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  1. #1
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    Need to be educated on my needs

    Hi folks,

    I need lights, I've searched the forum for answers first and found a bucketload of recommendations and such, but I'm still unsure about what I really need, maybe beacuse I didn't see a lot of where those recommendations are best applied, my needs seems different than some of the requests asked in other threads.

    So, if you fine folks could yet again, recommend what to get, I'd greatly appreciate it.
    Because I'm not sure what I need, I'll do my best to list what it'll be used for and what I think I need/prefer

    So, based on limited understanding, I think I need...
    - 1 spot (helmet)
    - 1 flood (handlebar)
    - No more than 2 hours burn time
    - Waterproof, I'd assume they all are, but...

    What I'd prefer...
    - Cordless, no external battery (just looking for simple, less fuss)
    - Really don't want to spend a lot, $60-70 for all (reasonable?)
    - Easy mount on, take off for day ride

    It will be used in single track, "urban" park trails, meaning I'm 10-20 minutes walk from my car at any given time, lots of switchback, not very technical, trails that I know very well, just need something to do a lap on the trail after work on my way home, otherwise I have no time to ride on my work days!

    TIA

  2. #2
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    Your budget only fits cheap chinese stuff tbh for 2 lights or very low output.

    Dont have to spend $500 to get a solid set up, but youll find going as cheap as you want for a pair of lights you will end up more frustrated than anything.

    Lights are one of those things that it often pays to pay a bit more. Very big difference in get what you pay for. In your price range your playing the bottom end of the lottery there.

    Risks are:

    Light output is low, useable run time (not rated run time which is how long light will stay turned on. Small and cheaper Self contained lights are light flashlights, they start to loose brightness shortly after being turned on)

    Unreliable resulting in replacement in a short time or playing the warranty/exchange game multiple times.

    Dangerous (fire risks during charging, light shorting out etc)

    Wasting money due to short life span requiring buying new lights in short order.

    SUCKING THE FUN OUT OF NIGHT RIDING, turning you off from it not realizing that more money, not crazy amounts, but an extra $50 would have done so much better for you.

    So many want to "buy cheap to test it out first" but its better to buy budget friendly, basic but reputable lights. Always ends better.

    Not saying all or more than 1 of these risks will happen. The last one is the highest risk lol. Followed by the unreliabilit6 part.

    Truth be told buying one single decent light at or slightly above your price range would do better for you. But the problem of your desired 2hr capability in a self contained light isnt going to happen. Not with any decent lumen output. An hour or so is pretty realistic though.


    That said there are a lot out there around the $50-100 each light range that would do well for you. Every big bike brand has their own "version" of the same thing, and plenty of aftermarket brands that are reputable to choose from. Niterider seems to be a well known one though far from the best bang for buck only due to very old, simple designs that many others have far surpassed for similar prices.

    TL;DR. Easy route is google. Brands that actual shops carry are all ok. More or less avoid amazon and ebay only because digging the reputable out of the cheap chinese garbage is difficult at best for people new to lights. Cant go wrong with any reputable brand. Niterider, ravemen, specialized, bontrager, L&M, etc. All are "similar" for what you are looking for.




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  3. #3
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    I have a bontrager ion and it throws some good light. Believe it is 700 lumens? Around $100 or so. With lights (bike, off road racing with trucks, sxss etc), you really do get what you pay for most of the times


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  4. #4
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    I'll give a good thumbs up for Niterider. My first was a 750 that went helmet mount and I'm happy with battery life and light output for the $$. I will qualify this to say I'm not racing around at fast speeds on my night rides so I know for sure some will run out of path or light with this one at some extremes. I think the beam is a good blend of shape, not too narrow and not too floody.

    A while back, I decided to get a 2nd one and the 950 was sold out so I added another 750. It went to the handle bar and having two 750's is working really well. I considered a bit more output of the 950 mainly because of the sale price but they were gone.
    I do still wonder if there is a bit more flood I could put on the bar for a wider beam but I'm not really sure I need one and most go to the external power and wires .... nothing I care to do unless or until there is a true need.

