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Best Commuting Light for $100 or less

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Best Commuting Light for $100 or less

Old 12-13-04, 04:29 PM
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basenjiwarrior
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Best Commuting Light for $100 or less

I would greatly appreciate any help with this question.

I am looking to buy a front light for commuting.
I am willing to spend up to $100.00.

So far I have narrowed it down to Nite Hawk Pheonix
and light and motion Commuter lights.

I do live in Buffalo -New York so performance on cold, wet conditions
is a consideration.

Thank you for taking the time.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:22 PM
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coldcanuck
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Are you riding on illuminated streets, or are you looking for something to light up the road? If you're looking for a really good light for illuminated streets, I highly recommend the BLT super doppler DX. Super long battery life, no problems in the cold, and for what you're spending, it's pretty damn bright!

Have a look:http://www.blt-lights.com/superdopplerdx.htm

I have a white super doppler on the front, and red on the back. It takes 3 AAA's.
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Old 12-13-04, 10:57 PM
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bkbroil
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Have you checked out LaserEdge? Complete setup is less than $85. It has great reviews on mtbreviews.com .. I've been looking for a while and I don't think a dual light system with a 5w and 15w halogen light can be found for this price. Definetly check them out.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:02 PM
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slvoid
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Cygolight's got a dual setup for $75.
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Old 12-13-04, 11:14 PM
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I REALLY like their ZForce NiMH system that uses the HID light (equivalent to a 40watt halogen)... I even emailed the owner of LaserEdge and asked if he would be using Metal Hallide lights ...

His response:

"Thanks for the email! Sorry, no changes on the metal halide systems as of yet. I am still looking for a bulb/ballast combination that would be economically feasible to offer. As far as new products go, however, I will be offering a dual beam headmounted system in the very near future. Talk to you later!

Chad
"
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Old 12-14-04, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by basenjiwarrior
I would greatly appreciate any help with this question.

I am looking to buy a front light for commuting.
I am willing to spend up to $100.00.

So far I have narrowed it down to Nite Hawk Pheonix
and light and motion Commuter lights.

I do live in Buffalo -New York so performance on cold, wet conditions
is a consideration.

Thank you for taking the time.

How much of a do it yourselfer are you? If you don't mind working on the lights yourself you can build quite a system for close to $100 even using off-the-shelf lights. Niterider, for instance, sells a good headlight body (the NR-50http://www.niterider.com/Merchant2/m...duct_Code=5000) for $50. The light doesn't come with a battery but is meant to be used with D-cell alkalines. But with just a little bit of cutting wires, some Dean Ultra Connectors (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXKX39&P=ML), a bit of soldering and a couple of 7.2v NiCd RC car batteries from Radio Shack ($20 ea), you can build a nice system for just about the $100 you want to spend. You will have to get a charger for the batteries so you would have to spend a little more but a Radio Shack charger will do nicely for about $15.

The nice thing about this setup (I've used a similar one using older Niterider lamps for years) is that at 7.2v the lights are much brighter than at 6v. The battery life is somewhat shorter than a commercial system but, for a 2.0 Ahr battery, one pack should get you close to an hour of light. If you want more light you can always buy another bulb at a higher wattage. The 7.2v RC batteries are fairly light and you can always carry more of them. Another advantage that this system has over most of the ones with digital controls and other geegaws is that it is simple. Plug it in, turn it on, ride until the light get yellow, change the battery, ride some more.

I would caution against using NiMH batteries for cold weather applications or, for that matter, any bicycle lighting system. I know this is going to get me in trouble but the NiMH batteries have a lot of problems with high current draw equipment like lights (and RC cars). For details go to http://www.buchmann.ca/faq.asp . This site has a wealth of information on batteries, charging them and maintaining them. (Yes, they need regular maintenance to keep them from dying.)

Hope this helps.

Stuart Black
Riding around in the dark for 25 years.
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Old 12-14-04, 09:41 AM
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I use the cateye "micro-halogen" which couldn't have cost over 20 bucks, and a Bell l.e.d. blinker, which was about 8 dollars. I recharge the batteries when they get low, and they'll put out light continuously for over an hour. In wet weather I put clear plastic bags over them. Well below a hundred dollars! Hub dynamoes and lighting systems would be on my price-is-no-object dream bike, but it's kind of overkill unless you ride a LOT in the dark.
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Old 12-14-04, 10:29 AM
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I've been impressed with L&M solo and commuter models. I was at Sears last week and a night time commuter was using the solo and it was fairly impressive. Before I liked the commuter for the side visibility slot.

I ran across some light yesterday that allowed you to separate the light and the battery pack so you could mix light and different types of batteries, Lead Acid, NiMh, etc. Don't know about connectors. Check out light reviews at www.mtb.com, if you haven't already. They have an interesting light shot out demo.
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Old 12-14-04, 10:32 AM
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cygolite...nice setup. 16W halogen...
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4320
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Old 12-15-04, 09:50 AM
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Thanks for all of the informative replies!
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Old 12-15-04, 10:25 AM
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I picked up the CygoLites 6W dual beam on sale for around $80 shipped, forgot which online catalogue. I have not had them in intense rain, which has been the downfall of many cheap lights sets, at least the way I use them. However, I've been happy with them thus far, maybe one month of use.
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Old 12-15-04, 10:30 AM
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www.citystop.com
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Old 12-16-04, 02:02 PM
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I do not (yet) own one of these, but they are highly recommended by a local dealer (of course, he sells them ). Take a look at their site though, and read the technology page - even if you don't buy their product there is some good info there.

http://www.turbocatusa.com/home.html
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Old 12-16-04, 03:20 PM
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You can make your own for well under $100, if you're so inclined. Check out the "Total Geekiness" thread if you haven't already. Lots of different options there.

Mine is two 12v, 20-w landscaping lights with a NiMH battery and smart charger. Total cost at just about $100 (if you don't count all my mistakes :-). Go with SLA (sealed lead acid) battery, and your cost will be significantly less, with a little more weight.
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