We are getting very close to releasing the new V5 Spikelight, and I want to explain how the new beams are going to work.
This will be important for anyone wanting to use their Spikelight at the World Rogaining Championships in two weeks.
Your Spikelight is going to have seven main beam options.
In the previous Spikelights, you were able to use a single button press to quickly swap back and forth between the Spot and the Flood beams. This is great for rogaining and the Flood beam could be adjusted to different power levels.
Now in the V5 you have more options. You can select any two of these seven beam options to go into your quick-access slots. Then a single click will quickly swap between your chosen beams.
There will also be an extra beam that combines Spot and Flood together (stay tuned for more information on that).
You’ll need to know how to use both Regulated and BOOST beams to know which ones to select and get the most out of your V5 Spikelight.
Sometimes you want to be sure that the battery will last all night without going dim. So every V5 Spikelight will have some very predictable, regulated beams.This means that if you use the High Flood, then you get 200 lumens on a fresh battery and then you still get the full 200 lumens 18 hours later. We have a dedicated circuit controlling the LED to make sure that the light output is not affected by the battery level.
After 18-20 hours, the light will go into a battery-saving mode to give you an extra 5-10 hours of low light. This is just to get you out of trouble.
Many headlights don’t bother to regulate the light output in this way, so if they claim ’200 lumens’, then they mean 200 lumens for the first minute and then less and less for the rest of the battery life. Try googling your favourite headtorch and “LED Controller” or look in their Specs sheet. If it says ‘resistor’ it means that the torch will start dimming as soon as you turn it on and it will just keep dimming until it is dead.
I’ve got a lot more to say about ‘lumens’, so check out a post I made a while ago for the V4 HERE.
The V5 BOOST
The Boost Beams are a new thing for the V5.
The thing to know about the BOOST beams, is that they are unsustainable. You can’t have 3000 lumens all night long.
The main reason you can’t have 3000 lumens all night is the buildup of heat.
High-power LEDs produce a lot of heat and they die if they get too hot. So when you turn on the BOOST mode in your V5, it will start heating up. The internal microcontroller will watch the temperature and, before the Spikelight overheats, it will gently lower the power to keep the LED at safe levels.
How do I use these different beams on a rogaine?
Most rogainers will want to spend most of the night using a Regulated Mid or High Flood Beam. This is plenty of light for running and reading the map and it doesn’t produce much heat so the Spikelight stays nice and cool.
Sometimes you’ll want to swap over to the BOOST Spot Beam, and start scanning a 600-800m diameter circle around you for a few minutes. Eventually the Spikelight will warm up and the power level will gradually drop until your spot beam is acting more like the Regulated Spot and can only scan a 400-500m diameter circle. This level of Spot can be maintained continuously.
Then when you go back to the Mid or High Flood beam, the Spikelight will start to cool down so that it is ready for the next time you need the BOOST. Exactly how long it takes to cool down will depend on how fast you are running (airflow helps) and the ambient temperature. Rain and snow will also do a lot to keep the Spikelight cool and BOOSTING for longer.
What about battery life? How long will it last on a rogaine?
The Spikelight comes to you with several available beams and you can choose two for quick-access during the rogaine.
Here are a few beam combinations you might use during a 13 hour night like we’re going to have at the World Rogaining Championships. All of these will last the whole night without changing the battery.
If you use the Regulated Mid Flood Beam then you can swap to the
- BOOST Spot (300-400m range) for an average of 1 minute in every 8 minutes.**
- or the Regulated Spot (200-250m range) for an average of 1 minute in every 3 minutes.
Or if you use the Regulated High Flood Beam then you can swap to the
- BOOST Spot (300-400m range) for an average of 1 minute in every 20 minutes.
- or the Regulated Spot (200-250m range) for an average of 1 minute in every 5 minutes.
** This is the combination I’ll be using.
Remember that you will normally only use the Spot when looking for a control, not when you are walking between controls. So even with the BOOST Spot, most rogainers will get through the night on a single set of batteries.
If you want to use the BOOST beams more often than these examples, then you will need to carry a spare battery. Another feature of the Spikelight is that it can use two lithium cells, but it only needs one to operate – so you can change the battery without turning the light off. You can even change it out whilst the light is still on your head. Come and find us at the WRC and we can give you a proper demonstration.
That’s all for now!
Feel free to ask us more questions HERE.
There will be a lot more updates in the next few days so stay tuned!