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  1. #1
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Ultimate Lighting System - Part 1 - talk about the lights

    Looking at the "sticky" posts above it is easy to see the range if interest as well as expense one can develop for bicycle lighting. I would like to discuss what each of you think about bicycle lighting in a some what general way.

    For instance - many cyclists buy lights to be "seen" and usually ride in urban areas where they do not depend on there own bike light to navigate the road. Many cyclists use bicycles for fairly short trips and may only require a lighting system that can stay powered for a hour or two.

    At the "other end of the spectrum" some cyclists need lights that provide light for trails and surroundings as well as enough power to display pavement many meters down the road. Some of these same cyclists may ride for long periods and will need enough power so as to consider battery supplies and run times when choosing lights.

    I know many of of you have a great amount experience in these subjects and I'd like to hear what you have to say about the "kinds" of bike lights you might use.

    For this thread - I would submit that there are four major types of bicycle lights.

    1. All purpose bicycle mounted head light.
    2. Medium to high power bicycle mounted flashlight
    3. Head mounted - all purpose flashlight or bicycle light
    4. Tail light

    After using all these types of products I have come to realize they all their good points and many of them can serve two purposes as well.

    Let's each talk about our best bike light - for which type of lighting it is being used - and why you ended up using it that way over other choices. Bonus RC points are awarded for tactless, thoughtful replies filled with sarcasm.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  2. #2
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    I have all of the above!

    One each of the first three:

    - Ebay cheapo supplementary 3 watt "be seen" LED headlight/flasher
    - Cygolite MityCross 320
    - River Rock 135 lumen headlamp

    and 3 taillights mounted on various positions of my bike/body/helmet

    - Performance Viewpoint Flashpoint (comparable to Superflash)
    - Deal Extreme 9 LED with built in reflector (cheap, but very bright and has lasted for years)
    - Deal Extreme 3 LED knockoff of Superflash (probably about half as bright....but only $3.50)

    Obviously, I believe in redundancy.....not only to stand out, but also for backup lighting in case of failure. I once had a motorcycle stop on the highway and yell that he couldn't see me (it was about 4:30am and of course he did see me....but probably not until he was right on top of me as I only had a single cheap blinky).....ever since then I am lit up big time. I get a lot of compliments and so far no ridicule or complaints about being too bright (not that it would dissuade me).

    I commute 26 miles a day on combination of urban streets, 65 mph rural highways (with several hills and a few curves), and bike trails. I ride a Raleigh hybrid that allows for good visibility. I am 48 years old and have a disc problem in my back.....the hybrid geometry allows me to ride comfortably.

    The MityCross is an excellent light..... one of the best things is its diminutive size that does not crowd the handlebars (like my old DualCross). I can run it on high for about 3 hours before charging. It's not vaporizer bright.....but quite sufficient for my needs (it also has an outrageously obnoxious strobe-like flashing mode.....for those of you who have this light or the DualCross you know exactly what I'm talking about). In tandem with the 135 lumen headlamp, I pretty much have anywhere I want to see at night covered. The headlamp is a fixed spot beam with little spill and very long throw. It allows me to see where I'm turning before I turn.....or to scan the countryside for crossroading critters. The MityCross is a nice medium throw with good side spill. I chose this combination precisely because it provides full light coverage for my relatively slow pace. The Ebay Chinese light is decent for the price. It's brighter than most standard flashing (the mode I use it in) headlights, can be removed from the mount easily and used as a flashlight, and when used with the other two bright solid lights the flashing pattern is indiscernible from the rider's viewpoint....but still quite noticeable by oncoming vehicles.

    I gave the taillights a lot less thought.....other than being bright. Where I did think about it was to have one on my bike (under the seat), one on my pack, and one on my helmet. It really helps show the full size of the two piece transport. Also, I wanted to have the reflector built in on the one under my seat.....so as to be legal and for additional redundancy. I use flashing modes on all three.....it saves on battery life and I have never been concerned about cars judging distance. Since each light has a different pattern it's very attention getting....and that is my number one goal. My setup is not absolutely ideal......like a Dinotte, but it's about as noticeable as you can get for the money.
    Last edited by ccd rider; 07-20-11 at 10:39 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Biggest mistake anyone can make is in thinking you can go without a lead mounted light - 2nd biggest mistake - lack of redundant light and power.

    of course - if you can go above the $300 level for an all purpose headlight - it may be just powerful enough to forgo a head mounted light. But then you still lack redundancy.

