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Battery power vs USB rechargeable tail light

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Battery power vs USB rechargeable tail light

Old 07-25-17, 01:24 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've had good service from several Cygolite Hotshot tail lights. One of them stopped holding a charge after less than two years, and that didn't seem right. I wrote to the company, and they said it would be $15 to replace the internal battery, so I said it's a deal. I sent in the light. They sent me a brand new light instead of fixing it. I'm satisfied!

LiIon batteries have a finite life, but overall, they're worth it.
NiteRider treated me the same.
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Old 07-25-17, 10:35 PM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The light arrived in the mail yesterday. I opened the package. When I run the magnet past the sensor back and forth rapidly, the light does light up. It also produces a rattle inside the light which I can hear and feel. I'll attach it to my bike to try it out as soon as I can.
Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
I look forward to your review of this rear light. Recently I've been seeing these on a lot of websites but most notably on Amazon. I'm doubtful that they are that bright but that remains to be seen. Still, I'd like to see bike manufacturers supply these as standard OEM equipment ( front and rear ) on all new bikes. Of course if they did some people might think that everyone is going to see them at night and that would be a bad thing. At least they should be better than standard reflectors but all depends on how they hold up over time.
Originally Posted by RichSPK View Post
I got one of the blue/red variants of this light. I haven't taken it out on the road yet, but I installed it last night. I won't write a review until I've had it on the road, but I can share some pictures and unedited video. Also note: it was too thick to mount on the seatstays of my Klein Performance; it hit the spokes. I was able to mount it on the rack legs. And it doesn't light up when you're standing still, so I wouldn't recommend it as your only tail light.

Stills, as installed
Video, with lights on, from the rear, compared to my alkaline-powered NightRider tail light
Video, lights off, from the rear, compared to NightRider
Video, lights off, from the side, compared to NightRider

I think it would be brighter if I could mount it closer to the magnets. Not that it's dim (as far as I could tell in my basement), but it's clearly not as bright as the NightRider.
I had a couple of evenings to try the Lykus light last week. Busy since then due to a family illness. Hoping to finish my impressions, video, etc., this week.

Overall my experience matches Richard's video. However I want to reshoot my video. I used my Ion Speed Pro bike camera and it has poor dynamic range, high ISO noise and the ultra-wide angle lens doesn't quite do justice to the comparison. Bright red tends to bloom and oversaturate many digital camera sensors, obscuring apparent differences between lights.

On a scale up to 5 being the best, I'd like to give the Lykus a 4 based on convenience as it would be ideal for my errand bike. It's not terrifically bright, but it's roughly equal to my Planet Bike and older VistaLite VL-300 rack mounted taillights.

However the mount, as currently provided, limits the utility and convenience, which the folks at Lykus acknowledged -- they're planning an easier to use mount.

The Lykus and provided rubber band mounted fairly readily to my Univega with conventional diamond frame geometry, stretching around the rear rack supports. The light is fairly normally oriented, not aimed up or down. The magnets produced no significant drag on that bike's wheels and 700x42 tires.

However it cannot be mounted as-is to my errand bike. I'd need to improvise a mount to make room for my panniers to use the eyelet where the rack mounts to the chainstay. If I mount the light to the seat stay it aims upward because my errand bike's compact frame has a continuous slope between the head tube and rear hub. There's also too much clearance between the stays or rack supports and the rims, out of magnet range. So my improvised mount will need a spacer to set the light closer to the wheels. I'll probably use heavy duty Velcro tape, which I've already used to mount my much heavier video camera to my helmet, with a couple of zip ties as safety straps. And the magnet drag would have even less effect on this bike, with heavy wheels and tires that weigh 1,100g each!

The Lykus mounts pretty much as-is to my old style road bike, but I wouldn't keep it on that bike. While the Lykus magnet doesn't produce significant drag on my heavier bikes/wheels, I wouldn't want any additional drag on my road bike. When I mounted the Lykus and spoke magnets on the road bike and spun the rear wheel, the magnets did eventually drag the wheel to a stop. It would be roughly comparable to a slight drag from a misaligned brake pad. And I was really finicky about setting up that road bike's tightly spaced sidepull brakes to avoid any drag, and even clipped the vent sprues (those zillions of tiny rubber "hairs") from tires that rubbed against he brakes and fork.

Clever doodad and a good value. With a more versatile mount it'll be just about perfect, and more cost effective than those frog lights using button cell batteries.
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Old 07-26-17, 08:52 AM
  #53  
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The mount ought to have a side-to-side adjustment, perhaps with a course-thread screw. It was hard to find a place on the chainstay that was far enough away from the spokes.
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Old 08-04-18, 05:54 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
Thanks for the tip on the rubber Hotshot Micro mount. Does the Micro mount pivot as well? If it does I'm getting one of those mounts for my Hotshot 150.
Yes, the micro mount has a phillips screwdriver adjustable pivot. I set it so it loints straight back from my seapost and then when riding in a group I flip it over so it loints down at the ground so as not to blind other riders. It is bright. Go with the Hotshot 150 for $50 and add the optional $5 rubber mount. it'll cost $20 more then the new hotshot micro 50, but it's your lofe is worth it and it might just save it.

That's pretty much how a buddy of mine at work got killed only he was on a motorcycle. I truly believe that a good daylight strobe can perhaps save many a life, particularly at intersections where people are turning and or if there is not a traffic signal... then even more important. On occasion though, it really won't make a difference. Just the other day I was driving my work vehicle down a busy multi-lane road and some A-**** just pulls out right in front of me. Thankfully I have super great reflexes and very good driving skills. I still don't know how I managed to "Not" hit them. I swerved and braked at the same time with cars all around me. I guess I just got lucky. Point I'm making is, "There are idiots out there driving that must be half blind. Do what you can to make yourself seen if riding a bike on a public road. Take nothing for granted. I turn all my strobes on whenever going through busy or dangerous intersections, day or night. That said I think it's probably saved my butt on a number of occasions. ( I can use a helmet and bar strobe if needed ).
Yeap. What i have learned is as follows.

1) life is precious and can be gone in the blnk of an eye. You have to accept this risk when riding on the road as with life. This sits most uncomfortable with me as my SO and the love of my life has been hit and was almost killed. I HAVE lost friends, people I have ridden with and people I have know to getting hit by cars.

2) Buy the $50 light. Use it. Your life is worth it. Recommend others do the same. Their lives are worth it.

3) Think about using a camera. Cyclists with cameras are changing the game.

Right now in ohio a lady is trying to get the death of a touring cyclist she hit removed from her permanent record. She said the sun was in her eyes and got only a $1000 fine. The cyclist is dead. Gone. Never coming back. A 20 something riding across the US. I met her on the day she died and may even have been the last person to speak to her. Yet this lady after only five years wants her death expunged from her permanent record so she can get cheaper carinsurance... or maybe so she can hit and kill another cyclist with absolutely zero reprecussions due having hit and killed one already. I'm mad as hell. And though I don't carry a gun some driver some day may cross that line and I may have to defend myself by whatever means necessary. I do not find the political climate of deprioritizing cyclists lives for the sake of drivers convenience acceptable. The 3 feet laws are at least a start, but the reality is horrible, inexcuseable and unreconcileable.

Last edited by mmeiser; 08-04-18 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 08-05-18, 02:53 PM
  #55  
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by RichSPK View Post
This is my light! A Sigma Stereo:
SIGMA SPORT
It's one of the best taillights from Sigma and the only one i knew which offers to charge the AAA-cells with USB inside the light.
Unfortunately it's out of production.
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Old 08-05-18, 10:17 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by mmeiser View Post

3) Think about using a camera. Cyclists with cameras are changing the game.

Right now in ohio a lady is trying to get the death of a touring cyclist she hit removed from her permanent record. She said the sun was in her eyes and got only a $1000 fine. The cyclist is dead. Gone. Never coming back. A 20 something riding across the US. I met her on the day she died and may even have been the last person to speak to her. Yet this lady after only five years wants her death expunged from her permanent record so she can get cheaper carinsurance... or maybe so she can hit and kill another cyclist with absolutely zero reprecussions due having hit and killed one already. I'm mad as hell. And though I don't carry a gun some driver some day may cross that line and I may have to defend myself by whatever means necessary. I do not find the political climate of deprioritizing cyclists lives for the sake of drivers convenience acceptable. The 3 feet laws are at least a start, but the reality is horrible, inexcuseable and unreconcileable.
If I were younger and had a family to take care of I would definitely seriously consider the use of video cameras. At my age I might want to consider just a better life insurance policy.

