Cateye LED headlights

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Horace, Sep 10, 2003.

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  1. Horace

    Horace Guest

    I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.

    I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would you rate the illumination?

    Horace
     
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  2. Rivermist

    Rivermist Guest

    If you need the light to see where you are going you will need the expensive systems. The LED lights
    are just if you want a light for the cars to see you.

    "Horace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would
    you
    > rate the illumination?
    >
    > Horace
     
  3. Ken Bessler

    Ken Bessler Guest

    "Horace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would
    you
    > rate the illumination?
    >
    > Horace
    >
    >

    The light is absolutly painfull to look at - IMHO it's a bargain.

    Ken
     
  4. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Horace wrote:
    >
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would you rate the illumination?
    >
    > Horace

    It's not enough to see with. Get the Cateye HL-1500 (4 AA's, works with NiMH's); in fact get two and
    you'll be very happy, one on each side of the handlebar. Oncoming cars dim their lights rather than
    raising them when they see two lights.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  5. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    My experience is the same as everyone else here. LED headlights are superb for making your bike
    visible. But they do zip for illuminating things that go bump in the night or even worse things that
    will make you go bump in the night. Even with a high powered headlight, having an LED for backup
    would not be a bad idea.
     
  6. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Horace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would
    you
    > rate the illumination?
    >

    Like others said ....

    What's your safety or life worth? I can't believe how many people won't drop $100 to be safe for,
    how long (?), a couple year's worth? How much is that per commute? Think rather hard about that
    before you cheap out on lights.

    Anyway, you can buy a two-bulb Sigma Sport 5/20W bulbs with 3.2Amp hour 6v rechargeable lead acid
    battery for about $60. http://www.sigmasport.com/index_usa.html.

    Give me a holler if you can't find someone to get you one.

    --
    Robin Hubert <[email protected]
     
  7. Horace <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would
    you
    > rate the illumination?
    >
    > Horace
    >
    horace; How bout some specifics....commute distance, time of commute, on what surface (city streets,
    country roads?) You can by with an el300 IF the rouute is a well lit city street but only at lower
    (less than 15 mph) speeds. If I was on a poorly lit road, working it hard, then I'd need some more
    light (cept if I had the eyes of an owl). I'm using about 5 watts with a BISy light and find it ok
    in poorly lit conditions- nice pattern - good cutoff at the top of the pattern but a little bit more
    lumens would be appreciated. Pat
     
  8. "Horace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would you rate the illumination?
    >
    > Horace

    Those LED lights are "being seen" lights only.

    Some inexpensive higher power lights are:

    Cygo Lite Night Rover 12 watt 6 volt Gel-Cell Lightset, $53
    http://store.airbomb.com/site/intro445c.html?PageID=37&SKU=LT7814

    Sigma Sport Mirage X 5-20 watt http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=LT1025, $52

    Also get a xenon strobe, not an LED flasher for the rear.

    You could build something yourself as well. See http://nordicgroup.us/s78
     
  9. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Steven Scharf wrote:
    > Also get a xenon strobe, not an LED flasher for the rear.

    Put TWO steady-mode Vista Eclipse LED taillights on the back, at about 1 foot spacing. They're
    plenty bright and are what traffic expects to see and interpret easily as a vehicle. Same principle
    as using two lights on the front.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  10. Stp

    Stp Guest

    "Horace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    > posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    > I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    > batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would
    you
    > rate the illumination?
    >
    > Horace
    >
    >

    I'll second what several others have said here. You do need light to light your path, not just to
    be seen, if you are going through any dark areas. Being seen by cars is most definitely not your
    only worry.

    For example - I rode last night for 45 minutes on suburban streets that are lit but there are dark
    areas between the street lights. I passed lots of people out enjoying the evening. Of these, no less
    than 6 runners and 2 cyclists where in the road with no reflective gear, no lights and they were
    wearing dark clothes. I would have hit at least one of them if I had not had my own headlight to
    illuminate them in time for me to see them and change my path.

    If you cross paths with any such morons (and you will), your back wheel will be rolling over their
    head before you even see them if you don't have a decent light. Get a decent headlight not just a
    marker light like the Cateye if you plan on traveling at anything above a walking pace.

