Riding a tadpole trike is a lot of fun. However, getting hit by a motor vehicle would quickly bring the fun to an end. Tadpole trikes and their riders are a small silhouette which are difficult to see, especially in low light conditions such as an overcast day or in the shade. So having good lights and highly visible safety flags are very important to being seen. We must be “lit up”.  Bright flashing headlight(s) and taillight(s) are very important. There are lots of lights to choose from and all sorts of prices you can pay for them. Some use replaceable batteries while others use built in rechargeable batteries (or an external seperate rechargeable battery pack connected to the light by a wire cord). There are pros and cons to both. The replaceable batteries (usually AA, sometimes AAA) have one tremendous advantage over the built in type. If the battery power dwindles down all you need to do is carry spare batteries along with you to change them out. If you have a built in rechargeable battery you need to have some way to recharge it and that usually isn’t too practical unless you are somewhere around electricity for a long enough period of time to accomplish the task.

Battery drainage varies greatly among the various lights. Some only last a few hours at best while others will last 20 or more hours. Replaceable batteries usually last considerably longer than the built in rechargeable batteries. I usually use rechargeable AA and AAA batteries in my lights but I also carry alkaline batteries with me in case of failure of the rechargeable batteries. I have had very satisfactory service using rechargeable batteries. A friend of mine used to use a brand name headlight which like my Planet Bike headlight used 2 AA batteries. However, the battery life in his headlight was quite short compared to my Planet Bike headlight. He finally replaced the headlight with a Planet Bike headlight like mine and likes it much better. So … all lights are not created equal. Just be aware of this as it makes no sense to buy a product even if it is a brand name if it eats batteries like crazy.

I personally really hate buying products from China as in doing so we in the U.S. (and many other countries) only hurt ourselves (our own economy). That being said, there are so many inexpensive products available nowadays which come from China. Certainly they are hard to resist as we all like to save money and get great prices (just so the quality of the product is sufficient). Bike lights are no exception. I paid $50 originally for my Planet Bike headlight and $25 apiece for the two Planet Bike taillights I use. Now a very similar headlight can be purchased for only $6. And a very bright headlight (1200 lumen) can be purchased for $16. Like I said, there are lots of lights available.

Here is a picture of Steve Greene’s Planet Bike headlight which is the same headlight I use.

 planet bike headlight flashing

If you are interested in these lights I speak of which are so cheap you can check them out on the Facebook Tadpole Riders Group. Or you can just check them out individually online —

$16 1200 lumen headlight

clear diffuser lens to spread light out more

red lens to use for taillight

$6 headlight

$6 taillight

Well, I hope you are well lit and I am not referring to intoxicating beverages. It is important to be seen. Our lives and well being depend upon it! May we all …


Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (

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