View Full Version : What Do You Use For Lights And Reflectors?

08-15-2006, 04:33 PM
I recently started riding my bike to work/back. I go in early, 5AM-ish, so it is dark. Later in the year it'll be dark when I return home. So, lighting, reflectivity and general safety are on my mind.

What do you night-time bike commuters use for lights, reflectors, etc? Do you use a helmet-mounted headlight or taillight, or a bike-mounted? Any reflective clothing or tape?

08-16-2006, 02:34 PM
Front - Handlebar mounted Cygolite, with battery pack in a water bottle cage. If it's a really low visibility morning, I might attach my small single LED headlamp to my helmet on blink mode.

Rear - Bike mounted red flasher, and red flasher on my commuter bag. With both flashing, they are out of sequence; it's been suggested to me that this helps draw even more attention.

Reflector - Rain jacket has semi-reflective sleeves, and commuter bag is semi-reflective.

Good luck out there!

08-18-2006, 10:29 AM
I also have the Cygolight headlight attached to my handlebars. It's got high beam/low beam capabilities, which I really LOVE. On the Night Ride, I got lots of compliments about the strength of the beam on the low setting.

I have two rear blinking lights that don't blink with any sort of rhythm.

I have left the reflectors on the bike that came with the bike: one mounted on the front spokes, one mounted on the rear spokes, on one the handlebars, one on the seatpost. And on the pedals, they're flat on one side and clippy on the other. :) Since I'm a clippy novice! :)

I have a vest with reflective stripes on it, and generally try to wear light colored clothing. My shoes also have reflective bits.

I've also got relfective stick-ons to use if I don't think I've got enough visibility. I haven't used them yet, I'm still considering where to put them on my bike for the best reflectivity.

Has anyone tried out the clothing with that Illumalite fabric?? If so, do you like it, does it work, are they comfortable, and do you need to take special care in cleaning it?

08-19-2006, 09:31 AM
One of the reasons I bought the bike I did (a Breezer) was the lighting setup that came standard on the bike from the factory. The front hub is a generator that powers a headlight and a taillight. The lights will stay on for about 2 minutes after the wheel has stopped rolling. They give out very good light. The front light has a setting so it stays on as long as you're riding, which is where I usually keep it. I appreciate not having to worry about batteries or even remembering to turn them on.

I also have a red, rear helmet light. I don't have as much reflective clothing as I'd like, but I'm budgeting for future acquisitions. Until then, I wear light colored clothing at night.

08-21-2006, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the ideas, everyone.

I currently have a NightSun XC dual light on the handlebar and a single blinking tailight on the seatpost. The NightSun throws lots of light but it's still just a small "point" source.

I think I'll put a second headlight and blinking tailight on my helmet. I like the idea of being able to waggle my helmet light to get drivers' attention. I also never thought of the "out of rhythm" effect of two blinking tailights, sounds like a great idea.

I'm also thinking of mounting a 12VDC auto horn to the bike and powering it off the NightSun's 12VDC battery with a momentary thumbswitch. I can't imagine drivers with windows closed, radio and defrost on, wipers going, will hear my polite little bicycle "tinkle bell".

As for reflectors, there are none on my bike so I guess I'll look for reflective tape or pinstriping. From the side, my headlight and taillight aren't going to be particularly visible.

Matt P.
08-25-2006, 11:58 AM
Nite Rider Trail Rat on the front, plus an additional white "blinkie". 2 Red LED lights on back. I usually wear an orange vest with reflective tape as well.

09-23-2006, 01:36 AM
What a joke. $30 not well spent. The rear red/amber light is actually good in that it's fairly visible and has three modes. solid then two different blinking red/amber modes.

The front "quad" head light doesn't do much. I don't know what I was thinking. It does throw a fair amount of light for being powered by 4 AA's. I can see the spot on the road ahead of me but that's only good when your idling along. at 30+ it's just a trinket. Also the lens of the front light glares up into my line of sight at dawn/dusk and is somewhat distracting so I took a piece of tape and put it over the top edge.

I will get another front light at least but will do my homework this time.

09-23-2006, 08:41 AM
i attached my front light to my helmet by wrapping with packing tape through the vents. now i can aim it directly at cars if i don't think they see me, and i can scan the road directly in front of me if i'm on a dark street. i can point it at whatever i want. hooray.