Commuting Lights

Postby way_downsouth on Mon 4/Apr/11 8:07am

Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with day light saving! My front commuting light has recently given up on listening to me (and turns on and off when it wants to).

Any recommendations out there for a replacement? I was thinking the USB chargeable ones would be the way to go, but would love to hear from someone who has used them. Are they reasonably bright (commuting bright, not blinding bright)?
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby Simonius_Titius on Mon 4/Apr/11 6:10pm

If you get one bright enough for a MTB and set it to flash you will be visible but not safe because I will buy a SUV to run you over with.

I want a bigger light for going out of town but this will be just for me to see by, I suspect the wee blinker will still be what gets noticed and what tells them I am a bike. I like to have a spare available at the front and two in use at the rear anyway.

I only know the wee 2xAAA blinkies, these are just for others to see you.

I look first at the brackets - having more than one (cough) bike, nonstandard or orphan brackets cause chaos and frustration. I like to have back & front lights interchangeable in a pinch.

The cheap orange Ontrack is good and bright, as is their red tail light. They crack easily when dropped so pre-emptive taping is wise. The tape used for making polythene "glasshouses" is perfect, I put a few layers around the outside and it seems to give some protection.

The Smart lights are very available, cheap & cheerful, perhaps a little less cracky than Ontrack. Their red and orange are average but their pale greenish front LEDs are plain weak as is a Cateye of the same colour.

Smart also do tiny white & red lights which are good and bright but the 2xN size batteries are expensive and not availabe from roadside shops. The mount is incompatible with other Smart lights.

All of the above are prone to turning themselves on if carried in a bag. I cut the buttons down a bit with a razor blade though that makes them harder to use with gloves.
Last edited by Simonius_Titius on Sun 6/Nov/11 2:00pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby BrokenKonaRider on Mon 4/Apr/11 6:35pm

I like the blackburn flea lights, though have had to return a couple of sets to be replaced (lifetime warranty) when they don't want to charge any more. They're bright, tiny, and easily shifted between bikes.
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby mark2c on Mon 4/Apr/11 7:00pm

way_downsouth wrote:Believe it or not, this has nothing to do with day light saving! My front commuting light has recently given up on listening to me (and turns on and off when it wants to).


That usually means water got into it (no Karori jokes here please).

Pop it into a warm dry place like a linen cupboard and it should work again.
Last edited by mark2c on Tue 23/Aug/11 4:38pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby stiffeeslicker on Mon 4/Apr/11 9:48pm

Best thing I ever bought lightwise was a Moon Light USB rechargeable light. About the size of a little finger, plugs straight into your computer, has a charge/battery low light on top and an easy rubber strap for flicking it off. I think they do a couple of versions of front ones and a rear one. Maybe available from Bikebarn I think?
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby wolffman1 on Tue 5/Apr/11 9:42am

I've got a niterider newt which is a USB battery job and it's pretty good. I still run a AA battery flasher as well as the big battery invariable dies halfway to work once a month or so. That's more to do with my crap charging policy than anything else. It charges well from the computer at work and is very bright. The newer ones have different modes and they also come with a helmet mount. I don't know if I'd use them as my only night mountain bike lights but would be a good second light. I'd definitely get one again. I got mine from wiggle about a year ago after a near miss inthe dark
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby wolffman1 on Tue 5/Apr/11 9:53am

I forgot to say that they have a rubber strap for mounting on handle bars which is a little fiddly but swaps between bikes reasonable easily.
Slightly off topic but if anyone is after rear lights, tioga dual eyes are the brightest lights I've ever used. I rode up behind someone using them and the are dazzlingly bright. You wouldn't make many friends on a group ride with them, but brilliant for commuting.
http://www.bikes.com.au/p/1115702/tioga ... light.html
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby slumdog on Tue 5/Apr/11 1:35pm

I have 2 x Katmandhu front lights, 1watt, $32 on sale at the moment. I haven't ridden with them at night yet, but I have put them on at night at home, and I think they provide enough light to cycle with, but not a whole heap. As a flasher "be seen" light they are very bright though. 4 x AA's each. Probably not a standard bracket though. They also sell Planet bike Superflash style rear lights for like $25. Ugly in orange and red, but work just as well. Had a guy ride up and say it was very effective the other day.

I found that lights sometimes mysteriously go off because the batteries come off the positive contact when you go over a bump. My cheap $2 shop rear light did that, so I soldered a spring from a pen on the other end, and is rock solid now.

p.s. I don't have any link with the over-priced outdoor company detailed above, just noticed the lights were cheaper than available at LBS when on sale. Nevar bought anything else from them.

Good luck!
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 5/Apr/11 3:23pm

loads of commuter light options on dealextreme.com...
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby hagfish on Tue 23/Aug/11 9:01am

This winter I used a Nightpro Rainbow. Not a bad deal on weekly special. It's bright enough to allow my ~30Km/hr cruise on pitch-black bike paths, but not so bright that it annoys other road users *cough*magicshine*cough*. It has a blink mode for on the road. I run it on rechargeable AAs, which I recharge every two weeks or so (20-minute commute). It worked fine all winter, even getting soaked. Pretty convenient - particularly if you already have a charger that will charge three batteries (needs an individual charging circuit for each cell).

On my spokes I have a green one of these. I believe blue is illegal (reserved for cops) and red has to go on the back. There was no orange, so I went for green. It slid straight on and hasn't moved. It's lasted all winter and is still going strong. It blinks away and you can see the exact moment when motorists spot it and go, "wtf is that?" I believe it's saved me from a couple of prangs, but beware of that false sense of security.

On the back is some no-name red blinky.
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby Simonius_Titius on Tue 23/Aug/11 12:59pm

The Nightpro Rainbow looks like a Marwi.

The current T7 ad states there is no blinking mode, just high/med/low. But as Kel has explained there are various options which can be specified by the importer.
Does yours blink on high or medium?
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby hagfish on Wed 24/Aug/11 8:33am

@Simonius_Titius Hold the button for three seconds and it blinks on high. It's a steady on/off like a car indicator, rather than a strobing flash. It lights up all the reflective road furniture for about 200m ahead - makes the whole road blink.The light spent most of the winter up on my helmet, with the battery pack attached to the plastic adjustment strap down at the bottom/back of my helmet. With most of the weight low down and tucked in, it was pretty comfortable.
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby swtchbckr on Mon 5/Sep/11 2:47pm

i cant believe i didnt see this earlier!

very cool idea.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolights/revolights-join-the-revolution

not affliated with this guy whatsoever
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby Datsane on Sun 6/Nov/11 11:05am

swtchbckr wrote:i cant believe i didnt see this earlier!

very cool idea.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolights/revolights-join-the-revolution

not affliated with this guy whatsoever
Great idea only see a couple of glaring mistakes or changes that should be made.
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Re: Commuting Lights

Postby Simonius_Titius on Sun 6/Nov/11 2:30pm

It's a magnificent failure, an ingenious solution to just one of the serious problems created by the design itself. The original problems solved by the design are minor or non-existent.

I reckon he should have stuck to the hub idea, it could be made a practical & reliable novelty light.

But that spoils the game by making it too obvious that a better idea would be to just mount existing cheap, conventional lights on the front and rear forks using existing seatstay clamp technology.
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