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  1. #1
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    Beginer lights help needed

    So I am thinking that I might want to start doing some night rides, but am not looking to spend a ton, and figured that maybe I can take advantage of nashbars 20 percent off.
    Are either off these any good?.

    Nite Hawk K2 Digital Emitter Headlight
    http://tinyurl.com/356ksn
    and or the
    NiteRider Classic
    http://tinyurl.com/366f3k

    Are either of those any good enough for real trail riding?.
    is one better then the other?
    Help, I know nothing about lights.

  2. #2
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    Having been riding for about 15 years at night get a helmet mounted light first then bar mount. check out the following links;
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/165...Bike-Light.htm
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/145...Bike-Light.htm
    http://www.blueskycycling.com/produc...Head-Light.htm
    I think it's worth spending a few more bucks and getting a good light instead of just getting something that will get you by for now. These lights are still great values and are relatively new technology.All are LED's and have good companies backing them and throw out a decent amount of light. Don't limit yourself to just these lights, I'm just giving you a 'nudge' in this direction. I'm sure you'll get many other posts showing a bunch of other possibilities.
    Eric S

  3. #3
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    Spend around $200-$250 and get a nice basic Jet Phantom with no frills. If you know which shops to call and where to look, you get find them for even less.

    The Jets are reliable, brights, and have great customer service. Halogen bulbs are cheap to replace and a lot fo guys use Jets. Go look at some reviews and let me know if you need some more help. Nite Rider is widespread but low on my list of lights to buy. There are better buys and brighter lights that are more reliable.

  4. #4
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    Funny you should mention the 'Jet Phantom lights'. I have been using a pair of them for about 6-7 years now and they are great lights. I have just replaced them with a homebuilt triple Cree setup and find my new setup to be much brighter and have longer run times.
    I'm not knocking the 'Jets' I just think that halogens are not anywhere near as efficient as an LED or an HID. Sure you can get a halogen light pretty cheap right now but I think 'tener' should buy the light that gives him the most bang for his buck. For $200-250 he could buy a super nice set of lights from any number of manufacturers, but what kind of burn times and what kind of lumen output does that price point give him?
    The links I sent him are way under that price point and I can honestly say that all of those lights are putting out a good amount of light for not a lot of money.
    'Tener' if you can spend $200-250 check around a bit more and look on ebay too. I've seen new light's around at good reductions and thought about ordering a set myself a few times-before deciding to build my own.

    Eric S

  5. #5
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    The new Jet Phantom is 25 watts, I believe. I think that works out to around 780 Lumens. Given their reputation for customer service and how durable and weatherproof their lights have been, I still have buddies who pick them over HID and LED lights.

    I use LEDs now but the only LEDs that are bright enough and have even-enough beams that also have a reputation for durability are pretty expensive. The Jets are proven for close to a decade so I never have a problem recommending them. I also ride with a guy who just bought one. I use a Lupine Wilma and a Betty but his 25 watt Lupine is brighter than my 20 watt Phantom was.

    I'd say make sure of a few thing:

    You get at least 600 raw Lumens
    The company has a track record of customer service
    Their lights have a track record of durability and reliability
    Lastly, read as many reviews as you can find (hopefully from singletrack bikers; not from roadies)

    Look at mtbr reviews, do an Advanced Search on threads here, and do searches on Yahoo and Google using similar terms to these:

    Jet Phantom review
    Jet Phantom test

    Switch the names to the lights you're interested in. I have seen the worst reliabilty and below-average brightness (HIDs) from Nite Rider and the best from Jet Lites, Light & Motion, and Lupine. I don't have experience with Cygolite and some of the others so I can't comment on anything but their Lumens and run times.

    Even though Lumen ratings can be a "raw" number like horsepower, you should focus on it. It will give you a good idea about relative brightness. If you mount the light on your helmet, focus on weight as well. My Wilma weighs ~ 125 grams (very light) and is extremely comfortable. The L&M ARC was around 165 grams and I would not want anything too much heavier on the helmet. Spend a little more than you initially want to and get the best light close to your price limit.

    I have learned a lot from this forum and by calling light manufacturers and shops that deal with a lot of different lights. I have also talked to a lot of night riders on the trails and asked them about their experience about their particular lights. I think Jet and L&M are also very popular and I think nobody ever said anything negative about them directly to me though I'm sure some owners will have problems. I was pretty surprised at the frequency of negative feedback on the Nite Riders though. Many mentioned how dim their HIDs were compared to the L&M ARC. Several also mentioned battery and charger problems and lights turning off suddenly and requiring warranty work.

