Bicycle light for night use

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LiveFree
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Joined: 25 Mar 2019, 3:57pm

Bicycle light for night use

Postby LiveFree » 25 Oct 2019, 11:12am

Hello all-

Just a quick question to do with bicycle lighting: I am in need of a front light for night time riding; this will often involve cycling down totally unlit country lanes where it really is DARK! Its been a long time since I bought a bicycle light: all this talk of Lumens etc is a bit beyond me! Obviously, I understand the concepts- more is brighter! But, I am not aiming to blind every oncoming driver, just be able to see the road ahead in the dark so I don't end up hitting any pot-holes and ending up buttock over tit! I have a feeling that all this very high lumen battle might just be another marketing scam as with so many things these days to do with technology: "my light has more lumens than yours etc etc." I just want to be able to see the road and be seen- not light up the whole county :lol: Any suggestions folks? I would really prefer a light that has replaceable batteries- even if they are li-ion batteries, as I am not a fan of throw away products at all.

I guess I am also asking how many lumen is enough for the purpose I have described.

Many thanks and happy cycling to you all :D
Last edited by LiveFree on 25 Oct 2019, 11:23am, edited 1 time in total.

Icsunonove
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby Icsunonove » 25 Oct 2019, 11:20am


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mjr
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby mjr » 25 Oct 2019, 11:38am

Lumens are nonsense, a measure of the theoretical amount of light produced which can be wasted by bad lenses and reflectors. Who cares how much light is shot into the sky?

I look for lux measurements, which the German StVZO requires to be measured at a set point on the road ahead. I ride dark lanes with 30 lux, others prefer 40, 60 or 80. Then you just have to worry that the beam is wide enough for you.
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Darkman
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby Darkman » 25 Oct 2019, 1:08pm

LiveFree wrote:Its been a long time since I bought a bicycle light
Been looking at them myself recently, and that sentence made me smile, because I thought about the last time I bought bike lights which has got to be over 30 years ago.

They were about 3/4 the size of a house-brick, with one tiny little bulb in, and about a four-inch reflector in an attempt to get any sort of worthwhile illumination out of it. They were powered by a pair of type-D batteries. Those things were bloody huge but even so, they didn't run the bulb for more than a couple of hours at best. And you still couldn't see where you were going.

Thank God for modern technology!

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gaz
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby gaz » 25 Oct 2019, 1:40pm

Icsunonove wrote:Something like this?:
https://www.rosebikes.co.uk/b-m-ixon-iq ... e=Standard

IMO (to meet the OPs spec) that's the best of the current bunch.
2020 - To redundancy ... and beyond!

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andrew_s
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby andrew_s » 25 Oct 2019, 3:35pm

LiveFree wrote:this will often involve cycling down totally unlit country lanes where it really is DARK!

You actually need less light on very dark country lanes that you do when it's not so dark.
Your eyes get used to the dark and see better, and your lights stand out really well to other road users against the surrounding blackness.

As well as being able to see the road adequately, you also get to see something of the surrounding countryside, so you are less likely to be taken by surprise by a sudden hill, can recognize where you are, or whatever.
If your lights are too bright, you'll see nothing whatsoever that isn't in their beam, and there reaches a point at which your eyes just adjust to the extra light and you don't see any extra.

The suggested Ixon IQ Premium is fine, and better than a lot in that it doesn't usually dazzle other road users.

If you are intending to cycle at night regularly for a long period, you'd be better off with a dynohub and a Cyo Premium.
This is essentially the same light as the Ixon, but runs on full brightness for as long as you want to ride, without needing to be taken off the bike at stops, remembered, charged or whatever. Just like a car, if you want light, you've got it.
There's a cost to the setup, but once you've got it the ongoing costs are zero (apart from the temptation to upgrade).

With battery lights, there's often a reluctance to use them when you ought to in poor daylight (fog, heavy rain, near dusk etc), even supposing the light isn't still at home, and they often spend a fair bit of the time set below maximum brightness out of run time concerns

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby [XAP]Bob » 25 Oct 2019, 3:37pm

LiveFree wrote:Hello all-

Just a quick question to do with bicycle lighting: I am in need of a front light for night time riding; this will often involve cycling down totally unlit country lanes where it really is DARK! Its been a long time since I bought a bicycle light: all this talk of Lumens etc is a bit beyond me! Obviously, I understand the concepts- more is brighter! But, I am not aiming to blind every oncoming driver, just be able to see the road ahead in the dark so I don't end up hitting any pot-holes and ending up buttock over tit! I have a feeling that all this very high lumen battle might just be another marketing scam as with so many things these days to do with technology: "my light has more lumens than yours etc etc." I just want to be able to see the road and be seen- not light up the whole county :lol: Any suggestions folks? I would really prefer a light that has replaceable batteries- even if they are li-ion batteries, as I am not a fan of throw away products at all.

I guess I am also asking how many lumen is enough for the purpose I have described.

