Author Topic: Lights for 400/600k  (Read 1039 times)

DaT

Lights for 400/600k
« on: February 18, 2019, 08:55:43 am »
I'm riding my first 400 and 600 this year. I've used dynamo hubs (mainly SP but a few Son) for years and at the moment have a Raveman 1200.

The battery on the Raveman is around 6hrs on it's second to highest setting. I could use it on it's "medium" setting for 9hrs but I'm really looking for peoples advise.

I know the dynamo options but I'm more curious what battery lights people are using and how they get through long/multiple nights.

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 09:25:03 am »
There are so many lights that work well nowadays. 

I used to use a Hope Vision 1 but things have moved on since then.  My main lights now are an Exposure Strada and a Fenix BC25.  The latter is an absolute bargain.  Both are non-dazzle for road use.

I usually use two lights to give more power for descending and in case one dies (which never happens).

400s and 600s are in summer, with short nights and often with sleep stops, so you won't need really need high power lights for lots of hours.

EDIT. I'd not heard of the Raveman before but just googled it.  It looks like a great light.  Add one other and you won't have any problems.  You don't necessarily need another light of the same quality, a cheap one would do for dawn / dusk and using in urban areas, and save your main light for the dark lanes.

For multiple nights, recharge via a battery pack.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 12:44:39 pm »
I use dynamo lights on the road, but I recently discovered that my eBay-special mountain bike light (designed for the usual 2S2P 18650 battery pack) will happily run from a 5V supply.  That's about 7 hours at full power from a 20Ah USB power bank.  Given something with more road-appropriate optics, that's a pretty cost-effective way to get a decently powerful light with a long runtime.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 02:35:35 pm »
A generic LED torch like this will last 5+ hours on a decent 18650. Then carry as many 18650s* as you feel like. There a various handlebar mounting brackets available.

I encounter few-enough cars on unlit sections that dipping it by hand is fine. I also have normal blinkies for lit sections / DRL.

I carry my spare 18650s inside a power bank like this**, which doubles as a way to charge them.

(* Make sure you buy protected ones)
(** This one has separate charging circuits for each cell, so full and empty cells can be safely mixed. Mixing cells in cheaper power banks that put them all in parallel is a very bad idea)

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 03:05:41 pm »
I use dynamo lights on the road, but I recently discovered that my eBay-special mountain bike light (designed for the usual 2S2P 18650 battery pack) will happily run from a 5V supply.  That's about 7 hours at full power from a 20Ah USB power bank.  Given something with more road-appropriate optics, that's a pretty cost-effective way to get a decently powerful light with a long runtime.

I've experimented with those, for those reasons.  I actually used one on IndyPac - I had it as my high-powered light for descending, etc.  I rigged it up with a fresnel lens to avoid dazzling everything else on the road. 

It puts out a lot of light, but most of it is not where I want it to go, and the beam pattern doesn't give me quite enough light in the right places.  So I don't use it any more. 

Something like the Fenix BC25, which is a great light and gives 7 hours' life on the medium setting, and goes for $40 on AliExpress, is a much better value / quality proposition.

This:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-Rechargeable-Bike-Front-Light-LED-Bicycle-Cycling-Headlight-U6W4/302969295755?epid=20015892640&hash=item468a60938b:g:xcAAAOSwgStbFYLj
is actually a pretty good light, for the price of a pint of beer.  The beam pattern (while not perfect) doesn't dazzle.  It is more than good enough for being seen commuting and the high setting is good enough to see by in a dark lane if your main light has failed.  Despite being tiny, it  lasts a few hours too.  This works well as a back-up light on night rides.

Using it for dusk, streetlit sections and for going uphill while saving main light for flat sections and descending would get the OP a good solution for next to no additional cost. 

DaT

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 03:41:05 pm »
I might pick up another Ravemen 1200, fairly cheap and it means I can use the same light bracket. It can double up as a battery pack so if my battery pack dies for my element bolt I'm covered.

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2019, 03:07:09 pm »
The Ravemen 1600 £108 from amazon and you can plug in an external battery pack via the micro USB C port to extend the run time.

I wonder if you could run/charge it from a dynamo USB charger?

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 10:59:35 pm »
On my non-dynamo bikes I use exactly the same set-up but with two of these https://www.fasttech.com/p/1826804 which has a warm colour temperature similar to a halogen bulb which really does improve visibility in terms of definition.  I can't rate these torches highly enough, they're beautifully made and available in a bewildering range of power and emitters.

