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  1. #1
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    Lupine Rotlicht taillight info

    As previously noted, Lupine has a new taillight:
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Looks like lupine has a new tail light out. Very compact, self contained.... Looks to be in the same size range as the Hotshot and the others. If so, that's a lot of light capability in a small package.
    Lupine Lighting Systems - Rotlicht
    J.
    From the product page:
    With the Lupine ROTLICHT (german for redlight) it‘s not only bright in front of you but also behind you. With incredible 160 Lumens of red light output this is probably the most powerful tail light with integrated battery.

    The ROTLICHT comes with 4 different Lightmodes
    1. Steady Light
    2. Flash Light
    3. Wave Pulse Light
    4. Pulse Light
    All light modes can be adjusted in intensity from 0.1W (10 Lumens) to 2W (160 Lumens).

    In addition to the incredible brightness, the ROTLICHT has some incredible features like a brake light and brightness sensor. With this light you won‘t be overlooked anymore on the streets.
    Brake Light
    When you pull on the brakes, the built in acceleration sensor turns the light brighter to gain more attention on the streets.
    Brightness Sensor
    Automatic light adjustment depending on the ambient light. If for example a car comes closer, the light turns brighter.

    Due to the EPDM strap, the ROTLICHT can be mounted on seattubes from 22 - 55mm diameter. Other mounts will come soon.

    mtbr now has a product video at Youtube

  2. #2
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    Very cool - thanks for the link!

    I think it's cool that it gets brighter when hit by approaching car lights.

    J.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I just read about this new light, it seems really promising, what's up next is some comparison shots against a few other leading lights. No mention of battery life not even on their website spec page which I find odd, maybe the battery life is so short their embarrased? The really cool thing is the price is reasonable at about $108 USA, but if the battery life is too short than the cost may be a moot point for a lot of people.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    No mention of battery life
    It looks like Lupine hasn't finished their English page for this product; I don't see battery life there either tonight. I do see battery life claims on the German version here and here:
    • 2 watts -> 160 lumens -> runtime 1:30 hours
    • 0.5 watt -> 40 lumens -> runtime 6:00 hours
    • 0.1 watt -> 8 lumens -> runtime 30:00 hours

    The Rotlicht weighs 55 grams.

    By comparison, the Dinotte quad tail light is 88 grams and runs 4 to 16 hours on its steady modes, and 12 to 36 hours flashing. The Dinotte may have a bigger battery, but it can't be adjusted as low as the Lupine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I think it's cool that it gets brighter when hit by approaching car lights.

    J.
    Now that I think more about it, maybe not. By the time the lights are hitting the cyclist, they are not that far away. I think I want to be seen from farther away than this. Does this allow you to turn off that mode?

    J.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Does this allow you to turn off that [light sensitive] mode?
    Yes, both the brake and light sensors can be switched off, and I think the brake sensor's sensitivity can be adjusted; again the German page has a fuller description:
    Natürlich lassen sich auch beide Sensoren wahlweise ab- oder zuschalten.... Dabei kann die Sensitivität des Sensors in drei Stufen angepasst werden.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Now that I think more about it, maybe not. By the time the lights are hitting the cyclist, they are not that far away. I think I want to be seen from farther away than this. Does this allow you to turn off that mode?

    J.
    It may be ok if the light gets brighter as the car gets closer because the closer the car gets the more washed out the light becomes so suddenly it brightens up hopefully that will wake up a zombie driver.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

  9. #9
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
    It looks like Lupine hasn't finished their English page for this product; I don't see battery life there either tonight. I do see battery life claims on the German version here and here:
    • 2 watts -> 160 lumens -> runtime 1:30 hours
    • 0.5 watt -> 40 lumens -> runtime 6:00 hours
    • 0.1 watt -> 8 lumens -> runtime 30:00 hours

    The Rotlicht weighs 55 grams.

    By comparison, the Dinotte quad tail light is 88 grams and runs 4 to 16 hours on its steady modes, and 12 to 36 hours flashing. The Dinotte may have a bigger battery, but it can't be adjusted as low as the Lupine.

