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Bike lights recommendations?

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Bike lights recommendations?

Old 05-17-19, 10:02 PM
  #1  
7Shifty
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Bike lights recommendations?

Do you guys have any recommendations for lights?
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Old 05-18-19, 03:24 AM
  #2  
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Budget? Usage? Style of bike you are using them on (not as important but still relevant)
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Old 05-18-19, 09:33 AM
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I use many different lights on my bike, and all are fine. The one that I really love and will stick with is a helmet light set, Light and Motion’s Vis 360. Not cheap, but I have found that the light helps drivers see me in the day because the it stands out above other cars, both parked and moving. Frame-mounted lights tend to be hidden.
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Old 05-18-19, 09:49 AM
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Lightbulb '''///,,,

We repeat this for so many, when posters don't accept reading what was written before..
I recommend you read some of those..


A ; battery lights* I have them on my studded tire bike , so the battery is warm
in my pocket until I actually go somewhere ..

& Ice on the street , is rare here..

& a bike I just use in the summer, because the days are long ...

Otherwise B ; hub dynamo powered, wired LED front & rear
because they're always there, bolted on, & light as soon as I start moving..



& I Don't live in Seattle...

* cue the "I have an X brand & I like it" replies

2 broad types be Seen Often offering a blinking mode ..

and see in the dark by , this is where the 'my light is brighter than yours' comparisons,

and competitive engineering and shopping choices have revolved..



My A) is the be seen battery light, on QR clips , various..

my B) in the hub dynamo wired LED .. Love the Schmidt, German made, Quality..

& the Busch & Muller optics of light distribution..



...

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-29-19 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 05-18-19, 08:22 PM
  #5  
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For the front I suggest a CatEye Volt and for the rear either a Planet Bike or Cygolite.
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Old 05-18-19, 09:10 PM
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On your helmet a headlight and tail light. On your bike a headlight and tail light. What kind, intensity or beam shape is entirely up to your budget and terrain.
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Old 05-20-19, 12:27 PM
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Agree with Falchoon, we need to know a little more info. A budget is needed, but what type of riding and how long will you be out is important. Are you doing mtn bike riding at night or commuting on the roads? Will you need light for half an hour or for 3 - 4 hours at a time? Is it important that you light up your path or do you just want to be seen in traffic? Also, are you more interested in replaceable batteries or do you want a self contained USB rechargeable light? The more info you give the better answers you will receive.
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Old 05-21-19, 04:01 AM
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What kidn of light do you like ? Battery powered or rechargeable ?
how many lumens do you need for ?
Do you need Flash mode ?
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Old 05-21-19, 07:23 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
I use many different lights on my bike, and all are fine. The one that I really love and will stick with is a helmet light set, Light and Motion’s Vis 360. Not cheap, but I have found that the light helps drivers see me in the day because the it stands out above other cars, both parked and moving. Frame-mounted lights tend to be hidden.
The Light & Motion Vis 360 is such a great light.

The Vis Pro is a step up, 600 lumens, and also a stellar product. I just ordered the headband for mine so I can also use it for night trail runs.


-Tim-
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Old 05-22-19, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
The Light & Motion Vis 360 is such a great light.

The Vis Pro is a step up, 600 lumens, and also a stellar product. I just ordered the headband for mine so I can also use it for night trail runs.
What do you think of the Urban 900? $48 seems pretty good, but I know nothing about them. Doesn't look like the batteries are replaceable.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:46 AM
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Here is what I'm looking for:

Handlebar headlight for road riding on my trek 520, or my Nishiki. I'm not often out late, but when I come home at night, I want to be safe, seen, and avoid those nasty potholes (there are a LOT of them around here). So my typical rides are not usually more than 30 minutes, and not always at night.... but because the Trek is a bike I might like to take bike camping, that might be another use.

I live in a city, the roads are relatively well-lit, although there are a few paths where it can get a bit dark.

II've looked at everything from a $13 ebay flashlight with lumens they cannot justify, to the Cateye Volt. I'd like to not spend $200 on a light, since my bike is worth only $500, but my life is worth more, so I'd do it if everyone said that you really need to.

I'd like to have a light that doesn't require a battery pack and wires, but I would love it if it had replaceable 18650 batteries that I can charge.

How many lumens/lux? I have no idea. I'd like to have a nice warm light, that isn't super hot in any specific spots, and gives me good contour visibility, and good length of visibility without blinding people. Do I need flash mode? I don't know, I can probably live without it. I have a Cygolite 100 on the back, and some nice reflectors on the spokes for side visibility.

