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What are the brightest taillights at reasonable price now?

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What are the brightest taillights at reasonable price now?

Old 09-28-21, 09:27 AM
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rumrunn6
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fwiw - my Planet Bike Super Flashes refuse to die. been using them on the road day & night about a decade

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Old 09-28-21, 06:46 PM
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Best rear tail light is Garmin Varia because radar.
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Old 09-30-21, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I'm sure you've checked it out in your jurisdiction, but neophytes reading this thread should be aware that blue and/or rearward facing white lights are illegal in some places.
It has 7 modes. I like the ones with projection to the ground (solid or flashing), very good for pitch dark roads. The modes for the main light facing back are too much for me. The USB port is very fragile and easily broken. I knew from these forums long ago that blue lights are illegal, but has there been anyone ever stopped and fined by police for that? I do see some delivery guys using blue lights.
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Old 10-07-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by msalvetti View Post
Is there such a thing as a rear light that is too bright, especially at night? I just wonder if some of the more powerful rear lights might have a lot of glare and cause a driver to have to look away. Especially us older drivers that might be more sensitive to glare.

Mark
I have used a DiNotte tail light for about 20 years. It is extremely bright, 300-400 lumens, somewhere in that range. With a bright light like that, you point it at the ground behind you so that it illuminates an oval on the road maybe 10' behind you. It's very effective and does not blind drivers. I've had drivers tell me how much the appreciated that bright light. I don't believe in using steady tail lights except on group rides. A blinking light says BICYCLE whereas a steady light can be anything, even a driveway reflector. DiNotte doesn't make this light anymore, too bad, because it's really a perfect thing, USB, indestructible, waterproof, very long burn time, many modes, big array of mounting hardware, totally worth the money. Current DiNotte lights may also be good, but I haven't tested them. I'm aware that blinking lights are forbidden in Europe, but I don't live there.

Anyway, mount very bright lights on the left seatstay in the US or on your rack, point them at the ground behind you. Field test the mounting angle to get it just right. Don't buy lights without proper mounting hardware.
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Old 10-13-21, 01:24 PM
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I need a new taillight light the Cygolight hotshot 150, but want it to have replaceable AAA batteries - Not USB charging.
What is recommended?
I used Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 for years prior. Perhaps another one?
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Old 10-13-21, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
fwiw - my Planet Bike Super Flashes refuse to die. been using them on the road day & night about a decade
https://youtu.be/xYbA6qQ1kno
Always liked the high low pattern of the PB super flashes... did they just naturally sync that way as shown in your video?
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Old 10-13-21, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Always liked the high low pattern of the PB super flashes... did they just naturally sync that way as shown in your video?
haha yes a coincidence. here is another clip from a cpl years ago

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Old 10-13-21, 05:31 PM
  #33  
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I just ordered a PB Superflash 65 (AAA version) which seems to be more recent model than the Superflash or Superflash Turbo at same ~$25 price.
For $10 more I considered the Cygolight Hotshot Pro 150, but my experience with Cygo has been nothing but trouble/junk that stops working quickly, plus it doesn't come in a replaceable battery version.
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Old 10-13-21, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
The Hotrod, I usually set to steady. Some observers find it easier to visually orient on lights when at least one is either steady or slow pulsing, rather than strobing. That's important at night. Less important in daylight.
Yes, at least one rear light should be steady when dark. As an approaching driver it can be hard to track a flashing light especially in the mix of other vehicle lights, it can appear to jump horizontally making it hard to tell if tracking on sidewalk, shoulder/bike lane or shared roadway. So I use a bright steady on post and flasher on helmet when dark.
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Old 10-13-21, 06:08 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I just ordered a PB Superflash 65 (AAA version) which seems to be more recent model than the Superflash or Superflash Turbo at same ~$25 price.For $10 more I considered the Cygolight Hotshot Pro 150, but my experience with Cygo has been nothing but trouble/junk that stops working quickly, plus it doesn't come in a replaceable battery version.
fwiw I use an elastic as insurance to keep them from falling off. I position it between the upper & lower bulbs. when I was commuting I used AAA rechargeables. kept a charger at home & another at work. now that I'm just a joy-rider I use regular batteries. over the years I've DIY'd various mounts. I have mounts on all 3 of my bikes. road, hybrid & MTB, cuz you never know when it will be handy or where I'll be. the road bike has 2 mounts cuz a 2nd mount on the left drop bar buys me a little more courtesy room, from eager cagers











when I 1st got the MTB, in a pinch, I mounted it here. surprisingly it worked quite well. it was the only section of tubing the correct diameter. it was angled a bit laterally, toward the passing cars, which wasn't a bad thing

