Monday, March 7, 2016

Busch and Muller IX-Q Nighttime Photos

The roads were dry tonight, so I was able to take the new IQ-X light out for a nighttime test ride.

My first impression was something like, "Holy s***, this thing is bright!" Based on a purely subjective comparison with the Edelux, Edelux II, and Luxos lights I have on several other bikes, the IQ-X is far brighter. It also throws a more even and consistent pattern of light on the roadway, with only minor variations across the swath of illumination it lays on the road.

The light is very well focused, with a definite cutoff that prevents the light from shining up into the eyes of oncoming vehicles. The photos below tell the story:

Adjusted for maximum throw. The far edge is about 150 feet down the road.

The cutoff is clearly visible here in the railings on the side--the IQ-X is lighting up just the very bottom of the railings, with almost no light spillage upward.
I like to run my lights adjusted to point as far down the road as they will go--I do this by pointing them up until the far edge starts to blur and get dim. With the IQ-X, that far edge is about half again as far away as with an Edelux or Edelux II, and the swath of light between that edge and the front of the bike is much more even. As shown in the photo at the top, there is only one small area in the middle of the illuminated area that's a little dimmer than the rest.

One minor quibble: When making a turn, the tilt of the bike makes the pattern change, drawing it in a bit on the side you're turning toward and creating a less "throw" in that direction. It's not a big deal (I use a helmet-mounted light to look around turns), but it would be great if the optics could be changed to reduce or eliminate this effect.

That minor quibble aside, this is an amazing bright light. So bright, in fact, that I was sure several times that a car behind me was lighting up the road with its headlights, only to check and see that there was no car there.

The IQ-X is available in the USA at and  (Disclosure: I paid full retail price for my light from Clever Cycles.)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Busch and Muller IQ-X Headlight: Brightest Dynamo Light Ever?

Just installed the IQ-X on my Singer! Haven’t been outside to try it (it’s pouring down rain outside), but based on spinning the front wheel, this thing is amazingly bright (they advertise it as 100 Lux; Peter White calls it “… the brightest dynamo powered light,” which I take to mean brighter than even the Supernova). I’ll post photos from the road as soon as conditions dry out a bit.

Front View. "Daytime" LEDs are visible at the top.

Rear View.

Another Front View.
A few notes:

— The silver version has a brushed finish that looks quite nice, but not polished like an Edelux. According to Peter White, the housing is also the heat sink for the LED.
— The light turns on an off with a pushbutton at the back, which is ringed by a blue light that comes on when the light is on. In the light’s location on my bike, the front bag will block this from my view, but YMMV based on where you put it on your machine.
— When the light is on, it’s always in “senso” mode, which turns off the main lamp during the day and leaves on a set of front-facing LEDs that act as daytime driving lights. After dark, the daytime running lights go off and the main light comes on. There is no “full-on-during-the-day” mode (you can’t have the brighter “nighttime” light on during the day).
— There are small slits on either side of the black band that let out light for visibility from the side.
— YES, the light can be mounted upside down! Just rotate the black mounting band 180 degrees and you’re good. No more need to buy a special light for upside-down mounting! Note, however, that the wires will still come out of the *bottom* of the light (not the top, like an upside-down model Edelux).
— Connecting my bike-mounted taillight was easy. The IQ-X has the same male connector as an Edelux (but on a wire pigtail, not part of the light). I had to connect the other wire lead to the frame to ground it, but with that done everything worked perfectly.
— The wire to connect to the front hub was *exactly* long enough (well, maybe 1/4th inch too long). Per the photos, my Singer’s front rack has the light mount on the lefthand side, so I need a little extra length to get across the bike from left to right, and from the front of the rack to the fork. If you mount to the fork crown or pretty much anywhere else, the wire will be fine.
— The wires, by the way, are standard B&M side-by-side conductor type, not the nicer coaxial that comes with the Edelux. B&M’s wires seem more flimsy to me, but on the other hand I’ve never had a problem with them.