Rear Lights... what's new- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rear Lights... what's new

    Okay.. See Sense 155L rear light is okay but it has some small issues that I have not been happy with, not least the fact that I have had to return two of them. So I got the Lupine 160L rear light, none of the issues of the above but the light spread is not quite as sweet.

    .. so.. what else is out there that is the same kind of league or better. Neither of these lights are cheap so at 80GBP I curious to what else is new or if there are any non big name brands that making their mark.. TIA.

  2. #2
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    exposure blaze is great, with huge spread. So much so that a quick glimpse between your knees and you can tell its on.

    or the lumicycle InSight InSight Combination Brake/Tail Light with integral battery - Tail Lights - Accessories

    I've not played with the Insight yet but I've heard good things and have my name down for one.

  3. #3
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    After some looking around and after reading a good review within this group.. I went for this -

    City Slicker Series Rear Light | C&B SEEN Ltd

    Not too keen on the standard attachment but I as always will adapt and to that end it sits under my seat perfectly..

    The results are bloody amazing. I thought the See.Sense 2 was bright and it is - well mine have gone back now but Lupine is bright to.. but this new babe is about 5x brighter than the Lupine.. it may not have all the options and bells and whistles as the other two, which in all honesty are a bit ott.. but the power of this makes it impossible for those in cars behind you not to be able to see you.. in daylight and on 40mph roads this scare cars into giving you some well needed extra space

  4. #4
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    Any chance you will post pics of how you modify the mount? Interested in buying one. 500 lumens is high so what would you guess the "economy" and "low" settings are?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan89 View Post
    Any chance you will post pics of how you modify the mount? Interested in buying one. 500 lumens is high so what would you guess the "economy" and "low" settings are?
    All I have done is taken a plastic tyre lever, cut the ends of so it is just neat, drilled a hole in it and then on the light, taken off the old mount, turned it upside down and then thread the tyre lever through the rails on my saddle and screwed it back in.. nothing fancy actually very simple..

    Rear Lights... what's new-rear-light.jpg

    Now the output is just insane. The low setting is a killer at night and I recon the economy mode is still pretty darn bright in daylight.. at night the sheer amount of light out back is just crazy.. I still have my Lupine light underneath it as a back up but to be fair it is wasted against the new light.

    The spread is wide and can be seen easily as something to be aware of a good 50m or more back.

    The economic mode goes through a series of flashes of which at one stage it is blank (only about flash of a second) - no problem in daylight but not happy at night.. the pulse mode is not like that and is no problem..

    From new the battery needs a full charge to kick it into life but at 50% cheaper than either the See.Sense 2 or the Lupine represents good value.

    Output wise, it is hard to guess, I would say if the 500L is true then about 250L in low mode and probably about 125L per light as it flash left-right-both sort of thing.

    Also the standard mount points the light downwards.. in my set up the light is dead straight and more in the line of sight of a car driver..

  6. #6
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    I got one of these (tail light). It's about a 500 lumen wide range tail light and works great. The mount, based on rare earth magnets, is just awesome.

    I was riding with this light on the shoulder of a rural highway on a 1 mile long straight stretch during the day. My wife happened to be driving down that road and reported that she could see the light clearly (i.e. it caught her eye) from a mile back.

    J.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFMax View Post
    ...Output wise, it is hard to guess, I would say if the 500L is true....
    Umm... no, not likely. The product info page is loaded with head-scratchers. They say "dual XML-L2 emitters."

    First off, there is no "XML-L2," only "XM-L2" and these emitters only come in white. From the picture in the post, you can see that there's a very small RED die in the middle of each lens. The XML topology uses a much larger die, so clearly these emitters are something else. Even with CREE's top of the line RED LEDs, you're not going to get to 500 lumens with only two of them.

    Secondly, if they're claiming 5 hours of run time with 500 lumens at a steady burn off of an 800mAH battery (or 1000maH as the battery picture shows).... really? That's just funny. If it was "actually" producing 500 lumens, you'd have to be strobing the light with a VERY short duty-cycle to get anywhere near 5 hours from 800 mAH.

    Anyway, even if the specs are wildly exaggerated, I'm sure it does put out a nice level of light (more so than the 2-watt class of tail lights), and the important thing is that it works for you and buys you some visibility from the rear.

