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Light setup for 7-8 hours of night riding

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Light setup for 7-8 hours of night riding

Old 02-04-21, 08:23 AM
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Light setup for 7-8 hours of night riding

Trying to sort out light options for 7-8 hours of night riding.

I have a cateye volt with extra battery. I can run that at 300 lumens for about 7 hours.

I have lezyne super drive 1500XXL. that will cover the 7-8 hours at 250 lumen.

I also have a anker flashlight mounted to my helmet. Thatís less important since itís just there for that little bit of light I need if Iím turning my head to look or turn.

This is a gravel night ride in a forest so no streetlights. And long ride so not going fast so not like Iíll outrun my lights.

does 300 lumens seem enough? Other options? I donít want to go the dynahub route.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:43 AM
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man thats pretty low even o the street. I need from 900 to 1200 on unlit bike paths on our tandem.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
man thats pretty low even o the street. I need from 900 to 1200 on unlit bike paths on our tandem.
Iíve done some shorter gravel rides so was able to use higher output. I went out last night on a bike path and 300 lumens seemed enough. That was on a bike path.
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Old 02-04-21, 08:57 AM
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I could also do something like Lezyne MEGA DRIVE 1800I with their infinite power pack
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Old 02-04-21, 09:45 AM
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Magicshine makes one model (Alty 2000) with a removable battery pack. They used to sell a model with a removable "raw" 18650 cell, so you didn't need to buy a proprietary product from them. As far as I know, this is the only self-contained light with a swappable battery pack. There are a lot of bikes with separate battery packs where you could obviously swap packs. There are some lights that can operate while hooked up to an external USB battery pack, but this isn't well-documented. Not all do.

300 lumen doesn't sound like enough to me, but in any case, lumen is a rough stand-in for the more relevant metric, which is how far your light throws its beam, and whether you'll outrun that at your typical speed. Some beams are more diffuse, some more focused. I'm guessing that for riding through a forest, you'd want a little more diffusion than on the road.
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Old 02-04-21, 10:03 AM
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Peter White has a few pages outlining what his lights do, patterns, etc. here. There was another guide I used when I was looking for a battery model, but I was concerned about commuting use rather than trail.

For 7-8 hours of power, it's hard to beat a dynamo, especially for more than occasional use.
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Old 02-04-21, 10:10 AM
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I have a Fenix BC21R which uses common, easily replaceable (like a typical flashlight battery replacement) 18650 batteries. With a charged one in the housing and a spare Panasonic 3400mah battery packed along, I can pretty much 400 lumen all night long and bounce to 1000 on the downhills - plenty for me.

Someone else need more lumens/lux/candlepower? Shucks, Panasonic 3400mah 18650s are under $8 each. Pack along several and turn the wick up.

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Old 02-04-21, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Magicshine makes one model (Alty 2000) with a removable battery pack. They used to sell a model with a removable "raw" 18650 cell, so you didn't need to buy a proprietary product from them. As far as I know, this is the only self-contained light with a swappable battery pack. There are a lot of bikes with separate battery packs where you could obviously swap packs. There are some lights that can operate while hooked up to an external USB battery pack, but this isn't well-documented. Not all do.

300 lumen doesn't sound like enough to me, but in any case, lumen is a rough stand-in for the more relevant metric, which is how far your light throws its beam, and whether you'll outrun that at your typical speed. Some beams are more diffuse, some more focused. I'm guessing that for riding through a forest, you'd want a little more diffusion than on the road.

Yeah. I donít think 300 would be ideal. The cateye volt I have is a volt 700. I could carry 2 extra batteries and I could run at max 700 lumens and that would get me to 6 hours. And I could lower the mode as i got close to dawn. That could work. Maybe. Or I could carry lezyne 1500xxl. Run that at 1000 lumens until it dies. ~2.5 hours unless I switch to 600 lumens when it starts running low. Then switch to cateye volt 700 running at max and have the extra battery.
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Old 02-04-21, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I have a Fenix BC21R which uses common, easily replaceable (like a typical flashlight battery replacement) 18650 batteries. With a charged one in the housing and a spare Panasonic 3400mah battery packed along, I can pretty much 400 lumen all night long and bounce to 1000 on the downhills - plenty for me.

