Rear Night lighting extreme for rural paved roads Whelen TIR3
The last couple of months I started riding early (4-5am). I live in a smaller town and head to a country road. I started out with the various typical bike lights front and rear, safety vest, reflective tape, helmet light, bike mounted lights, etc., but noticed that due to the road being a little hilly and winding that cars were not giving me much clearance in the dark. When my job required my commute on a major highway I had invested in two Whelen Tir3 lights for rear mount which worked great. I semi retired so put the lights away., then I got these lights out again hooked them to a small sealed lead acid battery 1.3 amp and immediately noticed traffic approaching from behind in a much safer manner. I don't recommend these lights in a metro area but they work great in the country with only the occasional farm yard light. One light would be adequate and should give a run time of 2-3 hrs. Each light is .390 ma. I use two because that is what I have. I met a car and didn't realize it was a county cop and flagged him down to warn him about a herd of deer crossing in the road ahead and he saw the lights and said you need good lights like that out here. I would say viewing distance is at least 1 mile but maybe 2, just judging on reflections of road signs between hills. I have mine connected to a toggle switch and run it intermittently, I point it downward to avoid blinding drivers. Just wanted to provide another option to some. These are the same lights mounted on squad cars, wreckers etc, so the are durable.
Wow, that's a great idea. I've mounted two regular bicycle tail lights on a 12" pvc pipe running horizontally off the back of my rack and found that works well, but what you have going must be really dazzling.
Just doing the math 0.390 A * 12 V = 4.68 W. Since you have two, you have almost 10 W of rear lighting - good grief, that's more than most people have on the front.
It is a bright lighting system and I really think 3 miles or more its visible. Today running both lights I think about 40 minutes run time with both lights and it was 22 degrees out. I like it because as I see headlights coming over a hill towards me I flip it on and I become visible just by the rear lights being so bright. These two lights are were used about 3-4 years in year round commuting, snow and rain and they still work fine. Not for city use, way to bright and annoying, but for the country road in the middle of no where it works. When I was using these on the way to work a fellow employee would critique each light pattern and tell me which one he thought was the best. You can adjust the flash pattern and I have the one where it takes almost a minute to cycle through it. I use to power these off of a 14.4 volt cordless drill battery, but those died a few years ago. I noticed the local paramedic unit has a pair of these on their grill and mirrors. They are not that expensive and with the small lead acid sealed battery not that heavy. As far as legal goes, I checked with city and county police here and as long as they face the rear they are ok. Depending where you live you will have to figure that all out. But if there are concerns you can get colors other than red, I have red and amber.