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How bright a tail light to be visible in daylight?

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How bright a tail light to be visible in daylight?

Old 10-25-12, 06:26 PM
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How bright a tail light to be visible in daylight?

I have a 0.5-watt PB Superflash that I have been using at night (which works well) and also on darker overcast days. The light is visible on overcast days, and it probably helps a little bit, but I'm wishing for more. Will the 1-watt Superflash Turbo or Radbot 1,000 be eyecatching in daylight, or should I go for something better? I'm trying not to be unrealistic - I doubt that they will show up at high noon on a sunny day. I always use my current light in flashing mode, and expect the same for the new one.

The reason I'm focused on these lights is that I already have PB seatpost mounts on 3 bikes, and I love that I can just have one light in my pannier and stick it on any of the bikes. (I heard that Portland Design Works lights work with the PB mounts, but correct me if I'm wrong about that). It would be nice to have a better light that would work with these mounts, and also keep my current light as a backup.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:40 PM
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Check out my thread about the NR Solas. You'll find a link in post #3 that compares that light to a PBSF Turbo. Daytime and night time vids and images.

I've read that the PDW lights are compatible with the PBSF mounts (I think they were designed to way to make it easier to attract customers away from PB), and I believe that the Radbot 1k owners will say that their lights are noticeable in daylight. Then again, since they are looking at them, they are going to be noticed...
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Old 10-25-12, 07:13 PM
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I have a Dinotte and don't know about others. The light can be seen at a distance of at least 1/4 mile in daylight. It is brighter than a cars brake lights.
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Old 10-25-12, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by davidad
I have a Dinotte and don't know about others. The light can be seen at a distance of at least 1/4 mile in daylight. It is brighter than a cars brake lights.
I get favorable reviews in the daytime running the Dinotte 300R RED Taillight with built in battery. It's particularly good at dusk, on parts of the ride where the setting sun is in the eyes of drivers behind me. I use the setting with constant light accented with bright blinking.

It will be nice when a self-contained light this bright and well-made is available for less than $199.
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Old 10-25-12, 08:10 PM
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I currently also have a different tail light on my helmet. I guess I could put the brighter new light on my helmet and keep using my current PB superflash on my seat post. The NR Solas does look pretty good. Does anyone have an opinion on where the brighter light would be best? I'm a little worried about having a superbright light on my helmet, as it might be obnoxious to other road users if it's up that high....
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Old 10-25-12, 09:17 PM
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I have a Radbot 1000 and it's definitely not bright enough for full-on mid day sunshine. Pretty much any good .5-1W light is more than adequate for dusk or darker conditions. I believe the Dinottes are in the 200 lumen range. The 2W Hotshot is around 60 lumens. So I think these inexpensive lights have a ways to go before matching Dinotte.
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Old 10-26-12, 03:00 PM
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Check out the Cygolite Hotshot. VERY bright, and can easily be seen during the day. I have one mounted on the helmet, seatpost, and rack.
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Old 10-26-12, 04:48 PM
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Broad daylight? You don't need a light in broad daylight. What makes you think if they can't see you in broad daylight that their going to somehow see your light? If their that blind their not going to see a light. If the weather is gloomy then I will use a light on flash mode, I currently use a Blackburn Mars 4 but will upgrade this spring when lights go on sale to probably a Light & Motion Vis 180 or the Serfas Shield but I haven't decided completely yet on either.
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Old 10-26-12, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata
Broad daylight? You don't need a light in broad daylight. What makes you think if they can't see you in broad daylight that their going to somehow see your light? If their that blind their not going to see a light. If the weather is gloomy then I will use a light on flash mode, I currently use a Blackburn Mars 4 but will upgrade this spring when lights go on sale to probably a Light & Motion Vis 180 or the Serfas Shield but I haven't decided completely yet on either.
Here's a scenario: Someone is texting. They look down at their phone. They glance up and look for large moving objects (other vehicles). They look down at their phone. They look up for a second.... I think in these situations, even during the day, a flashing light can help. It can catch the eye in a way that a cyclist without a light might not. Same in the morning when the drivers are half asleep. Not that this is perfect or takes away all the risk, but if I can spend $30 - 40 for a little safety upgrade, that would be worth it to me.

I said in my first post that I didn't expect these lights to be visible on a bright sunny day. What I'm wondering is if a 1-watt light is a sufficient upgrade for overcast conditions to be worthwhile.

Edit: The Serfas looks pretty good. Thanks for the suggestion.

Last edited by Spld cyclist; 10-26-12 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:10 PM
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Many drivers that hit cyclists say they didn't see them and daylight visible lighting would go a long way towards making you more visible. Look on youtube for some videos of the Dinotte rear lights in daylight. They stand out very clearly. A bright rear light would help reduce probability of a right hook or rear collision during the day IMO. My Lezyne Super Drive XL in flashing mode definitely gets driver's attentions during the day. I wouldn't mind adding a daylight visible rear light to my arsenal. Especially since I'm moving down to the west side of LA soon where the surface street traffic is ridiculously busy at certain times of the day.

