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Thread: Road Flare alternatives?

  1. #1

    Default Road Flare alternatives?

    So I've been looking to add some form of flares in my roadside kits for both my motorcycle and cars. What does everyone use/recommend?

    For my bike, I will probably use orange glow sticks unless I find a suitable led unit.

    For my cars, not sure here. I haven't found any LED ones that strike me as being worth a darn. Ideas?



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  2. #2
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Smittybilt LED UFO Roadflare best $20 you can spend. They use CR123s and are magnetic, can be hung on paracord and last up to 24hrs on one battery. I keep 2 in my truck and they are bright!! used them during two power outages including Sandy to mark wires down on my street

  3. #3

    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    There is a science behind road flares, the higher the better. But higher means larger and consumes more cargo space.

    I like the power flare type flares. CR123 powerd, so they work in the cold and fairly long. I got 4 of them and this is what i think of them: http://safetysecurityandpreparedness.blogspot.com/2013/05/led-roadflare.html

  4. #4

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    I keep searching for a comparison, but couldn't find one. The smittybilt is reasonable $ but the powerflare is 3x the cost. I may have to break out the canon and do a comparison.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    The smittybilt looks ok and seems to have the same features as the powerflares. They only difference i see is that the powerflares are crushproof, but the smittybilt doesn't say it is (or isn't). Powerflares are grossly overpriced and i think they are OEM products. I have seen identical flares being sold for 20-ish dollars. I have 4 of the OEM versions, haven't let me down yet.

  6. #6

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    I wonder if the cheaper versions are rebadged. If I order one of the cheapy powerflares, care to compare pics? Wonder if the boards are the same.
    I have concerns with viewing angle on the smittybilts... Looks like its mostly triangular, which could be better or worse depending on application.

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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    I keep an Eflare in my car (orange version, runs on 2x D cells, I got it for a bargain price a few years back, should have bought more)
    Sitting upright in its base, it is easily visible from half a mile, it's visibility is probably reduced in higher ambient environments, but the local police use them on their "booze bus" breath alcohol testing stations (a red/blue version) and they stand out pretty well, even in a sea of red, blue and white light.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    I would go exploring a bicycles shop

    some red strobe are insanely strong

  9. #9

    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Obviously a flashlight forum, but something to consider as an alternative to true "flares" is the reflective "flares" that do not require batteries. That's just one more thing to leak in between inspections or use.

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    The reflective triangles have and advantage over the battery-operated devices in that they are powered by approaching vehicles' headlamps (assuming the driver has them on), and over fusees in that they won't light anything on fire. They're certainly a welcome part of my Previa's equipment.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    The reflective triangles have and advantage over the battery-operated devices in that they are powered by approaching vehicles' headlamps (assuming the driver has them on), and over fusees in that they won't light anything on fire. They're certainly a welcome part of my Previa's equipment.
    I have a pair of warning triangles in my car too.

    (actually they live in a box, under the passengers seat along with a towrope, jumper leads, reflective vest and the eflare i mentioned earlier.

    just make sure you put them far enough down the road (the CAMS motorsport manual specifies 100 and 200m for rally cars, on the side of the road the vehicle is situated)
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  12. #12

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    Go to your local public safety store and grab some of the flat ones that police use for checkpoints, they are good stuff.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Hi i am a tow truck guy so thought i may as well add my 2 pence as i have been looking at these power flares.

    I feel amber is often ignored. Can you use other colours over there?

    I am planning on getting a red, amber and a green one. As long as the red one is not on a vehicle i should be ok in the UK.

    My thought are getting 3 different colours. I can probably get away with green red and amber here in the uk as long as the red one is not on a vehicle. Blue might be a step too far though.


    Btw i like the look of the triangular version. It looks like it could be sat upright when in use if needed.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 01-29-2016 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Combined two posts, deleted duplicate

  14. #14
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by hibby View Post
    I feel amber is often ignored. Can you use other colours over there?

    I am planning on getting a red, amber and a green one. As long as the red one is not on a vehicle i should be ok in the UK.
    Red or red/orange would be fine. Green would be a GREAT way to confuse people, who may think they're supposed to head toward the green one for some reason (like one would drive under the green light at the bank drivethru or the turnpike toll booth). Avoid the green.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Does anyone have any experience with Eflare (AT-280/290) led beacons? Have four of those (Chinese) amber led beacons, but since those lay flat on the ground they aren't as visible as the Eflare beacons.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    I've only looked on the eflare website but did find the video(s) useful.


