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Thread: Brake Lights.

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    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Brake Lights.

    OK. For a while now I have wanted to have some form of slowing/stopping indication apart from waving my arm like I am about to take off.

    Now there are many cheap and crap brake lights and turn signals. These are rubbish as I am sure many of you will agree. The turn signals are too close to each other and blend in with the stop light to be any use. The switches for the signals are too difficult to use with gloves. And the brake light is activated by a flimsy switch on the rear brake only. (And as any serious cyclist will know, the front brake is where most of the action is at).

    Anyway, after doing a google search in response to a reply in one of my other threads on here, I stumbled accross these...

    http://lucidbrake.com/
    http://light.sungoinc.com/light/index.html

    Of these, to look at I much prefer the LucidBrake, but that appears to be vapourware ATM. The Maxxon however, does appear to be avaialble. However there is less information about how it works.

    Presuming they use the same technology then
    I think the LucidBrake KnightRider effect looks better and possibly gives a better stop signal to those behind. But I think the Maxxon is slightly more stylish, definately lighter, has a 220 deg viewing angle for better side visibility and probably has a longer battery life. Also the Maxxon lists Automatic On/Off.

    What do you guys think about these? Would they be worthwhile? Would they be over sensitive? Or are they just another cheap tacky gimmick?

  2. #2
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    Nobody is expecting a brake light on a bicycle enough for it to be useful. I mean why bother? What information does a LED light on flashing/steady not give you that a "brake light" would, that would actually be unambiguous and useful?
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    A sudden change from flashing to steady MAY wake up that sleeping driver behind you.

    I have to say I don't like steady to brighter steady, not enough of a change. And the brightness MUST increase. But if these criteria were met, then the light MAY be useful.

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    They both appear to use digital accelerometers, thus the Maxxon's claim of using "Nintendo Wii hi-tech employed". I like the Maxxon. I like the auto-on, and I like the choice of flashing or steady. If I'm riding alone at night I like flashing, but if I'm going to be with a group, I don't want everyone to have to stare at my blinking light all night.

    I think steady to brighter steady would work well, as long as it's bright enough. After all, that's what people are used to seeing car tail/brake lights do. If you're following something with a red light on the back and it suddenly gets brighter, the automatic reaction is that it's a brake light.

    One thing that turned me off to the Lucid light was this claim "Most bike to bike accidents happen because the guy in front slows or stops and the one behind doesn t notice in time.". Funny, I've always heard that most car/bike accidents happen at intersections when one unexpectedly turns in front of the other. I've also read that rear-end car/bike collisions are fairly uncommon. My experience goes along with that, too. It just kinda turns me off when an advertiser claims a "fact" that goes against what I know.
    Keith Hearn

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    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Agreed on the propaganda(sp)

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    Senior Member jack002's Avatar
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    I've had the idea for a long time to have a brake light. No reason, just to look more like a car or a motorcycle. I had a resistor on a generator tail light that would be shorted over with a switch on my rear brake. When I'd come to a stop, it'd get brighter, then dim down to nothing. Silly, I know. I was a kid. WAS

    was

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    Biking isn't a sport because anybody can do it. I can bike, you can bike. For goodness sakes, my mother can bike! You don't see her on the cover of Sports Illustrated, do you?

  7. #7
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Just stumbled across another option.

    Not so high tech, not so visible, and again rear brake only (well you could have them on your front brakes, but it probably wouldn't do much good)

    Promax I-Pad's Brake pads with integrated rear facing (3mm?) red LED's (one per pad).

    If they gave these amber side LED's as well they might be better.

    V-Brake/Canti's only I think.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    CC, you post more than I do !!

    How's your brake light coming on ?
    I have found them on eBay for US $27.99

    But no price for shipping to the UK, so I emailed the seller.

    Dear chiehhao_lu,

    Would it be possible to ship to the United Kingdom, and if so, what would the shipping costs be please.