Someone else need more lumens/lux/candlepower? Shucks, Panasonic 3400mah 18650s are under $8 each. Pack along several and turn the wick up.
thanks. Thatís helpful. In this event itís actually dead flat so zero downhills. And Iím not barreling along at 20mph or even 15mph given that itís such a long event.
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Old 02-04-21, 04:03 PM
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I bought one of these on Ebay, shipped from China. When I bought it, cost was about $5 or $6. But that was pre-Covid, now shipping is very slow and costs higher.



No internal battery, I plug it into a USB powerbank. On low power it draws 240 milliamps, 1.2 amps on high power.

Small powerbanks do not provide enough power. When you plug it in, it is off, push the button once and it is on high power but if your powerbank will not supply enough power, it goes off without the ability to set if for low power (the second push does that). So, the smallest powerbanks do not work

I have no clue how many lumens, but I have plenty of light for bike trails on low power setting. Flashlight type of beam, round beam. Not a low and wide beam like the better bike lights for road riding. That may be an advantage if you are going up and down on a rough trail, but the narrow beam might not work that well if you have to do very much negotiating over rough spots.

I bought it for bike touring, I almost never have a headlamp turned on for that. But there are tunnels, and evenings to the pub that might require a headlight. And I carry a power bank in my handlebar bag when touring.

Originally Posted by biketampa View Post
.... In this event it’s actually dead flat so zero downhills. And I’m not barreling along at 20mph or even 15mph given that it’s such a long event.
Should I assume from your screen name that this is in Florida, thus flatter than a billiards table? And that it is on a fairly straight gravel trail? In that case, a wider flatter beam would be better than a flashlight beam. Is this part of a brevet or something like that?

You said forest, in that case a beam that is up higher like a flashlight beam may have some benefit, as in forests sometimes you have branches hanging down. And if your beam is low and flat, it might not light up a tree branch that you are about to ride into.
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Old 02-05-21, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I bought one of these on Ebay, shipped from China. When I bought it, cost was about $5 or $6. But that was pre-Covid, now shipping is very slow and costs higher.



No internal battery, I plug it into a USB powerbank. On low power it draws 240 milliamps, 1.2 amps on high power.

Small powerbanks do not provide enough power. When you plug it in, it is off, push the button once and it is on high power but if your powerbank will not supply enough power, it goes off without the ability to set if for low power (the second push does that). So, the smallest powerbanks do not work

I have no clue how many lumens, but I have plenty of light for bike trails on low power setting. Flashlight type of beam, round beam. Not a low and wide beam like the better bike lights for road riding. That may be an advantage if you are going up and down on a rough trail, but the narrow beam might not work that well if you have to do very much negotiating over rough spots.

I bought it for bike touring, I almost never have a headlamp turned on for that. But there are tunnels, and evenings to the pub that might require a headlight. And I carry a power bank in my handlebar bag when touring.



Should I assume from your screen name that this is in Florida, thus flatter than a billiards table? And that it is on a fairly straight gravel trail? In that case, a wider flatter beam would be better than a flashlight beam. Is this part of a brevet or something like that?

You said forest, in that case a beam that is up higher like a flashlight beam may have some benefit, as in forests sometimes you have branches hanging down. And if your beam is low and flat, it might not light up a tree branch that you are about to ride into.
I donít live in florida anymore. But race is in SC and very flat.

I ended up ordered the LEZYNE Multi Drive 1000 Headlight. It was a decent price on competitive cyclist. And I ordered an extra battery. I can run it at max 1000 lumens for 6 hours with that setup but likely will be able to toggle to the 500 lumens setting when Iím riding in a group.
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Old 02-05-21, 06:23 PM
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You want this:
https://www.amazon.com/Micro-USB-rec.../dp/B07WFDRPW8

With at least two of these:
https://www.18650batterystore.com/products/samsung-50e

Here's a good review:
https://budgetlightforum.com/node/68190
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Old 02-06-21, 07:04 PM
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thanks. Thatís an interesting option. I had also looked at the fenix bc30 which takes two 18650 batteries but hadnít seen many reviews of it.
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Old 02-07-21, 02:35 AM
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I'm pretty satisfied with the NiteRider Lumina Dual 1800. The wide beam really helps, from the dual LEDs and lens to shape the beam. Even at the 350 lumen minimum setting it's very good. Pretty comparable to a motorcycle headlight. I run video most rides and when I review video later I realize my bike headlight is as good as the vehicle headlights alongside me.

