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Back lights 'pulse' function: recommendations?

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Does anyone have a back light, with a pulse setting on it, that they are impressed with? I've been noticing other cyclists with these on their bikes and they seem to me to be the best solution for visibility.

I am currently using two rechargeable and impressively bright LED back lights (both from Aldi and still working well after a number of winters of usage), I have one on the bike on constant and one on my backpack set to flashing. Once I'm riding regularly in full darkness I normally add to the bike and a small one to the back of my helmet, but none of the lights I have have the pulse setting, which is what I really want.

Thanks!

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 Dave B 12 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I like my use trace r. Id get the trace r with peloton if I was buying again.

However, these things are quite personal. 

I bought a see sense icon2, but I don't like it and my wife has it instead. She's quite happy with it. 

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 Jamie Wakeham 12 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I like the Niterider Cherrybomb.  Its sequence is slightly odd - it's sort of 'flashflashflash... flash... flaaash" and that makes it really noticeable.  It's actually quite annoying to watch for more than about ten seconds because your brain tries to impose a regular beat onto it and can't - I think that's how it manages to be so obtrusive and unmissable, certainly compared to a bog standard pattern.

Post edited at 22:09
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 Dave B 12 Oct 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Reminds me, I have a moon orion light on my race bike as a drl.

Not what you are after, Toby , but 30 hours run time on one charge with a, 80 lumen flash flash.... Flash... Pattern is quite good. Cheap too. Might suit someone else. 

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 tjin 13 Oct 2020

Note that it makes people more visible, but harder to estimate the distance to strobe/pulsing light. Especially in poor weather conditions and reflections on the ground. The reason why they are banned in some countries.

Make sure it's not the only visible thing you have. At least have reflectors or bright colours, so people can range distance too. 

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 Sans-Plan 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I keep meaning to buy one of these as they brighten under braking too:

https://smartbikelights.com/pages/xlite

Shows the modes at 40 seconds in the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vk5yHSTNmU&ab_channel=Eric%28RBM%29

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In reply to tjin:

Actually I think the pulse ones are much easier than strobes to judge distance from (this comes from when I'm driving) but more noticeable than static lights, but - as I said in the first post - I always have two back lights at least while commuting - one just on and one flashing - rarely strobe because again as a driver I find strobes a bit distracting.

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In reply to Sans-Plan:

Interesting - not to expensive either. Cheers.

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 ianstevens 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

A classic UKC non-answer to your question here I'm afraid. Have you tried/used any of thew proviz stuff? It basically a huge, very effective reflector, and is far better than any rear light I've ever owned (caveat that I've never spent more than £15 on a back light). IMO a back light is about being seen, and dressing yourself up in full shiny kit seems more effective than a small, point source light. I have a jacket and a bag cover, with the added bonus that the latter keeps the rain out. (Yes, I cycle commute with a backpack; I wouldn't cycle in the dark for fun unless I got in the shit somewhere).  

https://www.provizsports.com/en-gb/

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 nufkin 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I've been using a Cateye light for a few months that I'm quite happy with - Rapid Micro, I think. I mostly just use it in the flashing mode, but it has a pulse too, though it's hard to be too certain of its effects since I can't see it when I'm riding...

(It replaced one of their Kinetic lights, which seemed like a good idea for commuting in traffic, but it ran out of juice so quickly I regularly got home and found I had been riding for an unknown time without any light at all. The Micro, on the other hand, goes for hours and hours and hours between charges)

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 nniff 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I have many....

Moon Nebula - big and bright.  Current favourite.  Day-bright is off more than it is on, but belts out a big double flash.  Other settings are pulse.

Cateye Kinetic - small, tidy and bright.  The epileptic fit mode lasts for ages and is bright - not for use in a night time chain gang.  Used as the second light on the bike with one of the others.

Exposure Trace R - i've had a couple and both still work - the connection for the charging lead is a PITA and seems very sensitive to the cable you use to connect.  Long run time.  If you look after them they last for years.  A slice of inner tube is an adequate fix when the charging port rubber breaks.

Cycliq 6 - expensive, good light and camera.  About four hours run time with camera and light together, after which the camera switches off and leaves you with just the light for several more hours

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 DancingOnRock 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

I don’t think this meets the regulations. The off period must be constant. Although you might be just saying the on period varies. 

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 kathrync 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Another vote for the Exposure traceR. I have the ReAKT version, which supposedly brightens under braking.  My colleague and I spent a merry half hour running up and down the corridor at work with it to see if it actually worked, but I don't think you can generate the same forces when running

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 Point of View 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Maybe it's just me, but as a motorist I find a steady light much easier to identify. Especially in wet conditions, a flickering light looks rather like a reflection from a puddle.

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In reply to nniff:

> I have many....

> Moon Nebula - big and bright.  Current favourite.  Day-bright is off more than it is on, but belts out a big double flash.  Other settings are pulse.

Also have a Moon Nebula. It basically has two sets of options - a range of constant on and a range of pulse/flash, with varying brightness within the two sets.

I use a flash/pulse for day and constant plus flash/pulse at night. Also carry a tiny Moon thing as a backup at night. 

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In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

The Moon Nebula looks amazingly like my bigger Aldi one - right down the fitting accessories, but the Aldi ones don't pulse, 3 x constant brightness, and 2 x flashing brightness and 1 x strobe IIRC.

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In reply to TobyA:

> The Moon Nebula looks amazingly like my bigger Aldi one - right down the fitting accessories, but the Aldi ones don't pulse, 3 x constant brightness, and 2 x flashing brightness and 1 x strobe IIRC.

There are some amazing replica/copies out there. Always seem to miss out on Aldi/Lidl offers. 

