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View Full Version : Fall is here. Let's talk lights.


CNY rider
09-23-2011, 08:00 AM
It's time for me to buy another light for fall riding.

My main commuter has a gen hub with lights, and I wear my DiNotte on my helmet. So I'm good there, until they salt the roads, when that bike goes to the basement for holiday.

I have one of those older L&M lights with the giant proprietary battery back but it's getting on in years and has trouble running for 45 minutes now after a charge.

What I would like is a light to clip to my bars. I will still be wearing the Dinotte 200 on my head.
I would prefer AA batteries because I'm fed up with throwing things away when the proprietary batteries give out.
Is the DiNotte still the best out there? Should I just get another one? Anyone using the 1 watt Planet Bike? Those look interesting and cost a whole lot less.
Thanks.

avalonracing
09-23-2011, 08:14 AM
I was just looking for a lightweight, easily detachable bar light and to me the best choice was the Light and Motion Urban 300. We'll see about the longevity but I don't like separate battery packs and I wanted something with a good beam spread and light (this is 110G).

skijoring
09-23-2011, 08:30 AM
It's time for me to buy another light for fall riding.

My main commuter has a gen hub with lights, and I wear my DiNotte on my helmet. So I'm good there, until they salt the roads, when that bike goes to the basement for holiday.

I have one of those older L&M lights with the giant proprietary battery back but it's getting on in years and has trouble running for 45 minutes now after a charge.

What I would like is a light to clip to my bars. I will still be wearing the Dinotte 200 on my head.
I would prefer AA batteries because I'm fed up with throwing things away when the proprietary batteries give out.
Is the DiNotte still the best out there? Should I just get another one? Anyone using the 1 watt Planet Bike? Those look interesting and cost a whole lot less.
Thanks.

1 watt PB is nice, I also have the 2 watt. I have talked with drivers about the lights and they see them very well. More of a 'be seen' light, than for actual navigation. But they have a great clamp, easy on/off and work well with recharge-ables.

leooooo
09-23-2011, 08:32 AM
Finished my second ride last night with a NiteRider 600.
Anyone looking for a self contained unit, this is the way to go.

Pros:
Great for road riding, illuminates any potholes and large debris easily while going at 30mph.
CHEAP!
Light quality is very good (total opinion).
Quality Panasonic batteries, not some knock-off.

Cons:
May not be good for trail riding (lacking in spread, good helmet light?) or city riding (the lights will def blind oncoming traffic).
Claimed low, med, high settings has very little variance in practice. Maybe like 40 lumen difference between each setting. Was hoping for 100/300/600 or something of a sizable difference.

jr59
09-23-2011, 08:40 AM
For the past 2 years I have used a twofish flashlight holder, and a Fenix ld20.
With rechargeable AAs.

I have tried other brands of flashlights, some were brighter, but didn't last near long enough. Some didn't have the best of light stream.

This set-up works best for me. It's light weight and can be moved from bike to bike very quickly.

Of course YMMV!

sjbraun
09-23-2011, 08:57 AM
I've been really happy with the Cygolite Expilion 250. Interbike coverage suggests the new models will pack more light into the same package at a lower price.

kenmetzger
09-23-2011, 09:03 AM
I would echo what skijoring said about the Planet Bike Blaze. It is great for being seen by drivers. I have had some pedestrians complain that it is too bright. It does an OK decent job lighting your way, but its main asset is letting everyone know that you are there.

oldpotatoe
09-23-2011, 09:12 AM
It's time for me to buy another light for fall riding.

My main commuter has a gen hub with lights, and I wear my DiNotte on my helmet. So I'm good there, until they salt the roads, when that bike goes to the basement for holiday.

I have one of those older L&M lights with the giant proprietary battery back but it's getting on in years and has trouble running for 45 minutes now after a charge.

What I would like is a light to clip to my bars. I will still be wearing the Dinotte 200 on my head.
I would prefer AA batteries because I'm fed up with throwing things away when the proprietary batteries give out.
Is the DiNotte still the best out there? Should I just get another one? Anyone using the 1 watt Planet Bike? Those look interesting and cost a whole lot less.
Thanks.

