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  1. #1
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    Use obnoxious lights

    I'm using a L&M Vis360+ in flash mode, which is a 250 lumen front. It is pretty obnoxious. But it's bright enough that everywhere I see drivers looking up from texting or whatever to see what's going on. That bright flash just grabs the peripheral vision.

    At intersections, or coming up behind parked cars and filling the car with flashing light it gets attention.

    The difference from using just a steady light is significant.

    There are so many distracted drivers - use the most obnoxious flashing light you can.

    And in response to those who don't want to "blind" drivers, please give me just ONE example of an accident caused by a bicycle light. You can't.

    But I can give you thousands of accidents where the driver did not see the cyclist. It's a new day people - distracted drivers are the big risk out there for us now.

  2. #2
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    I'm all for blinding drivers, but riding home last night there were a bunch of guys from a group ride going the opposite direction. They all had obnoxious lights bobbing around on their helmets, and I couldn't see a @#$% thing. If you're in close quarters on a multi-use path it's worth maybe trying to aim a bit, or at least switching off of strobe.

  3. #3
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    I use a steady bright light instead of a flashing one because I live in a rural area where it's DARK at night and I depend on it to see where I'm going. Riding into a strobe light in the dark is a weird sensation that I don't like. I guess if I had street lights or other illumination I'd be all about a flashing light.

    What kills me where I'm at is drivers not dimming their high beams when they're coming at me on the 2 lane country roads I ride on. about 1/4 of them get it, and dim the lights. I hate that.
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  4. #4
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    Absolutely - I use a steady light as well, with the super bright flasher on my helmet so I can direct it where I want to.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I use a steady bright light instead of a flashing one because I live in a rural area where it's DARK at night and I depend on it to see where I'm going. Riding into a strobe light in the dark is a weird sensation that I don't like. I guess if I had street lights or other illumination I'd be all about a flashing light.

    What kills me where I'm at is drivers not dimming their high beams when they're coming at me on the 2 lane country roads I ride on. about 1/4 of them get it, and dim the lights. I hate that.

  5. #5
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    Got it covered:

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  6. #6
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    I, too understand the merits of the strobe headlight. I'm using a Magicshine, and the strobe on it is fast enough that it looks more like a flicker from the front end. And yeah, on the MUP I aim down or turn it to steady low. Though where I live now, riding the MUP at night can get you a ticket from the police so full stealth mode would be warranted then.

  7. #7
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    Holy Shift!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Got it covered:

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  8. #8
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    I run a Serfas True 1000 in strobe mode when it's light out. After dark (or before sunrise) I put it on high as I can't see well with it blinking in the dark. It's definitely an attention getter, I've had people say they thought it was a cop from a ways off, I figure that's a good thing, it'll keep them vigilant.

  9. #9
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    Run two lights on the bar, 1 steady, 1 blinking.

  10. #10
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    I use the flash mode mostly in daylight or when itís not dark enough yet for a headlight to actually show the way. When I got the light and read the instructions it took me a while to figure out what the RLVR mode is. It is the flash mode and is called that because it meets the UK's RVLR (Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations) governing the appropriate intensity and frequency of flashing. I think the intent is to make the flashing tolerable to other road users, but still visible, but I havenít reviewed the actual standard. I enjoy the flashing reflection back off of distant road signs.

  11. #11
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    I find when I'm passing lines of traffic, almost nobody sees me coming and gives me space when I don't have my light, but when I do have it flashing, a fair amount of cars move over so I can get by.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    Got it covered:

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    Biggest problem would be having Richard Dryfus chasing you around with an organ playing random 5 note riffs.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

  13. #13
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    ^^ Maybe the UFO theme from ET? I just kept upping the ante until they worked.

  14. #14
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    I use a 500mW Cree flashlight strapped on my helmet so I can point it where I'm looking at. I can also immediately point it on the ground in order not to blind other oncoming bikers but can still annoy obnoxious drivers at will.

    I use a red LED blinker at the back of my helmet in order to put it at the highest point on the bike. I also use bar end lights in order for other bikers and drivers to have an idea how wide I am.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    I use a 500mW Cree flashlight strapped on my helmet so I can point it where I'm looking at. I can also immediately point it on the ground in order not to blind other oncoming bikers but can still annoy obnoxious drivers at will.
    How do you have it mounted on your helmet?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    How do you have it mounted on your helmet?
    It's snug under a velcro strap with the flashlight strap secured on the back of the helmet in case it falls.

    Use obnoxious lights-2013-09-14_12-17-12_307b.jpg

    Use obnoxious lights-2013-09-14_12-17-29_146b.jpg

    Use obnoxious lights-2013-09-14_12-17-59_890b.jpg
    Last edited by Gundam168; 09-13-2013 at 09:43 PM.

  17. #17
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    love the set up gundam168
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  18. #18
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    I'm probably in the minority here it sounds like, but I find blinking lights, of any and all varieties, both obnoxious and dangerous. I've come across many cyclists at night with blinking lights and I've found that that they make it hard to gauge exactly where the cyclist is in relation to everything else. As a result, I end up spending more time assessing where he/she is, and less paying attention to anything else on the road (including other cyclists). Solid lights let me know where they are much more effectively than blinking ones.

