LED headlights

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by avgrin, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. avgrin

    avgrin Guest

    B"H

    I'm looking for an advice regarding headlights for night time
    commuting because on Tuesday a battery for my 3-year-old ViewPoint
    headlight finally expired. Before buying a new battery, I would like
    to explore other options. I'd rate importance of different features
    to me as follows: being seen 60%, road illumination 20%, battery life
    15%, weight 5%.

    Looking through Performance catalog I found two interesting LED
    headlights by Planet Bike: Super Spot (SS, and Dual Spot (DS). SS is
    a single LED, steady mode for illumination, up to 30 hours battery
    life with 4 AA batteries, sale price $30. DS steady and flashing
    mode, up to 100 hours battery life with 2 AA batteries, sale price
    $20.

    Does anyone have a first hand experience with these headlights or
    others with similar characteristics? I'd also appreciate any
    interesting ideas on the subject.

    Thank you, Victor
     
    Tags:


  2. Guest

    [email protected] (avgrin) wrote in news:ab0e2eb1.0410281909.40be7f2
    @posting.google.com:

    > B"H
    >
    > I'm looking for an advice regarding headlights for night time
    > commuting because on Tuesday a battery for my 3-year-old ViewPoint
    > headlight finally expired. Before buying a new battery, I would like
    > to explore other options. I'd rate importance of different features
    > to me as follows: being seen 60%, road illumination 20%, battery life
    > 15%, weight 5%.
    >
    > Looking through Performance catalog I found two interesting LED
    > headlights by Planet Bike: Super Spot (SS, and Dual Spot (DS). SS is
    > a single LED, steady mode for illumination, up to 30 hours battery
    > life with 4 AA batteries, sale price $30. DS steady and flashing
    > mode, up to 100 hours battery life with 2 AA batteries, sale price
    > $20.
    >
    > Does anyone have a first hand experience with these headlights or
    > others with similar characteristics? I'd also appreciate any
    > interesting ideas on the subject.
    >
    > Thank you, Victor
    >


    There are two kinds of lights: "to see by" and "to be seen" LED lights
    are fine for the latter, seldom for the former. I use a Cateye EL-300
    5-LED headlamp for my commute because the route is well lit w/ street
    lights. As a "to be seen" headlamp, it's great. The odd color attracts
    attention, and the batteries last a long time (30 hours). I wouldn't
    even consider it, or any other LED headlight if I needed a "to see by"
    headlight.

    My $0.02 worth

    Charles Webster
    Haluzak Hybrid Race -- the inline wheelchair
     
  3. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest

    the new LEDS are better but still not very good to see buy unless you get one of
    the better setups a couple companies sell in the UK.

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Guest

    [email protected] (avgrin) wrote:

    > Does anyone have a first hand experience with these headlights or
    > others with similar characteristics? I'd also appreciate any
    > interesting ideas on the subject.
    >
    > Thank you, Victor



    Victor,

    There's a good thread about this going on over at rec.bicycles.tech.

    Here's a direct link:

    http://makeashorterlink.com/?L1AB236A9

    I use LEDs for the lighting on my cargo trike:

    http://drumbent.com/trike.html

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  5. On 28 Oct 2004 20:09:22 -0700, [email protected] (avgrin) wrote:

    >B"H
    >
    >I'm looking for an advice regarding headlights for night time
    >commuting because on Tuesday a battery for my 3-year-old ViewPoint
    >headlight finally expired. Before buying a new battery, I would like
    >to explore other options. I'd rate importance of different features
    >to me as follows: being seen 60%, road illumination 20%, battery life
    >15%, weight 5%.
    >
    >Looking through Performance catalog I found two interesting LED
    >headlights by Planet Bike: Super Spot (SS, and Dual Spot (DS). SS is
    >a single LED, steady mode for illumination, up to 30 hours battery
    >life with 4 AA batteries, sale price $30. DS steady and flashing
    >mode, up to 100 hours battery life with 2 AA batteries, sale price
    >$20.
    >
    >Does anyone have a first hand experience with these headlights or
    >others with similar characteristics? I'd also appreciate any
    >interesting ideas on the subject.
    >
    >Thank you, Victor


    I bought a gelled lead-acid battery from this industrial supply
    house ( http://www.rpelectronics.com/ ) last year when my old one
    died. The six volter cost me about $40 Canadian with shipping.
    I commute year round on very dark roads and depending on the season I
    have to be able to see the icy spots, potholes and the occasional
    moose (rural New Brunswick). My 10 watt halogen light works fairly
    well.
     