(There's a 100 lumen steady mode but they suggest that only as a walking light, not for riding -- although I've used it on that setting on slow rides on the MUP at night.)

Not cheap at $150 or so, but after more than six months of regular use on long nighttime rides, I have no serious complaints.

I wish the mount was a little quicker to attach/detach. The quick release between the light and mount is fine. But the thumbscrew lock for the mount, and choosing shims to suit the handlebar diameter, makes it a chore to switch between bikes.
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Old 02-07-21, 06:37 PM
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I agree that more than 300 lumens would be a much better choice, but I would definitely add a helmet mounted light as well. I use it for my commuting night rides. I love that I can point the light anywhere I need it. If you see an imperfection in the gravel path, you can shine it there to figure out how to negotiate that possible obstacle.
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Old 02-07-21, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by biketampa View Post
Trying to sort out light options for 7-8 hours of night riding.

I have a cateye volt with extra battery. I can run that at 300 lumens for about 7 hours.

I have lezyne super drive 1500XXL. that will cover the 7-8 hours at 250 lumen.

I also have a anker flashlight mounted to my helmet. Thatís less important since itís just there for that little bit of light I need if Iím turning my head to look or turn.

This is a gravel night ride in a forest so no streetlights. And long ride so not going fast so not like Iíll outrun my lights.

does 300 lumens seem enough? Other options? I donít want to go the dynahub route.
A dynahub would definitely be silly compared to using a Cateye, Lezyne, flashlight, and other assorted options
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Old 02-08-21, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
A dynahub would definitely be silly compared to using a Cateye, Lezyne, flashlight, and other assorted options
a dynahub is a far more expensive option a situation Iím unlikely to need more than a few times at most in my cycling career
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Old 02-08-21, 11:46 AM
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I agree with the dynamo advice, as I've been using dynamos for a few years. You don't notice how much trouble goes into charging a headlight until you stop. Then you realize it's like banging your head against a wall. Taillights are easier to deal with since a bright taillight can run daily on a single charge for weeks.

However, dynamo lights aren't very bright. This isn't a problem for me. I seem to do OK with low intensity lights. I'm not sure what my lights put out but 300 lumens is my guess. I can ride comfortably at 12 or 15 mph at that speed. Whether this is good enough for you is something only you can say. Some people are not satisfied unless they have 1,000 lumens, and that sounds crazy to me, but to each their own. However I will point out that if your beam is not "shaped," then you need more lumens. And that is to say if it is shaped, you need fewer lumens. I like shaped beams of the German type. There is a sharp cutoff at the far edge of the beam, and most of the light goes to the far edge. I do not light up the trees or the road's shoulder, and the light does not shine in the eyes of pedestrians or motorists or cyclists. This is how I get away with a low-lumen light. I do not have exceptional night vision.

If you do want a high intensity light, you could get a super-high intensity light, say 2,000 lumens, and run it at half power so the battery lasts long.

Another solution is to use an external battery, and that requires a light that can run off an external source.
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Old 02-08-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
...
However, dynamo lights aren't very bright. This isn't a problem for me. I seem to do OK with low intensity lights. I'm not sure what my lights put out but 300 lumens is my guess. I can ride comfortably at 12 or 15 mph at that speed. Whether this is good enough for you is something only you can say. Some people are not satisfied unless they have 1,000 lumens, and that sounds crazy to me, but to each their own. However I will point out that if your beam is not "shaped," then you need more lumens. And that is to say if it is shaped, you need fewer lumens. I like shaped beams of the German type. There is a sharp cutoff at the far edge of the beam, and most of the light goes to the far edge. I do not light up the trees or the road's shoulder, and the light does not shine in the eyes of pedestrians or motorists or cyclists. This is how I get away with a low-lumen light. I do not have exceptional night vision.
....
I feel that my dyno powered B&M Luxos U and my B&M IQ-XS provide plenty of light. That said, if I was on a gravel trail with ups and downs, the light beam might not always give me light where I want it. In that case I think a second battery light on my helmet with a flashlight type of beam would be useful as a second light.

And if I was negotiating difficult terrain on gravel where at times I was slower than jogging speed, then a helmet mounted light could come in handy, as the dyno powered headlights will dim at very slow speed.

On a gravel trail, you are not going to have headlights from cars and will not be in street light areas, those things dull your night vision. So, you should have good night vision, except where you might have to cross highways with cars that have bright headlights.

