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Lighting suggestions?

Old 08-31-04, 03:49 PM
  #1  
leftnotracks
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Lighting suggestions?

I've got a basic 4AA CatEye light, bugt I want something with a little more candle power, and possibly rechargeable. Budget is a serious consideration, as is weight, burn time, and security.

What are recommendations, and where is the best place to get it, either on-line in Canada or in Vancouver area shops?
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Old 08-31-04, 04:03 PM
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Www.performancebike.com has a ton of great deals.
I'll go by my general rule of mph=watts required. If you're going to be doing around 15, 15 watts is good, etc.
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Old 08-31-04, 04:53 PM
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I just got this...

https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

NiteHawk Raptor 10w for $35. I was suprised, 10w halogen is quite bright.
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Old 08-31-04, 11:43 PM
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That Raptor sounds like a very good deal, the only problems I could find is that it uses up a bottle cage, and the run time-though not bad-is 2.5 hours. There is also a light put out by Cygo called the Rover NiCad 6hr that cost about $78 but it has 2 beams, a 6 watt (6 hour run time) flood beam and a 10 watt (2.5 hour) spot or combine them both for 16watts (1.5 hr). I use the Cygo Metro because it was cheap at $48, has 2 beams: 6 watt flood (5 hr run time) and a 6 watt spot (5 hr) or combined for 12 watts (2.5 hr). But this thing runs on 6 D batteries, of course you could use rechargeable D's; also though the battery pack does not use up bottle cage space.

I disagree with that 1 watt per 1 mph rule that Slvoid gave. I've ridden to 35mph coming down hills on a pitch dark country road and on pitch dark tree line bike paths and had no problems seeing with a 12 watt light. That may be a "nice" rule if you have money to spend on a 35watt light; but geez a 35 watt light is brighter then most car lights that use 27 watt bulbs and they use these at freeway speeds.
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Old 08-31-04, 11:45 PM
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Ok.. how about 1mph per watt up to 18mph then it's no longer linear
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Old 09-01-04, 07:23 AM
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I used to think budget was a serious consideration, until I realized that the expensive lights really are better, and provide me with more protection against being hit, maimed, and killed. After having this enlightenment, I went out and bought an expensive light.

If you are hit, and assuming you survive, you would pay ANY amount in retrospect to avoid having been hit.

Dollars spent on safety gear are dollars that pay dividends.

Originally Posted by leftnotracks
Budget is a serious consideration, as is weight, burn time, and security.
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Old 09-01-04, 07:35 AM
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I was planning on doing the totall geekiness thing, and I may well do so, but I recently got caught out after dark. Where I ride, there are *no* lights. None. I promptly ran out and grabbed a cygolite HID from performance. With a 20% off coupon and 10% team performance kickback, it worked out to around $215. Lots of money? Sure. But I may need the three hour runtime and I sure need the wattage.

Don't forget the rear. You either need a LOT of LEDs back there, or even better try one of the Xenon strobes (https://www.swps.net/ligbasbikstr.html), which is what I went with. That thing puts out serious light and really attracts attention.
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Old 09-01-04, 08:03 AM
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If budget is an issue, you might want to browse through the famous Total Geekiness -thread for a thorough discussion of good homemade bike lights.

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Old 09-01-04, 09:08 AM
  #9  
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I would also consider a generator light. I have a Union sidewall generator I bought to evaluate this type system. It is the cheapest, what I would call decent quality generator system. Higher dollar systems don't put out more power, they just have lower resistance. I also have a basic 4-AA cell light made by Specialized, and the generator light blows it away. Admittedly, the beam is not very wide, but for my suburban commute, it works fine. As far as being seen, I had my wife ride up & down the street in front of our house, and I was amazed at how visible it was. It's true that you can't "light up the night" with this system like an HID system can, but I feel it has other advantages that make the compromise acceptable. Such as, never being without light. I never lose light due to dead batteries. I don't have to remember to recharge batteries before each trip. With my memory, I don't need anything else to remember. At some point, I WOULD wind up with dead batteries at a most inopportune time. I do, however, use a rear blinkie to be seen while stopped. I'm looking to upgrade to a standlight system now that stays lit for a few minutes after stopping.
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Old 09-01-04, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Sloth
Don't forget the rear. You either need a LOT of LEDs back there, or even better try one of the Xenon strobes (https://www.swps.net/ligbasbikstr.html), which is what I went with. That thing puts out serious light and really attracts attention.
Aren't some people/drivers are attracted to bright strobes like moths to a flame? Does something funky to their brains that makes 'em go zombie and home in on the flashing light. I only use solid rear lights. Damned zombies.
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Old 09-01-04, 01:15 PM
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Hey I just combined the Planet Bike Super Spot (Luxeon LED) and the Cateye EL500 (also a Luxeon LED). Neither one is adequate alone but together they really light up the road. I highly recommend them together. The Cateye has a highly focused long range beam while the Super Spot is wide and better for immediately in front of the bike. Anyway, had to chime in as I am jazzed about an LED solution that is finaly bright enough for me to comfortably see what is on the road at a decent speed.

