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Discussion Starter #1
To getr what we want we have to tell the people who make, import, or design lights what we want.

Most of all, I want self contained lights that can mount in more places. I do some off road touring. Handle bar mounted lights are not working out for that. The bag mounted on my bar either blocks the light, or reflects to much light back into my eyes. If my Light in Motion urban 800 had just one more hole in the band, I could mount it on my Fox fork below my bags.

How about a bikepackers series of lights?

For tail lights, I want an amber color light. A blinking light the color of a cars turn signal. Amber is becoming more popular with trash trucks, tow trucks, and buses. Cars are learning to take their foot off the gas when they see a blinking amber light. A cob light seems to be the best. Those directional high lumen lights are only visable from a limited angle. I dont need more lumes, I need a wider viewing angle. Forget the lumen war. How about a battery life war.

How about a cob light in amber?
 

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I always enjoy reading threads like this.

You are definitely right about the lack of need for a lumen war when it comes to tail lights, wide visability is more important than total brightness. Vehicle OEM's actually have specific candella targets to hit for a brake light and general tail light requirements because of this. Tails are one thing I'd like to try and make, however the profit margin on items like that is SO incredibly slim, it makes for a hard business case when a $10 imported one can do the job fairly well because of how simple it is.
 

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To getr what we want we have to tell the people who make, import, or design lights what we want.

Most of all, I want self contained lights that can mount in more places. I do some off road touring. Handle bar mounted lights are not working out for that. The bag mounted on my bar either blocks the light, or reflects to much light back into my eyes. If my Light in Motion urban 800 had just one more hole in the band, I could mount it on my Fox fork below my bags.

How about a bikepackers series of lights?
Would something like this Zebralight work for you? Maybe you could modify the headstrap mount to fit your front bag (sew it on the bag?). Pictures of your ride setup might help get you some additional suggestions.

H604w 18650 XHP35 Flood Neutral White Headlamp

zebralight.png

Mole
 

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.....Most of all, I want self contained lights that can mount in more places. .....
Switch your lights to use GoPro mounts. There literally hundreds of different GoPro mounts on the market. Hard to imagine not being able to find one suitable for your need.

I'm pretty sure that it would be difficult for many bikelight manufacturers to profit from making small quantities of lights capable of being mounted in unusual locations.

I'd also like more fork crown mounting options (for road use).
This is another good location where a GoPro conversion works well. Post 33 in this thread is a good example.

http://forums.mtbr.com/commuting/best-place-front-light-1028204.html#post12962229
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Open letter to Light manufacturers,

Thanks for the ideas, gents.

My thought in starting this thread was to tell people that design lights what we want to have available in stores next year.

Open letter to Light manufacturers

I may order a Zebra light some day. If I do, I will not mount it to a loose bag to bounce around, although a haed mounted light could reduce the problems of a bag mounted light bouncing around.


In the jungle they are using laser radar to find ruins,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9Lq8aMgmdU
on mtbr we need to join the modern world.

I want lights that mount in more places , example, a band long enough to mount the light to a suspension fork, and amber cob tail lights. A light on each fork leg, and a head lamp works well.

This is 2018, I should not need duct tape and a sewing kit to get lights mounted on my bike. Nor should I need an after market mount.

Bike packing is ever growing. Let the makers of lights find a way to make non handlebar mounted lights.


Open letter to Light manufacturers

Lads,
what would you like to see for sale next year that is not for sale this year? People that sell lights read these pages, let them know.

Why do they not make barend lights, the technology is there
 

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......This is 2018, I should not need duct tape and a sewing kit to get lights mounted on my bike. Nor should I need an after market mount.
So in your ideal world all lights would come with some assortment of mounts that would address all possible mounting points on the bike? Ya better keep dreamin.
 

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Heres some issues:

1. Light that mounts to fork arch-

Not practical because cant make mount for every brand of fork out there. Rubber band type alone is not secure on a surface structure that has so many different angles and those angles change between even models among brands. Only option is for fork manufactures to all start casting in a mounting point for screws or other interface that allows for secure mounting.

Interference with cables becomes another issue.

Making an adapter for a light with separate battery is possible but then run into the next huge complaint. Huge shadow created by the tire.

