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  1. #1
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    looking for good bang/buck ratio and quality. whats good?

    I want to buy off the shelf lights for my commuter bike.

    But I don't know exactly how powerful or if I should go with 1 or more leds in the same housing.

    I was thinking a LM seca at first but those are really expensive. And somehow I think i will get a better overall light with only one really powerful/efficient led instead of 6.

    I was thinking like 500-1000 lumens and some kind of fast flash or strobe mode, but with maximum power. What should i look into? Whats good (and not 400bux)?

    How would you guys rate the secas? Or L&M in general?

    I also need a rear light, something thats flashing very bright and fast that gets peoples attention. I was looking at the LM 180, but it seems like its only flashing really really slow.

    I would like the actual light module to last a long time, the batteries I understand needs changing, but the electronics and housing/switches should be of good quality.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  2. #2
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    L&M are known for their beam pattern's as they are second to none. I've had the Seca 1700 in my hands and my impression was that the plastic lamp head felt cheap, and in my opinion would not have survived some of the endo's my Lupines have passed with flying colors. So for off road the Seca wouldn't be my first choice though most would love the way the lumens are projected.

    I just recommended a new commuting light to a friend of mine that I think really is a very good bang for the buck system, it's the new CygoLite Expilion 800usb. It is selling at our MEC store in North Vancouver BC for $109 Canadian so would expect potentially better US pricing. It has a removable battery that lasts for 11/2 hours on full power, as well as five brightness modes with two hidden modes. If their quality is as good as my old Triden X was this seems like a great deal. It also includes both bar and helmet mounts.

    I don't commute and don't use a good rear light as all my riding is off road so i'll leave that category to those who can give real world testimonials. Cheers!!

  3. #3
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    Good info there. I'm torn between going with a selfcontained one and one with wire/batterypack. I would be taking it off at work so it doesn't gets stolen.

    I don't even know if I need a really wide beam pattern if thats a choice between that and more light in front of me. I have noticed I have some high speed sections on my route with hidden bends and such, it felt dangerous riding them full out even in daylight since there is low visibility up ahead.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  4. #4
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    Allright, now I'm looking into nightrider/cygolite/dinotte. these brands makes quality products right? I think i have to start reading those mtbr reviews of lights.

    What brands are good but not overly expensive? I don't really need the best of the best but I still want good to very good stuff kinda. Preferably products that don't have lots of known problems.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  5. #5
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    If your considering separate battery systems then that opens up a whole new can of worms. There are so many good choices, here are just a few i'm familiar with.

    - The new GloWorm products coming out in aprox 6 weeks like the X-2 will give you 1500 lumens out of just two XM-L2 emitters. I believe under $300 so towards your max budget.They have a strong following and great reviews.

    - The Gemini Duo which I have is a very good light, but at 1100 lumens falls short of it's competitor the GloWorm X-2's 1500. But is less money at $229. Also very good reviews.

    - CygoLite's New Triden X Extra 1300 lumen system is priced at our MEC at $229. I'm bias here as I really loved my old Triden X Extra back in 2009 and has always been one of my favorite set ups. Endured the worst wet weather here in Squamish BC, endos and mileage without a single problem and is still going strong with the new owner.

    - Dinotte is also very respected but I have no real word experience so can only share my opinion based on all the positive reviews I've read here on MTBR. Based on what I've read I would recommend without a doubt. The only negative to me that I will mention is Dinotte are still using the same capacity battery's for the past four or more years and with the very high outputs of the new lamp heads believe your run times will be limited more than the competition's.

    Hope that helps a little car bone. Cheers!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I was thinking a LM seca at first but those are really expensive.
    L&M is without a doubt exepensive, but it is no more or less expensive than other top brands such as Lupine or Exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    And somehow I think i will get a better overall light with only one really powerful/efficient led instead of 6.
    that's a false dichotomy. you want a powerful/efficient LED and you want many of them. go to a gas station retrofitted with LED lighting at night - there are many of them now - it's almost like daylight - and see how many LEDs they are using - hundreds to thousands.

