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  1. #1
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    Best Self-contained Tail Light

    I use a Cateye and it's very nice and bright and has a lot of different patterns. But the other day I was riding with a buddy with a Serfas taillight that was incredibly bright and had a blink that could not possibly be missed by anyone who's not blind. It was literally almost too bright, if such a thing is possible.

    I believe in being seen from a very long way off and having drivers avoid me at night. There is no way to avoid all risk, but cutting it down as far as possible is very nice.

    That said, is there a consensus on what might be the 'Best' taillight? That Serfas was amazing. The Dinotte gets great reviews. I am not afraid of the cost but it must be recognized that it is not cheap, so for the money I want it to be 'better', whatever that means.

    For the moment, I will continue to use my Cateyes, but I know that LED technology has improved and this one is a bit bulky, etc.

    Suggestions? Discuss the best rear light you folks know of. Thanks!

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    The Dinotte, to answer your question.

    However.

    I own a Dinotte 140L and I cannot use it while other people are riding behind me. To cars it's not a problem (I've tested it). But to other bikers it's blinding - I rode with it for a while and after 3 different people complained I realized the problem is the light. And that's on low - that's another disadvantage of the light the last time I checked, no good "no, seriously put it on low power" setting.

    If you ride regularly with your friends or other people I would definitely get something that is not as bright.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugano View Post
    That said, is there a consensus on what might be the 'Best' taillight? That Serfas was amazing. The Dinotte gets great reviews. I am not afraid of the cost but it must be recognized that it is not cheap, so for the money I want it to be 'better', whatever that means.....Suggestions? Discuss the best rear light you folks know of. Thanks!
    As far as self contained go I suspect you can't beat the Niteflux Redzone 4. I can't compare it to the Dinotte but I can tell you that it's super bright, super convenient and super visible. Beautifully made too. And there's now a matching front white light...

    Savvas.

  4. #4
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    The best tail-light that I have found is the Light & Motion Vis 180. It's approximately 10 times brighter than the Planet Bike Superflashes and NR Cherry Bombs, etc., so very, very visible. Not as bright as things in the Dinotte category, but definitely bright enough so cars WILL see you, and a long long ways off at that.

    It's a bit more expensive than lesser lights, but for good reasons. It uses power hungry high output LEDs, so to avoid burning through tons of disposable batteries, L&M built a rechargeable Li-ion pack into the light. This also allowed them to provide excellent weather sealing without having a big opening for a battery compartment. Battery recharges off a USB cable.

    Besides no batteries to replace, and Super Brightness, the one other feature that I really love about this light is the mount. Whereas most clip-on flashers rely on a simple friction clip, this thing has a locking clip that securely attaches either to the bike mount or to a webbing loop or whatever. I've lost many other flashers because they popped off. This one is secure.

    It's a beautiful self contained unit, well thought out and executed, as all L&M products tend to be. Highly recommended.
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    Awesome ideas! Thanks! I have a L&M Seca 1400 and like it. I'll look at all the suggestions here.

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    The RSP Astrum is brilliant, I believe it is the same as the Serfas tl-200 in the US. It's got 2 very bright half watt LEDS and runs off 2 AAA batteries, seems well made too.

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    I guess it depends on whether you ride solo or not. I tend to do my road riding with other people, and the Planet Bike Super Flash lights are dang bright when you're 3 feet behind one. Too bright in fact.

    The really crazy bright tail lights would be great when you ride alone, but I certainly could draft anybody with that sort of rear light output.
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    In group rides anything more than 0.5watts is too bright. It's no fun riding behind someone that has a light scorching your eyes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by anekin007 View Post
    In group rides anything more than 0.5watts is too bright. It's no fun riding behind someone that has a light scorching your eyes.
    One of the things I like about my Vis180 is that one of its modes is to turn off the main big power LED, which just leaves the yellow LED blinking out the sides (and a bit out the back). It is still visibile, but doesn't hurt the eyes of my riding buddy at 6:30 in the morning. When you need to have the power, though, it is there!

    Lots of good tail lights out there, though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtb143 View Post
    The best tail-light that I have found is the Light & Motion Vis 180. It's approximately 10 times brighter than the Planet Bike Superflashes and NR Cherry Bombs, etc., so very, very visible. Not as bright as things in the Dinotte category, but definitely bright enough so cars WILL see you, and a long long ways off at that.
    .
    That's a heck of a claim. I'm intrigued. If this light is 10x brighter than a PBSF I want one! One problem....there is a lack of "Good" comparative video to demonstrate this claim. The only video I see on You tube really doesn't show the actual output ( although the mounting system is top-notch ) One guy did compare one using a wall to demonstrate beam pattern but it was not view head-on or compared to a SF.

    I just bought a new commuting bike so I'm in the market right now for a rear light that will totally rock and yet stay under $100. I prefer self-contained but I want something that will draw notable attention for day-time use. I'm seriously considering the DiNotte 140R. I'd like the 300R but OH! the money.

    Anyone know of a good video comparing the new 1 watt PBSF Turbo vs the Vis 180 ??
    Anyone know what LED is being used to power the Vis 180 main led??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    That's a heck of a claim. I'm intrigued. If this light is 10x brighter than a PBSF I want one!

    Anyone know of a good video comparing the new 1 watt PBSF Turbo vs the Vis 180 ??
    Anyone know what LED is being used to power the Vis 180 main led??
    Sorry, don't have a video of the Vis180 vs. the superflash, but i can give you my anecdotal comparison....

    Straight back, you won't see much of a difference, but as soon as you get a couple degrees off angle, the vis180 stays really bright, while the SF drops off a LOT. The SF basically has a super tight beam so that punch of light is only a very narrow cone. The whole plastic lens does light up pretty brightly, but it isn't remotely as intense as the center beam.

    The Vis180, however, is super bright for a very wide range... about 90* (+\- 45*). After that, the secondary yellow light becomes visible on the sides from about 45* to 90* (straight out the side). It has a lot more lumens spread out over a much larger area - more chances to be seen.

    The flash for the PB SF is pretty harsh (some people may prefer that), while the Vis180 pulses more (the yellow side lights flash).

    The yellow side lights on the 180 make it more car like and help grab a drivers attention as they pass from the pulsing red behind you, to the flashing yellow as they get close to overtaking you... I think it is a pretty good attention getter.

    Is it worth it? That is definitely a subjective call. The Vis180 is a much higher quality light, pretty much in every respect. It does cost 4 or 5 times as much, though.

    As for the LED, the Vis180 uses a a full 1W red emitter and a 1/4W for the yellow side lights. The SF uses, IIRC, a 1/2W red and a couple high flux (meaning a lower class emitter) secondary red LEDs. Also, the SF is direct drive, so as the battery goes dead, the light gets dimmer, while the Vis180 is regulated so you get full output. You do need to recharge it more often, though.

  12. #12
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    Hi All,

    I'll mention the Niteflux RedZone 4 again because I think it's mainly sold via mailorder and may not be as well known as it deserves to be. The RZ4 has 2 XP-? leds with a full range of programming options. I haven't bothered to explore all of the options on mine but I believe that it can be programmed to be very group-ride friendly on low while also being downright nasty on the highest setting. It uses no secondary lense so doesn't have the very focused narrow beam of the pbsf. In fact its beam seems pretty much evenly distributed across 180 deg. or maybe more! Mounted on the seat post it is very visible from 2-300 metres away at driver height and from every rear angle as well as casting a great puddle of redlight on the road and roadside. The flash (or the particular mode that comes set as 'standard' anyway) is a rapid 3 or 4 flash-then-pause sequence similar to a police or ambulance vehicle - very attention getting and not quite as annoying (IMHO) as a rapid, steady flash.

    See: Red Zone 4

    I haven't had the opportunity to examine a L&M 180 - they seem hard to find in Australia. While I don't doubt the L&M is a fine and worthy light, I would encourage prospective buyers of uber-bright rear lights to consider all contenders. The RZ4 has the advantages of fantastic quality, small(ish) size, superb materials and ruggedness, high battery capacity, twin super bright LEDS, wide visibility and great versatility as well as a very competitive price (as well as the WZ5 matching front light). And if you want more there's also the step up to the AftaBlaasta, DesignShine and Dinotte(s)...

    Savvas

    Edit: 11/10/2011 as per Cat-man-do's advice
    Last edited by savvas; 10-10-2011 at 02:42 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by savvas View Post
    Hi All,

    I'll mention the Niteflux RedZone 4 again because I think it's mainly sold via mailorder and may be as well known as it deserves to be. The RZ4 has 2 XP-G leds with a full range of programming options. I haven't bothered to explore all of the options on mine but I believe that it can be programmed to be very group-ride friendly on low while also being downright nasty on the highest setting. It uses no secondary lense so doesn't have the very focused narrow beam of the pbsf. In fact its beam seems pretty much evenly distributed across 180 deg. or maybe more! Mounted on the seat post it is very visible from 2-300 metres away at driver height and from every rear angle as well as casting a great puddle of redlight on the road and roadside. The flash (or the particular mode that comes set as 'standard' anyway) is a rapid 3 or 4 flash-then-pause sequence similar to a police or ambulance vehicle - very attention getting and not quite as annoying (IMHO) as a rapid, steady flash.

    See: Red Zone 4
    I'm very impressed with this RedZone 4. I will note though that there are no red XP-G's. Since the light is using two led's it could be using two XP-E's or XP-C's. That would give it the claimed 200 lumen output on max.

    I like the RZ4 because it also has a full selection of intensity AND flash modes. It is also programmable, giving you the option to omit unwanted levels. Totally self-contained. I think the only thing I don't like is the Velcro seat post mount but I could likely work around that without too much problem.

    I like the Vis 180 as well but regardless of what others say I like the bright strobe action of the PBSF's ( and the RZ4 with strobe option ). It is very attention getting. The very bright slow-pulsing light of the Vis 180 is not bad but if L&M had included a slow-flash function ( or slow strobe ) I would of probably bought one without hesitation. For the moment the RedZone4 is on my wish list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I'm very impressed with this RedZone 4. I will note though that there are no red XP-G's. Since the light is using two led's it could be using two XP-E's or XP-C's. That would give it the claimed 200 lumen output on max.
    Thanks and apologies for that! I believe that the correct information is cited at the Red Zone thread somewhere. When I first got my RZ4 I was momentarily confused by the lack of focused 'dazzle' that I'd become used to in my stand-back-and-stare approach to evaluating tail lights. I'd been impressed (like everyone) by the beams coming out of the pbsf and then a Tioga 'twin eye' which uses similar lenses. Based on these experiences the RZ4 seemed bright but ever so slightly 'tamer' than I had anticipated. Then I started to walk around it a bit, try it on an angle etc. I realised that not only was it still super bright but it remained very bright all the way out to 90 degrees (more or less).

    My conclusion is that it's designed to work in the real 3-D world rather than just impress at the shop counter display. It costs a bit more than the pbsf of course but you do get high capacity rechargeable batteries built in, the programming mentioned and rugged, water proof build. I think the pbsf sets the bar for mid-range self contained lights. Like the much admired Dinottes (which I've never seen) I suspect the RZ4 may be a benchmark for the next step up in 'wireless' lights.
    Savvas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugano View Post
    I use a Cateye and it's very nice and bright and has a lot of different patterns. But the other day I was riding with a buddy with a Serfas taillight that was incredibly bright and had a blink that could not possibly be missed by anyone who's not blind. It was literally almost too bright, if such a thing is possible.

    I believe in being seen from a very long way off and having drivers avoid me at night. There is no way to avoid all risk, but cutting it down as far as possible is very nice.

    That said, is there a consensus on what might be the 'Best' taillight? That Serfas was amazing. The Dinotte gets great reviews. I am not afraid of the cost but it must be recognized that it is not cheap, so for the money I want it to be 'better', whatever that means.

    For the moment, I will continue to use my Cateyes, but I know that LED technology has improved and this one is a bit bulky, etc.

    Suggestions? Discuss the best rear light you folks know of. Thanks!
    "Best" implies that money isn't an object. If so, without a doubt, in order are:

    1. Dinotte 400R
    2. Dinotte 300R
    3. Dinotte 140R


    If you want just Self contained, the the Dinotte 300R. It's not only self contained, it's also the second brightest taillight on the planet. Only the 400R is brighter.

    I have used Dinotte taillights for years. I just got the 300R and moved the 400R to my son. These things are so bright, you get incredible respect from cars. They slow down and usually move to the opposite lane to pass. These things are so bright, you don't look like a bike anymore, you look like a big red bloom to the driver.

    They are so bright, I even notice the 'slow down and move a lane over' behavior when I use them during daylight. I did that today - I ride in a rural area and the Sunday drivers were all over gawking at the fall color. This had a noticeable impact on driver behavior DURING THE DAY!

    Incredible lights. Highly recommended. If you ride at night on the road, these ought to be standard equipment.

    J.

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    You are correct. Cost is no object.

    The only thing is that different opinions are also good and I do ride with other riders and so need to be mindful of their needs. But the opinion on the 300R is quite welcome. Thanks!



    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    "Best" implies that money isn't an object. If so, without a doubt, in order are:

    1. Dinotte 400R
    2. Dinotte 300R
    3. Dinotte 140R


    If you want just Self contained, the the Dinotte 300R. It's not only self contained, it's also the second brightest taillight on the planet. Only the 400R is brighter.

    I have used Dinotte taillights for years. I just got the 300R and moved the 400R to my son. These things are so bright, you get incredible respect from cars. They slow down and usually move to the opposite lane to pass. These things are so bright, you don't look like a bike anymore, you look like a big red bloom to the driver.

    They are so bright, I even notice the 'slow down and move a lane over' behavior when I use them during daylight. I did that today - I ride in a rural area and the Sunday drivers were all over gawking at the fall color. This had a noticeable impact on driver behavior DURING THE DAY!

    Incredible lights. Highly recommended. If you ride at night on the road, these ought to be standard equipment.

    J.

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    The Dinotte has two modes - a constant mode with High, Med and Lo. That works best in a group and it helps to tip it down a bit. The other mode is the blinker mode with 3 or 4 different blinker modes. These tend to be annoying to other riders. The thing is easy to turn on and off while riding. I do it all the time.

    Here's the thing, if it isn't annoying to riders behind you, then it probably isn't bright enough to be worth anything. Generally what works the best is to have the back guy have the taillight on and those in the middle to not have it one on. Either that, or aim then down a bit to put a big red bloom on the ground.

    I'm a huge fan of the the Dinotte tail lights. The completely changed the riding at night thing for me. They totally change the dynamic between cyclists at night and cars. I still chuckle every time a car goes by. It's really funny. You know how you hear a car coming from a long way back? well with this, when they get about 100' back, you can hear them slow down, get super cautious and then carefully go by you at slow speed in the opposing lane. It's super funny.

    One time I had a total jerk come tearing up on me, then slow down go way around (I think he thought I was a cop or something). Then he stops up the road ahead of me and starts yelling at me about my super bright tail light and the fact that it's blinking. I just had to laugh, it's clear that he didn't know what I was, probably had a really bad problem with the police or something and that scared him (pays to have a clear conscience).

    I've had my son ride my bike and I come up behind in the car - if you have any dirt at all on your windshield, it makes the cyclists disappear into a large red bloom. That means that the reflex of staying away from red flashing lights kick in. They don't even know you are a cyclist.

    J.

  18. #18
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    I was looking at some little red light called the Flea as a marker for my dog during night rides. My wife squashed the whole thing by not allowing the dog in the woods at night, but I remember the light being tiny and having like 5 different flash modes.
    Last edited by NYrr496; 10-10-2011 at 10:23 AM.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    The Dinotte has two modes - a constant mode with High, Med and Lo. That works best in a group and it helps to tip it down a bit. The other mode is the blinker mode with 3 or 4 different blinker modes. These tend to be annoying to other riders. The thing is easy to turn on and off while riding. I do it all the time.

    Here's the thing, if it isn't annoying to riders behind you, then it probably isn't bright enough to be worth anything. Generally what works the best is to have the back guy have the taillight on and those in the middle to not have it one on. Either that, or aim then down a bit to put a big red bloom on the ground.

    I'm a huge fan of the the Dinotte tail lights. The completely changed the riding at night thing for me. They totally change the dynamic between cyclists at night and cars. I still chuckle every time a car goes by. It's really funny. You know how you hear a car coming from a long way back? well with this, when they get about 100' back, you can hear them slow down, get super cautious and then carefully go by you at slow speed in the opposing lane. It's super funny.

    One time I had a total jerk come tearing up on me, then slow down go way around (I think he thought I was a cop or something). Then he stops up the road ahead of me and starts yelling at me about my super bright tail light and the fact that it's blinking. I just had to laugh, it's clear that he didn't know what I was, probably had a really bad problem with the police or something and that scared him (pays to have a clear conscience).

    I've had my son ride my bike and I come up behind in the car - if you have any dirt at all on your windshield, it makes the cyclists disappear into a large red bloom. That means that the reflex of staying away from red flashing lights kick in. They don't even know you are a cyclist.

    J.
    Hey John, the subject was best "self contained" rear light. That being the case then the Dinotte 300R is probably the top of the list. Still this RZ4 is likely to run a close second and looks to be a little more versatile ( menu wise ) Not to mention, it is also $100 cheaper.

    What you said about the bright rear lights being annoying on group rides is true. The RZ4 has a really low, low setting that should be good for group rides. I don't do night group rides but if I did I would buy a simple 1-2 led flasher and use that when people are behind me on group rides.

    I could see the guy getting mad at you if you were at a traffic light and he was stuck behind you ( with the 400R on high ). That would be quite annoying. However if he was just passing you he had no real reason to complain. Time and time again I get behind those new cars with the bright Led rear lights. Getting stuck behind one of those in slow moving ( stop and go traffic ) can make you want to pull your hair out.

    I did a road ride last night with my PBSF on the seat post. I too had a lot of cars give wide berth when approaching ( and I was on a busy road ). Regardless, there are still the jerks who feel it is their mission in life to pass you as close as possible.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    ...If you want just Self contained, the the Dinotte 300R. It's not only self contained, it's also the second brightest taillight on the planet. Only the 400R is brighter...J.
    Mmmm - big statement there. I've never seen or used a Dinotte of any persuasion unfortunately. They certainly look like great lights. And beyond a certain point I suspect that increasing 'power' encounters the laws of diminishing returns anyway.

    Just to put a few numbers to this discussion I note (quoting manufacturer's posted info):

    Self contained tail lights:
    Dinotte 300R - 300 lumens
    Niteflux Red Zone 4 - 200 lumen (5 levels down to 10 lumen)
    Exposure Flare - 75 lumens
    L&M Vis 180 - 35 lumens
    PBSF Turbo - 37 lumens

    Battery/wired tail lights:
    DesignShine - 500 lumens (5 levels down to 70)
    Dinotte 400R - 240 lumens
    Hope District 3 - 84 lumens
    Exposure Red Eye - 80 lumens

    Now I don't really know what all these numbers mean - if the 'lumen counts' were all done in the same way, if flash or steady was used etc etc. However, in terms of 'the brightest taillight on the planet' competition, there may be some argument with claims made for the 400Rs supremacy at least.

    But I wonder if other factors should not be taken into account rather than simply assume that 'brightest' also equals 'best'? The RZ4 for instance is water proof, not restricted so much (by virtue of its case and mount design) to bike-use only and has at least 180 degrees visibility (the L&L seems to have this last feature as well). The Exposure Flare (in my experience, 'plenty bright') is also absolutely tiny which may be an important consideration for some. And of course there's the MagicShine tail light as well. Personally I think the MS is great but I have no idea what the manufacturer claims as its 'power' and I wonder how accurate any claims might be anyway.

    Different manufacturers also obviously build for different markets and uses. I suspect that from a manufacturer's p.o.v, the world is not quite as 'globalised' as consumers presume it is. The RZ4 - for instance - would be (IMHO) ideal for an active person into multiple sporting activities requiring safety lights. It's also made in Australia and I suspect the manufacturer might be flat-out just meeting local demand. Dinotte and DS are probably in similar situations in their local markets and also may be pitched more to those cycling under particularly hazardous visibility conditions (early morning training, wet weather etc).

