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  1. #1
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    Looking a decent, cheap light

    I know the two don't really go together, but I'm looking at buying a front light on PerformanceBike. I want to keep it under $40 or so and I can't find any reviews on some of the options. I'm looking at:

    ViewPoint Flare 5 LED Headlight
    ViewPoint Lazer LED Headlight
    Planet Bike Super Spot 1 Watt LED Headlight
    Cat Eye HL-EL300 Power Opticube LED Headlight - Euro Edition
    Cat Eye Power Opticube HL-EL500 Headlight
    Cat Eye EL410 Compact Opticube Headlight
    Cat Eye HL-EL510 Power Opticube LED Headlight
    Cat Eye EL120 Sport OptiCube LED Headlight


    I have only a 3 mile commute and its on mostly well lit and heavily travelled roads. Any recommendations? Experience with any of these? I know I listed alot, but I have no idea what I'm looking for and no experience with lights at all. Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    My fav headlight is the Cateye EL-320. I bit dim for trail use,but plenty bright for city use. It also has a blinking function that makes it a really bright blinky. Should be able to find it for $35 or so.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    If you're willing to spend a little more (~$60), go for a Fenix flashlight. It puts out 180 lumens and beats the pants off any of the lights you listed, and begins to rival systems costing hundreds more.

    https://www.fenix-store.com/product_...733bd37dcc71e3

    This place may be cheaper:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2888

    Note that you'll have to devise your own mounting. Twofish lockblocks are pretty popular here. You can also jerry-rig with thick rubber bands.
    Last edited by Sir Bikesalot; 10-10-07 at 12:08 PM.

  4. #4
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    I have the Cateye EL-410 and EL-135 (newer, brighter version of the EL-120, I think), and neither of them is bright enough to see by on a pitch-black road. With both on steady I can ride the unlit MUP at night, but just barely. For city riding either one is fine as a be-seen light. I use both in the city, one steady and one blinking.

  5. #5
    Cycling Skier songfta's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of the Cateye EL-500 and EL-530. Both produce great light that even works in more rural situations (read: no streetlights), are relatively light, and run a long time on standard batteries. The main difference between the 500 and the 530 is that the latter is a little bit brighter, with a better light dispersal. You can get either model for $50-60 (cheaper if you hunt around a bit).
    2008 Pedal Force ZX3
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  6. #6
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    Check this other thread discussing headlights, albeit at a higher pricepoint: Best Headlight Under $100 ?

    Also, check this link which has comparison testing of some of the models you are looking at: http://eddys.com/page.cfm?pageID=493

  7. #7
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    I got a Planet BIke Blaze headlight. ACtually, recommended by one of the folks at PB. I ride a commuter path, 5 miles to work, and didn't want to break the bank. HAs a good, focused beam that lights the way, flashes too. Good choice for an urban light where I have a few sections on dark city paths.

  8. #8
    Senior Member kgatwork's Avatar
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    Check out the Ray-o-Vac headlight. I was quite impressed with its output for its price. I picked one up at Costco for about $16. Runs on 3 AA and included a rear red LED.

    http://www.rayovac.com/flashlight/lux3aahdlt-b.shtml

    Check this thread out:

    $16 Costco Headlamp mounted on my helmet
    Last edited by kgatwork; 10-11-07 at 11:30 AM.

  9. #9
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    I have ownded ViewPoint Flare 5 LED Headlight for over 3 years and like it quite a bit. Steady mode gives off good illumination when travelling 10-15 mph. The main LED is pointed straight ahead, while the 4 surrounding LEDs provide illumination directly ahead and to the sides.

    If I recall correctly, I comparded the Flare 5 and the Lazer and the Flare 5 put out more light and was the better attention-getter in flash mode.
    fuel economy: 5 miles per apple

  10. #10
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    Planet Bike Super Spot 1 Watt LED Headlight
    A 1 watt LED is pretty powerful and bright and more than adequate for lit trails.
    It has 4 AA batteries that really last for 30 hours. It's visible from the sides as well. You can buy and install 2 of them on the handlebar for $50.

    And don't forget about
    Planet Bike Blinky Superflash Tail Light
    http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...0Planet%20Bike

    My general advice: Look only at the lights that have 1 watt LEDs.
    Last edited by Barabaika; 10-12-07 at 11:38 AM.

  11. #11
    Member shuttoj's Avatar
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    CatEye EL-410 has worked well for me, 95% time in flash mode purely to be seen. I ride in similar conditions, well-lit streets but traffic is not so heavy. People have told me they can see me coming from 7-8 blocks away. The EL-410 doesn't do so well on when street lamps are missing/broken. I have another EL-410 I'm going to throw on and run in stready mode when I'm riding unlit MUPs at night. If I rode more on unlit streets, I'd go for an EL-510, Fenix, PB LED, etc etc that people have been recommending on this thread. I think a brighter light would be safer, but my budget doesn't allow for that right now. I may be singing a different tune after the time change tho

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