HID Light

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Anabolicholic, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Anabolicholic

    Anabolicholic New Member

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    Ok, starting to gear up to get ready for commuting to work, and looking at lights, want something powerful and bright, found HID systems, but starting price is about 400$us and its a lot of change to drop, granted prob save that in gas over the year but still!

    compared to a trad. night rider lite, does anyone have any experience with these "cutting edge" lights and do they really make a difference, i know the benefit of HID Vrs. a standard bulb so don't tech spec me, just want to know personal exp.

    cheers:p
     
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  2. esandman

    esandman New Member

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    I can't answer your question directly (I only have experience with a nightrider halogen system), but I imagine it depends on what sort of commuting your doing. For instance if your riding through a realtively urban areas with plenty of street lighting, then the benefits of a HID over halogen are probably not as great. On the other hand if your riding through rural or poorly light areas frequently then the HID might be a better option. Another thing to consider is if you're planning on using the lights for other things like night mountain biking etc. then maybe the HID would be nicer in that case as well.
     
  3. ohgodnooo!

    ohgodnooo! New Member

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    That is a lot of coin to drop just for a commuting light, plus you have to keep up with charging it. I use Cateye's five lense opticube models (the EL300 and new EL 210) which mount to your handle bars and run on 4 AA sized batteries. I commute at night between two small rural towns on paved and gravel roads and have been satisfied with each lights output. I wouldn't however use them for trail riding at night.
    The light you are interested in though is very bright (like one car headlight), but there are more economical options, even in HID lights.
    Enjoy your commute!
     
  4. missionaryman

    missionaryman New Member

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    this here is what I am using,
    [​IMG]
    it's packaged into a 2C aluminium torch that you can buy at any camping store and it's modified to put out 1150 lumens for about 30 minutes.
    it has a low beam setting which will put out 500 lumen for over an hour.
    weighs about 500g, mounts to the handlebars with a cyclopblock and cost me about $200 to make.

    the closest halogen "bike light" at $220 uses an NIMH water bottle pack and puts out 16watts, it weighs at least 2x the weight but runs for up to 6.5 hours at 8 watts (low beam) - this one is 31watts.

    The most powerful HID I could find for a bike puts out 700 lumens and costs over $700US - this also de-mounts and fits in your pocket for camping.
    I think it's safe to assume it's the most powerful 2C torch you can get - there are a few custom parts in there hence the cost - these are virtually indestructable.
     
  5. rule62

    rule62 New Member

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    I commute with a Niterider Blowtorch, and a Light & Motion Vega as a back-up light and forward facing blinker.

    The brightness and pattern data here is pretty much dead on if you haven't seen this link.

    http://eddys.com/page.cfm?PageID=493


    I would definitely say that the HID lights are worth the money. A good one will bath the road in enough light that you can pick up and avoide glass in the road even at daytime riding speed. They get you noticed too. Most people who see me approaching at night think that I'm a motorcycle. On dreary days when I use it for the commute leg home, I get lots of people who just stare or ask me at a stop what kind of light I am using. So I know that they can definitely see me.

    The main thing that I would say that I have learned is that you can save some money by shopping for a light based upon required run time. I can basically get the same HID light in terms of brightness and watt rating but with a smaller battery capacity for a lot less money. Another element to cost is the type of battery that you will be getting, as well as the type of charger, i.e. fast charge and automatic being the higher end.

    Just do your home work and decide what best fits you. There are plenty of good deals out there (in the states) now that daylight savings time has shifted.

    Personally, I have been much much much more impressed with the L&M products than with the Niterider. My system is holding up only a little bit better than did Hincapie's PR fork. And so far, using Niterider's tech support has been pretty disappointing. My system is still running after two full years of commuting use and abuse, but mostly because I have been able to trouble shoot it on my own. Simply put, I don't think that anybody else could even walk up to it and get it to work, it is that quirky after being out on the road and in the wet. The L&M stuff has held up much better and appears to have been made with simpler designs and components.

    Results vary of course. Hope this helps. ;)
     
  6. F1_Fan

    F1_Fan New Member

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    If you ride a lot at night then HID is a no-brainer. Buy it.

    I ride with 10+20W halogen Nightsuns and the other night I rode with my friend who has a single HID (20W I think). We were side-by-side on rural roads with no streetlights. I turned my lights off and used his beam... I couldn't see any difference with my lights on as his single HID washed it out.

    A single good HID bicycle light is brighter than the average car or motorcycle light... it's amazing.
     
  7. velomane

    velomane New Member

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    Like he said, buy it.

    Yes it is a lot of cash to drop on a light, but you see very well, and nobody can say they didn't see coming. Even cops have asked me about my light. Motor vehicles give you instant respect, at least until they figure out you're a damn cyclist.

    I use the Niterider handlebar mounted unit, don't remember the model. It is about four years old. I've also got the Niterider taillight, which throws a significant amount of light. I've never had a problem with either unit.
     
  8. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    I'll second velomanes comments. I think it's even more important to have a bright light in the city when commuting to make sure that you are seen and can see when there's a gap between street lights.
    I use a Cateye Stadium III HID which is still going strong after a years use for commuting. As a comparison, it has an output of 1850 lumens for 3 hours and only takes 3 hours to recharge.


    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  9. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    So what are the modifications?

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  10. rearviewmirror

    rearviewmirror New Member

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    If commuting you can't put a price on being seen.. go with the HID out front, and the Niterider LED taillight in the rear.
     
  11. missionaryman

    missionaryman New Member

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    very simple actually,

    Glass lens (or it will melt in seconds)
    Hand made aluminium reflector
    replace the 2C's with 2 x high current Lithuim Ion rechargeabe cells
    the high beam bulb from a pelican big d firefighter light

    in this configuration you only get 20-30min run time but with a remote battery you can get much more. It works for me as I only need light for a short while so I cut run time to save weight.
    the low beam (16w) will put out about 500 lumen and run for over an hour, the difference is barely visible to the eye.

    the great thing about this set up is the versatility of also having a super brigh pocket sized torch, and, because it's over driven slightly the colour temp is about 3900K (HID is 4200K) so it's white not yellow like most halogens that like F1_Fan said are barely visible in comparison.

     
  12. avatar78

    avatar78 New Member

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