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Unbranded (rear) lights

slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
edited August 2017 in Commuting general
Before LittleSB came along I was commuting by bike most of the time - through winter too - as well as evening & weekend riding. I had a policy of at least 2 working rear lights - preferably 3 on my commute bike - so purchased lights accordingly...

I had a mixture of Cateye, Smart R2 and Knog for the rear - and Cateye for the front... I've since lost a Cateye rear, a Smart R2 and one of the Knog blinders has died (although I've still got the unit incase I work out how to prise it apart!). My Cateye and Smart lights were AAA powered ... and now I'm after some that are USB rechargable - I think ... bear in mind I have 2 commuting bikes plus a road bike and my wife has a few too ... I'm concious that I don't want to be scrabbling around removing & refitting lights the whole time.

The other day (actually a couple of months ago) I saw an unbranded rear light in the style of the Lezyne Zecto - and have now found similar plus others on "the bay" for a fraction of the price.... which leaves me thinking why I need to spend >£20 per light when for c£5 I could get several similar and leave one on each bike.

Q is really - are Unbranded lights false economy? Perhaps I should just get a couple of Smart R2s (competitors hate me having one on my TT bike - they can see it from a long way off and never seem to get closer! ;) )


  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I'd definitely go with two cheaper rear lights than one expensive one. Even the best can fail.
    Not seen the Lezyne Looky Likeys but theres lots of lights that look like Smart lights around. I think the Planet X range has a couple.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,724
    Personally what is your safety worth. I'm currently using usb smart r2,s and a bontrager flare usb. I've not had one fail, the only ones I've had fail are cheap halfords or lidl moon comet look alikes. The ones that have failed have either fallen part or died after water got in. Agree with the 2 lights front and rear, my lazer helmet has a small one built in that is pretty visible even at a distance even though it's not that bright.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,780
    edited August 2017
    I bought a real McCoy Moon Nebula rear last autumn as my main rear light, gave family member the front and rear Lidl versions for Xmas, as far as I know theirs still works and mine definitely does.

    As supplemental lights, ... -led-light and the similar skull shaped ones are handy, well worth grabbing a handful if you are putting an order in anyway.

    Edit: Nebula, not Comet!
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    oxoman wrote:
    Personally what is your safety worth. I
    Well yes - but going by that I should be buying the £100+ lights - which may or may not be as effective as the £5 Ones.

    I purposely have 2 + working rear lights in the dark in case of failure - and so far it's been the expensive lights that seem to have failed - possibly because I've used and abused them more.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,971
    I'm all for multiple 'cheap' lights (cheap is subjective).

    I've bought £25 rear lights before from the big brands and they've only lasted a few months or fallen off the brackets and I've been without any light until I get a new one.
    If 2x£12.50 lights last half the time I figure I'm better off as long as I don't lose/break both at the same time because at least I'll always have 1 working light.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    Another vote for the relatively cheap and very, very effective and efficient Moon Comet. One of mine has survived on my HT MTB for years (on the saddle rail mount), the other moves from bike to bike on the post mount and both light and mount continue to be excellent.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
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