    I'll say I'm into the $160 range for the 2 lamps and a helmet mount. Bar mounts come with. There may be some other good options in this price range but I'm not sure there is much that is better. Double that investment for one lamp and I'll bet you get something pretty serious (if needed).
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  5. #5
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    Been doing night rides for years thanks to daylight savings time. Ride technical single track in New England. I've always had good luck with Night Rider stuff and they stand behind product. They are out of SD, Cal and are responsive when reaching them for technical help. For example, I have a 650 lumen unit that was 3-4 years old and wouldn't hold a charge as long. For $20, I shipped it back to them and they fixed the issue. I used it for another year or so before upgrading to a 900 lumen. Found it for $75 on line (I think it was Nashbar)...they are regularly about $100.

    Regarding best setup...I've always made do with just a helmet mounted unit. Easy mount on helmet with good range of adjustment so you can position beam where you like it. It's small, tough, and lightweight...no problems when using in damp or snowy rides. 3 brightness settings so you can save the brightest setting for when really needed to extend battery life. Plugs right into USB on dash of my truck to charge it. Lasts a couple of hours even in very cold <20deg F rides. Some riding buddies also have a 2nd bar mount which they like because it minimizes shadows. Have thought about getting a bar mount myself but still doing fine with just the helmet mount.

    I have found night rides to be a totally different experience - even on trails I'm very familiar with. I need to be a bit less aggressive, more focused, a bit looser and learn to trust the 'feel' of what I'm riding. Even with a good light the depth and periphery of vision is limited to the beam of the light. This is very different the first few times you try it. It's a great way to improve skills and confidence.
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  6. #6
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    I'm going to second (third) the Niterider thing. There are lots of good lights out now and good sellers here as well.

    I have the 950 boost and 3 750's. The beam pattern is real good. Best of all you can get the 950 at Performance now sale is 79 but I waited until I got the email w/ additional 20% off so you can buy them for 65 bucks and 2 of those are plenty of light. My 750's had an issue of being too dim and NR repaired them no fee etc. In fact they upgraded the driver and told me they are 850 now. I can't tell the difference between those and the 950 on boost.

    Also, there is the Raveman 1200 seen advertised here that is a dual emitter that you should look into. I think it's only 90 bucks and tho I don't have one, they are highly rated and I'd buy one if I needed another light.

    These are all cordless.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    I'm going to second (third) the Niterider thing. There are lots of good lights out now and good sellers here as well.

    I have the 950 boost and 3 750's. The beam pattern is real good. Best of all you can get the 950 at Performance now sale is 79 but I waited until I got the email w/ additional 20% off so you can buy them for 65 bucks and 2 of those are plenty of light. My 750's had an issue of being too dim and NR repaired them no fee etc. In fact they upgraded the driver and told me they are 850 now. I can't tell the difference between those and the 950 on boost.

    Also, there is the Raveman 1200 seen advertised here that is a dual emitter that you should look into. I think it's only 90 bucks and tho I don't have one, they are highly rated and I'd buy one if I needed another light.

    These are all cordless.
    I just wanted to add to what you posted about the Niterider and Ravemen lights. I don't own a Niterider but several of my friends have Lumina's so I'm very familiar with the power and beam pattern of those lights. I do own a Ravemen PR900 and wanted to point out a couple of major differences in the performance of Ravemen vs. Niterider. Beam width of the Ravemen is considerably wider and a very good pattern for bar use (road or mtn.). Runtimes @ highest setting (PR1200 - 2hrs./PR900 - 2.5hrs.) are considerably longer than higher powered Lumina's (1hr. per NR website). Because of the smaller size and narrower beam the Lumina would make a better helmet light. Ravemen quality is excellent and light has been trouble free for me so far.
    Mole

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  8. #8
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    Good info MRMOLE...have heard good things about the Ravemens too.
    Surprising what you can get today for $100 or less compared to only a few years ago. Not too long ago it was over $200 for HID versions that had big heavy battery and a long cord. Our necks got stronger back then from pounding through trails with that extra weight on our heads!
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  9. #9
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    So, for some reason I thought the dual handlebar/helmet was the standard, but it seems just one is what is really needed, and the helmet mount would be preferred, is that correct?

