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Old 09-17-13, 10:52 AM   #1
TromboneAl
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Recommendations for Front Flashing Light for Daylight Use

My wife asked for a front-facing flashing light for daylight use for her birthday.

I suggested that that wouldn't be so useful since we rarely ride in urban situations (98% open roads), but she still wants one.

1. How useful do you think these are?

2. Whats a recommendation for a simple, small light (as simple as the PB superflash turbo rear blinkie -- considering this)?
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Old 09-17-13, 10:58 AM   #2
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For daytime use:

Get a light that has a >20 lumen blink mode. Wide beam pattern will be better. There's plenty of good compact options. I wouldn't bother with something like you linked. Those little lights are too dim to really be seen in daylight.
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Old 09-17-13, 11:50 AM   #3
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I wouldn't have thought a front flasher was that useful in rural areas, but I had this happen to me twice in 2 weeks this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOwv_IXZdIk

I'm now running my front light in strobe mode. It's about 800 lumens and strobes about 8 times a second. It's highly irritating, but so is being hit head-on at 60 MPH. Nobody has pulled that on me since I started running that light - someone TRIED it just last night, but they pulled halfway out, saw me and dropped back in line.

If I wanted a light JUST for front flashing, I'd probably go for a 200ish lumen flashlight with a good strobe mode. It would be ideal to get a Dinotte amber front light but they're kind of expensive compared to a $20 flashlight (and honestly probably not significantly move visible). It'd be nice if other companies made amber blinkies, but they are super rare.
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Old 09-18-13, 08:31 AM   #4
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I was hoping for a few specific recommendations. I'd like to keep it under $50, with AA or AAA batteries, and all contained in one small unit.

This one gets mixed reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Intsun%C2%AEQ5...I13CU1OCFU6KDS

Same here: http://www.amazon.com/Princeton-Tec-...FRGDUAZL&psc=1

My favorite so far: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Bl...words=beamer+3

Note that this will never be used for night riding.
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Old 09-18-13, 09:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
My wife asked for a front-facing flashing light for daylight use for her birthday.

I suggested that that wouldn't be so useful since we rarely ride in urban situations (98% open roads), but she still wants one.

1. How useful do you think these are?

2. Whats a recommendation for a simple, small light (as simple as the PB superflash turbo rear blinkie -- considering this)?
1. If your wife wants it, get it. That's marriage advice, not electronics advice.

2. I have the Blaze 1-Watt, which is similar to the 2-Watt you linked to. It's small, light, runs on 2 AA batteries, and has a blinking pattern similar to the Superflash. Not sure how visible it is during the day, but I use one at night. The 2-Watt looks like a great deal right now. It's almost the same price as the 1-Watt.
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Old 09-18-13, 04:40 PM   #6
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1. If your wife wants it, get it. That's marriage advice, not electronics advice.

2. I have the Blaze 1-Watt, which is similar to the 2-Watt you linked to. It's small, light, runs on 2 AA batteries, and has a blinking pattern similar to the Superflash. Not sure how visible it is during the day, but I use one at night. The 2-Watt looks like a great deal right now. It's almost the same price as the 1-Watt.
1. Agree.

2. Thanks, that's good enough for me (plus my positive experience with Superflash rear blinkies). Pulled the trigger on the Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt LED Headlight.
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Old 09-18-13, 04:46 PM   #7
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Love you wife and yourself. 4 hours run time on high strobe. You will not be disappointed. Get two, one for your bike.

http://www.amazon.com/Lumen-Bicycle-...-2147483553-20
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Old 09-20-13, 09:56 AM   #8
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what ItsJustMe said
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Old 09-20-13, 02:53 PM   #9
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I really like the knog blinder and its USB chargeable!
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Old 09-20-13, 06:38 PM   #10
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I think life is way too short to be replacing AA or AA batteries all the time. USB rechargeable is the only way to go IMHO

Besides the the greater convenience of USB rechargeable, nothing running on AA or AAA batteries is going to be bright enough to be noticed in bright sunlight.

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Old 09-20-13, 08:28 PM   #11
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I really like the knog blinder and its USB chargeable!
It's pretty slick looking. At 200 lumens it's probably bright enough when flashing for front daytime visibility, barely. It's kind of expensive compared to the cheap Chinese stuff, but it's really pretty reasonable for a name-brand, compact, one piece light. Also though I have a Knog taillight, I'm not thrilled with the mounting system. It works well on a bar or seat post but it completely fails if you need to mount anywhere else.

