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Old 04-20-10, 04:55 PM   #1
MileHighMark
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Lights for daylight visibility?

Looking for recommendations on daylight-visible lights. I'm going to start commuting to work (approx 1 hour each way), and want something to give me a little more visibility to motorists.

For rear lights, I'm considering the following:
  • Blackburn Mars 4.0
  • NiteRider Cherry Bomb
  • PDW Radbot 1000
  • Princeton Tec Swerve

As far as a front light, I'm open to any suggestions. I have helmet/bar-mounted Amoeba's that I use for off-road riding, but I think those would be overkill for daylight use.

Note that I would prefer something self-contained that runs on AA or AAA batteries (front and rear).

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-20-10, 04:58 PM   #2
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If a driver cant see you in broad daylight what makes you think he will see you better with a battery powered light on your bike? If you are worried about drivers seeing you wear one of those Blaze Orange reflective vests. While you are at it you should look into Full Face helmet, Body armor, elbow pads and Shin guards. Make sure to keep some prophylactics with you too, never can be too safe ya know.
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Old 04-20-10, 04:59 PM   #3
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just so you know I am kidding with you, so dont get too mad.
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Old 04-20-10, 05:09 PM   #4
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I'm actually running my 2 Magic Shine headlights during daylight hours. I put one on low and have one on strobe. I'm not in a high-traffic area, but some of the roads that I use have high-speed limits. I've been thinking of adding a Blackburn Mars 4.0 to the rear--that way I'd have two flashing red tail lights, but I'm waiting to see what the MagicShine taillight looks like and how it performs.
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Old 04-20-10, 05:51 PM   #5
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During the day some sort of ANSI safety colored vest or a cycling jacket is going to get more attention than hard to see lights.
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Old 04-20-10, 05:58 PM   #6
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If a driver cant see you in broad daylight what makes you think he will see you better with a battery powered light on your bike? If you are worried about drivers seeing you wear one of those Blaze Orange reflective vests. While you are at it you should look into Full Face helmet, Body armor, elbow pads and Shin guards. Make sure to keep some prophylactics with you too, never can be too safe ya know.
It's going to be tough to pedal while wearing one of these:
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Old 04-20-10, 06:26 PM   #7
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#1 - bright yellow/green reflective vest. This will do more for visibility in the day than any reasonable light.

For actual lighting, in daylight, IMO, Dinotte 140L. Around $100 for the AA version if you get it on sale and already have AA rechargables. Unparalleled though - people CAN easily see it in broad daylight, I've had many people tell me so. It's one piece of equipment I'd buy again in a second, I honestly couldn't justify NOT getting one.

It's the minimum light I'd trust in conditions like heavy fog, snow or rain too.
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Old 04-20-10, 06:30 PM   #8
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I don't think there IS any rear light that takes AA's or AAA's and is self contained that's going to be visible worth a dang in daylight.

The only light I know of that's very visible during the day is the Dinotte 140L (or the 400L or whatever above it). It takes AA's, but it's not self contained and they only last like 2 hours before needing to be recharged. At night it's super bright. During the day, it's just bright enough to be noticed and I'd run it on blinking (something that I suspect would be obnoxious at night).

For the front light, I would highly doubt your Amoeba's would be to bright at all. You need a lot more light to stand out during the daytime than you do at night, I would expect you need to put out at least 200 lumens blinking just be noticed (for your light to be noticed, at least).
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Old 04-20-10, 07:21 PM   #9
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I use a 255 lumen Cygolite set to blink mode on the front and a PB Superflash on the back. If it's at all cool, I wear my Canari hi viz windbreaker. Most of the time I don't think the lights help, but under certain lighting conditions (riding in shadows in bright sunlight) I think it helps cars see me earlier. During daylight, though, a hi viz vest or jacket is the most effective way to be seen.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:29 PM   #10
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The 4 NiMH AA's on the Dinotte are good for about 6 hours.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:31 PM   #11
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I have a Dealextreme Ultrafire 501B that is very bright and can be seen a long way in the day time. It uses a Cree xp-e r-2 LED and 18650 batteries. The light runs for about 6 hours on the flashing mode.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:26 PM   #12
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#1 - bright yellow/green reflective vest. This will do more for visibility in the day than any reasonable light.

For actual lighting, in daylight, IMO, Dinotte 140L. Around $100 for the AA version if you get it on sale and already have AA rechargables. Unparalleled though - people CAN easily see it in broad daylight, I've had many people tell me so. It's one piece of equipment I'd buy again in a second, I honestly couldn't justify NOT getting one.