    Lots of recommendations for nite rider, I see some variations, Lumina 750, Lumina 750 boost, Lumina 750 mini, so which would be best? looks like I can get 750 boost for about $55.
    So far, everything I see is on a handlebar mount, does it come with appropriate attachments for helmet or is that additional parts I should order, if so, what do you guys recommend?
    Lastly on the Luminas, if I get 2, that handlebar mount doesnt look very firm, Ive read complaints about light rotating (might not be that specific light) and I think it would be an issue for me, lots of rock gardens and roots to bounce around, so, is it reliable or what are the alternatives to fixing that issue, if it is one of course?

    I like the specs of the ravemens over the Luminas but, Luminas seems simpler, which I'd prefer.

    Thanks everyone!

  10. #10
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    Well couple o things.

    Yes you'll need a helmet mount on the niterider, 15 bucks I think. The bar mounts are firm and I've never had one even move on me and I ride several times a week trails only, some rough, etc. If you tighten the clamp, it won't move. And they do adjust sideways so you can point the beam in the direction you want.

    Mole is correct, the Raveman has more features and does last 2 hours on high. However, the NR will last 1.5 hrs on high. Boost mode drops that to 40 min but I've had mine on high for longer than 1.5 hrs w/o the red light coming on. Not sure how long they might really last. I think the Raveman is best on the bars. High on the 950 boost is approx 800 lumens.

    As far as what to get I wouldn't get the 750 boost. That's like a 600 lumen light w/ a boost to 750 so the 750 setting is only going to last 40 min. They also make a new 1100 lumen version of the Lumina. The 750 micro is very interesting. It's really small and still bright and has 1.5 hr run time on 750. I think they can be had for 65 bucks but you might check Performance.

    Maybe ask Raveman what they might do for you if you bought both a 1200 and 900. However, I personally like the 750 micro as it's small and w/ a Lumina 950/1100 or a 1200 Raveman on the bars, I think the 750 will be more than enough. I have seen the 750 micro in action and held one. I do like them. I have not seen/held the Raveman personally so maybe someone who has used both can guide you better.

    MB

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GROBIOG View Post
    So, for some reason I thought the dual handlebar/helmet was the standard, but it seems just one is what is really needed, and the helmet mount would be preferred, is that correct?

    Lots of recommendations for nite rider, I see some variations, Lumina 750, Lumina 750 boost, Lumina 750 mini, so which would be best? looks like I can get 750 boost for about $55.
    So far, everything I see is on a handlebar mount, does it come with appropriate attachments for helmet or is that additional parts I should order, if so, what do you guys recommend?
    Lastly on the Luminas, if I get 2, that handlebar mount doesnt look very firm, Ive read complaints about light rotating (might not be that specific light) and I think it would be an issue for me, lots of rock gardens and roots to bounce around, so, is it reliable or what are the alternatives to fixing that issue, if it is one of course?

    I like the specs of the ravemens over the Luminas but, Luminas seems simpler, which I'd prefer.

    Thanks everyone!
    We Test Lights | Lumina 900 Boost Test and Review

    I was looking at the different Lumina's on this site and looks to me like the 750 Boost might be the best one to buy (of the Lumina's for constant output). Seemed odd that for the same size light (assume same battery) runtimes for the different power outputs was very similar. Looking at the graphs for output over the entire runtime the way the lights are regulated (or maybe not) the more powerful lights start out high and rapidly loose output to obtain a certain runtime and power rating. 750 Boost starts out lower than the (800/900/950/1100) but maintains a fairly consistent (for a Lumina) output through out its runtime. Also noticed Light & Motion (some not all) and Fenix lights seem to be very consistant for the whole runtime, Interesting! Linked the 900 Lumina cause it had a beem shot in the test to give you guys an idea of beam width.
    Mole

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GROBIOG View Post
    So, for some reason I thought the dual handlebar/helmet was the standard, but it seems just one is what is really needed, and the helmet mount would be preferred, is that correct?
    If you are going to go with a single light, be sure to pack a backup light. Preferably with some way to attach it to your bars. Though you said your rides never get you very far from your car, 20 minutes of walking/stumbling down the trail back to the car in the dark won't be fun.
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  13. #13
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    Great site Mole.

