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Old 12-14-13, 05:52 PM   #26
vol
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
The Cygolite is hard to compare directly with the Serfas (or most other lights) because of how tight its beam is. Check out this video I did (sorry I didn't have the Serfas at that time)

http://youtu.be/L95eIXswCb0
Thanks a lot. The videos are great. It seems the Cygolite should definitely be used with a more wide-beamed light or some side lights. I have Radbot 1000, preordered Cygolite. After watching your video, I'm planning to get a Serfas, too (I ride a lot in the evening). I've never used taillights with built-in batteries, so I hope their brightness on full charge will not weaken after, say, a year. I assume all the comparisons of the lights by you and others are when the lights are fairly new?
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Old 12-14-13, 06:59 PM   #27
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The brightness will not decrease, they have built in regulators. The run time will eventually decrease with any light, since no rechargeable will live forever.

The Magicshine is probably 6 years old. The Cygolite was probably a year old there, the Knog and Serfas only a month or two old.
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Old 12-14-13, 08:17 PM   #28
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Many thanks for the more details about the lights. Are you familiar with the Serfas Thunderbolt? Wonder how it compares to the above lights...
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Old 12-17-13, 04:47 PM   #29
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Filter for Dinotte?

Is there a filter that fits a white Dinotte 200L? Maybe I could cut one of those filters to fit.
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Old 12-17-13, 06:09 PM   #30
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You said Cheap. these are That [from another thread]

http://www.pricepoint.com/Brand/Sett...fety-Light.axd

I dont use them .. just reposting ... I'm a Dynohub wired Head& taillight guy , now

B& M 4D toplight on my (tubus) rear rack (comes in battery only too )

Toplight line flat also in wired or battery powered [My Brompton & Bike Friday use those]

there is a Toplight line brake as its a wired taillight the alternator pulses slowing is what triggers the light to brighten.

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Old 12-17-13, 06:12 PM   #31
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Is there a filter that fits a white Dinotte 200L? Maybe I could cut one of those filters to fit.
No, just buy the tail light.
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Old 12-18-13, 07:38 PM   #32
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The Planet Bike SuperFlash is very good. It's good enough for most people. It's also better than cheap, crappy tail lights. There are definitely better lights, by all measures, but the SuperFlash is still worth consideration.

The Sette ST-316 may be good enough, too. Other than that model, I would recommend setting a budget of at least $35.
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Old 12-18-13, 07:40 PM   #33
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The Planet Bike SuperFlash is very good. It's good enough for most people. It's also better than cheap, crappy tail lights. There are definitely better lights, by all measures, but the SuperFlash is still worth consideration.

The Sette ST-316 may be good enough, too. Other than that model, I would recommend setting a budget of at least $35.
The Sette ST-316 is BRIGHTER than the PDSF.I have both
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Old 12-20-13, 10:40 PM   #34
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Hello! thank you for having me on this forum.

I came to this forum to learn as much as possible about biking and because I have never been satisfied with the lights in all price ranges. I would like to share my opinion regarding the rear bicycle lights.

My wife and I ride 100 to 200 miles on the streets every week and our only fear is getting hit from the rear when we ride at night. My opinion is that most bikers feel safe because they have rear lights and they don't realize how invisible they are to the vehicles behind them because when I am in a vehicle I come across many bikers with rear lights that are very difficult to see at as little as 200 feet.

I have purchased some of the very expensive rear light systems and they appeared to be more than adequate when testing them 3 feet from my face, but when vehicles with dirty windshields are coming from behind at 50+ miles per hour even the most expensive rear lights are very small and almost invisible dots at 500 feet. At 500 feet and 50 mph it can be too late for the driver to make the necessary corrections to avoid hitting either your bike, or oncoming traffic.

Regardless of the number of lumens I think the small size of the light lens makes all the lights dangerous and I made my own rear light system that gets many compliments. While my lights may appear to be unprofessional for a pro biker the important fact is my bike can be seen very clearly by fast-moving vehicles at 1500+ feet.

To make my rear light I purchased a trailer light at an auto parts store for $7. This is the tail and turn signal light that has two bolts. I purchased two 100 lumen 7 LED helmet lights at Home Depot for $13 each. I removed the light bulb from the tail light, removed the white plastic lens from the bottom of the tail light, and attached the two 100 lumen lights to the existing bracket. Then, I mounted the light to the back side of a tote bag on my rear bike rack. The lens on my rear light is as large as the light on a car and just as bright.

