Senior Member
I've been cycling on and off for the last year, but never in the dark, and never over winter.

One thing I've noticed over the past few weeks are the numbers of different options for lights... and I don't just mean the units. There are a lot of flashies - blinking rear lights, blinking front lights, and static ones too.

I've always assumed that static lights were best - sure blinkies attract the attention of drivers, but they also potentially distract them from other hazards. And blinking front lights can't illuminate the road ahead all that well... can they?

So what is best, and what should be used?
I use both flashing and solid, touch wood its worked so far.


New Member
I have four lights plus a head torch at night. Two blinking and two static BRIGHT lights. I also carry a fresh set of charged up batteries with me in case of failure(I use rechargeables). In addition to that I always wear my Altura night vision jacket. My bib longs also have reflective strips as do my shoes and my over shoes....& my gloves . I also wear a white hat which I am told is easier to see at night in the lights as well.

So far I think it works because I am still alive. In any event come the day that one of these bastards does actually flatten me he wont have any excuse that he didnt see me and th elife assurance peeps wont be able to use any lack of correct lighting/clothing as an excuse either.
There is no light excluding the big ones that take D cell's that comform to the law (BS). But you can not have just flashing lights as ive been stoped by cops loads well 4 times and been told so.

The law is open to how you wish to read it on this one.


Cycling in the sun
The law was changed recently .... can't remember how long back ... flashers are allowed ;).

Someone will be along with the link .. or I'll go and look for it.

Looked and hopefully this link will work:
If not go to CTC site and search on light flashing.


Senior Member
Old Walrus said:
As I've said on another a Cop if I see a bike with any sort of life it's a bonus! Sadly the norm is dark clothing, no lights and commonsense sorely lacking.
I can believe that. Yesterday I saw a guy cycling with no lights in the dark wearing shorts and a t-shirt (in December!). Even his panniers didn't have reflectors.

I think if I'm going to cycle in the dark, I'll go the four light route.

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
I don't ride at night, but I use a Smart 1/2 Watt rear light when it is raining ir misty. It is the brightest back light I have ever seen, almost like a car brake light and under fourteen quid at Wiggle.

As a driver I don't like flashing rear lights, it makes speed, distance and changes of position much harder to judge.


New Member
baggytrousers said:
heres a link to the department of transport website which sets out the rules for cycle lights
I thought you could use any BS or EC marked lighting. Fogged up by them saying....

"Lights and reflectors not conforming to the BS, but conforming to a corresponding standard of another EC country and marked accordingly, are considered to comply as long as that standard provides an equivalent level of safety."

Anyone know all the equivalent standards that apply?;) Seems we are meant to. it makes me laugh that recumbent cycles STILL need to have reflectors on their pedals to show to those beneath and above.


Married to Night Train
Salford, UK
Kaipaith said:
I think if I'm going to cycle in the dark, I'll go the four light route.
Why stop there?;)

I have 6 on my winter bike. Dynamo set, steady, one rear, one front (rear has a standlight, so stays lit when the bike stops - the front one goes out when stationary). LED front and rear - rear is a Smart, clipped to my pannier, on steady (but tends to joggle about a bit, because of the pannier being soft, which I think might be eyecatching), front is a wind-up one, 5 LED, which I have flashing. Then I also have little backupz lights front and rear (single LED, held on with a little elastic strap, button battery) - the rear one on my helmet, flashing, the front one on my bars, flashing or steady, as I fancy... The backupz are great, very light, easy to slip in a pocket and always have with you as a backup (or to lend to a friend, since they fit to any bike in a second). I wouldn't want to use them alone unless I really had to, but better than nothing, and worth spending the £6 or so...

My summer bike doesn't have the dynamo, so I revert to four then, and my main front light is a lighterweight battery LED light, on steady, rather than the windup one.
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