L&M all in one for the handlebar, small white Blackburn flea on the handlebar, rear Flea on my helmet, another on the bike along with a another tail light. My biggest fear is getting hit from behind.

Doug Fattic
09-23-2011, 09:14 AM
I have the Planet Bike dynamo Blaze LED headlight combined with a Sturmey Archer generator front hub on my Dutch style grocery getter. I would guess it puts out 2 or 3 times as much light as any of the halogen lights Iíve used with a bottle generator. Of course on this style of bike Iím going around 10 miles an hour. At that speed it seems like more light than I need but not nearly what my old Cateye Stadium light would produce on my normal bikes. It will produce full light at 5 or 6 MPH and keep going at a lower output for a few minutes when the bike is stopped. It also has a blinking feature. If I am ridding the bike path behind my house and shop in the total darkness, it will light up the path for several hundred feet. It is certainly what I would buy again if I wanted to stay within that price range (which is much cheaper than lights most members refer to).

BillG
09-23-2011, 09:17 AM
Bite the bullet, get a Dynohub and a Supernova E3. The thing is incredibly bright with the best illumination pattern I've found. I giggle every time I use it in awe of just how bright it is and I don't have to worry about a battery pack.

Mikej
09-23-2011, 09:40 AM
The Lupine piko is twice as much as everything else, but insane - 750 Lumen (tested, certified) self contained. I want one. I have a MiNewt 350 right now, which for the price seems pretty good.

Birddog
09-23-2011, 09:41 AM
I just upgraded my DiNotte because the 4 cell LiOn battery died after 3 years of use. Rob gave me a helluva deal on an upgrade. The cost is not so great when you consider I used this for 3 years. I got a new improved charger, a 4 cell battery, and the new light engine which is about double my old 200L in lumens. I could also have just traded in my old battery and charger for a good deal as well, but I decided to go all out.

achurch
09-23-2011, 09:52 AM
Ship from NZ. Unless someone talks me out of it will order next week and post a report once delivered...

http://www.deptofadventure.com/categories/LED-Cycling-Lights/

dekindy
09-23-2011, 09:54 AM
What type of road, lighting conditions, etc, will you be riding or are you just looking for a brand recommendation? If the latter, Dinotte is about as good as it gets. Other than that, there are a lot of other brands to consider since LED technology has advanced by light years (pun intended) and lots of new manufacturers have come to market. Best things would be to go to mtbr.com and sort the light models by number of reviews and ratings to get a feel for the highest rated. Also, check their light shootouts.

One brand that I discovered was TrailLed. I recommended them to my cycling buddies and an Engineer in our group was impressed and purchased one. He is ecstatic. Great light, small and lightweight light and battery, and replacmenet batteries are inexpensive. http://trailled.com/

xeladragon
09-23-2011, 10:11 AM
To be seen, I have a Planet Bike 2W Blaze in the front and a Planet Bike Superflash in the back.

To see, I have an Exposure Diablo.

http://www.exposurelights.com/product/000018/diablo/

I highly recommend all 3 products. :)

CNY rider
09-23-2011, 10:16 AM
I commute 7.5 miles one way.
In another monthI will be doing it in darkness both ways.
My gen hub bike is fine, puts out plenty of light.
But in 2 months I will put it away for winter and pull out the beater, the Nokians etc.
So for that bike I need the light to go on the bars. Buying another gen hub does not seem practical. I will also have the DiNotte 200 on my helmet.
I am riding in a rural area; parts of the ride are total darkness. Very few cars.

BillG
09-23-2011, 10:21 AM
I commute 7.5 miles one way.
In another monthI will be doing it in darkness both ways.
My gen hub bike is fine, puts out plenty of light.
But in 2 months I will put it away for winter and pull out the beater, the Nokians etc.
So for that bike I need the light to go on the bars. Buying another gen hub does not seem practical. I will also have the DiNotte 200 on my helmet.
I am riding in a rural area; parts of the ride are total darkness. Very few cars.

You could just swap the front wheel and bar mount a Supernova!

http://www.greentirebikes.com/lt9909.html

palincss
09-23-2011, 10:48 AM
I commute 7.5 miles one way.
In another monthI will be doing it in darkness both ways.
My gen hub bike is fine, puts out plenty of light.
But in 2 months I will put it away for winter and pull out the beater, the Nokians etc.
So for that bike I need the light to go on the bars. Buying another gen hub does not seem practical.


