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56

A quick search, however, shows other colors available to purchase. Concerning "to be seen" bicycle lights, should they be avoided? Yes, they should be avoided. First, off-colors might not be legal in your area. Second, and more importantly, no one will know what it is. If a driver sees a flashing red taillight, or what looks like a normal white headlight,...


42

Most places will legally require you to run with white lights on the front and red lights behind. This is crucially important because it immediately tells everybody else on the road whether you're coming towards them or moving away. I once nearly hit somebody because they had a red light on the front of their bike. I saw that at the usual distance and ...


39

We have had much more success advertising it and doing it through a local bike shop or bike group. Once each, so far, that I've done. I think the psychology behind refusing a gift from a stranger is much as Criggie says. You're some random dude approaching people at night offering second hand lights of unknown provenance. Why are you doing that? What's ...


38

Consider how you feel when a fellow cyclist approaches you will full beam straight ahead. It's pretty blinding, even for a moment, and especially off-road when your eyes aren't used to it. So in a park: Dim your light to its lowest setting (within reason). Put it on steady beam. Flashing is more visible but also more annoying and disorientating. Physically ...


34

There are now many bike lights on the market which have a shaped beam with a "horizontal cutoff" giving strong light onto the road or path, but much less above the horizon. When adjusted correctly these allow you to see where you're going without dazzling oncoming traffic or pedestrians. I use a Busch & Muller Ixon IQ (pictured), but there are others. ...


32

Wood et al. (2009): Drivers’ and cyclists’ experiences of sharing the road: incidents, attitudes and perceptions of visibility. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 41 (4), pp. 772-776 About differences in the visibility as perceived by bikers and drivers: The largest difference relates to the visibility of cyclists using lights on their bicycles, where ...


31

The answer, as others have said, is "both." However, if you are only going to use one light, there is a disadvantage to that one light being helmet-mounted. When the light is mounted close to the eye, everything that is illuminated is "flattened" since, from the eye's perspective, there are no shadows to provide information about depth. In particular, it's ...


30

Regulation 16 of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (1989) states: Restrictions on fitting blue warning beacons, special warning lamps and similar devices No vehicle, other than an emergency vehicle, shall be fitted with– (a) a blue warning beacon or special warning lamp, or (b) a device which resembles a blue warning beacon or a ...


29

According to Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: A controlled experiment. (Madsen JC1, Andersen T, Lahrmann HS.) they give about a 19% reduction in crash rates. There's a copy of the paper in Scribd as pdf. Every reference I've been able to find appears to refer to this one study. The incidence rate, including all recorded bicycle ...


24

The topic has been discussed here in the Netherlands, and found an answer summarized in the below chart (text translated into English from the original): Wrapping up: lights should be fitting the standards and fulfill their scope. No blinding, no lighting up in the sky or down the floor, no fancy colors.


19

I'd recommend learning to do arm signals. Arm signals don't run out of batteries, and are plenty visible in most cases. They're certainly bigger than the turn signal lights you could put on a bicycle (which as Moz points out in a comment, makes distinguishing the 2 turn signals a possible issue), and the distance you need to see a bike turning is a lot ...


19

I am from the Bike Lobby in Austria, and we are doing security checks together with the police. We make a checkpoint, the police stops all cyclists and checks their equipment. If everything is O.K. we give the rider a goodie, like some chocolate If something is amiss we have a repair tent nearby where we fix the problems. We have reflectors for free, and ...


17

I found something on the homepage of the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. They have an article about bicycle helmet lights, listing the pros and cons of them: Summary: Lights on bicycle helmets can be useful, but must have a breakaway mount. Especially about the breakaway mount: The importance of breakaway mounts The first and most important rule ...


13

In my experience cheap lights die, and some more expensive designs are prone to failure. Bike shops sell cheap lights because that's all some people will buy, and better they have a dodgy light than no light (there are enough cyclists without lights already). All the factors you list come down to one or two factors, depending on whether you consider "built ...


13

OK so I do a lot of bike light reviews. I originally started writing them for this very site's community blog, and now I run a separate website called The Bike Light Database. Has anyone used one? I can't seem to find a review of the dang thing on youtube, as popular as they are supposed to be! I've reviewed this light specifically, and can say that ...


