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-   -   The Wonder of USB Bike Lights (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1220153-wonder-usb-bike-lights.html)

UCantTouchThis 12-24-20 11:24 PM

The Wonder of USB Bike Lights
 
Love these things! Not only on the bike but off as well. If I see a strange car park in front of the house at night, I shine the light out from the upstairs on the car. Seems to let them know somebody's watching. Had a couple of cars take off. Not sure what they were doing there in the first place. Big thing for me is they come in handy cutting the toe nails. Strategically placed along the side of the foot somewhere, low bean, actually makes for a great light source to view parts of the toe nail once cannot see well without light. Great for making sure those edges are filed smooth.

Checking the oil in the car, the radiator coolant level, or finding that little bolt you dropped in the engine, great for all this stuff!

Taking out the trash barrels the night before trash day, great for lighting up the handles to make sure there are no spiders ready to strike the hand. Love these things. The big oversized Mag-Lites I used to use for many many things are sitting in a drawer with dead batteries collecting dust.

I have rechargeable Cygo Lites and love them. Not only for the bike, but have replaced the hassle of other light sources, flashlights etc.

Yes, I'm bored! :D

10 Wheels 12-24-20 11:48 PM

Which one do you use?

Light Models | Cygolite

rsbob 12-25-20 12:10 AM

TMI on toe nails, but glad you like your light. Have a Harbor Freight LED spot light I can shine from upstairs which looks like the sun.

My issue with anything that that requires a USB port is the remembering and constant charging and cords. Not terribly convenient. My high intensity flashing tail light uses two AAA batteries and lasts 4 years before replacement.

I have headed out with one USB rechargeable cycle computers only to see a red flashing LED saying, “You idiot, you forgot to charge me after your last ride”. Some day all battery powered devices currently using USB charging will be charged over the air. The technology already exists, but until then, it batteries.

UCantTouchThis 12-25-20 12:31 AM


Originally Posted by 10 Wheels (Post 21847694)
Which one do you use?

Light Models | Cygolite


The Metro. I have had several other riders tell me it is bright. I also use hotshots by cygolite for red rear blinkies. I just bought a new one to replace one I lost, a 150. Strangely, I have other riders claim the old one is blinding on our rides. Hey, I need to be seen!

UCantTouchThis 12-25-20 12:34 AM


Originally Posted by rsbob (Post 21847708)
TMI on toe nails, but glad you like your light. Have a Harbor Freight LED spot light I can shine from upstairs which looks like the sun.

My issue with anything that that requires a USB port is the remembering and constant charging and cords. Not terribly convenient. My high intensity flashing tail light uses two AAA batteries and lasts 4 years before replacement.

I have headed out with one USB rechargeable cycle computers only to see a red flashing LED saying, “You idiot, you forgot to charge me after your last ride”. Some day all battery powered devices currently using USB charging will be charged over the air. The technology already exists, but until then, it batteries.


Hmm. I have a red Specialized rear blinkie that takes AAA batteries and it is nowhwere near my Cygolite hotshot rear blinkies. But I'm sure different models vary. I have never tested the battery life of the AAA's though as they are rechargeable so I charge them along with my USB lights. The red blinkies last a long time but the front lights I do charge before every ride. Rides last 2 hours and never had a problem. IMO, pretty convenient charging the USB lights. Plug them in eating lunch and forget about them. But everyone has their own idea of convenience so no argument here. Just opinions. I will have to test the life of the AAA's after your claims.

velojym 12-25-20 12:39 AM

I consider myself somewhat spoiled since I started using rechargeable lights.
Also, my bike "shop" is in the basement, and while the ceiling light is bright enough, there can be some stark shadows. It's nice to just quickly un-band a light from a handlebar... or just swivel it if near enough, for a bit of directed light.

UCantTouchThis 12-25-20 12:44 AM


Originally Posted by velojym (Post 21847728)
I consider myself somewhat spoiled since I started using rechargeable lights.
Also, my bike "shop" is in the basement, and while the ceiling light is bright enough, there can be some stark shadows. It's nice to just quickly un-band a light from a handlebar... or just swivel it if near enough, for a bit of directed light.


Ha ha ha! I have a computer desk in a landing at the top of our stairs. The room to my back can be dark but I have a shoe box size plastic storage container with sections that house my lights, mounts and frequently used accessories. So many times I will just grab a light from the box and look into the room from where I sit not having to turn on the light or leave my chair. Yes, these lights spoil some of us!

JanMM 12-25-20 07:46 AM

The wonder is not USB rechargeable lights but, rather, with modern LED lights, whether they are bike lights or just flashlights. Most all of them are bright and with reasonably long-lasting power.

Pop N Wood 12-25-20 08:03 AM

I do bikepacking and the Cygolites are excellent when camping as well. The walk around mode has a light level perfect for a tent with something like 100 hours of run time. They are small enough I always carry a spare in my patch kit.

Plus when the batteries wear out you can disassemble them and upgrade to a higher capacity battery. Some of my lights are 4 or 5 years old.

UCantTouchThis 12-25-20 10:21 AM


Originally Posted by Pop N Wood (Post 21847860)
Plus when the batteries wear out you can disassemble them and upgrade to a higher capacity battery. Some of my lights are 4 or 5 years old.

I did not know this! Sounds like a good idea. I've had 3 of my 4 lites for 7 years. Haven't had any charging issues but good to know just in case. :thumb:

John Valuk 12-25-20 10:21 AM

I bought my first "good" LED flashlight in 2008. I was amazed at the time, and I am amazed today at how much farther they have come.

Between LED technology, battery technology, and control circuitry - wow, these are good times. I have Fenix flashlights, headlamps, and a bike light, and I really like all of them.

UCantTouchThis 12-25-20 10:23 AM


Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 21847845)
The wonder is not USB rechargeable lights but, rather, with modern LED lights, whether they are bike lights or just flashlights. Most all of them are bright and with reasonably long-lasting power.


I have to say USB rechargeable is the wonder, myself. I used to have to replace batteries in my cameras and lights years ago, The USB is also a big part of the wonder imo. :D

epnnf 12-25-20 02:48 PM

I like USB rechargeable- they seem much brighter. I don't mind recharging them. I have an old USB headlight that the bracket broke; I use it for a bright flashlight (but not to trim toenails)

Reynolds 12-25-20 04:45 PM

I prefer a Fenix E01 for EDC, always in my jeans front pocket. Very small, uses 1 AAA battery that lasts for months.

JanMM 12-25-20 07:25 PM


Originally Posted by UCantTouchThis (Post 21847981)
I have to say USB rechargeable is the wonder, myself. I used to have to replace batteries in my cameras and lights years ago, The USB is also a big part of the wonder imo. :D

Recharging by USB is handy but seems to me required more frequently than when I used AA/AAA alkaline batteries in Cateye LED tail- and headlights. I also used rechargeable NiMh batteries with LED lights and they seemed not to hold charges as long as alkaline. But could be recharged. Nowadays I only use USB rechargeable lights and carry a spare taillight. If I rode at night like I used to, l’d carry a spare headlight, too.

bwilli88 12-26-20 01:46 AM

I have 3 or 4 Streamlight Micro lights. some double AAA and many single AAA.

https://www.amazon.com/Streamlight-M...%2C441&sr=8-13
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....AC_SL1500_.jpg

indyfabz 12-26-20 04:38 AM

Yep. I use my headlight as a flashlight for times when I lose power. When there’s a chance due to weather I keep it close by.

In 2018 I was camping at North Beach in Burlingto, VT. Some tweeker looking guy was wandering around late at nigh looking into car Windows. My light following him convinced him to move on.

John Valuk 12-26-20 08:54 AM


Originally Posted by JanMM (Post 21848557)
Nowadays I only use USB rechargeable lights and carry a spare taillight. If I rode at night like I used to, l’d carry a spare headlight, too.

