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Bicycle LED warning lights recommendations?

Old 09-04-21, 04:50 PM
  #1  
geepondy
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Bicycle LED warning lights recommendations?

I'm looking to purchase those LED warning lights you attach to bicycles so traffic can see you. Typically a clear one for the front and red for the back that you can set for steady or flashing (I think flashing would get peoples attention quicker and save on the battery life). I see them on Amazon for dirt cheap, rechargeable and with a quick release rubber strap. I saw a four pack of this this type for $20. But I wonder at that price point are they really bright enough to get someone's attention, especially in the middle of a sunny day. Any recommendations on brands or type that are bright enough to get people's attention or are the dirt cheap Amazon offerings good enough?
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Old 09-04-21, 05:20 PM
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I have Bontragers. They are excellent, rechargeable, and have lasted five hours and were still going strong. Unfortunately, my Garmin Edge 25 turns off the headlight. Rear works fine. If you have or plan to get a bike computer, make sure it's compatible with your lights.
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Old 09-04-21, 07:27 PM
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The Bontrager ION 200 lights do look nice even for non smart use although I see they are pricy at $120 a set. I wonder if the rear tail light will fit over a triangular shaped aerodynamic seat post (Specialized Roubaix)?

[size=13px]
Originally Posted by Inusuit View Post
I have Bontragers. They are excellent, rechargeable, and have lasted five hours and were still going strong. Unfortunately, my Garmin Edge 25 turns off the headlight. Rear works fine. If you have or plan to get a bike computer, make sure it's compatible with your lights.
[/size]

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Old 09-04-21, 07:45 PM
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At the front I recommend something that is StVZO complaint. Lezyne does some great StVZO complaint stuff. The reason for StVZO is to not blind other road users and have a better beam pattern. The front should always be solid light and the rear can be patterned but solid is better (though uses more battery) keep in mind if you were behind your bike would you want to see that light and would it affect you negatively. A light should be easy to see but not dazzling or would cause issues.

This has some good suggestions and has the Supernova M99 Mini Pro which I currently use (in non-battery form as it is connected to my Bosch Batteries) and really love for beam pattern and brightness.
https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...o-bike-lights/

I have used a lot of lights and always said brighter is better and to a degree that is true but after using some other lights and learning more about lighting I find beam pattern is quite important as well if not more so. The brightness is nice so you can potentially get more battery life in the lower lumen/lux modes and have a little extra in case needed but the beam pattern makes better use of the light so maybe you might not need as much brightness because you can see better.

I highly recommend if you are regularly traveling in darkness or want better visibility getting a good set of dynamo powered lights. Yes a dynamo set up is more expensive but no more charging lights, generally better beam patterns and you can have light during the day without running out of battery. Also you can get lights with integrated USB charging or separate ports like the Sinewave Reactor or Cinq Plug 5 Plus so you can charge your cellular telephone or something else.
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Old 09-04-21, 08:57 PM
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In addition to my Son 28 hub that powers the Edelux headlight and the B&M Toplight Line Brake Plus. I have a Dinotte DAYTIME RED Taillight. This is the brightest most visible taillight on the market. Its only job is to be seen from a distance in daylight. It is unsuitable for night time use.
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Old 09-04-21, 08:58 PM
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Meh ..... if oncoming cars can't see you, they must not have their lights on ......

Seriously, you don't need an eye-searing headlight for safety purposes in traffic. A couple hundred lumens is plenty for oncoming traffic to see you.

For riding, it depends on route, speed, and ambient conditions. If I am riding familiar roads I often keep my headlight on low, because I know what's out there and because there is enough light already. Dark roads, going fast, not many street/house lights/ no moon? I can crank up a pair of headlights and illuminate everything .....

For me the big deal is the tail light or lights. I am not about to let a driver in front of me hit me .... because I can see that car. But cars coming from behind, even though they have very bright headlights .... the drivers aren't generally looking for cyclists on the far right, and I cannot tell if they are going to ht me until they do, or don't. . That is where one or more Very bright tail lights works well.

