NOT ALL LIGHTS ARE CREATED EQUAL

That’s right … not all bicycle lights are created equal. It is possible to have a 35 lumen taillight appear to be brighter than  a 100 lumen taillight. How can that be you ask? I have written about this subject before. It is all about optics. Some lights just have better optics in them. The term optics here means lenses along with reflectors. They can sure make a big difference in lights. My 300 lumen headlights are amazingly bright on flash mode in the daytime. Anything brighter would be blinding. People find it hard to believe when I tell them they are only 300 lumen. They think they must be at least a thousand or more.

Here is an excellent example of what I mean. Bontrager offers their Flare R City  taillight pictured above. It is very small in size and is rated at only 35 lumen. Years ago 35 lumen was a powerful taillight but nowadays it would be considered low powered. Yet this particular taillight is quite bright. You would have to see it to believe it.

I just bought a 350 lumen Cygolite Hypershot taillight (pictured above). It is extremely bright of course. I would not think of using it at night time as it would be blinding unless it can be “dialed down” sufficiently. But I ride in the daytime almost exclusively and I WANT TO BE SEEN.  Anyway, I have the same brand of taillights in 150 lumen and they are extremely bright as well. 150 lumens was their most powerful taillight when I first bought mine.  Cygolite first came out with a much lower powered taillight and then kept making new models increasing the lumens each time. They have 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and now 350. I wonder what is next.

You don’t want to look at it up close as you will be seeing a dot before your eyes for awhile. Would you believe that the 35 lumen Flare R taillight is as bright as this 150 lumen? It would seem impossible but I have witnessed it with my own eyes.

I have some 35 lumen taillights (pictured above) made by BV that came free with their 300 lumen headlights I use.

The taillights are very bright but they are not as bright as the 35 lumen Flare R City cube. And the battery charge only last 4 or 5 hours on flash mode. At present I am using my new 350 lumen taillight along with two of the 35 lumen BV taillights. They are working very good together. Here is a video of them flashing.

I was going to buy the Bontrager Flare R cubes to use but I already have these BV taillights and they offer much better side visibility. I still have the 150 lumen taillights I can use if the 350 turns out to be too much as in too bright, obnoxious, overbearing. I don’t want to be guilty of “STUPID Bright” which is the title of a soon upcoming article on this website.

I have such a difficult time understanding most British people when they talk. I found another one I wanted to share but I could not hardly understand a word they were saying. This one is a little better.

 

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A FREE GIFT AWAITS YOU!

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ALL LIT UP

Anybody who has followed my blog for any length of time should know that I am a firm believer in “being seen”. I use and highly recommend bright flashing headlights and taillights as well as highly visible and attention getting safety flags. Thru the years I have employed several different lights and flags. I have made several changes and always tried to improve what I have. I am well pleased with all the lighting and flags I now have. This particular posting is concerning my taillights. Believe it or not, I have 8 of them on my trike. Seven of them can be seen in this video. The 8th one is in between the seat back and the trunk bag and points downward toward the pavement. It is only for riding at night which I rarely do. Normally I only have one taillight on as I ride and it is the middle top one. I only use the others when I am riding somewhere that I am concerned about extra visibility such as busy/dangerous streets and roads. When I turn 5 to 7 of them on you can bet traffic sees me. I look like an emergency vehicle all lit up with bright flashing lights. If I were to come upon a situation along a trail where I stopped to do maintenance work or help someone who had an accident and was injured I would use the extra lighting to be sure other trail users are aware and exercise caution as they approach. Thus far I am talking about daytime use. At nighttime I would only use the lights on flash mode where again I want to be sure others exercise caution approaching the area. I would never use my headlights or taillights on flash mode at night time otherwise as it is offensive and distracting to motorists as well as confusing to them as well. My point is concerning the multiple taillights … I have them if I need them and they can and do come in very handy.

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TAILLIGHTS

taillights

am sure most of us have noticed how difficult it is when it comes to shopping for over the counter medications such as cough syrup or pain killers. The selection has become so very massive and complex that it makes it difficult to make a selection. Even if you know what you want unless you are well acquainted with the layout of the products in the store where you are at you may struggle just trying to find it among all the many products on display. Well, the matter of taillights (and headlights) isn’t quite as bad, but it’s getting there. 🙂 Fortunately there are those who have researched and reported on their findings which can help. HERE is one such resource.

Planet Bike headlight and taillight

I personally have long used Planet Bike Super Flash taillights (and a Planet Bike headlight) as pictured above. The taillights are 1/2 watt and have excellent battery life. I use NiMH rechargeable batteries so that works out very well economically. That being said, if I were in the market for taillights (and headlights) today I would probably choose something else. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I have, but there are other offerings out there now that were not around years ago and the prices are surprisingly low … as low or even lower than what I paid originally for what I have now. And they are even brighter … a whole lot brighter. Of course, as is the case with so many things, most of them come from China and the price is quite low for those iterms. (We here in the United States have long been guilty of destroying our own nation while building up others, but that is another subject matter altogether.)

taillights on bike 2

Now that is bright!

I personally think that is way too much after dark. Keep in mind that after dark when around motorists it is not proper or safe to be too lit up as you can blind people which endangers them, yourself and possibly others. So if you are buying one of these super bright lights (taillights or headlights) you should be sure you buy one which you can dim down after dark. We need to be responsible and decent out there. The brightness these lights offer is great in the daytime … the brighter the better as far as being seen. My Planet Bike taillights are plenty bright after dark. I would not want anything any brighter at night. It is only in daylight that I would choose more “attention getting power” (brightness). Yes, in the daylight we need bright FLASHING taillights so others can see us … along with really good SAFETY FLAGS.

I think most people would tell you that I don’t appear to be too bright. 🙂 How about you? You aren’t too bright are you? I hope not.

Here are two of the top rated taillights being compared in this video:

And here are some other brands:

This man mentioned something I want to reiterate on. He basically said that the lights that were not as bright might be seen by someone who is paying attention, but he wants a light that gets the attention of those who perhaps are not paying attention. Now that makes good sense and something we should ponder over.

I ran across this deal and am sharing it HERE. These are among the top rated lights available and this is a pretty good price … at least at the time I wrote this it was selling at a good price (about $77). (When I checked it on Dec. 4, 2015 the price was less than $50.)

Cygolite headlight and taillight combo set

I see cyclists all the time riding around without lights or flags. Many of them don’t even have reflectors. To my way of thinking they are “an accident waiting to happen”. They are living dangerously! And if we are on a tadpole trike we are already a quite low profile with so we need help being seen. Be safe out there! Then we stand a better chance of being able to …

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