Originally Posted by Spld cyclist
What I'm wondering is if a 1-watt light is a sufficient upgrade for overcast conditions to be worthwhile.
If I was upgrading I'd go with a 2W rear light. I think it would make a difference on overcast days. Going from your 1/2W light to a 1W light isn't much of an upgrade IMO.

Last edited by Dunbar; 10-26-12 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist
Here's a scenario: Someone is texting. They look down at their phone. They glance up and look for large moving objects (other vehicles). They look down at their phone. They look up for a second.... I think in these situations, even during the day, a flashing light can help. It can catch the eye in a way that a cyclist without a light might not. Same in the morning when the drivers are half asleep. Not that this is perfect or takes away all the risk, but if I can spend $30 - 40 for a little safety upgrade, that would be worth it to me.

I said in my first post that I didn't expect these lights to be visible on a bright sunny day. What I'm wondering is if a 1-watt light is a sufficient upgrade for overcast conditions to be worthwhile.

Edit: The Serfas looks pretty good. Thanks for the suggestion.
That scenario you describe happened to one of the few reviewers that I've come across so far for the new Solas- turned out it was the guys wife who noticed him (because of the light) while she was texting and driving.

Regarding Serfas, have you checked out their website yet? You ought to check out the videos for the various tail lights. The Shield, Thunderbolt, and their version of the PDW DZ (TL-200) are probably the brightest, most noticeable ones.
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Old 10-26-12, 07:47 PM
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If you already have a MagicShine headlight, pick up their taillight. It's about as bright as the low end Dinotte, definitely visible in the daylight easily from far away, and is $30. I think it's about $65 if you have to buy it with its own battery pack, but that's still cheaper than most lights of that brightness and run time.

1/2 watt is nowhere near bright enough. I don't think 1 is either. 2 is getting there. The MagicShine is 3 watts and is the low end of what I'll ride with these days. At night I run that steady and a Cygolite Hotshot on my helmet in rapid flash. In the daytime I run just the Magicshine on flash.
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Old 10-26-12, 09:10 PM
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I don't have a MagicShine, but I'm currently considering my next move in terms of headlights as well.
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Old 10-26-12, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad
That scenario you describe happened to one of the few reviewers that I've come across so far for the new Solas- turned out it was the guys wife who noticed him (because of the light) while she was texting and driving.

Regarding Serfas, have you checked out their website yet? You ought to check out the videos for the various tail lights. The Shield, Thunderbolt, and their version of the PDW DZ (TL-200) are probably the brightest, most noticeable ones.
I looked at the Serfas lights earlier tonight. The Shield looks great. I really like the idea of the rubber strap mount thing. It would make it really easy to move from bike to bike.
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Old 10-27-12, 02:41 AM
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I have the Serfas shield that I use along with a Cygolite Hotshot and they make a great combo. Of the two, the Serfas has the better overall beam. Much wider while still intense.
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Old 10-27-12, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Spld cyclist
Here's a scenario: Someone is texting. They look down at their phone. They glance up and look for large moving objects (other vehicles). They look down at their phone. They look up for a second.... I think in these situations, even during the day, a flashing light can help. It can catch the eye in a way that a cyclist without a light might not. Same in the morning when the drivers are half asleep. Not that this is perfect or takes away all the risk, but if I can spend $30 - 40 for a little safety upgrade, that would be worth it to me.

I said in my first post that I didn't expect these lights to be visible on a bright sunny day. What I'm wondering is if a 1-watt light is a sufficient upgrade for overcast conditions to be worthwhile.

Edit: The Serfas looks pretty good. Thanks for the suggestion.
Sorry but that was a poor scenario, if a person is looking down and texting their mind is completely absorbed by doing that and they won't see a blinking light. This has been proven over and over with texting morons running red lights and hitting cars from behind; if they can't notice a red light or traffic stopped for a red light how the heck do you think their going notice your tiny little flashing tail light?

NOTE: I'm not saying not to run a light during the day, if doing so gives you some degree of piece of mind while riding then do it, after 40 years of riding I've found no purpose for running the tail light...EXCEPT when I'm riding on a busy highway with little or no space right of the white line. But I have no idea if doing so helps, I do it for peace of mind.