Can you use the wheel from your generator hub bike in the winter commuter? Then all you'd need to do is buy another light for the winter bike.

Len J
09-23-2011, 11:02 AM
A few thoughts.

Lighting is about safety. I personally don't skimp on safety.

I have the Dinotte 800L. 11 miles of my commute is on unlit MUT that is covered in trees for most of it....pitch darkness. Even at 22 MPH, I don't out run the light.

One observation about many other commuters....they are way underlit, especially in the front. Many of the "Road specific" lights are IMO, practicially useless for riding at anything above about 10 MPH on unlit areas.

IME

Len

Ahneida Ride
09-23-2011, 12:04 PM
I just upgraded my DiNotte because the 4 cell LiOn battery died after 3 years of use. Rob gave me a helluva deal on an upgrade. The cost is not so great when you consider I used this for 3 years. I got a new improved charger, a 4 cell battery, and the new light engine which is about double my old 200L in lumens. I could also have just traded in my old battery and charger for a good deal as well, but I decided to go all out.

DiNiotte customer service is unbeatable. It's the gold standard.

gasman
09-23-2011, 12:13 PM
A few thoughts.

Lighting is about safety. I personally don't skimp on safety.

I have the Dinotte 800L. 11 miles of my commute is on unlit MUT that is covered in trees for most of it....pitch darkness. Even at 22 MPH, I don't out run the light.

One observation about many other commuters....they are way underlit, especially in the front. Many of the "Road specific" lights are IMO, practicially useless for riding at anything above about 10 MPH on unlit areas.

IME

Len

I agree-safety is number one.Look at it as life insurance for you and your family.
I have a Planet bike blaze for my bars this time of year, it keeps me visible but in a couple weeks it will be my L&M Seca 900 so I can see every hazard at any speed.
If you are in a rural area you want to see and be seen.
LOTS of good options.

dd74
09-23-2011, 01:57 PM
DiNotte for me. The batteries are really an afterthought, when considering the brightness of the head and tail light. I find them essential in urban night riding because honestly, L.A. motorists are particularly clueless when it's dark.

TimD
09-23-2011, 03:45 PM
The Lupine piko is twice as much as everything else, but insane - 750 Lumen (tested, certified) self contained. I want one. I have a MiNewt 350 right now, which for the price seems pretty good.

+1.

I've been very happy with mine.

I think 350L is enough for speeds up to about 30 MPH, assuming you adjust it correctly in the vertical plane.

Combined with a white Cateye "Loop" in flash mode you have both "see" and "be seen" covered.

On the rear I'm using a Cateye LD600, which accepts AAA batteries and will not fall off the bike when used with the locking slot mount. The Cateye small parts store offers mounts of various diameters, which can be used on the seat stay, seatpost, seat tube, or even the seat monostay (as on a Fierte iT).

That written, I think the PlanetBike Superflash is super-bright and has a flash pattern that really grabs one's attention.

dd74
09-23-2011, 03:49 PM
The DiNotte I have has 1,000 lumens. There's also a claim from the manufacturer that it might not be street legal in some states. :no:

TimD
09-23-2011, 03:51 PM
I should add that on Wednesday morning I rode with a group which included a guy who was using a 1000 lumen, dual-lamp unit (from some small manufacturer in New Hampshire, not sure which).

I was on the front and wanted to come off. Looking back into his light I could not see damn thing, so I pulled left and hoped for the best.

Fortunately no texting, coffee-drinking, <pickup / SUV>-driving, <insert least favorite stereotype here> was coming up from behind right at that moment.

