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Using a flashlight as a bike headlight?

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Using a flashlight as a bike headlight?

Old 12-04-18, 07:31 AM
  #26  
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Why even going through all this trouble when there is a bunch of inexpensive designated bike lights? Looks like an additional mount isn't a concern here. If it were - there are bike lights with strap mounts, really quick and easy to install and remove the entire unit (e.g. Niterider Swift series).
Remember, just because you can make a mount out of a soft drink bottle, doesn't mean you should (that was fun to watch though).

To answer the original question:

Pros: you'll still be probably seen, potential savings of $20.
Cons: time loss, lower quality light for the purpose (difference in optics), a headache of the potential do-it-all-over-again.
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Old 12-04-18, 01:05 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I have been using a Fexix LD10 and LD20 flashlight for perhaps a decade. Mounted on bike with a twofish linked above.
It works for seeing the road in total darkness even on winding hilly roads when racing friends.
I put in a fresh charged NiMH A or 2xAA before ever ride and if the ride is over 3hrs I carry a 2nd set of batteries.
I can aim it level to slightly down for use on road or tilted down more for rare use on MUP.
Flash mode during the day.
My original "good" flashlight for bicycle use is a Fenix L2D from back when it was the light to have. It still works, but it's been used as a flashlight around the house for years. It's the light that showed me the benefit of using a flashing light during the day as well as where I was going at night!
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Old 12-04-18, 01:52 PM
  #28  
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Actually it is the L1D (1xAA) and L2D (2xAA) I still use - I have two bodies for each length, but use the same head. I also have a LD20 which is the improved model, but the threads are different so it doesn't fit with the LxD bodies.

When on extended night rides I use both the L2D and LD20 set up below bars on each side of stem. Usually I use one at a time and switch over when one runs out of battery, but use both when I want more light.

Here is the L1D on commuter:
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Old 12-04-18, 03:02 PM
  #29  
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I'd like to put some ideas into this thread:
Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
If $50 is the definition of cheap in this thread, whats the definition of good, effective and bright?

There are several evolutions of bike lamps:
  1. flashlight body with mount for use on handlebar
  2. offroad mtb lamp with round shaped reflector and low luminous flux (<200lm)
  3. offroad mtb lamp with round shaped reflector and medium luminous flux (200 - <900lm)
  4. offroad mtb lamp with round shaped reflector and high luminous flux (900 - 4500lm) examples: YinDing, Lupine
  5. bicycle lamp with reflector optics/cut-off beam and low illuminance (<40lx) examples: B&M Ixon, Cateye HL-EL500
  6. bicycle lamp with reflector optics/cut-off beam and medium illuminance (50-100lx) examples: B&M Ixon IQ Premium, Cateye Volt 80
  7. bicycle lamp with reflector optics/dual beam and high illuminance (150-380lx) examples: B&M Ixon Space, Supernova M99 series

The difference between headlamp and headlight can be told as follows:
"headlamp is the term for the device itself, while headlight properly refers to the beam of light produced and distributed by the device"
wikipedia.org/wiki/Headlamp

So for class 5/6 there are now even chinese designed lamps without brand:
banggood.com/XANES-SFL04-750LM-T6-LED-German-Standard-Smart-Induction-Bicycle-Light-IPX4-USB-Rechargeable-Large-F-p-1217023.html
banggood.com/XANES-1500-Lumens-Led-Bicycle-Lights-MTB-Cycling-Front-Head-Lamps-Safety-Usb-Charge-Cycling-Light-p-1216450.html
The best headlights under $50 thread
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Old 12-04-18, 04:57 PM
  #30  
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Some purpose made bike headlights also have features not usually found on flashlights. Some headlights have side ports or lenses to increase visibility from the sides. That includes most Light & Motion Urban and similar L&M lights; many Serfas lights; and several generic headlights sold under many brands for $20 or less.

Some bike headlights -- not all, unfortunately -- include built-in hoods or lens/reflector designs that shape the beam with a cutoff similar to motor vehicle headlights to avoid blinding oncoming cyclists and pedestrians on narrow multi-use paths. Some Serfas and Nite Rider headlights have built in hoods that physically cut off part of the beam to minimize spill. I've homebrewed hoods for my Light & Motion Urban light to do the same thing more effectively. And Busch & Muller and a few other headlights have lenses and reflectors designed to mimic the beam patterns of motor vehicles -- defined cutoffs, plenty of light on the road with minimal spill.

Occasionally I prefer the broad circular beam of the unmodified Light & Motion Urban so I'll remove the homebrewed hood. On rural roads at night I want to see everything in case a deer or other critter darts out. I also want to see into the trees to watch for owls and hawks -- when startled some bird, even smaller mockingbirds and jays, will swoop down to defend their nests or go after anything they consider prey. This is so common with a hawk found in Texas and Oklahoma I've called 'em Great Speckled Hood Swoopers. There's a theory that the hawks are actually after any flying prey driven ahead of a speeding vehicle or bike, which our headlights help illuminate for the hawks.
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Old 12-06-18, 10:29 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
I'd like to put some ideas into this thread:

The best headlights under $50 thread
In your list I was not sure where the transition from incandescent to LED was? Between 1 and 2?