You Can buy 100-lumen tai lights which can just about cause epileptic fits .... but I find 35-65 lumens is fine. A flashing light grabs attention better but a slid light aids drivers in estimating distance and closing speed better.

Some tail lights have both features in one light, or use two ... or just use a flasher, because if the driver knows Something is there, said driver will try not to hit it .... so as not to damage his car.

I know people who buy very cheap headlights (no-name, EBay, roll-the-dice lights) with three or six CREE bulbs .... and get great lighting for less. I have never seen bargain-brand tail lights I would trust, but I haven't looked hard.

My personal feeling is, Don't cheap out on lights. Both head- and tail lights are primary safety and defense items.
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Old 09-04-21, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by geepondy View Post
I'm looking to purchase those LED warning lights you attach to bicycles so traffic can see you. Typically a clear one for the front and red for the back that you can set for steady or flashing (I think flashing would get peoples attention quicker and save on the battery life). I see them on Amazon for dirt cheap, rechargeable and with a quick release rubber strap. I saw a four pack of this this type for $20. But I wonder at that price point are they really bright enough to get someone's attention, especially in the middle of a sunny day. Any recommendations on brands or type that are bright enough to get people's attention or are the dirt cheap Amazon offerings good enough?
I have about a half-dozen of these knocking around the garage - they're pretty bright, weigh almost nothing, have multiple solid/flashing modes, and last ~8 hr on flashing. Easy to attach to a handlebar or seat post, of even clip to a jersey pocket. I have a white one mounted routinely under my head unit on the good bike (I modified a couple by attaching GoPro-style mounts) - I use it if the weather is overcast or if it's getting late, or if I'm coming back in through town where people are too busy looking for parking spaces to notice a bike. I have red ones clipped to the rear racks of my commuter and single-speed runabout. I use a Cycliq Fly6 camera/strobe on the back of the good bike, but if I know I'm going to be on the road for longer than 4-5 hours, I carry a spare red LED in my jersey to replace the Cycliq when the battery dies.
Do they work? Can't say for sure, but I figure it's a no-lose having a bit of extra visibility on the bike. The blurb on Amazon says they're ~80 lumens, so they're pretty bright and noticeable, especially as daylight starts to fade. Bear in mind, these are to be seen - they won't light up your way. If I know I'm going to be out after dark (not too often these days), I have a proper headlamp.


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Old 09-06-21, 12:28 PM
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In the 1970s bicycles being rear ended was a less than 1 percent of car bike collisions. Intersections and foolish people bicycling at night without lights was the majority of car bike collisions. It is very easy to be seen at night by simply having lights! on your bicycle. I have only ever had one close call at night because I always use lights! at night. I don't use flashing lights! at night because they can and will disorientate the motorists attempting to pass you. Daylight dangers have increased many times over due to modern convivences mainly electronic distractions. You really need to be seen from a distance in daylight. Motorists looking at there phone texting and looking at the car screen watching YouTube videos do look at the road occasionally. My daylight visibility taillight is bright enough that I can see the vehicles moving over some distance away in my mirror. I was in Palm Springs a couple of months ago and saw several people on bicycles. Most of them had some sort of flashing taillight. The problem was I saw most of the bicyclists well ahead of when their flashing taillight became visible.
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Old 09-06-21, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
In the 1970s bicycles being rear ended was a less than 1 percent of car bike collisions. Intersections and foolish people bicycling at night without lights was the majority of car bike collisions. It is very easy to be seen at night by simply having lights! on your bicycle. I have only ever had one close call at night because I always use lights! at night. I don't use flashing lights! at night because they can and will disorientate the motorists attempting to pass you. Daylight dangers have increased many times over due to modern convivences mainly electronic distractions. You really need to be seen from a distance in daylight. Motorists looking at there phone texting and looking at the car screen watching YouTube videos do look at the road occasionally. My daylight visibility taillight is bright enough that I can see the vehicles moving over some distance away in my mirror. I was in Palm Springs a couple of months ago and saw several people on bicycles. Most of them had some sort of flashing taillight. The problem was I saw most of the bicyclists well ahead of when their flashing taillight became visible.
You do have a point. Of all the cyclist's getting hit by cars that I've heard of, most were intentionally hit and a light wouldn't have made any difference. There are a few that were hit by drunk drivers, and I doubt a light would have helped them either.

Just the same I run my lights during the day too. My state actually specifies you must have a lit lamp on the front and back of your bike. However there isn't any enforcement and most don't even know.
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Old 09-06-21, 06:33 PM
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I hope never to be riding at night, at least not on purpose. Earlier this summer I was involved in an accident where an oncoming motorist took a left turn directly in front of me and I had no time to stop. Luckily I didn't get hurt too bad, the bicycle not so lucky. It was broad daylight but the motorist said he never saw me. I' never considered daytime lights before then but I am now. I think I'll try the cheapos linked above for now but the Bontracer Ion series sure look like the cats meow for daytime running lights, although $115 for the pair.

True story, in high school and college in the early 1980s, my summer job was a restaurant, 9 miles from the parent's house and my bike was my transportation (a "Western Flyer" that served me well). I had the old style generator set with the cylindrical generator that slapped against the tire and made the pedaling feel like you've dropped two gears. I had the deluxe 12V version that included a tail light that actually was pretty good for the time. The only thing is I had to govern my speed downhill or I would blow the bulb as there was no regulation. It was rural northern NH but I never come close to having an accident.
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Old 09-06-21, 07:34 PM
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here is a great site or comparing lights>

https://bicycles.blogoverflow.com/20...-light-review/

or updated > https://bikelightdatabase.com/

things that will seem more important than brightness after you buy your lights:

clamping system- quick release is nice, some good lights have weak clamps so look out for that

electronics: mode memory is nice so you do not have to scroll thru modes with switch, Planet Bike super bright is popular but you have to scroll,
keep it simple, auto tail light accelerometer seems like one more thing to fail since it involves a switch, which is the worst component failure wise in all of electronics

battery or USB/Lithium? plugging in a charging cable is less hassle than disassembly/and or charging batteries

weather proof> you will pay big bucks for a really water proof light, most are simply water resistant, however you can cheat the system by using saran wrap or baggie taped over light with good tape

Cygolyte is brightest and has good batt life but is known to have a weak clamp and the switches are somewhat of a pain.

Dinotte is expensive but they have an amber colored light which would probably be best for daytime riding

Night Rider is good stuff and not too expensive.

Last edited by cjenrick; 09-06-21 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 09-06-21, 08:01 PM
  #12  
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I like Cygolite

https://cygolite.com

I use the Hypersot 350. I have had a few drivers pull up to me in the mid afternoon and tell how bright it it.

If you are going to get a light a good one. I see many riders using light that you can barely see the light.
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Old 09-06-21, 09:41 PM
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Yeah, I favor Cygolite too .... but I have seen their tail lights fail in really hard rain, which Really sucks. For almost every situation, they are not too expensive, very reliable, and reasonably convenient. But there are a ton of good lights out there. I might try something new next time just because.
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Old 09-06-21, 10:29 PM
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You do have a point. Of all the cyclist's getting hit by cars that I've heard of, most were intentionally hit and a light wouldn't have made any difference. There are a few that were hit by drunk drivers, and I doubt a light would have helped them either.

