SuperNova E3 Pro, let there be light.


Supernova 3 pro dyno hub lightI got the SuperNova E3 Pro with the handle bar mount.

The reason is that I didn’t fancy having my expensive light sitting on my bicycle when parked up. When packing up the bicycle for cycle touring I didn’t fancy fettling around with more bits as I’m sure I would knock or bend it while packing it up.

I tried out the Dinotte 600L light this summer and it was just too bright, the reflection of the road was like looking at the light of an oncoming car, even at a medium setting!!! And other lights I looked at looked a bit “flimsy” and couldn’t easily be detached.

I was also planning to get the rear light from SuperNova, but SJS Cycles doubled the price on the day I wanted to buy the lights for some reason. It is now down to £39.99 again, so I put the order in right away :)

UPDATE : And it arrived in the post a day later. Nice and small and looked beautiful and felt like it was built to last last the front light. If you want it to fit nice and snug to your rear pannier rack, you will probably have to drill the hole bigger for the cable, which I had to do with my Tubus rear rack. Yes you can use some spacers to fit the light but then it is not fitted nice an snug to the rack. A quick trip to my trusted LBS and the hole was expanded by a few mm and the light was fitted and looks like it was built into the rack. I like that because it is hard to see that there is a light there and it is not sticking out and looks like a little knock would break it off. The only down side with this right light is that I don’t see it in action. But I have had people tell me that they love my rear, light that is, you dirty readers :)

Both the front light and rear light really does look like it is built solid. I do like the metallic but sleek look of the light.

I got the front light a week ago and it really felt nice and solid, just as the pictures showed. The E3 pro has cables that link the front light (AC) to the rear light (DC). Since I want to be able to detach the front light I need to make some waterproof plugs.

A little gripe I have with dyno hub lights is that you have to figure out a way to attach the light cables to the dyno hub. There is no “plug” with it, for a first time buyer I didn’t know but lucky I had some left over bits from the last time I had little play around with light.

Since I live in London it is a bit hard to find a place that is dark enough to really test the lights out. Though I have found near dark or as dark as you can get paths near the river. And the light is really bright and gives a very good cover. The reflection isn’t so bright that you can’t see beyond it, which I like since you are not night blinded when off the bicycle. However, I did need to cover it now and again cycling in London as I saw a few oncoming cyclists moan a bit.

After two days of commuting with the light where it happily sat on the handle bars, it decided it wanted commit suicide and jump off the handlebars. I had twisted the cables around the front pannier rack so the light hit the ground at around 15mph and bounced around between my front and back wheel for around 20 metres before I found a safe place to stop.

Supernova 3 pro dyno hub lightWith my heart in my throat I picked the light up and it was shining nice and bright but it was well battered from the impacts. This just shows that it is good quality and it have learnt me to make sure to check the handle bar mount now and again.

One thing that confused me for a few days, is that when you turn it off. The stand light, which lasts up to 5min, still shines. The light only goes off when the stand light has run out, not when you turn it off.

Some people say that you will have some extra drag generated from the Schmidt SON hub when it is powering a light. The funny part is that when I plugged the SuperNova E3 in for the first time I felt a slightly smoother roll on the front wheel, go figure.

I wrote to SuperNova and told them my story and I got this back from them.

Hello Henrik, that’s a great review – thanks!

Some thoughts:

We do offer waterproof plugs to disconnect the light! => our gold connectors.

I do not understand your problems to find, “a way to attach the light cables to it” Please explain! We include crimp tubes to permanently attach a rear light and the connectors to the dynamo are normally included with that.

What I meant was how to connect the cables to the dyno hub a.k.a my Schmidt SON hub.

The stand light staying on is a measure to prolong the lifespan of the capacitor.

Now I like that and it is not a problem, just confused me for a bit.

We can send you a new front cap free of charge through our distributor if you give us your address.

Much as I like the idea of having a battered E3 bearing witness to ist toughness, it does look much nicer without those scars.


Now how nice is that :)


Brilliant, solid and bright light well worth the price. The best part is that you can upgrade it. So when there is an update you only have spend a third of the price and do it yourself. Oh and a very good service from SuperNova.

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  1. I have been using a e3 too! Excellent in daylight aswell as night. vehicles still dont see you approaching tho! How bright does a light have to be? I have just had a small problem,the standlight function recently became intermittant then stopped alltogether! I will let you know how i get on with the repair via the importers.
    Safe riding!

  2. Hi there!
    Can soemone explain me the difference between the 2 version: glare free or symetrical lenses? And how should one decide which one to get ie in which condition to use one or the other? Thanks!

  3. The DiNotte was too bright? I find that quite odd–a car has 2 headlights each of which runs about 2000–4000 lumens. Are those too bright for you? “Too bright” must be a function of the beam pattern: the DiNottes are still just glorified flashlights (i.e. round beam, not shaped for traffic), and one effect of that can be that the hotspot hits the road well in front of the maximum reach of the beam: even though you might be putting a reasonable of light on the road at the horizon, there’s a very bright point closer to you, so the light beyond it is useless.

    I find the e3 Supernova “305 lumen” lovely on roads meant for cars, but quite frustrating on bike paths, since its beam pattern drops off horizontally towards the sides. That means that when I’m turning I get no light whatsoever ahead of me on the turn. Also, note that a few people have measured this light’s output at about 140 lumens, which seems about right in comparison to my old 300-lumen NightRider…


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