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Old 10-13-21, 06:58 PM
  #36  
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I've always used a bit of tape along one edge and then popped off one half of light to change batteries to keep tape in place. I'd only need to replace tape a couple times a year and it solved the falling apart problem. I use rechargeables with a smart charger like Powerex, La Crosse or Opus.
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Old 10-13-21, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I just ordered a PB Superflash 65 (AAA version) which seems to be more recent model than the Superflash or Superflash Turbo at same ~$25 price.
For $10 more I considered the Cygolight Hotshot Pro 150, but my experience with Cygo has been nothing but trouble/junk that stops working quickly, plus it doesn't come in a replaceable battery version.
I've got a couple Cygolites, and they have been reliable - oldest is coming up on five years. But I have read plenty of reviews about failures, so would probably stay away from the brand.

Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Yes, at least one rear light should be steady when dark. As an approaching driver it can be hard to track a flashing light especially in the mix of other vehicle lights, it can appear to jump horizontally making it hard to tell if tracking on sidewalk, shoulder/bike lane or shared roadway. So I use a bright steady on post and flasher on helmet when dark.
Yep, exactly.
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Old 10-13-21, 07:27 PM
  #38  
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I know this is beyond the scope of the question and not at all a reasonable price for a tail light, but Garmin's radar light is wonderful.
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Old 10-13-21, 07:40 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I know this is beyond the scope of the question and not at all a reasonable price for a tail light, but Garmin's radar light is wonderful.
Man, I have seen sooo many posts like this, and not a single post complaining about this light. If I ever get a compatible computer, I'll need to buy one.
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Old 10-13-21, 10:06 PM
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I haven't heard any complaints about Cygolite Hotshots from local friends. Mine have performed as expected.

My Hotshot 150 is going on two years of regular use, day and night, and has lost only a little runtime per charge. At night I mostly use the "zoom" mode with slow pulse, kinda like a road hazard light, which draws more power. It'll last for my usual 4-6 hour group night rides, but when new would go a couple of rides between charges. In various pulse/strobe modes it'll last several rides between charges.

My first Hotshot, an SL50, was new/old stock when I bought it. Worked great for a year, then wouldn't hold a charge. Still not bad for around $20, and cheaper than the batteries I'd have replaced over that time, or the good quality NiMH rechargeables I'd have needed. I went through a lot of NiMH AA's as a photographer and with heavy use they're good for about a year before the runtime per charge diminishes.

And Cygolite Hotshot prices tend to be lower than MSRP at REI and elsewhere, so even as disposables they're really good values for 1-3 years. Much lighter than my various AA and AAA battery powered taillights that I use on my heavier hybrids.
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Old 10-14-21, 07:32 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
Yes, at least one rear light should be steady when dark. As an approaching driver it can be hard to track a flashing light especially in the mix of other vehicle lights, it can appear to jump horizontally making it hard to tell if tracking on sidewalk, shoulder/bike lane or shared roadway. So I use a bright steady on post and flasher on helmet when dark.
Yeah this is why I have a steady bright "central light" which is my NiteRider light, a PB super flash as a low "outside" flasher and a small "blinkie" on the back of my helmet. That pattern of three lights is somewhat unique, indicates something sort of narrow and tall... IE, cyclist. But with the steady light, I am easier to see (as you point out) and the PB super flash really draws attention.

Of course none of this will attract the attention of a driver who just isn't looking... who has their head buried in some "important" text message...

But when it does work, I get wide passes, which is fine with me.

Forward looking, I have the NiteRider old 12v halogen system (which has served me quite well all these decades) and a small flashing LED. The flasher forward is little more than a "hey, look at me, I am NOT a motorcycle" light.