For even more visibility, my wife puts the helmet strap around her waste. On the strap I attach 2 red blinking lights in the middle and one of the white blinking Home Depot helmet light on each side of the red lights. With these lights and the large tail light my wife can be seen from more than 3/4 of a mile. I always wear a backpack and I mounted two large reflectors, two white blinking lights, and two red blinking lights to the back of my backpack plus I have the large tail light.

We put two inexpensive front lights on each handle bar. What I like about my system is the total cost is less than $150 and should any piece break, or get lost I am not out of a large amount of cash. I don't have to worry about people stealing expensive lights. I use only AAA batteries, they are cheap, last about 10 hours, and I don't have to deal with a heavy battery nor charging system.

My trailer headlight doesn't look great for a pro rider, but I think safety is much more important than looks. I would like to see a light manufacturer make lights with a lens at least 4 inches in diameter and they could incorporate the lens to fit flush on the black tote bags that fit on top of the rear racks.

I believe a 4 inch diameter lens with 200 lumens is better than the small lenses that are available with 1500 lumens.
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Old 12-20-13, 11:05 PM   #35
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While I applaud your DIY skills...

1) I'm curious as to which "high dollar lights" that you tested?

2) Please don't use white lights pointed to the rear.
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Old 12-21-13, 09:53 AM   #36
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A good tail light should be eye-catching without being dazzling in all weathers and conditions, visible at intersections, around curves and up and down hills, allow approaching traffic to judge location and closing speed, and not trigger target fixation. None of those things can be reduced to a number for comparison charts and advertising copy.

Parameters that can be reduced to numbers are weight and brightness. For low weight and maximum brightness - and corresponding good comparison chart placement and ad copy - taillights need to be packaged as small as possible and be designed with narrow beams.

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Old 12-21-13, 10:38 AM   #37
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During the winter months, just don't ride in the dark. Maybe instead, pick up another type of cross training activity.
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Old 12-21-13, 10:38 AM   #38
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Quote:
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... even the most expensive rear lights are very small and almost invisible dots at 500 feet. At 500 feet and 50 mph it can be too late for the driver to make the necessary corrections to avoid hitting either your bike, or oncoming traffic.
...
I believe a 4 inch diameter lens with 200 lumens is better than the small lenses that are available with 1500 lumens.
200 lumens is really bright for a tail light. What tail light with a small lens did you evaluate that puts out 1500 lumens?

At 500' even a 4 inch lens is going to be just a small bright dot as is one with a 1 inch lens, so I don't think the size is going to make a difference at that distance (when closer a larger size can make it a little easier to judge the distance). My experience when driving at night is that the better (2W and up) bike tail lights are far more noticeable from a distance than much larger car and truck tail lights.
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Old 12-21-13, 10:39 AM   #39
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During the winter months, just don't ride in the dark.
Much easier said than done. Besides, twilight is the real danger time.
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Old 12-21-13, 10:43 AM   #40
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Hey pcplumber,

Post some good pics of every light mentioned in your post.
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Old 12-21-13, 01:36 PM   #41
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My experience when driving at night is that the better (2W and up) bike tail lights are more noticeable from a distance than much larger car and truck tail lights.
Some tail lamps are advertised 'visible one mile away!', which, I suppose, would be valuable if you regularly ride down airport runways. I think I'd be more impressed with a tail lamp advertisement that proclaimed the lamp aided the driver in judging my distance and our closing rate at more real world distances - but no, I don't know how to reduce that to a pithy numerical value for quick comparison.

Quote:
At 500 feet and 50 mph it can be too late for the driver to make the necessary corrections to avoid hitting either your bike, or oncoming traffic.
I make it comfortably under 250 feet to slow from 50mph to cycling speed in even poor conditions, given that the cyclist is traveling in the same direction.

Last edited by tcs; 12-22-13 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 12-21-13, 02:17 PM   #42
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Amoeba tailight using 2x Cree Red XP-E2's w/LFlex driver














****
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File Type: jpg dark lit up.jpg (89.1 KB, 6 views)
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Old 12-21-13, 05:57 PM   #43
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Another shot




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Old 12-21-13, 07:05 PM   #44
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During the winter months, just don't ride in the dark. Maybe instead, pick up another type of cross training activity.
So, what, don't go to work all winter? I'm afraid I'd be on the street pretty fast. I'm not riding as a hobby, I'm riding to go to work.

Besides, IMO, I'm more visible and safer in the dark than in the daylight. People who have seen me on the streets agree.
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Old 12-21-13, 09:36 PM   #45
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Ditto to 10 Wheels: Hope to see some pictures or videos of your self-made lights, pcplumber! Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
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For even more visibility, my wife puts the helmet strap around her waste.


