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  1. #1
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    Best Halogen System for Night Commute

    Anyone here use a halogen system? Which is the best one to get?

    Jet Lite? Light and Motion? Good weatherproofing, brightness, and run time would be ideal.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Why would you want a halogen over an LED? They are to the point where they are comparable in brightness and cost, with LEDs having better battery life.

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    I have a Light and Motion solo mv. I would not recommend it. Here's why:

    The handle bar holder does not lock in the light at whatever angle you need (down, straight ahead, etc..). It is continually shifting from where I want it due to road vibrations.
    The light bulbs are impossible to get except through L&M's website at a premium cost for the light bulb and shipping.
    Poor life span of the light bulb. The light bulb did not last a season, running at the spec'd 13Watts for less than 50 hours of use.

    I would definitely look elsewhere than L&M. It does not matter how nice and bright a light is, if you can't get replacement bulbs easily, if they don't last, and if the holder keeps going out of adjustment.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Why would you want a halogen over an LED? They are to the point where they are comparable in brightness and cost, with LEDs having better battery life.
    That is not true at all.

    Jet Lite fire off around 600-700 lumens, brighter than some H.I.D.'s.
    Current Cree XR-E, and Seoul's LED generate around 150 lumens per bulb, and this is only situated in a small spot. Minimal and week spill. Halogen is thorough, light about the entire area. Huge difference.

    Even the Cygolite's new TritonX will not compare, at 500 lumens.
    $350 for the Jet Lite Dual and get about 1200 lumens for an hour and around 700 lumens for 2h
    $350 for a spot of 500 lumens for the TritonX.
    $350 for TriNewt (Niterider) 486 lumens, only spot becomes useable

    Even the Trinewt from Niterider only gets you 480 something lumens and at 3 and a half hours. That is

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigaj View Post
    I have a Light and Motion solo mv. I would not recommend it. Here's why:

    The handle bar holder does not lock in the light at whatever angle you need (down, straight ahead, etc..). It is continually shifting from where I want it due to road vibrations.
    The light bulbs are impossible to get except through L&M's website at a premium cost for the light bulb and shipping.
    Poor life span of the light bulb. The light bulb did not last a season, running at the spec'd 13Watts for less than 50 hours of use.

    I would definitely look elsewhere than L&M. It does not matter how nice and bright a light is, if you can't get replacement bulbs easily, if they don't last, and if the holder keeps going out of adjustment.
    Thanks. As it turns out, L&M overvolts their bulbs, thereby shortening the life. Jet Lite makes a much more powerful bulb, that is why it is so much brighter, and more efficient, and lasts for many seasons.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    That is not true at all.

    Jet Lite fire off around 600-700 lumens, brighter than some H.I.D.'s.
    Current Cree XR-E, and Seoul's LED generate around 150 lumens per bulb, and this is only situated in a small spot. Minimal and week spill. Halogen is thorough, light about the entire area. Huge difference.

    Even the Cygolite's new TritonX will not compare, at 500 lumens.
    $350 for the Jet Lite Dual and get about 1200 lumens for an hour and around 700 lumens for 2h
    $350 for a spot of 500 lumens for the TritonX.
    $350 for TriNewt (Niterider) 486 lumens, only spot becomes useable

    Even the Trinewt from Niterider only gets you 480 something lumens and at 3 and a half hours. That is
    Having used halogen for years, and having switched to LED, I can say from personal experience that LED is far superior in both run time and color tone. The color tone of LED compared to halogen makes a huge difference in visibility for the urban commuter.

    As for spot vs flood, for commuting one doesn't need a massive flood. I have found that a spot LED (Cateye Double Shot) provides enough spill to see the complete road with.

    But to each his own, enjoy your halogen.

    EDIT: 400 lumens is plenty for commuting. 1200 for commuting is simply dangerous as you'll blind on coming cars.
    Last edited by Ziemas; 08-12-07 at 02:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Having used halogen for years, and having switched to LED, I can say from personal experience that LED is far superior in both run time and color tone. The color tone of LED compared to halogen makes a huge difference in visibility for the urban commuter.