Last edited by rekmeyata; 10-27-12 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 10-27-12, 11:22 AM
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I use an automotive combo brake and tail light but wire it so the brake light circuit is always on. Placement is behind my shoulder blades and my seat fabric is black, so it's good contrast in daylight. It draws about 3 watts on the brake circuit so it's plenty bright and even though its an LED, the beam pattern is reasonably diffuse due to multiple diodes and the lensing. Optronics STL78
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Old 10-27-12, 01:33 PM
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Im thinking about mounting a DiNotte Amber 800A Headlight to the seat post facing backwards for daytime visibility with my 400R taillight. Screw it we are not blinding anybody in broad daylight.

https://store.dinottelighting.com/amb...ight-p126.aspx
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Old 10-27-12, 01:51 PM
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IMO, QUANITY plays a good part in a bike's rear light system too. I am running 5 rear light, with several of them moving..

I run a Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo on the seatpost on the rear, a SuperFlash Clone on the rear of my helmet, and two Superflash Clones on each one of my calves which are attached to to blinking reflective light strips, and sometimes a little blinky inside my sock, which is included right behind my helmet.. I think I am under $50 for all of this too.

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Old 10-27-12, 04:36 PM
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I believe Joseph Stalin is credited w/ stating that "quantity has a quality all it's own" during WW II battles w/ the much superior trained and armed Nazi Germany infantry and armored units.

In the same sense I feel that having at least 2 tail lights is extremely important.

I personally run 3 radbot 1000 tail lights day and night. 1 on rear rack, flashing . 1 on rack trunk bag / seatpost , steady . And 1 on back of my helmet, steady daytime / flashing night.

I will add that the rack and the seat post mounts are carefully aligned just a couple of degrees slightly to left of bike center line and parallel to road surface.

I'm hoping that Santa will be dropping a magicshine tail light and a cygolight hotshot under the tree come Christmas.

I've had drivers compliment me on how attention GRABBING my display is on hazy /slight overcast days. When going in & out of intermittant (sp?) heavy shade of tree lined streets or urban underpasses.

Last edited by HvPnyrs; 10-27-12 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 10-27-12, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by HvPnyrs
I believe Joseph Stalin is credited w/ stating that "quantity has a quality all it's own" during WW II battles w/ the much superior trained and armed Nazi Germany infantry and armored units.

In the same sense I feel that having at least 2 tail lights is extremely important.

I personally run 3 radbot 1000 tail lights day and night. 1 on rear rack, flashing . 1 on rack trunk bag / seatpost , steady . And 1 on back of my helmet, steady daytime / flashing night.

I will add that the rack and the seat post mounts are carefully aligned just a couple of degrees slightly to left of bike center line and parallel to road surface.

I'm hoping that Santa will be dropping a magicshine tail light and a cygolight hotshot under the tree come Christmas.

I've had drivers compliment me on how attention GRABBING my display is on hazy /slight overcast days. When going in & out of intermittant (sp?) heavy shade of tree lined streets or urban underpasses.
I agree, having more then one tail light is the most effective. I have a Blackburn Mars 4 on the seat tube, and a Cateye LD600 on the helmet, and Soma Road Flares in the bar ends, but, those lights are only on the touring bike which is the only bike I use if I know I'm going to be out past night fall or riding in dark gloomy weather, the other bikes are strictly my daytime bikes and have no lighting whatsoever. I just don't think it's worthwhile spending all that money for each bike I have just to have lights, nor is it worth the time to disconnect each light and put them on a different bike each time I want to ride. So the majority of my day rides are done without any tail lights.
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Old 10-28-12, 08:24 PM
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MORE IS ALWAYS BETTER, but it won't guarantee you a safe trip. Good set of lights + a rear view mirror and some common sense is what works the best for me.
Looks like Planet Bike 0.5 watt blinkie is a very popular light. I think 0.5+ is a absolute minimum for a rear light during the day.

Here is a video comparison of 1 watt high output led light and less than 0.5 watt regular led light.

Video of Planet Bike blinkie 0.5 watt light in real world use ( cycling club ride ).

Here another video - quick comparison of cheap $2, Chinese ebay light vs "expensive" $30 Blackburn Mars 4.0 1 watt high output LED light ( cheap one is falling apart after several uses and may turn off anytime by itself...very dangerous! )

IMO, it's a really bad and not a safe choice to buy a cheap and low quality rear light for your bike...
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Old 10-28-12, 08:39 PM
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Anything brighter than the Dinotte taillight?
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Old 10-28-12, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by agent pombero
Anything brighter than the Dinotte taillight?
Nite Flux Red Zone 4 is pretty potent- the flash on high draws like 5 watts. Also check out Design Shine.
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Old 10-28-12, 10:10 PM
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There is no way I would spend $200 plus for a Design Shine tail light, that damn thing is brighter than a motorcycle tail light, why? If a motorcycle doesn't need anything that bright what makes you think a bicycle does? And how difficult is it to make a tail light with five 1 watt LED's in a row for less than $100? Or even two 3 watt LED's? their doing that in headlights, just move the LED's into a red lens case. Just doing that would make the Design Shine $200 tail light look like junk.
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