We got home from last night’s volleyball match earlier than usual, so I used the opportunity to go out after dark and ride a few miles on the Trucker, and evaluate the beam characteristics of the Busch and Muller Luxos U more closely.
It was an overcast night and pretty dark, so conditions were good.
The first thing that I should note is that the cache battery had drained in the few days that the bike had sat. This means that with the light on, the beam is initially dimmed slightly as power is diverted to re-establishing a charge. So as I wheeled down the driveway after turning the light on, the beam is “underwhelming” for two reasons. There is the charging as I described, and there is the fact that my lack of speed tells the Luxos to emphasize the “near field” beam.
Let me describe the beam, because I see two distinct parts: the near field, meaning that area closest to the bike, is a large U shape covering the width of a two lane road. With the Cyo, this is the area partially covered by spill light; but with the Luxos the beam is intentional. It’s really nice because it eliminates the tunnel effect experienced on especially dark nights when travelling at speed down country lanes.
Then at the top of the U, there is a distinct focused rectangular patch of light, much brighter than the near field. I call this the distance beam.
So at slow toodling, the near field is a bit brighter, but the distance beam is de-emphasized. But once I both rode a few minutes and then built up speed, the cache battery was charged and the distance beam gets noticably brighter. At this point, I would compare it to the regular Cyo beam, but with slightly more defined edges. If the near field got any darker at this point, I didn’t notice.
I played around with the angle of the light somewhat, and ended up shooting the distance beam out at least 50 feet with no degradation of the light quality of the near field. The entire street was well lit.
Every so often I’d click on the “flood light” whereby the cache battery is engaged to provide some extra power. I’d say that the near field beam increases by 20%. I didn’t notice the distance beam getting much brighter if at all, but that could be relative to the overall brightness.
Turning the light off and on, and turning on the flood light, is all done with single clicks of the button/USB port mounted on the stem. All of the functions (light on, rear light indicator, cache battery charged, and flood light) are signalled via a colored LED either on the Luxos itself, and/or the button. All of the other changes to the beam occur automatically, based on the current detected from the dynamo.
Overall I have to say I’m impressed. I don’t really need the near field/distance beam changes, but the overall beam, where the entire road is lit up, is super nice. It’s bright, it’s wide, and in the right places. Add the USB charging feature to all of that, and I foresee this being a real nice addition for touring and night riding.