    The run time is indeed short. My L & M Vis 180 will run 2 hours with it on high steady and with the pace (green) side light going, or 6 hours on high pulse and 12 hours on low pulse. So with the Lupine you would have to charge it every night. I think Lupine should consider a longer run time in future models.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    It may be ok if the light gets brighter as the car gets closer because the closer the car gets the more washed out the light becomes so suddenly it brightens up hopefully that will wake up a zombie driver.
    Here's my thinking -

    I ride on rural-ish roads. So cars can be going as fast as 60mph. 60mph is 88 feet per second. I figure that the light has to get intense enough is only going to be 100' or so. That means the car driver has 1 second at the bright light to figure it out if they didn't see me. I'd prefer the light was max bright so they see me at a 1000' or so. And I want it to stand out and be obvious and impossible to ignore. In my experience, that needs to be right where this light is at full intensity.

    I like a lot about this light, but I'd probably disable the braking and photo sensitive modes.

    J.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Here's my thinking -

    I ride on rural-ish roads. So cars can be going as fast as 60mph. 60mph is 88 feet per second. I figure that the light has to get intense enough is only going to be 100' or so. That means the car driver has 1 second at the bright light to figure it out if they didn't see me. I'd prefer the light was max bright so they see me at a 1000' or so. And I want it to stand out and be obvious and impossible to ignore. In my experience, that needs to be right where this light is at full intensity.

    I like a lot about this light, but I'd probably disable the braking and photo sensitive modes.

    J.
    I agree with you! The other thing we don't know is how many lumens is the light when it's running normally on high BEFORE it brightens due to on coming lights or braking. Regardless if the light is running on say 100 lumens that is still a very bright light, my L & M Vis 180 runs at 70 which is in my opinion bright enough because it casts a red plume onto the road behind me and onto nearby buildings, and during the day it looks like an emergency flare, so add another at least 30 lumens for the Lupine and it should more than bright enough for your needs just in normal mode.

    If you disable the brake and light brightness feature and leave it permanently on the highest (brake intensity) level I would bet the battery life would be closer to 45 minutes to a max of 60 minutes.

    Personally I wouldn't buy it the light until comparisons come out just to make sure that the light is as bright as they say and it has a wide flood beam with 180 degree viewing. Even then if it is bright enough for you I still would question the battery life.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I agree with you! The other thing we don't know is how many lumens is the light when it's running normally on high BEFORE it brightens due to on coming lights or braking. Regardless if the light is running on say 100 lumens that is still a very bright light, my L & M Vis 180 runs at 70 which is in my opinion bright enough because it casts a red plume onto the road behind me and onto nearby buildings, and during the day it looks like an emergency flare, so add another at least 30 lumens for the Lupine and it should more than bright enough for your needs just in normal mode.

    If you disable the brake and light brightness feature and leave it permanently on the highest (brake intensity) level I would bet the battery life would be closer to 45 minutes to a max of 60 minutes.

    Personally I wouldn't buy it the light until comparisons come out just to make sure that the light is as bright as they say and it has a wide flood beam with 180 degree viewing. Even then if it is bright enough for you I still would question the battery life.
    I bet the battery life would be ok especially if it's in flashing mode. Adding brighter flashes makes it a lot more visible at distance but will have little impact on battery life (depending on duty cycle).

    I do think it's important to be high bright for distance visibility. 1000' back is only a little over 10 seconds at highway speeds.

    I've been riding with high bright tail lights for years now back to the Dinotte 140R days. I believe that was about 100 lumens and is what I would consider to be the threshold brightness. Below that, I did not see a modification in driver behavior (i.e. slow down, go wide around) that I did see when I started riding with the 140R. When I went to the 300R and the Nightzone 8, the behavior became even more noticeable and desirable. I did ride with the L&M Vis180 and did not get the desired behavior that I did with the other brighter lights (although it's a very nice light and very compact).

    I wouldn't buy it either until I see some detailed reviews. I am glad to see a lot of high feature, compact and very bright tail lights coming out. Given that 40% of the cycle-vehicle collisions are from behind, this is probably the most important light you can use for safety. Tail lights are not a place to scrimp - you need a good one with a lot of power.

    J.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I bet the battery life would be ok especially if it's in flashing mode. Adding brighter flashes makes it a lot more visible at distance but will have little impact on battery life (depending on duty cycle).

    I do think it's important to be high bright for distance visibility. 1000' back is only a little over 10 seconds at highway speeds.

