Jump to content
hal2000

KS18L headlight issue

Recommended Posts

Hi,

Anyone experiencing the following? - 

The white headlight is really strong but it illuminates everything apart from what it should illuminate. It blinds bikers and pedestrians. It leaves 1-2m blind spot between the wheel and illuminated area. It goes significantly up (raises) at higher speeds. The only conditions in which it works fine is pitch black areas. In mixed lighting high street conditions (city lights, traffic lights, backlit billboards around etc.) it is useless and dangerous.

Calibration is correct. Tried tilting the wheel a little bit forward- this makes things slightly better but at the same time it affects the ride too much.

 

Edited by hal2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 18L has the same light on both ends? What does the other light do when going "backwards"? The same? Can you post a photo for 18L owners to compare?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The front/back lights are interchangeable - both work as white head light or red back/stop light depending which direction you are currently going.

I'll try and take some photos of the issue tomorrow. I've experienced it before but as winter approaches it becomes a serious pain in the butt as I commute everyday when it's dark..

PS

Not to mention that if you're going down a gentle slope, the visibility is zero.

Edited by hal2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay. So this picture was taken in "dark-all-around" conditions for which the headlight works just fine. When in downtown, however, in the two-meter-long darker strip between the wheel and the highly lit strip you can't see anything. Furthermore, the highly lit part blinds the pedestrians and cyclists. I've asked a friend to ride the wheel towards me and now I can say that it is really really too strong a light for downtown pavement/cycle path conditions. It is a great long light but there should be an auxiliary short light to illuminate the immediate distance in front of the wheel and which could serve as a primary headlight in city center mixed lighting conditions.

The photo was taken at the speed of about 25 km/h. At 30 km/h the headlight lifts even further up and the darker area increases then to about 3m which makes riding in twilight conditions tricky as well.

IMG_2907.jpeg

Edited by hal2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is definitely good feedback for manufacturers, we may soon see a slightly adjustable headlight?

It all depends on the riders balance preference, for example I prefer it to be tilted forward (see picture below, the GT16 parcel helps see how much it is tilted). As you said, with the speed it lifts up, so when going fast it is flat and not as an annoying tilt-back feel.

I'll report in here as soon as I test how well it lights up the road once I'm riding in flat in the dark, somewhere safe to stop to take pics. I'll be able to compare with my headlight at different lumens levels.

This light seems to be one of the first to be bright enough to see the road (rather than just being seen), so this now becomes an issue, as before they were not strong enough to blind anyone.

I still recommend a good headlight for night riding though.

Nitecore HC30 is good, the advertised 1000 lumens are real, more powerful than the check 10000 lumens headlight I had before and the 18650 battery I got lasts much longer than the two cheap ones that came with that lamp.

 

IMG_20181026_223745.jpg

Edited by Jean Dublin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jean,

I have already tried tilting the wheel forward. It solves the headlight issue but it causes dangerous side effect on uneven surfaces or unexpected obstacles. I will try and explain.

When the wheel is neutrally calibrated and encounters an obstacle/bump/higher curb/pothole etc., for a fracture of a second it sort of stays behind the rider, these conditions cause the rider to automatically press on the front of the pedals which in result causes a power burst resulting in a safe and happy ending to the story. If, on the other hand, we begin with a tilted wheel, encountering of an obstacle does not cause the rider to press the front of the pedals as quickly as when the wheel is neutrally calibrated, thus delaying the power surge significantly and in extreme cases may result in the rider's faceplant due to delay in or lack of necessary acceleration. Also, for the same reasons, the tilted wheel lacks immediate acceleration from a standstill which causes a problem when you, for example,  "jump down" from a high curb.

The adjustable headlight would be great, but I think I would prefer two LEDs. One equivalent to dipped beam headlight in cars (strong enough to make you visible but also to illuminate the immediate area in front of the wheel) and the other strong full beam for when it's needed. In exchange, I would be happy to sacrifice the universal front/back LED functionality KS18L has.

Cheers!

Edited by hal2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As has been mentioned before, an auto-leveling headlamp that is aimed correctly to start is the way to go.  no issue then in how you like to configure your wheels.  should be easy enough to do with such a light lamp, although it would create a more delicate piece that might be more prone to failure in a crash.  So far most vendors putting these things together have enough problems dealing with screws, batteries, and thinks that don't move, so assembly might be an issue for many.  Now if some company started selling self balancing modules that they could just throw in, that might work.