P.S. How is your self-made light powered?

Last edited by vol; 12-21-13 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 12-22-13, 02:38 PM   #46
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So, what, don't go to work all winter? I'm afraid I'd be on the street pretty fast. I'm not riding as a hobby, I'm riding to go to work.

Besides, IMO, I'm more visible and safer in the dark than in the daylight. People who have seen me on the streets agree.
Ok, then everyone else who does not have to ride to and from work.

Most everything is more visible in the daylight than at night.
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Old 12-22-13, 04:09 PM   #47
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Most everything is more visible in the daylight than at night.
Which can you see better from 1/2 mile away - a light bulb in the daylight or a light bulb at night?

I've been told that it's completely impossible for a driver to not see me at night. People who have seen me both in daylight and at night say that I'm ridiculously more visible at night.

Perhaps you have not seen someone riding with very good lighting. I've got over 100 lumens rear facing in a combination of steady and flashing in 3 lights, rack, seatpost and helmet, and 1000 up front, plus a very bright reflective vest. I've been riding almost daily for 10 years, including about 3 months per year when all 5 days of the week I'm going to work and coming home in the dark, and all of the incidents that resulted from not being seen were in the daytime (about half a dozen over those years). Luckily they were all just close misses.
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Old 12-22-13, 06:31 PM   #48
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During the winter months, just don't ride in the dark.
I remember a school of hard knocks lesson on this many decades ago: My boss asked me to work an hour over, and when I walked out it was heavily overcast. My ride home should have been in good light, but instead I got to ninja it home that evening.

Things run late, you get invited over to somebody's pad, your buddy challenges you to take the long route with the hills, that next band is cookin'. Life happens. Carry lights.
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Old 12-22-13, 08:35 PM   #49
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True. The other day I left work a little later than I expected. It was only about 3:30pm, but I wished I had brought my lights, because it was cloudy and overcast and felt like dusk.
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Old 12-22-13, 10:28 PM   #50
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I see a lot on headlights but I must be missing the tail light threads. What do you guys like? Right now I'm using a $1.50 blinky thing. It's quite bright but I'd like something brighter. (It's one of these things, but in red LEDs)

Oh, and I'm cheap.. or budgeting as some may say.

Anyone use these?

This one is supposed to blink or something if you brake. I think..

This one supposedly puts out dots too.

So... what do you guys use?
I don't understand why when someone, you in this case, ask a question about buying something and from the samples they, in your case you, gave they want something inexpensive and so along comes advice for $350 tail lights...hardly inexpensive.

First lets take a look at the laser lights you showed, in a few words...their toys and not bright enough to make any effect on the street unlike the pictures they show to the contrary.

Now lets take a look at the LED light you mentioned, I will admit for $5 you won't get anything close to adequate in lighting, and since most night time accidents are rear enders you should consider pumping up the light a lot more. The brightest light for the money is the Cygolite Hotshot which can be found on Amazon for $30, this is a rechargeable light too so no need to worry about constant removal and replacement of battery. See: http://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Hotsh.../dp/B005DVA57Y

Here is a small review of the top 4 tail lights sold in America, if you had the $5 one on this same display you wouldn't even see the red glow from the light in the photo! See: http://www.thebicyclerepairshop.com/...ison-test.html

I own the Light & Motion Vis180 demo'd in the comparison site I gave you and that thing is extraordinarily bright, so bright that anything brighter would be more than annoying. The Vis180 casts a red glow onto the pavement and building walls as I ride by, cops have told me that they could see me better from further distance than car tail lights! In the daytime it looks like a roadside safety flare!!

Remember safety first should be your primary concern, and getting the rear lit up is important. I would start out with a better tail light like the Cygolite Hotshot, then later when you have the money add the $100 VIS180 to the seat post and move the Hotshot tail light to the helmet. That's what I've done over the years, so now I have the Vis180 on the seat bag, an old Cateye LD600 mounted vertical on the seat post, a Planet Bike Super Flash on the helmet, and a set of Soma Road Flares on the bar ends, all added one at a time.

Another thing about how to use these lights. European studies have shown that a steady tail light is safer because a motorist can judge their distance from an object better if the light is steady vs flashing, however USA studies showed that flashing was better because it attracted the attention of the motorist. Confusing huh? so I do both! I have my brightest, the VIS180 on steady and the rest on flash. And this is why it will, or may, become important to have more than one light eventually besides the fact you leave a larger rear visual cue with more than one light.
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