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    So what would you guess the emitters are, if they are made by cree?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan89 View Post
    So what would you guess the emitters are, if they are made by cree?
    CREE's XP-E or XP-E2 would be the obvious choice for a light like this, but it's hard to tell from this picture. They almost look a bit small, but who knows...

    Driven at the max current of 1 amp, a single die of the highest output binned version of the XP-E2 would be putting out a theoretical 200 lumens at 2.65 watts. That's around 75 lumens per watt. Of course this doesn't take into account the huge loss in the RED LED output due to heating, which could easily be another 20%, so let's say 60 lumens per watt. But then we also have around 12% loss through the lens, now we're down to around 53 lumens per watt. So at the end of the day, if you're a taillight designer and you want ~500 lumens out the back, you've got to figure out how to handle the heat from roughly 500/53 = 9.43 watts (not to mention the heat from your control electronics), if you ever want to burn in steady mode at that level. AND of course, you have to have enough LEDs to actually get to that level.

    Anyway, it's a neat light, but reminiscent of the headlight scene from 5 years ago when everyone was wildly throwing around lumen numbers. The taillight market has been VERY slow to catch up to the high power world since we've sort of been conditioned to thinking that the taillight is "secondary" to the headlight and should only cost $30.

    It's old news to this forum, but I starting making a 500+ real lumen taillight almost 4 years ago now. But this kind of power doesn't come cheap (you can see what it looks like HERE). You just have to decide what works best within the confines of budget and riding conditions.

    Cheers

  10. #10
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    Very nice. Wish I could use a similar mount on magicshine rear light, the silicone mount isn't so good..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan89 View Post
    Very nice. Wish I could use a similar mount on magicshine rear light, the silicone mount isn't so good..
    Sounds like a great time to upgrade to the DS-500, since you can just keep using your existing battery.

    Seriously though, the mount is a critical part of the design, and the glass-nylon Cateye mounts that I've adapted are really bombproof in addition to being quick-release. They're some of the most versatile and indestructible mounts out there. Crying shame that Cateye has discontinued them from their standard product line. They've continued making them for me, though, since I've been ordering large enough quantities to spin up the line in Japan. We're also working on a custom all aluminum quick-release seat-rail mount that will double as rack mount, but that one is still in the prototype phase.

    Cheers

  12. #12
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    As much as I like your lights, it's just too much when most of my riding is a short commute to work. If I was to upgrade my rear light I'd be tempted to mod a front light and replace the emitters with red xp-e2's - although not sure how well this would work

  13. #13
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    Yep. Totally understand. Replacing the emitter could work, but you have to be careful with the current limits for sure. The quick and dirty method to improve "slightly" on the MS taillight (at the expense of a much less efficient light) would be to get an old 808 model headlight or similar and use one of the red lenses that have been made for them.

  14. #14
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    niteflux redzone 4 or 8

    stupid bright

    solid attachment yet 1 second removal to swap to another bike
    or yank for charging

  15. #15
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    I have used quite a few different rear lights including the cygolite hotshot, serfas thunderbolt. I was intrigued by the new Niterider Sabre 35, so I picked one up about a month ago, and I am smitten.

    Much like my Lumina 700, the thing just works. It is damn bright with insane field of view including side orange markers. I love the mount system. Fast, but completely bomber. It just exudes quality. The button is easy to push and has a very satisfying click even when riding versus the cheap or difficult buttons of many other taillights. The battery life thus far appears to be excellent, and the switch light will turn red at 20% just like the lumina. Highly recommend this light.

  16. #16
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    Is there any light with Cree Red LED running on a single 18650 battery ?
    I saw the niteflux redzone 4 and 8 but they don't say what battery does it use.

    I'm looking for a bright red light for the back that could last for 90 minutes, perhaps on a single 18650 battery would be cool hidden inside the seatpost.

    So far I've ordered a BT21 for the front.

  17. #17
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    You could buy the magicshine mj-818 and connect it to your existing battery. Although the way you switch modes is awkward..

  18. #18
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    Do you happen to know the input voltage on the mj-818 ? Trying to find if I could run it from a single 18650 cell

    That city slicker rear light looks great too, anyone knows other places to order it that ships to USA ?

