Headlight Comparison

So, this is the headlight I just picked up from the bike shop today. I’ve been looking for a bright light that runs for hours. And doesn’t weigh a ton. This is the Dura Vision Pro XLT 3.5 watt headlight Rick recommended. No idea on the run time. We’ll see.

This is the current light I’ve been using. It’s an older Turbo Cat Stealth 6 watt with a rechargeable pack. About 2.5 hours, I believe.

And this was the older Serfas Sl-1000 3 LED Ultrabright I had used as a lightweight light to use. It goes for about 140 hours, which is probably in flashing mode. So, can I count on about 70 hours?

I slapped on this Cateye Opticube 3 LED light for another comparison.

And last, my original headlight from the early 90’s. I think it’s some sort of Vista Light with an incandescent bulb. Who knows?

So, I’ll be trying out the Dura Vision Pro with my Turbocat along as a backup. At least until I’m sure I like the new light.

If anyone has spent any time with a Planet Bike headlight, please let me know. I really like their taillight, so I’m curious about the front.


9 Responses

  1. I have a four year old Plant Bike Alias with a rechargeable battery pack. The charge is supposed to be good for 3-4 hours. I find it only puts out usable light for about 2 hours. I’ve used it for commuting all winter long the past 3 winters. Last year I combined it with a helmet mounted Princeton Tec Eos. I like the PB light. But I keep hoping it will quit on me so I have an excuse to upgrade to something with a longer run time.

    Your collection of lights looks like mine. I have the Cateye and the exact same light from the early 90’s.

  2. I’m surprised I still had that old light! The first time I ever used it was at the sledding hills in winter at Purdue, where we used our bikes to go down the hills.

    I’m thinking about trying the PB 1/2 watt headlight, the light pattern looks good on the webpage they have and the runtime is even better. We’ll see!

  3. I’ve got a Cateye HL-EL530 and an 8+ year old Niterider Digital NiteOwl. The Cateye is ok for seeing (I’ve got fast downhills that outrun the beam), but much better for being seen. I was going to look at the Niterider Minewt, but instead I found I could replace the batteries in my old Niterider, and it’s going strong. I use both when zipping downhill, and mostly use the Cateye for a backup if my NR’s charge runs out.
    I’ve also got a Jet Lights helmet system that I’m going to incorporate for the rainy days. I’m hoping to look like a UFO this winter.

  4. Smudgemo-

    Any idea on runtimes of the lights? I think I’m looking for something that can go for 15-20 hours and is somewhat bright? Not really sure of exact specifics, yet.

  5. I’m not sure what the Jet will do, but I think the battery pack is in decline. My NR gets about two hours on high on a full charge, but I imagine it could have been greater had I popped for the more expensive Japanese batteries instead of the cheap Chinese ones. I wasn’t sure replacement would work all that well, so I kept the investment low.
    Had I wanted longer burn-times, I could have maybe used larger cells, but they wouldn’t fit the vinyl case, and I don’t know if the circuit board in the battery pack would accommodate that.

  6. I’ve got a Planet Bike Beamer, Beamer 3 and Beamer 5 — all put out a decent beam of “be seen” light, with the Beamer 5 the most visible. In flashing mode, it will light up reflective street signs about 300 meters away.

    Battery run times…not so sure about that. I’ve never timed them, but let’s just say that I run them 20 minutes a day, three days a week and I change batteries about every 2 or 3 months.

    I really want to try Planet Bike’s 1 watt headlight.

    We’ve got a pair of those Serfas lights, too. Not bad, for the price!

  7. Thanks for all the input so far.

    If anyone comes across a light that seems to fit my 20ish hour time frame that is somewhat bright, let me know.

    If you get the Planet Bike light before I do, let me know how it goes.

  8. I bet you could buy a larger Li-Ion pack and charger from these guys http://www.batteryspace.com/ and find a used NiteRider or Jet Light to hook it up to that would be light and give a long burn. There are lighting forums out there where you could ask light geeks and come up with something spanky for less than some fancy new system.

  9. Hmm…I’ll have to look into these forums.

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