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Maximum Lighting for Visibility

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Maximum Lighting for Visibility

Old 02-09-24, 07:47 PM
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There are a lot of ways to use lights, and a lot of different brightnesses, and modes, different brands of lights, not one is wrong, it just depends on what appeals to you.

What I ride with during the day is a NiteRider Lumina 1200 Boost on the front, and a NiteRider Omega 300 (now called 330), both of those will be on the brightest strobe/flashing mode they have.

At night I add two more lights, I add a Phillips SafeRide 80 (no longer in production) and that one is on steady mode, the NiteRider Lumina is on flashing mode until I get on a dark section of road of path than it goes to steady. On the rear I add a NiteRider Sentry Aero 260 on my helmet and it's on an alternating mode from sides to rear; and I put the NiteRider Omega 300 on steady.

Obviously during the day I'm trying to attract the attention of motorists, thus all my lights are strobing or flashing. At night I combine flashing with steady because according to a Canadian study they showed that a flashing rear light is best because people are attracted to flashing lights, but according to a German study they said a steady taillight is better because people have better depth perception for steady lights, so I decided to go with both to please both studies.

Of course I use reflectors, I run with reflector bands on my ankles because a study showed that older drivers can recognize an up and down motion better, my shoes have small reflectors, my helmet has reflective tape I put on, and I wear a cheap safety vest with wide reflective bands I got from a home improvement store.

It may seem like I'm a NiteRider fan boy, but I had two Lezyne lights, a headlight and a taillight and the batteries didn't last long at all, about 3 years and they were slowly losing how long they would run for and eventually they would no long take a charge, the NiteRider taillights lights are now just 3 years old and their run times are the same as when they were new; so last year I decided to try their headlight, but their headlight uses a replaceable battery, I can send the thing back and for around $25 they'll put in a new battery, check over all the circuitry, reseal it, and send it back. I didn't check, but I don't think their taillights use replaceable batteries. I think all headlights and taillights should be made so a person can replace the batteries, this is nonsense to have a light rated for at least 50,000 hours on the LED bulbs, but the battery is only good for 13,000 hours or so, so we throw away a perfectly good light because we can't replace the batteries. My 16-year-old Phillips uses 4AA rechargeable bats, so I can replace those.
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Old 02-13-24, 01:27 PM
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In my area I see cyclists with lights that wear very dark clothing and so greatly reduce their visibility. Wearing a reflective vest and a white helmet (based on accident studies of motorcycle riders) would greatly reduce the odds of a motorist on their phone driving into them.

The problem with lights mounted on bicycles is that they do not move and most do not even flash. The old bike lights of the 1970's used a dimmer light but it was strapped just below the rider's knee and so moved up and down with each rotation of the pedals. Humans notice movement more than anything else.

When a bicyclists insists on wearing a black helmet and dark tops and jackets they are as much at fault as the inattentive motorist that hits them. We live in a time where accidents have been increasing as a result of inattentive drivers using cell phones that have as much of an impact on reaction times as being legal under the influence of alcohol. Sadly the law enforcement community has been ignoring this problem completely for decades and continues to do so.
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Old 02-23-24, 02:58 PM
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Driving home one night I almost hit a fellow dressed entirely in black bicycling in the road. His bike had the large reflectors and this is what I saw and avoided a collision. Less expensive bikes have pedal reflectors and reflectors attached to the spokes and this greatly increase visibility at night. Expensive bikes lack both these features and are inherently more dangerous to use at night. For someone who bikes on the road at night if would be worthwhile to consider adding such reflectors even if the bike looks less cool. Our eyes detect motion and movement to spot anything of importance and this is critical when a driver is distracted by their cell phone or consuming fast food while driving.
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Old 02-23-24, 03:46 PM
  #29  
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Night
When I was riding at night, I used 2000 lumens in the city, aimed a bit downward. City streets can vary from brightly lit to very dark within the same city block. I could see the road very well, and the pool of white light on the road was helpful to motorists, I think. That's way too bright on dark country roads -- the reflective road signs and markers were way too bright, and eyes adapt to the darker conditions.

Daytime
Now, riding in daylight and occasionally near sunset, my 600 lumen Cygolite on flash is instantly noticed, even in noon sunlight. Unlike a previous comment mentioned, I want drivers to see me way down the road, so they have time to react, and time to see me with all their car distractions.

Many of my group riders have 150 or 200 lumen Cygolite taillights, running in single-blink mode. Catching up to riders that had been out of sight ahead, the blink catches my eye immediately, even when the distant rider is too small to recognize. The single sharp flash mode (called Day Lightning) can be set to 2 blinks per second, and that's 15+ hours of run time.

Leg bands!
I got these Jogalite leg bands from REI years ago. They are very comfortable, with a shiny exterior and soft felt lining, and are extremely reflective. When I used to do night group rides in the city, riders way up the road with leg bands were instantly identified as cyclists -- that motion is unmistakable.

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Old 02-23-24, 07:13 PM
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Where I live, if you're driving a car and say you run a redlight at night and didn't see a cyclist because they had no lights or reflectors, the cops will put the fault on the cyclist. I had a cop tell me that, he said they do that to make the police report much easier.
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