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White blinky why?

Old 03-01-22, 11:53 AM
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hbsyncro
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White blinky why?

I still don't truly understand why people ride in the dark with the crazy bright flash modes on their forward facing lights. I get the rear flashing red lights and I get the front white flashing mode in the day light, but in the dark? It drives me (as a cyclist) crazy if I have my light flashing because I can only see the road in front of me when the light is on and it seems like it would piss off motorists and anybody else looking in your direction if you were getting strobed. Why not just run it in steady mode? Maybe they forget to switch modes after the sun goes down? Which doesn't make sense because they would see it flashing when it got dark. Maybe they are trying to save battery life? The worst are cyclists on off highway bike paths where there are no cars and they have their light in seizure mode. The only thing I can think of is they want motorists to know they are a bike (flashing) and not a motorcycle (steady). I have seen cars wait to turn left in front of me because of my steady light and their inability to judge my distance and speed, which for me is still safer. Also, I rarely run my light in the brightest steady mode, but I seem to be alone on that one. If you have the lumens why not use em? Crazy blinding bright.
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Old 03-01-22, 11:59 AM
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The Main Road from my home is Five Lanes. Most drive 50-55 mph.

They only have 6 Seconds to See and Identify a Bike.

Some Drivers have POOR Night Vision.
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Old 03-01-22, 12:21 PM
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Agree with previous post.

Night rides for me combine both quality headlight and blinks white separated by a handle bar mount for headlight and fork mount for blinks.

As much visibility for vehicle operators as possible.
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Old 03-01-22, 01:29 PM
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Intermittent light can attract attention at night.

On the road, I run solid white forward on both helmet and handlebars. When I see a situation forming ahead, like a vehicle approaching from the right, I shake my head left and right to attract attention.

I do have a low-power flasher on the front of my helmet, in addition to normal headlight mounted to the top. There have been times I have turned it on briefly at night to attract attention.

I believe, but cannot prove, that a change in the visual scene increases conspicuity. Thats why I will add intermittent lighting when I am at risk, and return to steady when Im not.

MUP riding at night requires that you not impair the vision of other approaching users.
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Old 03-01-22, 01:39 PM
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I can understand adding a blinking front white light in addition to steady headlight. but just a blinking front light? there is a paved trail near me with some sporadic, suspicious bike light behavior, with weird signaling, from slow riders, as-in riders that don't appear to be going anywhere in particular. I wont suggest my suspicion, because I have nothing definitive to back it up with
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Old 03-01-22, 02:35 PM
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I'm the opposite. I ride with a steady headlight, and steady rear red lights at night. During the day one of my tail lights is set to flash. At night I find it more of a distraction to drivers than a help. At night I find drivers give me a wide berth, much more than during the day, when I run steady lights on the rear. The front light blinking makes no sense to me since I use the headlight to see, and no on is coming at me in my lane from the front, the only ones who should be in my lane are behind me, or moving away from me in front of me.

I have noticed drivers seem to fixate on my rear light at night when it is flashing, which generally causes them to veer towards me, rather than move away from me. With the light steady, I haven't found that to be a problem.
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Old 03-01-22, 02:59 PM
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I also dislike the front strobing.

However, there is one short stretch of bike path that is a median strip bike path, lots of cars going both ways on the two sides. And, bright, low street lamps without covers every 50 feet or so.

It is a mess... And, I've blinked my light on occasion there, as visibility is so poor.

Everywhere else, it is on steady.

And, since I'm often on the bike long enough to drain the batteries, I usually run on low to medium.

