Bike light recommendations

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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paylors
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Bike light recommendations

Post by paylors » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:31 am

I think I'm going to bring an unremarkable LED bike light to Burning Man.
I have a really bright model with rechargable battery and it appears to be plenty rugged and the manufacturer claims other models have survived Burning Man (light and motion stella).

But maybe it's too bright? If the light is mounted on the handlebar, it's hard to keep the beam out of people's eyes.

And also, might be asking for trouble to bring an expensive object to the playa. Things happen.

On the other hand, maybe it's better to have those 200 lumens during a dust storm? Runtime is not a problem, min 5 hours.

Last year, I brought a light I thought was bright (but no match for this newer one). The playa dust killed it and I thought I was annoying other people on the playa with its beam. But it was easy to see where I was going; the playa surface was irregular and it was nice to be able to see what I was about to hit.

Your thoughts?

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Post by golgotha-a-go-go » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:23 am

The primary purpose of personal bike lighting is "to be seen by others" as you're cruising at night. The majority of bike lights are adequate for that. Sometimes those big powerful front lights blind pedestrians and cast too much light that sometimes detracts from the "night experience." If you live near a Performance Bike shop, they sell a nifty set of LED front light and rear red flashers for about $20. Cast a good beam. All use AAA batteries, easy to change and the front unit slides off easily for hand use. Nice to have a back flasher so you can find your bike when you park it. I change batteries once in 7 days.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Pr ... 000__22000

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/St ... oreLocator

Hope this helps.
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:36 am

Get something that blinks furiously so it squicks out all the epileptics.
Kidding.

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Post by Bluemandrew » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:56 am

I just cannibalised a couple of wal mart "mini-lanterns" (5 bucks each) for my bike. They throw enough light to see in front of you, and I angled my front one down so as not to blind people. They have 2 white brightness settings and also can flash red.

They run on 4 AAs and have like 6 leds, so I would imagine run time is about forever. If you unscrew the top part with the reflector they work well.

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Post by Barbie » Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:10 am

EL WIre...
Sure Love the Dragon Fly and the Burning Man on the bicycle built for two. I ride my bike mostly during the Day, and at Night catch rides on Art Cars and walk. Found that closet type lights that come on a slider are cool to have 'cause you can slide then off and bring in the Dark bathroom with you.

OH AND IF you BRING your Bike to a BIG BURN~ say like the Man Burning OR Temple OR something BIG BURNING leave your Bike OUT of the crowd. Bikes Take up ALOT of room in a big GRoup. Not to mention the Danger factor of IT ALL!!!! A couple years back a group of people had like 5-8 bikes in the maybe the 3rd row of Crude Awaking~ Taking Up enough room for 30 people!
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Post by dragonpilot » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:15 pm

golgotha-a-go-go wrote:The primary purpose of personal bike lighting is "to be seen by others" as you're cruising at night.
Amen! There's usually enough ambient light to get around on at night, except in the deepest part of the playa. I use a small LED headlamp for seeing ahead which is adequate. I also liberally festoon my bike AND my body with blinkies and I thread chem necklaces thru my spokes so that I AM SEEN! Unlighted people at night are called darktards...sometimes I wanna slap 'em!

And Barbie makes a good point, too. Leave the bike at home at night. I used to go out at night on the bike and realized I was missing stuff because I was rushing by everything. A causal stroll, day or night, will make it easier drop into a venue and spend time without worrying about securing/finding/hassling with your bike.

I use the bike mostly for visiting long-distance friends, trips to Center Camp, and ice runs.
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Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:45 pm

I'd go with a gas lantern or propane flame... much cooler.
Maybe just have a bucket of gasoline hanging on the handlebars and light it with a match when you ride.
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paylors
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gasoline lamp

Post by paylors » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:15 pm

That was my other idea, but I might need that for the campstove.

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SilverOrange
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Post by SilverOrange » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:38 pm

Or you could use it for both! One less thing you would have to bring out to the playa.

