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Thread: Front White Blinking Light

  1. #1

    Default Front White Blinking Light

    Hello...I'm looking for a Bright front White Blinking light for my road bike.

    What do some of you guys use ?

    I have a few Fenix lights...AA rechargeable Eneloops...I have a Fenix BC30 with 18650 batteries but its a tad big for just a Blinker, even though its a Awesome light and Blinker...Its Bright

    I was kind of thinking about a Single AA battery light that would be a bright strobe or blinker that I could change battery when it got dim.
    I could mount it on my handlebars with the two fish holder. Or maybe a Fenix light that would use the 14500 battery ?

    Any suggestions on a good White Blinker ?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    What i use on my bike is one of those $3-$6 1AA junk lights that has zoom, hi, lo & strobe capability. I unscrew, (throw away) the zoom lens & it becomes a terrific flood strobe. The switch is a rear clicky. You can also get the light with a simple bike mount. Purchased three of them on ebay. Can also be used as an emergency light when nothing else is available. I use a cheap alkaline battery with mine.
    Last edited by Spin; 07-08-2016 at 08:43 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Sorry that I don't have any other suggestions, but I love my BC30. Even got a separate mount for my other bike. I don't mind how big it is because you never know when you might stay somewhere longer and then really want its power. Anyway, good luck finding what you want!

  4. #4
    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Can you explain why do you need an light with lashing mode?
    The only thing for sure is that this will stress everyone in front of you. It can be dangerous in traffic because it will attract the attention of others away from their driving line and could even cause accidents.

    You have so much lights, so what is your real concern?

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    And with blinking lights, you always have a moment that you move but you aren't visible.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Thanks....I have thought that a Blinking or Flashing front white light was the right thing to use for DAY use.So your suggesting that I just use a Solid White light for my front Day light ?I thought that a Flashing White light would attract more attention and make you more noticeable.Guess I could just stick with my BC30...I like that light a lot also....just a tad big but a Great light.Thanks

    Is it necessary to use a White Front Running light during the DAY ?
    I always have my Back Red Blinker on during the day but what about the front light ?
    Last edited by MBurke; 07-09-2016 at 05:27 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Yeah I don't like fast blink lights but my rear light and the bc30 flash pretty slowly so I feel that they do a good job of getting people's attention without being crazy and/or annoying like a lot of blinky lights are.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* kj2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by MBurke View Post
    Is it necessary to use a White Front Running light during the DAY ?
    I always have my Back Red Blinker on during the day but what about the front light ?
    Depends on local laws. Where I live, your front must be white and rear must be red.

  9. #9
    Enlightened Insulator Collector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    I use a Serfas TSL 550 for my 12 mile daily round trip commute. Much of the year I ride home after dark on un-lit bike path. I also ride in all weather, so I went for a powerful light. It turns out that I must use the light on its lowest setting, and aim it downward so as not to blind oncoming cyclists. Even tipped down on low, I have plenty of light to navigate and see obstacles. In retrospect, the TSL 550 was overkill. I find a good 200 lumen bike light more than adequate for urban commuting.

    As for a rapid front blinking strobe feature, I absolutely hate it as a cyclist and as a car driver! It is blinding and disorienting to anyone approaching from the opposite direction... whether biking, driving, or walking. As a car driver, I find that front strobe bike lights mask the rider's speed and fools my depth perception. Somehow I can't easily tell if the bike is 100 feet or 100 yards away without staring for a few seconds. The blinking also has a subtle hypnotic effect that draws my attention away from my driving. I think front strobes are annoying at least, and flat out dangerous at worst.

    That said, a VERY SLOW intermittent blinking front light is much better. It draws attention without the deleterious effects of a strobe, again provided the overall lumens are not high enough to blind oncoming people. I'll wrap up my post by saying that it's helpful to consider the effect one's light has oncoming bikers, drivers, and pedestrians.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Insulator Collector View Post
    I use a Serfas TSL 550 for my 12 mile daily round trip commute. Much of the year I ride home after dark on un-lit bike path. I also ride in all weather, so I went for a powerful light. It turns out that I must use the light on its lowest setting, and aim it downward so as not to blind oncoming cyclists. Even tipped down on low, I have plenty of light to navigate and see obstacles. In retrospect, the TSL 550 was overkill. I find a good 200 lumen bike light more than adequate for urban commuting.