Your story about the lady cyclist being hit and killed is very sad. It seems every couple years I hear another story of some young person getting killed while riding on the road. Just breaks my heart. The fact that the lady who killed the cyclist in Ohio only got a $1000 fine I find reprehensible. Even if it turned out that the excuse was legitimate the person not only should have received a much larger fine ( if not jail time ) but also should have had her license revoked for at least 10 years. As a professional driver I encounter situations that hamper or limit my vision on a regular basis. It should make no difference if you have the sun in your eyes or bright car lights. You are still responsible for not running someone over. The judge in that case in my opinion should of been throw off the bench. This has me wondering now what happened to the lady who ran down my co-worker on his motorcycle.

In keeping with the subject of this conversation I had an interesting discussion a few years back with my family doctor. While we were discussing my health issues the fact that I was a cyclist came up in the discussion. My doctor told me that he would never ride a bike on the road. When I asked him why he would say that he said it was because of all the people out there driving that couldn't half see. When I asked him to elaborate more on why he felt that way he told me it was because he had personally treated so many people who really had such bad vision problems that they really shouldn't even have a drivers license. I have to admit although I knew it was just one person's opinion it did give me pause for thought.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:06 AM
  #57  
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Cygolite 150 charging problems

I'm reviving this old thread. I can't understand the directions for this light. When recharging it blinks?
And when fully recharged, the light is on? What????
I bought this for touring. No way in hell am I going to have this draw off my battery brick blinking incessantly in my tent all night long. I found that it also would turn itself off during the day ride even though I had it set for its longest and lowest output. I will talk to Eric at Cygolite tomorrow. If what I say is correct, and you can't turn the light off while recharging, it is going back. And what is with not having better mounting gear? Only at the last minute did I realize, it comes with no way to attach to a rear rack. You can then buy a third party rack plate, but the hardware they supply is really worthless as you read in the comments on Amazon. This is some kind of Bizarro World of bike lights.
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Old 05-07-19, 07:02 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by LuckyLyndy View Post
I'm reviving this old thread. I can't understand the directions for this light. When recharging it blinks?
And when fully recharged, the light is on? What????
I bought this for touring. No way in hell am I going to have this draw off my battery brick blinking incessantly in my tent all night long. I found that it also would turn itself off during the day ride even though I had it set for its longest and lowest output. I will talk to Eric at Cygolite tomorrow. If what I say is correct, and you can't turn the light off while recharging, it is going back. And what is with not having better mounting gear? Only at the last minute did I realize, it comes with no way to attach to a rear rack. You can then buy a third party rack plate, but the hardware they supply is really worthless as you read in the comments on Amazon. This is some kind of Bizarro World of bike lights.
Seriously - take a breath. There are pretty much no electronics that turns completely off these days - they just go into super low power standby. The standby current of that light with the blinking LED while charging is such that it would take years to deplete even it’s own battery at that rate.
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Old 05-07-19, 07:05 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
I've had good luck with the Cygolite Hotshot.
Me too.
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Old 05-07-19, 08:48 AM
  #60  
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I don't "take a breath" when we are talking about safety. It would have changed my purchase if I knew that this was the recharging mode. And the lack of access of finding items...I knew that bikers had posted about the mounting problems, but I didn't see a link to that rack plate anywhere on Amazon. I found that by searching for reviews for this light. Then, again, on Amazon, bikers warn that the bolts and nuts for this 3rd party item won't really work so well. Do you get my frustration?
They were correct, and I had to make an extra stop to Ace Hardware and use my Loctite to secure the plate on the road. I knew I would have to play around with my flag set up and use zip ties, and actually that was far easier than this. Now that my trip is over, I charged the light with my walwart, and have it set at its lowest flash intensity, and will run it, and see how long before it quits. This light was recommended by several review sites, and I get it about the light intensity. But, I wish there had been one review that had covered this recharging.
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Old 05-07-19, 08:52 AM
  #61  
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I use NiMH rechargeable AAA batteries in my Planet Bike Superflash taillights. I also have some other cheaper AAA taillights, but I am slowly replacing them with the brighter Superflash taillights. On a bike tour I recharge my NiMH AA and AAA batteries in a USB powered recharger.

