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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Im currently researching to buy some daytime running lights. Im considering the Bontrager Flare R for the back and the Ion 700 R for the front. But, I really like the idea of the Garmin Varia UT800 mounting system that goes under the Garmin head unit. Are there any other headlights that have mounting systems similar to the Garmin or is it only the Garmin?

EDIT:
My main question... I once saw a rider with a regular "white" light in the back with the standard blinking red light. I really thought what attracted my attention was the blinking white light and not the blinking red one. Is this a common setup now and/or is it recommended to go that route?
 

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that shouldn't make someone want to run you over at all....
 

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In my state (WA) it's illegal to have red in front or white in back (or Yellow anywhere because those are reserved for emergency vehicles), because it sort of implies you are going the opposite direction. In very dark situations, depth perception is a challenge. The last thing you want is for someone to not know if you are coming or going.

Edit to add: And if by "white" you mean a traditional front headlamp, i would suggest those are probably going to blind people behind you - these days many of the traditional red lights are too friggen bright for group rides. I have some CygoLyte hot shots (not dim by any means, but also not the brightest lights) and have been asked to turn them off or down when riding with friends.
 

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Against the law, and like factory feel mentioned, you're just gonna get people pissed off, drivers and cyclists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to clarify... the rider had a blinking "front" headlight WITH a rear (red) light in the back. But, I didnt know it was illegal.
 

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If you have an adequately bright tail light it can't be missed. I use a Cygolite - inexpensive and very bright, almost painfully so.
 

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Just to clarify... the rider had a blinking "front" headlight WITH a rear (red) light in the back. But, I didnt know it was illegal.
that's not how you started off

My main question... I once saw a rider with a regular "white" light in the back.
Anyway if it's legal my experience is that white and flashing in front and red and flashing in back is the way to go.
 

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Just to clarify... the rider had a blinking "front" headlight WITH a rear (red) light in the back. But, I didnt know it was illegal.
Like Migen21 said white front, red rear and yellow and blue for emergency vehicles and police.

I'm probably in the minority with this, but I'm not a fan of flashing lights as they distort distance. My head light and main tail light are dynamo driven, and I have a back up tail light that is battery powered that I have been known to set on blink, and use in conjunction with the steady dyno tail light, but usually I just use the dyno lights after dusk.
 

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I believe flashing headlights is just as illegal as white flashing taillights. Same probably holds true for flashing red taillights, but it's not enforced either.

So if we're getting away with flashing white headlights, and flashing red taillights, I see no reason to not use a flashing white taillight. In fact, its uniqueness makes it an attention grabber.

I'm partially playing Devil's Advocate...
 

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why would you want a white light in the rear?

it only confuses people and that's usually not a good goal.
 

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Apart from being against the law I think it's just downright dangerous.
As a road user we are conditioned to follow red lights and white lights are oncoming traffic, road side reflectors are setup this way as well. It can be quite alarming and disorientating to have white lights in front of you on the wrong side of the road.
 

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Check out the new lights from Orfos. I have the original tail light (Orfos Flare) and really happy with it, but have the new lights on order, as they allow the use of an external battery...www.Orfos.us

With their tail light, you won't need a rear, white "supplemental", light. A rear helmet light perhaps, to have something higher up for cars, which are behind other cars, could see. For distance perception, or supplemental indicators, reflective straps, tires, or tape application may be better options. I use reflective tires by "Lit".
 

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Just to clarify... the rider had a blinking "front" headlight WITH a rear (red) light in the back. But, I didnt know it was illegal.
This makes it sound like he has both a white and red light in the rear. This has obviously confused most of the responders in this thread.

EDIT:
My main question... I once saw a rider with a regular "white" light in the back with the standard blinking red light. I really thought what attracted my attention was the blinking white light and not the blinking red one. Is this a common setup now and/or is it recommended to go that route?
There are two reasons for having lights on your bike. To be seen and so you can see.

Rear red lights are always for you to be seen. They do not contribute to your ability to see where you are going.

Blinking front white lights are also there so others can see you. They can actually make it harder for you to see, even if you have a solid light to go with them.

Bright solid lights are for you to see where you are going. This shouldn't be blinking, and should always be angled slightly down and away from approaching drivers and cyclists so as not to blind them.

How many of which kinds of lights (and how bright they are) depends very much on where you ride. How much ambient light is there? What is your exposure to traffic and other cyclists?

My night rides are my commutes to and from work, and are almost entirely on paved bike trails. These trails have no lighting, so I use a fairly bright solid front light that is attached to my front wheel skewer and points at the ground in front of me. I like this setup because it does a great job of lighting my path without blinding riders (and/or motorists) coming towards me. I don't use a blinking front light at all, as I personally find them annoying to look at, and I don't think they provide much value in my situation.

