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  1. #1
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    Best Commuting Lights

    High marks for these lights from Exposure: Quick Take: Exposure Blaze Rechargeable Light | Road Bike News, Reviews, and Photos

    Anybody else used these? Opinions? Other lights you like?

    Thx.

  2. #2
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    They certainly look bright enough...
    Best Commuting Lights-blaze-indeed.jpgBest Commuting Lights-flashlight-body-spotlight-brightness.jpg

  3. #3
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    Do a search, Jason. There are a lot of threads discussing lights on this board. You'll find a lot of info quick.

    These look nice, but pricey.
    Eppur si muove.

  4. #4
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    As jcavilia mentioned, there are numerous discussions if you search. Being one to often forget to charge my lights I've gone to a dynamo for my transportation bikes. A Shimano dynamo hub w/ a Lumotec IQ CYO (w/ standlight) on the front and Dtoplight on the rear is my current favorite setup. Only drawback is that they only continue working for about 6 or 7 minutes after you stop.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I think those lights are way overpriced. You can get just as good of lights for less then those.

    First off no one really needs 1600 lumens headlight on a road bike unless you routinely ride at over 45 mph, suffer from night blindness, or just like to spend money. The sweet spot for lighting is 750 lumens. Phillips Saferide is a unique light, it puts out 400 lumens but appears to be closer to 1000 due to it's car like aiming...low and flat, thus lumens aren't being wasted lighting up tops of trees; those can be found for under $150. Second, Light and Motion VIS 180 makes a tail light as good as that one for just $99 when not on sale. There are others too, I just listed those as an example, I own the Phillips but not the Light & Motion. Both of those lights I mentioned are chargeable (as most are today), the Phillips has commonly found user replaceable batteries so you don't have to spend a mint getting the original battery. Phillips drawback is short run time of 2 hours on high but it will then switch to low for another 2 hours, it will run for 6 hours on low. I rarely use the light on high that's how bright it is.

    Also by saving money getting less expensive lights you can readily afford to get a helmet light which are very useful for reading signs, flashing at motorists to get their attention, and you can afford to get more tail lights. It's been proven that if you multiple lights to form a triangle shape of light more people will notice you then if you just have one.

    Here are some sites that have tested various lights; go and compare then decide what is right for you. Pics can be a bit deceiving but they are useful for comparison, they just won't look like what you see in the pic in real life.

    Bike Lights Buyers Guide

    Bicycle Lights Front - Lights - Front Bicycle Lights - Bike Sales, Giant Bikes, Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Bicycles

    Bicycle Light Comparison Guide - ModernBIKE.com

    2012 Bike Lights Shootout – Backyard Beam Pattern Photos | Mountain Bike Review

    2013 Bike Lights Shootout – Beam Photos and Mtbr Lab tests | Mountain Bike Review

    Light Comparison Test | See side by side test of the most popular lights of 2012 | The Bicycle Repair Shop

    And if you want to get into dynamo powered stuff and pay the big bucks then at least look at these beam comparisons for various dynamo lights; see: headlight beams from Peter White Cycles Dynamo lighting as come a huge ways from just a short 3 years ago.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  6. #6
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    I us these
    LED Bicycle Bike Headlight Lamp Flashlight Light Headlamp 1000 Lumen CREE XML T6 | eBay

    I have 2 of them. They are exactly like my magicshine. Use them for trail riding and my morning commutes. Had them just under a year and the battery life is still amazing. In the winter I got 3+ hours on high.

  7. #7
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    My lights are from DiNotte Lighting :: Ultimate Road Bicycle Lights
    Now for road riding the dual XML-3 are might be a little over kill but I bought the lights because I plan to off road bike as well so I dual purposed them.