    There are multiple features to be considered - not just level of light output - in considering which light is 'best'.

    My 2 cents anyway...
    Savvas

    Edit: 11/10/2011 as per Pethelman's advice post #32
    Last edited by savvas; 10-10-2011 at 02:49 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by savvas View Post
    Self contained tail lights:
    Dinotte 300R - 300 lumens
    Niteflux Red Zone 4 - 200 lumen (5 levels down to 10 lumen)
    Exposure Flare - 75 lumens
    L&M Vis 180 - 35 lumens
    PBSF Turbo - 37 lumens

    Battery/wired tail lights:
    DesignShine - 500 lumens (5 levels down to 70)
    Dinotte 400R - 400 lumens
    Hope District 3 - 84 lumens
    Exposure Red Eye - 80 lumens
    As someone who has specified high power red LEDs before, I would caution you to take a lot of those numbers with a BIG grain of salt. The brightest conventional red LEDS (made by Osram, Cree, and Lumileds), all max out at around 80 lumens. Now once you take into account thermal losses (30%) and optical losses (15%) you can see that some of these claims are ridiculous. That puts a very high end and expensive LED at around 45 lumens.

    Just take that into consideration when you are looking at some of these (outlandish) claims.

    -Damon

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    As someone who has specified high power red LEDs before, I would caution you to take a lot of those numbers with a BIG grain of salt. The brightest conventional red LEDS (made by Osram, Cree, and Lumileds), all max out at around 80 lumens. Now once you take into account thermal losses (30%) and optical losses (15%) you can see that some of these claims are ridiculous. That puts a very high end and expensive LED at around 45 lumens.

    Just take that into consideration when you are looking at some of these (outlandish) claims.

    -Damon
    Yep - fully agree. The numbers above were taken from manufacturer's website info with little if any further information being provided. Not only is power not everything (which was probably the main point I was making), but the numbers themselves need critical consideration. I believe that some of these lights will feature in the new mtbr lighting shootout using a single and consistent testing method (Lezyne's integrating sphere). It will be interesting to review the results!
    Savvas.

  23. #23
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    Dinotte screws up on the following points with the 300R:
    - no low level setting (heck, even the 140L's lowest setting is way too bright for city bike lanes and for riding in a group in the dark)
    - the mount is crap, why couldn't they use the simple rubber mount they had with the 140L/200L, in fact they could have put the LiIon cell inside the 140L body and remove the cable. Misssion accomplished.
    - also quite expensive, but that is debatable. But tell me, why is the XML-1 cheaper than the 300R?

    So I second the original question: show me a tail light that is:
    - bright (140L brightness is OK)
    - can be dimmed (if I want to - down to regular blinker level)
    - self contained
    - mounts quickly and tool-free (and no consoles - I have a couple of bikes that I want to use the light with)
    - has LiIon built-in, no messing around with AAs
    - can be USB charged
    - can also be mounted on the helmet (tool free again), and on my clothes/bags
    - is as small as possible.
    +1: and weatherproof, of course.

    And all this shouldn't (in fact: mustn't) cost more than the L&M Urban 300 that I just purchased for commuting. That is a 100 bucks, and it shares most of the traits listed above (and also has a reflector to tune the beam pattern - which is absolutely not necessary for a rear light).

    I just can't understand what's so difficult in the list above that cannot be done by any manufacturer - or maybe I just missed it?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok View Post
    ...So I second the original question: show me a tail light that is:
    - bright (140L brightness is OK)
    - can be dimmed (if I want to - down to regular blinker level)
    - self contained
    - mounts quickly and tool-free (and no consoles - I have a couple of bikes that I want to use the light with)
    - has LiIon built-in, no messing around with AAs
    - can be USB charged
    - can also be mounted on the helmet (tool free again), and on my clothes/bags
    - is as small as possible.
    +1: and weatherproof, of course.

    And all this shouldn't (in fact: mustn't) cost more than the L&M Urban 300 that I just purchased for commuting. That is a 100 bucks, and it shares most of the traits listed above (and also has a reflector to tune the beam pattern - which is absolutely not necessary for a rear light). I just can't understand what's so difficult in the list above that cannot be done by any manufacturer - or maybe I just missed it?
    Well there's at least one contender...

    http://www.niteflux.com/Products_RedZone4.aspx

    Red Zone 4

    * Daylight visible; for young and old, day or night.
    * Perfect for mounting up high on helmet, bags and clothing. Remains seen as you twist and move.
    * Universal strap for mounting to seatpost of any size or shape
    * Neat and simple to use, with no cables or external batteries
    * A range of power settings and flash modes for night and day, solo and group riding
    * Constant brightness for the entire battery charge
    * Integrated Li-Ion battery recharges from any USB port or MP3 player charger
    * Rugged construction, with extended warranty options up to 3 years

    Flash: 4 Watt, 2.4 Watt, 1.2 Watt, 0.6 Watt, 0.15 Watt
    Solid: 1.2 Watt, 0.6 Watt, 0.3 Watt,
    Charge Time: 6 hours from USB

    Cost: Au$99.99.

    Savvas

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by savvas View Post
    Well there's at least one contender...

    Red Zone 4

    Red Zone 4

    * Daylight visible; for young and old, day or night.
    * Perfect for mounting up high on helmet, bags and clothing. Remains seen as you twist and move.
    * Universal strap for mounting to seatpost of any size or shape
    * Neat and simple to use, with no cables or external batteries
    * A range of power settings and flash modes for night and day, solo and group riding
    * Constant brightness for the entire battery charge
    * Integrated Li-Ion battery recharges from any USB port or MP3 player charger
    * Rugged construction, with extended warranty options up to 3 years

    Flash: 4 Watt, 2.4 Watt, 1.2 Watt, 0.6 Watt, 0.15 Watt
    Solid: 1.2 Watt, 0.6 Watt, 0.3 Watt,
    Charge Time: 6 hours from USB

    Cost: Au$99.99.

    Savvas
    Wow. Thanks for the link. I didn't know about the existence of this product.

    Only question is: how do I get one from Europe? Do they ship to the other side of the world?....

    ...and the answer is: FREE shipping. Wow again. Now only the import duty charges remain. I have no more excuses ;-)

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    IMO, 100 lumens is not enough. Getting close, but not enough. I would buy this over the L&M vis180 though. that's the same price and only about 30 lumens.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    Sorry, don't have a video of the Vis180 vs. the superflash, but i can give you my anecdotal comparison....

    Straight back, you won't see much of a difference, but as soon as you get a couple degrees off angle, the vis180 stays really bright, while the SF drops off a LOT. The SF basically has a super tight beam so that punch of light is only a very narrow cone. The whole plastic lens does light up pretty brightly, but it isn't remotely as intense as the center beam.

    The Vis180, however, is super bright for a very wide range... about 90* (+\- 45*). After that, the secondary yellow light becomes visible on the sides from about 45* to 90* (straight out the side). It has a lot more lumens spread out over a much larger area - more chances to be seen.

    The flash for the PB SF is pretty harsh (some people may prefer that), while the Vis180 pulses more (the yellow side lights flash).

    The yellow side lights on the 180 make it more car like and help grab a drivers attention as they pass from the pulsing red behind you, to the flashing yellow as they get close to overtaking you... I think it is a pretty good attention getter.

    Is it worth it? That is definitely a subjective call. The Vis180 is a much higher quality light, pretty much in every respect. It does cost 4 or 5 times as much, though.

    As for the LED, the Vis180 uses a a full 1W red emitter and a 1/4W for the yellow side lights. The SF uses, IIRC, a 1/2W red and a couple high flux (meaning a lower class emitter) secondary red LEDs. Also, the SF is direct drive, so as the battery goes dead, the light gets dimmer, while the Vis180 is regulated so you get full output. You do need to recharge it more often, though.
    Love the sound of the side visibility of the Vis180. I'll keep my fingers crossed that something in the $50 range comes out, something like a PBSF with side yellow LED's in addition to the rear facing ones. I don't ride enough on road bike solo to warrant the Vis180, but I do like the sound of it for side LED's.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

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    I have the vis360 that has the side LEDs on that too. It's a nifty light, but that feature is marketing hype. The side LEDs are so small and dim that it doesn't do anything at all for true side visibility. You'd have to be looking for it to really notice it.

    J.

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    I haven't seen it mentioned, but the new Cygolite Hotshot probably deserves mentioning. Claimed 2 watt light (no lumen listed), which should make it good competition for the 1W Superflash and new 1W Cherry Bomb.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    IMO, 100 lumens is not enough. Getting close, but not enough. I would buy this over the L&M vis180 though. that's the same price and only about 30 lumens.
    Out of curiosity, why do you feel the need for 100 lumens? Is this based on your experience with front lights? Lumens for a red light are, by definition, less than lumens for a white light. A LOT less. You will be just as blinded by a vis 180 as you will, say... a Stella 200 (just ball parking it, there).

    Lumens are determined from a weighted calculation of how much of the total light spectrum there is. White has all the colors, so it naturally has a high lumen count. Red only has a very small band of the wavelengths, so it doesn't get a lot of lumens even if the peak intensity for a given red wavelength is higher than any of the wavelengths in the white light.

    I hope that makes sense...

    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    I'll keep my fingers crossed that something in the $50 range comes out, something like a PBSF with side yellow LED's in addition to the rear facing ones.
    Take a look at the blackburn MARS line of tail lights. IMO, the side lights are a bit more on the Gimmicky side, but i may have been looking at the Mars 3 instead of the 4. That is probably what you are looking for. You can send me the $25 i saved you via paypal

    -Damon

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    Out of curiosity, why do you feel the need for 100 lumens? Is this based on your experience with front lights? Lumens for a red light are, by definition, less than lumens for a white light. A LOT less. You will be just as blinded by a vis 180 as you will, say... a Stella 200 (just ball parking it, there).

    Lumens are determined from a weighted calculation of how much of the total light spectrum there is. White has all the colors, so it naturally has a high lumen count. Red only has a very small band of the wavelengths, so it doesn't get a lot of lumens even if the peak intensity for a given red wavelength is higher than any of the wavelengths in the white light.
    I have several AA or AAA battery powered ones - the ones that are supposed to be "super"bright including the vis360. I also have the Dinotte 140R (140 lumens), the 300R (300 lumens) and the 400R (400 lumens).

    On any of the others up until the Dinotte 140R, I don't notice any behavioral difference in the cars that pass. With the 140, I notice the start of that difference, at above that it is substantial and striking difference in behavior.

    At the brighter Cherry Bombs and the rest, cars don't slow down, they *may* give you more room, but the basically give you the same treatment as a bike during the day and the same margins. However, riding at night you really require more margins since you can't always see road hazards as well either on the pavement or off the very edge of the pavement. So, when a car comes whizzing by with 3-4' of clearance - that's a lot less margin that I really want.

    Now, when I put on the 140R, the difference in behavior is striking. At this level, its clear there is some uncertainty for the driver since they probably don't believe that some thing as bright as the 140R would be a bike and could, possibly, be law enforcement or some more serious hazard. So they slow down and start to go wide.

    As you move to the 300R and the 400R this behavior amplifies significantly. I'd suggest that with the 140R, probably 60% of the cars have some altered behavior and slow down somewhat. With the 300R or 400R that comes close to 90-95% and the avoidance behavior is much more dramatic.

    So, what I base that on is actual experience. I think that going below the 140R is money spent, you get 65% of the way there in money spent but you don't get the benefit. Kick in that extra $40 and get serious changes in behavior. So, I think it needs to be more than a 100 lumens by a fair ways.

    Specifically, if you take the vis180 compared to this latest one, it's for sure overpriced and under delivers. Obviously the 100 lumens is much, much better than the 35 or so of the vis180

    What fools most people is that they hold these little lights in their hands, look at the bright LED head on and think that's bright. But, in use, they are still almost vanishingly small pinpricks of light - there is low to no spill on the ground and bike. You just know the rider thinks he's visible, but they really aren't and they certainly don't get any respect from drivers that they wouldn't get during the day.

    Just for grins, I've been riding weekly at night for the last 5 years or so and I've been through all of the tail lights that are supposed to be the top ones.

    J

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    Nice post John. Lots of good feedback here. I agree 100% with some of the comments on the Vis180. Very underwhelming during the day. Fine at night. Side lighting is pretty gimmicky. There is definitely something to be said for the total surface area of the light, and the very tiny point source on the 180 just doesn't do it for me.

    To clear up a common misconception with the Dinotte 400R. They conveniently borrowed the name from the 400L headlight (which is 400 lumens) and appended the "R." But it is most definitely NOT a 400 lumen taillight.

    Please note the information at the bottom of the run time page:
    http://www.dinottelighting.com/manuals/400L_INST_A.pdf

    400 lumens for the headlight, 240 lumens for the (400R), which is twice the output of the 140R which is really 120 lumens. How's that for confusing. And as someone has already noted, you can't compare red lumens to white lumens... it's a spectrum thing.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Specifically, if you take the vis180 compared to this latest one, it's for sure overpriced and under delivers. Obviously the 100 lumens is much, much better than the 35 or so of the vis180
    Again, I'm curious where this 100 lumen number comes from? Just because they call it a 140R? I would be shocked if it was greater than 50 lumens... I would expect it to rate pretty close to the Vis180 (maybe just a bit higher). All these high end manufacturers are using almost the same batteries, drivers, and LEDs. The 300 and 400 are, I am sure, noticeably brighter, but again... I would be impressed if THOSE made it past 100 lumens. And just for the record, the Vis360 is nothing like the Vis180. The 360 tail light is in the class of "high end blinky". The 180 is in the class of "monster tail light".

    Don't be fooled by the names... Look at my earlier post about what one should reasonably expect from the brightest conventional high power red LEDs. I'm not trying to get into a pissing match here, just trying to shed a little light on the claims and real world performance. I've spent about 6 or so years designing (and validating) LED lighting systems, so I have a decent idea of what numbers are reasonable and what numbers are outlandish. I'll be the first to admit when i'm wrong, though

    Bright tail lights are good, and I agree that dinky ones can inspire false confidence, but i don't want to see false expectations for these products.

    <<>>edited after seeing pethelman's post. added below....

    Honestly, i'll believe that 240 lumen claim when i see it validated by an integrating sphere... I've spent a lot of time looking at LED spec sheets, and i'm not buying it for a 2 red LED product.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by radirpok View Post
    Only question is: how do I get one from Europe? Do they ship to the other side of the world?.... ...and the answer is: FREE shipping. Wow again. Now only the import duty charges remain. I have no more excuses ;-)
    Niteflux mainly sell via mailorder I think although I have seen their products in bike shops in Oz. From their web site: "Since 2010 all of our products are made in Australia, allowing high levels of manufacturing quality control and hence reliability. All NiteFlux lights have a one year warranty on all parts, including batteries.... Customers from over the world are able to buy online directly from this website, and shipping is free worldwide!"

    I know I can import an item like a torch or bike light from outside Australia without encountering any sort of tax or duty. I imagine the same would apply in Eu or USA, however I guess you should check. I know I sound like I'm spruiking for the RedZone 4 but I'm just a happy customer and an admirer of innovation and sound design. My technical knowledge is pretty limited so any enthusiasm evident is based only on my own daily use!

    Savvas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pethelman View Post
    ...To clear up a common misconception with the Dinotte 400R. They conveniently borrowed the name from the 400L headlight (which is 400 lumens) and appended the "R."

    But it is most definitely NOT a 400 lumen taillight...Please note the information at the bottom of the run time page:
    http://www.dinottelighting.com/manuals/400L_INST_A.pdf

    400 lumens for the headlight, 240 lumens for the (400R), which is twice the output of the 140R which is really 120 lumens. How's that for confusing. And as someone has already noted, you can't compare red lumens to white lumens... it's a spectrum thing.
    Stephen, I'd like to cite your information as a correction to my earlier post as one who was indeed 'confused'! I actually checked that pdf from the Dinotte web site but missed the distinction between head and tail lights!

    Personally, while being a 'critical consumer', I think it's also important to be positive and acknowledge that there are manufacturers out there - usually smallish concerns - who are making genuine attempts to bring useful and high quality products to the cycling market. They all support bicycle use in one form or another - which can only be good eh? I have great admiration for small companies like Dinotte, Niteflux, DesignShine, Ay-Up and so on. And for the Planet Bikes and Cateyes of this world too. They all (IMHO) have made genuine attempts to set the bar higher and where it should be! Imagine where we'd be without that effort and enthusiasm for good design.

    Savvas.
    Last edited by savvas; 10-10-2011 at 02:59 PM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    Again, I'm curious where this 100 lumen number comes from? Just because they call it a 140R? I would be shocked if it was greater than 50 lumens... I would expect it to rate pretty close to the Vis180 (maybe just a bit higher). All these high end manufacturers are using almost the same batteries, drivers, and LEDs. The 300 and 400 are, I am sure, noticeably brighter, but again... I would be impressed if THOSE made it past 100 lumens. And just for the record, the Vis360 is nothing like the Vis180. The 360 tail light is in the class of "high end blinky". The 180 is in the class of "monster tail light".

    Don't be fooled by the names... Look at my earlier post about what one should reasonably expect from the brightest conventional high power red LEDs. I'm not trying to get into a pissing match here, just trying to shed a little light on the claims and real world performance. I've spent about 6 or so years designing (and validating) LED lighting systems, so I have a decent idea of what numbers are reasonable and what numbers are outlandish. I'll be the first to admit when i'm wrong, though

    Bright tail lights are good, and I agree that dinky ones can inspire false confidence, but i don't want to see false expectations for these products.

    <<>>edited after seeing pethelman's post. added below....

    Honestly, i'll believe that 240 lumen claim when i see it validated by an integrating sphere... I've spent a lot of time looking at LED spec sheets, and i'm not buying it for a 2 red LED product.
    I get the whole issue of LEDs and their parameters. I'm an engineer. But neither am I going to obsess over it (you can do that for us).

    I've also seen and used the vis180 (took it back) - and did not find it impressive nor did I find it created the same sort of behavior in drivers approaching from the rear. Not "monster" led, but "somewhat better" than the blinkies is how I would characterize it. It was not as noticeable as the Dinotte lights.

    We can argue about specs all day long, but the bottom line ia what does it cause a driver to do approaching from the rear. I'm pretty comfortable that I understand the relative performance of all the lights I've mentioned - I have owned them all at one time or another (albeit, in the case of the vis180, briefly). I still own all the rest but, FWIW, the *only* light I've returned IS the vis180. I didn't think it's performance justified it's price at all. YMMV.

    J.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I've also seen and used the vis180 (took it back) - and did not find it impressive nor did I find it created the same sort of behavior in drivers approaching from the rear. Not "monster" led, but "somewhat better" than the blinkies is how I would characterize it. It was not as noticeable as the Dinotte lights.

    J.
    Not to take this thread too far off topic, but I don't think you could say it much better than that. This has been my experience as well. I would re-iterate though that the high power taillights (200+ lumens) are MOST and EXCLUSIVELY useful in the day as well as twilight/dawn hours. I personally would not want to be caught out in traffic without one, or even a lonely road for that matter. At night however, that much power is downright dangerous. Something between 50 to 100 lumens preferably running in straight STEADY mode in combination with a lower power flasher located physically as far away from the higher power light makes a fantastically good rearward presentation. The steady mode in combination with the second light gives drivers better depth perception.