    As for a rapid front blinking strobe feature, I absolutely hate it as a cyclist and as a car driver! It is blinding and disorienting to anyone approaching from the opposite direction... whether biking, driving, or walking. As a car driver, I find that front strobe bike lights mask the rider's speed and fools my depth perception. Somehow I can't easily tell if the bike is 100 feet or 100 yards away without staring for a few seconds. The blinking also has a subtle hypnotic effect that draws my attention away from my driving. I think front strobes are annoying at least, and flat out dangerous at worst.

    That said, a VERY SLOW intermittent blinking front light is much better. It draws attention without the deleterious effects of a strobe, again provided the overall lumens are not high enough to blind oncoming people. I'll wrap up my post by saying that it's helpful to consider the effect one's light has oncoming bikers, drivers, and pedestrians.
    +1 for blinking lights messing with the receiving sides perception of movement. There's a write up on this forum by a guy who is in law enforcement/police and they studied the effects of strobe on someone. If I remember correctly, they found that they would be disoriented about where and how far the person holding the light was.

    As someone who had previously used my helmet mount on flashing mode, this has made me re-evaluate whether to used steady modes instead. I have not come to any decision yet.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* greenlight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    I why sure that this was going to be a thread about how terrible front flashing lights flashes are on bicycles.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by da1510a View Post
    +1 for blinking lights messing with the receiving sides perception of movement. There's a write up on this forum by a guy who is in law enforcement/police and they studied the effects of strobe on someone. If I remember correctly, they found that they would be disoriented about where and how far the person holding the light was.

    As someone who had previously used my helmet mount on flashing mode, this has made me re-evaluate whether to used steady modes instead. I have not come to any decision yet.
    In addition to my helmet mounted Planet Bike white blinky, I also use these USB rechargeables:

    This one is brightest and can be bought on eBay.
    http://m.gearbest.com/headlights/pp_228477.html

    This one is similar to the above has more of a diffuser cover and a press button switch that is easier to press.
    http://m.gearbest.com/bike-lights/pp_231889.html

    This has a more concentrated beam,simple UI, built-in USB connector. Not as bright as the two above.
    https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5034-7...ED-Front-Light

  13. #13

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    I just purchased two Cateye Rapid X3 Safety Lights for my son's bike. One is red for the back and the other is white for the front. They both have USB charging ports, and are 200 lumens. He rides his bike to man made climbing rock about 15 minutes from home. He usually comes home around dusk. He always rides home as fast as he can. I want people to be able to see him.

    ~ Chance
    Last edited by Chauncey Gardiner; 07-17-2016 at 06:14 PM.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    I bike commute year-round and use an inexpensive Magicshine headlight, modded naturally, to a 3000K XM-L from a Seoul P7. The current models use XML2s, I think. In winter, I augment this with a 4 Sevens 2xCR123 running a single 17670 on my helmet. I also have several red rear Superflash units and the required red rear reflector, and liberal DOT conspicuity retro reflective tapes all around the bike.

    I run these on steady. While blinking front white lights are popular with cyclists with many saying it makes them more visible, blinking/flashing lights are specifically outlawed where I live (WA state USA) except LED red rear lights on bikes.
    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.37.280

    Think what it would be like if anyone who thought blinking headlights made them safer on the road did so. However, I'd say the majority of bicycles at night run a blinking front white light around here.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Wow! That's a pretty confusing read.

    (3) Flashing lights are prohibited except as required in RCW 46.37.190, 46.37.200, 46.37.210, 46.37.215, and 46.37.300, warning lamps authorized by the state patrol, and light-emitting diode flashing taillights on bicycles.

    After reading all the RCW's linked, I still wasn't sure so I called the local Bike Tech store. The person that answered the phone assured me flashing front lights are legal in Washington state.

    ~ Chance
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    So.....My take on this is to run a Steady LED light on front. I really don't care for the Strobe mode anyway..I do think its to confusing and obnoxious

    Say.....200 - 400 Lumens during daylight hrs should be enough ?

    I have a couple lights a ( Fenix BC30 and PD35tac ) that will run some decent lumens for a couple hrs during the daylight hrs.
    I can always take along a spare 18650 cell if I had to.

    So a Steady light would be more like a running light on a motorcycle or car. I will just have to make sure its Bright enough to be seen.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Gardiner View Post
    Wow! That's a pretty confusing read.

    (3) Flashing lights are prohibited except as required in RCW 46.37.190, 46.37.200, 46.37.210, 46.37.215, and 46.37.300, warning lamps authorized by the state patrol, and light-emitting diode flashing taillights on bicycles.

    After reading all the RCW's linked, I still wasn't sure so I called the local Bike Tech store. The person that answered the phone assured me flashing front lights are legal in Washington state.