    As for spot vs flood, for commuting one doesn't need a massive flood. I have found that a spot LED (Cateye Double Shot) provides enough spill to see the complete road with.

    But to each his own, enjoy your halogen.

    EDIT: 400 lumens is plenty for commuting. 1200 for commuting is simply dangerous as you'll blind on coming cars.
    What halogen setup did you have? What company/model? How many Watts was it? Lumens?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Over the last 15 years I've had many, from Cateye, Night Sun, Sigma Sport, and others. They ranged from 10w to 35w.

    Just out of curiosity, what are you currently using that makes you feel you need such a powerful light as the Jet Lites?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Over the last 15 years I've had many, from Cateye, Night Sun, Sigma Sport, and others. They ranged from 10w to 35w.

    Just out of curiosity, what are you currently using that makes you feel you need such a powerful light as the Jet Lites?
    A pair of P3D Rebels Luxeon (Rebel Luxeon, now compared with Q5 Crees), and L2D CE (Fenix).

    Am also considering Light and Motion H.I.D. NiMH version for $350. Basically, will be turning in the Rebels, but keeping the L2D CE for the helmet.

    Will be commuting, and maybe night trails.

    A typical car illuminates with 1600 lumens. 1200 lumens ain't so bad, but it also ain't what I am looking for. Around 675 lumens would be good. Hence, L&M Arc NiMH, or Jet Lites Blast H.I.D.

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    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    Thanks. As it turns out, L&M overvolts their bulbs, thereby shortening the life. Jet Lite makes a much more powerful bulb, that is why it is so much brighter, and more efficient, and lasts for many seasons.
    Where did you find this information about overvolting?

    This is actually good news to me, because I can get a 12 watt bulb from Bulbman.com that fits at a quarter of the cost.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    A pair of P3D Rebels Luxeon (Rebel Luxeon, now compared with Q5 Crees), and L2D CE (Fenix).

    Am also considering Light and Motion H.I.D. NiMH version for $350. Basically, will be turning in the Rebels, but keeping the L2D CE for the helmet.

    Will be commuting, and maybe night trails.

    A typical car illuminates with 1600 lumens. 1200 lumens ain't so bad, but it also ain't what I am looking for. Around 675 lumens would be good. Hence, L&M Arc NiMH, or Jet Lites Blast H.I.D.
    Are you using flashlights, homemade lights, or bicycle specific lights?

  12. #12
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    I've been using a cygo nitro 15W halo. It works well enough, except when it doesn't some times, and battery life is down to about an hour now after 2 winters of use. Several bulbs/winter, which baffles LBS guy. I've gone over to batteryspace.com bulbs. This winter may be the one that drives me to ditch it before it is dead dead dead.

  13. #13
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    But to each his own, enjoy your halogen.

    EDIT: 400 lumens is plenty for commuting. 1200 for commuting is simply dangerous as you'll blind on coming cars.
    Car lights put out far more than 1200 lumen. Why would a bike putting out that much be dangerous? If it gets you seen, all the better. Additionally, in an urban setting, your lights have to compete with all the other ambient light. Why limit yourself to a 'excuse me...over here' light? For urban riding you need a 'Hey, Stupid! Watch were you are going!' light. Often times, blinding the driver is the only way to get noticed.
    Stuart Black
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Car lights put out far more than 1200 lumen. Why would a bike putting out that much be dangerous? If it gets you seen, all the better. Additionally, in an urban setting, your lights have to compete with all the other ambient light. Why limit yourself to a 'excuse me...over here' light? For urban riding you need a 'Hey, Stupid! Watch were you are going!' light. Often times, blinding the driver is the only way to get noticed.
    Because many bicyclist mount their lights with the intention of blinding drivers. Car headlights aren't pointed directly in the face on oncoming drivers.

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    Point of note: The prices shown for the Nite Rider LED's in an above post are not street prices. I use the Nite Rider MiNewt which puts out about 60 lumens (I forget exactly) which can be now had for about $130US. This is a reasonable (maybe marginal) amount of illumination for commuting at slower speeds (15mph) even on dark bike paths but I will probably upgrade to the MiNewt X2 (150 lumens) for $180US when DST ends. There is also the MiNewt X2 Dual (300 lumens, but only 1:45 hours on high) for about $250US. The dual beams allow broader coverage by aiming one near and one far. I may ultimately spring for these.

