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Old 07-29-07, 11:16 PM   #1
FIVE ONE SIX 
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Which do you prefer for your lights, steady or flashing?

i'm just curious as to what you prefer for your lights, steady or flashing, and why...

for me:

Planet Bike Blaze headlight, on steady beam, so i can see the road in front of me.

Planet Bike Super Flash taillight, on blinker, so i can get peoples attention quicker.
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Old 07-29-07, 11:58 PM   #2
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BOTH! i like a solid headlamp to flood the road with light, and a brilliant rapid blink headlight on each side to catch attention.

Taillight: rapid flash. My Dinotte taillight works wonders, no motorist has seen one yet in vancouver, they dont know what to do.
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Old 07-30-07, 12:00 AM   #3
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Front Steady until light then flashing (cygolite dualcross)
Rear flashing (Dinotte, bar end lights, knog frog on helmet)
when foggy, extra BLT Super Doppler DX on rear flashing

Last edited by kleng; 07-30-07 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 07-30-07, 04:20 AM   #4
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Four steady on the front and three steady on the rear. Blinking only as turn signals, rear center one brightens as a brake light. I do this so that I look more like a motorcycle and drivers slow down and look to see what the heck I am at night. Even oncoming traffic tends to slow down for a look. I do seem to attract attention...
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Old 07-30-07, 01:55 PM   #5
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Steady only. Anything else is unsafe.
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Old 07-30-07, 03:08 PM   #6
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Steady only. Anything else is unsafe.
how so?

first thing that catches my eye when driving is the blinky lights on a bicycle.
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Old 07-30-07, 09:04 PM   #7
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"How come blinking is unsafe?"

Actually, it might be the case. Generally speaking, a blinking light attracts attention more rapidly, but a steady light allows one to perceive depth more easily.

Another reason I sometimes hear is that drunk and tired drivers are attracted by blinking lights. However, studies that say so were done with the most powerful police flashers available, not 3-year-old LED taillights.

In my case, I always use two or three taillights for redundency. When we had weak taillights, I usually kept one steady and all others flashing. Now I have a combination of TL-LD1000 and Superflash.

– In daytime (rain, fog, rising sun in my face), I'll use the Superflash in flashing mode.

– At nighttime, I'll use the Superflash in steady mode and the TL-LD1000 in steady and blinking mode (one bank each way).
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Old 07-31-07, 03:39 AM   #8
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"How come blinking is unsafe?"

Actually, it might be the case. Generally speaking, a blinking light attracts attention more rapidly, but a steady light allows one to perceive depth more easily.

Another reason I sometimes hear is that drunk and tired drivers are attracted by blinking lights. However, studies that say so were done with the most powerful police flashers available, not 3-year-old LED taillights.

In my case, I always use two or three taillights for redundency. When we had weak taillights, I usually kept one steady and all others flashing. Now I have a combination of TL-LD1000 and Superflash.

– In daytime (rain, fog, rising sun in my face), I'll use the Superflash in flashing mode.

– At nighttime, I'll use the Superflash in steady mode and the TL-LD1000 in steady and blinking mode (one bank each way).

Interesting, i never thought about depth perception....thanks for that!. Now i have an excuse to buy more Dinotte tailights, and set them up on flashy, one steady.
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Old 07-31-07, 08:03 PM   #9
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California Vehicle Code for bicycles says you have to have at least one steady front and rear light. As far as the depth perception, I agree. I was doing a ride one night and had a problem tracking flashing tail lights and know just where they were. At first I thought some of them were cars making turns.
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Old 07-31-07, 08:22 PM   #10
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Front light doesn't matter but the tail light, I keep it on flashing.
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Old 07-31-07, 09:43 PM   #11
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Interesting, i never thought about depth perception....thanks for that!. Now i have an excuse to buy more Dinotte tailights, and set them up on flashy, one steady.
I e-mailed Rob at Dinotte, he believes that steady is the better option for the Dinotte tailight.
I had asked him about which mode was brighter, steady high or flashing.
He said the peaks in flashing were more intense but he prefered steady.
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Old 08-01-07, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX View Post
i'm just curious as to what you prefer for your lights, steady or flashing, and why...

for me:

Planet Bike Blaze headlight, on steady beam, so i can see the road in front of me.