Self contained light is completely impossible in the current sense, to make that would be a VERY VERY expensive light to produce. For bike packing a light that only lasts a couple hours on a charge is about pointless to most. A standard self contained light cannot mount to a fork arch, would hit the crown when fork is compressed enough. Risking damage to fork and the light.

The only possibility would be a company willing to make an adapter to hold a light head to the arch, but self contained is out of the question unless there is enough bike packers willing to spend the high end prices for a very basic light with a couple hours of run time in steady modes.

Bike packing is a very elite and small group of hard core riders compared to cycling overall.

2. More mounting options-

Partially falls into the above, suspension forks again are all but impossible to deal with. And on the fork lowers put the light into offroad abuse of the worst kind, nothing to deal with the vibrations and impacts. Though for bike packers this is a non-issue, you dont do 10ft jumps and drops with a fully loaded bike. But those outside of that will want to try it and the company the makes the mount will be held liable for lost or damaged lights due to being used outside of capabilities.

Many lights do offer other mounting locations. But things like bar end lights, wont happen by an reputable company. First time someone drops their bike and that bar end hits something hard, the company that made the light gets bad reviews because the light didnt survive being smashed against a rock. Beyond that most lights except for the front light can be mounted most places on a bike usually via a band mount. Also have clips to secure to straps on bags

NOW FOR AMBER LIGHTING, that is something that does need to change! Amber is proven more visible at a distance.

Adding amber to a front light (small little marker lights are like a bar end light are just a waste and only useable for a short time without dissassembly) to the sides of a headlight is needed for more road based uses.

A flashing red light in the rear (or front as well as blue light) by DOT standards in most if not all states is illegal except for emergencies or by use of emergency vehicles. Flashing white light in the front is also against DOT regulations but bicycles and some times motorcycles (but hard to find it in factory form anymore due to this) get around this.
Bicycles are not technically included in most lighting requirements beyond a white front and red rear light. In my area a red taillight is required from dusk till dawn on city streets (not sidewalks which keeps the matter from effecting children) or subject to the same fines as a car.

So a red rear light is required in almost every state. Just as motorcycles at minimum have to have a headlight and red tail/brake light to be on the road. Though some places require turn signals as well.

Now a tail light with a small steady red in the middle and flashing amber on either side (obviously overpowering the red light) is a perfect solution. Amber is PROVEN safer and more visible in every study compared to red. But ordinances or laws in some locations mean a red light has to be included.

VIEWING ANGLE OF TAILLIGHTS IS A BIG DEAL, regardless of red or amber. Light manufacturers dont get this at all! Just a lumen war and "can be seen from miles away, though very few places in the world do you have line of site half that far" instead of making a bigger and wider impression.

Basically, some of your wishes are way too far out of reach, company would loose money even attempting it. But major changes adding amber and bigger/better viewing angles needs to happen, no company with these dinky lights barely visible unless basically directly behind the bike I habe never understood. Its better than nothing but true rider safety was lost there.

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My next headlight will be mounted to the underside of the front rack out of harm's way and it won't be interfered with by any load that I'm carrying on the rack.

I already have my taillight mounted to the underside of the rear rack.

Scott Novak
 

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Cateye Rapid X3 (TL-LD720-R)

1. Mounting place
Best mounting place is the handlebar, more far away from possible dirt and better protected against bumps when using a suspension fork.
There are a lot of possibilities to expand the available space on the handbar:
bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1126857-minoura-spacer-light-gadget-mount-di-light-fender-hole-mount.html


2. More mounting options
There are also a lot of possibilities for using GoPro mounts.
bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1131341-light-mount.html
bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1128880-any-headlights-designed-gopro-hanging-mount-2.html#post20017110


3. Amber Light
orfos.us does offer an amber COB USB-powered light with mount options for bicycles.


4. Viewing angle of taillights
My greatest taillight so far is the Cateye Rapid X3 (TL-LD720-R) with 300 lumens luminous flux. It's so bright it can blind during daylight at close distance (1-5m).
Beam Angle is around 180° horizontal and the vertical beam angle can be controlled separately (towards and/or away from the ground).
TL-LD720-R | CATEYE
CATEYE SAFETY


Mounting options are very good.
CatEye Spacer X
CatEye America I CatEye America Small Parts Safety Lights
 

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....I want lights that mount in more places , example, a band long enough to mount the light to a suspension fork, and amber cob tail lights. A light on each fork leg, and a head lamp works well.

