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Light recommendations

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    Light recommendations

    There are several threads out there about ebike lights, but I haven't seen a lot of strong recommendations.

    I think I'd prefer to have at least the headlight wired to the main battery, so I don't have to think about charging the light separately. Tail lights seem to hold a charge long enough that I wouldn't mind if that one had its own battery.

    I'm looking at the Magicshine ME 1000 ( It's decently priced and has multiple brightness/flash modes. It also says it remembers the last mode you were in when you turn it on, which matters to me. I find it annoying if a light has too many modes to cycle through every time. It runs on 6-12 V, which is the main downside. So I'd have to track down a voltage converter. (Any recommendations on that are welcome.) I think 1000 lumens should be plenty. I currently have a light with 300 lumens or so and that's just adequate for night riding.

    From what I've seen of StVZO bike lights in videos, it seems too narrow of a beam side to side, so I think I'll avoid that. I'll just be mindful not to use the highest brightness in cases where it would be annoying to other road users.

    Anyone used a similar light to the one I'm considering, or have other suggestions?

    For tail lights, I'm not as concerned since they tend to be cheaper, and it's easy to have a backup in the event a battery dies. Maybe I'll get a wired one though if I find something good. I saw a Lezyne one that gets brighter when you decelerate, which seems like a nice feature.

    I think you are correct about the tail light, they last a real long time. Mine all use regular batteries and it hadn't been a problem at all.

    How often do you think you will be running at night? And for how long? If its just the occasional night ride or a ride that took longer than expected and it got dark on you I don't think its worth the trouble of wiring a light to your main pack. I went back and fourth on the idea and got a couple rechargeable ones and I'm glad I didn't go the direct route but that is just me for my use. If you only ride at night and its a daily thing like a commute then maybe but if you select the correct light you should be able to get one that lasts as long as your main pack (unless you have some crazy big pack).

    The other factor that can effect your 'range' is how bright do you need it? Are you out riding where moonlight is all you may be getting? Or is there some other lights? Are you doing fairly high speed technical single track on these non moonlit nights? High speed technical is where you may need a bright light maybe 700 plus? When you get that bright is when many of the recharge ones have 1-3 hour run times.

    If you are in a more urban area that has some street lights and maybe auto traffic and are not going that fast or doing real technical stuff the 300-500 range seems to be pretty decent and is often the medium and low setting of that 700 ish lumen. I think one of mine has something like a 8 hour run time on the low setting. Don't forget that if you are not completely alone you don't want to be blinding other people. I see a lot of people with bike lights that blind me when its not even dark yet. It makes me actually want to crash my car into them so I can see again.

    As far as voltage converters they do vary in shapes and sizes and capacities, most are not that small or water resistant so you have to figure out a place to mount it. You then have to figure out how and where you will tap into your main power. Consider if this tap in place will effect how easy it may be to charge or remove your main pack. Also you should probably think about a fuse on both the in and out of the converter. On the out so a failure on the light end doesn't kill the converter. On the in end to protect the wiring if something failed on the converter so it doesn't cause a massive meltdown of your whole bike.

    I have not had issues charging the lights. I have to plug the main battery in anyway so no big deal to have to plug in the lights. I actually use them as flashlights so they are not always on my bikes anyway and yes a few times I forgot to make sure I had one on a bike and it got late on me so that can happen.

    The other question is does your bike have a USB charge port on either the battery or display? Some do. If it does you can just hook that up and charge the light that way. Those ports are usually pretty slow but as long as you do some riding without the light it should be able to keep up.


    • mrpelican
      mrpelican commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm planning to use an Eggrider display, and my battery is from EM3EV. Neither has a USB charge port, unfortunately.

    My use case for the current project will be commuting. During certain times of the year my work commute will likely be in the dark at least one way. Since this won't be a real mountain bike, it would only occasionally see dirt if ever, and just on tamer gravel trails. I do plan to regularly reach 25mph or more, so I think more light may be warranted to see farther ahead on the road. It doesn't hurt to have a light with more brightness than needed, as long as there are lower brightness modes available.

    You make a good point that recharging a light may not be as much of a hassle as I think. I'm probably going to get a 1000+ lumen one for mountain biking anyway, so I could use that initially for the ebike and decide later about wiring one in.


      For tail lights I always look for lights with a side light function, and a reflector functionin casr it isn't on. Sometines this is in the lens, sometimes its in the texture relector behind the bulb.
      Niterider, and Blackburn are both pretty good about this. Niterider admits their mid level Cherry Bomb is more noticeable than some of the brighter ones due to the syncopated strobe pattern.
      FWIW I run vintage Niterider Luminas, 350, 0r 650 lumen because they have a very fast annoying daytime strobe that's perfect for South Florida traffic. A fast strobe makes it look like you're going fast. Their newer lights don't have this, even the ones with 2 strobe speeds. The 359 if you can find one takes a 18650 battery, they others they got proprieatry notions about battery replacement. So my oldest "weakest" light is the one that's on my bike. I always have a spare too. The NR Swift 500 works for that. I also have some Blackburn side strobes. I only use them at busy intersections at night or traffic circles. they really make a difference in getting your right of way. If it wasn't for the strobe thing I might have wired my headlight.


        I would hope a 1000ish lumen light would still have a 1-3 hour run time and just like smaller models then do 6+ in low mode which 'on the streets' would be the mode its in much of the time so even with a nightly commute would not need a daily charge or if you forgot you would likely be fine.


        • Retrorockit
          Retrorockit commented
          Editing a comment
          I almost never use high on my 350 lumen light I own NR light sup to 1800 lumens. The 350 really seems to work..

        • AZguy
          AZguy commented
          Editing a comment
          Haha.. I typically run 1 lumen or no light at all =]