Just the same I run my lights during the day too. My state actually specifies you must have a lit lamp on the front and back of your bike. However there isn't any enforcement and most don't even know.
From personal experience the only time someone hit me with their car intentionally while riding my bicycle wasn't related to me bicycling. He just wanted to kill me so I wouldn't be a witness in court against him. People not seeing you until they are too close. Can cause their lizard brain to take over in traffic. Most of the car bike collisions are caused by people not seeing you and the incidence of this happening is greatly reduced in daylight and night with proper lighting. You hear about the few attacks caused by nuts because they are sensational for news ratings. You don't hear about the many collisions that aren't considered sensational. I have no problems riding after dark.
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Old 09-07-21, 12:56 AM
  #15  
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been happy enuff with these that i've purchased four complete 'lil cobber sets of a clear front blinker and two small red rear blinkers for all of my bikes.
didn't know they made larger ones but would likely have stuck with the same size anyway since i can set the rear red ones at different speeds and
keep them visible between their size, rear saddle curve and seatbag. annoying to motorists i'm sure, but it works. they claim either has 330 degrees of
visibility and there is a curving, wraparound effect to the lights but that's prob under perfect/optimal conditions. feel it's closer to 250/260 degrees but that
extra is still appreciated. always ride with a front blinker (110 lumens) and two rear red blinkers (50 lumens apiece) activated (unless on a bike
path for a good spell, then i'll turn off the rear blinkers) regardless of time of day. they seem to go approx eight hours in blinking mode.
recharge (individually) directly into a usb port (no cord involved)...and take about 3 hours to recharge after all-day use. easy to install/remove.
different size mounts come with to use for seat stay mounting or main tubes/handlebars mounting. plenty of riding on dirt and bleep pavement in the last two years
without losing one/having one fall off. small enuff to throw a complete extra set in a jersey pocket if out past those eight hours. if riding at night, i'll throw
one on each side of the top tube for side coverage since usual rides take me past several freeway offramps at 90 degree angles.

https://www.knog.com/category/produc...c-currency=USD

before these, used the owleye rear light(s) shaped like a miniature cigarette pack. visibility and charge life was equally as good.
really liked the mount(s) because it/they had (a) small footprint(s) on the seat stays and seat post (where real estate is critical)
but lost one light and had a few more fall off here and there on blah pavement. those issues + a lack of availability/hard to find
(from south korea methinx) doomed them for my use. if they became suddenly ubiquitous. might reconsider buying a few to
mix in for versatility. their recharging involved a short usb cord from the light to the usb outlet tho. one more thing to forget/lose.

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Old 09-07-21, 02:32 AM
  #16  
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I have different needs from the OP because I like riding at night. I have two Light & Motion headlights...one bike has an Urban 800 and the other an Urban 850. Both are great for riding in dark. They are USB charging lights. I was on a mission to find some decent bright lights without spending too much and I found those two on sale a few years ago. Still using them.

My taillights are different story as they both use batteries rather than USB charging. One bike has an older Blackburn Mars 3.0 (don't think it's available anymore) and the other has a Blackburn Local 15 (still listed on their website). Both lights have three modes (steady, flash, and strobe). Both were pretty cheap. I'm really impressed with how bright the Local 15 is (it's newer than the Mars). Blackburn is a decent brand but doesn't seem to be as well known as others.
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Old 09-07-21, 10:28 AM
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For daytime riding, you need something bright. Otherwise it will be mostly useless. I used to use a Cygolite Hotshot pro, which is a great tail light with excellent battery life but after about 2.5 years it stopped holding a charge. Now I'm using the bontrager flare RT, which is an amazingly bright light for it's size and weight and will run a good 6+ hours in daytime flash mode. On the front I have a cygolite Dash 460, which I am happy with but I think I would go with the bontrager Ion if I were getting one today.