    STP
     
  11. Ram

    Ram Guest

    I've been using the EL300 for 4 months now on my commute. If your ride is on city streets they're
    excellent. I aim mine a bit low and it does give acceptable coverage up to 15mph or so. Personally
    I'm not comfortable riding faster than that at night in town. I'm a bike commuter riding 8 miles
    each way. I use rechargables and a set lasts me a month with my ride home at 3AM obviously being in
    the dark<s>. With my old Roadtoad light I was going through 1 1/2 sets a week.

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    >
    >
    >I want to start commuting to work sometime this fall, but will need a headlight. I've seen lots of
    >posts about the hi-power systems ($100+), but that's out of my price range now.
    >
    >I'm interested in one of the Cateye LED headlights (EL300), which I can power with rechargable
    >batteries. Has anyone used them? If so, how would you rate the illumination?
    >
    >Horace
     
  12. Horace

    Horace Guest

    "patrick mitchel" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > >
    > horace; How bout some specifics....commute distance, time of commute, on what surface (city
    > streets, country roads?) You can by with an el300 IF
    the
    > rouute is a well lit city street but only at lower (less than 15 mph) speeds. If I was on a poorly
    > lit road, working it hard, then I'd need
    some
    > more light (cept if I had the eyes of an owl). I'm using about 5 watts
    with
    > a BISy light and find it ok in poorly lit conditions- nice pattern - good cutoff at the top of the
    > pattern but a little bit more lumens would be appreciated. Pat
    >
    >

    The commute would be on urban streets, some in neighborhoods, some in commercial (i.e. 45 mph)
    areas, around 5:30-6:00 p.m., which is our afternoon rush time. Distance is roughly four miles,
    which I expect would take maybe 15-20 minutes. There are several route options for avoiding most of
    the high speed traffic. Most of the streets have adequate lights, though not always closely spaced,
    and are in good condition. The only bike light I've ever used was a tire-powered generator set-up,
    some 30 years ago, which was incredibly b-a-d. :) (I think it was a Schwinn).
     
  13. Horace

    Horace Guest

    "Steven Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > Those LED lights are "being seen" lights only.
    >
    > Some inexpensive higher power lights are:
    >
    > Cygo Lite Night Rover 12 watt 6 volt Gel-Cell Lightset, $53
    > http://store.airbomb.com/site/intro445c.html?PageID=37&SKU=LT7814
    >
    > Sigma Sport Mirage X 5-20 watt http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=LT1025, $52
    >
    > Also get a xenon strobe, not an LED flasher for the rear.
    >
    > You could build something yourself as well. See http://nordicgroup.us/s78

    Thanks for the links! The Sigma Sport looks like a good deal. I'd really like to avoid the
    lead-acid/Ni-Cad batteries if possible.
     
  14. Horace <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Steven Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > > Those LED lights are "being seen" lights only.
    > >
    > > Some inexpensive higher power lights are:
    > >
    > > Cygo Lite Night Rover 12 watt 6 volt Gel-Cell Lightset, $53
    > > http://store.airbomb.com/site/intro445c.html?PageID=37&SKU=LT7814
    > >
    > > Sigma Sport Mirage X 5-20 watt http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=LT1025, $52
    > >
    > > Also get a xenon strobe, not an LED flasher for the rear.
    > >
    > > You could build something yourself as well. See
    http://nordicgroup.us/s78
    >
    > Thanks for the links! The Sigma Sport looks like a good deal. I'd really like to avoid the
    > lead-acid/Ni-Cad batteries if possible.

    Hello Horace; I'd say that in your situation, with the streets being well lit and in good shape,
    the main thing is BEING seen . All the reflective stuff would be useful in the area where the speed
    is 45 mph .Being cut off or turned in front of would be my concern. Be safe and enjoy the ride....I
    get my exercise in the wee hours (4am) and like the morning skies with the winter constellations
    and the occasional owl on the scene. Pat in Long Beach, Cal.
     
  15. "Horace" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Steven Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message >
    > > Those LED lights are "being seen" lights only.
    > >
    > > Some inexpensive higher power lights are:
    > >
    > > Cygo Lite Night Rover 12 watt 6 volt Gel-Cell Lightset, $53
    > > http://store.airbomb.com/site/intro445c.html?PageID=37&SKU=LT7814
    > >
    > > Sigma Sport Mirage X 5-20 watt http://aebike.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=30&SKU=LT1025, $52
    > >
    > > Also get a xenon strobe, not an LED flasher for the rear.
    > >
    > > You could build something yourself as well. See http://nordicgroup.us/s78
    >
    > Thanks for the links! The Sigma Sport looks like a good deal. I'd really like to avoid the
    > lead-acid/Ni-Cad batteries if possible.

