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Lights

davegore2005davegore2005 Posts: 87
edited October 2015 in Commuting general
My commuter bike was unfortunately stolen from home last weekend, the new one is ordered already, so has anyone got any recommendations for a decent light set, up to maybe £50 for the pair, I had Smart Lunar before, the 25 set I think but if anyone has any other sets they can recommend then I would be glad to hear

regards

Dave

Posts

  • RutlandGavRutlandGav Posts: 144
    This is kind of unscientific, as most people will only have experience of one product and won't get to compare it to a competing device till the one they bought is no longer for sale.

    That said, I bought a set of Lezyne Micro Drive one year ago, paid £70 in Halfords but I've seen them online for fifty. They are about 7cm long, have a built in lithium ion battery and a built in USB plug when you unscrew the end cap, so you can recharge at work. The back one does about 4 hours on max brightness, the front over 5 hours on low (but is a little marginal for unlit country roads) or about an hour on high beam. There's an indicator LED that shows green over 50%, amber 10-50%, and red below 10%. They take about an hour to charge fully, but the charge rate slows down above 50%, so you can get them up to 50% very quickly, it's the last bit that takes a while.


    Extending the life of Lithium Ion batteries

    The number of charge / discharge cycles does not have much effect on the lifespan of lithium ion batteries. However capacity does fade with time, and the rate of loss is strongly dependent on state of charge and temperature. Sitting at 100% full, they can loose 40% in one year. At 80%, the loss is slowed greatly, and below 60% the battery is likely to outlive the device it is powering. Temperature also has an effect, high states of charge and high temperature are particularly bad.

    In practical terms this means

    1. Some people obsessively plug in as soon as they finish a ride, but unless you're going straight to bed, getting woken up by the alarm clock and setting off again immediately, with no breakfast, it is best to leave them empty till the morning of your next ride.

    2. I unplug my Lezyne soon after the indicator LED goes green, which indicates the battery is over 50%. Fully charging them is hard on the battery, and the rate of charge gets slow above 50% anyway.

    3. Keep the lights somewhere cool when not in use. This is less important if they're at low state of charge, but you could keep them in the fridge or the outhouse, if you want to go the extra mile.

    Not noticed any capacity loss in a year of use.
  • As a back up light/extra light I found an excellent buy was one for £10 from Wilkinsons.

    Now it is basically a Cree torch on a bracket, but offers a very usable bright white light that has 3 setting: On, Bright & Flashing.

    It is powered by 3 AAA batteries which last weeks.

    Only downside is the bracket is not great, but the addition of an O-ring/elasic band to stop it jumping out of the bracket sorts this out.
    I've had mine for one Winter and the plus sides outweigh the negatives.

    Not bad for £10.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've got a number of different types of back light.

    Commuter bike, if expected to be dark - has at least TWO lights on the back...
    I've got
    Knog - quick and easy to swap around as long as it can go on the steat post - the blinder is an excellent light, USB rechargable, but quite bright - not to be used so much on club rides!
    Smart Lunar R2 - this is my TT bike light - bright! Works on 2 AAA batteries, seems to last ages
    Cateye - various - these have versatile mounts - I used to have 2, but on one of them the light fell apart during a ride ... not much good! The lights themselves are good - assuming they stay connected!

    For the Smart Lunar I use an extra rubber band to go around the light - belts and braces - keeps it attached (my elephant repellant works too ... never seen one on a commute!)

    Front is rather different for me - I've got CatEye lights - they're just excellent ... I've got a couple of Cree torches too, but they need more attention and are no way as reliable as the CatEye ...
    I've got a couple of SeeMe lights, but they're nothing but lipservice - so I'll not bother saying what they are - they have a purpose, but not really for my commutes.
  • Another good addition is a helmet light.

    As a driver I really rate someone with a helmet light, so helpful in helping me see them.

    I picked up a Toppeak one from Halfords in my latest Cycle 2 Work bundle.
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    If you are riding on unlit paths/roads and need to positively light your way rather than just ensure you are seen then I would recommend the Exposure brand of lights. Shop around for last years model as they are very pricey - but they are very strong and reliable. I use for my canal side and river bank commute sections which can be quite hairy without good lights as there are no street lights or buildings for some sections. I have one on handlebars pointed slightly downwards to illuminate my path and one on my helmet
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    How bright do you want them to be? All in one unit, or don't mind a battery pack? if don't mind a battery pack, take a look at this:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2nd-Generation-SolarStorm-X2-Cree-LED-Bike-Bicycle-Light-Headlight-Cycling-Set-/131121089366?var=&hash=item1e876d0b56

    Unlike some of the cheaper ones, which has recently seen poor quality batteries and chargers (as the ebay sellers fight to reduce costs), this one is fully safety tested and waterproof and a proper plug. You'll probably never need more than the lowest setting, but the super bright is there should you want it.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Moon shield rear is by far and away the best budget orientated rear light, PlanetX sell it (with their own name) for sub £20.

    Given the remaining budget, either a CRee LED on low power similar to SS has suggested or get a decent cree torch and a torch mounting. I use a Lezyne Macro drive which I really like, but its enough for pitch black country lanes!
  • thanks for the suggestions

    Dave
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    edited September 2015
  • Hey,

    I'm looking for a backpack with Lights built-in. Any suggestions here?

    I would like to have it with a cycle log, which would light up using a battery inside the bag.

    Please advise, what you think on the concept. And if you have found one, please link me to it.

    Thanks,
    Sooraj



    My commuter bike was unfortunately stolen from home last weekend, the new one is ordered already, so has anyone got any recommendations for a decent light set, up to maybe £50 for the pair, I had Smart Lunar before, the 25 set I think but if anyone has any other sets they can recommend then I would be glad to hear

    regards

    Dave
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Most cycle specific back packs have a light loop, so no need to hamstring yourself to a back with a light that may not suite your requirements.

    What do you mean by a cycle log?
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 5,295
    Hey,

    I'm looking for a backpack with Lights built-in. Any suggestions here?

    I would like to have it with a cycle log, which would light up using a battery inside the bag.

    Please advise, what you think on the concept. And if you have found one, please link me to it.

    Thanks,
    Sooraj
    I got an old hi-vis vest, some red EL wire+inverter and stitched it to the vest and used it as a jacket for my backpack. The 2AA battery pack either goes in my bag or rear jersey pocket.

    It gives more of a glow than a beam so I use it in addition to a decent rear light.
  • dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
    Anyone tried the new lezyne macro drive 600xl front light? Looking at either replacing or adding to the micro drive front I already have on the bike.
    Is it really better to run 2 front lights or is it wasting my cash having 2 front lights? Only a 10 mile each way commute but do like to have a front light on flashing mode both ways.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,441
    Dave I found that in town a light flashing and one on solid works best as they can't miss you unless totally blind,once out in the sticks I just have one on solid unless I come across a known cyclist black spot in which case I'm back on flash with the second light. Currently using Moon xpower 300 usb rechargeable front lights and smart Lunar R2 rears can't fault either both bright to be both seen and see by.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Hey,

    I'm looking for a backpack with Lights built-in. Any suggestions here?

    I would like to have it with a cycle log, which would light up using a battery inside the bag.

    Please advise, what you think on the concept. And if you have found one, please link me to it.

    Thanks,
    Sooraj
    hello Sooraj! Did you got lights built for your bike ?


    My commuter bike was unfortunately stolen from home last weekend, the new one is ordered already, so has anyone got any recommendations for a decent light set, up to maybe £50 for the pair, I had Smart Lunar before, the 25 set I think but if anyone has any other sets they can recommend then I would be glad to hear

    regards

    Dave
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