So, the uber-bright illuminators are great for the rider, but maybe less so for oncoming traffic or the other members of your crew.

fiamme red
09-23-2011, 03:51 PM
New lights at Interbike:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/interbike-2011-led-lights-get-more-powerful

russ46
09-23-2011, 04:11 PM
I use a PB Superflash Turbo on the rear & a PB 2 watt Blaze in front when solo riding in daylight.
It won't be long before I'll have to mount 2 400L Dinotte's up front. I have one of these fitted with the wide angle lens set to luminate the road edges better. I'll probably give the PB 2 watt Blaze a tryout on my helment but it might end up being a little on the heavy side compared with the 1/2 watt I used last winter.

rice rocket
09-23-2011, 04:18 PM
I should add that on Wednesday morning I rode with a group which included a guy who was using a 1000 lumen, dual-lamp unit (from some small manufacturer in New Hampshire, not sure which).

I was on the front and wanted to come off. Looking back into his light I could not see damn thing, so I pulled left and hoped for the best.

Fortunately no texting, coffee-drinking, <pickup / SUV>-driving, <insert least favorite stereotype here> was coming up from behind right at that moment.

So, the uber-bright illuminators are great for the rider, but maybe less so for oncoming traffic or the other members of your crew.

Tell him to aim it down for everyone's sake. I only blast my light when no one's around. With great power comes great responsibility...

I have this beast. Estimates say it's around 2000 lumens (not 4300 lumens as claimed), which is about what a pair of headlights put out. ;)

http://www.manafont.com/imagelibrary.php?src=ns3W19DJ2JHo7M6jn5OhqaKUk5On5 NXZ&w=600&h=600&f=jpg&q=90&hash=ef05bc5ec8bcd2c8b7c1912456e3089d

pavel
09-23-2011, 04:29 PM
For me, the Niterider 150 is perfect for city riding.

John M
09-23-2011, 04:44 PM
This is not from my bike but I have a nearly identical set up: Schmidt dynohub with a Lumotec IQ cyo light and the ATOC light beam mount (the pic is an Edelux light).

Works quite well and the light goes with the wheel meaning I can use it on any bicycle.

fiamme red
09-23-2011, 04:52 PM
This is not from my bike but I have a nearly identical set up: Schmidt dynohub with a Lumotec IQ cyo light and the ATOC light beam mount (the pic is an Edelux light).

Works quite well and the light goes with the wheel meaning I can use it on any bicycle.My set-up, exactly. Ideally, I prefer the light to be placed a little higher (like on a fork crown mount), but this way, it's very easy to switch between bikes.

BillG
09-24-2011, 08:16 AM
My set-up, exactly. Ideally, I prefer the light to be placed a little higher (like on a fork crown mount), but this way, it's very easy to switch between bikes.

I have an Edelux -- which I like. The Supernova E3 is much, much brighter. Crazy night trail riding bright.

CNY rider
09-24-2011, 08:51 AM
Some cool new DiNotte lights out this fall.

I think the XML3 is headed my way.

19wisconsin64
09-24-2011, 09:22 AM
Lezyne, a great specialist manufacturer of bicycle parts, has just introduced a product line of three head lights.

They are more expensive than the smaller ones, but much brighter.

http://www.lezyne.com/

I've always gotten by with $30 headlights in the past, but due to the high level of accidents in my fair city (nyc), i'll be ordering the "Super Drive" model from my local bike shop this weekend. For $130 i'll be a little safer.

There we a couple of posts about not blinding motorists and fellow riders....yes, this is important...so while riding on paths and in parks i'll be using the lower output setting...or in group rides at night.

saab2000
09-24-2011, 11:52 AM
Bite the bullet, get a Dynohub and a Supernova E3. The thing is incredibly bright with the best illumination pattern I've found. I giggle every time I use it in awe of just how bright it is and I don't have to worry about a battery pack.

This.

BillG
09-24-2011, 11:57 AM
This.

Crazy, huh! LED technology has come a long way!

saab2000
09-24-2011, 12:19 PM
Do a search here for my Redline. Perfect winter/night bike. I've got the Supernova E3 Pro or whatever their top light is. Hard to imagine needing more. But more would be even better! :D

gdw
09-24-2011, 01:10 PM
Does anyone else build their own lights? LEDs and optics are really inexpensive.
XLM - $10-12 1000lm
XPG - $7-8 400lm
Optics run from $1.50 on up.
Good drivers cost from $2-40.
It's pretty easy to assemble a light customized for your local riding conditions which will perform as well or better than the models from the mainstream manufacturers.

evo111@comcast.net
09-24-2011, 01:35 PM
I love this forum - great info :hello:

here's a link to a shop that has some nice lights and descriptions of the lights

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/lightingsystems.htm

rice rocket
09-24-2011, 07:26 PM
Does anyone else build their own lights? LEDs and optics are really inexpensive.
XLM - $10-12 1000lm
XPG - $7-8 400lm
Optics run from $1.50 on up.
Good drivers cost from $2-40.
It's pretty easy to assemble a light customized for your local riding conditions which will perform as well or better than the models from the mainstream manufacturers.

