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Choosing bike lights on a budget.

Old 10-29-14, 05:52 AM
  #1  
Lieto
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Choosing bike lights on a budget.

Good day,

I am in the process of choosing front and rear-lights. I am quite new and not sure whats there on the market so please let me know if my "wants" can be fulfilled with a single product.

So here is what i want
1. Front light shouldn't serve as headlight since i am mostly riding in the centre of big city and rarely at night. So its for day-light use to make myself visible.
2. Both lights should probably blink and be bright for the same reason as nr1.
3. I would probably prefer it being powered by batteries — for longer life and since i already have a truckton of devices that i need to charge via usb every day.
4. As a result of "3" i would love it to have as long life-time per charge as possible since i am going to use it during the day as well so all in all rather long "on" time.
5. I would like it to be relatively cheap to avoid removing it every time i park near university. The less people will want to steal it the better. Also i am on a budget as well.

Any suggestions?

By the way, i am considering putting one on my backpack, do you guys think it works well?

Last edited by Lieto; 10-29-14 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 10-29-14, 06:05 AM
  #2  
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Blinkies on your back and bike make a lot of sense. Also most lights are pretty easy to remove. I'd look for slightly older light models of lights as they go for less. You can get the top end light from 2-3 years ago for pretty reasonable prices. Something like this cygolite 360 combo is pretty reasonable at $80, Amazon.com : Cygolite Metro 360/Hotshot 2W Combo Light Set : Bike Headlight Taillight Combinations : Sports & Outdoors. Just add a 2d blinkie for your bag and get some reflective tape for your bike.
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Old 10-29-14, 07:23 AM
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Wanderer
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Remember, someone will even steal a free harbor freight flashlight, just because they can take it.............
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Old 10-29-14, 07:26 AM
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Juha
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Welcome to Bike Forums, Lieto. I'm moving this to Electronics, Lighting and Gadgets forum (from Advocacy & Safety). Carry on...

--Juha, a Forum Mod
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Old 10-29-14, 08:55 AM
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I looked around and found some on sale. That said, Planet Bike and Cateye have some great budget options.
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Old 10-29-14, 09:06 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
Good day,

I am in the process of choosing front and rear-lights. I am quite new and not sure whats there on the market so please let me know if my "wants" can be fulfilled with a single product.

So here is what i want
1. Front light shouldn't serve as headlight since i am mostly riding in the centre of big city and rarely at night. So its for day-light use to make myself visible.
2. Both lights should probably blink and be bright for the same reason as nr1.
3. I would probably prefer it being powered by batteries — for longer life and since i already have a truckton of devices that i need to charge via usb every day.
4. As a result of "3" i would love it to have as long life-time per charge as possible since i am going to use it during the day as well so all in all rather long "on" time.
5. I would like it to be relatively cheap to avoid removing it every time i park near university. The less people will want to steal it the better. Also i am on a budget as well.

Any suggestions?

By the way, i am considering putting one on my backpack, do you guys think it works well?
Amazon and Fleabay are your friends. You can find all kind of bicycle lights there for dirt cheap. Many of the Magicshine "clones" (you have to have been around for a while to understand that) can be had for less than $20. They aren't necessarily USB chargeable but they are cheap. This one, for example, is $15 and, on low will last about 6 hours. On flash even longer. But it on the bike and taking it off isn't all that difficult, either.

This one, while ugly as a 3 legged, one-eyed dog, is about $15 and they pay the freight.

There are lots of other choices as well.
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Old 10-29-14, 10:07 AM
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Ok, so backlight problem pretty much solved in favour of Blackburn mars i got an older model quite cheap one for bag and one for bike. Nice vertical design and use batteries as well.

The question still stands about head light — do i really need those flashlight-like lights? They look more like projectors rather than powerful "look at me i am there in your mirror" blinkers.
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Old 10-29-14, 01:36 PM
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I run a Knog Blinder 4 headlight, in fast-strobe mode. If I didn't have my Cateye taillight, I'd go for the Knog Blinder 4 Twinpack.
  • USB rechargeable
  • 4-5 hour battery life in fast-strobe mode
  • Easy mount/unmount

Last edited by JBHoren; 10-29-14 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 10-29-14, 02:20 PM
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I run the Blackburn Mars (two) for rear for both daytime and night time riding. My daytime running light is a Blackburn 3.3. For night riding, I use four Cateye EL650s.
However, I'm running into the issue of replacing the Cateyes. It appears that nobody is making AA battery lights anymore. They expect dilithium crystals and some sort of warp core to recharge them.
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Old 10-29-14, 02:44 PM
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I am also going say you should go with the cheap magic shine clones mentioned above. However, if you get one also get the "defusing lens." This will spread the light wide and keep the beam low and better focused.

You can easily get a combo with the light and lens for less than $25, shipped.
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Old 10-29-14, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Lieto View Post
Ok, so backlight problem pretty much solved in favour of Blackburn mars i got an older model quite cheap one for bag and one for bike. Nice vertical design and use batteries as well.

The question still stands about head light — do i really need those flashlight-like lights? They look more like projectors rather than powerful "look at me i am there in your mirror" blinkers.
In blink mode they are very annoying.
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Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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Old 10-30-14, 03:41 AM
  #12  
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I believe a decent place to look at lights is Amazon.com - just find a price point you'd tolerate and start reading the reviews.

Most of them are quite helpful and realistic. Once you do manage to narrow them to 2 or 3, you'll know more of what to expect and ask questions here.
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