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Bike Light Suggestions

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Bike Light Suggestions

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Old 06-03-18, 08:23 AM
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2wheelride
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Bike Light Suggestions

So I work the closing hours at work which means when I head home it's on the darker side. I've been thinking about getting some proper lights but I've no clue what light I should be getting based on reliability. I could really use some guidance on what light I should be buying. Thanks once more for the help
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Old 06-03-18, 03:44 PM
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For the most in reliability a dynamo hub and light are the best, in my opinion. but they are a pretty good sized investment. I'd look at the Light & Motion Commuter combos. Before I went dynamo, I had one of their lights from a few years ago and it was very well made and reliable. And the technology has even improved since then. Whatever light you choose, it's a worthwhile investment to stay safe!
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Old 06-03-18, 04:11 PM
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Lights today are really cheap compared to 10 years ago. I'd recommend getting 1 good light and a too good to be true internet special for the front - one of the handlebars and the other on your helmet. And a good light for the back. That way you'll have redundancy and flexibility.
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Old 06-03-18, 05:06 PM
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I'm taking your post as you looking for specific recommendations. Since I haven't been disappointed with any of the following products, I'll suggest these.

cygolite metro, of at least 350 lumens or greater for the front. I personally found the light to be great value for dollars. And there is a steady pulse mode that provides a constant beam of light as well as an attention getting flash with no interruption to your beam of light so you can see and be seen. I currently use the cygolite metro 1100 lumens for the front and really enjoy it. The mounting systems for these lights are great, and the single button and USB charging are easy, and convenient. Without knowing how long your commute is, I dont knoe if the light on its highest setting will last long enough for you.

the light and motion taz 1200 is another strong recommendation from me. The tightly focused beam works excellently, you never really outrun the beam of light. There is also a flood beam as part of the light that gives you lots of light imediately in front of your wheel and to the sides which is also helpful. Single button functionality and USB charging as above are also great.

these lights work well in all weathers and temperatures for me here in Massachusetts where we get a pretty good spread of weather and temperatures.

for he rear I use the cygolite hotshot 150 which has been great,bright, and long lasting.

I hope you find my experiences l with these products helpful.
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Old 06-03-18, 05:15 PM
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I second the Cygolite Metro and Hotshots. I use them as daytime lights and they are bright as heck in full sun. I can't even imagine how bright they are in the dark.

Battery life on both is good and there are plenty of mode choices for different situations. I spent a ridiculous amount of time shopping and researching lights a year or two ago. After I bought these, I realized that just about anything with similar specs would have been more than enough. Don't waste time overthinking lights. Buy the Cygolite Metro for the front (I have the 800 and it's killer bright) and the Cygolite Hotshot (I've got the 150) for the rear and you are done.
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Old 06-04-18, 08:46 AM
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Cygolites all the way for me. They are a great balance between being effective and affordable. (check eBay for deals)

They could get smashed in a fall or stolen. So I don't love the idea of having super expensive lights.

But the $10 Amazon specials aren't reliable enough or bright enough as primary lights either. Cygolites are good enough to provide actual safety, reliable enough that they'll work when you need them, and cheap enough that they are replaceable if you break or lose one.

For me it's the Hotshot 150 and Hotrod 50 on the rear (2 lights, with different blink patterns. One also can only be seen straight back but the other can be seen at a pretty wide angle from the sides) And a Dash 460 in the front.

For the front, I don't ride for distance in the dark. I use it mostly as a daytime "SEE ME" light and its' great for that. For my 2-3 mile dark rides when I commute in the winter it's okay as a headlight. If you're riding in the dark for more than 2-3 miles on a regular basis, I'd go with a brighter light that makes a better headlight to illuminate your path.

There are other brands that fit the Cygolite sweet spot of 'good enough and cheap enough' without being too pricey or too ineffective. But Cygolites are all I can speak about.

