Lights

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by LotteBum, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. LotteBum

    LotteBum New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm keen to find out which are the best, most reliable lighths available, hence I've started this thread.

    So tell me. What lights do you have? Be specific. What brand and model do you have? If home made, tell us what bulb(s) you're running and what type of battery and charger you run.

    Currently I have a Marwi Nightpro Elite single beam. It was very reliable until the charger melted. Kerry from Phantom chased it up for me (despite not even having bought the light from him) and discovered that the bike shop I had purchased the light from had bought it from a wholesaler who supplied the light with an inferior charger. I ended up getting a replacement charger from Cassons. Very impressed and good to go.

    Then recently, whilst on loan to Tam, before she had even used it, the battery shorted (???) and got really hot.

    Anyway, I'm going to buy a couple of new battery packs (thanks for the recommendation, Mr Hughes) for the light, but if I need a new light in the next 12 months, I'd like to first know which are the best and most reliable lights.

    So spill...

    Lotte
     
    Tags:


  2. On 2007-01-11, LotteBum <[email protected]> wrote:
    > So tell me. What lights do you have? Be specific. What brand and
    > model do you have? If home made, tell us what bulb(s) you're running
    > and what type of battery and charger you run.


    *clickety click* Let me see ...

    I have a Shimano dynamo hub, connected to an LED front light. I *think*
    it's a D'Lumotec Oval senso plus, but don't quote me on that - I had a
    fasting cholesterol test this morning, so drove in rather than cycle on
    an empty stomach.

    This sort of setup means I don't have to worry about charging batteries,
    which is just as well - the last light I used with batteries came with a
    DC wall wart to act as a charger, and it ended up frying the batteries.
    Not good. Plus the charge on the batteries was such that I could only be
    sure of having light in *one* direction; it didn't last long enough to
    keep the light going for the full ride in both directions.

    Get some dynamo lights. You'll be glad you did.

    (Two sources:
    http://www.stkildacycles.com.au/
    and
    http://www.greenspeed.com.au/
    that I know of. Greenspeed only seems to carry the bottle dynamos,
    though, but you might want to try emailing them, perhaps. Naturally, the
    hub dynamo will require a wheel built ...)

    --
    My Usenet From: address now expires after two weeks. If you email me, and
    the mail bounces, try changing the bit before the "@" to "usenet".
     
  3. Bikesoiler

    Bikesoiler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0

    Do you want lights to see with or to be seen? MTB or on-road?

    IMO the latest LED's can't be beaten, although for the very best you (or someone for you) need to homemake them.
     
  4. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm also using a NitePro elite at the moment (although mine is bastardised with an overvolted 20W globe and Li-Ion battery). I'll be getting a www.hidtechnologies.com.au light before next winter though. HID and Li-Ion gives you longer run time for a given brightness than halogen globes and nimh batteries. It depends on what you are using it for though. If it's commuting an LED light (either dynamo or battery powered) would probably be a better bet. I find my helmet mounted MTBing lights are really too suited for road riding. Sure you'll get a drivers attention if you look at them, but I feel they are just *too* bright.

    http://gallery.mtbr.com/showphoto.php/photo/35504/cat/851 are pretty good.
     
  5. ghostgum

    ghostgum New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    245
    Likes Received:
    0
    My lights, and links to a few other home made lights:
    http://www.ghostgum.com.au/misc/BikeLight.htm

    I'm using the Master Instruments MW7168 charger.
    http://www.master-instruments.com.au/browse/Model/MW7168.html
    If I was buying now, I'd probably go for the more expensive Swallow charger which can also do Lead Acid and LiIon batteries
    http://batterypower.com.au/battery_chargers.htm

    Most efficient lights are the HID, but are expensive and not good if you want to turn light on and off depending on conditions. LEDs are less efficient but more robust. Halogens are even less efficient and less reliable.

    The newest XR-E LEDs from Cree are as efficient as common fluorescent lights, so much better than halogen. These aren't in commercial bike lights yet. In 12 months time they may be, so maybe you want to wait.
     
