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Need Bike lights.

Old 03-26-23, 07:07 PM
  #1  
whm1974
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Need Bike lights.

I need some bike lights if I'm going to ride at night, seen some on amazon for cheap. However I will get what I pay for and all that. Any decent brands for not to much money?

Looking at Archers and some other brand that has two front and two back that USB charging.
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Old 03-26-23, 07:41 PM
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I would recommend looking at Lezyne as they do lights complaint with the German STVZO standard which doesn't apply in the U.S. but the lights offer a really good beam pattern that cuts off at the top so it doesn't blind other road users especially pedestrians and other cyclists. I would also give high marks to Supernova but I haven't tried their non-dynamo and non-ebike lights however many of their lights are the same just with a battery and also good beam. While I don't care for Kryptonite locks their Incite series of lights is quite nice and has a similar cut off beam for better visibility and their XBR rear light has an accelerometer in it that gets brighter as you slow down which is pretty neat. I had got some lights to test and I like them and I really don't care for Kryptonite but they got it right with Incite and XBR at least light wise the design could be a little sexier but in the end I care little for that for a removable light.

Light and Motion and NiteRider also make good quality stuff though keep good attention to where the beam is going as they just have a bright pointed beam more akin to a good flashlight than a more useful bike light. However they are of quality and will last a while and have good support behind them so it is good on that front.

Avoid using cheap lights and avoid using ultra bright lights on full power just to do it. You do want a higher lumen/lux light but you don't need it super bright but the battery will be longer in the lower solid setting which is what you will want to use 99% of the time. Low lumen/lux lights may be right at the brightness you would run 99% of the time but your light would be in full power much of the time and nowhere to go but down.

Look at the lens as well if it is just a LED with no mirroring or any sort of reflective surface it won't be very bright and have basically no beam pattern and is just a cute kids light that sometimes are marketed towards adults but are not suited for night time use unless supplemented with at least one set of really good lights as described. I would also pretty much avoid anything that isn't rechargeable these days as those are usually not great lights and sometimes the sealing on them can be quite atrocious or they are super hard to remove the batteries which means likely you won't have lights just rotted batteries in plastic that take up space and weight.

Archers are good if you are trying to siege a castle or the word Sturmey is in front of it but never heard of them for lights and looking it up via a popular search engine doesn't pull up much and nothing I would use for visibility and too see much. The ones that popped up after other links looked more in the kids light category. The more lights they give you in a set probably the lower the quality and higher the gimmick factor.

Spend the money for good solid lights, be visible out there your life is hopefully worth more than $5-20. Also keep in mind all lights minus ones that are more permanently attached to the bike are theft proof if you don't give them to thieves by leaving them on your bike. A lot of lights either have easily detached mounts or have lights that easily detach from the mounts. If you give something to a thief in the form of easy stealing then yes they are easy to steal but if you have a good routine when locking up and stick to the routine they won't take your lights unless they rob your person.
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Old 03-26-23, 09:01 PM
  #3  
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I've been using the Bontrager Ion 800r for about 8 years. Absolutely fantastic lite and well worth the purchase. The rechargeable battery is finally starting to show it's age a little as the charges are not lasting as long, but I still get a decent amount of time out of it. If I use it just as a daytime bright flash, I easily get 15 to 17 hours out of it which for an 8 year old lite, that is still pretty good. It is hella bright and whether I am using it during my daylight rides or at night, I can see and be seen. I have gotten my money's worth that is for sure. I just picked up the Bontrager Ion 700r Comp on sale for $73.

I also use the Bontrager Flare R rear light as well.


Worth a look.
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Old 03-26-23, 09:11 PM
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I have Cygolites. Made in USA. A Metro for the front, and a Hotshot 150 in the back. Had them for about 2 years now. The rear on the strobe setting I use will run for about 4 hrs. The Metro set on medium will last about 2 hrs. My rides are about 90 minutes long, so I charge it after each ride. In high mode, probably lasts an hour.

Mark
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Old 03-26-23, 11:29 PM
  #5  
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Cateye makes some pretty nice lights as well.
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Old 03-26-23, 11:32 PM
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Lezyne
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Old 03-27-23, 02:52 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by whm1974 View Post
I need some bike lights if I'm going to ride at night, seen some on amazon for cheap. However I will get what I pay for and all that. Any decent brands for not to much money?

Looking at Archers and some other brand that has two front and two back that USB charging.

https://www.bikeforums.net/electroni...hting-gadgets/
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Old 03-27-23, 08:17 AM
  #8  
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I've tried a number of different lights but the lights from Cygolite (Made in the USA) seem to be the most well designed, rugged and have competitive battery life and price. I ride them on all my bikes now and my old lights just sit in a drawer. Cygolite also sells inexpensive extra mounts for seat post, seat tube and rear triange.

https://cygolite.com/



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Old 03-27-23, 08:22 AM
  #9  
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Do you need lights for seeing the road, or just for being seen on lit streets?

What youíre looking for, I presume, is cost effectiveness. No disrespect for previous poster or Lezyne, but those are premium lights. OP may not need that kind of light output or quality of focus, or might not be willing to pay that much. Iíd aim for a mid-quality light with over 200 lumens output, and having both flash and steady modes. Hi and low steady choice is useful too, if youíre running low on battery, use low or flash.

WRT tail lights, there are still older designs around, such as the Planet Bike Superflash Turbo, that are still pretty much state of the art. Again, it should have flash and steady modes.