The headlight I'm using doesn't have a charging port directly on it. The batteries have to be removed (easy to do) for charging.

One advantage of that sort of design is that one could bring along a spare pair of batteries to swap in during a ride.

indyfabz 12-26-20 10:49 AM


Originally Posted by John Valuk (Post 21848952)
The headlight I'm using doesn't have a charging port directly on it. The batteries have to be removed (easy to do) for charging.

One advantage of that sort of design is that one could bring along a spare pair of batteries to swap in during a ride.

Yep. I power my rear light with rechargeable batteries. When I tour I use it much more than the front light. Always have some spares with me in case I forget to turn off the light several times and kill the batteries during a two week trip.

Clyde1820 01-11-21 05:12 PM


Originally Posted by 10 Wheels (Post 21847694)

Recently picked up a couple of their lights, myself.

Headlight -- CygoLite Metro Pro 1100 USB. Lots of light. Numerous modes, handling daylight and night. Pretty solid attachment to the bar (as compared to most of the 'rubber' adapters that never seem to solidly keep lights in place); this one does keep it solidly aimed. Not a sharp cutoff like German-law specified units, but fairly nice anyway. IP67 waterproof rating (all dust/solids, and water immersion up to 1M). Under US$100.

Taillights -- CygoLite HyperShot 350 USB (x2). Lots of light. Extremely visible from long distances, and from fairly wide angles. Numerous modes, handling daylight and night. Each is a two-light unit. Mounting one unit at seatpost and setting to a steady+pulse works well for keeping the red light on; while mounting the second unit on the seat stay lower down with a much brighter and more-random pulsing. Eye-grabbing and hard to miss. Their HotShot and HyperShot lights only have a IP64 splash rating, so we'll see how they do through the rains this Spring. About US$100 for the pair.

Two thumbs up.

Still noodling about a helmet light to help fill in for cornering and general be-seen visibility.

Considering one of the Anker PowerCore battery banks, for ease of charging without having to always remove the lights for charging.

Surprised to see decent bike lights still produced with anything other than IP67 or IP68 waterproof ratings.

UCantTouchThis 01-11-21 06:28 PM

I buy these alum mounts on ebay. Sometimes 2 for $7, other times, $7 each depending on which stores have them. Also picked up blue, 2 for $7 on "rainbowimaging" on ebay. Fat shipping.

Then a mount adapter for Go pro type mounts (app$10).

Allows me to mount on the HB's and a go pro helmet strap. Alum screws too.

Very secure and stable. The Cygo mounts have a bit of float that I don't care for. I have the hard plastic clamp mounts.

But I love these little suckers. Take up less room as well.

Cool inexpensive stuff. I paid $60 for a k edge mount 8 years ago. Got these and in blue much cheaper.

https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...6b92c06e99.jpg

go pro mount adapter. Makes it possible to use the go pro type mounts for mounting Cygolites. Trailthis also fast shipping


https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...d41be3bf07.jpg


My lights mounted. And another on my helmet with a go pro strap, a buckle and another adapter. I love it!


https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...10feb85cd5.jpg

WhyFi 01-11-21 07:40 PM


Originally Posted by rsbob (Post 21847708)
My high intensity flashing tail light uses two AAA batteries and lasts 4 years before replacement.

Do you ride 100 miles per year?

Random11 01-11-21 08:08 PM


Originally Posted by Clyde1820 (Post 21873567)
...Mounting one unit at seatpost and setting to a steady+pulse works well for keeping the red light on; while mounting the second unit on the seat stay lower down with a much brighter and more-random pulsing....

My impression from observing the lights of other cyclists is that having a steady light and a pulsing light on a bike reduces the visibility of the pulsing light, and of the bike. Better to have two pulsing lights. A steady light on a bike can blend in with background lights and be almost invisible. Random pulsing seems the most visible.

brixxton 01-12-21 07:24 PM

they are the bomb

HD3andMe 01-12-21 08:26 PM

Yes, USB-rechargeable lights are the bomb.

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https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...2d7a5cd96d.jpg


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