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Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: kap
Date: November 17, 2007 11:20PM
A good friend and I are considering some night bike rides a couple of times during the week days. We are looking for recommendations on bike lighting systems. Of course, neither one has the budget for top of the line $300 NightSun. TiA



SoCal for now.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: mattkime
Date: November 18, 2007 02:00AM
The sky is definitely the limit for bike lighting systems. It all depends upon where you'll be riding. I have a light on my bike for night riding but it doesn't do anying to allow me to see - moreso to BE seen.

figure out the brightest thing you can afford and buy it.



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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: modelamac
Date: November 18, 2007 06:59AM
Try to find LED units - a lot of light and lasting power.



Ed (modelamac)

I think I will just put an OUT OF ORDER
sticker on my head and call it a day.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: Ted King
Date: November 18, 2007 07:44AM
As far as being seen by drivers in cars when biking at night, I've noticed that I can see, and tell how far away, a biker is much better if they wear one of the highly reflective vests.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: November 18, 2007 09:28AM
Quote
kap
A good friend and I are considering some night bike rides a couple of times during the week days. We are looking for recommendations on bike lighting systems. Of course, neither one has the budget for top of the line $300 NightSun. TiA
Really nice one that will really get you noticed, also cheap and easy to make!
1. Motor Oil, one quart.
2. One Gallon gasoline.
3. 50 yards of six inch wide cloth.
4. Bowl to mix oil and gasoline.
5. Matches.
Mix oil and gasoline in bowl.
Dip strips of cloth in mixture.
Wrap strips around body, making sure to leave eyes free, safety first!
Get on bike.
Start pedaling.
IGNITE!!
Folks will be able to see you for miles!!
If they don't see you, they'll hear you!
Next Weeks Tip.:
How to have the forum pick out your toilet paper!

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: kap
Date: November 18, 2007 09:49AM
Quote
modelamac
Try to find LED units - a lot of light and lasting power.

LED system is what we have in mind. We just need recommendations on models/makers. NightSun is believed one of the best. The price is prohibited. We are hoping for an intermediate brand; not CatEyes. Have those and they are not of good quality.



SoCal for now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/18/2007 10:23AM by kap.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: IronMac
Date: November 18, 2007 10:21AM
I think that's NiteRider. smiling smiley

What's your budget like? Where are you riding? What times? Lot of factors go into play in the sort of decision.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: IronMac
Date: November 18, 2007 10:22AM
I use a JetLite Starfire which is a halogen light. Great light but it doesn't have the duration I now need.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: kap
Date: November 18, 2007 10:28AM
Quote
IronMac
I think that's NiteRider. smiling smiley

What's your budget like? Where are you riding? What times? Lot of factors go into play in the sort of decision.

$100 from each of us. Hills up the foot of mountains snaking through the residential areas. It gets dark around 5 p.m.



SoCal for now.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: November 18, 2007 11:31AM
It depends on how well you want to see and how much weight you are willing to carry (in addition to your budget). I made my own system up out of a narrow beam 12 V MR-16, $2 +$10 shipping [www.1000bulbs.com] and a 7 Ah sealed lead acid battery, $20 +$10 shipping [www.needbattery.com]. It lasts about 40 minutes. Buying them locally might save money on shipping.

For a little more money, you could buy a 12 Volt or 13.2 Volt NiMH battery for a power tool but I am not sure how long it would last.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: h'
Date: November 18, 2007 11:43AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
It depends on how well you want to see and how much weight you are willing to carry (in addition to your budget). I made my own system up out of a narrow beam 12 V MR-16, $2 +$10 shipping [www.1000bulbs.com] and a 7 Ah sealed lead acid battery, $20 +$10 shipping [www.needbattery.com]. It lasts about 40 minutes. Buying them locally might save money on shipping.

For a little more money, you could buy a 12 Volt or 13.2 Volt NiMH battery for a power tool but I am not sure how long it would last.

I would be surprised if this type of bulb held up to that sort of shock.
How do you mount the SLA? Any pictires? I have zillions of those around.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: h'
Date: November 18, 2007 11:46AM
Quote
kap
A good friend and I are considering some night bike rides a couple of times during the week days. We are looking for recommendations on bike lighting systems. Of course, neither one has the budget for top of the line $300 NightSun. TiA

As someone suggested, front lights help you be seen, but I've never found them terribly useful for seeing what's ahead of you at speeds greater than 5 MPH, and when you're riding with others, especially in front of them, they're frikkin' annoying (I've been tempted to smash a few).

I won't come back and say I told you so, but if you spend any more than $50 on this you're going to look back later and realize you spent a lot of money for something you ended up using once or twice. And then after sitting a year or two the battery will be useless . . .
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: November 18, 2007 12:14PM
Quote
h'
I would be surprised if this type of bulb held up to that sort of shock.
How do you mount the SLA? Any pictires? I have zillions of those around.

SLA? I could not find an acronym that had "light" in it that matched that.

I used it about 30 times riding my bike to class at night for a semester so I can not say what the long term reliability is like. I made the light bracket from a small aluminum V8 juice can (4 oz?) and some 3/4" x 1/8" aluminum bar stock. I just used a bungie cord to hold the bracket to the handlebars. The battery was slung in a bag behind the steering tube and the top tube that I sewed up out of some old jeans.

It is in storage since I have not ridden my bike at night in over 3 years. If you are really interested, I can try and remember to take some photos the next time I dig through the storage area.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: outcast
Date: November 18, 2007 01:04PM
If your concern is being seen, then I'd recommend going down this path:

[www.ladyada.net] or [www.adafruit.com] for the full kit.

And if you want to roll your own, here's a variation on the same idea:

[drewish.com]


outcast
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: kap
Date: November 18, 2007 01:45PM
LOL! Man, we'd scare the possoms! My friend and I will stick with the traditional lighting system. Again, thanks for suggestions, I'll keep on googling for a less expensive NightSun system.



SoCal for now.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: Maddog
Date: November 18, 2007 03:39PM
I have had no problems with the cateyes LED system that we use. I have the 12 light mounted on the handlebars. Combine this with a smaller, adjustable LED for the helmet and I think you are good to go. The handlebar light stays adjusted to where you are driving and the head light allows for some peripheral lighting as needed.

Note: This is the setup for riding the trails at night (which is a kick), but not really intended to make one visible for street riding in the dark.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: IronMac
Date: November 18, 2007 07:25PM
For that sort of budget, you may have to settle for a couple of Cateye LED lights mounted in tandem. Even then, I would think that that's best limited to street riding after dark and NOT in the hills.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: November 18, 2007 09:17PM
Whatever system you choose (and I have not been in the market for some time), make certain that it has TWO headlights - makes all the difference in being seen by people (who have two eyes, strangely enough).



Hurts like a bastid...
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: kap
Date: November 18, 2007 09:21PM
Vital factors in my purchase: LED, TWO headlights and long lasting battery.



SoCal for now.
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Re: Lighting System for Night Rides
Posted by: billb
Date: November 19, 2007 09:17AM
Bare minimum:
Blinky red light and reflective vest.

Reflective strips like they put on mailboxes / cars aren't expensive, either.
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