City riding lights - flash or steady?

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  • What do you use, and what is officially recommended? Is it better to have your lights flashing or burning bright and steady for your night-time city riding?

    Has there been any research done on this?

  • flashing. It's way easier to judge how fast the bike is moving if it's flashing. It makes it stand out from any of the hundreds of other lights in view too.

  • Peoples eyesight are naturally attracted to movement and so flashing lights attract the eye making you more noticeble.
    Best thing is to have two lights (2 front/2 rear) one flashing and one steady.
    I go overkill and have Ledus lights for sideways vision on the spokes

  • Flashing in town. On DD steady as a night behind a stream of flashing lights has nasty effects for me

  • You might want to have a look on these threads where this has been discussed a bit already...

    https://www.lfgss.com/thread10329.html

    https://www.lfgss.com/thread15732.html

  • flashing. It's way easier to judge how fast the bike is moving if it's flashing.

    [Citation needed]

  • citation is my eyes.

  • flashing. It's way easier to judge how fast the bike is moving if it's flashing.

    Many, many threads regarding this on car forums suggests otherwise.

    Up front I want my light to actually illuminate the road ahead, constantly. Hence always one steady bright light. I may add a smaller, less powerful flashing light if travelling on unlit roads.
    Rear, I favour the night-rider sweep setting on my Cat-Eye LD600, which seems to be lasting forever (it must be knocking on for 10 years old). Again, I may add a little blinker for really dark rides.

  • Christmas lights on bike riders should do for fussy motorists .....with hundreds of settings there must be something satisfying them..

  • I have flashing lights on the bike and constant lights on a head strap. Best of both worlds.

    Having the constant light on my head also gives a clear indication when I am looking around to other road users.

  • flashing. It's way easier to judge how fast the bike is moving if it's flashing. It makes it stand out from any of the hundreds of other lights in view too.

    Nope. Total opposite.

    A bright steady light and a flashing light is the best combo. The flasher will attract attention, the constant will allow people to work out where you are and judge speed.

    A very bright flashing light or a pulsing constant is the worst thing you could have as they're so distracting to other road users that they can' actually see you. Like driving along with the headlights on full beam all the time.

    I say this coming from my pov where I ride to work every day and drive a lot for my job so get to see it from the cyclist's and the driver's pov.

  • No idea why but I've always had the front solid and the rear flashing

  • Flashing front lights are annoying and as mentioned above other road users can't judge your speed and distance. Always a steady one on the front please.

  • Flashing rear (usually 2)

    Front light flashing in the morning when it's murky to be seen. Constant in the dark to light my way and be seen - I use a second flashing light as well as I ride on unlit country roads.

  • Two bright, slightly dipped front lights (Cateye Uno) with a strobe (Knog) and 3M white reflective strips around forks.

    Cateye TL-LD600 on constant, Smart 1w Superflash x2 on pulse either side of brake calipers, and again 3M reflective tape (red) around chainstays at various points.

    Rear wheel spoke mounted strobe (red)

    Black (shines white) 3M reflective tape around top, down, and seat tubes.

    Full 360 visibility, gaugable velocity, no excuses. Inner city commute.

  • Caeraphym wins!

  • many 'bike' lights are not suitable for use on the roads. I mean they are basically variations on flashlights, with a round shaped beam that fires light in all directions. Above a certain brightness, all they do is dazzle oncoming traffic. It's like a car driving through town on full beam. When they are flashing, it's even worse. Proper bike lights (like the ones that Germany mandates) are highly visible to other road users, and for a given power will illuminate the ground more efficiently.

    http://www.londoncyclist.co.uk/the-dazzl­ing-bike-light-epidemic/

    So I would go for constant front and rear, and make sure it's pointing at a sensible angle.

  • ^ I agree with that. There's a lot of overkill and a lot of lumen-envy going on.
    I worked an event recently where the number of cyclists with no lights on was far outweighed by the number whose front lights were so bright as to dazzle anyone unlucky enough to be in front of them. Beyond a certain point you don't get any more usefully visible and you just make life more difficult for other people.

  • Rider is responsible for where light actually points.
    Most people who aren't retards will point a steady bright beam slightly downwards, mimicking a car with its headlamps dipped.

  • I certainly know some people who believe the brighter the light is, the better.

  • flashing. It's way easier to judge how fast the bike is moving if it's flashing.

    I don't want pedestrians trying to judge how fast im going. Just stop and cross the road behind me.

    Would be interested to know just how much of a battery saving having a flashing light gives.

  • Always both fixed. Front tilted slightly downwards

    Flashing lights are for fairgrounds and sex shops.

    You look like a fucking plum if you have multiple lights.

  • Or you read the article that Clefty linked to, that outlines how human vision works with reference to saccades, and therefore have both a solid front light (for seeing where you are going) and a flasher (to be seen) on the front.

  • Steady front and rear lights here as well.

    Perhaps I'm just starting to show my age but I find the disc of light presented by a traditional-style lamp (with a large reflector behind the light source) far more visible than the point sources of a lot of LED lights, no matter how bright the latter are. On the other hand my eyes have never really got on with LEDs full stop. Will probably go for a halogen setup after the yearly Christmas spending bonanza is out of the way.

  • Always both fixed. Front tilted slightly downwards

    Flashing lights are for fairgrounds and sex shops.

    You look like a fucking plum if you have multiple lights.

    And yes +1 on all this. By the time a dozy, mobile-using motorist has thought "is that a cyclist or is that someone's Christmas window display" it's probably too late

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City riding lights - flash or steady?

Posted by Avatar for lazybeard @lazybeard

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