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Thread: Higher visibility lights for scooter

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* JohnR66's Avatar
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    Default Higher visibility lights for scooter

    I have a Honda scooter. It has full street legal lights now, but in the interest of safety, I'd like to add blinking lights in the hopes that I can be seen better by other motorists.

    I'm thinking of having 4 high brightness red LEDs rear facing and one red to each side at the rear. The front would have the same setup but using amber color. I think 1 second binks .25 sec in duration would attract attention. I would use a 555 tiner IC.

    Questions: Would this setup be legal in most states (I'm in Ohio)? Do you think duration and duty cycle is good?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    I think going down a public road with blinking lights is a bad idea. You'll look like those people who signal for a left turn that they will probably make someday.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    It'd be like driving your car with your hazard flashers on all the time.

    I'm not sure what the legal definition of "scooter" is in Ohio, but if it's similar to Oregon(two wheeled vehicle, no clutch, single gear, 35mph or less, 49cc's or less engine displacement) then your "full legal lighting" includes turn signals?

    If so, then adding something flashing that might drown out your turn signals and brake lights may not be a great idea.


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  4. #4
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Have you thought of mounting a revolving orange light on the top of your helmet?
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    why not just use a flashing red LED light like many bike riders use? they usually run on AA or AAAs, and run for quite a while, cheap to buy and just clip onto you backpack, belt, or somewhere on the rear of the scooter? They are plenty bright for indicator lighting purposes.

    for example, something like this:

    http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Lights/product_128717.shtml
    Last edited by 270winchester; 03-14-2008 at 04:57 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Instead of blinking lights I would recommend adding reflective tape to your scooter and helmet and wearing a reflective vest. In my motorcycle riding days along with my helmet, gloves, boots and other protective gear I wore a Conspicuity See-Me Vest whenever I was on my machine. It provides extreme visibility both day and night. A friend who was following me from a distance one evening said I looked like a Christmas tree. Now that is visibility!

    Safe riding.

    Check out the vest here...

    http://tinyurl.com/23u2aw

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* JohnR66's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    I'll probably end up with the bike blinker. I do have one I got in the mid 90's. It is okay, but I hope the newer ones use the new brighter red LEDs.

    In Ohio, Any motorized two wheeler is classified under motorcycle and has to have a headlight with hi/low beam, front and rear signals, tail light with brake light, mirrors and horn to be street legal. I just want to enjoy motoring (and saving gas) yet remain visible to the proccupied drivers on the roads today.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Hi-viz vests are a fantastic idea, but doesn't it defeat the purpose to have a black one??? Wear that and become a fashion victim.

    OR get a fluorescent (day-glo) yellow or orange one, with reflective stripes. It really could save your life.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    My vest had fluorescent, reflective yellow stripes on an orange mesh.

    A black mesh is fine as long as the stripes are fluorescent, reflective and contrast with the black. Yellow, red, orange, white, silver and green stripes would be ok against black.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* TorchBoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Maybe I'm living in the 80s, but the more day-glo, the better. The more visible you are, the more likely it is that inattentive road users will see you before they drive into you - got to be a good thing.
    No, a torch does not always mean flames.
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    I don't think bike blinkers will be visible over the head/tail lights you already have.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Quote Originally Posted by TorchBoy View Post
    Maybe I'm living in the 80s, but the more day-glo, the better. The more visible you are, the more likely it is that inattentive road users will see you before they drive into you - got to be a good thing.
    I agree. I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Safe Rider Course. That's why I chose yellow stripes on orange for my vest, both bright and screaming, "HERE I AM!!!"

    The vest manufacturer offers other color combos as a marketing tool because some folks just have other style preferences. It's better to use a vest than not to use one so they offer alternatives.

    I recently ordered a kelly green stripes on black vest for my main squeeze. She's a bicycle rider. She didn't want to look like a highway worker so this is a compromise. Even though the background is black it is still an attention grabber.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    I believe in Georgia it is illegal to have blinking lights on your vehicle, turn signals and hazard lights are the exception.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic irsa76's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Quote Originally Posted by TorchBoy View Post
    Hi-viz vests are a fantastic idea, but doesn't it defeat the purpose to have a black one??? Wear that and become a fashion victim.

