Is Using A Flashlight And A Traffic Wand On A Bicycle A Good Safety Measure?

JAS

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 16, 2002
Messages
1,300
Location
Rosemount
As posted above, am wondering if using a flashlight and a traffic wand is a good safety measure on a bicycle? I just installed a luggage rack on the back of one of my bikes on Saturday. The Cygolite taillight is obscured by the rack. I have a rack mount on order, but in the meantime I still want some light to the rear when I ride. I have a Streamlight Stinger LED and a glow-in-the-dark traffic wand. Would it be a good idea to use it until my mount arrives and gets mounted? Also, should i use it on the steady mod or a blinking mode? I have read some things about the "moth effect" which makes me wonder about this.
 
Last edited:

hamhanded

Enlightened
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Messages
396
Location
PNW
Better than nothing, I think.

Blink for sure. I was once driving, saw a faint steady red light on the side of the road, briefly thought it may have been my headlights in a driveway reflector, only to then realize it was a bike. That was several seconds wasted, a blinker would have tipped me off immediately. Not many bikes at night over here.

What's the mother effect?
 

defloyd77

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
2,611
Location
Wisconsin
Using a white light as a tail light is a horrible, dangerous idea and in many places it's illegal.

As far as steady vs flash at night, steady. Your objective is both to be noticed and to be tracked. I've always recommended having both flash for attention grabbing and steady for tracking. As a cyclist I've had a lot of feedback from drivers, you vanish between those flashes and if for whatever reason you have to maneuver in an unpredictable fashion, you are putting yourself in great danger. You might not be as noticable with a steady light, you're still going to be noticed and more importantly, tracked.

Be careful out there and make sure to check your local laws and far as lighting on bikes.
 
Last edited:

IMA SOL MAN

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 18, 2023
Messages
2,126
Location
The HEART of the USA.
As posted above, am wondering if using a flashlight and a traffic wand is a good safety measure on a bicycle? I just installed a luggage rack on the back of one of my bikes on Saturday. The Cygolite taillight is obscured by the rack. I have a rack mount on order, but in the meantime I still want some light to the rear when I ride. I have a Streamlight Stinger LED and a glow-in-the-dark traffic wand. Would it be a good idea to use it until my mount arrives and gets mounted? Also, should i use it on the steady mod or a blinking mode? I have read some things about the "moth effect" which makes me wonder about this.
You need a red light on the back. From what I've read, blinking is better. Here is a good article on the subject:

 

Chicken Drumstick

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 9, 2011
Messages
1,648
Location
UK
Better than nothing, I think.

Blink for sure. I was once driving, saw a faint steady red light on the side of the road, briefly thought it may have been my headlights in a driveway reflector, only to then realize it was a bike. That was several seconds wasted, a blinker would have tipped me off immediately. Not many bikes at night over here.

What's the mother effect?
Have to say, I do find it worrying people have driving licences and drive like this. What if it had just been a person, another car or some other object. Expecting it to have only a blinking light for you to see it says more of you as a driver than anything.
 

blah9

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Mar 10, 2011
Messages
2,105
I always go with blinking front and rear lights during the day where the lights are more to just get attention and I figure that drivers can see the shape of me and my bike. I think of them as enhancers rather than the only visibility I have.

At night though I agree, I have always stuck with solid lights so I look more like motor vehicles and it should be easier to estimate my location. I do make sure that my rear light is very bright though rather than one of the more faintly-bright options that are out there.
 

desert.snake

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
2,039
Location
Eastern Europe
As an option, hang 2 lanterns, one shines constantly, the second blinks - both problems are solved

My friend, when hunting fish at night with an underwater crossbow, hangs a Glotoob on a boat or on a tree. And turns on one of these modes

1702414812979.png


This allows to understand where it is relative to the lamp. Constant light can merge with distant points of light from houses and lanterns, and pulsating light can merge with stars or distant cars. Combined light turned out to be the most useful

but it is better to wear reflective clothing or stickers on clothes
1702415240280.png



Well, and read the local laws. In Germany, for example, clear standards have been introduced for bicycle lights in order to be visible without dazzling drivers

 
Last edited:
Top