Lights- what's the latest and greatest?

So autumn/winter is approaching, the days are getting shorter and I’m feeling like I’ll be soon in need of some intense LED illumination… :mrgreen:

So what’s the go with LED front and rear lights these days?

It seems Knog has carved out a nice little niche for itself, although personally I’m not convinced by their products yet.

From my experience, Cateye is still the best- maybe not from a lumen-output point of view, but from a product quality perspective. I can’t remember how many times I’ve dropped my rear LD600, yet it still functions perfectly.

Anybody know of any good deals at the moment? I’m probably more interested in AA or AAA running lights, rather than rechargable, but I’m willing to be turned-around.

Cheers, Horatio

AYUPs for really bright and light, rechargeable seeing as opposed to being seen lights, mail order from a mob in QLD. Basic road kit ~$200, well recommended.


Shimano 3N-80 built into your favoured rim & one of these:

Supernova E3 (E3 triple if you’re nuts) ← Mine.
Schmidt eDelux (limited supply)
B&M IQ Cyo (Best bang for buck, I’d buy this if I was in the market now)

But, if you must use batteries, get the Ay-Ups. (Or a Fenix L20D Q5 bin CREE 2xAA torch with the bike mount, there’s an e-dealer based in Northcote)

Rear: Planetbike Superflash. 2xAAA

You want the seeing-things lights or the being-seen lights?

As you say, Cateye seems to last forever, and Knog, well, they’re made of rubber… and come in different colours… :roll:

For being seen, Cateye EL410 and LD600. Or maybe a EL410 with a red lens for the rear…

Most of my riding is done in an urban environment so there’s always background streetlights. So I guess that means ‘being seen’ lights?

these are awesome… and last forever. most importantly they are VERY noticeable thanks to their ‘rave-like’ flashing.

use an elastic band to secure their attachment to your bag/bike (they use the normal clipstyle mounting and an elastic band keeps the clip from coming off if you throw your bike/bag around).

use rechargeable batteries for an even cheaper solution!

Question- can you use rechargable AA or AAA batteries with conventional lights, even though the voltage is sometimes a little bit different?

Depends on the light.

Cheap front lights often use 3xAAA batteries to get the voltage required to drive the LEDs. Good lights have circuitry that means you don’t have to futz with odd numbers of batteries.

I use NiMHs in my Superflyflash, and also in the 2xAA Planetbike 1/2W Blaze front. No problems.

Layman terms Blakey?!

If I have a Cateye front light that uses 2xAA normal batteries, can I put 2xNiMH instead, and will it work?

Suck it and see.


A bunch of AA and AAA rechargeables was an awesome investment I made a couple of winters ago.

They have worked in everything - but look at the fine print on the battery. 2500mAh makes a big difference in longevity compared to 1850mAh.

They have also made me a better person. I recharge when they are starting to fade, rather than trying to squeeze every last minute of use out of dying disposable batteries.

Consider a simple example of a water tank full of water with a tap near the bottom. Intially the water will tend to come out with a fairly unifrom pressure but as it drains further the pressure will noticably decrease until it is eventually empty. Similar to how batteries huh?

Now consider this, a lot of lights have what is called a voltage regulator in them that essentially maintains the voltage at a set point for the majority of the life of the battery. To relate back to the water tank it is like putting a pump on the tank to pump the water at a uniform pressure until it empties. The thing is that the regulator (like the water pump) take a bit of power to do this, however the benefit of having a light that gives uniform brightness for longer outweighs this concern (and to be honest regulators use piss all power).

Now to take this another step forward the size of our water tanks are like the size of our batteries. As long as the regulator (pump) is able to run at full tilt (say for this example 0.5V) you won’t notice the difference between a 1.5V or 1.2V battery until one runs down below the regulator’s set voltage. However keep in mind that the tank will run out quicker if it is a smaller capacity (when we talk capacity consider the mAh mentioned above). Voltage more or less tells you how fast the water will flow, the mAh tells you the size of the tank.

And so, “2500mAh makes a big difference in longevity compared to 1850mAh” ?

Shit yeah! You’ll notice that those cheapo $5 for 40 pack batteries all have a very small mAh. Whereas some of the more respectable brands are up in the 2000s. Of course there are a lot more variables to consider, but in general go for those that have a larger mAh rating on the side.

Current drawn as mA / hour. So if your lights draw 1000mA, 2000mAh battery will last 2 hours or so…

My light flashes when i press the button :lol:

Good chargers/conditioners are also worth spending more money on.

Shut up Bender, we all know that all architects can do is push buttons :wink:! I found a chart which may make some more sense. It basically shows the differences between the amount of life left in a range of different batteries over time. Those with a higher mAh rating last for longer.

you make me laugh horatio.

er why? :roll: