When I say any light is better than none, I mean it. Recently I have seen (barely) cyclists pedaling along at night with NO lights and NO reflectors, wearing dark clothing. These people will not contribute to the gene pool, if they keep that up.
So when my aging tail light’s on/off button became non-functional, I had to buy a new one. I purchased two lights for two bikes, both Blackburn brand lights – the Click and the Mars 3.0.
Blackburn has a reputation from making bike racks since 1977 and has since expanded to everything under the sun.
I initially wanted to use the Mars on my daily road bike, but it proved to be a complicated affair. You can orient the light vertically or horizontally. Horizontal mounting is easy, but vertical mounting is a chore.
You have to disassemble parts and reinstall. Then I discovered the light wasn’t vertical but at an angle and I didn’t like that. The screw clamp also seemed over-complicated.
In contrast, the Click has a rubberband-style clamp. It’s oh-so easy to mount. It’s also easy to turn on and off. Just press on the light face and it’s on. One click gives a solid light and two clicks a blinking light.
I settled on the Click. It’s plenty bright and battery life matches the Mars.
Click costs about $15 and the Mars 3.0 about $17.
One final note. I’m not a fan of the blindingly bright flashing front white lights. Some are so bright they distract drivers, based on personal experience.
While I don’t know of flashing bike lights being tested in court, flashing lights are supposed to be used only on emergency vehicles. I don’t think a flashing red light on a bike is a problem, but I do believe flashing front lights should not be used.
Flashing lights are OK on bicycles, at least in California, because according to the vehicle code bikes are not vehicles: VC Section 670. A “vehicle” is a device by which any person or property may be propelled, moved, or drawn upon a highway, excepting a device moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
Flashing lights, by the way, double battery life.