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Daytime Lights: Best Thing I Ever Did

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Daytime Lights: Best Thing I Ever Did

Old 09-26-19, 07:14 AM
  #1  
Papa Tom
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Daytime Lights: Best Thing I Ever Did

For anyone on the fence about whether to add daytime lights to your commuter, I just want to say that mine have added a much, much better sense of security to my rides, both to and from work. People clearly see me now and treat me like a moving vehicle, rather than just another annoying tree-hugger who's not in a car.

Don't even worry so much about WHICH headlight and tail light you buy; just do it.
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Old 09-26-19, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
just do it
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Old 09-26-19, 08:42 AM
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Smart move. I've decided this year that I'd rather have it there whenever I want it, even on my road bike, than save a little weight.
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Old 09-26-19, 08:59 AM
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Definitely helps on days when you are in and out of shadows. It's a good investment.
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Old 09-26-19, 09:15 AM
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Old 09-26-19, 10:10 AM
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As a driver, there have been times when I have been "surprised" by a bike either in the shadows and/or wearing dark clothing. These days, most cars on the road have DRL (Daytime Running Lights). Motorists expect lights. So I got one.

Still doesn't help much when the driver is staring at their phone (had someone run me out of the crosswalk this AM), but does make things a little easier - especially around intersections)
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Old 09-26-19, 10:15 AM
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Part of my morning commute is on a quiet "country" road, heading directly into a blinding sun. When I drive this road at the hour I commute, I cannot see ANYTHING on the side of the road, let alone pedestrians or cyclists. So when I am one of those objects on the side of this road, I want to do everything I can to attract the attention of drivers. My ultra-bright yellow t-shirt just isn't enough these days, but a flashing red light always wakes people up.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:00 AM
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Earlier this week I was sitting on the side of the road next to my house talking to a neighbor. I was on the bike. All the lights were running.

Another neighbor turned onto the street and yelled "Geesh...think your lights are bright enough? I saw you from way down the street!"

All I could do was thank her for verifying how effective they were for me.

(She wasn't being nasty. She s very nice. She was just surprised as how far away she would see the lights)
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Old 09-26-19, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Smart move. I've decided this year that I'd rather have it there whenever I want it, even on my road bike, than save a little weight.
If the weight of a tiny modern LED bike light is slowing anyone down, they should be using an old MagLight with 4 D cell batteries for light AND for better cardio.

Wait...I want to change my response.....

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Smart move. I've decided this year that I'd rather have it there whenever I want it, even on my road bike, than save a little weight.
It's ironic that the bike becomes heavier the more light you add.

Mind blown.

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Old 09-26-19, 11:07 AM
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Been doing this(runing w/ lites on all the time) for about 10 years now.
I'll add another tip; have at least 2 front and 2 rear lights.
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Old 09-26-19, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
If the weight of a tiny modern LED bike light is slowing anyone down, they should be using an old MagLight with 4 D cell batteries for light AND for better cardio.

Wait...I want to change my response.....



It's ironic that the bike becomes heavier the more light you add.

Mind blown.

Don't forget about the 1/2 watt extra drag when I'm cruising at 30 mph, and interfering with one of my 26 hand positions. It may seem difficult to accept these compromises but I still say that it's worth it.
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Old 09-26-19, 01:21 PM
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I'm a big fan as well.

There is such a thing as TOO bright a blinkie at night. Prob less so during the day.

I just got some Bontrager Ion/Flare 200 lights that I like a lot because they change brightness automatically based on the light conditions. Also very small and light.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Been doing this(runing w/ lites on all the time) for about 10 years now.
I'll add another tip; have at least 2 front and 2 rear lights.
Two flashing in the front during broad daylight is great, especially if they're flashing at different rates. Gets drivers' attention.
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Old 09-26-19, 02:57 PM
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Night time I'd run one blinking, one solid up front. Bunch of solids and one blinking on the back.
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Old 09-26-19, 03:38 PM
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I had a guy pull up next to me in his truck on my ride today (on a lightly traveled country road) to tell me without my rear light (a Blackburn Dayblazer 65) he probably wouldn't have seen me. I guess being 6'4" on a bright yellow bike wearing a fairly colorful jersey isn't good enough haha.

He was quite nice, wished me a good ride before he pulled away.