    On the issue of "monster" taillights. I can only speak to the one that I know very well:
    CREE XP-E RED, N3 bin, min luminous flux at 350mA = 56.8 each (ref CREE datasheet)
    6x of these puppies in series driven at 700mA = 630 RED lumens
    20% heating loss = 504 lumens total output
    Couple that with a unique design that utilizes the 12% that is lost out the sides of the optics and you have:
    444 lumens out the back
    and
    61 lumens out the sides

    But don't expect to ever get that from a self contained unit, since it takes just over 10 watts to hit those levels. The NightFlux and 300R will necessarily rise to the top of the self-contained class, with the 300R having the edge for daytime use due to the focusing optics. The NightFlux has the advantage for night time use due to the previously mentioned fact that it uses no optics and takes advantage of the inherently wide radiation pattern of the bare LED. The drawback being that a good portion of the light can be wasted "up" into the sky in a fixed mount scenario. They are also very smart about their controller by only allowing up to 1.2 watts in steady mode since it's a completely plastic case and there is the need to manage the heat. Having one of these on the back of your helmet would probably be ideal.

    I like the fact that the batteries for these two are integrated "non serviceable" type until I have to replace them. Essentially you can expect 2 to 3 years (whether you use it or not) before the li-ion is done. Then what... maybe somebody will figure it out by then. Kind of like an iPhone battery replacement. You're not supposed to, but people do it all the time.
    Last edited by pethelman; 10-10-2011 at 10:23 PM.

  38. #38
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post

    I've also seen and used the vis180 (took it back) - and did not find it impressive nor did I find it created the same sort of behavior in drivers approaching from the rear. Not "monster" led, but "somewhat better" than the blinkies is how I would characterize it. It was not as noticeable as the Dinotte lights.
    Quote" Posted by pethelman in response to above:
    Not to take this thread too far off topic, but I don't think you could say it much better than that. This has been my experience as well. I would re-iterate though that the high power taillights (200+ lumens) are MOST and EXCLUSIVELY useful in the day as well as twilight/dawn hours. I personally would not want to be caught out in traffic without one, or even a lonely road for that matter. At night however, that much power is downright dangerous. Something between 50 to 100 lumens preferably running in straight STEADY mode in combination with a lower power flasher located physically as far away from the higher power light makes a fantastically good rearward presentation. The steady mode in combination with the second light gives drivers better depth perception.

    On the issue of "monster" taillights. I can only speak to the one that I know very well:
    CREE XP-E RED, N3 bin, min luminous flux at 350mA = 56.8 each (ref CREE datasheet)
    6x of these puppies in series driven at 700mA = 630 RED lumens
    20% heating loss = 504 lumens total output
    Couple that with a unique design that utilizes the 12% that is lost out the sides of the optics and you have:
    444 lumens out the back
    and
    61 lumens out the sides

    But don't expect to ever get that from a self contained unit, since it takes just over 10 watts to hit those levels. The NightFlux and 300R will necessarily rise to the top of the self-contained class, with the 300R having the edge for daytime use due to the focusing optics. The NightFlux has the advantage for night time use due to the previously mentioned fact that it uses no optics and takes advantage of the inherently wide radiation pattern of the bare LED. The drawback being that a good portion of the light can be wasted "up" into the sky in a fixed mount scenario. They are also very smart about their controller by only allowing up to 1.2 watts in steady mode since it's a completely plastic case and there is the need to manage the heat. Having one of these on the back of your helmet would probably be ideal.

    I like the fact that the batteries for these two are integrated "non serviceable" type until I have to replace them. Essentially you can expect 2 to 3 years (whether you use it or not) before the li-ion is done. Then what... maybe somebody will figure it out by then. Kind of like an iPhone battery replacement. You're not supposed to, but people do it all the time.
    I quoted both of you guys because there was a lot of good stuff to be derived from what you were saying. John was not pleased with his Vis 180 but he has high standards as he will probably admit. I agree with his assessment of the Vis 180 though just from judging from the video that is currently available. Still, I would likely be very happy with it because I think it would be very useful at night ( although maybe not so much during the bright day light hours.). I disagree though with much of what has been said by others that the PBSF is not so visible by day. Maybe not in broad day light per say but it works very well as the sun begins to set and is very visible. Matter of fact, the first time I saw one it was about an hour before sun set and I was several cars behind a bike rider that was using one. It caught my attention right away and I was so impressed I knew I had to find out what brand of light it was.

    Tonight by a mere fluke I discovered I can mount a rear blinkie to the rear harness of my helmet giving it the perfect angle ( head slightly tilted down ) for when I am riding. I got the idea from the RZ4 website and found out this mounting works with other self-contained lights as well. The strategy I will likely use for night use will be a new PBSF turbo on the seat post set on strobe and my current SF on the helmet set on constant. Say what you will about the more expensive lights and how bright they are. Pethelman is right. Too much red light at night would be annoying. The key is finding the perfect brightness setting for the environment you are using it in. I think if I use my current PBSF on the helmet ( on steady mode ) it will be stupidly bright but not so bright as to be annoying at the intersections when you are stopped.

    Anyway, just my opinion but i think the SF's are not getting their just due. The other night I was coming home on a late ride and I turned around on a very dark road to view the throw of the PBSF behind me. I was amazed at how far a standard SF can throw. Please don't tell me these are not visible at distance or close up. Sure once the car starts passing they will leave the highest point of visibility but if you're using two ( in the way I plan to ) you will be covering all your bases. ( Just turn your head slightly and zap them as they go by.. ) I may still buy a RZ4 but not unless I really think more would be better. In the mean time I'll get another Super Flash ( for the helmet ) and hope the bright steady mode doesn't piss anybody off. Need I say, the Super Flashes are much cheaper too. Used with rechargeable batteries they are a great value.

  39. #39
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    No argument there Catman. The PBSFs are great little lights. They definitely do have their limitations, much more so than the higher power lights that are also dimmable. BUT, given the price of the PBSF, pretty much everybody should at least have one of these for night riding. Just make sure to keep those batteries topped off. I can't tell you how many people I see with PBSFs still running but barely eaking out more than the multi-led flashers from years ago because the batteries have been partially depleted.

    However, for those that spend the majority of their time riding in the dawn/daylight/dusk hours. The super high power lights are a SERIOUS and very substantial improvement over the PB. These two categories of lights, when paired together, give you a total taillight solution. JMHO

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMF View Post
    Take a look at the blackburn MARS line of tail lights. IMO, the side lights are a bit more on the Gimmicky side, but i may have been looking at the Mars 3 instead of the 4. That is probably what you are looking for. You can send me the $25 i saved you via paypal

    -Damon
    I don't think of side visibility as gimmicky, but having now looked at the Red Zone 4 light, I do like how it lights up basically a 180 degree sweep. Really nice.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

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    I think side visibility is a neat feature. I also think no one does it well (or even acceptably). What I do is ride with a helmet light and one of it's prime purposes is to shine it at cars at cross intersections to make sure they see me. The vis360 works very well for this but I'd probably get the SoLIGHT instead.

    The 300R battery is replaceable but it is done by Dinotte. It is no big deal. I asked before I bought it. When I've had stuff upgraded by Dinotte before, from the time I send it to have it back has been 10 days or less.

    J.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    That's a heck of a claim [Vis180 is 10x brighter than PBSF]. I'm intrigued. If this light is 10x brighter than a PBSF I want one! ... Anyone know of a good video comparing the new 1 watt PBSF Turbo vs the Vis 180 ??
    L&M uses an integrating sphere to measure the actual output of all their lights, and they measured the Vis180 at 36 lumens (35 claimed) and the PBSF at 3.9 lumens. I'm pretty sure the PBSF being measured was the last generation version though (.5 watt I believe). L&Ms data on their lights and a bunch (but not all, sadly) of competitors is available on their website.

    I've owned three PBSF's, because I think they're a great little light for the money. Side by side compared to the Vis180 they don't compare at all though. Four key differences: L&M rechargeable internal battery, L&M seems more solid/rugged, L&M has superior mount, and lastly - and most importantly to me - the Vis180 has a much wider beam pattern. If you shine the SF and Vis180 on the ceiling to compare the pattern it's really obvious that the SF has a tight spot where all its lumens go. Hopefully cars are driving right into this spot. The Vis180 on the other hand is just as bright as the SF over a much wider angle of view. I don't have to worry about whether cars are approaching from just the right angle, or whether my tail light is aimed at just the right spot.

    Bottom line, I like the PBSF and use it all the time, but if I'm riding on the road in reduced visibility, I want my Vis180 on my rear!
    "I thought you'd never love me without my Mojo." -Austin Powers

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    I like the Portland Design Works Radbot 1000. Works great, read the reviews.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by crdean1 View Post
    I like the Portland Design Works Radbot 1000. Works great, read the reviews.
    I have the Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 and its great, very bright, 3 different options 1) steady on, 2) long flash 3 short flashes then bright to dim repeat, 3) throw you into an epileptic seizure crazy flash. I dig mine but I do agree that riding with someone with a light like this it is bright! I have a frog for when I am not alone on the rail trail.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugano View Post
    I use a Cateye and it's very nice and bright and has a lot of different patterns. But the other day I was riding with a buddy with a Serfas taillight that was incredibly bright and had a blink that could not possibly be missed by anyone who's not blind. It was literally almost too bright, if such a thing is possible.

    I believe in being seen from a very long way off and having drivers avoid me at night. There is no way to avoid all risk, but cutting it down as far as possible is very nice.

    That said, is there a consensus on what might be the 'Best' taillight? That Serfas was amazing. The Dinotte gets great reviews. I am not afraid of the cost but it must be recognized that it is not cheap, so for the money I want it to be 'better', whatever that means.

    For the moment, I will continue to use my Cateyes, but I know that LED technology has improved and this one is a bit bulky, etc.

    Suggestions? Discuss the best rear light you folks know of. Thanks!
    I haven't yet seen anything to beat the small 18650 zoomable lights from HongKong. The price you simply cannot beat at under $10 with a simple mod to make them red. They are light weight and a single 18650 cell, depending on quality, can run up to 6 hours in a frantic blinky mode.

    The idea behind the zoomie is simple, a true solid 60 degree cone of bright light; no hot spot when directly lined up making them much more driver friendly than the 1W super-brights that disappear when you go off axis on a few degrees. These lights do not use reflectors, rather they use an aspheric lens that actually deliver good efficiency when the LED is near the lens, which is the full dispersion mode I promote here.

    Nearly every ride, people make the comment about how well they see my tail lights.
    I also notice the high level of respect on the road and rarely get told my light is too bright.

    I have tried to improve on this simple little light but I go back to the original every time. They are simple XR-E Q5 emitters driven at around 700ma. They range from 220 lumens to 160 lumens through their battery life which is what extends their runtime.

    Batteries is the real investment you need to consider. Quality cels cost in the neghborhood of $7.50-$10 when top of the line will go for $15. Same with the charger, buy quality! Still under $20.

    If you are a DIY guy, you can really make these lights kick. An XM-L T6 LED upgrade and a driver with additional modes can be had for $10 more. An XM-L at even 1 amp will put out a LOT OF LIGHT for tail light use.

    Red can be achieved in 2 ways; the red lens of the cheap 3D glasses will work or a sheet of Rubylith film from ebay. Either of which can be roughed up with a little fine grit sandpaper if some level of diffusion is desired.

    I just got done building an XM-L T6 with 9 unique modes in a very well build host for under $25. I run these lights on all 4 corners of my recumbent trike. I use Panasonic 3100mah or Sanyo 2600mah protected 18650 cells charged by the XTAR WP-2 II charger. The idea is that I have redundancy and to date, these have functioned flawlessly.

    4.5" long, 1.25" diameter head, under 5 oz w/ battery. Seriously, these are under estimated by the cycling community.


  46. #46
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    Best depends on point of view, as well as power.

    The NiteFLUX red Zone 4 gives a nearly 180 degree output @ 200 lumens and is as bright straight back as a Planet Bike Turbo but blows it out of the water as little as 20 degrees off-axis.

    Thread here good stuff at halfway down page 2 on.

    Currently using two at 4 degrees on seat post.

    Side video riding by: http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/5885/2cg.mp4

    BrianMc


    BrianMc

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Best depends on point of view, as well as power.

    The NiteFLUX red Zone 4 gives a nearly 180 degree output @ 200 lumens and is as bright straight back as a Planet Bike Turbo but blows it out of the water as little as 20 degrees off-axis.

    Thread here good stuff at halfway down page 2 on.

    Currently using two at 4 degrees on seat post.

    Side video riding by: http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/5885/2cg.mp4

    BrianMc


    BrianMc
    Is there an easy to use quick release on the NiteFlux, or must the Velcro be adjusted every time the light is removed? I commute in the city center and take my tail-light on and off four or five times a day. Having to adjust the Velcro mount often wouldn't suit my needs.

    Thanks.

    Z.

  48. #48
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    PBSF Planet Bike Super Flash

    If you hit a serious bump the PBSF detaches from its backplate, I have three and this happens to all of them on the street, and always off road.... use an elasticband to stop this, but you shouldnt need too.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by a1rports View Post
    If you hit a serious bump the PBSF detaches from its backplate, I have three and this happens to all of them on the street, and always off road.... use an elasticband to stop this, but you shouldnt need too.
    Wow. What kind of bumps are you hitting? I don't think I've seen anyone mention this failure mode. I'm only hit a couple of road bumps that I would consider serious (one caused a dent in my rim).

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobaar View Post
    I haven't seen it mentioned, but the new Cygolite Hotshot probably deserves mentioning. Claimed 2 watt light (no lumen listed), which should make it good competition for the 1W Superflash and new 1W Cherry Bomb.
    Just ordered one of those this week and will be getting it on Thursday. Can't wait to see how it compares to the PBSF and Mars I have. Love that it's USB chargeable.
    '19 Surly Krampus '18 Soma Wolverine '16 Giant Anthem SX '12 Soma Analog SS '07 Felt F1X '97 Schwinn Mesa SS '86 Fuji Club

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    "Best" implies that money isn't an object. If so, without a doubt, in order are:

    1. Dinotte 400R
    2. Dinotte 300R
    3. Dinotte 140R


    If you want just Self contained, the the Dinotte 300R. It's not only self contained, it's also the second brightest taillight on the planet. Only the 400R is brighter....
    Incredible lights. Highly recommended. If you ride at night on the road, these ought to be standard equipment.

    J.
    John,

    While I agree DiNotte makes excellent lights, here are links to two different lights that are probably as good. One, the Design Shine, looks to be as well built as the DiNotte lights and is most definitely brighter than anything DiNotte offers. Perhaps these two factors combined would make the Design Shine a better value than DiNotte.

    [Note: neither are self-contained.]

    1- Design Shine DS 500. It lists for $251 and puts out a claimed 500 lumens, much brighter than anything DiNotte offers. You can see a video comparing it to the DiNotte 400R in daylight on the Design Shine website (for ease, here it is). To my untrained eye, the video looks unedited, and the Design Shine is definitely brighter than the DiNotte 400r. The Design Shine also has a low setting of 1 watt. I'd guess that's similar to the low setting of the DiNotte 140L.
    2- Hahn Tronix BRL2010. It lists for $125 and puts out a claimed 280 lumens (the same as the DiNotte 400R).
    Last edited by J_Hopper; 10-23-2011 at 10:26 PM.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hopper View Post
    John,

    While I agree DiNotte makes excellent lights, here are links to two different lights that are probably as good. One, the Design Shine, looks to be as well built as the DiNotte lights and is most definitely brighter than anything DiNotte offers. Perhaps these two factors combined would make the Design Shine a better value than DiNotte.

    [Note: neither are self-contained.]

    1- Design Shine DS 500. It lists for $251 and puts out a claimed 500 lumens, much brighter than anything DiNotte offers. You can see a video comparing it to the DiNotte 400R in daylight on the Design Shine website (for ease, here it is). To my untrained eye, the video looks unedited, and the Design Shine is definitely brighter than the DiNotte 400r. The Design Shine also has a low setting of 1 watt. I'd guess that's similar to the low setting of the DiNotte 140L.
    2- Hahn Tronix BRL2010. It lists for $125 and puts out a claimed 280 lumens (the same as the DiNotte 400R).
    Neither of those are self contained. The Dinotte 300R is. That still makes it the "best self contained tail-light."

    J.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Neither of those are self contained. The Dinotte 300R is. That still makes it the "best self contained tail-light."

    J.
    That's why I wrote: "Note: neither are self contained."

    I would agree the 300R is the best self-contained light. However, you also mentioned the 400R and the 140R, neither of which are self-contained. Thus the reason I also mentioned lights that are not self contained.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    ...it's also the second brightest taillight on the planet. Only the 400R is brighter....
    It is worth clarifying, however, that the 300R is not the second brightest taillight on the planet. Perhaps the third or fourth, but definitely not the second. The Design Shine is the brightest I'm aware of (500 lumens), followed by the 400R (2 x 140R which are about 120 lumens per Dinotte = 240 lumens), which is probably about as bright as Hahn Tronix's offering (claimed 280 lumens). After that, to my knowledge, would be the 300R, which according to DiNotte is somewhere between the 140R and 400R.

    I've never seen the Design Shine or Hahn Tronix, so I can't vouch for their quality. DiNotte quality, however, is second to none.
    Last edited by J_Hopper; 10-25-2011 at 09:45 AM.

  54. #54
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    Correct. To be completely correct, the 300R is the brightest self contained tail light.

    I don't notice it being much of a difference from the 400R that I have and the convenience factor is huge.

    Designshine is interesting, but it's still not truly a commercial product but sort of a DIY light in low volume. Can't speak to Hahn Tronix. I like to see a fair run of production to make sure that reliability and repeatability issues are resolved.

    J.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiveFreeThenDie View Post
    Wow. What kind of bumps are you hitting? I don't think I've seen anyone mention this failure mode. I'm only hit a couple of road bumps that I would consider serious (one caused a dent in my rim).
    I'll second that....( about the PBSF )...I've not used mine on the road a lot yet but I can't see it coming off the mount that easily. I've also used mine a couple times on trails when I forgot to take it off when I reached the trail head. Need I say, I've hit plenty of good size bumps ( and at speed ) ( F/S ) while mountain biking. Mine doesn't move and the lock clip seems very secure to me.

    About the Best of the best: I've love to see a shoot out with the NiteFLUX Red Zone 4 vs. the DiNotte 300R. Since these two are likely very close to each other in output, "Best in class" should be awarded to the model that has the best all-around features. While the 300R is the brightest the RZ4 has a wider beam and is almost as bright ( so I'm told ).
    The 300R has a better seat post mount but the RZ4 looks smaller and has a nice clip for mounting in different areas ( such as the back of shorts, jacket or jersey pockets. ) Both seem to have a nice array of modes with a slight edge there to the RZ4. Lastly the RZ4 is $100 cheaper. Admittedly, too close for me to call without actually seeing one of these in person.

    Regardless I'll go out on a limb and give the 300R a blue ribbon for "Best in class" but the RZ4 wins the first prize in the "Best bang-for-the-buck" category.....CAT-egorically speaking that is.

  56. #56
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    I recently made a snap decision to buy a $45 Chinese tail light whilst at the bike shop to get something else.
    The light I bought is a Moon "Shield".
    It uses 1 red XPE and is rated by its makers at 60 lumens.
    On the drive home I was a bit cross with myself, as I had been eyeing off either the Design Shine & the Niteflux RZ4 (or maybe getting both), and the $45 could've been put towards that. Plus I have a healthy distrust of things made in China!
    I have to say I was very surprised & impressed by this light. To date it is easily the brightest tail light I have owned.
    I would estimate the Moon Shield is close to 3 x brighter than my PDW Radbot 1000, and about 20% brighter than either of my 2 Exposure Flares - and they are rated at 75 lumens.

    I still want to get a Design Shine one day, but for now 2 Exposure Flares & the Shield mounted on the seatpost plus the Radbot 1000 at the back of the helmet should help me be seen at night ok.

    We'll see how well it holds up after a few months of commuting. But so far I haven't regretted the purchase. For a few dollars more than a Radbot 1000 or Superflash Turbo you get something that is significantly brighter than either.

    Cheers, Digger.

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  57. #57
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    This may be underwhelming for some, but I've been pleased with small, cheap and easy to mount Knog Frog lights. They're on all bikes in my home now. REI is where I usually see them but they should be pretty easy to find locally.
    38 54' -77 15

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    ..I recently made a snap decision to buy a $45 Chinese tail light whilst at the bike shop to get something else.
    The light I bought is a Moon "Shield".
    It uses 1 red XPE and is rated by its makers at 60 lumens.
    On the drive home I was a bit cross with myself, as I had been eyeing off either the Design Shine & the Niteflux RZ4 (or maybe getting both), and the $45 could've been put towards that. Plus I have a healthy distrust of things made in China!
    I have to say I was very surprised & impressed by this light. To date it is easily the brightest tail light I have owned.
    I would estimate the Moon Shield is close to 3 x brighter than my PDW Radbot 1000, and about 20% brighter than either of my 2 Exposure Flares - and they are rated at 75 lumen....
    Sweet....thanks OldAusDigger. I've been holding off buying the RZ4 because..well...it's winter here and no rush on buying another rear led light. This Moon "Shield" looks interesting. I figure it should easily out-class my PBSF and still go at a reasonable price.
    I'd order one right now only I don't see any videos yet on what the flash patterns look like. Right now I only know it has five modes. That's great to know but flash pattern is "Everything" when it comes to rear LED lights. The crazy thing is that the mode descriptions don't really tell you too much. Anyway, can you give a more detailed description of the modes and the flash patterns ??( and whether there is a "steady state" mode.(?)

  59. #59
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    Ok CatMan. I just went and compared it again to my Radbot 1000 by shining them both on the wall side by side with fresh lithium disposables in the Radbot to give it every chance to perform at it's best.

    The Moon Shield has 3 steady settings spaced evenly apart, and its lowest steady setting is roughly equal to the Radbots one and only steady setting. The med and high settings on the Shield blow the Radbot away!
    I remember being quite impressed by the Radbot when it first came out. For me, it was a decent step up from the 0.5 watt PBSF when I bought it about a year ago.

    So, yes the Moon tail light has steady settings, and so far I've run it on 100% for a little over 2 hours continuously with no noticable drop in performance.

    As for the other 2 settings, one is a very, very fast strobe at around the medium output level. The other setting is quite good. It's like a pulse setting at max output, and it pulses at about 3 times per second.

    So it's an impressive little light in my books. And although the higher priced tail lights actually are better value when you look at lumens per dollar and things such as superior build quality etc. But some people can't or wont spend 200 plus dollars on a tail light.

    I previously thought that the Exposure Flare was the best tail light to fill the gap between say the Superflash Turbo and the RedZone 4, but I think Moon have bested the Flare and for half the price.

    Oh, I forgot to mention it's a similar size and weight to the PBSF.

    Hope that helps you mate.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    ....The Moon Shield has 3 steady settings spaced evenly apart, and its lowest steady setting is roughly equal to the Radbots one and only steady setting. The med and high settings on the Shield blow the Radbot away!
    I remember being quite impressed by the Radbot when it first came out. For me, it was a decent step up from the 0.5 watt PBSF when I bought it about a year ago.

    So, yes the Moon tail light has steady settings, and so far I've run it on 100% for a little over 2 hours continuously with no noticable drop in performance.

    As for the other 2 settings, one is a very, very fast strobe at around the medium output level. The other setting is quite good. It's like a pulse setting at max output, and it pulses at about 3 times per second.

    So it's an impressive little light in my books. And although the higher priced tail lights actually are better value when you look at lumens per dollar and things such as superior build quality etc. But some people can't or wont spend 200 plus dollars on a tail light.

    I previously thought that the Exposure Flare was the best tail light to fill the gap between say the Superflash Turbo and the RedZone 4, but I think Moon have bested the Flare and for half the price.

    Oh, I forgot to mention it's a similar size and weight to the PBSF.

    Hope that helps you mate.
    hummm.....not really what I wanted to hear. Something that flashes 3 times a sec I would consider a strobe. I'm not sure I want something that bright flashing that fast, at least at night. One flash every 1-1.5 sec would be good or two quick pulses and a pause even better . I don't want something that will induce a seizure or cause people to turn their head away. As comparison the PBSF's main led flashes about 2 times a sec. That works well but it is not bright enough to induce seizure unless you hold it up to your face. Sadly I might have to wait till someone posts a video so I can see the effect myself. At least with the RedZone 4 you have a wide choice in flash patterns to chose from. Unfortunately it cost twice as much as the Shield. I'll wait awhile to see if a video is forthcoming.

  61. #61
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    I decided to dig this thread up to continue the discussion. I've been contemplating buying the Moon Shield 60. For $50 ( AUD? ) that is not a bad price for a rechargeable self-contained rear light that can beat out the PBSF's and Radbots.

    Anyone know of any other good self-contained rear lights that hadn't already been mentioned?

  62. #62
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    I just pulled the trigger on a Moon Shield 60. One of the hardest purchases I have yet to make. All the Au sellers would not sell to USA or any country other than Au.
    I finally found an international seller on ebay that had the price within reason.

    On a side note I also found an interesting set-up to use on my wheels for some added visibility. The cheap Chinese firefly's I currently use don't work real good so I bought two sets of these.

    Tonight I took a quick road ride using the fireflys. It just gave me giggles to see people pulling over gawking as I rode by. When the new stuff comes it will really be a hoot as the 3-led per wheel set-up should be three times as bright. I almost bought a setup that is very much like the Monkey lights. Yep, the Chinese make those too but they are much cheaper. I wanted something that would keep the wheel more balanced so I opted for the 3-led ( per wheel ) setup.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 03-19-2012 at 01:11 AM.

  63. #63
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    Catman, I think you'll like the Moon Shield.
    Let us know what you think when it turns up. I'm not good at posting pictures, so I'm hoping you might feel motivated enough to post some - especially if you can compare it to another rear blinky light (eg PBSF).
    It would be for the benefit of others, as I now have 3 of them, I know how good they are.
    Definately the best I've seen at that pricepoint.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    Catman, I think you'll like the Moon Shield.
    Let us know what you think when it turns up. I'm not good at posting pictures, so I'm hoping you might feel motivated enough to post some - especially if you can compare it to another rear blinky light (eg PBSF).
    It would be for the benefit of others, as I now have 3 of them, I know how good they are.
    Definately the best I've seen at that pricepoint.
    Will do. I had to order from a U.K. dealer so might take 7-9 days to get here. My only worry is two things: The run time and the flash pattern. There is only one video on Y-tube and it is about 3 sec long. It shows the flash pattern but you really can't tell much from it. Reviews on the run time have not been great. Hoping to get about 3-4 hours on high steady, 5 hrs on high/flash.

  65. #65
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    Several posts back I mention that I ordered a light set up for my wheels. I noticed that the link on that post is now dead. Not sure why, maybe they just ran out or perhaps something else. Anyway the product is called "Rimfire". I just got the order in today. I had no idea how much of a PITA it was going to be to install. First it's not really designed for road wheels although I did get it to work. Unfortunately it is not easy to mount and center. I did the best I could but the wheel still feels like it's not balanced. My guess is that it can't be perfectly balanced. I had to go to the web site because the instructions were too small to read. Anyway there are photos there that did help but it is still a *itch to mess with. Too late to take it for a ride tonight. I will say though that it is freaking cool when it is on. Yes it does actual work and has several modes. It uses three AA's for each wheel. Sadly it does add more weight than I expected.

    If it doesn't effect the feel of the bike I'll leave um' on ( at least for now ). If it makes the bike feel noodly I guess they will just end up in my endless pile of bike junk.

    I can always go back with the fireflys. At least they were pretty simple. I will have to buy a couple more sets though because I need one that works like it's suppose to. At least a set of two only cost about $2.50 . If you buy fireflys just make sure you buy the batteries from China. The local battery stores soak you on button batteries.

    I can't wait to see what the cars do when I hit um' with the Rimfires.

  66. #66
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    Catman, have you seen these before - Lightweight*Safety*Limited ?
    I saw a very positive review on them a couple of years ago (might've been on mtbr). They could be a cheap back up to your Rimfire system.
    I haven't tried them myself, but from what I understand, in normal light conditions they are virtually invisible but are extremely reflective at night.
    As for the runtime on the Shield, I run mine on high always for my commute (about 100 min for a return trip) and just recharge them each time. But you can always turn them down to extend runtimes - I'm almost certain that you'll still think the lower settings are bloody bright!
    I've now got my Sheilds mounted 3 abreast on a custom velcro attatchment where they affix to the base of my Camelbak HAWG - with special attention paid to get the correct angle whilst in the normal riding position. Along with two Exposure Flares helmet mounted, and the Radbot on the seatpost it's a pretty good rear lighting set up. I must admit though I really, really want a DesignShine tail light as well.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger;9131253 Catman, have you seen these - [URL="http://www.lightweights.org/store/home.php"
    Lightweights reflectors [/URL]- before ?
    I saw a very positive review on them a couple of years ago (might've been on mtbr). They could be a cheap back up to your Rimfire system.

    I've now got my Sheilds mounted 3 abreast on a custom velcro attatchment where they affix to the base of my Camelbak HAWG - with special attention paid to get the correct angle whilst in the normal riding position. Along with two Exposure Flares helmet mounted, and the Radbot on the seatpost it's a pretty good rear lighting set up. I must admit though I really, really want a DesignShine tail light as well.
    About the Lightweights reflectors: No but they look interesting. Lightweight and Inexpensive as well. I could use of set of the clothing reflectors as well.

    THREE SHIELDS! You must have "Tail-light-itis". I'm glad you said you "want" a DesignShine tail light and not that you "need" a DSTL. That means there's still hope for you.

    Tonight I got the Rimfire put on the other wheel. Since it will likely rain tomorrow I took it out for a quick spin around the block to see if there are any problems. All seems to be well. These things are so cool. At 4 in the morning there was no one out to see my display but with these things going you feel like a "Carnival-on-Wheels".

    To be honest though these are not the kind of lights that someone would want to use for commuting or serious road riding. For those activities the spoke reflectors would be the best way to go. Since I live in area with lots of traffic I bought the RimFires to enhance my visibility on the local roads when I go out at night for a quick spin. ( ** And to make a complete spectacle of myself. )

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I decided to dig this thread up to continue the discussion. I've been contemplating buying the Moon Shield 60. For $50 ( AUD? ) that is not a bad price for a rechargeable self-contained rear light that can beat out the PBSF's and Radbots.

    Anyone know of any other good self-contained rear lights that hadn't already been mentioned?
    Cygolite Hotshot is noteworthy. Centerline intensity is beyond DiNotte 300R and even 400R. It's about US$30 at Amazon.com. USB-rechargable, adjustable flash speed, has a steady mode you can crank way down for MUP use. Oh, and it's the size & weight of a SuperFlash, so that's about 1/3 the weight of the 300R, if that matters. I have two, they're a good value.

  69. #69
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    There is a really good review on several tail lights that someone posted a link to on Candlepower Forums (I'll put it up on here as well). The Cygolite Hot Shot 2 watt tail light comes out on top in that group test.

    Review of the Best Bicycle Tail Lights in 2012 Stack Exchange Bicycles Blog

    I imagine that the Hot Shot and the Moon Shield would be very similar in output if you were to directly compare them, but I think the Shield is rated at 3 watts - but I'm not 100% sure. But with Cygolite being US made it should have the superior build quality.
    They seem to have their own little spot in the market, ie; significantly brighter than all the other "blinkies" (including Radbot 1000 & PBSF turbo), yet a bit short of the mark when compared to something like the Nitefux Red Zone 4, which in turn has a lower specification than does the Dinotte and the DesignShine offerings.
    Personally, I'd like to see more competion in that 2 to 3 watt sector of the tail light market so as to bring the cost down and encourage more riders to purchase substantially brighter tail lights than they might have before.
    I've been riding to work with my 3 Moon Shields for a few weeks now I think that for any serious commuter in an urban environment you wouldn't want anything with less lumens. In my opinion what was "king of the blinkies" say a year or two ago, was at the time, and definately is now, adequate at best - especially if you ride solo - which most commuters do. And I couldn't give a toss about the blokes who ride in groups who will claim lights such as these are too bright. If you ride alone you are more exposed and you NEED to stand out as much as possible when you're surrounded by motor vehicles.
    Of course there is a limit to how many lumens (both front and rear) you can safely have whilst riding on the road. Possibly the Dinotte tail lights and almost certainly the DesignShine DS-500 would be too bright too run at night on 100% in good conditions, ie; no fog or rain etc.
    But I won't consider my tail light combo complete until I own the mega bright DS-500. I can see how it would really come into its own in bright daylight conditions or adverse weather at night.

    Cheers,

    Digger.

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    That's a nice review, but it's a review of the small lights. It's sort of like reviewing firecrackers when what you really need is a hand grenade.

    J.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    That's a nice review, but it's a review of the small lights. It's sort of like reviewing firecrackers when what you really need is a hand grenade.

    J.
    According to someone at BikeForums who has both, and runs both at once, the Cygolite Hotshot exceeds his DiNotte 400R for raw intensity on axis. So if you want to be seen from long rage in daylight, for example, you can pick from a hand grenade or a rifle. And having owned a 300R myself, the "hand grenade" analogy is an appropriate description of its beam pattern... super-floody, puts out slightly more light *overall* than the Hotshot, but not the winner in intensity.

    After seeing the kind of value the Hotshot represented, I Ebayed my 300R, got a couple Hotshots and had money left over. Lots of it. Worth a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by a1rports View Post
    If you hit a serious bump the PBSF detaches from its backplate, I have three and this happens to all of them on the street, and always off road.... use an elasticband to stop this, but you shouldnt need too.
    This happened to me as well. My Planet Bike Super Flash would literally jump out of the mount when I hit a fairly good sized bump. On one particularly bumpy ride, it must have come out at least 4 times. Eventually, mine jumped out of the holder and ended up in the middle of a busy highway I was crossing.

    It was all my fault. You see, I had taken my trusty PBSF off my bike one day and didn't realize that I had reinstalled the mount upside down. What's weird is that even upside down I could slide the PBSF into the mount.

    Since reinstalling the mount properly, I've had 2 trouble free years of bumping along without a single launch of my PBSF.

    Moral of the story: Take off the mount, turn it around and mount it correctly

  73. #73
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    This seems like a good place to toss out an idea I've been working on.
    I have some of our wide angle lenses that I had tinted red. Add one of these to a Gemini Titan or MJ-808 on strobe and you have one really bright tail light. I have some amber ones too. Any one interested in trying them out? I could sell just the lens or a light head with a Y-cable.
    Jim Harger
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    This seems like a good place to toss out an idea I've been working on.
    I have some of our wide angle lenses that I had tinted red. Add one of these to a Gemini Titan or MJ-808 on strobe and you have one really bright tail light. I have some amber ones too. Any one interested in trying them out? I could sell just the lens or a light head with a Y-cable.
    +1 for innovation. Imagine it'll be brighter than any rear light out there. My little concern would be the battery unduly stressed with such draw [EDIT] using a Y cable.
    Last edited by Magicshine Australia; 03-26-2012 at 11:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    This seems like a good place to toss out an idea I've been working on.
    I have some of our wide angle lenses that I had tinted red. Add one of these to a Gemini Titan or MJ-808 on strobe and you have one really bright tail light. I have some amber ones too. Any one interested in trying them out? I could sell just the lens or a light head with a Y-cable.
    I have a few of your wide angle lenses & so I tried tinting one red. I wasn't particularly pleased with the outcome - beam pattern was fine, but not as bright as I expected.

    I have ended up using a red xp-c & Znomit's ping pong ball idea, though I used a deodorant roller instead.

    The result is a light that has a reasonably uniform distribution through 180 without being excessively bright in any one direction. Another effect of the ball is to increase the size of the light source and because you are not looking directly at the LED it is never dazzling. It is clearly visible from 200m at night from any angle behind the bike. It is also visible from 200m during daylight, again from any angle behind the bike

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    ...After seeing the kind of value the Hotshot represented, I Ebayed my 300R, got a couple Hotshots and had money left over. Lots of it. Worth a look.
    Wow. That's saying a lot. I've been reading all the dialog on the Hotshot and it has my interest perked. Postie left me a note today in my mailbox so I should have my Moon Shield tomorrow. After I give it a good once over I might have to march on down to the local REI to check out one of the Cygolite Hot shots. Heck, if I don't like or need it I can always return it. I'm drawn to the Hotshot because you can adjust the flash rate so if the output is as good as you say I should be quite pleased.

    To tell you the truth though I really do like the flash pattern of the PBSF. If Planet Bike decides to make a 3 watt version of the Superflash I might just have to give that a look-see as well.

  77. #77
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    The first self-contained tail light that I use was the the PDW danger zone. I really like the flash pattern of this tail light but I how I wish I could charge the battery through a usb and it only has 1 watt. Then I upgraded to Cygolite hotshot last December. I like the hotshot the fact that I can charge the battery through a usb and has 2 watts. I still like the flash pattern of the PDW compared to the hotshot despite of its intense flash mode. Last January I got the Dinotte 300R and was overwhelmed by the light on high steady mode but the flash of the hotshot is a little bit intense compared to the 300R. I hope there is a self-contained tail light as bright as the Designshine-500. That to me is definitely a treat.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magicshine Australia View Post
    +1 for innovation. Imagine it'll be brighter than any rear light out there. My little concern would be the battery unduly stressed with such draw [EDIT] using a Y cable.
    In strobe mode the average draw would not be that much.
    Jim Harger
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by find_bruce View Post
    I have a few of your wide angle lenses & so I tried tinting one red. I wasn't particularly pleased with the outcome - beam pattern was fine, but not as bright as I expected.

    I have ended up using a red xp-c & Znomit's ping pong ball idea, though I used a deodorant roller instead.

    The result is a light that has a reasonably uniform distribution through 180 without being excessively bright in any one direction. Another effect of the ball is to increase the size of the light source and because you are not looking directly at the LED it is never dazzling. It is clearly visible from 200m at night from any angle behind the bike. It is also visible from 200m during daylight, again from any angle behind the bike
    find_bruce, what did you use to tint the lens (of the ball) The ones I have have the resin tinted with transparent red at the mold. A lens though does filter out all but the red light so your throwing out all the other colors. A red LED would be much more efficient.
    Jim Harger
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    This seems like a good place to toss out an idea I've been working on.
    I have some of our wide angle lenses that I had tinted red. Add one of these to a Gemini Titan or MJ-808 on strobe and you have one really bright tail light. I have some amber ones too. Any one interested in trying them out? I could sell just the lens or a light head with a Y-cable.
    What needs to happen: Someone needs to make a single LED lamp where the LED is mounted in a drop-in style module so you can switch out the LED ( red, amber, white ) if you want. I realize there are heat sinking issues to deal with but I still think it could be done.

    Then you would need to included another driver menu for people who want to use red/amber LED's. That shouldn't be a big problem. The Xera would be the perfect candidate for this kind of thing due to it's small size and versatile menu set-up. The first person to sell something like this will make some money.

    Of course Gemini could just sell a "Rear" version of the Xera which would likely sell like hotcakes.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Wow. That's saying a lot. I've been reading all the dialog on the Hotshot and it has my interest perked. Postie left me a note today in my mailbox so I should have my Moon Shield tomorrow. After I give it a good once over I might have to march on down to the local REI to check out one of the Cygolite Hot shots. Heck, if I don't like or need it I can always return it. I'm drawn to the Hotshot because you can adjust the flash rate so if the output is as good as you say I should be quite pleased.
    The main "gotcha" is that it's a focused beam and needs to be aimed straight & level. As a LBS mechanic, I see very few taillights that are aimed straight & level. I suggested to Cygolite that they switch to more of a flood optic, but I doubt they ever will.

    To tell you the truth though I really do like the flash pattern of the PBSF. If Planet Bike decides to make a 3 watt version of the Superflash I might just have to give that a look-see as well.
    If PB makes a 3-watt SuperFlash, I sure hope they make it lithium-ion rechargable, because the 1-watt already has a marginal runtime. Mine also kept turning itself off (first-gen unit, go figure).

