First Test Performance: Supernova M99 Pro

Car Light for S-Pedelec Cyclists

Testing Radtouren Magazin

- editor in chief Jan Gathmann -

The „M“ in BMW stands for the highest level of automotive engineering.
For Supernova, with its roots in the automotive design, M marks the apogee of lighting technology for cyclists,
The new M99 model has reached a brightness on the same level as cars. Or even better, like the experienced in our real world test.

To make road low approved meaningful light available to the German cyclist, the e-bike needed to be invented first. In the past few years, German road legal lights surpassed with each other with constantly higher performance. The quest for after the best road light for cyclists it is pursued by a small group of the best light producers. Battery lights that can flood fire roads with light or three hours are common and available for little money. Lights provide a clear cut-off line as well as a homogenous beam pattern to light your path in front of you- even if you cycle over 40 km/h - are rather rare. Lights provide a clear cut-off line as well as a homogenous beam pattern to light your path in front of you- even if you cycle over 40 km/h - are rather rare. The German road law rightfully requires this well-defined cut-off-line in order to avoid blinding other road users.

Odoo CMS - a big picture

The challenge is to achieve the most light output from a small housing and reflector. The smaller the housing, the harder it gets to offer a clearly defined beam pattern as well as cooling.” With this size, that´s impossible” was the first reaction of automotive engineer first on the M99 developing goals of company owner Marcus Wallmeyer. Pictures of the beam pattern can be found in the gallery, counter proven that the mission has been accomplished after 3 years of developing time dedicated to the M99 series.
The peak model of this series is the M99 PRO for s-pedelecs. With its revolutionary 1600 lumen and its exceptional high beam approved by German road law. The M99 PURE version with its 500 lumen as well as the M99 PURE+ model with its 900 lumen* offer enormous by the luminous flux values. Since they hold the road approval in compliance with the ECE norm it is easy to retrofit these lights without any further tests to any compatible s-pedelec. The M99 PURE can simply be attached directly to the motor control of the second generation Bosch drives. Owners of Pedelecs up to 25 km/h have to be patient: from November 2016 the M99 Pure is supposed to be available in a special version for such bicycles.

*The update value is now 1100 Lumens

Odoo CMS - a big picture

The use of high tech to develop this miracle of light made the support of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology possible. That´s why the reflector consists of 99 separately calculated mirror parts. The cooling fins of the strong one-piece housing is developed in a way that a chimney effect by the rising air is possible when the bikes is not moving. They have an important function to dissipate the heat energy of 9 automotive LEDs. These LEDs are connected to the e-bike control through a CAN-Bus system. This allows to adjust the light automatically to the current speed. By day time, the day time running light switches on all M99 models can be identified already from a far. Depending on the cycle conditions the light also regulates the M99 light output in order to save energy. While driving slowly the M99 PRO automatically switches into Eco mode and is performing brighter in the near field, however it switches to full power quickly when you speed up.

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The light experience

Even the adjustment of the M99 is way more easy in comparison to other bike lights. Easily done by using a spirit level in the horizontal position, that´s it. The angle of inclination of the reflector is already ok. This ensure glare free cycling while on the road. Headlight-flashing car drivers, fussing pedestrians – all that is a thing of the past. But also since the tested Bosch mounting (made of the high tech PCC composite) offers a proper steady (attachment) of the M99. The beam pattern is an eye-opening experience. Even the low beam only is already sufficient for standard situations on the road. The reach and width are on the same level as car headlights. No need to worry about where the next turn or crossroad are supposed to be, even from far they will be recognized. Your path in front of your bike is clearly illuminated so you can distinguish all bump easily. The beam is still a great addition to road illumination – like it would be for a car.


According to Supernova the M99 draw max 16 watts from the battery while in use. The theory equates speculatively to 48 Wh. during a three- hour ride at fast speed. This is basically only a tenth of the capacity of the latest drive systems on the market. In real life, power consumption will be much lower, because of its intelligent control, and it will only lead to a minor reduction in battery endurance. What makes the M99 PRO a class of its own is the high beam with full illumination above the low beam horizon. This high beam clearly illuminates even most remote obstacles and makes them stand out in the darkest night. In real life, the need to switch on the high beam actually only arise on fire roads in the woods. When it was switched on, however the smoothness, width and reach of the beam left nothing to be desired. An additional helmet mount light follows your direction of view – often used by mountain bikers tend to use – was not missing.

Conclusion

There is no need for more light in any possible situation than the German road-law approved M99 PRO can offer to cyclists. The haptics of this gleaming high-tech aluminum housing are amazing and knowing that it contains concentrated high tech raise the self-confidence on the road to a higher level. Even after having used the light for quite a while, you will still be surprised again and again by how naturally car drivers recognize the M99 user on the street. This alone is worth the price. Nearly the same effect can also be achieved with the less expensive M99 PURE model. By the way, the low beam is nearly on a level with a car headlight. Pedestrians doesn't feel annoyed by the glare-free low beam setting. No annoying glare like even some low-power LED lights have. Finally, the obvious and outstanding workmanship as well as the integrated communications technology make the M99 PRO future proof.

Technical data

Supernova M99 Pro, 449,00 Euro

Light for pedelecs up to 45 km, with road approval

Light output: up to 1.600 Lumen max.

Brightness in 10 m distance within 10 meter: 360 Lux

Reach according to ANSI FL1: 380 m

Weight: 244 g (incl. cable)

Consumption: daytime running light: 4 Watt. Low-beam 8 up to 16 Watt

Requirement fulfilled: ECE113 C for low beam and high beam, ECE87

Feature: speed-controlled Eco-mode, communication through CAN bus and further electric interfaces, brake signal processing directly from brake lever

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