Remember back when I discussed my liking for the Schmidt dyno-hub and the accompanying E-6 halogen headlight? Good. Well, I recently picked up an improvement to this setup from Jim at Hiawatha Cyclery, the Edelux LED headlight, also from Schmidt:
The major differences to the new light from the old include a smaller package, differently shaped light beam, lower power requirement, near infinite life, and addition of a standlight feature. The standlight is useful, as it keeps the light on during the first two minutes or so after stopping, but is also an annoyance, as it stays on after switching the light off while riding and therefore eliminating any stealth anti-detection ability.
The E6 halogen-equipped light, mounted down on the fork blade:
The Edelux light comes from a single LED and is noticeably brighter and whiter, even at walking speed. The main light beam is shorter and wider than the E6, which was a bit too so, in my opinion. More and better detailed comparison here, though it's in some foreign and non-Amerikan tongue.
New Edelux, with additional side facing light beams, riding across Lake Calhoun:
Older E6, always with its yellow-ish light:
Not having to replace the bulb is going to become a quickly forgotten nuisance. The E6 uses a halogen light bulb, which is said to last roughly 100-hours before needing replacement. I would replace my E6 bulb at least once a year due to the light becoming dimmer and yellow-er over time, always surprised at how much brighter it was after replacement. However, because the LED is a standard board mount, it'll be that much easier for me to replace it with something twice as bright in the future.
Of course the downside to this light is the price. Mine was gently used, but even so, my wallet was in a seldom mood when I walked into Hiawatha that day. For roughly the same brightness, there exists another light, the Lumotec IQ, that comes in at about half the price of an Edelux; you should get that one, but it's surely not as sexy. Just don't get that damn Shimano light; you could hold up a match and get better lighting than that piece of crap.
I highly recommend a dyno lighting setup. For today's money, you can get the latest Shimano hub and Lumotec light and easily come out ahead of the game for a headlight that provides more than adequate lighting for navigation and visibility; combine this with a dyno taillight and you're set for year-round battery-free riding. Skills not included: