For aficionados of dynamo headlamp beam patterns …
Spanninga Axendo 60 Xdas (standlight/automatic/DRL) dynamo headlamp
We at Intelligent Design Cycles have been in the process of developing high quality but affordable hub dynamo driven lights for a number of years. Our mission is to bring high quality hub dynamo driven lighting systems to the market that rival if not surpass the best in the trade, but would nevertheless be affordable enough that parents concerned about child safety would consider putting them on their children’s bicycles. During the course of this exercise we have personally tested all the best German, Dutch, Finnish and other hub dynamo lamps we have been able to find with the intention of bringing the best aspects from each maker into our products. Years later … we are still hard at work (the product development process is a bit more difficult than this former international trade economist imagined). But …
There is one Dutch company we have come across, Spanninga that has developed a lamp that is unmistakably superior in key ways to many dynamo headlamps we have tested. And it is precisely the Axendo 60’s conscious departure from the relentless lux rating “arms race” – characterizing the dynamo bike headlamp market today – that sets it apart from the competition. Imagine you have an alien dynamo headlamp able to produce 120,000 lux of light (the actual measurement for the brightness of daylight at noon). Imagine then that it projects only a basketball sized beam pattern some 10 meters ahead of your bike as you speed along uneven tarmac on a dark night. You spot a pothole some ten meters ahead and it disappears … and reappears – under your front wheel. Admittedly hyperbolic, this scenario is not as far as you may think from recent dynamo lamps that have been produced under the “up the lux game” market pressures.
And, this is where the Axendo 60 excels with the uncommon double led optics design inherited from the legendary (but sadly discontinued) Phillips Saferide line of bike headlamps (just Google/YouTube it). The Axendo 60 optics earns kudos from aficionados of German StVZO compliant dynamo headlamps and your average Joe precisely due to the sheer homogeneity of the broad, far reaching and bright carpet of light it produces. The first thing you will be struck by when riding this lamp is how well it maintains an even brightness on the road surface from far ahead all the way to up to your front wheel – particularly in comparison to Axendo 60’s “high lux competitors”. This feat of light “bending” engineering was helped along by the double led design because the small physical size of the LEDs it uses, which although less efficient than physically bigger cutting edge LEDs, have a higher brightness to surface ratio allowing optics engineers not only to better “sculpt” its trapezoidal beam pattern but to vary its intensity by assigning higher intensity further ahead and less near the cyclist. This allows for better tracking of obstacles from a distance to the near field without distracting changes in illumination.
The MAGIC of the Axendo 60 however is in its dual LED design – modern hub dynamos are designed to produce 6 volts and 3 watts at 15 km/h (or about 10 miles per hour), which was optimized for the incandescent era, but actually an impediment in the LED era where LEDs typically burn out if they receive more than 3 to 3.3 volts. Sophisticated voltage regulators in modern dynamo headlamps “regulate” the power produced by dynohubs resulting in power losses to single LED dynamo lamps due to inefficiencies caused by regulating voltage. The Axendo 60 by contrast employs two LEDs meaning that it needs roughly 6 volts to power its two LEDs at max efficiency meaning that it sidesteps losses from voltage regulation at the 6 volt output modern dynamo hubs are designed to produce … mic drop. And this is why the Axendo 60 will actually produce what appears to be an overall brighter, broader and more usably far reaching beam pattern than most if not all of its competitors today. You will see that pothole from a distance and be able to visually track it all the way beside your front wheel with confidence meaning that you can travel more safely at night and at higher speeds.
Like its ancestor (the Phillips Saferide), the Axendo 60 housing is made completely of aluminum which also acts as a single massive heat sink for its powerful LEDs. It is also one of the few hub dynamo lamps that gives you the reassuring “feel” of quality as you pick up its 140 grams of rugged metal, electronics and optics.
Moreover, the Axendo 60 comes not only with world class “to see” lighting but also impressive “to be seen” lighting in the form of super bright dedicated LEDs arranged horizontally below the main reflector. This light strip making up the Axendo 60’s Daytime Running Lights (DRL) provides a number of benefits resulting partially – and paradoxically – from the advantages of the strict StVZO regulation in reducing glare towards oncoming traffic. By requiring a strict horizontal cut off above which very little light from the frontal lighting is permitted to project, the distance at which motorists can see an oncoming cyclist is reduced. The combination of low power draw and relatively diffuse light coming from the LEDs compromising the DRL allows them to be pointed directly at oncoming traffic making the cyclist highly visible even during the day. The very low power consumption of DRL LEDs makes them ideal for more rapid charging of USB devices if a USB charging product is also in use.
Our mission of making dynamo lamps available at reasonable prices means that we have procured these lamps at OEM prices. Passing this savings on to you also means that they come without retail packaging (good for the environment).
Make no mistake, these workhorse lamps are designed to withstand use in harsh winter conditions including outside storage for years after purchase. As an authorised retailer and distributor of Spanninga products, we also provide a 1-year warranty on these lamps.
Compatibility: This lamp is compatible with all hub dynamos we sell and are aware of, and is an excellent match with the SunUp Eco bicycle light generator.
Standlight: The DRL/standlight on this lamp will remain on for at least for at least 4 minutes after the bicycle has come to a rest in accordance with the strict German StVZO.
Switch: This is the version with a mechanical three position switch allowing for:
2) Auto – which switches on “to see” lighting + rear lamps (if attached) in the dark and DRL with rear lamp off (if attached) during the day
3) On – which means both front light (to see mode) and rear light (if attached) are on at all times
Although some versions of this lamp no longer have a physical on/off switch, I ordered the manual switch version specifically so it would be a good match for bicycles equipped with USB recharging equipment.
Rear lamp: The light comes complete with plastic connectors for bare wire connections to rear lamps as well as mounting apparatus (spade connectors) making it compatible with any standard dynamo rear lamp.
Overvoltage protection: In line with most modern dynamo lights we are aware of, Axendo 60s come with overvoltage protection insulating the LED from excess power at high speeds.
Mounting hardware: This headlamp comes complete with the short stainless steel bracket pictured in the photo. This bracket is also suitable for mounting on cantilever bosses.
Reflector: The integrated reflector is StVZO compliant “Z” standard quality meaning that it meets demanding German peripheral visibility requirements. This quality of reflector is noticeably more visible that non-Z standard reflectors … seriously.
Intelligent Design Cycles is proud to be an authorised agent for Spanninga products worldwide. In short, dealer inquiries are warmly invited.