Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby rearviewmirror » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:12 pm

I commute 5 days per week, most days I didn't run flashing lights front or rear on bright summer mornings and evenings. Then I had a spat of cars turning in front of me or pulling out in front, so I started running a front flashing LED. Naturally I like the idea of running rear flashing lights. As I drive around (my car) I realize that cyclists without any flashing lights are truly hard to spot on many occasions. I noticed that I spot riders much further away when they have some sort of flashing lights. This revelation has caused me to run my lights night and day, the price of batteries is cheap insurance, not 100% insurance, but better than nothing. I'm not one of those old guys who rides around in a HI-VIS, I can't quite come to that, I do think they're effective, but not my style.

What do you lot reckon? Do you run your lights night and day? It took me a while to realize the benefits (possibly perceived), but now I don't think I'll commute without them.
User avatar
rearviewmirror
 
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:10 am
Location: Williamstown, Victoria

by BNA » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:26 pm

BNA
 

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby gdl_gdl » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:26 pm

I always run my rear flashing light for my commutes ( I use rechargeables and I think there is 80 hr coverage so the cost is minimal).

I use a flashing front light for when the sun is low (and the dark of course!). Not sure if it makes any difference but it can't do any harm.

Cheers,

Gary
User avatar
gdl_gdl
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Mindarie, Perth

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby Max » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:49 pm

Flashing lights front and back whenever I'm on the road.

Max
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy
User avatar
Max
 
Posts: 2895
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:29 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby Aushiker » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:55 pm

gdl_gdl wrote:I always run my rear flashing light for my commutes ( I use rechargeables and I think there is 80 hr coverage so the cost is minimal).

I use a flashing front light for when the sun is low (and the dark of course!). Not sure if it makes any difference but it can't do any harm.

Cheers,

Gary


Hi

I am pretty much the same as Gary.

Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
Image
User avatar
Aushiker
 
Posts: 19964
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby twizzle » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:00 pm

Flashing rear light - always. Front flasher gets turned on as required - basically, any time I'm in traffic.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
User avatar
twizzle
 
Posts: 6382
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Location: Taking a break.

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby wombatK » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:22 pm

What you are advocating is similar to the argument for Daytime running lights on cars.

Day Time Running lights for cars (e.g. latest European models, Audi's etc.,.) are steady on, not flashing.

Flashing lights are more attention grabbing once seen, but the off-time means the time to first recognition is longer.

While as a motorist you will report that you really notice the flashing light, what you haven't measured is how long it took you to see that light compared to a non-flashing one. The reasoning from DRL's suggests that bicycle safety would be best enhanced by a steady on light. Your biggest threat is the motorist who doesn't see you, not those whose attention drifts after seeing you.

Cyclists flashing lights might be more about concern for battery drain than the effectiveness of the light. With modern Li-ion rechargeables this should no longer be a concern (less if you're equipped with dynamo+high lumen LEDs).

I don't use daytime running lights on my bike, unless it's near dusk or dawn.
WombatK

Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
User avatar
wombatK
 
Posts: 5190
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:08 pm
Location: Yagoona, AU

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby twizzle » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:10 pm

Steady light = motorcycle at a distance and no-one cares.

Flashing light = something unusual which the brain will then take notice of.

And I've had a car almost pull out in front of me despite me just having lit up the car with a 500 lumen HID an hour before dawn. Drivers can't get much dumber than that.
I ride, therefore I am.
...real cyclists don't have squeaky chains...
User avatar
twizzle
 
Posts: 6382
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:45 am
Location: Taking a break.

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby Fletcher » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:26 am

Same as you rearviewmirror. I rode around for a couple of months only using my lights when it was dark. Then had a couple of experiences which changed my mind. I turn the rear flasher on whenever riding on the road now. Front light doesn't get used during the day as yet, but I see a few riders doing so.

Yesterday I lost my second Niterider Cherry Bomb. First one just fell off a couple of months ago, but yesterday it actually snapped where the sliding catch meets the main casing. They're excellent flashers, and I will replace it with another, but right now I'm using the backup.
Fletcher
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:50 pm
Location: Melba, ACT

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby HeYeHy » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:32 pm

I have had enough near misses :shock: such that i now flash front and rear (High intensity LED) day and night, and run a fixed light at night.

Even on cycleways, I have had pedesrians walking towards me (running parallel to a road) complaining that the car wasn't dipping its head light. I called out i was a push bike and could you please keep left. They jumped out of their skin. GOLD.

Flash away. Stay safe.
HeYeHy
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby rearviewmirror » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:18 pm

Good to hear there are others out there running their lights night and day. I think it does help a lot. We're losing daylight so quickly at night, pretty soon lights are going to be obligatory. :|
User avatar
rearviewmirror
 
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:10 am
Location: Williamstown, Victoria

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:21 am

Red rear flasher always, front flasher always in daylight, front solid and a front flasher during darkness.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2773
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby silkishuge » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:14 pm

Daylight
One rear flasher on. One front flasher on when I am going through certain busy residential roads.

Cloudy
one front light on in flash mode, one rear light flasher

In the dark
Two front lights on. Three rear flashers on.

I use rechargables which I charge at work = FREE!! :D

I agree that flashers make a difference even in daylight. Cyclist are harder to spot and don't assume everyone is paying 100% attention when they drive.

J
Jon's bikes.......
Reynolds 953 (warranty replacement, 7 months and waiting)
Kona Jake the Snake
Cervelo R3
Cervelo R5
silkishuge
 
Posts: 2065
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:07 am
Location: Molong

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby goneriding » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:10 pm

For daytime riding I might use the rear flasher. I've got no real conviction on this one.

As soon as the light starts to fade 1 - 2 rear flashers (possibly 3) and a front light. With it getting darker in the mornings I am looking for something better than the current LED. I was thinking about having a go at making a halogen as per Intructables.
Image
User avatar
goneriding
 
Posts: 2238
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Strathfield

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby grasshopper » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:54 pm

Rear flasher most of the time, particularly if wearing darker colours or drivers behind have sun glare. AyUps up front less often, but I do think they help drivers pick you up just a bit quicker.
User avatar
grasshopper
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:04 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby hartleymartin » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:54 am

I don't bother with them during the day, but at dawn/dusk I use them and usually I also have a hi-vis vest for low-light and night riding.
Martin Christopher Hartley

http://raleightwenty.webs.com - the top web resource for the Raleigh Twenty
http://madmartysblog.blogspot.com - my cycling adventures
User avatar
hartleymartin
 
Posts: 5069
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:56 pm
Location: Old Toongabbie, NSW

Re: Flashing Lights / Night & Day

Postby Rhubarb » Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:28 am

rearviewmirror wrote:
..... I'm not one of those old guys who rides around in a HI-VIS, .......


I am !!!! But at 41, safety is more important to me than style.

I've been commuting for about 5 months now and have been pulled out on / cut off by motorists that just didn't see me on too many occasions already.

Incidentally, I haven't actually had one of those SMIDNSY incidents since I started wearing my flouro orange with reflective stripes about a month ago. I also started using the front flashers at the same time.

My proper night light is a 900 lumen torch which I mount on my helmet. That also helps by enabling me to momentarily "spot" a beam of light into the windscreen of approaching cars just to make sure they know I'm there.
Rhubarb
 
Posts: 852
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:42 pm


Return to Commuting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU



InTouch with BNA
“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter