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Light Recommendations (formerly Front Light For Dark Country) Road Commute

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,833 ✭✭✭niceonetom


    I tried my TK11 last night with it mounted to my helmet instead of the bars... much more effective. The ability to have a good look at a corner before turning the bars into it makes things a lot easier. I just used the same lockblock mount that I normally use on my bars btw, nice and secure.

    Now I need another light to keep on the bars; something more 'floody' than a tk11 - any suggestions?

    @Raam - get at least two batteries, it's always good to have a spare in the pocket.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,008 ✭✭✭✭Lumen


    niceonetom wrote: »
    Now I need another light to keep on the bars; something more 'floody' than a tk11 - any suggestions?

    Depends what you're looking for. Seeing or being seen?

    I really fancy using one of these for commuting. I can't work out whether the prospect of cycling with a giant illuminating dildo on the front of my bike is what's attracting me to the idea or stopping me from going through with it...


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,317 ✭✭✭✭Raam


    Lumen wrote: »
    Depends what you're looking for. Seeing or being seen?

    I really fancy using one of these for commuting. I can't work out whether the prospect of cycling with a giant illuminating dildo on the front of my bike is what's attracting me to the idea or stopping me from going through with it...

    I think you should get it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,317 ✭✭✭✭Raam


    niceonetom wrote: »
    @Raam - get at least two batteries, it's always good to have a spare in the pocket.

    Good idea, but I saw that too late. Already ordered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,833 ✭✭✭niceonetom


    You could use coloured condoms as filters.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    niceonetom wrote: »
    Now I need another light to keep on the bars; something more 'floody' than a tk11 - any suggestions?
    The Magicshine is more floody, that is what I am going for on the bars- as soon as it arrives the TK11 will be going on the helmet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,621 ✭✭✭Turbulent Bill


    Lumen wrote: »
    I really fancy using one of these for commuting. I can't work out whether the prospect of cycling with a giant illuminating dildo on the front of my bike is what's attracting me to the idea or stopping me from going through with it...

    I got one of these diffusers free with my LD20. They're fairly opaque, so you get more of a lightsabre, Electric Six kind of effect rather than a radiating, eh, beacon. Fun for about 5 mins, but useless for cycling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,565 ✭✭✭thebouldwhacker


    Raam wrote: »
    Thanks guys.
    So I figure this is all I need...

    TK11R2 - Fenix TK11 Cree R2
    lockblocks - Lockblocks Flashlight Holder
    WF-139 - Ultrafire WF-139 Charger
    18650AW - AW 18650 Rechargeable Battery

    @ Raam, is all this for the TK11? Just to get it running on a bike? If so I hope you dont mind me asking what kind of money for the other three bits of gear?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,317 ✭✭✭✭Raam


    tis all here somewhere: http://www.fenixtorch.co.uk/
    sorry, stuck for time at the moment


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    Fenix TK-11 R2 £65.95
    Lockblock bike mount £6.95 with the torch. DX have other ones for $2 or so but mixed reviews. They did a helmet mount _identical_ to the Lockblock for $2 but never did it in a 90 degree-orientation for handlebars.

    The batteries and charger are not exactly expensive, under €11 gets you two batteries and a charger delivered from DX. Spare batteries are all of $4 (€2.69 these days.)

    18650 Lithium Battery (2400mAh 2-Pack Gray) $8.01
    Digital Li-Ion 18650 Battery Charger $7.92

    Total cost will be in the region of €95.

    What you are spending on the TK11 is for something that is rock solid; you can get substantially cheaper in the torch department from DX.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,702 ✭✭✭Home:Ballyhoura


    @ Raam, is all this for the TK11? Just to get it running on a bike? If so I hope you dont mind me asking what kind of money for the other three bits of gear?

    Here is what I got, where I got it and how much it cost. It's not a full review on their performance or how satisfied I am with them (although I am happy enough so far). Hopefully it helps people just not quite 100% sure what is needed for a setup like this and the best place to get it. Here it goes!


