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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 05-03-12, 11:26 AM   #1
pkulak
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Best AA Commuter Headlight?

Seems like the Planet Bike 2W is the way to go here, but that's pretty old now, and with LED tech progressing so quickly, I wanted to see if there was anything I'm missing. I've used li-ion battery pack lights before, but the self discharge rates are terrible. Leave it in your bag for 3 days and you're riding home in the dark. And I don't _really_ need 600 lumens just to ride on lighted streets (though that kind of light is fun, haha). I guess the 3v limit of two AA batteries is what's keeping these lights from really being bright, since 4400+ milliamp hours from 2 AA batteries is more than enough power to pump out huge amounts of light (and a higher capacity than many rechargeable lights). Anyway, thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 05-03-12, 11:52 AM   #2
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I would recommend looking at some of the AA flashlights. With rechargeable batteries, some of the AA flashlights put out a lot of lumens with good run times, and prices are reasonable. Check the Electronics forum here for more recommendations on specific lights. I've got a Fenix LD20 that I have used for the past 5 years and it's been great, but there are probably brighter lights available now for less money.
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Old 05-03-12, 12:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I would recommend looking at some of the AA flashlights. With rechargeable batteries, some of the AA flashlights put out a lot of lumens with good run times, and prices are reasonable. Check the Electronics forum here for more recommendations on specific lights. I've got a Fenix LD20 that I have used for the past 5 years and it's been great, but there are probably brighter lights available now for less money.
Ah yes. I should have just checked the electronics forum. Lot's a great info in there. Thanks!
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Old 05-03-12, 04:55 PM   #4
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Arguably the best AA powered light available on the market today is the Philips SafeRide. Run it either with 4xAA or hook up to a dyno. Limited model selection in the States, but more can be had from EU sources.
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Old 05-03-12, 05:00 PM   #5
ben4345
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I use a zebraliight for my commuter.may be be the best for a bicycle light or the cheapest.
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Old 05-03-12, 06:38 PM   #6
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I use a Dinotte 200L. 200 lumens, 4 AA batteries, tiny footprint(the light head is the size of a C cell battery). Burn time is not great. On high the burn time is 3 hrs. There are three settings, and low is pretty bright.

http://store.dinottelighting.com/din...dlight-p2.aspx
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Old 05-03-12, 07:47 PM   #7
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I found myself wanting more than the Planet Bike 2W for night commuting, but I really like the superflash mode during the day. On a sunny day at noon it washes out, but a lot of the time it is very visible during the day.
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Old 05-04-12, 11:06 AM   #8
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I recently received my Fenix LD22 flashlight. 2 AAs. 190 lumens. 2 hour runtime (On Sanyo Eneloop NiMH batteries). It's not a major step up on the LD20. Very slightly brighter and a tiny bit more efficient. I really like it. I also like that I have 8 rechargeable AAs and as such can run for 8 hours before needing to look for an outlet to recharge. I'm really happy with it. I use it in conjunction with a 3xAAA light from Costco. 3 of them for 18 bucks (Unbelievable value). They claim 150 lumens and are probably under-rated. They are about as bright as the LD22. Only run for about 40 min on high with 3 AAAs though. That's why I added the Fenix to my setup.
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Old 05-04-12, 01:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pkulak View Post
Seems like the Planet Bike 2W is the way to go here, but that's pretty old now, and with LED tech progressing so quickly, I wanted to see if there was anything I'm missing. I've used li-ion battery pack lights before, but the self discharge rates are terrible. Leave it in your bag for 3 days and you're riding home in the dark. And I don't _really_ need 600 lumens just to ride on lighted streets (though that kind of light is fun, haha). I guess the 3v limit of two AA batteries is what's keeping these lights from really being bright, since 4400+ milliamp hours from 2 AA batteries is more than enough power to pump out huge amounts of light (and a higher capacity than many rechargeable lights). Anyway, thanks for any suggestions!
4400+ milliamps from two AA batteries? Really? I have a four 1860 whatever li-ion battery pack that is 4400+ ma/h. Do you imagine if one could get that kind of voltage and power from AA that li-ion would have a prayer? Self-discharge? I leave my pack charged for weeks and throw it on the bike without even thinking about it. Awhile back Performance Bike was clearing out those commuter packs made by Ascent which is a 4AAA headlight and 2AAA taillight in a combo pack. I bought a few. The headlight is essentially a Planet Bike 2W. I use it as a super flasher and it runs continuously while I only use the MagicShine in the dark sections or on 1/2 power in the semi-dark areas. Huge amounts of light cannot be obtained from AA and AAA lights. Enough light maybe, but huge is not subjective. A light factory rated at 200lumens is probably half that in the real world. That is not a huge amount of light. It just isn't.

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Old 05-04-12, 01:30 PM   #10
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Do you imagine if one could get that kind of voltage and power from AA that li-ion would have a prayer?
That's exactly my point. AAs have the capacity, you just can't get the voltage out of them (and draw) that you need to power the really bright LEDs.
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