DesignShine DS-500 Lights

5/5 (2 Reviews)


Product Description

  • Taillight
  • Uses 6 CREE LEDs (XP-E Red) and Carclo Optics
  • Dual lenses produce spot and wide angle beams
  • MaxFlex6 controller (made in the USA!)
  • Five power levels: 1 watt up to 10 watts (500 lumens!)
  • Steady mode and flash mode
  • Quick release mounting on seat-stay or seat-post
  • Vertical or horizontal mounting options
  • Precision aiming
  • Excellent side lighting
  • Li-ion operation compatible with 7.4V or 11.1V packs
  • Built-in thermal protection and battery monitoring
  • Completely waterproof
  • 3yr warranty on the light engine
    Mtbr Bike Lights Shootout - over 50 bike lights reviewed, photographed and measured here.


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    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by THX-1138 a Cross Country Rider

    Date Reviewed: December 24, 2013

    Strengths:    1 - Powerful, practically a "mini red sun" for night riding
    2- Small and light weight
    3- Great "rooster tail" light throw
    4- Multiple options for patters and/or light intensities
    5- Brings great "Cat-eye" post clamps
    6- Light and connector are water proof (tested and confirmed to work in Miami steamy rain)
    7- Great heat dissipation (not hot to the touch even in HOT Miami summer weather with over an hour of use)
    8- Superb support and knowledge from the maker who is an avid cyclist as well!
    9- Hand made with much love and dedication by a guy in the U.S.A.
    10 - As of 2013 it is the ONLY powerful rear bicycle light available


    Weaknesses:    1- Small and hard to reach on/off/programming button

    Bottom Line:   
    I ride on local roads near my home during the week to prep me for weekend "mountain biking". I only can ride during dark hours (early morning (5 ~ 6 AM) or evenings (8 ~ 9 PM)) because of work schedule and to avoid the masses of zombie-like Miami drivers. For a long time I have been using anemic "blinky" bike lights to avoid a very bad situation with these zombie-like Miami drivers but I have never been satisfied with them.

    One thing that bothered me the most is that these drivers were over passing me very close, so close that I can easily feel the heat coming out from their engines! It did not matter if they had a full lane to over pass, they just wanted to "show" off that they "owned" the road. Add this issue along with recent road bike fatalities and you will understand how dangerous riding the roads in Miami could turn out to be. In my pursuit of finding a brighter rear self contained LED light I found the "DS-1300" and "DS-500" within mtbr.com forums. I was not sold at the idea of having an external battery but being an Electrical Engineer I knew that to get sustained high output light I needed to resort to an external power source. I made the blind jump and contacted Stephen (maker of these lights) whom amazed me with his knowledge of LED and battery technology along with his passion to bicycling. He poured details and superb attention to detail at each minute step that made me feel that I was setting these lights myself! I requested the front DS-1300 and rear DS-500 lights with a single 5200mAH 11.1v Li-Ion battery. The wait seemed to take an eternity since I did not venture out with my road bike until I received these superb lights.

    The wait was worth each day that I waited "patiently" for them. I was surprised at how small these lights were, no picture did justice on the size, they are tiny and do not weigh much. The first thing I did was to connect them to the pre-charged battery and turned them on but guess what? They did not, why? I did not read Stephen's very detailed instructions that mentioned something called "Super-lock", I almost lost it but it was my bad for being too excited. Read the complete manual and tried again, "My God, It's Full of Stars!" is what came out of my mouth! These lights ARE bright, not just ordinary bright but it burns your retina BRIGHT!

    For the DS-500: Rear car traffic slows down and wait for me or over pass me by a FULL LANE! I never had this happen! 95 ~ 98% of the traffic provides me this clearance and only 5% or less will attempt to overpass me by half a lane (which is still great compared to how it was before). Almost all the drivers either pass me by at the speed limit or slow down to find out what is emitting such a light! Many are surprised that it is just a bicycle, even motorcyclist and law enforcement cars! I agree with Stephen, mode #4 - L3/L5 for the DS-500 is very bright for night use (I have tested it myself by sitting in my car behind my bike) so I am testing alternative modes to fend of that 5% zombie Miami drivers.

    I am very happy with these lights and my family feels better that I know have them to ride the streets at night. They are worth the cost to give me the privilege to ride safer at night on Miami roads. There is always room for improvement and these lights are almost perfect but having a bigger power button would make it easier to navigate and turn on/off the lights with gloves on.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Markham, Oletta

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years 5 days a week

    Price Paid:    $202.00

    Purchased At:   designshinelighting.

    Similar Products Used:   Princeton Tec EOS Front Light, Princeton Tec Swerve Rear LED light, Planet Bike Superflash Turbo Tail Light (all anemic night riding lights!)

    Bike Setup:   2011 Trek/Gary Fisher HiFi 29er, 2011 Trek 1.2 H2 Road Bike

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Azra a Racer from Alexandria

    Date Reviewed: October 27, 2011

    Strengths:    Absolutely stunning, there is NOTHING like it on the market at any price.

    Extremely bright in daytime.

    Insane at night.

    Perfect for busy roads, bad weather, etc.

    Custom made one by one in America.

    Totally waterproof.

    Able to withstand abuses (although perhaps not quite as much as the DiNotte 400R because the lens is more exposed).

    Build to last forever.


    Weaknesses:    A battery status indicator would be nice.

    Bottom Line:   
    I ride day and night on busy urban/suburban roads so I need something powerful enough to jolt drivers out of their stupor and make them pay attention to me. I've tried all sorts of cheap blinkies, but those are not good for my style of riding. Then I've used the DiNotte 400R for years and absolutely loved it. Finally I discovered the DS-500 and was stupefied. Compared to the 400R, this thing is much brighter from the back and infinitely more visible from the side. I was so impressed that I promptly ordered a second DS-500 to keep around just in case.

    Yes, it's very expensive for a blinky, but it's much cheaper than a hospital bill (or, Goddess forbid, a funeral).

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Road

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $235.00

    Purchased At:   DesignShine

    Similar Products Used:   All sorts of blinkies, DiNotte 400R.

    Bike Setup:   Road.

    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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