- are trail lights becoming too bright?
having been out recently with a local group during a night ride, it felt as if we where quite over lit.
i didnt need to run my own lights at anywhere their full potential as the kindly chap behind had approximately 4000lumens lighing my way for me!
i did feel that as the group was so large-19 riders good and true-that when our paths crossed those of other road users cars,horses,tramps etc we scared the bejesus out of them .My wife was actually driving past at one of these moments and made a comment that it was akin to ‘Close encounters of the third kind’ (an old film for those too young to remember 2d or intervals/kiora etc).
so my question is…
‘are lights too bright or are they necessary?’
thoughts please.Posted 6 years ago
To be quite honest, anyone who gets scared by a bright light is low on my list of sympathies. I’ve got a bright light but I dim it on the road obviously, and there’s really nothing else out at night that should have to worry about it.
Obviously they’re not neccesary though- we’re at the point now where one bright light can make it almost like riding in daylight. But that’s OK, as long as you’re just out for a ride at night rather than a nightride.Posted 6 years agoGarry_LagerSubscriber
Don’t know a great deal about lights – I bought two p7 torches from dealextreme a few years back for £50 when they were popular on here. They’ve been great – bags of light, anything brighter would be way overkill IMO. People just like bright and shiny things I guess.
If more lumens could do something about the flattening out effect you get under the lights I can see that being helpful – but AFAIK it wouldn’t change?Posted 6 years agoskadkaerMember
But that’s OK, as long as you’re just out for a ride at night rather than a nightride.
Well spoken – But in concerns of traffic and potentially other peoples lives, it demands that those using these extreme lights make good use of a healthy common sense in terms of where and when to use them.Posted 6 years agocookeaaSubscriber
not too bright in general, but potentially dangerous on roads
Only dangerous if angled horizontal and left in high mode, down to the operator really innit…
I think the key thing now isn’t the levels of illumination but more the quality of the light output, an XML might well be very bright, but it’s only any use if the reflector and lens make good use of that…Posted 6 years agoGWMember
‘are lights too bright or are they necessary?’
far too bright. cheap DX lights have made this years lumen wars get well out of hand. IMO the only time a 500 lumen light is necessary is for riding flat out DH, most people’s lights seem to be brighter than that on their dimmest setting these days. WTF is it going to be like next winter! 😯
often don’t bother to switch mine on at all on group rides.Posted 6 years agomichaelmccMember
Maybe some people buy lights that are much brighter than they need for trail riding, but I know sometimes in the middle of the night during a 24 solo, it can seem very dark and gloomy indeed, especially if it gets misty or foggy.. and thats with an exposure six pack and joystick.Posted 6 years agoDickBartonMember
Yes…far too bright…no need for such brightness but the spread provided by this light is very usable. I never ride with my light on full…just too bright whether on my own or group.
Personal choice though, some folk ‘need’ their personal sun as they don’t think they can manage otherwise…they paid their money so let them decide for themselves…
Too much in my opinion though.Posted 6 years agocoffeekingMember
I’m wholely with you on this thought, I hate being over-lit as seems customary these days. Everyone’s got a second sun blasting away, takes away all the fun of riding in the dark – might as well go out in the day. I remember the days of night riding with a 10w halogen. I still run a 20w halogen and I’m more than happy with it, it keeps the “on the edge, can’t quite see enough to relax” which to me is the whole point. Riding at night SHOULD be different from riding in the day. Can’t stand it when people join me with their second suns.
Running dim lights has a couple of benefits too, one being that you keep your night vision so looking to the sides you an see things rather than just blackness and if for some reason you’re running on the edge of your runtime, a flat battery doesn’t leave you whimpering at the lack of light.Posted 6 years ago
coffeeking – Member
might as well go out in the day
I would do, if the day was longer. As it is, I have to go out at night.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve done plenty of night riding with poor lights, and sometimes it’s been great. Did most of the red at Glentress with no lights at all a few weeks ago, riding by memory, moon and luck… Fantastic. But there’s nothing wrong with wanting to ride at night with good light either.
Bright lights generally have low settings but weak lights don’t have higher settings 😉Posted 6 years agoRDL-82Member
I’ve got one of the old dealextreme bastid lights from a couple of years ago, bright enough for me in general a second on the bars would be perfect. I’d rather have a long battery life however rather than more and more lumens or whatever. The trouble is they seem to cost too much for me to justify for few months of use the lights get where the extra runtime would be beneficial.Posted 6 years ago
Something a touch brighter than my old bastid witha great battery life and a reasonable price and I’d be happy.StonerSubscriber
While Im sure we can all give an idea of how bright is bright enough for our own purposes, LED tech will keep developing. What it ought to achieve is greater burntimes at lower temps and currents. Something that also doesnt get much attention yet is marrying the new SLEDs to new optics. There’s little value in the chinese factories putting much effort into developing better collimators, focusers, spreaders, lensing etc to create optimal trail shaped light when they can just through a cheaper more powerful LED on the PCB every 6 months.Posted 6 years agoTiRedMember
Group ride yesterday (well me and three kids) with an Exposure Strada three small Cateyes and one slightly bigger one (nothing too technical of course). Personally, I think it is the beam pattern that really matters. I have been more impressed with the Strada off road than on the road. The Fresnel lens gives a wide beam for nice peripheral vision. The spot shows the way. 400 lumens plus some helmet lighting for the dips and bends is plenty.
It’s a log scale anyway, so 1200 lumens beaming directly ahead isn’t worth much more than 400. 4000 lumens, and one might as well ride in daylight.Posted 6 years agoTiRedMember
An overcast day has a uniform luminance of 1000 lux (lumens/m2). So assuming those 4000 lumens are lighting 4 square metres, one might as well ride in the daylight. Of course the illumination may be spread more widely, but one should also factor in pupils being more dilated and increased retinal sensitivity.Posted 6 years agoIanMunroMember
Having had to rely* on either NeverReadies and Wonder lights for several years of winter commutes in the past, I’ve been so traumatised by the experience that I’ve yet to find a light bright enough to compensate for those years of terror.
Well when I say rely, reliable isn’t a word you’d associate with them apart from in the context of reliably shit.Posted 6 years agospokeblokeMember
As mentioned above, the Chinese light explosion (in more ways than one)has caused this – very cheap (1/2 the price of last year…) and very bright lights are the norm.
Off road – do what you want, it’s on road when the lights aren’t dipped that they cause problems. I’ve seen cars skidding to a halt and lorries just stopping trying to work out what’s going on.
I sell lights, and I’ve got a box of different ones to choose from. Recently I’ve gone from 1200 lumens on the bars back down to a 450lumen Lezyne and I’ve never wished I had more available.Posted 6 years ago
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