    Total to get my light up and running was €99, delivery took about two working days from The Photon Shop and a very respectable 1.5 - 2 weeks from DealExtreme. However you might also want to buy either the TwoFish LockBlock for handlebar mounting (from The Photon Shop for €9.13 or from Fenix-Store.com for €5.08) or the parallel mounting version for €1.50 from DealExtreme which can be used for helmet mounting. I already had some of these from a previous torch.

    I have also just ordered the 5-mode MagicShine bike light from DealExtreme for €55.68 at the same time as blorg but am worried it will not be even half as bright as the usual ones because it is only 1000mA digital regulated current output as opposed to the 2400mA on the other ones people bought before this one came in! What do you think, some discussion on the topic here.

    Someone also recommended getting a DMM (Digital Multimeter) when using batteries such as these to keep an eye on their performance etc. I only really thought about it seriously when my batteries took 6.25 hours to charge and most people say it should take 2-4hrs (max 6hrs) and I was worried that they were being overcharged. What do ye think, is it necessary? And what one would ye go for and where would you get it? I had a look on DealExtreme to get a one cheap enough but I am not clear on what exactly it is I am after! Any help...

    On that matter, does anyone else have the UltraFire WF-139 Battery Charger because on the customer review video here the guy says that is should blink green every second or so to show that is is constantly checking and testing the battery etc. I also read the same thing elsewhere, but the trouble is my charger was just constant red for the whole time. Maybe mine is faulty, what do ye think...anyone got any other experiences with this charger?

    EDIT: Ooops! blorg beat me to it while I was busy off getting the links, prices and writing my usual essay on the topic! Oh well, fairly similar purchases but I still hope it helps someone!


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    I have the UltraFire WF-139 and it stopped working entirely pretty soon after I got it. Got two of the cheaper one I linked and both of them have been rock solid (for over a year now.)

    Regarding the MagicShine, I would be surprised if they made another version that was substantially dimmer than the previous one. I suspect the DX spec may be wrong. It's not 900 lumens but if it is as bright as previous MagicShines that will be good enough for me. Someone else suggested the 1,000 may refer to the mid rather than high mode.


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,008 ✭✭✭✭Lumen


    blorg wrote: »
    Regarding the MagicShine, I would be surprised if they made another version that was substantially dimmer than the previous one. I suspect the DX spec may be wrong. It's not 900 lumens but if it is as bright as previous MagicShines that will be good enough for me. Someone else suggested the 1,000 may refer to the mid rather than high mode.

    I've read that it's somewhere in the range 500-700 lumens. 900 lumens is the theoretical max output of the LED(s), but the output is affected by the voltage (which is lower in this application than is required to produce 900 lumens) and heat build up at the LED (which is inevitable given the high output).

    I also read that you should turn off the light when stationary for more than a few seconds, because the system relies on airflow for cooling.

    In any case, it looks great VFM.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,702 ✭✭✭Home:Ballyhoura


    blorg wrote: »
    It's not 900 lumens but if it is as bright as previous MagicShines that will be good enough for me.

    OK thanks for that....I know it definitely is not 900 lumens anyway but if it is around 600 like the previous one was estimated to be that that is perfect for me too! The thing is that I don't know what 600 lumens will look like when I get it, so I won't be able to tell if it is similar to the other one or not. I will have to get you to compare it to the previous 3 mode versions that are around in your area / with people that you know have them, as there are none that I know of where I live! I hope you know what I mean but hopefully there will be no problems and it will all run smoothly (I don't really fancy waiting twice to get one, because at the moment is still shows waiting for supplier...is that the same for yours? I'm in no real hurry either, I'm just wondering!) Cheers :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    I should be able to compare mine to someone else who has the other one, I will let you know :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 385 ✭✭emty


    niceonetom wrote: »
    I tried my TK11 last night with it mounted to my helmet instead of the bars... much more effective. The ability to have a good look at a corner before turning the bars into it makes things a lot easier. I just used the same lockblock mount that I normally use on my bars btw, nice and secure.

    Now I need another light to keep on the bars; something more 'floody' than a tk11 - any suggestions?

