Here's my rules for purchasing a battery powered (AA, AAA, C, 9V, or other) headlight or tail light.
- Battery powered lights are good as a backup for a rechargeable system, but not as a primary light.
- Incandescent/Halogen lights (if you can even find them anymore) suck (batteries dry). If you're over 40, you'll remember those flashlights you used as a kid. There's a reason those are not found anymore. (LED's Rock!)
- Batteries should be able to be purchased at any convenience store. If you have to go to a watch shop, or a specialty store (Radio Shack), the more likely it is that your light will fail you when they are closed.
- No tool, more complicated than a coin, should ever be needed to change the battery. The more complicated the tool, the less likely you will be carrying it when you need it.
- The lights must be reasonably water resistant. I live in Oregon, and it's true what they say about our feet (webbed ).
- Mounts must not be flimsy affairs that will not hold the light steady with the lightest bump.
- When in doubt, take your light with you, that goes for parking the bike, or going on a ride. (Hint: There is always doubt)
- High, Low, Flash is really what most people need. SOS? Really, how often do you need to be flagging down a ship or a helicopter?
- White to front, red to rear. It's not just a good idea, it's the Law!
Anybody got other rules for making their purchases?
(ps, not a rule, but something I aspire to: If it can't melt the car's paint, it's not bright enough)