What do you think of my lighting setup for the commute?
Once the days get shorter, I'll be commuting in the dark both ways (it's already dark in the early morning when I leave). Commute is 30 miles round trip. I'm on a road bike. I was thinking:
1) Existing Magicshine 900 lumens under the handlebar with one of those extensions from ebay
2) L&M Vis360 Plus on helmet
3) Cygolite hotshot tail light
4) 400 lumen light on skewer with that device that replaces the skewer nut with a light mount
Commute covers everything - some unlit trails, unlit narrow streets, lit and wide streets.
My thinking is that the combo high mount/low mount light would give a pretty good view of road imperfections (and there are many).
Consider a second taillight, so that if the one dies, something else is still working. A taillight can die unexpectedly from a multitude of causes without you even noticing until it is too late. A backup can go on your helmet, pack, seat bag, etc.
I agree with MTBxplorer. I would mount the spare tail light as a pair look bigger and they rarely sync up so are subconsciously annoying (noticed). Stashing a small flashlight with O ring to mount on bars in case of a headlight failure would be smart (the Magicshine light is not super reliable). 100 lumens will let you limp home and you can tip it down to not blind oncoming drivers like a high/low beam. I like my helmet front light for alerting cross street drivers (look at driver with the narrow high power beam).
Here are threads full of ideas, some old and lights have improved (several don't come up unless you know exactly what to search for) nice to have them in a more recent thread for others to find:
Best light for commuting/mountain biking?
nighttime commuting concerns
What's a good 'no-tools' rear light?
Too Much Rear Light?
USB Commuter Lights
A Light Reflection on Side Visibility
Another commuting thread about lights...
I'm a huge fan of dynamo lights, so I would suggest considering something that you don't need to remember to recharge all the time... I have two of the B&M dynamo headlights the IQ CYO RT, and the Luxos. Both put out a lot of light (60 lux and 70 lux respectively), and are always there when I need them. They have a couple of tail lights too; I'm using the Toplight Line Plus, and it works quite well. If you don't want to spring for a hub dynamo, you can always get a bottle dynamo or look into the Siva which is due out soon.
Note: Lux = lumens / m^2 or lumens divided into the area illuminated. You really want to compare your lights in lux since beam-spread matters.
Pretty big fan on a monoprice product. They have a 150lm flashlight that comes with a red gel to put over the lens. $10, flashy mode... my wife tells me that it is beyond annoying. Good... that's what I am going for.
- The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.
If you commute to somewhere with a computer, a USB chargeable light is nice. That way if it dies, you don't need new batteries.
A charger at home and at work is nice to have. It does not need to be USB, any charger that works will do. I also really like dynamos. The lights have gotten really good and they are as close to set it and forget it as it gets. They have wires but the wires never need to be moved.
I usually use 3 rears, one steady dynamo and blinking Magicshine on the bike and then a blinking Magicshine on my helmet. I really like the Magicshine rear lights and they have lasted for me. Because of this, I have tended to stick to fronts that are compatible so any battery works with any light.
Overall though, you have a really good setup. Over time you will modify it to fit your needs.
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