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    Catman, I think you'll like the Moon Shield.
    Let us know what you think when it turns up. I'm not good at posting pictures, so I'm hoping you might feel motivated enough to post some - especially if you can compare it to another rear blinky light (eg PBSF).
    It would be for the benefit of others, as I now have 3 of them, I know how good they are.
    Definately the best I've seen at that pricepoint.
    Digger, Well I got the Moon Shield rear light tonight and after a quick half hour charge I played around with it while at work tonight. Initially I turned it on inside just to get an idea of what to expect while I compared it to my PBSF. Looking at it inside I could see it was brighter but I wasn't ( initially ) impressed.

    Than I took it outside after it got dark. Whoa! A world of difference!
    I took turns sitting both the 'Shield and the PBSF on the bumper of my work vehicle, walking a good 200-300ft away to get a view from a distance. Not to put down the PBSF but it simply is not in the same league with the Moon Shield.

    Digger, you said the Shield was about 3X as bright as a SuperFlash if I'm not mistaken. I'm not quite sure if it's 3X as bright but definitely at least 2X as bright without any question. When I set the Shield to it's max level on steady I have to say that I find it almost too bright! If I use it at that level ( at night ) I would feel guilty unless it was raining or foggy.

    My favorite mode is the flash ( 40 lumen ) mode. Even so, it is SUPER BRIGHT! and just blows the PBSF away. Add to that it also has a much better ( wider/brighter ) beam spread which makes it MUCH MORE VISIBLE to cars passing. I will say having a rear light THIS BRIGHT with THIS MUCH beam spread gives me a lot of confidence.

    If I had to be critical my only complaint is that I wish the mode menu allowed for custom flash and brightness levels. While the 3 steady modes are fine there really is a need for a "super low steady mode" for when riding with a group. The same could also be said for the flash mode. The included "strobe mode" is somewhat useless in my opinion. A much better option would of been to have a mode like this >
    "FLASH".....low....low.... "FLASH".....low....low... ( think PBSF only super wide and 3X as bright )
    In the mean time I think I will be happy with the current FLASH mode that I know will get lots of attention once I take it out on the road.

    I hope to get a chance to ride with this set-up soon. I'll try to get some photos when I get some more AA batteries for my camera. I used all my rechargeable AA's
    in my new RimFire lights.

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    Catman, what are your thoughts on the Moon's build quality? Some reviews I read listed it as being on the shoddy side. Is this a fair observation?

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    Chromag, I think the build quality is fine. Easily as good as Planet Bikes original Superflash or PDWs "Radbot 1000", but probably not as good as Exposures "Flare". I personally own all three of those products, and the way I judge build quality might not be the same as you, but the Shield feels solid, looks solid and I think it would survive a certain amount of abuse; eg, say if it was dropped on a concrete floor.
    I can see that the small rubber cover for the USB charging port could be a weak point. But if you treat it kindly it might last for a few months - we shall see in time. My 3 have had a fair amount of use in the couple of months I've owned them and are still as new.

    Catman, I'm glad you like the Shield, seeing as I talked it up a fair bit.
    I think it is honestly about as bright as you would need whilst night riding in normal conditions. But in my opinion, a much, much brighter tail light is required for daylight usage to achieve a similar effect.
    I've mounted my 3 Sheilds very close together & have them pointed straight back, with all three on the highest solid setting and the effect is much like having one big, very bright light - the two Flares & the solitary Radbot are assigned to flashing duties.
    Since then my experience riding to and from work here in Sydney (Australia's largest city -approx 6 million people) where I imagine traffic conditions would be just as crazy as some big cities in the Northern Hemishere, has definately changed for the better. The experience is very much like what the Dinotte tail light users have been saying for years. The other road users behaviour to you definately improves.
    I would love to see a head to head comparision between the Hotshot and the Shield. With one reportedly having a very tight focussed beam and the other being wider with a similar lumen output, the combination of the two could be very good.
    Maybe this is your new mission Catman

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    Chromag, I think the build quality is fine. Easily as good as Planet Bikes original Superflash or PDWs "Radbot 1000", but probably not as good as Exposures "Flare". I personally own all three of those products, and the way I judge build quality might not be the same as you, but the Shield feels solid, looks solid and I think it would survive a certain amount of abuse; eg, say if it was dropped on a concrete floor.
    I can see that the small rubber cover for the USB charging port could be a weak point. But if you treat it kindly it might last for a few months - we shall see in time. My 3 have had a fair amount of use in the couple of months I've owned them and are still as new.
    Right on. Thanks for the cross compares Digger.

    The USB charge port cover is an area of concern I have with the Dinotte 300R too. Brand new, no problem. Once water ingress occurs though I'm convinced its game over for the electronics. Miraculously, my old MS900s that fizzled out due to water exposure from the mount hole beneath revived themselves after a 1 week dry out period. Their return from the dead was short lived though.

    My Dinotte 400Rs rubber grommet is also starting to corrode at the light engine/wire inlet. Its only about a year old. Will have to send that in sooner rather than later.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chromagftw View Post

    The USB charge port cover is an area of concern I have with the Dinotte 300R too. Brand new, no problem. Once water ingress occurs though I'm convinced its game over for the electronics.
    I'll consider that a word of warning. The USB cover on my Shield disappeared the first day. Looks like I'll have to cover it with a piece of electrical tape. No biggie but a pita.

    Other than that the build looks solid. The front cover is held on by hex bolts. The instructions warn you not to open the lamp so I'll not do that ( for now ). It is smaller than a SF. I wish the clip was a little longer though. If you use just the clip to attach to clothing you could end up losing the light. I haven't had a chance to try the seat clip yet but it looks solid and the light clips in real good and tight. It does tilt although I don't know how that will work out until I actually mount it. I have a bag in the way right now so I have to remove the bag before I can try the seat mounting. Tonight maybe when I come home.

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    Do any of you Cygolite Hotshot owners know its lumen rating? Is there any more info you can give, or even better some pictures of it in action?

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    I tried the Shield on my seat post. Very simple to mount as it uses a adjustable rubber strap type to keep it in place. While the female side of the clip does have some adjustment it does not have enough increments IMO. Still I was able to make it point straight out by adjusting the rubber strap a bit. The light clips in tight so it should stay in place. As long as the adjustable rubber strap doesn't come undone it should be fine. To be on the safe side I will likely use a small twisty ( wire twisty ) just to make sure I don't lose the whole thing. I have a torch mount that uses the same kind of rubber strap and it works fine but it doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. ( *Note, the Moon Shield will not work with the SF mount )

    When I drove home this morning ( after working a double ) I noticed a guy riding a bike just down the road from where I live. Once again, a weak bluish light on the helmet. I could actually see the beam pattern which barely lit 10 ft. in front of him. I'm going to assume he was using a cheapie ( see me ) light as a helmet light. When he passed ( going the other way ) I couldn't help but notice that he had an outstanding rear red light. Don't know what he was using but it was very bright ( on steady mode ). Nothing like a good rear light.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    Do any of you Cygolite Hotshot owners know its lumen rating? Is there any more info you can give, or even better some pictures of it in action?
    Candlepower forum had it listed as 60 lumen.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 03-29-2012 at 04:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Action LED Lights View Post
    find_bruce, what did you use to tint the lens (of the ball) The ones I have have the resin tinted with transparent red at the mold. A lens though does filter out all but the red light so your throwing out all the other colors. A red LED would be much more efficient.
    Sorry jim - been a bit snowed under. - the ball is not tinted, it has a red LED.

    Been thinking a bit about tinted lenses, and given that "white" LEDs often have a bluish tint to them, I wonder if that affects the amount of available light in the red wavelength.

  90. #90
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    This is a really most excellent thread and it just so happens I am in need of a new self-contained tail light right now. It seems hard to beat the output of the Cygolite Hotshot which goes for about $30 on Amazon with the charger included. My current setup is just two of the older 1/2 watt Superflashes which I use one steady and one flashing. I don't feel the Superflash lights are enough in overcast daylight conditions compared to a lot of the newer offerings. I am gonna pickup a Cygolite Hotshot and try it out along with a Superflash or two.

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    I just found this short online review and youtube video about the Moon Shield

    Moon Shield 60 Review - Bike Lights Review

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    Here's the Cygolite Hotshot.
    Super happy with the intensity of the blinding red beam. USB charger is a major plus in my book. Crappy mount though. Not sure how it would perform on a mountain bike seat post doing drops, stairs, or super bouncy single track.
    This rear tail light will be used for the road bike or tossed in the transparent mesh part of a camel pack for mountain bike rides.

    I'd be interested to see the Moon Shield 60 next to the Hotshot and compare the two lights.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    I just found this short online review and youtube video about the Moon Shield

    Moon Shield 60 Review - Bike Lights Review
    Thanks Digger. After reading that review I can say I agree with it almost word for word. I still plan on checking out the Cygolite Hot Shot though. The Hot Shot is supposed to have a narrower spread. Regardless, I figure if it's as bright as the reviewers say the spill should still be comparable to the Shield. If I can get one from either REI or the local Performance store
    ( for about $35 or less ) I'll get one just to do the comparison.

    Hopefully if it doesn't rain Saturday I'll get a chance to try the Shield out on the locals.
    Last week my Rimfires got spotted by the local Police as I passed them when they were doing a pull-over. They just sort of gawked at me as I went by ( just like everyone else.. ). They didn't chase me down so I guess I'm good for the time being.

    ...as for gawking....as I approached one intersection ( with signal light ) I saw a car sitting at the light waiting to make a left. I was a good 1000 ft. away and I saw the car's light change to green but he didn't move ( no one was behind him ) ....So he just waits and his light turns red as I approach the intersection. There I make a hard right at speed just loving every moment of it.

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    BlueDog03, after just ordering a Hotshot I find it a bit disappointing about the mount. I'll copy your idea and use the Hotshot mounted to my camel back when using my mountain bike and put the seat post mount on my bike I use on roads and bike paths so it should work out OK. Cat, good to see that you like the moon shield light. I considered it too, but I was decided to go with the cygolite b/c I've bought one of their head lights in the early 90's and the thing lasted forever. It still works, it just needs a battery rebuild. I still get a little excited when new lights on on the way to my house. It' kind of like Christmas morning when they arrive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDog03 View Post
    Crappy mount though. Not sure how it would perform on a mountain bike seat post doing drops, stairs, or super bouncy single track.
    This rear tail light will be used for the road bike or tossed in the transparent mesh part of a camel pack for mountain bike rides.
    Is there really a need for a bright tail light or really any tail light on a mountain bike ride? I have been night mountain bike riding for ~12 years and can't think of any occasion where I felt a tail light was needed by myself or the occasional other night trail users I have encountered.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Is there really a need for a bright tail light or really any tail light on a mountain bike ride? I have been night mountain bike riding for ~12 years and can't think of any occasion where I felt a tail light was needed by myself or the occasional other night trail users I have encountered.
    Well, not actually when on a trail, I agree. I use a rear light on my mtb but only when I do rides where I have to ride a section of public road. When I reach the trail head I take the rear light off, mostly to keep it clean but to protect it as well.

    Side note: Just as I was posting this I got to thinking.... I wonder how one of these bright rear lights would work "on front" when trail riding. Not that I need to do that but could be done in an emergency if you had no other light source.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Is there really a need for a bright tail light or really any tail light on a mountain bike ride? I have been night mountain bike riding for ~12 years and can't think of any occasion where I felt a tail light was needed by myself or the occasional other night trail users I have encountered.
    I don't use a tail light on mtb trails either, I do have just about a mile bike ride on the road to get to the trail though. That's why I keep one light on my pack.

    Cat, I guess you could use the tail light in an emergency like you suggested to limp out or when on covert operations.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    BlueDog03, after just ordering a Hotshot I find it a bit disappointing about the mount. I'll copy your idea and use the Hotshot mounted to my camel back when using my mountain bike and put the seat post mount on my bike I use on roads and bike paths so it should work out OK. Cat, good to see that you like the moon shield light. I considered it too, but I was decided to go with the cygolite b/c I've bought one of their head lights in the early 90's and the thing lasted forever. It still works, it just needs a battery rebuild. I still get a little excited when new lights on on the way to my house. It' kind of like Christmas morning when they arrive.
    Well I just got me a Cygolite HotShot. I'll do my best to describe the differences between my other lights. Basically the HotShot can best be described to have a beam pattern similar to the PBSF....Only with 3-4x the output. While that sounds good the effect isn't so dramatic ( compared with the SF ) and probably would look better observed from distance, something I haven't done yet. Right now I'm just using my 20 ft. hallway as my test sight.

    The best feature of the HotShot is the ability to adjust the flash sequence of all the 5 flash modes. Playing around with it a bit I could make all the flash modes do a lot of cool things. That is a big, big PLUS. For some reason I thought I was going to be able to adjust the brightness level of the flashes but so far I don't think that's possible. You CAN adjust the brightness of the steady mode so that too is a big plus. That means for group rides you can dial down the brightness to almost barely lit if you want. A lot of people will like that. As for the flash modes I'm going to assume the intensity is set to maximum on all modes. No big problem there but it would of been nice to dial those down as well if you wanted to.

    Now the $100 question. Which is best the Hotshot or the Moon Shield? In my humble opinion, hands down the Moon Shield. The output/wider beam pattern of the Shield just blows the Hotshot away. When comparing the output on a wall ( 20ft away ) the HotShot has about the same intensity as the Shield in the confined area of it's beam pattern but the beam pattern of the Shield just swallows up the beam pattern of the Hotshot and does it with a slightly brighter output. ( IMO ). Viewing both lights on steady mode at maximum intensity the Moon Shield creates what I will call a " Massive-red-ball-effect" The output from the HotShot in comparison is more subdued and is hardly noticeable when the lights are compared sitting side by side. As much as I love all those nice flash modes on the HotShot the "Massive-red-ball-effect" of the Moon Shield trumps it ( even when in lower modes ) I can live with the one useable flash mode on the Shield because it WILL GET NOTICED!

    I see nothing wrong with the Hotshot seat post mount. It is almost exactly like the one used with the PBSF. It is more incremental than the one that came with the Shield. The Hotshot also has a better USB cover.

  99. #99
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    Someone at BikeForums noted that it's possible to slide the clip off the Hotshot and replace it with a Planet Bike clip, if you want to use it in a Planet Bike mount.

    With any light that has a clip like the Hotshot or PBSF, I suggest using a beefy O-ring or rubber band to hug the light against its clip so it doesn't try to jump out of the mount in the rock gardens, or stress the clip when it's cold and the plastic might be brittle enough to break.

    Is there really a need for a bright tail light or really any tail light on a mountain bike ride? I have been night mountain bike riding for ~12 years and can't think of any occasion where I felt a tail light was needed by myself or the occasional other night trail users I have encountered.
    I use mine when riding to/from the trailhead on city arterials. We turn our taillights off for the off-roading, yes.

    Hey CMD, can you post beamshots of the Moon Shield and Hotshot? I'm curious to see the relative spread of the beams, since that's one of the Hotshot's shortcomings (needs precise aiming).

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    Light & Motion Vis 180 Light

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    ....Hey CMD, can you post beamshots of the Moon Shield and Hotshot? I'm curious to see the relative spread of the beams, since that's one of the Hotshot's shortcomings (needs precise aiming).
    I'll see what I can do tomorrow. Camera batteries are freshly charged. I might take a couple photos using my hallway which can help illustrate the difference in beam width.
    Then, weather permitting, an outside shot at distance.

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    Catman, I think we might have a rare case here of a light manufacturer (a Chinese one at that!) actually under quoting/estimating the lumen output of their product.
    My second brightest tail lights are my Exposure Flares' (for those who don't know, are a great little tail light from England rated at 75 lumens) and with fresh high quality disposable CR-123 batteries, they can't even touch the output of the Shield which is rated at 60 lumens and costs about half the price.
    Maybe someone let on to the Chinese that a little integrity in the marketplace can go a long way.

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    Okay, nice to see the website is back on-line.

    Luckily I was able to get some outside shots just before it started to rain. During the photos session I took note of some things so I'll add a bit to what I said earlier after you look at the photos.

    First, you can view the shoot out on my Photobucket account by clicking here.

    The set-up was as follows: The lamps are about as high as a typical road bike seat post and are on steady mode at their maximum output. The camera was mounted on my car roof so about as high as your typical VW Passat. My camera is a simply but reliable Sony Cypershot 2.1 with only one night setting. The distance photos were taken about 200 ft. away and are viewed directly head-on. In real world application you would not get this angle most of the time so this angle favors the Cygolite HotShot. Not surprising, the HotShot and Moon Shield appear about the same intensity. I may have underestimated the Hotshot. At distance it does very well. As you can see from the photos the PBSF although not bad is not in the same league.

    Next comes the Off-set photos. Here I placed the lamps at about 60 ft. out and about 10 ft. off to the side to simulate someone riding on the side of the road. The photos speak for themselves. Here the Moon Shield is the obvious winner. The closer you get the more it excels.

    While doing the tests I noticed that the flash modes on the HotShot do vary in intensity on certain modes. I noticed that because behind where my car was parked there was a small sign a good 75 ft. away that was reflecting the flashing. The third mode from steady seemed to be a bit more intense than the other flashing modes. FWIW, the HotShot is a nice little light. I still favor the Shield but I will use both and be very happy.

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    Mate, those photos are great, thanks for posting them.
    You can definately see the Hot Shot is just that little bit brighter than the Moon Shield when viewed from directly behind, plus you've done a good job showing how well the Shield does when viewed off angle.
    But what is really obvious is what a huge leap in performance both have made over what was one of the brightest, most highly rated self contained tail lights made in recent years - the PBSF 0.5 watt.
    Even if you had of the 1 watt Superflash Turbo in this comparison, I believe it too would have been left for dead!
    These two lights are in my view closing the gap between the Dinotte range of tail lights and the cheap "blinkies". And if you use 2 or more ( I use 3 ) you'll have a set up that is nearly as bright and have spent less money.

    Cheers,

    Digger.

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    By the way Catman, how are you going to mount your two new lights?

  106. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    By the way Catman, how are you going to mount your two new lights?
    Right now on my road set-up I have the Shield on back of the seat bag that carries my road kit. The HotShot I clip to the back of my helmet.

    Today I did a road ride just before dusk. I set the Shield to it's 2nd lowest non-flash setting and set the HotShot to "Bright to fade to Bright" with the timing adjusted to be about one flash per sec. Having these lights really does inspire confidence.

    Towards the end of the ride when I was only about three miles from my home I stopped to activate the Rimfires. These things really do draw attention. The funny thing was shortly after as I was going down a rather nice hill I got a car behind me just as I was approaching a stop sign. Well...you know how it is. If there's no traffic around I basically blow through especially if I'm making a right turn ( which I was ). So because the car was behind me I decide to signal right turn and come to a standing ( track stand ) dead stop. Then I make my turn and start up a slow hill. Moments later the car passes me. it turns out to be a Police car. John Law sighting # two with my Rimfires going. At the top of the hill an SUV exits a complex and starts passing me. Apparently all young people. One guy winds his window down and as they're passing yells out, "Dude, your bike is so cool". I think it's fair to say at this stage of the game that I'm starting to get noticed.

  107. #107
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    Awesome pics cat-man-do. That moonshield really seems like a better beam over the hotshot even though the hotshot is more intense straight on, there is a huge advantage to the moonshield once you go off center. I might pick up a moonshield later on. Still My poor superflash lights will be seriously outgunned once I receive the hotshot that I ordered. Thank you cat.

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    Thanks for the photos! Daytime photos would also be interesting. I use my lights to get noticed from longer range on the highway in the daytime, as well as in arterial traffic in the city. Trying to cross an off-ramp on a high-speed highway when half the traffic wants to use the off-ramp... >1km of advance warning really helps there, IMO.