    Consequently, I have always stayed away. Their CS is good but product reliability and quality control is very suspect. Good CS cannot overcome that where I am concerned. I want reliability over everything else. We have a couple mountain lions here that I'm sure would love to consider a slow-moving walker at dusk or night and it gets really cold in the foothills at night

  6. #6
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    Crisillo slacking this early on the job................LOL
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  7. #7
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    Whafe, he just wanted the prestige and recognition that comes with the title of Moderator

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    Whafe, he just wanted the prestige and recognition that comes with the title of Moderator
    The_Lecht_Rocks: whafe - cheeers - may i offer an official apology for the wagon wheeler "dis-belief"

  9. #9
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    Ditto on the Jetlite. I use a Phantom for 5 years and NEVER had a problem, I even didn't change the bulb!!!! the 12 Watt gives you 3:30h and it is more than enough light to ride as fast as you want. So reliable and awesome CS!!! Jim answer personally and is very helpfull
    amazing company

  10. #10
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whafe
    Crisillo slacking this early on the job................LOL
    I may be slacking but just ordered my first HID lights See..I am "researching"

    seems like the sigmas will have a partner soon
    Last edited by crisillo; 12-09-2007 at 02:18 PM.

  11. #11
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    Halogen lights should be priced at discounts all over the place. Old technology. Inefficient (shorter run times) and heavy battery packs. That LED NightHawk K2 looked like a good value for new technology. It won't be as bright as a 10 watt halogen though, just so you know. Why don't you hang around the Candlepower Forums for a while and learn how to build yourself a powerful LED like. You won't regret it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mofoki
    . Why don't you hang around the Candlepower Forums for a while and learn how to build yourself a powerful LED like. You won't regret it.
    Amen to that! Empower yourself, instead of some bicycle light manufacturers bottom line.

    A current brief understanding of emitter brand names (Cree, Luxeon, Seoul) and bin alpha numeric codes ( P series, Q series, the new R series, V 1,2,3, 4 or 5) and the expected lumens produced at 350mah is a good guide to building your own light at 10 to 20 cents on the dollar compared to the price of a Wilma or a Betty.

    It's far removed from rocket science or trick engineering.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  13. #13
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    "trener1" just to educate yourself on lights check out the link in these forums discussing; "Can you guess what lights these are from". It should give you some good insight in regards to light output and beam pattern. There are also some good links that expand on the discussion and will help out in your choice.

    Eric S
    Last edited by joebreez; 12-09-2007 at 05:56 PM.

  14. #14
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    I really wouldn't bother with either of those two, I would however agree with one in the link provided by joebreez Cateye Double Shot That's a great price for a nice, bright light that can either mount on your helmet or bars and it's also a decent weight. I just got a Triple Shot and was amazed to find out it's as bright as my NR ENduro HID and a whole lot lighter. Construction of the housing is also very robust and good looking.


    Quote Originally Posted by trener1
    So I am thinking that I might want to start doing some night rides, but am not looking to spend a ton, and figured that maybe I can take advantage of nashbars 20 percent off.
    Are either off these any good?.

    Nite Hawk K2 Digital Emitter Headlight
    http://tinyurl.com/356ksn
    and or the
    NiteRider Classic
    http://tinyurl.com/366f3k

    Are either of those any good enough for real trail riding?.
    is one better then the other?
    Help, I know nothing about lights.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  15. #15
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    Lynx...many thanks for the link. I was looking for my first light and was struggling with which one and crazy costs...now I have (will soon have) it. Even ponied up for faster delivery at that price. Hope it works!

    Methinks a homebrew project may be next for handlebar.

  16. #16
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    You're most welcome [size=1](although joebreez was the one who provided it first)[/size]. Although I had also seen it that very same day doing some searching for myself. I'm seriously considering picking up one of the Double Shots myself and giving my bro my NR Endurp HID. TS for the bars, DS for helmet.

    Quote Originally Posted by rafdog
    Lynx...many thanks for the link. I was looking for my first light and was struggling with which one and crazy costs...now I have (will soon have) it. Even ponied up for faster delivery at that price. Hope it works!

    Methinks a homebrew project may be next for handlebar.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My Phantom pics

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    Cateye Double Shot That's a great price for a nice, bright light that can either mount on your helmet or bars and it's also a decent weight. I just got a Triple Shot and was amazed to find out it's as bright as my NR ENduro HID and a whole lot lighter. Construction of the housing is also very robust and good looking.
    I'd second the suggestion for the Cateye. They can be found cheap on ebay. Durable, good run times, more than enough light for trail riding and fast/smart chargers to boot. The non-pro versions aren't über light though. They aren't über heavy either. They're a nice, solid middleground at a good price.

    I have a TripleShot and am very happy with it. Beware of only using a helmet light if you live in a foggy area. The bar lights are very useful in fog because they'll illuminate the ground more effectively, not the pea soup in front of you.
    My bicycle gets more dirt than your 4x4.

  18. #18
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    Thanks

    Thanks for all of the responses, lots of information for me to digest... and then I am sure that I will have some more.
    In the meantime please feel free to keep the ideas coming.

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