    If you want to be noticed, get brighter lights.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    I'm probably in the minority here it sounds like, but I find blinking lights, of any and all varieties, both obnoxious and dangerous. I've come across many cyclists at night with blinking lights and I've found that that they make it hard to gauge exactly where the cyclist is in relation to everything else. As a result, I end up spending more time assessing where he/she is, and less paying attention to anything else on the road (including other cyclists). Solid lights let me know where they are much more effectively than blinking ones.

    If you want to be noticed, get brighter lights.
    Spot on...no pun intended.

    A standard rule in search and rescue ops (maritime/aviation), especially if you're the one being rescued and are wearing a strobe. You have to turn the strobe off and go to a steady burn because the closer the observer is, the more the strobe dances about making it almost impossible to pinpoint its exact location. It's a very confusing situation to the observer.

    I had a very experienced California Highway Patrol officer relate to me the danger of flashing lights on the side of the road. He said first that drunks are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Even non-impaired drivers are, too. It becomes a simple situation of target fixation. You go where you look. I'd rather a driver not fixate on my strobe and drive right up my ass.

    I'll always stick with a steady lamp. Just go bright!

  20. #20
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    It may *seem* dangerous, but according to the facts, it is *not* dangerous. The fact that you are assessing where I am is exactly the point. If you can't assess where I am and at the same time avoid hitting other cyclists, then please stop driving and cycle.

    I hear this all the time, "I can't see! I'm blind! I'll slam into everyone around me!"

    Yet there is zero evidence of this ever happening from a bicycle light.

    As a cyclist, the risk of blinding a driver and having him or her strike you or someone else is virtually non-existent. The risk of not being seen and being struck is very real indeed.

    It's an annoyance for a few seconds, nothing more. But I'll trade your momentary annoyance for my safety every time, because I don't have a steel cage around me.

    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    I'm probably in the minority here it sounds like, but I find blinking lights, of any and all varieties, both obnoxious and dangerous. I've come across many cyclists at night with blinking lights and I've found that that they make it hard to gauge exactly where the cyclist is in relation to everything else. As a result, I end up spending more time assessing where he/she is, and less paying attention to anything else on the road (including other cyclists). Solid lights let me know where they are much more effectively than blinking ones.

    If you want to be noticed, get brighter lights.

  21. #21
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    Well if I'm being searched for by a helicopter over the ocean, I'll consider that.

    Otherwise, everything you've said about drunks is complete hearsay. There is no actual evidence of that risk. My real world experience is that people notice me and do not drive into me. Try to find an example of a distracted driver slamming into a cyclist because they were mesmorized by his or her light.

    They should probably retrofit EVERY EMERGENCY VEHICLE ON THE PLANET, as cars are slamming into them at an alarming rate, you know, with their strobe lights and all.

    Enough BS please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Spot on...no pun intended.

    A standard rule in search and rescue ops (maritime/aviation), especially if you're the one being rescued and are wearing a strobe. You have to turn the strobe off and go to a steady burn because the closer the observer is, the more the strobe dances about making it almost impossible to pinpoint its exact location. It's a very confusing situation to the observer.

    I had a very experienced California Highway Patrol officer relate to me the danger of flashing lights on the side of the road. He said first that drunks are drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Even non-impaired drivers are, too. It becomes a simple situation of target fixation. You go where you look. I'd rather a driver not fixate on my strobe and drive right up my ass.

    I'll always stick with a steady lamp. Just go bright!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    My real world experience is that people notice me and do not drive into me.
    Mine, too. In fact, when I'm running my blinking bike lights, drivers give me MORE space than they do when I'm not running them. It can't be because they're attracted to them like moths.

  23. #23
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    When Iím driving, if I see something that Iím initially not sure what it is, how big it is, where it is going, etc., my reaction is to immediately slow down to figure it out and to give it a wide berth. Granted, this sometimes means I slow down for a littered beer can reflecting in the headlights. If other drivers slow down and pass generously because of my bike blinkie, all the better.

    That said, there will always be the bad, impaired, or distracted driver that will slam into anything in their path (or off of it).

  24. #24
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    I use a blinking headlight on dark/rainy days and a solid headlight at night. On the rear I use a blinking tail light on dark days and a blinking and a solid tail light after dark. The blinking one to draw attention and the solid one to provide a constant reference. Running both also gives redundancy.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    I use a blinking headlight on dark/rainy days and a solid headlight at night. On the rear I use a blinking tail light on dark days and a blinking and a solid tail light after dark. The blinking one to draw attention and the solid one to provide a constant reference. Running both also gives redundancy.
    I do the blinking/solid combo on my bike too. There's a few reasons for this - what's said above, but also that if the battery on one starts to run low, I can switch the blinking one to solid on. Blinking mode typically gets 5x longer battery life than the solid on mode, so it's a good, "Hmm... I really need to replace those batteries" hint.

