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Is the Nite Rider Lighting Bug 3 watt version a decent light?

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Is the Nite Rider Lighting Bug 3 watt version a decent light?

Old 10-17-11, 04:03 PM
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christ0ph
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Is the Nite Rider Lighting Bug 3 watt version a decent light?

I'm looking for an inexpensive headlight for the occasional night errand, not for heavy duty use.. The Nite Rider Lighting Bug 3.0 is cheap and it looks bright enough to let me see ahead of me a bit on a dark street, if I am not going too fast.

Has anybody here owned it or used it?

An alternative would be making my own.. but that seems like more work than fun if there are decent, cheap alternatives out there.

I don't ride very fast at night.. and its almost always on back streets.
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Old 10-17-11, 04:11 PM
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In a word: No.

These kinds of lights fall into the lower end of what I call "finder lights". They make the job of finding you under a car a little easier for the EMTs. The Lightning Bug would make them hunt a little longer.

None of the "finder lights" do a good job of keeping you out from under the car.

Get a light that you can see with...200 lumens is the minimum...and you'll be seen. They also do a better job of keeping you out from under cars.
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Old 10-17-11, 05:14 PM
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I used to have a nice dynamo headlight on my bike, that was adequately bright. But my bike was in a storage locker for a number of years and at some point, the light seems to have disappeared. Maybe it broke and like an idiot, I threw it out, not realizing that whatever it was, it was probably quie repairable.

Thats what I should get. No worries about batteries.
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Old 10-17-11, 05:37 PM
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I'm a big fan of bright lights, but I still use battery powered ones as a fail-safe. I've never liked any light that needs a battery that I can't find at a 7-11. Remember this when buying a light, the harder it is to find a replacement battery, the more likely it will fail you when you need it most.

I also hate any battery powered light that requires a tool more complicated than a coin to replace the battery.
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Old 10-18-11, 08:20 PM
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Another word: Probably. I did just fine with a flashlight on the front, a flasher on the back, for about 15 years. Never spent any time under a car. Don't ride like a dick, be aware of your surroundings, don't dress in black, etc. Common sense and defensive riding will trump 200 lumens, any day. lots of good lights, and this site reallly geeks it out, and its fun, but remember- being right is not a bullet proof vest.
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Old 10-18-11, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by boatrider View Post
Another word: Probably. I did just fine with a flashlight on the front, a flasher on the back, for about 15 years. Never spent any time under a car. Don't ride like a dick, be aware of your surroundings, don't dress in black, etc. Common sense and defensive riding will trump 200 lumens, any day. lots of good lights, and this site reallly geeks it out, and its fun, but remember- being right is not a bullet proof vest.
Common sense, defensive riding and >200 lumens is a whole lot closer to a bullet proof vest than a silly little blinky light.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:45 PM
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LEDs are really an amazing innovation and I think I would be an idiot not to do something bike related with them to make me more visible, so I am going to buy a battery lamp, and also make a second set of lights for the bike using LEDs that hopefully can run off of either a dynamo with a fat capacitor on it, or a battery. LEDs take so little current that it works perfectly well to have a generator driving a bridge rectifier (to turn the Ac into DC using both sides of the sine wave) and voltage regulator (to limit the voltage so it wont burn out the LEDs, then a capacitor to store some of the energy so it wont wobble up and down as you speed up and slow down, instead its steady and fades out gracefully when you stop.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:50 PM
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Have folks here seen the persistence of vision effect implemented on bicycle spokes? Its increasingly doable and the effect is spectacular because you can, in essence, use the rotating spoke like a flying spot scanner in reverse, drawing almost anything you want. I think they use hall effect sensors or similar to sense the location of the wheel. The big concern that I would have about doing that is distracting drivers too much - they might be looking at your spokes trying to read what its writing, or watching the animation, whatever, and not realize that they were running right into you!

"target fixation" I think its called.
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Old 10-18-11, 11:56 PM
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I have a Bontrager Ion 2. It's a 1 watt LED and it just about covers leaving work at 6pm now. It probably would not be enough outside a big city. This will change when the clocks go back in a few weeks. But then again, I'm not a winter commuter and don't ride much a night.