    OR get a fluorescent (day-glo) yellow or orange one, with reflective stripes. It really could save your life.
    I belive Hi-viz works best with high contrast such as fluro over black. Here in Australia we have hi-viz requirements for certain jobs and most use fluro yellow/lime green over black. Reflective stripes are a given naturally, infact I've noticed reflective tape over black/dark blue is VERY effective.
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  15. #15
    Flashaholic warlord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Something like this, maybe?

    Product link: http://www.comagination.com/bflasher.htm

    You can also use amber running lights along the sides if you want. I also upgraded my rear 3rd brake (in my car) to a 7 led strip to match my OEM led tail lights.
    Last edited by warlord; 04-27-2008 at 09:58 AM.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* depusm12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    As a bicycle rider and a LEO officer I would recommend a hi-viz vest and adding the 3m reflective tape to your helmet. I can't remember which company makes it but one company makes a reflective vest with blinking LEDs in it that would be IMHO the best route to go. Here's a link to one that uses 2 AA batteries and the most exspensive version is about $30 plus shipping. http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/VST-1004/Default.asp Hope this helps. Another idea is reflective arm/leg bands in addition to a reflective vest. Here's another link for the arm/leg bands. http://www.brightideasusa.biz/armlegbands1.html
    Last edited by depusm12; 04-27-2008 at 06:34 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    As a road cyclist myself I take visibility seriously tho the yellow construction vest really really looks... .. unless you work in construction and wear that while riding. Granted you WILL get seen but you will get some interesting looks. I know. I tried that on before. Tho better to arrive alive then dead but sometimes you have to balance style with safety.

    If the reflective vest, armbands, helmet reflective tape and legbands give you a lot of flack you might want to swing by a college and ask where thier fashion design department is and ask any of the guys or girls working there explaining your issue and wanting to mod what you have right now (ie. riding jacket/pants) with some reflective trim in a stylish design pattern. I'm sure someone there will point you to the right person who can sew and can design as well. It helps the students with thier work by being a real world customer coming in with some ideas of your own and allows the students to have some hands on as well with your gear. Granted they won't get marks for it but I'm sure you can work out some payment or exchange of goods in return for thier help.

    You may want to take a design out of the top first four jackets here in the cycling area and have those reflective patterns modded to your jacket. http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1209355162601

    A legband would be also a good option for 360 coverage and side coverage.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1209355259800

    For the helmet you can look for some invisible reflective tape which in the day it looks invisible but at night if someone shines a light at you, you will reflect back if the driver is directly behind you or at the right angle. It's good safety and gives something out of the ordinary for the driver to see.

    This product is a tail light that runs off 2 x AAA and highly regarded in the cycling world. It is bright and has a very unique flash-flash-BIG BRIGHT FLASH-flash-flash-repeat as with steady mode which will catch the drivers attentions.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1209355407070

    Some bike commuters attach this to the back of thier helmets. I don't see why you can't do that with your helmet if you want to. That way while you're riding the scooter anyone coming your way will see the light at eye to above-eye level to it's in thier face that they know you're there.

    If you really want to wake up the guy behind you and want to go overkill to make sure they wake up behind you then attach this www.dinottelighting.com -> photography -> that red tail light runs off 4 x AA. Attach that to the helmet and aim it backwards and and set it to either blink (high power blink-1sec pause-repeat) or flash mode (high power flash-light on low mode-repeat). Or if you really want to be anal set it to strobe mode (high power flash-high power flash- high power flash-low mode-repeat) whih has a cop/ambulance light effect. I'm sure people will slow down and take notice and drive at safety speeds then.

