Lights too bright

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  • Lights too bright
  • clubber
    Member

    Never mind. Hopefully he did on the way home. 😕

    Sui
    Member

    He probably had a point. Our lights are too bright. We’ve gone to the extreme where our eyes are now so dependant that they fail to adjust to the dark. I ride no faster now, with my 5000000000000 lumen Solarstorm than i did with my old Lumi 20 + 50w halogen. It starts to take the fun out of it. Once you have a group all running silly bright, even the sun is out done.

    Anyway it’s been done to death that argument, i’m going back to old school 2.5w filament bulb..

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Sounds like you lights might have been too bright. 🙂 Even on low most MTB off road lights are way too bright for road use as they are pretty focussed. I point mine at the ground so as not to dazzle other road users. Treat them like a car main beam and dip them when there is on-coming traffic.

    robbieh
    Member

    You are aware they blind oncoming traffic are you? We always dip ours on the road between woods and trails.

    jekkyl
    Member

    I often got cars flashing their lights at me when I started out with a big proper headlight, I dim it now and put my hand over it. Op have you considered that your lights were too bright or was that guy just moaning for no reason. & what did it matter if

    he was using a bike to get from a to b rather than a mad keen idiot like us/members of this forum.

    he was still another road user, he had lights on and was legal.

    Premier Icon imnotverygood
    Subscriber

    A few years ago I would have said that people were whinging unecessarily about this, but it has to be said, it is getting a real problem these days. Lights are now stupidly dazzling and an awful lot of people seem to be blissfully unaware of the problems they are causing.

    What they said, lights have gotten silly bright over the last 5 years, heck even the aforementioned 20+50 halogen is brighter than a motorbikes main beam (or a single car headlight) and far more concentrated!

    Helmet lights dipped to their lowest or off, and bar lights pointing right down at the front wheel.

    You’d get annoyed if car drivers lefr their main beams on ‘so you could see them’, a car’s main beam is about 1000lumen and very spread out, how do you think other road users feel about that much light focused dead ahead?

    should have put your light in strobe mode on max and chased him down to call him a turd! that way you would have won!

    Premier Icon Onzadog
    Subscriber

    Too bright? Or just pointing too high?

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    We got stopped last year on a short road section by the police and asked to turn our lights down/point them down 😳

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Couldn’t be arsed to comment back…

    What a charmer you are. You dazzle the hell out of someone because clearly your lights were apparently in his face then sneer at him because he was ‘ using a bike to get from a to b rather than a mad keen idiot like us’ . Nice.

    The anti-cycling, cycling forum strikes again. 😉

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Your lights are obviously too bright. I’d have given you a mouthful too.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Mad Pierre – Member

    He … had … no helmet

    what has this got to do with anything? you tit.

    turn your lights down when you’re pointing them at people, you tit. It’ll save your battery a bit, you might see some starts, and it’s a nice thing to do – so you should do it.

    Premier Icon surroundedbyhills
    Subscriber

    HMMMM… is the clarion call you though it would be OP?

    Muke
    Member

    If I’m in traffic or near people I just clip this bit of waste pipe onto my light…


    Works well same brightness on the ground and avoids blinding people/cars.

    houndlegs
    Member

    Here’s a scenario which although unlikely wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility.
    You dazzle the cyclist,20 seconds later you dazzle a motorist behind him,10 seconds later the motorist has hit the cyclist cos he had his vision impaired.

    bellefied
    Member

    to be fair to mad pierre – he said he didn’t see him until he was on top of them – so maybe their lights were not that bright or dazzling?

    any who – the moral of this story is… there is always someone who feels they have more morals than you and that gives them the right to criticise you

    mrmo
    Member

    why do you think the German Road lights have very defined beam shapes. You don’t need 1000+lumen lights, 2.5w halogens aren’t much fun though. What you need is well designed light, and torches which is what most seem to use certainly aren’t it.

    Basic problem is most lights are actually crap. Lots of power and no thought about how to use it! Need the designers to go back to the drawing board and actually design bike lights.

    mrmo
    Member

    @bellefield, what they are actually saying is we have hugely powerful lights that don’t actaully use the light in a productive way!

    Almost an Anti-lighthouse….

    torsoinalake
    Member

    I like Mukes solution.

    And yes. Lights are too bright. At the end of the month I am going to spend my evenings cycling home on the shared use, traffic free path with people who have a WWII spotlight attached to their bars. It’s not necessary.

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    Out night riding last night and 3 of us were pootling along on a quiet country lane when a cyclist coming the other way moaned something along the lines of “FFS lads those lights are just too bright…. moan… moan etc”

    He was dressed in dark colours, had (not bright) lights, no helmet and looked like he was using a bike to get from a to b rather than a mad keen idiot like us/members of this forum. We struggled to see him until he was very close even with our “too bright” lights.

    Couldn’t be arsed to comment back…

    Basic problem is most lights are actually crap. Lots of power and no thought about how to use it! Need the designers to go back to the drawing board and actually design bike lights.

    In fairness, for off road you do want a huge spread of light like a car’s main beam and that’s what most lights are marketed at. It’s the dipped beams that are focused/reflected at the ground/side of the road. Most roadies seem to use the more common 200lumen lights from the mainstream brands (lezyne, catyer etc) rather than the Chinese 5000lumen searchlights.

    bellefied
    Member

    so if the solarstorms are switched to medium is that ok for road use (not too dazzling) or is low best for road use… or none of the above?

    Just asking as I’ve for the x2 on order and was thinking of keeping it on medium or low on the roads for this self same reason.

    pdw
    Member

    Basic problem is most lights are actually crap.

    … for road use. But I agree with what you’re saying. The only people paying any attention to beam patterns for road use seem to be those building to the German regs, which are boringly restrictive in other respects.

