A panel of 10 judges from the cycling community â€” including police, government, retailers, community groups and CHOICE â€” assessed the lights at night at a distance of 200m and also at 50m, with the lights angled at 45Â° (to simulate the bike approaching an intersection). The flash rate (where applicable) was also assessed.
Our test was conducted on a suburban road with a popular cycle path, and during the test several cyclists passed by with very weak bike lights (or none at all). You should check your bike lights periodically. If theyâ€™re looking a bit dim, change the batteries. Our test showed that all the lights were visible at both distances, but some clearly outshone the rest.
Further details of the test and the recommendations can be found at the CHOICE website. Some questions have now been raised about the validity of this survey, its limited nature and making good choices on lights.
I suggest that interested readers click through to the various discussions in the Bicycles Network Australia and other forums.
- April 11, 2011 – 900 Lumen eBay Lights
- January 17, 2011 – Mars 4.0 v’s DiNotte 400R Daylight test
- January 17, 2011 – Magicshine 900 x 2 v’s Car lights Daylight test
- November 18, 2010 â€“ Recall of MagicShine batteries by Geomangear.com.
- September 23, 2010 â€“ DiNotte Lighting 400L Owner Review
- September 5, 2010 â€“ Discussion of various â€œbicycle lightsâ€ reflecting newer models in the bicycle light world
- June 14, 2010 â€“ Discussion of the Niterider MiNewt Mini USB lights at the Australian Cycling Forums
- June 14, 2010 – Discussion of the MagicShine style of lights/900 Lumens ebay lights/DealExtreme models.
- March 25, 2009 â€“ Good discussion on taillight options including the Dinotte 140R-AA-R at the Australian Cycling Forums
- March 30, 2009 – More recent discussion at the Australian Cycling Forums with an emphasis on Ay-Up lights and their set-up.
- March 14, 2009 – Latest interesting discussion at the Australian Cycling Forums on light choices.Â Some discussion of later Ultrafires.
- March 8, 2009 – 2009 LED Bike Lights Comprehensive Review – Includes the Ay-Up MTB kit
- Discussion of the Choice tests and more;
- Discussion of batteries and home made battery packs that developed into an excellent discussion of torches as bike lights;
- Fenix torches versus Ultrafire torches as bike lights;
- MTE C2-70602 Cree Q5 8-Mode LED Flashlight (1*AA) setup
- Light review: UltraFire C2s (Cree Q5 LEDs)
- Trustfire Cree Q5 Torches – See wombatK’s posting for a more technical review.
- Ay-Up bike lights. Another thread on the Ay-Up‘s here.
- MTBR.com has Lights Shout Out which is worth a review
- Yet Another Cycling Forum (UK forum) Bike Light Group Test (posted in Candlepower forums) (includes Fenix L2D)
My choice of bike lights are Fenix L2D CE torches (updated November 20, 2008).Â The link takes you to my owner review of same.Â There is also now even better LEDs out.Â Apparently the R2 module is better than the Q5.
Update June 3, 2008: A good discussion has started up in Bicycles Network Australia forums on another front light option, the Australian lights, Ay-Up, which I had planned to purchase before going with the Fenix torches. A second thread on the Ay-Ups can be found here.
Personally in respect to the front lights I would not go with any of the suggestions given here and feel one can do with better with either UltraFire or Fenix torches or Dinotte lights. Observing riders on the road and bike paths (I ride a lot at night) I wouldn’t consider any of the front light options in this review as being suitable. Lights should make one be seen and to be there to see. Poor lights do neither well.