I actually would love to have a dynamo, but I dont know ANYTHING about those.

Last edited by rantoie; 05-22-19 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:29 AM
  #12  
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You should be able to get a decent LED flashlight reasonably--many sporting good stores and hardware stores carry them. I've used flashlight holders from Dealextreme: https://www.dx.com/s/bicycle%20flash...lders?cateId=0 Chances are something as inexpensive as this for a light might be OK for your usage: https://www.dx.com/p/xm-l-t6-5-mode-...2#.XOatu_ZFyP8 But I'd recommend looking around locally at LED flashlights to determine what might work for you.
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Old 05-23-19, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rantoie View Post
What do you think of the Urban 900? $48 seems pretty good, but I know nothing about them. Doesn't look like the batteries are replaceable.
I own two. That should tell you what I think of them.

Beam shape is excellent. Performace is stellar. Drop it down to low when climbing or full power isn't needed and you can get three hours out of it.

Batteries are not intended to be replaced by the end user. I don't know if L&M offers it as a service. There are youtube videos of people doing DIY replacement.

Remove the light from the bike using the rubber strap. The light and mount are intended to stay together. Some try to remove the light from the mount and break off the plastic tab holding the light to the mount. It isn't designed to work that way. Just use the strap.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 05-23-19 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 05-23-19, 05:29 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by rantoie View Post
Here is what I'm looking for:

Handlebar headlight for road riding on my trek 520, or my Nishiki. I'm not often out late, but when I come home at night, I want to be safe, seen, and avoid those nasty potholes (there are a LOT of them around here). So my typical rides are not usually more than 30 minutes, and not always at night.... but because the Trek is a bike I might like to take bike camping, that might be another use.

I live in a city, the roads are relatively well-lit, although there are a few paths where it can get a bit dark.

II've looked at everything from a $13 ebay flashlight with lumens they cannot justify, to the Cateye Volt. I'd like to not spend $200 on a light, since my bike is worth only $500, but my life is worth more, so I'd do it if everyone said that you really need to.

I'd like to have a light that doesn't require a battery pack and wires, but I would love it if it had replaceable 18650 batteries that I can charge.

How many lumens/lux? I have no idea. I'd like to have a nice warm light, that isn't super hot in any specific spots, and gives me good contour visibility, and good length of visibility without blinding people. Do I need flash mode? I don't know, I can probably live without it. I have a Cygolite 100 on the back, and some nice reflectors on the spokes for side visibility.

I actually would love to have a dynamo, but I dont know ANYTHING about those.

Light & Motion Urban 900 - $48
https://excelsports.com/closeouts/?s...SABEgI8g_D_BwE


-Tim-
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Old 05-24-19, 01:33 PM
  #15  
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Ditto, the Light & Motion Urban, Vis and Taz lights. Some are very good values now.

I've had the L&M Urban 500 for more than two years of frequent use. The light itself is very good. The rubber band strap is the main weak spot. It began cracking after a year, then broke. And the swivel loosened up too much so I had to use an elastic cloth hair band to snug it down so it would aim where I wanted.

After the band finally broke a third time I switched to a Two Fish strap. Works great. It's a rubber block with Velcro straps. It's designed for high intensity flashlights, but the tapered barrel shape of the L&M Urban works well too, especially since the rubber band/swivel mount nub helps retain the light from sliding off. The Two Fish block holds securely, is quicker and easier for me to move between bikes. With old hand injuries and arthritis sometimes it's a struggle to mess with those rubber band straps, especially in winter. The Two Fish strap is easier.

