Nearly that time of year again...lights

Discussion in 'Components, Accessories and Clothing' started by hoppym27, 16 Aug 2017.

  1. hoppym27

    hoppym27 Well-Known Member

    OK so the darker nights/mornings are coming in September..for my commute I will be 99% of the time on a pitch black cycleway and towpath....whats the most suitable/brightest lights pref rechargeable, for this scenario? I want to buy a set if possible but that isnt a definite depending on price.

    I'm currently looking at Evans/Decathlon/Halfords. I've seen lots of chinese types on ebay but Im suspicous of quality of the battery and the chargers.
  2. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Not answering the question you asked exactly, but If I was commuting in the dark I would invest in a Dynohub. I know the initial outlay is greater but the lighting output is superior, they are permanently attached to the bike (which may or not be of value) and ready to go at any time. Have to admit I wouldn't use anything else on my main bikes.
    I do use a battery/rechargeable light for swapping onto my other bikes for occasional dark-time use (including several night-rides) and find this very good:
    This is the cheapest version if you already have suitable rechargeable AA batteries and charger already (a bonus is you can also use readily available regular AA in an emergency or as back-up), a more expensive version comes with batteries and th plug-in charger. Made by the same people as the well-known Dynamo lights you get a much better and useful spread of illumination than a bright spot on the road.
    McWobble, John_S, Drago and 2 others like this.
  3. Rooster1

    Rooster1 I was right about that saddle

    haha, I ordered mudguards yesterday
  4. Last edited: 16 Aug 2017
  5. KneesUp

    KneesUp Veteran

    I have a set from Lidl, which have the markings indicating that they are 'road legal' The set was a tenner, and I would hope would mitigate any defence of 'he wasn't properly lit' should anyone hit me.

    On top of that I have one of the tiny cheap flashing red lights from China on the rear wheel hub, which is quite eye-catching, one slightly more expensive (might have been a fiver) branded version of the same thing under the (non flashing) Lidl one, and one of the tadpole shaped rear lights above the Lidl one. I like lots of small rear lights because they do sometimes fall off, or fail, and you never know until you get home.

    The front Lidl light is fine for my commute because 95% of it is lit anyway. It's rechargeable and seems to last several hours per charge. I do also have one of the 'Cree T6' single LED ones off eBay with a Candb-seen beam widening lens which is a bit bright for road use but would be great on a towpath.
    mjr likes this.
  6. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    I would be suspicious too. I've not noticed Evans or Decathlon currently sell any good legally-sufficient lights and the only two legal lights Halfords sold last time I found any weren't much good. Like @KneesUp says, wait a few weeks if you can and Lidl will probably have some decent legally-sufficient battery lights in their next cycling special offer - if you can't wait, post again and I'll go searching for stvzo sets on ebay. For a dark dark towpath, I'd suggest at least a 40 lux mode.

    Or if it's usually the same bike at night then definitely consider doing as @Fab Foodie suggests, and going dynohub. The cost of a cheap dynohub wheel will be recouped in better lights for cheaper (because they don't need all that battery and/or charging stuff, nor fixings that cope with the weight), no batteries and the priceless time saved not faffing about charging or being left in the dark.

    I used to suggest fitting an Axa HR tyre dynamo as an even cheaper entry point but few bike tyres now have the dynamo track on the side needed for best results, few bikes have a suitable mounting point, non-damaging mounts seem to have gone up in price and dynohub wheels have come down further in price.
  7. DRHysted

    DRHysted Über Member

    New Forest
    Dynohub with some nice B&M lights.
    Close the thread now.
    Fab Foodie likes this.
  8. Yellow Saddle

    Yellow Saddle Veteran

    Loch side.
    Not before you've reminded everyone to also carry a small battery operated torch so that you can see what you're doing when fixing a puncture.
  9. numbnuts

    numbnuts Legendary Member

    North Baddesley
    What Lights all ready..........we haven't done shaved legs yet
    burntoutbanger and sleuthey like this.
  10. Sixmile

    Sixmile Über Member

    N Ireland
    This thread should be renamed 'What Lights are you using?'...

    Fair play if you're commuting during dark even during September. I'm currently just using a set of See Sense as my 'to be seen' lights. My winter front light is a Light & Motion 650 with side visibility and a Fibre flare on the rear stay to work alongside my rear See sense boyo.
  11. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Also known as a mobile phone these days...

    That wasn't the question and simply stating the names of pathetic, insufficient and hopefully discontinued lights such as typically flogged by UK chain stores who don't care whether cyclists are safe or legal as long as they have to buy new lights every few years... is much less helpful than outlining general principles of how to pick good lights like the reply of, for example, @Fab Foodie
    Fab Foodie likes this.
  12. Jody

    Jody Gold member

    I'm still using the same Solarstorm X2 as my front light which is now in its 4th year. Coupled with some quality cells from Torchy and a waterproof case. This will be more than enough for an unlit commute even on low setting.

    Depends what you want in terms of usability and price. My set-up cost about £50 all in. If you want simple usability, compact design and good high light output then opt for an Exposure but be prepared to pay upwards of £200
  13. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    Carnaby Street
  14. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

  15. NorthernDave

    NorthernDave Never used Über Member

    On the back, don't spend any more than two quid on a Poundland 5-LED rear light and a pack of 10 alkaline batteries to go in it.

    The light is as bright as any branded one, has enough flashing modes to please anyone and that pack of batteries will see you through til spring. :okay:

    The Poundland front lights aren't anywhere near as good though.

    Or get that set from the Lidl offer. ;)
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