The best bang for your buck taillight is this thing.
The best bang for your buck taillight is this thing.
That said, I agree that the PBSF is a good light, and yes, some are better.
However, don't buy a PBSF. Buy this clone instead for $5 instead of $25. And since having just one tail light is a bad idea (as you generally don't notice right away if it's not working for some reason), use the money you saved to buy two. Hell, buy four and give some to friends.
This light is an almost functionally identical clone to the PBSF, but the mount is a bit cheaper -- still works fine, however. It also shares the PBSF's willingness to have the light fall off the base, so be sure to hold the light closed after putting the batteries in with clear tape or a zip tie. (Rubber bands work too, but they degrade over time.)
I have been running one of these on rear rack for almost 5 years of daily use.
More directional than preferred, but the high intensity and low cost more than make up for it.
I also the use clone superflash as pointed to by Doug, I put these on all my bikes. As pointed out the mount is cheap ( I have glued one to keep it secure) but the light is bright.
I ride with the Niterider Solas and recommend it. Even on low power it is brighter than most taillights, and on high nobody will be riding on your wheel. I also like it's recharging feature, and I only recharge it after several hours of riding. I use it day and night.
At first I thought, the Niterider Solas looks like it has the same brightness as the Cygolite Hotshot, but costs more and has fewer options. So what?
But I searched and found comparisons, and it looks like it has better optics, spreading the beam more:
Still, since they dropped the price on the Serfas Shield down to $39, I'd have a hard time not spending the extra $5 and buying that instead. Without going to Dinotte (which I consider to be vast overkill), I think it's about the brightest around in the self contained/rechargable arena.
I bought the Hot Shot for day riding.
Believe the tighter Spot is better for Long Range rear visibility.
Still get many comments that I was seen from 1/2 mile back.
Bright lights trump high vis clothes any time.
Hi Viz clothing in the daylight and reflective material at night are very effective at making one standout and be seen amongst the traffic. As well as get recognized as a cyclist, as opposed to other road users like scooter riders.
The simply conclussion we came to was:
Dark of Night- A solid head and tail light, reflective clothing & possibly augmented by front and back low intensity blinkies.
Don't take me wrong. I don't think there is a perfect solution for all situations. Just relaying what both Mrs. Fred and I observed and agreed to.
Given the long standing complaint of cyclists that other road users don't respect them, I'm unsure 'looking like a bicycle' is really the Holy Grail of safety. I personally shoot for looking like something painful, expensive, embarrassing, disturbing or at least inconvenient to hit.
In that vein, I've found that where I live a large American flag patch gets me more consideration and space (in daylight) than hiviz - but, uh, I expect this wouldn't work quite as well in downtown Bagdad. :)
If you do want to 'look like a bicycle' at night (NTTAWWT), I've chatted up hundreds of non-cycling friends and co-workers over the decades and their number one answer by far has been...'pedal reflectors'. In addition to pedal reflectors' unique, eye-catching motion, they're amber (which reflects brighter than red) and there are two, spread apart horizontally, so they give some rate-of-closing indication. However, reflectors, by their nature, are passive. The actively lighted pedals I've seen with LEDs in them sadly just aren't very bright and to date I've been unimpressed. There seems to be room in the market place for a good product here.
And innovation does indeed march on, which brings us to bicycle brake lights (1, 2) and even a tail lamp that shows your speed to following traffic. There are tail lamps powered by the motion of the rear wheel (1, 2) and even tail lamps that are the rear wheel.
Also, the amount of light varies based on your speed, and will be quite low at some speeds -- 1, 7, 11, 17.
This can put your speed on the wheel, where it at least has enough room for people to see without being right on top of you. I'm not sure if showing people your speed like that has significant safety benefits, though I can think of a few situations where it might, and having lights of any sort that are clearly visible from the side certainly does.
And its only in prototype & seeking kickstarter crowd funding. so still Virtual in the real world.
My Number 1 goal is safety and I hate to waste money for expensive things that don't work. I was comparing lights at a bicycle shop yesterday and I think Home Depot's 100 lumen helmet light for only $13 is the best value when considering it lasts about 10 hours, is cheap, can be seen from a far distance, and it doesn't need a batter pack.
When I had my Night Rider lights I think that every time I went riding I either forgot to charge my battery, or my battery went dead as I was riding. Now, when I ride I throw about 8 helmet lights in my tote bag, put a strap around my waste, and I light up like a Christmas tree.
As for pointing my lights backwards, I do have two helmet lights and two red lights on a band around my waste. The white helmet lights don't have a beam and it doesn't seem like they would interfere with as driver's vision. The visibility for the white lights is at least 10 times more than the red lights and being seen is more important than legal issues.
As stated before, I purchased a square trailer light, removed the 12 volt bulb, and inserted two 100 lumen helmet lights. Another option that would be very inexpensive is to go to ebay, purchase a very small motor cycle battery for $20 and place either make a frame for the battery for behind the seat, insert it in a bottle rack, or place the battery inside a tote bag. Now, you would have a rear light that is as large and bright as every other car on the street for a total cost of only $27 plus the rack, or bag. I imagine you could get some very powereful and small motorcycle lights for the front for as low as $30.
maybe a white light on the stern of your Boat. then its OK.. regulation, actually.
red one is on the port side unseen from the stern..
I am curious on your thoughts of the GoPro seatpost mount? I thought it would give the most flexibility for mounting?