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Old 02-04-17, 12:12 PM   #1
gregjones
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Yet another taillight.......

This time with positive results.

CYGOLITE HOTSHOT PRO 150

I've been running a L&M 180 on the bike rack and a Cateye X2 on the BOB trailer's rack light mount. Nice set-up.

I just found out about the Hotshot 150, ordered and received it. I put it on the left, traffic side, framework of the trailer. This ***** is BRIGHT!!!!! It all but drowns out the X2. The variable speed of the different flash patterns is the cat's meow. Pick your flavor, then make it yours. I have never seen such a dramatic effect in car response to a light as I have since adding the Hotshot 150, most hesitate to even pass on two lane rural roads.

This thing works, and works well for me. Plus, it's not even thirty-five bucks.
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Old 02-04-17, 01:52 PM   #2
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Thanks for letting us know! I could stand to add some red blinkies to my setup (I have one on the back of my helmet, and 2 on my backpack), but a super bright attention grabber sounds perfect.
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Old 02-04-17, 04:05 PM   #3
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I bought the HotShot 150 at the end of the season and have not used it yet. When I first took it out of the box, I was not as blown away as I thought I'd be, but I tend to be that way when I spend money on something. I have since recharged it once or twice to keep the battery alive and I am much more impressed by its brightness now.

Update After First Season Of Use: I LOVE this thing now!

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Old 02-04-17, 06:47 PM   #4
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I have a Hotshot SL 50 (older model) that was a road find, I love it, and if I lost it I would pay to replace it. SUPER bright, although I guess the 150 is 3x as bright? And I love the USB charging, although I'm a little at a loss as to how to know when it needs charging.

Once I left it on the floor to charge on a powerstrip, and somebody stepped on it and the circular glass "lens" came out. I just superglued it back in, it's been fine.
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Old 02-05-17, 02:36 AM   #5
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And I love the USB charging, although I'm a little at a loss as to how to know when it needs charging.
That was in the instructions that I didn't read. Something about the brief red glow as you turn it off. I think if you get the glow....you're good to go.

USB charging is great. Finally, all of my lights, Bluetooth speaker, camera and of course phone are USB rechargeable. Oh yeah--so are the tent lights and my little camping fan. I bought a Surface 3 because it's USB rechargeable. All fine and good so long as there's a power source. Two Anker solar chargers, each charging a 15,000mha battery and one other thing has never let me down. Free power, just keep the batteries goin' for sunless times!!
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Old 02-06-17, 09:33 AM   #6
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Man I love Hotshot lights. I have 4 of 'em, 2 originals and 2 of the Pro 80's. I was mad when I found out they had come out with an even brighter one haha, as I had just received the 2 Pro 80's the previous Christmas.

I run both Pro 80's most of the time, on 2 different patterns. In full daylight I run them both on the random flash mode, or one on random and the other on the pulsating mode.

This shows the difference in beam pattern and intensity of the original Hotshot vs. the Pro 80 with the diffuser lens.

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Old 02-06-17, 10:24 AM   #7
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That was in the instructions that I didn't read. Something about the brief red glow as you turn it off. I think if you get the glow....you're good to go.
Well I guess RTFM to me then! At the cygolite website, there's not a lot of manuals, but the one for the Hotshot Micro says "Battery Low Indicator:
The light flickers when turning on/off, indicating a charge is needed." That is good to know.
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Old 02-06-17, 10:45 AM   #8
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If the Hotshot flickers when turning it off, it's almost dead. And obviously if it's off when you finish the ride, you know it needs to be charged.

I have so many USB charging devices that I had to get a couple of USB power hubs, a power strip, and throw it all into a shoebox.

Don't have a pic of the stuff in the shoebox, but this was what I was dealing with before:

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Old 02-06-17, 09:34 PM   #9
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I like the Hotshot 50 well enough to consider the 150. I compared the Hotshot 50 and 80 in REI a couple of months ago and couldn't see any difference in apparent brightness so I got the cheaper 50. Good light, more than bright enough for nighttime and most dim daylight conditions. But it's not immediately noticeable in bright daylight amid the other distractions in traffic.