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    Thanks for the photos! Daytime photos would also be interesting. I use my lights to get noticed from longer range on the highway in the daytime, as well as in arterial traffic in the city. Trying to cross an off-ramp on a high-speed highway when half the traffic wants to use the off-ramp... >1km of advance warning really helps there, IMO.
    I'm off tomorrow so I'll see what I can do about daytime shots. No promises though, it might rain tomorrow. Not sure how much more safe you are going to be running one of these in full sunlight. Cloudy or low light conditions though should make a good difference.

    When I left my house today the sun was near setting. When I got to a particular busy road I decided it was time for the rear light although it was still day light and not quite dusk. I set the Shield to it's one good flashing mode and the HotShot to Flash to fade. I know it's hard to judge these things but I swear it felt like traffic passing me from behind was giving me more room.


    Looking ahead, for those people still waiting for something else to arrive on the scene there are other options ( mentioned earlier ). I have a feeling that the Planet Bike people will not be sitting idly on their hands watching their consumer base evaporate. They made a boat-load of money on the SF products so my bet is that they will quickly up the ante. If they ( or someone else ) comes along and develops a small self-contained rear light that ONE: Has the same ( or better ) output as the Shield...TWO: mimics the same beam pattern as the Shield and THREE: Has the same adjustable flash patterns as the Hotshot, THEY will have one GREAT product there. X2 if it has even more output than the Shield. . . . . . Make it and they shall buy.

  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Looking ahead, for those people still waiting for something else to arrive on the scene there are other options ( mentioned earlier ). I have a feeling that the Planet Bike people will not be sitting idly on their hands watching their consumer base evaporate. They made a boat-load of money on the SF products so my bet is that they will quickly up the ante. If they ( or someone else ) comes along and develops a small self-contained rear light that ONE: Has the same ( or better ) output as the Shield...TWO: mimics the same beam pattern as the Shield and THREE: Has the same adjustable flash patterns as the Hotshot, THEY will have one GREAT product there. X2 if it has even more output than the Shield. . . . . . Make it and they shall buy.
    Pethelman, if you are reading this, a self-contained DS-500 would be a very nice addition to your line up.
    Any thoughts on this?

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    First Post Yaaa!
    Hey Cat-Man-Do been lookin for a Moon Shield in States with no results!!
    Is this the same thing on E-Bay? Serfas USL-TL60 USB Rechargable Tail Light??
    Looks the same!!

  112. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonecracker View Post
    First Post Yaaa!
    Hey Cat-Man-Do been lookin for a Moon Shield in States with no results!!
    Is this the same thing on E-Bay? Serfas USL-TL60 USB Rechargable Tail Light??
    Looks the same!!
    The only thing I can say is that I bought mine on Ebay from a U.K. vendor. I had the light in about 5 working days.

    I took a quick look at the Serfas USL-TL60. I have to agree, it looks just like the Moon Shield. The TL60 only has 4 modes though but is listed at 60 lumens ( just like the Shield ). Dang it. Why couldn't you have posted this yesterday. I have to get to work, no time to research it.

    edit: I quickly checked You tube but sadly the one video that was reviewing it cut out before the guy could go through the modes. I would just like to know what the two flash modes are like on the TL60, I do know that one of the modes is like the Shield. Now if the other flash mode is the same only with less output that would be nice.

    Now the $50 question: Is the Serfas USL-TL60 using the same optic as the Moon Shield and is it as bright. If I can find a TL60 locally I will try to do a comparison.
    Last edited by Cat-man-do; 04-05-2012 at 02:31 PM.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post

    Now the $50 question: Is the Serfas USL-TL60 using the same optic as the Moon Shield and is it as bright. If I can find a TL60 locally I will try to do a comparison.
    I love a good mystery. I might check my LBS and see if they have the serfas model. They usually carry a lot of serfas stuff.

  114. #114
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    I'm almost 100% sure that all of Moons bike lights can be found being marketed under the Serfas brand. It just depends what country you're in I think.
    Apart from labling they're exactly the same.

    Serfas USL-TL60 Rechargeable USB 60 Lumen Bike Tail Light

    All of the lights in the link are the same as Moon. That TSL-500 for eg, is the same as the Moon X-Power 500 lumen you can find in the mtbr lights shootout.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    I'm almost 100% sure that all of Moons bike lights can be found being marketed under the Serfas brand. It just depends what country you're in I think.
    Apart from labling they're exactly the same.

    Serfas USL-TL60 Rechargeable USB 60 Lumen Bike Tail Light

    All of the lights in the link are the same as Moon. That TSL-500 for eg, is the same as the Moon X-Power 500 lumen you can find in the mtbr lights shootout.
    Now you tell me.

    Yep, looks like there's a Serfas 1500 too ( vs. the Moon 1500 ) There are small differences though. For one, I like the look of the Moon 1500 over the Serfas counter part. Not to mention I could get the Moon for less. The Serfas TL60 is 4 mode vs. the Shield 5 mode ( although one of the modes on the Shield I consider useless ).
    New movie title needed here. How 'bout "Return of the Clones" or perhaps "Clone of a Clone"...

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    Guy's I tried to post the link from E-bay and MTR Forum would not let me since I am a rookie! Still leaning toward the Dinotte 300R for my road bike as I prefer the shock effect on traffic going over 40 mph!

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonecracker View Post
    Guy's I tried to post the link from E-bay and MTR Forum would not let me since I am a rookie! Still leaning toward the Dinotte 300R for my road bike as I prefer the shock effect on traffic going over 40 mph!
    Hey, whatever works for you.

    Perhaps in the future bikes and motorcycles will have built-in transponders and cars and trucks will have ( manufacturers installed ) proximity detectors. When a car/truck gets within 200 ft. of a bike/M.C. the alarm will give the driver a "heads up" warning. I can just hear the voice warning now....e.g. the classic GPS women's voice...."You have a bicycle ahead on your right". Now wouldn't that just be the sweetest thing?

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Hey, whatever works for you.

    Perhaps in the future bikes and motorcycles will have built-in transponders and cars and trucks will have ( manufacturers installed ) proximity detectors. When a car/truck gets within 200 ft. of a bike/M.C. the alarm will give the driver a "heads up" warning. I can just hear the voice warning now....e.g. the classic GPS women's voice...."You have a bicycle ahead on your right". Now wouldn't that just be the sweetest thing?
    The Motorcycles in the Dakar race have this sort of system, it beeps loudly to warm them when one of the cars in the race is approaching them.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  119. #119
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    Tonight I did a MTB ride with the Moon Shield mounted on the seat post ( for the short road ride to the trail head ) ( Cygolite HotShot on back of the helmet ). I couldn't help but notice how slow people were passing me on an otherwise briskly moving road. On the return trip back to the car I also couldn't help but notice the gigantic red plume that the Shield was laying down on the road behind me. Not to mention I was only using the middle steady setting.
    I have to say, having a good rear light DOES inspire confidence when you can see the improved response by the motorists.

    I'm toying with idea of returning the Cygolite HotShot and trying out a Serfas USL-TL60.
    Decisions, decisions.

  120. #120
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    I wish I knew how to post photos. I'd love to show you how well 3 Shields work when you get them all working together. Then maybe I'd have a chance to convince you to keep the Cygolite for helmet duties, and when you buy your Serfas "Shield clone" find a way to mount it next to your existing one.
    To my eye the the visual effect of this is more than just cumulative. It's doesn't really make sense I know, but it seems to have an exponential effect.
    With my set up it's sort of like 1+1+1 = 10 when it should only = 3!
    Possibly in hindsight I would've been better off waiting until I'd saved a bit more money & bought a DesignShine or a Dinotte. But even taking into account the American products quality, there is possibly some benefit or advantage in having approx 180 lumens coming out of 3 small independant lights which looks like one big single light source. If one fails you've still got the other two.
    Anyway Cat, if by some chance you do end up with a second Sheild, see if you can get some photos with all three right next to each other and see what you and others think.

    Digger.

  121. #121
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    I received my cygolite hotshot today. I just tested it in the house against a pb superflash and the hotshot definitely kills the superflash in output, but it really is lacking in side visibility just like the superflash. I think the moonshield/serfas tl60 light is going to be hard to beat overall in this price range. I really like the usb charging and the hotshot seems made well, although the switches can be a little tough to operate. Overall it is a big upgrade from the superflash.

    I found this comparison in case it hasn't been posted yet.
    Light Comparison Test | See side by side test of the most popular lights of 2012 | The Bicycle Repair Shop

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    I received my cygolite hotshot today. I just tested it in the house against a pb superflash and the hotshot definitely kills the superflash in output, but it really is lacking in side visibility just like the superflash. I think the moonshield/serfas tl60 light is going to be hard to beat overall in this price range. I really like the usb charging and the hotshot seems made well, although the switches can be a little tough to operate. Overall it is a big upgrade from the superflash.

    I found this comparison in case it hasn't been posted yet.
    Light Comparison Test | See side by side test of the most popular lights of 2012 | The Bicycle Repair Shop
    No, the Hotshot doesn't have the side visibility of the Shield but still it ain't bad. Just the other night I think I had a Hotshot sighting. I was sitting at a light in my work car when a guy riding a bike crosses in front of me from the left. The guy had no front light so I didn't see him until he passed in front of my headlights. As he passes I notice that he has a rather bright rear light. That's when I noticed the slow "High to fade" setting that is tell-tale of the Hotshot. Even though the angle was bad it still looked very bright at about 200ft. plus. Then again I suppose it's possible that another brand might use the same flash pattern. Who's to say.

    More than likely I will return the Hotshot as soon as I find time to pick-up a Serfas TL60.
    The LBS sells Serfas products so hopefully they will have one.

    On a side note I've been experimenting with a metal clip on back of my helmet to help in the aiming of whatever rear light I want to use. I haven't worked all the kinks out of it yet but when adjusted correctly the rear light will point downward when my head is tilted down in normal riding position. Currently the mounting position on the back of my helmet makes the light point more upward. Because of that at least half of the output is lost. The helmet clip will bring a big improvement in visibility once I get it adjusted right.

  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    Pethelman, if you are reading this, a self-contained DS-500 would be a very nice addition to your line up.
    Any thoughts on this?
    Hey OldAusDigger!

    Would be nice indeed, but given that it's really the full 10 Watts of red fury coming out of this thing that sets it apart from anything else in the daytime, it would dispense with a small battery pretty quickly. It's a small miracle that I'm able to build these things at all, given that I do it "on-the-side," so I don't envision doing any more new designs for quite some time. I think for those looking for decent self-contained taillight for low-light and night time conditions, there are ample choices... the DS-500 is really for those looking for that all-day protection on a century ride, or the commuter who needs some serious ammo during the week throughout all different times of day without frequent recharges.

  124. #124
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    Pethelman,

    Do you still have any DS-500s left in stock?

    (as an aside do u still have any DS-1300s?)
    Click the thumbs up button if you have a thumb...

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraXXoR View Post
    Pethelman,

    Do you still have any DS-500s left in stock?

    (as an aside do u still have any DS-1300s?)
    DS-500... build #2 completely out. Reserve list is already getting pretty long for build #3 (which is still a bit up in the air until machine shop repairs are complete).

    DS-1300... still have just a couple from build #2. The number of additional 1300s coming out of build #3 is somewhat dependent on what kind of early reserves I get on the taillight. I only have enough components to build 50 more lights in build #3, but the ratio of head/tail is somewhat flexible, until metal starts being cut.

    Thx

  126. #126
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    got a red zone 4 from niteflux in the mail yesterday after seeing it posted earlier in this thread...wow, amazing light
    about as robust as youll find, programmable (so many options!), bright as hell, and great range of
    visibility...dont think there is a better taillight out there after my searching concluded

    anyone runnning the white zone 5 too? is it more practical as a be seen light since there isnt a focused beam? or is it decent for lighting the ground as well (commuter wise, not offroad)?

  127. #127
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    Glad to see this thread is still alive and well! I haven't yet bought one (my current ones are pretty good and my night rides have been extremely limited this year, unfortunately) but the one that catches my eye is the Light and Motion one. I like the side lights and I like that fact that it pulses instead of flashing. Seems highly visible without being annoying and even potentially hazardous. I expect I will get one of these. I did get the Vis 500 for a portable, compact headlamp, it's an excellent supplement to my helmet light.

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lugano View Post
    Light and Motion..... I like the side lights and I like that fact that it pulses instead of flashing. Seems highly visible without being annoying and even potentially hazardous. I expect I will get one of these. I did get the Vis 500 for a portable, compact headlamp, it's an excellent supplement to my helmet light.
    So far this year I've come across many cyclist using the newer rear lights. I love the brighter light! These new rear lights are much better than the previous offerings and are great for rider safety. I've yet to see one ( on the road ) that I would consider hazardous or annoying ( to passing cars ).

  129. #129
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    I am really loving the cygolite hotshot more and more. Cars are definitely giving me more room as the pass. As already stated, you need to get it set level though to get the best effect. I used it on steady at night mounted below my seat with the 1/2 watt superflash in flash mode on my pack. Best 30 bucks ive spent in a while.

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    Now try something like the Dinotte 300R that is way more output. You will be amazed at the respect cars give you.

    J.

  131. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    Now try something like the Dinotte 300R that is way more output. You will be amazed at the respect cars give you.

    J.
    After using the 300R, the 140R, the Nova BULL emergency-vehicle strobe and the Hotshot, I can state there is no lack of respect with a properly-aimed Hotshot. It has noticably higher centerline intensity than the 300R or even the 400R, as you'll see if you aim them both at a wall... you can see the Hotshot's beam core quite easily superimposed over the 300R's floodlight-style beam. Aim that where it counts, and now you're cookin' with gas... and for about 90% less money and about 1/3 the weight

    In practice, when I'm riding on the divided highway, a large proportion of the 60mph overtaking traffic will divert to the left lane at considerable range, even when I'm at the edge of a 10-foot-wide shoulder. Day or night. The Hotshot is a great value.

  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    After using the 300R, the 140R, the Nova BULL emergency-vehicle strobe and the Hotshot, I can state there is no lack of respect with a properly-aimed Hotshot. It has noticably higher centerline intensity than the 300R or even the 400R, as you'll see if you aim them both at a wall... you can see the Hotshot's beam core quite easily superimposed over the 300R's floodlight-style beam. Aim that where it counts, and now you're cookin' with gas... and for about 90% less money and about 1/3 the weight

    In practice, when I'm riding on the divided highway, a large proportion of the 60mph overtaking traffic will divert to the left lane at considerable range, even when I'm at the edge of a 10-foot-wide shoulder. Day or night. The Hotshot is a great value.
    What exactly does "properly aimed" mean? Hopefully, it's not a narrow beam that needs to be properly aimed to have lumens on target.

    J.

  133. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    What exactly does "properly aimed" mean? Hopefully, it's not a narrow beam that needs to be properly aimed to have lumens on target.

    J.
    The beam's relatively narrow, so yes, it needs to be properly aimed if you want it to have full impact, which would matter most in daylight. I think I'll have more success convincing people to properly aim a $30 Hotshot than you will at convincing them to buy a $300 DiNotte but either outcome is a sure winner for visibility.

    Those who'd like a high-output floodbeam taillight without spending $300 for a DiNotte could also check out the NiteFlux RedZone 4: Red Zone 4 They don't even bother with an optic. This looks like the ultimate helmet-mounted taillight... powerful, omnidirectional, 75 grams and USB-rechargable. Think 200 lumens will get the job done?

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    Actually, I don't care what everyone else buys - I know what I need and want to be safe. That means a lot of lumens put out on a wide path and flashing. The Dinotte has a nice diffuser to make it work just fine and to create a nice large and intense bloom of red light. The only person who has complained was a drunk but that is after he pulled over because he didn't know what I was - only that he knew he didn't want to be near it.

    So far, I haven't seen any of the other self contained blinky lights that do it - and that includes the "bright" ones like the vis180. 200 lumens is probably on the low end of workable, IMO.

    J.

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    I agree with John here.

    I have amassed 1/2 dozen or so different so called "higher end budget" blinkies. When being a sole rider on a lonley unlit road, even the faintest rear blinkie will get you noticed. Its not the case when dealing with busy roads however, city or surburban.

    Do like my Dinotte 400L? Definitely.

    Is it inconvenient being a non self contained unit? Yes

    Is the trade off worth it? My life and limbs are.

    Now folks that claim the 300L light output is not noticeably different than the 400L? I call BS. I have pretty bad eye sight and I can eyeball the difference.

    Anyway I have a Hotshot along the way merely based the positive feedback about it here. I'll do my own comparison test.

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    I have both the 400 and the 300R. I'd say that to the eye, it's about a 10% difference - which is not insignificant. Riding in an urban setting, I'd pick the 400R. Rural, 300R.

    I will say this though, the driver behavior between the 300R and the 400R is identical. Dropping lower to the 140R (which I also have), there is a difference in driver behavior - less respectful of cyclists and more intrusive of the cyclist's "space". I think there is sort of a nonlinear driver response to tail light lumens - once you get over about 200 lumens, the behavior starts to change dramatically in favor of the cyclist.

    The 140R is way better than any of the blinkies - even the ones like the vis180 from L&M but the response to lumens up to my 140R seems to be pretty linear.

    Blinkies? No respect at all from drivers. They know you're there but they give you little room you wouldn't get during the day. And at night, you need more room for unseen hazards etc... With the 140R they give me some additional space. WIth the 300 and 400R they go way around, often going into the opposite lane (if no traffic) and slowing way down in all cases. The 300-400 lumen lights generate a LOT of cyclist respect simply because they are so bright that the cyclist is all but lost in a bright red bloom. Drivers are trained to give large red blooms a lot of margin and to slow down.

    J.

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    On my last 2 hour night right about half of it was on the road and half on the bike path. I encountered less than a dozen vehicles on the road which is about the norm for my rides. I don't have much background lighting to compete with at all so for me the Hotshot paired with a Superflash will get the job done well. I never have seen another bicyclist using more than a 1/2 watt superflash around here and most of them use nothing. As far as I have seen, I am running the brightest tail light combo around here by a long shot and I usually have 3,000 lumens of front lighting with me, even if I don't use it, so I think I am good there. A couple cyclists that I have come across on a regular basis seem to be running a single Superflash in back and maybe 100 lumens out front and I still notice them right away on the street. If I lived or rode in a different area where I had a whole lot more light sources to compete with then I would happily pony up the money for a big boy light such as the Dinotte 300r or equivalent. But for now, I am good in the lighting category.

  138. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    The 300-400 lumen lights generate a LOT of cyclist respect simply because they are so bright that the cyclist is all but lost in a bright red bloom.

    Drivers are trained to give large red blooms a lot of margin and to slow down.

    J.


    Excellent points, especially the latter. This is why I continue to use my 400R exclusively, and will eventually acquire a 300R as well. Dinotte's quality is an important factor, and I like the simplicity of sticking with a reliable brand.

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post

    Those who'd like a high-output floodbeam taillight without spending $300 for a DiNotte could also check out the NiteFlux RedZone 4: Red Zone 4 They don't even bother with an optic. This looks like the ultimate helmet-mounted taillight... powerful, omnidirectional, 75 grams and USB-rechargable. Think 200 lumens will get the job done?
    Mech, do you own the RZ4? I've thought about buying one. So far the only thing stopping me is the lack of real seatpost mount. I've not convinced that the velcro mount will aim it like I want. Such a shame too to have such a nice light and then cheap-out on the mount. A good aim-able quick release mount is a must. So far only the Dinotte 300R seems to be covering all the bases. ( max output, good mount, adjustable flash/intensity, self-contained, Dinotte quality ) It might be worth the extra money.

