night lights

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night lights

Postby 13bute » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:33 am

hi ,
thinking of riding at night but dont wont to be cleaned up :)
i have seen some rider around with flashing lights on there body like a vest or something , does anyone know where i can get one of these and if so
a good brand to get .

cheers andy
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by BNA » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:46 am

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Re: night lights

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:46 am

Pretty sure Torpedo 7 have something like that Andy, Lumisash or something similar. No idea as to quality tho'.

Hope this helps.

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Re: night lights

Postby clackers » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:12 am

Kathmandu also sell flashing armbands (as well as spoke lights). They'll also help you be seen from side roads.

Reflective anklets are available from most places - no batteries required, perfect for around town.
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Re: night lights

Postby durianrider » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:53 pm

Nite Flux is an aussie company based out of Radelaide that make the brightest rear tail light on the market. Its the Red Zone 8. If you want bright, thats the light..
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Re: night lights

Postby AUbicycles » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:02 pm

For jackets that have included LEDs, a UK based company does these: www.ledwear.co.uk

A few years back Aushiker looked at one of their products for BNA, not a jacket rather a backpack cover with LED lights.
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Re: night lights

Postby Howzat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:25 pm

13bute wrote:thinking of riding at night but dont wont to be cleaned up :)

Multiple lights and backups are in order.

Night riding is a risk factor though - statistically speaking, your chance of injury increases a lot compared with riding during daytime, perhaps about four times I seem to recall from one report. So you want to be about four times as careful as you'd normally be.

Edit: the same risk factor applies to driving a car at night vs at day, as it happens. Just more risk of accidents at night, so you need to take more care.
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Re: night lights

Postby il padrone » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:38 pm

Howzat wrote:Night riding is a risk factor though - statistically speaking, your chance of injury increases a lot compared with riding during daytime, perhaps about four times I seem to recall from one report. So you want to be about four times as careful as you'd normally be.

Edit: the same risk factor applies to driving a car at night vs at day, as it happens. Just more risk of accidents at night, so you need to take more care.

I'm quite skeptical of such data. For drivers, a lot of the night-time risk comes from the effects of alcohol and fatigue, plus the problems of long-distance truck drivers magnify it.

For cyclists, similar problems with alcohol and there is the huge problem of lots of cyclists riding without lights. It's easy to avoid these risks.

If you have simply good lights to meet the legal requirements, you'll be streets ahead on the risk stakes. By all means use extra lights and reflective gear as you see fit, but I believe even with standard lights and some basic reflective-striped clothing, riding at night is not too much more dangerous than daytime. Certainly not 4 times as dangerous. At night you will stand out better than daytime as lights today are very much better and, apart from during peak periods, the traffic volume is generally much lower. With the proviso that, as Audax riders say, from about 2am to 6am are the 'crazy hours'.
Last edited by il padrone on Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: night lights

Postby Howzat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:24 pm

I looked it up. For cyclists, the death and injury rate per 10 million kms is only about 2.5 times higher between 6pm and 2am than between 6am and 6pm.

(For cars and motorbikes, the rate goes up a whopping 8-15 times at night compared to daytime.)

That's from a 2010 Austroads study "The Road Safety Consequences of Changing Travel Modes" which looks at time of day as well as age and sex variations in accident stats. The study makes disclaimers about the lack of as much good data on cycling as we collect on car travel, and there are some anomalies due to lack of data.

But those are the stats. Obviously they include all causes of accidents, including dumb ones. But statistical analysis is like that, it's an aggregated result; it doesn't apply directly to an individual, but should be borne in mind. We might surmise that while you can limit your risk by not riding home plastered, you're also at a greater risk of getting skittled by a drunk driver. Or taking a dive over some hazard you didn't see. We're also talking small numbers - about 10-13 deaths or injuries per 10 million kms travelled at night. For cyclists, those are mostly injuries.

In general, I think it's fair to say you need to be more careful at night to even out the risks. (Two point five times as careful. :D )
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Re: night lights

Postby bychosis » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:40 am

Once you have at least one front and rear light (reqd by law) additional refective tape is probably as effective as extra lights. Think roadworker vests etc.
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Re: night lights

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:29 pm

Howzat wrote:
13bute wrote:thinking of riding at night but dont wont to be cleaned up :)

Multiple lights and backups are in order.

