looking for a daytime rear seatpost light...

5S8Zh5

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Looking for a daytime rear seatpost light.

Started riding again and I figure CPF would know the best seat post light. If it's AA then I can use my eneloops - even AAA. But if it's an internal lithium that would do too.

I want it to be very bright (red lens I figure) for visibility - the only reason I need it. It's for a road bike.

Other attachment points could be considered, but I don't wear a pack, only cycling jerseys with the 3 back pockets.

I ride on the local streets and only ride during the daylight right now (so I'm not looking for a headlight) , and only ride where there are witnesses.

eta: I may get two rear facing lights - right now I'm thinking a Cygolite HotShot and a Serfas Thunderbolt.
 
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Steve K

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I'm not sure what the whole range of available lights is, but I'm pretty happy with the Cateye TL-LD630. It is powered from a single AA nimh cell, so I can use my Eneloop batteries (very handy, and avoids the issues of using non-replaceable built-in batteries).
http://www.cateye.com/en/products/detail/TL-LD630-R/

It also has the advantage of using Cateye's standard light mount, meaning that you can buy multiple mount kits and use the light on all of your bikes.
 

reppans

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+1 for the CatEye's - I have a 3 led/ 2AAA version and use the random pattern for daylight riding - it's plenty noticeable. $10 at REI and I have 2 lights and 4 mounts (for multiple bikes)

I really want that ^^ 1AA version though as I am more standardized around AA Eneloops.
 

BrianMc

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I have 3 years on a 1st generation HotShot. It appears that they undercharge the battery pack which will extend the life to 4-5 years. I got it on sale for $25 and it is definitely daylight effective. I reviewed it in a thread here several years ago. They redesigned the mount and I bought one. A big improvement.

While I do not own the Thunderbolt, I was able to do some comparisons as an owner had the same lights to compare to. It would complement the HotShot well as it is wide angle. Redundancy is good too. The disadvantage is that when the internal battery is done, so is the light unless you open it up and DIY a repair and reseal the unit so it is watertight again.

You can check out You-Tube clips of these lights. I have not compared the HotShot and Cateye mentioned above, but the Cateye has some nice attention getting patterns reminiscent of the Planet Bike Turbo. The HotShot has 5 options from very obnoxious to steady on. Side brightness is not as critical in daytime. Wear a yellow jersey or similar and you are about as visible as you can be if they are looking for a cyclist. A big IF. ;(

The HotShot maintains brightness with the battery dropping in power. My PB Turbo is not so good at that. So if you go the one AA route and a couple of Cateyes, you may want to check on how bright they are toward the end of the battery charge and keep them on a recharge schedule.
 

BrianMc

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^A pair of the brightest available commercial lights.

The Dinotte Quad Red (200 lumens) is another, pricey, but backed up like crazy for any defects.

http://reviews.mtbr.com/the-worlds-smartest-bike-tail-lights/3

Lupine Rochlight (160 Lumens) is arguably another:

http://www.lupinenorthamerica.com/rotlicht_REDLIGHT_smart_taillight.asp

There may be others worth noting, I was not thorough in my search. All these high power lights fall in the $120-$180 price range. Significantly more money and power than the 50-60 lumen lights like the HotShot and the Thunderbolt. Though what price is there for not getting run over? Three thunderbolts are about the same price and power and nice and wide output. Four with a discount would be comparable to the Dinotte.

DIY is another way to get bright lights especially with a wide angle. I revamped a pair of old Marwi light bodies ($20 the pair) about 5 years ago with partially disassembled Red MR16 12 v light units ($7 each) with mount ($7) to make these 100 lumen each lights for less than $45 minus battery:





The battery was less than $50 and is in its 4th year though it is due to die soon. I get no complaints in daytime rides with these on the rack, a HotShot on the seat post, and a Turbo on the helmet. I can be seen as an unknown at a mile away but as a cyclist from 1/4 mile in bright daylight.

Another way to a bright tail light:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88JEUnm4_Og

A good use for an old headlight that is not quite bright enough or blinds oncoming drivers too much because of its beam. I would consider getting a domed lens as it would be better to sacrifice some of that rear power into more side visibility. A red lens and a clear bubble lens would work or add a fresnel lens to the red filter to get that improved width and reduce brightness to meet a given state's laws.

I have no one to ride with at night but red does not affect people's night vision even if a bit uncomfortable. With only drivers behind me, I find it good if they do not find it comfortable to tailgate me. None of my lights are brighter than car brake lights judging from videos and in person viewing of them side by side, equal maybe, but no brighter. Spreading out the 200 lumens is critical. That was a weakness of the old Dinotte 300R: a bit too narrow a beam.