    It's interesting how the eye adjusts as I can't really tell a difference in brightness in 1/2 hr. And it seems the same on high after an hour. Don't really use them on boost much.

    Would like to see that site test the Raveman as well.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Great site Mole.

    It's interesting how the eye adjusts as I can't really tell a difference in brightness in 1/2 hr. And it seems the same on high after an hour. Don't really use them on boost much.

    Would like to see that site test the Raveman as well.
    Seems like RAKC has done some similar tests before, maybe this will inspire him to test the Ravemen PR1200 for us.
    Mole

  15. #15
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    So, 1 Lumina 750 micro(helmet?) and 1 Lumina 750 boost(handlebar) for $115 at performance, how's that?

  16. #16
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by GROBIOG View Post
    So, 1 Lumina 750 micro(helmet?) and 1 Lumina 750 boost(handlebar) for $115 at performance, how's that?
    I would lean toward two Lumina 750 micros. I cannot find the runtime of the 750 boost and it would always need to be in boost mode to match the output of your helmet light. With two Lumina micro 750s you could leave them on high for 750 lumens and get an hour and a half out of each. The 750 boost is just too unknown and not worth the savings $10 for an unknown runtime. I would be afraid you would need to run it on medium and get roughly 400 lumens to get your desired runtime.
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    Yeah, sure, I can do 2 micros, I'd just assume the larger, boost version would be a step up, larger package made me assume bigger battery, thus longer burn time, but you're right, I can't see that info anywhere. 1 hour is sufficient for me anyway, trail I'll be riding is ~8 miles.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb323323 View Post
    Great site Mole.

    It's interesting how the eye adjusts as I can't really tell a difference in brightness in 1/2 hr. And it seems the same on high after an hour. Don't really use them on boost much.

    Would like to see that site test the Raveman as well.
    It's a fairly well known phenomena with human vision, called Dark Adaptation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapta...ark_adaptation

    That's why with the Outbound Lights, actually programmed it so that the max brightness decreases very slowly over 45 minutes, and then it's essentially on a medium setting, calling it an Adaptive Mode. Aren't trying to trick anyone into thinking "max power" is actually a full power setting all the time. If someone wants full power and shorter run time then have that selection, but if battery life is a priority, and they understand how the eye adapts, then the Adaptive Mode is fantastic.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GROBIOG View Post
    Yeah, sure, I can do 2 micros, I'd just assume the larger, boost version would be a step up, larger package made me assume bigger battery, thus longer burn time, but you're right, I can't see that info anywhere. 1 hour is sufficient for me anyway, trail I'll be riding is ~8 miles.
    We Test Lights | Lumina Micro 750 Test and Review

    We Test Lights | Lumina 750 Boost Test and Review

    There's the links to the test pages of both the Micro 750 & 750 Boost.
    Mole
    Last edited by MRMOLE; 01-13-2018 at 07:23 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    We Test Lights | Lumina Micro 750 Test and Review

    We Test Lights | Lumina 750 Boost Test and Review

    There's links to the test pages of both the Micro 750 & 750 Boost.
    Mole
    Thanks for the posting there. I have a 750 non micro and the 750 boost. Been great.
    I'm def interested in a ravemen light. Looks great and priced right too. Not sure when I'll need to buy a third lamp but I like those features.
    Maybe I can off a NR later on to a friend that gets into night rides.
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  21. #21
    Rod
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    Nice site mole. I did some Google searching and came up with nothing. The two micros would still give him an additional 20 minutes

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Nice site mole. I did some Google searching and came up with nothing. The two micros would still give him an additional 20 minutes

