First we need to talk about Lumens/Lux

The number of LUMENS = Total amount of photons that come out of the light.

It doesn’t matter where the photons go, just that they come out of the light. So can spray it everywhere or tightly focus it, and it's still the same lumen output

“More lumens is always better” = “more suspension is always better”, it isn't always the case and it's more about how you use the available lumens.

The number of LUX = the number of lumens that hit a certain area (lumens/square meter)

This is the measure of intensity of an area of light.

This is what you are seeing when you (or a YouTube reviewer) says “Holy cow that’s BRIGHT!”. Also please note that staring straight into a light is always going to feel bright no matter what.... it's not a valid way to judge a lights brightness....

More lux is what lets you see further down a trail or road. Just like lumens it is more important how the lux is balanced then the total number.

Wide vs. Narrow Beam Pattern

So the challenge is to balance lux vs lumens for a given enviroment.

Twisty downhill riding requires a wide even beam pattern to see more of the surrounding environment, but at the expense of a lower lux. But we need a lot of lumens.

A helmet mounted light will balance more lux at the expense of a narrower beam pattern to see further down a trail. However we can use less lumens to achieve this goal.

We develop beam patterns that balance both worlds. The Trail Edition provides the wide even pattern that let's you see deep into corners, or still see objects on the trail even as your handlebars are moving but balance enough lux to feel comfortable riding at a fast pace.

A typical bike light will have a circular spot beam pattern that has a high lux which does not do well on the handlebars since you lose what you are looking at down the trail when the handlebars are moving. (green arrow)

Do I want Wide or Narrow?

Yes. Both please.

As noted earlier, a narrow (spot) beam pattern lets you see further down the trail, and a wide pattern won't throw as far.

A wide beam pattern fills in your periphery that prevents the dreaded "tunnel vision" that makes night riding mentally draining.

It is possible to balance both a narrow and a wide beam with sophisticated engineering software and design, Hangover does this with the blended TIR approach. Most bike lights have a sharp cutoff at the edge of the beam due to the reflector bowl approach.

However it will NOT have as wide and broad of a beam pattern as the Trail Edition, which is why we we often suggest pairing the two for the best blend. Trail on the handlebars, and Hangover on the helmet.

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