  140. #140
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    the mount works great, and the beauty of the RZ4 is you dont need to aim it, its very omnidirectional, not an aimed beam like most of the rest out there

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Mech, do you own the RZ4? I've thought about buying one. So far the only thing stopping me is the lack of real seatpost mount. I've not convinced that the velcro mount will aim it like I want. Such a shame too to have such a nice light and then cheap-out on the mount. A good aim-able quick release mount is a must. So far only the Dinotte 300R seems to be covering all the bases. ( max output, good mount, adjustable flash/intensity, self-contained, Dinotte quality ) It might be worth the extra money.
    After posting, I decided "heck, I'ma get one," so it will probably arrive tomorrow.

    Regarding aim, this is a light that doesn't even have an optic, it should be about as un-aimable as a light can get. If it's facing more or less backwards, you're done, from what I've heard.

    Regarding the "bloom" effect John likes about his DiNotte, that's interesting because one of my co-workers told me about his experience overtaking me in his car, and he said my Hotshot looked "THIS BIG" as he held his hands up to approximately the size of a volleyball. It's a small light, but the intensity apparently blooms it to the human eye. Ditto for the DiNotte 140L (which in my tests also has a higher centerline intensity than a 300R)... small light, big visuals.

    The 300-400 lumen lights generate a LOT of cyclist respect simply because they are so bright that the cyclist is all but lost in a bright red bloom.
    Unless something's changed, the DiNotte 400R is 240 lumens, the 140 is 120 lumens, and the 300R is somewhere inbetween, allegedly close to the 400R. If you did want a 400-lumen DiNotte taillight, maybe you can still get... The XLS!

  142. #142
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    I tried to follow all the links from this thread and re-read posts but still have a question about what mounts come with the Moon Shield 60/Serfas version and Cygolite HotShot. Do both only come with a seat post mount? Will either work on a smaller diameter seat stay tube if I want to mount the light lower than seat height? Thanks.

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatdrewguy View Post
    I tried to follow all the links from this thread and re-read posts but still have a question about what mounts come with the Moon Shield 60/Serfas version and Cygolite HotShot. Do both only come with a seat post mount? Will either work on a smaller diameter seat stay tube if I want to mount the light lower than seat height? Thanks.
    Hot shot has a standard seat post mount that is adjustable ( looks a lot like the PBSF mount ) The Moon shield mount uses a adjustable rubber mount. Not as aim-able ( not as many increments to the adjustment ) as standard mounting but it works and is easier to put on or take off.

  144. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Mech, do you own the RZ4? I've thought about buying one. So far the only thing stopping me is the lack of real seatpost mount. I've not convinced that the velcro mount will aim it like I want. Such a shame too to have such a nice light and then cheap-out on the mount. A good aim-able quick release mount is a must. So far only the Dinotte 300R seems to be covering all the bases. ( max output, good mount, adjustable flash/intensity, self-contained, Dinotte quality ) It might be worth the extra money.
    As mentioned, as long as you have it pointing vaguely in the right direction, you can see it at a very very wide angle just as bright as straight on. Mine wouldnt fit around my aero post and colar with the supplied velcro, so I bought the spare narrow clip and hang it off my saddle bag loop. Works a treat and is very bright.

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by tb123 View Post
    As mentioned, as long as you have it pointing vaguely in the right direction, you can see it at a very very wide angle just as bright as straight on. Mine wouldnt fit around my aero post and colar with the supplied velcro, so I bought the spare narrow clip and hang it off my saddle bag loop. Works a treat and is very bright.
    I just got my RZ4 and I agree. This is one light you can just hang off your saddlebag and not lose effectiveness.

    Further comments:

    1. it's not the slightest bit delicate. Is it just me, or is it a block of epoxy with a light sealed inside?

    2. the programmability is impressive. After reading the instructions, it's clearly not a "me-too" product, they put some effort into this.

    3. I wonder how long it'll take me to lose the USB-port plug, since it's not tethered edit: I shot my mouth off prematurely... the package contains two spare plugs.

    4. Maximum-output flash in the quad-flash mode is [ Darth Vader ] impressive [ / Darth ].

    5. Not only is the flood beam an all-out flood, but the entire body of the light is illuminated and visible from any angle, so there's pretty good visibility from the side, and potentially even the front depending on what it's mounted on.

    Here's a brief clip of the RZ4 on maximum quad-flash: NiteFlux RedZone 4 taillight - YouTube Just below it is a lowly Planet Bike BRT-5. One of my Hotshots is on the seatpost in one of its strongest flash modes, and the bar tips have the Bontrager Flare bar-end lights.



    These could be habit-forming Due to its focus, the Hotshot will still put more intensity on motorists 1/2 mile back on the highway, though.

    I tried to follow all the links from this thread and re-read posts but still have a question about what mounts come with the Moon Shield 60/Serfas version and Cygolite HotShot. Do both only come with a seat post mount?
    I can answer for the Hotshot, it only comes with the seatpost mount. There's an optional mount that will attach to U.S. and European rear racks, or the mount also bolts onto any U.S.-standard reflector bracket, which expands the possibilities tremendously. I picked up a couple from this outfit: Cygolite Rack Mount Bracket for Hotshot | | Bike Tech Shop I'll probably mount my second Hotshot on my rear rack where the BRT-5 is currently located.

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    I agree the cateye is super bright.

  147. #147
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    Thanks for the info on the included mounts.

  148. #148
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    It sure would be nice to see a distance comparison photo ( at night ) of the RZ4 vs. the Hotshot ( or Moon Shield ).

  149. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    It sure would be nice to see a distance comparison photo ( at night ) of the RZ4 vs. the Hotshot ( or Moon Shield ).
    For now, I can remark that when I was out on the highways last night with the RZ4 and the Hotshot, it was the Hotshot's flash pattern that I saw coming back to me in my helmet mirror from reflective road signs at long range. The RZ4 does produce a lot of "ground effect" lighting right behind the bike, particularly since I clipped it to the rear of my trunk bag where it's at the rear of the bike. Rifle versus shotgun (or perhaps rifle versus hand grenade!).

    I'll probably be going out again tonight, maybe I'll haul the camera along and shoot some video. An interesting possible use for the RZ4, would be to clip it to my jersey pocket UNDERNEATH my neon-lime jacket, resulting in an illuminated jacket. That would be trippy

  150. #150
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    Tonight while finishing up a ride at one of the local parks I stopped on one of the pitch-black park roads to check the plume output on the Moon Shield. With no cars in sight I turned the Shield on and went through the three steady modes. ( seat post mounted ) On high the ground plume stretches for almost *30-35ft with what looks to be close to a 60 angle of projection.. ( *or ~ 10.6M ) The lower modes aren't bad either. For a small self-contained tail light, VERY IMPRESSIVE.

  151. #151
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    Mechbgon, if you do the light under the jacket please post a picture of it. :-D. I would have picked up a moonshield/serfas light if they were in the same price range as the hotshot, but where I have checked they are almost double the price so I will hold off for now after just purchasing the hotshot. Down the road I wouldn't mind having a wider beam tail light to go along with it though. Something to hang off my pack that can be seen at wider angles. I might be talking myself into another light even as I post this. It's terrible having an obsession with lights. Hmm the redzone 4 does a great job at very wide angles too. Must resist!

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    I got the Portland Design Works Danger Zone LED Rear Light because the Lights & Motion VIS 180 wasn't in stock and I have to say that it is pretty fantastic for the price. Extremely visible, even during the day. Never worried that someone won't see me at night.

  153. #153
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    I'm thinking of finally getting a built-in rechargeable unit, and for the price the Redzone 4 looks do-able. This might sound like splitting hairs but what bothers me is unlike the Dinotte, the light goes out between blinks. Can this feature be programed in?

  154. #154
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    as in between the flashes there is no light?
    there are multiple flash modes, and 2 LEDs...the standard flash iirc flashes one then the other consecutively so no dead period, and the other flash modes are what you describe with varying lengths of pause between flashes...would have to check my light to confirm though
    you are definitely splitting hairs with a light this bright

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    The default flash pattern of the RZ4 is a very rapid quad flash then a pause with no LEDs that Id estimate at maybe half a second, maybe less. Both LEDs appear to flash together. All the other modes from memory are flashing patterns, but none keep any of the leds on permanantly other than the solid steady mode.

    Im not familiar with the Dinotte, are you saying that even while flashing, at least some of the light remains a steady glow?

    The flash pattern of the RZ4 is fast enough that you are not going to be lost in the darkness for a driver not to see you

    Not sure if you've seen this video, but it gives a run through of the light and flashing patterns
    red zone 4 power and flash settings intro.mp4 - YouTube

  156. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    I'm thinking of finally getting a built-in rechargeable unit, and for the price the Redzone 4 looks do-able. This might sound like splitting hairs but what bothers me is unlike the Dinotte, the light goes out between blinks. Can this feature be programed in?
    While not as omnidirectional or as bright as the RZ4 the Cygolite Hotshot has a mode that does exactly what you state in your post. It can simulate the flash pattern of a PBSF almost exactly. The Hotshot has a mode where you can adjust the lower-pulsed rate a good bit depending on how fast you want to see a bright flash. This is a very, very nice feature. I like this flash pattern myself. It is one of the reasons I liked the orginal PBSF so much when they first came out.

    After reading your post I adjusted my Hotshot for "one bright flash then 3 softer flashes". I think I'll try that on my next road ride ( seat post mounted ) and use the Shield on the helmet.

  157. #157
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    The Dinotte 300R/400R have two flash modes, where between strobes the light "is always on an ultra-low power setting". I always use those two modes, after making the decision not to use the on/off mode.

    Imo having such a bright light go completely off between flashes is not ideal in traffic situations. A drivers glance can last barely longer than that short unlighted interval, and the worst case scenario can be indecision in a situation where there's no time for such.

    The RZ4 is on to something with its omni-directional light, and its price range is desirable. I'll send an email inquiring about adding an "always on" option.

  158. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    The Dinotte 300R/400R have two flash modes, where between strobes the light "is always on an ultra-low power setting". I always use those two modes, after making the decision not to use the on/off mode.

    Imo having such a bright light go completely off between flashes is not ideal in traffic situations. A drivers glance can last barely longer than that short unlighted interval, and the worst case scenario can be indecision in a situation where there's no time for such.
    Personally, I'm not that worried about it. This is where I'm doing most of my riding:



    Realistically, the high-end lights are visible from as far as the eye can see. It would be an extraordinary feat to pilot a car all the way down this highway using many perfectly-timed 0.2-second glances that ALL happen to coincide with the light's "off" moments (and this is a light that fires at 100Hz), and collide with the cyclist without ever having seen the RZ4.

    I certainly think about the worst-case scenarios, such as texting drivers. On this evening's after-work century ride, it being a Friday, people were driving a little nutty out there. I made sure to fire up all my taillights for maximum visual cacophony

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    The Dinotte 300R/400R have two flash modes, where between strobes the light "is always on an ultra-low power setting". I always use those two modes, after making the decision not to use the on/off mode.

    Imo having such a bright light go completely off between flashes is not ideal in traffic situations. A drivers glance can last barely longer than that short unlighted interval, and the worst case scenario can be indecision in a situation where there's no time for such.

    The RZ4 is on to something with its omni-directional light, and its price range is desirable. I'll send an email inquiring about adding an "always on" option.
    I'm not disagreeing with you, but would a driver even see an ultra low power dim glo after a bright flash?. Im not sure of the flash rate of the Dinotte, but if the time period between flashes is kept minimal, I really think its a non issue. I think if any driver isnt aware of these super bright lights from a loooong way off, then you could be decked out with aircraft landing lights and still be run down

    Edit: just checked out some you-tube videos, from what I can tell, the flash rate of the Dinotte is a bit slower, with a longer pause during the off period, so in that sense, it seems reasonable to have a lower power constant lit source. From the video it didnt look too dim either, probably brighter than a lot of cheaper lights on full power. Looks a good light, although doesnt seem to have a lot of side visibility compared to some others out there. One vide I saw with the Dinotte and Designshine showed a fair difference in side visibility.

  160. #160
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    Awl, Cat Crap ....Tonight I tried to mount my Moon Shield to the back of my helmet. The second time for the return trip the clip cracked off..

    Now I have a great little rear light that I can't use. The clip does come off so I might be able to order another. I sent the e-mail off tonight so that is a work in progress.

    Regardless the clip on the Shield is super small and very brittle. If the product has a weakness this is it. If you already own one or the Serfas version, use only the rubber mount and you should be fine. Try to clip this to a bag, belt, or other article of clothing using just the clip and you are flirting with danger. Worst case scenario you could lose the light.

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    I have purchased the Light and Motion light! Tonight is the first ride. We'll see how it goes. It almost hurts to look at in the shop! Hopefully the side lights are noticeable too. The Cateye I have been using has side lights which are pretty visible.

    Looking forward to getting reports from my riding partners on their experiences viewing the light from behind.

  162. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    ....Regardless the clip on the Shield is super small and very brittle. If the product has a weakness this is it. If you already own one or the Serfas version, use only the rubber mount and you should be fine. Try to clip this to a bag, belt, or other article of clothing using just the clip and you are flirting with danger. Worst case scenario you could lose the light.
    Continued from my previous post:

    I figured a way to mount the light to a Velcro strap. Then I attached some rubber with some electrical tape to it so it gets aimed properly. The only problem is that the "one" screw that is used to hold the clip is really small. It's possible that it might pull completely through the Velcro. It works but I need to improve it so it doesn't shift or pull through the velcro. If the screw had a bigger head and was longer it wouldn't be a problem.

    In the mean time the U.K. company I bought the Shield from have yet to contact me.

  163. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    In the mean time the U.K. company I bought the Shield from have yet to contact me.
    Still waiting to hear from "Wheelies" the U.K. based company that sold me the light. I did contact the "Moon" company as well. They responded but I have not heard from them since my second e-mail. Heck, it's not like I'm asking for a new light, I just want a new clip.

    In the mean time my modification seems to be holding up but I'd much rather use the stock mount.

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    Hey Cat, you might want to check out the new Niterider offerings for 2013.
    They have a new 2 watt tail light coming out called the Solas. It should be in the same league as the Shield and Hotshot.

    2013 Niterider Bike Lights – New Lumina Series, Plus Upgrades, More Lumens & Value Pricing! - Bike Rumor

  165. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAusDigger View Post
    Hey Cat, you might want to check out the new Niterider offerings for 2013.
    They have a new 2 watt tail light coming out called the Solas. It should be in the same league as the Shield and Hotshot.

    2013 Niterider Bike Lights New Lumina Series, Plus Upgrades, More Lumens & Value Pricing! - Bike Rumor
    Thanks Diggs,
    I'm sure a lot companies will be upgrading their tail light offerings by next year. I'll keep an eye out for the Niterider Solas.

    At least the people from Moon are dialoging with me about the clip. Hopefully they will be willing to send me a new one to replace the one that broke.

  166. #166
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    Moon Shield continued:

    Well the Moon people tell me there is no replacement part available at the time for the broken clip. None available till August. Since my vendor never answered my e-mails I can only assume my chance of getting one is nil to slim. In the mean time I'll continue to use my modded version with Velcro. For the time it is working but I have no idea how long it will hold up. I refuse to buy another unless it is better. If you own a Moon Shield, handle it with kid gloves and use only the supplied rubber mount.

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    just picked up the cygolite hotshot. I would loved to have checked out the moon shield but over my budget and I prefer to try and buy locally. I may pickup a second hotshot later to increase visibility if I find myself riding more and more at night

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    I just moved to a rural area and did my first ride out on the roads during daylight. Typical narrow two lane blacktop stuff.

    I used my Dinotte 300R, and I was amazed at the respect I received. I have most of the typical little blinkies (super flash turbo) and a Dinotte 140R. These never got the cars to slow way down and pull over to the other lane like I saw today.

    For me, these might be pricy, but I know they do the job intended. Make me visible.

    With all the distractions car drivers have (phone, email, texts, gps.......), get the brightest light possible.

  169. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjl5709 View Post
    I just moved to a rural area and did my first ride out on the roads during daylight. Typical narrow two lane blacktop stuff.

    I used my Dinotte 300R, and I was amazed at the respect I received. I have most of the typical little blinkies (super flash turbo) and a Dinotte 140R. These never got the cars to slow way down and pull over to the other lane like I saw today.

    For me, these might be pricy, but I know they do the job intended. Make me visible.

    With all the distractions car drivers have (phone, email, texts, gps.......), get the brightest light possible.
    ^^ this.

    Exactly right.

    J.

  170. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjl5709 View Post
    I just moved to a rural area and did my first ride out on the roads during daylight. Typical narrow two lane blacktop stuff.

    I used my Dinotte 300R, and I was amazed at the respect I received. I have most of the typical little blinkies (super flash turbo) and a Dinotte 140R. These never got the cars to slow way down and pull over to the other lane like I saw today.

    For me, these might be pricy, but I know they do the job intended. Make me visible.

    With all the distractions car drivers have (phone, email, texts, gps.......), get the brightest light possible.
    On could also achieve a similar affect by carrying appropriate lighting and an ak-47 across their back. Or maybe just a regular hunting rifle...that would probably do the trick to...

  171. #171
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    Certainly. But it's hard to accurate hold and operate an AK47 on a bicycle at night. Been there done that, and it didn't end well. And then I found Dinotte's 300R. Problem solved.

    J.

  172. #172
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    Just the other day I was driving through the rural area of Maryland known as the Eastern Shore. Somewhere close to Tuckahoe State Park I passed a cyclist going the other way. It was about 6:30 in the afternoon, still bright sun light but with a heavy overcast cloud cover. I first saw him because he was running a very bright amber front torch on flash. As he passed I couldn't help but notice the very, very bright red rear light he was using. It looked much bigger than your standard self-contained blinkie ( seat post mounted ) and was brighter than any rear light I've ever seen. I'm figuring it was a 300R although I don't know for sure. I considered turning around just to try to see what he was using but seconds after I passed him it started raining buckets and decided to forget it. I guess that explains why he wasn't wearing a jersey. ( Damn I love a good rear light. )

  173. #173
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    Picked up a Serfas Thunderbolt (https://www.serfas.com/products/view/669/refererroducts|index|lights|tail-lights) yesterday. Claimed output of 35 lumens seems about right.

    Picked this up because I wanted a bright backup to my homemade tail-light (around 200 lumens on high). Looked at several of the self contained ones, but never found one with as wide a beam pattern as this one. I also wanted a USB rechargeable one because I take a Cygolite Expilion headlight with me while traveling and hate carrying multiple chargers.

    I am tempted by the Cygolite Hotshot and may get one of those for those trips where I don't want to bother with my heavier homemade light. If I can find a way to broaden the beam (perhaps by gluing a plastic diffuser over the optics), it would be pretty decent by itself. It and the Thunderbolt should make me very visible, even in daylight.

    Mark
    Nimium est melior!

  174. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I am tempted by the Cygolite Hotshot and may get one of those for those trips where I don't want to bother with my heavier homemade light. If I can find a way to broaden the beam (perhaps by gluing a plastic diffuser over the optics), it would be pretty decent by itself. It and the Thunderbolt should make me very visible, even in daylight.

    Mark
    The NiteRider Solas may suit your needs. It appears to be a Hotshot clone with the rippled beamspreader from a Cherry Bomb. I'm waiting for them to come into stock at a distributor so I can order one in to try it. They're supposed to be in at the end of this month.



    This would spread the beam horizontally, but vertical aim will probably still need to be done carefully.


    On a separate note, I see DiNotte now has a AA-powered version of the 400R. Not self-contained, but possibly of interest to this thread's regulars.

  175. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    JAs he passed I couldn't help but notice the very, very bright red rear light he was using. It looked much bigger than your standard self-contained blinkie ( seat post mounted ) and was brighter than any rear light I've ever seen. I'm figuring it was a 300R although I don't know for sure. I considered turning around just to try to see what he was using but seconds after I passed him it started raining buckets and decided to forget it. I guess that explains why he wasn't wearing a jersey. ( Damn I love a good rear light. )


    The 300R looks like a fattie compared to the sleekness of the 400R, but in a few days I won't have to strap on the battery anymore.

