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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:11 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:28 pm
Posts: 89
Size isn’t everything! When writing about the Exposure Flare rear light size isn’t something that can be overlooked. My first ever impression of the Exposure Flare rear light was one of amazement, I often look at other cyclists on the way to work or when I am on the bus in the dark comparing how good or bad some of the front and rear lights are. It still amazes me some people will go out in the pitch black wearing black and have the smallest dimmest light barley flashing away at the back. The chances of being seen by a vehicle are slim in the best of the darkest conditions add a bit of rain, mist or a slightly iced up window during the winter commute and your not going to be seen by the motorist rushing to get to work or home after a busy day.

Image
Exposure Flare showing size by Jamie Belcher, on Flickr

Recently while on the way to work I was overtaken by another cyclist who’s rear light immediately caught my attention. This light was so so bright I wanted to know more and tried in vain to keep up with the rider hoping to ask what make the light was at the next junction or set of traffic lights. My peddling skills were insufficient to catch this guy so I set about surfing the net to try and identify the light. I soon found the Exposure Flare and recognized this as being the light I had seen. Unfortunately the price put me off buying the light. At £36 its not cheap and I already have what I believed to be a good rear light.


I then came into a bit of money and decided it was time to purchase the light. Really £36 is note that much when your talking about the difference this light can make between being seen and not being seen. As I was off work I gave my girlfriend some money and asked her to pop to the bike shop in Canary Wharf to pick me one up. When she got home and gave me the light I couldn’t believe how small it was. I thought it would take a single AA battery or a AAA. The light unit actually uses a single CR123A disposable cell or a RCR123A rechargeable cell. The version of the light that I purchased contained a disposable cell.

I wasn't a 100% confident with the single fixing method as this consists of a silicon band that fits seat posts sizes 25.0 to 34.9 and is the only mounting to your bike.. The problem I see with this fixing is if the silicon breaks the light will fall off and your are very unlikely to know about this until you get to work or home. I therefore got an old lanyard, attached this to the light which I also fix to the seat post. I now have the main original fixing point which is great and a back up just in case the original should fail. I used a cut down section of an old inner tube to attache the lanyard to the light.

Image
Picture showing fitting of lanyard to Exposure Flare by Jamie Belcher, on Flickr

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Exposure Flare with lanyard fitted by Jamie Belcher, on Flickr

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Exposure Flare mounted on bike by Jamie Belcher, on Flickr

The light has two modes, flash or constant. To change between the two rotate the head on off on within 3 seconds, simple and keeps the design nice and small. When the light is on for longer than 3 seconds and turned off it will always turn back on with the last mode selected so you dont have to keep going through the settings.

Image
Exposure Flare by Jamie Belcher, on Flickr

This light is seriously bright and really boosts my confidence of being seen by other road users. I use this light in conjunction with my cateye light as additional rear lighting but would be more than happy to run just the Exposure Flare on its own.

Image
Exposure Flare by Jamie Belcher, on Flickr

If you have been considering one of these light I highly recommend it. If you have any questions regarding this light please let me know.

Jamie


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:48 am 
MacRetro rider
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:11 pm
Posts: 8700
Location: DUNDEE
Jamie it looks white in that last picture Is there a red cover to give it the red tint? Update us on how long the battery lasts, not sure it sounds too economical. Looks nice though.

I use the Smart 1 watt LED Rear light - it is amazingly bright and uses 2 AAA batteries - probably as small as the Exposure as well, just oriented the other way. The switch is easy with gloves but the whole unit does feel a little cheap but I've used it through 2 winters now and is well worth the 10 quid I paid in the sales for it.

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=56546

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:23 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:06 pm
Posts: 4437
Location: Herts UK
The Ken wrote:
Jamie it looks white in that last picture Is there a red cover to give it the red tint? Update us on how long the battery lasts, not sure it sounds too economical. Looks nice though.


It has to be a red LED.

A white LED is not white light but a mixture of narrow frequencey blue and yellow light so a red filter would cut a lot of this out.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:28 pm
Posts: 89
Most of the lense is clear with a red ring around the inside, some how this makes the who thing red when turned on. I will see if I can get some video footage up at the weekend.

I have only had the light just over a week so still need to test the life of the batteries, I will end up getting some rechargeable ones to save on battery costs.

I did a lot of research last year and this year during the dark commute and as far as I can see with my eyes (wearing glasses) these do seem to be one of the brightest rear lights on the market. I know every time I see someone miles off in the distance that I do manage to catch up with a look to see what rear light they have its an exposure flare.

Although the Exposure Flare seems to be flat at the back (part light come out of) the light does seem to be very visible from several different angles. With the Cateye that I have I noticed a guy riding up through Greenwhich park the other night and you really had to be directly in the line of the light to get a good view of it.

My main like with the Flare is I am sure during the colder mornings with rain, mist and people driving with steamed up windows I am really confident the light emitted from this unit will get through and be seen, even out the corner of someones eye at a quick glance. Time will tell I guess. Not trying to put down any other lights just trying to share my experience of the Flare.

I have looked at the Smart lights before, so your happy with yours? I think I might order one on pay day and run that on the back as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:15 pm 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 5:53 pm
Posts: 2981
Location: Super Sussex by the Sea
If I was spending £30+ on a rear light I'd expect it to be bloody good!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:50 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:37 pm
Posts: 1728
Location: UK Southwest
I've got one of those Smart 1 watt lights and the 1/2 watt version too. They are really good value and so bright that if you stare at them for long enough the red receptors in your eyes turn off and everything looks green :lol:

Every Smart light I've ever owned has suprised me by being brighter than I was expecting; even the super cheap 3 led blinky's. I recently bought a Smart 35lux front light from On-One when they had them for £16. I was stunned when I turned it on as it wasn't that far off the brightness of my Eagletac 200 lumen torch. Wish I'd bought more now at that price!!!


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