The days are getting shorter, and I am forced to leave work earlier than I would like in order to be home before the sun goes down. So the question is, what is the optimum lighting solution? When I was a kid, I had one of those dynamos that ran off the side of the tire, and I haven't really had any kind of a light since then.
I went into both an LBS and REI. Both told me that if you want to actually illuminate a path (like I plan to do), you need a better and brighter (and more expensive light). Both had the NiteRider brand - I liked the Solmate with the LED bulbs myself (greater battery life). The question of helmet vs handlebar mounting is one that I have never even contemplated however, so I don't have a good sense. For the most part I will be on either an MUP or on city streets.
In terms of a taillight, some sort of red blinking light - the LBS had the Mars 3, which seemed OK.
Are these products reasonable for commuters, or should I be looking at something else?
Finally a question about riding on an MUP at night. Technically our main MUP (WO&D in Virginia) is closed at night, but apparently they rarely enforce it. I have heard stories about people *without* lights getting pulled over, but what about people *with* lights? Will I get hassled by the police (or anyone else), or am I worrying about nothing? Or should I find an alternate route on city streets (which would actually be considerably shorter)?