    What i wanted to know is what cyclists use as the "blend" - and why.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have 2 bikes with a Schmidt Hub dynamo both with a Halogen Bulb light .
    1, rear pannier rack, has a Wired taillight,
    the other a battery Blinkie on the seat post.. Bike Friday, Long seatpost..

    My Brompton folding bike Has 2 Battery lights, Both come off and stow..

    My Camper tour bike has a braze on boss on the rack hoop, It has a tube style mount

    and have a handlebar light down there, closer to the ground ,
    away from Bar Bag location..
    Battery LED light on the rear mudguard.
    summer tours , long daylight , so battery light is fine.. gain a bright torch in camp too.

    And a Nightrider sport . It has a 5 D cell Battery pack and a 10 w 6v halogen lamp ,
    Bright lights , when going slow on the icy roads bike wearing the studded tires.
    Blinky on the rear saddle bag

  5. #5
    Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk znomit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Biggest mistake anyone can make is in thinking you can go without a lead mounted light - 2nd biggest mistake - lack of redundant light and power.

    of course - if you can go above the $300 level for an all purpose headlight - it may be just powerful enough to forgo a head mounted light. But then you still lack redundancy.

    What i wanted to know is what cyclists use as the "blend" - and why.
    I use an IQ Cyo on the bike which is plenty to of light most of the time.
    Need a helmet light for intersections/cockpit/off the bike.
    On the helmet I have a diy light.
    • ~120lm, enough to get by on if the IQ fails
    • 4 AA batteries
    • All night runtime
    • Ultra low mode enough for seeing cockpit but won't blind bunch partners
    • Integrated taillight


    At least one rear blinky (usually two).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    I've a Dinotte 200L front light ( I hope to upgrade to more lumen's ) and the Dinotte 140 tail light which I like very much, as well as a Princeton Tec EOS on my helmet which also works well for me. For my area, I'd like maybe 600L up front which I believe would allow me to see far enough down the road that I won't out run it's beam.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I've a Dinotte 200L front light ( I hope to upgrade to more lumen's ) and the Dinotte 140 tail light which I like very much, as well as a Princeton Tec EOS on my helmet which also works well for me. For my area, I'd like maybe 600L up front which I believe would allow me to see far enough down the road that I won't out run it's beam.
    In your case - your Princeton Tec is probably the light that helps you to "see" the most.

    I'm not familiar with the beam from an EOS but if you added a flashlight with some throw - instead of another expensive all purpose light - you may find that the Dinotte 200 is all the "general light" you need
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  8. #8
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I just rode all night using my "ultimate" light system - here are some examples of why I consider this set up to be at least the minimum for an "ultimate" system.

    I was using two MS900s for my "all purpose" bicycle light. I use a Coast Lenser spot head lamp with adjustable/focusing spot set to micro-beam. I use a Solarforce M8 super throwing flashlight for a "highbeam" and or high power - way down the road bike light.

    This is why I chose this setup. The MS900s have all the flood and brightness needed for average speeds, 12-18mph.... Plus good run time. The Lenser is used to catch the attention of drivers on side roads or driveways as well as reading street signs, speedometer. The reason i chose it is because of the powerful micro-focus feature and fully adjustable power switch. This lets me extend the run time as necessary while giving me "punch" when I need attention.

    The Solarforce M8 is the luxury Cree xm-l T6 search light with a hot spot that can burn you at two feet. Its main use is as a "high beam" when descending at high speeds. It is also a absolutely "don't f***K with me light that will shout down the high beams of on coming car at a mile away.

    All these lights taken together kept me on my route, helped me navigate between two skunks which happened to be on both sides of the roads. I never hit a chuck hole or lacked the light to see the best pavement and never had to put up with any high beams coming at me.

    Even though I was out all night - i still had run time left one MS900 and Lenser head lamp - and the Solarforce was used more than needed but lasted until around 4am - and I could have carried another 18650 battery but skipped it.

    My 7xAA power pack kept two MS tail lights blinking all night - and have they run time left to boot. The cops said i looked like a some kind of utility vehicle stopped for emergency from a half mile away....