If you want to use one light on multiple bikes, get one from a company that sells extra mounts. I like CatEye for this, they sell several types of mounts. They also sell pieces for the light itself, Iím a tinkerer and adapt other brands of headlights to fit on CatEye mounts. Similar situation with Planet Bike tail lights.
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Old 03-27-23, 10:59 AM
  #10  
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I have a pile of Knog lights. Just to be seen they are fine, they are durable, and they were around $20 each.
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Old 03-27-23, 11:15 AM
  #11  
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If you want to be seen at night, nothing beats cheesy spoke lights:
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Old 03-27-23, 01:45 PM
  #12  
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I have an older Cygolite Expillion 170 which still works fine, and I would recommend the newer Cygolite models if you want rechargeable lights. But now I do most of my night riding with dynamo powered lights. There are a number of dynamos available. The German made Schmidt models are considered by some to be the best, but they are also the most expensive. I have Kasai dynamos on two bikes, and so far they work well. There are other dynamos also. The Schmidt Edeulx front light gives great illumination of the road.

The advantage of the dynamo is that it is always there, ready to go.
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Old 03-27-23, 05:24 PM
  #13  
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DiNotte Lighting, not cheap but really good. About ten years ago I got their 1200-lumen XML-3 (headlight, works for daytime rides as well) and their 200-lumen 400R (tail light). Yes, external batteries, which I don't care about, but they do have some lights with internal batteries if you do care. I just replaced my ten-year-old batteries and got the internals of my XML-3 updated. Now 2500 lumens. I kept the 400R as-is instead of upgrading to 400 lumens.

The major collateral benefit of external batteries, for me, anyway, is they don't have to be charged after each ride. The run-time for the flasing modes I am using is nearly 8 hours for the headlight, which uses the most power. The brightness of these lights is in the neighborhood of what you get from the lights on a car; many bicycle lights are underpowered, IMO.

See for yourself.
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Old 03-27-23, 06:08 PM
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I strongly suggest looking for a rechargeable with shaped beam. I bought a couple Lumintop BO-1 but don’t see them anymore. The problem with nearly all the high output lights is that they blind other drivers. If you’re riding off road or just need a low intensity light to be seen the they work but if you want to see the road that has other people a shaped beam is the way to go. It’s required in some countries where cycling is more than just recreation.
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Old 03-27-23, 06:25 PM
  #15  
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For about $50, I light Bright Eyes. I have an older version of this one and I like it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1

I bought it based on the enthusiastic reviews, which I agree with.
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Old 03-27-23, 07:17 PM
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I'd suggest getting something with replaceable batteries. Many of the rechargeables are fine, but when their battery quits taking a charge you have to throw out the entire light (and probably its mounting as well). Also, if your battery runs low out on the road, you can pop in a spare.

I've got a couple quite respectable lights that use AA batteries, and I use rechargeables for those. The most recent light I bought is a Fenix BC 26 R; it uses a replaceable 5000mAh 21700 battery. I also ordered a spare battery with it. This light also plugs into USB to recharge its battery, some others make you buy a separate battery charger.

I have two favorites for tail lights: the Planet Bike Grateful Red, and this:

https://www.modernbike.com/sunlite-t...-.5w-taillight

Both are very powerful and run on AAA batteries. DO carry spare batteries for these; the Sunlite model goes through them fast, but you'll definitely be seen.
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Old 03-27-23, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rollagain View Post

I have two favorites for tail lights: the Planet Bike Grateful Red, and this:

https://www.modernbike.com/sunlite-t...-.5w-taillight

Both are very powerful and run on AAA batteries. DO carry spare batteries for these; the Sunlite model goes through them fast, but you'll definitely be seen.
I have a Grateful Red that I use for riding around town and touring. Really like it. There is a USB rechargeable version. I bought the AAA battery version because of the chance that I would leave it on and deplete the charge and have to worry about charging it. (On tour, I always carry a few extra batteries for the headlamp.) On flash mode, the batteries last a good while.
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Old 03-27-23, 09:32 PM
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I am in the Cygolite camp at 45 bucks (at least what I am seeing now) it is a good balance between cost and lumens 450/50

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Stre...%2C147&sr=8-29

for 67 bucks you can update quite a abit 800/150 lumens

https://www.amazon.com/Cygolite-Metr...6-e84cb8dfa902
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Old 03-27-23, 09:42 PM
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Dinottes for me.
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Old 03-28-23, 04:10 AM
  #20  
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As far as batteries go, you can open up some lights and replace the battery ... it voids the warranty but so what?

Even if I don't do that, I used to get a few solid years of several rides a week use out of my tail lights, and longer from the (less-used) headlights.

As for throwing away the light after several years .... the environmental impact of throwing away all those batteries .... unless you use rechargeable AAA cells which puts you back in the "rechargeable" trap (what if you don't have a charger?)

The only thing I can say positively about batteries is that if you camp far away from a power source, don't bring a solar panel, and don't bring a Juice Box or some similar recharger battery .... you can swap in spare AAA batteries. But I always have at least on spare tail light on my bike anyway.

Not saying my way is better or worse .... either way if we have bright steady, reliable lights, that is what we are after, so "Success!"

OP-----if you want to buy cheap lights, go ahead. Some folks have had (or claim to have had) excellent results with them. I have found them to be unreliable and insufficiently durable for serious cycling .... and "serious cycling" for me means slow, but steady, and several rides a week (or it used to.) I found the cheap lights didn't like the vibration or the bumps (and I ride pretty good pavement) or whatever, but switches failed,, mounts failed, electronics failed .... the cheap crap crapped out.

You might get lucky and find the cheap stuff which is not crap.

I decided, seeing as lights are a safety issue, to spend a little more and get a lot more .... but if you like, you can buy a $3 "Tactical Flashlight" and attach it you your bike with a strip of old inner tube and it will do the job---maybe for a long time, maybe not .... try it if you want.

Otherwise, buy good lights.
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