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19

The answer, as others have said, is "both." However, if you are only going to use one light, there is a disadvantage to that one light being helmet-mounted. When the light is mounted close to the eye, everything that is illuminated is "flattened" since, from the eye's perspective, there are no shadows to provide information about depth. In particular, it's ...


17

According to Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment. (Madsen JC1, Andersen T, Lahrmann HS.) they give about a 19% reduction in crash rates. There's a copy of the paper in Scribd as pdf. Every reference I've been able to find appears to refer to this one study. The incidence rate, including all recorded bicycle ...


12

I'd recommend learning to do arm signals. Arm signals don't run out of batteries, and are plenty visible in most cases. They're certainly bigger than the turn signal lights you could put on a bicycle (which as Moz points out in a comment, makes distinguishing the 2 turn signals a possible issue), and the distance you need to see a bike turning is a lot ...


8

There's no single answer to this other than "do what works for you". While the optimal answer to this question is to have both a helmet light and one mounted on the bike, not all cyclists have the money to do that. That said, there are a few things that can help you decide, Mac or PC helmet- or handlebar-mounted light: Will you be using more than one ...


8

Paint it with fluorescent paint and then illuminate with ultraviolet lights (and white LEDs serve this purpose fairly well). There are also glow strips/panels sold mostly to (oddly) computer hackers who like to light up the inside of their computers. And probably a few other specialty markets. Of course, you'd have to rig up some sort of power supply. ...


7

i have been using the Supernova e3 Triple for night-time singletrack missions for the past two winters.....all I can say is awesome, completely awesome. 870 Lumens. bright. I used a Shimano Alfine dynamo hub and built a complete 'night wheel' with a DT 4.2d rim, it has rubber and a rotor mounted so swap-over time is very quick. We have months of mud, ice ...


7

Sellers on Amazon.com have a lot of leeway in the naming of their products and advertising script they use. In that sense, Amazon is becoming more and more like ebay. Rather than the feedback (or lack thereof), the technical specs of the light should be warning you to stay away. Powered by only 3xAAAs, there's no way this light is getting more than a few ...


7

OK so I do a lot of bike light reviews. I originally started writing them for this very site's community blog, and now I run a separate website called The Bike Light Database. Has anyone used one? I can't seem to find a review of the dang thing on youtube, as popular as they are supposed to be! I've reviewed this light specifically, and can say that ...


6

The Bicycles Stack Exchange Blog now has the most comprehensive bike taillight review on the internet (to our knowledge): Review of the Best Bicycle Tail Lights in 2012 In total I reviewed fifteen different tail lights. The Cygolite Hotshot performed best in the most categories, but there are several other lights which did quite well. If you're looking for ...


6

The main things to look for when purchasing new lights: How bright are the lights? Can you see them for a few feet, a block, half a mile, etc? What is the angle of visibility of the light? It does you no good if you can only see the light from one single point - you want to be sure your light can be seen from a wide range of angles, especially for your ...


6

I don't believe these are "better" or "worse" than other lights, rather they are a supplement to other lighting systems. I think the inventors' claims about forward and rear illumination are somewhat questionable as it won't compare to a real head/taillight of similar cost. However, I think they would provide some improvements in side and off-angle ...


6

Head light: [+] points to where you are looking at (good while cornering) [-] bumps, rocks, roots may not clearly be visible since their shadow is behind your sight of view (since the rays come a couple of inches above your eyes) Bar light reverses the above two points: [-] is very late while cornering, making you blind [+] casts good shadows on bumps, ...


5

In an ideal world, use both. A wide beam light on the handlebar keeps the light on the road in front of you, even when your viewpoint changes, which can save you if an obstacle comes up in front of you in a hurry. However, if the trail curves sharply, and your light is fixed to the handlebar, then the light can be pointed in the wrong direction, which can ...


5

You haven't said what country you're riding in or whether it's on or off-road, and this makes a big legal difference. In the UK at least, if you're riding on the road you must have a white front light on your bike. In addition, the light must be on the centre-line on your bike, or to the off-side of that (i.e. towards the centre of the road). It must not be ...


