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Flashlight to headlight is ____ to taillight?

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Flashlight to headlight is ____ to taillight?

Old 10-02-12, 11:56 PM
  #1  
vol
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Flashlight to headlight is ____ to taillight?

It's becoming clear to me that flashlights are an excellent substitute for bike headlight, lumens-wise and cost-wise. Is there a similar substitute for bike taillight? (How about covering a flashlight with a red transparent film?)
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Old 10-03-12, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
It's becoming clear to me that flashlights are an excellent substitute for bike headlight, lumens-wise and cost-wise. Is there a similar substitute for bike taillight? (How about covering a flashlight with a red transparent film?)
Congrats on finding out the deal on flashlights. This morning I am the super dark fogging and a light drizzle. I got ONE 26650 flashlight working up front, didn't even have my helmet light. Cars were giving me lots of way. Could see all that far, but one car waited and I was half block away for me to pass. BTW, the light up front cost $20!!

For the red flashlight, they do have them. You can check with Dealextrem.com, manafont.com and ebay. It will be a little tricking mounting them. For my rear, I use cheap alternatives too. I use a Planet bike superflash clone, and another $2.50 light off ebay.. Another great deal in lighting for little money..

Lastly, on the flashlights, a lot of people say the run time is not as good. The runtime is good on the flashlights if you use good cells. The cheaper cells don't have a long runtime. I used the cheaper cells sometimes, but I know how long they will last and I am ready for it. Other than that, the flashlights, IMO, give up the best lum-per-dollar going..
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Old 10-03-12, 09:47 AM
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A red transparent film will really cut down the brightness. I think you are better off using an LED that is specifically designed to generate red light.
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Old 10-03-12, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
For my rear, I use cheap alternatives too.
LMAO
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Old 10-03-12, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
LMAO

Yup, that was funny..
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Old 10-04-12, 08:20 AM
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Fenix, for one, manufactures a commercial red filter. Here it is:

http://www.amazon.com/Fenix-Filter-A...ix+accessories
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Old 10-04-12, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
It's becoming clear to me that flashlights are an excellent substitute for bike headlight, lumens-wise and cost-wise. Is there a similar substitute for bike taillight?
Ultrafire WF-501B Philips Luxeon K2 Red LED Flashlight (1*18650/2*CR123A) with a Two Fish Lock Block and a Minoura SG-200 "Swing Grip" accessory holder (or similar) mounted from the seatpost
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Old 10-04-12, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Athens80 View Post
Ain't had the chance to pick one of those up, but I've heard from a good source that light is possibly too bright to be mounted that high. You could mount it down low and it will still be noticeable without blinding.
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Old 10-05-12, 05:28 AM
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All auto parts stores sell a roll of lens repair tape that works perfect for this. I have covered several LED white lamps with this and used as a flashing rear light.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=500372_0_0_

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Old 10-05-12, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
All auto parts stores sell a roll of lens repair tape that works perfect for this. I have covered several LED white lamps with this and used as a flashing rear light.

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=500372_0_0_
Thanks, that's a good tip/find!!

Going to try it out on a rear facing small light on my helmet.
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Old 10-05-12, 07:45 AM
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Old 10-05-12, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cehowardGS View Post
Thanks, that's a good tip/find!!

Going to try it out on a rear facing small light on my helmet.


I had a battery powered work light that had 32 white LED’s and a flash mode. The lens was just a little wider than the auto light tape I had so I put two strips across it and then with a hobby knife trimmed around the lens circle. I don’t know if the tape shrunk a little or if I didn’t get the seam perfectly tight but I ended up with a sliver of white light down the center. I had several people tell me that they saw me so far back because that white caught their eye first at a distance. It seemed to cut thru fog without being a distracting white. Just another observation on the subject.

Glad I could help I think you will like the results. Hope you post back with results.
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Old 10-05-12, 11:03 AM
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plenty of red led flashlights out there, no reason to go with a filter
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Old 10-05-12, 11:56 AM
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plate of beans + cigarette lighter

just a theory, not tested
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Old 10-05-12, 11:59 AM
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Since I already had a MagicShine headlight, the MagicShine taillight at $30 is pretty much impossible to beat. I don't think you can get anything else with that much output and that much side visibility for anything like that price.
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Old 10-05-12, 12:05 PM
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Red LED clearance light from an auto parts store, which you can power with a 9V radio battery. They'll run from $6-$10.
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Old 10-05-12, 12:57 PM
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How about a Zebralight H51r or H51Fr flashlight. Here's how it stacks up against a Radbot 1000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca--d...e_gdata_player
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Old 10-06-12, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Red LED clearance light from an auto parts store, which you can power with a 9V radio battery. They'll run from $6-$10.
9v batteries don't carry much energy. Either this light will not be very bright, or it'll have a relatively short runtime. Or both. And 9v batteries are kind of pricey to replace.