Night riding is a risk factor though - statistically speaking, your chance of injury increases a lot compared with riding during daytime, perhaps about four times I seem to recall from one report. So you want to be about four times as careful as you'd normally be.

Edit: the same risk factor applies to driving a car at night vs at day, as it happens. Just more risk of accidents at night, so you need to take more care.


The problem with statistics is you never get the whole picture.

I'll give you an example, an employee of ours used to work as a database programmer for the police and he'd regularly be asked to pull data out like "how often speed was a factor in accidents" - and the police and politions use that data. What was often left out of the picture was that in addition to speed, you usually had alcohol, drugs & fatigue as factors. Without the alcohol, drugs & fatigue would "speed" have been so much of a factor? Who knows.

What I'd like to know, from the night riding accident statistics - how many of those riders were properly lit with light coloured clothing, rear flasher and a decent headlight?

In my own experience, night riding with good lights is far safer than during the day. The roads are quieter and motorists give you a much wider berth and I believe riders are far more visable in the night (given propper lights & clothing).

I don't go for the super high power flashers, they chew batteries and could blind a passing motorist potentially making it more dangerous.

I like your basic SMART type LED flasher, they work great and batteries in them last for months. They also get dull when the batteries are running down whereas the RADbot that I used as a super bright example turns off completely without warning when the battery gets low - very dangerous unless you are running two flashers.
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Re: night lights

Postby rdp_au » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:44 pm

jacks1071 wrote:

I like your basic SMART type LED flasher, they work great and batteries in them last for months. They also get dull when the batteries are running down whereas the RADbot that I used as a super bright example turns off completely without warning when the battery gets low - very dangerous unless you are running two flashers.


I use a Radbot all the time - the fact that it's very bright makes it useful during the day as well. I find that it does start to get dimmer for a while before it shuts off completely. I use two sets of rechargeable batteries and change them over every two weeks or so. I also have a cheapo flasher on the back of my helmet as a backup. My front light is also very bright (Ayup) and lasts around an hour and a half on full power. I have the Ayup charger set up near where the bike is parked so just hook it up for a recharge every night.
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Re: night lights

Postby jacks1071 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:28 pm

rdp_au wrote:
jacks1071 wrote:

I like your basic SMART type LED flasher, they work great and batteries in them last for months. They also get dull when the batteries are running down whereas the RADbot that I used as a super bright example turns off completely without warning when the battery gets low - very dangerous unless you are running two flashers.


I use a Radbot all the time - the fact that it's very bright makes it useful during the day as well. I find that it does start to get dimmer for a while before it shuts off completely. I use two sets of rechargeable batteries and change them over every two weeks or so. I also have a cheapo flasher on the back of my helmet as a backup. My front light is also very bright (Ayup) and lasts around an hour and a half on full power. I have the Ayup charger set up near where the bike is parked so just hook it up for a recharge every night.


If you remember to change them over on the Radbot I can see how that'd work for you. I'm not convinced that brighter is safer on a flasher though.

Ayup's are the bomb. Love them.
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Re: night lights

Postby NhiTrac » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:31 am

jacks1071 wrote:
Howzat wrote:In my own experience, night riding with good lights is far safer than during the day. The roads are quieter and motorists give you a much wider berth and I believe riders are far more visable in the night (given propper lights & clothing).

I don't go for the super high power flashers, they chew batteries and could blind a passing motorist potentially making it more dangerous.

I like your basic SMART type LED flasher, they work great and batteries in them last for months. They also get dull when the batteries are running down whereas the RADbot that I used as a super bright example turns off completely without warning when the battery gets low - very dangerous unless you are running two flashers.


My experience too. In fact I feel safer riding at night/lower light conditions as with the lights I'm rocking, you can't miss me (unless they're blind drunk, falling asleep or had a freak accident and decided to kamakazi me out). All of the close calls I've had have always been during the day...

