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  1. #1
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    Cheap Wal-Mart lights.

    I see people in here are paying 100 plus for bike lights...I don't understand that.

    I ride alot at night(mostly road) winters and use a cheap Wal-Mart light set.

    It is a flashlight type with anice LED rear tailight flasher that chases like a police light...very effective, very brite. I run two headlights and they run on three triple a batteries.

    Payed like 20 bucks...

    I don't understand paying a fortune for bike lights..Who else just runs Wal-Mart cheapos?

    They have been great, abused never quit.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingAround View Post
    I see people in here are paying 100 plus for bike lights...I don't understand that.

    I ride alot at night(mostly road) winters and use a cheap Wal-Mart light set.

    It is a flashlight type with anice LED rear tailight flasher that chases like a police light...very effective, very brite. I run two headlights and they run on three triple a batteries.

    Payed like 20 bucks...

    I don't understand paying a fortune for bike lights..Who else just runs Wal-Mart cheapos?

    They have been great, abused never quit.

    road and trails are a completely different story. try charging downhill at 20 mph through tight, wooded, rough singletrack and get back to us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_rider_x View Post
    road and trails are a completely different story. try charging downhill at 20 mph through tight, wooded, rough singletrack and get back to us.
    I've ridden trail at night/dusk with my cheap lights. Probably not that fast, but I am seeing 300 plus dollars, even 699 dollars for a bike light...


  4. #4
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    pick up a spokegrenade, magicshine, etc. 100 bucks...good to go. no need to spend 300+ unless you're looking to do endurance racing or full blown downhill runs.

  5. #5
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    Try one of the bright lights (300 Lums at least) and you won't go back.

  6. #6
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    Just like you can buy a $500 or $5000 bike.......it's great that we have lots of choices.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aengis View Post
    Try one of the bright lights (300 Lums at least) and you won't go back.
    +1 for this!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingAround View Post
    I see people in here are paying 100 plus for bike lights...I don't understand that.

    I ride alot at night(mostly road) winters and use a cheap Wal-Mart light set.

    It is a flashlight type with anice LED rear tailight flasher that chases like a police light...very effective, very brite. I run two headlights and they run on three triple a batteries.

    Payed like 20 bucks...


    I don't understand paying a fortune for bike lights..Who else just runs Wal-Mart cheapos?

    They have been great, abused never quit.
    Well fine, I suppose those Walmart lights have their uses and yes you can use any thing for a bike light that emits light. However your ratio of "Bang vs. Buck" is on the super low side. I have a torch ( XM-L powered flash light ) that I paid maybe $20-$25 for and the output it produces rivals the output of the more expensive XM-L bike lights. I figure those W-mart lights put out maybe 50-100 lumen each ( if that ). My XM-L torch about 650 to 700 lumen on high. Easily as much light as my old $400 DiNotte 600L light set can put out.

    If you want to go cheap, fine. Not sure you will see every obstacle on the road with your lights but at least they should be enough for others to see you. One word of advice though. Make sure you wear a helmet if you have any plans on riding on a busy road at night. The brain you save might be your own.

  9. #9
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    I see from other posts that you only recently got back into paid employment so I assume you value a dollar more than others. I hope that you have got into the swing of things & all is well.

    There are plenty of people on this forum who use cheap flashlights, it's just that most of those prefer more light & runtime than you will get from 3 AAA batteries, instead using lights based on Li-ion batteries, especially in the "18650" size (18 mm diameter, 65mm long)

    Just to give you an example, my current helmet light is $16.70, $10.40 for the tail light plus an extra $8.34 to make it flash. You can get reasonable batteries for $9.90 a pair. I have a balance charger for my other lights, but you can pick up a functional one for $6.90

    But if you are happy with your lights then good luck to you. As long as you are out there having fun, then I don't mind how cheap or how expensive your lights are.

  10. #10
    just a Newbie
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    I share with you a little secret of a different point of view from the other side.

    I find myself jumping in the car driving off with my window all fogged up blocking my view including both driver and passenger side window. The weather where I live creates some near perfect dew point condition. When I reach an intersection making a right turn, I very seldom can see low power lights. I can differenciate a car headlight approaching and most cyclist running at least 300 to 500 lumens, but anything less and they stand a good chance of getting T-bone.

    I know I'm not the only one who just hop in the car and go, but I'm just the few who admit to doing that.

    When I started bike commuting, I was using a 4 led x 3AAA Walmart light. I realise the chance I was taking about not being seen from drivers who has the same habit as I do. I bought my first high power light, Magicshine 808 P7 and the difference was like night and day. Never going back ever again.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingAround View Post
    I see people in here are paying 100 plus for bike lights...I don't understand that.