For nighttime "see" not "be seen" use, I consider 200 lumens to not really be bright enough. I could ride with only 200 lumens, I have in the past, but when I have to do so I feel like I'm peeking through a keyhole, and often feel that I'm outrunning my lights.
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Old 09-20-13, 10:29 PM   #12
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Anyone try the lezyne Zacto drive pro as a daytime headlight?

http://road.cc/content/news/89208-ju...-drive-pro-led
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Old 09-21-13, 06:01 AM   #13
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buy one from a local retailer so you can try it out. otherwise be prepared to buy one test it then buy more, or if you prefer a different one then keep the first as a back up. I only carry spare on long rides when my trip home might be a long time away from my trip out. 1 PBSF on back rack and left drop bar, w one magic shine up front. I started with the PB 1 watt headlight - which is ok for a be seen strobe in shade and elsewhere too, but magicshine is much brighter. it's inadequate as a headlight to see at night. I think even the 2 watt would barely be good enough considering the much better option such as magic shine and it's cheap copy. I have the cheap copy too but haven't used it yet cuz I just pleasure bike now and my new magicshine battery needs use.
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File Type: jpg dashboard front.jpg (99.9 KB, 19 views)
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File Type: jpg LeTour_TailLight_Mount_DSC_5692.jpg (51.0 KB, 17 views)
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Old 09-21-13, 07:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Don in Austin View Post
I think life is way too short to be replacing AA or AA batteries all the time. USB rechargeable is the only way to go IMHO.
For rear flashers, we have two Superflash Blinkies, one Superflash Turbo, and one Cygolite Hotshot. For me, the AAAs slightly win out in convenience. If I want to be sure the Cygolite is ready for the next ride, I have to remove it, and plug it in at the end of a ride. If I forget, I'm screwed. Also, if everything were USB, we'd have to plug in four blinkies, and two Garmins.

With the Superflashes, I turn them on before a ride, and if they aren't at full brightness, I just swap out the batteries from the Eneloop charger in the garage. The batteries last for many rides.
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Old 09-21-13, 08:12 AM   #15
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Love you wife and yourself. 4 hours run time on high strobe. You will not be disappointed. Get two, one for your bike.

http://www.amazon.com/Lumen-Bicycle-...-2147483553-20
I use these (plural). Great value for money, very bright, reliable so far (about 2 years now), good quality. The only quirk is the high/low/flash button is gently illuminated, which is mildly cool but will drain the battery after a few days, so I unplug the light from the battery when parking the bike. Takes 2 seconds. I have one on my helmet and two on various bikes.
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Old 09-21-13, 08:23 AM   #16
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I usually use my 400 lumen Cygolite in flashing mode, but it is an $80 light that I bought mainly for night riding. I also have a couple of these:


http://dx.com/p/3-mode-5-led-white-r...3-x-aaa-114064


It is a very bright be-seen light. When I stand a few yards back and look at it, it is highly visible. Under $5 shipped from china. I'm sure you can get them from a US source faster and for just a little more. I keep one on my beater bike for running daytime errands. I don't know how reliable it ultimately will turn out to be, but sofar, it works just fine and I've had them over a year.
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Old 09-21-13, 05:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
1. Agree.

2. Thanks, that's good enough for me (plus my positive experience with Superflash rear blinkies). Pulled the trigger on the Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt LED Headlight.
Your wife is smart and I think the lamp you chose fits the bill ( want you wanted ) perfectly. The model you mentioned is listed as having a 146 lumen output. That's not shabby. I own one of the Performance Axiom's that has a 70 lumen rating and I'm very impressed with just that. Not sure my 70 lumen mini light is enough for full Daylight/open road "High Noon" "See Me" visibility but when driving through shadowed areas or when the sun starts to set I feel very confident with my mini-lamp going. Until I owned one I wouldn't of thought something with just a 70 lumen output would look so bright. I was wrong, it is very bright and very useful as a "See Me" lamp.

If you look at the video ( post #3 ) if that rider had one of the 2watt Blazes going ( or my Axiom ) and was commanding a bit more of the road, my bet is that the on-coming driver would have backed off and pulled back into his lane. ( notice that the road is shadowed ) It completely made me laugh when the rider hit's his horn AFTER the car goes by.

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Old 09-22-13, 06:42 PM   #18
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http://www.shiningbeam.com/servlet/t...Neutral/Detail
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Old 09-23-13, 01:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
I usually use my 400 lumen Cygolite in flashing mode, but it is an $80 light that I bought mainly for night riding. I also have a couple of these:


http://dx.com/p/3-mode-5-led-white-r...3-x-aaa-114064


It is a very bright be-seen light. When I stand a few yards back and look at it, it is highly visible. Under $5 shipped from china. I'm sure you can get them from a US source faster and for just a little more. I keep one on my beater bike for running daytime errands. I don't know how reliable it ultimately will turn out to be, but sofar, it works just fine and I've had them over a year.
Thanks for that link. Not they will be as bright as the more expensive USB models but that would depend on the leds being used. I think the Chinese have a version of the 5mm leds that are rated around 22000mcd ea.
Those are actually pretty bright especially when you have five going. I used to have a couple of the cheaper D/X Chinese Frog type lights that used only two mini leds. Not really a lot of output there but this year I bought another and noticed that the optic was much clearer and the output much brighter.