Last edited by mprince; 09-26-19 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 09-26-19, 04:09 PM
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I've been doing this for about 10 years too, back when I was using a 165 lumen light and thinking it was bright. I still remember the guy who saw me before I saw him and waited for me to go by before opening his door.
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Old 09-26-19, 06:09 PM
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So how many lights is too many? I have one 850-lumen headlight set to steady/pulse and one 150-lumen taillight set to a delayed blink. I feel like they are perfect. At what point do you think multiple lights blinking at various speeds becomes more of a (potentially dangerous) distraction than an eye-catcher?
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Old 09-26-19, 06:51 PM
  #18  
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I turned my commuter's generator-hub powered lights on 10 years ago, and have thought little about it since. I have other lights, front and rear, but the two lights are always on, rain or shine, day or night.

On my (daylight) commute home tonight, while I was approaching a stop sign, a car coming from my left turned right at high speed, crossing all four wheels into my lane. He saw me, and widened his wide swing and passed on my RIGHT! I don't know if my daytime running headlight helped him see me or not, but it surely didn't hurt.
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Old 09-27-19, 05:33 AM
  #19  
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Daytime Lights: Best Thing I Ever Did
Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
For anyone on the fence about whether to add daytime lights to your commuter, I just want to say that mine have added a much, much better sense of security to my rides, both to and from work. People clearly see me now and treat me like a moving vehicle, rather than just another annoying tree-hugger who's not in a car.

Don't even worry so much about WHICH headlight and tail light you buy; just do it.
Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
As a driver, there have been times when I have been "surprised" by a bike either in the shadows and/or wearing dark clothing. These days, most cars on the road have DRL (Daytime Running Lights). Motorists expect lights. So I got one.

Still doesn't help much when the driver is staring at their phone (had someone run me out of the crosswalk this AM), but does make things a little easier - especially around intersections)
Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
I'm a big fan as well.

There is such a thing as TOO bright a blinkie at night. Prob less so during the day.

I just got some Bontrager Ion/Flare 200 lights that I like a lot because they change brightness automatically based on the light conditions. Also very small and light.
So @Papa Tom, is your current thread actually a reply to this similar current thread,“Daytime Running Lights - Get Them! Video”? There was a lot of the theorizing, analyzing, and disputes on that one.

FWIW, I posted:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Daytime running lights probably won't hurt; but I'm not convinced they help - at least not in urban conditions where visual overload is already an issue.

That said, I have started using a rear blinkie on the premise that it makes me more visible from behind on bright days when I ride into deep shade.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Just my opinion, but as one who cycles and occasionally drives in visually complex urban conditions, I think in ambient lighting a bright pinpoint light. especially flashing, is conspicuous [incuding a rear blinkie].
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Yawn. Over in the A&S forum a cyclist was hit in broad daylight with a flasher going. At very, very high speed. I am amazed they survived at all.

While nice, it is not essential that oncoming traffic see you, it is more important that trailing traffic see you, but it is even more important that you as a cyclist do not act unpredictably and force a motorist to accommodate your erratic actions. Because they may not, whether they 'see' you or not.
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Which then begs the question: how much MONEY is it reasonable to spend on what has already been acknowledged as a crapshoot?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Obviously night time lights are a necessity, but I think calling day time lights a crapshoot is begging the question. Personally, I run daytime lights, that I don’t think are overly bright, and daytime oncoming drivers’ or cyclists’ eyes are pretty well accomodated to sunlight.

If you believe in dayttime lights (independent of the cost of lights since they are a nighttime necessity ayways), you win with possibly increased safety, you lose with perhaps battery wastage and increased incremental costs;if you don’t believe daytime lights, you lose by possibly diminished safety [in specific singular instances], but win by conservation of your battery life.

However, incredibly bright lights are a losing proposition to oncoming traffic, though they win if they are alerted.

So IMO, unreasonable use of lights is determined not by cost, but by inconvenience to oncoming vehicles
Originally Posted by Jaackil View Post
First of all there is mountains of evidencethat show a significant reduction in accidents with the use of day time lights....
Originally Posted by kingston View Post
There is literally no evidence to support your claim. The choice to run DRL’s on a bicycle is emotional not logical, but I’ll try to present some facts anyway…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Studies?..We don’t need no stinking studies…"

Many disputed safety practices, while maybe ineffective, are of themselves relatively harmless, e,g daytime lights, rear view mirror; perhaps less so, FRAP vs Take the Lane.…

I like to consider the perceived risk:benefit ratio (based on my own experience, and/or advice of trustworthy others).
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-27-19 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 09-27-19, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post

There is such a thing as TOO bright a blinkie at night. Prob less so during the day.
My night riding is in rural areas and I run the front light on solid after dark as drivers find the blinking to be annoying. I run blinking lights at the rear, but they're relatively low power. The super bright rear light that I run during the day is too much at night. But would be fine for urban riding.
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Old 09-27-19, 06:09 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Earlier this week I was sitting on the side of the road next to my house talking to a neighbor. I was on the bike. All the lights were running.

Another neighbor turned onto the street and yelled "Geesh...think your lights are bright enough? I saw you from way down the street!"

All I could do was thank her for verifying how effective they were for me.

(She wasn't being nasty. She s very nice. She was just surprised as how far away she would see the lights)
Maybe she was politely suggesting they might actually be too bright. That's my opinion of many models, bright enough to be counter productive in many instances. Analogous to riding into the sun. Not necessarily a total white out but enough to be painfully distracting, and just asinine on MUPs.
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Old 09-27-19, 06:25 AM
  #22  
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˄˄˄˄ (see post #19 above)
Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Personally, if riding in traffic, I always ride with lights front and rear, blinking. My evidence is everyone's perceived response. Call the evidence empirical if you must
Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
You're looking for the word anecdotal. .
Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Thanks, I understand your correction, but in this instance, I will stick with empirical

"Empirical evidence is the information received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and documentation of patterns and behavior through experimentation. The term comes from the Greek word for experience, ἐμπειρία.​​​​"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Studies?..We don’t need no stinking studies…"

When it comes to safety issues of bicycling, I consider the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, Greek, so-called Father of Medicine: :
Life is short,

and art long,

opportunity fleeting,

experimentations perilous,

and judgment difficult.
Many disputed safety practices, while maybe ineffective, are of themselves relatively harmless, e,g daytime lights, rear view mirror; perhaps less so, FRAP vs Take the Lane.

The alternative, “experimental” methodology was previously described:
Originally Posted by Last ride 76 View Post
…Extrapolating from individual experience, done on a trial and error basis, means: You think it worked better (or didn't work better) for you...

Roughly thats it, unless you were trained properly, in a controlled setting and tested in a validly designed and executed study. Then, if the results for a large enough group of people were taken in aggregate, anomalous factors accounted for properly, then those results would mean something more.
I like to consider the perceived risk benefit ratio (based on my own experience, and/or advice of trustworthy others),
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I happen to be in a scientific profession where strict adherence to properly controlled studies is the norm with the statistical parameter “P<.05” as the holy grail. Yet in my career I have seen well-accepted hypotheses fall by the wayside, or have encountered outliers to the data set.
So, IMO FWIW, for cycling safety. Pragmatism>>Emipiricism.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-27-19 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 09-27-19, 06:26 AM
  #23  
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˄˄˄˄

…and
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Having a bright flashing light on the front & back of your bike ought to negate the "I didn't see him" excuse somewhat.

Why couldn't you see the cyclist wearing brightly colored clothing with flashing lights on his bike?
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
What I mean is, a distracted driver shouldn't be able to use "I didn't see him" when the cyclist has brightly colored clothing and bright flashing lights.

I hope my daytime lights attract the attention of drivers so they know I'm there, but we all know that all too often "I didn't see him" is what they say because they weren't looking.

So I would hope that a cop would ask the driver, "WHY didn't you see them? What were you looking at which made you not see them?"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was also in a cycling accident three years ago, that kept me off work for three months and off the bike for five…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have had the experience of being hit-and-run, presumably not intentionally, but by a distracted (?inebriated) driver. The police filed charges.
The police were great, and their report at the subsequent trial was spot on and particularly noted my details for visibility, including lights and high vis vest.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I think the police testimony in my accident about lights was favorable to my case, though was in the situation of a rear hit-and-run at night.

Nonetheless, I think that any safety practice, including daytime (front and rear) lights, helmets, FRAP, even if unproved by studies, would be favorably considered by even the non-cyling public, including judges and juries.

The driver got a year in jail.
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Old 09-27-19, 07:22 AM
  #24  
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Jim, I have no idea what you are trying to say with embedded quote after embedded quote, but the one thing that jumped out at me as wrong is “While nice, it is not essential that oncoming traffic see you, it is more important that trailing traffic see you.” Oncoming turning and crossing traffic has very little time to react to a cyclist, so it is equally important to be visible from the front and the rear.
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Old 09-27-19, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
jim, i have no idea what you are trying to say with embedded quote after embedded quote, ...
+1
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