Carrots, white stick or better lights?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by wmtlynx, 6 Aug 2012.

  1. wmtlynx

    wmtlynx Active Member

    Last week I had to go to work before it got light. I set off with my Argos commuter light attached, and it soon became apparent that, although it makes me visible to other road users, I can't actually see very far ahead. Having been on many defensive driving courses and such, I'm used to looking at the horizon while I'm on the road. It's most unnerving pottering about on an unlit road like someone who's lost a contact lens. And I'm concerned for the rabbits.

    I like the idea of dynamo lights - but are they bright, and do they cause major drag? And if that's a non-starter, are there any good super-bright lights that run off a rechargeable battery pack that can be bought on a sub-£50 budget for front and rear?
  2. Ride

    Ride Active Member

    The Devil's Isles
    If you're worried about the rabbits then you'll need a better field of view. If you're worried about the motor traffic then you'll need stand out. I've pre-order a set of RevoLights through their Kickstarter project. They look great and seem to give both a better field of view while really standing out. They are a few months behind schedule but have started production runs with a target to ship end of this month. Which means they will be selling retail very soon; immediately post fulfilment of the pre-orders.

    Retail is $220 so a little more pricey than you are looking for. But they sure are sexy looking.

  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Magic shine lights if you need somethIng bright, or indeed a torch and battery mount, if on a budget.
  4. Hawk

    Hawk Well-Known Member

    Bearsden, Glasgow
    I quite like this on the front

    It's blindingly bright on high (if you look directly at it you WILL be blinde - try not to take out any car drivers coming towards you ;) )

    Around town, leaving it on flashing mode or low is adequate. I consider it's Medium setting to be more than enough to potter around at 20-25mph on and if I have a big downhill I'll turn it to high (which does drain battery).

    Each battery (comes with two, and they're normal 18650 batteries so you can pick up more on ebay cheaply - read this first) lasts about 1hr20m-2 hours on medium with a bit of "high" thrown in when I'm travelling at particular speed. Battery changes take about 15 seconds though so not too bad even for long commutes, have done battery changes at lights in the past.

    The circuit behind the torch is very very simple so any issue can be sorted out by taking the whole torch apart and giving it a clean generally

    On the back I use a CatEye TL-AU100 which I bought as I saw it was a British Standard compliant light. It is adequately bright in all directions which I like.
  5. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    You could buy a £35 chinesey magicshine for the front and a couple of smart R2s for the rear for a little over £50 total. I dont think you can really beat that for the money and excessively bright lighting. Nothing to stop you using normal rechargable batteries in lights that take AAs/AAAs either but I find even in winter they last ages :smile:
  6. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless

    My B&M IQ Cyo Senso plus is powered by a SON hub dynamo. It's not cheap at a total cost of £265 but it's very, very bright, full brightness is achieved at around 5mph. With no batteries to worry about, it's a fit and forget option.

    The drag is very low, something like the equivalent of climbing an extra 5 feet in every 1000 while switched on and just an extra 1 foot per 1000 feet while switched off.
    I've corrected this in my next post..

    If you'd rather go for battery power, I'd suggest the magicshine range for best value with high power.

  7. middleagecyclist

    middleagecyclist Call me MAC

    If you want a decent dynohub and light set up you are looking at £250.00 are thereaouts. I have a SON hub running a Schmidt Edelux front light and a B&M Toplight Plus rear light. As GC said already dyno lights make a great fit and forget option. No noticeable drag and I run them day and night.
  8. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    Blackburn Scorch 1.0 is probably about the best for a touch over 50 notes. Comes with a handy USB charger so you can charge it at work. Not as bright as my 1700 lumens job, but respectable and good enough to see by as well as be seen.
  9. Matthew_T

    Matthew_T "Young and Ex-whippet"

    A touch under 50 notes you mean?
  10. sabian92

    sabian92 Über Member

    I'd love a set of those. They look amazing and while they're expensive you'd never get overlooked again!
  11. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Drago likes this.
  12. Drago

    Drago Flouncing Nobber

    Don't be blinded(!) by the numbers. Much of the usability comes down to the reflector or lens design and the beam patter they guve, not just the beefiness of the LED and the mathematical end figure you get from calculating the LED efficiency against power input.

    I get to test dozens of lights a year for work, and this was easily the most effective around the £50 benchmark, but I'm equally pleased our eagle-eyed brothers and sisters have spotted them for sub £40, which makes them a performance bargain indeed!
  13. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I'll also add the New Lezyne Micro Drive front/rear about £35 each. And as a backup the Lezyne Femto flashers - CNC machined about £12 each and run of two button cells - thinking about a couple of these as backups as my Knog Toad doesn't like rain.
  14. albion

    albion Veteran

    South Tyneside
    I think Revolights are one of those crowd sourced projects.
    The twist there was that they also paid money to buy at $200.

    At night 3M spoke reflectors are as good and daytime you no doubt need something brighter!
  15. albion

    albion Veteran

    South Tyneside
    For the rear you need 1W LED for the daytime but at night even 0.5W is almost too bright.
    At the front a 3W LED and above is needed.

    Use rechargeables and expect 10 hours flashing from 2XAAA and a 0.5W LED.
    Luckily LEDs just fade when the battery is depleted which means you will be seen from 15 to 20 hours.
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