Edited by FreeRide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, FreeRide said:

As has been mentioned before, an auto-leveling headlamp that is aimed correctly to start is the way to go.  no issue then in how you like to configure your wheels.  should be easy enough to do with such a light lamp, although it would create a more delicate piece that might be more prone to failure in a crash.  So far most vendors putting these things together have enough problems dealing with screws, batteries, and thinks that don't move, so assembly might be an issue for many.  Now if some company started selling self balancing modules that they could just throw in, that might work.

However great self-balancing module sounds it just spells trouble : )  I'd rather prefer some kind of manual adjustment knob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, hal2000 said:

If, on the other hand, we begin with a tilted wheel, encountering of an obstacle does not cause the rider to press the front of the pedals as quickly as when the wheel is neutrally calibrated, thus delaying the power surge significantly and in extreme cases may result in the rider's faceplant due to delay in or lack of necessary acceleration.

Now, that makes me worry. I hope I won't have that issue, it's been OK so far while riding on the GT16 tilted forward for months. Wish me luck! ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a short take on this effect:

When riding not to fast and not pushing to hard the lights are pretty good..and shining to the ground, where they should to.

But, when pushing and fastening up the wheel, the pedals -and so also the light will lift up.

This is because of the gyro effect, which not only makes your wheel/pedals staying straight, but also reacting to the G forces on your wheel.

Whoever might think: „What bullsh§€%% is he talking about....i can only advise to take your wheel into a subway or train and look on its behaviour...when the train/subway fasten up...the wheel reacts to this by moving up.

And i am not talking about KS wheel alone...all EUC available at the time have such a behaviour.

So the only way to make the light „absolutely perfect“ would be to have a movable light which also is connected  to the gyro and so is trying to have it in a certain aspect. Thats why -in my view- we will have to wait a bit longer for such a  perfect front light. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, US69 said:

 

So the only way to make the light „absolutely perfect“ would be to have a movable light which also is connected  to the gyro and so is trying to have it in a certain aspect. Thats why -in my view- we will have to wait a bit longer for such a  perfect front light. 

2

I totally agree but "absolutely perfect" seems to be years in the future. Right now a simple mechanical solution would work fine. Or at least factory calibration resulting in slightly more dipped beam. My KS16 and 16S were fine in this matter not to mention V10F; they've done a brilliant job on the headlight - it does not blind pedestrians nor bikers; there is no blind spot between the wheel and the beam, it is bright and strong, works fine at all speeds and contributes to safe driving environment. And as far as I know, it is not a "movable" unit. So it is possible to accomplish great results without over-engineering the part.

So, if KingSong, as they frequently claim, prioritize riders' safety and also traffic safety in general then this is a serious issue to address. Apart from safety, there is also a social side to it. I want to be welcomed and accepted by cyclists and pedestrians and contribute to a positive image of monocycles and monocyclists and right now (at least early in the morning, in the evening and at night) I am not.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the way I have my KS18L, tilted, the light works well if on flat or of a slight uphill, not as well on downhill.

This is a comparison of the KS18L light with the 70 lumens setting the Nitecore HC30 (capable of sustained 400 lumens, great for ridding in complete darkness, pretty much like the "long light" of a car). On a very slight uphill, almost flat. Result, very similar to 70 lumens.

In my opinion, as long as the light points to the floor, it is great. It is the brightest light I've seen on an EUC, I could almost have enough with that light only if not going too fast.

I didn't notice the light pointing higher when going faster, but only when breaking (normal).

KS 18L:

VXIYGjo_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&f

70 (real) lumens torch:

MHEKsOI_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&f

Both: (left KS, right torch 70 Lumens)

9BJCjOb_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&f

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jean Dublin Another thing I just noticed this morning; My headlight was cutting off and back on at some intervals while I was riding in the dark this morning. It's so bright, it causes a slight distraction while riding. It took me a minute to realize what was going on. When riding in the dark on a sidewalk with street lamps on, the light sensor was detecting the street lamps and shutting off! So, as I was riding down the sidewalk, every 10 meters or so....my headlight was shutting off then on! 

So, if the headlight is indeed blinding anyone, I can only image what it must look like for an oncoming car in the distance to be seeing the bright light turning off and on repeatedly.

I have not been very concerned about the angle of the light. I will need to look at that more closely as I ride this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Circuitmage said:

the light sensor was detecting the street lamps and shutting off!

Hi have also noticed that. Also, when it gets dark, the link would not turn on as early as I would have expected, it needs quite enough darkness to turn on, so I had to go into the app and activate the "All the time ON" option.
Once I turned it off and back on, the option went back to Auto, so it seems like it doesn't "remember" the settings once you turn the wheel off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find the light on my 18L to be somewhat less than perfect. It seems to be aimed to high and rather than illuminating what is in front of me to the point where i am sometimes worried that it shines in the eyes of car drivers. I carry a torch and use that for looking at the pavement in front of me, and don't rely on the headlight at all. As far as i am concerned the lights on the wheel are there for alerting others to my presence rather than showing me what is in front of me. 