A generic LED torch like this will last 5+ hours on a decent 18650. Then carry as many 18650s* as you feel like. There a various handlebar mounting brackets available.

I encounter few-enough cars on unlit sections that dipping it by hand is fine. I also have normal blinkies for lit sections / DRL.

I carry my spare 18650s inside a power bank like this**, which doubles as a way to charge them.

(* Make sure you buy protected ones)
(** This one has separate charging circuits for each cell, so full and empty cells can be safely mixed. Mixing cells in cheaper power banks that put them all in parallel is a very bad idea)
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 11:56:48 pm »
There are so many lights that work well nowadays. 

I used to use a Hope Vision 1 but things have moved on since then.  My main lights now are an Exposure Strada and a Fenix BC25.  The latter is an absolute bargain.  Both are non-dazzle for road use.

I use the Hope Vision 1 on my brompton as a city light. It's a bit Obnoxious in full beam in a city environment. I used to use it for commuting to college on Kent country lanes. I wish Hope would make a modern version that has the same formfactor/battery config, but with more modern optics/LED.

Quote

I usually use two lights to give more power for descending and in case one dies (which never happens).

400s and 600s are in summer, with short nights and often with sleep stops, so you won't need really need high power lights for lots of hours.

EDIT. I'd not heard of the Raveman before but just googled it.  It looks like a great light.  Add one other and you won't have any problems.  You don't necessarily need another light of the same quality, a cheap one would do for dawn / dusk and using in urban areas, and save your main light for the dark lanes.

For multiple nights, recharge via a battery pack.

When I was having a crisis of confidence about using a Dynamo for the TCR, I bought a Supernova Mini 2. It's a STVZO approved light, that comes with just a bare wire, you can then plug it into anything from 5v to 21v. They sell a bare wire to USB cable to pair up with it too. You can then run this off what ever USB power pack you have. They make crown mount and handlebar mount etc... It also has a daylight running and auto main beam feature.

https://supernova-lights.com/en/products/e-bike-lights-25kmh/mini-2/

I have a 98Wh USB battery pack. At USB voltages the light is pulling about 4W. So in theory that's ~24 hours of use off my USB pack (https://amzn.to/2G64YZu [1]). I doubt you'd get the full 24hr, but 20hr seems plausible. The power bank has the useful feature that you can charge it from 2 usb sockets (2A per socket), giving you the whole 98 watts charged in 6 hours. Obviously a 500g 98Wh battery pack is somewhat excessive, but a 10000mah (https://amzn.to/2PxBZ4N) power brick is about 36Wh, so that's 8-9 hours.

I've got a Fenix PD35 (https://amzn.to/2BVW24V), on an exposure helmet mount (https://exposurelights.com/helmet-mount). It uses an 18650 battery that is usb chargable. I primarily use it as an extra light when descending, so I can look round corners, when the crown mounted light can't easily be shone in the right direction.

I had a requirement for STVZO approval, hence stumping up for the supernova, if you're not spending a lot of time in Germany, it's probably not a major issue.

The headlight tho has been a real game changer.

HTH

J

[1]Interestingly I discovered that this will also power a macbook, which surprised me. I was at an event at the weekend, and the organiser realised they had forgotten the psu for their macbook, and were worried about it lasting all evening driving the presentations, so she borrowed my battery pack and cable. Worked surprisingly well!

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2019, 06:15:44 am »
For 400/600 distances and provided the light you use gives sufficient light on the road, either battery or dynamo will work. For me, I like steep hilly stuff and I do shorter rides as well. Being able to add/remove battery packs and lights as required to save a little weight is a (psychological?) boost. You can't do that with a dynamo.

I now use an Exposure Strada with an Exposure Diablo as a backup light and as an additional light for descending. The combination of spread from the Strada and spot from the Diablo is really good. That really should be your #1 priority - make sure the lights you use are up to the task of properly lighting up the road (and the verges) ahead of you.

Re: Lights for 400/600k
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2019, 08:00:26 am »
SON 28 paired with an Edulex II and a B & M Secular mudguard light. Back ups are
Exposure MaxxD & Exposure Joystick with Dinotte 400R and Smart 0.5 watt.