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Best front and tail light?

Old 07-22-17, 04:01 PM
  #1  
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Best front and tail light?

Hi fellows,

It will be dark both-ways when I commute with my winter bike to work and home. What are you recommending as the best front and tail lights for a bicycle?

Thank you in advance

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Old 07-22-17, 04:51 PM
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Do you have a budget in mind?
Are you riding in a city area with street lights and traffic or country area with little other lighting except for the moon?
How long are (time/distance) are your rides?

I reckon you need about 800 lumens minmum for front light - BUT it's not neccessarily all about lumens as you can get cheap chinese lights that reportedly (exagerated mostly) have 1500 lumens or more output but the shape of the beam is so bad an 800 lumen brand name light actually gives you better vision.

Rear lights are slightly easier to shop for IMO. 50 lumens is minimum I am comfortable with and USB recharging is pretty convenient compared to swapping out disposable (or even rechargable) batteries all the time. Light I use is Cygolite Hotrod - https://www.amazon.com/CygoLite-Hotr.../dp/B013FIWQ5U. You can mount them on your seatpost or if you prefer on your seat stay. Another light that is similar but even brighter is Cateye Rapid X3 - wiggle.com | Cateye Rapid X3 Rear Light | Taillights

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Old 07-24-17, 06:04 PM
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Nobody can tell you the "best" light without a lot more info, anymore than they can tell you the "best" bicycle to buy with no info.

Info we need for starters:
What is your physical environment? Well lit city streets? Poorly lit streets? Pitch black rural areas? Mixed?

What is the traffic like? 20-30 MPH inner city traffic? 60 MPH rural traffic?

Is the visual space cluttered with a lot of other lights that you have to be noticed among?

What is the length of your ride? Do you need the lights to run for 20 minutes or 3 hours?

Do you want self-contained lights or external battery pack? Rechargable or replaceable cells?

Do you need to be able to remove your lighting to keep them from being stolen?

There are dozens of lights that might be the "best" depending on the answers to these questions.
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Old 07-29-17, 05:57 PM
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In keeping with above statements there was a reference in the opening post about "winter bike". Does this mean you are riding in winter? If so lamps with smaller batteries might not work as well depending on the temperature.
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Old 08-08-17, 08:35 AM
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what about the lupine SL A 7?

probably the best looking light from my perspective - great beam shape and nice battery life.

but i use a cygolite metro 1100 that i love. thats the best i have given the op's criteria of best light.
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Old 08-13-17, 08:49 PM
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Other info that might be helpful - where do you want to mount lights.
Handlebar, helmet, fork, seatpost, seatstay, rear rack, etc.
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Old 08-14-17, 10:24 AM
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Best IMO, Schmidt hub dynamos, and their head and perhaps tail light..

Busch and Muller are another German source of LED lights .. excellent..

Shutter precision, SP, and Shimano also make DynoHubs..




...
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Old 04-14-18, 07:54 PM
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for under $100, any durable and reliable front led light? rechargeable too?
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Old 04-14-18, 08:07 PM
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I know nothing of best, but by the standards of performance per $$ spent,

headlight: Light and Motion Urban 650 (or 800, 900, 1000, depending on your budget)

taillight: Cygolite Hotshot Pro

The Urban + Hotshot Pro, around $100. Both come on quick release mounts so they can be removed in seconds, and both charge via micro-USB. I've found the 650 to be plenty of light.
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Old 04-14-18, 10:11 PM
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Old 04-15-18, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Falchoon View Post
I reckon you need about 800 lumens minmum for front light - BUT it's not neccessarily all about lumens as you can get cheap chinese lights that reportedly (exagerated mostly) have 1500 lumens or more output but the shape of the beam is so bad an 800 lumen brand name light actually gives you better vision.

Rear lights are slightly easier to shop for IMO. 50 lumens is minimum I am comfortable with and USB recharging is pretty convenient compared to swapping out disposable (or even rechargable) batteries all the time. Another light that is similar but even brighter is Cateye Rapid X3 - wiggle.com | Cateye Rapid X3 Rear Light | Taillights
With cut-off beam shaped lights even 300lm are good, thanks to the more efficient beam shape.
bumm.de/en/products/akku-scheinwerfer.html

50lm for the taillight are to much, 15lm are enough.
The X3 is so bright, you have to set it to 50% brightness and only one side atcive to avoid blinding of following traffic.
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Old 04-15-18, 01:32 PM
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Re; " Best" ? Since it's how a lot of threads are headlined, , is there a prize for the winning opinion?
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Old 04-15-18, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
With cut-off beam shaped lights even 300lm are good, thanks to the more efficient beam shape.
bumm.de/en/products/akku-scheinwerfer.html

50lm for the taillight are to much, 15lm are enough.
The X3 is so bright, you have to set it to 50% brightness and only one side atcive to avoid blinding of following traffic.
It depends on your intended use. If you are pootling along a bike/shared path at 15-20km/h then your lm rating would be fine but if you are on a road with traffic then I believe you need to stand out and be seen (not blind).