  6. LotteBum

    LotteBum New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hmm good points guys.

    After reading what you guys have to say, I'm leaning towards keeping my light (if the new batteries make them trouble free) and using them for commuting and early mornings in winter. It may end up being a good idea to get some uber bling lights for mtb though.

    I did a 24 hour (as part of a team, obviously) a few years ago and it was my first time night riding. I used a light which was the same as what I currently have and it was quite good, even for off road use. But the idea of brighter lights that use less power, is obviously attractive.

    Now if only they weren't so frigging expensive....

    Whilst I like the idea of home made lights for cost effectiveness, I'm a bit of a neat freak. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like riding a bike with mismatched tyres because it makes me grumpy. I don't think I could get on a bike if it had an ugly light.

    Lotte
     
  7. Duracell Bunny

    Duracell Bunny New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm sure Chervy could make some in a nice matching pink to suit the Panther :cool:

    His bar light is probably suitable for both MTB & road as it's diffused a little. The helmet light is most definitely not suitable for road use, far too bright & intense.
     
  8. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    LotteBum wrote:
    > I'm keen to find out which are the best, most reliable lighths
    > available, hence I've started this thread.
    >
    > So tell me. What lights do you have? Be specific. What brand and
    > model do you have? If home made, tell us what bulb(s) you're running
    > and what type of battery and charger you run.


    I have an early ('03?) vistalite 5w and 15w halogen for night MTB. It
    came with a pair of 5 C cell NiMH batteries in tubes. The lamp I mount
    to my helmet and I carry the battery in my jersey pocket. I've since
    built my own battery pack out of replacement C cell NiMH cells from
    jaycar that fits more neatly into a jersey pocket. I'm not doing night
    races, but am doing night singletrack for fun around Westerfolds Park
    and the Yarra in winter (it's like rallying, but slower!). I've been
    eying off the HID lights but am not yet convinced, if I was racing ..
    maybe ...

    For night road, I have an old 7 LED flasher on the back (vistalite
    something, can't remember the name, it's small, waterproof(!) and
    reliable, takes 2 AAA batteries, I use NiMH rechargeables) and a couple
    of single LED white flashers, one on the front, and one on my helmet,
    and a red flasher on the back of my helmet. These are bright enough
    that if I get stuck I can see about 5m ahead on a path on a dark night
    if necessary, but they're 'be seen' lights, not 'see where you're
    going' lights. The LED flashers retail for about $15 each, and I get
    around 4-6 months out of them before they start to go appreciably dim
    (and in winter, I ride at night a lot). I can't see the point in
    splashing $heaps and carrying the extra weight and drag for a dynamo
    arrangement, the LEDs work fine, and a CR2032 costs about $3 to
    replace, once every few months at worst.
     
  9. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2007-01-11, SomeGuy (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > powered) would probably be a better bet. I find my helmet mounted
    > MTBing lights are really too suited for road riding. Sure you'll get a
    > drivers attention if you look at them, but I feel they are just *too*
    > bright.


    Are they as bright as car headlights? If not, they're not too bright.

    Very useful to be able to shine a *bright* light at a driver who
    prematurely inches out of that intersection.

    --
    TimC
    "You can't trust any bugger further than you can
    throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it,
    so let's have a drink." -- Terry Pratchett
     
  10. MikeyOz

    MikeyOz New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Messages:
    942
    Likes Received:
    0
    VistaLites for night mountain biking a 5 Watt on the bars and 5 Watt on the helmet, the stock standard Vistalite battery packs they are the black ones, older models that don't hold as much charge as the Grey coloured packs, friend I ride at night with has the Greys and they last heaps longer even with his 10+5 combination running.

    As far as the globes go, good enough for me even just the 5+5 combo, I would definately go VistaLite again if I got some more. Having said that, I have seen some of the LED lights in use and they are pretty awesome, they tend to be VERY bright but I don't think they penetrate the dark like a halogen globe from my experience, damn bright to look into though.
     
