Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets
Reload this Page >

Choosing One Headlight From A List

Electronics, Lighting, & Gadgets HRM, GPS, MP3, HID. Whether it's got an acronym or not, here's where you'll find discussions on all sorts of tools, toys and gadgets.

Choosing One Headlight From A List

Old 08-06-21, 11:39 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Humboldt County, CA
Posts: 661
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 304 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 289 Times in 197 Posts
Choosing One Headlight From A List

The following lights are what I can catalog order through my co-op for about as much as I'd want to pay for a single, bar-mount, rechargeable headlight for my 2-3 mile daily commute plus evening rides. For what it's worth, I live in Humboldt County, CA. In mid-winter, sunrise and sunset are both dead on my commute time.
  1. Cygolite Ranger 1200 USB
  2. NiteRider Lumina 1000 Boost
  3. Cateye HL-EL1100RC AMPP1100
  4. Topeak WhiteLite 800 BT
  5. CygoLite Metro Pro 1100 USB
  6. Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XL
  7. Portland Design Works Lars Rover 850
Quoted light levels for bike lights are BS, especially the number they put in the model name... and even if they're accurately measured, they're mostly irrelevant in use. That said, and all else being equal, brighter is better.
I don't ride this bike off road, but our roads up here are total garbage, so shadow / texture definition is super important.
Street lighting on the roads that I ride varies from "There ain't none" to "I can almost see."
Beam patterns matter, but the difference between good and bad matters more than the difference between great and perfect.
Super-long battery life is not critical, as I can charge at work if I'm going for an after-work ride, and 2 hours would be a long one in any case. Battery quality, on the other hand, can vary a lot. Cheap batteries on crappy chargers die young.
14 modes and 3 blink patterns is pointless and confusing and stupid and a pain in the ass.
Any light coming out of the top of the headlight is immediately and totally disqualifying.
"Not being annoying to cagers" isn't really a consideration... if you're annoyed by me that means you've seen me, and if you've seen me and hit me anyway, you did it on purpose. There aren't that many murderers out there, especially compared to the oblivious. I'll take my chances.


PS: Yes, I tried searching. But, as V-Bulletin's programmers have said since the early 2000s, "Search sucks. Deal with it."
ShannonM is offline  
Old 08-07-21, 12:59 AM
Me duelen las nalgas
canklecat's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 13,225

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 196 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4390 Post(s)
Liked 2,431 Times in 1,579 Posts
Check the "We Test Lights" site. It's owned and run by the Light & Motion folks, but their tests of competing brands appear to be fair and objective, and the results usually match mine with the same lights from L&M, NiteRider and others.

The only exception would be their test of the NiteRider Lumina Dual 1800. As other commenters noted, it appears the tester received a defective sample. When purchased new last summer, mine performed according to NiteRider's own specs. Outstanding light for serious, long rides. A bit heavy and bulky for commutes and other shorter rides. But for longer rides now I no longer need to mount two headlights so I'll have enough light for a 3-5 hour night ride. A single Lumina Dual 1800 on low or medium will deliver enough light for the entire ride. I use the bright settings only briefly, such as for dips in roads where I know animals are likely to be crossing.

I'm generally satisfied with Light & Motion's Urban series lights (I have the Urban 500 and Rando 500). Very compact, well made and bright. But the strap mount and plastic cover for the USB port tend to crack. I've replaced some straps with a Two-Fish mounting block which uses Velcro straps rather than elastic. And with frequent use the L&M lights seem to last about 18-24 months before they won't hold a charge. The barrels are sealed, no practical way to replace the batteries.

But I've mostly moved toward NiteRider. And I noticed several local friends are mostly using NiteRider now too. I've heard some users say the batteries can be replaced by removing the screws holding the cases together. I haven't tried that myself.

I also have the NiteRider Lumina Micro 850, which performs exactly as described in the test. At full and medium power the output declines gradually and gets dimmer toward the end of its run-time. In comparison, the Light & Motion lights tend to run near full output until suddenly blinking out when the battery charge is exhausted. The NiteRider Lumina Micro have smaller batteries for less weight and bulk, so while they're bright enough the run time is shorter than their full sized headlights.

With most headlights claiming maximum output of 800, 1800 or more lumens, consider the brightest setting a turbo mode that will deplete the charge very quickly. So I choose lights based on the output and battery runtime at medium, which is where I'll leave it most of the time.
canklecat is offline  
Likes For canklecat:
Old 08-08-21, 12:22 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Posts: 2,713

Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 485 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 180 Times in 140 Posts
Check your mailbox for a private message.
VegasTriker is offline  
Old 08-08-21, 06:43 PM
John Valuk
Full Member
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 78 Posts
Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
The following lights are what I can catalog order through my co-op for about as much as I'd want to pay for a single, bar-mount, rechargeable headlight for my 2-3 mile daily commute plus evening rides.
For the sake of those who might have other recommendations, would you be willing to state a target maximum price?
John Valuk is offline  
Old 08-09-21, 03:08 PM
aka Tom Reingold
noglider's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 40,176

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 495 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7014 Post(s)
Liked 1,765 Times in 1,099 Posts
My guess is that you'll be happy with any of the models you've listed. Those are good companies, and they probably use high quality batteries. Your budget, whatever it is, looks sufficiently high.
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 09-01-21, 06:17 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SF, bay area
Posts: 15

Bikes: Specialized Allez (over 15K), Soma Saga (new used addition)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 10 Times in 5 Posts
thank you for your query, thinking about the same so I used search and this post is the first one!

I found this stupidbright site, I have no financial interests... only looking for advice, at $47 looks good -not enough posting, mostly a lurker so here is the truncated site-

nightprovision dot com/collections/stupidbright/products/sb1-ver-2-0-cree-powered-900-lumen-complete-led-bike-light-set-with-sealed-8800mah-abs-polymer-battery-2-x-high-intensity-rear-lights
letank is offline  
Old 09-01-21, 07:12 PM
well hello there
Nachoman's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Point Loma, CA
Posts: 15,365

Bikes: Bill Holland (Road-Ti), Fuji Roubaix Pro (back-up), Bike Friday (folder), Co-Motion (tandem) & Trek 750 (hybrid)

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 488 Post(s)
Liked 271 Times in 172 Posts
Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post

PS: Yes, I tried searching. But, as V-Bulletin's programmers have said since the early 2000s, "Search sucks. Deal with it."
How to Search
You're welcome.

Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.
Nachoman is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.