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White blinky why?

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White blinky why?

Old 03-17-22, 08:51 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post
For clarity, if I got the study right, the experiment compared day-time running lights vs no daytime lights.
Not the blinking lights vs steady beam lights.

That makes perfect sense and, for what its' worth, it aligns with my subjective impression when running lights on bicycles and motorcycles during the day (which is why I've started doing that all the time).
They were blinking lights. They used a magnetic induction method which lit the light with each wheel rotation:

Two magnets are fixed to the each of the spokes of both wheels and the lights are mounted to the front and the rear wheel fork. When the magnets passes the light an electric current is induced, which makes the lights flash, when the wheels are rolling.
They also go on to state that blinking lights were illegal and they needed to get special permission to run the study.

The main difference w.r.t the current thread is this is for both front- and rear-lights, they didn't try just one or the other. Also they didn't compare steady beam to blinking. I think some other studies already showed blinking is superior which is why they didn't try steady lights. (EDIT: here is one such study, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs...41931213601755 - for bike tail lights only but it should be similar for a front light.)

Last edited by scottfsmith; 03-17-22 at 10:03 AM. Reason: add study
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Old 03-17-22, 01:22 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
They were blinking lights. They used a magnetic induction method which lit the light with each wheel rotation:



They also go on to state that blinking lights were illegal and they needed to get special permission to run the study.

The main difference w.r.t the current thread is this is for both front- and rear-lights, they didn't try just one or the other. Also they didn't compare steady beam to blinking. I think some other studies already showed blinking is superior which is why they didn't try steady lights. (EDIT: here is one such study, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs...41931213601755 - for bike tail lights only but it should be similar for a front light.)
I'm not sure it's the same for the front light, for reasons explained in my first post in this topic/thread.
Suppose that blinking + steady for the front is the best possible scenario (best of both worlds, considering the downsides of each).

For the rear, I'm sure that blinking is the better option.
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Old 03-17-22, 08:43 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin View Post
I'm not sure it's the same for the front light, for reasons explained in my first post in this topic/thread.
Suppose that blinking + steady for the front is the best possible scenario (best of both worlds, considering the downsides of each).

For the rear, I'm sure that blinking is the better option.
OK I think I get your point. I agree that there is a greater issue with the front "blink" being missed compared to the back blink since the front blinker is more what protects you from side swipes and drivers are more likely to only momentarily look when pulling out into traffic. For rear light the drivers usually are in the line of sight for longer periods. I'm not sure how common missing a blink is though, as a blink is also visible in peripheral vision so you don't need to look right at it.

I almost got sideswiped by an Amazon delivery truck yesterday .. driver pulled out of a parallel parking spot without looking and I was going by very fast. Fortunately they saw me at the last minute and saved me from leaving a big dent in the side of their van. I was very glad I was running my front blinker.
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Old 03-18-22, 05:59 AM
  #29  
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I think there is a line between gaining some one attention and causing them discomfort.

When I ride or drive by "that guy" dressed in all black with a strobe aimed at my eyes, it causes discomfort and a bad feeling towards a bike rider. I don't want to be associated with that behavior by the local 70mph on the way to git'er done, back road F350 Nascar contingent.