  11. Bikesoiler

    Bikesoiler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0

    On road I too use LED flashers but could use an additional 'see with' light. I will probably build or mod something suitable for winter time. The dynamo lights would be great on my commuter & an investment in a lifetime of light without adding batteries to landfill.

    I'm sure the dynamo fans will speakup soon. ;)
     
  12. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    Bikesoiler wrote:
    > Bleve Wrote:
    > >
    > > <snip>
    > > For night road, I have an old 7 LED flasher on the back (vistalite
    > > something, can't remember the name, it's small, waterproof(!) and
    > > reliable, takes 2 AAA batteries, I use NiMH rechargeables) and a
    > > couple
    > > of single LED white flashers, one on the front, and one on my helmet,
    > > and a red flasher on the back of my helmet. These are bright enough
    > > that if I get stuck I can see about 5m ahead on a path on a dark night
    > > if necessary, but they're 'be seen' lights, not 'see where you're
    > > going' lights. The LED flashers retail for about $15 each, and I get
    > > around 4-6 months out of them before they start to go appreciably dim
    > > (and in winter, I ride at night a lot). I can't see the point in
    > > splashing $heaps and carrying the extra weight and drag for a dynamo
    > > arrangement, the LEDs work fine, and a CR2032 costs about $3 to
    > > replace, once every few months at worst.

    >
    >
    > On road I too use LED flashers but could use an additional 'see with'
    > light. I will probably build or mod something suitable for winter time.
    > The dynamo lights would be great on my commuter & an investment in a
    > lifetime of light without adding batteries to landfill.


    I'm not sure of the overall environmental impact of a dynamo vs cells.
    I think turfing 2 or three tiny cells a year isn't a significant
    contribution to waste disposal. I have NFI re how much waste is
    produced in the manufacture of dynamo hubs. I bet my tyres, chains,
    cassettes and other misc bits & pieces are a lot worse than both.
     
  13. Friday

    Friday Guest

    ghostgum wrote:
    > LotteBum Wrote:
    >> I'm keen to find out which are the best, most reliable lighths
    >> available, hence I've started this thread.
    >>
    >> So tell me. What lights do you have? Be specific. What brand and
    >> model do you have? If home made, tell us what bulb(s) you're running
    >> and what type of battery and charger you run.
    >>

    >
    > My lights, and links to a few other home made lights:
    > http://www.ghostgum.com.au/misc/BikeLight.htm
    >
    > I'm using the Master Instruments MW7168 charger.
    > http://www.master-instruments.com.au/browse/Model/MW7168.html
    > If I was buying now, I'd probably go for the more expensive Swallow
    > charger which can also do Lead Acid and LiIon batteries
    > http://batterypower.com.au/battery_chargers.htm
    >
    > Most efficient lights are the HID, but are expensive and not good if
    > you want to turn light on and off depending on conditions. LEDs are
    > less efficient but more robust. Halogens are even less efficient and
    > less reliable.
    >
    > The newest XR-E LEDs from Cree are as efficient as common fluorescent
    > lights, so much better than halogen. These aren't in commercial bike
    > lights yet. In 12 months time they may be, so maybe you want to wait.
    >
    >


    At US$110 the Trailtech is really good value. It's at least twice as
    bright as the equivalent wattage LEDs.
    I was once standing on the side of the street and accidentally shined it
    into the traffic and a woman in a four wheel drive leaned out the window
    and shouted "Turn yer f**kin lights down ya w*nker!"
    Can't get much better than that!

    Friday
     
  14. rooman

    rooman New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe even a Singer rocker for some :)

    anyone know where to source a waterbottle type battery for a Nightsun SpARC dual beam lamp system...I just came by the front end but sadly sans bidon cage fitting battery pack...

    looks like a cool system with low beam flood light continuously on. I'm told this provides the efficiency and light output of H.I.D. while limiting the effects of frequent lamp ignition. Plus it has an "instant on" halogen spot light for "on demand" high beam giving g greater center beam power when needed for high speeds.

    would like to get it fired up before winter comes around ...thanks in advance if you know



     
  15. Donga

    Donga Guest

    Friday wrote:
    > At US$110 the Trailtech is really good value. It's at least twice as
    > bright as the equivalent wattage LEDs.
    > I was once standing on the side of the street and accidentally shined it
    > into the traffic and a woman in a four wheel drive leaned out the window
    > and shouted "Turn yer f**kin lights down ya w*nker!"
    > Can't get much better than that!
    >
    > Friday


    Anything more to shit off 4WD drivers, besides just by cycling ...