  6. David Bogie

    David Bogie Guest

    If you commute, visibility and vision are 50/50, cost and weight and
    battery life are non-factors if your safety is concerned. Why would
    you risk not being seen by a driver on her cell phone or failing to
    see that pothole just so you can save a few dollars? You wouldn't
    drive your car with only one headlight or with all of your taillights
    burned out.

    For serious commuting, in addition to proper clothing that might might
    include some IllumiNite fabrics or AlertShirts, that means fore and
    aft flashers, side marker lights, a head light, and a helmet lamp. For
    me, that's four ultrabright 5-LED red flashers from Cateye on the rear
    and sides, two Cateye ultrabright white LEDs in front, and a very
    expensive NiteRider HID helmet mount. The front LEDs do a good job of
    lighting up the road immediately in front of the wheel but it's the
    helmet mount that gets me safely to and from work. And, because I've
    dropped the HID once (a $90 light bulb!!), I carry a spare headlight,
    my old 6v halogen; hmm, it's also a Cateye.
    You can get by with fewer units, sure, but why? It's fun to shop for
    bike lights these days.
    Do I look kinda silly? Not really, I look like a serious bike commuter
    who insists on being seen.
    I often notice drivers noticing my lights and I have avoided glass or
    some other hazard uncountable times.

    I buy my AAAs and AAs at Costco in bulk and recycle the wasted batts
    at my pro camera shop.

    david boise ID
     
  7. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest


    >For serious commuting, in addition to proper clothing that might might
    >include some IllumiNite fabrics


    IllumiNite does not work well at all. I was sure disappointed in it.


    or AlertShirts, that means fore and
    >aft flashers, side marker lights, a head light, and a helmet lamp.


    why would you need a helmet light and a headlight?
    there comes a point where more light does not do any good. because it is not
    just how much light but that the diver will actually see you. a lot of drivers
    are blind to anything but cars and no amount of light will fix that.


    For
    >me, that's four ultrabright 5-LED red flashers from Cateye on the rear
    >and sides,


    I can see a light on each side and one in the back but why do you need two in
    back? get the new cateye http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=68186

    this has two separate lights for back and LEDS on each end too. all in one
    package.

    two Cateye ultrabright white LEDs in front, and a very
    >expensive NiteRider HID helmet mount. The front LEDs do a good job of
    >lighting up the road immediately in front of the wheel but it's the
    >helmet mount that gets me safely to and from work. And, because I've
    >dropped the HID once (a $90 light bulb!!),


    two LED front lights and a HID? that's a bit much. I use a flashing light in
    front and a powerful headlight to see by. but I really don't need the flasher as
    the headlight is blindingly bright.



    >I buy my AAAs and AAs at Costco in bulk and recycle the wasted batts
    >at my pro camera shop.


    no rechargables? man what a waste with all of those lights. you must be rich (G)

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  8. I'm buying a couple of 3 watt LED emitter (think 30 LEDs packed into one
    bulb) flashlights from electrolumens.com. One on the head, one on the bar.
    A head light is good to get drivers attention with, and spot things like
    wildlife along the road.

    1. A 3 watt LED is going to be about as bright as a 5 watt halogen - plenty
    bright for commuting.
    2. It uses AAs.
    3. It is power regulated, meaning a pair of rechargeables is as bright as
    brand new alkalines.

    It will last plenty long for my commute home, and unlike a bike light,
    popping in freshly recharged batteries is a snap.


