solid or flashing

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by roundnround, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. roundnround

    roundnround New Member

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    I only ride in the day and on side walks but still want to maximizes my presence to vehicles at intersections etc. If I get a head light(don't think I need a rear) what mode is best: Solid,flashing,continuous? Also how many lumens for day time? It's funny(not) how they just don't see you sometimes. Thanks.
     
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  2. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    A light wont do much for daylight visibility, unless if its very grey and raining...

    A hi-viz vest or jacket would probably add a lot more visibility then a light.

    What's the difference between solid and continuous???
     
  3. roundnround

    roundnround New Member

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    Continuous goes back and forth.I Believe. Vest idea is good. Maybe a dayglo like hunters wear. I really get the willys when I approach an intersection or shopping center driveways. I just realized that from living in the burbs for decades I hardly even walked the streets. It was always take a car here or there. I got exercise but drove to the gym or hiking/walking trails. And I grew up in NYC. Walked everywhere. Lifes funny.
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    During the day, and if you ride on road that have lots of shadows on them due to trees etc... you'd be well served by a flashing front and rear set of lights - anything to catch attention.

    If you ride past dusk, turn the lights to a solid, non-flashing, light.
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Disagree. A flashing red taillight is great for daytime visibility. Not talking about the little toy ones that run on a AAA battery, but a proper 1W LED light with NiMH or Li-ion battery pack. The Dinotte light is popular around here. It's easy to see from 1/4 mile behind in bright daylight.

    A hi-viz vest is a good addition, particularly in the city where you need to be seen from all directions, not just far behind.
     
  6. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Yeah a rear red one maybe but a front white one not too much...

    The OP was looking for a front light I think.

    Btw I got a 0.5 watt red rear light with 6 additional bright leds, its pretty noticeable I guess.

    Smart makes some 1w rear leds. They also make some lights with 2 x 0.5w leds and I think that the 1w ones also have a second bright led. Lots of other companies (like Portland design) are also offering the exact same light (maybe re-branded?).

    My 1watt cree led front light although pretty good in the night for noticing or illuminating enough for speeds around 20+km/h, seems unnoticeable in daylight...

    Batteries are pretty important with lights too... Flat discharge one will stay around 1.2v throughout the discharge curve...
     
  7. Adamaslight

    Adamaslight New Member

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    Hey I was reading your thread you should check out the vest we've been working on. Its mostly for night bikers but it does have a solid and flashing light on it with 6 reflectors. here ill post a picture of it but if you really wanna check it out heres our kickstarter page https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1531007572/adamas-light


    [​IMG]
     
  8. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    I'd go a flashing front and rear in poor weather conditions. It really depends on the level of light and visibility etc..
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting question that seems to have no concrete answer for.

    European studies on this subject proved that with flashing lights motorists have a more difficult time ascertaining their distance from the flashing light so they outlawed flashing lights on bikes both front and rear. US and Canadian studies proved that rear flashing lights attracted motorists attention to a cyclist quicker than steady so they made it against the law to sell non flashing rear lights but they didn't outlaw them; they didn't study the front flashing light.

    So what to do since both studies are correct? You can do what I did...I use both! On the rear my main light is a very bright Light & Motion Vis 180 (not the Vis 180 Micro), at night this light is on steady, but during the day if I'm on a street it goes on flash mode; but I also have a Planet Bike Super Flash Turbo, a Cateye LD-600, and a pair of Soma Road Flares, these lights are used only at night on the flashing mode.

    Headlight wise I use two headlights, my main light is a Philips Saferide and it remains on steady at night, but my helmet light is a Cygolite Mitycross 480 and that one is used at night only on flash mode while on streets but I switch it to steady on dark roads or paths.

    I'm not saying my idea works because I can't prove it, and since I've never been hit from behind in over 40 years of riding even with the original super dim lights of days gone long by, but I figured I'd cover both spectrum's of the studies.
     
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  10. Aushiker

    Aushiker New Member

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    I have only just tonight come across this Australian research report so have yet to read it carefully but I did pick up on this conclusion in respect to lights.
    It does not however appear to go into the question of flashing versus solid. The paper can be found at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1079188/Research/muarc311.pdf Regards Andrew
     
  11. urge2kill

    urge2kill Member

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    FYI, the sidewalk is usually more dangerous, unless it's an uninterrupted sidewalk or an open area with no visual obstructions.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    In my haste I failed to respond directly to the headlight issue, I did but it was a bit vague. A flashing headlight is more effective in the daytime or at dusk than a steady light. Some motorcycle makers are recognizing this and are building into the MC's a daylight running headlight that flashes, and you get aftermarket electronic device to put on your MC that will make the headlight flash. It has been proven that a flashing headlight is much more noticeable in the daytime then a steady light. The flashing may bother some people, but that's good, you want to bother people.

    Likewise with MC's they have also found that a MC that weaves down the road is more noticeable than one going straight down the road, a lot of UK MC riders now practice this day or night. Of course that's a little ridiculas for a bicycle to do but using a flashing headlight would go a long ways towards getting noticed in the daytime or low light situations..
     
  13. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    My vote is a flashing LED front and rear and some bright color. It's amazing how cyclists (on the road) can camoflauge into the suburban forests of Homewood. Beautiful, woodsy area but the averge cyclist has little hope of being conspicuous in the dappled sunlight and I have both about run over cyclists before seeing them, and about got run over while burning through.
     
  14. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Active Member

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    Lights on a bicycle don't seem to work so well, especially if you're living in a sunny country. I've tried it out and noticed that other road users weren't really paying attention. I guess increasing your visibility won't hurt but it largely depends on what the overall visibility in your neck of the woods is. If you live in a part of the world that is predominantly cloudy and gets dark early, then this should be a top priority.
     
  15. dragtuning1995

    dragtuning1995 New Member

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    If it's during the day but dark for some reason e.g. cloud cover or shadows the flashing light would be the best to get noticed.

    If you are cycling at night though the solid light is the best by far, if you use a flashing light at night is could really distract motorist and cause worse damage than before.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Problem is that studies in America and Canada don't bear out what you said, however as I mentioned before in Europe what you said seemed to be true in their studies. Not sure why there is a difference between those two studies. But I kind of think, this is my opinion of course, that a combination of flashing and steady would be idea. However having said all of that, years ago I had a very dim flashing light (because that's all that was available back then) and never been hit from behind, going even further back into time, when I was kid I had a generator light system that not only provided (very dim) front lighting but also rear lighting, those old generator powered rear lights were steady only. Again, not sure why the switch from steady to flashing other than some study that was done.
     
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