    Is that this one from BatterySpace?
    http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1332

    US$150 for light, battery and cable - then you need a charger too.
    Where did you get it for $110 or was that only the light? The charger
    looks to be another $50. Did you get the flood or spot version?

    Donga
     
  16. Friday

    Friday Guest

    Donga wrote:
    > Friday wrote:
    >> At US$110 the Trailtech is really good value. It's at least twice as
    >> bright as the equivalent wattage LEDs.
    >> I was once standing on the side of the street and accidentally shined it
    >> into the traffic and a woman in a four wheel drive leaned out the window
    >> and shouted "Turn yer f**kin lights down ya w*nker!"
    >> Can't get much better than that!
    >>
    >> Friday

    >
    > Anything more to shit off 4WD drivers, besides just by cycling ...
    >
    > Is that this one from BatterySpace?
    > http://www.batteryspace.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=1332
    >
    > US$150 for light, battery and cable - then you need a charger too.
    > Where did you get it for $110 or was that only the light? The charger
    > looks to be another $50. Did you get the flood or spot version?
    >
    > Donga
    >


    That's the one. Although they've come up with a new mount for it since I
    got mine.
    I bought only the light since I already had my own battery setup. I've
    always used 12 volt systems. I use the wide beam version which is still
    on the narrow side for mountain bike riding but plenty wide for the
    road. It's REALLY bright.

    Friday
     
  17. Bikesoiler

    Bikesoiler New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Check out both Ghostgum & SuzyJ's home built lights. With the right tools &/or skills really nice looking lights can be homemade.
    Just don't look at my 5W LED light. :eek:
     
  18. Dave

    Dave Guest

    On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 21:17:45 -0800, Bleve wrote:

    > I'm not sure of the overall environmental impact of a dynamo vs cells.
    > I think turfing 2 or three tiny cells a year isn't a significant
    > contribution to waste disposal.


    That's a "maybe be seen" flasher. I assume the OP was talking Luxeon or
    similar multi-watt LED, which is a "see by" light. I use twin Luxeon 3Ws
    for my homebrew commute light, running off a 12V battery left over from an
    old halogen homebrew. I've also got a couple of ex-laptop batteries I'm
    looking at hooking up when it starts getting dark again. Good enough for
    40+ on unlit tracks, provided the surface is relatively light.

    Lotte:
    I'd be contemplating hidtechnologies' products if you're thinking racing,
    otherwise one of the various commercial LED jobbies. HIDs don't take
    kindly to lots of switching on and off, but that's not normally a
    problem. Halogen still works, but it's basically been overtaken by LED
    now - you can get roughly the same brightness for around half the input
    power.
     
  19. LotteBum wrote:
    >
    > Whilst I like the idea of home made lights for cost effectiveness, I'm
    > a bit of a neat freak. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like riding a
    > bike with mismatched tyres because it makes me grumpy. I don't think I
    > could get on a bike if it had an ugly light.
    >
    > --
    > LotteBum


    Yes, I suppose 'neat freak' is one way of saying it. Probably not the
    term the doctors would use tho'........ ;)

    Cheers,
    Abby
     
  20. Resound

    Resound Guest


    >
    > At US$110 the Trailtech is really good value. It's at least twice as
    > bright as the equivalent wattage LEDs.
    > I was once standing on the side of the street and accidentally shined it
    > into the traffic and a woman in a four wheel drive leaned out the window
    > and shouted "Turn yer f**kin lights down ya w*nker!"
    > Can't get much better than that!
    >
    > Friday


    You got a 4WD driver to notice a bike? That's some serious mojo.
     
Loading...
Loading...