And L&M appears to have fixed one of my main complaints -- most of the Urban series can't be charged and operated simultaneously. So I couldn't run the light continuously for hours off an external USB battery/cable. But the L&M Rando 500 claims to be able to trickle charge while running, although the website doesn't clarify whether it operates only in daytime pulse mode or up to full continuous power. It appears to be the same basic model as the other Urban lights, with improved circuitry.
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Old 05-29-19, 08:05 AM
  #16  
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I make Solar powered lighting
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Old 05-29-19, 08:55 AM
  #17  
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I've owned the following relatively modern lights (I won't bore you with the older halogen lights I've had):
  • Light & Motion Urban 900 -- I thought it was great while it lasted. But eventually a recessed manhole cover at 30 MPH exposed its Achilles heel: The flange molded into its body that mates with the handlebar mount snapped clean off, rendering it unmountable with anything less than duct tape. It was ruined. It lasted me less than one season. The other flaw is that its USB charge port cover falls off every time you open it (this is part of its design), and it is made of a plastic that grows weaker every time you open it until it eventually separates from its retention point forever. I wrote to L&M about this, and they acknowledged the flaw and sent me four more USB port covers (about a month before the mounting flange broke off). The daytime mode is similar to the oscillation of a sine wave; it oscillates between low and high, it doesn't strobe. I liked that it had side marker lights, though I don't think they're terribly effective.
  • Light & Motion Taz 1200 -- This one actually is great, mostly. The mount has a metal screw that goes through it into the metal housing, so it's much stronger (I think). The mounting strap is designed to stay on the light always; you don't leave part of it on the handlebars when you remove the light. This light is pretty big, and while I do currently have it mounted on my commuter bike permanently (using a GoPro mount on my GPS out front bracket), a minimalist would consider it too much of a chunk. It is very bright, and has a nice configuration of three lights, one of which is behind a diffusing lens. The side markers are brighter than the Urban 900, and can be turned on and off when the front light is on. The main front light has low, medium, high, and daytime oscillating mode. The oscillating mode is not a strobe.
  • Cygolite Metro 800: This light is much smaller than the Taz 1200 -- similar in size to the L&M Urban 900. Its brightness is perfectly adequate for city riding, even in the suburbs. It has a low, medium, and high mode. There are no side markers, which is fine with me because I have a separate side light. It has an off-bike flashlight mode that is useful when fixing a flat (it's lower power than any of the headlight modes, and lasts a good long time). There are two daytime modes; strobe, and strobe over solid. The strobe over solid mode keeps the headlight on in low mode, and overlays a slow strobe. I find this mode useful at dusk and dawn, when I need to be maximally visible. The strobe-only mode is best for a long day ride. The mount on the Cygolite is very good. It has an ample flange on the light's body that slides into a clamp that affixes to round handlebars. If you prefer you can obtain a GoPro mount for it and mount it under your GPS out front mount, too. I use this light on my road bike and ride it more evenings than not. This may not be quite as bright as my broken L&M Urban 900, but they do make brighter models, and it has a stronger mount than the Urban 900.
If I had to outfit both of my bikes all over again I'd probably get a couple of the brighter Cygolite Metro lights and be done with it.

I mentioned side lights above. I have one on each bike because I do a fair amount of my riding at night when the kids are asleep. On my commuter bike I have a Planet Bike Bottle Blinky, that mounts below the downtube bottle cage. On my road bike I have a Brightside Side Light.

I feel it's really important to be visible from the side. Some of the closer calls I've had have been when I proceed after a full stop at a 4-way stop sign only to have the cross traffic start up in front of me as if they haven't seen me. This is even with full headlight and tail lights. With side lights installed I haven't had this happen. They also seem to help with the person entering the roadway from a parking lot as I pass by on the road; they seem to see me better.

The Brightside is much brighter than the Bottle Blinky, and is rechargeable rather than using AAA batteries. Unfortunately it's harder to mount securely and usefully. One flaw it has is that its lens hoods only shade the top half of the lens, so you must mount the light with its bracket facing upward, or mount it behind you, out of your field of vision. If you don't, it's going to blind you at night. This means that mounting it on the front of the head tube, under the top tube, under the down tube, or under the stem is asking to be blinded by it at night. The best position I've found is near the top of the seat tube behind the tube, but the strap it comes with is a little too long, so it's slightly loose.

The Bottle Blinky isn't as bright, but is ideally located right below the downtube's bottle cage. This position may interfere with a pump, if your pump is mounted to the side of the downtube bottle cage.
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Old 06-01-19, 10:40 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by 7Shifty View Post
Do you guys have any recommendations for lights?
Of course.

Front:

L&M Taz series: bright, good beam pattern, comes with a GoPro mount and a heavy duty bar strap mount. Sturdy construction. Heavy. Side marker lights operate partially independently of main headlight. Oscillating mode is cool.

Cygolite Metro series: Compact, lightweight, very sturdy mount, bright, has a long-life flashlight mode. Offers a daytime strobe and a twilight strobe over low mode. GoPro mounts are available (possibly aftermarket). I really like the mount. More on that later.

Not recommended: L&M Urban series. Here is why: The handlebar mount is weak. The flange on the body of the light snapped clean off the body of the light when I hit a recessed manhole cover one evening during the first season of use, sending the light skidding down the street. Even though the light still worked, there was no way to mount it aside from duct tape. To be clear, the mount bracket didn't break. The light's body broke. My bike was otherwise fine. Here's another reason: The USB cover is made of a material that weakens every time you open it, so if you use it nightly and charge it nightly, you'll get about two months of use before the USB cover breaks at its fold point. L&M kindly sent me a packet of several more covers when I asked about this issue. I was working my way through the second one when the mount broke and the light got returned to the store I bought it from. I purchased the Taz 1200 at that time.