If you're looking for a budget light there are some threads in the electronic forum that would be worth checking out
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Old 09-07-21, 11:26 AM
  #18  
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I run the Nebula. It's super bright.
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Old 09-07-21, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rumstove View Post
I have different needs from the OP because I like riding at night. I have two Light & Motion headlights...one bike has an Urban 800 and the other an Urban 850. Both are great for riding in dark. They are USB charging lights. I was on a mission to find some decent bright lights without spending too much and I found those two on sale a few years ago. Still using them.
Yeah, I also have a pair .... and often bring both, because when it is really dark and I want to go quickly on unfamiliar pavement, I can aim one long and the other close and see Everything. Good stuff and very compact, weatherproof, and long-lasting (many recharge cycles.)
Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
For daytime riding, you need something bright. Otherwise it will be mostly useless.
Best to get a very bright flasher for daytime. Having paid attention while driving (which used to be a thing, before cll phones) I have noticed how much more a flashing white light, even a pinpoint, grabs my attention versus a solid white light. of course, I am talking about a cyclist well down the road on the other side---Likely i would evenetually notice the cyclsit even with no lights.

Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
If you're looking for a budget light there are some threads in the electronic forum that would be worth checking out
Cogent comment.
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Old 09-07-21, 04:16 PM
  #20  
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I have been using Cygolites for a number of years now and find them durable, dependable, really bright and as a motorist, they are sometimes obnoxiously bright and flashy. You know, the kind of light that no motorist can say they didn't see you.

My current rear light is the Hypershot 350, Bright, red, various flash settings and rechargeable. My current front light is the Dash Pro 600, also rechargeable.

I had a man come up to me at a traffic light recently and asked, "What kind of light is that?". I said a Cygolite. He said, "darn brightest light I've ever seen on a bike. Where'd you get it"?

They are that bright. And, Made in the USA!

https://cygolite.com/
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Old 09-09-21, 07:20 AM
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Would not ride my bike without my Varia the radar and flashing light when it detects a car is wonderful.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/698001
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Old 09-09-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser View Post
Would not ride my bike without my Varia the radar and flashing light when it detects a car is wonderful.

https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/698001
When you buy me one I will use it on every ride.
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Old 09-09-21, 07:37 AM
  #23  
Ed Wiser
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You do you bud
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Old 09-09-21, 07:45 AM
  #24  
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Garmin Varia- radar will notify you of cars approaching from behind and how fast. The rear light will flutter when cars approach to help get their attention.
Cygolite Hotrod 50- thin line light that is bright and has multiple flash settings. Quality construction, reliable battery, etc.
Random Amazon 6 letter brand light- itll be bright and cheap. It may last or it may break anywhere between right away and in a few weeks.

There ya go- rear light categories. There are tons of options in the lower 2 groups.
Assuming you want to keep cost down, maybe buy a Hotrod 50(or similar USB recharge) and also buy a couple of cheap band on lights. You can set them to different angles and flash modes if you want. Be seen from all directions, if thats your concern.


Up front- if you want to be seen rather than want to see- any cheap clear light works. Dont overthink it, especially since most will be pretty worthless.
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Old 09-09-21, 07:48 AM
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Nachoman
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
I have about a half-dozen of these knocking around the garage - they're pretty bright, weigh almost nothing, have multiple solid/flashing modes, and last ~8 hr on flashing. Easy to attach to a handlebar or seat post, of even clip to a jersey pocket. I have a white one mounted routinely under my head unit on the good bike (I modified a couple by attaching GoPro-style mounts) - I use it if the weather is overcast or if it's getting late, or if I'm coming back in through town where people are too busy looking for parking spaces to notice a bike. I have red ones clipped to the rear racks of my commuter and single-speed runabout. I use a Cycliq Fly6 camera/strobe on the back of the good bike, but if I know I'm going to be on the road for longer than 4-5 hours, I carry a spare red LED in my jersey to replace the Cycliq when the battery dies.
Do they work? Can't say for sure, but I figure it's a no-lose having a bit of extra visibility on the bike. The blurb on Amazon says they're ~80 lumens, so they're pretty bright and noticeable, especially as daylight starts to fade. Bear in mind, these are to be seen - they won't light up your way. If I know I'm going to be out after dark (not too often these days), I have a proper headlamp.
I use that same flashing headlight, because of it's size. But I think I have the upgraded model, perhaps 120 lumens.
These lights are excellently light and bright, but certainly not the lightest and obviously not the brightest.
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