Super Spot = $35
EL500 = $50
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Old 09-01-04, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul L.
Hey I just combined the Planet Bike Super Spot (Luxeon LED) and the Cateye EL500 (also a Luxeon LED). Neither one is adequate alone but together they really light up the road. I highly recommend them together. The Cateye has a highly focused long range beam while the Super Spot is wide and better for immediately in front of the bike. Anyway, had to chime in as I am jazzed about an LED solution that is finaly bright enough for me to comfortably see what is on the road at a decent speed.

Super Spot = $35
EL500 = $50
If Performance would give me my #&@#* credits I'd SO hit it. My handlebar is running out of room for toys, though. :/
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Old 09-01-04, 03:39 PM
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Has anyone tried the Topeak Moonshine? That looks like an ever better price, but I can't find reviews on it anywhere. I'd hate to save a whole bunch of money only to return the darn thing.
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Old 09-01-04, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Seanholio
Has anyone tried the Topeak Moonshine? That looks like an ever better price, but I can't find reviews on it anywhere. I'd hate to save a whole bunch of money only to return the darn thing.
Yeah I was interested in this light also but didn't find any threads on it here at this forum. Price is pretty good but don't know how it performs.
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Old 09-01-04, 09:05 PM
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So I'm looking at both the EL300 and EL400 or headlights with a halogen. Being a beginner to biking, I don't have any experience with the LED vs Halogen comparison. I've read comments about the cateye products, any new comments?
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Old 09-01-04, 10:04 PM
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Hi, I'm new here and have been commuting a few times a week for the last month. It's getting dark for my 6:00 a.m. ride and a friend loaned me a Cateye Opticube 6 LED light powered by 4 AA batteries.

It's bright enough to be seen by other drivers but I wouldn't want to depend on it if there weren't some street lights around. The beam is narrow and just not bright enough.

B
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Old 09-01-04, 10:05 PM
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Sorry, make that a 5 LED light on the Cateye Opticube.

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Old 09-01-04, 10:58 PM
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I have the Cateye 5 LED Opitcube too, the beam is pretty narrow, but it shines quite far.

Have you thought bout using two lights: One on the handle bar, and on on your helmet? You could combine a narrow beamed light (For example, The Opticube) and have a broader beamed light mounted to your helmet, or vice-versa.
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Old 09-01-04, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bkrownd
If Performance would give me my #&@#* credits I'd SO hit it. My handlebar is running out of room for toys, though. :/
For a toy-freak such as myself a Space Bar is a must.



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Old 09-02-04, 11:34 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by kf5nd
I used to think budget was a serious consideration, until I realized that the expensive lights really are better, and provide me with more protection against being hit, maimed, and killed. After having this enlightenment, I went out and bought an expensive light.

If you are hit, and assuming you survive, you would pay ANY amount in retrospect to avoid having been hit.

Dollars spent on safety gear are dollars that pay dividends.
I recently started using a Cygolite Rover NiMH xtra, dual bulb 6W/10W. Its one of the mid-cost lights at $75 (Actually on the low-end considering there are $500 lights) For city night riding it is more than enough. I believe that a higher power light would not make me be seen better, but only help on off road night riding.

My main concern now is a bright rear light - given a decent front light I think this is more important really - to be seen by passing cars and especially when stopped at intersections. I have a LED light (a planet bike BRT1)
https://www.planetbike.com/rearlights.html

What is the best/brightest rear light available of any brand? There seem to be better ones from even Planet Bike than the BRT1, but for example the BRT7, like the BRT1 also list visibility to 2000ft.

Al
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Old 09-02-04, 11:52 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
I recently started using a Cygolite Rover NiMH xtra, dual bulb 6W/10W. Its one of the mid-cost lights at $75 (Actually on the low-end considering there are $500 lights) For city night riding it is more than enough. I believe that a higher power light would not make me be seen better, but only help on off road night riding.

My main concern now is a bright rear light - given a decent front light I think this is more important really - to be seen by passing cars and especially when stopped at intersections. I have a LED light (a planet bike BRT1)
https://www.planetbike.com/rearlights.html

What is the best/brightest rear light available of any brand? There seem to be better ones from even Planet Bike than the BRT1, but for example the BRT7, like the BRT1 also list visibility to 2000ft.

Al
The niterider taillight's got 16 LED's and is the same brightness as the ones on trucks and buses.
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Old 09-02-04, 11:58 AM
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It looks like this Nightrider taillight only works with Nightrider systems.

Any other suggestions?

Al
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Old 09-02-04, 12:04 PM
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I recall somewhere that they're also compatible with the same connectors the sigma systems and some of the performancebike systems.
However, I'd just buy a cheap battery holder that holds 4 AA alkalines or 5 AA nimh's at radioshack, hook that up to the niterider light and keep the battery pack in my backpack. 4 AA duracells should last the light a good 5-6 hours on solid. And probably 30+ on blink. Just make sure you get the pre-2002 version with a standard power connector instead of their SurLok connector. But I'm not an electrical engineer so battery life may vary though they're said to run for 7 days nonstop on the standard battery (which if you take apart is probably a bunch of AA nimh cells soldered together anyway, which means potentially at least 100 hours on blink.)

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Old 09-02-04, 02:02 PM
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Thanks for the suggestiosn. I went with the Raptor from Nashbar. I didn't give much thought to rear light. I have a MAC 5 LED running on 2 AAs. Maybe I should upgrade, or add another.
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