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Old 10-10-07, 09:02 AM   #1
rankin116
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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!
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Old 10-10-07, 10:49 AM   #2
dynaryder
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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.
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Old 10-10-07, 10:56 AM   #3
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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 11:08 AM.
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Old 10-10-07, 11:37 AM   #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.
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Old 10-10-07, 11:39 AM   #5
songfta
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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).
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Old 10-10-07, 02:07 PM   #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
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Old 10-11-07, 07:32 AM   #7
Sigurdd50
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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.
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Old 10-11-07, 10:24 AM   #8
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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 10:30 AM.
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Old 10-11-07, 11:25 AM   #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.
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Old 10-11-07, 12:42 PM   #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 10:38 AM.
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Old 10-12-07, 09:38 AM   #11
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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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