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Lighting Systems: lights, batteries, etc
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Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Melbourne, Florida, USA
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What lights worked best for you on ultra-distance events and what didn't?
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Currently I use a "pair" of Cateye EL500s. I find one is not enough light and two is adequate. The best part is 10 hours good light on one set of AA batteries wich is usually enough even for a 24 hour event. And because they are AAs I could buy spares at a control if I needed to.

Also I use Cateye 500 series tail lights. I feel that the real issue is to be seen from the blind side. I run 4.. That's right that is 4 tail lights. Well actually 5 because I just installed a 1000 series tail light also.

All of the above lights utlize AA or AAA batteries which can be found at good controls. I use Raovac (or Radioshack) IC3 rechargibles because they can be recharged in 15 minutes (4 at a time) and have a 1000 cycle lifetime. My GPS is also powered by these batteries...
Which Lighting Systems work - Which do not...
Larry Grabiak
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Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Fort Myers, Florida
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I just did Joe Arnolds 1200K using 2 new Cateye 530 LED's.
Perfect - plenty of light (if you use 2), plenty of time, no re-charging necessary - just 4 AA's each. Good light for 18-20 hours (although
they advertise lasting for up to 90 - don't know if you'd be
able to see anything). 50% brighter than the 500 LED - they are.
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Lights for long brevets
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Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Melbourne, Florida, USA
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For me the bare minimum is at least one handlebar light like the 1000 candle power EL-500, or
the 10 watt Nitehawk Emitter; then one helmet light like the 180 candlepower EL410. These
are described below.

The idea is that the handlebar light(s) are for seeing the road and the helmet light is
for reading the route sheet, fixing a flat, reading street signs, etc.

I use a three-light system with two handebars lights (the Nitehawk Emitter and the
EL-500) and a helmet mounted EL410. The advantage is redundancy and I can point the beams
to different spots on the road for greater coverage. The disadvantage with this approach
is the helmet mounted EL410 is bearly adequate for reading street signs. However, this isn't very important if you are using a mapping GPS (it tells you when and where to turn).

As an alternative some riders use a two light system with one bright light on their
handlebar and one on their helmet. The advantage here is that you can get a better look
at road hazards, since you can point a bright helmet-mounted beam on an object simply by
moving your head.

NOTE: Paris, France has 15.5 hrs of rideable light (twilight or better) per day in
August. So at most you will need your bright lights for 9.5 hrs/day (assuming you don't
get off your bike or sleep all night). That means the most you'll need for an entire PHP
is 30 hrs of run-time.

All of the lights shown below use either AA or AAA batteries. The common availability of
these batteries is a big plus.

The lights I use
There are lots of choices, but these provide a good compromise between brightness and

NiteHawk, EMITTER AL-X, P/N: 5500
2 Power Settings: 10% & 100%
Approximate Halogen Equivalent at 100% = 10 Watts
100% = 9 Hrs. +
10% = 96 Hrs. (4 Days) +

Cat Eye Power Opticube HL-EL500:
1000 candlepower
# of bulbs /type: 1 - LED
Battery: 4 - AA
Runtime: 30-hrs
Level(safety/Hi-Power): Safety

Cateye EL410 Compact Opticube LED Headlight
Ultra lightweight at just 78g, the EL410 is a very versatile LED headlight
featuring 90 degree horizontal angle adjustment, flash mode, 30 hour
constant runtime and 60 hour runtime in flash mode,
and an outstanding 6 to 32mm handlebar diameter capacity.
Requires 3 AAA batteries (Included).
Waterproof to 50 meters.
180 candlepower.

I don't use this light, but if it mounts to a helmet it might be good for that:
Cat Eye EL120 Sport OptiCube LED Headlight
# of bulbs /type: 1 - LED
Battery: 2 - AA
Runtime: Steady: 80-hr/ Flashing: 320-hr
Level(safety/Hi-Power): Safety

Find all most of them here:
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Joined: 07 Dec 2017
Posts: 2
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This post was very nicely written and it also contains many useful facts i enjoyed your way of writing this post thanks you have made it very easy for me to understand.
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Lighting Systems: lights, batteries, etc
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