I can't comment directly on the suitability or light output of the lights you linked to as I haven't used them as they are for dynamo - which I haven't got - and also their ratings are in lux which is different to lm, making it harder to compare.

I need to see potholes, sticks and other debris when riding at night or early in the morning. Not sure that 300lm would cut it.

The 150lm bright setting on the X3 is meant for daytime. I have a friend who had a 15lm light and I drove past him in the daylight and could barely notice the light until I was only a couple of metres away. This is no good when cars are travelling at 100km/h are doing nearly 30m in a second. I told him it was too dim and then did some research and came up with the X3 as an alternative suggestion for him.
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Old 04-15-18, 03:01 PM
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You're right, during daylight with bright sunsine >50lm are to recommend for taillights.
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Old 04-15-18, 07:27 PM
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The only things I can say for sure is I say dynamo lights are the best, regardless of brightness, and that a light with a good beam is better than getting the brightest spotlight you can and blinding the other people on the road/path. A dynohub means you always have lights, and never have to worry about batteries or charging. Dynamo lights also tend to be of good quality simply due to the fact that no one investing in quality gear like a dynamo hub is buying cheap, crappy lights for it. My 40 lux(no idea on lumens, but I'd guess not more than a few hundred) Busch and Mueller (B&M) headlight is better in every way than my friends' highly rated usb rechargeable 650 lumen handlebar mounted light, minus that he does better at blinding any oncoming road/path traffic. My light is very visible to oncoming traffic, but allows me to see well due to the awesome beam pattern rather than just blasting out high lumens of light.

If you do end up going with something usb rechargeable(I recommend that at very least compared to bulky throwaway AA battery setups) the tail light won't matter much. Even the cheaper usb tail lights are gonna be fine. Personally I feel that a larger tail light is much more visible than a brighter one. A red laser beam on the backof your bike will be blindingly bright, but not as well noticed as a large, but much dimmer light(dimmer than a laser beam, that is, not a dim light in general). I'd go for one of the larger bar shaped tail lights vs. one of the single lights, even if the single dot of light is brighter.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 01 CAt Man Do View Post
In keeping with above statements there was a reference in the opening post about "winter bike". Does this mean you are riding in winter? If so lamps with smaller batteries might not work as well depending on the temperature.
I used to use Hotshot usb charged taillights on my fatbike for commuting. Then a couple of times when it was really cold, I realized I had gotten 4 miles into my 7 mile commute and had no rear light. That's disconcerting, to say the least. All my other bikes have dyno-powered tail lights, but I like to ride the fatbike when it's icy. So I got a dyno for my fatbike.
I think dynos are a no-brainer for a commuter, always on the bike and always ready to go. I'm just not interested in maintaining battery charge. Everyone that I know that has a reasonably long commute that they ride year-round has had battery issues, so it's not just my lackadaisical approach to battery maintenance. I'm sure that there are many people that have never had problems, but it does take some discipline.
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Old 04-18-18, 09:40 AM
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surprised this is only 1 page, even if it's an old thread. guess back in July there weren't too many riders thinking about lights?
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Old 04-18-18, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I used to use Hotshot usb charged taillights on my fatbike for commuting. Then a couple of times when it was really cold, I realized I had gotten 4 miles into my 7 mile commute and had no rear light. That's disconcerting, to say the least. All my other bikes have dyno-powered tail lights, but I like to ride the fatbike when it's icy. So I got a dyno for my fatbike.
I think dynos are a no-brainer for a commuter, always on the bike and always ready to go. I'm just not interested in maintaining battery charge. Everyone that I know that has a reasonably long commute that they ride year-round has had battery issues, so it's not just my lackadaisical approach to battery maintenance. I'm sure that there are many people that have never had problems, but it does take some discipline.
The bike I use most often for commuting has a dynamo powered headlight, a dynamo powered tail light, a battery powered blinky tail light, and a spoke light. Maintaining a battery in a tail light is easy. Maintaining a battery for a headlight that lights your way is not.
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Old 04-21-18, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
surprised this is only 1 page, even if it's an old thread. guess back in July there weren't too many riders thinking about lights?
...good point. Yep, there are a lot of choices when it comes to a bike light for commuting but like has been said it needs to be known also how cold do you intend to ride. One thing I do know, once you start riding below 40F a small battery ( even if it's Li-ion ) is going to crap out sooner than it usually does at some point. Depends though on how cold it is and how long of a ride you have to do. I'm afraid I'm not much help when it comes to that. The coldest I will ride is about 45F and when I do ride at that temperature I'm usually not riding more than an hour. So far I've never had any problems with any of the Li-ion powered lights that I own, even the ones with smaller batteries. Years ago though I tested a small self-contained mini bike light from Xeccon that absolutely sucked in the winter. That lamp only ran about 15-20 minutes before crapping out. Since then I've tested a couple of the Raveman self-contained lamps and so far both seem to do very well in the colder temps. Both of those lamps have digital read outs that estimate run time and both seem to not change when riding in 45F temps. It's been said that perhaps the heat from the LEDs help the self-contained lamps keep the battery warmer. I confirmed this myself by measuring ( with an infrared thermometer ) the temperature of the body of my Raveman lamps vs. the temperature of my Aluminum bike frame during one of my colder rides. The Raveman body that houses the battery was about 10 higher than the temperature of my bike frame. Not sure how that would translate over on longer or colder rides but I thought it worth noting.