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Post by paylors » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:04 pm

[quote="golgotha-a-go-go"]The primary purpose of personal bike lighting is "to be seen by others" as you're cruising at night. The majority of bike lights are adequate for that. Sometimes those big powerful front lights blind pedestrians and cast too much light that sometimes detracts from the "night experience." If you live near a Performance Bike shop, they sell a nifty set of LED front light and rear red flashers for about $20. Cast a good beam. All use AAA batteries, easy to change and the front unit slides off easily for hand use. Nice to have a back flasher so you can find your bike when you park it. I change batteries once in 7 days.

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Pr ... 000__22000

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/St ... oreLocator

Hope this helps.[/quote]


Oh I just saw this post. Yeah, that's pretty much what I was planning to bring. I bought them as backup lights.
I have this
http://www.rei.com/product/750565
but I did get it for about the same price as the one you referenced.
I like this rear light because the switch doesn't seem to turn itself on when it's stored in my backpack. My off-playa bike riding is in and out of the city so I go through a ritual of stripping off stealable items from the bike...

My brighter light (primary for off-playa) is a cheaper version of this light
http://www.rei.com/product/776624


I do have some EL wire that I plan to use on my person at the playa. I thought we were supposed to get away from disposable chem lights? So that should give me 360 degree visibility.

I might also just use my LED headlight. I need to be cautious with my packing because I'm flying in. I have an older, cheaper version of
http://www.rei.com/product/768981
which will probably work. It gives me a head-mounted light that can be focused into a beam or flash.

I used my bike a lot at night last year. Almost all of the time. I would park it far away from crowds as was mentioned earlier, usually next to some reference point that I could find even in a dust storm. That was the night the temple burned right, that the dust storm came up with a vengeance for hours? I remember art cars barely moving with zero visibility. I had a bad experience taking an art car for transportation; I got on one that just went around in circles for 30 minutes around one of the art installations. It's all good though, and making me start to think about coming home again in, what 90 days?

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Post by Dr Dilemma » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:41 pm

I bought a cheap one LED light because I thought it would save some money. Who needs an expensive light! Of course, I never saw that cooler that some one thought it would be spiffy to lean a sign against, in the middle of the street, in the dark. If you add up the shoulder surgery and lost work, I'm guessing that cheap light cost me around $30,000.

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hit cooler

Post by paylors » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:09 am

Yeah, primarily the lights are for you to be seen, but that secondary purpose of seeing where you're going is still important, imho. You could hit anything out there on the playa in the middle of the night, including a passed-out, uh whatever that word is for people aren't lit up.

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LEDs on bike wheels

Post by paylors » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:57 am

This could be good for the sides.
http://www.geekologie.com/2009/06/pimp_ ... s_with.php

It's a lot more sophisticated than I would have assumed.
I just have about 4' of EL wire that I haven't figured out what to do with.

More from the post:
It's essentially a AA battery-powered 256 RGB system that straps to a bike's spokes and has a sweet spot of between 8 and 20 mph: At 8, you'll just start to see the patterns in the center, and at 20 the light show will have taken over your entire wheel. It's customizable, but only to a point, as you have to use the on-board buttons to alter the patterns rather than loading images via USB or whatever.

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Post by swingle12 » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:18 am

I had something similar to the Monkeylectric units on my front wheel last year. IMHO, I never rode fast enough for anyone to see the patterns, and they didn't work as well as the EL wire my friends strung through their spokes with the battery box zip tied to the hub. In general, lots of EL wire is better than the normal blinkies you'd use for city riding. I had a two AA front light that comes off easily, it was plenty bright for seeing the road and any obstacles. Of course, the roads were so bad I couldn't ride very fast. I have a 200 lumen light and think it would definitely have been overkill. The one I used last year: http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3036.html. They even make a 1 watt now if you want some more light.
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paylors
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EL wire

Post by paylors » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:25 pm

How much is a lot? I bought like six feet on a lark.