    Also check out Nite-Ize products. They have reflective arm/leg band that takes I think CR2032 watch-coin batteries which you can buy from www.dealextreme.com (no affliation to them then then bought a few times and happy with thier items) or Ebay for say a 10pack of batteries. Keep 2 x CR2032 (weighs next to nothing) on you in the pocket or wallet then you'll be good to go. Turn the blinking arm/leg band while you're riding and you'll have more night visibility.

    Hope that helps some.

    PS. The Dinotte tail light will light up signs with a red glow 3 blocks away at night. Guess how I know? It's a good light. IMHO worth the amount normally but better if you get it on sale.
    Zero_Enigma

  18. #18

    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    I wear the bright orange/yellow reflector vest when around in my area -- and actually most cyclists around here seem to do the same for the most part.

    I also added red led light strips to the back sides of my bike, and some flashing brake lights. That's made a huge difference, and now I always ride with the led strips on (day and night)

    Actually, I lucked out because I work at a company that carries the lights (I'm just their computer geek in the back room, so I really couldn't tell you much about any of the tech stuff for the lights themselves.) I'm hopeless with anything mechanical/electrical, so the guys in the front office put the lights on for me.

    After seeing the difference in the way motorists give me way more room when riding, I would definitely recommend adding some side lighting for visibility -- whatever brand(s) you prefer... It really has made a difference where I ride.

    I threw up some pictures and video of how my bike is set up so far (I'm going to add more lights later) on their website: http://www.streetfxseries.ca/motorcy...bike/index.htm

    There are likely quite a few different companies that sell LED lights wherever you are. Add some to the back end sides to help make sure the drivers can see you from different angles when approaching.

    And wear a reflector vest! You may feel foolish at first, but at least you'll be seen -- and that's what matters most.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    WooHoo!!! Xmas came eraly...

    The rear red lights at the side made such a huge difference with riding, but (with winter darkness goint to and coming from work), cars tended to cut me off at intersections and laneways.

    I bribed the guys at work (with Xmas cookies) to hook me up with the same type of lights in White for the front of the bike. They bit...

    When they first rolled the bike out of the shop when done, it took me a minute to realize the UFO lights going across the parking lot were from my bike. Wow, I love them!!!

    I haven't had a single car cut me off since using them.

    Now if only someone would plow the streets after the big snowstorm we got hit with so I can have a road to ride on again *lol*



    Safe Riding All...

  20. #20
    Banned Lightcrazycanuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    They should see you now.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    what you need is HID headlights, you should be able to get them off ebay for under $70 people will for sure see you

  22. #22

    Default Re: Higher visibility lights for scooter

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightcrazycanuck View Post
    They should see you now.
    *lol* They definitely do

    I figure with the White on Front, and Red at the back sides; drivers will always be able to tell which direction I'm actually riding (from any angle).

    I was surprised how much it helped make me more visible even during daytime riding, and now always ride with them on (as my running lights). It blew me away when I actually got to ride with them at night (I'm visible from at least 4-5 blocks away). First time I actually got to see how easily I'm seen now was when one of the guys at work test rode the bike down the street after putting on the lights -- until then, I never really realized how far away I could be seen now (when riding the bike, I never knew how it actually looked from far away).

    Good part is that the lights are non-directional (not beams of light spotlighting). I've passed a lot of cops, and they don't seem to mind... Though I did have one pull up beside me at a stoplight, and give me a cold stare. He pointed at me, then at the lights... then he smiled a big grin and gave me a big Thumbs Up. He rolled down his window and said "I can see you", chuckled, and drove off.

    I realized why he seemed glad about that -- I've come up on a lot of bikes, and couldn't see them in the dark until I was about 5 or 6 feet away in the dark [lot of the roads are pitch black here without any lighting]. A lot of motorcycles, scooters, ebikes, and bicyclists are blindsided and hit at the intersections around our town.

    Funniest part (that I still can't get use to) is motorists waving at me as I go by. I haven't got a clue who they are, but I guess they've seen me riding around a lot. The lights do make the bike very hard to miss now *lol*
    Last edited by Bill Tarling; 12-21-2008 at 09:53 AM.

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