Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets - Compact LED Headlights?
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10-05-09, 12:11 AM
I don't need great output, but I want something brighter than most safety lights...Something compact, water-resistant, and a quick-release with built in strap/clamp (I don't want to leave a clamp on my bike) and good battery life...Any ideas?
10-05-09, 01:17 AM
Don't expect it to light up the road like the higher powered LEDs, but the Planet Bike 1W Blaze does a pretty decent job at letting you be seen and to spot potholes in your path. Also has a nice strobe mode for catching the attention of drivers, but that mode is far less effective at letting you see obstacles. Pretty small and light, runs on a pair of AA cells, and uses a handlebar clamp that comes off without any need for tools. Runtime is 7 hours on full-power constant beam and 20 hours for the strobe mode.
The Knog Toad (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00127R8ZK/ref=asc_df_B00127R8ZK927519?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=googlecom09c9-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B00127R8ZK) puts out just enough light that I was able to see a couple of boulders that were blocking an unlit bike path in Pelham Bay Park. It wraps around your bar, is fairly water resistant, and easy to remove without tools.
10-05-09, 02:27 AM
Other than the design, I wonder what the difference between the Toad and Bullfrog are? They are both 5 LED...
I suspect it's just the shape. I read somewhere that Knog has discontinued the Toad but it's still available in some stores.
10-06-09, 02:53 AM
As of now, looking at the Knog Toad and Blackburn Flea...
Does anyone know if the Blackburn Flea is brighter than the Toad/Bullfrog?
it most definitely is not.
the flea and the knog are NOT lights to see anything with. they do a good job of letting people see you if they're looking. they won't get you noticed by a drunk and they won't light your path.
i suggest a P7 flashlight(not necessarily the magicshine) and battery and charger and mount number 21314. it swivels 360 degrees and has been working great for me so far. don't know how durable it is...
the advantage of a tactical flashlight is that you can take it off the bike and use it easily, and if you get one with an assault crown you can hit people with it.
10-06-09, 06:01 AM
If you can afford it, spend ~$100 and get a light that will do it all.
10-06-09, 07:09 AM
Even with your "limited" budget, I still think you're wasting your money if you buy a bike-specific weak LED.
You can get a 200 lumen mounted LED at BatteryJunction for $28, a lockblock for $6, AA batts+charger for $25, and you will have what I think is the best, lowest cost, and importantly, car-friendly front lighting system that will let you both see and be seen. It's well worth the small investment.
Those little PlanetBike front blinkies are garbage compared to these flashlight beasts. You can ride 15-20mph in pitch black with no problem with this as your sole light.
You can unmount it in a millisecond, and drop the small palm-sized flashlight into your pocket. Nobody will steal the $5 velcro lockblock, which looks cheap on your bike (even though it works great.)
Runtime on max lumens is 1hr, and over double that for medium setting. Changing batts takes seconds - I've done it at a stoplight.
Best part is you can even skip the lockblock and use a rubber band (or inner tube with holes cut in the walls) to mount the LED flashlight on your helmet, and it works superb as a headlamp. I use a flashlight on my heads and one on the bars, and I'm golden.
For more aggressive riding, the Magicshine light everyone's raving about seems to put out 700+ lumens, which is car-blindingly bright, but great off-road or on solitary roads.
THe lights you mention are absolutely useless as a light to see your way. Completely overpriced and underpowered compared to this great setup.
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