    - carrot_ironfoundersson
    Dear carrot_ironfoundersson,

    Hi, we can do USD$33 per unit with free international shipping. The estimate shipping time will be 5-10 business days to the UK. For make orders to the UK, please email me the quantities, I can send you invoice via Paypal (not through eBay, because the postage calculation is applied to those buyers in the US only). Thank you.

    - chiehhao_lu
    Dear chiehhao_lu,

    Hi. I was originally going to only order 1 unit. But I am a member of a cycle forum, so I will see if there are any other interested parties before I commit to buy.

    - carrot_ironfoundersson
    Dear carrot_ironfoundersson,

    Hi, that is a good idea too. We offer good pricing for group orders from bicycle/sports clubs/groups to save your money. The pricing varies based on the quantities in one order- 6, 10, 15, 20, 50, or 100 units. I am willing to provide the pricing, if you have a clue on the quantities. Please let me know whenever you are ready to order or having questions. Thank you. Good Day !

    - chiehhao_lu
    Now I am too new and untrusted to set up any group buys or anything like that, but if anyone else was interested in doing so I wouldn't stop you and would definately partake.

    Otherwise I'll just drop $33 and get one for myself. ($33 doesn't seem bad as it includes intl shipping, currently works out at Ģ23.12 - not bad at all).

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    I hate to be critical, but that brake light looks overcomplicated.

    I don't hold out much hope for a group buy, tbh - but I've been wrong plenty of times before.

    The seller has very little feedback, I certainly wouldn't send him enough for 6 or 10 units.....

    Is he in the US or in china pretending to be in the US ?



    Have you considered this one: Brake & Tail Light
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  10. #10
    Senior Member CaptCarrot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unknown Cyclist View Post
    I hate to be critical, but that brake light looks overcomplicated.

    I don't hold out much hope for a group buy, tbh - but I've been wrong plenty of times before.

    The seller has very little feedback, I certainly wouldn't send him enough for 6 or 10 units.....

    Is he in the US or in china pretending to be in the US ?

    Fair point well made


    Have you considered this one: Brake & Tail Light
    Actually I had missed that one, but it sufferes from the same problem as all the other ones, the wire is to the rear brake only. And there is a wire, which means if you are using a rack with bag it will be obscured. Plus the switch will eventually wear out.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a little sceptical about how good these motion lights are, but I still think they are better than wired.

    Don't know if I will be partaking or not - unless there is a group buy and the price comes down.

    But I don't blame anybody for not wanting to do the group buy, which is why I posted the link so anyone could buy direct (although I think there may be other places as well).

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    Smile brake light

    Hello, guys...I happened to find this post that talks about the brake light (maxxon wireless brake light) made by our company. By the regulations of this forum, I am not supposed to say much about our own product to avoid the allegation of advertisement, but I do have a question to consult with you guys. Actually, other than wireless brake light function, our light is also equipped with so-called "stable brightness across even in low voltage" function by PWM/SWITCHING controlling techniques, which makes the use of rechargeable batteries (2.4V, not 3V as regular batteries) without sacrifice of brightness. Does anyone of you guys consider the function useful or valuable to you? your kind comments/ideas will be appreciated !

  12. #12
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Well, certainly regulated LEDs are preferable. We'd all like to have all our LEDs regulated, but often the dollar gets in the way.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    When I added amber LED strobes as turn signals to my bike last summer, I also added a red LED strip as a brake light. It's triggered by a micro lever switch attached to the rear brake cable. It runs off 1 9V battery. Here's a rather blurry image.



    Here's a picture of the micro lever switch attached to the brake cable (you also see the 9V battery that powers the brake light (it's attached to the rear rack). The best thing about this set up is the wiring didn't have to be run very long since everything's at the rear of the bike.


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    wow....you made a "very complicated" brake light system......That might be kind of fun out of DIY, but why bother while wireless brake light is available in market?

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    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenlu88 View Post
    wow....you made a "very complicated" brake light system......That might be kind of fun out of DIY, but why bother while wireless brake light is available in market?
    There's nothing complicated, it's simple wiring. Mine cost under $20 and is 100% reliable and water resistant now that I've got the battery in a plastic case and silicone sealing the wires connected to the micro lever switch.