    ~ Chance
    LOL, I'm not sure I'd take legal advice from a bike shop employee that sells blinking lights.....but who knows.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by louie View Post
    LOL, I'm not sure I'd take legal advice from a bike shop employee that sells blinking lights.....but who knows.
    It's telling that you made no attempt to clarify your statement that blinking front lights are specifically outlawed on bicycles in Washington state. Perhaps you can't make heads or tails from the RCW you linked either ........but who knows. LOL!

    ~ Chance
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    I have nothing to clarify. I'm not a lawyer or any kind of legal expert. It just looks to me like they are outlawed in WA by that statute, which I understand is unique in the USA. I got the link from local bike forums and blogs, which also tend to agree that it seems to outlaw blinking white front headlights because only red LED blinkers on bicycles are legal. The exceptions appear to be things like emergency vehicles, road signs, etc. But also, many, many cyclists still like to use them, and I've never heard of any stops for doing so. That would be any interesting case if someone fought it, which might settle a vague legal statute.

    And it seems red blinking incandescents on bikes are also illegal here!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    These,* are working out very well. My son really likes the versatility they provide and he is easily visible from quite a ways away. They're somewhat expensive compared to other lights that are available. However, after asking myself how much was my son's safety worth to me, I decided they were worth it.

    ~ Chance

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    https://www.amazon.com/CatEye-Rapid-...B6T57S4VK0A179
    Last edited by Chauncey Gardiner; 07-17-2016 at 06:16 PM.
    Never point a flashlight at anything you don't intend to illuminate! Never buy a flashlight you have to make payments on.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic angerdan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by MBurke View Post
    Say.....200 - 400 Lumens during daylight hrs should be enough ?
    I will just have to make sure its Bright enough to be seen.
    Yes, to bee seen >150lm will be enough. It also depends on the reflector size and the beam angle (>reflector / >beam angle = < blinding).

  22. #22

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    I have a Fenix BT-20 that I use a daylight flasher. I have had people stop me and ask about the light, so I guess it does the job.

  23. #23
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    New forum member here, 40+ year cyclist.

    I'm a bit surprised that the Blackburn Flea 2.0 gets so little mention on the forum. I've been using the front and rear lights for daytime visibility since they first came out. Small, bright, relatively cheap, rechargeable.

    Turns out they've been replaced by a new light, the 2'FER. Blackburn is sending me a couple as warranty replacements for dead Fleas.

    I found the conversation about blinking lights throwing off distance perception (for oncoming drivers) interesting.

    Thanks!

  24. #24

    Arrow Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by MBurke View Post
    Thanks....I have thought that a Blinking or Flashing front white light was the right thing to use for DAY use.So your suggesting that I just use a Solid White light for my front Day light ?I thought that a Flashing White light would attract more attention and make you more noticeable.Guess I could just stick with my BC30...I like that light a lot also....just a tad big but a Great light.Thanks

    Is it necessary to use a White Front Running light during the DAY ?
    I always have my Back Red Blinker on during the day but what about the front light ?
    Flashing mode is quiet normal with many bike lights. It's more enery saving and efficient to attract people's eyes. Maybe you can try ALLTY1000.

  25. #25
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Gardiner View Post
    After reading all the RCW's linked, I still wasn't sure so I called the local Bike Tech store. The person that answered the phone assured me flashing front lights are legal in Washington state.
    He sells them, doesn't he?

    The laws describing permitted flashing lights do not describe flashing front lamps for bicycles. The laws that prohibit flashing lamps do not exempt flashing front lamps for bicycles.

  26. #26
    usdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Back in the 90ís when I was riding motorcycles I came across a Kriss Industries headlight modulator. Many bicycle lights now operate with a flashing mode for the simple reason that your eyes and attention will pick up an alternating light/beam faster and at a greater distance than a steady one.
    I recently sold a Mk9 Toro from Exposure Lights UK that had a flashing mode and it is the best on a bicycle I ve had. Not cheap but I put equipment like this in the how much is my life worth comparison.
    Donít Tread On Me

  27. #27
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by usdiver View Post
    Back in the 90ís when I was riding motorcycles I came across a Kriss Industries headlight modulator.
    There is no real data showing that they prevent accidents.

    Being 'spotted' or 'drawing attention' is not the same as being properly identified and having your speed and heading properly estimated. Flashing lights can also be a source of confusion. Turn signals and hazard lights flash for a reason. Tail and stop lamps and headlamps are steady for a reason.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    There is no real data showing that they prevent accidents.

