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Light Recommendations for Being Seen Rather than Being Able to See?

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Light Recommendations for Being Seen Rather than Being Able to See?

Old 08-31-05, 09:35 AM
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Quickbeam
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I want to get some lights for my commuter bike more for safety and visibility than being able to see the way. My route is pretty well-lit so I can see fine but I'm concerned that drivers may not see me. Do any of you have recommendations for compact, self-contained battery powered head and tail lights? For my purposes I don't want to deal with big rechargable battery packs. Thanks!
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Old 08-31-05, 09:44 AM
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I just ordered this. In New York State, one of the lights - front or rear - has to be visible from the sides; so it satisified that requirement. Also, the led lights draw less power and therefore last longer since the batteries don't wear out as quickly.

https://www.performancebike.com/shop/...TOKEN=61323500
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Old 08-31-05, 11:07 AM
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I got a Viewpoint Flashpoint (https://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=19647) for a taillight. It is cheap and extremely bright. The Cateye TLD1000 may be another option.

For a visibility headlight, I bought the Flare (https://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=20472). The batteries that came with it were pretty abysmal, but once I swapped them for Lithium AAAs, it is extremely bright. The flash mode is a bit slow, however.
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Old 08-31-05, 11:12 AM
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LEDs are all about Visibility.
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Old 08-31-05, 11:26 AM
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Any light emitter isn't going to be that good because of the background lighting where you commute and the limited amount of wattage on a bicycle. Every car will have two or four halogen headlights totalling well over 100 watts and with huge internal reflectors - hard to stand out in that crowd. Your best bet is still put on the brightest and blinkiest lights you can find (I like the Cat Eye products) but especially go all out with reflectors and reflective material. With the reflectors you get to use all the wattage the cars are putting out for free.

Reflectors on the pedals and spokes are outstanding at getting attention and scream bicycle. Reflective vests, leg and arm bands, reflective tape anywhere it will fit, even a reflective bike flag if you can find one. If you've got a rear fender cover the back of it in reflective tape too.
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Old 08-31-05, 01:40 PM
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In actual road tests, I have found that cheapo LED blue-white headlights work great. I had several friends check me from their cars, and also asked a cop who had just passed me, then pulled into a parking lot. All said they saw me just fine on a well lit city street. The light I was using was a Planet Bike LED that uses 4 AA batteries and cost about $35.00. The batteries run more than 20 hours, so it is also economical and easy to operate. It does not work very well for seeing, however.
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Old 08-31-05, 03:31 PM
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For the two bikes that I'm most likely to be riding in the dark, I have a CatEye EL100 3-LED light. For the rest, I have a CatEye EL400. The 100 has better mounting hardware, reflector design, and side visibility. On the other hand, the EL400 uses a quick-attach strap that makes it easy to move around to different bikes without having to have a bracket on all of them.

Both are fine for straight-ahead be-seen use and in a pinch can provide some path illumination in the dark. I've used them on unlit MUPs and even in the forest.
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Old 09-17-05, 10:23 PM
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Anyone have experience with the Cat Eye HL-EL200/LD500-RC combo? REI has it for $35, seemed pretty good?
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Old 09-18-05, 12:56 AM
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I would just get a nice taillight and an low-end LED headlight. Should run you less that $30 for both...
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Old 09-18-05, 01:34 AM
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I have two planetbike 1w light for front and a cateye tld1000 for back. very please with it.
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Old 09-18-05, 03:36 AM
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The Sigma Sport Blade front LED headlight is very good as it offers side visibility. My wife uses one. https://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?Affi...=30&SKU=LT7216




For a tail light I think most people would recomend the Cateye TD-1000. It's damn bright.
https://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=LT4111
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Old 09-18-05, 10:14 AM
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The Sigma Sport is available at REI for $9.93. Here is the link:

https://www.rei.com/outlet/product/47...SHP_CYCLING_SA

I also purchased 3 Planet Bike BRT-7 7 LED lights there for $6.93. Now that I have them, I am going to buy several more..I'm using 850mh NIMh rechargable batteries in them, and they are BRIGHT. They come with arm strap, seat post mount, clip mount, and two batteries. Here is the link:

https://www.rei.com/outlet/product/47...SHP_CYCLING_SA
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Old 09-18-05, 11:16 AM
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NONE of the blinkies are anywhere near as bright as a good reflector though. Best to have a bright blinky AND a good amount of reflective material. Most blinkies will not act as a reflector, so if you take your rear red reflector off to mount a blinky in its place (as many people do), you will have lost LOTS of visibility from the rear.