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenlu88 View Post
    wow....you made a "very complicated" brake light system......That might be kind of fun out of DIY, but why bother while wireless brake light is available in market?
    Gee, why do anything when someone else will do it for you? I bet I could pay someone else to go on vacation for me too.

    Some people just don't get it.
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    real far gone HamboneSlim's Avatar
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    I remember making something like that when I was a kid riding an AMF Hercules 3-speed.

    Used a micro limit switch with a long actuater lever on it under the front brake lever, so squeezing the lever would close the switch without interfering with the operation of the lever. A pair of D cells were slung under the saddle in a plastic battery holder salvaged from some broken toy, and IIRC, the tailight actually had STOP across it, like the old schoolbus lights had. Strictly on/off affair; no runlight.

    A fun project, not sure how useful it was really.

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    For me, brake lights for bikes are kind of silly anyway. It's not expected by the cars, so when they see it come on, it will NOT register to them that it's a brake light, so it'll be basically useless.

    Besides, I run a Dinotte 140L even in daylight. I doubt anyone would even notice the brake light with that running. And even if it were wired up to a brake switch, would car drivers know that when it switched from slow strobe to steady on, that it mean I was braking?

    Bottom line is that it's up to the cyclist to brake safely, and that means making sure that there isn't a car doesn't run you over, because they're going to be there and doing something stupid regardless of what lights you run.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    For me, brake lights for bikes are kind of silly anyway. It's not expected by the cars, so when they see it come on, it will NOT register to them that it's a brake light, so it'll be basically useless.

    Besides, I run a Dinotte 140L even in daylight. I doubt anyone would even notice the brake light with that running. And even if it were wired up to a brake switch, would car drivers know that when it switched from slow strobe to steady on, that it mean I was braking?

    Bottom line is that it's up to the cyclist to brake safely, and that means making sure that there isn't a car doesn't run you over, because they're going to be there and doing something stupid regardless of what lights you run.
    I went ahead and added a brake light when I added turn signals since I was able to get a water proof red LED really cheap from the same source I bought the amber LED strobes that I used for the turn signals. I decided to add the turn signals because it really bothered me that many younger drivers didn't seem to understand hand signals and thought I was waiving when signaling a right hand turn. I have to say adding the signals has had a beneficial affect, although I'll admit that you don't have the level of aggressive driving where I live currently, maybe due to the fact that there's no real congestion on the roads. Since installing the turn signals and brake signal, when I start signaling a turn before reaching an intersection and when I'm stopped at a stop sign or light, cars give me wider berth. I know a lot of cyclists don't like the idea of signal lights, but it's been decades since cars were allowed to be sold without turn signals and brake lights and the blurb in driver's ed handbooks about hand signals doesn't seem to sink in since no one really has to use hand signals when driving any more.

  20. #20
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I would like to try one of these
    Unfortunately they are not available in the US. I also might run into installation/mounting issues with my rig.
    BTW, nwmtnbkr, I like your set up. I don't have the knowledge to duplicate it.
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    Trailer Nut BossCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
    I went ahead and added a brake light when I added turn signals since I was able to get a water proof red LED really cheap from the same source I bought the amber LED strobes that I used for the turn signals. I decided to add the turn signals because it really bothered me that many younger drivers didn't seem to understand hand signals and thought I was waiving when signaling a right hand turn. I have to say adding the signals has had a beneficial affect, although I'll admit that you don't have the level of aggressive driving where I live currently, maybe due to the fact that there's no real congestion on the roads. Since installing the turn signals and brake signal, when I start signaling a turn before reaching an intersection and when I'm stopped at a stop sign or light, cars give me wider berth. I know a lot of cyclists don't like the idea of signal lights, but it's been decades since cars were allowed to be sold without turn signals and brake lights and the blurb in driver's ed handbooks about hand signals doesn't seem to sink in since no one really has to use hand signals when driving any more.
    Hi nwmtnbkr,

    Nice light setup. Im looking to make something along these lines for my bike and trailer. Could you tell me how the lights flash? is it a flasher unit you bought or is the flash incorperated into the Amber LED's?
    More close up pics of the setup would be nice.

