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Old 08-02-08, 05:48 PM   #1
Mike R.
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Headlight help needed: "Be seen" headlight

I recently bought a Cateye EL410 headlight. The bar mount looks kind of cheesy (the center of gravity of the light is very forward) and I can see the light tipping downwards eventually. I have read reviews after I got the light and people have had that problem a lot.

I am looking for recommendations on a good "be seen" headlight. I am not riding in total darkness.

Cateye offers a "commuter bracket" to replace the rubber band mount and I might try that for $5.00, but thought I would ask for advice here as well.

Thanks...
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Old 08-02-08, 07:50 PM   #2
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Slip a little bit of a rubber band under there for grip, and it should be alright. We had one of those and they're not too heavy, so friction should hold it in place, just needs a little extra help.

Otherwise, I'm quite pleased w/ the Planetbike Beamer5 as a "be seen" light. Compact, runs forever on 2AA's.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:35 PM   #3
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If all you need is to be seen then buy a flasher. You can do either double duty like what you have now or the Cateye HL-EL220, or for more intense flashing the Cateye HL-EL320; or just a flasher like the Cateye TL-LD150.

Front flashers attract attention to you far faster then any dim to be seen headlight.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice.

I found the Planet Bike Blaze 1W and think it will be perfect for what I am looking for.

Link to Blaze 1W


I decided to keep the Cateye EL-410 as a supplemental flasher. It cant hurt.

Thanks again...
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Old 08-03-08, 11:19 AM   #5
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Unless it's a 'see' light, it's not a 'be seen' light. If you drive past anyone with a 1 watt (or less!), you will barely notice them(maybe too late to react...). You can build a bright light, if you're game, but buying one gets pricey. Cheap alternative: there are affordable, bright flashlights you can rig up.

You're pretty much invisible to cars with either or both of those lights. Sorry to be so negative, but I would not get a false sense of security from the lights you mentioned. Legal, maybe; safe, no. You can search this forum for many build ideas or suitable flashlights, if you really want to be seen. 500 lumens or more, IMO...
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Old 08-03-08, 03:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Unless it's a 'see' light, it's not a 'be seen' light. If you drive past anyone with a 1 watt (or less!), you will barely notice them(maybe too late to react...). You can build a bright light, if you're game, but buying one gets pricey. Cheap alternative: there are affordable, bright flashlights you can rig up.

You're pretty much invisible to cars with either or both of those lights. Sorry to be so negative, but I would not get a false sense of security from the lights you mentioned. Legal, maybe; safe, no. You can search this forum for many build ideas or suitable flashlights, if you really want to be seen. 500 lumens or more, IMO...

I disagree with this thought. If the light is bright and flashing your going to be seen because of the flash. While true your not going to see with it but that was not your intention, you wanted to be seen and flashing EVEN WITH a headlight you will be seen faster then just a headlight alone no matter of it's brightness.

Ideally you should have both, a flasher and a headlight bright enough to see with, with wattage output of at least 6 watts. You can get 16 watt halogen rechargeable bicycle lights for under $100 and be more then bright enough to see the street clearly. But again you'll need a flasher because the diameter of bicycle lights or flashlights are much smaller then a cars or motorcycles thus other people don't notice them as readily even if you pay $500 for HID! Why do you think that newer motorcycles now have headlights that flash? for added safety. This is something that the motorcycle industry has discovered and cyclists need to pay heed.

Last edited by freako; 08-03-08 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 08-03-08, 04:34 PM   #7
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I also use a flasher in combination with my main light because it's true-a flasher will attract attention to you faster then just a light alone. I've discovered this about 7 years or so ago that a headlight by itself is almost invisible to all but the most alert of drivers while a flasher is quickly recognized by even the most unalert. Thus if the original poster wants be seen and is not concerned about seeing the road then a flasher is truly the only way to go.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:09 PM   #8
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You might want to check out the offerings by Fenix, or Wolf Eyes. High powered LEDs that can blind people because of their brightness. It is far better to be seen at all costs, than to be carried to the ICU in an ambulance.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:25 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=freako;7196978]I disagree with this thought. If the light is bright and flashing your going to be seen because of the flash.

Ideally you should have both, a flasher and a headlight bright enough to see with, with wattage output of at least 6 watts.
--------------
I have a Cateye, 320, and from 100 yards at night, it is pretty much invisble. Bright + flash = seen, sure, but the lights he mentioned are not bright.

I had that false sense of security from my "1000 Candlepower!!! 175% Brighter!!! than some other not bright light!!!..." Cat Eye. Then I made my own sloppy homebuild light just for fun, and it's about a dozen times brighter. In your car, when you roll by a bike at night on US1 at 55mph, you realize how little protection most bike lights offer. Better than nothing, but not safe. You can't notice them from enough distance to react safely.

The 'Ideally...' part I agree, although 6 watts--depends what you push it through, I guess. I'll stick with the 500 lumen cut-off, subjective but reasonable (to me). I run 600, which I call decent, but I would prefer a bit more.
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Old 08-03-08, 09:09 PM   #10
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I find most 5-LED or 1W blinkers are pretty visible at 100yds when blinking and on a relatively quiet road. Against traffic, you get lost among the more powerful headlights, but that's going to be the case with anything under several hundred lumens. Even downtown I usually have no problem seeing them approximately one block, which should be sufficient buffer at least to keep you from getting cross checked by someone pulling out of a driveway.

If you ride in those kinds of conditions, I'd definitely suggest running both lights together.

If you're riding among much faster moving cars (i.e. 45-55mph vs 20-30mph) then I'd definitely go for a brighter flashlight in the 100+ lumen range to supplement. Good luck!
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