However, if I were riding in traffic at night, I would have as much lighting and reflective gear as I could fit on my bike. I've been hit by a car because the driver just "didn't see me" despite having a blinking front light and high vis gear on. You can't take too many precautions in those situations, and even when you do everything right, things can go wrong.

Edit: here is a picture of my front light mounted on a "Problem Solvers Front Skewer Accessories Mount".



This isn't the light I use any more (although it's fine), I upgraded to a Light and Motion Urban 800 that was gifted to me.
 

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One night I was driving along preparing to make a right turn and saw a flashing red light in the bike lane on the other side of the intersection into which I was going to turn. No problem, I thought. Then, as I started the turn myu headlights lit up the rider's face. He was riding the wrong way (against the traffic) in the bike lane with a red flashing taillight on his handlebars. I stopped just in time, but was too shocked to make a comment to him.

The main reason you don't want to use a white light on the rear or a red light on the front is that it confuses the people who see it. Considering how brainless are most drivers in this country, it seems like a mistake to confuse them any further.

BTW: I agree entirely with Mgen about flashing head lights. They are okay on the road in the daytime as they do make you more visible to drivers. They are dangerous at night. For one thing, they mess up your depth perception (ever been to a party lit only by strobe lights? Do you want that to be your vision as you are cruising along at 20mph?). The other reason is that they can negatively affect oncoming traffic - some folks are prone to migraines and those lights can trigger them (I know, I am one and have suffered from exactly that result). Some others are epileptic and can have that triggered by those flashing lights. At night, just use a steady, bright headlight. And please don't use that flashing headlight on the MUT at any time - the roadway is narrower so even in the daytime it can be problematic to those coming in the opposite direction. Besides, you don't have the worry about cars turning in front of you on the MUT.
 

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I was driving in the country on a dark wet night on unfamiliar, undulating, winding roads. I came around one bend to find a set of headlights coming toward me on my left (we drive on the left here in Oz, but he was further left), scared the bejeezus out of me, turns out he was on a service road off to the side, but I thought I was actually headed off the road, or on the wrong side of the road etc, a very unnerving experience.
 

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I use gobrightz flashing light in the rear, which will use US made AAA batteries instead of those 100% ****ese made coin cells. The store runs out of the red ones by middle May and has dozens of blue ones left over, they must come in a standard display. No idiot would buy a blue one, we don't like sitting by the side of the road listening to the police. So the last gobrightz light I bought for the rear was pink. I hung a bit of broken red taillight lens over it, available in the gutter of any busy intersection.
I had a green flashing gobrightz in the front but I missed seeing a speed bump last year, crashed into the curb and went over the handle bar. I've supplemented it with a $1 dollar tree flashlight, also using AAA batteries, pointed at the pavement in front of the bike. I mounted it on the fender in front.
The gobrightz need a bit of plastic over them to shield them from the rain. Else the switch quits working.
 

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Lots of great points here and really the fact that it confuses drivers because of the expected direction of travel by the color of the light. It boggles my mind that the common sense aspect of this was tossed out prior to asking the question. ever notice red reflectors are only facing the rear on a bicycle and every other reflector is white. Just a thought.
 

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Lots of great points here and really the fact that it confuses drivers because of the expected direction of travel by the color of the light. It boggles my mind that the common sense aspect of this was tossed out prior to asking the question. ever notice red reflectors are only facing the rear on a bicycle and every other reflector is white. Just a thought.

If you read through the thread, I think you'll find the the original post was just poorly worded (and has since been edited). I don't think he really saw someone riding with a flashing white light on the back and wondered if that was OK. It was just poor phrasing that led to most of us misunderstanding the question.
 

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If you read through the thread, I think you'll find the the original post was just poorly worded (and has since been edited). I don't think he really saw someone riding with a flashing white light on the back and wondered if that was OK. It was just poor phrasing that led to most of us misunderstanding the question.
The title of the thread is "Using a white light in the back", which is why I gather most people have commented on it, myself included.
 

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If you read through the thread, I think you'll find the the original post was just poorly worded (and has since been edited). I don't think he really saw someone riding with a flashing white light on the back and wondered if that was OK. It was just poor phrasing that led to most of us misunderstanding the question.

No, he very plainly said that he saw a rider who had both flashing red lights and a flashing white light on the back of his bike. The OP was wondering if it was the flashing white light that caught his eye. That is possible, because as a cyclist he would be expecting that to mean that the bike was coming at him and so is more noteworthy than one going the same direction he is going. But, as many of us have pointed out, using a setup like that is dangerously confusing to the viewer - and drivers are confused enough these days...
 
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