You can buy the optional rack bracket for Superflash taillights.
https://www.planetbike.com/store/rear-rack-tail-light-bracket.html

Instead of the bracket, I used the seatstay mount to attach my lights to my rack, but of the two taillights in the photo, one is not a Superflash. A bit of inner tube rubber strip was needed because the rack tubing was thinner than a seatstay.


Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 05-07-19 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 05-07-19, 09:02 AM
  #62  
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Yes, Tourist in MSN, that is my current plan. There is nothing defective about this Cygolite, and I'll just use it for my local bike rides, but it won't be "on the road" with me. The security of having the extra batteries, is really worth it. This little 5 day jaunt on the Natchez Trace Trail was a good learning experience, as there was only one night that I could have had access of recharging my brick. That will even be more likely the case on my 9 day Idaho trip in June.
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Old 05-07-19, 09:08 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by LuckyLyndy View Post
Yes, Tourist in MSN, that is my current plan. There is nothing defective about this Cygolite, and I'll just use it for my local bike rides, but it won't be "on the road" with me. The security of having the extra batteries, is really worth it. This little 5 day jaunt on the Natchez Trace Trail was a good learning experience, as there was only one night that I could have had access of recharging my brick. That will even be more likely the case on my 9 day Idaho trip in June.
Note that I added a bit more detail to my post that is above your post.

Been there, done that. Inability to charge things is a hassle. My last tour without a dynohub was in 2014 and it was a bit over five weeks long, most of that was camping on the Pacific Coast. Keeping things charged was a hassle. In the photo I was charging two pairs of NiMH AA batteries, a Li Ion camera battery and a cord running to my tablet. Fortunately nobody was in the electrified campsite next to my hiker biker site. Bring one of those 3 into 1 plug adapters so you can charge more things from one outlet.

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Old 05-07-19, 10:09 AM
  #64  
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In the past I found for a lot of things that Eneloops were the best AA and AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries, but for the past couple years I started to buy the white color Ikea Ladda AA and AAA batteries, they seem to give me the best lifespan in my GPS. Ikea sells couple different grades of rechargeable, the more expensive ones are the ones I buy.
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Old 05-07-19, 04:51 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by LuckyLyndy View Post
I'm reviving this old thread. I can't understand the directions for this light. When recharging it blinks?
And when fully recharged, the light is on? What????
I bought this for touring. No way in hell am I going to have this draw off my battery brick blinking incessantly in my tent all night long. I found that it also would turn itself off during the day ride even though I had it set for its longest and lowest output. I will talk to Eric at Cygolite tomorrow. If what I say is correct, and you can't turn the light off while recharging, it is going back. And what is with not having better mounting gear? Only at the last minute did I realize, it comes with no way to attach to a rear rack. You can then buy a third party rack plate, but the hardware they supply is really worthless as you read in the comments on Amazon. This is some kind of Bizarro World of bike lights.
I've been using on both my bikes fore years. No issues and I'm often told how bright they are even in daylight. The blinking tells you it is charging. Without that how would you know? The solid light while connected tells you it is fully charged, otherwise how would you know that? Don't over think this.
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Old 05-07-19, 10:29 PM
  #66  
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End of last summer , one of the box and ship home touring bikes, had a steady on Schmidt taillight

& a usb internal battery blinking one with a charging cable running up to the 'the Plug' , on the steerer top..

