Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 28
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What is the best/brightest bike light for a reasonable price?

    I am starting to ride at night and from the other threads that I have been reading it seems to me that a light is very very very important when riding at night. I got a cateye light with one LED in it and it seems to be really bright... but not bright enough for me. I gave that one to my sister. I want something super bright but not break the bank buying one. What are the suggestions you guys have?

    Thanks,
    Branman

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    5,434
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by branman
    I am starting to ride at night and from the other threads that I have been reading it seems to me that a light is very very very important when riding at night. I got a cateye light with one LED in it and it seems to be really bright... but not bright enough for me. I gave that one to my sister. I want something super bright but not break the bank buying one. What are the suggestions you guys have?

    Thanks,
    Branman
    If LED lights are not bright enough and HID are too expensive, that pretty much leaves halogen lights. You can decide between 6 through 20 watt and between lead acid (heavy/cheap) and NiMh (light/not cheap). NiteRider. NiteHawk, Cygolite, and others. Take your pick, but it comes down to trading off light wattage (brightness) and run time.

    Basically, get the brightest light that has the required run time for your needs. If you're commuting to work and back, consider a spare charger so you can top off your battery at work. Treat manufacture's run time specs with a grain of salt. I would reduce their estimates by about 25% for safety margin and to provide a little cushion in case you have to stop to fix a flat or go out of your way for some reason.

  3. #3
    Senior Member egonlou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia, pa
    My Bikes
    Specialized Roubeaix Elite
    Posts
    273
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    get the flare 5 from performance.
    Do... re... Egon!!

  4. #4
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My Bikes
    2 many
    Posts
    13,876
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The "light selection guide" thread has a nice chart that gives you an idea of what you need to spend for the run time and how fast you want to ride. Later on down the thread I posted some photos of what you get for a beam from some different lights, I just added some more tonight.

    Pick out something you like and ask for some opinions.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    LED's are bright but I just wanted something brighter. The flare 5 light that was mentioned earlier looks light something I would purchase. I want a light where if I am coming down the road they definitely can see me. Thanks for all the input. I can't seem to find the "light thread" that was also mentioned in the previous post.

    Thanks,
    Branman

  6. #6
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    My Bikes
    several
    Posts
    4,270
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by branman
    I am starting to ride at night and from the other threads that I have been reading it seems to me that a light is very very very important when riding at night. I got a cateye light with one LED in it and it seems to be really bright... but not bright enough for me. I gave that one to my sister. I want something super bright but not break the bank buying one. What are the suggestions you guys have?

    Thanks,
    Branman
    How handy are you? When looking for the best brightness per $$ ratio you can't beat a homebrew hallogen setup. There's heaps of good info around on building something around the commonly available MR16 globe. They are a self contained hallogen globe and good quality reflector unit. Dead easy to power with an SLA battery, and can be safely overpowered by a couple of volts and their lumens/watt ratio actually improves! (greater efficiency).

    My homebrew light system is a single 20Watt narrow beam (yes, you can even choose from a number of different beam angles ) powered with a 7.2Ah SLA. the whole thing came in at under AU$50 (about US$35) knocked it up in about 3 hours, and have put over 5,000 commuting miles on it since I built it about 6 month ago and it has performed with 100% reliability.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get several LED lights. Mounted on the handlebars for distance and to be seen, and low down on the fork for visibility of the road immediately in front of you. They are reasonable weight, good battery life and each light should run out of battery power at different times, so you shouldnt be left with 0 light.

  8. #8
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My Bikes
    2 many
    Posts
    13,876
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by branman
    LED's are bright but I just wanted something brighter. The flare 5 light that was mentioned earlier looks light something I would purchase. I want a light where if I am coming down the road they definitely can see me. Thanks for all the input. I can't seem to find the "light thread" that was also mentioned in the previous post.

    Thanks,
    Branman
    This will take you to that thread.. Light selection guide.

    The chart is a link on some of the posts. My beam photos are near the end of thread at the moment.

  9. #9
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm thinking of the hommade versions more and more, but would like to throw a LED on at least part to keep a longer battery time... anyone have a line on high quaility LED's or know which store bought ones can be over amp'ed???

  10. #10
    Se˝ior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,776
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you want to go DIY, I built a 20W halogen with a sealed lead-acid cell for about $25 last year. I already had a charger, that would have cost me another $20 or so. Plenty of ideas over in the "total geekiness" thread.

    For this year I went to a 14.4v NiMH battery from BatterySpace.com. Halogens really kick if you overvolt them! The battery alone is $60 though. Tons of runtime.

    Also HID is getting cheap. TrailTech HID's are just over $100 for the DIY light. Though much more than the $15 or so for a halogen, HIDs are incredible. Mine is dead and at the manufacturer after only 3 days use; until they get back to me on whether I just got unlucky or what, I'm withholding recommending them, but it's something to think about.

  11. #11
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Just NW of Richardson Bike Mart
    My Bikes
    '05 Trek 1200 / '90 Trek 8000 / '? Falcon Europa
    Posts
    6,114
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    3 Thread(s)
    go to the commuter forum, there is an awesome light comparison there. links to tons of lights, etc.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  12. #12
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    In a state of 5th Dimension, where size has no meaning.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,937
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    branman, which Cateye did you have? I switched to the HL-EL500 last year, shortly after they came on the market. This light puts out 1000 candlepower, and it definitely gets noticed. (Sidenote: Cateye claims a runtime of 30 hours, but I'm not sure on that. I change batteries when the cell voltages fall below 1.3 volts. Batteries DO last quite a while though, so I'm satisfied.)

    The Performance Flare 5 looks like a decent light as well, and I think it's on sale right now.

