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Front Light for Commuting

fuller23fuller23 Posts: 8
edited October 2017 in Commuting general

With it starting to get darker earlier, it won't be long until I need a light for my bike. I already have ones to "be seen", so what I'm after is one to help me see.

My commute is:
1 mile off road cycle path/forest track. No streetlights or anything, so I think this will be pitch black in winter.
5 miles after that on a cycle path beside a busy road. This section will have streetlights.

Now I obviously need something really bright to be able to see on the first part, but then need to be able to easily turn it down when I get to the busy road to avoid blinding everyone. Something I can easily take on/off and charge at work would also be good.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I wa maybe thinking something around 800/1000 lumens, but I don't know if that would be overkill?


  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Something like this will let you have enough power for offroad pitch black and easily to turn down to either a flash or a lower level. ... qRmyA&var=
  • I used to run the eBay Cree lights which would be brilliant for the offroad section of your commute (I use one for night mtb) but they can be too bright for road use.
    I now run a 'be seen' Aldi 3 LED on the head tube, a 'where I am steering' Lezyne xl on the bars and a USE JoyStick helmet mounted, this works really well to shine straight at any cars in side roads I think may be about to pull out, mind you I can only run it on the middle brightness since it would blind the drivers completely on full.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    I run a Lezyne macro drive, good light, decent pattern and works fine for me on unlit country lanes.

    For more peak oomph have a look at the twin 'Solar Storme' lights, 3 power settings and you certainly only need medium on road.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I've got a B&M Ixon IQ Premium. Runs for over 4 hours on 4 x AA Eneloops. Only 2 settings; full blast for the pitch black and about a third of that for anything streetlit. just press the button on top to toggle between the 2.
    Being German street legal it doesn't blind oncoming drivers / riders / peds.

    Was about £50 from Germany but that was before all this Brexit Bo11ocks
  • specialized flux expert. I have one.
    2 brightness settings and 2 beam levels dip and high.
    high beam full brightness will dazzle traffic but is just what you want on your offroad section, I use it for my cycle path commute sections. I also use it for road riding its bright enough for 25mph downhill at night on unlit roads.

    in dip beam mode has a sharp cutoff at just below horizontal, like the german dynamo light, gives a shaped beam just like a car light to avoid driver dazzle, you can vary between two bright levels depending on the light level.

    downsides are its damn expensive now (I got mine when they were on offer) and the battery life could be better for the price (but because its bright, it burns electrons faster..)
    MTB: Giant Trance X2 2009 (yes, its a 26er. For twisty singletrack in woburn woods, it still rocks)
    road: specialized tricross elite 2011
    hybrid: giant roam 0 2014
    garaged project: gt tempest 1998
    borrowed: whoosh sirocco cdl e-bike
  • I don't think you mentioned a budget, I use an Exposure Strada mk5 800 lumen so a few years old but nice quality and a good light beam. I prefer an 'all in one' light as opposed to having a battery pack and wires. They're not especially cheap but worth it from my experience. The new ones are 1200 lumen I think. Battery lasts for ages between charges, I did an 6 hour overnight ride and the battery dropped by 20% - in comparison my son's Lezyne macro drive 900 lumen light died after 5 hours.
  • your other option is two lights, might work out cheaper than mine or arthur's suggestions.

    1x off-road light (which are available in many many forms from many suppliers, start by googling magicshine and the like for the budget end) with thousands of lumens. I have a couple (a fluxient and a gloworm X2) on my MTB. But you really really must not use these one the road, you will blind drivers - its not about the brightness its where you put it.
    the beams on these are not shaped they are usually circular symmetric reflectors for a wide spread (so you can see the trees around you - they are for MTB'ing) but because of this lack of sophistication they are much less expensive.

    1x on-road light - more "be seen" than see for your requirement. again loads of choice.
    MTB: Giant Trance X2 2009 (yes, its a 26er. For twisty singletrack in woburn woods, it still rocks)
    road: specialized tricross elite 2011
    hybrid: giant roam 0 2014
    garaged project: gt tempest 1998
    borrowed: whoosh sirocco cdl e-bike
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