So as they rode they could top up the battery ..
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Old 05-08-19, 12:32 PM
  #67  
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I only buy lights that have batteries that can be charged separate from the light. It is OK if the battery can also be charged in the light, but it also need to be swappable.
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Old 05-08-19, 01:19 PM
  #68  
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Ixon IQ,, has AA batteries 4 that can be charger in place, with their charger, plug not USB standard...
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Old 05-08-19, 04:29 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
An Amazon vendor saw my posts here and asked me to review her new tail light, offering me a discount in exchange for reviewing the light. It is powered by an internal dynamo and a spoke-mounted magnet. I agreed to the deal and can let you all know if you're interested.

@canklecat and @Pilot321, it turned out to be junk. It was hard to adjust to get it to work, and the light it emitted was meager. After a couple of weeks, it fell off when I didn't notice, and I was not sad.
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Old 05-08-19, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@canklecat and @Pilot321, it turned out to be junk. It was hard to adjust to get it to work, and the light it emitted was meager. After a couple of weeks, it fell off when I didn't notice, and I was not sad.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-08-19, 04:59 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@canklecat and @Pilot321, it turned out to be junk. It was hard to adjust to get it to work, and the light it emitted was meager. After a couple of weeks, it fell off when I didn't notice, and I was not sad.
Originally Posted by Pilot321 View Post
Thanks for the heads up.
I mentioned the mounting difficulties to the vendor, who acknowledged the problem and planned to market a redesigned mount. But it didn't happen and they haven't relisted any variation of this light on Amazon, as of the last time I checked.

I've used it on two or three bikes. It's functional, mostly useful as a "better than nothing" tail light, or supplement to other tail lights. I'm of the "more is better" philosophy, so that's fine with me.

I intended to use it on my Globe Carmel errand bike -- a massively overbuilt frame with sloping top tube, the sort of thing that should have come with a motor -- but the huge space between forks didn't work with my existing rear wheel. In order to close the gap between the wheel magnet and light, I had to cobble together a shim. It was never a stable arrangement so I finally gave up.

For several months I used it on my Univega Via Carisma, a conventional diamond frame. The rubber band mount doodad worked fine on that bike. So would the commonly available replacement rubber bands for securing lights and accessories.

On quiet rides I noticed some tick-tick-tick noises from the magneto flipping back and forth from the wheel magnets, but in traffic and most group rides it wasn't audible above ambient noise.

In videos and photos of me riding, the light did emit enough light to register in pix and videos (depending on ambient light and camera sensor sensitivity). The light was comparable to that of the city rental bikes, which are equipped with basic lights to be seen, but not necessarily great for seeing with.

It had some potential but the vendor didn't follow through. Reelight offers magneto type lights that cost a little more but are probably better. I've considered those for my errand bike.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:12 PM
  #72  
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In this case you are okay to find something like a Bell 3 LED set that runs on 3 AAA's (but the batteries are getting more expensive, Sunbeam super heavy duty cells at the dollar store have about 33% less batteries per pack than before...6 vs. 8-10 AA/AAA, 2 vs. 3 C/D...it's getting spendy to power all those old horns and Delta lights.

You want alkalines in those kind of lights anyway. And NiCads turn to mush in the cold, don't do that. In fact, stay away from rechargeable lights as much as possible on a bike.

I had the blinky taillight from a Bell set still running with a daily check for six months, even during the Snowmageddon that made it impossible for me to ride that bike. I have a nine LED flash/bike light that was given to me, maybe came from a Walmart and that thing will split the darkness in two.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@canklecat and @Pilot321, it turned out to be junk. It was hard to adjust to get it to work, and the light it emitted was meager. After a couple of weeks, it fell off when I didn't notice, and I was not sad.
Ah, a litter bug. Just kidding.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I've had good service from several Cygolite Hotshot tail lights. One of them stopped holding a charge after less than two years, and that didn't seem right. I wrote to the company, and they said it would be $15 to replace the internal battery, so I said it's a deal. I sent in the light. They sent me a brand new light instead of fixing it. I'm satisfied!

LiIon batteries have a finite life, but overall, they're worth it.
I have to use Li Ion cells in my Canon camera, and it's best to backlight as much as possible and avoid using the flash or you're charging it again quickly.

Most cameras that use them have replacements available whether from the maker or a generic version. Like I said though, not in cold climates, regular and alkaline cells are probably best.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Ah, a litter bug. Just kidding.
He should've saved more boxtops.
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