    SIX Cree XML2 LEDs is the golden standard of a bike light. Lupine Betty uses 6 x XML2. NiteRider Pro 3600 uses 6 x XML. I don't know what LED the Seca uses but the physical size of the LED in pretty much identical to an XML, and of course there are six of them. In other words - this is pretty much a standard configuration for a top-of-the-shelf bike light.

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I was thinking like 500-1000 lumens and some kind of fast flash or strobe mode, but with maximum power. What should i look into? Whats good (and not 400bux)?
    you can try Dinotte XML-3.

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    How would you guys rate the secas? Or L&M in general?
    trolling aside, there are cons and pros to the Seca. the pro is great pattern, light weight, and very well made battery and plug. the cons are fragile lighthead construction ( thin plastic to save weight on helmet ) and limited modes of operation ( compared to NiteRider and Lupine ).

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I also need a rear light, something thats flashing very bright and fast that gets peoples attention. I was looking at the LM 180, but it seems like its only flashing really really slow.
    use Dinotte for tail light. 300R, 400R or 400R DayTime Red. the only thing better is DesignShine DS500 and it's not available. the Dinotte is expensive, but nobody disputes that you get your money's worth it it. besides, your tail light is the most important light when you're on the road. you should budget your money towards a tail light first, and head light second, unless you're riding primarily off road.

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I would like the actual light module to last a long time, the batteries I understand needs changing, but the electronics and housing/switches should be of good quality.
    that's not logical. LED technology is evolving much faster than battery technology. many people keep their old battery and upgrade to new lighthead, not the other way around. some people ( like me ) will add a second battery, but few people actually replace the battery and keep using an old light head - at least this is not common on properly maintained batteries.

    i estimate if you get a good light today, like Seca, you will want to upgrade again ( both battery and light head ) in about 3 years. if you get a bad light today you will probably upgrade next year.

  7. #7
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    You will not beat the beam pattern of the L&M Seca or Taz. No bull, I still can't believe how wide and far my Seca shoots. Lights up my front tire, guys riding beside me, and as far as I can see. But it's expensive.

    I think the Taz looks like an awesome light for road use...same beam pattern as the Seca and MEC.CA has last years Taz onsale.

  8. #8

  9. #9
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    You're probably not going to listen to me so I don't know why I'm bothering. Doesn't matter. Sometimes it's just a matter of principle. I don't know jack about you. I don't know what you want. I don't know how far your commute is, what kind of roads you'll see, what weather you will or won't endure, what kind of bike you ride...yadda..ding..da. do, so forth and so forth.

    That said, just go out and buy one of the cheap $35 (USD) Solarstorm X2 clones. The lamp is cheap Chinese crap. The battery will be even crapper. Thermal properties of the lamp suck. HOWEVER.....the user interface is dirt simple and dirt practical. Low, Medium, High, on/off ( strobe press and hold to activate ) The Hallelujah chorus is that the lamp has a sweet beam pattern suitable for road or off-road. Nice mix of flood and throw. Every mode is very usable. The battery will run 1.5 to 2 hrs depending on how hard you run it. If your commute is an hour you have more than enough run time to get you home or to work. I hate recommending lights. Regardless whatever you buy I think a lamp with duel XM-L's or multi-emitters set-ups are the way to go as they will let you see more of the road as you approach pot-hole hell.

    Like that T.V. ad with the guy that sits with the kids as he asks them, "Which is better, More or less". Well, we ain't kids. More light is always going to be better but when it comes to money...ahh...More for less money is sometimes the unexpected winner and always preferable.