I'm assuming a 3 watt light would be enough, but if you have the cash and handlebar real estate, get more.
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Old 10-19-11, 12:17 AM
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I have this and the matching taillight. They work great and are very bright for such a small setup. Three settings - bright/brighter/flashing

They hold fast and are great for safety and much brighter than other little pod led's.

It won't give you much illumination- if it's really dark, maybe just enough if you are not going too fast

I find it really handy and feel it's money well spent. If you want headlight type illumination, you have to buck up for a battery pack powered unit.
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Old 10-19-11, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by robberry View Post
I have a Bontrager Ion 2. It's a 1 watt LED and it just about covers leaving work at 6pm now. It probably would not be enough outside a big city. This will change when the clocks go back in a few weeks. But then again, I'm not a winter commuter and don't ride much a night.
You are thinking about this the wrong way. In a city, a weak light just gets lost in the background. Since the point of a light is to not get squished, it's not good to have your lights lost against a sea of other light sources. Outside cities, you can see even a weak light easily from a long distance. Out there, the light provide illumination. Within cities, lights provide illumination and visibility. You need brighter lights in a city environment, not weaker ones.
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Old 10-20-11, 08:10 PM
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The persistence of vision spoke lights don't throw much light on your environment but they are the ultimate in side visibility.

However, as they are basically screens that you can play moving images on, they are almost too mesmerizing, and I worry that a driver may plow into you while watching your spokes. So, I don't think they are for me. However, they are pretty cool looking.. they fall into the category of amazing lighting effects that you remember when you see them. You can program the light show yourself, so its only limited by your imagination. The kits Ive seen are monochromatic but there is no reason why you can't use RGB LEDs and make it full color.

If I owned a bike store, I would try to figure out a way to use them on signage. That would be just perfect.. people would drive by your store just to check out the bike in the window with the amazing wheel display. You would need long life batteries.. or, hmm.. you could do it by generating power through induction pretty easily..though because since the wheel is spinning..

Otherwise, lighting it continuously would require rechargeable batteries or new batteries evry night. The power requirements could probably be lowered by using a newer, lower power CPU..

One kit to do this is called SpokePOV and its not uncommon to see in some communities in CA. and at events like Burning Man.

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Old 10-21-11, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You are thinking about this the wrong way. In a city, a weak light just gets lost in the background. Since the point of a light is to not get squished, it's not good to have your lights lost against a sea of other light sources. Outside cities, you can see even a weak light easily from a long distance. Out there, the light provide illumination. Within cities, lights provide illumination and visibility. You need brighter lights in a city environment, not weaker ones.
I totally see your point, but will counter with "the tail light prevents me from getting squished." The head light is to see potholes and road debris.
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Old 10-21-11, 10:31 PM
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You just have to ask yourself, how much is your life worth, mine is worth having 1500+ lumens on the handlebars to see at night. I would say that 200 lumens would be ther bare minimum for seeing at night. You can assemble decent flashlight setup for $50-60.00 or one of the MS lights for under 140.00..
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Old 10-19-12, 03:41 PM
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I just bought one of these, primarily to increase my visibility in the fog and at twilight. Mine comes on High --> Low --> Flash. I only use the flashing setting.
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Old 10-20-12, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
You just have to ask yourself, how much is your life worth, mine is worth having 1500+ lumens on the handlebars to see at night. I would say that 200 lumens would be ther bare minimum for seeing at night. You can assemble decent flashlight setup for $50-60.00 or one of the MS lights for under 140.00..
I like this. There seems to be an underlying assumption in the OP that because a person takes the back roads, or is not going far, or you're not riding fast, or you're just doing errands that ya don't need a big light set-up. But the fact is that even if your riding after dark is limited or slow, cagers are just as distracted and the night is just as dark. Cyccommute and socalrider got it right - good lighting is an investment that can save your life. I use 1500 lumens on my bar and my blinkie array looks like a Fire Truck from a distance, but cyccommute's suggestion of a minimum 200 lumen front light is excellent. Go brighter if you want, but use serious lighting and then you may have a greater chance of watching your kids grow up. It's a little more expensive but I'm serious, get a bright setup.
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