    "avgrin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > B"H
    >
    > I'm looking for an advice regarding headlights for night time
    > commuting because on Tuesday a battery for my 3-year-old ViewPoint
    > headlight finally expired. Before buying a new battery, I would like
    > to explore other options. I'd rate importance of different features
    > to me as follows: being seen 60%, road illumination 20%, battery life
    > 15%, weight 5%.
    >
    > Looking through Performance catalog I found two interesting LED
    > headlights by Planet Bike: Super Spot (SS, and Dual Spot (DS). SS is
    > a single LED, steady mode for illumination, up to 30 hours battery
    > life with 4 AA batteries, sale price $30. DS steady and flashing
    > mode, up to 100 hours battery life with 2 AA batteries, sale price
    > $20.
    >
    > Does anyone have a first hand experience with these headlights or
    > others with similar characteristics? I'd also appreciate any
    > interesting ideas on the subject.
    >
    > Thank you, Victor
     
  9. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest

    O
    >1. A 3 watt LED is going to be about as bright as a 5 watt halogen - plenty
    >bright for commuting.


    depends on your speed I like a minimum of 10 watts and prefer more. soon we
    should see LEDS that will replace halogen lights. there are a couple companies
    in the UK that have good units but nothing in the us.

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     

  10. >why would you need a helmet light and a headlight?
    >there comes a point where more light does not do any good. because it is not
    >just how much light but that the diver will actually see you. a lot of drivers
    >are blind to anything but cars and no amount of light will fix that.


    I use a five LED white flasher on my helmet in addition to the
    Halogen front lamp. The helmet lamp can be pointed towards the
    oncoming car (usually at a sideroad) to (hopefully) get his attention.
    He might not see the halogen lamp but the flashing lights usually do
    the job.
    >
     
  11. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest


    > I use a five LED white flasher on my helmet in addition to the
    >Halogen front lamp. The helmet lamp can be pointed towards the
    >oncoming car (usually at a sideroad) to (hopefully) get his attention.
    >He might not see the halogen lamp but the flashing lights usually do
    >the job.


    my halogen lamp is so bright and covers so much area I don't want to aim it. I
    blind enough drivers as it is (G) even a cyclist coming down the cycling path
    had to squint (G)

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  12. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest


    > I use a five LED white flasher on my helmet in addition to the
    >Halogen front lamp. The helmet lamp can be pointed towards the
    >oncoming car (usually at a sideroad) to (hopefully) get his attention.
    >He might not see the halogen lamp but the flashing lights usually do
    >the job.


    my halogen lamp is so bright and covers so much area I don't want to aim it. I
    blind enough drivers as it is (G) even a cyclist coming down the cycling path
    had to squint (G)

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  13. I've used anything from 2 to 20 watts. Like the manufacturers, I consider 5
    watts the bottom of a decent commuter headlight, depending on conditions.

    I would have to say that 5 watts on your head is worth much more on your
    handlebars, because you can point it at the questionable spot in the road
    ahead, or at that driver you aren't sure has seen you.

    There are already LEDs that compete equally. Look at elektrolumens.com.
    I'll be using one of them as a helmet light, and putting my 5 watt halogen
    on the handlebars.


    "Steve Knight" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > O
    >>1. A 3 watt LED is going to be about as bright as a 5 watt halogen -
    >>plenty
    >>bright for commuting.

    >
    > depends on your speed I like a minimum of 10 watts and prefer more. soon
    > we
    > should see LEDS that will replace halogen lights. there are a couple
    > companies
    > in the UK that have good units but nothing in the us.
    >
    > --
    > Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    > Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    > See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
  14. Steve Knight

    Steve Knight Guest


    >There are already LEDs that compete equally. Look at elektrolumens.com.
    >I'll be using one of them as a helmet light, and putting my 5 watt halogen
    >on the handlebars.


    but they are not really cycling lights. it take about 3 3 watt LEDS to give some
    decent light. so far only a couple places in the UK are making them.

    --
    Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
    Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
    See http://www.knight-toolworks.com For prices and ordering instructions.
     
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