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Sanyo H27

  • Feb 20 2018

    The Time for Dynamo Lights is NOW

     

    dynamo | ˈdīnəˌmō | noun | a machine for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy; a generator

    Dynamo Lighting

    Dynamo setup on a commuter we recently built up

    Dynamo Lighting: A bicycle lighting system that powers lights with energy generated by a dynamo front hub. Your spinning wheel generates energy and powers the light(s). A new meaning for Pedal Power!

    Are you looking to get off the grid... at least a little? Us too! At Perennial Cycle we are big fans of dynamo lighting. The concept of never having to replace or charge batteries but always having quality lights seems truly magical, but in reality it’s not magical at all; it's completely attainable. We have lots of experience setting up bikes with Dynamo Lighting.

    What’s needed:
    - Dynamo front wheel  
    - Front dynamo light
    - Rear dynamo light (rear lighting is optional, but highly recommended)

    The cost to getting dynamo lighting is similar to any other part on your bike. There are several options with a large price range. The most basic setups (front wheel, front light & rear light) would be $250, while high end setups can be over $900.

    The majority of the dynamo lighting packages that we install are $375-$500 (parts and labor included).

    Dynamo Front Wheel

    Dynamo Front Wheel

    DYNAMO WHEEL: Over half the price is going to be spent on the wheel. This makes sense in that the actual mechanical generation of power (the magical part of the equation) is coming from the coolio front dynamo hub. In the basic dynamo package (totaling about $250 complete), the front wheel cost is less than $200. The high end package would have a wheel cost of $500-$600. The most common dynamo wheels we build sell for $245-$280.
    All of our dynamo wheel listings (online) have options offering many front and rear lights. This makes it easy to compare a variety of package prices simply by choosing the diffferent lights from the menu and watching prices adjust accordingly.

    Dynamo Front Lights

    Dynamo Powered Front Lights

    DYNAMO FRONT LIGHT: The range in lights is from under $50 to over $200. The entry level light is impressive, though we sell more lights in the $75-$115 range. The very top end (the Luxos U) gives you a light AND a USB port to charge your phone or other device.

    Dynamo Powered Rear Lights

    Dynamo Powered Rear Lights

    DYNAMO REAR LIGHT: The rear lights range from $25-$70. This will partly be determined by where you want to mount the light: on the seat post, rear rack or on a fender. Many of our taillights have a reflector built into the light.

    Dynamo Lighting on Luke's commuter

    EXTRA (for the more curious types):
    - All of our lights hold a cache of power. This means that the front and rear light will stay lit when you’re at a stoplight. Not at the same brightness, but enough to keep you visible.
    - The rear lights are powered (and wired) through the front light. This means that you only switch on the front light to get both the front and rear light on (or off).
    - As mentioned above, one of our headlights (the Luxos U) has a wire that mounts on your handlebar with an on/off switch and a USB port. This can be very handy if you are doing long rides and want to be able to keep your phone working (even with a maps app running). We carry a few other device charging products that can be added to your dynamo kit at any time. BTW: it is not uncommon for touring cyclists to set up a dynamo hub with a device charging unit and no light(s) at all. I wrote a different post about charging devices HERE.
    - If someone tells you how much a dynamo lighting system slows you down, we’d guess that they were early adopters of old dynamo lights that used halogen bulbs or even earlier adopters that used halogen bulbs with tire rubbing generators. While the hubs constantly evolve, the huge leap in practicality, reliability and minimizing drag came when LED lights arrived on the scene. This was about 10 years ago now, but they were pretty expensive, so halogen lights were still fairly common even just 5 years ago.
    - If you want to set yourself up with the most efficient system, your key item to spend the $$ on would be the dynamo hub. LED lights (all lights we currently sell) are very efficient, so your best bet to reduce drag will be to get a premium hub. The Schmidt/SON Hubs are the very best hubs on the market.
    - If you really want THE most effient hub possible, get the SONdelux hub which was originally designed for a small wheel (16" or 20"). By using the hub designed for smaller wheels on a 700 or 26" wheel you decrease drag considerably. This hub has the least drag of any hub we've seen (by quite a bit). The rub is that this hub needs you to roll a bit faster to get full power output. Below speeds of 7-9 MPH your lights will begin to pulse. I have 2 bikes running this hub and both have 700c wheels. I am perfectly satisfied with the power output and both bikes have lights as well as charging devices (one uses a Luxos U and the other uses The Plug III).

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