However I don't like those traditionl LED flashers as unless you're in it's very narrow beam of light, it's almost useless. This is from experience when driving behind other cyclist with these as well as testing my own at home one night. What I do have are:

Niteflux Zone 4 on the back
Ayups on the front
Light and motion 360 vis on the cap

All of the lights are set to flash while I only set the Ayups to a steady beam when I need to see. To date this is probably the best combo I've had. Probably will explore another set of Ayups narrow beam come winter...
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Re: night lights

Postby jcjordan » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:59 am

I love my ayups. My suggestion would be to go for a combo of lenses. I use a narrow and medium combination for winter riding so that I can direct one out to see the world and the other to make out details before I run over them
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Re: night lights

Postby il padrone » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:11 am

I'm getting one of these (sometime..... when stock comes in)

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Low speed beam (very wide angle photo - 16mm lens)
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High speed beam (also very wide angle photo)
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Re: night lights

Postby find_bruce » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:40 am

The difficulty with statistics is that it includes cases such as the unfortunate Mr Little, who the courts found was riding at night, without lights or wheel reflectors, he was crossing a straight, flat road & ran into the side of a car which was travelling at slightly under the 80 km/h spped limit with low beam headlights illuminated. The District Court held that the car driver was not in any way negligent.

The lessons from this case are pretty obvious
  • Look left as well as right before you cross a road
  • If you are going to ride at night, use lights.
  • "Finding" a broken reflector 4 years after your accident is unlikely to assist your case

One interesting aspect of the evidence though was that of the mechanical engineer who considered the direction from which the bicycle was approaching the vehicle, the area illuminated by the headlights on low beam and the night-time visibility at the scene of the collision and concluded that if the bicycle had been fitted with reflectors on the wheels they would have been ineffective in reflecting light back to the driver.
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Re: night lights

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:11 pm

find_bruce wrote:One interesting aspect of the evidence though was that of the mechanical engineer who considered the direction from which the bicycle was approaching the vehicle, the area illuminated by the headlights on low beam and the night-time visibility at the scene of the collision and concluded that if the bicycle had been fitted with reflectors on the wheels they would have been ineffective in reflecting light back to the driver.


I've been saying this for years and run reflex tape on my commuters rims instead. Going home tonight, I was waiting outside Clown crassino to cross Clarendon and follow the river towards Webb Bridge, lots of riders went past heading towards Flinders St, more than a few with standard wheel reflectors. They looked great for about 10 metres (ie 5 metres either side of directly in front of my AyUps) but couldn't be seen outside that narrow range, the lass on the Bluebird share bike with its reflective band on the tyre was easily visible for a much greater distance. Wish 'Gators came with them.
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Re: night lights

Postby NhiTrac » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:11 pm

Seems like Ive jinxed myself. My Niteflux RZ4 has now died on me and will turn itself off within a few seconds... Time to place a warranty order. Fingers crossed I get sent the new RZ8.

Thought this sucks as I can't ride due to not having a backup rear flasher :evil:
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Re: night lights

Postby Summernight » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:42 am

NhiTrac wrote:Seems like Ive jinxed myself. My Niteflux RZ4 has now died on me and will turn itself off within a few seconds... Time to place a warranty order. Fingers crossed I get sent the new RZ8.

Thought this sucks as I can't ride due to not having a backup rear flasher :evil:


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Re: night lights

Postby isabella24 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:45 pm

I ride into Sydney most mornings from 5am - 6:30am and the only rear light that I can rely on being seen with is a set of Ay-Ups with the red covers on them. I've had cheaper 'smart' and 'Blackburn' brand lights (still around $50 each, so not real cheapies) and I've always had cars either pull up to me at lights and wind down the windows to tell me they couldn't see me, or I've had cars clip me. Since putting Ay-ups on the back, i've been fine. I should clarify that it's not when it's totally dark that I have a problem but when the sun is just coming up (dawn, around 6am here at the moment) that cars can't seem to see standard lights. They sure see the Ay-ups but I can understand the price would put many people off! (Especially as I have them on the front as well!) to me though, it's a small price to pay for better visibility.
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Re: night lights

Postby il padrone » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:34 pm

isabella24 wrote:I should clarify that it's not when it's totally dark that I have a problem but when the sun is just coming up (dawn, around 6am here at the moment) that cars can't seem to see standard lights.

