Current day Super Flash tail light beside a old Ultra Light tail lightCurrent Super Flash beside the old Ultra Light.

I have something of a relic here. My purchases of cycling accessories have generally tended to be at the "affordable" end of the spectrum—not necessarily the cheapest and nastiest, but never what you'd call "state-of-the-art". So I'm not claiming this particular relic is all that significant, but I did actually use this thing as a tail light about twenty years ago. I'll put it beside my present day equivalent for comparison:

Model Super Flash Ultra Light
63mm×33mm×38mm 126mm×72mm×44mm
50g 420g
Light 1×0.4 watt LED plus 2×LED 1×1.1 watt incandescent bulb
Optics Brightest LED focused by a conical lens; other LEDs behind a red Fresnel lens Single light in conical reflector through rectangular Fresnel lens
Modes Steady beam and flash Steady beam
Power 2×AAA battery 2×D battery
Output* "Ouch!" Retina-burningly bright "Is that all you got?" Gentle glow
* Subjective lighting units—who the hell understands all of that lumens, footcandles and candlepower stuff anyway?

So what's my point? Nothing really profound, except to note that I'd much rather have the lighting of today than the lighting I had back then.

Super Flash outshines Ultra LightThe Super Flash outshines the Ultra Light

I would add that the Ultra Light came paired with a headlight, which was basically the same unit with a clear lens. I used them both front and back as my sole sources of light. I don't know where the headlight has gone, so I won't be able to compare it to the new Ay Up light I've just bought—but I think you can imagine how that comparison would turn out…



I have the headlight still, though mine is branded 'Basta" I commuted with it for years back in the 90's. As I recall there wasn't a whole lot else available.


Ah, but I still have my dual CatEye Halogen 12v set, from god knows how many years ago and recently wanted to replace it with something lighter and hopefully brighter in an LED... was thoroughly disappointed! Would have to pay literally hundreds of dollars to beat the old one, so it looks like I'll be lugging around my 12v battery for a few years yet!


We've got several brass vintage bicycle lamps, powered by oil or carbide/acetylene, there's soot still clinging to the inside!

Treadly and Me

@Grant: Yep, my set was a solid performer on the commute route for some years. I can't say I'm overly nostalgic though!

@woowoowoo: I don't think the CatEye Halogen was within my range of "affordable" lights. But now I've gone the other way and just coughed-up a ridiculous amount of money for a ridiculously small but ridiculously bright Ay Up. I'm hoping buyer's remorse will dissipate as the winter months encroach…

@ChrisS: Ooo! Must see, must see. Of course, if you really want to light your way with a naked flame you can always make your own bicycle lantern.


Might fire up the blog again, although I've been meaning to do just that for absolutely ages. The next-gen photo gallery plugin would be grouse to add. ;)


Those little superflash lights are nice. I've got two of them screwed onto the back of my seat.

Treadly and Me

Ah, the belt-and-braces approach. Yes, I also have two Super Flash lights at the rear—and they still weight less than the old Ultra!