I've videoed the Hotshot 50 in daytime from the equivalent to several car lengths and the frantic strobing is noticeable when directly behind the bike. And because most digital video tends to make red LEDs appear dimmer, the light is fairly visible to the eye in daylight. But it could stand to be brighter, so the Hotshot 150 may be better suited to daytime rides.

My other concern is the absence of output adjustment other than in steady mode. All of the Hotshots are too bright for nighttime group rides, other than in steady mode with the light dimmed. Some other cyclists I ride with use 'em and the Hotshot 80 is very distracting and almost painful when set to the faster pulsing modes. In nighttime group rides I switch to steady and turn the brightness way down.

Ideally I'd like a Hotshot 150 with brightness adjustments for all modes, including strobing and slower pulsing.

The recharge signal isn't intuitive. The Hotshot blinks quickly once when turned off when it still has enough charge to keep running. If you're using one of the strobing and pulsing modes it would be difficult to spot the low battery light signal. I prefer Blackburn's and Light & Motion's low battery or fuel gauge indicators: green, yellow-orange, red. Pretty intuitive.

It's my only bike light that needs a mini-USB cord rather than the more common micro. I'd prefer the mini because it's sturdier and less likely to become detached while I'm running/charging off an external battery pack. A couple of my micro USB cords are worn out from repeated plugging/unplugging. But now I need separate micro, mini and iPhone cables for any long rides that include nighttime rides.

The Hotshot seems too easy to steal so I mounted the clamp high enough on my seat post to prevent removing it via the quick release latch. And it's mounted high enough that most items rigged to my rear rack via a cargo net don't block the light.

When it's time to recharge I leave the Hotshot on the bike. I recharge via my external USB battery. It runs a long time on most modes, other than steady and slow pulse, so I usually need to recharge only once a week. Much longer interval than any of my other lights, most of which need to be recharged after every ride.

Last edited by canklecat; 02-06-17 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 02-08-17, 04:01 AM   #10
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I have my fair share of cygolites and I'll +1 to the thread starter. The 150 is on another level bright. I own some older ones, the 50, 80, 100 and the 150 just lights up the night. I run the 150 on my bike with two hotrods (50 lumens) on each seat stay and the 100 on my backpack. I get lots of room. I always tell my co workers that if someone were to ever hit me, they did it on purpose and not because they didn't see me.
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Old 02-08-17, 10:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I like the Hotshot 50 well enough to consider the 150. I compared the Hotshot 50 and 80 in REI a couple of months ago and couldn't see any difference in apparent brightness so I got the cheaper 50. Good light, more than bright enough for nighttime and most dim daylight conditions. But it's not immediately noticeable in bright daylight amid the other distractions in traffic.

I've videoed the Hotshot 50 in daytime from the equivalent to several car lengths and the frantic strobing is noticeable when directly behind the bike. And because most digital video tends to make red LEDs appear dimmer, the light is fairly visible to the eye in daylight. But it could stand to be brighter, so the Hotshot 150 may be better suited to daytime rides.

My other concern is the absence of output adjustment other than in steady mode. All of the Hotshots are too bright for nighttime group rides, other than in steady mode with the light dimmed. Some other cyclists I ride with use 'em and the Hotshot 80 is very distracting and almost painful when set to the faster pulsing modes. In nighttime group rides I switch to steady and turn the brightness way down.

Ideally I'd like a Hotshot 150 with brightness adjustments for all modes, including strobing and slower pulsing.

The recharge signal isn't intuitive. The Hotshot blinks quickly once when turned off when it still has enough charge to keep running. If you're using one of the strobing and pulsing modes it would be difficult to spot the low battery light signal. I prefer Blackburn's and Light & Motion's low battery or fuel gauge indicators: green, yellow-orange, red. Pretty intuitive.

It's my only bike light that needs a mini-USB cord rather than the more common micro. I'd prefer the mini because it's sturdier and less likely to become detached while I'm running/charging off an external battery pack. A couple of my micro USB cords are worn out from repeated plugging/unplugging. But now I need separate micro, mini and iPhone cables for any long rides that include nighttime rides.

The Hotshot seems too easy to steal so I mounted the clamp high enough on my seat post to prevent removing it via the quick release latch. And it's mounted high enough that most items rigged to my rear rack via a cargo net don't block the light.