    I ride alot at night(mostly road) winters and use a cheap Wal-Mart light set.

    It is a flashlight type with anice LED rear tailight flasher that chases like a police light...very effective, very brite. I run two headlights and they run on three triple a batteries.

    Payed like 20 bucks...

    I don't understand paying a fortune for bike lights..Who else just runs Wal-Mart cheapos?

    They have been great, abused never quit.



    I don't. I place more value on my well being apparently. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find an exceptional value as long as it doesn't come at the expense of your safety imo. Being seen or not seen is the only thing between you and the grill of a Pontiac sometimes.

  12. #12
    Action LED Lights
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    One other thing to consider with cheap AA lights is that the brightness changes with the amount of charge left in the battery. Put in a fresh set and there some what bright but it's all down hill from there.
    Most tail lights have the same problem.
    At $65 the Titan P7 we have on sale will put your Walmart light to shame, If you use your light much, the cost of batteries will soon make up the difference.
    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by find_bruce View Post
    I see from other posts that you only recently got back into paid employment so I assume you value a dollar more than others. I hope that you have got into the swing of things & all is well.

    Everything is great) Just got a new job at a local airport FBO...I like the job and it's close by.


    About my Wal-Mart lights....They are good lights, reliable and the batteries last quite a while, I hear cars slowing down far away in the back of me and my mom even says she thought a cop was up ahead due to the way my rear tail is bright and chases like a cop car light.
    The two lights on the front are bright as well, but I am not going to say they are as bright as the ones you guys have shown, not even close. Sufficient probably, but really not bright enough for serious, long road riding, I agree. For 20 bucks they are good lights for going to the store or riding around camp, things like that, although I have been riding distance at night with them. Although I believe I am seen well, they are really only a faint, bluish light beam.

    I didn't know so many options with bike lights existed, but with my new crave to ride at night, in the winter and summer....I wil be looking to get a better light as recommended for safety. We all know how crazy the roads are with people not paying attention so...brighter is better on a bicycle. I don't feel like getting paralyzed.

    Advice taken and thanks for showing me straight....safety first, man.

  14. #14
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    Here are the ones I have. I bought two sets so I could have two headlights and two tailights for backup. Sometimes I run both headlights the same time.

    Zefal Light Set - Walmart.com

  15. #15
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    hey, at least you're using lights! That's better than a lot of cyclists on the road at night. If they work for you at a price you like, awesome, but I couldn't go back to low power lights, even on the road. They're fine to be seen by when there's some ambient light around, but as soon as it's properly dark or raining, they might as well not be on. If you're going to be doing a lot of road riding at night it would be worth saving up your dollars and getting a front and rear torch/ flashlight (you can get red LED ones for the back). I'd even recommend a helmet mount for your front light - the number of times flashing my light at a car waiting at an intersection has saved my skin is beyond number.

  16. #16
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    Huge difference once you are in the woods. My friends still trying to "get by" with cheap lights. When they see the light my Minewt mini throws out, they are absolutely amazed. Plus, they try to ride too close to me at night
    2007 Cdale Caffeine 29er Lefty.
    "Your not going to shove you're proper grammer down are throats!!"

  17. #17
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    I used to run Walmart lights till...

    Hey, there's nothing wrong with Wal-mart lights, but I'll never forget the day I almost got taken out by a driver overtaking another vehicle. My light output was so insufficient that he thought I was a vehicle in the distance, and if it wasn't for my quick thinking I'd be a road pancake. Since then I decided to put brighter lights on my bike for night riding, and even then I am still apprehensive about riding at night. (it's odd that he couldn't see me despite me having 3M reflective tape on my tubes, bright blue shirt, and reflective sash belt.

    Since then I upgraded to a nice 25 dollar light from my local bike shop. It does what I need it to do, but it's still a bit low on the lumen output. It's throw however is incredible and is exactly why I prefer it over my wally-world light which ceased to function when I changed the batteries. Those Zefal lights are actually pretty nice though, better than most of those wally-world lights you usually find.

    Going back to trail riding, Racers and those training for races need that output and weight savings (which is partially why they are more expensive- though not always the case). Sure you might be able to determine that a turn is coming up with your low lumen light at a cruising speed (10-15MPH) but anything above cruising you need a far throw and a bright light to illuminate trail features so you don't end up popping an endo of a misplaced rock on the trail.

    Sometimes those extra lumens and light throw are the only difference between making a good timing sesh, or breaking your neck. 24H racers and cross country guys need the output as well because more often than not the trail can become treacherous and slowing down because your light is insufficient is not an option.