This is 2018, I should not need duct tape and a sewing kit to get lights mounted on my bike. Nor should I need an after market mount.

Bike packing is ever growing. Let the makers of lights find a way to make non handlebar mounted lights.
I think perhaps you expect too much. I don't know how many times I've wished and expressed the thought that bike helmet manufacturers would make bike helmets more conducive for mounting bike lights to but even today, most simply don't. Thankfully there are a few helmet options that work and some newer helmets that even have a built-in Gopro mount. That said if your light doesn't work on your helmet you don't blame the people selling bike lights...you blame the people making the helmets or find a way to mount the lamp to the helmet you already have ( yes, even if it requires duct tape, Velcro..etc ).

In your case you have a unique mounting requirement. Since you aren't willing to give up the handlebar bag you need to mount the light somewhere beneath the bag that still allows the lamp to move into the direction you are steering. Since you are using a bike with a suspension fork you don't have the option to mounting on the upper fork crown as most MTB forks don't have a screw hole for that. If it were me I'd find a way to mount it the upper crown of the suspension fork. Mounting on the fork ( sides ) I would think not to be a great idea. The "lower" fork itself is the thing that absorbs all the shock and vibrations picked up by the front wheel. Not to mention you would get the shadow of the front wheel to deal with.

Looking at my MTB I could mount to the suspension fork crown but likely it would take some ghetto tactics. In my case I can take the small mounting tube off an old handlebar extension ( about 4" long ), tape it to the crown and then mount one of my Gemini Duo's to it. The Duo ( or perhaps a Duo clone or Gloworm X2 ) would fit, be very lightweight and should work without becoming too loose. I would however have to attach the small carbonfiber tube to the crown by using either duct tape, Gorilla tape, industrial Velcro or any combo there of. Anyway, likely not enough room for a self contained lamp unless you had one of those periscope style torches. Now in my case my front suspension fork has holes machined into the crown. Likely I could use just the typical bar extender, loop it through one of the crown holes, steady it up using some rather large shims and if I'm lucky it might work. If not I'd go with the first option.

**Amber LED lights are available as was pointed out. Not to mention one of those "white" Orfos lights might actual work and mount easier to the fork crown. Personally I like the Duo or X2 option because both of those are true MTB lights, have a great all-around beam pattern and both come with wireless remotes, making it simple to change modes or to turn off. Couple one of those with a good helmet lamp and you should be good to go Mr. MTB-Backpacker. ;)

**Dinotte also makes a couple super bright Amber lamps although they market them as a front lamp option.

Parting comment; quit pissing and moaning about having to use Duct tape. It was good enough to help get the Apollo 13 astronauts home when their C02 filters failed. As such your need is not as great..
 

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1. Mounting place
Best mounting place is the handlebar, more far away from possible dirt and better protected against bumps when using a suspension fork.
There are a lot of possibilities to expand the available space on the handbar:
bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1126857-minoura-spacer-light-gadget-mount-di-light-fender-hole-mount.html


2. More mounting options
There are also a lot of possibilities for using GoPro mounts.
bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1131341-light-mount.html
bikeforums.net/electronics-lighting-gadgets/1128880-any-headlights-designed-gopro-hanging-mount-2.html#post20017110


3. Amber Light
orfos.us does offer an amber COB USB-powered light with mount options for bicycles.


4. Viewing angle of taillights
My greatest taillight so far is the Cateye Rapid X3 (TL-LD720-R) with 300 lumens luminous flux. It's so bright it can blind during daylight at close distance (1-5m).
Beam Angle is around 180° horizontal and the vertical beam angle can be controlled separately (towards and/or away from the ground).
TL-LD720-R | CATEYE
CATEYE SAFETY

Mounting options are very good.
CatEye Spacer X
CatEye America I CatEye America Small Parts Safety Lights
It may be bright for night time use but if you double check the specifications it is only rated at 100 lumens. Unfortunately for $60 you aren't going to get a 300 lumen tail light. The 180° beam angle does sound good though. I wonder what kind of lux value the light has at 1 meter. Lux and dispersion angle are critical for a good performing tail light.
 

