Almost without us noticing, the nights are starting to get longer and with it, the need for night lights for the bike.
The past two or three weeks have left us in the dark well before the end of the ride with last week in particular being pretty dim by the time we got home. Those of you who have tried riding at night know that you want as much burn time and power out of a light as possible – the more the better.
Ideally you have a main lamp on you handlebars giving a wide spread of light and a spot lamp on your helmet that points where you’re looking and helps take the edge off any shadows created by the main lamp.
We’ve tried various options over the years. Still best in terms of the amount of light you get vs the cost is a homemade system with a 12w halogen (minimum) and a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery. But it’s a faff and you need to be handy with a soldering iron.
Coming up on the rails fast are the various high power LED torches on the market. Jem has an Exposure Joystick which seems pretty effective and there’s loads of cheap torches available from eBAY which a bit of ingenuity can adapt to bike use.
At the top of the market are the HID lamps – I’ve one from Hope which frankly is superb and then there’s Lupine. Teamed with a suitable LED head torch which has a similar colour temperature you’d have a pretty comprehensive system.
At the moment we’re looking at some of the options out there (including the LED torches) and will post a review shortly, with photos to illustrate of course.