View Full Version : Lights?

10-08-2008, 09:18 AM
Seems you can spend a fortune on these little babies but saftey is key.
I read about one you can recharge on your computer. Anyone have any feedback on this. Seems like a great idea to avoid the commute home with a low battery.

10-08-2008, 09:42 AM
I agree, seems to be a racket. I am working on cheaper solutions:

Light should be here this week, I will keep that thread updated.

10-08-2008, 11:27 AM
...you never stop with just one.

I went with cheap battery operated lights for years. For a relatively low initial investment, you can get a really nice "blinkie" that can get you home in a pinch. Carry extra batteries.

Since I went car light about a year ago, I've delved (back) into the realm of rechargeable batteries. I just gave away my 10 watt halogen NiCad system to my daughter last week. The battery was about the size and weight of a Ford Focus, but the light had a nice spread and was reliable.

My current generation of lights are the LED variety, all from NiteRider. I started with the MiNewt on the handlebars, and concluded it wasn't quite enough. I got a second one and mounted it on my helmet, and the combination of the two is sufficient for the darker parts of my commutes.

I've recently invested in a TriNewt. The battery is huge (you ain't dangling that baby from your helmet), but the light output is astounding: approximately 750 lumens compared to the 175 from each of the MiNewts.

I've kept the other lights as well (wanna see my tattoos? :D), so I run about 1000 lumens off the front now.

Don't forget your rear as well. I have a Blackburn strapped to my RoadID anklet, and a second Blackburn as well as the obligatory Planet Bike Superflash on the rear of my tail bag. The light on the anklet gives the characteristic "up and down" motion of a cyclist's pedaling motion, thereby adding a kinetic aspect to my rear lighting.
Seems you can spend a fortune on these little babies but saftey is key.
I read about one you can recharge on your computer. Anyone have any feedback on this. Seems like a great idea to avoid the commute home with a low battery.

10-08-2008, 07:29 PM
For the most bang for the buck, you'll be much better off looking into a flashlight and bike mount. The tactical flashlight market is about one to two years ahead of bike market technology and pricing. Tactical flashlight market? Huge. Think military/police/security/self-defense industrial complex. Bike lights? Itty-bitty little niche market.

Pick up something like a Fenix P3d on Amazon for $65 w/ free shipping. Puts out 215 lumens. Get some rechargeable Li-ion CR123As and charger from batteryspace for $25. For two lights and rechargeables you'll lay out $150 and you'll have 430 lumens, versus $300 for the TriNewt that Niterider rates at 485 lumens. If you want to try for something even cheaper, go to ebay and search for "Cree LED." There's a ton of low-priced knockoffs, and if you're lucky you'll get a satisfactory 200 lumen flashlight for $20. Make your own mount w/ o-rings, and you'll have 400 lumens for $75.

10-09-2008, 07:40 AM
Flashlights and bike mounts? (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2149) :D

For bang for the buck, I'd say something in a 2AA form w/ rechargables. Many flashlights of this caliber will run a few hours. If this is too short for a round trip, keep a spare charger at work. Otherwise, you have the flexibility to drop by any convenience store along the way and pick up alkalines for the rest of the ride home. Good luck, and happy riding!

10-13-2008, 09:02 PM
My bike came with a battery powered rear light and one of those old fashioned friction powered generator front lights, which of course adds a bit of drag. Plus it's mounted down on the wheel, the better to see potholes and other obstacles in the road, but not so hot for being seen by drivers. The other night I was riding down 21st (I think) near Clinton and a parallel parked car pulled out right in front of me. I swerved and was about to yell, of course, but I realized that if the driver was looking in her rearview mirror, it's possible that she wouldnt' have seen my low-mounted front light. So decided to wear an old clip on flasher on my helmet, but then I remembered I also had one of those waterproof REI head lights -- the kind you wear on your head. It's good and makes me very visible but is a little heavy and makes my head a little sweatier when it's warm. So I found a way to mount it on my handlebars just by looping the straps twice up and around it.

First I worried that it might slip down but no, it holds very snugly, and since it's on an adjustable bracket, I can swivel it up or down as needed -- up when cars are nigh, down when I don't want to use the wheelmounted friction light. And I can fix it to my removable front basket just as quickly. That was my second worry -- I didn't want to be fiddling with it when getting on and off the bike in the rain. but it turns out it's actually faster to attach it than my old clip on handlebar light: twice up and around and it's snug. It even looks pretty good, not like a makeshift job at all. (helps that bike and light and strap are all black.) And of course if I decide for some reason that I really need to wear it as a headlamp (besides when I'm going camping of course, which is what it's really made for -- you can set up your tent hands free), I still can.

It's a pretty old model so I don't even know if REI makes it anymore. And admittedly it's pretty small and not too bright, but it's plenty bright enough for car drivers to see me. I can use rechargeable AA batteries for it. if anyone really cares let me know and I"ll post a photo of how I attach it.

10-13-2008, 10:58 PM
Depends on your needs
- Visibility in traffic
- Actual light to see by on dark roads / trails

For visibility I'm happy with the Planet Bike Blaze

10-14-2008, 10:18 AM
From (http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.php?p=7662239&postcount=2) another forum covering this topic:

It's like the 'mutually assured destruction' doctrine of the cold war era. the only way to counteract bright lights is with even brighter lights of your own.... these days if you're not putting out over 1,000 lumens you're not even in the game.

10-14-2008, 10:34 AM
You might want to check out this thread (http://bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1270) on the subject.


10-19-2008, 01:41 PM
My entire lighting system is homebrew. I have had poor experience with expensive kits.

I have two HID lights (10 and 30 watts); three 1 watt high intensity Luxeon LED's for a led headlight and three 1 att high intensity Luxeon LED's for a taillight. This is in addition to the multi colored LED's and fiber optic light pipes that I have attatched to the frame for extra visibility.

I have just put some pictures up in the Wikipedia article on bicycle lighting.

The entire system cost me just about as much as a single 10 watt HID light kit that I purchased at a local bike shop that blew out after one year.