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Thread: LIghts

  1. #1
    endoguy
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    LIghts

    I'm looking to buy a light. What lights are you all using and if you were to purchase another light, what would you buy??

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    HID is what we're using.
    (edit: HID stands for High Intensity Discharge) an activated gas type of light. They put out gobs (that's a technical term) of light. If I were doing it again, I would insist on a tighter beam pattern for helmet-mount use.

    There are several brands on the market. Due to the hefty price of them each person has usually only had experience with one brand. The brand I am familiar with is NiteRider. I have had fairly good luck, with the occasional (seemingly random) weird charging malfunction where the battery was on the charger, but the charger didn't seem to have gotten the message and the next time I went to use it, I had 5 minutes of light (Boooo)
    That said, I wouln't hesitate to get another from them, but I would probably also be just as interested in another brand with the newer LiIon battery packs (which NiteRider also has), in the interest of trying other systems.

  3. #3
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    Get lit, dude!

    Quote Originally Posted by endoguy
    I'm looking to buy a light. What lights are you all using and if you were to purchase another light, what would you buy??
    I light a match, then ride with one hand while holding it.

    If I had it to do again......I'd buy a lighter.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albee
    I light a match, then ride with one hand while holding it.

    If I had it to do again......I'd buy a lighter.
    Sas will give you one....

  5. #5
    DOD Member
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    Be the first on the block to buy a high end LED light so the rest of us can compare. The advertisements say they offer plenty of lumens, a light package and long battery life. I wonder if they provide adequate penetration.

    Can I get an amen for penetration?
    MaxSteel

  6. #6
    meatier showers
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    Be sure to check out MTBR's GPS, Lighting & Computer forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  7. #7
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albee
    I light a match, then ride with one hand while holding it.

    If I had it to do again......I'd buy a lighter.
    Okay, time to exhale, Albee.

    --Sparty
    disciplesofdirt.org
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    you wanted to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  8. #8
    Known Mountainbiker
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    I bought the light that had the warning label that says "improper use may cause fire".

    I'd buy it again.

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  9. #9
    Singletrack Addict
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    DIY LED System
    Been waiting for someone to spring for this job and share their experience. C'mon, it's cheap!

  10. #10
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    I used the Halogens (Jet Lites Phantom) and then moved to HID (Lume Strada and then L&M ARC) and am now using the Lupne LEDs (Wilma and Betty).

    All the lights were great but the ARC was my favorite in light quality and brightness as far as HIDs go and the Phantom was the best Halogen I have see so far.

    However, the LED Lupines, though expensive, are my absolute favorite now. I have used the Wilma for 8-12 weeks and the Betty for two weeks (four night rides).

    They are extremely bright with no focused spot (a really nice feature) and light up the trail way into the distance. Penetration is superb with both though I think the ARC may go a bit further than the Wilma. The Wilma is brighter than the ARC and a lot lighter. Nothing comes even close to the Betty. It throws an even swath of warm-colored light that lights up way into the distance and has awesome width. I really like not having a boucing little orb of superbright light with a big ring around it.

    The full-power runtime is around 4 hours but dimming it (several programmable levels) can give you upto 40 plus hours of light from a single charge. You can run them at 40%-60% and still be brighter than most two-light combos running at full power.

    The Lupines are designed and built to be the best but they are more expensive as well. I hear they may be bring other less expensive models to the market soon but I will probably always keep my Wilma and Betty. They can be upgraded (DIY through Lupine)as the LEDs and boards become brighter and more efficient. There are other really good LED light though Lupine sits at the top. Dinotte and Exposure make some as does Nighlightning. Hoep also has a new one out that looks great. LEDs are very robust and with no enclosed gases or filaments, can handle crashes and drops very well. I used to ride at night once a week or once every two weeks. With my new lights, I ride twice a week at night. I see so much more and so much better that night riding is way more fun than before.

  11. #11
    mudnthebloodnthebeer
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco
    I bought the light that had the warning label that says "improper use may cause fire".

    I'd buy it again.

    Caz
    I started my night riding career with a couple of 6V Jet halogen lights about 4 years ago. I run them on their lowest setting the majority of the time to conserve the batteries (I get ~ 2.5 hours). It might just be a case of learning to do more with less, but I find the level of light they put out more than adequate for trail riding-I crank 'em up for faster fireroad stuff.

    That said, lighting technology has changed considerably in the interim & you can get quite a bit more brightness & battery life for the buck these days. There is a point of diminishing returns where, for instance, light reflected from nearby wet foliage has a blinding effect, so don't let sheer horsepower be your prime criterion. The quality and durability of my Jets has been great-zero problems after a problem with a defective bulb was solved (overnight, on their dime, no questions asked). The lighting and GPS forums Sparty mentioned have all the information that you could possibly want.
    Also, the streets are full of horizontal dropouts...

    BSNYC

  12. #12
    mudnthebloodnthebeer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    I have used the Wilma for 8-12 weeks and the Betty for two weeks (four night rides).
    Thank you, Bill Gates! I'm proud to own a bike that's worth more than my car, but lights that could be worth more than the bike they're on?....

    How bright is too bright? Do you ever use them at their highest output?
    Also, the streets are full of horizontal dropouts...

    BSNYC

  13. #13
    Known Mountainbiker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albee
    I light a match, then ride with one hand while holding it.

    If I had it to do again......I'd buy a lighter.
    Don't let Albee fool you. His emergency back-up light is an LED keychain fob.

    ....and as he says, "you're only one good mechanical away from a night ride."