I've designed a bunch of lights, just haven't sent out the part for CNC.

The XM-Ls are a game changer in terms of efficiency, but you have to be aware of temperatures and thermal capacity. The XM-L can be driven up to 3A for ~1000 lumens, but it's actually more efficient to keep it ~1A iirc. Less heat, longer life.

Lupine makes the Betty X Pro with 7 XM-Ls, but only rate it at 2600 lumens. They say it's ~26 watt on high, which is 3.7 watt/emitter, or ~1A nominal.

dekindy
09-25-2011, 11:49 AM
I love this forum - great info :hello:

here's a link to a shop that has some nice lights and descriptions of the lights

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/lightingsystems.htm

The Hella HL 2000R looks very interesting. On another Peter White webpage there are also beam shots and an assurance that it is appropriate even for fast night riders. I like the sophistication of the beam and the low cost rechargeable AA batteries. European option that I had not seen before even though I have viewed Peter White, thanks.

d.vader123
09-25-2011, 08:20 PM
I have an Edelux -- which I like. The Supernova E3 is much, much brighter. Crazy night trail riding bright.I'm planning to have a bike set up with an Son hub and edelux light. However, it would be interesting to have a supernova e3 battery version as well. Where can I find one of those other than at their online store or from peter white?

Do they sell them at a retail lbs?

DfCas
09-25-2011, 08:22 PM
Last year Magicshine was the rage. Amazing what a few fires will do...

BillG
09-25-2011, 08:42 PM
I'm planning to have a bike set up with an Son hub and edelux light. However, it would be interesting to have a supernova e3 battery version as well. Where can I find one of those other than at their online store or from peter white?

Do they sell them at a retail lbs?

My Supernova E3 runs off my SON hub. I wasn't aware that they had a battery version. I Have the three LED version which Peter White refused to sell (although he may sell it now). I got it either from PBK or St John Cycle in the UK http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/ (they are great).


http://www.blayleys.com/articles/lights/index.htm

dhoff
09-25-2011, 10:06 PM
Bite the bullet, get a Dynohub and a Supernova E3. The thing is incredibly bright with the best illumination pattern I've found. I giggle every time I use it in awe of just how bright it is and I don't have to worry about a battery pack.

+1

I add to this a light in motion rear light as I have found nothing that comes close (other than the Dinotte at much more money) in brightness and ease of use.

-d

JD Smith
09-25-2011, 10:21 PM
It's time for me to buy another light for fall riding.

My main commuter has a gen hub with lights, and I wear my DiNotte on my helmet. So I'm good there, until they salt the roads, when that bike goes to the basement for holiday.

I have one of those older L&M lights with the giant proprietary battery back but it's getting on in years and has trouble running for 45 minutes now after a charge.

What I would like is a light to clip to my bars. I will still be wearing the Dinotte 200 on my head.
I would prefer AA batteries because I'm fed up with throwing things away when the proprietary batteries give out.
Is the DiNotte still the best out there? Should I just get another one? Anyone using the 1 watt Planet Bike? Those look interesting and cost a whole lot less.
Thanks.
Getting something new and different is always a temptation, but why not reward the American made Dinotte company by getting another one and sticking with what works. You get to use the AA batteries and you get a mount that won't crack.

saab2000
09-25-2011, 10:33 PM
My Supernova E3 runs off my SON hub. I wasn't aware that they had a battery version. I Have the three LED version which Peter White refused to sell (although he may sell it now). I got it either from PBK or St John Cycle in the UK http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/ (they are great).


http://www.blayleys.com/articles/lights/index.htm

I got my E3 Triple or whatever it's called from Harris Cyclery.

