Reposted from Just Another Pedaler.
Yogi Berra is credited with saying You can observe a lot just by watching. But now that we over a month into fall and the days are growing shorter, I am reminded you can’t observe much of anything without light. Lights on your bicycle perform two functions.
- Making it easier for people to see you
- Making it easier for you to see where you are going
|Planet Bike Blaze 1 Watt|
Most people like to use LED lights on flash for being seen. LED lights work well on flash. Some other technologies really shorten the bulb life when you run them on flash. LEDs do not have this problem and actually use less power while in flash mode. To help cars and others notice me on my commute I use a Planet Bike 1 Blaze Watt in flash mode on the front of my bike and a rear facingPlanet Bike Superflash on my seat post. But I have read that a flashing light makes it hard for cars to judge how close you are, so I also run a steady red light on the back of my rack, aTrek Flare 7. The Flare 7 has a mode that detects motion so that it automatically turns off when you stop for long enough. It also has various interesting flashing patterns. But I use it in steady mode without the fancy motion detection which sometimes thinks I peda so smoothly (yeah right) it turns off. I really like the Fash 7’s secure attachment to the rear of the rack.
|Trek Flare 7|
My bright headlight is a MagicShine 900 I got from GeoManGear. This sucker is nice and bright. It is not as bright as a car headlight but it is close. It has a separate battery pack and a charge only lasts about 3 hours at full brightness, but there are two levels that are not as bright (but still brighter than the Blaze) that give you longer battery life . At this time of year I need it about 2 hours a day, so I charge it every night. When the days are longer I can get by several days or even all week on a charge.
So I have two lights on the front and two on the back. That also gives me redundancy, so that if I have a battery issue, I at least have something to finish the ride. Once it was cold enough that the battery for the Magic Shine started giving out. I figured being strapped to the steel frame wasn’t helping, so during an on road section I just used the Blaze and street lights to see and I put the big battery in the waist of my pants. It warmed up enough to work when I hit the greenway again and needed the extra light.
|CatEye Loop Light|
|CatEye Orbit Light|