Bike tail light for city use

CyclingSalmon14

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 10, 2014
Messages
944
I have used the planet bike super flashes, very bright but way way to spotty, very very direction, forget them! I have highly recomend the TraceR by exposure, its a rechargable version of the flare mentioned near the top, Amazing beam spread and it never is "off" its flashing mode pulsates. alot of people in my club use them so they must be doing something right! Just got my self one finally!
 

LANDDNL

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
8
I use Niterider Solas. It has 2 watts power, usb rechargable, 4 modes (2 blinky and 2 steady on levels) It is super visible.

https://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product2_10052_10551_1135212_-1

+1

I commute year round and in the winter side visibility(and every angle) is of utmost importance. So I have 2 Solas near the bottom of my seatstays, and a L&M Vis 180 and Serfas USL-TL80 tail lights on my seatpost. And Cateye Rapidx(white on fork), and also on chainstays(red). And also the Serfas Thunderbolt on chainstays angled down.
Don't forget Hi Vis clothing.
 

LANDDNL

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
8
after being almost ran over few times, i came to conclusion, cars pay no attention to your tail or healight, all the close calls happened when cars were turning, they basically look at your side while they turn, there is nothing there to make them notice you before they turn, so i'm building a special light, that will be mounted on seatpost tube, where water bottle mounts, it will have 2 leds mounted at 45*, looking at the ground, on each side, when i'll be on intersection, i'll press a button, and 2 leds will light up (my plan to use 2 2900k xml) area under me, for 5 or so seconds, long enough for me to clear intersection. than they'll go out. my plan is to use a transistor\capasitor circuit to acheve timed on off. it should not blind car drivers, but will make them notice me.

I had the same problem a couple of years ago. I had one headlight(NiteRider 650) and one tail light(Cateye Tl-LD600). I was so paranoid coming home from work in the dark that whenever a car would approach from a side street, I would turn right and go behind the vehicle and and turn right again to be back on my route. Same paranoia approaching an intersection when a car is about to make a left hand turn. Odds were very good that they won't wait for me, or just not even see me. Last year was totally different. I had 2 L&M Urban 700's(set on low) on the inside of my drop handlebars with hi vis jacket, and it was a totally different experience from the winter before. I could approach an intersection at full speed and "the left turn vehicle" would wait until I passed. My only issue was cars approaching from the side street right before I got there. Now I have total 360 degree visibility with adding the aformentioned tail lights and a Philips Saferide Gen2.
 

mairyhinge

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
12
Guys I too am paranoid about being seen in the dark. I use the Moon Sheild, 3 brightness modes and 2 flash modes.

Radiates light down and to the side.

USB rechargeable too.
 

gipsyman

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
8
I would have to cast my vote for the Designshine DS-500 tail light. It has tremendous side lighting with over 180 degrees of visibility. There are 5 power levels from a low of 111 to a high of 800 lumens. You also have 6 different fully programmable flash patterns. I just tested the build version #4 for lux and power consumption. The lumens are manufacturer ratings. The readings are as follows:

LEVEL___LUX__LUMENS__WATTS


1 ______288____111_____.52
2 ______1450___239_____2.2
3 ______2302___378_____3.6
4 ______3360___521_____5.4
5 ______6140___798____11.4

If you can afford the price tag, nothing compares for power and efficiency of design.
 

mairyhinge

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Oct 27, 2014
Messages
12
Is that DS-500 not a bit too bright, as would it not blind the car drivers?
Surly that must be a risk, as if they get dazzled they may not see you properly and cause a collision as they pass?
 

BrianMc

Enlightened
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
940
Mairyhinge: It is not just the power, but also the angle over which the light is spread. The lux readings of the DS-500 indicate a fairly intense direct power at one meter but no driver should be directly behind that beam close up at least even if the cyclist is "taking the lane" maybe when a driver pulls in behind in a left turn lane but it will be brief. The beam fans out in a cone and diminishes so is only a bit too bright when too close and with the cyclist closer to the center of the vehicle or directly in front of the driver. The designer placed his at mid seat stay tipped down a tad, so a bright red oval of light will appear on the pavement and the hottest part of the beam in not in driver's eyes. Aiming such a light if run on full power is very important.

I have 2 x 100+ lumens on steady but with 180+ degree spread and both the Hotshot on the seat tube and the SF on the pivot mount on the helmet are brighter in a direct line. I have stood behind at many angles and yes they are bright but no brighter than a brake light. The red patch on the pavement and a matching headlight patch help being seen by left and right hooking drivers on unlighted streets.

Rear collisions are much less frequent than side collisions but are far more deadly. Also red is not as hurtful to night vision as a bright headlight. So when a driver's slight visual discomfort versus my life and limbs are in the balance, my life and limbs win. That does not mean being ridiculously bright in driver's eyes and it does mean aiming powerful lights well, but a bit over the top in brightness is a defensible position.
 

gipsyman

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 4, 2013
Messages
8
Cheers for the explanation.


BrianMc is entirely correct. The DesignShine DS-500 tail light has 2 lenses. One lens for each triple Cree XPE-2 led module. One lens is a fairly narrow spot beam for distance throw, while the other is a 43 degree elliptical lens that spreads the light out in a wide pattern. The light pattern also diffuses within the three eighths inch thick clear polycarbonate lens system to provide about 270 degrees of side lighting. I have ridden for the last 3 years with a modified Magicshine 808E clone with a 2 inch red convex elliptical lens that produced 310 lux in low mode. It was not too bright at night even in city traffic as it wasn't any brighter than a new car led tail light. On high mode it was 1520 lux which was only appropriate for daytime use. I generally used the 1520 lux strobe mode for daytime riding. I had positive comments from car and motorcycle riders that I was easily seen from a mile away during the day. The only problem with that Magicshine clone tail light was I didn't have a low level strobe for night use. I then had to mount my Magicshine MJ-818 tail light if I wanted a low powered strobe. After ten thousand miles of night time riding I never had a car come too close because of an excessively bright steady or flashing tail light. As a matter of fact, I have had just the opposite reaction from drivers. If they can't tell what that flashing red light is up ahead, the cars slow down until they can determine it is safe to pass. Some timid drivers you will have to wave on bye though.
 
Top