[Yak] Super-bright headlights
alex at phred.org
Sat Dec 6 10:40:37 CST 2008
On Sat, 6 Dec 2008, Vik wrote:
> I'm with you 100% Frank we don't need brighter bike lights - we need
> better beam shapes on our bike lights to put the light where it's
> useful. Keep in mind that blinding the operator of a 3000lbs+ motor
> vehicle is not in your best interests when riding a bicycle.
Sadly few of the bicycle lighting manufacturers have any interest in
better beams. The lights manufacturered for the german market are the
only ones, and they aren't common (especially in battery powered
I've been experimenting with building my own headlights and optics are
the big limiting factor there too. It is trivial to find off the
shelf spot optics for high power LEDs. It is difficult to find or
duplicate the optics of a well controlled headlight like the B&M IQ
Fly or Schmidt eDelux.
An affordable headlight with bad optics but an otherwise decent design
that I recommend is the Niterider MiNewt USB. It isn't very expensive
($100 retail, $80 discounted) and has an LED which is perfectly bright
for commuting. It is probably a bit underpowered for mountain biking.
The battery plus headlight weigh nothing and charge off of USB (so you
don't need to bring your charger into work). There are some
downsides, specifically the battery doesn't warn you when it is
running low and there is no low beam to extend battery life. The 3
hour battery life is still good enough for 90% of riders.
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