Cycling lights have come a long way in the past few years. While just a few years ago, the majority of riders relied on halogen bulbs and NiMH batteries (though cashed-up riders also had the option of HIDs), developments in digital light technologies have brought powerful, lightweight systems within the reach of the masses.
LED-based lights in particular have managed to carve a niche for cycling applications thanks to bright, low-wattage bulbs that offer plenty of punch for dark, twisty singletrack coupled with long burn times.
DiNotte, based in New Hampshire, USA, is focusing on building LED-based light systems for road and mountain bikers. The flagship DiNotte 600L lithium-ion LED light kit includes a 3-bulb light engine, two lithium-ion batteries, charger, extension cable, bar and helmet mounts, straps, and O-rings to get you up and running.
Straight from the box, it’s hard not to be impressed by DiNotte’s attention to detail. The light engine sports three LEDs, enclosed in a sleek, aluminium case that tips the scales at a reasonable 200g. The light offers three brightness levels to save battery power on long rides. The two batteries weigh in at 220g each and offer impressive burn times: 3.5 hours at full power, 7 hours on the medium setting, and 14 hours at the most economical. A flash mode is also available for those riding on the road that just need to be seen.
On the Trail
During testing, the DiNotte kit lived up to expectations. The output is quoted at up to 600 lumens and the LEDs provide a clean, white light (up to around 7000K colour temperature), with an 18-degree spread that offer ample detail for trail obstacles.
One button instantly switches the light to its brightest setting, which is a great feature for mountain bikers as it enables the rider to use an economical mode on open firetrails, and easily switch to a high-power setting for singletrack.
The helmet mount includes two long straps, lever buckles and a quick-release mounting plate so it can be fitted to just about any type of helmet (provided it’s equipped with breathing holes). During testing, the light was mounted to several popular mountain bike helmets, and even a full-face model for nocturnal downhilling. One tip: as the light unit is relatively bulky, it pays to mount it at the crown of a helmet to minimise neck pain on long rides.
Each battery can be charged in approximately four hours, but the long burn times mean that you generally only need to carry one battery at a time (though endurance riders and all-weather commuters will appreciate the inclusion of two in the kit).
All up, DiNotte has created a great LED light kit for real riders. It’s not the cheapest LED-based kit on the market, but the top-notch build quality, complemented with long burn times and two lightweight lithium-ion batteries makes this an ideal package for anyone looking to upgrade from halogen lights.
Weight (Light Engine): 200g
Weight (Battery): 220g
Quoted Run Times: 3.5 Hours Full Power; 7 Hours Medium Power; 14 Hours Low Power; 7-24 Hours Flash mode
Charge Time: 4 Hours
Light Output: 520-600 Lumens
Beam Angle: 18°
Charger Operating voltage: 110-240V
Color Temp: 5300K Min. 7000K Max.
In the Box: The DiNotte 600L light, handlebar mount, helmet mount, two (2) Lithium-ion batteries, smart charger and extension cable