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  1. #1
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    Is the Light and Motion Seca 700 overkill for 21 mile road commute?

    Basically I will be riding 21 miles of mostly unlit roads at 8-9PM and am not sure if I really need 700 lumens. I don't plan on doing any trail riding at night yet so I don't want to buy a light based on something there is an outside chance I would do in the future. I plan on having a small 100 or less lumen light on my helmet more to be seen then to see. would I be just as well served by a Seca 400? I don't want to just get the best because that's what I typically do and sometimes I regret it. This will be for a cyclocross bike that I will be using as a commuter.

  2. #2
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    I have a Seca 400 and it's definitely plenty of light for what you want to do. I used it on a trail ride last night and it's a good singletrack light on the bars. Even got a car hit me with his high beams to get me to dim mi light on the way home. I like a tighter spot for a helmet light, still using a 15-year-old 6-watt spot from TurboCat.

  3. #3
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    I would go the full supernova and get the 700.
    I've done a lot of night riding out in the deep dark, including a 25-mile commute at night. My light for the commute was an L&M ARC, and it was never overkill. I got high-flashed occasionally, but not often. My current light is an MC-E running off of a Schmidt, and it's not too much. I take the view that light is one of the holy trinity of things you can't have too much of, along with brakes and traction. Better to have it and not need it than vice versa.
    700lm? Bring it.

    Eamon

  4. #4
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    I think maybe the beam is a little wide for a roadie.
    And yes, 700 is more than you need on the road.
    DIY LED Bike Lights:
    A few Dynamo builds and some Small battery lights

  5. #5
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    I agree with Znomit, the beam of the 700 has been optimized for off road use and is very wide for road use.

    However a light with a lot of LED's run on low is far more efficient than one with fewer LED's run on high.

  6. #6
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    I can't recall seeing beam shots of the Seca 400 so I'm not sure just how far it can throw. For a commuting bar light I would want the light to be able to throw at least 100ft. It would also be nice if the bar mount was easy to tilt up or down. Personally I would lean toward the Dinotte 400L for commuting simply because it offers a choice of optics. Unfortunately the Dinotte 400L, like many commercial lights these days, doesn't offer an easy tilt feature. I suppose if you don't care to adjust the position of the light while on the fly then having a tilt feature wouldn't matter. Oh, almost forgot....quick release, almost a must-have in my book.

  7. #7
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    You should also look into a Cygolite MityCross. This is what I use for road riding and is adequate for off-road use.

  8. #8
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    yes its a bit of overkill. you can get something fully adequate for less than 1/2 the price of the seca 700. try the stella, plenty bright for road riding. on the other hand, if you are goinig to night ride on trails then get the 700...

  9. #9
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    The Seca 400 tilts easily and also comes off the bar easily. I didn't measure the distance, but it throws the light a good hundred feet. I'm comfortable going down singletrack at 20+ mph with it and my old (1994) TurboCat 6-watt spot on the helmet.

  10. #10
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    I ride on the road at night a lot. I do it both in the country and a partially lit more developed area.

    On the road, it's hard to have too much light if you get any speed up. The problem is that if you hit dark sections and you don't have enough light, it is really easy to be going faster than your lights can go. You do not want to hit a crack in the pavement unexpectedly.

    I run a Dinotte 600L with a 400L on my helmet and that is ok (600 is slightly more than the 400 in light). I'd like more light and am contemplating stepping up to the 800L or the Wilma on the bars.

    Based on that I'd get the 700 and see how it goes. You might want a helmet light too.

    J.

  11. #11
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    I have the Seca 700 and I commute by highways and country roads at night pretty frequently. If anyone tried to tell me the Seca 700 is "too much light," I'd have to guess they're tame riders who toodle on bike paths, instead of screaming down curving descents at 35-45mph on deer-infested highways with oncoming traffic running their high beams.

    I often supplement the Seca 700 with a helmet light and sometimes one or two other bike-mounted lights. Seca 700 plus a DBS V2 with the OP reflector and a 1-stage digital R2 pill is a nice combo, providing decent close-range and mid-range light (the Seca) and long-range punch to spot major road hazards at 5-6 seconds out (the DBS).


    Let me add this: when a person uses lights every workday, twice a day, presumably in traffic, in demanding conditions where just a little light isn't always enough, why should they be expected to settle for second-class lights? They're using them constantly, their safety is involved... they deserve good equipment, not poser equipment. I don't buy the "oh, you're just a commuter... here, you can use this toy light" baloney.

  12. #12
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    I run a Seca 400 with a Stela 200L on the helmet. I go down tight singletrack at 20+ mph, have gone down streets at 30+ and it's enough light for me. I'm not saying you shouldn't get the 700, but if cost is an issue, the combo I use is good enough. If you're one of those people who has to have the biggest and the best and need to justify it, hey, it's your money. Just don't blow smoke about how less light isn't enough.

  13. #13
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    screaming down curving descents at 35-45mph on deer-infested highways with oncoming traffic running their high beams.
    Wish my ride to work was like that.

  14. #14
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    In m opinion, 600-700 lumens is sort of the starting point for safe, at speed riding on roads or trails. It's best to supplement that with about 400 lumens that is helmet mounted.

    I've done it with less, but there is *clearly* more margin for safety as you add more light. I don't think we've gotten to the point yet where a single rider has too much light. We might be getting close, but there is still a need for more.

    IMO, if you try and do with less, it is just going to cost you more as you have to trade up.

    J.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctorsti
    Basically I will be riding 21 miles of mostly unlit roads at 8-9PM and am not sure if I really need 700 lumens..... I plan on having a small 100 or less lumen light on my helmet more to be seen then to see..... This will be for a cyclocross bike that I will be using as a commuter.
    You didn't mention what your max speed will be in this commute. For a 21 mile commute you will need at least 1.5hrs of light, no problems there, most commercial systems run for more than two hours. I've run my Dinotte 600L ( bar mounted )on and off road. It works fine either way but if I'm on the road and start going down a big hill over 30mph, thats when things start to get tense. For me the answer is a good helmet light with some throw ( 150-200ft. ) I have a good MC-E torch that does this very well and provides a great safety margin for when I need it. I just turn it off when I don't need it or on low as a "see me" light. If you're not hitting any high speed down hills then you will probably be fine with just your 400-700lm bar lamp. I agree with everything that mechBgon stated in his last post. If I were you I would take what he said to heart. IMO, it is better to have more light and not need it than to need more light and not have it.

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