Lupine Betty II 7-LED Lamphead with 2050/2300/2600 Real Lumens
Betty in the article below means any of the Betty models, of which there are now three.
In the USA, get the Lupine lights (all models) from Gretna Bikes.
Three new models in late 2011
The September 2011 Lupine Betty II now offers up to 2600 lumens, with several different LED boards and custom-designed lens systems for various coverage options (angle):
- 26° / 2600 Lumen
- 22° / 2300 Lumen
- 16° / 2050 Lumen
Note that these lumen ratings are measured in an integrating sphere and are NOT the fraudulent theoretical ratings you’ll find with most other brands.
The previous Betty II offered 1850 lumens with either a 16° or 22° beam, so this is yet another step forward for Lupine.
The September 2011 models use seven (7) Cree XP-G LEDs.
The Betty II eclipses other bike lights in build quality, real brightness, beam uniformity, waterproofness, and system compatibility for past and future products.
- Up to 26W High Power LED uni-fit mount w/ 25.4 mm & 31.8 mm EPDM rings
- 7x lens system
- 54 x 43 mm (diameter x length), Weight 129 g.
- Power Control System V 11
- Adjustable 2 steps dimming
- Adjustable 3 steps dimming
- Possible steps: 100%, 55%, 35%, 10%, 3%
- Stepless Dimming
- 1.0W Emergency mode for ultra-long burn times
- Additional settings for max. output HIGH - MIDDLE - ECONOMY MODE
SOS, Alpine Distress Signal, Superflash RVLR (UK Road Vehicle Lighting Regulation)
- CNC-machined shot-peened aluminum body, aluminum mount & bezel;
- Power Control System V 11
- ReserveTank Protection from deep discharging
- Voltage count
- Electronic capacity display: monitors your battery, red + yellow LED warning
- Capacity control - adjust the burn time monitor
- Great for night-time photography (painting with light).
These are runtimes will a variety of batteries, a few of which are 1-2 years old and some of which are 5 years old. The “burn” was fan-cooled and the Betty was run at the 26W setting.
12.8 AH bottle (03/2006): 3:40 7.5 AH (04/2009): 2:27 7.5 AH (01/2010): 2:29 6.8 AH (04/2006): 2:04 5.0 AH (04/2010): 1:51 4.5 AH (04/2006): 1:15 (first used 02/2011) Hardcase batteries all 2011 except for one 2010 2.5 AH hardcase: 40 2.5 AH hardcase: 41 2.5 AH hardcase: 43 2.5 AH hardcase: 44 2.5 AH hardcase: 43
Beam angles and lumens
For mountain biking on trails or dirt roads, a wider beam can be helpful for better peripheral vision through varying curves and terrain: the 26° or 22° beam makes the most sense.
For straight-line cycling as on the road, the 16° beam might be preferable, since it concentrates light more in the lane with less spread.
- 16° @ 2050 lumens.
- 22° @ 2300 lumens.
- 26° @ 2600 lumens (best for night-time photography).
Betty 26° 2600-lumen VS 16° 1850-lumen
I compared the 26° 2600-lumen model to my early 2011 16° 1850-lumen Betty II.
The 16° 1850-lumen lamphead was brighter at center, but with much narrower coverage. The 26° model provides a very comfortable beam riding on trails and dirt roads that is just easier to work with, since peripheral vision is enhanced. Also, the slightly lower intensity at center helps the eyes to adapt to the periphery better than if they must adjust to a very bright center.
A helmet-mounted lamphead might be better off with the 16° beam for more penetrating power.
I tested dual 26° lampheads while mountain biking on fire roads and trails. The lighting fill-power with a dual lamphead setup is fantastic— running both on medium or low provides full coverage of the road at more than ample light levels with very long runtime. Flick them up to full brightness for high-speed descents and you’re Good.
he best setup is one Betty lamphead on the helmet so that light can be directed anywhere one looks, with another lamphead (or two) on the handlebar. Combined, the lighting will eclipse that of most cars.
I now own more Betty lampheads than I care to admit, they’re that good. Start with what you can afford, and build your kit over time— Lupine preserves your investment by keeping things compatible, and offering upgrades to the LED board. I’m not aware of any other brand with such a commendable commitment to customer value.
Value is not just the price you pay, it’s the entire benefit and worth of that investment over time. The unwise buyer opts for a brand that costs less, but invariably offers inferior lighting and poor long term value in terms of versatility, accessories, compatibility, upgradeability, longevity, etc. So don’t get suckered into buying a light without considering the whole picture over time.
I pay for my lights (not free), and I choose Lupine.
Build quality and impressions
The build quality is absolutely outstanding, but also a beautiful light with a black anodized aluminum housing and titanium front cover (or your choice of color).
The Betty employs a custom-designed lens system for optimal beam quality, the most efficient electronics in the business, and top-drawer LEDs (7 of them). Drawing 26 watts, total output is an astonishing 1850 lumens (real lumens, not the loosy-goosy ones claimed by some bike-light vendors whose products I’ve used).
Betty can be programmed for various light levels (including SOS), and can run for two weeks at the 0.25 watt setting.
Few people have seen such a lamp at night in action—it’s stunning, something to experience (but not looking directly into the beam!). I’ve had cars back up on narrow roads, apparently thinking I’m a large truck with one blown headlight.
I take care to avoid aiming the light directly at oncoming traffic. But when a drunken driver approaches, hitting ’em right between the eyes before they run the stop sign and run you over.
A Dark and Wet Night
One September night, I rode up a local fire road after dark (for locals: upper paved Alpine and dirt Alpine). It had rained, and the pavement was thus close to black (and the summer’s 1/2" of dust had become an unpleasant layer of sticky mud). The dirt road was also very dark.
I was delighted to have the 2600 lumen output of the 26° Betty II lamphead— two of them! For 5200 lumens total. Still, I wish I had taken a helmet-mounted light, as this allows light to be aimed where one looks, not just where the handlebars are pointed.
On wet nights, light disappears into dark surfaces made darker by rain, so that even 5200 lumens has its limitations, though the autumn leaf litter helped articulate the surface, as did bumps and uneven areas. Using two lampheads really helps smooth out any shadows (for less visual confusion), and thus allows more certainty at higher speeds, which makes for a much improved riding experience, and lower risk of soil sampling.
Descending the near-black asphalt on Alpine Road, I followed an old Mazda Miata. I was forced to brake frequently, because the car’s lights were so pathetically dim that the driver could not see far ahead (apparently). Even fifty feet behind the car, the Betty beams provided this hapless driver much better illumination than his own headlights. This guy was going 15mp at best, and refused to move over, so it was a boring 2 mile descent for me.
It is pathetic (and should be illegal) for a car to have such lights, yet most of the cars on the road are little better.
The Lupine Betty II the Real Deal when it comes to superb brightness and color rendition at night. They’re so good that at night one must be aware that cars approaching from behind might not be obvious, due to the car headlights being barely noticeable within the Betty beams.