13

Yeah I've thought of doing this too. However people generally don't accept spontaneous gifts because it creates a sense of obligation and humans avoid that. The other viewpoint is they are adults and have made a choice to ride without lights. You are not responsible for their decisions, and they have to live with the results of their actions. Short ...


13

As Chris H notes, the clerk was wrong. And he suggests a good suggestion to raise the light above the bag. However, you can also mount the light below the bag as well. Operating on the same principle as fog lights on cars, low mounted lights can do a better job of showing some road hazards. They are also much less likely to blind drivers and pedestrians (...


11

Batteries, especially most types of rechargeables don't work well in cold conditions. The chemical reaction that powers the electric voltage does needs some temperature to perform as intended. If you then have a consumer load that requires a bigger amount of power, they tend to drain rather quickly since they cannot set free much energy when cold. You could ...


11

There are two reasons why it might not work: The batteries don't like the cold. Many battery chemistries don't like the cold -- notably alkaline, manganese (heavy-duty), and NiMH/NiCad batteries. To test this hypothesis, put your light (or even just the batteries) in your freezer. If your light gets weaker the colder it gets, this is your problem (...


10

Consider offering to lend your spare set instead, and give an address where they can be returned. It doesn't have to be your own address; you could specify a local bike shop, for example. This reduces social pressure on the recipient, because they can then believe they are willing to return the lights to you. Whether they do or not is of little relevance, ...


10

The problem is that you have to start considering the failure modes of the failure detection system. You're quite likely to end up with a less robust system or a lot of false alarms if you have a system designed to warn you of failure. You also have to consider what faults would be detected: a dead battery? You'd need another power source to feed your ...


10

There are standlights, which are essentially supercapacitors combined with LED headlights. They're designed to be charged from the dynamo while riding and give you a few minutes of extra lighting when stopped at a stoplight. However, all the ones I know will self-dissipate after a while, so they're useless for your purposes of starting off the day with full ...


9

Paint it with fluorescent paint and then illuminate with ultraviolet lights (and white LEDs serve this purpose fairly well). There are also glow strips/panels sold mostly to (oddly) computer hackers who like to light up the inside of their computers. And probably a few other specialty markets. Of course, you'd have to rig up some sort of power supply. ...


9

I don't believe these are "better" or "worse" than other lights, rather they are a supplement to other lighting systems. I think the inventors' claims about forward and rear illumination are somewhat questionable as it won't compare to a real head/taillight of similar cost. However, I think they would provide some improvements in side and off-angle ...


9

The main things to look for when purchasing new lights: How bright are the lights? Can you see them for a few feet, a block, half a mile, etc? What is the angle of visibility of the light? It does you no good if you can only see the light from one single point - you want to be sure your light can be seen from a wide range of angles, especially for your rear ...


9

There's no single answer to this other than "do what works for you". While the optimal answer to this question is to have both a helmet light and one mounted on the bike, not all cyclists have the money to do that. That said, there are a few things that can help you decide, Mac or PC helmet- or handlebar-mounted light: Will you be using more than one bike?...


9

Summary: it's hard to make a light that reliably turns on only when the brakes are used. Most cyclists who want brake lights buy rear flashing lights because they're cheap and ubiquitous. Ignoring cost, to work well a brake light on the back of a bike would need to be paired with a constantly on, non-flashing light, purely so that people who saw it would ...


9

I had to face exactly this on an old commute. Dipping the front light was absolutely necessary in a park and another stretch of unlit bike path. It was a bright enough light to illuminate the road, though not well enough to ride at any decent rate on low power. The solution I found to this was to add a narrow-beam head torch. This can be dipped hands ...


9

For similar fine tasks, silk inner gloves are ideal. They are very thin but add a noticeable amount of warmth. Their real benefit comes when you remove the outer gloves and have essentially bare hand dexterity with some insulation. Then you just have to get your timing right to minimise the amount of time your outer gloves are off. Some people use latex or ...


9

I have a helmet mount very similar, and yes its totally possible to dazzle and annoy any other road user, from pedestrians to other cyclists to motorised vehicle drivers. Benefits to a helmet light Its high up above the ground and higher than handlebar lights, so other road users can see it over cars. The beam follows your head, so you can light up the ...


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