    Being 'spotted' or 'drawing attention' is not the same as being properly identified and having your speed and heading properly estimated. Flashing lights can also be a source of confusion. Turn signals and hazard lights flash for a reason. Tail and stop lamps and headlamps are steady for a reason.
    I think you ll find there is actually plenty of information and plenty of discussion some for, some against, and many who have no clue because they havenít been in a situation where they were seriously injured, killed, or ďalmostĒ wiped out because somebody pulled out in front of them. I have been in that situation on numerous occasions and had close calls but been lucky... The DOT allowed the use of them several years ago and itís a federal law. While it doesnít help one to judge your distance itís not meant for that. Itís meant to get attention and let ďsomeone ď know youíre there. Why donít you cross a train crossing when a train is coming if there are no crossing gates or lights? Trains use alternating beams in the headlight, or they do where I come from ...
    if someone pulls out in front of you with a flashing or alternating beam, then they were doing something else besides looking at the road because these devices will get your attention.
    They are there for added safety.

    In addition there are regulations relating to frequency and other specific requirements so they do not pose a danger to someone with say epilepsy.
    There are many factors and itís a topic which could be discussed for a long time but they are very beneficial for their intended purpose and work very well if understood and used properly.
    Donít Tread On Me

  29. #29
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    Quote Originally Posted by usdiver View Post
    I think you ll find there is actually plenty of information and plenty of discussion some for, some against, and many who have no clue because they havenít been in a situation where they were seriously injured, killed, or ďalmostĒ wiped out because somebody pulled out in front of them.
    The plural of anecdote is not data. There is no *data* supporting their safety benefit.

    The DOT allowed the use of them several years ago and itís a federal law.
    Due to very heavy lobbying by the manufacturers.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Front White Blinking Light

    the simple reason that your eyes and attention will pick up an alternating light/beam faster and at a greater distance than a steady one
    That is not the case. You and many others might consider this obvious or "common sense", but it is not borne out by rigorous research on the matter.

    VRUs (vulnerable road users -- motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians) face real and legitimate extra danger on the road compared to occupants of cars, trucks, buses, etc. So VRUs come up with many ideas they're sure will help. Flashing (pulsing, blinking, "modulating") headlamps and brake lights, many different kinds and colors of add-on lights, etc. There is no science or factual basis behind the overwhelming majority of these ideas, yet they get picked up and passed along among clubs and advocacy groups, who in turn lobby to get them written into the relevant codes and regulations, then marketers come along and point to the code and say "SEE! It's even in the codes and regulations!". It's an echo-chamber feedback loop. The trouble, again, is that these ideas do not work. They do not reduce the likelihood of a VRU being hit in traffic, and no amount of "I can tell cars totally don't pull out in front of me any more ever since I started using it" types of stories change that. In fact, these kinds of "common sense" ideas often make things worse: they reduce safety (or at best don't improve it), yet they make the VRU feel safer, and so their behavior changes. Not necessarily on purpose, not necessarily "I don't have to be as careful because I have my [whatever lighting gadget or configuration]", this kind of risk homeostasis/compensation is an unfortunate part of how the human mind works, without our conscious input on the matter.

    As for that claim about a "simple reason": No. None of this is simple. Human perception and effective human perception are very complex. Many aspects of whether and how quickly and accurately we see, identify, and recognize something are ferociously complicated and counterintuitive to say the least.

    Back to the subject at hand: the blinking lights were originally put on the market as a sort of band-aid over the fact that they couldn't put out a lot of light. Now we have extremely powerful and efficient LEDs and associated optics, so that band-aid is no longer necessary or helpful. A blinking front white bicycle light is fine if you feel you must have one, if it is right next to a steady-burning white light of at least equal intensity. You really need the steady-burning light, front and rear, so drivers can quickly and accurately attain and keep track of your position relative to theirs. A blinking light without a steady light severely degrades the speed and accuracy at which a moving driver can and will attain and keep track of you.

    In the rear, a blinking light is not a wise idea -- not now that we have some really good bicycle rear lights with automatic brake light and tail light capability. That's what to get, to provide the most detailed status report in real time to those you're on the road with, so they have the best possible, clearest possible information to avoid hitting you. Don't muddy the message with an unnecessary, unhelpful blinking light back there.

    Finally: remember the side view (amber light shining left and right, preferably at the front and back of the bike) and the reflectors: white front, red rear, and make sure to use the tires that have a built-in retroreflective sidewall stripe.

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