    I only use solid front lights though. No blinking unless you're really, really up sh*t creek and you're not going to make it home without your battery running flat. I use a dynohub so that's never going to be an issue.

  26. #26
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    Use obnoxious lights

    Both my lights tie in to the same battery, so battery life is part of my decision to run the front on blink, too. I just don't like recharging often.

    I have been thinking about adding solid but less bright and long life lights front and rear. I will be modifying light placement in the front, also.

  27. #27
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    I'm probably in the minority here it sounds like, but I find blinking lights, of any and all varieties, both obnoxious and dangerous. I've come across many cyclists at night with blinking lights and I've found that that they make it hard to gauge exactly where the cyclist is in relation to everything else. As a result, I end up spending more time assessing where he/she is, and less paying attention to anything else on the road (including other cyclists). Solid lights let me know where they are much more effectively than blinking ones.

    If you want to be noticed, get brighter lights.
    I agree 100%, get brighter lights. I use a dyno powered NON BLINKING front light with a daytime running light feature. In the daytime or nighttime everyone has seen me, even cars backing out of their driveways not paying attention to the road. I have found no need to annoy drivers or other cyclists with flashing front light when a bright solid light works just as well. Some flashing lights are so bright the flashing starts to give me a headache and I have to stop and wait for the cyclist to pass on the local trails.

    In my area the push for cycling-safe streets has become a very nice luxury. The less annoying and more considerate (while staying safe) cyclists can be the better chance we have of keeping bike friendliness.

  28. #28
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    We all ride in different areas/conditions. So naturally we're not all going to have the same lights or style. I ride in a very urban area, New York City. I run flashing lights front and back; night or day, clear skies or raining. On the bike paths/MUP, I run my lights on steady at the lowest setting.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    We all ride in different areas/conditions. So naturally we're not all going to have the same lights or style. I ride in a very urban area, New York City. I run flashing lights front and back; night or day, clear skies or raining. On the bike paths/MUP, I run my lights on steady at the lowest setting.
    Absolutely, in urban areas the flash is important to distinguish you from the ambient light and all the streetlights, lit signs, multitude of car headlights, and reflections. When it's dark and quiet, it's not so necessary.

  30. #30
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    I completely disagree. "Less annoying and more considerate" absolutely equals less safe.

    You assume that "less annoying" lights will mean greater bike friendliness. In fact, "more annoying" lights might mean more bike lanes and paths to get you off the road. Most cities are increasing (not decreasing) bike access. If you are not annoying (or noticeable), then you are not on the radar as a vehicle.

    I say all this knowing there are new bike commuters starting all the time and wondering about which lights to buy.

    In my view and in my experience, and based on the stats, get obnoxious blinking lights.

    Quote Originally Posted by system-f View Post
    I agree 100%, get brighter lights. I use a dyno powered NON BLINKING front light with a daytime running light feature. In the daytime or nighttime everyone has seen me, even cars backing out of their driveways not paying attention to the road. I have found no need to annoy drivers or other cyclists with flashing front light when a bright solid light works just as well. Some flashing lights are so bright the flashing starts to give me a headache and I have to stop and wait for the cyclist to pass on the local trails.

    In my area the push for cycling-safe streets has become a very nice luxury. The less annoying and more considerate (while staying safe) cyclists can be the better chance we have of keeping bike friendliness.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    I completely disagree. "Less annoying and more considerate" absolutely equals less safe.
    There is no point in blinding a pedestrian on a MUP, with you obnoxius lights, that will just make things less safe...

    There is no point in blinding an oncoming motorist either.

    Just as cars dim thier lights there are times when a bike needs to dim his lights.

  32. #32
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    "Blinding" is completely over the top, and an incorrect description. If a driver were blinded he or she would swerve off the road because he or she could not see, could not even see your light.

    There are no recorded incidents that I can find of a driver being blinded by a bicycle light and crashing. None.

    People use "blinded" when they really mean "irritated". Terminology is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    There is no point in blinding a pedestrian on a MUP, with you obnoxius lights, that will just make things less safe...

    There is no point in blinding an oncoming motorist either.

    Just as cars dim thier lights there are times when a bike needs to dim his lights.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    "Blinding" is completely over the top, and an incorrect description. If a driver were blinded he or she would swerve off the road because he or she could not see, could not even see your light.

    There are no recorded incidents that I can find of a driver being blinded by a bicycle light and crashing. None.

    People use "blinded" when they really mean "irritated". Terminology is important.
    No it is not completely over the top, and it certainly doable with the lumens available nowadays.

    Seconded drivers or pedestrians do not swerve off the road when blinded by oncoming lights. They look down and away from the lights (as taught in drivers ed) to preserve thier night vision.

    So when you have an overly bright light shining in someones face, you are causing them to look away from you...not exactly what you had in mind.

    The term blinded by the light is well known and is not meant to be irritated.