    These headlights can be made to flash. I have noticed that this is very effective in the daylight hours (or in foggy or rainy conditions) for attracting drivers' attention. Some pedestrians have commented on the high intensity (graphics limitations on this site prevent a detailed illustration of this).

    Anyway, I have been very happy with the MiNewt.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Because many bicyclist mount their lights with the intention of blinding drivers. Car headlights aren't pointed directly in the face on oncoming drivers.
    I would beg to differ. I want my light on the road. Not on a driver's face. Even my helmet light is aimed at the ground 30 to 40 feet in front of me. If the light is aimed at a driver's eyes, it's not doing its job. I can aim my helmet light at a driver's eyes, and I have, but that's only when they are doing something stupid that could get me squished.

    Most cyclists I meet at night are aiming their lights in a similar fashion.
    Stuart Black
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I would beg to differ. I want my light on the road. Not on a driver's face. Even my helmet light is aimed at the ground 30 to 40 feet in front of me. If the light is aimed at a driver's eyes, it's not doing its job. I can aim my helmet light at a driver's eyes, and I have, but that's only when they are doing something stupid that could get me squished.

    Most cyclists I meet at night are aiming their lights in a similar fashion.
    I can honestly say I've never had a problem being noticed with my Cateye Double Shot, or even a 10w halogen for that matter. The idea that you need over 300 lumens to be noticed by cars is a bit far fetched.

  18. #18
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    I can honestly say I've never had a problem being noticed with my Cateye Double Shot, or even a 10w halogen for that matter. The idea that you need over 300 lumens to be noticed by cars is a bit far fetched.
    Sure you can get noticed with a pen light. But why get by with just the minimum? You said that putting out 1200 lumens is dangerous. A 100 W incandescent light bulp puts out 1700 lumens...that's hardly dangerous. A 20W, 12V bare halogen bulb puts out around 300 lumen without a reflector. I have 3 and a 12 W (another 200 lumen). That puts my light output at around 1200 lumen which is less tha a 100 W incandesent bulb. Hardly 'dangerous'.

    I'll admit that mine is overkill but where's the harm? I've tried lights with less output and never found them to be an advantage. I've noticed cyclists with very weak lights out riding at night and, if I weren't a cyclist looking for other night riders, I would have missed them in all the background light. Getting lost in the night time urban environment of street light, stoplights, cross signals, car lights, etc. could cause real harm. My 1200 lumens gets noticed, so again, where's the harm?
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grun View Post
    Thanks. As it turns out, L&M overvolts their bulbs, thereby shortening the life. Jet Lite makes a much more powerful bulb, that is why it is so much brighter, and more efficient, and lasts for many seasons.
    Overvolting shortens the bulb life but, in practice, it's not that big an issue. I've been over over-volting MR11s for years...either at 7.2V or 14.4V. I've only replaced one because of burn out. BatterySpace sells them for around $3 and they are of close to the same quality as OEM.

    That said, I've read lots of raves about Jet Lites. Never seen one, however.

    My systems are cobbled together from various stuff. Mostly around Niterider heads similar to the Trailrat.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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  20. #20
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    thanks cycco

    my sentiments exactly

    400lumens is not very bright especially when competing against ambient light

    motorists are more likely to avoid you and yield if you appear a road hazard
    it is one thing to notice you



    but another to notice you and worry that they may suffer injury, or damage to their vehicle

    i don't want this to be an us and them type of thing, since I am a motorist myself

    often times i focus with a ranking system when making turns and driving, mind you this system takes a split second, but will usually be: (since i usually have family in the car)





    1) immediate hazards to me (includes family, secondary is vehicle)
    2) immediate hazards to others

  21. #21
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Sure you can get noticed with a pen light. But why get by with just the minimum? You said that putting out 1200 lumens is dangerous. A 100 W incandescent light bulp puts out 1700 lumens...that's hardly dangerous. A 20W, 12V bare halogen bulb puts out around 300 lumen without a reflector. I have 3 and a 12 W (another 200 lumen). That puts my light output at around 1200 lumen which is less tha a 100 W incandesent bulb. Hardly 'dangerous'.