    I've been riding with high bright tail lights for years now back to the Dinotte 140R days. I believe that was about 100 lumens and is what I would consider to be the threshold brightness. Below that, I did not see a modification in driver behavior (i.e. slow down, go wide around) that I did see when I started riding with the 140R. When I went to the 300R and the Nightzone 8, the behavior became even more noticeable and desirable. I did ride with the L&M Vis180 and did not get the desired behavior that I did with the other brighter lights (although it's a very nice light and very compact).


    J.
    Funny you mention the VIS 180 because I saw a comparison of the VIS180 vs the NiteFlux Red Zone 4, not the 8, it looked rather dim compared to the Vis., but the 8 is supposedly brighter and also $50 more than the Vis180 so it should be brighter, and apparently the only place you can get one is directly through NiteFlux. The NiteFlux 8 runs at 8 watts on high flash which is huge and the run time is a incredible 4 hours on high. So if a person wants the best light currently on the market then get the NiteFlux RZ8, but even then it would be advisable to use some other light on the rear of the helmet, or two RZ8.

    Currently the best deal on the market low price wise is still the Cygolite HotShot for just $30 at REI, followed by the Serfas TL60 which cost $55 on Amazon which a bit more money but it throws out a wider light then the HotShot. Cygolite also offers a combo deal combining a price favorite Metro 360 headlight with the price favorite HotShot tail light for about $80 on Amazon.

    As far as saying not to skimp on a rear light, I don't think that is entirely true, but everyone has their opinion of course. I think having 3 lower price tail lights would be just as effective; I saw a guy last year who had 8 or 10 tail lights that none were high priced lights, but he looked like a Christmas tree going down the road, if you missed seeing that bike you need to be banned from driving due to being blind!

    So there are different ways to do the same thing, you just have to decide which is best for you. In my case I kept all my tail lights and simply added a new one when I got it, so I have 3 on my bike. My first tail light I retired because it was too dim and was completely lost in the brighter LED mix, an early 90's flasher.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

  14. #14
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    Personally I don't see the point in the high priced tail lights. I think that u are better off getting 2 or 3 $30 lights. That way u have some redundancy if one fails, and you can aim them differently to have a better chance that they catch the attention of drivers

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammond9705 View Post
    Personally I don't see the point in the high priced tail lights. I think that u are better off getting 2 or 3 $30 lights. That way u have some redundancy if one fails, and you can aim them differently to have a better chance that they catch the attention of drivers
    All I can tell you is to get a high bright tail light and try it. In my experience there is a dramatic difference in driver behavior that significantly enhanced my safety. It's quite noticeable.

    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    Funny you mention the VIS 180 because I saw a comparison of the VIS180 vs the NiteFlux Red Zone 4, not the 8, it looked rather dim compared to the Vis., but the 8 is supposedly brighter and also $50 more than the Vis180 so it should be brighter, and apparently the only place you can get one is directly through NiteFlux. The NiteFlux 8 runs at 8 watts on high flash which is huge and the run time is a incredible 4 hours on high. So if a person wants the best light currently on the market then get the NiteFlux RZ8, but even then it would be advisable to use some other light on the rear of the helmet, or two RZ8.

    Currently the best deal on the market low price wise is still the Cygolite HotShot for just $30 at REI, followed by the Serfas TL60 which cost $55 on Amazon which a bit more money but it throws out a wider light then the HotShot. Cygolite also offers a combo deal combining a price favorite Metro 360 headlight with the price favorite HotShot tail light for about $80 on Amazon.

    As far as saying not to skimp on a rear light, I don't think that is entirely true, but everyone has their opinion of course. I think having 3 lower price tail lights would be just as effective; I saw a guy last year who had 8 or 10 tail lights that none were high priced lights, but he looked like a Christmas tree going down the road, if you missed seeing that bike you need to be banned from driving due to being blind!

    So there are different ways to do the same thing, you just have to decide which is best for you. In my case I kept all my tail lights and simply added a new one when I got it, so I have 3 on my bike. My first tail light I retired because it was too dim and was completely lost in the brighter LED mix, an early 90's flasher.
    The NZ 8 is super bright (I think it is 800 lumens - it's really bright), but it throws light in all directions including some to the front. As far as noticeable blooms on the pavement, it's got to be the leader. What I like about it is that it gives you omni directional visibility. Sometimes I ride with a saddle bag that can take a light jacket or layers. It will accept the NZ lights and there is no concern about aiming as there is with the Cygolites or even the Dinotte 300R (that I also have).