  176. #176
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    Yep. Have a 400R as well. IT's smaller but you have to stash the battery. It's just more fooling around when you go for a ride and one more thing to check. I don't notice any difference in brightness between the 400R and the 300R either. What's not to like?

    I also talked to Dinotte when I bought it. The battery is replaceable too.

    J.

  177. #177
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    When it comes to discussing these rear lights it's almost like discussing regular front lights. Some people feel the need for the brightest light they can buy. My opinion is that the super bright rear lights have their place but if you are only going to use them in the early to late evening than the new batch of smaller self-contain rear lights are a more practical / compact lite weight solution.

    It's the same thing as owning a 2400 lumen front lamp, not really needed for most everyday single track when a basic 600 to 800 lumen output works just fine. Sure, if you're speeding down the side of a mountain at 30+ mph then yeah, you want the maximum output. Otherwise I'm fine just running about 500lm ( or less ) off the bars.

    Same principle with rear lights. I'm fine with a 1-2watt light at night/early evening as long as the beam has some spread. Any more and I'd feel like I was blinding people. On the other hand if used during the day a good high output rear light makes a lot of sense especially if you ride on rural two-lane back roads with tracker/trailers rolling up on you from behind.

  178. #178
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    I just picked up a the Serfas tl-60 shield tail light on amazon to go with my hotshot. I cant say that I needed another tail light, but I just wanted it. The hotshot along with the serfas light work really well together. The only thing about the serfas that I don't like is the weak clip which doesn't hold very well on my pack. I had to use a rubber band to make it secure.

  179. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaximusHQ View Post
    I just picked up a the Serfas tl-60 shield tail light on amazon to go with my hotshot. I cant say that I needed another tail light, but I just wanted it. The hotshot along with the serfas light work really well together. The only thing about the serfas that I don't like is the weak clip which doesn't hold very well on my pack. I had to use a rubber band to make it secure.
    Maximus, be real careful with the TL-60. Basically it's the same model as the Moon Shield only the mode menu is a little different. I cracked the clip on mine trying to use it without the rubber holder so buyer beware. As long as you use the rubber holder you'll be fine though.

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Maximus, be real careful with the TL-60. Basically it's the same model as the Moon Shield only the mode menu is a little different. I cracked the clip on mine trying to use it without the rubber holder so buyer beware. As long as you use the rubber holder you'll be fine though.
    Thanks for the heads up.

  181. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    When it comes to discussing these rear lights it's almost like discussing regular front lights. Some people feel the need for the brightest light they can buy. My opinion is that the super bright rear lights have their place but if you are only going to use them in the early to late evening than the new batch of smaller self-contain rear lights are a more practical / compact lite weight solution.

    It's the same thing as owning a 2400 lumen front lamp, not really needed for most everyday single track when a basic 600 to 800 lumen output works just fine. Sure, if you're speeding down the side of a mountain at 30+ mph then yeah, you want the maximum output. Otherwise I'm fine just running about 500lm ( or less ) off the bars.

    Same principle with rear lights. I'm fine with a 1-2watt light at night/early evening as long as the beam has some spread. Any more and I'd feel like I was blinding people. On the other hand if used during the day a good high output rear light makes a lot of sense especially if you ride on rural two-lane back roads with tracker/trailers rolling up on you from behind.

    I agree with portions of this.

    However, I think the brighter lights that generate a bloom around the rider give some sense to the width and size of the bike. When you see a rider with a little blinky at night, you see a pinprick of light but it gives no sense to the size and width of the rider (handlebars, shoulders etc...) so cars tend to gauge their distance off of that tiny pinprick of light that just happens to be at the center of mass as opposed to gauging their distance from the outermost point of the rider/bike as they would during the day.

    When you get the large bloom of light that you get from the high bright lights (i.e. 200lumen and up), that creates a larger sense of size and, more importantly, width of the rider. Add to that the Pavlovian response of drivers to stay away from very bright flashing red lights, and you get considerably more separation between bike and vehicle than you get with a blinky light even (for purposes of discussion) presuming that they are seen by approaching drivers the same far distance behind the cyclist.

    So, I think that is the major and huge benefit to high power over the top rear lights. I've been riding for years on rural roads at night (45-55mph speed limits) and there is a clear and distinct difference to the road respect that one gets with the two different lights.

    J.

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I agree with portions of this.

    However, I think the brighter lights that generate a bloom around the rider give some sense to the width and size of the bike. When you see a rider with a little blinky at night, you see a pinprick of light but it gives no sense to the size and width of the rider (handlebars, shoulders etc...) so cars tend to gauge their distance off of that tiny pinprick of light that just happens to be at the center of mass as opposed to gauging their distance from the outermost point of the rider/bike as they would during the day.

    When you get the large bloom of light that you get from the high bright lights (i.e. 200lumen and up), that creates a larger sense of size and, more importantly, width of the rider. Add to that the Pavlovian response of drivers to stay away from very bright flashing red lights, and you get considerably more separation between bike and vehicle than you get with a blinky light even (for purposes of discussion) presuming that they are seen by approaching drivers the same far distance behind the cyclist.

    So, I think that is the major and huge benefit to high power over the top rear lights. I've been riding for years on rural roads at night (45-55mph speed limits) and there is a clear and distinct difference to the road respect that one gets with the two different lights.

    J.
    Heck, lets face it, sometimes the brightest of light doesn't get seen. That's the scary part. Just the other night I was driving down a rural two lane road at night and suddenly came up on a motor scooter driving along the shoulder. The scooter had good lights and a rear light akin to a single car rear lamp. I didn't see it till I was about 100ft. away, mere seconds in drive time. My fault for being distracted by my new smart phone. No problem as the road had very wide paved shoulders but I was bothered that I didn't see it sooner. Ironically 20 min. later I approached two guys on bikes going the opposite direction and totally without any lights at all. Still I saw them 300 ft. away! Go figure.

    I don't know why I say this but I swear my Moon Shield seems brighter than a normal car rear light. For such a small output (60 lumen) it really does throws down a very nice red plume. Nevertheless if someone comes out with another rear red light similar to the Shield ( small footprint ) but brighter, I'll be on that quicker than a cat on half dead mouse.

    As for the motor scooter, I really think that if the rider had a "flash" mode on his rear light I would of saw the scooter sooner. Oh! and speaking of such, just the other day I happened to notice that more and more I am seeing motorcycles with side illumination! Sometimes the whole bike is lit up. Last week I saw one where the lights were in an alternate "blink mode"....Blue...Green...Blue...green....Wow! Hard to miss something like that. Now I no longer feel odd using my Rimfires.

  183. #183
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    I'm sort of coming to the opinion that it's a combination of things that result in the "plume". That's the key, I think, this large bloom or corona of red light that increases the size of the cyclist to other vehicles on the road. Flashing seems to help this. The bloom comes from, I would guess, particulates in the air and humidity, as well as dirt/specks on the driver's windshield.

    There is likely a minimum level of lumens to do that - maybe 60 is it, I don't know yet, but you can't do it with the blinkies. I do notice a big change in behavior of riders from the vis180 I briefly had (i.e. 35 lumens) to the 140R Dinotte. The vis180, in my experience, was little changed from just the standard favorite blinkies. There is another big change, but smaller in increment to the 300R and not a discernible one for the 400R over the 300R.

    That said, of the super bright tail lights, with flashing, there is a serious change in driver behavior when approaching cyclists.

    J.

  184. #184
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    300R arrived yesterday, charged it up and did a visual check at O'dark 30 this morning. Did not do a direct comparison with the 400R, but its similarly bright and has a great spread.

    The mini USB connection gives one thought in terms of ultimate reliability, but its being used more and more on outdoor devices, and should be backed by the Dinotte warranty.

    As to how much brightness is too much or not enough, I'll let each rider come to their own conclusions, based on their own experiences.

  185. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I'm sort of coming to the opinion that it's a combination of things that result in the "plume". That's the key, I think, this large bloom or corona of red light that increases the size of the cyclist to other vehicles on the road. Flashing seems to help this. The bloom comes from, I would guess, particulates in the air and humidity, as well as dirt/specks on the driver's windshield.
    Humm....seems we have a different understanding of what "plume" is referring to. To me it meant the output that you could see reflecting back on the ground behind the bike. Particulate matter ( or high humidity ) in the air cuts this back a bit as does a wet road. However, none of the other rear blinkie type lights I have used have a plume of light anywhere close to the Shield. The Cygolite Hot shot does well but is more narrow. I'm sure all the DiNotte stuff beats these though hands down.

    I can't wait to see the newest batch of rear lights that will undoubtedly be out real soon.

  186. #186
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    Great forum thread! I ran across this thread as I broke a cheap taillight from China the other night, tried to replace it with another cheap taillight and only after my second ride at night did I realize that my replacement light cut off after 10 minutes (i.e. scary realization that I was probably riding with no taillight at 10PM in the evening for the better part of an hour.

    Luckily my Inton XML headlight put out enough frontal light that cars saw my headlight pattern before approaching although I did have a few close calls as evidenced by cars passing a bit too closely and more than one honked horn.

    Just placed an order for a Niteflux RZ4 based upon all the comments here - tough decision but the thing that sealed it for me was the videos of the RZ4 torture testing by being fully submerged in a bucket of water and thrown off a dock into the water. If the Australians know anything, it's how to survive some very tough nature i.e. Outback, Pacific Ocean storms, and torrential floods.

    The high durability for me at least, is more desireable vs. the cooler manufacturing and look of the Cygolite or the Serfas/Moon Shield. And just not as likely to shell out $200 for a Dinotte bike light due to potential for light theft even if it is lithium ion battery based. Oddly, the no frills look/design of the RZ4 may make it less desireable by thieves when it's off.

    Will post other thoughts after I get it in the mail.

  187. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by qbrch007 View Post
    If the Australians know anything, it's how to survive some very tough nature i.e. Outback, Pacific Ocean storms, and torrential floods.
    lol, thanks for the vote of confidence, but we don't get any of that here in down town Adelaide (which is where the lights are made)

  188. #188
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    Nuts - this just in everyone from Niteflux. Looks like a new RZ4 is imminent. Have to see if I can get by until the new one becomes available.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dear International customers.

    Thank you for your recent order at the Niteflux website. Normally, your order would ship within 24hrs, by airmail from our shipping contractor in USA. Last month though, our shipping contractor closed off that part of their business and we are in the process of migrating to a new shipper. Unfortunately there have been delays and at the time of writing, it is not clear to us when we will be able to ship these international orders.

    What we are going to do is issue refunds to all our international customers with paid orders that have not shipped. This will happen over the next 24hrs. You will get email from our credit card processing gateway with confirmation of this, or PayPal, whichever applies in your case.

    We understand that many of you will be disappointed to have refund, when really what you ordered was a fantastic bike light. We would like to apologise for the inconvenience and offer a 25% discount on your next order. Also, please check our website in the coming weeks to see details of a new version of our famous red zone 4 rear light. New version is optimised for seat-post mounting. It is just as bright and visible as the original RZ4 and I'm sure you will love it even more.
    We will send email to you with an invite to take up your discount when we have our new off-shore shipping up and running again.

    If there is anyone who really wants their light and not a refund, then please email me and we can arrange delivery by courier. There will be extra cost, typically $50. We cannot send any parcels with bike lights (incl. batteries) from Australia by normal post. This is a policy of our national postal service.

    Finally, we apologise for slow communication on this issue over the last couple of weeks. We have been moving office and also I have been moving house. It has been an all-consuming task and I only just got my office computer set up again today. You should expect very prompt replies to any further enquiries you may have. Please bear in mind though, that we are based in Australia and time zones will be different.

    Best Regards,
    David.

  189. #189
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    Bump to keep info on RZ4 availability current.

  190. #190
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    I've been using a Superflash for several years, and it definitely seems bright enough.

    That includes overnight long distance road rides on country roads with cars going 100km/h+. They all see me and give plenty of space. In fact I can usually here them decelerate while they're still quite a long way behind me.

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    I know this thread is quite old now, but here is a new self contained tail light from UK company "Four 4th's".
    The build quality looks to be top notch, and although not specified, you would assume the output would be well north of 100 lumens.
    I think the mounting system sets it apart from most of its competitors.
    It seems there are some decent flash patterns as well.
    The price is 77 UK pounds which is somewhere around $115 AU or CAN & about $120 US.
    The first batch is sold out, so they must ok.
    Here's the link:

    Scorpion | Four4th

    Sorry, price is 72 pounds not 77

  192. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatdrewguy View Post
    I tried to follow all the links from this thread and re-read posts but still have a question about what mounts come with the Moon Shield 60/Serfas version and Cygolite HotShot. Do both only come with a seat post mount? Will either work on a smaller diameter seat stay tube if I want to mount the light lower than seat height? Thanks.
    I just purchased yesterday the Serfas USL-TL80 , 80 lumen taillight and charged it up during the night. Today I turned it on and am impressed with the intensity. I see the 60 lumen serfas and 60 lumen Moon shield are the same different names. I had in the past 3 1st gen PBSF and they came with mounts for seat post and seat stays. Well while the Serfas wont lock into it, I put a zip tie around it which fit nice around it and made it tight. It really works and wont fall and they can't take it unless it is unscrewed from the seat stay. Being that the only way to charge is leaving on bike and charge with a adapter close or unscrew every charge. So yes it can be on your seat stay and also doing the same with the PBSF seat post and zip tie .I used the black tie and you can't see it is on . I am waiting for darkness to fall to see how it looks. The main reason I got it is because higher 80 lumen vs.60 and the flash pattern alternates up and down like the nightrider car Lol . After seeing how it looks it will be attched to my new Bell Muni HiVis Helmet which is designed to be used with the Blackburn Fleas. I also have a Dinotte 200L classic on the front helmet .The DesignShine DS1200 Lumen for handlebar and a M3-2I XM-L 1000 Lumen light from MTE GregMcGeeengineering . Look at his YouTube videos. He has lots of nice lights which are flashlights but work well for those that go that route. Last and not least The Beast...DesignShine DS-500 Lumen Taillight,boy I like to brag Lol. Being on the waiting list was worth it. Car insurance is more than 1200 and up. These lights are insurance at a low cost.

  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Tonight I did a MTB ride with the Moon Shield mounted on the seat post ( for the short road ride to the trail head ) ( Cygolite HotShot on back of the helmet ). I couldn't help but notice how slow people were passing me on an otherwise briskly moving road. On the return trip back to the car I also couldn't help but notice the gigantic red plume that the Shield was laying down on the road behind me. Not to mention I was only using the middle steady setting.
    I have to say, having a good rear light DOES inspire confidence when you can see the improved response by the motorists.

    I'm toying with idea of returning the Cygolite HotShot and trying out a Serfas USL-TL60.
    Decisions, decisions.
    I know this is old. Yesterday I finally bought the Serfas USL-TL80 . 80 lumen .I have owned some lights in my more than 15 years commuting in the Number 1 state for cyclists death, Florida. The best I had was the PBSF . I Then bought 2 Dinotte 140R and was very happy. Until the unthinkable.My bike was stolen in my own carport! I lost it all. Started fresh and bought a new bike and a PBSF until I could save For Dinotte rear lights again. Then I came across Pethelman and went to his site and bada bing I went on the waiting list. So Yes I am extremely happy wiht the DS-500 and the DS1200 headlight. Two years now and still strong. No one has a video on Youtube for the 80 lumen only the 60. The box says it has 3 steady mods

  194. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by MS150Rider66 View Post
    I know this is old. Yesterday I finally bought the Serfas USL-TL80 . 80 lumen .I have owned some lights in my more than 15 years commuting in the Number 1 state for cyclists death, Florida. The best I had was the PBSF . I Then bought 2 Dinotte 140R and was very happy. Until the unthinkable.My bike was stolen in my own carport! I lost it all. Started fresh and bought a new bike and a PBSF until I could save For Dinotte rear lights again. Then I came across Pethelman and went to his site and bada bing I went on the waiting list. So Yes I am extremely happy wiht the DS-500 and the DS1200 headlight. Two years now and still strong. No one has a video on Youtube for the 80 lumen only the 60. The box says it has 3 steady mods
    I somehow sent post without finishing on the serfas 80lumen. The box says 3 steady modes and 2 flash modes. Mine only has 2 steady and 2 flash. Will go backto my LBS and exchange it. Hopefully its a defect on the one I have. I don't have a way to post pics. or videos. I can say that when you look at your 60 lumen it has a sphere look. Mine has a long vertical light from ground up and people might not know it's a cyclist I like the way it looks not round but long wide vertical line and very bright. It will go on my helmet

  195. #195
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    To my knowledge the Serfas has only 4 modes. The Moon version has 5 ( one extra steady mode ). If they did away with medium steady mode you should be fine. Otherwise if you want 5 modes you need to get one of the Moon Shields.

    I still have both the Moon Shield and the Cygolite Hotshot. Both are very useful. Since I broke the clip on the Mshield last year I was considering getting another one. The Mshield ( like the the Hotshot ) will operate while charging. Although I have not tested it yet, it should be possible to operate one of these for longer periods using a typical USB battery converter ( think USB external phone battery )

    edit: Just wondering, how long did it take you to get your Dshine lights?

  196. #196
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    Great then. I guess I won't return the light for exchange.It's that the box stated 3 steady modes and 2 flash modes. I don't remember how long I waited, guess over a month and only because someone changed their mind and he asked if I still was interested and I said yes. I paid more because I did not chose to get the package of both together. Then I decided to have the headlight also. Also made it easier to pay for one at a time.

  197. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    To my knowledge the Serfas has only 4 modes. The Moon version has 5 ( one extra steady mode ). If they did away with medium steady mode you should be fine. Otherwise if you want 5 modes you need to get one of the Moon Shields.

    I still have both the Moon Shield and the Cygolite Hotshot. Both are very useful. Since I broke the clip on the Mshield last year I was considering getting another one. The Mshield ( like the the Hotshot ) will operate while charging. Although I have not tested it yet, it should be possible to operate one of these for longer periods using a typical USB battery converter ( think USB external phone battery )

    edit: Just wondering, how long did it take you to get your Dshine lights?
    Hey Cat,
    Build #4 is coming sometime in the Sept 2014 timeframe.
    Putting some nice refinements into the design, but the bigger news is that I've lined up some help with assembly. No more waiting lists. I'll be building up a supply of lights and then selling them direct via a new Volusion store. The other new twist is that I've configured all the new lights for default 7.4V operation so that they will plug and play with other system's batteries. Basically, anyone with an existing (or buying) a Magicshine, Gemini, or Gloworm system now has the option of a high-performance taillight add-on.

    Cheers

  198. #198
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    Pethelman, I'd like to get on the list for a rear light.

    P.S. Right from this thread I sold my 400R, bought a 300R, then later added an RZ8. Really want the Pethelman

  199. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Pethelman, I'd like to get on the list for a rear light.

    P.S. Right from this thread I sold my 400R, bought a 300R, then later added an RZ8. Really want the Pethelman
    Hey PM...
    I'm not planning on maintaining a waiting list or pre-orders for the new model this time. Last time I did this, I had a LOT of people waiting for a long time, which is no fun for anybody. This time I plan on having a good amount "in stock" before I hit the GO button on the store. I should have plenty for the first couple of months after that, but it'll just be first come, first serve. Here's a quick early look at the build 4 prototype (not anodized yet) compared to build 3. It's definitely got more curves this time, but the BIG re-design of the circuit board has allowed me to incorporate a large tactile (silicon) power button cover compared to the lid-mounted tact switch. This was one of the main requests from the previous version. There will also be a dedicated on-board battery status indicator in parallel with the existing "out-the-back" indication. It'll still have the 6 customizable flash modes, but I plan on doing a little more optimization both for daytime and nighttime modes.

    Cheers
    Best Self-contained Tail Light-ds_build4_prototype.jpg

  200. #200
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    Reputation: Gharddog03's Avatar
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    Very nice pethelman! I have to be monitoring very closely this time. I need one of your tail lamps

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