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    Pretty good data base for a lot of common self-contained lights. Wish they had beam shots on all the tests. My Ravemen is out on loan currently but when I get it back I'll run some tests to see how it fares for output throughout it's runtimne. Don't have the equipment to duplicate the tests on the site but at least can establish its output stability.
    Mole

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GROBIOG View Post
    Yeah, sure, I can do 2 micros, I'd just assume the larger, boost version would be a step up, larger package made me assume bigger battery, thus longer burn time, but you're right, I can't see that info anywhere. 1 hour is sufficient for me anyway, trail I'll be riding is ~8 miles.
    No experience with the 'micro' versions of Niterider Luminas. All mine have been the 'boost' size. From what I can see on website, they both operate the same way so it's just a size/price difference. The 750 should be fine...my 650 was awesome when I first got it compared to what I had in prior years.

    The power selection button is easy to use (even with gloves) while riding. I only use 'max' beam when needed and kick it down a notch for much of the ride (grinding up hills, less technical flats, etc). I see that option as a plus because I can choose to make it last longer while still getting enough light in less technical parts of ride. If I stop to wait for people, I turn it off until they show up. Just be smart about it and you will always have plenty of reserve if something comes up that extends your ride.

    I only use the helmet mount and it works fine...I think mine came with light but maybe they don't now. As for the bar mount, I used it to fabricate a cell phone holder on my Harley. The adjustable rubber strap worked great and held my phone sturdy as hell so I think it is fine for MB rides.
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    Mole, thanks, I see the comparison now, the Micros has a steep drop right away, crazy. I still favor the longer burn time over the intensity tho, plus, it's smaller, It'll be easier on the helmet I guess.
    I'd be interested to see that graph for the other settings, I have a feeling the lower settings is all I need for what I'll be doing, I may end up using it like Sturge does.

    Anyway, I had already ordered it Friday night, went with 2 Micros, I know I'd be happy with either choice. Btw, anyone with experience ordering from Performance? Saturday I received an email that my order had been shipped(lightning fast), I bought the 2 lights, 1 helmet mount and 2 other, nutrition items, the email says order has been shipped and lists the items with tracking number listed by each item (same tracking # tho) but it makes no mention of the lights, neither that it has been shipped or is on back order.
    On performance's website order status page, it lists all items, but tracking number only appears next to all other items, it just doesn't give any info on the lights, is that normal with them?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Seems like RAKC has done some similar tests before, maybe this will inspire him to test the Ravemen PR1200 for us.
    Mole
    Ravemen is the one I havent done, been meaning to get set back up to do it, gotta find my file with the ones Ive done for many other lights provided I included it in my backups.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRMOLE View Post
    Pretty good data base for a lot of common self-contained lights. Wish they had beam shots on all the tests. My Ravemen is out on loan currently but when I get it back I'll run some tests to see how it fares for output throughout it's runtimne. Don't have the equipment to duplicate the tests on the site but at least can establish its output stability.
    Mole
    Have my Ravemen PR900 back so I ran a output stability test this morning (bounce test every 15 min.). Light output remained stable (within 2%) through the 1:30 point and registered 90% @ 1:45, 85% @ 2:00 and 60% @ 2:15 where I stopped taking readings. One of the better self-contained lights for output stability IMO.
    Mole

  27. #27
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    Mole

    I ran the pr1200 through, just have to get the data entered into a graph. Have it and the M-Tiger Hyperion ran so far. Going to continue through all the lights I have (some are already done from before but hell if I can find the graphs)

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Mole

    I ran the pr1200 through, just have to get the data entered into a graph. Have it and the M-Tiger Hyperion ran so far. Going to continue through all the lights I have (some are already done from before but hell if I can find the graphs)

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    Thanks! A good graph makes for a much better picture of output stability characteristics than the spot checks I did. That "we test lights" site opened my eyes to a common problem with most self-contained lights. Would never buy another one without confirmation of output stability seeing how poorly some of them perform in that regards.
    Mole

  29. #29
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    Most, mainly single cell are basically a flashlight. Start dimming almost immediately just very gradually. Same thing any torch does. Run times are based on how long the flashlight stays operating till it has diminished to 10% of its original output. So a 900 lumen light its run time is until its only producing 90 lumens.....

