To flash or not to flash?

Steve H

Large Member
I'm wanting to do a couple of rides in the week before I set off to work. This is going to mean riding in the dark until the sun begins to rise a bit earlier. So I've bought myself a set of lights and I've fitted them this evening. There are two settings on the lights - on and flashing.

What setting should I be using? Are there different circumstances for both - e.g. where there is street lighting or not?

Thanks

Steve
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
Wow I read the title and thought whey hey!!
I use two sets of lights on my commuter, one set to static and one set to flash. I find that the flashing lights are a lot more effective at attracting drivers attention, probably why the emergency services use them.
I may be wrong but I think that the law states that if you only have one set then they must be set to static.
 

g00se

Über Member
Location
Norwich
i think that's true about having static lights if you only have one set - but no one seems to care about that.

Also, did you know, most lights on sale in the UK are not legal as they do not pass the appropriate British standard? I think because of the expense and small market compared globally, most companies only apply to pass the US and Euro standards.

For me, I have one main light. If I want to be seen and there are street lights, I'll have it set to flashing. If it's really dark and I need to see where I'm going, I have it on static. And when I'm commuting from London at night, I have it set to static and I also use my backup plastic wraparound thingy on flash.

I've also heard - but I've no idea if it's true (!?!) - that even though a flashing LED light is better to get you noticed, a static one is better for the drivers to judge your distance to them. Another argument to have two lights I suppose.

if you're after those little backup lights, these look odd but are really, really bright:

http://www.on-one.co.uk/i/q/LISKLED/skully-ultra-bright-mirco-led-bike-light
 

PK99

Guru
Location
SW19
g00se said:
I've also heard - but I've no idea if it's true (!?!) - that even though a flashing LED light is better to get you noticed, a static one is better for the drivers to judge your distance to them. Another argument to have two lights I suppose.

t

continuous light = see me and track my direction and speed

flashing light = see me here........ no! here...... Hey! i'm here now... = draws attention but require continuous observation to track speed/direction

IMO, one steady one flasher is the best option
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
PK99 said:
continuous light = see me and track my direction and speed

flashing light = see me here........ no! here...... Hey! i'm here now... = draws attention but require continuous observation to track speed/direction

IMO, one steady one flasher is the best option
The other side to that is the human eye/brain spots changes better than things that are ever present, therefore when something is flashing in your periphery you are more likely to see it than something that is ever present. If the light is flashing at a reasonable rate then tracking speed and possition shouldnt be an issue.

Overall, if a flashing light prompts the driver to activelly observe you more closely then thats a good thing.


Im not particularly in favour of either mode, just offering an alternative viewpoint.

I have my front light constant and my back light flashing.
 

Goldfang

New Member
Location
Kettering
I was talking to a police traffic officer about this a while ago, his angle was that, strictly speaking exept for emergency vehicles and construction vehicles, you are not supposed to display a flashing light from a moving vehicle. But according to him, as far as the police are concerned, anything that makes a cyclist more visible is fine by them. Have no idea if this official policy!
 
Location
Midlands
I use a small flashing LED sometime at dusk - however never in the dark - It just destroys my night vision
 
The last set of lights I bought were legal according to SMART if the front light is flashing and the rear is steady. Tbh as suggested I don't the police really bother as long as you are visible. If I know I'm going to be cycling in the dark I like to go with the four light option, two front steady and flashing and two rear steady and flashing. These are sometimes supplemented depending upon the need to see/ be seen.
 

wafflycat

New Member
Goldfang said:
I was talking to a police traffic officer about this a while ago, his angle was that, strictly speaking exept for emergency vehicles and construction vehicles, you are not supposed to display a flashing light from a moving vehicle. But according to him, as far as the police are concerned, anything that makes a cyclist more visible is fine by them. Have no idea if this official policy!

Then he needs to get up-to-date on the legislation regarding bicycle lights. Flashing lights are now/can be legal.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
During dusk i will run with my two front lights both on flashing. if it starts to get slightly darker i will put one on steady, then when a bit darker both on stready.
 

BigSteev

Senior Member
Guess it doesn't really matter what lights I'm running as my lack of pedal reflectors (or indeed, any reflectors) will make it illegal anyway.
 
Location
Midlands
I think from a legality point of view the police do not care as long as you have lights - after all - rlj, speeding, using mobile phones etc etc seem to have a low priority in the scheme of things - a lot different than 30years ago when my brother and his wife were done for not having lights - well they did almost - only had one set between them - he took the front and she took the rear and they were riding in close order -both got done
 

jayonabike

Powered by caffeine & whisky
Location
Hertfordshire
When i go out for a night ride i have 1 light on the front on constant so i can see where i'm going, 2 lights on the back 1 on constant, the other flashing.
 
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