Why LED lights?

LED's have been around for ages. What comes to your mind when you hear the word LED? I bet you immediately think of those little red or green lights which are typically used as status indicators on home appliances & electronic equipment (like the power indicator on your PC screen or your home entertainment system).
Well the LED's used in lights like the Magicshine bike light have certainly come a long way & are in a whole different league.

Portable lights like torches & cycling lights have historically suffered from the following challenges: 
  • High power consumption
  • Excessive heat generation
  • Restricted battery life
  • Limited bulb lifespan
The LED lighting industry has seen phenomenal advances in technology, which has resulted in drastic improvements on the drawbacks of previous generation lighting systems.
Modern LED emitters (bulbs) offer the following advantages:
  • Low power consumption - this allows the use of smaller batteries to achieve the same run times and even better light output (lumens) compared with Incandescent or HID lights.
  • Less heat - Light bulbs function by converting electrical energy (from the battery) into light. An unwanted by-product of this process is heat. The efficiency of LED's results in more of this energy being converted into light, and less energy wasted on creating heat.
  • Very long lifespan for LED emitters - a typical high powered LED (like the SSC P7) has an expected lifespan of 50 000 hours.
  • Very "white" light - LED's produce a pure, white light, as opposed to other lights which generally have a yellowish tint.
  • Focus or beam pattern - LED's are able to create a very even beam of light which exhibits a smooth transition from the "hot-spot" (the brightest, centre part of the beam) to the periphery or outer edge of the beam. Other types of lights typically suffer from the "halo effect" which results in rings of light with a dark centre spot.
  • Robust - they are a lot less susceptible to impact-damage than other types of light bulb.
The SSC P7 which is used in the Magicshine bike light is one of the brightest and most advanced LED's in the world. It is able to output up to 900 lumens of light. 
You will not find a comparible light available in South Africa at the moment.