A strong strobe can also make it almost impossible to look at the rider, which seems counter productive. I do use the strobe on my headlight or headlights, when I think its necessary to be more visible.
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Old 03-18-22, 06:10 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
I remember the UK made strobing lights legal sometime in the 00s.
Yet a large number of cyclists in the UK still have strobing/flashing lights
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Old 03-18-22, 02:44 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rivers View Post
Yet a large number of cyclists in the UK still have strobing/flashing lights
Yes, because it was made "legal." It was illegal previously!
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Old 03-19-22, 09:22 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Sardines View Post
Yes, because it was made "legal." It was illegal previously!
Sorry, I misread it- I blame lack of sleep due to a newborn
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Old 03-19-22, 10:07 AM
  #33  
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I run a lower output blinking mode in the early morning hours mostly on empty MUPs riding 25 miles into work (which I don't do that often). My light will run for many hours in that mode. When I get on the road I set it as powerful as a car's low beam and steady; running in blinking mode is to save the battery for when I really need it on the road.
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Old 03-20-22, 02:25 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Blinking lights = more visible to other road users and better battery life. Don't overthink it.
egzachary!
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Old 03-22-22, 11:50 PM
  #35  
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Generally a bad idea but there's a time and place for flashing white lights on the front. Think urban settings where there are lights/glare everywhere, so a little bit of call to attention is good. Or in parking lots, on sidewalks, or other areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic.
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Old 03-23-22, 03:53 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by rivers View Post
lack of sleep due to a newborn
excellent! congratulations! best wishes for every time you think "I've got this" something changes ... hehe but seriously, well done you & whoever?!
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Old 04-29-22, 10:03 AM
  #37  
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If I recall my neurocognitive stuff correctly, a strobing light is better at attracting attention rather than a fixed beam. That is why some higher end cars will initially have flashing brake lights to get your attention. Also, police cars, ambulances, fire trucks will have strobing lights, even road barriers will have strobes on them to attract your attention. That is one concern for these emergency vehicles stopped on the road at night, drivers will actually get distracted and drive TOWARDS the strobing light which is why you hear about stopped cruisers getting hit!!

As a driver - I just don't care what light you have on. For the love of life, just have something one light on, reflector, light coloured clothing so I can see you in the dark. I've come close to hitting people are riding in the dark or in the rain with no identifiers on and I've braked/swerved at the last second to avoid impact. Folks say, but the car has headlights! But if they come up from behind me and are in my blind spot when I make a turn, they are as good as dead.

That being said, rear lights should also be strobing so drivers from behind can see you, and fingers crossed, not drive into you. Red is best for the driver's night vision, but quite frankly anything is better than nothing. Front lights should be both types, one super bright and fixed for your own vision, and one dimmer that is strobing so oncoming cars can see you. Usually white is the default for the front so the drivers can figure out which direction you are going.
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Old 04-29-22, 10:29 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
Intermittent light can attract attention at night.
That's what I've found.

I have relatively poor vision at night. Corrected, so focus is pretty good, but like most people it suffers somewhat in the dark, even worse if misty, foggy, drizzling. But I've noticed I can visually pick up cyclists much more quickly if their lighting is more attention-getting. And that means flashing some sort of pattern, other than strictly steady.

As some have suggested, multiple lights where the light pattern differs (ie, one stead, one slowly/randomly flashing) can draw attention where a single light can get lost in the visual clutter.

Myself, I run two red taillights, each flashing a slightly different pattern. Crazy bright, separated enough to be clear, and flashing to grab attention as early as possible. I run a single headlight most of the time, and it's on steady during runs in the dark, but I do a crazy-bright flash during the daylight hours. Riding as frequently as I do on narrow two-lane streets (without shoulders, with ditches), it's important to gain attention as early as possible in such places. I notice drivers drive a bit more gingerly when I've got the "aggressive" flashing modes on, yielding a bit more space around me as they blow by.
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Old 04-29-22, 02:14 PM
  #39  
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I run my front light in blinky mode, but its not that bright and its pointed down towards the road about 10 yards in front of me. The neighborhoods I ride in after dark have great street lighting, so no real need to run anything that's as bright as an aircraft's landing lights.

That said, what someone said above about the off-street MUPs in my area after dark is true. No lights on the MUPs but bicycle riders seem to want to run the brightest lights they can find and point the light straight ahead. I'll sometimes start just before dawn and those coming towards me almost blind my vision. Geez, if you're going to ride on the MUP adjust the light down toward the asphalt path surface where the hazards might be, I know I can see you're dimmed light and you can see mine.
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