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What are the brightest taillights at reasonable price now?

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What are the brightest taillights at reasonable price now?

Old 09-10-21, 08:08 PM
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vol
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What are the brightest taillights at reasonable price now?

I haven't read through this forum for a long time. IIRC the last time I was around the most recommended tail light was Cygolite Pro 150. I'm sure that is outdated now. So what is the best (brightest) tail light these days, for no more than $30?

Btw, from my observation of others cycling by in the dark, super bright red tail light is much better than those fancy flashing taillight with blue, red, white.... mixed light colors (which seem to be annoying to drivers).
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Old 09-10-21, 09:21 PM
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I’d suggest you look at your LBS or at REI website to see what’s available below $30. While I get that we all have budgets, do be prepared to expand your budget if it seems appropriate to ensure your safety.

remember also that brightness figures can be misleading. Does the light focus all its output into a narrow cone to inflate its lumen value, leaving you with lesser visibility to vehicles not directly behind you? Or does it have a wide swath of substantial light output helping your visibility in a curvy road scenario?

This should get you started, then go see them in person.

https://www.rei.com/c/rear-bike-ligh...sort=min-price
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Old 09-10-21, 09:27 PM
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Is there such a thing as a rear light that is too bright, especially at night? I just wonder if some of the more powerful rear lights might have a lot of glare and cause a driver to have to look away. Especially us older drivers that might be more sensitive to glare.

Mark
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Old 09-10-21, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gpburdell View Post
I’d suggest you look at your LBS or at REI website to see what’s available below $30. While I get that we all have budgets, do be prepared to expand your budget if it seems appropriate to ensure your safety.

remember also that brightness figures can be misleading. Does the light focus all its output into a narrow cone to inflate its lumen value, leaving you with lesser visibility to vehicles not directly behind you? Or does it have a wide swath of substantial light output helping your visibility in a curvy road scenario?

This should get you started, then go see them in person.

https://www.rei.com/c/rear-bike-ligh...sort=min-price
Because lights can easily be broken or lost, IMO multiple cheaper lights are better than one expensive light, provided they work well. I also like to use more than one taillight at the same time lest one dies unpredictably during a ride. I used to buy cheap lights from Chinese online sellers such as on ebay, but many of them, while bright, were poorly built and the charging socket break easily when I pulled out the charging cable. The one I've been using is this model, but the modes are too fancy and irritating.

Thanks for the link. Have you used any of those lights?

Originally Posted by msalvetti View Post
Is there such a thing as a rear light that is too bright, especially at night? I just wonder if some of the more powerful rear lights might have a lot of glare and cause a driver to have to look away. Especially us older drivers that might be more sensitive to glare.
My observation of others tells me that bright tail light in solid mode is pretty good, very visible without irritating others.
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Old 09-10-21, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Because lights can easily be broken or lost, IMO multiple cheaper lights are better than one expensive light, provided they work well. I also like to use more than one taillight at the same time lest one dies unpredictably during a ride. I used to buy cheap lights from Chinese online sellers such as on ebay, but many of them, while bright, were poorly built and the charging socket break easily when I pulled out the charging cable. The one I've been using is this model, but the modes are too fancy and irritating.

Thanks for the link. Have you used any of those lights?


My observation of others tells me that bright tail light in solid mode is pretty good, very visible without irritating others.
Properly mounted decent lights aren’t lost or broken in normal circumstances…. but I've not bought cheap stuff from eBay.

I have a cats eye and a planet bike 65 and they’re decent. No idea if they’re the brightest in your price range.

BTW, maybe don’t be combative towards folks trying to help? Might not be your intent , but that’s how your reply came across.

best of luck in your search.
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Old 09-10-21, 10:34 PM
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Cygolite Hotshot and Hotrod are still the best values in taillights. I use both. Hotshot is clipped to the supplied mount on the seat post. Hotrod goes on the seat stay tube, lower near the hub. I find a little separation between lights helps with quick visual orientation when I see other cyclists and motorcyclists.

I've used the Hotshot 50 and 150. Both are bright enough even in daylight. When I use the Hotshot 150 at night I set it to "zoom" mode, with a slow pulsing light, or steady if I'm in a group ride to avoid blinding riders behind me. In daylight I use the more rapid strobing modes.

The Hotrod, I usually set to steady. Some observers find it easier to visually orient on lights when at least one is either steady or slow pulsing, rather than strobing. That's important at night. Less important in daylight.
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Old 09-10-21, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Cygolite Hotshot and Hotrod are still the best values in taillights. I use both. Hotshot is clipped to the supplied mount on the seat post. Hotrod goes on the seat stay tube, lower near the hub. I find a little separation between lights helps with quick visual orientation when I see other cyclists and motorcyclists.

I've used the Hotshot 50 and 150. Both are bright enough even in daylight. When I use the Hotshot 150 at night I set it to "zoom" mode, with a slow pulsing light, or steady if I'm in a group ride to avoid blinding riders behind me. In daylight I use the more rapid strobing modes.

The Hotrod, I usually set to steady. Some observers find it easier to visually orient on lights when at least one is either steady or slow pulsing, rather than strobing. That's important at night. Less important in daylight.
Thanks. I see there are Hotshot 200 lumen now on amazon. Also a Hypershot 250 lumens and 350 lumens, whoa. I guess they are still made in China?
Looks like I do need to raise my price limit to $40-ish... as long as the light lasts....

Has anyone used this one?