Rear:

Cygolite HotShot 100 or HotShot Pro 150 (or if there's a newer model, that one). Super bright, long lasting, easy to charge. I've got a 100 on my commuter bike, and a 150 on my road bike.

Other rear lights that are worth mentioning: Cycliq Fly if you want a rear-view recording of your ride and any incidents that occur. Or a Garmin light if you have a Garmin Edge, because the light has a proximity sensor of some sort that lets you know on your GPS's display when something is approaching from behind.

Side lights:

Planet Bike Bottle Blinky, or if you can figure out where to mount the thing, a Briteside Sidelight. The Briteside is much brighter than the PB Bottle Blinky, but harder to mount, and unfortunately its lens shades are not adjustable, and the light pattern is broad enough that you'll get blinded by it if you mount it anywhere within your field of vision.

I have a PB Bottle Blinky on my road bike. It mounts below the downtube bottle cage. I have a Briteside on my commuter. I've mounted it on the seat tube, but it's not ideal. There is no ideal place for it, really. Fantastic light in some ways, and not so great in others.

I do recommend side lights if you ride at night. I've had vehicles approaching from cross streets and proceeding through stop signs nearly hitting me (with my right-of-way) because they didn't see me from the side; headlamps cast a forward beam, tail lights are visible from behind, but from the side without a side light or good reflectors you're a gray ghost.

One Cygolite Metro, Cygolite HotShot Pro 150, and one Bottle Blinky will set you back a total of about $150. Totally worth it. You'll pay a little more for an L&M Taz light, but its beam pattern is superior, and it does have some low-output side lights too.

A word of warning; I've been shouted at for my tail light. I've also been complemented for it. On one ride a woman pulled up along side me at a stop sign, rolled down her window, and told me that was the best bike light she's ever seen. I commented about how it may be too bright. Her response was, "And so what. I could see you." On another ride a police officer pulled a U-turn to come chat with me about my light. He wanted to recommend it when he taught his next bike safety course. But on the other hand, I've had people roll down their windows as they pass and shout, "F*&@ing light!" So, yeah..... it's bright. You'll be seen. It may make people mad. But you'll be seen.
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Old 06-01-19, 12:24 PM
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Cool Apollo Helios / Ra ..

I Like Solar powered lighting
Much more of it this time of year ,

Although in 20 days it's time will start lessening in northern hemisphere..
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Old 06-02-19, 11:51 AM
  #20  
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I have a Light & Motion Urban 500 on my handle bar and a Bontrager Flare on the back. I have been very happy with them, but I don't ride on roads with much traffic.
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Old 06-02-19, 12:01 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by daoswald View Post
...Light & Motion Urban 900 -- I thought it was great while it lasted. But eventually a recessed manhole cover at 30 MPH exposed its Achilles heel: The flange molded into its body that mates with the handlebar mount snapped clean off, rendering it unmountable with anything less than duct tape. It was ruined. It lasted me less than one season. The other flaw is that its USB charge port cover falls off every time you open it (this is part of its design), and it is made of a plastic that grows weaker every time you open it until it eventually separates from its retention point forever. I wrote to L&M about this, and they acknowledged the flaw and sent me four more USB port covers (about a month before the mounting flange broke off). The daytime mode is similar to the oscillation of a sine wave; it oscillates between low and high, it doesn't strobe. I liked that it had side marker lights, though I don't think they're terribly effective.
If you still have that L&M light, try a Two Fish mount. It's just a rubber block with two different sized U-troughs and two Velcro straps. It works on flashlights, so it should work with the L&M Urban light even with that flange or nub broken off.

I've been using a Two Fish mount with my L&M Urban 500 for about a month and wouldn't go back to the original rubber band strap.
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Old 06-02-19, 04:02 PM
  #22  
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3 year Cygolite Metro 800 and Hotshot user here on daily commute. x3yrs. (Don't need the Metro from around May-September). Very dependable, battery life still good.
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Old 06-05-19, 10:18 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by rantoie View Post
Here is what I'm looking for:

I'd like to have a light that doesn't require a battery pack and wires, but I would love it if it had replaceable 18650 batteries that I can charge.
Fenix BC21R. I run mine with a Panasonic 3400mAH.
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