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Lumicycle - the best bike lights on the market.

Tel: 0370 757 2229


Fundamentals of lamp technology

Developments in lamp technology seek to address two fundamental problems:

  1. LIGHT EFFICIENCY - how to turn electricity into light in the most efficient way. This is measured in Lumens (amount of visible light) per Watt (of electricity).
  2. COLOUR TEMPERATURE (light quality) - this is a measure of the quality of light produced by a light source. Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins (K). The higher a light source is on the Kelvin scale, the closer it is to the quality of pure sunlight.

Cycling at night, whether on or off-road, demands the best light sources available.Lumicycle utilises two different types of lamp technology in its lightings systems. These are known as HALOGEN and METAL HALIDE. They are proven to be the best technologies for exploitation in the High Power Cycle Light sector.

Halogen and Metal Halide lamps differ in the way in which they convert electricity into light. Halogen lamps are INCANDESCENT types. This means they produce light by passing electricity through a FILAMENT. [1] Halide lamps are ARC types. They produce light by running an electrical arc between two ELECTRODES. Both types are contained within chambers containing various gases which enhance the performance of the lamp.

Halogen lamps

Halogen lamps are a high performance variant of the incandescent family. In addition to the standard inert gases used in incandescent lamps, Halogen lamps contain Halogen gases to further increase performance by preserving the filament. [2] They are also smaller and the gases contained within them are under greater pressure. Halogen lamps are the most established light source for use in the High Power Cycle Light sector. They remain the best option for many users. The Halogen lamps used by Lumicycle generate up to 22 lumens per watt and in the region of 3500 on the Kelvin scale. We are not prepared to compromise quality. Our Halogen lamps are manufactured by General Electric, Osram or Phillips.


Lumicycle custom-enhances the performance of its Halogen lamps by overvolting them. The lamps are designed to operate at 12v. We increase this by 10% with the NiMH batteries and 20% with the Li-Ion batteries. There are two principal benefits to over-volting:

  1. Increased brightness.
  2. Higher colour temperature (light quality) resulting in a purer light source.

The sacrifice incurred by over-volting is a loss of life-span to the lamp. However, this loss is relatively small in comparison to the gains noted above. For instance, 10% overvolting with a NiMH battery will result in a 15% increase in power consumption but a 38% increase in brightness.

Metal Halide lamps

Metal Halide lamps are essentially a sophisticated evolution of the mercury arc lamp. Performance is increased by the addition of Metal Halide vapours into the discharge tube surrounding the electrodes. [3] Metal Halide lamps are also sometimes called High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. This is because the vapours in the discharge tube are under high pressure.

The miniaturised Metal Halide arc lamps used byLumicycle are manufactured by Welch Allyn, the only manufacturer to miniaturise this technology. These lamps represent the pinnacle of technological research for the entire light source production sector. They are the most compact high efficiency optical package available and are the most energy efficient white light source known to man. These lamps can produce up to 60 lumens per watt and in the region of 6000 on the Kelvin scale. They also have a longer life span than Halogen lamps and are more environmentally friendly due to their efficiency.

So, why doesn?t everyone use Metal Halide lamps?

Whilst more and more riders are switching to Metal Halide lamps, there are several reasons why someLumicycle customers still prefer Halogen systems:

  1. Metal Halide lamps are more expensive to buy and maintain. They are at the forefront of lamp technology and thus incur heavy research and development costs which are passed on to end-users.
  2. They utilise a ballast in order to generate the strike necessary to switch the light on. This ballast adds significant weight and bulk to the lamp unit.
  3. Metal Halide lamps cannot be switched on and off at will. The ballast takes time to reset itself and the life-span of the lamp is affected by the amount of times it is switched on and off.
  4. Metal Halides are not as shock resistant and reliable as Halogen lamps.

Performance statistics

Lumicycle H.I.D (High Intensity Discharge) 10 Watt Metal Halide Arc Lamp and Ballast technical details:

Technical Specifications @ 25 C Ambient

6 ° Spot Lamp

13 ° Mid Lamp

Initial Luminous Flux



Lumen Maintenance @ 350 hours

Approx 85%

Approx 85%

Lumen Maintenance @ 700 hours

Approx 75%

Approx 75%

Lumen Maintenance @ 1000 hours

Approx 70%

Approx 70%

Correlated Colour Temperature



Chromaticity (x,y)



Beam Divergence

6 °

13 °

Center Beam Candlepower



Rated Median Life @ 1 hour on/15minutes off

1000 hours

1000 hours

Warm-up Time to >90% of rated output.

10 seconds

10 seconds

Restart Time to >90% of rated output

5 seconds

5 seconds

Flicker (peak to peak)




Technical Specifications @ 25 C Ambient


Input Voltage @ 10 watts

14.1-14.5 V

Max Safe Continuous Operating Voltage

15 Volts

Absolute Max. Instantaneous Voltage

15.5 volts

Absolute Max. Case Temperature

90 °C

Reverse Polarity w/o Perm. Damage

<1 Second



Shut Down Time

3 seconds

Ballast Reset Time After Shutdown

3 seconds

Nominal Starting Voltage

6000 Volts

Reflectors and beam patterns

The distinctive nature of night-time cycle riding demands a high quality and appropriate beam of light.Lumicycle lighting systems are available with a variety of beam angles to suit rider profiles. Whether on or off-road patterns are used, light distribution must be outstanding and there must be no blind spots. For this reason,Lumicycle deploys high-grade hard coated dichroitic glass reflectors in all its lamps. These create a finer quality beam than aluminium reflectors and they exploit maximum performance from the light source. 

[1] The filament creates resistant to the current and heats up to such a high temperature that visible light is emitted.

[2] Halogens are a group of five non-metallic elements in the periodic table - Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine and Astatine. The inclusion of Halogen gas increases the life-span and brightness of the lamp. It causes Tungsten metal vapour from the filament to be redeposited on the filament rather than on the inside of the lamp case.

[3] Iodine salts of other metal elements such as indium, scandium, sodium and thallium are added to the mercury vapour. Iodine is one of the halogen elements and thus a compound of metal and iodine is called a Metal Halide salt.

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