Review: Spark SDB100 Bike Light

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TSellers
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Review: Spark SDB100 Bike Light

The 17th annual 24 Hours of Adrenalin is coming up this weekend. This event is one of the most popular mountain bike races in North America. The 2012 event sold out in less than a day a full year in advance, that’s 1,650 participants and 5,000 spectators.

Spark has been collaborating with specialists for the past year in the development of a bike light that is not as yet on the landscape. We have a team (‘The Mud Slingers’) in this race, so Spark, and the Canadian Spark Dealer, collaborated to sponsor the team and unveil this new light on the Team Captain’s bike (one also made it’s way to me to test as well). Note this prototype light was raced to Canada by Spark 4 days before the event, and is not yet available in the reseller channels, and the MSRP is unknown. Below is an advance preview exclusively for BLF readers.

This is a very preliminary preview, as Spark did not have time to get us any documentation, so we’re still trying to figure the switches out. This preview can be ongoing if there is any interest. As well, more specifications and beam shots can follow as we get them, plus a post race assessment, again if there is any interest in such follow up information.

For now all I can say is the light is a ‘dual beam’ system. The green button turns on the low beam, and ramps it through three intensity levels. The yellow button does the same with the high beam. Each on highest intensity can achieve 600lm for a total of 1200lm if both are on. The light does not auto dim so relies on active cooling. There is auto step down with an indicator light for low voltage. When it turns blue it will soon step down, red flashing means low battery.

Package contents, clamp uses a quick release lever and rubber shim:

Battery pack is the same as the Spark SX5 headlamp, uses 1-4 18650 in parallel:

Top view of reflector characteristics:

Closer look:

Looking at the top emitter:

Looking at the bottom emitter:

Switch layout (green for bottom emitter, yellow for top, then voltage indicator window):

Mounted on bike with battery pack:

Regards, TS

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:30
TSellers
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10 meter Beamshots:

The green button seems to be the ‘spot’ beam, here illustrated on high setting:

The yellow button is the ‘flood’ beam:

When they are both turned on they combine to look like this:

For comparison purposes, some lights with emitters you may be familiar with:

Spark SL6S-740NW XM-L2 Flashlight (on ‘High’, not on ‘Turbo’ as I think Turbo does auto step down):

Convoy M2 with XM-L T6 4C, direct drive:

Convoy S4 XM-L T6 4C Nanjg 105c @2.8A:

Regards, TS

southland
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Looks like a nice light, thanks for the review.

whokilledJR
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Looks interesting. Just out of curiosity, what angle/degree is the floodbeam?

mhanlen
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Love the battery carrier. I wish they were all made like that.

Sirius9
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Interesting design, would like to see it disassembled Smile
I kinda like it but I think it’s going to be 100+$ so… thanks but no thanks, which is pity…

mhanlen wrote:
Love the battery carrier. I wish they were all made like that.

You can get it from HKE.

 

Slewflash
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Interesting design! I wonder how heat management fares, however they’re only run to give 600 lumens and they look like XML2s which is good for low heat I guess.

Slewflash 

garrybunk
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Wow!  Nice looking light!  The clamp looks nice and solid!  Very interesting design of the positioning of the LED's within the reflector.

-Garry

My Bike Lights Thread, Optics (TIR) Comparison Beamshots, Diffusion Techniques


NOTE: Moving my photos from PhotoBucket to Flickr. PM me or post in the thread if you can’t see my images and need me to fix or send a gallery link. PhotoBucket images should remain visible until November 2018.
TSellers
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Quote:
they’re only run to give 600 lumens

Each one is 600 lumens on high, giving a maximum of 1200lm when both are on (you cannot use LiFePO4 cells to get the high mode, but you can use Samsung ICR’s at 4.35 volts, in fact you can supply up to 6.8V). Spark has said that in field testing they found that because due to the nature of biking and the inherent air flow, heat was never an issue, they did not need to employ an auto step-down at any mode for thermal management. Our team will be better able to assess this after this weekend’s grueling field testing which should be capable of taking the light to performance levels it has not seen as yet. As there is rain in the forecast it should also see a fair bit of mud, and it will also be a good test of the tint and reflector suitability for rain and fog.

Regards, TS

leaftye
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What's the voltage of the battery pack/charger? 

The low mode should be lower.

Reviews: Efan IMR18350 700mAh 10.5A, <a href="http://

TSellers
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Quote:
What’s the voltage of the battery pack/charger?

Each bay takes 1×18650 or 2xCR123. Each bay is in parallel to the others, so in theory it can operate in the range of 3.6V to 6V. However when I originally asked Spark about using LiFePO4 cells and Samsung 4.35V cells, this is what the reply said:

Quote:
It can works fine under 6.8V, your 4.35V samsumg cells also works. I am afraid 3.6V LiFePO4 can not trigger the high mode, cause the voltage monitor will measure the input voltage for the indicator display.

So it appears that the voltage range is up to 6.8V (this is the same voltage as their SX5 headlamp that uses the same battery pack, as opposed to their other lights that go to 7.6V), with a bit of a question mark about where the lower threshold no longer supports the high mode. If I wait until the voltage indicator turns blue and then remove my 18650 Li-Ion cells and measure them would that tell me? Presumably that would not work properly and I’ll have to figure out how to measure at the tailcap while still under load?

Regards, TS

sb56637
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Thanks a lot for the review! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

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