I have been using a vintage D Lumotec dyno powered headlamp on my rando bike. Two days ago I ordered a new B&M IQ-XS to replace it.
https://www.bumm.de/de/produkte/dyna...di-silber.html
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Old 12-06-18, 10:41 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have been using a vintage D Lumotec dyno powered headlamp on my rando bike. Two days ago I ordered a new B&M IQ-XS to replace it.
https://www.bumm.de/de/produkte/dyna...di-silber.html
That looks very good and not terribly expensive. I've been using several B&M dynamo powered headlights for a few years and am very impressed with all of them. This IQ-XS looks like an incremental improvement, but it is still welcome, and it doesn't seem to add to the 80€ price.

My regular light for commuting is a Lumotec IQ Fly-T. I don't remember how many Lux it is rated at, maybe 50 or 60. It's not super bright, but I'm not super demanding about brightness.
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Old 12-06-18, 11:08 AM
  #33  
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
In your list I was not sure where the transition from incandescent to LED was? Between 1 and 2?

I have been using a vintage D Lumotec dyno powered headlamp on my rando bike. Two days ago I ordered a new B&M IQ-XS to replace it.
bumm.de/de/produkte/dynamo-scheinwerfer/parent/167/produkt/167rtsndi-01-schwarz-167rtsndi-silber.html
My list isn't related to the light source - but of course it's only relevant with LEDs. The transition to LED started 2006 and ended around 2009.
lupine-shop.com/en/accessoires-and-parts/upgrade/

The IQ-XS is good, but why didn't you take the IQ-X ?
bumm.de/en/products/dynamo-scheinwerfer/parent/164/produkt/164rtsndi-01-schwarz-164rtsndi-silber.html
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Old 12-06-18, 11:15 AM
  #34  
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I've used flashlights, it works fine except for narrow beam, more hassle recharging, and seems like in the way a little more. I've never had a mount fail or even slip, but my DIY on that is a little more robust than the commercial ones.

The flip side is that the cheap bike lights are less expensive, more convenient and cast a broader beam so my only use now for the flashlight is as a backup.
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Old 12-06-18, 11:42 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by angerdan View Post
$ (my keyboard does not have a Euro symbol, so I had to substitute).

I ordered it from Germany. Since I was already ordering something else which was covering the shipping cost for that order, the light was essentially free of shipping cost. At the time I ordered it, $1.13 USD was about 1.00 Euros. Price was a bit under 39 Euros. Price of IQ-X would have been over 50 percent more. I did not think it was worth the additional cost.

But the old light I am replacing is quite old (in photo) and overdue for an upgrade now that the newer lights are so much better.





It is my understanding that the XS has a beam pattern very similar to the Luxos B. On a different bike I have the Luxos U, which I assume (but could be wrong) that the low power setting on the Luxos U is the same beam pattern as the Luxos B. And I am quite content with that beam pattern, did not think I have any need the extra power for the extra cost.
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Old 12-06-18, 01:22 PM
  #36  
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The Light & Motion Urban 350 is down to around $30-35 now. Hard to beat that value with any farm rigged flashlight and mount.

Even better, for folks who need more runtime per charge. the upgraded L&M Urban 500 is now available in a Rando version with double the runtime over the original: 3 hours on high, 6 on medium, 12 on low and a full day or longer on pulse. About $65 on Amazon.

No need to fuss with extra batteries -- which I've done with my Serfas SL-255, which uses a pair of AA batteries. That light isn't a bad value for $20 or less, which includes an excellent mount. Maximum output is 255 lumens, adequate for some purposes. Main problem is the narrow beam, which I actually prefer for the MUP at night to avoid blinding oncoming cyclists and pedestrians. But it's a bit narrow for rural rides. I might buy another if the price drops to the lowest I've seen, around $14.
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Old 12-07-18, 02:02 PM
  #37  
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On my beater mountain bike, it had a front white reflector mounted on a bracket attached to the brake calipers. I simply removed the reflector, bent part of the bracket horizontally, and mounted a bright LED flashlight to it using a hose clamp. It does look a bit ghetto but it works, and this bike I rarely ride after dark anyway, just wanted something just in case I did get caught out after dark on it.
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Old 12-18-18, 11:06 AM
  #38  
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Some recent info about lower-cost bike lights can also be found here. In this post you'll also find a good video about beam patterns and comparing them. I'm a fan of the newer lights made for bikes since most of them have a decent beam pattern, are waterproof (or very water resistant) and as others noted, are not far off from the cost of flashlights.
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Old 12-18-18, 12:14 PM
  #39  
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I've yet to find a bike headlight with beam pattern that allows for under bar mounting.
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Old 12-19-18, 10:26 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I've yet to find a bike headlight with beam pattern that allows for under bar mounting.


??