Very bright light, no worries. I'll use it this week, that's for sure.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a 'lightweight' road wheel built up and getting another one with the handlebar mount for regular road bike riding at dusk and night for use with my Look or Serotta.

Here's my Redline, again. Most have seen it, but for those who haven't, the light is great. Pointed slightly downward (it looks like more than it really is) it illuminates what I need to see and it is hidden from view by the stem while riding. It's literally like you don't know it's there until you need it. And the drag is essentially inconsequential. I certainly can't feel it in hub while riding.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6076/6063513796_53dda87b30_b.jpg

CNY rider
09-26-2011, 08:10 AM
Getting something new and different is always a temptation, but why not reward the American made Dinotte company by getting another one and sticking with what works. You get to use the AA batteries and you get a mount that won't crack.

I like sticking with a winner.
Ordered the new XLM 3 which does use the rechargable Li battery. I can live with it. Should be coming this week.
Can't justify a dyno hub. I ride in dirty slush, salty nasty stuff that corrodes everything. Need to keep things simple and up out of the filth.

saab2000
09-26-2011, 08:42 AM
I like sticking with a winner.
Ordered the new XLM 3 which does use the rechargable Li battery. I can live with it. Should be coming this week.
Can't justify a dyno hub. I ride in dirty slush, salty nasty stuff that corrodes everything. Need to keep things simple and up out of the filth.

There is no bad choice there, but keep in mind that the dynamo hubs are in fact designed with crappy weather in mind. The Schmidt hub is German made and there are all kinds of stories of them going years with virtually no service at all. They are made for commuting on wet, German roads day in and day out. For years. My Shimano hub has a high quality feel and I've ridden it in all kinds of crappy weather with zero concern. They are well sealed.

I'm not saying you should for sure do it, but being free of battery life concerns is so nice. I've never heard of someone who went with a dynamo hub who regretted the decision.

microdraft
10-04-2011, 10:46 AM
I just picked up the knog boomer rechargeable's to replace a rear light that was swiped the one time I left it on my bike and a front knog that gave out after 2 years of (ab)use.

The boomer rechargables are awesome! Perfectly bright for city riding. At 50-55 lumens in the front I can see the light reflecting off of street signs nearly 2 blocks away!

But what I really love is that they charge through a USB drive! So I can charge it on my laptop while I get work done or surf the forums. Only problem is my MacBook is a bit older and the USB ports are too close together so I can only charge one at a time, but they also charge in the iPhone/iPod wall chargers.

But at about $40 each I'd strongly recommend them as an easily removable commuter light!

mvrider
10-04-2011, 11:52 AM
The new Lezyne lights look intriguing. They use non-proprietary rechargeable Li-ion batteries, and are self-contained. The brightest of the 3 puts out 450 lumens.

http://lezyne.com/led-lights-category

I haven't seen one in the flesh, but saw reports about them from Interbike.

When I was commuting, I used a Dinotte 200L-AA on the handlebar, and a Costco-bought Eveready 1-AA headlamp on my helmet. The latter was very light, put out ~65 lumens, and was good for flashing drivers who looked inattentive. I used two Planetbike Superflash tail lights: one on my rear rack, and one hanging from the Roc Loc strap on my helmet. Reflectorized tires and stickers rounded out the package.

fiamme red
10-04-2011, 02:47 PM
Those new Lezyne lights look sharp. Quite reasonable prices too, if they're engineered as well as my Lezyne floor pump.

microdraft
10-04-2011, 03:44 PM
here's a link to the rechargeableknog boomers (http://www.knog.com.au/gear-lights/boomer-rechargeable.phps) for anyone whos interested.

Mike126
10-04-2011, 04:47 PM
I have a Cygolight Pace 350 that I picked up from Performance for around $100 in the summer. It does a great job for me cruising at 20mph in the predawn hours (6:00 a.m. with sunrise at 7). It is pretty compact and holds a decent charge. I've been pleased with the high beam and the flashing option for the end of my ride after sunrise. On the back I have a Mars 3.0 on my helmet (flashing) and a Mars 4.0 on the seat post (steady light). Being seen in the morning for me is VERY important. There are too many distracted commuters and I ride fairly quiet roads for DC standards (McArthur Blvd for the locals).

onekgguy
10-04-2011, 10:30 PM
Yaaawwwwnnn....

