A great, simple light is the Taz1200 or Taz800 from Lights and Motion. Self contained and very bright.
I got some lights a few months back. I can't remember the names now. Seems like a Urban 550 maybe on the front and a red 60 lumen blinky one on the back. Works well. It's been too cold to ride in the dark for me lately, so they haven't had much use.
Not the deal I was hoping it would be. Oh well. I have one of these and love it. Hoping it would be a screaming deal and others could get one for $12 or something.
I have the Urban 550 Light & Motion. Have been using it commuting to and from work at 5am and 8pm, and am really happy with it
Lights that are very bright need optics to point the light down at the road and not blind oncoming traffic. The German manufacturers such as Busch and Mueller excel at this.
Someone mentioned a 800 lumens light. That's too bright to be used on the street without optics to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.
I've had oncoming cars flash their brights at me to turn down my lights using a 200 lumens Dinotte on medium, can't imagine 800 on high.
I have this one and now it's an even better deal than when I bought it about 2 months ago. Free shipping with amazon prime.
I've got one and it's great for the price :)... I'll pick up another come next spring or so when the heat starts pushing me to night riding again.
I'm going to wait and see how these turn out and if Version 2.0 includes a stand-light function (rumoured).
I bought a cheap $30 2 led light off ebay. http://www.ebay.ca/itm/130978319166?...84.m1497.l2649
on the low setting it lasts for over 3.5 hours and produces more than enough light.
I wrap Velcro on my extender http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-6000100...s=bar+extender and put a bit on the light's mount - stays put under severe shock and vibration.
I have had a battery fail due to vibration, and power that light with six NiMH AA cells wired in series. The AA cells need to be recharged more than twice as often as the original Li-Ion. The NiMH cells last about 5 hours, the Li-Ion about 12 hours.
For taillights, I use two Blinkey 5s or one 3 and one 7 on my bikes.
You don't have to spend a fortune on the more expensive lights these days to get a decent front light for lighting up MUPs and road hazards.
You can get these: http://www.amazon.com/UltraFire-WF50...48K6IUltraFire (Ultrafire Cree WF502B XM-L T6 flashlight) with a charger and two batteries for about $16 delivered from Ebay. Add a two dollar flashlight holder to your handlebars and voila, not only do you have a light for illuminating the road and being seen (it's quite bright), but you also have a flashlight and it can be quickly and easily dismounted, so you don't have to worry about it being stolen. I'm using one of these as my main road illuminator and threads like this one are common in the commuting sub-forum where many people recommend this light. I think it is actually too bright to use as a flashing light, even during the day, but it does just fine at lighting up the road and is so bright I'm sure it helps with being seen. There are several sellers offering it with its own charger and batteries so you're all set.
FWIW, I also have a blinking light (Cateye Reflex TL-LD560-F) facing forward, and a bright light (Planet Bike Blaze) on top of my helmet facing forward. For the rear, I have a Mars 4.0, a PDW Fenderbot, and then a Planet Bike 3-H on the back of my helmet. Other than substituting a Spannigo Pixeo for my fender mounted tail light, I'm very happy with this set up for commuting in the dark and day light visibility. I mounted a Pixeo on my girlfriends main bike and it has better visibility, especially from the side, than my Fenderbot.
I use two lights, Niterider 250 and 650. I have one on the helmet and one on the handlebars. the one on the handlebars lets me see whats in front of me and the helmet light to light up where I am looking.
The problem with most bike lights on the market is that their beams are symmetrical. They throw a lot of light up into the air, instead of concentrating it on the road surface. And if you point them down so as not to blind oncoming traffic, you end up concentrating the light in a spot fairly close to the front wheel.
There are exceptions, though: the Phillips Safelight and the Busch & Müller Ixon IQ are two. Those are battery-powered lights with asymmetrical beams, like automobile low beams, that focus light on the road, and that throw more light on the parts that are further away, resulting in even illumination. You can get them both for a decent price ($50-60) right now: the Phillips is being discounted on Amazon, and because B&M has introduced an improved version of the Ixon IQ, the original version is being discounted.
I use a Fenix bike flashlight mount AF02 and a Coleman 155 lumen compact flashlight with a Cree LED. It's kind of a utilitarian arrangement but it uses standard AAA batteries and with NiMH rechargeables I get about 3 hours run time on the high setting and probably twice that on low. There is plenty of light for general road and trail riding with a decent width and quality of beam. Another advantage is that it takes just a couple of twists to release the flashlight from the mount for use handheld for road side repairs, etc. I've used the light on plenty of rough roads and in the rain and it hasn't failed yet. It wouldn't take much to come up with a helmet mount for a small flashlight like this either.
I do most of my "fitness" riding at night, and I've been using the cheap Amazon Cree MS knockoffs for a year and a half. I have 4 of them.
For the most part, they work well. I've had no issues with the lights themselves. I am sure that the advertised lumens are pure nonsense, but they are all bright enough to light up pitch black roads/MUPs. I typically run them on the lowest setting on lit streets and wide open on the unlit streets and MUPs.
I've got an 1800 lmn and several 1200 lmn. The 1800 is no brighter than the 1200s, so as others have said, ignore the advertised lmns.
I swapped all my mounts for the Marwi style and they are a huge upgrade from the rubber band mounts they are supplied with.
The biggest issues have been with the batteries, particularly the connectors. I have 6 batteries and 2 will not charge at all with any of the 4 chargers I have. They are also not all interchangeable, which is only an issue if you have several from different sources like I do. I ended up marking them with colored tape to more easily discern which lights work with which batteries etc. I plan to mod the lights/batteries with polarized RC car battery connectors to make them all the same and more reliable.
Battery life on the knockoffs is in excess of 2 hours on a full charge and more if you use lower settings. My night rides often exceed 2 hours and I've never had one go dead on me.
My wife got me a real MS MJ872 (1600 lmn) and that's a really nice light, but the beam is no brighter than the cheapo knockoffs, IME. The battery is huge though!