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It may be bright for night time use but if you double check the specifications it is only rated at 100 lumens.
Unfortunately for $60 you aren't going to get a 300 lumen tail light. The 180° beam angle does sound good though.

I wonder what kind of lux value the light has at 1 meter. Lux and dispersion angle are critical for a good performing tail light.
I just checked the luminous flux of the amber version - 550lm continuous.
kickstarter.com/projects/739603000/flare-pro-next-gen-light-for-cycling-hiking-and-ru/posts/1767415
orfos.us/products/amber-flarepro-pre-order

So for $75 you're getting 550lm (7lm/$).

Lux isn't useful for taillights. Only for headlights, because there you'll need Illuminance.
For taillights other things are important:
  • Luminance (for archieving high enough contrast against other light sources)
  • beam angle (for side visibility from different angles)
  • size and aspect ratio (to allow distance and speed calculations for following drivers)
swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting_analyse/achterlampen/theorie/index_en.html
swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/verlichting/irritant/index_en.html#achterlampen
bikelightdatabase.com/best/taillights/
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My dasy 460 can mount on the fork.
Dash-3201.jpg
The band is long enough to stretch around a Fox suspension fork, say 7 inches above the axle. I dont like the the light pattern much when it is turned on its side. I has enough side to side swivel to point it down to a usefull angel. The manufacturing cost is not more than a bar light.

My urban 800 has 360 degree rotation.
untitled-1_urban_900_realigned_0001_urban_900_longfin_2.jpg
If the band were just a centimeter or 2 longer it would be great for mounting just above the disk brake on the side of a suspension fork.

Mounting at or near the fork crown, I dont like, because the top of the tire casts too great of a shadow. Mounting halfway between the axle and the crown works well, if you have a light on each side, one light on each fork leg. A light on each fork leg and a head lamp work well together. Without the headlamp, the shadows cast by a low mounted light make the bumps look like ledges.

Allowing lights to be mounted to a thicker tube does not cost the light maker more money. It only requires them to think about it a little longer.

Allowing lights to rotate a little further does not add to the cost of manufacture. It just means they thought about it for a while and made their lights a little more usefull.

On high, runtime is 1.5 hours, medium 3 hours, low 6 hours. If you have a light on each side of the fork, why not run them on medium or low? 3 hours or 6 hours. 200 + 200 lumens is 400 lumens for 6 hours, + whatever you have in your head lamp.

I have a Niterider 1,800. It is certainly bright enough for evening rides. It has a little bag to carry all the non self contained parts, to many parts and to much weight and volume to carry along on a tour.

Self contained lights are really all that is feasable on a bikepacking trip. Read, limited space.

As far as usefull light, Mounting a light on each bar end makes the most usefull light. Good height and spread apart. I find the amber side lights distracting when doing this. Why does no one make barends that are also lights? Mounting lights on dropbars, next to the bar end shifters is also highly functional.

If the Yanks are unable to figure it out, ask the Germans how to fix it.

The Orfos lights are listed as sold out. $75 is to much to pay for a light that has no battery. Batteries not included.

Amber is PROVEN safer and more visible in every study compared to red.
I knew that
and
More and more road ubstruction vehicles are using flashing amber lights, trash trucks, tow trucks, etc.

Last month, I took a 12 day trip. On 11 of those days I used only my Fenix Hl60r head lamp, and then not for long. On the last night I drained the batteries on my hotrod 50 and my urban 900. Battery life in self contained lights is an issue. The fenix head lamp uses replaceable batteries, I had a spare. The yellow tint of the Fenix is easier on the eyes after 5 hours.

quit pissing and moaning about having to use Duct tape. It was good enough to help get the Apollo 13 astronauts home when their C02 filters failed. As such your need is not as great..
This aint rocket science man.
What you call crying, I call looking to the future.
Did NASA put more rolls of duct tape on the next rocket, or make improvements to the rocket?
The cat seems to have every known bike light,
Any ideas on what improvements the bike light industry could make over the next few years? The Chinese are sitting in a office somewhere trying to figure out what you want to buy. The Germans can figure out how to make a better light. You can not get what you want, unless someone knows what you want.