    @Raam - get at least two batteries, it's always good to have a spare in the pocket.
    Sorry,but that doesn't make any sense.If I was hunting alligators in the Everglades at night-time it might be more effective to have a TK11 on my head but not on any road in the greater Dublin area :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,618 ✭✭✭Civilian_Target


    Beasty wrote: »
    It adds to the Xmas tree effect - one on each stay, another on the saddle bag and one on the helmet:). I also think it is helpful to have some lights which are not attached to your bike, in case you get separated from it in an accident - vehicles can still see you (as well as your bike)

    Yep... one of the major disadvantages of dynamo-powered lights is if you get detached for your bike, or need to stop for more than a few minutes (to repair for example), you have no light. If your bike breaks on the road and you need to fix a puncture, with battery lights you can at least detach it and sort things yourself. With dynamo lights... you'd better have a backup in your bag!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭72hundred


    @ Blorg / BallyH: Any word on delivery yet? I think I'm going to order one too but want to make sure that is not a 1000mAh versions with only ~300lumen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,702 ✭✭✭Home:Ballyhoura


    No news yet, it still shows "waiting for supplier" on my order, I'm not sure about blorg's but I would presume hope it is the same since we ordered them at the same time. I actually heard they (DealExtreme) wait until there is a build up of orders before they get in a batch from their suppliers. We are just going to wait and see what we get in the post in relation to the 1000mA query as DX are not very accurate with their descriptions, and if it is as bright as the previous 3 mode versions we will be happy! I will keep ye updated with anything else I hear from them (about the status of the order). Best of luck! ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭72hundred


    No news yet, it still shows "waiting for supplier" on my order, I'm not sure about blorg's but I would presume hope it is the same since we ordered them at the same time. I actually heard they (DealExtreme) wait until there is a build up of orders before they get in a batch from their suppliers. We are just going to wait and see what we get in the post in relation to the 1000mA query as DX are not very accurate with their descriptions, and if it is as bright as the previous 3 mode versions we will be happy! I will keep ye updated with anything else I hear from them (about the status of the order). Best of luck! ;)

    Cheers for that. My reason for getting it is that I'll be moving back to Limerick in the new year and have to commute via country roads. Hence want more than the TK11, which I'd probably get away with, but better safe than sorry!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    From previous DX experience you need to be relaxed, it could be a month or two. The TK11 is more than enough on country roads BTW, I have done over 70km/h with mine, the Magicshine is pure luxury (and MTB.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,702 ✭✭✭Home:Ballyhoura


    72hundred wrote: »
    Cheers for that. My reason for getting it is that I'll be moving back to Limerick in the new year and have to commute via country roads. Hence want more than the TK11, which I'd probably get away with, but better safe than sorry!

    Haha, that mad...you're in basically the exact same position as me so (except I'm not commuting). I'm living in Limerick too and have the TK11 which is grand but the MagicShine would just be nice to top off the setup properly. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,702 ✭✭✭Home:Ballyhoura


    72hundred wrote: »
    I'll be moving back to Limerick in the new year

    Check out this "Limerick Hill Climb Challenge" thread, it may be of some interest to you when you make the move down here. It's all a bit of fun, enjoy! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭72hundred


    blorg wrote: »
    From previous DX experience you need to be relaxed, it could be a month or two. The TK11 is more than enough on country roads BTW, I have done over 70km/h with mine, the Magicshine is pure luxury (and MTB.)

    Yea, buying a lot a stuff for the bike recently of questionable need! But hell, a bit of luxury is good!
    Haha, that mad...you're in basically the exact same position as me so (except I'm not commuting). I'm living in Limerick too and have the TK11 which is grand but the MagicShine would just be nice to top off the setup properly. ;)

    Great minds... ;)
    Check out this "Limerick Hill Climb Challenge" thread, it may be of some interest to you when you make the move down here. It's all a bit of fun, enjoy! :D

    Will look this up when back in Limerick, cheers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 480 ✭✭n-dawg


    I bought the magicshine off Geomangear a few weeks ago and have to say its fantastic. I use it on its 20hz flashing mode and have noticed a huge reduction in the number of cars/buses/taxis pulling out in front of me, changing lane in front of me, turning left across me. To be honest I think most of them have no idea whats coming towards them as the light is as bright or maybe brighter then a cars light.