    I have the 300R as my tail light. Now it is really bright and some people hate riding behind me because it is so bright but it is great for commuting.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If all you want is a cheap light like the MagicShine, there is a better option for even less money then the MS, and it's this: 2300 Lumens CREE XM L T6 GXP R5 LED Bicycle Light Headlight Headlamp | eBay

    That is a 2300 lumen light, but like MS and all Chinese generic lights the actual lumens is about 1/2 that, but at around 1100 to 1300 lumens that is a great buy for the cost of a MS replacement battery.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    If all you want is a cheap light like the MagicShine, there is a better option for even less money then the MS, and it's this: 2300 Lumens CREE XM L T6 GXP R5 LED Bicycle Light Headlight Headlamp | eBay

    That is a 2300 lumen light, but like MS and all Chinese generic lights the actual lumens is about 1/2 that, but at around 1100 to 1300 lumens that is a great buy for the cost of a MS replacement battery.

    Dang'ol! That's the same I paid for my so called 1000 lumen lights! good find! will definitely get one of these next.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Dang'ol! That's the same I paid for my so called 1000 lumen lights! good find! will definitely get one of these next.
    Like the MagicShine I would be a bit skeptical of the quality, but I have heard from a few forum people that they bought them and have had no issues. The only complaint I've heard is the charger cord and plug is a bit fragile, so just take care that you don't yank it by the cord, grasp the thicker plug part and pull gently. A MS battery is not a very good battery, reports I've heard is about 1 1/2 to 2 year life expectancy of average use, the battery is $45, you can get a whole new light for that cost with the E-Bay light.

    LED technology is rapidly improving, cost will continue to decline to buy this stuff, batteries are beginning to trickle down as well. I can see over the next 3 years what we're paying $350 to get today will cost $150 to get. My Phillips Saferide light has already dropped $75 in price from what it sold for a year ago. The Cygolite ExpiliOn 350 that I converted into a tail light I paid $150 for it 3 years ago, now you can the ExpiliOn 700 for $115. They will come down in price and go up in lumens, at some point they will reach the bottom but their not close to bottom yet.

    So one could buy the cheap E-bay light then when the battery fails in about 2 years buy another new light that's even better. Personally like I said before, most people don't have a need for 2000 lumens, the sweet spot is 750, one could easily exceed that by getting two 700 lumen light, one for the bar and one for the helmet and have more them enough lighting for road riding. Heck I think 750 is too high, I run all my lights at the middle level, I was fine with my old Cygolite Metro 16 watt halogen (originally it was 13 watts I put a brighter bulb in to pump it to 16), but the battery life was low, and the weight was high due to 8 D batteries was the only reason I went to LED.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  11. #11
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    Action LED still has the gemini titan P7's on closeout, very similar to the MS808's and you get good customer service, a dependable warranty & a good battery pack (which is questionable with any of the ebay MS clones). It's worth it for the good battery pack, actually. I purchased 2 of them, one for the front and another for the rear with their red wide angle lens. I used both this winter, nary a problem.

    Before you buy that "2300" lumen model on ebay, I'd check over at the light/night riding forum at mtbr & see if there's been some chatter about that particular model.

  12. #12
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    The reason the Gemini and the MagicShine are similar is because their from the same generic source, just labeled differently and a different case put on.

    To get an idea of how the MS808 (which is the same as the Gemini Titan P7) light looks like, go to this site and compare it to other lights. This site will show you that the MS808 does not put out the lumens that MS claims, in fact it's shockingly dim for what it's suppose to be like; see: 2012 Bike Lights Shootout – Backyard Beam Pattern Photos | Mountain Bike Review

    Even so, the MS battery is only good for about a 1 1/2 to 2 years then it will cost $45 to replace, the E-bay light will last that long to and you get a new light for the cost of one battery. Don't forget too, that just like the MS808 and the Gemini Titan the lumens are over rated by about 50%, in other words you're not going to get all those lumens they brag about.

    I agree that before you buy that E-Bay model you should try to find reviews on it, but that's true with any light or anything else for that matter. I did find this review, it's the same light just an older version with less lumens, but it's identical, the run time on the newer one will probably be a bit less then the one being reviewed; see: Review of Ebay: 1800 Lumen CREE XML T6 LED Bicycle bike HeadLight Lamp And note, again that E-Bay light is a generic light, one poster mentioned it looks just like his MagicShine...because it is, just as it's the same as the Gemini's. Most people don't need 1200 lumens, so you can conserve the battery run time by taking it down to the next lower level which would be around 900 lumens still more then you really need.

    I know I mentioned most of this before not only here but on an earlier post, but some people may not have paid attention, but they do need to know that these cheaper generic branded lights do not put out the same lumens per lumens as name brand lights like from Cygolite, Phillips, Exposure, whatever name brand you want to name. If you know that going into one of the generics then you won't be disappointed. Like I said before 2300 rated lumen light putting out around 1200 lumens for $40 is still plenty bright for the money.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  13. #13
    pmf
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    I've been night commuting for many years. Back when I started, my first light had a lead/acid battery that hung/swayed from the top tube and two lamps attached to the bars that never seemed to stay in place. Fancy lights like Niterider were $200-$300 when they first hit the market. The 1.5 lbs water bottle battery was just amazing to me when it came out. I went through 2 Niterider systems, before giving up on them and looking else where.

    I've come to the conclusion that technology is changing fast -- lights are getting brighter, batteries are getting lighter and longer lasting, and everything is getting cheaper. So why waste a bunch of money on a fancy system? Just get something for a hundred bucks or so and use it until it dies. That will be a few years (2-3) and then replace it with something for a hundred bucks (or less) that's a lot better. Its like computers. Do you buy the highest end computer?

    I just finished my third season with my cheapo Magic Shine system I got for $85. It says 900 lumens, but I'd guess it's closer to 650. I ride 16.5 miles one way in the dark, and its all I need. In fact, its the brightest light I've ever owned. I honestly don't think I'd get anything much brighter. Some folks on the trail have huge blaring lights which blind everyone coming the other direction. Its overkill. Its not necessary. When the battery dies on my Magic Shine, I'm not going to replace it, I'm going to chuck the whole thing and buy a new one. It'll be cheaper than a new set of tires.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    ^^^^ That's my thinking process too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  15. #15
    Ya, what ATP said...!
    Reputation: Fogdweller's Avatar
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    My Magicshine lasted three winters until the fire lead finally failed (housing pulled out of bell that holds the bell and the wires disconnected). I've re-soldered it and it's now a BBQ light on the side of the house.
    I replaced it with one of these, three to four times the output at half the cost. If it lasts 3 years, I'll be happy to replace it with whatever led is hot at the time.
    3X CREE LED XML XM L T6 LED 4000Lm Bicycle Light Bike Lamp Headlight Headlamp R1 | eBay

  16. #16
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    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but Fog, how is this light setup working? Did you buy the headlight and taillight together?

    My MS 808 head/tail combo stopped working on my commute this morning (both the head and tail just stopped, not sure what the issue is). Fortunately, it was pretty light and I was just using the flashing setting to make myself more visible. I'll investigate when I get home, but I may be in need of a new lighting combo ...
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tystevens View Post
    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but Fog, how is this light setup working? Did you buy the headlight and taillight together?

    My MS 808 head/tail combo stopped working on my commute this morning (both the head and tail just stopped, not sure what the issue is). Fortunately, it was pretty light and I was just using the flashing setting to make myself more visible. I'll investigate when I get home, but I may be in need of a new lighting combo ...
    I haven't seen Fog around for awhile. The only thing I can add comes from no experience with it so take what I say with a grain of salt. But I think that E-bay Fog shows is probably the same quality and brighter than the MS for far less money. A MS replacement battery costs as much as that light does! Even if the light only lasts 2 years it's still a better deal than the MS considering they only last 2 months to 3 years...mine was one of the originals when Geoman was alive and it lasted 2 months and they never warrantied it nor return any of my e-mails; my friends MS lasted 1 year and 2 or 3 months; some here have had theirs for 2 years. Like I said, for the money that E-bay is a very good deal and is how much MS should be charging for theirs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  18. #18
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    Thanks Froze. After playing around with it last night, I discovered that it is my taillight that was causing it to short out or something -- the headlight worked fine, but when I went to turn on the taillight, the whole thing shut down to the point that I had to plug it in to the charger -- seemed to "reset" the battery or something. So I'll probably just operate with the MS 808 headlight and another cheaper taillight that I had laying around for the foreseeable future, at least.
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    That's why I don't like integrated headlight taillight units, because it's possible you could lose both due to a short in the battery, I much rather have independant battery powered units. I got a new taillight about 2 months ago, a Light & Motion Vis 180 (not the micro vis180), and that thing is amazingly bright, during the day it looks like a safety flare! The only thing odd about it is that the company rated it the same lumens on high mode pulse and steady mode, but it appears brighter in the steady mode. I have no way to measure the light to see if that is the case but it sure seems like it. At night that taillight reflects red light off the pavement and nearby buildings. It also has amber side lighting, while not as intense as the red but it is noticeable, and it's rechargeable. The light is a bit pricey at about $87 on Amazon but I think it's worth it.