    Alas, it's the cost of the NiMH batteries, and especially a smart charger, that really drives up the
    cost of a lighting system.

    You could buy the Cygo Lite Metro, "http://www.bicyclerevolution.com/cygmetbiclig.html" for $52,
    which runs on six D cells, and then buy six D cell NiMH batteries for about $36, but the big expense
    is that a charger will cost you $50.

    You can also just run with the lead-acid for a while, and eventually switch to six NiMH batteries.
     
  16. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Steven Scharf wrote:
    > Alas, it's the cost of the NiMH batteries, and especially a smart charger, that really drives up
    > the cost of a lighting system.

    Once you have a smart charger, you have it for all sorts of applications, in particular portable
    radios that you can make portable again by using NiMH batteries and putting away their wall warts.

    So the cost spreads out.

    It's the reverse in my case, the smart charger having been bought for radios and digital IC
    recorders, and for AA's for the Cateye HL-1500's it's free.

    I charge 10 AAA's a day; adding a night's AA's from the commute is free.

    Smart chargers: for four AA or AAA the Maha C401FS is nice, with a slow charge option if you're not
    in a hurry; for D C AA AAA and 9v the AccuManager 20. These are just what I have and they work
    fine, there may be newer ones. A chief feature, the cells are charged individually rather than in
    series or parallel. Series charges cells unevenly, and parallel may not charge a cell at all if
    (very common) a contact isn't quite clean and you won't find out about it in time. With individual
    charge, if the individual light doesn't come on, it isn't charging; and every cell gets its own
    tailored charge.

    You _will_ need it.

    The NiMH batteries last a long long time. I've had to toss only a couple after several hundred
    charges of a dozen. The per-use cost must be about zero.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  17. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Ron Hardin wrote:
    > It's the reverse in my case, the smart charger having been bought for radios and digital IC
    > recorders, and for AA's for the Cateye HL-1500's it's free.

    Oh and how could I forget the dual eTrex GPS's on the handlebars! One bought to replace the other
    when the page button finally broke off, but my quick-fix repair apparently is going to keep the old
    one working indefinitely, so I have two. 4 AA's total.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
  18. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > for D C AA AAA and 9v the AccuManager 20.

    Is this the one you say charges them individually, rather than in series? If so, do you have any
    suggestions as to where I can find it?

    > These are just what I have and they work fine, there may be newer ones. A chief feature, the cells
    > are charged individually rather than in series or parallel. Series charges cells unevenly, and
    > parallel may not charge a cell

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  19. Ken Bessler

    Ken Bessler Guest

    "Ron Hardin" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Ron Hardin wrote:
    > > It's the reverse in my case, the smart charger having been bought for radios and digital IC
    > > recorders, and for AA's for the Cateye HL-1500's
    it's free.
    >
    > Oh and how could I forget the dual eTrex GPS's on the handlebars! One
    bought to
    > replace the other when the page button finally broke off, but my quick-fix
    repair
    > apparently is going to keep the old one working indefinitely, so I have
    two. 4 AA's total.
    > --
    > Ron Hardin [email protected]
    >
    > On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.

    Dude! I'm with ya! Etrex Vista on the bars.....

    Ken
     
  20. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    David Kerber wrote:
    > > for D C AA AAA and 9v the AccuManager 20.
    >
    > Is this the one you say charges them individually, rather than in series? If so, do you have any
    > suggestions as to where I can find it?
    >
    > > These are just what I have and they work fine, there may be newer ones. A chief feature, the
    > > cells are charged individually rather than in series or parallel. Series charges cells unevenly,
    > > and parallel may not charge a cell

    Both it and the Maha C401FS I mentioned do it individually. (I've retired the smart chargers I have
    that don't.)

    I get my battery stuff from http://www.thomas-distributing.com/

    There are newer chargers all the time. Feel free to experiment, that's what I do.

    Thomas stuff comes with a coupon code for 5% off on the next order, if you want to plan ahead.
    Incidentally I think the not-top-of-the-capacity batteries are probably most cost-effective, rather
    than paying top dollar for the last 100mAh of capacity.
    --
    Ron Hardin [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
     
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