    Okay I'm done. Kick the ranting CAt to the side and go buy that $300 L&M you know you want........and now back to your regularly scheduled "Yo, help me spend my money thread". rock on

  10. #10
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    Ok now I realize to get like a 1000lumen (with long battery life) I need dual or more xmls. and lenses not reflectors as a lightshaper (preferably).
    I also decieded I want self contained lights both front and rear.

    I see I can find niteriders, cygolites L&M taz/urbans up to 700lm or so and up to 1200 for the taz. Is this as good as it gets in this price range?
    I'm not excluding other brands, I just haven't had the time to look at them yet.

    Specifically about the self contained niteriders, I read in a review that they can only be recharged 365 times and then they have to go back to the factory for batter replacement and probably some resetting of that counter. Can anyone confirm this is true? If its true, can I hack the counter so it resets to zero? Maybe the light will be antique by the 365th charge cycle but as a policy I aint buying crippled products if I can't uncripple them in some way.

    In the rear I have found:
    L&M 180 non micro model
    dinotte 300R
    cygolite hotshot 2w

    Which one of these would be best? or is there anything thats not so good with any of them?

    Any more rear lights i should look into? I don't like that tubular shaped one.

    Preferably would like to spend no more than 200 (250max) on a front light and 50-100 on a rear light.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  11. #11
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    btw my commute is paved with good asphalt mostly lit, hilly and fast. I would guesstimate my top speed at 60km/h and there are several of those sections. I don't commute on a road, this one is for bikes and pedestrians, but of course there are some crossings and houses where people live and drive to and from (slowly mostly). No traffic lights on the whole commute. There will be almost complete darkness soon going both ways when I ride.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Ok now I realize to get like a 1000lumen (with long battery life) I need dual or more xmls. and lenses not reflectors as a lightshaper (preferably).
    I also decieded I want self contained lights both front and rear.

    I see I can find niteriders, cygolites L&M taz/urbans up to 700lm or so and up to 1200 for the taz. Is this as good as it gets in this price range?
    I'm not excluding other brands, I just haven't had the time to look at them yet.

    Specifically about the self contained niteriders, I read in a review that they can only be recharged 365 times and then they have to go back to the factory for batter replacement and probably some resetting of that counter. Can anyone confirm this is true? If its true, can I hack the counter so it resets to zero? Maybe the light will be antique by the 365th charge cycle but as a policy I aint buying crippled products if I can't uncripple them in some way.

    In the rear I have found:
    L&M 180 non micro model
    dinotte 300R
    cygolite hotshot 2w

    Which one of these would be best? or is there anything thats not so good with any of them?

    Any more rear lights i should look into? I don't like that tubular shaped one.

    Preferably would like to spend no more than 200 (250max) on a front light and 50-100 on a rear light.
    Welcome to the world of bike lighting! The only rule is that your wants & needs will always be changing so keep that in mind. I can't offer any advice other than to keep reading. Find a light that has the least amount of compromises to your ideal light and then buy it. It's very easy to over think things and get swept into a long cycle of indecision. Then you kick yourself for spending 10 hours (minimum) of research to save $10 or gain 25 lumens of output. For your budget, you should be able to pick out an awesome light in 30 minutes or less.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    btw my commute is paved with good asphalt mostly lit, hilly and fast. I would guesstimate my top speed at 60km/h and there are several of those sections. I don't commute on a road, this one is for bikes and pedestrians, but of course there are some crossings and houses where people live and drive to and from (slowly mostly). No traffic lights on the whole commute. There will be almost complete darkness soon going both ways when I ride.
    The problem here is that you want the quality lamp but the quality PRICE your not willing to meet. There are lots of cheap Chinese lamps that work but they don't have great batteries. That shouldn't be a problem though. You just buy a better battery and your total outlay of cash is still under $100 USD.