Many thanks and happy cycling to you all :D



Don't forget to consider a dynamo option - then it really isn't a throwaway product.
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peetee
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby peetee » 25 Oct 2019, 7:19pm

While it is undoubtedly true that a good light for country lanes should have a beam that concentrates it's light on the road from a safety perspective a bit of stray light can make you visible to oncoming vehicles in time to minimise the risk of conflict. Many lanes are used by motorists at too high a speed. They drive in a manner that assumes the road is clear until they see headlight beams of an oncoming vehicle in the gloom. The ever improving dynamics of vehicles makes these speeds higher and higher year on year.
An additional high intensity light aimed at the hedge and located in a position where it can be easily switched off to prevent dazzle might well save you a lot of grief.
Years ago when commuting through lanes I felt excessively vulnerable until I bought a Smart twin beam light set. The dipped beam was more than adequate. The main beam came in to its own when I was faced with a motorist that didn't dip their headlights. On it came and off came theirs. Gave me a great deal of satisfaction that did. Touche Mr l'auto.
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CyclingGuy
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby CyclingGuy » 25 Oct 2019, 7:32pm

I use this light from Amazon - https://amzn.to/2OX9VoC

Powerful, variable beam and decent battery life (3hrs on the low setting, 1.5hrs on the highest).

I use it on the highest setting for off-road night riding, and on the lowest setting for country lane night riding. Also, it's cheap enough that I bought a second one so that I could have a spare battery if I needed it.
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Sweep
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby Sweep » 25 Oct 2019, 8:44pm

gaz wrote:
Icsunonove wrote:Something like this?:
https://www.rosebikes.co.uk/b-m-ixon-iq ... e=Standard

IMO (to meet the OPs spec) that's the best of the current bunch.

+1 to that, having used it on night rides.
Am sure it will meet the OP's needs.
I suggest buying two sets of Ikea's AA 2450 low self discharge batteries and an intelligent charger - that will be another £30 but many folk spend way more than that on a useless blinder with a built in battery that will be heading for landfill.
Sweep

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Sweep
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby Sweep » 25 Oct 2019, 8:48pm

CyclingGuy wrote:I use this light from Amazon - https://amzn.to/2OX9VoC

Powerful, variable beam and decent battery life (3hrs on the low setting, 1.5hrs on the highest).

I use it on the highest setting for off-road night riding, and on the lowest setting for country lane night riding. Also, it's cheap enough that I bought a second one so that I could have a spare battery if I needed it.

that's a low run time. You aren't going to be riding THROUGH a night with that.
Sweep

gazza_d
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby gazza_d » 26 Oct 2019, 7:55am

As someone else commented. A dynamo hub and front light. Rear as well possibly.

Dynamos suit any budget. You can buy ready built 700c wheels from Decathlon or somewhere like Taylor wheels for £30 which will be perfectly serviceable and long lasting. SP and SON make lighter dynos than Shimano but pricier. Personally I run the cheap shimanos and they're fine
As for lights look at Lux not lumens. The front lights I have are 75 with a rear light connected, and they are ace. Without a rear they're 95lux
B+M make a variety of great lights, or look at Herrmans. Buy from germany as they'll be a ot cheaper and a better range than UK.
Dynamos take away any battery anxiety. They are secure cos bolted to the bike, so no having to remember to take them off if you leave the bike.
They will transform your night time cycling, and will also meet your desire for products that last. Making free electricity as you ride along is about as eco as you can get

yostumpy
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby yostumpy » 26 Oct 2019, 8:01am

Agree about the ixon IQ , had one for years, mine used rechargeable, with a dedicated plug in charger, saved the faff of removing the cells. But std AA cells could be used. A very good std output, and press the button again , and it ramps up to a VERY bright light, very good bean pattern, no dazzle. But...... 2 things , no 3. If you mount the light on the bars, and ride out of the saddle uphill, the cut away lens means you get a lot of upward glare. This I remedied but making a 'peaked cap' for it, out of a lid from a can of GT 85 lube. Secondly the opening catch / hinge mechanisms are not very robust, and I resorted to zip ties. Lastly they tend to break free from their mounting bracket sometimes, if large potholes are hit, but not that often. In all a good light, but mine went in the bin six months ago. ( prob 10 years old)

yostumpy
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby yostumpy » 26 Oct 2019, 8:05am

Ps. Would agree tho, that should night time riding be a regular 'necessity' then go dynamo, but always carry a spare small lamp as well, for visits , and any other mechanicals.

David9694
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Re: Bicycle light for night use

Postby David9694 » 26 Oct 2019, 9:40am

The good -ish news about cars is that in the quiet and the dark you get a lot more warning of their approach and they’re apt to be cautious around you when they don’t know where the edges of the road are.

I would recommend having both dynohub and battery options. Germany takes the whole thing much more seriously and this shows in the products available. Dynohubs and the lights are not cheap and are reliant on fiddly wires and connectors; batteries can run out on you, but replacements are in Poundland.

Get a front/rear helmet light, get handlebar ends lights, light-up ankle bands. Obscure members of the Emmerdale cast will attempt to switch you on as you’ll be looking like the Christmas illuminations of a small town.