LightBridge 16" Deluxe truss-tube Dobsonian


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This 16" Meade LightBridge deluxe Dobsonian gives you really big "light bucket" performance on the faint fuzzies outside the solar system. But it does it in a very affordable and easily-disassembled package that fits into any car for a quick trip to your favorite dark sky site . . .

Our Product #: MLB16D
Meade Product #: 1645-05-03
Recommended Accessories

Product Description

Like all Dobsonian reflectors, this 16" Meade deluxe LightBridge truss-tube Dob gives you more light-gathering for your dollar than any other telescope type. Its very large 16" aperture, which gathers four times the light of an 8" scope (and over 3300 times as much as your eye!), is ideal for observing the faint fuzzies outside the solar system from a dark sky site.

Despite its large mirror, the 16" Meade LightBridge is surprisingly easy to get to your favorite dark sky site. Unlike a bulky Sonotube or metal tube Dob, you don't need a van or small truck to transport this big 16" scope to the dark sky sites it needs to perform at its best. The 16" LightBridge weighs only 128 pounds fully assembled. It breaks down into a few compact components that will fit into virtually any car trunk or into the back seat of just about any compact car. Assembly and disassembly take just a few minutes, with no tools needed. After you set up, take a few moments to collimate the optics (no tools are required here either) and you're ready for an evening of fascinating viewing at your favorite dark sky location.

The first component is the 11 lb. aluminum upper cage containing the diagonal mirror, focuser, and multiple reticle illuminated finder. Second is the 58 lb. aluminum tub holding the primary mirror. Six light-weight (5 lb. total) but rigid aluminum truss tubes connect the upper cage to the mirror tub. They attach quickly to anodized brackets on the cage and tub by means of large hand-tighten knobs, making assembly easy. Finally, there's the laminated particle board base in which the mirror tub sits.

The performance of the BK7 optical glass parabolic primary mirror of the 16" Meade LightBridge is guaranteed to be diffraction limited - for sharp high contrast images of nebulas, galaxies, and star clusters. Planetary images are also sharp and crisp, although with a neutral density filter certainly required to allow glare-free observing. The mirror is overcoated with magnesium fluoride for high reflectivity.

The Meade LightBridge uses a fully adjustable metal cell to hold the primary mirror. The open frame of the mirror cell allows the mirror to cool down to ambient temperatures quickly, so you can start high magnification observing sooner. In addition, there's a standard equipment battery-operated cooling fan on the mirror cell. This lightweight low-vibration fan draws cooling air over the back surface of the mirror for faster cool down times.

The scope's BK7 diagonal mirror is mounted in a fully adjustable diagonal holder on a low-diffraction four-vane thin spring steel spider. The diagonal is polished to diffraction-limited accuracy, aluminized, and overcoated with magnesium fluoride.

The altazimuth base that the mirror tub rides in is crafted of strong, lightweight, and water-resistant laminated particle board. The base is shipped disassembled, but can be put together in about a half an hour using only a screwdriver and the supplied hardware. The polished aluminum trunnion bearings of the mirror tub are good-sized, for smooth scope motion. Teflon altitude bearing surfaces assure smooth, effortless, and backlash-free movement. There is an adjustable altitude brake that can be adjusted to keep the scope from tilting unexpectedly when very heavy 2" eyepieces are put in the focuser.

This deluxe model scope moves in azimuth on steel roller bearings riding on a metal track. Push the scope lightly in any direction and it starts moving at the touch of a finger - smoothly and with no fuss. Stop pushing and it settles down immediately, with no shudder or vibration to mar your viewing experience.

The deluxe 16" Meade comes with a machined aluminum 2" Crayford focuser (with a 1.25" eyepiece adapter). The focuser is the dual-speed type, with a 10:1 reduction ratio for ultra-fine focusing. A quality 26mm 2" QX-Series Wide Angle eyepiece is standard equipment. It provides a magnification of 70x. With an apparent field of 70°, it has an actual field of view that's a very wide 1° across, twice the diameter of the full Moon. Deep space views of star clouds and nebulas are rich and expansive. The scope's non-magnifying illuminated finder has four different reticle patterns available by simply rotating a dial in the base of the finder. 

Because of its compact component sizes and reasonably light individual component weights, the 16" Meade can easily be transported by one individual, although two people will generally be required to assemble the truss tubes and aluminum upper cage. Set-up time is only about 15-20 minutes. The 16" Meade LightBridge Dobsonian is designed for visual observing only - to show you as much of the night skies as possible. Photography is not possible with a Dob.

Under dark skies, color becomes visible to the eye in many nebulas. the Orion Nebula becomes a glowing blue-green mass of filaments, often tinged with red and yellow for the keen-eyed observer from a dark sky site. Globular clusters can be resolved to their cores, with each cluster becoming a vivid ball of tiny starpoints instead of a hazy blur. Knottings and structure in the arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy become clear. Mighty globular clusters in the distant Andromeda Galaxy may begin to approach the threshold of visibility for the exceptionally keen-eyed observer.

As with any large aperture telescope, the performance of the 16" LightBridge on faint objects will be markedly improved by a dark sky observing site. Light-polluted city and suburban sites are not recommended as the primary observing site with a 16" scope. Such sites require a nebula (light pollution) filter to take even limited advantage of its immense light-gathering.

While it is in deep space observing of galaxies and nebulas from a dark sky observing site that the 16" Meade LightBridge excels, significant planetary and lunar observing is also within its capability. Small details in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn and on the surface of Mars reveal themselves at high powers given suitably good seeing. All you need is a neutral density eyepiece filter to cut down the immense brightness of solar system objects seen through this immense "light bucket."

Simply-made, but with precision optics, this Meade 16" LightBridge Dobsonian reflector will reward you with thousands of bright deep space images and years of trouble-free observing enjoyment.

The 16" Meade LightBridge is shipped directly to the customer via motor freight from the Meade Instruments distribution center in California. Consequently, California sales tax applies to any 16" LightBridge order shipped to a customer within the state of California.

Tech Details

Aperture 16"
Binary and Star Cluster Observation Great
Focal Length 1829mm
Focal Ratio f/4.5
Galaxy and Nebula Observation Great
Highest Useful Magnification 366x
Lunar Observation Very Good
Weight 128 lbs.
Planetary Observation Great
Resolution 0.29 arc seconds
Telescope Type Reflector
Visual Limiting Magnitude 15.5
Warranty 1 year


Review by:
I have sold my Lightbridge 16 and I regret it. The views through this instrument are amazing. I kept my assembled at all times in a permanent observatory. That is a good thing because this is not a portable telescope. I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 stars because the assembly process is tedious. You have to be prepared to collimate it every time you take it apart. The newer designs (e.g. Sky-Watcher) seem to have avoided this issue with a more robust sliding design for the extension tubes between the primary and the secondary. One of the very nice features of the Lightbridge 16 is the height for an is just about perfect even when pointing to the zenith. Something about getting on a ladder in the dark will always keep me away from bigger dobs. I highly recommend using a laser pointer as a finder. (Posted on 7/29/2019)
Review by:
Even when using this scope in highly light polluted areas, I can still see many nebulas though obviously due to the light pollution, not the best details but when you travel out to a dark place with this telescope you are in for something. When comparing this to my old 10-inch dob I can see a big difference in light gathering capabilities when looking at clusters, they appear way brighter and bigger and nebulas and galaxies start to show way more detail and contrast. (Posted on 1/14/2019)
Review by:
I have owned a few scopes but the light gathering capability of the 16” lightbridge had me going to it every night. I owned a 10” lx200 go-to and and 8” lx200 and a 6” Schmidt Newtonian, but i still preferred this monster. Sure, it a little unwieldy at first and it doesn’t break down compactly, but the sights are worth it. Jupiter and Saturn look awesome, and not to forget the Orion Nebula. Galaxy clusters are always a treat to see, as they look like thousands of little diamonds clustered together. I was never able to see these things with so much clarity, brightness and ease, with my other scopes...Definitely a worthwhile purchase. (Posted on 11/21/2018)
Review by:
Simple review here. Amazing telescope, Colors and detail visible that are far beyond the reach of my 8" scopes. It is large and heavy, as one would expect from a 16" Dob. Guests are first blown away at its size, then even more when they look through the eyepiece! If you have the room and ability to use this monster, you need one. (Posted on 10/6/2018)
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Supplied Accessories

  • 2" 26mm Series 4000 QX eyepiece (70x)
  • 4-vane spring steel diagonal mirror support with adjustable mirror holder
  • Adjustable primary mirror flotation system
  • Diffraction-limited BK7 optical glass mirrors
  • Dual-speed 2" Crayford-style machined aluminum focuser with 1.25" eyepiece adapter
  • Advanced four-reticle pattern red dot finder
  • Primary mirror cooling fan
  • Aluminum tube open truss design with fast no-tool assembly using large hand-tighten knobs
  • Aluminum upper cage and mirror tub
  • Laminated altazimuth mount with steel azimuth roller bearings
  • Oversized aluminum trunnion bearings with altitude friction adjustment
  • Autostar Suite Astronomer Edition software.