    I've been using the Gloworm X2 ( duel XM-L U2 ) for over three years now. For road or trail I can't say how much I love this lamp. The new upgraded versions will be out in about 4-5 weeks and included all kinds of fancy new stuff. ( read the last pages of the Gloworm thread ) price is about $260 BUT...you can get a discounted older version from Action LED as they are having a sale on the close-out older X2. Either one gives you a quality lamp with great mounting options, wired remote and high quality battery. If you can wait for the new version I would recommend that. Other than the Gloworms in your price range the only thing I can think of designed to hold up well in bad weather and won't break the bank are the DiNotte XML3's , Gemini Duo ( duel XM-L U2 ) and the Duel emitter Xeccon Sogn 900 model ( ~ $200 USD ). All of these lamps will stand up to bad weather and have great batteries.

    Price wise the Gemini Duo looks good and has a programmable menu and around $200. Should be easy to put on and take off the bike. The Gloworm with remote is a little more to fuss with when mounting/dismounting but a better lamp IMO. If you buy one of these can't see how you can go wrong. All are sold by vendors who will back the product.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    btw my commute is paved with good asphalt mostly lit, hilly and fast. I would guesstimate my top speed at 60km/h and there are several of those sections. I don't commute on a road, this one is for bikes and pedestrians, but of course there are some crossings and houses where people live and drive to and from (slowly mostly). No traffic lights on the whole commute. There will be almost complete darkness soon going both ways when I ride.
    I wouldn't call 60 kmh commuting, I would call it racing. Listen to the Cat, he's giving you quality suggestions.

    It's probably more about how much you are willing to spend.

    There's one of these threads every week about how the person wants to get the best/reliable/USA/ most awesome light ever. 90% of the time they buy the $25 xml clone from amazon or ebay and you never hear from them again.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    I wouldn't call 60 kmh commuting, I would call it racing. Listen to the Cat, he's giving you quality suggestions.

    It's probably more about how much you are willing to spend.

    There's one of these threads every week about how the person wants to get the best/reliable/USA/ most awesome light ever. 90% of the time they buy the $25 xml clone from amazon or ebay and you never hear from them again.
    Yeah you are probably right. I have now researched almost everything from the most known brands and powerful lights with internal batteries seems to be a non existing or at least the selection is mediocre at best, and if they exist they are much more expensive than a light with separate battery pack per lumen, so the cats suggestions seems like the best bang for my bucks.

    Self contained is out. Before posting this thread I had obviously looked at many different lights and knew that there was an enormous amount of different lights with separate battery packs, I just didn't want to go there since now it gets like 1000 times harder to deciede what to actually get. But its probably for the best anyway.

    60km/h is only on a few isolated parts, its not the norm, and those stretches are also the most dangerous ones since they are long bends with either trees or other types of sight blocking things. The visibility is about 20-30m or sometimes less. As I said It feels dangerous already in daylight. What goes up must come down. I think my average speed is between 20 and 24km/h or there about for the whole commute.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  16. #16
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    Well, you have tons of posts and a good reputation so I think we all want to help out. You aren't one of the "hey I joined the forum yesterday - tell me what to buy because I'm too lazy to read the forum" guys.

    But you are all over the map on what you want. There is such a thing as high-end high-output self contained light, if that's what you are looking for. Look at the Lezyne mega drive. High output, swappable battery and you can charge it via USB. I think they may be coming out with a updated version. I've had one of these in my hand and they are sweet. Much smaller than I expected also. People aren't going to miss you with a 1200 lumen light.

    I think it also depends on how long your commute is. The self-contained lights typically last an hour or and hour and half on high. Lezyne and Niterider also make lower-powered lights in the $100-$150 range. Lezyne and Cygolite have swappable batteries. The Niterides don't as far as I know. 600 or 700 lumens might be enough for your commute.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by indebt View Post
    - CygoLite's New Triden X Extra 1300 lumen system is priced at our MEC at $229. I'm bias here as I really loved my old Triden X Extra back in 2009 and has always been one of my favorite set ups. Endured the worst wet weather here in Squamish BC, endos and mileage without a single problem and is still going strong with the new owner.
    I was thinking of the 1300 X light for the bars and the 800 for my helmet, have been reading that two lights is the way to go for off roading at night. Whats your burn time with the Cygolites. I will most likely be out for about 2 hours at a time. I know it was bcak in 2009 but nay ruff estimate woould be good.