    Caz

    P.S. my back up light is Albee's keychain fob too.
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  14. #14
    Tree Hugger
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    Quote Originally Posted by quaffimodo
    Thank you, Bill Gates! I'm proud to own a bike that's worth more than my car, but lights that could be worth more than the bike they're on?....

    How bright is too bright? Do you ever use them at their highest output?
    Contrary to your earlier statements, I believe that there is no such thing as too bright. The more lumens, the better, so long as you have enough battery juice to make it last. You might be satisfied with your puny old light set up, but I can guarantee you that if you tried out a HID, or other superbright set-up, you'd be loving it, and would sell a kidney to afford it if you had a kidney to spare. I'm sure Flyer uses the brightest setting, since the Lupine gives you a minimum of 4 hours at the brightest settings. I agree that he must be loaded, or truly love night riding to afford that set-up (well over $1000) but if I had a spare grand laying around, I'd be running >1500 lumens as well. As it is, i use a helmet HID, and an old bar light, and i'm considering buying a new bright LED bar light to add more lumens to my set-up.
    A few of the DOD use 2 HID's, bar and helmet, and one of them does everything possible to avoid loaning out one of them, cause he's hooked on the lumens. (I won't menetion Albee's name)

    Give a bright light a try Quaffimodo, you'll agree.
    Last edited by Sasquatch; 12-03-2007 at 04:05 PM.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  15. #15
    endoguy
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    Thanks all. The reason I was asking is I am looking at the Stella 180-L. The Hids seem nice but the battery weight seems a bit much

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by quaffimodo
    Thank you, Bill Gates! I'm proud to own a bike that's worth more than my car, but lights that could be worth more than the bike they're on?....

    How bright is too bright? Do you ever use them at their highest output?
    Haha, I swear I'm far from loaded but I had put some money aside when I sold my other bike frame and I like night riding so much that I wanted the best lights I could find. I'm riding twice a week at night now and I'm glad I got these. The Wilma is around $595 and the Betty is around $895. Definitely painful to pay that much and I can't say it didn't hurt. Sometimes I worried about my HID going out on me but with two LEDs, I have no excuses and feel safe.

    My car is still worth more than my bike and my bike more than my lights. Not that it matters to me but it seems to be some sort of a benchmark

    I do run them at their brightest settings most of the time. I charge them every two rides so if one ride ran a bit long, I use the 60% setting (still very bright) on the long climbs on the second ride. I do that so I reduce the number of charge cycles I put the battery through and don't charge them for each ride.

    They last over four hours each on high. I have the Wilma 8 and the Betty 6 but I switch the batteries to make them go four hours or a bit longer.

    I enjoy night riding even more now. I can actually see Foxes, Deer, and other creatures and it's pretty cool. I can see trail definition a lot better and it has opened up night riding a bit more. Having two lights gives me a feeling of safety though Lupines are known for their reliability.

    There are less expensive LED lights and Lupine will be bringing some of their own out very soon. I just lusted after these for quite a while and finally decided to get them- no regrets. Side benefit- an extra night ride a week is making me faster while my friends stay home. Next year will give me a head start.

    If these are too much, check out the GPS forum. There are less expensive options that are very bright and reliable. Dinotte, Nightlightning, BR Lights, Nite Rider, Light & Motion (soon) and a few others like Exposure and Hope are making some great lights too. I even posted an Austrailan magazine article with pics that compared several lights. Gearreview has comparos and is doing a huge light test in December. Watch for that one. Francois also has a test starting very soon.

    Lupine is just the best of the best (unbeatable light quality, design features, and build quality) and priced with pride.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    FWIW.... I've been night riding for a number of years. Started with a mag light attached to my handle bar back ~91 or so. Moved to a lead acid NR halogen, now have an HID. I got a NR Enduro from Performance, good deal with the 20% off coupon <$260. It is NiMH, not Lithium-ion, but at 1/2 the price I can deal with the weight. I think the LED's are the obvious choice, I'm just waiting for the price to drop a little before I jump.

  18. #18
    Singletrack Addict
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    Another option for saving 20% is the REI annual coupon that comes with the dividend. I usually try to take advantage with some big ticket item that typically can't be found on sale. But that won't be until February.

  19. #19
    endoguy
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    I'm hoping for a gift certificate to REI this year. I believe for the weight & performance it appears the LED's are a good way to start. Actually, I too started with a flashlight duct taped to my handle bars.

  20. #20
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    Guilty as charged...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    A few of the DOD use 2 HID's, bar and helmet, and one of them does everything possible to avoid loaning out one of them, cause he's hooked on the lumens. (I won't menetion Albee's name)
    Hey, you little troublemaker, listen up: I'll loan my light out when it's necessary -- I even loaned my bar light to Mr. Cazloco last Wednesday so he didn't have to bail out to the road near the end of the ride -- but if someone is missing a light, yeah, I'll be the last to offer mine up, cuz I'm loony for lumens -- woohoo!!

    I will -- and have -- give 'em my food, tools, lube, whatever they need, but I wants my lights!!

    I've ridden with the two-light set-up for so long that i feel naked with just one light. (OK, I like being naked, so maybe that's a bad analogy.) I just like having the stability, or consistency (if those are the right words, or how about 'stationeryness'?) of the bar light while being able to scan with the helmet light.

    If I can get another season out of my Niterider Storm and Cyclone, maybe I'll check out the LEDs in '09.

    Or, Sasquatch, you can give one to me as a gift!

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