I've been doing more commuting this year than in the years past. One of the reasons is that I've found an easier way to deal with riding in the dark. For commuting I have a small 3-led light, but I don't like it when riding in traffic, or on paved bike trails where I'm going faster and need more light.

I do have a HID light that I've set up on my handle bars, but sometimes it is too bright when riding on paved bike trails with other bikers on the trail. Plus there is an extra battery pack to manage, cables, etc. I looked at some different options, niterider, cygolite, cateye, etc. But all the options were $60 to $90 dollars.

Then I found some LED flashlights (torches) and a cheap $2 handle bar mount, and I think I've found a solution that is a better light and more versatile than a standard commuter light.

What I like about the flashlight approach is that I can easily use the light for other purposes (camping, hiking, etc.). It also has 3 levels so you can make it dimmer for oncoming bikes and really bright when needed.

I got this TangsFire C8 light from TMART and it is a great example of what I've been using as my commuter light for the past few months. It has 5 modes H/M/L/Strobe/SOS. For under $20 you get a light that is better than most of the 'bike lights' available. There are others that are also available in other formats. I know that for commuting, I won't be using a standard light again. I'm now looking into finding a quality replacement for my HID lights for some off-road riding. Something smaller and lighter.

Here's a good illustration of the light.

Old CatEye 3-LED


TangsFire C8 Low


TangsFire C8 Medium


TangsFire C8 High


This is as brighter than some of the single LED MagicShines that I've seen. The only downside of this light is that it is an 18650 setup, and you'll need a battery and a charger for this, but that's relatively cheap for the ease of use.