Oh, one headlight I had would fade in and out. It was less annoying than a flash. But, still not my preference.
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Old 03-01-22, 10:13 PM
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My current light set up are by Cygolite. I find these lights basically indestructible and a great value. My front light is the Dash Pro 600 USB. I wanted the smallest rechargeable light that was easy to attach and take off for quick bike changes in the morning. I also like the fact that you can adjust the light while riding because I sometimes will point my light down if another cyclist is approaching so as not to blind them especially if it is on high. It has a steady DRL mode that works well and uses minimal battery. My rear light is the Hotshot pro 150 USB. It is plenty bright enough even though they make a 350 version. The rear light has an interesting fade in and out mode in which the tempo is adjustable. I think it is a great mode between steady on and crazy blinky. I can plug in both lights at work or home and I am always ready to go. I use my lights at all times day or night except during the day on paths with no cars. In the winter my commute is in the dark both ways.
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Old 03-01-22, 11:03 PM
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As a driver, I rarely but still get annoyed at flashing bike lights. That means it's done it's job! A lot of that is about where you live and what the traffic conditions are, and even what the local laws are about flashing lights. It's illegal to have any flashing lights in some EU countries like Germany and Holland, while others ban the fronts flashing. I remember the UK made strobing lights legal sometime in the 00s.
Originally Posted by hbsyncro View Post
I still don't truly understand why people ride in the dark with the crazy bright flash modes on their forward facing lights. I get the rear flashing red lights and I get the front white flashing mode in the day light, but in the dark? It drives me (as a cyclist) crazy if I have my light flashing because I can only see the road in front of me when the light is on and it seems like it would piss off motorists and anybody else looking in your direction if you were getting strobed. Why not just run it in steady mode? Maybe they forget to switch modes after the sun goes down? Which doesn't make sense because they would see it flashing when it got dark. Maybe they are trying to save battery life? The worst are cyclists on off highway bike paths where there are no cars and they have their light in seizure mode. The only thing I can think of is they want motorists to know they are a bike (flashing) and not a motorcycle (steady). I have seen cars wait to turn left in front of me because of my steady light and their inability to judge my distance and speed, which for me is still safer. Also, I rarely run my light in the brightest steady mode, but I seem to be alone on that one. If you have the lumens why not use em? Crazy blinding bright.
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Old 03-01-22, 11:30 PM
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As a motorist driving at night I do not get annoyed at flashing red tail lights, but white flashing strobes coming at me are a different story.
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Old 03-02-22, 05:52 AM
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Are the riders you are seeing with strobing lights in well lit areas? The roads I ride in the dark are lit well enough that I can see where I am going without a light. So my lights are more useful to me to make me be seen than to help me see. However I'm not a commuter so I have the luxury of picking the routes I want to ride for enjoyment and not necessity.
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Old 03-02-22, 06:46 AM
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I run a small front strobe as well as a headlamp at night. In seeing what other people are doing most front strobes are small lumen things, but a few people have these massive lights on the front in strobe mode .. those are annoying as h***! Similarly some rear strobes are just too bright, they are running a day strobe at night. There is a big difference between 50 lumens and 1500 lumens.
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Old 03-02-22, 08:16 AM
  #13  
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In the situation of riding past cars that are stacked up, a night, on their right, as they are waiting for the light to turn green, I'm pretty sure that a flashing light is annoying to the drivers in the side mirror, but the flashing light does let them see you. A steady light seems to blend in with all the steady headlights.
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Old 03-02-22, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hbsyncro View Post
My current light set up are by Cygolite. I find these lights basically indestructible and a great value. My front light is the Dash Pro 600 USB. I wanted the smallest rechargeable light that was easy to attach and take off for quick bike changes in the morning. I also like the fact that you can adjust the light while riding because I sometimes will point my light down if another cyclist is approaching so as not to blind them especially if it is on high. It has a steady DRL mode that works well and uses minimal battery. My rear light is the Hotshot pro 150 USB. It is plenty bright enough even though they make a 350 version. The rear light has an interesting fade in and out mode in which the tempo is adjustable. I think it is a great mode between steady on and crazy blinky. I can plug in both lights at work or home and I am always ready to go. I use my lights at all times day or night except during the day on paths with no cars. In the winter my commute is in the dark both ways.
The Dash headlight has a blink + steady beam as one of the choices. A bright blink, but the light stays on between blinks.

I have the same lights that you have, and run them the same way at night: I it the "waaa waaa" mode, ramping the brightness up and down instead of blinking. It's very distinctive, but not annoying.
Blink headlight at dusk, then steady at night.
And I have a very reflective hiviz leg band -- the motion says "bicycle" and it's visible in any direction.

