I know there are a lot of battery powered lights on the market, but you can’t beat the pedal powered dynamo for instant readiness and low maintenance. Having a backup battery “stand light” is a good idea though, for when you are stopped, if you ride in totally dark areas at night ( e.g. the Fernleigh Track ) especially.
Here are some of examples of generator (dynamo) lights from my grandfather’s collection of bicycle paraphernalia. They are made by Miller of Great Britain. The generator is a 6V and 3.24W output. They still work, although the lamp reflectors have dimmed somewhat and perhaps the generator magnets have weakened over time. A modern light and dynamo like the Shimano dynohub / Busch and Muller Lumotec combo on my Gazelle gives brighter results with less pedalling effort.
The little button opens the light to access the bulb. This light is mounted upside down under the front rack.
Here is the Miller dynamo fitted to my old Speedwell – it all works, though I still prefer to use the Gazelle at night as it also has reflective side-stripes on its tyres and a capacitor stand backup on the tail lamp as well. The B&M light appears to be plated plastic though, and lacks the reflective surface lustre of these vintage lights
I found this bullet shaped tail light at an antique shop last year, while I was rebuilding the Speedwell, it matches the headlight shape better than the #598.
I have a few of the “No.598” tail lamp/reflector – the plating on these fittings is of excellent quality and highly rust resistant – what has happened to quality plating since then, I wonder?
There are a few of these or similar Miller lights on sites like ebay, but information on the company itself is hard to find.