One of the few blinkies that offers rear light, side light and a good amount of rear reflector is the Busch & Müller "4DToplight Permanent". It's made to comply with the German standards which are far stricter than the US DOT / CPSC standards. I have one, and just ordered a Tubus Vega rack from The Touring Store that I'll be mounting it on.

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Old 09-18-05, 02:07 PM
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If you want a inexpensive self contained battery type of light then look at the Cateye brand of LED lights, they are adequate for the price; especially the LD500 and 600.

However your going to spend nearly as much for one of those as a Cygolite Metro that cost $48 and is a dual beam 13watt total halogen light that will be WAY brighter then any LED on the market. And the Metro uses 6 D batteries that are in a pouch that attaches to the frame via a velcro strap so your water bottle cages are not used. You can use either throwaway or rechargeable bats with the Metro; the bats will last for 5 hours on low and 2.5 hours on high. ]

I have the Metro and use to have the Cateye el500 and I can tell you that even with just on beam on the Metro was far far brighter the the Cateye.
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Old 09-18-05, 03:21 PM
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If you don't want to go with more lights, I use a bright orange triangle on my backpack in addition to the red blinking tail light. Here's a site which has one...

https://www.teamestrogen.com/products.asp?pID=4140
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Old 09-18-05, 03:27 PM
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For the front light, I would recommend Serfas SL 1000 It is very bright, and the mount is good, as for disadvantages - it flashes too slow, like one second on, one off, IMHO there should be a rapid flash mode which would be far more efficient.

Cateye EL-400 is another little small, very bright light. The battery time is great, more than the claimed 120 hours on one battery set, the flash mode is all-right, the mount is a crap, but can be fixed with duct tape/old cateye mound/etc

IMHO, the best rear light is Cateye LD-1000 - it has good side visibility, unlike most other LED taillights. Of course, you can buy an additional Lightman Strobe if you think you'll ride in a VERY dense traffic. Otherwise, LD-1000 is enough.

Of course, don't buy anything from REI, eBay is the answer
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Old 09-18-05, 03:45 PM
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Like said above the Cateye taillight is great, super bright.. I use a combination of lights, one to see and another to be seen.. The be seen light is Planet Bike beamer 3..

https://www.planetbike.com/frontlights.html#

The led flashes at a very quick rate, I would say about a 100 flashes per minute.. Cars will stop for a flashing light more so than a standard light..

Another way to go is mount a small flashing LED light on your helmet, that way you can direct the light at approaching cars.. I found this to work the best of all.. You can use a Princeton TEC aurora or the New EOS.. The EOS can also double as a decent light in a pinch, when used in standard mode.. I found these 2 lights to have the most adjustability when used on a helmet and the best thing is that they are very lightweight, right at 3 ounces w/ batteries installed.. You just need 12 to 18 inches of velcro with a loop, similar to a pump strap and your ready to go..

