Author Topic: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights  (Read 12759 times)

rae

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2008, 10:57:04 am »
Quote
Do you flash at all Rae? 

No, I wear shorts on the bike.  :D

The Vega is often on strobe with I am using them both.   So a big hailde on full power and constant beam, and optionally the Vega on flah, both aimed straight forward. 

You have to bear in mind that most of my riding is in London, where you need something approaching a searchlight to stand out in any way. 

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2008, 11:09:06 am »
You've put your finger on the problem, Rae.  Before anyone starts condemning people for using lights that are inappropriately bright or aimed too far up, i think they ought to look at where they get used.

Yeah, if I'm in the sticks, a pair of non-flashing TLD-600s and some carefully aimed Solidlights set on steady is absolutely fine for any night time conditions.  Anything more and I'm going to be very careful because a Dinotte or XR9 will piss off fellow riders and a halide would badly dazzle oncoming drivers whose night vision is important to me.

In town, all bets are off and I want frikkin' lasers, because Solidlights will just fade into the background noise and I'll be just another glint of light in the urban jungle.  Not nearly good enough.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2008, 11:11:52 am »
The more street lighting and car lights that are around, the brighter I want my lights to be in order to stand  out.  The Dinotte 600l goes on fast strobe when approaching roundabouts and slow flash through towns.  Out in the sticks it gets switched off, unless some brainless turd needs a quick burst to demonstrate to them the merits of dipping their own headlights.

EDIT: sort of cross posted Charlotte there

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2008, 11:12:16 am »
If you want bike lights that show potholes as well as car lights, you may be surprised - almost all of them can.

I can only think that you have used a time machine and are replying from the year 2040 or something.  Back where I am in 2008, many bike lights on the market barely light up anything at all, and only the really powerful ones can illuminate potholes that are several yards ahead.  You need to see well ahead when cycling faster than 10 mph if you want time to react.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2008, 11:16:49 am »
Yeah, if I'm in the sticks, a pair of non-flashing TLD-600s and some carefully aimed Solidlights set on steady is absolutely fine for any night time conditions.  Anything more and I'm going to be very careful because a Dinotte or XR9 will piss off fellow riders and a halide would badly dazzle oncoming drivers whose night vision is important to me.

In town, all bets are off and I want frikkin' lasers, because Solidlights will just fade into the background noise and I'll be just another glint of light in the urban jungle.  Not nearly good enough.

Weird, I go exactly the opposite: in town I'm happy with a placeholder (a lumi with a glow ring is teh awesum), but in the sticks, I want Daylight In A Bag.  But I ride mostly solo, and my sticks are very sticky...

There's no legal maximum for bike lights, so we are free to go as disco-tastic as we like.
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clarion

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2008, 11:19:24 am »
On rural roads, I want enough to see by.

In the city, I'll have a constant brightish light, a bright flashing light, which I change to constant for darker stretches, and my Knog flashing away. 

The three of them are in an unusual configuration (Knog on the headtube; Cateyes over & under on the bars), which will not be immediately obvious what it is.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2008, 11:32:11 am »
Weird, I go exactly the opposite: in town I'm happy with a placeholder (a lumi with a glow ring is teh awesum), but in the sticks, I want Daylight In A Bag.  But I ride mostly solo, and my sticks are very sticky...

Daylight inna bag is fun in the sticks, but it's not actually necessary for me as once my night vision develops, I can navigate quite well with only a moderate light.  Certainly the Solidlights are more than adequate.

I notice that our most prolific night time rider, Mr Teethgrinder, manages quite well with a £10 Tesco LED torch.


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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2008, 12:07:23 pm »
I'll use a relatively bright front light (Exposure Race Maxx on medium pointed at the ground in front of me), because that's the only way I'll be noticed at night with a lot of other visible distractions about.

I don't tend to use flashing lights, since I find them very hard on the eyes when cycling or driving behind them.  They can also be very difficult to position correctly in an environment where there are no other visual cues, such as a dark country road.

On something like a FNRttC where there are other cyclists behind me, I'll try and just use two TL-LD1000s, with only half the LEDs turned on.  Bright lights with new batteries are hard on the eyes, and with a FNRttC, 30+ cyclists with lights on are hard to miss anyway, you don't need something hyper-bright unless you get separated from the group (or are right at the back, which I was much of the last FNRttC, playing TEC).