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Simon of the Playa
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Thu Jun 25, 2009 1:19 pm

How much is a lot? I bought like six feet on a lark.

based on what i see here, and in another thread, i would wager you dont do ANYTHING on a lark.


you want old burny tymee advice for the playa?

eat a bunch of beans, light your farts periodically.

see? simple...

there, isn't that better? Now you can go have a neurotic episode about something important, like whether or not that camel-back pak will hold a sufficient quantity of water in case you get lost for two days up your own ass.



see, normally smilies are a way to get out of things, i dont use them...you decide whether i'm being an asshole, or tyler durden, or channeling mel Gibson after a few too many drinks.
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Post by Token » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:39 pm

I like to drink bud light when pedaling out in the open Playa with three Luxeon Star 5W LED bulbs in indigo blue driven by unlimited current and 9 volts.

Anyone that looks at me stumbles around for a few minutes after I pass.

Much fun.

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Post by Oldguy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:42 pm

My recomendations:

Flashlights, two for a dollar at halloween time, or at the dollar store. Tape one to handlebars facing forward, tape one under bike seat facing backwards.

Put reflector tape / led line on frame of bike.

Wear blinkies, headlamp.
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Post by Sham » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:11 pm

I wrap my bike with a string of cheap Christmas battery LED lights and use a headlamp for lighting my way.

Here is a link to some very cool lights that go onto the spokes of a bike. They change color and do all sorts of funky things. I have not used them myself, but would love to see others try them.
http://www.hokeyspokes.com/

Tell 'em Shambala send you! :D

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Re: hit cooler

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:53 pm

paylors wrote:Yeah, primarily the lights are for you to be seen, but that secondary purpose of seeing where you're going is still important, imho. You could hit anything out there on the playa in the middle of the night, including a passed-out, uh whatever that word is for people aren't lit up.
The word of the day is: Darkwad.
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Post by AntiM » Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:00 pm

Hokeyspokes are great until the dust kills them. It will.

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aris
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sweet burner bike light at rei now

Post by aris » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:43 pm

REI.com has a 10' "BikeGlow" light that comes in yellow, blue, or green. these seem to be el wire with attachments for $25. very reasonable (and i'm kind of glad to see them hitting the real world. ;-))

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Post by aris » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:44 pm

[quote="Oldguy"]My recomendations:

Flashlights, two for a dollar at halloween time, or at the dollar store. Tape one to handlebars facing forward, tape one under bike seat facing backwards.

Put reflector tape / led line on frame of bike.

Wear blinkies, headlamp.[/quote]

No white lights on the playa, please. :-)

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Post by Oldguy » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:36 pm

FU Aries. I knew Zeus when. :wink:

And who made you the F'n white light cop? :roll:

Get back to the 'Stan, man. ... Please? :twisted:

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Post by LEVLHED » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:42 pm

bikes suck

just walk
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Post by misfit » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:46 pm

wald makes a bicycle flashlight holder for your handlebars,,, $2.50....

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aris
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Post by aris » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:50 pm

Oldguy wrote:FU Aries. I knew Zeus when. :wink:

And who made you the F'n white light cop? :roll:

Get back to the 'Stan, man. ... Please? :twisted:

Oh, and welcome to e-playa. ...( If you want quotes to work, enable BB code.)
Oops...sorry. Making a long running comment. To be clear:

I LOVE white lights! Bring them on when you need! Long live white lights. Long live Zeus!

(Thanks for the welcome ) :P

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Post by Tiahaar » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:42 am

meh, I will side with the 'white bike lights too mundane (and blinding)' crowd. I discovered taping an amber trailer light lense in front of the white led bikelight nicely spreads and softens the light...and looks awesome.
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aris
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Post by aris » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:20 am

Here's the link. These are solid, I just bought one yesterday.

http://www.rei.com/product/793960

They have blue and green and yellow in the stores.

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Post by Liz Estrada » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:23 am

Burning Clean Sucks.


just stay home, asswipe.
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