There are other examples, too. Someone had a 6 XPE unit in the past, that was about 400 lumens maximum, with 3 LEDs having wide angle lenses and 3 LEDs with narrow with multiple levels. I can't find it, but all the parts are available to DIY it for about $100 plus the cost of the body which could be a 3" long piece of square aluminum tube.

There are lower power lights that detect traffic or slowing of the bike to brighten. Such circuitry to allow a low output when in a group ride with cyclists near to brighten if a car approaches or you brake is more in Steve's expertise. It will likely be coming to bright taillights soon.
 

5S8Zh5

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The brightest rear lights are:

Orfos Flare light (300lm)
www.orfos.bike

Niteflux Red Zone 8 (120lm)
www.niteflux.com/buy/red-zone-8/
I looked up the red zone 8 and found this deceptive video. First they show it facing a wall, and it's obvious the hotshot has a focused beam that shows a small red patch being so close to the wall in the beginning of the video, while the red zone 8 has more spill so it shows a wider bright spot. Then ffwd to :36 and the red zone is facing the camera while the hotshot is obviously tilted to face the ground!


The red zone Velcro strap mount looks pretty flimsy and not dedicated to a seat post or seat stay mount and not on par with it's price imho. I thought about a helmet mounted light but tabled that since the directionality will be all over the map depending on your head position while riding.

I did get the hotshot 2W and serfas thunderbolt. The hotshot is bright for day time use and the thunderbolt is very bright too. The thunderbolt battery was dead sometime during the 4th ride (just show of 1 hour rides) so I'll charge it every 2 rides. You have to remove the thunderbolt to charge and the rubber straps make this easy. The hotshot clips off and clips on. The hotshot seat post mount would only attach half way up on my seat post, which narrows slightly toward the seat, even with the provided rubber spacer. I wanted it higher, so I folded up a couple small pieces of an envelope and fit it in there an it tightened snug as a bug in a rug way high toward the seat, farther from the thunderbolt on the seat stay.

I'm thinking of getting a white light serfas thunderbolt to face oncoming traffic and other bipedal carbon based life forms.
 

geokite

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I use a Zebralight H502r attached to the back of my helmet. 100 lumens, flood beam, 1 AA battery, on blink-mode it lasts about 1.8hr, many other brightnesses/run times. Could easily be attached to a seat post with some velcro.

Steve
 

5S8Zh5

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I use a Zebralight H502r attached to the back of my helmet. 100 lumens, flood beam, 1 AA battery, on blink-mode it lasts about 1.8hr, many other brightnesses/run times. Could easily be attached to a seat post with some Velcro.
I wouldn't like how the direction of the beam would change depending on the angle of my head riding the tops, hoods, and drops, or turning even slightly to the side, up, or down. I do look down for glass and metal shards now and then.
 

geokite

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The light is a pure flood, with a 120 degree viewing angle. No lens. Beam looks about the same from anywhere in that viewing angle. Placed up high, it stands out from all the other red lights at car-bumper-height.

Steve
 

127.0.0.1

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I looked up the red zone 8 and found this deceptive video. First they show it facing a wall, and it's obvious the hotshot has a focused beam that shows a small red patch being so close to the wall in the beginning of the video, while the red zone 8 has more spill so it shows a wider bright spot. Then ffwd to :36 and the red zone is facing the camera while the hotshot is obviously tilted to face the ground!

Moderator Edit to remove unnecessarily-quoted video

The red zone Velcro strap mount looks pretty flimsy and not dedicated to a seat post or seat stay mount and not on par with it's price imho. I thought about a helmet mounted light but tabled that since the directionality will be all over the map depending on your head position while riding.


your assessment of the redzone and the video is incorrect, IMHO

in the video at :36 the redzone is facing straight down as are the other lights. That is how the redzone works, it's side visibility is
unmatched. it has much greater than 180 degree spill. and you can see the emitter from the side. it is bright, so much brighter
that is why you think in the video it is aiming at the camera, but nope, it is facing down like the others

the design and attachment options of the redzone is unmatched by any other light. velcro strap ROCKS it can move from bike to bike or bike to
helmet to seatstay to seatpost in seconds with no tools, and stays put.

of all the rear lights available, nothing can beat the overall redzone package, brightness, ease of programming, ease of charging,
ease of mounting any which way...lightness and robustness. I have been riding bikes for many many years and the redzone
4 and redzone 8 are the best, period. I say this for all sorts of reasons but side visibly and the genius of using the silicone endcaps
as the diffuser is tops.

it is sort of an odd duck though, it has a hobbyist feel as when you yank the endcap to charge it, you expose one (or two) emitter
and a raw PCB board...so though it really is unmatchable (according to me and others) it is fragile-looking when an endcap is off.

I've had mine for 2.5 years and it always goes on [whichever bike I am riding at the time] and back on the charger when I get home.

the only downside (minor one) is the 18650 it contains is epoxied in, so when/if that thing decides to kaput, I'll be needing a new redzone
or I'll need to figure out how to extract the guts and build it around my own 18650 in some holder.
 
