Suggestions for lights

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UncleChris
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Joined: 7 Apr 2011, 5:34pm

Suggestions for lights

Postby UncleChris » 12 Sep 2011, 9:24pm

I didn't know whether to plonk this here or in the tecchy section but I went for this because 90% of my cycling is done on the road. Feel free to shift it if it's better elsewhere.

Anyway, lights. I bought my Claud Butler Regent touring bike in Apr and have ridden it endlessly during the sumer months, including a month in France, successfully rekindling my old passion for cycling. I don't want the dark evenings and mornings to put me off though so I'm happy to spend a bit more than the average on decent front and rear lights. I did read one review which said it's easy to buy rear lights than can be seen from half a mile away!! Surely not??!! :shock:

My only requirements are high visibility due to fast and windy roads nearby, easy assembly and easy to fix to the bike and a front light that won't get in the way considering I have drop handlebars and usually a smallish handlebar bag.

Cheers folks! :D

delport
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Joined: 1 Jan 2011, 9:16am
Location: hampshire

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby delport » 12 Sep 2011, 10:00pm

For a rear light i have smart lunar, this may be the 1/2 mile light you are talking about, as that is it's quoted working distance.I'm happy with my one anyway, i also have a cateye rear light, but i don't really need 2 bright rear lights at one time.I dazzle people with just that 1.
http://www.thebikelightshop.co.uk/Smart ... htSet.aspx
It states 1 mile visible distance, i never noticed that.
"The super bright rear 1/2 watt red LED with two additional LEDs can be seen from up to a mile away"

You can do a lot better for a front light than what is on offer on that page, i linked to it simply to show the rear light.You can expect about 16 hours run time on rechargeables i find.And the light keeps it's brightness well throughout the 16 hours.

charlieboy
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Joined: 27 Sep 2010, 7:29pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby charlieboy » 12 Sep 2011, 10:22pm

I bought a Dinotte rear light 2 years ago, a great buy. Others will say it is too bright or indeed illegal but I am quite happy with something resembling a fog light at the back which is visible from at least half a mile in brilliant sunshine; not that I have checked out a night distance but its a lot, lot further than that. One friend cycling behind me in daytime only half jokingly expresssed concerns about retinal burns. It is American, not mass market Jappo crappo plastic trash and runs off a lithium ion battery unlike all other rear lights I have seen available in UK. Costs about £150 but how much is your life worth. One possibly legitimate concern is some chicken plucker escaping justice after wiping me out with a defence that he was dazzled with my illegal light but quite frankly the only concern I have is avoiding getting rear ended in the first place and this weapon seems to me to make that a far less likely scenario.

gilesjuk
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby gilesjuk » 12 Sep 2011, 10:24pm

For low hassle I went for dynohub and Supernova E3 pro front with the Supernova rear light.

Before that I used my MTB lights, Ayups which are really well thought out and reliable.

http://www.ayup-lights.com/

The rear lights are all pretty powerful, but the daddy is the Dinotte 400R, a 300 lumen rear light:

http://www.dinottelighting.com/LED_bike ... llight.htm

Video :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElnMZNOH2mg

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squeaker
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Location: Sussex

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby squeaker » 13 Sep 2011, 10:42am

Several other threads on 'lights' running on here recently - try 'Search' ;)
"42"

Tonyf33
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Joined: 17 Nov 2007, 3:31pm
Location: Letchworth N.Herts

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby Tonyf33 » 13 Sep 2011, 11:22pm

Think any of the 1/2 watt rear lights are fine, buy a pair have one flashing & one on solid.
These have twox1/2watts on the same unit http://www.parkersofbolton.co.uk/p-2111 ... light.aspx

More complicated decision is the front light.
So many options and much could depend on how much run time you want, ease of fitment/removal, power output for your personal needs.

iviehoff
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Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby iviehoff » 14 Sep 2011, 12:40pm

Whatever you go for, have a little thought about reliability and its consequences. Many bicycle lights, whether dynamo or battery have unreliabilities. Dyno lights can fail ot work because of a hard-to-find bad contact, or a blown component, or a vandal breaking it (yes it happened to me). Battery lights can fail to work because the battery is flat (accidentally switched on in bag), some hard-to-find internal bad contact, or because they fall off the bracket and the lorry behind you crushes it (yet it happened to me). Bicycle lights of all kinds tend to be rather unreliable, whether due to inherent error or operator error.

I cycle on a very dark, narrow lane with no footway for about half a mile twice a day, and not having working lights strikes me as a very unpleasant situation to be in. I wouldn't walk along that road full stop, and certainly not at night without a light. That is why I insist on having two independent lighting systems, one with batteries and one without batteries. I have chosen to use Reelights as the battery-less component, as they are (nearly) no friction and rather cheaper than other low friction system such as dynohubs. Since they aren't bright enough to see by, and are a bit more unreliable than some other systems, that means that they are the back-up, the main lights are the battery lights: I have a fairly expensive superbright battery LED front light, I only need to change th ebatteries every few months. If I was happier to leave a more valuable bicycle at the station, I could have gone for dynohubs as main light, plus some very cheap battery LEDs as the back-up.

SleepyJoe
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Joined: 30 Sep 2010, 12:16pm
Location: North Devon

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby SleepyJoe » 14 Sep 2011, 4:49pm

As said above, if you are regularly commuting or using your bike at night. having more than 1 set of independent lights is a good idea. You never know when your batteries, lights or bracket will fail. Been there, done that!
Personally I run three sets of lights front and back
Brightest set are homemade 12V LED's based on MR16 or MR11 bulbs & a heavy lead acid battery (my 'see the road' lights)
Back up lights are bright, AA/AAA battery LED's (good visibility to other people- run in flashing mode)
Emergency lights are an old set of cheap AA/AAA battery LED's (flashing mode, reasonable visibility to other people)
I have also mounted the lights at different heights in an attempt to become more visible.
This year, I am getting paranoid and also carry a headtorch with white or red LED's in as well.
I must look like a Christmas Tree, but I like to be seen!

Mark

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby reohn2 » 14 Sep 2011, 8:53pm

I'll take the opportunity to trot out my usual reccomendation at this time of year regarding rear lights.
Have an LED on "steady"(on all the time) fixed to the bike,as a supplimentary light have another red one on flash, on a band around the right arm just above the elbow facing rearward,you'll get plenty of room from motorists :D
They needn't be expensive ones either most LED's are quite bright :) .
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

UncleChris
Posts: 32
Joined: 7 Apr 2011, 5:34pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby UncleChris » 15 Sep 2011, 8:15am

Thanks everybody. I've chosen a set - the Cateye HL-EL320 and TL-LD610. They came in a set, were half price ( :D ) and look compact enough to squeeze on anywhere, a key consideration when I'm touring rather than commuting or on day rides. I also have a head torch somewhere I'll dig out. Thanks again for the responses folks, big help. I note the advice about having alternatives to hand as well!

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hondated
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Location: Eastbourne

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby hondated » 18 Sep 2011, 7:57pm

Still related to the subject but in a different vein every time I go into a Poundland I thinkof all of the idiots I see cycling without lights and placing themselves in danger as you can buy a set in there, no proble.
OK they may not be the best for illuminationbut they have to be better than riding without.

gilesjuk
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Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby gilesjuk » 18 Sep 2011, 8:51pm

Saw some lad with just a rear light earlier, I could barely see him as I was walking up the road.

There's some lights for sale in ASDA on the JML stand, they're about £8 for two and aren't bad as a second set of flashers.

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Cunobelin
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Joined: 6 Feb 2007, 7:22pm

Re: Suggestions for lights

Postby Cunobelin » 18 Sep 2011, 8:59pm

charlieboy wrote:I bought a Dinotte rear light 2 years ago, a great buy. Others will say it is too bright or indeed illegal but I am quite happy with something resembling a fog light at the back which is visible from at least half a mile in brilliant sunshine; not that I have checked out a night distance but its a lot, lot further than that. ......(snipped)


I run a pair of Dinottes on the rear!

My response to the "legality" is to run a small Cateye RVLR compliant light to meet the requiremets and the Dinottes are merely a backup!