  19. #19
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    the mj818 has a cable that plugs into your existing battery, so you don't need a separate battery for it

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesrg View Post
    Do you happen to know the input voltage on the mj-818 ? Trying to find if I could run it from a single 18650 cell

    That city slicker rear light looks great too, anyone knows other places to order it that ships to USA ?
    I'm pretty sure it needs 7.2V

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesrg View Post
    Is there any light with Cree Red LED running on a single 18650 battery ?
    I saw the niteflux redzone 4 and 8 but they don't say what battery does it use.

    I'm looking for a bright red light for the back that could last for 90 minutes, perhaps on a single 18650 battery would be cool hidden inside the seatpost.

    So far I've ordered a BT21 for the front.
    it uses an 18650

    not replaceable unless you somehow uninstall it from the tube. it's
    glued in and spotwelded contacts. [but totally doable to make it
    swappable if you go at it]

    I find no need, thing runs great. rz4

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan89 View Post
    the mj818 has a cable that plugs into your existing battery, so you don't need a separate battery for it
    I'm putting on the road bike and didn't want to run a cable through the frame. Ideally I just wanted to hide it inside the seatpost.

  23. #23
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    I'd be interested to see how putting batteries inside a seatpost works. If you could do that, then surely having 2 to power the MJ-818 wouldn't be that much harder than just one 18650.

  24. #24
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    I've been thinking about a battery holder for a single 18650 and hide in the seat, then take the battery to charge.
    However I believe you're right, just need a 2S1P straight pack and a charger.
    I found a straight pack so far: here
    I need to research if I can charge a 2S1P with a regular 2S2P charger, I believe it should be fine if the current is low. unbalanced but it's fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by nathan89 View Post
    I'd be interested to see how putting batteries inside a seatpost works. If you could do that, then surely having 2 to power the MJ-818 wouldn't be that much harder than just one 18650.

  25. #25
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    While I like the idea, it seems like it's going to be a lot of hassle. Having a cable running from the battery to the rear light surely isn't that much of an inconvenience?

    I have a MJ818 and my plan is to attach velcro strips to the cable so I can easily attach/remove it. Might not be pretty but very simple..

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan89 View Post
    While I like the idea, it seems like it's going to be a lot of hassle. Having a cable running from the battery to the rear light surely isn't that much of an inconvenience?

    I have a MJ818 and my plan is to attach velcro strips to the cable so I can easily attach/remove it. Might not be pretty but very simple..
    It depends if you already have cables running on your frame. My frame is all internal so I rather hide it. This is for the road bike, so I leave it there and forget for the entire winter.
    For the mountain bike I would not care about cables because I will be removing everything after each ride anyway. And I don't need tail light on the mtb as well.
    Putting the battery pack on the seat post is no big deal. I've a DI2 already there. just going to lower the DI2 lower to the bottom bracket and put the battery on the seat post.

  27. #27
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    I forgot to mention, I'm giving up on the idea of a super strong rear light. I will just use a light with about 100 lumens with good spread and reflector. 99% of chances a car coming from behind will have lights to bounce on the reflector.

  28. #28
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    The new Gemini tail light looks promising.
    IRIS Rear Light | Gemini Lights

    Up to 180 lumens for daylight visibility on roads, or you can crank it down 10 levels for night riding in a group.

    Anyone try it yet?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ofroad'bent View Post
    The new Gemini tail light looks promising.
    IRIS Rear Light | Gemini Lights

    Up to 180 lumens for daylight visibility on roads, or you can crank it down 10 levels for night riding in a group.

    Anyone try it yet?
    They were just announced a week ago so there not out in users hands just yet. We have some on order that should be here in about a week. They do look promising.
    A low cost option for a bright tail light is a Magicshine MJ-808 with one of our red wide angle lenses. I've taken a helmet mount and strapped it to the seat rails and then attached the light to it. Get it with a 2 cell pack and you could easily hide the battery in the seat. The picture shows the lens in an old Gemini Titan but it also fits the MJ-808 or a ton of the cheap knockoffs.

    Jim Harger
    Action LED Lights
    www.action-led-lights.com

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