    Thanks
    Tom
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    Trailer Nut BossCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I would like to try one of these
    Unfortunately they are not available in the US. I also might run into installation/mounting issues with my rig.
    BTW, nwmtnbkr, I like your set up. I don't have the knowledge to duplicate it.
    The trouble with most if not all bike lights these days is there all made of cheap plastic and easily broken, or not completly waterproof. I've bought a few

    I plan to make a more robust unit for bike & trailer out of aluminium box tubing, with all led's,wiring etc housed inside.


    Well thats the plan! but as you know - The plans of mice and men

    Regards
    Tom
    Last edited by BossCat; 01-09-10 at 09:30 AM.
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    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BossCat View Post
    Hi nwmtnbkr,

    Nice light setup. Im looking to make something along these lines for my bike and trailer. Could you tell me how the lights flash? is it a flasher unit you bought or is the flash incorperated into the Amber LED's?
    More close up pics of the setup would be nice.

    Thanks
    Tom
    The LED strobes that I bought come with the controller that flashes the units. I bought 2 pair so I could put them on the front and back. They're super cheap--under $7.00 US with free shipping. http://www.suntekstore.com/us-44-led...hts-amber.html
    This was the first time that I ordered from this Hong Kong-based merchant and was pleased with their service. Everything arrived in good shape and incredibly quick (for free shipping); I got my order within about 2 weeks. I need to order another set of strobes to add signals to my trailer.

    Since a controller operates a pair of strobes, I've got the pairs split left and right. You can see the front controller, which controls the front and rear left signal lights, in this photo (it's the small black box zip tied to the center of bracket holding the front signals). All 4 of the LED strobes operate off 1 9V battery that I've got stuffed in that Bell bag. I'm happy with this set up, but it does require running several wires from front to back. Since I did this shortly after adding an electric power assist kit to my bike, I wasn't too bothered by running more wires.



    I'm planning on buying a folder soon to take with me on some travel by train. I'm considering adding turn signals to the ends of the handlebars so I don't have to deal with wear and tear on wiring due to folding and can get adequate front/rear visibility with one set of signal lights. I'm contemplating a simple set up that will house all required components for each signal in an autonomous unit. I'm thinking of putting a bright LED strip, powered by a couple of AA batteries and a simple switch in a plastic tube that I can insert into the end of the handlebars. I got to thinking about this type of set up because I'm too cheap to buy a set of Winkkus. http://www.winkku.com/




    P.S. Here's a short video giving you an idea of the brightness of the strobes.

    Last edited by nwmtnbkr; 01-09-10 at 03:24 PM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member nwmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I would like to try one of these
    Unfortunately they are not available in the US. I also might run into installation/mounting issues with my rig.
    BTW, nwmtnbkr, I like your set up. I don't have the knowledge to duplicate it.
    xtrajack,

    These mirrors with front and rear turn signals are very expensive (about $86 for a pair) but require no wiring. You just insert batteries and attach them to your handlebars. http://www.winkku.com/



    I don't think you'd have problems wiring strobes to your bike. It just takes a bit of patience working with the wiring. I think the wireless system you like is caught up in a patent dispute.

  25. #25
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwmtnbkr View Post
    xtrajack,

    These mirrors with front and rear turn signals are very expensive (about $86 for a pair) but require no wiring. You just insert batteries and attach them to your handlebars. http://www.winkku.com/



    I don't think you'd have problems wiring strobes to your bike. It just takes a bit of patience working with the wiring. I think the wireless system you like is caught up in a patent dispute.
    nwmtnbkr,

    Thank you for the link. I think that they would solve the turn signal issue. Mounted on the handlebars they would have enough distance between them to actually be useful.
    They are pricey though. They have a spot on the list.
    I will probably go with the Nashbar brake light mounted under my snapdeck.

    I could probably actually install a set up like yours, the problem is figuring out which parts I would need and where to get them. I don't have the knowledge base to make sure that everything would work together.
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