5

Alignment is anything from trivial to impossible. Good lights have a cut-off beam pattern that is more rectangular than circular. That way you can point the light at the road in front of you and not have the central peak that's pointing up into the eyes of people coming towards you. Even expensive lights often don't do this, so you might be out of luck. The ...


5

So, I've done a lot of (non-academic) research on bike lights for this site's community blog and more recently for the bike lights resource site I created, The Bike Light Database. There is a disappointing lack of hard scientific data on bike lighting at all, and essentially none regarding this specific question. I can tell you from extensive anecdotal ...


4

Yes, with easy to spot 'caveats'... On 'Critical Mass' bike rides there are all kinds of imaginative lighting setups that give individual riders individuality. We like creativity in cycling and how everyone is different. Undoubtedly these lights are cool and would be fab on a Critical Mass ride. Therefore, for that reason 'yes'. Caveats... LED lights are ...


4

Peter White has done a lot of testing of dynamo headlights and has even put together comparisons of luminance. I have the Schmidt Edelux and love it.


4

I recently bought a new rack specifically because my old rack had no good spot to attach a light to. Well, that, and it has a broken weld causing it to rattle. The rack I bought is this one. I got the Bontrager Flare 2, which easily attached to the rack with a single bolt. The light has 3 modes, which are steady, strobe, and random. Random works well if ...


4

With "be seen" lights good ones have a very wide beam pattern so they can be seen from all angles, which makes precise orientation less relevant. If you look at Nathan's bike light database most of those lights are about 180° horizontal beam spread and 90° or more vertically. Again, the better ones have a more even beam spread so there's really no "hot axis" ...


3

I will too answer that the best is to have both lights. It's more failsafe but also give you a broader light spread. Different answers point out that lightsources being close to eye level make things look flat and reflection from mist, fog and suspended particles are more an issue, but also, handlebar mounted lights can cause long shadows behind objects not ...


3

Here are some (subjective) Pros of helmet mounted light: Shines where you are looking at. This is an excellent feature, refer to zenbike's anwer as to why. The angle of the light is such that you can easily estimate the depth of road or trail pits. With handlebar mounted lights all holes look bottomless! It goes with the helmet. You can never forget it, ...


3

For a lightweight light that clamps to a seatpost all you need is a piece of pipe of the appropriate diameter and some way to clamp it to your rack. I'd recommend about a 5" length of plastic or steel electrical conduit (though buying such a short length may be difficult). Or a length of wooden dowel will work. Clamping it to the rack will require some ...


3

The easiest way would be to use a low-dropout voltage regulator. You SHOULD regulate the voltage to a stable 5 volts anyway, because you can hurt some electronics by providing them lower voltage than the expected 5. That being said, you can't just go get any old voltage regulator, because most have a dropout voltage of 2v - 2.5v above their target, meaning ...


3

Reasonable cost could mean a problem depending on your budget, because a good LED light for dynamo-hubs should not be cheap. My suggestions, based on what I've seen (at night, during some randonneur events) are: From Busch & Müller, the IXON models. Their light is obscenely strong, reaching 100m+ with a good cutoff, thus without annoying other riders ...


3

Typically you need to purchase a light designed to work with a bicycle dynamo due to the power characteristics of a dynamo (lights need DC current). A well sorted hub dynamo (I personally have had great luck with Schmidt hubs) can produce up to about 6W of power depending on your speed and the design of the hub, which is a reasonable amount of power to work ...


3

It's not clear from your question whether you ride regularly a bike, but really the best way to understand the requirements for a product like this is to get on a bike and do a bunch of riding around at night. When you do this you'll find that the visibility of signalling at night is not as big a problem as all that. First, the proper approach to making a ...


3

I found something on the homepage of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. They have an article about bicycle helmet lights, listing the pros and cons of them: Summary: Lights on bicycle helmets can be useful, but must have a breakaway mount. Especially about the breakaway mount: The importance of breakaway mounts The first and most important ...


3

In my experience cheap lights die, and some more expensive designs are prone to failure. Bike shops sell cheap lights because that's all some people will buy, and better they have a dodgy light than no light (there are enough cyclists without lights already). All the factors you list come down to one or two factors, depending on whether you consider "built ...



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