    You most certainly do not want to be blinding people with your obnoxious lights...if you are then you need to reevaulate what you are doing.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Absolutely, in urban areas the flash is important to distinguish you from the ambient light and all the streetlights, lit signs, multitude of car headlights, and reflections. When it's dark and quiet, it's not so necessary.
    That's another reason why I use the blinking/solid combo - I ride in an urban stretch, then a rural stretch, then an urban stretch, then another rural stretch, and finally an urban stretch again. If it were in a rural environment only, I would probably just run solid lights for both of them.

    FWIW, you mentioned earlier considering adding a longer life light. I added a PDW light to my seat stay that is the flasher. The one under the seat runs out of battery much faster.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    "Blinding" is completely over the top, and an incorrect description. If a driver were blinded he or she would swerve off the road because he or she could not see, could not even see your light.

    There are no recorded incidents that I can find of a driver being blinded by a bicycle light and crashing. None.

    People use "blinded" when they really mean "irritated". Terminology is important.
    I agree. Terminology is important. For that, I defer to the definition of the words, because definitions are important when defining terminology:
    Blinded:
    1. cause (someone) to be unable to see, permanently or temporarily.
    2. deprive (someone) of understanding, judgment, or perception.


    If you look directly in to a high intensity floodlight, your ability to see is temporarily removed. On a narrow trail such as the ones I travel frequently in winter, two vehicles pass sufficiently close such that an obnoxiously bright, poorly aimed beam will "blind" oncoming riders.

    irritate:
    1. make (someone) annoyed, impatient, or angry.


    I'd say that applies too, but that the two are not interchangeable. Blinding lights are irritating. Not all irritations are blinding lights (dogs are animals, not all animals are dogs).

    Side note, but the Germans thought this was important enough that they apply StVZO lighting regulations to bicycles as well, meaning German dynohub lights come with a cutoff at the top of the beam for them to be legal to use on German roadways.

  35. #35
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    Hey, if you are actually blinded by a bike light (which are much dimmer than a car high beam) you should question your ability to drive at night.

    It's a free country - be polite and respectful and use a rather dim solid light if you wish. It's your life.

    The Germans are a pretty bad example BTW - they regulate everything there, whether it's needed or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter006 View Post
    That's another reason why I use the blinking/solid combo - I ride in an urban stretch, then a rural stretch, then an urban stretch, then another rural stretch, and finally an urban stretch again. If it were in a rural environment only, I would probably just run solid lights for both of them.

    FWIW, you mentioned earlier considering adding a longer life light. I added a PDW light to my seat stay that is the flasher. The one under the seat runs out of battery much faster.



    I agree. Terminology is important. For that, I defer to the definition of the words, because definitions are important when defining terminology:
    Blinded:
    1. cause (someone) to be unable to see, permanently or temporarily.
    2. deprive (someone) of understanding, judgment, or perception.


    If you look directly in to a high intensity floodlight, your ability to see is temporarily removed. On a narrow trail such as the ones I travel frequently in winter, two vehicles pass sufficiently close such that an obnoxiously bright, poorly aimed beam will "blind" oncoming riders.

    irritate:
    1. make (someone) annoyed, impatient, or angry.


    I'd say that applies too, but that the two are not interchangeable. Blinding lights are irritating. Not all irritations are blinding lights (dogs are animals, not all animals are dogs).

    Side note, but the Germans thought this was important enough that they apply StVZO lighting regulations to bicycles as well, meaning German dynohub lights come with a cutoff at the top of the beam for them to be legal to use on German roadways.

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    Blinking lights all day every day (yes, I mean that literally). When the police/fire/EMT's want to be seen by other other motorists/cyclists/pedestrians, they use bright flashing lights. People simply respond out of instinct when they see flashing lights (even in the corner of their eyes). Motorists making a left turn might or might not notice a cyclist coming the other direction, but they are much more likely to notice flashing lights and the cyclist attached to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Blinking lights all day every day (yes, I mean that literally). When the police/fire/EMT's want to be seen by other other motorists/cyclists/pedestrians, they use bright flashing lights. People simply respond out of instinct when they see flashing lights (even in the corner of their eyes). Motorists making a left turn might or might not notice a cyclist coming the other direction, but they are much more likely to notice flashing lights and the cyclist attached to them.
    Funny you mentioned that because I remember one time there was this d-bag driver blocking the right-most lane at a stoplight. He was blocking 2 cars behind him who wanted to turn right as the right-most lane was for cars turning right. He was completely ignoring the horns of the cars behind as he waited for the light to turn green so he can go across. I switched on the strobe of my helmet flashlight and thinking it was a police car, he was forced to turn right.

