Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Not very bright

To: info@reelight.com


I think your lights are a genius idea. I commute 15km a day across central London, so I have bought an SL520 front and SL620 rear for my commuting bike. It's great to have no more dead batteries - or detachable lights dropped in the Thames!

The first thing I noticed about the lights was the very brief flash. Of course they need to be very frugal with power, especially when running on the capacitor, so I understand that - and the eye does retain the image even after the LED has actually stopped.

I also noticed that the front loses its capacitor reserve quicker. I assume that is by design because the back light is more important at a junction.

But even when the capacitor is fully charged and I am going quite fast, the light does not either stay on longer or get brighter. The front, at least, just flashes quicker - too quickly, I think (isn't there a legal limit of 4Hz?). I can't see the back light when I'm moving but I assume it does the same.

I've set them up carefully and there seems to be plenty of power available - the capacitors start to charge just from me pushing the bike to the gate! - so it seems a shame that they don't use it more intelligently by doing brighter, longer flashes (rather than more frequent flashes) once the capacitor is fully charged, perhaps reverting to the short flashes at 1Hz when running from the capacitor.

So I think they're wonderful but not as bright as they could be - and I wonder if I'm missing something?




Thank you for your interesting feedback. We value feedback from users of our products vey much. First of all I'm sorry for the late reply we have been away travelling.

A little feedback on your comments and questions:

- you are right about the limited current resulting in brief flashes. We are currently working on developing our generator concept to enable us to provide a higher output. This should result in flashing products with longer and brighter flashes and steady light with an actual light cone on the road.

- the difference in capacitor reserve is actually mainly due to variations in physical setup. The lights are programmed with the same software.

- the back-up light automatically stops after 2 minutes. This is to avoid the light flashing for ½ an hour after you have parked. Also this serves further reserve when you stop soon after and haven't had time to fully recharge the capacitor.

- When the reserve starts reaching the capacitor limit the light increases the flashing frequency and the flash length - and can actually increase up to constant if ridding fast enough.

I agree and have noted your input about doing brighter and longer flashes rather than more frequent flashes. This requires more advanced software programming than in the current lights. I expect that we will implement a better solution like this in future lights along with improved generators. And by the way I can tell from you comments that you have been very careful with the setup of our lights - resulting in plenty of power. Not everybody is as careful as you.

Again thank you for the feedback - happy safe ridding!

Best regards / Med venlig hilsen

Steffen Buck-Hansen
Research & Development manager

Reelight ApS.
Hasselager Centervej 11, 1.
DK-8260 Viby J. Denmark
T: +45 86 74 24 90 / D: +45 89 38 61 06

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