The Axiom I own is probably using the 5mm Nichia's which should be brighter than the Chinese versions. Still, I like the idea of a 5-up (5mm) that uses AAA's. Can't beat the price. I'll be putting a couple of those on my "need to order list" the next time I order from D/X.
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Old 09-23-13, 10:17 AM   #20
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I usually use my 400 lumen Cygolite in flashing mode, but it is an $80 light that I bought mainly for night riding. I also have a couple of these:


http://dx.com/p/3-mode-5-led-white-r...3-x-aaa-114064


It is a very bright be-seen light. When I stand a few yards back and look at it, it is highly visible. Under $5 shipped from china. I'm sure you can get them from a US source faster and for just a little more. I keep one on my beater bike for running daytime errands. I don't know how reliable it ultimately will turn out to be, but sofar, it works just fine and I've had them over a year.
My wife and I have a motorhome and we carry a tandem bicycle on the back. A good bright light for day riding is absolutely a plus and it does matter in helping you be seen. The key is getting something bright and the newer CREE source lights are very bright and have a flasher option that will aid you in being seen.

These can be expensive. However, look up Meritline and search for bicycle lights. They did have a light with holder at one time that attaches to the handle bars. Mine has a Cree LED light and it is super bright. I bought from them also a rear flasher that uses 5 high brightness red LEDS and you can see this day or night.

I decided to look up the lumen output of the light I bought and it's a CREE T6 LED producing 1200 Lumen (as advertised by them) I can't prove the output is as advertised but it is too bright to comfortably look into. The light was approximately $10.00. It has three modes of on. Steady, Flash and Rapid Flash. You can't go wrong with this in daylight. It gets hot after about 10 minutes, but it uses a rechargable 18650 battery that lasts a few hours (high capacity model) and longer in flash mode. You should check out the CREE based lights.
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Old 09-23-13, 10:32 AM   #21
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[QUOTE=TromboneAl;16078628]I was hoping for a few specific recommendations. I'd like to keep it under $50, with AA or AAA batteries, and all contained in one small unit.

I'd guess that you won't be able to get sufficient light for daytime visibility at $50.00. Can you upgrade to a unit that gives you plenty of light with power settings that you can use day or night? With most tools, especially with bike lights, I don't regret getting more than I think I need - I'm always glad I go more. Yes, I gotta pay for it, just sayin'.

Also, is the protocol for bike lights to have a SOLID white light on the front and the rear to be flashing (red), not the front flashing?
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Old 09-23-13, 10:33 AM   #22
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I've used bright flashing lights for a few years now, and found that a light that's bright enough to use at night around streetlights works well in the day. The ones I use ( a magicshine, a viz 360 and a Ultrafire 501b) don't get used at the same time nor do they fit your requirements, but they work fine for me and give me peace of mind from the redundancy.
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Old 09-24-13, 07:48 AM   #23
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1. How useful do you think these are?
Very useful. Running bright lights in the daytime significantly reduces accidents*. The brighter the light, the better. Planet Bike lights are not bright enough for daytime (or even night time, really) use. Look into a light with a minimum of 300 lumens (Cygolite, Nite Rider, etc) with 700+ being ideal.

*Madsen, J. C., Andersen, T., & Lahrmann, H. S. (January 01, 2013). Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment. Accident; Analysis and Prevention, 50, 820-9.
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Old 09-24-13, 09:18 AM   #24
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1. Agree.

2. Thanks, that's good enough for me (plus my positive experience with Superflash rear blinkies). Pulled the trigger on the Planet Bike Blaze 2 Watt LED Headlight.
Since you went with the Blaze, I strongly suggest getting the Planet Bike helmet mount: http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3101.html $5 with free shipping.

Since the amount of light the Blaze 2 watt puts out is marginal on bright days, you'll want to be able to aim it at any motorists you want to alert. In my opinion, under lower light conditions (dawn/dusk and gloomy days) the superflash mode on this light IS bright enough to be useful - especially with a helmet mount. Obviously, brighter is better. I use a 500 lumen flashing light during the day.

Further thought: when you receive it, why don't you throw it on a bike and one of you can look while the other one rides? You can see for yourself if it is bright enough to help with visibility in the daylight. If not, send them back and get something better.

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Old 09-24-13, 11:13 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=boattail71;16095437]
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Also, is the protocol for bike lights to have a SOLID white light on the front and the rear to be flashing (red), not the front flashing?
Front flashing is better for daytime use. Your eye picks up peripheral motion better than static objects, so a flashing light is more likely to get noticed against a cluttered and bright background. At night, you can effectively blind people with a bright flash (including yourself).
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