Lighting Systems

What makes a good bicycle headlight?

Beam patterns of some dynamo and battery powered headlights.

Schmidt hub dynamos.

Sanyo hub dynamos.

Headlights for hub dynamos including Schmidt E6 and Edelux headlights, Lumotec headlights and taillights.

Busch & Müller headlights for hub and tire driven dynamos.

Busch & Müller Dymotec bottle (tire driven) dynamos, Lumotec lights

Supernova dynamo powered LED headlights and taillights.

Inoled led headlights and battery pack. The Inoled can be powered by either battery pack or dynamo.

Busch & Müller battery powered headlights and LED taillights. Both halogen and LED headlights.

DiNotte battery powered LED lights

Shimano Alfine & DH-3N80 dynohub and associated Busch & Müller lights

Cat Eye battery headlights and taillights

Spanninga & Hella battery and dynamo powered headlights, fender mounted battery taillight, bar plug lights and head band light.

water torture

Why is Peter watering his headlight? To make it grow brighter? Well, no.

It was a new headlight, and he wanted to see how well it worked when wet. It wasn't raining, so...

I sell several types of lighting systems; battery powered systems by Supernova, Busch & Müller, Inoled, Dinotte, Cateye, hub dynamo systems from Schmidt, Sanyo and Busch & Müller tire driven generators. Some products we also distribute to bicycle shops. Our dynamo powered lighting systems are environmentally friendly, since there are no batteries to pile up in land fills. You produce the power for the lights while you ride. The drag from these dynamos is extremely low, so you won't feel it when you ride. The sidewall dynamos are a bit noisy compared to the hub types, but cost less. Our SON hub dynamo is the most efficient system available anywhere, and works in all weather, including snowstorms. See our studded tire page for how to ride a bike in the snow.

If you do a search on the internet for bicycle dynamo lighting systems, you will undoubtedly come across warnings about lights blowing out if you ride your bike too fast. This is true of systems designed back in the 1920s, and used on bikes such as Raleigh three speeds up through the early 1980s. These were very crude systems by today's standards. While you can still buy cheaply made dynamo lights that will blow bulbs on a downhill run, none of the systems I sell are so poorly made that you have to concern yourself with this. Without exception, every headlight I sell for use with either a hub dynamo or sidewall dynamo incorporates circuitry to prevent the overvoltage of the bulb. You have absolutely nothing to worry about.

For road riding, the Schmidt system offers light weight, extremely low drag, and always available light; with no need to worry about charging or replacing batteries. The Schmidt E6 headlight available with the Schmidt hub dynamo provides a tightly focused beam of light just where you need it for safe road riding in all conditions. The light can be mounted low on the bike, making any road irregularities stand out even better, or on the handlebar for easiest access to the switch. An optional taillight can be wired into the system. Click here to find out about the Schmidt SON Dynohub. Yes, we distribute these to bicycle shops!

Busch & Müller Dymotec 6 tire driven generators are inexpensive alternatives to the Schmidt SON hub generator. Though they have more drag when on than the Schmidt, they cost less, eliminate all drag when the light is turned off, and can serve as a backup to the Schmidt in the event of a wheel failure. In a brevet, should you need a replacement rim, it may be much faster to replace the wheel with one without the Schmidt hub. In that case, the Dymotec will still provide plenty of light, getting you to your next time check. Click here to learn more about the Dymotec. Yes, we distribute these to bicycle shops!

Spanninga makes a small, lightweight battery taillight designed to mount on a rear fender. They also make a variety of battery operated headlights and other taillights which will be in stock by June, 2008. Yes, we distribute these to bicycle shops!

Busch & Müller makes many headlights for the Schmidt, Sanyo and Shimano hubs, and also several terrific battery powered lights. Yes, we distribute these to bicycle shops!

Supernova. makes great headlights and taillightsYes, we distribute these to bicycle shops!

Sanyo makes very good, and rather inexpensive hub dynamos and bottom bracket dynamos. Yes, we distribute these to bicycle shops!

DiNotte makes a variety of LED headlights and taillights powered by ether NiMH or Lithium Ion batteries. Their taillight is about the brightest I've seen. The lights are ruggedly constructed and very easy to install and remove from your bike. We DO NOT distribute these to bicycle shops!

Cat Eye makes small, lightweight headlights and taillights, as well as high powered systems similar to NiteRider. I stock some of their taillights and lightweight headlights. Click here to get to my Cat Eye page. This is a link to the Cat Eye corporate web site. We DO NOT distribute these to bicycle shops!

This page was last updated: Wednesday, April 23, 2014