    Nice things about LED lights: No bulbs to change, lower current draw than lamps. Won't put you in the poor house on battery consumption.


    The HL-EL500 is a suitable light for my type of riding: Road riding, suburban areas, some street lighting. If your area is more rural (darker, less street lighting) or you're doing off-road riding, you'll want something stronger. There's lots of good advice in these forums on lighting.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    290
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think this page is helpful:

    http://eddys.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=493

    I have the EL-500a and use it for urban riding. It's interesting though because I also have this flashlight, and it illuminates better than the EL-500, even though it is smaller and uses just one battery:

    http://www.flashlightreviews.com/reviews/nuwai_q-3.htm

    This says to me that the electronics on inexpensive bike lights could easily be improved at little cost.

  14. #14
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    In a state of 5th Dimension, where size has no meaning.
    My Bikes
    Gunnar Street Dog
    Posts
    1,937
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cool test on the website, thanks.

    Massachusetts law requires that bicycle headlights must emit a plain white beam, visible from a distance of at least 500 hundred feet. (generator systems are OK as well) I'd say all the lights presently on the market meet this requirement.

    Given the headlights on the market today, and the prices at which you can buy one, I can think of no defense for not using one.

    Q: Isn't the performance flare 5 also sold by Nashbar, under another name?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    6,191
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The sun.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  16. #16
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My Bikes
    2 many
    Posts
    13,876
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    The sun.


  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    one good light for biking and puts out a bright beam is the Lumotec when used with a bicycle generator - its the way to go

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    518
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think about a generator now and then. Now that my commuting rig has around 20 lbs of crap I take with me everyday, what's a generator to add? Not much that I will notice.

  19. #19
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
    Posts
    24,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub
    The HL-EL500 is a suitable light for my type of riding: Road riding, suburban areas, some street lighting. If your area is more rural (darker, less street lighting) or you're doing off-road riding, you'll want something stronger. There's lots of good advice in these forums on lighting.
    I have both an EL500 and an EL300 mounted side-by-side on a swing grip. Works well enough for me, even on the pitch-black parkway I ride as part of my commute, but I will probably get or rig up a halogen or HID pretty soon because you never can have enough light (especially during the rut), replacing the EL300 and keeping the EL500, which I can still keep in my handlebar bag for rec rides and such in case I get caught out after dark unexpectedly.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Salsa, Cannondale, Surly.
    Posts
    2,527
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've got a Cygolite Nite Explorer. I use it in combo with a helmet mount HID but it works really well by itself on the 15W beam alone for most situations.

    Here's a good price on one. I got mine for over a hundred bucks.

    http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?Affi...=30&SKU=LT7804

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    6,191
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I have both an EL500 and an EL300 mounted side-by-side on a swing grip. Works well enough for me, even on the pitch-black parkway I ride as part of my commute, but I will probably get or rig up a halogen or HID pretty soon because you never can have enough light (especially during the rut), replacing the EL300 and keeping the EL500, which I can still keep in my handlebar bag for rec rides and such in case I get caught out after dark unexpectedly.
    I wish there was a place we could test different lights. I was thinking of getting an EL-500. I have an EL-300, and a Gen3 from Performance. Palnet bike has a new light out with Xenon bulbs, and it's rated for 3,000/5,000 candleposer. I'm wondering if it reaches out further than any of the other AA battery powered lights.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  22. #22
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    My Bikes
    Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
    Posts
    24,373
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    I wish there was a place we could test different lights. I was thinking of getting an EL-500. I have an EL-300, and a Gen3 from Performance. Palnet bike has a new light out with Xenon bulbs, and it's rated for 3,000/5,000 candleposer. I'm wondering if it reaches out further than any of the other AA battery powered lights.
    I've been considering the Cygolite Hi-Flux and the L&M Vega. The Cygolight claims to put out as much light as a 15w halogen, but white, and a 6 hour run-time.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Se˝ior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
    Posts
    11,776
    Mentioned
    6 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
    Also HID is getting cheap. TrailTech HID's are just over $100 for the DIY light. Though much more than the $15 or so for a halogen, HIDs are incredible. Mine is dead and at the manufacturer after only 3 days use; until they get back to me on whether I just got unlucky or what, I'm withholding recommending them, but it's something to think about.
    Follow-up; I killed the HID by running it on a 14.4v NiMH. That battery puts out 15.8V when fully charged (1.2 volts per cell is only a nominal rating). I still like the light but I would suggest running it on a 12v or 13.2v pack, do NOT run it on a 14.4v pack.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    one of the best generator at a reasonable price that I use for commuting is called a Nexus hub dynamo HB-NX30 and is made by Shimano, I was using it for over one year now on my recumbent with a wheelbase 20" dia rim with out any problems as yet . It powers a Lumotec with a Halogen lamp rated at 3 milliamps and I use a rear vista light on the back. I purchased it at the Peter White cycles Web site last year at a price of $59.00 I don't think this hub is sold in America or anyother web site other than Peter White or Sheldon Brown. but I highly recommend this great generator . the head lamp really lights up the street ahead so you can see at least 40 feet ahead

  25. #25
    Senior Member royalflash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Munich
    My Bikes
    Lemond Alpe d┤Huez, Scott Sub 10, homemade mtb, Radlbauer adler (old city bike), Dahon impulse (folder with 20 inch wheels), haibike eq xduro
    Posts
    1,372
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would recommend the Cateye HL-EL300 - nice and bright with a long battery life (7 or 8 hours) and not too expensive-you need to buy rechargeable batteries for it of course. Fine for normal street use.
    only the dead have seen the end of mass motorized stupidity

    Plato

    (well if he was alive today he would have written it)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •