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 for a bike lamp.
Here are my thoughts.
Dyno-hub - it adds extra weight to the bike and also create 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 lamp 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, 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. You can have other headlamp with similar mounting not necessary to be the same as mine. Here I provide a solution using my existing gears.
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.
Here 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 we had to ride 95Km in the night back home after a trip to Penghu Island. The 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. I had used 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. It weighs to nothing and is sufficient to use in the city where you do not have to 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. Here is a review if you want to know more.
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. Otherwise you can use it as a backup rear lamp.
Having a rear lamp is important. I am not worry I cycle and fell into a man-hole. I am more worried some idiot can't see me and knock me off from behind.
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 that direction.
5. You could view side way in the dark will riding
6. It always on your helmet and you will never forget to bring your lamp
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. The make great HID headlamp but the price do not come cheap.