  18. #18
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    Too bad you are not interested in a "custom" light made by a fellow cyclist.

    ***

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    Too bad you are not interested in a "custom" light made by a fellow cyclist.

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    Umm how would I even know you made lights?
    I have no issue with custom but what worries me is warranty and repairs.

  20. #20
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    ^^^^
    Sorry, my comment was directed at the original poster. Do a search for Amoeba light in the MTBR search box. Should be over 5 years of posts and info.

    or

    you could also shoot me an email and I could forward you some information


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  21. #21
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    The Taz 1200 on medium would be plenty of light for a commute and is USB re-chargeable

  22. #22
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by scar View Post
    ^^^^
    Sorry, my comment was directed at the original poster. Do a search for Amoeba light in the MTBR search box. Should be over 5 years of posts and info.

    or

    you could also shoot me an email and I could forward you some information


    ***
    Sorry Scar for not including you product in the mix,, OP was asking for off the shelf ready to go so didn't give the Amoeba a shout.

    Fahza29er, I as well as many others on this forum can defiantly vouch for Scars products and warranty. Cheers!!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    I was thinking of the 1300 X light for the bars and the 800 for my helmet, have been reading that two lights is the way to go for off roading at night. Whats your burn time with the Cygolites. I will most likely be out for about 2 hours at a time. I know it was bcak in 2009 but nay ruff estimate woould be good.
    The Triden X Extra will run a little over three hours on full blast so lots of run time there. Not sure which 800 your referring to, there are three models. The Expillion 800 will run 1 1/2 hours on full blast and you can change battery's on the fly, the Turbo 800 will go 2 hours on max, and the Mighty Cross 800 a little over two hours on the highest setting so any choice will give you the run time you need.

    Remember you will be using much lower power on you climbs and slower sections etc, so you should be comfortable with three hour rides without any issue.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by indebt
    Sorry Scar for not including you product in the mix,, OP was asking for off the shelf ready to go so didn't give the Amoeba a shout.
    No worries, that is why I held out before saying anything also. Sounded like he was pretty new to the light forums so I thought I would speak up.



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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I want to buy off the shelf lights for my commuter bike.

    But I don't know exactly how powerful or if I should go with 1 or more leds in the same housing.

    I was thinking a LM seca at first but those are really expensive. And somehow I think i will get a better overall light with only one really powerful/efficient led instead of 6.

    I was thinking like 500-1000 lumens and some kind of fast flash or strobe mode, but with maximum power. What should i look into? Whats good (and not 400bux)?

    How would you guys rate the secas? Or L&M in general?

    I also need a rear light, something thats flashing very bright and fast that gets peoples attention. I was looking at the LM 180, but it seems like its only flashing really really slow.

    I would like the actual light module to last a long time, the batteries I understand needs changing, but the electronics and housing/switches should be of good quality.
    for commuting also check out Philips SafeRide, Philips ActiveRide and Dosun D400/D600. these lights are in the 300 to 500 lumen range but have more efficient beam patterns for commuting. there will also be a Busch & Muller light coming out ( soon ? ) that should be good for commuting as well.

    the problem with something like Taz 1200 is it will be pretty aggravating to others on the road. but it will do the job as far as lighting your way. if you're a little geek riding through a neighborhood with a bunch of ex-convicts and drug dealers aggravating people with super bright light may not be very smart. on the other hand if you're a 250 pound powerlifter riding through an upper middle class neighborhood it may not be a concern.

    if this is your first light either start cheap, or buy from a place like Amazon where you can return it if it doesn't work for you. when you're buying your first light it is hard to judge if it will work for you or not.

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