    As far as visibility down range, the Dinotte 300R wins that one hands down. These newer lights like the new Lupine and the new Dinotte with side visibility ought to be improvements but they still need to be aimed like the 300R does. They do have wider viewing angles than does the Cygolite.

    Ideally, if you worry about it, it would be a good idea to have a omni-directional light as well as an aimed light for down range visibility for rapidly approaching cars.

    Using less bright lights but more of them still probably doesn't help the down range viewing on a high speed road. That's one of my biggest worries if not the biggest.

    This is one of those marginal cost issues. The difference in cost from the high end to the low end is probably something on the order of $100. If you were in an accident and it could have been avoided with a brighter light, the marginal cost is inconsequential. With 40% of the bike/car accidents being from behind, that's a pretty big segment of the accidents that it makes sense to make sure you nail the visibility issue. In my case, I'm not going to take any chances.

    J.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Actually using a lot of tail lights does indeed show up a long ways down the road, I saw that guy wiht 8 to 10 lights while driving my car from about a mile to a mile and a quarter away very well, I was trying to figure out from that distance what the hell was going on up ahead!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

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    I just got one of these as a present. I currently use a VIS 180. Thus far, the placement of the charging port is a major fail, as it requires the light to be unmounted from the seat post completely. And, in typical German fashion, there are about eight million different settings to figure out. Also side visibility is not as good as the 180.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandieganLA View Post
    I just got one of these as a present. I currently use a VIS 180. Thus far, the placement of the charging port is a major fail, as it requires the light to be unmounted from the seat post completely. And, in typical German fashion, there are about eight million different settings to figure out. Also side visibility is not as good as the 180.
    There are very few tail lights on the market that have even a slight degree of side illumination, I've found the L & M Vis 180 (not the Vis 180 Micro) to be darn near the best if not the best. The Vis 180 not only has great emitting side illumination but also casts a plume of red light on the pavement and nearby walls of buildings and cars as you pass which aids in the effect.

    The best side illumination from a low cost tail light is the Cateye LD600 which is now been upgraded to the LD650 (Rapid 5), when this light is mounted vertically the side illumination has a fantastic large area effect, unfortunately the light is not as bright from the rear as the Vis 180 so it fails against the Vis 180 however I think it's more noticeable when viewed straight on from the side due to it's much larger profile and the roll of 5 led's, price wise the LD650 (Rapid 5) is the best in that area. I have the Cateye LD600 (which is not as bright as the LD650) which I mount vertically on my seat post (if mounted horizontally the side illumination effect is completely gone!), but I also use the L & M Vis 180 clipped to my seat bag which combined produces an interesting effect with the Vis 180 on steady and the LD600 on flash.

    I also use a Planet Bike Turbo Flash on my helmet, this light is brighter than the Cateye LD600 but it's side illumination is almost nil. This one is my cheapest light...I got it for free after finding it flashing one night on the side of the road!

    Like I said earlier technology in the lighting area are improving while prices continue to drop, there is at least one brighter self contained battery tail light then the L & M Vis 180, but so far the side illumination of that one is not brighter than the Vis 180 or even the LD650 (if mounted vertically).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    To ensure side visibility, I use a spoke light in my rear wheel. I would use one in the front, but it distracts me too much. Wheel or tire reflectors are good, too.

    Unfortunately, the spoke light uses watch batteries.
    Please put your location in your profile. It makes things so much more interesting.

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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    The Rotlicht is a very bright light at 160 lumens which makes it very useful for most daytime riding. The side visibility is very good and this combined with the high intensity puts this tiny light in a class of it's own. Off angle brightness of this light is excellent compared to normal blinkies that focus their brightest beam over a few degrees. Comparing a 70 lumen Hi Vis 180 to a 160 lumen Rotlicht is a no-contest.

    The run times of the Rotlicht don't worry me much as I always use the flashing mode during the day and at night the pulse mode looks to be a relative low drain on the battery.


    I have got to say that after using my Designshine DS-500 all other tail lights look like toys, with the exception of the Dinotte Daylight Red which is good but still only half as bright as the DS-500. What makes the Rotlicht attractive is it's tiny size and there is no external battery. It should make a good helmet light.