The sort of situation where I've had similar but favourable comments about my rear Ortlieb panniers. The white shield-shaped patches are very effective reflective material, that are low-down, right where the car headlights will pick them up early. Makes them much brighter than nearly any tail-light. Headlights will pick them out brightly at a distance of 100-200m.

"What are those two lights you've got on your bags?" was the question from a colleague who'd passed me on the way to work in what I thought was daylight (he must have been a bit sleepy though). "Um.... your headlights!" :shock:


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Re: night lights

Postby find_bruce » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:59 pm

find_bruce wrote:One interesting aspect of the evidence though was that of the mechanical engineer who considered the direction from which the bicycle was approaching the vehicle, the area illuminated by the headlights on low beam and the night-time visibility at the scene of the collision and concluded that if the bicycle had been fitted with reflectors on the wheels they would have been ineffective in reflecting light back to the driver.

Mulger bill wrote:I've been saying this for years and run reflex tape on my commuters rims instead. Going home tonight, I was waiting outside Clown crassino to cross Clarendon and follow the river towards Webb Bridge, lots of riders went past heading towards Flinders St, more than a few with standard wheel reflectors. They looked great for about 10 metres (ie 5 metres either side of directly in front of my AyUps) but couldn't be seen outside that narrow range, the lass on the Bluebird share bike with its reflective band on the tyre was easily visible for a much greater distance. Wish 'Gators came with them.

You know you were right, I know you were right, I was just a bit surprised that a so called expert could understand it - most of this sort of evidence starts from the premise that if the person had stuck to "the standard" whatever that is, then all problems would be solved.
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Re: night lights

Postby trailgumby » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:31 pm

find_bruce wrote:You know you were right, I know you were right, I was just a bit surprised that a so called expert could understand it - most of this sort of evidence starts from the premise that if the person had stuck to "the standard" whatever that is, then all problems would be solved.

I find that so irritating. Especially doctors that intone with well practiced gravitas "If he'd just been wearing a helmet he'd have lived."

What irritates me most is the flagrant exceeding of their field of expertise. Do they have any idea of the speeds or forces involved (including direction) in a particular case? Can they have any such idea?

Without forensics taken at the scene and reliable evidence about speed and mode of contact, I don't see any way they can credibly make any such claims. They're seeing only the results not what caused it.

In most cases of death or serious injury it is my view a half inch thick shell of styrofoam will have made very little difference to outcomes.

Much better to prevent the crashes occurring in the first instance, through changing our road culture, and building more appropriate facilities, than applying ineffective measures hoping to reduce damage after the fact.

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Re: night lights

Postby Lurkin » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:09 pm

I have a cygolite metro for usual flash duties during the day. Ideal because it charges from USB and can be charged at work or home.

Since then, have purchased 1800 lumen light from ebay with battery pack to cycle home late at night - more to see with than to be visible. Comparable to a Fenix BT20 but with a more poorer focus on the beam. but given its 1/4 the price - I'm content with that.

I have a red katmandu light (5 leds in a row) which I found on the side of the road, double aaas etc. this is attached to my backpack and typically has a cover over it - the light illuminates pretty much the entire backpack at night. nice and visible.

I also have a ebay replica (actually bought 5 odd) which is just as effective, and is attached to the rear seat bag. advantage being if I kick it, the bag moves, whereas attaching directly to the frame would result in the connection breaking and losing lights.

But really, ebays a commuters friend. $2 rear lights, $30 1800 lumen lights (comes with a charger, battery pack, light, fittings, battery pack baggie for the bike) + cheap aaa battery's and charger from ebay- definitely sufficient for commuting and cheap as chips.

I cannot understand people cycling at night without lights, on the road. Recipe for natural selection in motion.
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Re: night lights

Postby ball bearing » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:22 pm

Riding at night is easily four times more dangerous where I live. Hills, forests and 'roos plus the usual drinkers make cycling after dark a real adventure.
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