New LED Taillight SolutionsJan Heine
Taillights can be very elegant and beautiful. Some are shaped like raindrops, others emerge from the fender like a submarine parting the waves. There are minimalist taillights like the beautiful JOS lights that René Herse mounted on the seat tubes of his randonneur bikes.
In recent years, the LED revolution not only has made headlights much brighter, but taillights have improved as well. More than added brightness, generator-powered LED taillights offer the advantage of a standlight, so you are visible when stopped at a stop sign or traffic light. However, even the nicest modern taillights, like the B&M Seculite (below), lack the elegance of the old lights.
Some American constructeurs are making their own taillights with modern LED internals. Others have converted classic taillights to modern LED circuits. Either approach requires considerable effort and expense.
We now offer a red LED insert (above) that screws into a classic taillight. It even includes a standlight circuit. It’s a clever design: The housing of the LED is shaped like an old incandescent light bulb. You can power your lights with a generator hub or even a classic sidewall dynamo.
You can simply replace the light bulb of your taillight with this LED bulb, without any other modification. If you ever want to return your light to original spec, you can put back the incandescent bulb.
We’ve tested the LED bulbs. They are bright. The standlight remains lit for at least a minute at full brightness. They work well with the higher voltage of modern LED headlights. Unlike incandescent bulbs, they don’t burn out, but last a very long time.
In other light news, Compass Bicycles now carries Busch & Müller‘s excellent and affordable generator-powered lights:
The IQ Cyo (above) has the same optics as the Schmidt Edelux. It even features a big cooling surface on top to keep the LED running cool and efficient. Unlike the Edelux, it is made mostly from plastic. The IQ Cyo is available in black and silver (shown). We sell the versions with a standlight and a light sensor that automatically switches on the light when it gets dark – for example, as you enter a tunnel. (They can be switched off, too.)
The Busch & Müller Lyt is an affordable LED light that offers remarkable performance. It was the clear winner of the “affordable light test” in Bicycle Quarterly. We were surprised how good this light is: Its beam is bright and broad, yet the Lyt does not blind oncoming traffic. You could ride all night with this light. It even has a standlight and an On/Off switch. For just $49, there is no reason to continue using your dim old halogen headlights. And of course, we also sell the Seculite taillights, as well as Schmidt’s excellent generator hubs. Brighten up your holidays and winter riding with a generator-powered lighting system!