I have Light & Motion, Lumina, Blackburn, Cateye, & Chinese cheapo lights

that have round beam & don't care how they are oriented. The L&M ones in particular mount well under the bar.
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Old 12-19-18, 11:42 AM
  #41  
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What I meant was a 'designed/shaped' beam vs. the circular provided by flashlights. (context is the post immediately proceeding)
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Old 12-19-18, 01:57 PM
  #42  
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Lightbulb Perspective

Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I've yet to find a bike headlight with beam pattern that allows for under bar mounting.

By stacking 2 threadless stems , you can add a piece of tubing in the lower one, and put a handle bar battery headlight on it

right side up but still under the handlebars..

there are specialty dynamo headlights made to be bolted on front racks under the big bags Brevet riders love, Designed to be fitted upside down....
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Old 12-19-18, 02:55 PM
  #43  
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Yeah, no. I am looking for the minimal, not extra stuff hanging off of bike or other compromises.
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Old 12-19-18, 03:53 PM
  #44  
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@noisebeam, what, specifically are you after, and what is the context? I bet it's possible, some-kinda-how.
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Old 12-19-18, 04:21 PM
  #45  
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I've been using flashlights as headlight for well over a decade.
But I have been told that proper lights have a beam pattern that is much better so I looked into them and found they all mount on top of bars.
So I wondered if they all were like this or if some allowed for under bar mount.
if not I will continue to use flashlight.
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Old 12-19-18, 04:38 PM
  #46  
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I've yet to find a bike headlight with beam pattern that allows for under bar mounting.
Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
What I meant was a 'designed/shaped' beam vs. the circular provided by flashlights. (context is the post immediately proceeding)
B&M IQ-X and IQ-X Speed can be turned inside the collar.
bumm.de/en/products/akku-scheinwerfer/parent/164/produkt/164bla-silber-164bmla-schwarz.html
bumm.de/en/products/dynamo-scheinwerfer/parent/164/produkt/164rtsndi-01-schwarz-164rtsndi-silber.html

bumm.de/en/products/mehr/produkt/470lh.html?

lupine-shop.com/en/led-lightsets/helmet-and-bikelights/1487/sl-a4-international
lupine-shop.com/en/led-lightsets/helmet-and-bikelights/1653/sl-af-7

monkey-link.com
sks-germany.com/en/products/ml-bracket-1-humpert-ergotec-swell/
sks-germany.com/en/products/ergotec-vorbau-swell-x-ml/
sks-germany.com/en/products/lumotec-iq-x-e-ml-150-lux-connect/
sks-germany.com/en/products/ml-m99-mini-pro-connect/
shop.supernova-design.com/shop/product/m99-mini-pro-25-for-monkeylink-141

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Old 12-19-18, 05:16 PM
  #47  
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Thank you
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Old 12-28-18, 08:24 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

There are so many good LED headlights at a good price out there now compared to years ago, there really is no reason to not use a bike light.
There's a heck of a lot more competition in the flashlight market than in the bike light market. That keeps flashlight prices down.
Really powerful flashlights are dirt cheap. But I do like the beam pattern better on bike lights.
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Old 12-30-18, 10:08 PM
  #49  
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Pros: none; other than satisfying some weird urge to be cheap about your personal safety?
Cons: a wax candle attached to your helmet(assuming you splurged for a helmet)is much cheaper and almost as effective.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:09 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
There's a heck of a lot more competition in the flashlight market than in the bike light market. That keeps flashlight prices down.

Really powerful flashlights are dirt cheap. But I do like the beam pattern better on bike lights.
I agree. .A flashlight may be temporary use while you find a high quality bike light. Online there are myriad adaptable flashlights for the handlebar. Some are removable slide off to avoid theft while others are screw on. A bracket may attach to the flashlight while other systems not.

Some bike lights have a remote battery while most are integrated. Try to get one with the battery compartment that is sealed against humidity and moisture.

To reiterate, a bike light has a beam spread or pattern for the road, not a powerful spotlight beam that is like a laser beam to drivers and pedestrians.

Flashlights could blind dogs and kids and cause them to walk in front of you causing injury.

Flashlights may vibrate more, because of their length and weight while bike lights are light and compact, normally. There are dedicated flashlight brackets like Fenix that minimize vibration. There are headbands that hold flashlights on your head or helmet. There are headband lights of varying lumens.

Vibration in time may cause damage to the flashlight while none to a bike light. Vibration may cause the light to jump around on the road and disorient you. Of course, if your handlebar bounces a lot, any light will bounce making it difficult to clearly see the road, but a flashlight may bounce more. There are helmets with integrated bike lights front and back. There are attachable helmet lights for front and back and top. Most lights are blinkable.

Get a white and or red color light only, not blue, green, etc.

The bike light market is big and competitive so, why use a flashlight unless mobility or dual purpose is your bag.

If you get a light with button batteries, dont fret. You can get them cheap online, but watch any big shipping costs added after you Commit. This is dishonest in my opinion. You may be able to cancel after you panic.
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