As I see it, for taillights it's hard to beat a number of these, two or four or whatever your budget and space permits. You could get a flashlight that's brighter, of course, but as long as the car can see you within a block or two it's all good, and some of the flashlights do have a fairly tightly focused beam which would make it difficult to see unless one is directly behind you. Get two or more of these at various angles and nobody's going to miss you from anything even close to behind you.
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Old 10-06-12, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
9v batteries don't carry much energy. Either this light will not be very bright, or it'll have a relatively short runtime. Or both. And 9v batteries are kind of pricey to replace.

As I see it, for taillights it's hard to beat a number of these, two or four or whatever your budget and space permits. You could get a flashlight that's brighter, of course, but as long as the car can see you within a block or two it's all good, and some of the flashlights do have a fairly tightly focused beam which would make it difficult to see unless one is directly behind you. Get two or more of these at various angles and nobody's going to miss you from anything even close to behind you.
Just be prepared to wait for a long time to get it. Mine took a full month to arrive. I wouldn't say it was DX's fault either, just slow untracked shipping.
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Old 10-06-12, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
9v batteries don't carry much energy. Either this light will not be very bright, or it'll have a relatively short runtime. Or both. And 9v batteries are kind of pricey to replace.

As I see it, for taillights it's hard to beat a number of these, two or four or whatever your budget and space permits. You could get a flashlight that's brighter, of course, but as long as the car can see you within a block or two it's all good, and some of the flashlights do have a fairly tightly focused beam which would make it difficult to see unless one is directly behind you. Get two or more of these at various angles and nobody's going to miss you from anything even close to behind you.
It's true that it won't light up the road, but you'd be surprised at the run-time and brightness for clearance lights with the 9V batteries. I want to be clear, if you use the cheap auto clearance lights you have rig up your own battery pack and switch - they come with only a hot wire to connect to 12V. But you can use any battery pack you can rig up.
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Old 10-09-12, 01:41 PM
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Bike tail lights are cheap enough that it doesn't make sense to skimp on them. The Planet Bike Superflash is about $30 and is excellent. The Cygolight is said to be noticeably better and doesn't cost much more.

Using flashlights as headlights, however, can save a lot of money. Unfortunately, my 18650 headlight isn't visible from the sides. In the end, I think a purpose-built headlight is best. Also, I think the ideal beam is produced when the light is mounted slightly above or slightly below the tire (when you have a 700c wheel).
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Old 10-09-12, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
9v batteries don't carry much energy. Either this light will not be very bright, or it'll have a relatively short runtime. Or both. And 9v batteries are kind of pricey to replace.....
I'm guessing you're misreading the post. 9V and 12V batteries (battery packs might be a better description) are available for radios. Alternatively battery holders are available that will let you build your own using AA cells. So that works out to about 2.8Ah which should run any 2-4W light for hours. Mine cost $10 and I used rechargable Aa cells already in-house.
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Old 10-10-12, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
I'm guessing you're misreading the post.
Perhaps I am, but when somebody says "which you can power with a 9V radio battery", they're almost always talking about one of these, which don't carry much energy and are kind of pricey for any application that doesn't have very low current draw.

A pack made of 8xAAA or 8xAA cells, especially if rechargeable would work nicely for that application. What people usually call a 9v battery, not so much.

Though the clearance lights he was mentioning do have pretty low current draw, lower than I realized -- 60-180 mA seems typical, so an alkaline 9v battery could last 3-8 hours, possibly more if the current draw is lower at 7-9 volts than at the 12.0-13.8 volts they're designed for, possibly less if the light cuts out once the voltage drops much.

Of course, consider that a PBSF or clone is 1) likely to be far more visible, and 2) lasts around 100 hours on two AAA cells (significantly cheaper than one 9v battery, and AAA rechargeables are far more practical than the pathetic 110-150 mAh 9v rechargeables they sell) in flash mode, and I think about six hours in steady mode?

Last edited by dougmc; 10-10-12 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 10-10-12, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Perhaps I am, but when somebody says "which you can power with a 9V radio battery", they're almost always talking about one of these, which don't carry much energy and are kind of pricey for any application that doesn't have very low current draw.
Mine lasted for months, daily use. YMMV
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Old 10-10-12, 07:31 PM
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Why?

Originally Posted by vol View Post
It's becoming clear to me that flashlights are an excellent substitute for bike headlight, lumens-wise and cost-wise. Is there a similar substitute for bike taillight? (How about covering a flashlight with a red transparent film?)
With great options like Planet Bike Superflash Turbo, Portland Design Works Radbot 1000, Blackburn Mars 4.0, and Cygolites new 2W rechargeable all available for below $35 with mount .... why?
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