Author Topic: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...  (Read 5046 times)

Jimbo

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Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« on: July 26, 2013, 10:45:43 AM »
Hi guys!

I am starting to shop for bike lights because I want to be ready for the fall and want to take into account the massive delivery time from Deal Xtreme (if required...). Please note I know nothing about bike lights, and thus very well could be asking stupid questions.

I reviewed MMM's article on the subject, but there just seems to be too many conflicting opinions.

Here are my desires towards my lamps:

1) High intensity (anything over 300-400 Lumen seems to be enough, from what I gather)
2) Front (white) + rear (red)
3) As little wiring as possible
4) As little weight as possible
5) USB rechargeable unless this implies more wiring or weight (but I tend to think it would not?...)
6) Include the mounts
7) Around 30$ per, for a total of 60$ budget. This is flexible, but I am shooting for the best on my wish list.

I found this to be interesting for the front light:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005WPFVPC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3VMMWDEYLLHBU

but I am afraid it will be bulky with the battery pack. There is a battery pack attached right? It doesnt even show it, which seems so dishonest to me...

Do you have any suggestions? Feel very free to provide links... Also, please mention stuff that fits my criteria! Unless you think they are impossible to attain. I don't care what you have if it doesnt fit my criteria. Sorry.  Plenty of those in the article's comments...

Eric

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 11:03:42 AM »
I have this set.  It's $15 for the pair.  They're bright, lightweight, come with the brackets, easy to install, and either blink or stay constant.  I've been very happy with them.

http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Blinky-Safety-Bicycle/dp/B000QSXMME/ref=sr_1_6?s=cycling&ie=UTF8&qid=1374857990&sr=1-6

Jimbo

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 11:26:09 AM »
Hmm, ok, but as stated in the original message, I am looking for something with lighting capacity.

As I said, there is no need to state what you own if it doesn't fit the criteria.

I am also surprised that such cheap lights which can be found anywhere would be 15$. I would not pay that much for glorified reflectors.

Eric

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 11:48:28 AM »
Hmm, ok, but as stated in the original message, I am looking for something with lighting capacity.

As I said, there is no need to state what you own if it doesn't fit the criteria.

I am also surprised that such cheap lights which can be found anywhere would be 15$. I would not pay that much for glorified reflectors.

Okay.  I was just trying to help.  If you didn't think it helped, then feel free to ignore it.  Also, please don't be a dick about it, as that's not the best way to attract others to post.  Good luck!

Jimbo

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 11:53:24 AM »
Or by starting a flame war on the thread?...

No I am kidding, sorry to be a bit hard on you, it's just I specified I was not really interested in people's setup in the OP. If you go to the MMM article related to this, it makes for about half the comments and I was trying to avoid that.

Cheers!

ghatko

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2013, 11:57:51 AM »
1) High intensity (anything over 300-400 Lumen seems to be enough, from what I gather)

Does it really need to be that bright? I haven't done much biking in the dark, and I'm not an expert, but I think this light from MEC looks pretty good, and for <$20.
http://www.mec.ca/product/5028-137/mec-quattro-usb-white-led-front-light/

I believe I have the less powerful Plasma version (10 lumens instead of 90), and it has been fine for me biking in the twilight, and as a flashing light when it is raining/getting dark.

Hamster

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2013, 02:26:00 PM »
The product you link to sounds like something that fell off a factory truck in China. The price just seems too low for that much power. Something has to give, somewhere. That said, it's not much risk for under $30. 1000 lumens is WAY more than you need for commuting unless you are on rough trails where you need to see obstacles at a distance. Even then, you generally want 2 lights so you can see the 3 dimensions of the terrain better without as many strange shadows.

I would personally rather spend more on a more user-friendly headlight and get a cheaper rear blinky.

It slightly exceeds your total cost criteria, but... For the front, something like this would be more than adequate, much more convenient, and with better customer service than the one you linked to. At $65, you could get this and add a rear blinky for under $10 and be close to your budget with what is probably more reliable. If you take your light on/off a lot, if you are at a store, etc. it's nice not to deal with cords and battery packs.

I have the 650 lumen version and run it on low on dark streets and wide gravel trails. I also have a 150 lumen helmet mounted headlight. I like having the backup, and add in the extra light from the helmet when on trails. If you only have one light, handlebar is safer than helmet.

On back, the cheapest blinky you can find, along with a red reflector for backup is probably fine. I personally prefer the planet bike super flash as a rear blinker. It's quite bright, but doesn't double as a reflector if your batteries die,

Jimbo

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2013, 02:56:23 PM »
Hmmm, good points, thanks.

The one in the link i put in does sound too good to be true, but I don't like the battery pack part. Yours seems better, but a bit pricey.

I guess looking at lower lumens output is key here... I don't need 300-400, I suppose, I just want to be as bright as possible and have another light source to see the road once the night hits. Maybe I am going overkill...

Hamster

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2013, 03:14:18 PM »
If you are only on roads with good street lights, 150 lumens should be fine in my opinion. Maybe pair that with a cheap white front blinky just to make you more visible to oncoming traffic.

In my experience, 300 lumens will be plenty for an unlit, paved road, as long as it is aimed correctly.

Just a few years ago 150 lumens was already in the $100 plus range, and people seemed to do ok. Just a few years before that (when it was all halogen/incandescent, rather than LED) I don't remember lumens even being reported, just watts. i'd guess those were even weaker.

Personally instead of one 300 lumen light, I'd rather have 150 lumens on the handlebars and 150 lumens on my helmet. Others may disagree.

Jimbo

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2013, 03:16:55 PM »
Very helpful, thanks!

This is what I meant when I said I don't really know anything about lights...

I like your idea of two 150 lumen lights.

Thanks.

Jimbo

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2013, 09:47:20 AM »
Again in the category 'fresh off a truck in China', what do you guys of this :

http://dx.com/p/magicshine-mj-890-ssc-z5p-160lm-3-mode-white-bicycle-light-black-orange-213754

By lowering the lumen output requirements, I think I can have cheaper options. I also appreciate the no shipping costs from DX. Something to consider for Canada, since we have prohibitive online shipping costs.

Do you guys think it is a good deal? USB rechargeable it is.

The_Dude

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Re: Please help me find the right Bicycle lights...
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2013, 06:06:35 PM »
The light in your first post looks like a knock off of the magic shine light.  I can't click on the link immediately before this one but I bought this light:

http://www.amazon.com/MJ-808E-CREE-XM-L-lumens-light/dp/B0051C0RCS/ref=sr_1_17?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1375142593&sr=1-17&keywords=magic+light+biking

last December.  I don't use it all that often but it is super bright and the battery lasts a long time.  I like it.  The battery pack is small and not bulky at all.  It is pretty surprising how much light the set up produces.