    As near as I can tell - any system needs these types of components. But I could be wrong - maybe if I got a $500+ Dinotte or SECA light i could go with out the flashlight. But everyone needs a head lamp and redundancy for their general purpose lights..... no single high power system will work in my opinion
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  9. #9
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    What i wanted to know is what cyclists use as the "blend" - and why.
    My very first real serious light was the MS900, but then I find it lacking in throw. So then I added 2 MG X Thrower SST50 flashlight to my drop bar. It was a good combination until I added a thrower flashlight on my helmet. The thrower on my hemet and the two thrower on the drop bar made my eyes adjusted such that I did not notice the flood from the Magicshine anymore. The greenish tint from the MS was just not cutting it in comparison to the white tint from the SST50 led. So then I used a Gemini Titan which had a white tint but still lack flood. In essence, my eyes were adjusting to the different combo was what that lead me to try different combo that works well.

    My latest set up is a Bike Ray IV running either on high or med for the close range flood. Then the X thrower flashlight for the med throw set on med mode,, and finally a Jetbeam BC40 on the helmet for the far throw when needed. I find this as a good combo when the helmet light and X thrower are on high because the vast amount of light from the BR IV does not get washed out from the throwers as my eye adjust to the stronger light. Funny thing is that as my search for a combo that works for me also taught me well that the closer I get to the level of car headlight brightness, the less T-bone close call I get from intersection in the dark. To top thing off, my combo of lights created a inverted "Y" shape that get a lot of motorist attention as to WTH is that approaching?
    Last edited by colleen c; 07-26-11 at 10:12 PM.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  10. #10
    smallwheelsonly
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    anyone using cree 300~400 lumen MR16 12V/AC/DC lamps with 3 cell lipos for bike lighting?

  11. #11
    Randomhead
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    I have decided to go with a Supernova E3 head and tail light, a Radbot, and a PBSF. I also have a backup Princetontec headlight and Eos helmet light. It seems to me that dynolights allow me to ride at any time for as long as I want, and that makes them an essential part of my riding. I would like to have a high-powered battery headlight, but it doesn't seem essential.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    To top thing off, my combo of lights created a inverted "Y" shape that get a lot of motorist attention as to WTH is that approaching?
    An upside-down locomotive!

    I ride three distinct environments:

    1. Fast off-road on trails. In this environment, a flood beam is best on the bike because the bike will be aiming all over the place in response to the terrain. Redundancy is also critical, and a steerable light is valuable, so a helmet-mounted light fills two important roles there. A taillight can be helpful to following riders if it's very, very low-powered and preferably steady-burn. Just something to help them keep track of you if you're getting separated a bit.

    2. Urban arterials. In this environment, there's a lot of interference from streetlights and vehicles. More power helps me show up better. Helmet lights help attract attention and are visible over rows of parked cars to people trying to pull onto my street. I don't worry about subtleties like "omg is my headlight going to blind someone, it's not German-approved, blah blah etc," no one's even close to using their full night vision in this scenario and they're not going to be disoriented by even my best lights.

    For the urban scenario, out of my arsenal, I'd ideally pick one of my big bar lights (DiNotte 1200+ or NiteRider Pro 1200) and then stick my S-Mini on my helmet. The reality is, I don't want to go to the grocery store and leave $400+ light systems outside, and I don't want to stuff them in my pockets, so I often settle for an S-Mini on the bars because it's easy to pocket and bright enough above the horizon to get me seen against most backgrounds.

    Side and rear lighting are also a big deal and I like redundancy and lots of power.


    3. Rural highway. In this environment, I like to see a long way forward and prefer something throwy. There's a lot of debris on the 4-lane divided highway shoulder and I need to pick out the big stuff well in advance. Being seen from the front's not such a problem, I'm a light source against a dark background, and anyone close enough to risk left-crossing me in the dark will also see my reflective stuffs. A helmet light can be useful for detecting deer, since their eyes reflect great with a helmet light.

    On the pitch-dark highway, I do concern myself with having an uncomfortably-bright light aimed at oncoming traffic. I've tried various tactics over the years, such as manually tipping my primary light downwards to effectively dim it, or turning a couple throwy lights off for the other person, but it gets to be a hassle. This is where a "glare-free" dyno headlight turned out to be handy; as long as the bike's on level-ish ground, the beam's pretty friendly from the front view. However, the light I picked (Supernova E3 Pro asym) doesn't project forward very well for riding at 18-22mph, so I'm going to try a Cyo next.