No matter what brand you go with, something that's USB rechargeable is the only way to fly. With any kind of regular dark riding you'll burn through batteries fast. USB rechargable ones are great. You can also keep a small USB charging battery with you so plug a light in if it runs out of juice while you're on the roar as a backup.
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Old 06-04-18, 08:53 AM
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I prefer the cygolite hotshot for the rear and either a cygolite or cateye volt series for the front.
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Old 06-04-18, 11:00 AM
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Okay I know you asked for guidance on what lights, but first a commentary on what has become important to me. Other than being bright enough, I value having USB rechargeable as well as decent run-times. I am switching over all my lights to USB rechargeable so I can charge them while I am at work. I hate having to buy batteries, or have a dedicated battery charger available. For me, the charger would be at home when I realize my batteries are low, so being able to charge off the wall or computer at work is a big help. On a similar note, I look for lights that have a low battery indicator. Cygolights have been mentioned by others, and I use their taillights and love the fact that it has a low power indicator. Not sure how long of a commute you have, but if you buy more light than you need, you can run at a lower setting and thus get longer run-times between charges.

For me, up front I have Light and Motion 700 which is for now my main light. I have an ancient Planet bike Alias as my secondary front light. The Alias will soon be replaced with a Raveman PR1200.
For tail lights, I have two Cygolights, the Hotshot 50 as well as the Hotrod. My third light is a Planet Bike Superflash, but will be replacing the Superflash with another Hotshot. Finally, have more than one light up front and in the back. If one light fails, you have a second going. This is especially important with taillights as you can't see if the light has turned off.
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Old 06-04-18, 11:05 AM
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Cygolite Metro for the front and Cygolite Hotshot for the rear as well.
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Old 06-04-18, 11:12 AM
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Where you are riding is really important when it comes to lights to recommend.
If you are in a well lit area then your primary concern is to have a light bright enough to be seen, which might only be around 150 lumens.
If your ride home doesn't have much for street lighting then you need much brighter so you can see the roads ahead, and I'd be looking for more like 700 lumens.
And if your ride includes any sort of rough dirt roads or even single track then you really want some high power lighting.
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Old 06-04-18, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by RoadKill View Post
Where you are riding is really important when it comes to lights to recommend.
If you are in a well lit area then your primary concern is to have a light bright enough to be seen, which might only be around 150 lumens.
If your ride home doesn't have much for street lighting then you need much brighter so you can see the roads ahead, and I'd be looking for more like 700 lumens.
And if your ride includes any sort of rough dirt roads or even single track then you really want some high power lighting.
I disagree. Riding in "well lighted area" require more light than where it is less well lighted. You don't necessarily need the light to see where you are going but you need more light to out shine the thousands of other light sources. 150 lumens of light is going to be lost in the other lights. "Be seen" lights often aren't.

Go with a much brighter light and, if you buy them off Fleabay or Amazon, you can afford far more than 700 lumens. $20 or $30 will buy a very good, bright (but not as bright as they claim) light. Three $20 lights (2 on bars, one on helmet) will make you visible and light up the road...even in those well lighted areas. With three 800 lumen lights (roughly) coming at them, drivers are extremely cautious about pulling out in front of you. They don't know if you are a train off the tracks or some kind of monster truck but the point is that they don't pull out.

And, at $60 to $90, it won't break the bank.
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Old 06-04-18, 01:27 PM
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I agree with cyccommute by needing a brighter light in well lite areas. Just like daytime lights need to be brighter if they are going to be seen. Part of my commute is on a busy street with a lot of shops and cars. I bump the intensity up so my lights are not lost in the headlights from cars coming up behind me. Then when I turn onto the poorly lite street and can drop the intensity and have more then enough light to see and be seen.
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Old 06-04-18, 01:55 PM
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Don't focus on the light itself so much as the attachment system.
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Old 06-04-18, 02:11 PM
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My goto light is the cygolite dart 350. Super light and super low profile - on a black bar it looks like the bike was designed with an integrated light.
It attaches with a silicone strap, making it more versitalie than any other light I have.
It is light and versatile enough to mount on my helmet without me really noticing it is there.
I use it as a daytime strobe (tire of cars not seeing me) and as a nighttime directional light on my helmet.

For really dark gravel/road/MUP rides, I use a 750 lumen or brighter light on my bars and on my helmet (1500 total)
(If its dark, I want a lot of light - if it is well lit 350 lumens is plenty).

https://cygolite.com/product/dart-pro-350-usb/


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Old 06-04-18, 04:46 PM
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One more thing about ANY lights you choose...

It seems like every few weeks, the light you buy becomes obsolete. I thought my Cygolite Metro 850 was the brightest, most powerful light I could ever want or need. Just a few posts above, I see that someone mentioned a Metro 1100. Now I have buyer's remorse and I want to kill myself.