  38. #38
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    Ive got a older L&M HID that's going back into service this winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gundam168 View Post
    Funny you mentioned that because I remember one time there was this d-bag driver blocking the right-most lane at a stoplight. He was blocking 2 cars behind him who wanted to turn right as the right-most lane was for cars turning right. He was completely ignoring the horns of the cars behind as he waited for the light to turn green so he can go across. I switched on the strobe of my helmet flashlight and thinking it was a police car, he was forced to turn right.
    Exactly. Remember these drivers are also looking at their phone from the corner of their eye and desperately hoping to see a flashing 5mm LED emitting 1/100th of a watt indicating a new text msg. They'll very quickly notice you lighting up every reflective surface within 100 meters, or 300+ meters in my case

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    Hey, if you are actually blinded by a bike light (which are much dimmer than a car high beam) you should question your ability to drive at night.
    I agree. Or they should consider not looking directly in to the light and blinding themselves... Still, I'd like to see anyone ride directly at a Lupine Betty light and say they're not at least partially blinded by it.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    It's a free country - be polite and respectful and use a rather dim solid light if you wish. It's your life.
    I use an obnoxiously bright, wide beam solid light. If someone coming in the opposite direction covers their lights or shields their eyes, I do the courteous thing and block the portion of the light that is shining in to their eyes where possible (unless conditions prevent me from doing that).

    I know people in both camps - people who require significant light to see at night, and people with keratoconus who can barely see when someone shines a light in their eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    The Germans are a pretty bad example BTW - they regulate everything there, whether it's needed or not.
    I referenced one of the most well known examples when it comes to light regulations. You can find similar regulations for almost every developed country in the world, albeit not as strict.

    Interestingly enough, where I live has laws against blinding oncoming drivers, but they don't apply to cyclists because it's considered a single beam headlight. So blind away!

  41. #41
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    I recently was followed by an Orange County Deputy to where I live, while riding late at night with my wife. Of course ,I did not know the being followed part. When I noticed the car behind me, I went to my left and stopped to find it was a Deputy.I said Hi to him and he said WOW your lights were really blinding me .He stated <I am not lying, I thought it was EMS because they were on flashing mode. So then he told me he needed to know what it was and saw me. He said ain't no way I can't be seen out there. I was happy to hear that .I run a 500 lumen taillight from DesignShineLighting.com .I run also a 1200 lumen light with a yellow filter it comes with also from the same guy who makes them.Then next to it I have a 1000 lumen Flashlight XML from www.gregmcgeeengineering.com And a DinotteLighting.com 200 lumen on my helmet. I have a total of 4 different lights of the MTE. My wife says I am addicted to lights LOL. I have sooo many modes to choose.

  42. #42
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    My own light setup is two small LED lights. With both on I get 240 lumins but most of the time I ride with just one of them burning. It is plenty of light to see and be seen.

    I am really annoyed with the crazy bright lights and especially the blinking ones. These things are annoying and may be dangerous. Part of my commute is on bike on bike paths, greenways, and a park where cars can not go. Some other cyclists ride these areas with crazy bright lights and blinking. Especially in a park the jerks with blinking lights are really annoying. On narrow twisting paths the ultrabright and blinking lights of oncoming cyclists can be dangerous.

    On the road the same issues exist. The ultrabright lights and blinking are not helping your visibility. These lights may give you the false confidence that people see you but when cyclists assume cars see them it puts the ride at risk. I personally assume that cars never see me and ride in a way that ensures I don't depend on them seeing me to stay alive.

    I think that especially with drunk drivers the blinking and ultra bright lights can cause target fixation.

    It's a free world but you guys riding with flashing front lights are DORKs.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by febikes View Post
    My own light setup is two small LED lights. With both on I get 240 lumins but most of the time I ride with just one of them burning. It is plenty of light to see and be seen.

    I am really annoyed with the crazy bright lights and especially the blinking ones. These things are annoying and may be dangerous. Part of my commute is on bike on bike paths, greenways, and a park where cars can not go. Some other cyclists ride these areas with crazy bright lights and blinking. Especially in a park the jerks with blinking lights are really annoying. On narrow twisting paths the ultrabright and blinking lights of oncoming cyclists can be dangerous.

    On the road the same issues exist. The ultrabright lights and blinking are not helping your visibility. These lights may give you the false confidence that people see you but when cyclists assume cars see them it puts the ride at risk. I personally assume that cars never see me and ride in a way that ensures I don't depend on them seeing me to stay alive.

    I think that especially with drunk drivers the blinking and ultra bright lights can cause target fixation.

    It's a free world but you guys riding with flashing front lights are DORKs.
    So I guess police and fire trucks should stop using bright flashing lights since it gives them a false sense of confidence and puts them at risk to be target-fixated by drunks? Once again, people notice bright flashing lights, and that's exactly what we want, people to notice us and not pull out in front of us and say they never saw us. If you are happy and feel safe with your little junior light then fine, go be happy with it. Just know that you are competing against the sun, traffic lights, headlights and brake lights that make the relative impact of your light appear about as bright as a lit matchstick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    So I guess police and fire trucks should stop using bright flashing lights since it gives them a false sense of confidence and puts them at risk to be target-fixated by drunks? Once again, people notice bright flashing lights, and that's exactly what we want, people to notice us and not pull out in front of us and say they never saw us. If you are happy and feel safe with your little junior light then fine, go be happy with it. Just know that you are competing against the sun, traffic lights, headlights and brake lights that make the relative impact of your light appear about as bright as a lit matchstick.
    the emergency vehicles do not "rely" on blinking lights etc....they rely on society wanting to help them out. and they do not blind drivers with High beams a night...At least around here they don't.

