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The way it's going, I will NEVER buy a light!

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The way it's going, I will NEVER buy a light!

Old 10-15-13, 04:29 PM
  #1  
Papa Tom
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The way it's going, I will NEVER buy a light!

I've had $500 for a new headlight burning a hole in my bike shorts for almost a full year now. Too many choices. Too many differences of opinion. Every time I think I've gathered all the knowledge I need to make a decision, one of you wisenheimers comes along and spurts out a paragraph or two of very thoughtful, highly informed technical jabber that makes me feel like an idiot again.

I wish there were only two or three choices! I want to make impulsive purchases again, like the good old days!!!! I want somebody to make the decision for me, 'cause until somebody does, NONE of these light manufacturers are going to get a cent of my birthday money!!!!!!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

(PS: Don't bother asking me what I need the light for, what type of light I prefer, or how much I want to spend. And, although I respect every single one of you out there, PLEASE don't waste your time describing your lights. I've read hundreds of hours of posts on this topic, and I've even started one or two myself. It just seems the more information I get, the less informed on this subject I feel.)

Last edited by Papa Tom; 10-15-13 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 10-15-13, 04:43 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I've had $500 for a new headlight burning a hole in my bike shorts for almost a full year now. Too many choices. Too many differences of opinion. Every time I think I've gathered all the knowledge I need to make a decision, one of you wisenheimers comes along and spurts out a paragraph or two of very thoughtful, highly informed technical jabber that makes me feel like an idiot again.

I wish there were only two or three choices! I want to make impulsive purchases again, like the good old days!!!! I want somebody to make the decision for me, 'cause until somebody does, NONE of these light manufacturers are going to get a cent of my birthday money!!!!!!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

(PS: Don't bother asking me what I need the light for, what type of light I prefer, or how much I want to spend. And, although I respect every single one of you out there, PLEASE don't waste your time describing your lights. I've read hundreds of hours of posts on this topic, and I've even started one or two myself. It just seems the more information I get, the less informed on this subject I feel.)
Do yourself a favor. Take $50 and buy 2 of these. Or you can take the same $50 and buy one of these. Try them (either one). If you don't like them, you're out $50 but you still have $450 to spend on something "better". If you do like them, you have $450 to spend on something else. At the very least, you have something to use until you decide and something to use as a back up if you get something more expensive.
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Old 10-15-13, 04:56 PM
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dynamo.
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Old 10-15-13, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Do yourself a favor. Take $50 and buy 2 of these. Or you can take the same $50 and buy one of these. Try them (either one). If you don't like them, you're out $50 but you still have $450 to spend on something "better". If you do like them, you have $450 to spend on something else. At the very least, you have something to use until you decide and something to use as a back up if you get something more expensive.
I've been using the $22 CREE for a year now - works great.
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Old 10-15-13, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
dynamo.
I commute at night a lot, and I've always made sure to have a bright light. My current bikes sport a DiNotte 600 and a DiNotte 200L, respectively. Good lights, but dealing with battery charging and upkeep is a pain.

The new LED dynamo lights are as bright as high-end battery lights were a few years ago, and the German lights have well-engineered beams, making them more useful on the road than battery LEDs, or so I've been told. And the price has dropped considerably, too.

Therefore, I'm considering making the leap to a dynamo. What's your setup?
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Old 10-15-13, 05:10 PM
  #6  
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You simply need to use what I use. Problem solved. ;-**
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Old 10-15-13, 05:27 PM
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Get a leg light. That will motivate you to get something better.

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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 10-15-13, 05:38 PM
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I agree with just buying a cheap light. < $50 these days can get a perfectly good light. I might, maybe, spend up to $150 if I was going to do something like touring where I needed to be able to count on my light far away from support and space and weight was at a premium, but given that my < $50 light that I'm running now is actually quite nice and it's not a burden to also stash a flashlight and a lockblock in my bag on the way to work, the cheapie is all I need. I definitely would not spend $500 on a light.
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Old 10-15-13, 05:40 PM
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^^^what he said.
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Old 10-15-13, 06:10 PM
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Yeah, $500 just for a light? That's $400 more than my bike cost, LOL.

I've seen enough of you people posting that light on the Amazon link to know that is what I want on my bike. Problem is, right now, I don't even have the $22 for that....

$500 for a light I think is just insane.
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Old 10-15-13, 06:29 PM
  #11  
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Any light is better than no light. And with half-a-large, you could buy dozens to try.

Bear in mind, that just as there is no one best bike, there is no one best light. Every one is a compromise in some way or another. Find the one or two that compromise in a way that works for you, and just go for it. Then forget about what everyone else says about the light(s) you chose.

Next year, there'll be a dozen "better" ones to give you buyer's remorse. We're just in a period of rapid technological improvement WRT bike lights. I don't see it stabilizing for a couple of years, maybe five or more.

For the record, I started out with a cheapie, and graduated that autumn to a NiteRider halogen (that hasn't been made in years). For several years thereafter, I bought better lights every year. Last year and the year before are the first two years I didn't purchase new lights.

This year, it was new dynamo lights for the primary commuter, then I moved the old dyno lights to the backup commuter and bought a dyno hub for it.