    I ride rural roads that are high-speed with hardly any shoulders so a powerful rear light makes me feel much safer.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ball Bearing View Post
    The Rotlicht is a very bright light at 160 lumens which makes it very useful for most daytime riding. The side visibility is very good and this combined with the high intensity puts this tiny light in a class of it's own. Off angle brightness of this light is excellent compared to normal blinkies that focus their brightest beam over a few degrees. Comparing a 70 lumen Hi Vis 180 to a 160 lumen Rotlicht is a no-contest.

    The run times of the Rotlicht don't worry me much as I always use the flashing mode during the day and at night the pulse mode looks to be a relative low drain on the battery.


    I have got to say that after using my Designshine DS-500 all other tail lights look like toys, with the exception of the Dinotte Daylight Red which is good but still only half as bright as the DS-500. What makes the Rotlicht attractive is it's tiny size and there is no external battery. It should make a good helmet light.

    I ride rural roads that are high-speed with hardly any shoulders so a powerful rear light makes me feel much safer.

    I agree. There is no substitute for a high bright tail light on a bike in traffic especially rural high speed roads like you describe. I ride in a similar area with the addition that they are winding roads and use either a Dinotte 300R or a Nightzone 8 both of which are high bright. Before that I rode with a Dinotte 400R and the 140R. And before that with the best of the blinkies. I do not include the vis180 (which I had for a while until I returned it) in that "high bright" category.

    There is a noticeable difference in driver behavior when approaching a cyclist with a high bright tail light. They slow down and go way wide. That's good for both the cyclists and the motorized vehicle.

    I'd love to see some video of the Rotlicht in action.


    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post


    I'd love to see some video of the Rotlicht in action.


    J.
    I don't have a smartphone so making a video is a bit of a hassle. There are a few already on YouTube - although none taken during the daytime...

    This one gives a good idea of the side visibility:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNC2oTJ7wP0

    Brake function:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqbsyooYisM

  23. #23
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    According this You Tube video the Lupine goes completely dark from the side, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdxE1xC7pzc

    Here is the same thing with the Light & Motion, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_7gBSfs84k

    But I guess if money was no object than the Dinotte Quad Red has all the self contained battery operated units beat. But the Niteflux Redzone 8 has superior side illumination over any that I have seen. Here is a video of the Dinotte and the Niteflux in action, note how dim the Dinotte gets from the side vs the Niteflux, but also note how bright the Dinotte is from the behind vs the Niteflux : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK45lPrCNSQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

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    I nearly bought a Dinotte Quad Red. The Rotlicht won out because the battery is easily user replaceable and it costs only 8 Euros. Having to return the Dinotte to the USA from Australia is costly and it takes a long time for the two way trip.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ball Bearing View Post
    I nearly bought a Dinotte Quad Red. The Rotlicht won out because the battery is easily user replaceable and it costs only 8 Euros. Having to return the Dinotte to the USA from Australia is costly and it takes a long time for the two way trip.
    Hmmm, I'm thinking that by the time you paid for the cost to return the light you probably could have paid for a new battery in the Dinotte battery when the time came in 5 years or so (and probably a lot longer because they used a military grade battery), and all that while you would have had a brighter light. The Dinotte battery is $70, which is quite a bit compared to just $10 for the Lupine.

    Personally I think you got the best light for the money, (the only problem I have with after seeing the video is side illumination appears to be very weak, but you could supplement that weakness with a couple of cheap small flashers mounted on the sides of the stays), but again people here were yakking about getting the best and brightest and you have to pay for that if you want that. When the time comes to replace my Light & Motion I probably consider the Lupine...problem is that by that time there will be better lights on the market just as the light you bought in 1 to 2 years for price you paid someone will come out with a brighter longer lasting light; it's just the nature of technology, and one can go poor trying to chase it each time something better comes out. In my case I had a Cateye LD600 for 12 or so years and I waited a long time before before I replaced it because I knew technology was rapidly changing, so when the technology got to the point where the L & M was the best self contained rechargeable light at the time and many times brighter I bought one, so far the newer lights are not many times brighter than the L & M but by the time mine fails there could be newer ones that will be many times brighter.

    By the way speaking of mounting small cheap red flashers on the both stays aimed to the sides, I did see a person who did this on both his stays and his fork. Also someone here put spoke lights on which would have an interesting effect as well.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF4MIEkIBZs

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