Here you go! (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolights/revolights-join-the-revolution)

Kevin g

avalonracing
10-04-2011, 11:14 PM
Yaaawwwwnnn....

Here you go! (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolights/revolights-join-the-revolution)

Kevin g

This got over $200K in Kickstarter funds? For a product that will cost over $200 that really doesn't something that can be done for about $20? Oh well.

swPArider
10-07-2011, 11:49 AM
Finished my second ride last night with a NiteRider 600.
Anyone looking for a self contained unit, this is the way to go.

Pros:
Great for road riding, illuminates any potholes and large debris easily while going at 30mph.
CHEAP!
Light quality is very good (total opinion).
Quality Panasonic batteries, not some knock-off.

Cons:
May not be good for trail riding (lacking in spread, good helmet light?) or city riding (the lights will def blind oncoming traffic).
Claimed low, med, high settings has very little variance in practice. Maybe like 40 lumen difference between each setting. Was hoping for 100/300/600 or something of a sizable difference.

hold the on/off button down for 10 sec, that will activate the walk mode which is the dimmest setting. i think run time on that setting is about 10hrs and it's bright enough for urban riding.

Ozz
10-07-2011, 12:56 PM
i am a big fan of Light & Motion....had one of their HID lights...totally awesome....upgraded to Seca 700 last year ($300+). Also have one of their Stella 200's ($150)

The Seca is great for really lighting up the road....the Stella is probably best as a dusk / dawn light where you want more to be seen, than needing it to see where you are going.

I run a Planet Bike rear light....($35)

achurch
10-19-2011, 08:15 AM
Ship from NZ. Unless someone talks me out of it will order next week and post a report once delivered...

http://www.deptofadventure.com/categories/LED-Cycling-Lights/

Not particularly impressive. Not bad, just not as bright as I hoped (or I feel duped so I am pissed off and not able to actually evaluate impartially--see below).

My impression (based on shipping time, e-mail communication, packaging etc.) is that this is just an e-bay seller who has created some websites to misrepresent who they are. If I was to do-over would go with one of the better known brands. If I trusted I could return them I would. Since I don't (and they work) I will keep them but I would recommend against purchasing from them.

danielpack22@ma
10-19-2011, 09:45 AM
If you want to stay with AA batteries, I've had really good luck with B&M's Ixon IQ. I carry it as a backup to my dynamo system.

JayBay
10-19-2011, 09:49 AM
http://exposurelightsusa.com/

I have the Diablo, mounted on the bars. At 900 lumens on full blast this thing really lights up the road. Not cheap, but very well made. I use it for both off-road rides and the dark mornings on the road.

$270ish with free shipping from Exposure USA.

toaster
10-19-2011, 11:02 AM
These threads on lights become very long and technical. Can someone break it down into price points or many of you go back and edit your post to indicate where your favorite set up falls in price category?

$0 to $50

$50 to $100

$100 to $200

$200 to $300

$300 and up.

arcadian
10-19-2011, 11:20 AM
http://exposurelightsusa.com/

I have the Diablo, mounted on the bars. At 900 lumens on full blast this thing really lights up the road. Not cheap, but very well made. I use it for both off-road rides and the dark mornings on the road.


I have the Diablo as well. I ride at night a good bit and this thing is killer. i ride mountain bikes at night as well. no cords, pretty light, great beam pattern. I usually run it on the medium setting on the road and mtn which gets you 3 hours of burn time. Additional piggy back batteries are available to extend it if needed.

I use the Diablo on the helmet
PDW Radbot on the rear. It is the best triple a rear IMO, but think i want to go with an exposure lights flare
small cateye blinkey on the front.

I feel pretty well lit up. I agree with whoever said you can't spend too much on safety.

I think my optimal set up would be in the $325-350 range.

wooly
10-19-2011, 03:40 PM
I ordered the Diablo with piggyback and bar mount a few days ago. Should be here next Tuesday. I can't wait to try it out. Ordered directly from exposure lights USA with 10% off and free shipping. Still $350ish but considering it's solid reputation, I am hoping that this will last a long long time.