Last edited by vol; 09-10-21 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 09-11-21, 08:27 AM
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Just say NO to throw-away lights filling up your local dumps...cygolite and the like
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Old 09-11-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by msalvetti View Post
Is there such a thing as a rear light that is too bright, especially at night? I just wonder if some of the more powerful rear lights might have a lot of glare and cause a driver to have to look away. Especially us older drivers that might be more sensitive to glare.

Mark
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Old 09-11-21, 09:28 AM
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My favorite $40 tail lamp is the Specialized Stix Elite. It’s day bright with several flash modes, is nicely styled, has a variety of mounts for versatility, and recharges without a cable. I’ve been using the Stix series for years, and this newest Elite is really great.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/st...ext=49120-2100
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Old 09-15-21, 09:46 AM
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I have never discarded a Cygolite hotshot, but I have lost 2 of them in the woods. My fault for the way I had them mounted.
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Old 09-15-21, 09:44 PM
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Cygolite 350. I have been told a few times by drivers that the light is bright and that during the afternoon.
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Old 09-16-21, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
Cygolite 350. I have been told a few times by drivers that the light is bright and that during the afternoon.
There are 150, 250, 350, do the brighter ones have shorter life (either on one full recharge, or lifespan-wise)?
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Old 09-16-21, 07:41 PM
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[QUOTE=vol;22233345]There are 150, 250, 350, do the brighter ones have shorter life (either on one full recharge, or lifespan-wise)?[/

I charge it after a couple of rides, so 6-8 hrs. I have never had any of the others so I can’t compare them.
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Old 09-17-21, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
There are 150, 250, 350, do the brighter ones have shorter life (either on one full recharge, or lifespan-wise)?
Manufacturers often use different size batteries in different models, so you can't necessarily assume anything about battery life from the rated lumen.

I'd suggest looking at the product pages for the specified runtimes and then check out product reviews on Amazon or wherever to see if users are reporting otherwise.
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Old 09-17-21, 03:36 PM
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I've got a Cygolite Hypershot 350. It's kind of ridiculous. It has a lot of different blink modes and steady on; it's got a second button that controls how fast the blink is, or in steady mode, how bright it is (the controls are kind of a pet peeve for me). When I use it (I have other taillights), I use it steady on at a fraction of its potential output.
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Old 09-19-21, 07:40 AM
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Wow! 350 lumen taillights are wicked!
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Old 09-20-21, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Wow! 350 lumen taillights are wicked!
And it has limited applicability.
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Old 09-20-21, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
And it has limited applicability.
Yeah, I wouldn’t burn that at night myself.

I’m sure this gets discussed in the Safety and Advocacy forum all the time, but I’m definitely in the “too much is more than enough” camp.
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Old 09-20-21, 06:49 PM
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Or maybe I would reword that: more than enough is too much. Sometimes more is better, but EVEN MORE is not necessarily EVEN BETTER.

I get annoyed by the argument "hey you noticed me so it works, right?" Uh, no. Well, yes, but a punch to my face makes me notice you, but is it a good idea?
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Old 09-24-21, 11:41 PM
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I run an old Dinotte 140r.

I pair it with the Cygolite Hypershot 350.

Overkill? Maybe but I don't care. The bright lights force drivers to give me noticeably more room.
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Old 09-25-21, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
The one I've been using is this model,
I'm sure you've checked it out in your jurisdiction, but neophytes reading this thread should be aware that blue and/or rearward facing white lights are illegal in some places.
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Old 09-25-21, 09:40 AM
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most rechargeable taillights have been bright enough, however, the biggest issue I've ran across is the mounting design. I have yet to find one that doesn't cost a lot & has a common mounting system that fits a road bicycle using a seat bag & isn't hindered by the bag if it's clamped to the seat post.
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Old 09-25-21, 11:45 PM
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Troul , I've been able to farm rig my Cygolite Hotshot to this Diamondback Podium to accommodate a Lezyne Road Caddy and rear facing Drift Ghost X camera.

In this usage the Hotshot is clamped just below the seat post clamp onto the top of the seat tube. I added some soft-release tape to protect the carbon fiber. The original Cygolite clamp mount isn't quite large enough in diameter to use the screw closure, so I'm using zip ties.

Similar setup with my Centurion Ironman steel bike. The Hotshot clamp is on the seat tube below the seat post clamp, between the seat stays. It fits fine with the original screw clamp because the steel frame is smaller in diameter. Plenty of clearance even with a larger Serfas Speed Bag wedge bag, and the same Drift Ghost X camera and clamp mount.



This retains side visibility, although that's the one weakness in the Cygolite Hotshot: they're designed for maximum visibility from the rear, within a narrow aperture, with the beam most intense on vehicles directly behind us.

I also use a Cygolite Hotrod on the left seat stay, and a Bontrager 2'Fer blinky on the back of my helmet.

(Yup, the carbon fiber bike top tube is "clamped" to the work stand, but there's barely any pressure on the tube. It's closed just enough to prevent the bike from falling off. That's just for this photo to get some light on the bike. When I'm doing any real maintenance on the bike I remove all accessories and clamp to the metal seat post.)

Last edited by canklecat; 09-25-21 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-26-21, 02:51 AM
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#canklecat
If I were to mount it there, the seat bag is partially blocking the view.
Ideally if the seat bag had a qiuck mount on it for a known good rechargeable taillight, it'd solve the issue. I started a thread asking for assistance regarding that...
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