It's the minimum light I'd trust in conditions like heavy fog, snow or rain too.
+1 on this.. I don't use a hi viz vest but I do plan to get one. I use the Dinotte 140R on the back and the 140 amber on the front and cars see me in all light conditions. I use the 200 on my helmet at night. I have purchased the same set up for my daughter as well. This is a big investment in lights but IMO it is well worth the price. I also have PBSF that is good at night but worthless in bright sunlight.
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Old 04-20-10, 10:40 PM   #13
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Another vote for a DiNotte 140 (or a 400) in 5-pulse mode, they're excellent. And a hi-vis outer layer would be great as well.
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Old 04-21-10, 08:09 AM   #14
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Drove at 40 mph past a bike equipped with a Dinotte 400R (red rear) in strobe mode at about 7:00 am. Not bright daylight, but about the same as noon with 100% heavy cloud cover. That lights visibility was impressive in its effectiveness at distance.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:42 PM   #15
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I drive the same route that I'll be riding, and I've noticed that the screaming yellow Pearl Izumi jackets/vests are a whole lot more visible than any lights or reflective material. I picked up one of the PI vests from REI for $35 (20% discount, year-end dividend), so I'll be adding that to the "arsenal."



I poked around the Dinotte website, and their lights definitely look impressive, but I'm a little skeptical of the o-ring mounts. It might be worth it to just pony up for one of the 400L tail lights for peace of mind.
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Old 04-21-10, 12:49 PM   #16
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I use the magic shine upfront - strobe during daylight - high beam at night and 2 count them 2 PB SF, one on the rack and 1 on the left drop bar, plus reflective tape and hi vis clothing
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Old 04-21-10, 12:49 PM   #17
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@sooprvylyn, I actually couldn't agree with you more. Living/biking in NYC, you get used to the idea of being sandwiched without the presence of even a bike lane. And the truth is that there is very little you can do to improve your visibility.

However, if you're determined to get yourself some day lights, remember that anything that FLASHES is your friend!!
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Old 04-21-10, 12:50 PM   #18
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Also a GREAT link:

http://bicyclesafe.com/
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Old 04-21-10, 12:55 PM   #19
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I poked around the Dinotte website, and their lights definitely look impressive, but I'm a little skeptical of the o-ring mounts. It might be worth it to just pony up for one of the 400L tail lights for peace of mind.
If you're concerned about the longevity of the rubber hand thing, or the ability of the mount to hold the light on the bike, you could also do some research - whatever material they use really holds up. I've had mine for like 5 years and it seems just as good as when I bought it. I've even used the front light on my mountain bike and the mount has been flawless for me - the light doesn't even change position when jostled while riding over logs or rocks, let alone ever come close to falling off the bike.

While the mount is good, if you get the AA version the one tricky part can be keeping the batteries in their case. If you put them in a non-jolting location they're fine (like the underseat bag, or the rear pocket of your vest which is what I do for my helmet light). But if you mount them on the frame and hit some rough stuff, they can jostle themselves out - I have to put 2 rubber bands around the case (one for the batteries, one for the connector) to keep it from happening on my mountain bike rides. (EDIT - I mean they aren't going to jostle out of the pouch and onto the ground or anything, but they can jostle themselves out of the case enough so the light doesn't have power any more)

Last edited by PaulRivers; 04-21-10 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:43 PM   #20
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strobes help with visibility
hi vis clothing helps with visibility
we're not talking about can the guy see you if you are sitting in front of his car. we're talking about you traveling at 20 mph and the car seeing you well enough in advance, and can judge your speed, so that they can stop and or wait for you to pass safely. sure they can see you bouncing off their front bumper no problem, but you don't want that.
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Old 04-23-10, 07:24 AM   #21
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strobes help with visibility
hi vis clothing helps with visibility
we're not talking about can the guy see you if you are sitting in front of his car. we're talking about you traveling at 20 mph and the car seeing you well enough in advance, and can judge your speed, so that they can stop and or wait for you to pass safely. sure they can see you bouncing off their front bumper no problem, but you don't want that.
Well put.

If somebody sees my flashlight strobe four blocks away, I am now on the drivers, "radar screen".

And, the more strobes a driver sees the sooner he/she begins to really know that there are cyclists on the road.
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Old 04-28-10, 10:25 AM   #22
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I pulled the trigger on the Dinottes:



Got it with the amber front light for more daytime visibility.
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Old 04-28-10, 11:57 AM   #23
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cool beans. let's see it installed! :-)
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Old 04-28-10, 01:07 PM   #24
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cool beans. let's see it installed! :-)
Soon. Still waiting on my frame/fork.
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Old 04-28-10, 01:08 PM   #25
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I hate waiting for stuff. I have new MTB tires on the way and I made the mistake of having them delivered to my home and now I have to head them off before my current spouse sees them ... !
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