Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Supernova E3: a glowing review

Talk about your glowing endorsement. When a pedestrian stops you with – “Hey! What kind of light is that?”– you know it's good.

Yes, I’m talking about the new Supernova E3.

I finally wired my light this evening, impatiently checked the sky. Still too much sun. Like the bard said, Out, damn'd spot! out, I say.

Oh, yeah, Spot. I took the dog for a walk, counted the minutes, waited for the Dark Monster to get up and pull the shades down. Finally. I rolled the Coho from the basement and headed out for a test run.

First planned stop: the neighborhood Quik Mart for a feels-like-a-winner! lottery ticket. I had the light on as I headed down Glenwood, a big street that slices through the heart of Raleigh like a cardiologist with a tee time. Two of the light-sensitive street lights blinked off as I neared them. Was the Supernova doing that? Why yes, I think it was.

The Quik Mart is a half mile from the house. By the time I reached it, the E3 standlight was already charged. Here’s a shot of it.

And while I’m taking shots, here’s one of the dual tail lights. Those rear light brackets on the Coho are a fantastic feature.

Winning ticket in hand, I rolled off to a little neighborhood I like to call the Heart of Darkness.

First impressions: the Supernova throws a hot white light. It has a more diffuse pattern than the trapezoidal beam of the E3. The hottest part of the beam appears to be narrower and longer than the E6 pattern.

Also, the Supernova is clearly brighter than the E6. How can I say that without a side-by-side comparison? Easy. The E6’s yellow light was typically overwhelmed by city street lights. The E3’s beam remained visible.

I tried to get a couple shots of the light’s beam while rolling down a slight hill. Let me say up front that the camera does not do the light justice -- unless justice is six feet of rope and a hanging tree. I’ve posted the video anyway because you do get a sense of the light’s reach. Watch the video and you’ll see the reflective striping light up on a road barricade. That was a couple hundred yards away when I first started down the hill.

Here’s another short video that shows the E3 can hold its own against a streetlight.

Now back to the opening story. I was heading up a side street when a man walking his dogs saw me coming. He yelled out: “Hey, what kind of light is that.” I turned around, stopped and showed him, telling him in general terms it was a generator hub. “Yeah,” he said, “but what kind is it? I’ve been looking for one. That thing is really bright.”

Yes indeed. Like a Supernova.

Update: Blair Witch Project 3 just called. They want to buy my extra footage.

Update 2: The Lottery just called. The limo's on its way.


Cap'n said...

You might want to send those video clips to Steven King. The night of the return of the Shining part deux in socking 3D. Scary. I love the sound too. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Mark said...

Cap'n is right - the video is freaky. But the light is awesome. I'm using you in my sales presentation.

Charles Lathe said...

After the 400 last weekend, I thought, "Who needs a better light than the E6?" Now, I'm reconsidering. I'd borrow it for the Atlanta 600, but I'm out the door.

PNoris said...

Mike -

I'm a white guy, and don't believe you're rascist - but really

"unless justice is six feet of rope and a hanging tree."

go back to your bag of metaphors.

Mike Dayton said...


Umm...I take it you're not a fan of Westerns.

Thanks, Mike

Anonymous said...

Now that you've had the E3 for a few months, what do you think? Is the review still 'glowing'?
Also, do you feel the light is powerful enough for off-road use?