Yes, single blinks on head and tail lights during the day, even at noon in the sun. It's eye catching.
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Old 03-02-22, 09:15 AM
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Flashing front is helpful in dim light, tree tunnels etc. If I rode at night I would make the front steady.
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Old 03-02-22, 11:55 AM
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Pulsing front lights are OK in my book, but strobes are the worst. Especially so on a MUP.
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Old 03-02-22, 05:02 PM
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Blinking lights = more visible to other road users and better battery life. Don't overthink it.
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Old 03-02-22, 05:43 PM
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This right here. bbbean has it. Case closed, court dismissed.
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Old 03-02-22, 06:55 PM
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I was running a Cygolite Metro 360 on the handlebars. Strobe didn't work in dark as I needed the route lighted constantly. Even constant high light just blended in the motorist's background and cars with brights on, continuously blinded me . Now it's helmet mounted Metro 600 in the dark on constant mode with "stutter". Higher mounted, brighter and directional sees most motorists dimming their brights when approaching. The 360, in flash mode, takes care of day riding.
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Old 03-03-22, 05:32 PM
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I have 2 front white lights. One I run solid, the other blinks.
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Old 03-10-22, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Litho dbh View Post
This right here. bbbean has it. Case closed, court dismissed.
No, there are other factors. I was inclined to agree with the original poster, but now I see there are sometimes good reasons for using a front blinky at night. And there are sometimes very bad reasons to use one.
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Old 03-16-22, 02:17 AM
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For the rear light, your speed effectively detracts (reduces) the speed of the vehicles coming from behind. And you are usually right in front of them. So a blinking light is likely to have enough time to be seen and noticed (both important factors, similar, not the same).

For the front - your speed is added to the speed of any oncoming vehicles. That can leave very little time. I've had a car pull out in front of me, not having seen my blinking front light. No accident. The driver felt the need to stop and complain I hadn't turned my light on. The truth is that probably the split-second they had me in their field of vision was when the light was in the off mode. A split-second, but enough to be missed.

So for a front light, I think that a steady beam is a must, and one can add a blinking lite to match it.

Lights that are too strong, blinding, either front or rear are highly questionable. Do you want drivers coming near you (from either direction) to be blinded? Is that outweighed by any benefits compared to having just "normal" good lights that aren't blinding?

I've switched to a dynamo hub to never look back - but before I did that, I just ran the front light in full-on mode and charged the batteries more often.
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Old 03-16-22, 04:09 AM
  #23  
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A head-on collision between a car and a bike is an extremely rare event so annoying the rest of the world by constantly running a strobe light in front is the illusion of insulating yourself from a nonexistent risk. It's your job to avoid crashing head-on into things or getting hooked. If I were in charge flashing lights would be illegal.
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Old 03-16-22, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
A head-on collision between a car and a bike is an extremely rare event so annoying the rest of the world by constantly running a strobe light in front is the illusion of insulating yourself from a nonexistent risk. It's your job to avoid crashing head-on into things or getting hooked. If I were in charge flashing lights would be illegal.
Front lights are not for preventing head-on collisions. They are for preventing cars pulling out (or backing out) on to your street, and for cars taking right turns where there may be a bike stopped at the same light.

I have had many cases of all the above categories where I was glad I was running my front blinker. Controlled studies have also been done which show they reduce car-bike accidents.

EDIT: I remembered the study, it was done in Denmark. Front and rear blinkers in a controlled study. 19% reduction in accidents. https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/files/27454881...r_bicycles.pdf

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Old 03-17-22, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Front lights are not for preventing head-on collisions. They are for preventing cars pulling out (or backing out) on to your street, and for cars taking right turns where there may be a bike stopped at the same light.

I have had many cases of all the above categories where I was glad I was running my front blinker. Controlled studies have also been done which show they reduce car-bike accidents.

EDIT: I remembered the study, it was done in Denmark. Front and rear blinkers in a controlled study. 19% reduction in accidents. https://vbn.aau.dk/ws/files/27454881...r_bicycles.pdf
For clarity, if I got the study right, the experiment compared day-time running lights vs no daytime lights.
Not the blinking lights vs steady beam lights.

That makes perfect sense and, for what its' worth, it aligns with my subjective impression when running lights on bicycles and motorcycles during the day (which is why I've started doing that all the time).
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