Winter 2010/11 illumination strategy

After a week without cycling into the office for a 7:30 start it was noticeably darker this morning than on the last commute.  As usual I wasn’t as prepared for the working day as I should be but and quickly attached a cheap and nasty led light to the front.  I failed to find a suitable bracket for any of the rear lights I had to chose from and vowed to sort myself out this evening and finalise my Winter 2010/11 illumination strategy.
Below is the array of luminary devices I had in my tin of bits and bobs and from left to right I can give the following summary of their usefulness or otherwise:
1 Cheap 5 LED silver front light.  I was using this one up until the bracket for it was lost along with Tracey Trek last Tuesday.  I usually have it set to flash or pulse.  Without bracket it now will be used as a handy torch or more likely as a form of entertainment for the kids.
2 Three LED sigma sport ‘Blade’ light.  Funky design with an easy to fit bracket that allows the light to be orientated in different ways.  Sadly not as much design effort went into the on/off switch which broke after a couple of months.  Not sure why I kept it.
3 Cateye light which doesn’t work either, think the bulb broke.  Looked into buying a replacement bulb but was cheaper to buy new lights which is what I did.
4 Ultra cheap 5 LED green front light.  Used it today but it’s very poor, I will replace it with something decent and Maria can take this one into school as ‘light and dark’ is their topic for this half term and they have requested different light sources be taken in.
5 Helmet 2 LED red micro-light.  My sister bought me a pair of these for my last birthday and sadly the front light was in the frame bag that was pinched with Tracey.  This light is attached to an elastic loop which you can stretch over handlebars and back over itself.  Great design but obviously quite small.  As you can see it can be mounted into my helmet.  This forms one third of my rear lighting strategy (which is more important than front lights anyway).
6 Cateye rear light.  I’ve lost the bracket to this light last week too.  It can be set to pulse or even better to ripple in order to give a KITT 2000 style effect.  This is going to Maria’s school as well and I will be amazed if I will ever see it again.
7 Ultra cheap 5 LED rear light.  Has a clip on the back so will mount it to my rucksack for a few days.  None of the brackets can be easily mounted to Candy Cannondale and once I have acquired a rear pannier frame later this week (a very timely week for the Aldi cycling offers to occur) I might be able to fix these somewhere. 
8 Another cheap 3 LED rear light.  Ironically named ‘Smart’ when ‘Dim’ would be more appropriate.  Again it can clip onto my rucksack.
The police have written to say no further action will be taken regarding the abduction of Tracey Trek, presumably the CCTV didn’t give them anything to act upon, but the letter is a generic piece of prose more concerned with where I should go for support and councilling than any reference to the crime committed against me.  My searches through Gumtree, eBay and Loot have not been fruitful, other than wetting my appetite for a cheap folding bike replacement.  She’s gone, get over it.
I’ll start buying the bits I need on Thursday; with a rear frame in place I should have more mounting opportunities for a stronger back light as well as all these little ones that can augment it.  We’re going to Blackpool on Friday night, maybe the illuminations will inspire me to configure something more spectacular over the weekend.

About holmesinho

Happily married father of 2 living in Prestwich 5 miles north of Manchester, England. I cycle most days though mostly commuting and also enjoy running and triathlon.
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One Response to Winter 2010/11 illumination strategy

  1. Mr Colostomy says:

    Dynamo lights!

    I use a hub dynamo to power the front light of my main bike, with plans to also run the rear light when I get around to replacing it. The hub dynamo is a dream (a Sturmey Archer X-FDD with drum brake), all the electrical generation is done in the wheel hub and it looks very clean. The light is excellent, a B&M Lumotec Retro produces a lot of light, is permanently attached to the bike and detects the light levels when left in automatic mode and so will come on when it gets dark, or even when you ride under a dark bridge. It is even possible to use the dynamo to power other things, such as charging your phone or mp3 player. Best of all is no more worrying about batteries running out.

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