    For rear lighting, I want people to see me well in advance, particularly as I try to cross turnout lanes where people will be diving into the off-ramp at 45mph and aren't really expecting a cyclist. So I use redundant taillights with good power, making sure they're aimed well. Out of my current fleet, the DiNotte 300R combined with the Cygolite Hotshot would be my first pick. If they don't see THAT combo, I just wasn't meant to survive

  13. #13
    Eclecticaleliptic! Mainframeguy's Avatar
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    We ride a tandem and were recently in training for the "London Nightride" charity 100k.... so during the lead in to that we had been "getting serious" about lighting (just before the ride I counted how many switches we had to operate and it was about 12 - counting bulbs I think we reached over 21!)....

    In terms of advocating to cater for redundancy let me just say that come the ride due to multiple issues it came down that we ran with one tail light on the bike an done on the helmet. I have to say I feel most comfortable with triple redundancy rather than double now, depending I guess on the context (this was a group ride with stewards in places, urban environment, so actually safety arguably not such an issue).

    One of the things that adds a lot to our lighting setup is a "pedalite" on the rear crank. These were a birthday present to my stoker and it must be said they do weigh a fair amount, so would not suit everyone. Also the pedals are clunky and create a certain "pimp my ride" effect, again not to everyone's taste.... But I believe in terms of a safety lighting addition to be seen these really hit a sweet spot, also in terms of value for money.

    I am still aspiring towards a dyno hub as my primary lighting solution, but this will always be supplemented by one or two battery backups - perhaps one as supplemental and another as "emergency" (to cover a failure).... I have been told the latest dyno hub led technology combined with the capacitance built in makes for a very viable solution - just I need to save the money and have other priorities ATM so it is a year or more down the line in the future...

  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    I took the Supernova system out for its first shakedown last night. It is really nice. I think my plan to augment it with a really throwy battery light is a good idea. I'm glad I finally have a dyno rear light. I probably will augment the rear with something more capable than the PBSF or Radbot, but I'm not sure what that will be yet. Probably home-built for the front and possibly home-built for the rear.

  15. #15
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    Schmidt dyno hub with LightOn headlamp, one or more Dinotte 200, Petzl TikkaXp headlamp. LightOn tail lamps and one or more PBSF tail lamps.

    What I would like is a better headlight beam, something with cut-off because the dual LightOn and Dinotte are essentially cones where a third of the light is wasted if I tilt the beams up for long distance viewing and they blind drivers and pedestrians.
    I have used the EOS headlamp for a few years but the TikkaXp has a much better strobe and with the diffuser lens is visible from the side better than the Eos.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I just completed the infamous "moonlight ramble" - held in urban St Louis, with about 10,000 cyclists in attendance. Of some note, I could see that there are at least different 10 battery powered tail lights that have light-flashing power of the Planet Bike Super Flash - or better. But I doubt any were surpassing my MS 3-watt tail lights.

    My "toy" for the night was my Solarforce M8 - attached to my handlebar using three home made rubber bands -(inner tube strips)...... I used the Solarforce with an on/off touch switch that allowed me "startle" or otherwise get attention from traffic when I needed it. It was super effective if I turned on the "strobe-mode" to help me navigate intersections that were a mess of cars and riders that surrounded the "official" ride staging/start area. Of course - I kept a MS900 on continuously as well.......

    The ride was only 17 miles - but occasionally went through areas with poor or no street lighting. I estimate that fewer than 5% of the ten thousand had enough head light toride in the dark.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  17. #17
    screw campy & shimano f1xedgear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Schmidt dyno hub with LightOn headlamp, one or more Dinotte 200, Petzl TikkaXp headlamp. LightOn tail lamps and one or more PBSF tail lamps.

    What I would like is a better headlight beam, something with cut-off because the dual LightOn and Dinotte are essentially cones where a third of the light is wasted if I tilt the beams up for long distance viewing and they blind drivers and pedestrians.
    I have used the EOS headlamp for a few years but the TikkaXp has a much better strobe and with the diffuser lens is visible from the side better than the Eos.
    Like LeeG I have the LightOn headlamp and taillight set. Unlike LeeG (I think), my headlamp is mounted on the axle so the "throw" is different from a handlebar/crown mount. I find it sufficient for my cyclocommuting needs. LightOn has redesigned the headlamp so that now the on(dim)/off/on(full) is mounted at the back, which I like--the MUT I use can many times be littered with fallen branches, etc. and I'm concerned that one of these days I'll clip something just right and break off the switch. Seems I need to get the newer model . . .

