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  1. #1
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    waterproof bike light up to ~$80

    Wow I didnt know there were so many options. I have started commuting to work this year and I take the mt vernon trail in alexandria va. I have been using a meritline 3w headlight but its flacky and sometimes the light flickers etc... ( http://www.meritline.com/3-watt-led-...--p-30929.aspx ) not sure the lumens on it. I put sandwhich baggie over it and its done fine in rainstorms, but Im looking to step up. I commute 16 miles a day rain and dark.

    I was looking at the Princeton eos II tec headlamp combo but now Im wondering if thats not bright enough. I was eithier going to get something I can put some Sanyo Enveloops in or I was liking the rechargeable idea, but are any of the recharage under 100 waterproof (enough to ride in rain?) I am also open to flashlight suggestions but how often do you need to charge the batteries daily, that could be a pain with the eneloop charger taking all night.

    Suggestions strongly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    If you stick with AA, consider getting a faster charger. I've had a LaCrosse BC-900 for a while, and picked up a BC-700 to keep at work.

    For under $100, one option is to pick up inexpensive 2xAA flashlights like these: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...-235-II/Detail Stick them to your bars with TwoFish LockBlocks, maybe put one on your helmet with a couple decent rubber bands, and you're still in familiar AA territory. But you'll need to change the cells for fresh ones fairly frequently.

    Another option is to invest in 18650 Lithium-ion cells and a charger, and then you can choose from all sorts of 18650-powered lights. This one's OK, and you could probably get two 16-mile commutes on one cell: http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...4-II-R5/Detail I have the previous version, where "Low" was not as low, and it appears to do about 5 hours on High before it starts to dim noticably.

    If you decide to go 18650, make sure you get protected cells for safety. I use these:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/2600pcb-18650.html

    and this charger:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/wf-139-.html

    Batteryjunction also carries the beefed-up Cycloblock, but the price is pretty beefed-up too:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/twofish-cycloblocks.html



    Oh, and you could also consider a dynamo-powered system. Peter White Cycles has Sanyo dynohubs for $37, and you can get an inexpensive headlight that has a standlight (stays on for a while when you stop) for about $47: http://harriscyclery.net/product/bus...light-3200.htm But you'd also need to get your front wheel rebuilt around the new hub, so that isn't within your stated budget.

  3. #3
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    get your cyclopblock from Twofish direct at the Boomer website

    http://www.boomerdirect.shoppingcart...ge/1719053.htm

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Have an Older Nightrider sport light , 5 D cells battery pack has a O ring sealed cap.
    the power supply plug in the side of the lamp head also has a good seal,

    the same kit is sold as a Diving light, I cannot Imagine how waterproof the poster needs,
    Amateur SCUBA depths is probably adequate.

    recently got a NiMH battery pack, to charge it up without taking the batteries out ,
    and putting the 5 of them in it in an older NiCad rechargeable battery charger.

    maybe the planet bike 2watt LED will be OK , the 1 watt is be seen adaquate
    for a short Rural route I have,
    and Its been OK for an hour combined, I think over the past 2 weeks,
    2AA, NIMH, batteries .
    2 spare alkaline in your pocket as a backup
    is a reasonable thing to do.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-23-10 at 10:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    Great info guys. I just need waterproof enough to ride in the rain. I would hate to get some nice light and ruin it in the 1st downpour.

    I am new to the battery game. I am familiar with the LSD Nimh (sanyo eneloops) batteries but have only used the delivered set and forget charger.

    What should I know about the other style batteries such as the 18650, lithium, lithium ion? Are these all the same thing?

    Links to flashlights and suggestions are appreciated. There are so many lights on dealextremem and shiningbeam im not sure where to start. Im guess the princeton eos II at 70 lumens isnt really bright enough to commute home in the dark?

    Thanks for all my newbie questions!

  6. #6
    Dog Chaser BetweenRides's Avatar
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    Fenix, Eagletac flashlights are IPX-8 Rated Waterproof, which means they can be immersed in water up to 1 meter, not sure about some of the others - if they say water resistant or don't say at all, I would avoid for your purposes.

