Commuting in the Dark

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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby DavidL » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:13 pm

The CREE lights on eBay are not too bad. Though I haven't tested them extensively in down-pours yet I got two based on the experience of the local MTBers here that use them all through the winter here in the mud, rain and sometimes snow.

When purchasing go the 1 or 2 CTEE elements, the 3 & 4 are just too large and the light output is that high that you cannot really us it on the road unless your going to dip them for any on-coming traffic.

I ride on country roads where there is no, zero, nada street lighting so I depend on the light to see where I am going. I have been using a light with a T6 and R5 LEDs which works well, The T6 is more than bright enough for up at around 60km/h in the pitch dark and runs for 2hrs on a charge, and the R5 is perfect for when street lighting it available for the dark patches between the lights and to make sure others see you on the road and consumes less battery but haven't run it long enough to work out running times.

I paid $46 for the CREE T6+R5, but think they are now down in the $30's and work extremely well for the price.

- David.
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by BNA » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:25 pm

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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:25 pm

Get the Lezyne Micro-drive 150, kunalraiker. It will be excellent for your city commute ride, and a good price at CRC.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby clackers » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:27 pm

kunalraiker wrote:The Speed is between 30-35 KMH.Does the info help in assisting with a more informed decision?


Too fast for the cheapest lights, IMHO.

Others have made some very good suggestions if you chuck out that price requirement.

I'll add in the Light and Motion Urban 500 that I got from the Specialized shop on Punt Road.

USB rechargeable at work, instant taking off/putting on without a bracket, swivels. There's a review on Bike Rumor.

Beyond that you start getting into the serious units that have separate batteries, the possum friers like Ayups. I often use (carefully) rebadged Magicshields front and rear.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:33 pm

DavidL wrote:The CREE lights on eBay are not too bad. Though I haven't tested them extensively in down-pours yet I got two based on the experience of the local MTBers here that use them all through the winter here in the mud, rain and sometimes snow.

When purchasing go the 1 or 2 CTEE elements, the 3 & 4 are just too large and the light output is that high that you cannot really us it on the road unless your going to dip them for any on-coming traffic.

I ride on country roads where there is no, zero, nada street lighting so I depend on the light to see where I am going. I have been using a light with a T6 and R5 LEDs which works well, The T6 is more than bright enough for up at around 60km/h in the pitch dark and runs for 2hrs on a charge, and the R5 is perfect for when street lighting it available for the dark patches between the lights and to make sure others see you on the road and consumes less battery but haven't run it long enough to work out running times.

I paid $46 for the CREE T6+R5, but think they are now down in the $30's and work extremely well for the price.

- David.



Seems like the above suits the bill and within my price range.
Anyone else have experience with these, positive/negative ?
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby GeoffInBrisbane » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:47 pm

kunalraiker wrote:
jcjordan wrote:Little lighter like those shown do little more than let people know you ate coming.

If you want to see in the dark you need to invest in some serious illumination, such as what you get from a set of ayups.

Based on your USB requirements I would look at some of the nightclub range


The price can be bumped up, but would prefer to not exceed $50.00
I would be commuting in the dark, so definitely need lights to show me where I'am heading 8)
Although the weight and other requirements do stand.


Not sure why is weight so important to you in this instance. I'd rather a heavier, brighter, more reliable light anytime, over a lightweight one which is less functional. Lights are removable...if you won't be riding in the dark, take 'em off! When you are riding at night, the weight isn't going to matter unless you're racing or climbing mountains, so bolt 'em on! If I'm going to be out after dark I won't hesitate to Fred up my bike with some Ayups...

On the subject of which, I seem to be going against the grain here, but if I'm going to be riding on lit roads, I want the brightest light I can possibly get. As a motorist, it's easy to see a small light on a bike being ridden down a dark country road, but that small light just disappears if the bike is being ridden in a city with street lights, shop signs, many vehicles etc etc.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby Hamster » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:46 pm

Probably outside your price and weight range but I’m really pleased with my Niterider 600. It lights up the darkest path even on the lower settings and on flash mode it can be readily seen. If I annoy motorists then at least they’ve seen me.

A good light is cheap insurance.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Hamster wrote:Probably outside your price and weight range but I’m really pleased with my Niterider 600. It lights up the darkest path even on the lower settings and on flash mode it can be readily seen. If I annoy motorists then at least they’ve seen me.

A good light is cheap insurance.



That's the one I had on my MTB which got stolen really pissed with the whole incident.

Anyway, this time I'am on a tight budget and looking for the best bang for buck, rather then the best out there!
Weight is not an issue by itself but will be when you factor in the additional weight with the extra jackets, shoe covers and base layers not to forget the mud guards.
That's why I'am keen to run lean lights so that I can charge them every trip if need be but still has plenty of grunt to last an hour at the least.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby Philipthelam » Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:55 pm

Lezyne macro drive 300 lumens seems quite good. I don't have it myself but plan on buying it. It is currently out of stock on cell bikes but buy it from cell bikes, it is cheaper than CRC and wiggle and its an australian business!
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby g-boaf » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:33 pm

kunalraiker wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Just ordered that light shown above, I need a new one and the Bontrager Ion2 I have is just about useless.



IS the one above something that everyone is going for, in my price range of course!


I'd tell you when I've got it. It's got to be better than the rubbish one I already have. The Ion2 I have is small, but doesn't throw a very wide beam and isn't ideal for very dark situations.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:47 pm

g-boaf wrote:
kunalraiker wrote:
g-boaf wrote:Just ordered that light shown above, I need a new one and the Bontrager Ion2 I have is just about useless.