Don't get caught in the same frustrating cycle. Buy enough light for your purpose and then ignore whatever the lighting manufacturer does to try to convince you it's not enough.

Last edited by Papa Tom; 06-04-18 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 06-04-18, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
One more thing about ANY lights you choose...

It seems like every few weeks, the light you buy becomes obsolete. I thought my Cygolite Metro 850 was the brightest, most powerful light I could ever want or need. Just a few posts above, I see that someone mentioned a Metro 1100. Now I have buyer's remorse and I want to kill myself.

Don't get caught in the same frustrating cycle. Buy enough light for your purpose and then ignore whatever the lighting manufacturer does to try to convince you it's not enough!
Lol. I'm happy with my Metro 500 front and Hotshot on the back.
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Old 06-04-18, 05:23 PM
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I recommend TWO lights.
-you can run one on bright and one on dim
-you can point one up the road and one down
-you can run one on and one off to save battery
-they almost never run out of power at the same time so you'll always have spare light.

I like my Luminas.

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Old 06-04-18, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I recommend TWO lights.
-you can run one on bright and one on dim
-you can point one up the road and one down
-you can run one on and one off to save battery
-they almost never run out of power at the same time so you'll always have spare light.

I like my Luminas.

Nice setup.


I choose for myself a setup that has worked very well and that is going with the Cateye Volt 1600.


What I like about this light is that I usually run it at either the lowest or second lowest of the three non-flash settings, and it lasts such a long time, that I can easily go a week before needing to recharge it.


If I had saved a few pennies and bought the Cateye Volt 800, it would have worked well for me too, but I would need to recharge it more often, and that irritates me.


Also Cateye's quick release system works very well, unlike the quick release system Moon and a few others have for their rear lights.


The Cateye Volt 1600 also has a day time flash that combines a constant 200 lumen with a 1600lumen flash thrown in, that lasts for many, many hours between recharges.
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Old 06-05-18, 07:38 AM
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https://www.ebay.com/itm/Shimano-Nex...cAAOSw4GVYOWZo

this will get you started. they work great paired with dyno led lights
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Old 06-05-18, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I recommend TWO lights.
-you can run one on bright and one on dim
-you can point one up the road and one down
-you can run one on and one off to save battery
-they almost never run out of power at the same time so you'll always have spare light.

I like my Luminas.

I like your handlebar. What is that?

Swept back but not insane....looks comfortable.
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Old 06-05-18, 09:42 AM
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USB charging is nice, but replaceable Lion batteries like the 18650 will allow you to replace the batteries when they wear out instead of replacing the light when they wear out. Plus you can extend your run times if you go on longer rides by bringing backup batteries.
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Old 06-05-18, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
I like your handlebar. What is that?

Swept back but not insane....looks comfortable.
It came stock on my Trek District S - unbranded.
It's not bad, I would've preferred plain old straight bar though.

My Trek District S Review

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Old 06-05-18, 11:34 AM
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I'm not commuting but I have a front and back light from Dinotte. Not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Mine are about 5 years old (still going strong), but they have upgraded everything quite a bit in the intervening years.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...notte+quad+red
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Old 06-05-18, 05:36 PM
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For a front light where you really need power, I'm not going to waste (or 'invest') money on bike-specific lights. Regular CREE LED flashlights are amazing values.

My headlight, which is something like this, attached to my handlebars with hose clamps. It's bright like the sun, I can see where I'm going in total darkness, and it's dirt-cheap. I had previously bought a similar, larger light, but that required two 18650 batteries and this smaller one only needs one (so now I always have a backup ready to go), and being smaller it's more stable. It has a zoomable head so I can get the light on the ground where it's useful, not up bouncing off street signs or other peoples' eyesballs.
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Old 06-05-18, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Cygolite Metro for the front and Cygolite Hotshot for the rear as well.
Yep. Cygolite Metro 550 up front and Cygolite Hotshot Pro for the back. If I had to do it over, I would buy a Cygolite 850 and use it on medium. The problem with pretty much any single battery headlight is that you only get 1.5 hours on max, which is often not long enough for my night time rides. Running the 850 on medium would give 3.5-4 hours run time.

YMMV
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