I have used both of the lights I cited above on gravel rail trails, but there was very little up and down, so the light beam stayed where I wanted it. For those I did not need a helmet mounted light, but I did have to watch for any broken branches hanging down from trees. That said, I had a headlamp in my handlebar bag that I could use if I had a mechanical on my bike.

People even do the Tour Divide race with dyno powered lighting, so that is certainly possible, but I am not sure which lights they use.

That said, I would never suggest someone spend the kind of money you would need for a good dyno powered lighting setup for a one night ride that lasts several hours.

My IQ-XS provides the type of beam below, this is from the B&M website for the IQ-XS.

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Old 02-08-21, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I agree with the dynamo advice, as I've been using dynamos for a few years. You don't notice how much trouble goes into charging a headlight until you stop. Then you realize it's like banging your head against a wall. Taillights are easier to deal with since a bright taillight can run daily on a single charge for weeks.

However, dynamo lights aren't very bright. This isn't a problem for me. I seem to do OK with low intensity lights. I'm not sure what my lights put out but 300 lumens is my guess. I can ride comfortably at 12 or 15 mph at that speed. Whether this is good enough for you is something only you can say. Some people are not satisfied unless they have 1,000 lumens, and that sounds crazy to me, but to each their own. However I will point out that if your beam is not "shaped," then you need more lumens. And that is to say if it is shaped, you need fewer lumens. I like shaped beams of the German type. There is a sharp cutoff at the far edge of the beam, and most of the light goes to the far edge. I do not light up the trees or the road's shoulder, and the light does not shine in the eyes of pedestrians or motorists or cyclists. This is how I get away with a low-lumen light. I do not have exceptional night vision.

If you do want a high intensity light, you could get a super-high intensity light, say 2,000 lumens, and run it at half power so the battery lasts long.

Another solution is to use an external battery, and that requires a light that can run off an external source.

my current plan is to run the lezyne multri drive 1000 runs off a battery pack. It can run 1000 lumens for 3 hours. I wonít need it max all the time. It will run 500 lumens for 5:30 hours. And I will carry an extra battery pack. Helmet I will either have my cateye volt 700 or a flashlight. I donít need a lot of light there. Iím not using these for mountain biking or any crazy fast descents. Sure if frequently did very long night rides Iíd consider the dynamo hub option.
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Old 03-09-21, 10:56 AM
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For those interested. I ran the lezyne multidrive for my race and it worked great. If I was alone I bumped it up to 1000 lumens if needed. In a group I toggled it to 500 lumens. One battery pack lasted me the entire time so either I was, at times, toggling down below 500 or the lezyne lowered its output automatically when the battery was low. I canít find in the documentation where itís states it will do that.

regardless. It worked well for me. One of my friends had some bad luck and a rock damaged the cable for his light so he was stuck with a helmet light only.
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Old 03-25-21, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice View Post
Magicshine makes one model (Alty 2000) with a removable battery pack. They used to sell a model with a removable "raw" 18650 cell, so you didn't need to buy a proprietary product from them. As far as I know, this is the only self-contained light with a swappable battery pack.
I know I'm kind of late to the party here, but...

The Fenix BC30 V2.0 is a self-contained light that uses a pair of 18650 cells.
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Old 04-21-21, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by HD3andMe View Post
You can get a number of lights with adjustable levels and external batteries of varying sizes that will easily work on an 8 hour ride.

For example, 1.5 - 32 hours, depending on output. Overkill for your application but it should point you in the right direction.

I like the wide light (mine is more of spot light ) mounted under the computer. How much and where did you get this light ?
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Old 04-21-21, 01:32 PM
  #24  
kingston 
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Surprised nobody mentioned the B&M battery powered headlights. It's what I use on my bikes that don't have dynamo lights.
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Old 04-22-21, 02:32 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Surprised nobody mentioned the B&M battery powered headlights. It's what I use on my bikes that don't have dynamo lights.
Yeah, I have had an Ixon Core (50 Lux) for many years. It was expensive, but it's lasting a long time. I don't like the mount, but it's otherwise an excellent light. The battery lasts a very long time, and the beam shape is superb. I've received compliments from other road users. It's also built tough.

The Ixon Space provides 150 Lux! I might buy one next time I need a battery light. An important point for these lights is that I believe these lights can run while being charged. Not every light can.
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