Having said that, on the last FNRttC, when we stopped to deal with a puncture, I propped my bike up against the kerb and turned the Dinotte on with flash mode, which is not entirely dissimilar to a police light, you get a burst of mad flashing and then a gap.  The few cars that did come along, slowed down almost immediately they saw the light, which was what I wanted with half a dozen plus cyclists standing around, and helping to fix the flat.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2008, 01:17:13 pm »
Blip - I think you have got your thinking of when bright lights are of the most use, slightly back to front.

Very bright lights are the most use in the bright lights of a city - dimmer lights don't stand out against the background of car headlights, brakelights and streetlighting.
...

Yes, I've noticed many cyclists in town coming towards me with just an LED, or flashing LED, on the handlebars.  They are practically invisible with their hi-viz turned into a dull orange that's the same colour as the brick walls they're riding past and the little glimmer of LED hidden amongst the car headlights and bouncing reflections.



I have 3 lighting requirements.

Evening commute - BRIGHT.  I'll quite happily run the solidlights in flashing mode with all the road signs flashing back at me.   I can see where I'm going with no lights, so only need something to make me seen.   Judging from the way cars pull over as I overtake, they've seen me all right.

Pootling.  Anything legal.

Long rides (Audax, Blue moon, etc) BRIGHT.  If I find I'm on a long dowhill and can freewheel at 30-40mph then I want the lights to enable me to do so.  I don't want to lengthen the ride time simply so I can ride by a little light.

RJ

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2008, 01:51:44 pm »
I think lighting enough to be seen by is adequate where there is street lighting, take for example a Cateye EL-530 or two. I can't see the point in lights that are painfully bright. I've seen a few oncoming cyclists (at night) with them angled to highly - and they are not only a nuisance to motorists, they are a nuisance to other cyclists too!

If your average moton doesn't see an EL-530, all anything super-bright and death ray like is going to do is dazzle or panic them, possibly resulting in erratic or unpredictable driving. Or, if the motorist is so minded, give them something to drive at.

Don't get me wrong, on an unlit road, I'm all for having something brighter to see by.

Yebbut - it's bikes with duff batteries or no lights at all that scare me most.  Lights angled up is dumb and annoying - but no more than that.

Personally, in town, I favour one or two steady (not flashing) lights, front and back.  Lit surface area of the lamps may be more important than intensity for being seen.  In urban traffic, being seen is just about being noticed in the first place, but also about being visible while being passed by vehicles (it does happen) without distracting the driver.  "Steady" rather than "flash" gives a safer reference point on a moving object to the driver of another object moving close to and slightly faster than the first.

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2008, 01:52:14 pm »
I like bright lights.  In fact I feel a lot safer commuting in the winter than I do in the summer.
But I will agree with Blip's comment about poorly aimed lights.  I come across cyclists who for some reason have their lights focused across the road into the on coming traffic.  What on earth for?  And it tends to piss me off greatly when the worst dazzling offenders are other cyclists.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2008, 02:16:50 pm »
I notice that our most prolific night time rider, Mr Teethgrinder, manages quite well with a £10 Tesco LED torch

It's a very impressive £10 torch and way beyond the EL530 et al.

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2008, 02:24:01 pm »
Interestingly most of those on here talking about irritation from other cyclists' bright lights have made no comment on that irritation affecting their own riding.  That means to me that it's just irritation, and that the other cyclist has done a good job of being seen and *noticed*.
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andygates

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2008, 02:27:31 pm »
I was run off the road by a Cateye Stadium once, it was so bright I missed the turn and went into the hedge.  But only once, and it was back in the dawn of halide when people hadn't learned to be polite (ie, they hadn't been dazzled themselves).
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2008, 03:06:18 pm »
I'm in the flashing + steady front and rear brigade, with an IQ Fly on the front and the rest old style (i.e. not dethray)  LEDs. My theory, FWIW is that the steady front is supposed to be enough to see by whilst the others are to be seen by (and to satisfy the legal requirement). The dark country lanes and well-lit streets are fine,  though, even a pleasure with decent lights. The biggest problems I have are with:

1. The mad oxford cyclists who believe that a red (or orange or green) weak little flashing LED is adequate for the FRONT of a bike in a dark street  ???

