Front headlights - out in the country, no streetlights

petemadoc Posts: 2,331
edited August 2010 in Road buying advice
I struggled through last winter with my little cateye LED lights but after a late one last night I've decided it's going to end in a crash unless I get something stronger.


Any recommendations for a good front light that will illuminate the road ahead and not cost muchos dollars!


  • stuaff
    stuaff Posts: 1,736
    Hope Vision 1. £70 or thereabouts, plus buy a decent set of rechargeable high-power AAs (2500Mh or better) if you don't have them. Superb performance at a very reasonable price, easily good enough for country lanes.
    Dahon Speed Pro TT; Trek Portland
    Viner Magnifica '08 ; Condor Squadra
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  • +1 for Hope Vision 1, comes in a variety of colours too! :D
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    I'm trying to keep the cost as low as possible, like under £50 but maybe I'm being unrealistic. Cycling costs me a fortune :? Need to see those pot holes though!

    Hearing good things about the Hope 1. Anyone recommend anything else £40-80 value
  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    this is cycling where if you want more eg light you have to pay more. Imo £50 won't get you in the running for proper illumination. My partner used to do audax and the riders have learned not to compromise. However, you may find the Feenix torches ok. Her Solidlight cost £200 plus her dynamo wheel but traffic mistakes her bike for an oncoming motorcycle. Same with my Lumicycle LED 3. Have a look at as people on there are always looking for better and cheaper lights.
  • DCR00
    DCR00 Posts: 2,160
    have you looked at the guide to lights on here ?

    IMO, no need to spend much mroe than £50

    you can get P7 LED torches for £35 ... B001GSAGJA
  • steve36
    steve36 Posts: 93
    + 1, hope vision 1 :D
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Anyone tried this? ... ts_id=6921

    Seems like a bargain at £53
  • father_jack
    father_jack Posts: 3,509
    A budget 5W + 10W will be sufficient, I've used them myself and work fine for unlit country lanes.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Found the hope 1 cheapest here ... _19885.htm

    Might have to invest, it is of course essential for my we being! :wink:
  • father_jack
    father_jack Posts: 3,509
    I've got Hope Vision 4. It's fab. On 2 it's plenty of foggy nights, on 3/4 probably blind car drivers. :twisted:
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • andyrr
    andyrr Posts: 1,819
    Dealextreme lights available for this sort of money :
    got one of these
    Lots of people have these it seems, great light output for the money, don't think there is a rival at the price.
    Parts of my commute are in total darkness and previous lights have not been good enough. Last one was a Light & Motion Solo Logic and this was ok for around 20Mph but faster downhill sections were a matter of blind confidence and hoping there was nothing unexpected in my path. The DX light is just that bit brighter.
    Having said that the build/manufacturing quality is a bit hit and miss, Mine was fine through the winter right to the point where the light was almost to be put in the cupboard until next winter and then it failed. Battery wouldn't accept charge. Got a replacement but it took around a month or so as it needed returned to Hong Kong. So there is a risk but I'm happy with mine for the moment.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    +1 for the P7 - something like 600 lumens - amazing value
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Read about these on the other light thread, good while they last but . . . they don't last
  • father_jack
    father_jack Posts: 3,509
    I wasted £70 on imported DIY set, not waterproof :roll: open like a colander. What a waste. Bright though 10W+15W. Good if you live in the desert. Battery pack is big and heavy though (14.4v NIMH)
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    My P7 and magicshine are both still going strong. I've also seen plenty of stories of the UK made lights breaking too. At double the cost (or more).
  • ric7481
    ric7481 Posts: 103
    Check out the lights thread in the MTB section on this forum - dealextreme P7 LED torches...can't fault them, long battery life, fantastic lighting - good enough for fast off road midnight singletrack and less than £50 - do take a little while to ship on the bars, one on my lid - perfick ! :D
  • - approx 200 for Hope Vision 1. Pile of sh*te. Mind, you can make more money than you paid for them from numpties on ebay.

    For that price, get a magicshine.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I got a Nukeproof from Chain Reaction cycles recently reduced to 100 quid. Same P7 LED as the dealextremes but far better manuf. and battery pack.

    My Dealextreme torch is still going OK but the MagicShine bike lamp was farked after 1 winter...

    The p7 LEDs are tops though!!
  • willbevan
    willbevan Posts: 1,241
    At that price point I think you either

    1. Take the risk with the magicshine (4 people I know have then, 2 of them have failed)
    2. go for the tried and tested robust halogens, you could DIY a set very cheaply presuming you dont mind SLA batteries (they are heavy)

    My first winter I used a 10w smart halogen set running from a SLA batttery, 30 quid from ebay. Much better than my friends cateye single shot that cost more!

    If you could increase your budget you could get a HID or higher priced LED, one that if you have a waranty issue will actually get sorted (people that I know that have had issue with the Magicshine have got no were). HIDs do have a much higher bulb replacement cost and no stepping in the power though so would be my last choice
    Road - BTwin Sport 2 16s
    MTB - Trek Fuel 80
    TT - Echelon
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Oh dear, this is very confusing. I've just seen the 99 page thread on the MTB forum about lights. Very heavy reading :?

    Was thinking this looked like good value and 900 lumen thingies ... 789wt_1137

    But do you risk buying stuff off ebay. I've decided £70 is max so do I go for super powerful but possibly unreliable ebay light or tried and trusted hope vision 1, only 240 lumens
  • tatanab
    tatanab Posts: 1,283
    The lights that have been mentioned have conical beams that spray light everywhere annoying oncoming motorists and cyclists alike. These are fine for MTB use but for the road I prefer a light with a cut off to the beam so it does not shine upwards to the trees etc. I'd ignore the MTB type articles because they want lights for something quite different to road riding. For their use an ultra powerfull ight that sprays everywhere (including to tree branches) is really needed.

    I use Busch and Muller Ixon IQ. This gives 10 lux on low beam and 40 lux on high beam (lux is lumens pre square metre at a set distance from the light). In pitch black lanes I ride at about 20mph on the low beam and use the high beam for the very dark tree covered sections. Low beam gives a battery life of 20 hours with 5 hours on high beam.

    Dot Bike have them at £82 ... aign%3dDFR and Bike 24 in Germany do them for 70 Euros (search by Ixon IQ) both prices include batteries and charger.
  • clx1
    clx1 Posts: 200
    Niterider MiNewt Mini USB , small, very powerful, bombproof build quality and re chargeable either from the mains or a USB port. Under £80,just.
  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    OK I've just been out for another late night ride and I think I have a better idea of what I need.

    Some of the routes I go on are down tight windy single track lanes sometimes with farm gates to open and loads of trees making it very dark and full of hazards. I think I need mountain bike power light but a lower power setting for normal road use.

    Edging towards the ebay 900 lumen one for £55, anyone any experience with these ones?
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Is it really £55 ? It was a lot cheaper a while back - ... w_led.html

    Great torch - easily get an hours beam out of them - I've not had a problem dazzling drivers on the road - you can tilt it down on the fly simply enough. Its not 900 lumens though - more like 600 - but it wees all over my Fenix - I simply cant see the Fenix beam at all when they're both on.