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LED or Xenon Headlight(8 posts)

LED or Xenon Headlightsigepf94
Sep 30, 2003 1:45 PM
I almost got flattened the other night because a car couldn't see me. Does anyone have a suggestion on headlights (i.e. specialized Astro 5.0, Cateye el 300 or el 400, planet bike 5000xr, etc.) I'd also like a suggestion on taillights. Thanks for the help.

Mark
As a bike commuter, I'd go for the brightest you can afford...PdxMark
Sep 30, 2003 2:03 PM
that can also gives you enough battery time to cover your usual rides. Heck, spend more than you can afford, because it's not worth getting hit to save some money on lights.

I use a Niterider halogen 15w wide angle light with the Niterider 19 LED rear flasher. They are very bright and I can get more a round trip or two on a charge. The charge doesn't last as long as I'd like, but it's long enough. No-one missees me when I have those lights on.

I see alot of other cyclists out at night. Some LED front lights can be OK when viewed head-on, but others are almost invisible. I don't see some of these cyclists even when I'm riding right toward them. Cars wouldn't see them at all. In my opinion the goal is to be visible to traffic, including cross-traffic, that has no reason at all to be looking for you.

As added measures, I also have spoke reflectors, will be re-installing my tireflys for the winter, have reflective tape on my winter helmet and day-glow colored safety reflective triangle stitched onto my backpack.

I figure it's like the old adage about what to do if you are chased by a wild animal. You don't have to be faster (brighter) than the animal, just faster (brighter) than the other folks out there.
I'm with youlotterypick
Sep 30, 2003 2:53 PM
I bought a Cat Eye Stadium.

Talk about lighting the night. Plus if your going any good speed, no little spot of light is going to save you from what lurks just beyond.

Once I got the light, I was amazed by the stuff I must have been just missing the day before.

Now I just need a better rear light.

It's a question of wanting to be seen or to also see. Get the powerful light and you'll feel much better treking into the darkness.
bothDougSloan
Sep 30, 2003 8:01 PM
Use both, a bright main light and an LED. Use the bright one for most times, but you could turn it off on slow climbs. Also, if the bright ones runs out, you'll always have the LED for backup.

I had 2 sets of Niteriders that would just go out for no reason. After that, I never rode with only one light.

Doug
bothoddsos
Oct 1, 2003 7:05 AM
I agree with Doug. I have a set of Lumicycles as my main lighting plus a LED light in case my main lights run out of power or die whilst I'm riding.

I'm using a Cateye LD600 on the rear of my bike. This has been brilliant. It has a pretty good battery life, a very bright set of LEDs and seems well sealed. It lasted a UK winter which is a first. One thing to look out for is the batteries corroding into the contacts. Whilst the light is well sealed the battery compartment gets a bit of spray in it.

Chris

PS Make sure you check your back up lights regularly. I forgot about mine for a couple of months and the one time I needed the LED light I found it was full of salt water...
bothSaddle_Sore
Oct 2, 2003 12:31 AM
Currently I am using a Cateye ABS25 on the front of my winter bike, with 2no Cateye LEDs on the back. I also wear flashing armbands (powered by calculator batteries), and have attached another Cateye LED on the back of my Camelbak MULE. When it comes to cycling at night here in the UK you can never be too visible :|
What do you need it for?Dropped
Oct 2, 2003 9:06 AM
For riding on decently -lit city streets where seeing the road isn't a real issue, I would definitely go with a cheap flashing front light over a white headlight. You can be seen much, much better by cars with a flashing light vs. a tiny little pin spot light.

Those little bike headlights, even really good ones, are almost invisible to cars. This is particularly true when riding on city streets with lots of light sources vs. out in a rural area where your little bike headlight will actually stand out.
What do you need it for?oddsos
Oct 3, 2003 3:14 AM
When there is a lot of back ground clutter on the scene I think powerful head lights more important than in dark areas. I tend to use a 25W flood light for city riding so that cars pulling out of side roads can see me. The wide beam gives a good spread of light so it is visible when I am about 5m from the junction. This is the point when you don't want a car to pull out... I've then got a 12W spot which is fine for country lanes as it lets me see a reasonable distance and being flattened by an inattentive car driver is less of an issue