Best rechargeable bike light?
I've been reading quite some about bike lights in recent days, and the more I read the more confused I seem to get. So I figured I'd ask some bike fanatics here on advice. I'm looking for rechargeable bike lights (both front and rear) that combined cost 40-60 pounds and each around 15-30 pounds. They will be used primarily as be seen lights, but a couple of nights a month they will also be used as "to see with" lights on somewhat dark trails in the countryside.
So far i'm thinking of either the blackburn flea 2.0 usb set or the knog boomer. The flea would probably be best but i'm afraid the velcro strap thing will weaken greatly over a few months. Has anyone experienced this?
My "small rechargeable" setup involves a Cygolite Hotshot and an Axiom Spark 3, which appears to be a rebranded Serfas USL-3
The Hotshot I absolutely recommend; for the price its unbeatable, since its only a few dollars more than most non-rechargeable powered rear lights and is considerably brighter. Fantastic deal, my only complaint is that the hostspot is very narrow, so if its not aimed right its not very effective.
The Spark/USL-3 I use as a full-time flasher be-seen light, pretty much always in combination with a see-ing light (The venerable LD20). Its only bright enough to see with in very, very, dim conditions and at relatively low speeds. It has an integrated stretch-mount. I find this convenient because I can put it on my bike, my helmet, or my friends' bikes with equal ease, and of the three strap lights I've had none have ever failed/come undone.
I've known several people with the the Flea front light, and from what I've seen its considerably brighter than the Spark, but the downside is lower battery life. Also, they have a specialized little piece that allows them to charge, and one of the things that has held me back from ever getting one is the fear of losing a small, nonstandard piece. Both the Spark and Hotshot use a standard mini-USB cable, the kind that connects to an external hard drive, an E-Book reader, and some cell phones.
Any thoughts on just investing in some good rechargeable AA or AAA's? They're not as energy-dense as the lithium-polymer nonchargeables in the above-discussed bike lights, but you can use them in any lights you have. They'd be the cheaper solution if you already have a lightset that fits your needs.
Last edited by A10K; 02-17-12 at 05:56 PM.
Reason: Eneloop Info
The Hotshot and Spark lights are apparantly not available in Europe, so I'd have to pass there.
I've thought about buying some good old lights, but the thought of constantly every few months or weeks having to spend some extra on batteries is just so repelling. Besides I dont have any good lights already to fit em into.
Have your friends with flea never complained about the velcro strap? The lower battery time will not bother me as I will have plenty of time to charge it. Also last night I found the Moon Mask 5 LED Front Light and Moon Shield 60 Rear Light. The light output is 70 lumen for the front and 60 for the rear. They are a somewhat expensive in my opinion but seem to be of good solid quality. Any experience with these?
Last edited by mozad655; 02-18-12 at 09:33 AM.
NB, the Amp-hour draw on battery .. You get more light , but for less time.
A set of Eneloops will have a much longer service life than a lithium-ion polymer battery. Li-ions go bad in 2-3 years independently of use; they naturally degrade over time.
Originally Posted by mozad655
The lights you've pointed to look pretty decent, although I'm dubious of the claim that the headlight can put out a full 70 lumens. Those 5mm LED's are not all that efficient compared to power LED's, but can be run at lower currents more easily. The rear light is suspiciously familiar, but looks to be a good light. (On a related note, its unusual for a maker to give rear lumen specs, wish more would do it).