    The dyno front and rear lights have been powered by a SRAM i-Light (D7) for the past 2 years, and supplemented by Flea blinkies front (handlebar) and rear (pannier). I also have a rear blinkie on my helmet that I'll use in foggy, extreme weather.

    I took the dyno-system route 'cause I got fed up with battery systems (primarily NiteRider stuff). I chose the dyno hub 'cause it was inexpensive, reliable (according to reviews). I chose the LightOn Dynolight because it is new and I would be among the early users (I think that's right), it's made in the USA, and it seemed really durable (I have had no regrets). My riding in the dark consists of early morning cyclocommuting on rural roads and the MUT, so it is dark. Winter it's dark all the way home, except for the early bit through town. I use the LightOn to see and the front blinkie adds extra umph to being seen. I've tried helmet-mounted lights in the distant past, but I can't particularly remember why they didn't float my boat.
    Last edited by f1xedgear; 08-17-11 at 01:57 PM. Reason: More fully comply with OP's guidelines

  18. #18
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    An upside-down locomotive!
    It's getting me notice for sure. The other morning, I was slowing down to an intersection which was red for me. There was a car in the opposite direction in the left turn only lane. I came to a stop in the middle lane (the right lane was turn right only). I had my BR IV on low, two XPG R5 on med, and a KD C8 XML on my helmet on medium as a test flashlight. The car opposite wanting to do a left turn flashed a spot light from the driver side left side mirror. On second glance, it was a cop car. He flicked his light on and off several times. I turn my handle to my right and turn my head to the right. The cop then turn on his spot light and point at me and then I guess he realised I was a cyclist and turned it off. His got a green light to go and as he turn, he never looked at me at all.

    I think there is a limitation to a point of having either too much light or just having a unusual pattern of lights where most motorist have never dealt with this type of setup. If anything, I think I approached that level.....sigh.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  19. #19
    Cyclologist Plutonix's Avatar
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    1. All purpose bicycle mounted head light.

    Bike 1 (Used 75% of the time) - 2 Magicshines. 1 with a decent blink rate used as a thrower, 1 with idiotic blink rate diffused to a flood.

    Bike 2 - 2 x Dinotte 200s; powered by 4500mah packs, slightly overvolted. Also has a Nighthawk K2, but that seems to be petering out (turns off on bumps). This bike also carries an 18650 flashlight (qualifies for Q#3 I guess) for the helmet for some throw in the woods since the Dinottes are floody.

    I WANT to get something like a BR 3 or 4 or MS828 for Bike1 and move one of the MS units to Bike2 but I'd need a proper handlebar mount for the MS so it clears the handlebar bag. I found one but it seems pricey. Actually hoping something even cooler comes out before I decide.

    2. Medium to high power bicycle mounted flashlight
    Not mounted to the bike, but I have enough 18650 lights and cells and 2Fish that one can be slapped on in minutes should something go wrong with a China-shine.

    3. Head mounted - all purpose flashlight or bicycle light
    Yup a DX brand light with a name brand XPG drop in. Also have XML and various other dropins, the XPG seems to have the best color, throw and size for my eyes. Very helpful in fixing flats in the dark.

    4. Tail light
    Standard config is a PDW DangerZone on the traffic side seat stay, PBSF Turbo on the curb side seat stay. In certain conditions I add a PDW Radbot on the seatbag, which is carried as a reserve. Even though the PBSF/T and PDWDZ are quite different, I dont think there is a nickle's difference between them in overall impact. Mixed together as they are on each bike, they seem awesome.

    "Retired" PBSF Classic/Orginal flavor and the not-bad DX clone sitting in a box in reserve.
    Man does not live by one bike alone.
    2010 Trek 4500
    2011 Trek 7.5 FX

  20. #20
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    I think there is a limitation to a point of having either too much light or just having a unusual pattern of lights where most motorist have never dealt with this type of setup. If anything, I think I approached that level.....sigh.
    Well having the brightest light is NOT part of any "Ultimate Lighting System."

    There are several aspects to any Ultimate Lighting System and of any night riding - that are not specific to road or MTB riding, nor are they specific to urban or rural riding.

    If you can't adjust your lights easily for oncoming traffic you become guilty of the same "I'm the only one that counts attitude of motorists."

