Rear lights: Vistalite Total Eclipse vs. Viewpoint Flashpoint
I recently picked up a couple new rear lights: a Vistalite Total Eclipse (7 LEDs) and a Viewpoint Flashpoint from Performance (9 LEDs). I turned them on side-by-side and was amazed at the difference.
I am dogmatic about being highly visible on my bike at night. One reason my commuter bike has a Niterider system is the 19 LED Niterider rear light. But I sometimes don't want to lug my Niterider battery around, like on brevets. So after studying all the lights available at a couple LBSs last year I settled on a pair of Vistalite Total Eclipse lights for my brevet bike. In addition to being pretty bright, the I like that I can mount the Vistalites to my chain stays.
But I saw a Performance Viewpoint Flashpoint on another commuter bike and got one to compare.
The Viewpoint is several TIMES brighter than the Vistalite. It has an amazingly large spot size. The Viewpoint is a more traditional configuration and doesn't have the mounting options that the Vistalite does, but it is amazingly bright. The Viewpoint also has a built-in CPSC reflector, which is a good thing for complying with some brevet rules. The Viewpoint case conveniently opens with a coin while the Vistalite inconveniently requires a small Philips screw driver.
I wanted to take a photo for comparison, but I don't have my camera here. I may take a photo as a follow-up.
How is "side" visibility? Say in comparison to the new (10 Led) Cateye TL-LD1000
Dog is my co-pilot
So, now you have the two Eclipse lights left over as I did. Mount each one facing straight sideways or 90 degrees to the direction of travel, for better side visibility at intersections.
ALSO !! Try some Lithium batteries in that performance light, it will be even brighter. And the Eclipse lights.
Don't look at the light again with the remaining good eye.....
Viewpoint doesn't have the side lighting that the Cateye LD1000 does. But in my opinion, I think that lighting angle is relatively unimportant. The side lighting that matters is for cars that are entering from cross streets as you approach the cross street. Side lighting in the rear would not be visible to a crossing car until you were in front of it. (Your legs would mostly block the view of the cross lights behind you.) I want to know that a car on a cross street sees me before I cross in front, so I prefer wide angle front lighting. I think side lighting in back is closing the barn door after the car has run into you.
Originally Posted by Jim-in-Kirkland
Dog is my co-pilot
I have to agree exactly with your point. The wide angle front is much more important. But if it's available and easy to get,(red, side tail lighting) it may be of some benefit at some time so why not have it anyway. Just don't focus on this over the more important lighting and visibility concerns.
Originally Posted by PdxMark
Last edited by 2manybikes; 02-14-05 at 06:08 PM.