Last edited by tsl; 10-15-13 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 10-15-13, 06:38 PM
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Ive got one of these too... works super well (the first link)

Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Do yourself a favor. Take $50 and buy 2 of these. Or you can take the same $50 and buy one of these. Try them (either one). If you don't like them, you're out $50 but you still have $450 to spend on something "better". If you do like them, you have $450 to spend on something else. At the very least, you have something to use until you decide and something to use as a back up if you get something more expensive.
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Old 10-15-13, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
Get a leg light. That will motivate you to get something better.

I used to have that light. Completely forgot, it was so long ago. My main light now is a Niterider Lumina, which is a great light with a nice helmet mount and handlebar mount. Also have an older Niterider on the bars.
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Old 10-15-13, 06:48 PM
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I'm sorry. I didn't mean that I was going to drop the whole $500 on a light! The $500 was for a bunch of things, including quality panniers, a mirror, AND a light. I gave up on the panniers for the same reason I've quit my light search. Instead, I use a $25 Schwinn trunk that converts into a lightweight pannier. The mirror cost twenty bucks and it's the best bike purchase I've ever made.

Now, even though I begged you guys not to start bombarding me with pictures and links to YOUR lights, I'm kind of glad that you did anyway, because this is probably the first time I've EVER seen two people recommend the same exact light (the $22 cree)! Maybe we're getting somewhere!

TSL commented that any light is better than no light. I have a 10 watt Nite Rider right now that does the job OK when it will take a charge, but the battery is so old that I can only get about 20 minutes out of it. Yeah, it's a light, but it's also a stress-producer, as I never know when it's going to drop dead on me. For this reason, I don't think it's a lot better than "no" light. Besides, my solution has simply been to ride after the sun comes up and before it goes down.

SHOOT!!!! I can't believe I got sucked back in to discussing all the different lights again! MODERATORS? I've made a grave mistake in starting this thread. Please strike it and put me out of my misery!!!!!!!
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Old 10-15-13, 07:29 PM
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Go Ninja.. wear black and make the bike black too ..
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Old 10-15-13, 07:33 PM
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I also agree with tsl that whatever you buy, there will be something better for less money in a year. You can't just keep waiting or you'll never get anything, but it does mean that it may be a silly decision to spend a ton to get an "ultimate" light - because your premium light, in a year, will be equivalent to an average light for much less money and there will be another premium light. I think in general I'm happier when I buy low to average if the quality is acceptable, then buy another low to average one in a year, and I wind up spending less money.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I've had $500 for a new headlight burning a hole in my bike shorts for almost a full year now.
Spend it on kickstands.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:46 PM
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Send me your lighting money. I'll take care of it for you, no worries. You can move right on with your life.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnrider View Post
I commute at night a lot, and I've always made sure to have a bright light. My current bikes sport a DiNotte 600 and a DiNotte 200L, respectively. Good lights, but dealing with battery charging and upkeep is a pain.
This is exactly why I stopped using dinottes.
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Old 10-15-13, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
dynamo.
Rod brake!
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Old 10-15-13, 09:55 PM
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Does that $22 light also have recharging pains?
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Old 10-15-13, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I have a 10 watt Nite Rider right now that does the job OK when it will take a charge, but the battery is so old that I can only get about 20 minutes out of it. Yeah, it's a light, but it's also a stress-producer, as I never know when it's going to drop dead on me. For this reason, I don't think it's a lot better than "no" light. Besides, my solution has simply been to ride after the sun comes up and before it goes down.
Good reason to have two lights - even the best can sometimes let you down in the middle of a night ride. The cheap Cree lights work well and are inexpensive enough so you can use a pair and replace them if they start giving you problems. I've been using them for a couple years now without any problems.
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Old 10-15-13, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Does that $22 light also have recharging pains?
It does need to be plugged in to recharge it periodically, but I get about 4 hours of light per charge which has been more than adequate for my rides. And it uses standard 18650 size lithium batteries so they should be easy (and inexpensive) to replace if they start to lose capacity.
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Old 10-15-13, 10:59 PM
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screw bicycle specific lights, cuz thur dum.
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Old 10-15-13, 11:23 PM
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I don't think that $100 or $150 is unreasonable for a dependable light. Some people spend more than that on a flashlight for their home. My commuting light is an older Niterider Minewt 600. The new replacement is the Lumina 700. They're about $100. Great dependable light. Often times I'll use mine on low but when the road gets sketchy, I'll crank it up. I love having the extra power as an added measure of safety. The lights are convenient because they charge with a regular mini USB cord and the battery is self contained in the light. If I had to do it again, I may look into the L&M Urban 550 or 700. Personally, I really like L&M beam patterns. I've owned their HID ARC systems in the past and have a SECA 1500 currently. Those I only use when mtn biking. I find them too bright for regular commutes. The 1500 is just way overkill but on medium, it shoots a very nice 800 lumen beam. But when I got my Minewt 600, the Urban 550 and 700 weren't available at the time. But those I'd like to take a look at closely. L&M seems to put out more light than they rate them as.
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