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  1. #1
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    dedicated front blinky ?

    so when i ride at night i have my helmet lights on steady, and when i ride during the lighter hours i now have them on blinking mode. in blinking mode the run time is 20 hours so i don't see any reason not to use it.

    at first my logic was that my lights are so bright at night that i don't need blinking action to make myself more conspicuous. but my logic has changed - now i think that regardless of brightness level blinking is what separates a bike from a car. a bright light will make you recognized as a vehicle of some sort, but a blinking light will make you recognized as a bike.

    aside from this, both my helmet and bar lights are aimed for illumination, not visibility. i have room for a small blinking headlight on the bar that i could aim straight forward and use only in blinking mode. i would use it at night in parallel with my main lights used in steady mode and aimed on the pavement.

    this would be for night use only, as during the lighter hours i can set my main lights to blinking mode, but at night i need them on steady, so if i want a blinking light i need an extra light. since this would be for night use and aimed straight forward i really don't need a lot of lumens there - basically a white color equivalent of a Dinotte 400R is what i would like.

    an ideal light for this application would probably have optics, because reflectors would produce a blinding hot spot, and of course i would need good flash patterns as well as flashing at 100% intenisty, not at 25% intensity as Seca. i wouldn't want a very wide beam on this light because then it would illuminate the ground in front of me and flash back at me ... in fact an ideal light for this might be an STVZO light with cutoff but mounted upside down so it didn't illuminate the ground at all and only sent the light forward. unfortunately Dosun can't be used for this as its flash pattern is too slow - about 1 flash per second.

    any ideas ?

  2. #2
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    Gloworm X1 would probably be too bright on flash at night ? is the X1 bar mount any good ?

    nah that's more than i need ...

    Light & Motion Urban 550:

    Amazon.com: Light and Motion Urban 400 Lumens Bike Light (Coal): Sports & Outdoors

    is $62 in red or $72 in silver. it flashes at 140 lumens which is a good amount, and has 12 hour run time in flash mode which is also good.

    what do you think ?

    oh and i watched some videos the urban flash mode is just right - fast but not too fast.

    Urban 550 in flash gives Dinotte level visibility for 1/3 the price of Dinotte, and it's made by my favorite company.

    ???

  3. #3
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    I just use my regular bar light. It lights up street signs 5 blocks away on flash mode and gives plenty of near field visibility (for me at least). Helmet light takes care of the rest.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    I just use my regular bar light. It lights up street signs 5 blocks away on flash mode and gives plenty of near field visibility (for me at least). Helmet light takes care of the rest.
    your flashing light gives you near field visibility ? that's weird - i would think a flashing light would only make it harder to see things.

    how many lumens is the flashing mode you use ? do you think it is too much / too little ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    your flashing light gives you near field visibility ? that's weird - i would think a flashing light would only make it harder to see things.

    how many lumens is the flashing mode you use ? do you think it is too much / too little ?
    Yeah, I can see fine with just the flash alone. Keep in mind that it is a 'strobe style' flash so it's possible that can have an affect on some people. I don't know what the exact lumens are, but I believe it puts out the same brightness as it does on High. It's the KD MJ880 clone and Kir measured it at 2.38A on High (no flash measurement was taken that I know of). Same beam pattern as on high in that there is a hotspot that makes near field visibility okay for me. It's probably too much since, as I said, I can light up signs from 5 blocks away. I don't ride on the road regularly so it's really hard to say. When I do ride though I prefer to be extremely visible. Soon that light will be my helmet light and I'll use my newer light for the bar (higher lumens, lower flash cycle of 8 flashes per 5 seconds).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Yeah, I can see fine with just the flash alone. Keep in mind that it is a 'strobe style' flash so it's possible that can have an affect on some people.
    well the light i'm looking at here's a video where he shows modes starting from 0.28 seconds, and you can see the flash mode briefly. what do you think ? i think the speed of that flash is just about right.



    also in this next video you can see the flash briefly at 1 min 30 secons:

    ( sorry, the software won't let me embed 2 videos in one post, so just click the link )

    Light & Motion Urban 500 Road Test (All Modes) - YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    I don't know what the exact lumens are, but I believe it puts out the same brightness as it does on High. It's the KD MJ880 clone and Kir measured it at 2.38A on High (no flash measurement was taken that I know of). Same beam pattern as on high in that there is a hotspot that makes near field visibility okay for me. It's probably too much since, as I said, I can light up signs from 5 blocks away.
    damn you're a sadist ! that's probably 1000 lumens. what i'm looking at is only 140 lumens on flash:

    LIGHT & MOTION || URBAN 550

    but i would aim it straight ahead, not use it to illuminate the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    I don't ride on the road regularly so it's really hard to say. When I do ride though I prefer to be extremely visible.
    yeah better to look like UFO than a Ghost

  7. #7
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    Honestly, it's very hard to tell from those videos. It was definitely stepped down in terms of power on flash in the 2nd video though.

    I aim mine towards the ground in front of me (think bottom of hotspot just above the front tire shadow interface), so it's not like I'm hitting people with the direct hotspot. There is plenty of spill though. Even so, yeah, it's bright. It better be, it's a freaking war out there on the streets these days where I live. I have to compete against drunks, aggressives & texters to be seen.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Honestly, it's very hard to tell from those videos. It was definitely stepped down in terms of power on flash in the 2nd video though.

    I aim mine towards the ground in front of me (think bottom of hotspot just above the front tire shadow interface), so it's not like I'm hitting people with the direct hotspot. There is plenty of spill though.
    yes Light & Motion for some reason sets the blinking mode at 1/4 power. so it is a 550 lumen light and the blinking mode is 140 lumen. so it's only 15% as bright as your light, but i would be aiming it horizontally forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by steelhmr View Post
    Even so, yeah, it's bright. It better be, it's a freaking war out there on the streets these days where I live. I have to compete against drunks, aggressives & texters to be seen.
    hehe !

    my logic is a too-bright light will get you beat up and your bike stolen. a too-dim light will get you in a wheelchair.

    as the General from the movie Dr. Strangelove said we are facing two "admittedly regrettable but never the less distinct" scenarios here - one in which 20 million people are dead and another in which 200 million people are dead he was talking about the outcomes of nuclear war depending on who starts it first, advocating that US should start the nuclear war with Soviet Union because that would be LESS BAD than having the Soviet Union start that same war.

    same here - both scenarios are bad - but one is worse than the other

  9. #9
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    The angle definitely makes a difference here, but I would think that you'd want something stronger given the output of your other lights? Brightness is one thing, but so is contrast. If you have 3600 lumens already coming from your helmet, 140 flashing from your bars might not be as noticeable. If it is noticeable, it might not have the range you are looking for? I'm not sure if it will or not, just thinking out loud.

    Never really worry about getting beaten up because of my lights. I guess that's what pepper spray is for? No one has really even said anything about them yet, but again, I don't do road rides regularly. Maybe when my new tail light comes in I might do more of them? So many car/bike "accidents" around here

  10. #10
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    OK i'm strongly leaning towards Dinotte 400L + right now:

    400L PLUS Headlight ? DiNotte Lighting USA Online Store

    it flashes at 400 lumens and has 3 flash patterns, same as a dinotte tail light.

    at 6 hours in flashing mode the battery life is perfect i think. i will not be needing anywhere close to that in daily use because i'm lucky enough to live where i can plan a 40 mile ride and have 30 out of those 40 miles on dedicated bike paths ( not bike lanes on the road ) so i would only be using it maybe an hour a day, but it's nice to have that 6 hour battery life anyway just in case i might need it someday and / or to allow for degradation in battery performance.