  45. #45
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    Amen. Everytime I read of a cyclist killed I think that it is such a needless tragedy, and can't imagine what the family is going through.

    And I've never read - not once ever - that a cyclist was injured or killed because of his or her lights.

    Drivers always say "I didn't see him/her." NOT "those lights blinded me and I swerved all over because I couldn't see and hit him/her."

    "Target fixated by drunks" is a concept entirely made-up on discussion forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    So I guess police and fire trucks should stop using bright flashing lights since it gives them a false sense of confidence and puts them at risk to be target-fixated by drunks? Once again, people notice bright flashing lights, and that's exactly what we want, people to notice us and not pull out in front of us and say they never saw us. If you are happy and feel safe with your little junior light then fine, go be happy with it. Just know that you are competing against the sun, traffic lights, headlights and brake lights that make the relative impact of your light appear about as bright as a lit matchstick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    the emergency vehicles do not "rely" on blinking lights etc....they rely on society wanting to help them out. and they do not blind drivers with High beams a night...At least around here they don't.
    So you don't believe that emergency vehicles utilizing a certain technology (blinking lights) at every instance so that motorists are aware of their presence and THEN yielding way constitutes relying on that technology? Without bright flashing lights, do you think the percentage of drivers yielding to emergency vehicles would increase or decrease? How many of those drivers would say: "I never saw the emergency vehicle"?

    Spare me on the blinding people with bright lights nonsense. Obviously lights should be aimed towards the road or trails surface. Automobile lights spill onto the opposing lane as well. If you stare at an automobile light you are just as impaired as staring at a bike light. Show me an accident report that put cycling lights at blame. Otherwise, you are just regurgitating baseless claims with absolutely zero merit. And for what it's worth, I fully expect you to not be able to come up with even one incidence of cycling light induced temporary blindness that caused an accident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    So you don't believe that emergency vehicles utilizing a certain technology (blinking lights) at every instance so that motorists are aware of their presence
    The emergency vehicles around here do not blind people by directed using their headlights on high beam and flashing them.

    The use flashing lights with far lower lumens then the headlights and they are not directed into oncoming drivers eyes...thus making them obnoxious.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    "Target fixated by drunks" is a concept entirely made-up on discussion forums.
    So have you read of that happening?

    Also since when would the accident report say even though the biker had an obnoxious headlight he was still hit and killed.

    So we are missing all those accidents in this discussion.

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    So let me get this straight. Serious injuries and accidents are investigated by police. They conclude that the driver did not see the cyclist, based in part on the driver's own admissions.

    However - in your view - there are accidents caused by a cyclist's blinking lights, but this cause is not reported in the investigation, nor mentioned by the driver. And these accidents are not being discussed here.

    Is that right?

    If so, you are comparing a theoretical, unproven risk (blinking lights), with a real, verifiable risk (not being seen).

    If you choose to ride based on the theoretical risk and not "annoy" anyone out there, go right ahead.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    So have you read of that happening?

    Also since when would the accident report say even though the biker had an obnoxious headlight he was still hit and killed.

    So we are missing all those accidents in this discussion.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    So have you read of that happening?

    Also since when would the accident report say even though the biker had an obnoxious headlight he was still hit and killed.

    So we are missing all those accidents in this discussion.
    First off, having bright blinking lights isn't akin to wearing a force-field that prevents vehicles from crashing into you. Second, most cycling accidents aren't fatal, so we do often get the cyclist's sides of the story told. What you definitely do not tend to see is any kind of correlation between cyclists who wear bright flashing lights getting struck down because the driver didn't see them or was oddly attracted to them.

    And that brings us to the question of how bright is too bright? Traffic signal lights are over 1,000 lumens (some even 2,000). Brake lights are 350-500 lumens. Police sirens are designed to be seen from 2+ miles away. The lights that a typical cyclist rides with are an absolute JOKE in terms of brightness when compared to those above. That's why they are often still unnoticed until they are 20 feet a motorist (sometimes that's already too late). Consider the playing field you are competing against when you choose how bright of a light you really need.

  51. #51
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    Glare[edit source]

    Vehicles equipped with HID headlamps (except motorcycles) are required by ECE regulation 48 also to be equipped with headlamp lens cleaning systems and automatic beam leveling control. Both of these measures are intended to reduce the tendency for high-output headlamps to cause high levels of glare to other road users. In North America, ECE R48 does not apply and while lens cleaners and beam levelers are permitted, they are not required;[45] HID headlamps are markedly less prevalent in the US, where they have produced significant glare complaints.[46] Scientific study of headlamp glare has shown that for any given intensity level, the light from HID headlamps is 40% more glaring than the light from tungsten-halogen headlamps.[47]

    From Wiki

    NiteRider Pro 3600 DIY Rechargeable Headlight - Brand Name Outdoor Bicycle Accessories

    So lets see Lots of regulation out there for lights on the road...

    Cars ususally have 2000 lumens with headlight dips and glare reducing requirements..

    The light I looked up has 3600 lumens and no glare reducing tech...