Example,
What light spectrum is eaiser on the eyes after 5 or 10 hours of usinf it=?

Did oyu know,
mechanics lights and photo lights use a differant spectrum than a living room light?
Homework,
figure out why.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Allowing lights to mount in more places does not increase the cost of manufacture

It only requires that light designers think we need more places to mount our lights than just the handle bar.

No add ons, no aftermarket, just functional light mounts,
 

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chrisx said:
The Chinese are sitting in a office somewhere trying to figure out what you want to buy.
Nope. They are thinking of ways to get folks to buy their lights, mostly by lying about specs.


Allowing lights to mount in more places does not increase the cost of manufacture

It only requires that light designers think we need more places to mount our lights than just the handle bar.

No add ons, no aftermarket.just functional light mounts,
Anything you add to a product increases the cost to manufacture. Even if it is just a single screw. Even if it adds just a few grams of plastic. If it adds a tiny bit of complexity to a mold or other tooling, it costs. And directly to your point, the more thought the designer applies to the product takes time. That time has to be recouped by the anticipated production of the product.

You're dreaming about things that may seem functional, but are not. Suppose brand X makes their rubber strap long enough to fit around the leg of your suspension fork. Now I take that same light and mount it to my 22.2mm tri-bar. Works great for you, but I have a mile of excess strap flapping around. I could cut off the excess but then how do I fit it to my 35mm handlebar? The manufacturer could include long and short straps with some convenient method to exchange them. Guess what, that costs them. The examples of why this is not feasible could go on and on.

Tiny little niche markets are not where volume manufacturers want to play. If there were loads of customers wanting to mount lights to their fork legs or luggage racks the volume manufacturers would provide a product.
 

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Self contained lights are really all that is feasable on a bikepacking trip. Read, limited space.
What does a self contained bike light have to do with space and bikepacking?

I spent 6-1/2 months living off of my bike with a permanently mounted light on the handlebars. The biggest irritation that I had with lighting was having to remove the batteries from the light in order to charge them. I would have much preferred a separate waterproof battery pack with a simple reliable waterproof cable connection.

Bike lights that have non-removable batteries are especially irritating because you don't always have easy access to power near your bicycle to charge them. You may have to remove the light from your bike to bring it to the nearest source of power to charge it.

If it's winter, the usable capacity of the batteries is even lower, requiring even more recharges, and/or warming the of the entire light if the batteries are non-removable.

I DON'T want to have to remove the bike light, bring it someplace to charge it, then reinstall and re-aim the light every time that I need to charge it.

With a separate battery pack you can keep an extra battery pack or two next to your body to keep it warm and ready for use.

As it was I carried 3 sets of batteries because I never knew how long it would be between power sources to recharge the batteries.

The other problem that you have with a bike light with non-removable batteries is that you are usually unable to quick charge them.

When you are living on your bike, finding power sources can be a challenge. You need to be able to recharge your batteries quickly when you find a power source. This may be in a restaurant, a bar, or the side of a building with an outlet on it.

Granted, these days you might be able to mount solar panels on your bike to help charge the batteries while you ride.

I want to permanently mount my bike light in some reasonably secure manner so that I don't have to worry about it getting stolen.

Lights with self contained batteries are also more massive and more likely to get bounced out of adjustment or have and mount break.

And whoever got the idea to use O-Rings and rubber straps for mounting headlights should burn in hell and be made to listen to Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits, FOREVER!!! Lights with those mounts NEVER stay adjusted and the lights are easily stolen!

Scott Novak
 

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Band mounts really arent bad for short term stuff as long as its not self contained. Dont have any issues with lightheads moving on band mounts offroad either. GoPro style mounting has been the most useful and secure for me either way. Use an aluminum bar mount and a hex screw instead of thumb screw. Bolted to the bike, not easy to run off with.

When I commuted to my previous job I purposely used a band mounted or quick release type self contained because light always came inside the plant with me. Now I could car less.

This summer I will be on my bike 70+ miles a day for 7 days. Supported ride at least so dont have to carry clothes and such on my bike as well. Just everything I need to for the day. Ill be doing the same as you scott, perma-mounted light with battery pack. GoPro stem cap adapter.

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