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Randonee
01-15-2009, 06:17 PM
Hey:

Where would someone find blue, yellow, and green LED flashing bicycle lights, around town? I have red, but i want a different color so as to stand out.


Thanks

q`Tzal
01-15-2009, 07:38 PM
Blue would be illegal for roadway use by anyone other than the police. You will get caught VERY quickly.
Green will need to be made. You might try the EVERLED flashlight replacement (http://www.everled.com/everled-fbr/?content=colors) . It is a standard PR (6V lantern) bulb that is a 1 watt LED. Obscenly bright and comes in : white, red, yellow, green, blue, and a teal/cyan color. These would drop right in to a C or D cell Maglite.
DiNotte (http://www.dinottelighting.com) has very bright red and white lights. They also set a yellow "AMBER Headlight system" (http://tinyurl.com/7nqkws).

I leave it to a wordsmith more skilled to explain why it would be ill advised to go with non-standard road colors.

K'Tesh
01-15-2009, 08:47 PM
I have blue lights (not LED mind you) on my bike, and despite having it for over a year and using it around cops, I've never had a problem with the law.

Blue *FLASHING* lights and you've got a possible problem. You see, the flashing lights MAY mistaken by someone as a police light, and that is where you get into trouble.

BTW, Amber lights are legal anywhere.

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

steve knight
01-15-2009, 08:48 PM
you want some el wire nice and bright and really stands out. here is one site but there are lots http://www.coolight.com/Default.asp?Redirected=Y

Jeff Wills
01-17-2009, 05:07 PM
you want some el wire nice and bright and really stands out. here is one site but there are lots http://www.coolight.com/Default.asp?Redirected=Y

Or here:
http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/El_wire.htm
http://www.fiberopticproducts.com/WIREPACK.JPG

or I saw some of this behind the counter at Bad Monkey Bikes in Vancouver. I think I need to get some.

wyeast
01-17-2009, 05:56 PM
Piling onto the "don't use blue" bandwagon. Besides, blue is actually a poor color for long-distance identification. Ever seen a police stop from a long distance down a straight stretch of freeway? You' notice that the red flashers stand out at a much further distance than the blues do.

Green is available, I believe the "Trek" branded front flasher (clear lens) uses greenish LED's. I use yellow flashers up front combined w/ steady white.

Simple Nature
01-17-2009, 08:59 PM
Remember blue-dots? You would drill a hole in your perfectly good red tail light lens and snap in these little beauties. They did have a *displaced* effect.
http://www.motorcyclepartspro.com/images/blue_dot_conversion_1.gif

Blue playes games with the eyes because we have fewer blue cones as compared to red and green ones.

Jeff Wills
01-18-2009, 09:21 AM
Hey:

Where would someone find blue, yellow, and green LED flashing bicycle lights, around town? I have red, but i want a different color so as to stand out.


Thanks

I think that sticking with red blinkies (behind) and white/amber (front/side) blinkies would be better. When I'm driving, I indentify "small flashing [red] [white] light" as "bicyclist" right away, generally at long range. (4 or 5 blocks on well-lit city streets... far enough to give me 10 to 20 seconds to indentify, evaluate, and plan possible reactions.) Green or blue could be mistaken for a shop sign.

Randonee
01-18-2009, 04:24 PM
Thanks for all the info peoples!! I was aware of the blue being thought of as law enforcement, not sure though if a small little light could be compared to the blues of law though? Adding a color to the red I think would stand out more. Can never have to much visibility, thats just my humble opinion.

wyeast
01-18-2009, 06:12 PM
Thanks for all the info peoples!! I was aware of the blue being thought of as law enforcement, not sure though if a small little light could be compared to the blues of law though? Adding a color to the red I think would stand out more. Can never have to much visibility, thats just my humble opinion.

I actually had opportunity to see this family on a Bakfiets with a light setup that involved some circular running LED's (I think they are light wands you see in the toy store) - several different colors including greens, blues, and whites.

Quite eye catching up close. However, at a distance it faded into a mishmash of light that was sorta noticable, but not immediately recognizable as "vehicle".

