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LED lights for road riding?(9 posts)

LED lights for road riding?Lon Norder
Mar 20, 2002 3:20 PM
Ads for LED flashlights and headlamps claim they burn 50 to 150 hours on a 2 to 4 AA batteries. Does anybody make an LED light that's bright enough for road riding? I'm doing longer and longer rides (hopefully leading up to PBP in 2003) and would like to be able to ride for several nights without worrying about batteries.
re: LED lights for road riding?Akirasho
Mar 20, 2002 8:23 PM
... the operative words might be "bright enough"...

LED lamps have become popular in Europe... and are made by several makers...

Cateye makes one carried by Performance... and Hella makes one that uses a sculpted reflector to maximize output... also, some folks are building LED arrays that approach the lumens of some low watt (10) halogen. The key may be to look at non cycling specific sources as well (google search).

We abide.

Remain In Light.
re: LED lights for road riding?scruffyduncan
Mar 21, 2002 8:05 AM
I had the cateye pictured below, quite bright and light, but not as good as a halogen.
re: LED lights for road riding?cyclopathic
Mar 21, 2002 8:23 AM
would you qualify it as "sufficient" for 15-20mph cruising on bad pavement/flats? how big is light spot?
re: LED lights for road riding?scruffyduncan
Mar 21, 2002 9:06 AM
In a word, no. It's still more about being seen by motorists than illuminating the road. It's bright enough if you take it easy.
re: LED lights for road riding?Ian
Mar 21, 2002 9:00 AM
I would have to agree with the others, I don't think you'll find one bright enough to cruise 15-20 mph and feel comfortable. And that doesn't include any 30+ mph decents. Many of the new Halogen and H.I.D. lights use quickchargers. Will you have a support vehicle on this ride? I use Light & Motion, and their lights are available with a 3.5 hour recharge time. Which is great with their H.I.D. ARC light which provides a 3 hour run time at 13.5 watts, which is equal to a 40 watt halogen.
Seing vs. being seentz
Mar 21, 2002 9:52 AM
Forget about LED lights if you want to illuminate your path - none will be bright enough. If you just want to be seen by other drivers, any light should be good.
I use Zefal HF635 headlight - It has 3 LEDS with steady/blinking modes, and a halogen bulb, which I use extremely rarely. If I was buying a headlight now, I would get one without the bulb, just with LEDs.
re: lights for PBP?cyclopathic
Mar 21, 2002 10:04 AM
what start time are you planning?

there're several "light" strategies for longer 1000-1200km brevets.

One is to use a generator (Schmidt hub or bottle type) and be completely independent. Another would be to use lights with disposable batteries. By any means you'd better off with 2 lights one set up for low (group riding/flats solo) and high beam (downhills/read signs). Lights mounted on the fork project longer beam and expose potholes better.

the PBP veteran I've spoke to used 2 6w lights with big/square batteries (they have enough juice to last through the night). He would ditch battery in the morning, ride through the day and then pick new one for next night (works well for 10pm start)

I've used generator with high/low lights for BMB and it was enough to descent at 46mph. Other common set up deploys 2 Cateye lights, you'd need to carry spares. Never used it, prized by many. If interested there're 2 topica groups (bikecurrent and randon) have discussions of this type daily. Also check audax UK site they have many reviews good luck.
Bright enough for a train headlight ...Humma Hah
Mar 21, 2002 8:42 PM
... While in San Diego, I bought a single white LED to play with. Sucker cost $5, and would make a very good penlight, but it would take a bunch to make a headlight. I'd been told of some people "rolling their own" LED headlights, and was curious.

The guy at the counter said he'd sold a huge quantity to one employee of San Diego's Coaster commuter trains, who'd make up an experimental headlight for one engine. He said, if you notice one of the engines has a very bright, bluish headlight, that's the one with the LEDs.