Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cheap Blinky Light

One of my favorite stores in the world is Tractor Supply Company. This store is simply amazing. Where else can you find 50 pounds of dog food for 20 bucks? My 80 gallon rain barrels cost me a total of $40 at TSC. So when I went to get some bird seed, it is only normal to look around for some fun things.

I found one of my favorite non-biking biking accessories about two weeks ago. Here is the Blazer Emergency LED Light. It is an 18 LED blinky. Honestly, it is one hell of a blinky. The package said it is visible for more than one mile. In my tests, I believe it to be true. (My tests are nothing more than asking people, "Can you see me?" If the answer is yes, then I am happy.)

As with adapting any non-cycling item to cycling use, there is always the challenge of making it work. This thing came with two pretty powerful magnets screwed into the back. That's not really much help with an aluminum (oh, the horrors!) frame.

I fixed the problem by finding two old light brackets and a space grip. It's not the prettiest of mounts, but it works.

While this works, I really do not like it. It takes part of the top of my rack away. Personally, I would prefer something that hangs down on my rear rack. That is where the next step comes to mind.

Necessary Options came out with the Real Lite several years ago. They have been a big supporter of bicycle touring. I almost feel a little guilty about pointing this out, but I think the Real Lite and the emergency LED from Tractor Supply are the same thing. The difference is the cost and the mounting hardware. The Real Lite is 39.95. The Blazer light is $21.98. That is almost a $20 savings. I want a bracket that will hang down from my rear rack, so I am thinking this might be the prefect solution. Stay tuned to see if this works.

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Smudgemo said...

Why not flip the light 90 degrees and mount it with an "L" bracket from the hardware store? Just get something that you can drill holes as needed. I'm picturing a Simpson Strongtie bracket that is thin, but nearly two inches wide. It would get the rack space back and be a lot more solid of a mount. Way cheaper too...

Rick Logue said...

I like that idea. I might have something like that in the garage. I'll try it sometime next week.