Part of that I think was the toy vs signal light aspect of the design. Part of it however I think is the mishmash of color that is inconsistent in our brain as something vehicular, so we write it off as a bad reflection or a sign or something.

If you want to add color, I'd suggest sticking to reds & yellows in back. Whites and yellows up front. In a split second, you want to be instantly recognizable as traffic, and what direction you're going. It may seem good that ambiguity might cause someone to "pause and figure it out", but sometimes you don't have the luxury of that extra moment or two for someone to figure out what's going on.

Trust me. Red and yellow blinkers stacked on each other are plenty obnoxious. ;)

q`Tzal
01-19-2009, 05:52 PM
I think if weight doesn't matter and money doesn't matter the best bet is to make you and your cycle's physical profile as visible as possible.

As markallyn and K'Tesh can attest to appearing more "bike like" in the darkness can only help.

One point light source can make it more difficult to distinguish the distance of a cyclist; all you see in the blackness is a light: dim or blinding. This is more obvious in an urban environment with lots of background light clutter.

If you could sufficiently light the cycle and cyclist then visibility versus background light conditions would be a non issue.

Perhaps it's important that practicality not matter as well:)

wyeast
01-25-2009, 07:24 AM
I think if weight doesn't matter and money doesn't matter the best bet is to make you and your cycle's physical profile as visible as possible.

As markallyn and K'Tesh can attest to appearing more "bike like" in the darkness can only help.
Weight doesn't necessarily have to exclude you from being visible.

Considering for the most part, we're dealing with visibility towards motor vehicles at night, we have a lot of available light (relatively) by reflecting their own headlights.

I know I used this photo before, it's from last year's night ride. This is a bike parked about 100 feet away, just with the reflection from the camera flash. Pretty easy to recognize as a bike. :D

http://img292.imageshack.us/img292/2961/img0098ys5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Admittedly, he's using DOT tape which is relatively stiff, so it's zip-tied to the frame. But the point being that using large sections of reflective tape (regular 3M type tape conforms easily to a bike frame) goes a long way towards being visible - and in headlights, large sections can be more visible than most LED-type blinkies.

And if you don't want to mark up your pretty bike, an ANSI Class II or III vest will give you lots of reflective area. Even if you look like a safety zealot. ;)

K'Tesh
01-25-2009, 08:13 AM
Wyeast,

That's some bike!!!

I'd suggest that a hair drier may help it conform to the frame, then a top covering of a clear to hold it down. Still, the results are impressive!

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

Simple Nature
01-25-2009, 08:29 AM
Why don't they just put this reflective stuff in the bike paint?

Jeff Wills
01-25-2009, 03:14 PM
Why don't they just put this reflective stuff in the bike paint?

Because the DOT tape (seen above) has the reflective elements molded into the plastic surface, insuring that the elements are oriented for maximum effectiveness. You can't do that with paint or powdercoat. At best, you could put reflective material mixed in with a clear top coat, but there's no way to control the orientation.

If you want to do-it-yerself, I recommend Avery reflective vinyl, available at sign shops. This isn't as effective as the DOT stuff, but it's available in sheets 14" wide by as long as you like. I put some on a recumbent tailbox I built, and it's visible from a very long distance:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/tailbox2/photos/photo_3.html
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/tailbox2/photos/photo_2.html

Considering the what I've seen on the roads, I think the best thing you can do to be seen is wear light colors. I've seen too many "Ninja cyclists" to think that just lights will protect you. In fact, no amount of lights/clothing/reflectors will protect you 100% of the time. You have to ride defensively.

steve knight
01-25-2009, 07:41 PM
reflective paint does not work all that well. I sprayed my trailer with it and even with 6 coats it was not all that great.
for stealth reflective tape they have lots of colors
http://www.identi-tape.com/eng-sr1.html

q`Tzal
01-30-2009, 10:41 AM
Sorry markallyn,

I saw these and I thought of your bike :
LED Magnetic Digital Graffiti (http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/lights/b2c2/)

These are individual LEDs with a battery and magnet as a tiny integrated package.

Place them anywhere.
Place them everywhere!

http://www.thinkgeek.com/images/products/additional/large/b2c2_led_magnetic_digital_graffiti_inuse.jpg