL-EL610

RL-317R vs HL-EL600

Final Conclusion

Each of these lamps have highly directional light output - during ground tests after moving about 5m side from direct line with lamp smart have the worst visibility.
I wasn't able to decide which one is the best - despite of weaker result in long distance photo test for EL600 it was the most aye-catching lamp in the test (higher frequency in flashing mode).

I think that they are very comparable and you can make a decision based on price and availability of these lamps in your location.