    If you are running something like this at least protect the pedestrians you pass from your beam...or some ******* will throw a branch in your spokes....or hang a kill wire and both of those definately happen.

  52. #52
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    Those regs are for *motor vehicles* not bikes.

    Have you seen the size of a car headlamp? Have you compared it to the size of a bike light? My helmet front light is less than a half inch in diameter. Much different than a 5-6 inch 3000 lumen headlight traveling at 55mph (HID lights are about 3000+ lumens). Times 2 headlights = 6000 lumens.

    My helmet front light is a Light and Motion Vis360 at 250 lumens on strobe.

    Your proposition that you will be assaulted and attacked based on your bright light is silly beyond words.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Glare[edit source]

    Vehicles equipped with HID headlamps (except motorcycles) are required by ECE regulation 48 also to be equipped with headlamp lens cleaning systems and automatic beam leveling control. Both of these measures are intended to reduce the tendency for high-output headlamps to cause high levels of glare to other road users. In North America, ECE R48 does not apply and while lens cleaners and beam levelers are permitted, they are not required;[45] HID headlamps are markedly less prevalent in the US, where they have produced significant glare complaints.[46] Scientific study of headlamp glare has shown that for any given intensity level, the light from HID headlamps is 40% more glaring than the light from tungsten-halogen headlamps.[47]

    From Wiki

    NiteRider Pro 3600 DIY Rechargeable Headlight - Brand Name Outdoor Bicycle Accessories

    So lets see Lots of regulation out there for lights on the road...

    Cars ususally have 2000 lumens with headlight dips and glare reducing requirements..

    The light I looked up has 3600 lumens and no glare reducing tech...

    If you are running something like this at least protect the pedestrians you pass from your beam...or some ******* will throw a branch in your spokes....or hang a kill wire and both of those definately happen.

  53. #53
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    Perhaps it's my naivete due to the low number of night cyclists and MUPs here, but this thread seems a lot more controversial than bike lights are. To me, the only bad lights are no lights, and I have seen plenty of them on both cyclists and peds.

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    Listen everyone. We all have our one opinions about everything for each subject. To me having the best lights that I can afford,is only like an insurance that it may be that I get home safely.When I ride home on my commute,I live in Florida and out here they are not good in the lighting systems on the road. I barely see a cyclist where I ride,if I do, I am courteous to put my hands in front of the lights to block the beam. I've been told by all my co-workers that if I get hit ,it's not that I am not visible.It's that I was targeted to be hit on purpose or a driver reading that stinking iphone BS stuff they read and write.So everyone to each it's own.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by MS150Rider66 View Post
    Listen everyone. We all have our one opinions about everything for each subject. To me having the best lights that I can afford,is only like an insurance that it may be that I get home safely.When I ride home on my commute,I live in Florida and out here they are not good in the lighting systems on the road. I barely see a cyclist where I ride,if I do, I am courteous to put my hands in front of the lights to block the beam. I've been told by all my co-workers that if I get hit ,it's not that I am not visible.It's that I was targeted to be hit on purpose or a driver reading that stinking iphone BS stuff they read and write.So everyone to each it's own.
    Ugh, sorry to hear that you have to commute in Florida. In my one week stay in Miami, absolutely the worst drivers I have ever seen (going to and from the airport). Free medical tip that I doubt you want to hear: people on organ transplant lists from around the country actually move to Florida because of the higher probability of matching (read: transplant lists are regional and there is a much much higher supply in FL). Be safe.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Perhaps it's my naivete due to the low number of night cyclists and MUPs here, but this thread seems a lot more controversial than bike lights are. To me, the only bad lights are no lights, and I have seen plenty of them on both cyclists and peds.
    You're right there, lol. I just picked up another NiteRider Lumina 700 for rollingrunner. It doesn't appear to be any brighter than the old MiNewt 600 but they are cheaper and lighter. I almost never run them at full power even through the woods. 350 lumens seems pretty good. I did get a low battery about 5 miles from home in an unlit area so I dropped it back to "walking" brightness (30 lumens) and that wasn't really bright enough to ride by but having the light cut out unexpectedly seemed like the wrong idea.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    Perhaps it's my naivete due to the low number of night cyclists and MUPs here, but this thread seems a lot more controversial than bike lights are. To me, the only bad lights are no lights, and I have seen plenty of them on both cyclists and peds.
    There are actually more that you weren't able to see.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    My helmet front light is less than a half inch in diameter.

    My helmet front light is a Light and Motion Vis360 at 250 lumens on strobe.
    So basically your light is not obnoxious or overly bright....

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    I think a true daylight-visible light (visible with peripheral vision) is CRUCIAL... and 95% of the lights I see out there are barely daylight visible if you're looking directly at them!

    I've had excellent results, day and night, with the DIY project I posted about a year ago in this thread. I run my DIY tail light (and Magicshine MJ-808U headlight) in flash mode during the day/dusk, and switch to high steady at night.

    I also run a Planet Bike Blaze 2W headlight and Planet Bike Superflash 1W tail light on my helmet... those familiar with the 1W PB tail light can reference this post for brightness and beam pattern comparison photos with my DIY light.

    A price drop on the light, plus Action LED introducing a red version of its wide-angle lens (eliminating the need for epoxying a red photo filter over the light), have made this a $35 solution, and *much* easier to assemble... should take ~10-15 minutes! It's worth noting that the beam pattern photos I linked to were of the original DIY design, so the beam is ~10-15% brighter now that I've removed the photo filter and swapped the clear wide-angle lens for a red one.

    I can definitely tell I get a lot more space from drivers than I did before I installed the light, and I've gotten a decent amount of positive feedback from drivers and fellow cyclists, mostly during daylight hours, when people are most surprised they can see my light.

    Most memorable was a pre-dusk exchange at a stop light, with a shuttle bus driver who'd pulled up in a right turn lane next to my bike lane. He grinned at me through his open window, so I asked, "Could you see me from pretty far back?" He nodded enthusiastically and said: "Man, you look like a frickin' AIRPLANE!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Ugh, sorry to hear that you have to commute in Florida. In my one week stay in Miami, absolutely the worst drivers I have ever seen (going to and from the airport). Free medical tip that I doubt you want to hear: people on organ transplant lists from around the country actually move to Florida because of the higher probability of matching (read: transplant lists are regional and there is a much much higher supply in FL). Be safe.
    Hi. Thanks for the info,no wonder when you go to Dept.of Motor V down here they want to draft you to the organ transplant list,which I declined. So if G-d forbid something awful happens ,I just get buried. Yes this state as you all know is at #1 for cyclists/pedestrian deaths . So yes ,I will use all the lights to be seen and to see. It ticks me off when I drive a car and see cyclists with no lights and dark clothing. Please everyone be safe out there.

  61. #61
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    Use obnoxious lights

    Every DMV asks if you want to be an organ donor. Why would anyone decline being an organ donor?

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    ^^ +1, being an organ donor is great. My gram was ahead of her time and donated her body to medical school after reading about it in Dear Abby.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandy View Post
    I'm probably in the minority here it sounds like, but I find blinking lights, of any and all varieties, both obnoxious and dangerous. I've come across many cyclists at night with blinking lights and I've found that that they make it hard to gauge exactly where the cyclist is in relation to everything else. As a result, I end up spending more time assessing where he/she is, and less paying attention to anything else on the road (including other cyclists). Solid lights let me know where they are much more effectively than blinking ones.

    If you want to be noticed, get brighter lights.
    I ride with two tail lights, one set on an alternate blinking pattern, one solid. Both 1watt. It works.

    To the OP...250 lumens is obnoxious? I run a Serfas TSL-1500 up front, blinking (pointed down a bit) during the day. It's pumping out 1,500 lumens.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    I ride with two tail lights, one set on an alternate blinking pattern, one solid. Both 1watt. It works.

    To the OP...250 lumens is obnoxious? I run a Serfas TSL-1500 up front, blinking (pointed down a bit) during the day. It's pumping out 1,500 lumens.
    I can understand the usefulness of a blinking light in the daylight when the point is to say "here I am." Provided that there is also a solid light at night, I can understand a blinking rear light.... although I personally think it's a bad idea.

    In a separate matter... it's generally a bad idea to compare your lights in lumens, without also discussing the size and shape of your beam. The unit you really want is "lux" which is lumens / m^2. Without knowing the area illuminated by a beam, talking about how much energy is coming out doesn't tell you enough about how the light performs.

  65. #65
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    Use obnoxious lights

    Not sure how you can say a blinking light at night is a bad idea if it helps distinguish you from the ambient city lights

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Every DMV asks if you want to be an organ donor. Why would anyone decline being an organ donor?
    Not signing ensures the family is consulted (normally even with a donar card the family is consulted.)

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Not signing ensures the family is consulted (normally even with a donar card the family is consulted.)
    That is my decision to make, frankly. if I sign the card, I don't want family members overturning the decision I made decades prior when I was perfectly sound of mind. And my wife knows that.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    That is my decision to make, frankly. if I sign the card, I don't want family members overturning the decision I made decades prior when I was perfectly sound of mind. And my wife knows that.
    You asked why anyone would decline ...that is why.

  69. #69
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    Was using a MS and recently bought a heavily discounted L&M Laz 1200 from L&M. Should have it in the next day or two. Cant wait to try it

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    I switched back to the Princeton Tec Swerve for my 2nd taillight (not sure what became of my first Swerve). I just love that big switch (the white lever), especially for winter riding. The flash pattern is an attention grabber, very fast and alternating craziness. I will also recommend Universal Cycles for their $2.99 shipping if you just need one item (or more than one of the same item). Universal Cycles -- Princeton Tec Swerve Taillight

  71. #71
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    The Swerve was my first foray into a decent tail light. It is a very irritating and not to be confused with other lights tail light. It is not daylight visible though. I also loved the switch but not the O ring mount. I lost one to mount failure and it was driven over. As a second light especially playing off a solid or a pulsing light it would be a great option. mtbxplorer's dinotte, or maybe a Cygolite HotShot for brightness and distance would be a good pairing.

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