    I'll admit that mine is overkill but where's the harm? I've tried lights with less output and never found them to be an advantage. I've noticed cyclists with very weak lights out riding at night and, if I weren't a cyclist looking for other night riders, I would have missed them in all the background light. Getting lost in the night time urban environment of street light, stoplights, cross signals, car lights, etc. could cause real harm. My 1200 lumens gets noticed, so again, where's the harm?
    The only harm can be if drivers are blinded. What my point is is that one doesn't need such powerful lights to commute. Many people new to commuting read the archived threads on this message board looking for information; a thread suggesting $350 lights for a commuter has the potential to turn people off of commuting.

  22. #22
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    The only harm can be if drivers are blinded. What my point is is that one doesn't need such powerful lights to commute. Many people new to commuting read the archived threads on this message board looking for information; a thread suggesting $350 lights for a commuter has the potential to turn people off of commuting.
    I've already said that my lights are aimed so that I can see the ground. Most cyclists I've seen riding at night do the same. There's no sense in carrying a light so that it shoots off into the sky and does no good. Additionally, cars put out far more light then I can on my bike so I doubt that I could 'blind' anyone anyway, unless I intentionally aim my helmet light at them. Then I'm trying to blind them for my own safety. I don't care about them at that point.

    I have not suggested $350 for lights. The prices I've seen on the Double shot (around $200) are far closer to that then lights I suggest. When I suggest lights I almost always suggest halogen since those have the best bang for the buck. A Niterider TrailRat (10W with around a 2 hr run time) goes for about $100. For what you paid for the Double shot, you could have 2 lights (one bike and one helmet) and far more flexibility as well as output (replace the 10W bulbs with 15W pretty cheaply). With a Cygo system, I might even be able to get 3 lights out of it. If I were building the system myself (using Niterider Sports), I could put together a 3 or possibly 4 light system that would run 2.5 to 3 hours per light with charger, lamps and batteries. That won't match the run time of an LED but that's long enough for most people's needs. Used conservatively, for example turning off 2 or 3 of the 4 heads when not needed, I could easily get 9 to 12 hours out of the system. I've done that in the past when I did a half century at night. And, I'll guarantee that they will exceed the LED output for that kind of cash.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I've already said that my lights are aimed so that I can see the ground. Most cyclists I've seen riding at night do the same. There's no sense in carrying a light so that it shoots off into the sky and does no good. Additionally, cars put out far more light then I can on my bike so I doubt that I could 'blind' anyone anyway, unless I intentionally aim my helmet light at them. Then I'm trying to blind them for my own safety. I don't care about them at that point.

    I have not suggested $350 for lights. The prices I've seen on the Double shot (around $200) are far closer to that then lights I suggest. When I suggest lights I almost always suggest halogen since those have the best bang for the buck. A Niterider TrailRat (10W with around a 2 hr run time) goes for about $100. For what you paid for the Double shot, you could have 2 lights (one bike and one helmet) and far more flexibility as well as output (replace the 10W bulbs with 15W pretty cheaply). With a Cygo system, I might even be able to get 3 lights out of it. If I were building the system myself (using Niterider Sports), I could put together a 3 or possibly 4 light system that would run 2.5 to 3 hours per light with charger, lamps and batteries. That won't match the run time of an LED but that's long enough for most people's needs. Used conservatively, for example turning off 2 or 3 of the 4 heads when not needed, I could easily get 9 to 12 hours out of the system. I've done that in the past when I did a half century at night. And, I'll guarantee that they will exceed the LED output for that kind of cash.
    Post #4 suggests the expensive lights.

    As for my Double Shot, I paid about $175 for it, and it has a 5.5 hour runtime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Post #4 suggests the expensive lights.
    Yeah, those are pretty sweet!

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    Hey Grun, any update on which light you decided to go with?

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