Planet Bike Super Flash taillight, on blinker, so i can get peoples attention quicker.
Steady and lots of it on the front. Currently around 75W in 4 bulbs but I may go completely stupid this fall and go with another 40...just for giggles.

I've never bought into the flashing front because, with 75 W, no one sees the flashy and there's that depth perception problem.

For the rear, I have at least one set to steady on the bike, the one on my helmet set to steady and the one on my bag, Camelbak and leg all flash.
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Old 08-01-07, 05:49 PM   #13
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Both and depends on which bike My Staiger Florida city bike has a hub generator with the BM standlights on it. I normally run a Planet Bike Superflash on the rear in flash mode, in addition to the BM Toplight, which runs bright red when riding and slightly dimmer when stopped. Front is a bright white light when riding and blue/white LED when stopped. I do have a front white flasher but it is more for backup than anything else and I seldom turn it on. I ride a lot of narrow dark two lane roads with fairly high speed traffic, so I like the long range visibility of the Super Flash on blink mode. On my Raleigh Superbe the factory lights are a bit weak, so on that one I run the Super Flash on steady and a cheap 3 led on blink. For the front I have a little Planet Bike Spot that I run in steady mode. The Superbe does not have standlights.

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Old 08-01-07, 08:00 PM   #14
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Front white light - steady
Back rear light - blinking...

I'm not a fan of riding at night around here, too many critters get active here at night. A opossum or rabbit can do some serious damage.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:07 PM   #15
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If blinking is unsafe then why do emergency vehicles have so many blinking lights? Hazard blinkers go at faster rates then most turn signals and often go at various patterns like: pause -blink,blink,blink - pause -blink . . . Patterns unlike turn signals. My rear blinking strobe is amber unlike red turn signals.
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Old 08-02-07, 01:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ken cummings View Post
If blinking is unsafe then why do emergency vehicles have so many blinking lights? Hazard blinkers go at faster rates then most turn signals and often go at various patterns like: pause -blink,blink,blink - pause -blink . . . Patterns unlike turn signals. My rear blinking strobe is amber unlike red turn signals.
Simple - they're not intended to provide a positional reference for other road users, whereas a bike light is. Flashing lights on emergency vehicles are only intended to get your attention and make you get out of the way.

Blinking/flashing lights are very difficult to track with your eyes in the dark, and if the rate of blinking is slow enough, some could even miss it entirely until it's too late.

Another thing is that if someone rides next to a fence or barrier of some sort at the side of the road, having a blinking light will make it appear as if there's a vehicle with a steady light on moving on the other side of the fence, and that the on/off nature of the light comes from the light hiding and appearing behind the fence poles. I've seen this effect/illusion myself many times. If another rider thinks you're on the other side of the fence, when you're not, that's not a very good thing.

Blinking lights are unsafe, and less visible, but since people assume they're better than steady lights, people will keep using them.

I will say this, though - any light, even a blinking one, is better than NO light.
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Old 08-02-07, 01:01 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by DanteB View Post
California Vehicle Code for bicycles says you have to have at least one steady front and rear light. As far as the depth perception, I agree. I was doing a ride one night and had a problem tracking flashing tail lights and know just where they were. At first I thought some of them were cars making turns.
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Originally Posted by California Vehicle Code Section 21201
(d) Every bicycle operated upon any highway during darkness shall
be equipped (1) with a lamp emitting a white light which, while the
bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway in front of the
bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
from the sides of the bicycle; (2) with a red reflector on the rear
which shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when
directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor
vehicle; (3) with a white or yellow reflector on each pedal visible
from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet;
and (4) with a white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the
center of the bicycle, and with a white or red reflector on each side
to the rear of the center of the bicycle, except that bicycles which
are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need
not be equipped with these side reflectors. Such reflectors and
reflectorized tires shall be of a type meeting requirements
established by the department.
(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached
to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp
required by clause (1) of subdivision (d).
CVC only requires a front light and rear/side reflectors for bicycles operating at night. That being said, I use 2 front lights (15W halogen on bar, 3W cree LED on helmet) and 4 rear lights (3 PB Superflash- 2 steady on rear rack supports, 1 flashing on rack trunk, and a cheapy 5 LED Trek steady on the rear rack mount). I have red reflective tape on my rear rack and fender- I think that satisfies the rear red reflector requirement, but I've been thinking about buying a light with a built in CPSC certified reflector to replace the Trek 5 LED blinky just to be safe.
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