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Bicycle lighting
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Blue Peter



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1936
Location: Milton Keynes

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Bicycle lighting Reply with quote

Not exactly PO-related, but I was hoping for a bit of advice. I need to buy a new front light for my bike for the cycle home in the dark. Has anyone got any suggestions as to a suitable light? Most of the journey is on unlit roads.

From a brief search, I have come across:

Cateye Single Shot HL-EL600RC

and

Blackburn Voyager 4.0 Luxeon


which seem to give reasonable power at not too great a price. Any views on these or others?


Peter.
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adam2
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Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 6218
Location: North Somerset

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One factor to remember is that AAA cells cost about the same as AA but contain only half the energy. Therefore AA cells would be cheaper, D cells are cheaper still but not much used these days for cycle lighting.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most Cateye stuff seems to be good - you probably can't go far wrong with the one you mention.

I have a Cateye EL530 which seems dear at first but is actually the best front light I've ever had - and I've been cycling a long time. Small, robust, very bright and very battery frugal (in fact I use rechargeables, recharged by a solar charger).

In other words, worth the extra money.

In the winter I also add Reelights to both wheels, for safety rather than illuminating the way.

Edit: the EL530 is no longer available.
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Last edited by emordnilap on Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PS_RalphW



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 5267
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My problem with ALL battery lights are the mountings. Badly designed, plasticy, hard to fit or remove, but guaranteed to break or come lose as you go over a bump in the middle of a buy intersection on dark, wet night.
They also change the design every few months, so that no two lamps are interchangeable unless bought at exactly the same time.

Otherwise, get a hub dynamo. Indestructible.
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sam_uk



Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 370

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:34 pm    Post subject: friction free - last forever Reply with quote

Reelight lights are daylight running lights for bicycles. With Reelight, you always have lights on your bike day and night! The permanently fitted magnet lights flash when the wheels rotate and therefore work without any batteries. Reelight is a safe and solid solution that improves your freedom in traffic.


http://www.reelight.com/Default.aspx?ID=48
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. I've just re-fitted me Reelights ready for the dark evenings and people do look and notice them, even during the day. I definitely feel safer using them, alongside regular front and back lights, reflective jacket, sticky-out reflector, reflective trouser clips and hand-held tactical nuclear missile.

Reelights are not an entirely free lunch: you can feel a slight 'tug' on the wheel every time the magnet goes past the light, when the wheel is spun as the bike's held up in the clamp for maintenance. You don't notice this tug when cycling - I imagine it's the equivalent of a choccy biccy once every fifty miles.
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Kentucky Fried Panda



Joined: 06 Apr 2007
Posts: 1744
Location: NW Engerland

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just make sure your lights have a minimum of 1" diameter lens. AFAIK this is the minimum legal requirement. At least when a work mate got hit by a car, her insurance company wriggled out of paying by saying his lights were too small.
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Cycloloco



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 192
Location: London, UK.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Re: Bicycle lighting Reply with quote

Blue Peter wrote:
Not exactly PO-related, but I was hoping for a bit of advice. I need to buy a new front light for my bike for the cycle home in the dark. Has anyone got any suggestions as to a suitable light? Most of the journey is on unlit roads.

Peter.


It is PO-related in terms of saving resources but it is impossible to give you a good answer without knowing how much effort you are prepared to put into lights and the layout of accessories on your bike. If you want the minimum effort you buy a battery light like the ones you mention and you take them off your bike every time you park it and you keep buying throwaway batteries.

Next level: rechargeable batteries.

Next level: get a tyrewall dynamo and keep it carefully adjusted to give max output with min effort and no damage to the tyre. Keep battery lamps as reserve because tyrewall dynamos sometimes slip in rain and certainly slip in mud and snow.

Finally get a hub dynamo built in to a new front wheel and ride without worrying about the batteries or tyres or the weather but you still have to be careful about electrical connections.

Have a dynamo system and carry battery lights as spares if you want to play safe. Use the whole dynamo output at the front(?) for your dark roads and use a battery lamp at the back.

Get the fitting for your handlebars which holds one or more lamps below the handlebars to put your lamp(s) nearer the ground and reduce the loss of light on the ground you get by fitting lamps on handlebars. Fitting lamps on handlebars is a silly idea but why should the manufacturers care? They ride around in cars on the profits from selling poor lamps.
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sam_uk



Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 370

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Why tyrewall? Reply with quote

Cycloloco why do you recommend tirewall dynamo's over the Reelights?

The reelights are cheap, light and friction free. I can't imagine why tyrewall would be better.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Why tyrewall? Reply with quote

sam_uk wrote:
Cycloloco why do you recommend tirewall dynamo's over the Reelights?


I don't think they're comparable. Tyrewall dynamo lights give continuous forward vision when cycling. Reelights are simply a warning to other road users.
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"Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fụck the Buddhists" - Bjork
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Cycloloco



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 192
Location: London, UK.

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Why tyrewall? Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
sam_uk wrote:
Cycloloco why do you recommend tirewall dynamo's over the Reelights?


I don't think they're comparable. Tyrewall dynamo lights give continuous forward vision when cycling. Reelights are simply a warning to other road users.


Agreed. Blue Peter said he had to cycle home on unlit roads so he needs light on the ground ahead. If he wants flashes of light in all directions then he can add Reelights.
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sam_uk



Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 370

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reelight can supply continuous light Reply with quote

Pwesonally I have always found dynamo's annoying and inneficient but maybe that's just me.

http://www.reelight.com/Default.aspx?ID=83&ProductID=PROD7&VariantID=
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
Posts: 13974
Location: Houǝsʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹǝɐllʎ uoʇ ʍoɹʇɥ ʇɥǝ ǝɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ ǝʌǝu qoʇɥǝɹ˙

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another bicycle safety product on the market that's fun too: http://www.mybrightbike.com

Though not exclusively for bikes... Laughing

Anyway, my original EL350 front light let me down (it got well knocked about a couple of times) and I couldn't find anyone to fix it (it wasn't under warranty).

So I got one of these in 2009 and it's excellent, still going strong after 6 winters. The only difficulty was the charging adaptor which failed just outside the warranty period but this isn't a big issue. The light will now go wrong, having posted this.
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cubes



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 565
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're going to need something better than a standard bike light to see anything on unlit roads. Just as you get dark adapted a car comes past and poof, back to square 1!

Otherwise cateyes produce decent lights for biking on lit roads (I use them myself). They might produce something a more powerful for biking on unlit roads though.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 4281
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool I haven't seen a "Tyrewall dynamo light" in decades. The one problem I remember about the one we had was as soon as you stopped the light went out. So at every intersection you went invisible and blind. Does the modern version have a rechargeable battery built in to overcome this?
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