    The other aspect of truly powerful lighting systems has quite a bit to with the "relative" darkness of your surrounding area. And as I have mentioned so many times before - cyclists really need powerful lights to get special attention when riding in certain situations. Most often powerful lights are needed for being "seen" in urban areas - not for seeing the road.

    However, my experience is such that I have come to realize that powerful lights actually make a cyclist less safe in very dark areas because the peripheral area of darkness cannot be seen at all. This means that the contrast created by running lights on high power all the time can leave a cyclist more susceptible to dangers or conditions emerging from darkened areas. Of course, as long as the cyclist uses a matching high-power helmet light this aspect of night riding is minimized.

    But the point of this post is to inform readers that in assembling their Ultimate Lighting System they acknowledge the dual roles of background darkness and their relative night vision ability in operating and matching their individual lights.

    I think this is a good post - does everyone get my meaning? It's not just power - its also knowing how and when to use it.
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

  21. #21
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I took the Supernova system out for its first shakedown last night. It is really nice. I think my plan to augment it with a really throwy battery light is a good idea. I'm glad I finally have a dyno rear light. I probably will augment the rear with something more capable than the PBSF or Radbot, but I'm not sure what that will be yet. Probably home-built for the front and possibly home-built for the rear.
    If you want more throw than the Supernova E3, you might try a Cyo (non-nearfield type) if you know someone who has one. My own E3 Pro was underwhelming for throw, and I finally rolled the dice and got a Cyo, which turns out to be what I should've bought the first time (or else an eDelux). The light distribution is good for my road pace. In rutted snow, maybe I'd prefer the "fog light" pattern of the E3 Pro.

    Your hub might be able to run both in parallel, too. I should try that with my Alfine sometime.

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    Why no mention of weight in this discussion? I for one think the rechargeable batteries are too heavy. I'd like to find a complete head/tail system that can run five hours and weighs under half a pound. Do I have to park my Magicshines and go back to watch batteries and triple AAAs? I finally get that superbright is overkill and not really necessary or desirable.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierrabob View Post
    Why no mention of weight in this discussion? I for one think the rechargeable batteries are too heavy. I'd like to find a complete head/tail system that can run five hours and weighs under half a pound. Do I have to park my Magicshines and go back to watch batteries and triple AAAs? I finally get that superbright is overkill and not really necessary or desirable.
    Ok, get a Shiningbeam S-Mini, an 18650 cell, a lockblock, and a Cygolite Hotshot. Total weight on bike: about 160 grams. On Medium, the S-Mini will do at least 8 hours or more on one 18650, and you can carry spares at 45 grams apiece if you want. The Hotshot is a monster. Bonus: the lights can be shoved in your pocket if you have to park outside.

    Even my DiNotte 1200+ is only 400 grams, battery pack included, and will run at half-power for about 6 hours.

    As for superbright being overkill and not really necessary/desirable, I guess it depends what you do and where you ride. In hardcore arterial traffic, it's tough to show up sometimes, and overkill ends up being awesome On a dark lightly-travelled highway, where your eyes can adapt and stay adapted, you might only need a fraction of an overkill Off-roading is yet another world unto itself.

  24. #24
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Dinotte 800 long throw on the bars and a Dinotte 400 on the helmet. Zombies fear me.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Why no mention of weight in this discussion?
    You're right - weight should be a factor in any discussion - but since this is suppposed to "ultimate lighting" discussion - weight comes as a more distant priority.

    I for one think the rechargeable batteries are too heavy. I'd like to find a complete head/tail system that can run five hours and weighs under half a pound.
    No matter how you slice it - having power and or run time requires batteries. In my case - if I were riding for "time" and wanted to cut weight i would use Lithium Primary cells that I can toss after use. My Fenix LD20 would be my 2xAA all purpose light and my Coast Lenser would be my "throw" light. (3xAAA) I would determine what I power my MS tail light based on my run time needs. The "big deal" here - is that I could toss all the batteries after use and be carrying next to no weight....... Bottom line - weight from batteries is always a result of run time needs....... no battery -no power.......

    Do I have to park my Magicshines and go back to watch batteries and triple AAAs? I finally get that superbright is overkill and not really necessary or desirable.
    As I mentioned selected specialty lights - that sacrifice some of the run time and power can still be an acceptable system. But this thread is about "ultimate" - not "just enough" lighting.......
    Sorry about my comments - I thought you wanted honest feedback.
    2003 Lemond Wayzata - 2002 LeMond Malliot Jeune

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