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  1. #1
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    Bike light "etiquitte"

    A thought just occured to me, is there a use for each of the modes of lights that exist? For example, I have a set of Ascent lights, front and back. Each one has a solid light, flashing light and a sort of strobe light that goes back and forth.

    What mode do you generally use? Is one better than the others for certain situations? I know if I was a driver and I saw the strobe light thing it might be distracting, I dont know

  2. #2
    Sweep the leg!
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    When I'm in traffic I have the lights set for the most annoying blinkie mode they have so I can be seen by motorists. When I'm in traffic I don't need the lighting to see so much. The street lights or ambient light is generally more than enough for me.

    But when I'm on the bicycle/multi-use trail I try to be thoughtful of other cyclists. If I have the headlight set on high beam and I see an approaching cyclist I'll tone it down or set it back on blinkie. It annoys me when another rider is blazing my retinas with their lights, but I'm not the trail lighting nazi so I try to close one eye to avoid temporary blindness/spotting.

    My bottom line, do right by the other cyclists. Screw the motorists.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  3. #3
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    Blink away on the streets it is the only way cars will notice you from dusk until dawn. When motorists see any sort of blinking light they think police, causing them to slow down and look. That's all I can ask of a light when I'm out commuting.
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  4. #4
    Squeaky Wheel
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    I use strobe mode in traffic. I've left my light on solid in traffic in the past and it's amazing how many drivers don't see/pay attention to a solid light vs. a strobing light.

    I wear my light on my helmet, so when I pass another cyclist, I aim the light down and off to the side so I don't blind them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    When I'm in traffic I have the lights set for the most annoying blinkie mode they have so I can be seen by motorists. When I'm in traffic I don't need the lighting to see so much. The street lights or ambient light is generally more than enough for me.

    But when I'm on the bicycle/multi-use trail I try to be thoughtful of other cyclists.
    If I have the headlight set on high beam and I see an approaching cyclist I'll tone it down or set it back on blinkie. It annoys me when another rider is blazing my retinas with their lights, but I'm not the trail lighting nazi so I try to close one eye to avoid temporary blindness/spotting.

    My bottom line, do right by the other cyclists. Screw the motorists.
    I've seen rants at BikeForums.net by people who don't like other cyclists running blinking/flashing headlights, and wonder what the point could possibly be for doing so. Best option if you're coming head-on towards other cyclists on a bike path, in my opinion, is to reduce power and make sure your light's hotspot is on the pavement, not aimed straight out horizontal like a high beam.

    Another suggestion: those of you with helmet lights, don't aim them at people if you can help it (yes, should be self-evident, I know). Those of you with fantastically-powerful taillights like a DiNotte or Nova BULL, turn them off if you're on a bike path where there's no rear-collision danger, and just run a small taillight in steady-burn mode.

    In my own case, I have several very powerful lights, and I do dim and/or re-aim them when I'm coming head-on at people (in cars, on foot, on bike, on horseback). For those who may be interested, here's a YouTube video showing various ways of reducing the impact of a Seca 700 Ultra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovlrz5afG3U

  6. #6
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    I always have my tail light on blink if I'm on a public street and it's anything other than broad daylight. If it's cloudy, foggy or dusk I have my headlight on blink. I figure it at least makes me a little more noticeable and the flashing doesn't bother me. If it's night time I have to have the headlight on steady. The flashing in my face is distracting!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  7. #7
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    thanks guys

    I just biked home in the dark with solid front light and strobe back light. I will change to blinking front light, what you say makes total sense

    thanks for the wisdom

  8. #8
    Off the back...
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    I always run strobe for the rear [PBSF FTW]. I don't care how annoying it is, I want to be seen. On the front, I like to fool drivers into thinking I'm one of them. Solid beam on the side streets and wherever I'll be away from streetlights. My next light will put out around 2000 lumen, and it will have a flash mode. For foul weather in high-risk situations [rain, fog, etc. on a fast downhill] I will probably run it on flash, but a 2000 lumen strobe might be a bit much...

  9. #9
    Blind biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccune
    Blink away on the streets it is the only way cars will notice you from dusk until dawn. When motorists see any sort of blinking light they think police, causing them to slow down and look. That's all I can ask of a light when I'm out commuting.
    I wonder what would happen if i put a set or blue or red filters over the light.

  10. #10
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    On the road, I try to be visible as possible, and I actually try to be annoying as possible with drivers.

    I had my Niterider Flight mounted on my helmet. To conserve battery power, I had it only on the LED's, not the full HID. I also had a blinker going on the front of my bike.

    A woman coming from a side street ignored my lights and proceeded to pull out in front of me. I tried to shine my LED's into her eyes so she would see me, but seem to ignore them.

    Normally, if I shine my HID into a driver's eyes, they respond by covering their face. I know they have seen me then.

    On the trail, I usually cover my light up so I don't blind passing riders.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry2110
    I wonder what would happen if i put a set or blue or red filters over the light.
    You would be arrested for impersonating an officer.

    Niterider does make an blue and red flashing light set for law enforcement.

  12. #12
    ol'guy who says hi &waves
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    I had a bar mounted NR Trinewt, on strobe, on a dark foggy commute last night.A couple vehicles, on both sides of the road, pulled over at different times. The looks on their faces, when they realized it was a bicycle, was priceless.
    .

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  13. #13
    Sweep the leg!
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    Hmmm, it would almost be worth getting red and blue bulbs, right up until the police notice and start writing tickets.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  14. #14
    jrm
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    The brightest thing i have..

    Quote Originally Posted by Shwaa
    A thought just occured to me, is there a use for each of the modes of lights that exist? For example, I have a set of Ascent lights, front and back. Each one has a solid light, flashing light and a sort of strobe light that goes back and forth.

    What mode do you generally use? Is one better than the others for certain situations? I know if I was a driver and I saw the strobe light thing it might be distracting, I dont know
    a L in M ARC HID. The reason is that with anyrhing with less power the beam or effectivemness of the light is washed out by car headlights. This really decreases a lights affectiveness.

    With the HID ..drivers cant help but see it and me coming. Its really confidence inspiring. .
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  15. #15
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    I use all 3 modes on my Mars 3.0

    Solid mode for when I have my Superflash flashing.
    Strobe mode for extra attention in the day.
    Chase mode for when I am on the MUP or when riding with others (only 1 LED comes on at a time and doesn't blind people behind you like Strobe mode does).
    '12 Soma Analog SS
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  16. #16
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    I'm with mechBgon

    Theres a gearfreak person who runs the latest and greatest mega lumen lights on her helmet AND bar at full intensity in the middle of nowhere on the bike path we commute on. This "goddess of light" literally blinds anyone passing in the opposite direction.

    IMHO bike lights have gotten just as stupid as needing a V-10 haul your ass to walmart.

    Mahns biggrn' urn'

    Snort snort. . . .

  17. #17
    LCI #1853
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    I'm a light freak. But then I ride a lot at night, in both urban traffic and streets/trails/paths where there is little or no lighting.

    I typically run two lights on the front -- a small Knog blinky for general visibility, and a Stella 200N to drive by. Most of the time in urban traffic I run the Stella in blinky mode as well... that gives me enough to reliably see by, and attracts the motorists' eyes and attention. My blinky is no more annoying than their high beams ;-)

    On the dark part of the trails, especially where there are joggers, I run the Stella in full power, steady beam. This is primarily to keep a sharp watch out for the "unenlightened," those ninja wanna-bes who go off running on dark paths in black clothing with no lights or reflectors. A selfish way to put it is that if they won't help me to see them, it's still my responsibility to detect and avoid them, so the Stella gets set in ninja-detection mode. Where sight lines permit, I can usually pick them up at a quarter-mile or more if they have any kind of reflectivity or motion going on.

    In the back I run a Planet Bike Superflash in blinky mode, and a Cateye TD-1100 in steady mode. Regular blinkies attract drunk drivers, and even the average motorist has difficulty distinguishing distance/depth perception if there's only a blinky and no steady light source. So, if you run a blinky-only in the rear, reinforce your chances by adding a steady red light in the rear.

    I also run another small Knog blinky - red this time - off the back of my helmet to give a little more spatial definition that identifies me as a cyclist.

    And of course, I back all this up with reflectors -- red reflective tape on the back of the rack stays, 3M tape on the back of the panniers, rack trunk, and helmet, and a reflective vest when out at night. I look like some sort of starship when the headlights hit me, and that's okay by me.

    Being visible and predictable is probably the most important safety principles you can follow when riding at night, or in inclement weather for that matter... It can keep you alive and unharmed.

    Generally you shouldn't shine your bright beams in others' eyes, whether another cyclist or a motorist. However it can be a good tool to get an errant/inattentive motorist's attention to use your handlebars or helmet lamp to "flash" him if he's obviously overlooking or not seeing you.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
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  18. #18
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    I generally don't commute in total darkness and run blinkies in front and rear and assume cars CAN'T see me. In full-on dark I run 600 lumens on my helmet on the road and back it down a little on the bike path but not so much that I can't see the ped-idiots dressed in dark clothes.

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  19. #19
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    A quarter mile visibility at 20 mph eh?

    If I ever need 45 seconds lead time in this situation I will consider something else more fitting such a reaction time.

    Thanks for the heads up pokey.

    The freakin' blazing light display is inconsiderate, unnecessary, a waste of money and to keep it short

    Stupid.

    If you're that sight impaired you shouldn't be riding a bike in a shared space, especially at dusk or in the dark you yuppified gear freak moron.

  20. #20
    LCI #1853
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup
    A quarter mile visibility at 20 mph eh?

    The freakin' blazing light display is inconsiderate, unnecessary, a waste of money and to keep it short

    Stupid.

    If you're that sight impaired you shouldn't be riding a bike in a shared space, especially at dusk or in the dark you yuppified gear freak moron
    .
    You don't know me very well, do you?

    But it takes all sorts of knuckleheads to make a bike forum interesting. Welcome to the group.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup
    A quarter mile visibility at 20 mph eh?

    If I ever need 45 seconds lead time in this situation I will consider something else more fitting such a reaction time.

    Thanks for the heads up pokey.

    The freakin' blazing light display is inconsiderate, unnecessary, a waste of money and to keep it short

    Stupid.

    If you're that sight impaired you shouldn't be riding a bike in a shared space, especially at dusk or in the dark you yuppified gear freak moron.
    Whoa Whoa Whoa, hold on there name caller.

    Now what if the yuppiefied gear freak moron traveling at 20mph sees a ped-idiot ninga runner traveling in the opposite direction at 10mph?

    The answer is 30 seconds and I wasn't making a point, just pointing out that I can do math too.

    I generally stop my vision at 100 yrds; anything past that is just useless future stuff and I could die before I even get there. What does it look like past 100yrds when I stop my vision? I don't know.

    Caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  22. #22
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    What's with all the pointless bickering as of late on this forum? I hope this place isn't turning into another bikeforums.net.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup
    A quarter mile visibility at 20 mph eh?

    If I ever need 45 seconds lead time in this situation I will consider something else more fitting such a reaction time.

    Thanks for the heads up pokey.

    The freakin' blazing light display is inconsiderate, unnecessary, a waste of money and to keep it short

    Stupid.

    If you're that sight impaired you shouldn't be riding a bike in a shared space, especially at dusk or in the dark you yuppified gear freak moron.
    LOL!

    I might be riding a ti bike using a HID/Lithum light system, but I am riding entirely at night, through the heavily populated Silicon Valley.

    I even had a mountain bike ride that started in Orinda and ended up in downtown Oakland, most of it on dirt.

    Trust me, I wish I could see everything from a quarter mile out. I might be handle an obstacle I can only see from 20 feet away, but if you screw up at night, the results are BAD.

    But hop into your car tonight and head back to the the cycle-trainer in front of the TV.

  24. #24
    LCI #1853
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazloco
    Whoa Whoa Whoa, hold on there name caller.

    Now what if the yuppiefied gear freak moron traveling at 20mph sees a ped-idiot ninga runner traveling in the opposite direction at 10mph?

    The answer is 30 seconds and I wasn't making a point, just pointing out that I can do math too.
    This would probably be the time for a "teachable moment," to break out the Powerpoint & video on reaction time and the "12-Second Rule." But that's likely over this dude's head even if he's in a mood to listen.

    I tell my students to never ride any faster than their guardian angel can fly. If I'm doing 20 mph in the dark, I'm in the traffic lane. The bike path, sidewalk, and sometimes even the bike lane where you have to share with pedestrians -- ninjas or not -- ain't the place to try and make up lost time.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    [SIZE="1"](with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)[/SIZE]

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PscyclePath
    This would probably be the time for a "teachable moment," to break out the Powerpoint & video on reaction time and the "12-Second Rule." But that's likely over this dude's head even if he's in a mood to listen.

    I tell my students to never ride any faster than their guardian angel can fly. If I'm doing 20 mph in the dark, I'm in the traffic lane. The bike path, sidewalk, and sometimes even the bike lane where you have to share with pedestrians -- ninjas or not -- ain't the place to try and make up lost time.
    The bottom line at night is this: get the most powerful lights you can carry/afford and be as visible as possible.

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