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  1. #1
    Senior Member AcornMan's Avatar
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    Looking for a good light

    As the sun comes up later and later, I have found myself bicycling in pitch darkness for much of my daily morning ride. Even just a month ago there was enough ambient light that my little LED light from Target did the job just fine, but when it's this dark I don't feel comfortable having such a small area of the road illuminated.

    So, without breaking the bank (I'll just stop riding in darkness if I have to spend a fortune) can someone recommend a good light for me? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    The best light I've heard of for under a hundred dollars is the magic shine P-7. It'll run you about $80-90 depending on the vendor. There are a couple of forums about this light over in the electronics forum.

    FWIW, those target lights are just "be seen lights" there only maybe 55 lumens or less, the magic shine is rated at 900 lumens, but I've heard it's more like 600.
    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
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  3. #3
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    How about any lights on the low side of $50? Even at $80+, I'd rather duct tape a mag light to the bars.

  4. #4
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    How about any lights on the low side of $50? Even at $80+, I'd rather duct tape a mag light to the bars.
    Not a decent one. DX Rider was right, the Magicshine is by far the best bang for the $. You're talking about a $90 light that is as bright or brighter than a lot of lights three times it's price.

    IMO, there's two flavors of light. You can buy cheap lights until you're blue in the face, but when you then buy a real light you'll realize that they were worthless...

  5. #5
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    This is what I use:
    $25.51 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.16538
    It has a farther throw than a P7. I usually ride home after dark and part of my route is on an unlit MUP. This thing fits the bill perfectly.

    And this:
    $1.54 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.8274

    And this:
    $5.14 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3499

    and these:
    $6.75 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19770

    Grand total: $38.94 and free shipping
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  6. #6
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    I don't think you will do better, light output/price, than the P-7.

  7. #7
    Opt-in Member GreenGrasshoppr's Avatar
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    the planet bike blaze one watt gets me tons of complaints from other road users and the occasional "high-beam check"

  8. #8
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    FYI, if you go the rechargable route, try find rayovac hybrid batteries. They actually seem to perform much better than standard rechargables.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    After I did my first night/group ride, I went looking. Good god, they sell lights for 400-700 bucks! I'd bet you that halogen I got 25 years ago for my motorcycle put out a hell of a lot more light on the road.

    They are HID lights and I actually overheard severl bikers complaining because there were folks with such light that can easily blind pother bikers..

    Anyway, I have some small, el cheapo LED flash lights (8 LEDs, 3 AAAs for voltage), so I rigged on on my bars. Not bad, but not great. Probably best to use 2 (I think they cost me all of 5 or 6 bucks each).

    BUT, mounting it on the bars gives a fixed view. Next time, I'm going to rig two of them onto my helmet (I can do that wthout may damage or permanment change to the helmet). Somehow, I think this might be a better solution as I can very easly make sure the light falls where I want it.
    1991 Trek 750 Multitrack Hybrid

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
    How about any lights on the low side of $50? Even at $80+, I'd rather duct tape a mag light to the bars.
    There are no "see the road" lights on the low side of $50. You could try a Planet Bike Blaze at about $50 - it's bright for the price I suppose. It's definitely way brighter than a cheap light from Target. Might be the equivalent of a Mag Light.

    But a $100 bike light is *dramatically* brighter than a $50 bike light. There's not much in the more than $50, less than $100 range - the p7 flashlight is the cheapest light I've heard of that counts as a "too see by" light. And I don't believe the $80 for the light includes the cost of the battery, charger, and bike mount? I personally like the Dinotte 200L, but it's like $100 for the light, plus you need the batteries and charger.

    Lights that are good enough to bike by aren't terribly cheap. You don't need to spend $600, but you do need to spend more than $50. That's just the way it is with bike lights. Perhaps you could find someone selling their older system on ebay or craigslist...though then you risk that the battery is shot and just a new battery would cost you $50-$100.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverside_Guy View Post
    After I did my first night/group ride, I went looking. Good god, they sell lights for 400-700 bucks! I'd bet you that halogen I got 25 years ago for my motorcycle put out a hell of a lot more light on the road.

    They are HID lights and I actually overheard severl bikers complaining because there were folks with such light that can easily blind pother bikers..

    Anyway, I have some small, el cheapo LED flash lights (8 LEDs, 3 AAAs for voltage), so I rigged on on my bars. Not bad, but not great. Probably best to use 2 (I think they cost me all of 5 or 6 bucks each).

    BUT, mounting it on the bars gives a fixed view. Next time, I'm going to rig two of them onto my helmet (I can do that wthout may damage or permanment change to the helmet). Somehow, I think this might be a better solution as I can very easly make sure the light falls where I want it.
    Aaaaah, kids. It's so fun to watch them try this stuff isn't it? I mean, as long as you don't have to pay their medical bills.

    What you don't understand is that among people who bike in the dark, the people recommending a P7 flashlight *are* the cheapo people among people who are experienced with bike lights. Granted, you may be biking a lot slower than us. That would help.

  12. #12
    pgk
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    Check out Lupine, they are not cheap by any standards, but built very well. Check out their Betty LCD 1500 Lumens!!!
    http://www.lupine.de/web/en/

  13. #13
    Senior Member Riverside_Guy's Avatar
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    For that kind of spec, I'd almost bet you we're talking 400+ bucks. What I found interesting is they show that light as a helmet mount. I can't wait to see what my 2 cheapies on a helmet mount do (and I'm NOT talking about doing 35 mph on twisty, windy dark roads!)
    1991 Trek 750 Multitrack Hybrid

  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    There are no "see the road" lights on the low side of $50. You could try a Planet Bike Blaze at about $50 - it's bright for the price I suppose. It's definitely way brighter than a cheap light from Target. Might be the equivalent of a Mag Light.
    The light that MMACH 5 is talking about is much, much, much brighter than any of the cheapest lights you can find. It's even brighter than may far more expensive lights. I use a MTE SSC P7 from Deal Extreme (the 2 mode is a bit more robust) because the light output is much higher than the one he uses. Either is a good choice but does require some Macguivering to fit it to a bicycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    But a $100 bike light is *dramatically* brighter than a $50 bike light. There's not much in the more than $50, less than $100 range - the p7 flashlight is the cheapest light I've heard of that counts as a "too see by" light. And I don't believe the $80 for the light includes the cost of the battery, charger, and bike mount? I personally like the Dinotte 200L, but it's like $100 for the light, plus you need the batteries and charger.
    The Magicshine 900 includes everything you need for a light. Battery (4 cell Lithium), charger, mount (o-ring) for handlebar, and cable for light. I don't think you can do better...even if you build it yourself. And that's saying a lot coming from me
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  15. #15
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    Hey cycco,
    What run time do you get on that MTE SSC P7? That thing kicks out a lot of light. I'd love to get one and drop the LED/driver assembly into mine and see what kind of throw I could get out of it.

    If I loved it, I want to ride with it, but my commute is sometimes 2 hours, one way. I have a charger at work and usually carry a backup battery or two.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
    Hey cycco,
    What run time do you get on that MTE SSC P7? That thing kicks out a lot of light. I'd love to get one and drop the LED/driver assembly into mine and see what kind of throw I could get out of it.

    If I loved it, I want to ride with it, but my commute is sometimes 2 hours, one way. I have a charger at work and usually carry a backup battery or two.
    I get about 1.5 hours on high (the only setting I run on) on one battery. I do carry spares for each light.

    I did get a Turboferret external battery pack and a dummy cell to do a conversion but I just haven't done it yet. Here's the whole kit.

    If the Magicshine were around when I started messing with these things a couple of years ago, I'd have gone that route, however.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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