Old 07-15-20, 04:17 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 147 Post(s)
Liked 95 Times in 64 Posts
Strobe lights

We all have our personal hobby horses, and this is NOT one of mine. I won't ever stop using blinking lights on my bike, day and night.

I don't have anything but anecdotal evidence on this, but I believe that blinking increase visibility (not strobing lights, and certainly not blinding lights) . During the day, blinking lights are unusual so they catch motorists' eye against a chaotic background of shiny things. At night, the same, except of course that if you're riding anywhere in the urban and semi-urban environment, the steady blinking lights catch motorists' eyes against the symphony of other points of light. At dusk or in bright sun/shade situations, it's even more important, because the sun blinds the motorists (and me!) to what's in the shade.

But I don't think that the lights have to be blinding strobes, and I don't think that they have to be pointed up. A blinking headlight aimed at the pavement in the near/middle distance in front of the front tire is sufficient, in my opinion. So at night I used two lights: a headlight, aimed at the road within my stopping distance, and a blinking light aimed a bit further out. No one will ever be able to convince me that blinking lights don't increase motorists' awareness without actual scientific studies. I can tell you that any boater at night will tell you that it's the steadily blinking light that stands out against a dark background punctuated by innumerable lights. It's more true in an urban setting at night with all kinds of lights, including cars.

Finally, I just don't believe that blinking lights that we're talking about trigger epilepsy or vertigo. Even if they did, I'm certain that the incidence of "unseen" cyclists being run over is far higher than bicycle-light-strobes-induced epilepsy. Of the two, I'll take my chances with vertigo and epilepsy. Both are generally non-fatal.
Elbeinlaw is offline