Buzz
10-19-2011, 04:33 PM
These guys:http://www.jetlites.com/complete-systems-a-51/

Nothing but years of successful no failure use from these guys. $200 get you a great system with the type of light that illuminates everything and gets everyone else's attention.

I also have a niterider minewt 300 lumen light I picked up for $89 for a trip to Europe that worked really well. (I swore I would never use another niterider light) but so far, for the size and price it pumps a goodly amount of light out and I think would be a great deal for a commute situation.

But the Jet lite is seemingly indestructible.

jlwdm
10-19-2011, 11:28 PM
I ride a lot at night and primarily use the Niterider 600 (not the cordless) with a monster battery.

I was looking at the Niterider 600 cordless which is a great price and also the Exposure Diablo and Toro MK3s. I saw a Toro MK3 on Ebay last week for $249 shipped - used three times - and could not pass it up. I received it today and set it up on the bike - looks good to me. I like the Diablo also but the run time is much shorter. May have to get a Diablo also though.

Jeff

wooly
10-20-2011, 01:17 AM
I ride a lot at night and primarily use the Niterider 600 (not the cordless) with a monster battery.

I was looking at the Niterider 600 cordless which is a great price and also the Exposure Diablo and Toro MK3s. I saw a Toro MK3 on Ebay last week for $249 shipped - used three times - and could not pass it up. I received it today and set it up on the bike - looks good to me. I like the Diablo also but the run time is much shorter. May have to get a Diablo also though.

Jeff

So you're the one who beat me to the punch! Nice work. That was a good deal.

merlincustom1
10-20-2011, 09:55 AM
These threads on lights become very long and technical. Can someone break it down into price points or many of you go back and edit your post to indicate where your favorite set up falls in price category?

$0 to $50

$50 to $100

$100 to $200

$200 to $300

$300 and up.

You're kidding, right? Do you need someone to wipe your butt as well?

toaster
10-20-2011, 10:15 AM
You're kidding, right? Do you need someone to wipe your butt as well?


No, but thanks for offering!

toaster
10-20-2011, 10:19 AM
Some may not agree, yet for those who listed a dollar amount and those who can appreciate knowing what kind of investment some of these systems require let me just issue a kind Thank You.

:beer:

rice rocket
10-24-2011, 11:32 PM
I just did my first night MTB ride with my setup. I use all Chinese-constructed, CREE XM-L powered lights.

SkyRay 850 - 3xXM-L "4300 lumen" light @ $55
2 x Solarforce L2 host @ $13 each
2 x UltraFire XM-L drop-in (3 mode, 2.5A) @ $16 each

Do I include the price of batteries and a charger?

4 x Panasonic NCR18650A 3100mAh cells @ $15 each
UltraFire WF-139 charger @ $12

The SkyRay is on the bars, the L2s are ziptied to my helmet. Let's just say that this is almost better than riding in the daylight, because there are no shadows. The amount of light I get in incredible. The 4300 lumen estimate is a bit rich, it's probably about half that. The pair of single XM-L lamps is probably around 500 lumens OTF (out the front) each.

I have $185 invested for 3000 lumens, or about 6.1 cents per lumen. The XM-L emitter really is a game changer in price efficiency and output efficiency. Consider that a 1000-lumen capable emitter is ~$6!

Batteries are individually replaceable, which is a plus for me (I can carry a handful of spares if I want and switch them on the fly). The NCR18650As are expensive, but they're the best on the market. You can get lower energy density cells for $2 or $3 each if you want and cut your cost down below $150.

maxn
10-25-2011, 04:39 AM
Here's mine. I built it ~ 2years ago and it's still going strong.
http://maxnanao.com/IMG_4795.jpg
http://maxnanao.com/IMG_4797.jpg
http://maxnanao.com/IMG_4798.jpg
3 MC-Es, K bin: 370-430 advertised lumens at 350 mA. No idea what actual output is, but it is way bright. Just for fun I cranked it up to the max the taskled hipflex driver could deliver and that is just silly bright. It's powered via one of two 14.8V lithium ion packs (one 4400 mAh and a 2200 mAh).