https://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH

https://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH

https://www.geocities.com/mar10stuff/...metwaurora.jpg
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Old 09-19-05, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by phinney
. . . Reflectors on the pedals and spokes are outstanding at getting attention and scream bicycle. Reflective vests, leg and arm bands, reflective tape anywhere it will fit, even a reflective bike flag if you can find one. If you've got a rear fender cover the back of it in reflective tape too.
If your goal is only to be seen, lots of reflective stuff is a good idea.
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Old 09-21-05, 09:22 PM
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Hello: The best light BY FAR for commuting is a LIGHTMAN xenon strobe. Visible for up to 3 miles, these strobes are three times stronger than LED “blinkies”. They are very easy to mount on the back of any bike. I put two with clear lenses on the back of my RANS Rocket by using the belt clip attachment -- they slip right on the back of the seat, and they stay on! There are NO brighter lights available for cycling safety. These blink 80x/min. Great lights. Available in variety of colors: clear, red, amber, blue. They retail for $25 (plus $5 s/h) at the Lightman website, but you can get them much cheaper on eBay. Here's a link if you want to take a look. https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESE%3AIT&rd=1

GOOD LUCK, and happy cycling! Todd
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Old 09-22-05, 04:26 PM
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You should also supplement your headlight with a front blinker like the Vistalite Nebula. The smallish headlights on bicycles are not large enough in diameter that drivers just don't notice them like they do with car headlights no matter how bright they are, the flasher will grab their attention fast.

Forgot to mention taillights. The Cateye brand is the best for the money; including the LD600 and 1000. The 1000 is the brightest on the market but one of the more expensive tailights at about $40 while the 600 is plenty bright for about $20. I have the 600 and it's blindly bright, and if mounted vertically it's visible from at least 180 degrees...as is the 1000 as well.

Also those little barend LED plug lights are a great addition to a taillight.

Also use reflective straps around your legs, the up and down motion catches drivers eyes...if they somehow miss the red LED's beaming at them!
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Old 09-22-05, 06:33 PM
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Good tip. One thing though: it may be a better idea to use the red lenses when you mount them on the back. White strobes in the back may be confusing.
Originally Posted by todd6559
Hello: The best light BY FAR for commuting is a LIGHTMAN xenon strobe. Visible for up to 3 miles, these strobes are three times stronger than LED “blinkies”. They are very easy to mount on the back of any bike. I put two with clear lenses on the back of my RANS Rocket by using the belt clip attachment -- they slip right on the back of the seat, and they stay on! There are NO brighter lights available for cycling safety. These blink 80x/min. Great lights. Available in variety of colors: clear, red, amber, blue. They retail for $25 (plus $5 s/h) at the Lightman website, but you can get them much cheaper on eBay. Here's a link if you want to take a look. https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MESE%3AIT&rd=1

GOOD LUCK, and happy cycling! Todd
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Old 09-22-05, 06:42 PM
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i also felt a lot happier about my visibility when i had my tireflies in. they're little motion-activated single-led flashers that you screw into the valve stem of your tires. https://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1127435953499

of course they're no help head-on or when your tires are below drivers' range of visibility, but pretty hard to miss otherwise. i felt like such a dork when i had them, i figured i was probably pretty visible.
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Old 09-22-05, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by naane
Good tip. One thing though: it may be a better idea to use the red lenses when you mount them on the back. White strobes in the back may be confusing.
When I'm doing my bicycle commute ride at 5:30 in the morning, I don't see many other bicycles. Yesterday, way up ahead I saw a red blinky. "Cool", I thought, "another bicycle!".

I found myself closing the gap rather quickly, and that's strange because I am not a fast rider. Then I was able to resolve not just the red blinky, but the bicycle and rider... he had the red blinky on the FRONT, and was riding the WRONG WAY on my side of the street and on the SIDEWALK, coming at me (although I was in the road where I belonged, not on the sidewalk).

What a fool.
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Old 09-23-05, 03:22 AM
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One time while I was on the path at night, I saw the reflective clothing of a cyclist approaching me (reflected from my headlight). Just before we passed, I noticed that he had an LED. The battery was probably low.

If you rely on LED's or small be-seen lights, you should either have multiple lights or extra batteries. You should also regularly check how bright they are.
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Old 09-23-05, 01:29 PM
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I have a friend who commutes who uses an LED Vest.. It is very easy to see and it is very lightweight..

https://cgi.ebay.com/Safety-Vest-with...QQcmdZViewItem
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