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Savvas

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I looked up the red zone 8 and found this deceptive video. First they show it facing a wall, and it's obvious the hotshot has a focused beam that shows a small red patch being so close to the wall in the beginning of the video, while the red zone 8 has more spill so it shows a wider bright spot. Then ffwd to :36 and the red zone is facing the camera while the hotshot is obviously tilted to face the ground!

In my view of this video I see no deception. Just a very clear and honest demonstration of what the WZ is all about. I think it's pretty clear that at 36 secs all lights are oriented the same way. The Niteflux site clearly demonstrates that the current RZ does not use lenses to focus the LED's output. Instead the LEDs are oriented to provide extremely wide and even visibility. That's what this video is demonstrating. Whether you want to pay for this extra visibility and coverage is up to you of course.

However in commenting I do think it's important to first understand what the manufacturer is trying to do - particularly when there has been such an obviously innovative attempt to overcome some of the shortcomings of more conventional lens-based lights. Personally I think most of the lights discussed in this thread are pretty good. What you get in a bike light is usually dependent on what you are willing to spend. There is a place for cheap lights just as there are places for much more expensive ones. I have a bagful of Cateye and Smart lights which I use for everyday riding and for my somewhat careless son's bike. I also have a small number of more expensive lights, including an older RZ4 which I use for my own bike when I need to go out at night on main or unlit roads. And I have a Design Shine rear light for the touring bike for 24 hr use. Most of my bikes also have dynamo lights which - in most circumstances - are perfectly adequate by themselves.

Not all bike lights are created equal but this does not necessarily imply individual deficiencies per se - people design things for different purposes and IMHO that's a great opportunity to get exactly what you want and need.

My 2 cents,

Savvas.
 

5S8Zh5

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I think it's pretty clear that at 36 secs all lights are oriented the same way.
Missed that when I skimmed and jumped around the video.

Now I'm looking at the DesignShine DS500. Currently oos though.
 
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127.0.0.1

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this is exactly how the redzone looks from the side with the silicone endcap off (I don't have a camera to take
a real picture, so you get my mspaint version) both ends look the same, this crude drawing shows only one end

http://imgur.com/IdXtuIT

IdXtuIT.png


the emitter sits out there and is wide-open. the silicone endcap has two extra notches in it which more directly surround the emitter,
but since the entire endcap is the same translucent silicone, it results in MASSIVE visibility and spill.
turns out silicone is essentially a flexible, translucent lightpipe. oncoming traffic will easily see your taillight from 100 yards out, if they can see just a
tiny scrap of the silicone, it will be flush red. also the huge red spot on the rear tire, and ground following you around, is a dead giveaway too.

Your designshine ds500 is close, but the redzone still beats it it visibility from odd angles.

you can buy any light you want, and many many of them will make you visible yes.

but the redzone is a no-brainer, no guess. it is -the- pinnacle in simplicity and visibility.

again
I have to state
I ride a TON, and ride hard
(I race and have for years) so I want simple and secure attachment and speed of swapping to different bike without any floppy hard mount.

redzone wins this
and yeah in a lumen war go ahead there will be something with more 'on paper lumens' hey no problem

but the entire package, and use of the light, the whole shebang. nothing can beat it. That is my observation. ymmv
NO other production taillight comes close. period.
 
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5S8Zh5

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again
I have to state
I ride a TON, and ride hard
(I race and have for years) so I want simple and secure attachment and speed of swapping to different bike without any floppy hard mount.

redzone wins this
and yeah in a lumen war go ahead there will be something with more 'on paper lumens' hey no problem

but the entire package, and use of the light, the whole shebang. nothing can beat it. That is my observation. ymmv
NO other production taillight comes close. period.
How do you mount, and where do you mount your Red Zone? Do you have the 8?
 

moriah0428

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My husband has a Redzone 8, he has never run it on high during the day as medium suffices. I usually ride behind him and I can attest its bright. I have an Orfos rear and it's very bright (retina burner) on high. I have run it on high during daylight when I'm riding into the sun. The one thing that bugs me about my Orfos is the button. It's really hard to operate... I typically waste minutes getting it on and cycling through the modes to get it where I want it. I imagine it's the one I have and not that all Orfos lights are like that. I think my button might be defective.
 

User1

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I may get two rear facing lights - right now I'm thinking a Cygolite HotShot and a Serfas Thunderbolt.

I also like some kind of rear light for day time riding. I used to have the Cygolite HotShot and have since gravitated to the Cygolite Micro HotShot. I like the Micro much better cause it can be seen from the side much better than the regular HotShot. The Micro is also much brighter with a 2-watt bulb.
 
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