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Bandolero
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guy's.
what's the difference betwen led or halogen lights?which one is better on you guys opinion? thanks in advance for the imput...later...:thumbsup:
 

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I like to ride my bike.
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1,598 Posts
RCC said:
Hey guy's.
what's the difference betwen led or halogen lights?which one is better on you guys opinion? thanks in advance for the imput...later...:thumbsup:
LED = Work forever, not too bright, good for commuting, ($10-$250)
Halogen = Brighter, get very hot, good for occasional night rides, around $75-250.
HID = Super expensive ($400-$600), brighter than car lights, fast charge times and long burn times, good for 24 hour races

For a guy who's not racing but likes night rides... http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=6551&category=1216 :thumbsup:
 

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I have a different take on this than the other poster, as follows:

LED = Work forever, the best are as bright as 15W halogens, good for trail riding if you have a second light to supplementor if the riding is not too technical, ($10-$250)

Halogen = Brighter, get very hot, good for most night rides, around $75-250. The brightest approach HID intensity, but use a lot of power (bigger or more expensive batteries) for the same run time as HID

HID = More expensive ($250-$600), not brighter than car lights, fast charge times and long burn times, good for 24 hour races. Current state of the art.

I don't know where the other poster got the idea that they're brighter than car lights, but that's silly. The Halogen and HID lights on cars are definitely brighter than bike HID lights.

My favorite lights are the L&M HID. I got one set for $339 and the other for $259. They work great.

The new LED lights are pretty good. The light is a pure white. The only issue is that they're better as spot lights since they don't offer enough light for a flood.

Halogen is the current best bang for the buck. A set of Jet 20W halogen lights is fine for trail riding.... even technical.
 

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Double-metric mtb man
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4,472 Posts
Myself, I've found that LEDs are good for decent burn times, are pure white and fairly bright in a spot. For night riding, I go with a 3 setting halogen (8, 12 and 15 watt) on the bars that serves my needs well...though for looking around the corners and some of the dang thick runs after all the rain up here, I may add a helmet mount (still deciding if it'll be a halogen or LED).

HID's I find are quite expensive. Yes, they are state of the art and offer fast charge times, but dang, do you ever pay for it (at least here in Alberta, Canada).

Bang for the buck, I'd say Halogen are the way to go unless you are planning to race or do insane technical stuff in pitch black.
 

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3 "fiddy" for short
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Others have mentioned them, but I would also say to check out the JET lights. They are very well made and backed by some very good people. Give them a call and you just might talk to the owner since he is always in the shop answering the phone. Very cool company and products.

When I was looking for a set of lights for my wife and I, I gave JET a call. I was greeted by a very friendly gentleman who was very interested and willing to help. I told him that we were looking for some lights that would allow us to ride for a little over an hour. He quickly pointed in the direction of a model that he was getting ready to discontinue and gave me a KNOCKOUT deal on them. Works for me!!!
 

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HID sound like the ideal light but you cant switch them on and off all the time. They take time to warm up. If you ride in a group then this may not be ideal. (Our group stops quite often, to let peole catch up, discuss the last section where we nearly "died", discuss the route etc!) So it is good to be able to switch lights off to conserve battery power and not to dazzle people.

Therefore I consider a halogen setup to be ideal for group rides. I run a 12 V 35 watt high effeciency bulb over volted to 14.4V. It produces a very bright white light equivilent to nearly 70 watts (or so my electronics freind told me). My battery is a 4.3 Amp /hour lithium ion and I also run a 10 watt bulb for the less technical sections. The clever bit is a small switch attached to my brake lever mounting bolt that I use with my thumb. So I can easily swap over the 2 bulbs.

The next stage will be to put a bright LED on in place of the 10W.

The other slight disadvantage of the HID is because it produces a very white light for some reason it makes the colour green appear black which gives less contrast when riding.

So the perfect light depends on how you ride. My set up is perfect for my riding (I built it myself ndis as light as any bought system), but if you never stop and can afford it the HID would be better. Then consider that sometimes having less light is often fun as it is more of a challenge!

John
 

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JWB said:
So the perfect light depends on how you ride. My set up is perfect for my riding (I built it myself ndis as light as any bought system), but if you never stop and can afford it the HID would be better. Then consider that sometimes having less light is often fun as it is more of a challenge!

John
HID works well even if you stop. The low power consumption of HID allows you to just let it burn, even when you stop. The HID will be about as bright as a 30 -35 watt halogen bulb, but will only use about 13 watts. That means it will burn almost 3 times as long. No need to turn it off.

btw... I never noticed leaves turning black. My HIDs light up the forest so well that I can see better at night than in the day (under a thick canopy of trees and leaves).
 
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