I am going to commute by bike all this fall and winter. I missed most of the
spring and summer prime daylight hours due to nagging injury and FEAR. I was hit by a truck in April, and first my leg and knee hurt, then my psyche was screwed up. Shaking with fear does not make for a fun commute. I've done the ride enough times that I believe I've gotten past my issues, and now I think I'm
ready to hit it full time again.
I live in Florida, so in the middle of winter it gets dark really early. My commute is an hour each way, so I've got 30 minutes in darkness in the morning and evening. Last year I did the ride with a DiNotte 5W Ultralight and a couple of Planet Bike Superflash blinkies. It was an excellent setup, but battery life with the 5W on high was close to tapped with each leg. Nashbar was running a sale on the new DiNotte 600L in their last catalog AND a 15% off coupon, so I managed to lock one in for $320 shipped. It's on backorder, unfortunately. I contacted DiNotte to see if they could price match on one in stock. They couldn't, but Rob at DiNotte made me an excellent deal on a taillight and offered to trade me a new 200L(200 lumens 5W) for my old 5W headlight. So, my setup will be:
600L on bars
200L on helmet
Superflash on helmet blinkie strap
DiNotte taillight on seatpost
Superflash on seatbag
LED reflective vest
Road ID reflective ankle strap
Reflective tape on fenders and crankarms
I'm not sure about the helmet light. I've never used one, and my commute is
100% pavement. I think it will be useful for getting the attention of
drivers, and more light won't hurt.
Is this overkill? :-) My commute is semi-rural, and I have LONG stretches
with no street lighting whatsoever.