    I also use several rear lights, I have the L & M Vis 180 attached to my seat bag; then I have a Cateye LD600 mounted horizontally off the seat post; then a Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo mounted to the helmet; and finally Soma Road Flares in the bar ends. I have all the lights on flash except for the Vis 180 which I put on steady mode.

    Headlight wise I use two lights up front, a Phillips SafeRide light on the bars (steady mode) and a Cygolite Mitycross 480 on the helmet usually on flash mode.

    Reason I use both steady and flash is because Europe says steady is better and people can judge distance better to a steady light vs flashing, but the USA says flashing is better because it attracts the eye quicker...so I use both!

    Obviously you don't need all those lights, you have to weigh out how much lighting you need, but I ride in the city with traffic at night and I want to be noticed from behind especially.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  20. #20
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    Main features I find useful are:

    1) USB recharging so I can charge it from the same jacks/cables I use at work for my tailight, phone, garmin, etc.
    2) easy removal so I can take it with me if I have to park the bike
    3) self-contained. Call me a simple man, I don't want to have to mount a separate battery pack and hook up a cable

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I don't mind the USB recharging systems, but what if you're nowhere near a computer or a USB port? Yeah I know, you can buy a 110 device that plugs into an outlet with a USB port on the front. But why when 110 outlets are more plentiful than a USB port? Just wondering out loud.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  22. #22
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    There is no such thing as an AC battery... so no matter what system you choose, you are somewhere along the line converting AC voltage from the wall to DC voltage in the charging circuit. A USB charger is just a 5volt DC standard charger. Every USB-capable device I've seen also usually comes with an AC wall plug... and combine that with the fact that there are USB ports pretty much everywhere now, the USB system allows far more chances to plug.

    The only limitation of charging by USB is the limitation on current. USB jacks on computers are capable of 0.5 amp. Wall/vehicle plugs range up to 2A. A very large capacity battery would take an eternity to charge at 0.5 amp, but then, why have a huge battery if you can charge up a smaller one at the office from your computer jack? Travel lighter...

    And the main issue for me is abundance of correct charging cables. I literally have 5 or 6 of these USB charging cables at both the office and at home so I don't have to buy an extra charger or worry about carrying one with me.

  23. #23
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    I do agree on having a standardized charging cable, I too got sick of the million different kinds of plugs, so the USB solved that. However they should also include a 110 adapter with a USB port on the front then your USB cable could either plug directly into a USB plug or into the adapter; you can buy those adapters at Walmart, and Radio Shack, but again it's the thought of going out and buying something so simple it should have been included.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    I do agree on having a standardized charging cable, I too got sick of the million different kinds of plugs, so the USB solved that. However they should also include a 110 adapter with a USB port on the front then your USB cable could either plug directly into a USB plug or into the adapter; you can buy those adapters at Walmart, and Radio Shack, but again it's the thought of going out and buying something so simple it should have been included.
    Which manufacturers don't include those? My niterider lights both came with them. I guess the Serfas taillight I have just came with a cord.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhluhr View Post
    Which manufacturers don't include those? My niterider lights both came with them. I guess the Serfas taillight I have just came with a cord.
    Neither my Phillips Saferide tail light nor the L & M Vis 180 came with a wall outlet plug in cord, only a USB plug cord. Like I said it's not a problem, but if I wanted to charge any of them up from an outlet I have to buy a converter to that.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk98yvozq1g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvk63...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=p92Stnnigjs
    "They don't do things that way anymore. This is the Age of Science Know-How, electronal marvels."

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