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In reply to ianstevens:

I do have lots of reflecting bits on my clothes and rucksack but I haven't tried proviz stuff specifically. My current tyres also have a reflect strip on them, that I've found in the past is amazingly effective. 

But I definitely want lights in addition to that.

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 wilkesley 13 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

If you aren't riding in a city, or on very busy roads I can recommend the Garmin Varia RTL510. In a nutshell, it uses radar to provide warning of vehicles approaching from behind. You need either a Garmin or Wahoo to be able to show you approaching vehicles on the screen.

If you ride on very busy roads the radar part isn't useful because you get overwhelmed by warnings of vehicles approaching from behind. One other disadvantage: it's expensive!

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 Jamie Wakeham 13 Oct 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Interesting.  They're widely available so I doubt they're illegal.

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 DancingOnRock 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Lots of things that are illegal to fit are available to buy. Unfortunately. 

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 Niek 14 Oct 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Got a citation for that? I can only find that the number of flashes must be between 60 and 240 flashes per minute. 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/2559/regulation/6/made

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/2559/note/made

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 ianstevens 14 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Fair enough! Maybe it's because I've been stingy on the back light purchases, but I find the reflective kit far more effective - and from side-on too. Note that this is only commuting in an urban environment, besieged with roundabouts. 

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 gethin_allen 14 Oct 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Lots of things that are illegal to fit are available to buy. Unfortunately. 


Flashing lights are allowed for both front and rear but if you only have flashing lights they must be be more than 4 candela and have a frequency of 60-130 flashes/min.

If you buy from a reputable company you can be fairly sure that the company will have done their homework. Could you imagine the flak a company like Oxford/Garmin/ lezyne would get if someone had trouble with the law when using their products as described?

In reality the law will only have a go at you if you aren't bright enough.

To account for all eventualities most people I know run two rear lights, one flashing one constant. Many cyclists are resorting to running a bright flashing light even in daylight, a constant light in these conditions would have to be so bright to be seen and would need a massive battery.

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 DancingOnRock 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Niek:

It gets complicated. 
 

If you are only using a flashing light it must flash equally and be more than 4 candela.

If you are using a steady light that confirms to BS then you can use another flashing light as long as it’s less than 4 candela. 
 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pedal-cycles-lighting/pedal-cycles-lighting#obligatory-lighting-and-reflectors

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 Niek 14 Oct 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

I don't see any mention of a constant off period?

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 LastBoyScout 14 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

I've got a CatEye Rapid Micro one that has a pulse function and that's very good. I've also got another, wider, Cateye TL-LD610 that has a good up-and-down/side-to-side (depends how you mount it) effect - think KITT and you'll know what I mean.

I can't stand lights that flash on and off.

These might help:
https://road.cc/buyers-guide/lights---rear
https://road.cc/category/review-section/accessories/lights-rear

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 DancingOnRock 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Niek:

Equal. 

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In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Equal. 

Maybe that’s why the Exposure TraceR has a contrast on red led at a lower than static mode intensity when in flashing mode of single flash, double flash, single, repeat? It’s therefore I suppose never in a purely flashing mode.

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 DancingOnRock 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Climbing Pieman:

That would make sense. So when in flashing mode it should be accompanied by a brighter steady light. It probably recommends it in the literature. 
 

The problem is the legislation can’t keep up with the technology. 
 

Same happens with clips and reflectors on pedals. 

Post edited at 16:33
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 tonanf 14 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Get Exposure lights. very good.

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 fire_munki 15 Oct 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

Proviz looks brilliant but be aware that their sizing is a bit "different". Gloves would have fitted if I trimmed my fingers down to just where the nail stops and reviews of the jacket say its a bit  baggy, def not a race cut.

Rear light wise I have a Moon Arcturus rear light, it's pretty cheap (~£25) and is really bright, the daytime running mode is mental, not one for night time!

Post edited at 10:46
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 ianstevens 15 Oct 2020
In reply to fire_munki:

> Proviz looks brilliant but be aware that their sizing is a bit "different". Gloves would have fitted if I trimmed my fingers down to just where the nail stops and reviews of the jacket say its a bit  baggy, def not a race cut.

Far rom a race cut for sure, quite a sack fit. However for winter city commuting, that's fine - sometimes I'll just have a t-shirt under, sometimes a thick pollen jumper - not really compatible with race fit jackets!

> Rear light wise I have a Moon Arcturus rear light, it's pretty cheap (~£25) and is really bright, the daytime running mode is mental, not one for night time!

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In reply to TobyA:

Exposure Trace R has been mentioned a couple of times.  I have one and like it, but have managed to destroy it with water.  Exposure fixed it at a reasonable price, but was still a bit of hassle.  I think I had the charging port cover in place, but always double check it now.

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In reply to TobyA:

I use an Aldi front/back pair. Both are USB rechargeable. Both flash. I've used flashing rear LED bike lights for years; previous ones were Halfords, but they've gradually got stolen, with the bikes they were fitted to...

Oh, and beware of 'odd' flash sequences; I once stopped a bloke and advised him to select a different flash sequence, because it had a very long dark phase at one point in the sequence; easily long enough for a driver to miss it if doing a quick sweep.

Post edited at 17:55
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 Yanis Nayu 15 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Knog blinder 

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 Becky E 16 Oct 2020
In reply to TobyA:

Bontrager Flare RT

It has the option of being very bright all the time, or adjusting so it's brighter in daylight and less so in the dark.

Has constant or flashing mode which does flash... flash... flashflash

Purchased because it matches the fitting on my mudguards, but I think I'll also get another one to replace the relatively pathetic one on my saddle bag too.

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