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Missing Tail Light Cover Offers Better Visability

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Missing Tail Light Cover Offers Better Visability

Old 01-31-15, 07:31 PM
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Missing Tail Light Cover Offers Better Visability

With dusk, early in the winter our friendly neighborhood cyclist keeps his tail light on well before dark as a safety measure. The other day instead of flashing red it was flashing clear and was much more visible than normally. I slowed down to tell him so and he stated his tail light cover had fallen off and was lost. I advised him how much more visible the tail light was now so he said he's going to keep it that way...

Thought it worth mentioning...
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Old 01-31-15, 07:34 PM
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Needs to be RED...
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Old 01-31-15, 07:45 PM
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WHat about the reflectors? Some lights have reflectors molded into the cover.
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Old 01-31-15, 08:17 PM
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The OP is reporting his personal observation that this particular light was more visible without the reflector.

I'm not surprised. Colored lenses work, not by converting the light from white, but by absorbing and trapping all the light but that in the red part of the spectrum. That means that a large part of the original output never gets out. However, some rear lights use red LEDs which put out red light, so less is trapped by the lens.

So, yes, no lens means no trapped light, and more visibility. But red is the preferred (and legally mandated) color for tail lights and what tells approaching motorists that they're catching up to a vehicle.

For my part, I break the law, and use a flashing AMBER light. IN NYS flashing amber is reserved for stationary hazards, like construction barriers, and for turn and 4-way flashers. I've been quizzed on this twice in 40 years, and both time I explained, that since a motorist would be closing rapidly and treat me as stationary and adjust accordingly, vs. correctly guessing I'm moving and catch up sooner than they expected. Both times the officer accepted my logic and sent me on with best wishes.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Needs to be RED...
I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 02-01-15, 08:49 AM
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FB, good point!
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Old 02-01-15, 08:55 AM
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In North Carolina, bicycles are required to display either a red light or reflector from the rear. I have always thought that flashing amber, in addition to a red, would allow the cyclist to be seen and recognized more effectively as a vehicle moving slower than traffic. It is not illegal to do so in NC, in fact some vehicles (e.g. tow trucks) are required to show flashing amber while moving; however I have not been able to find them available for sale. Perhaps I'll have to make my own.
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Old 02-01-15, 12:54 PM
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Fine, but what if the lens is also want to keep water out? He might have corroded and short-circuited electronics, in a few months.
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