IS the one above something that everyone is going for, in my price range of course!


I'd tell you when I've got it. It's got to be better than the rubbish one I already have. The Ion2 I have is small, but doesn't throw a very wide beam and isn't ideal for very dark situations.

Thanks g-boaf, please update this thread once you get yours.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby Xenon » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:48 pm

kunalraiker wrote:Seems like the above suits the bill and within my price range.
Anyone else have experience with these, positive/negative ?


I've got an Chinese cree light (magicshine 808 clone) which I picked up while I was in Hong Kong last year.

It isn't perfect, but for the money it's brilliant. I found the hot spot was too tight for my liking, so I grabbed a "wide angle lens" from ebay (which is just a diffuser). The lens widens the beam from 10 degrees to 30 which makes a huge difference. I also made a shroud out of a bit of a spray can cap and a cable tie which sits over the front of the light to ensure that the light doesn't dazzle other road users.

The elastic mount isn't as secure as I'd like, but a bit of electrical tape wrapped around under the bars seems to stop it moving for me.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:12 pm

Xenon wrote:
kunalraiker wrote:Seems like the above suits the bill and within my price range.
Anyone else have experience with these, positive/negative ?


I've got an Chinese cree light (magicshine 808 clone) which I picked up while I was in Hong Kong last year.

It isn't perfect, but for the money it's brilliant. I found the hot spot was too tight for my liking, so I grabbed a "wide angle lens" from ebay (which is just a diffuser). The lens widens the beam from 10 degrees to 30 which makes a huge difference. I also made a shroud out of a bit of a spray can cap and a cable tie which sits over the front of the light to ensure that the light doesn't dazzle other road users.

The elastic mount isn't as secure as I'd like, but a bit of electrical tape wrapped around under the bars seems to stop it moving for me.


What's the weight like, I e-mailed the seller on ebay and he reckons its pretty light and can be easily helmet mounted.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby Xenon » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:06 pm

The light itself isn't that heavy (you can see my diffuser and hood here)
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The battery pack isn't that light though:
Image

I personally commute on an e-assist recumbent trike (stop laughing), so weight really isn't a concern for me. :)
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:19 am

Footscray Rd and Docklands is part of my most regular route, you could pretty much do it with a candle strapped to the bars.

Maidstone to Footscray, what route? THAT's where you'll most likely need some grunt. Please don't say Ballaarat Rd, I used to do it from Deer Park to Footscray back in the mid 80s. Scary. Essex St was and is a much better option.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:38 am

Mulger bill wrote:
Maidstone to Footscray, what route? THAT's where you'll most likely need some grunt. Please don't say Ballaarat Rd, I used to do it from Deer Park to Footscray back in the mid 80s. Scary. Essex St was and is a much better option.



Well, I live on Rasamond so take the Ballarat Road from Rosamond to Gordon where I then get on to Barkly from Gordon.
Any concern there ?
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:53 am

Google's bicycle directions gives this route for that commute - 10.3kms. Seems a reasonable route choice - mostly shared paths and quieter streets - but I don't live in the local area.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:12 am

Looks good Pete. You'd need see by lights for the river section Kunal, more than a few dark spots there.

Shaun
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:16 am

Xenon wrote:The light itself isn't that heavy (you can see my diffuser and hood here)
Image

The battery pack isn't that light though:
Image

I personally commute on an e-assist recumbent trike (stop laughing), so weight really isn't a concern for me. :)



Thanks for taking the time to weigh these up for me.

I think I might lock this one down, Given something with decent brightness and without a battery pack cost much more then $30.00.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby hannos » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:21 am

What's with the weight requirements?
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:46 am

hannos wrote:What's with the weight requirements?



At this stage, the weight requirements are not really there, but at the same time I don't want a light that exceeds 400 grams in total weight (light + battery)
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby g-boaf » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:26 am

kunalraiker:

It arrived today - first impressions, it is small and USB charging device seems particularly flimsy. Not very encouraging at all. Might be good to pair it with my old light. Otherwise - not convinced at all.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby hannos » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:48 am

Well my AYUPs with the long life battery weigh a total of 235g. Not cheap although their light output is excellent. And they're totally waterproof. Not USB rechargeable as far as I am aware but I really dont think it matters much with those.
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby kunalraiker » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:51 am

g-boaf wrote:kunalraiker:

It arrived today - first impressions, it is small and USB charging device seems particularly flimsy. Not very encouraging at all. Might be good to pair it with my old light. Otherwise - not convinced at all.

What model did you get, have you tested the light yet?
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby MattyK » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:23 am

Will add my 2c on the subject (again): If you ride anywhere near a road, bike path, or people, get a proper (cut off) beam shaped bike light. Anything else (eg round beam / flashlight) is a glaring, dazzling PITA and people will hate you. It's the equivalent of driving around in your car with your high beams on.

Philips
B&M
Supernova

etc
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Re: Commuting in the Dark

Postby il padrone » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:31 am

MattyK wrote:Will add my 2c on the subject (again): If you ride anywhere near a road, bike path, or people, get a proper (cut off) beam shaped bike light. Anything else (eg round beam / flashlight) is a glaring, dazzling PITA and people will hate you. It's the equivalent of driving around in your car with your high beams on.

Philips
B&M
Supernova

etc

+1
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