I find the light on my 18S to be better at illuminating where in going but that could be because the light is slightly higher...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, considering its speed, it lights up the path in front of me just fine. I wouldn't want it shining too close, not enough time to stop. And it's bright enough I can see the path in front of me. Turning the light on and off so quickly while passing light sources is distracting...there should be a 3 second wait on the light sensor before changing states.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the 18L also. I don't usually ride in the dark, but the other day I was coming home at dusk, and there is one section of my ride where I am descending a fairly steep hill. Of course the wheel leans back when descending. When that happens, my headlight is shooting way above the road surface. Not exactly what I needed. I may have to get a hikers LED lamp and strap it to my helmet somehow!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jean Dublin True. Darkness sensor sucks as well, unfortunately. And the app/the wheel seems not to remember the "always on" setting. The quickest solution: use the "power on" button. When in dark environment and with the headlight activated by the sensor -> press once and the light will go off, press again and the headlight will enter "always on" mode.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say - I like "stock wheels". Mods annoy me and I don't like to tinker with anything. I really like 18L but at the same time when I pay the asking price, I expect that the producer listens to the users and follows with necessary R&D actions. I rode the whole winter last year and plan to do the same this year. A proper headlight is crucial in these conditions. And by "proper' I mean more than just "strong". 1) It should not blind the opposite traffic, 2) the illumination beam should not leave 2m of "blind strip" in front of the wheel and 3) illuminating a downhill path should come as standard.  I hope that KingSong listens and will address the issue in the production version of KS18XL.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was out in the dark this evening and a passing car hooted ... i wasn't sure if he was bitching about the light on my 18L shining up into his face or honked for some other reason but the light is bloody useless and does shine high. Im going to have to find a way of directing it downward, or just put something over it. 

Its just occurred to me that i should have tried flipping it around to see if it was the same both ways. 

Has anyone found a solution to this. I guess rather than trying to apply something externally to bend the beam down it would be better to open the wheel up and try to alter the position of the led relative to the reflector.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, nute said:

the light is bloody useless and does shine high

A video from your phone would make it easier for us to asses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, nute said:

I was out in the dark this evening and a passing car hooted ... i wasn't sure if he was bitching about the light on my 18L shining up into his face or honked for some other reason but the light is bloody useless and does shine high. Im going to have to find a way of directing it downward, or just put something over it. 

Its just occurred to me that i should have tried flipping it around to see if it was the same both ways. 

Has anyone found a solution to this. I guess rather than trying to apply something externally to bend the beam down it would be better to open the wheel up and try to alter the position of the led relative to the reflector.

First thing you can do is to calibrate your wheel with some tilt, so the light beam will be tilted also. But you have to be aware that when going downhill the light will always blind upcoming traffic - car drivers and pedestrians.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the records, the white led of my front headlight went off (very weak), so I swapped it with the back one, so now it's fine.

Just in case anyone else has the same issue in future. Warranty is only 6 months for that part, but I've been told it's cheap (SpeedyFeet seems to be 25 Eur, Not cheap, but I heard it's like 2 Eur un China, plus shipping, maybe it's only the led and the whole headlight, not sure).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jean Dublin said:

For the records, the white led of my front headlight went off (very weak), so I swapped it with the back one, so now it's fine.

Just in case anyone else has the same issue in future. Warranty is only 6 months for that part, but I've been told it's cheap (SpeedyFeet seems to be 25 Eur, Not cheap, but I heard it's like 2 Eur un China, plus shipping, maybe it's only the led and the whole headlight, not sure).

If you bought your wheel in EU you have 2 years of seller responsibility. LED lifespan is very high - Cree (manufacturer of LEDs used in KS-18L/XL) states that after 10 000 h their LEDs will keep 94 % of original lumen output. Swapping the lights is only a temporary solution, the swapped light will also stop working sooner or later. You seller should repair both lamps by replacing boards with the new, thermally improved ones (old was made from glass-epoxy substrate, new is made from metal core substrate). Old, glass-epoxy boards we're designed improperly, so LED overheated over time. This is design flaw, so should be repaired under warranty. 

But you don't have to return whole wheel to the seller for repair. It will be inconvenient both for him and for you. You can replace these boards by yourself. Just request your seller to send you boards for warranty replacement. Each board is mounted to the lamp fixture with two small screws. Piece of cake :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×