Its getting to be the time of year when commuter cyclists need to dig out their lighting systems. Mine is a decade old, so I am thinking of upgrading or replacing.
My pet peeve right now is that many bike catalogs do not clearly compare all their lighting products with useful units. Some lights are only listed with power consumed (watts) while others list lumens or candlepower. What we clearly need are good data. Illumination, such as in lumens. Power available, i.e. lighting duration in watt hours or whatever. And, beam pattern and useability.
I am looking for good reviews with this information and will post what I find. If you find a good source, please add to the discussion under the comments section. I also emailed Consumer Reports and suggested they test and rate high-zoot bicycle lights. Scott has a great HID light. Not sure the multi-LEDs have caught up in light quality.
here are a few sources of info, not sure all are up to date.
By all means, make sure you are visible out there. While many riders use taillights or reflectors and bright clothing, you need to make sure you have actual forward illumination, not just reflection. A car turning across your path will not illuminate your front reflector or clothing until it is too late, since their headlights have to be pointed at you to reflect light back to the driver.