    So it comes from both sides. If you're just cruising around the neighborhood, a DiNotte XL3 or 1200L is overkill. I got a Blackburn Voyager that's perfect for that (My 25 buck light) with good enough output to light up street signs from about 250ft. But when you're on the trail, the light output isn't enough to allow quick differentiation, and will also induce mental fatigue as your brain works overtime to figure out what it's seeing. So bright light is better for endurance and trail riding, but isn't necessary otherwise unless you're riding in a city where maximum illumination is necessary to keep you from getting killed. Which is exactly why I'm upgrading my headlight on my bike to a 350 lumen or more.

    So I can understand where you're coming from. But understand there is a place for everything. Many of these lights are small and light, and that tends to make them pricey. Especially when these lights have light extended run battery packs that can be pretty pricey to make (LiPo Batteries are expensive dude!). So it's fully understandable when a handheld torch that doesn't have any of that electronic circuitry and Lithium Polymer power costs 1/3 of what these systems do.

  18. #18
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    cheap lights have their place, but when you spend the money for a nice light, you definitely get what ya paid for

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    One other thing to consider with cheap AA lights is that the brightness changes with the amount of charge left in the battery. Put in a fresh set and there some what bright but it's all down hill from there.
    Most tail lights have the same problem.
    At $65 the Titan P7 we have on sale will put your Walmart light to shame, If you use your light much, the cost of batteries will soon make up the difference.

    can I get one of these lights for $65? If so pm me and I will buy one to try .

    Luis

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by find_bruce View Post
    I see from other posts that you only recently got back into paid employment so I assume you value a dollar more than others. I hope that you have got into the swing of things & all is well.

    There are plenty of people on this forum who use cheap flashlights, it's just that most of those prefer more light & runtime than you will get from 3 AAA batteries, instead using lights based on Li-ion batteries, especially in the "18650" size (18 mm diameter, 65mm long)

    Just to give you an example, my current helmet light is $16.70, $10.40 for the tail light plus an extra $8.34 to make it flash. You can get reasonable batteries for $9.90 a pair. I have a balance charger for my other lights, but you can pick up a functional one for $6.90

    But if you are happy with your lights then good luck to you. As long as you are out there having fun, then I don't mind how cheap or how expensive your lights are.

    This is a good post. I run the same headlight and batteries. Hard to beat a full bright light set for under 50 bucks and it's RECHARGEABLE. Buying AA or AAAs will easily cost you a fortune over the long run.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  21. #21
    turtles make me hot
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    I ride with two 900 Lumen lights. I can ride as fast at night as I do during the day. I can't even imagine trail riding with 300 lumens.
    I like turtles

  22. #22
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    Lumens versus angle of light

    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    One other thing to consider with cheap AA lights is that the brightness changes with the amount of charge left in the battery. Put in a fresh set and there some what bright but it's all down hill from there.
    Most tail lights have the same problem.
    At $65 the Titan P7 we have on sale will put your Walmart light to shame, If you use your light much, the cost of batteries will soon make up the difference.
    I am wondering how much the angle of the light has to do with "tunnel vision." We can flood the path with light, but I am thinking that the higher up the light, the more realistic the path will look. I have tried using both a helmet and a handlebar light at the same time, still slammed into some of the unseen obstacles...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superstition62 View Post
    I am wondering how much the angle of the light has to do with "tunnel vision." We can flood the path with light, but I am thinking that the higher up the light, the more realistic the path will look. I have tried using both a helmet and a handlebar light at the same time, still slammed into some of the unseen obstacles...
    IMO you are correct ( if I understand you correctly ). A certain degree of "tunnel vision" makes for better visibility IMO. If your beam patterns are too wide there is usually less distance throw and considerably more "splash back light" that can limit your ability to see at night. Opinions though vary on this issue.

    Personally I like a medium wide beam ( 12-15 ) coming off the bars. This gives a nice spread in front of the bike and yet still allows some decent distance throw. Then I prefer a helmet light that is more narrow so it can carry well beyond the bar light and at least 150 ft.

    Once again, having the ability to adjust the light with good dimming is a big plus and allows you to "dial in" the perfect output.

    Still all things considered, night riding is more dangerous than day riding. Bike lights are designed to give you good visibility but there are limitations to using them. At night your lights can't illuminate around solid objects or thick foliage. This makes taking turns a little more dangerous. Most of my mishaps at night have come from riding too fast in sections that included blind turns, high grass/ foliage or just sudden changes in terrain...( ...ie, the sudden mud pit, the downed tree branch around a blind turn...etc. ) Ride with caution and usually you will not have a problem.

  24. #24
    Rides the Desert
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    I night ride trails with a $30 niterider. No problems

  25. #25
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    If you ride on the roads, reflectve clothing won't hurt either.
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