    Since bike lights follow the same standards, some brands roll with it and some are constant output. Ever look at the Lupine Piko graphs....

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  30. #30
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    My 10 cents...

    We have a group ride every week from May - October. Half of it is done after 10pm, on gravel / dirt. No street-lights, tree canopy 50% of the time. We've been doing this group ride since 2002-ish maybe? We've all been through a lot of lights and have been stuck in various conditions including hail, a tornado and a 45min downpour which we rode through last June. I also commute 3x a week.

    Rear Lights: In traffic you want the brightest thing you can afford. I have a Solas 100 and it's blinding. Burn time sucks though. On the trail it matters a lot less. I use a cheap-o clip-on from Best Buy on my pack and a silicone flasher on my seatpost.

    Front Lights: Brightness need is dependent upon how fast you are going to ride. Most conditions where we do not break 16mph, 700 lumens is plenty. On nights when the weather is gorgeous and I know we will be hauling the mail on the last 8 miles, I run a 1400 lumen light full blast. Even with that, we start out running the safe reaction time around 30mph.

    The light I used during the rainstorm last year was a Niterider Lumina 750. Can't say enough good things about it. Wasn't quite enough light for the conditions we were in (little extreme), but it didn't fail.

    Headlamps... I don't use them normally when riding. I have a black diamond 160 lumen headlamp in my bag, but I don't use it much.
    - The only thing that keeps me on a bike is happiness.

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    I've been meaning to post a review of the lights since I got them to give a perspective for the future newbs like myself coming into this thread, keep in mind I have no point of comparison with any other light, these are the only ones I've ever used

    I bought 2 Luminas 750 micro

    1st thought upon opening the box is that they are small, smaller than I expected, which is nice, the cycling through the different brightness modes is great, after turning it on, each press switches between the 3 lvls, the other 3 lvls requires pressing and holding to access, including the very dim(but enough) long lasting burn time which isn't a riding mode, it's an emergency type mode, hence why it's "hidden" from the riding modes, well thought out.
    Charging is pretty simple, pull back the protective rubber cover on the USB port, plug it in and the on/off button lights red when charging and becomes blue when fully charged, the cable is tiny though, super short, but at least it's a common micro USB cable, you likely already have one laying around your house.
    The mounts are pretty easy to install and the lights just clip on/off pretty easy, it's pretty stupid not to include the helmet mount on their lights though, just MHO, I'm thankful it was mentioned to order it while buying the lights, I wouldn't have thought of it and would end up wasting time and paying extra shipping.
    Now, the part that matters, the light itself, man, for me it's day time on the trail, I have never used it on full power, not even day one, I did buy 2 of them so I'm using both always, the handlebar is set on lowest setting while helmet is on medium, plenty of light for me and plenty of burn time, I'm doing 2 hours of riding and 1st day turned both to high setting when I was done and left them on after reaching trailhead, undressing, putting stuff away and driving home (20 min drive) and they still didn't turn red. Or sometimes I do a single lap ~50 minutes and won't even charge them for next day.
    I did briefly experiment with just a single light on, either just handlebar or just helmet, and while I can ride, I thought the duo combo gave me the best option, handlebar is aimed down, roughly estimating 8' in front of tire and helmet is aimed at where I'm looking ahead in the trail, this gives me the closest feeling of "day time" riding, my times on the trail are pretty close actually, between the night rides and day rides.

    So yeah, I'm pretty happy with the lights!

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: garrybunk's Avatar
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    Thanks for coming back to post your experience with them. Glad you found something that works for you.

    -Garry

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sturge's Avatar
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    632
    Glad to hear they worked out for you...I've been very happy with NiteRider stuff over the years. The technology has improved so much since the 90's! Those that were not riding back then have no idea how GREAT these little lights are.
    07 Kona Dawg Supreme
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

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