    This is an old thread but a lot of the roadside emergency lights have either changed, popped up in the market, or have been reviewed since it was started.


    I've got a bit of experience with roadside lighting and suggest the following be considered before people get or use whatever they're looking at:

    - Weather. Is it going to be visible in heavy rain, snow, and fog at a distance that's going to keep you safe (at least 100 yards/meters)? Is it going to disappear if it gets in snow, mud, etc.? Is it going to work and are the batteries going to be OK at -20° or colder? Will it stay put on ice?

    - Ease of use. Can you use it with gloves on? Is setting it up going to take a lot of your attention? That can get you killed while standing at the side of the road.

    - Durability. Will it work if it gets soaked? Will it work if it gets run over? (Yes, drivers will try to hit small flashing lights whether on purpose or drunk)


    Other things I've seen learned the hard way:

    - lights/flares don't stick well on ice and spikes either hurt when they stick your hand or require you to bend down or over to stick in the road (that makes you take your eyes off of traffic and makes you harder to see - a bad combo). Wire frames for flares and lights get crushed in storage.

    - Chem lights ain't bright enough on a highway. No way, no how.

    - Lights or flares are useless if you keep them in the trunk (boot). They'll get buried, you won't be able to get at them if you're rear ended, it can take too long to get at them in a serious emergency, etc. Keep some form of light within reach in the passenger compartment but not where it can roll around.

    - Nobody puts the flare/light/triangle anywhere near far enough in back of the scene or used enough of them. IMO since vehicles cover a lot of distance at highway speeds and take a lot longer than you think to stop, get the lights at the very least as far as 50 yards/meters from the scene and use at least two lights/flares. Three lights/flares are much, much safer & effective and even farther back is also better especially if you're around a curve or over a crest.
    Last edited by chmsam; 03-06-2016 at 12:14 PM.
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  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Echo63's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Quote Originally Posted by kj2 View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with Eflare (AT-280/290) led beacons? Have four of those (Chinese) amber led beacons, but since those lay flat on the ground they aren't as visible as the Eflare beacons.
    I have an Eflare in my car, I'm not sure which version it is, it has been in my car for about 15 years.
    orange, 2D cells, and comes with a rubber base to keep it stood up.
    if i remember i will have a look tomorrow (i should probably change the batteries again too)

    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    - Ease of use. Can you use it with gloves on? Is setting it up going to take a lot of your attention? That can get you killed while standing at the side of the road.
    the Eflares are a piece of cake to use - grab, twist clear bit on top about 20 degrees, stuff it into the base and put it on the road.


    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    - Durability. Will it work if it gets soaked? Will it work if it gets run over? (Yes, drivers will try to hit small flashing lights whether on purpose or drunk)
    Soaked - no worries, they are weatherproof, I wouldn't be surprised if they were actually waterproof.
    I don't know about being run over, but they have no issues with being dropped or or skidded across the road.
    i suppose it depends on what hit them.


    Quote Originally Posted by chmsam View Post
    - Lights or flares are useless if you keep them in the trunk (boot). They'll get buried, you won't be able to get at them if you're rear ended, it can take too long to get at them in a serious emergency, etc. Keep some form of light within reach in the passenger compartment but not where it can roll around.
    thats why mine live in a box under the passengers seat, along with the towrope, reflective triangles, reflective vest and jumper leads.
    I can access it while still wearing my seatbelt in the drivers seat.



    The local police force and many service stations use Eflares.
    the cops use them on witches hats at their "booze bus" breathalyzer/drug test setups - if they keep on ticking in that environment (left on for hours, clipped by drivers, thrown around and dumped in a bag at the end of shift) then they are a pretty solid unit.
    Last edited by Echo63; 03-19-2016 at 10:55 AM.
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  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    Thinking about picking up 3 or 4 of them. Amber color since the others aren't allowed here. But heard last week, the importer here, stopped with Eflare.

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Road Flare alternatives?

    So it looks like a other company picked the distributorship up. May end up ordering finally

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