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Old 10-10-11, 07:59 PM   #1
El_Guapo
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Can Anyone Recommend A Good Bike Light

Can anyone recommend a good LED bike light? Preferably one that charges with a USB. I've found that a lot of them are $150 and up. Kind of pricey for a little lamp.
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Old 10-13-11, 11:12 AM   #2
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What will be the purpose of the light? As a true headlight for night riding, or more as a "be seen" light? There are a lot of options out there for both, but it would help to know what kind of riding you have in mind.
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Old 10-13-11, 04:18 PM   #3
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for years I have ridden with the old style generator light sets. I just ordered 2 for my current bikes, from Amazon. I hate batterys, and I have been so screwed by garbage light sets off ebay. back to the old generator style for me!
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Old 10-15-11, 01:02 PM   #4
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What will be the purpose of the light? As a true headlight for night riding, or more as a "be seen" light? There are a lot of options out there for both, but it would help to know what kind of riding you have in mind.
Both. I would like to have the option of going out at night and riding some of the paved and non-paved trails around where I live, but at the same time I want to ensure that I don't become road kill.
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Old 10-15-11, 02:00 PM   #5
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I just bought one of the 2W Blaze lights from Planet Bike last week. It was $55 at REI minus the 20% discount they've got going through Sunday. It has low, high and blink settings and the latter two are absolutely blinding.

Battery life is a bit of an issue though, I may need to invest in rechargeable batteries. I also hate having to take it on and off every time I stop and lock up my bike but there is no way I'm leaving 50 bucks sitting on my handle bars. I didn't care before, when it was just a cheap Cateye.
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Old 10-17-11, 02:09 PM   #6
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CygoLite ExpiliOn or MiliOn. The CygoLite ExpiliOn 350 is bright, the charge last a good while and charges on USB. $110
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Old 10-17-11, 03:02 PM   #7
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Why do you want it to be charged with USB specifically?
There is little to be gained from charging something with USB ... in fact there is only maximum amperage to be lost.
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Old 10-17-11, 07:34 PM   #8
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Why do you want it to be charged with USB specifically?
There is little to be gained from charging something with USB ... in fact there is only maximum amperage to be lost.
My guess is out of convenience, and possibly charging at work.
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Old 10-18-11, 03:11 PM   #9
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How much runtime do you want? I'm using some single 18650 LED flashlights (Ultrafire WF-502b) and they are super bright with a great pattern, but they have less than 90 minutes of life. Fine for my morning fitness ride, terrible for serious nighttime use.

You need systems with external batteries if you want bright and 2+ hours of life.

I would give up the USB charging requirement. That will limit you to either really small lights, or really long charge times.


BTW: there's a lights & gadgets forum here on BF. Very good tips and specific product recommendations there.
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Old 10-18-11, 06:59 PM   #10
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Why do you want it to be charged with USB specifically?
There is little to be gained from charging something with USB ... in fact there is only maximum amperage to be lost.
I don't want to be bothered with buying batteries. The convenience factor is a big one for me.
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Old 10-18-11, 07:00 PM   #11
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How much runtime do you want? I'm using some single 18650 LED flashlights (Ultrafire WF-502b) and they are super bright with a great pattern, but they have less than 90 minutes of life. Fine for my morning fitness ride, terrible for serious nighttime use.

You need systems with external batteries if you want bright and 2+ hours of life.

I would give up the USB charging requirement. That will limit you to either really small lights, or really long charge times.


BTW: there's a lights & gadgets forum here on BF. Very good tips and specific product recommendations there.
Thanks for the info. Too bad about the runtime. I really don't want to be hassled with buying batteries all the time.
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Old 10-18-11, 07:40 PM   #12
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A 18650 is a 3.6/3.7 volt lithium ion battery about 50% thicker than a AA and twice as long. They range from 2000 to 3000 mAh. Strong flashlights nuke a single 18650 in under 90 min like I said earlier. Magicshine and numerous other systems might use a battery pack with anywhere from 2 to 6 18650 cells in them. (There are several other lithium options too.)

My cheap-o charger gets them fully juiced in 2.5 hours.
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Old 10-18-11, 08:17 PM   #13
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I started commuting before dawn and quickly found that i needed more than my little $30.00 Planet Bike light and did some research and found the most bang for the buck with Jet Lites. I got the A-51 model and it is bright enough for real night rides. I forget the actual lumens, but it was way brighter for the money than the other high end lights. The battery is light weight and charges quickly with a plug in the wall charger and lasts a long time... several hours. $230.00 Check em out on line.
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Old 10-19-11, 07:28 PM   #14
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If you do go with batteries, Sanyo's Eneloop rechargeable batteries work. I've been using them for years in all kinds of things -- bike lights, cameras, Wii remotes, etc., and they perform in all of it. Not at all like rechargeables of old.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:14 PM   #15
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the HL-EL135 cat eye lights seem to be pretty bright and not to expensive. I think if i remember correctly that light is like $20. Oh and it doesn't seem to use a lot of energy from the battery.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by EsoxLucius View Post
CygoLite ExpiliOn or MiliOn. The CygoLite ExpiliOn 350 is bright, the charge last a good while and charges on USB. $110
I have the 250 version of this light. Rock solid and bright enough for up to around 16-18 mph. Bright enough to be visible in direct sunlight.The 350 version would be better as you're planning some off road riding.

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I just bought one of the 2W Blaze lights from Planet Bike last week. It was $55 at REI minus the 20% discount they've got going through Sunday. It has low, high and blink settings and the latter two are absolutely blinding.

Battery life is a bit of an issue though, I may need to invest in rechargeable batteries. I also hate having to take it on and off every time I stop and lock up my bike but there is no way I'm leaving 50 bucks sitting on my handle bars. I didn't care before, when it was just a cheap Cateye.
I use this one for a night time flasher .
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