USB Tail lights LiPo battery life?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    USB Tail lights LiPo battery life?

    I keep waffling on the Bontrager and other daylight-bright tail lights because of the non-replaceable LiPo batteries. Granted they are a great light in a small, convenient package.

    The batteries I think have a typical 500 to 1000 cycle life, and probably last a couple years. Ya, I know, that makes only about $30 a year-cheap as far a bicycle expenses go, but still... what a waste of a good light just because it's not a replaceable battery.

    Who's had any experience swapping, sourcing, storing LiPo's in these small rechargeable appliances?

    Or other alternatives for relatively inexpensive bright tail lights that are just as convenient to mount on the bike?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTire View Post
    I keep waffling on the Bontrager and other daylight-bright tail lights because of the non-replaceable LiPo batteries. Granted they are a great light in a small, convenient package.

    The batteries I think have a typical 500 to 1000 cycle life, and probably last a couple years. Ya, I know, that makes only about $30 a year-cheap as far a bicycle expenses go, but still... what a waste of a good light just because it's not a replaceable battery.

    Who's had any experience swapping, sourcing, storing LiPo's in these small rechargeable appliances?

    Or other alternatives for relatively inexpensive bright tail lights that are just as convenient to mount on the bike?
    There are lots of things in life to worry about. One of the most important is, "Keeping oneself Alive". The lamp you can replace, your life you can't. Buy the rear lamp that works best for you and figure the battery stuff out later ( ...if it means that much to you ). Your life is worth more than $30 every two years.

    FWIW, I have two nice self-contained rear lamps that I use when riding on the road ( one seatpost, one helmet ). When they finally fail to work properly I will likely just buy new ones that most likely by that time will be brighter ( newer LED's ) and have better user interfaces. The old ones I can either give away or throw in my ever increasing pile of Chinese bike lights.

  3. #3
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    Well look at it this way, 500-1000 cycles which are charge/discharge cycles. And on flash a charge lasts a long time. So unless you have a long commute you get a couple or a few days between charges. So charge 3x a week, 52 weeks in a year, 150 cycles a year. I think $60 for a tail light is a bit insane though. Also those ratings are "peak performance" so id guess bases on my old lipo knowledge, 80% or more of capacity still useable.



    I have a $30 cygolight that's insanely bright. I can't stand to look at it directly on unless ita a good 50ft away, visible at night up to 1/2 mile or more. I dont even worry about the battery cycles, ill have lost it or broke it before the battery gives out.

    But overall im with Cat, what you feel good about having on the back. Visibility only matters to a point, the dangers aren't truely just being seen, but people paying attention / caring is a big problem.

  4. #4
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    Good point - the batteries will probably expire more from age than the number of charge cycles I put it through. My longest commute is 2 + hours and a most I'll do that a couple dozen times a season. Otherwise it's just an hour. (and this season is just a couple months away from closing down.)


    And probably no more waste from tossing the whole light than tossing a 18650 away...just the idea I guess. Once I fixed a large camera flash by replacing several of the half-dollar size nicads in the 6 inch stack, but that was more like saving $200 30 years ago. Big difference.

  5. #5
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    I build my own lights that run from 3.7v battery packs, but I see there's a pretty good new generation of daylight-bright self contained flashers out there 2w and brighter.

    I don't mean to hijack the thread, but has anyone found a good review of the 2015 tail lights? Stack exchange had a good review in 2013, and the Niterider Solas came out well as did the narrower-beamed Cygolite Hotshot.

  6. #6
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    Bikelightdatabase has 2014 lights reviewed, with 3 that stand out, partially because they are move visible from wider angles.

    Bontrager Flare R: good but not best at $60.
    Serfas USL-TL80: very good at $70.
    Light and Motion Vis 180 Review: best at $100.


    https://www.bikelight
    database.com/reviews/


    https://www.bikelightdatabase.com/best/taillights/

    My Superflash Turbo just doesn't hold up to those during daylight. I do wear a vest or bright and reflective backpack cover on my commutes.

  7. #7
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    I'm with you, I don't like tossing perfectly good hardware because the battery went out. You may be able to find another battery, all you have to do is match the size and voltage. It will be hard to find though. Something like this for example
    3.7v 330mah Small Li Polymer Rechargeable Battery - Buy 3.7v 330mah Rechargeable Battery,330mah Small Rechargeable Batter,3.7v 330mah Li Polymer Rechargeable Battery Product on Alibaba.com

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