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Thread: Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

    I just ordered a Sirius model 640 LED strobe light. The guy who designed it said that in the upper hemisphere, it should be good for 35 to 38 lumens, and it is up to three times brighter than "old" xenon flashers. It should run at its brightest for about 12 hours, and then slowly decline.

    I've had this one on my "wish" list for over a year, and finally ordered it a couple days ago.

    I intend to wear it on a pack when walking on highways/main roads in the dark.

    There is no "walking flashers" subforum, so I hope putting the thread under "Bicycles" is okay.

    I will post my impressions once it arrives next week.

    I believe it uses the Osram Oslon, and the light's creator said they keep up with efficiency improvements.

    Here is the spec sheet:

    Link

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

    Nifty! I've used a Lightman xenon strobe on the bike for foggy conditions, and felt that it improved my visibility. I think the strobe gets people to look in your direction, and then hopefully can see the headlight or taillight.

    I keep thinking about making an LED strobe like this, and have been curious as to what the peak power output is and what the duration of the strobe pulse is. An output of 38 lumens doesn't seem like a lot... roughly a half watt from a good LED. For a bike application, I think I'd shoot for running a 3 watt LED at full power, but perhaps only powered for a 0.1 second pulse (or less).

    For a safety light that is probably not trying to compete with the lights of traffic, 38 lumens could be plenty, and certainly contributes to the long run time.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

    Excellent points!

    I forgot a few:

    1) It was $50.00...they charge less to a business address than a residence, so it is coming to my work.

    2) My goal is not to overwhelm traffic with blinding light, but to have something small and portable
    which takes lithium primary "AA" cells for excellent runtime and use in very cold weather. No leaking
    alkalines.

    3) It pulses on average once a second.

    I've had other LED flashers, but the bulk didn't quite do it for me. I think the small size and ability to
    take "AA" cells will be a winning combo. Unit is with the courier now en route. I should have it early next week.

    I won't need this for a walk downtown to buy dinner or a stroll to the library. But on longer walks, I think it will be very useful. I walked to work this morning, a 4.8 mile, 90 minute commute. The full moon was beautiful, and I had no trouble seeing the pavement/shoulder.

    However, while traffic was relatively light at 4:30 in the morning, several cars didn't veer away until the last moment. I am used to it, but I may not always be quite so fortunate. The salient point being that for 90% of my excursions, being seen on foot is far more important than having lumens projected in front of me for my own benefit.
    Last edited by LEDAdd1ct; 10-18-2013 at 08:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Steve K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

    I think people are becoming more aware of the need to be visible to traffic when walking or cycling at night. A light is good, and adding a bit of reflective material helps a lot too. The safety green vests with reflective trim work great, but if you want to appear a bit more fashionable, a lot of sports shoes have some reflective trim, and there are reflective straps that you can velcro at the ankles or wrists to improve visibility with a bit more subtlety.

    In the winter, I'm more likely to go for a walk instead of bike in awful weather. It's likely to be dark, so I just carry a flashlight. If I think oncoming traffic may not notice me, I'll just flick it up briefly towards them. This is in a residential neighborhood, so a flashlight is a little less weird looking than a strobe. If I was just walking along a roadway with faster traffic, a strobe would be much more appropriate.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* LEDAdd1ct's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

    Yes, it's the highway bit that's the issue. The walk I took this morning to work was entirely on 45 MPH highway, but cars do 55 easy. They don't typically expect a pedestrian at 4:15 in the morning, and despite the full moon, there were times I was partially or even fully hidden.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sirius Strobe Model 640 LED Lifevest Light...

    If considering a USCG approved LED strobe light I recommend you review the Firefly Pro SOLAS by ACR Electronics (made in the USA). They are the leader in marine safety electronics. Example, one of the original Firefly strobes (older xenon tube model and significantly larger) went to the moon in the Apollo survival kits (on display at the Smithsonian Air & Space museum). The Firefly Pro SOLAS is brighter and lasts longer on the same 2 each AA batteries than does the Sirius strobe.

    Also if you google "sirius strobe recall" you'll see that both US Coast Guard and US Coast Guard Auxiliary had recalls for this light. As this is a commercially sold light that has "USCG Approval" one wonders why the manufacturer did not make the recall public or advise all their customers???

    As of May 2017 the Sirius is no longer USCG approved (approval expired), but yet the company is still selling it as an USCG approved light.

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