    Muke – I’m a bit concerned you’ve gone too far the other way. Will oncoming traffic see you at all?

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    Yes lights are too bright for the road. I either stick my hand over the light or point it at the ground.
    However I did have a cyclist moan that my lights were too bright as I over took him. Still can’t figure that out.

    grum
    Member

    so if the solarstorms are switched to medium is that ok for road use (not too dazzling) or is low best for road use… or none of the above?

    IMO dipping the angle is probably more important.

    bellefied
    Member

    BTW – I’ve already decided to keep a bail out torch on my bars in case the x2 dies on me, and this was also going to be my road option if the x2’s were too bright.

    mrmo
    Member

    In fairness, for off road you do want a huge spread of light like a car’s main beam

    To a point, you also need a decent throw, which a lot of lights lack, and an even throw, which even more lights lack. The ideal is not to have hot spots/halos and other artifacts. Just a nice even pool of light in which to ride.

    Last few years there has been a pointless Lumen war going on which has just seen bigger number being better with little thought to what is being done with all the light.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    so if the solarstorms are switched to medium is that ok for road use (not too dazzling) or is low best for road use… or none of the above?

    They will be too bright on any setting if pointed straight along the road. If you point them down, and it needs to be down quite a lot, then they should be OK on low.

    pdw
    Member

    If you point them down, and it needs to be down quite a lot

    Agreed – and that’s why they’ll never be ideal for road riding. You end up with a hot spot in front of your wheel, which your eyes adjust to, meaning you can’t see the less-well illuminated road a bit further away. I used to use some relatively low-power LEDs, and even dipped to the point of providing pretty poor road illumination, they were still clearly annoying to pedestrians and probably cars too.

    If you look at dipped car headlights, or German bike lights, not only do they have a very sharp cut-off, but the brightest part of the beam is immediately below the cut-off, which means that the brightest part of the beam goes furthest down the road, giving you even illumination of a large area.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Liking my Gloworm X2 for this.

    It is stupid bright on the higher settings – but in “Commute” mode it has a configurable High and Low setting, which you can switch between by clicking the remote button.

    I’ve got the Low set to a couple of clicks from bottom (~450 lumen) and the light angled down – so I can click down to Low when there are oncoming trail users (unlit shared-use path) then click it back to High (1000 lumen) so I can spot the ninjas walking their black Labradors.

    Mind you 450lm still seems quite dazzling though, so I might experiment with going lower still (lowest available is 150lm).

    I think it is a general issue with LED lights – they have a very bright sparkling centre to the beam.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    The fella probably had a point OP, do you need to be booting 3000Lm out to see an A road?

    “Hugely powerful” or not most lights tend to have a lower setting and can be angled down, I see various plumbs with full power lights or an XML on strobe set level (so about on driver’s eyeline) and helmet lights, peering into every car with their death ray, there’s more and more of this twattery about this time of year…

    If I’m on the road I make sure my single XML on the the bar is on its lowest setting, angled down so the hot spot is about 1~1.5m ahead of the front wheel and I certainly don’t have my helmet light on, because as soon as you glance at an oncoming car with one you’ll blind the driver… If you must have a while flashing LED, get a Nog or one of those lower power strap on jobs they are visible without being blinding…

    You don’t need all that much forwards lighting on the road IMO with or without street lighting…

    250~300Lm, angled correctly is plenty to see potholes and markings TBH.

    Steady Red LED and a flasher on the back as a minimum IMO, Again visibility is the goal not retinal destruction…

    Its all about lighting that is appropriate and proportionate to the environment you are riding in, chopping through the woods avoiding trees, roots and rocks, fine crank it up to 11, once you hit a public highway you are automatically an “Ambassador for cycling” the rest of us would hope you would act accordingly, blinding other road users is another thing for the DM lot to add to their list of gripes, lets not hand it to them on a plate…

    mrmo
    Member

    I think it is a general issue with LED lights – they have a very bright sparkling centre to the beam.

    Which can be overcome as per the German road legal lights

    Note how sharp the cutoffs are

    Not perfect, but you can see what the designers are trying to do,.

    flatpat
    Member

    I go for the turn down light and dip it. Which is bloody irritating since you end up constantly trying to re-adjust your light angle.

    Having a backup road light is a good idea, especially as it means it means you can use all the juice on the offroad lights without worrying about the ride home. The downside being another bit of bar space used up and another set of batteries to worry about.

    I have poor night vision. 2000 lumen has transformed my night riding into day riding; not going back to mincing by candlelight.

    Full output is only used on descents.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    mrmo: the beam is actually quite nice on the Gloworm X2.

    Here’s the beam pattern from the 2013 MTBR light shootout:

    But I think the issue is more that when you are facing an LED light the actual bulb area seems very twinkly, bright and dazzling – much more so than an old halide bulb putting out the same amount of light. The fact that the light that LEDs produce is so white probably doesn’t help either.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    There was someone on here using part of an old milk bottle as a diffuser for road use on his led light. Looked like a good idea.

    mrmo
    Member

    Grahams, problem with that light is the light above the horizon. Off road, that light is good, on road, with traffic coming towards you it is bad. Just a question of how you control that light.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    high power offroad lights on commuter bikes IMO are beginning to become actively dangerous, especially with the occasional comment such as “shine my headtorch into his eyes so he knows I’m there”

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Just a question of how you control that light.

    Yeah that’s it set level for direct comparison with the other lights in the test:
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/2013-bike-lights-shootout-backyard-beam-photos

    In actual use I run it pointing down just ahead of my front wheel. It is mounted level with the stem, so fairly low to start with compared to bar or helmet lights.

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