Light Up My Life!

Life…ride…whatever…riding is life!

Ever since I’ve started riding my bicycle at night much more often, I’ve been obsessed with trying to find a good bicycle light that doesn’t cost as much as my bicycle and gives plenty of lumens to light the road.

I previously used a Nite-Rider Trail-Rat but I gave it to my friend Matt so that he can join me in my nocternal rides and get home from work after sundown. I then switched to a Blackburn X3 system because it used a never-burn-out LED and gave some pretty long run times and output. It’s a nice light, but the rechargeable battery pack is just HUGE and I can’t seem to find a good spot to mount it on my bike frame. Also, I did have a spell where the light was taking on a mind of its own and flashing through the different brightness modes, turning off and on at completely random times.

That wasn’t going to fly.

So, again I engaged in the search to find a light that had a good beam, rechargeable, and doesn’t weight a quarter metric ton. Behold, the DiNotte 5W LED Ultralight!
As you can see, it uses 4 rechargeable AA NiMH batteries, but the important fact was that it used AA batteries that can be found EVERYWHERE. It is a TINY, yet powerful light.

It fits nicely with the battery pack, perched on my aerobars. The battery and light weights less than the battery pack of the Blackburn x3 and puts out more light. Shweeeet.

Although the DiNotte does have one heck of a spread beam, I needed some kind of spot light to focus on signs or where ever I needed a bit of light without turning my handlebars.

Behold, a Petzl Tikka XP headlamp mounted onto my helmet. The reflective taped-up helmet.
Then as a safety precaution, I have a blinking LED light mounted with a rubber band on the back of my helmet.

I’m still looking for lighting options. The DiNotte’s battery pack isn’t water proof, and the Tikka XP is only a 1-watt LED. A better spotlight would be great for riding faster as well as mountain biking on some single-track. For now, this combo will have to do.

I’d light to thank the CandlePower Forums for their lighting obsessive behavior and all the ideas it gives me for making my own system or purchasing more lights.

I would post pictures of the beam patterns and how well they work at night, but my camera takes TERRIBLE night photos.

Next up: Trying to find a GOOD flashlight for running.

Categories: Uncategorized

4 replies »

  1. Why don’t you just buy another DiNotte, and strap it to a headband or something? Apart from its lack of waterproofness, of course.

  2. Because the DiNotte is a very expensive light at $200. I was fortunate enough to get it on sale for $170. Also, it puts out more of a flood when I require a spot for my helmet.

  3. Before I went with the Cateye Doubleshot (2 x 3W Luxeons, and a waterproof neoprene battery pack), I was using a Princeton Tec Apex (1 3W Luxeon with a hardshell 4AA battery case) as a headlamp on my helmet. It also wasn’t hard to mount on the bars. But I have to say I hate putting anything on my helmet, front or back, as it makes it feel lopsided and awkward. I see DiNotte is also making a 3W with a built-in red blinky in the back of the housing which looks clever. -T.

  4. I thought about using an Apex as well, but there was something I didn’t like about it. I’m currently considering purchasing a Brunton L3 for my helmet then I could also use it for cave exploration at a later date as well as use the 4x C-Cell battery pack for some all-night rides.

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