  11. #11
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    The 400L should work well and not be drowned out by the other lights on your bike. You will need enough separation between the lights so they can be distinguished at distance from each other.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cue003 View Post
    The 400L should work well and not be drowned out by the other lights on your bike. You will need enough separation between the lights so they can be distinguished at distance from each other.
    well the 400L would be next to the dosun, which is also 400 lumen but has a cutoff above horizon so i don't think it would affect the look of 400L much.

    there is some concern about shifter/brake cables in the way of 400L due to the fact that it basically uses a tail light mount but on the bar ... however i should be able to estimate how that will work by temporarily mounting my 400R tail light on the bar - just to test if shifter/brake cables will be a problem.

  13. #13
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    So the 400L is $189, but if you order it with the 4 cell battery ( which of course it doesn't need for a blinky, but hypothetically ) then it is $219, and for $229 you can have XML-3 which also comes with 4 cell battery but instead of 400 lumens is 1500 lumens.

    so Dinotte prices a 1500 lumen light at only 5% more $ than a 400 lumen light configured with the same battery ... can you believe this nonsense ?

    wow that Dinotte XML3 is a great value ! it has as much output as my Seca but it only costs as much as the replacement battery for the Seca ! and to boot it is 25% lighter too !

    only problem is if i ride with a 1500 lumen blinky at night i will probably vomit, or get arrested.

    what do you think ?

  14. #14
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    OK so somehow i forgot about NiteRider ...

    the Lumina range seems perfect. they have "daytime visibility" blink in other words they don't reduce the power for blink mode like L&M, and compared to Dinotte it is half the price due to self contained plastic design and USB charging versus CNC machining, external battery and smart charger from Dinotte.

    but i figure it should give me about 4 hours of blink time, which is all i need, because i will be doing a lot of MUP where i won't be using it so 4 hours or so of battery time should cover my needs.

    only problem is deciding which one to get ? they have 350 lumen for $75, a 550 lumen for $92 or 700 lumen for $112 ...

    i don't think the price difference is important here as it is only $40 difference between 350 Lumen and 700 Lumen, but the difference in Lumens though is important.

    what's the most lumens do you think i can use for a front blinky AT NIGHT without getting in trouble with the police and people in general ?

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    There's was a guy on the single xml light thread that put replaced the microcontroller with one that he programmed himself. That's what you should do. You could make the blink pattern anything you wanted and brightness anything as you wanted. You're an EE, I think you can handle this no problem. Then you make a detailed thread about it so that the rest of us could do it. Forget the $200 blinky light. It's a waste of money.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by varider View Post
    There's was a guy on the single xml light thread that put replaced the microcontroller with one that he programmed himself. That's what you should do. You could make the blink pattern anything you wanted and brightness anything as you wanted. You're an EE, I think you can handle this no problem. Then you make a detailed thread about it so that the rest of us could do it. Forget the $200 blinky light. It's a waste of money.
    not going to DIY anything. i used to DIY some speakers and subwoofers back in high school and college and while it was fun there is no practical value in DIY most of the time. i don't even like to get lights from companies that don't have a solid history and reputation, why would i want a light built by somebody who has no experience building lights at all ? ( myself ).

    besides, a degree does not equal a skill set. i don't have the skill set for that type of project, and i don't see the point of acquiring them, at least at this point in time.

    even Dinotte i consider to be a somewhat custom / underground light maker. i think Dinotte only really makes sense for unique applications, such as a red 400 lumen blinky. i have reservations about the Dinotte 400L because even though it appears to fit my needs it isn't such a unique product that it would require me to go with a more Niche company like Dinotte over more mainstream companies like NiteRider.

    Dinotte XML-3 is an exception of course. That's probably their only light that is competitive against mainstream light makers like NiteRider. The XML-3 is a great value, but anyway ...

    Dinotte light feels like a piece of Jewelry in the hand, whereas NiteRider feels like a piece of farm equipment, but to me that actually a reason to get the NiteRider because i'm looking for equipment, not Jewelry. The reason i try to stay away from stuff like MagicShine is because it is farm equipment posing as Jewelry, and i don't like products that have an identity crisis.

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