Now I no longer bike commute, but this set up served me quite well on busy, distracting, badly back lit San Diego streets, where I would be surrounded by distracting store lights at some stretches, or under a dark highway bridge in other stretches, or crossing poorly lit freeway on-ramps in 50MPH traffic in yet a different stretch... all of the same route. Needing to see, be seen, and stand out against other distracting lighting, was how I came to my lighting choices.

Decades ago I would ride ninja style, with no lighting, in the quieter residential streets... as I could see well enough, hear well enough and notice car headlights long before they knew I was around; but that worked, for that situation. My point is, a different cyclists' lighting needs may be different, and they should plan accordingly for what works for them. There is no "perfect solution."

BTW, that NiteRider system had a "control panel" at the handle bars that allowed me to set the lights to real dim, if I were on a bike path where I did not want to "blind" on-coming cyclists. They don't sell it any more, but I suspect that newer LED systems offer similar options.

Even further back in time, back when bike lights were these flimsy leg strap things or 6w generator things I used 3 Belt Beacons mounted in a triangle pattern, all on flash mode as my rear lights... I even tried an MOB strobe for one area of my commute, where traffic speeds were 50MPH+. Those were indeed the "dark ages" of bicycle lighting.

Last edited by genec; 10-14-21 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 10-14-21, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I know this is beyond the scope of the question and not at all a reasonable price for a tail light, but Garmin's radar light is wonderful.
Not all familiar with that light, but I suspect I have seen it... is it one in which the light flashing rate increases as a motorist gets closer?
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Old 10-14-21, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
I've always used a bit of tape along one edge and then popped off one half of light to change batteries to keep tape in place. I'd only need to replace tape a couple times a year and it solved the falling apart problem. I use rechargeables with a smart charger like Powerex, La Crosse or Opus.
haven't had them fall apart, fall off, yes, & in downpours when commuting I would cover the seam w/ tape to help keep water out. fwiw, good to have something on you, to pry them open, like a coin. either to dry them out inside, or change the batteries
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Old 10-14-21, 11:58 AM
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I'm slowly but surely moving away from battery lights, but the Cygolite Hotshot SL on my fixed-gear is reliable and bright. It's blinding when the battery is fully charged and viewed on-axis so I pretty much always run it at partial brightness.

IMO, bicycle headlights and taillights have gotten as bright as they will ever need to, now the challenge will be improving battery life.
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Old 10-14-21, 09:23 PM
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Thanks for this Thread! I have this theory that even in broad daylight , a flashing tail light increases safety. Well not really tail light...I tie wrapped mine to the back of my helmet. I came to this forum section specifically to post this topic and I found it already started. Thanks again.
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Old 10-14-21, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
Not all familiar with that light, but I suspect I have seen it... is it one in which the light flashing rate increases as a motorist gets closer?
I've ridden with one for a couple years now, but never with anyone else who has one, so I've never actually seen this first hand. I think the blink rate is based on the car's speed as it approaches you? In any case it's to call attention to your safety. I leave mine in solid mode otherwise.

I don't do group rides, I ride with friends though. Mary has a GPS watch, she paired it to my tail light and gets warnings too when we ride together. 🙂
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Old 10-15-21, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by AJW2W11E View Post
Thanks for this Thread! I have this theory that even in broad daylight , a flashing tail light increases safety. Well not really tail light...I tie wrapped mine to the back of my helmet. I came to this forum section specifically to post this topic and I found it already started. Thanks again.
cool! how do you mount it?
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Old 10-15-21, 10:37 AM
  #48  
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I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Exposure lights in this thread. I know they're on the expensive side, but I also know that they're well-regarded.
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Old 10-15-21, 10:58 AM
  #49  
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Great discussion and the lights change in brightness and quality every few months. Long ago we strapped a flashlight with two C size batteries on our left leg and hopped for the best. Recently I passed a group of road cyclists outside of Austin Texas. Conditions were good but it was a dark stretch of dark road. The group of about 12 had various lights on thier bikes. The brightest lights were on point and tail. What impressed me most was the effectiveness of the few that were wearing Reflective Vests...
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Old 10-16-21, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
IMO, bicycle headlights and taillights have gotten as bright as they will ever need to, now the challenge will be improving battery life.
And make mounting more flexible and secure, which really shouldn't be so hard.
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