It's been over a year since I started sourcing for the ultimate bicycle lighting. Finally I found the solution which I had with me all this while.
I been looking at dyno-hub, off the shell bike light and DIY solution (bicyclelighting.com)
Recently on thelazyrando blog where he had discussed dynohub vs battery bike lamp, I decided to write down my own solution.
Dyno-hub - it adds extra weight to the bike and also add drag but it is energy efficency.
Off the shell bike lamp is easy to install, can use rechargeable battery but still add some weight to the bike.
DIY Solution is definitely heavier
All the solution above have one set back, when the light is mounted on the bike, there is a very high chance it will get stolen if unattended even if you have lock your bike.
Finally I found the solution that I had it all this time, my headlamp. I have bought many headlamps but only 2 headlamp is always with me when I travel. The Petzl Tikka XP LED Headlamp and Petzl E+Lite.
Petzl had been making gears for rock climbing for many years. Only did I realise that I can actually use the headlamp just like the rock climbers or cave explorer do. They have their headlamp strap to the helmet. So I tried to have both my headlamp strap to my bike helmet and it worked.
Below is a picture of the Petzl Tikka XP LED Headlamp. I only use this headlamp when I am riding in dark places. The last time I mounted it when I had to ride 95Km in the night back home after a trip to Penghu Island. As I was on the road, this headlamp was sufficient enough to see at least 30m ahead. Why not HID lamp some may ask. To me HID lamp is best use in offroad condition where you need to scout for the best route to take but when you are on the road, there is only one paved road. Even the later is true, I had us this headlamp on my night accent in Malaysia mountain and it was good enough. I have yet to try offroad riding with it but I do think it can do the job. Here is my Tikka XP review
Petzl E+Lite is mounted on my helmet all the time. I hardly take it off. It weighs to nothing. It is sufficient to use in the city where you do not have light up the road. All you need is to let people know you are there. But then again, it is bright enough up to 10m (Maker says 19m). The E+Lite have 5 different lighting option including red light option but mostly I use the white light strode function in the city. One thing I did not like is that there is no rechargeable battery option for CR2032 batteries.
For rear light I use Cateye SL-LD100. It too uses 1 x CR2032 battries and is waterproof to 50m. It has 3 lighting option and operates on magnetic switch
So my solution is a helmet mount headlamp with added strode function . Why I think is better??
1. It will never get stolen unless you leave your helmet unattended
2. Besides mounting on the helmet, you can use it anywhere as a headlamp
3. It is lighter
4. If you need to check your cyco-meter at night or read a map, just steer you head in the direction.
5. You could view side way in the dark will riding
If you need lamp that shines 50m away then your option would be HID lamp and not this. You might be interested in these products by Nite Rider