To flash or not

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
geocycle
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Re: To flash or not

Postby geocycle » 2 Nov 2013, 1:12pm

I really object to fellow cyclists approaching with front flashing lights. I find it very distracting. In a car I find steady lights easier to judge in terms of distance so I now set mine to steady front and back.

Mark1978
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Re: To flash or not

Postby Mark1978 » 2 Nov 2013, 2:33pm

Front and back to flashing. I feel the front is actually more important because most crashes happen with cars pulling out on you at junctions.

Also as mentioned above flashing massively increases battery life. Around 4x longer isn't unusual.

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PaulCumbria
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Re: To flash or not

Postby PaulCumbria » 3 Nov 2013, 10:54am

I never, never blink. Ever heard the expression "Blink and you'll miss it"? Blinking lights are blinking annoying, too.

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Si
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Re: To flash or not

Postby Si » 3 Nov 2013, 10:59am

I normally have one of each at each end. Although sometimes I have the big one at the back set on "cyclon".

As for blinking being annoying - isn't tht what you want - for others to have a reason to take notice of you?

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gentlegreen
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Re: To flash or not

Postby gentlegreen » 3 Nov 2013, 12:44pm

Never - but then I have a quiet, semi-rural / suburban commute...
My standard outfit is a tail light that's roughly as bright as a motorcycle tail light, and a good dipped beam.

I have more lights available and can manually flash a very large and bright front light if I need to send a message.

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veloevol
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Re: To flash or not

Postby veloevol » 3 Nov 2013, 1:24pm

In good conditions in bright urban areas I'll use one or perhaps two dipped front lights on steady light and only my rear light flashing.

In wintry conditions and dark roads I transfer one of those dipped lights to my helmet for POV lighting and increase the rear with an extra flashing light.

Front
Lezyne Macro Drive
Exposure Joystick w/ Redeye rear ext.

Rear
Lezyne Micro Drive
Cateye standard

Backup lights are Lezyne Femtos

geocycle
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Re: To flash or not

Postby geocycle » 3 Nov 2013, 3:15pm

Si wrote:I normally have one of each at each end. Although sometimes I have the big one at the back set on "cyclon".

As for blinking being annoying - isn't tht what you want - for others to have a reason to take notice of you?


No, that's the point. When someone approaches me with a blinking front light on a narrow I usually have to squint or even look away to avoid being distracted which could lead to an accident. Flashing at the back is better and does alert drivers to the fact something is ahead, but I find it harder to fix the location and speed especially when the light is very bright or has a very slow blink rate.

Adam S
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Re: To flash or not

Postby Adam S » 3 Nov 2013, 3:53pm

Depends on the light and conditions for me. I can understand why some people use fairly bright lights on flashing in dim daylight conditions, though it's not something I do myself. At night, a 'be seen' (rather than 'see with') light may be most effective in flashing mode in a well lit area. In unlit areas or with more powerful lights I find flashing lights distracting rather than helpful, both for the cyclist and for other road users, and they can create an unwelcome 'pulse' or 'strobe' effect depending on the frequency of the flashing. So it's a matter of degree, but I'd definitely say that mega-bright off-road lights and torches should never be used in (or probably even fitted with) a flashing mode.

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PaulCumbria
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Re: To flash or not

Postby PaulCumbria » 3 Nov 2013, 5:47pm

Si wrote:As for blinking being annoying - isn't tht what you want - for others to have a reason to take notice of you?

No, it's not what I want. People already have the best reason in the world to take notice of me - that if they don't take notice they might kill me.

As has been said already, blinking lights make it harder to judge where the cyclist is, and their speed and direction. That's reason enough not to use them.

As for the annoyance, this just encourages motorists to get past and away as soon as possible, rather than as safely as possible - it may encourage motorists to push past when it's not safe to do so, to get away from the annoyance. Another good reason not to use them.

Nope, give me good bright lights (designed for on-road not off-road use), in constant mode, preferably powered by a hub dynamo, and I'm happy.

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Tigerbiten
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Re: To flash or not

Postby Tigerbiten » 3 Nov 2013, 7:23pm

PaulCumbria wrote:
Si wrote:As for blinking being annoying - isn't tht what you want - for others to have a reason to take notice of you?

No, it's not what I want. People already have the best reason in the world to take notice of me - that if they don't take notice they might kill me.

As has been said already, blinking lights make it harder to judge where the cyclist is, and their speed and direction. That's reason enough not to use them.

As for the annoyance, this just encourages motorists to get past and away as soon as possible, rather than as safely as possible - it may encourage motorists to push past when it's not safe to do so, to get away from the annoyance. Another good reason not to use them.

Nope, give me good bright lights (designed for on-road not off-road use), in constant mode, preferably powered by a hub dynamo, and I'm happy.

The trouble with one solid light is it can get lost in among all the other lights in an urban setting.
While with only one blinking light it can be harder to judge distances to it and if the driver just glances down a road from a junction, he may miss it.
The best option for the back in any setting is one light solid and one light blinking or better.
That way you have the solid for distance and the blinking for attention.
Plus if one backlight fails, you still have a backlight.

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jonbott
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Re: To flash or not

Postby jonbott » 3 Nov 2013, 7:56pm

flashing mode an the rear and I also have a flashing front one
my sis said the flashing is really annoying when you`re approaching a bike,but thats the point you see it! :)
I`m def too old for this!

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gentlegreen
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Re: To flash or not

Postby gentlegreen » 3 Nov 2013, 8:10pm

The flashing is also bloody annoying for a following cyclist on a shared path with minimal lighting.

Slowroad
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Re: To flash or not

Postby Slowroad » 3 Nov 2013, 8:30pm

One flashing, one steady, front and rear. Belt & braces?
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

AndyBSG
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Re: To flash or not

Postby AndyBSG » 4 Nov 2013, 9:20am

I always have mine to set to flash.

The only exception really is if i'm cycling in an unlit area when i'll stick my main front light on to it's beam setting. For me the logic is simple, am I using to lights so that i'm visible to others(flashing) or using lights to light my own way(beam).

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meic
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Re: To flash or not

Postby meic » 4 Nov 2013, 9:32am

am I using to lights so that i'm visible to others(flashing) or using lights to light my own way(beam).


I can see that for short periods of time you can be doing either of those but in my rides I am mostly doing both at the same time and I am not willing to ride along changing modes more often than entering and leaving built up areas.
Not much interested about seeing at my back end which is why my tail lights get much more use of flashing than my headlights.

One of those issues with front lights (and the requirements of BS) is that some only point light forwards and offer nothing to the sides to help you be seen.
Yma o Hyd