Buying front lights ( for bike & helmet ) @ <= £100 each

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bigmike7
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Buying front lights ( for bike & helmet ) @ <= £100 each

Postby Bigmike7 » 19 Dec 2019, 11:44am

I need to buy 2 front lights. One to go on my helmet and one for the bike. I dont want lights that charge from a usb as I dont fancy carrying a computer with me when i am touring. I am wanting lights that uses ordinary batteries and are very bright. I would appreciate any advice on this topic

pwa
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Re: front light

Postby pwa » 19 Dec 2019, 12:07pm

How much are you willing to spend?

rfryer
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Re: front light

Postby rfryer » 19 Dec 2019, 12:13pm

Are you looking for sensible beam
patterns for road use, or retina-seering power for off-road?

Hopefully not retina-seering power for on-road!

Bigmike7
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Re: front light

Postby Bigmike7 » 19 Dec 2019, 12:48pm

thanks for the replies I am prepared to spend around £100 each I would go higher for something really good. I do road touring and general road cycling not off road.

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gaz
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Re: front light

Postby gaz » 19 Dec 2019, 5:36pm


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The utility cyclist
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Re: front light

Postby The utility cyclist » 19 Dec 2019, 6:20pm

People bought these when they were in LIDL https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Crivit-Led-B ... SwhdZaXmtr, there was a charging internal battery type and the one in the link is a battery operated job, the 40Lux should be fine for most situations to over 20mph on a completely unlit road, I tend to use the lower settings most of the time.
Run time will depend on the quality of the batteries, i use Fujitsu rechargeable's and love them.

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TrevA
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Re: front light

Postby TrevA » 19 Dec 2019, 6:23pm

You can charge USB lights with a USB adapted mains plug , such as those that come with new Apple iPhones/iPads/iPods. You don’t need to carry a computer to charge them, just the plug and the cable.

If you want battery lights, then there are many Cateye rear lights that use AA or AAA batteries that are very bright. Front lights are a bit more limited but the B&M Ixon IQ can be used with non-rechargeable batteries. I have both B&M and Cateye lights and they are good enough for riding on dark country lanes at night. The Ixon has a specially shaped beam that won’t dazzle drivers, but is still good to see by.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
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roubaixtuesday
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Re: front light

Postby roubaixtuesday » 19 Dec 2019, 6:27pm

Not sure why you're against usb charged lights.

In my experience, *if* you get quality ones (li ion batteries) they're far more reliable than battery charged as they lack the leakage points.

If you change your mind on that, I'd recommend exposure in your price range.

The Sirius is a good front light and the link is a combined front/ rear helmet light.

I've an exposure lights used daily through winter for nearly a decade, still going strong.

rfryer
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Re: front light

Postby rfryer » 19 Dec 2019, 6:42pm

TrevA wrote:... but the B&M Ixon IQ can be used with non-rechargeable batteries.

It is also an excellent light with rechargeable batteries!

I like battery lights because it's very easy to carry a set of spare batteries, none of the worry about what happens if the batteries run out. So far, they never have, despite the light being really quite bright.

nigelnightmare
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Re: front light

Postby nigelnightmare » 19 Dec 2019, 11:27pm

You can use a "powerbank" to charge USB lights. :roll:
Even if you did carry a laptop around you'd only be using it as a glorified battery pack.

Some USB lights can be powered by an external battery pack so you could have a 6 cell 18650 pack and not worry about running it all night long.

pwa
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Re: front light

Postby pwa » 20 Dec 2019, 7:11am

Some USB / plug in at the wall lights can be set to give you quite a lot of light but still run for 7 hours or so. And they can be supplemented by an extra plug-in-the-back battery (bought separately) to extend that. My favourite brand for this sort of light is Exposure. They make some very expensive lights, very well made and long lasting, but this one will have all the light you need:

https://www.evanscycles.com/exposure-si ... n-EV369517

It does not have a shaped beam so you will have to make sure you point it down a bit, and don't use it on road on the highest setting. It would be antisocial if you ignored either of those two things. Used responsibly it will give you very long run times and it will create a broad, smooth pool of light that will light up dark lanes pretty will. And off the bike it makes a good hand torch.

For a less powerful light with a shaped beam (makes a shape on the road and leaves areas outside that shape unlit) for easier use without blinding oncoming traffic, this light often gets mentioned:

https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/lighting/bu ... ont-light/

Takes AAs, so satisfies your battery requirements, but there are reports of battery changing being fiddly. I'm not clear if the particular version linked to comes with rechargeables installed, but I believe you can switch to disposables if circumstances make that better.

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gaz
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Re: front light

Postby gaz » 20 Dec 2019, 12:26pm

pwa wrote:I'm not clear if the particular version linked to comes with rechargeables installed, but I believe you can switch to disposables if circumstances make that better.

sjs link wrote:Supplied with 4 NiMH batteries without memory effect and charger

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RickH
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Re: front light

Postby RickH » 20 Dec 2019, 2:32pm

Bigmike7 wrote:I dont want lights that charge from a usb as I dont fancy carrying a computer with me when i am touring.

You can get "wall wart" chargers with up to 4 USB ports (example) & ones with a power lead with 6, or more, ports.

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andrew_s
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Re: front light

Postby andrew_s » 20 Dec 2019, 5:14pm

For battery lights, there are 4 options...

a) Standard AA, which may be rechargeable.
You'd normally just carry a spare set and swap batteries if required. On tour, a battery charger (and its wall wart) cat take up more space than you'd like. You can also share spares with other things (like a GPS)

b) separate lithium 18650 cells
You can carry spares but you would need to use a proper case - they have enough oomph to set things on fire if they are shorted.
You can get 18650 cells that charge directly from a micro-USB lead so there needn't be much extra to carry. On the down side, you won't be able to easily get any replacements on tour.

c) Built-in lithium, won't run from an external supply.
If they run flat, they are unusable until at least partly recharged, which takes a while.

d) Built-in lithium, will run from an external supply.
If they run low, you can plug in a USB power bank.
Note that USB plugs/sockets aren't waterproof, and being run whilst there's water in the socket can wreck the socket. Cables are easily replaceable, but a dead socket would mean a new light.

Think about what you want, and check light specifications (to separate c & d) first.

As noted, a USB plug needn't take up much space, and would be smaller than what you'd need for charging AAs.
This is the most packable I know of: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mu-Portable-Ch ... 07V9WFY56/

From hearsay, the problem with the Ixon IQ is that the supplied charger, which works with the batteries in place, charges all 4 on one channel and isn't that good for the batteries, but if you routinely take them out to charge in a good 4-channel charger, the clip on the battery compartment lid is vulnerable. It's probably best to mix and match - i.e. take them out for charging one time in 5, or thereabouts.
(I'm a dynamo person, mainly)

Bigmike7
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Re: front light

Postby Bigmike7 » 20 Dec 2019, 6:07pm

Many thanks to all who have taken the time to reply. I am very grateful.