    Personally, I would not ride with less than around 150 lumens output, depending on conditions (slower riding, urban setting, etc.). Brighter is better, so if you can get a flashlight that offers +200 lumens on high with the option of step down lower settings, that would be ideal. I rode for two seasons with a 180 lumen flashlight, later supplemented with a 150 lumen headlight. Together it was fine and either would suffice in a pinch. Good news is there are numerous flashlights out there in the 180-250 lumens range that run on AA batteries. I would also recommend that you have something as a backup - don't rely on just one light.

    Batteries:
    - AA for ease of use, available anywhere in an emergency.
    - AA rechargeable (Nimh or Lithium) - moderate initial investment, cheaper in the long run. Very good time tested batteries available. You can pick up an Energizer charger with 4 batteries for under $20. I've been using them for years with no issues. And you can use regular AA or AA lithium in a pinch.
    - 18650 - much higher output, more expensive initially, but not too bad in the long run. You need protected batteries, a good charger, watch out for low quality, buy from a reputable source.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    - AA rechargeable (Nimh or Lithium)
    Let me just add that rechargeable AA-sized Lithium-ion cells (named "14500") are 3.7 volts each, so a pair of them would fry a 2AA flashlight that's expecting normal AAs.

    Also, be aware that Li-ion cells pack a huge amount of power for their size. Gram for gram, they're on par with dynamite when fully charged, or so I hear. Make sure to get protected cells, and still be careful. I'd definitely take precautions to keep them away from water or any other potential short-circuit condition.



    Oh, and lithium versus lithium-ion. Lithium-ion is rechargeable, nominally about 3.7 volts.

    Lithium proper, often called "lithium primaries," aren't rechargeable. They have a nominal voltage of about 1.7 volts and are relatively expensive compared to alkaline disposables. Their claims to fame include excellent performance in extreme cold, the ability to maintain their voltage until they're nearly depleted, extremely long shelf life, and lower weight than alkaline or NiMH. The higher nominal voltage compared to NiMH will make some types of lights run brighter.

  8. #8
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    based on that infor I guess Im leaning towards lights that can take AA or AAA Sanyo eneloop (NIMH LSD) batteries. Which lights will give me around 150-200 lumens, waterproof (again enough for rain), have run times over 3 hours?

    I am curious about the 18650 Lithium-ion lights. Is this a quality setup for around ~50 bucks? that meet my requirements? Will I have to worry about over charging or having the lithium batteries explode?

    Light
    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...4-II-R5/Detail

    Batteries
    f you decide to go 18650, make sure you get protected cells for safety. I use these:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/2600pcb-18650.html

    Charger:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/wf-139-.html


    What is the advantage of the 18650 over just getting the LSD Nimh eneloop?
    Last edited by estcstm3; 11-24-10 at 11:35 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by estcstm3 View Post
    based on that infor I guess Im leaning towards lights that can take AA or AAA Sanyo eneloop (NIMH LSD) batteries. Which lights will give me around 150-200 lumens, waterproof (again enough for rain), have run times over 3 hours?

    I am curious about the 18650 Lithium-ion lights. Is this a quality setup for around ~50 bucks? that meet my requirements? Will I have to worry about over charging or having the lithium batteries explode?

    Light
    http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...4-II-R5/Detail

    Batteries
    f you decide to go 18650, make sure you get protected cells for safety. I use these:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/2600pcb-18650.html

    Charger:
    http://www.batteryjunction.com/wf-139-.html


    What is the advantage of the 18650 over just getting the LSD Nimh eneloop?
    The advantage is that the 18650 setup can deliver more light, and do so for much longer. ~250 lumens for >5 hours on 18650, versus ~150 lumens for ~1.5 hours on NiMH AA.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    The advantage is that the 18650 setup can deliver more light, and do so for much longer. ~250 lumens for >5 hours on 18650, versus ~150 lumens for ~1.5 hours on NiMH AA.

    As far as riding in the rain with that light with 18650 batteries is that safe? Since I don't know anything about the batteries are the ones you recommended the best and safest? I really like the 5 hour run time.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by estcstm3 View Post
    As far as riding in the rain with that light with 18650 batteries is that safe? Since I don't know anything about the batteries are the ones you recommended the best and safest? I really like the 5 hour run time.
    Yeah, I don't think I've ever seen an 18650-powered flashlight that wasn't O-ring sealed and capable of keeping rain out. The Tenergy cells are satisfactory, I've been using mine for a couple years now.

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