Because I thought I could
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wash DC Metro
Bikes: November, Trek OCLV, Bianchi Castro Valley commuter
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I like the Dinotte 200L (200 lumen) light. Unfortunately, the current price for the Lithium-ion version exceeds your budget. However, the AA-powered version is available for $119 (no charger or batteries). For helmet use, I'd get the long-cord model
. My light is the older short-cord model, so I zip-tied the battery holder to the back of my helmet. I use mine now mostly as a secondary light (I have a 600L on the handlebars) for commuting, but it's "primary" when I am on my road bike and works well. The various intensity & flashing modes are useful for different needs for visibilty and getting drivers' attention.
You can find a decent AA recharger locally and you might already have one. For batteries, I recommend the high-capacity/low-dishcarge versions, Sanyo Enloops or similar; anything over 2000 mAH capacity will provide decent run times. While the Lithium-Ion version has longer run times, a 2nd set of AA's are cheap. You can use regular AA's in an emergency, so I carry single-use lithiums in a 4-cell holder (from Radio Shack) as a back-up for night/winter commuting.
Check your state laws for what is required for night riding. In Virginia, I need a white headlight and a red reflector, regardless of what else I have.