2. Streets with the normal old sodium lamps. Because these are buggerall use for dimly lit - or fast-moving things, they exacerbate or encourage the lighting arms-race and hence  the "spangle".  It becomes a question then of whether to join that race or not, which would mean upgrading to stronger flashing LEDs ... and contributing to the "spangle".




LEE

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2008, 03:16:39 pm »
Quote
[ I'll quite happily run the solidlights in flashing mode with all the road signs flashing back at me.

One of the joys of cycling is having an entire High Street flashing on and off using Solidlights.

Usually even pedestrians turn around, expecting a Police car I expect.  For being seen I doubt much comes close to Solidlights on flash mode.

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2008, 03:26:40 pm »
Quote
[ I'll quite happily run the solidlights in flashing mode with all the road signs flashing back at me.

One of the joys of cycling is having an entire High Street flashing on and off using Solidlights.

Usually even pedestrians turn around, expecting a Police car I expect.  For being seen I doubt much comes close to Solidlights on flash mode.

IMO Dinnottes wipe the floor with Solidlights in terms of eye catching mindfuckingly attention getting flash modes.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2008, 04:43:25 pm »
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IMO Dinnottes wipe the floor with Solidlights in terms of eye catching mindfuckingly attention getting flash modes.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2008, 04:49:21 pm »
I rune twin 530s, and sometimes when in the mood I have them AND a twin rechargeable Smart set up. In my area, it is handy for tilting slightly upto hint at oncoming cars that they might like to "dip"
Yes, I know what the HC says about that!

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2008, 04:53:23 pm »
This is one reason why I like the Fenix flashlight mount. I can either nudge it to point away from oncoming traffic, or towards them.

I usually nudge away at first, then if they don't get the hint, nudge it towards them.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #45 on: November 13, 2008, 04:53:36 pm »
I've always gone with the glow-worm option. I can think of two instances where I really hate the death-ray boys.
First is when One is proceeding quickly at night and a well lit fellow Randonneur gets on one's wheel. I can now see none of the road ahead due to the halo of dazzlingly bright white light surrounding a huge black 'Damon-shaped' hole. Attempts to sprint off into the night are hampered by now invisible potholes.
Scenario B is experienced on 'out and back' rides, PBP and LEL. One is proceeding homeward and other riders are in a group coming towards one, they have all these really bright lights and then they look at you with their super-bright LED head-torch. Cue excursion onto verge.

Damon.

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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #46 on: November 13, 2008, 05:01:53 pm »
Interestingly most of those on here talking about irritation from other cyclists' bright lights have made no comment on that irritation affecting their own riding.  That means to me that it's just irritation, and that the other cyclist has done a good job of being seen and *noticed*.
Please see Damon's post. I can corroborate his experiences.

Also (as posted just days ago) missed 2 MTBers by inches because all I could see was their lights. I thought they were 1/2 a mile away.

So no, this isn't "passive" irritation. Well, not always. Part of my view on this is that the "arms race" does no-one any favours in the long run - I agree this is hard to prove.
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Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #47 on: November 13, 2008, 05:13:13 pm »
I'd be among the first to agree that super bright lights are not appropriate on group rides, most of all taillights.  As for too-bright headlights behind you, a bit of conversation with the offender will almost certainly solve that problem quickly and easily.  Bright head torches, that's just inconsiderate.

The rest of the time, for urban and non-urban riding, I disagree.
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Really Ancien

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #48 on: November 13, 2008, 05:19:04 pm »
  As for too-bright headlights behind you, a bit of conversation with the offender will almost certainly solve that problem quickly and easily.  Bright head torches, that's just inconsiderate.



My Portuguese has always been poor and sometimes the people following have a tremendous amount of experience and status, and criticism would be rude, all you can do is try to get them in front and hope to pass them on a moonlit section when one has left the shade of the trees.

Damon.

Re: Cyclists with super bright death ray front lights
« Reply #49 on: November 13, 2008, 05:22:13 pm »
I notice that our most prolific night time rider, Mr Teethgrinder, manages quite well with a £10 Tesco LED torch

It's a very impressive £10 torch and way beyond the EL530 et al.

Is that the 5W LED torch?  Can't find it listed anywhere.
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