    Anyway interesting thing happened on Wednesday morning (Daylight), it was a horrible dark wet morning! When the weather is like that I normally ride with my lights on. I was coming through Drumcondra and stopped at a red light. There was a guard standing there (I presume making sure cars weren't using the bus lane). The following was roughly the conversation that started.

    Guard: You light is very bright
    Me: Yup its good isn't it?
    Guard: Cars might think your a motorbike
    Me: I know its great
    Guard: I think its too bright it might annoy drivers
    Me: Well at least they'll see me
    Guard: You should turn it off
    Me: Why, am I breaking the law?
    Guard: Bike lights shouldn't be that bright
    Me: Why not?
    Guard: Because cars will think your a motorbike
    Me: That's a good thing...

    At this point the guard walked off... somebody was doing something stupid at the other side of the junction. So I just continued on my way with my light on.

    Is there actually a limit on how bright a bike light can be???

    If there is, what is it?

    If I was on a country road I would be courteous to drivers and put my hand in front of my light when they get close, but in the city anything that helps cars see me is fair game right?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,277 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland


    n-dawg wrote: »
    I bought the magicshine off Geomangear a few weeks ago and have to say its fantastic. I use it on its 20hz flashing mode and have noticed a huge reduction in the number of cars/buses/taxis pulling out in front of me, changing lane in front of me, turning left across me. To be honest I think most of them have no idea whats coming towards them as the light is as bright or maybe brighter then a cars light.

    Anyway interesting thing happened on Wednesday morning (Daylight), it was a horrible dark wet morning! When the weather is like that I normally ride with my lights on. I was coming through Drumcondra and stopped at a red light. There was a guard standing there (I presume making sure cars weren't using the bus lane). The following was roughly the conversation that started.

    Guard: You light is very bright
    Me: Yup its good isn't it?
    Guard: Cars might think your a motorbike
    Me: I know its great
    Guard: I think its too bright it might annoy drivers
    Me: Well at least they'll see me
    Guard: You should turn it off
    Me: Why, am I breaking the law?
    Guard: Bike lights shouldn't be that bright
    Me: Why not?
    Guard: Because cars will think your a motorbike
    Me: That's a good thing...

    At this point the guard walked off... somebody was doing something stupid at the other side of the junction. So I just continued on my way with my light on.

    Is there actually a limit on how bright a bike light can be???

    If there is, what is it?

    If I was on a country road I would be courteous to drivers and put my hand in front of my light when they get close, but in the city anything that helps cars see me is fair game right?


    i was wondering whether this conversation could/would happen. my worst suspicions have been confirmed
    guards can be such w***ers sometimes


  • Registered Users Posts: 31,008 ✭✭✭✭Lumen


    n-dawg wrote: »
    in the city anything that helps cars see me is fair game right?

    Not if it dazzles oncoming drivers - that's going to get someone hurt.

    Suggest you park your bike up in the dark and walk towards it from a distance (with your head at average driver height) to check out the alignment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,989 ✭✭✭✭blorg


    You have to avoid the dazzling all right. With the likes of the TK11 though, while it can dazzle on full out in the countryside where it is dark I don't think it has the same effect commuting on lit streets. Similarly I think you could use a brighter light again for use during daytime (e.g. twilight or very dark wet days.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,803 ✭✭✭hawkwing


    In the darker areas of the Phoenix Park 50-60% of drivers don't seem too worried about dazzling runners and cyclists with full lights on:confused:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,833 ✭✭✭niceonetom


    My TK11 is really only blinding if you're in the hot-spot of the cone of light. Angling the light down still leaves it very visible to other road users but reduces the glare which can be, I think, a bit antisocial and hardly safe.

    When coming through the phoenix park with it I cover the front with my finger when I think I might be dazzling an oncoming cyclist or driver. Pedestrians in the cyclelane, well, I blind them with a clear conscience.


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