When it's time to recharge I leave the Hotshot on the bike. I recharge via my external USB battery. It runs a long time on most modes, other than steady and slow pulse, so I usually need to recharge only once a week. Much longer interval than any of my other lights, most of which need to be recharged after every ride.
Hotshot user for over 3 years now, and I've never had any issue noticing the low power indicator. Whatever mode the light is on, when you hold the power button, it distinctly turns off, then makes the quick pulse to indicate low battery. And if the battery is REALLY low, it will make the same pulse when turning it on, before going to whatever mode it was last in (a really nice feature BTW).

Interesting thought about the type of cable. Everything in my pic above is mini-USB, including the GoPro battery charger. The only thing I have now that's micro instead of mini is my Buckshot bluetooth speaker.

Does your 50 have the same textured lens that the Pro 80 has, to spread the beam out? I've set up my bike and then rode another bike nearly 1,000 feet down the street in bright sunlight, and the Pro 80's are HIGHLY visible from that distance even during the day.
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Old 02-08-17, 10:34 AM   #12
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I compared the Hotshot 50 and 80 in REI a couple of months ago and couldn't see any difference in apparent brightness so I got the cheaper 50.
That's not surprising. The "flashlight nerds" say that noticeable differences start at doubled ratings. I have a L&M Urban 650, when I found a good deal on a 800 I jumped on it. Mistake!! The difference wasn't worth a fraction of the expense....if it was worth any at all.
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Old 02-08-17, 07:33 PM   #13
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Does your 50 have the same textured lens that the Pro 80 has, to spread the beam out? I've set up my bike and then rode another bike nearly 1,000 feet down the street in bright sunlight, and the Pro 80's are HIGHLY visible from that distance even during the day.
Nope, clear lens. It's highly concentrated to be most visible when directly behind the bike. Theoretically this should nudge tailgating drivers off to the side, where the intensity falls off. But it comes at the cost of side visibility.

I've noticed similar patterns with other riders using the Hotshot 80 in local nighttime group rides. It's uncomfortable to ride directly behind them because the light is so intense -- really too much for group rides, and there's no way to turn down the brightness on anything but steady mode. I'm not sure the textured or Fresnel type lens makes much difference.

Apparently automobile makers and nations can't reach any consensus on SAE vs ECE standards for headlights, so we probably won't see any standards for bicycle lights to settle which is supposedly the most effective.

So I'm going with the more individual, separate is better theory. I also use older style combination LED taillight/reflectors on both bikes. While less bright overall they have better side visibility. And I use a Blackburn 2'Fer in red flashing mode on the back of my helmet. And I plan to add more for side visibility.
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Old 02-08-17, 11:49 PM   #14
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Nope, clear lens. It's highly concentrated to be most visible when directly behind the bike. Theoretically this should nudge tailgating drivers off to the side, where the intensity falls off. But it comes at the cost of side visibility.

I've noticed similar patterns with other riders using the Hotshot 80 in local nighttime group rides. It's uncomfortable to ride directly behind them because the light is so intense -- really too much for group rides, and there's no way to turn down the brightness on anything but steady mode. I'm not sure the textured or Fresnel type lens makes much difference.

Apparently automobile makers and nations can't reach any consensus on SAE vs ECE standards for headlights, so we probably won't see any standards for bicycle lights to settle which is supposedly the most effective.

So I'm going with the more individual, separate is better theory. I also use older style combination LED taillight/reflectors on both bikes. While less bright overall they have better side visibility. And I use a Blackburn 2'Fer in red flashing mode on the back of my helmet. And I plan to add more for side visibility.
See my pic above of the beam patterns. The Fresnel lens makes a BIG difference from the distance of an approaching vehicle. The beam pattern is at least 3 times as wide.
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Old 02-09-17, 11:19 PM   #15
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Based upon the OP's review, plus all the glowing reports here (pun intended) I bought a Cygolite Hotshot 150. I plan to use for the firstbtime this weekend.

The Hotshot replaces a battery powered taillight. So I have no experience with rechargeable taillights.

What are the various runtimes based on the flash mode chosen? Which flas mode provides the longest run time?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-10-17, 10:37 AM   #16
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I have an earlier Hotshot, so my experience wouldn't be directly comparable. I find I have to recharge about once a week during peak (winter EST) season. That amounts to about 8-10 hours of life. The pulse rate does not seem to make much of a difference, although I use one mode almost exclusively. I tried a fast pulse for a week and got roughly the same life, so I don't overthink it, and just recharge once a week.

I choose flash mode based on what I find least obnoxious - a slow double pulse.
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Old 02-10-17, 02:19 PM   #17
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Based upon the OP's review, plus all the glowing reports here (pun intended) I bought a Cygolite Hotshot 150. I plan to use for the firstbtime this weekend.

The Hotshot replaces a battery powered taillight. So I have no experience with rechargeable taillights.

What are the various runtimes based on the flash mode chosen? Which flas mode provides the longest run time?

Thanks for your help.
I use the Random Flash mode almost exclusively in daylight, so in summer months I can go 1-2 weeks on a charge. In winter when it's dark out, I use one light on Steady with brightness lowered, and the other light on the pulsating mode, then switch the steady light to the combo steady/bright flash mode. I can go about a week on a charge that way. Not really sure about number of hours.
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Old 02-10-17, 02:52 PM   #18
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I just found out about the Hotshot 150, ordered and received it. I put it on the left, traffic side, framework of the trailer. This ***** is BRIGHT!!!!! It all but drowns out the X2.
I'd get one if I didn't already have the Cygolite Hotshot Pro 80. So I have an idea of how bright yours is. Brighter than mine and I got a few comments from riders behind me on it. One didn't like the slow blink ("too distracting"). Another saying "that light works well!" I think you can't have a bright enough tailight. Well, you might piss off some cyclists behind you but the cars will definately see you.
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Old 02-11-17, 08:42 PM   #19
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I have one of the lower model Hotshots. I don't know which one. I only charge it every month or so. I don't even know how long it lasts, because I charge it before it warns me. I ride for about 75 minutes at night on the way home, and I do that about twice a week, so I guess that means I use it for ten hours between charges.
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Old 02-14-17, 11:17 AM   #20
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I have a 50 and I recharge about once a week. I usually use steady pulse all the time day or night. I have tried to turn it down in a group ride but I can't figure that out. so I put it on the slow fade.


they said it was bright. Sometimes it is just easier to ride in the back of the group.
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Old 02-14-17, 02:52 PM   #21
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Well I guess RTFM to me then! At the cygolite website, there's not a lot of manuals, but the one for the Hotshot Micro says "Battery Low Indicator:
The light flickers when turning on/off, indicating a charge is needed." That is good to know.
I tested my 50 turning it off before and after charging (I had used it daily for like 3 weeks on flash, morning and evening, ~30-45min each way). It behaved the same freshly-charged as before; it's on, you hold the power button down, and after 1s it gives a short flash and turns off. Maybe the 50 doesn't have a charge-indication feature?
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Old 02-14-17, 03:17 PM   #22
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USB confusion

I like the look of that light, but ... all my lights charge with a micro-USB (at least, I think that's what they are ... no labels or such). I'm trying to keep all my lights using one cable on my computer at work. I don't want to have to mix and match USB cables. Bummer.
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Old 02-14-17, 04:05 PM   #23
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I tested my 50 turning it off before and after charging (I had used it daily for like 3 weeks on flash, morning and evening, ~30-45min each way). It behaved the same freshly-charged as before; it's on, you hold the power button down, and after 1s it gives a short flash and turns off. Maybe the 50 doesn't have a charge-indication feature?
The short flash when holding the button means that it turned off. If the battery is low, it will make that short flash to turn off, then make a dim flicker for 1-2 seconds.
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Old 02-15-17, 08:56 AM   #24
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I like the look of that light, but ... all my lights charge with a micro-USB (at least, I think that's what they are ... no labels or such). I'm trying to keep all my lights using one cable on my computer at work. I don't want to have to mix and match USB cables. Bummer.
It's easy to get confused with all of the versions. The Hotshot uses the same plug as my cell phones, tablet and all of my other bike lights.
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Old 02-15-17, 09:33 AM   #25
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The short flash when holding the button means that it turned off. If the battery is low, it will make that short flash to turn off, then make a dim flicker for 1-2 seconds.
OK thx, I will watch for that. usually I'm on the side of the light/bike when I turn it off, I can see the short flash quite clearly, but to watch for a dim flicker maybe I need to step around behind
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