Of course riding in colder than 45 temps is a completely different animal. If I were doing that on a regular basis I would either have to use a battery powered lamp with a bigger battery ( for longer, colder rides ) or do what the other guy said and buy a dynamo set-up. ( Note; coldest rides I've ever done were in the 20F range and those were winter day rides when I was younger. )

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Old 04-21-18, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I used to use Hotshot usb charged taillights on my fatbike for commuting. Then a couple of times when it was really cold, I realized I had gotten 4 miles into my 7 mile commute and had no rear light. That's disconcerting, to say the least. All my other bikes have dyno-powered tail lights, but I like to ride the fatbike when it's icy. So I got a dyno for my fatbike.
I think dynos are a no-brainer for a commuter, always on the bike and always ready to go. I'm just not interested in maintaining battery charge. Everyone that I know that has a reasonably long commute that they ride year-round has had battery issues, so it's not just my lackadaisical approach to battery maintenance. I'm sure that there are many people that have never had problems, but it does take some discipline.
I would have to consider that unusual. Sounds like it crapped out at about a half hour. It's possible you didn't have it charged all the way or perhaps you left it mounted on the bike outside ( in the cold..not good ) or something......Even in cold 20F weather I would think it would run longer than that but a lot also depends on how old the battery is and how cold it was when you did that ride. Keep in mind there are rear LED lights like the Orfos Pro that use a remote battery bank. One of those with a quality two or three cell should be enough to get you a two hour ride in if used on half power and assuming you're not riding in below zero temps. I have no problem with considering a dynamo but buying a dynamo is not cheap since it requires buying ( and building ) a new wheel as well....As for me, well, I have a lot of rear self-contained Li-ion powered rear lamps laying around. I can always carry back-ups but I too wish they made one that would give a high-pitched beep when it was ready to crap out...umm....something tells me there might be a rear lamp that does that but I can't remember at the moment which lamp it is. Anyway, the DiNotte quad red would likely be a good choice for colder weather since it uses a military grade battery.

edit...Ah!...Sefras sells a couple rear LED lights that beep an audible warning including this one. > UTLA-8 Orion Blast 150

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Old 04-21-18, 01:42 PM
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Mountaineers used headlights on a cable , and wore the battery pack under their parka to keep them warm.
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Old 04-21-18, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Nobody can tell you the "best" light without a lot more info, anymore than they can tell you the "best" bicycle to buy with no info.

Info we need for starters:
What is your physical environment? Well lit city streets? Poorly lit streets? Pitch black rural areas? Mixed?

What is the traffic like? 20-30 MPH inner city traffic? 60 MPH rural traffic?

Is the visual space cluttered with a lot of other lights that you have to be noticed among?

What is the length of your ride? Do you need the lights to run for 20 minutes or 3 hours?

Do you want self-contained lights or external battery pack? Rechargable or replaceable cells?

Do you need to be able to remove your lighting to keep them from being stolen?

There are dozens of lights that might be the "best" depending on the answers to these questions.
Actually budget. Typically that alone can reduce the confusion significantly. Also, don't forget durability and reliability. Some lights that burn the brightest, don't last very long.
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Old 04-21-18, 03:44 PM
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Been since last year and the OP'er never bothered to respond to any of the posts. Perhaps this is all a waste of time.
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