Lights too bright

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  • Lights too bright
  • Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    BadlyWiredDog – Member

    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.

    I didn’t dazzle him on purpose and he was quite sweary, offensive in his comments (the mods have removed some of that) I wasn’t sneering at him at all. I was more sneering at us! I couldn’t be arsed… well because I couldn’t – it would have involved stopping or turning round for both parties and all this happened in a second.

    ahwiles – Member

    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.

    I was actually trying to point out he was a “normal” person rather than the type (of tit it would seem) that hangs out here. On a seperate note there is no need for to be so insulting. I don’t think you’d be so impolite if we were discussing this man to man?

    Back to the real discussion:

    I didn’t know I was pointing my lights at him until he shouted – he was that hard to see in the dark even with our portable suns!

    The problem is – it’s not easy to dip or dim any of the lights we have. They cycle through modes including blinding strobe mode and the only way to dip is to physically move the light – not exactly practical for two lights in two places when you’re popping on and off the tarmac for a short distance here and there.

    I reckon bike lights need a re-think now they are so bright? We need a quick dip – so you can operate in a split second like you can in your car.

    houndlegs
    Member

    @ mrmo,the pic you posted of the German beam shot,any idea what it is please? Got a link ?

    Ta

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    Mad Pierre – Member

    I don’t think you’d be so impolite if we were discussing this man to man?

    i’d be exactly as insulting, but you’d be won over by my smile, charm, and charisma.

    i hoped i’d chosen a word that would be accepted as playful – perhaps ‘doofus’ might have been a better choice?

    please accept my sincere apologies if any offense remains.

    mrmo
    Member

    I reckon bike lights need a re-think now they are so bright? We need a quick dip – so you can operate in a split second like you can in your car.

    Which if i have remembered the bumf for the Hope Vision R8 is exactly what they have tried to do….

    but obviously they are over priced and the chinese torches work as well…. [/sarcasm]

    pdw
    Member

    In actual use I run it pointing down just ahead of my front wheel.

    So you end up with a hot spot just in front of your wheel, less illumination further down the road. Very different from the beam mrmo posted which gives very even illumination a long way into the distance, and virtually nothing going above the horizon.

    As mrmo says, that beam is fine for off-road, but far from ideal for on-road. It’s not just a question of where you point it, but of the beam pattern.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    We need a quick dip – so you can operate in a split second like you can in your car.

    That’s why I mentioned the Gloworm X2, it does this at the press of a remote button.

    BUT.. it’s not really the same as dipped headlights on a car as the beam angle stays exactly the same, just the power output drops.

    What we really need is a proper dipped light like this:

    But that looks a bit complicated and breakable. Maybe just a shroud like the one Muke showed, but hinged somehow so it could quickly be flipped into place?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    So you end up with a hot spot just in front of your wheel, less illumination further down the road.

    I should try and get a picture of it but even with it pointed down I still get a pretty good distance throw. Enough to light up road signs at a couple of hundred metres (ie like a car headlight does).

    I have it set with one spot and one flood at the mo. I’ve got an additional spot optic so I could potentially swap that in for a sharper drop off.

    As mrmo says, that beam is fine for off-road, but far from ideal for on-road. It’s not just a question of where you point it, but of the beam pattern.

    The trouble is that (like many folk) my commute is partly on-road but mostly off-road along completely unlit paths. So I need a light that copes with both.

    jekkyl
    Member

    You don’t need the big bright light when on the road though. I have a nite rider commuter type light on my bars and the big chinese lumen torch on my head. I know a lot of people like big lights on both but for me I can go fast enough on the offroad forest downhill bits with just the light on my head. When I’m on the road I tend to just have the small bar light on because you don’t need much light to see the tarmac and the hedges.

    pdw
    Member

    My answer was two lights. A proper road light with a sharp cut-off built to German regs, and a normal MTB light with a remote switch to toggle between 1600 lumens and almost-off.

    It’d be nice of someone could build something like that into single unit, but it’s not easy, as getting a decent road beam typically takes a fairly large and very carefully designed reflector.

    Van Halen
    Member

    I`ve moaned at people off road before, on a fire road blinding the hell out of anyone (me) coming the other way.

    the new breed of led lights are not really suitable for public areas i recon.

    its inconsiderate of you to not dim/dip your lights and you deserved to get told off.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    However I did have a cyclist moan that my lights were too bright as I over took him. Still can’t figure that out.

    If you’re behind him with a massively bright light it will cast a shadow in front of him, which can be pretty disconcerting.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    The problem is – it’s not easy to dip or dim any of the lights we have.

    Then don’t use them on the road. You were in the wrong.

    Love Tubs
    Member

    I draw so much satisfaction from being intelligent; you know….looking past the immediate chaos to the calm waters beyond. You see, you’ve all rushed out and purchased those horrible ‘binary’ lights from ‘Jonny Foreigner’ when you should have modified your old set – remote switch ‘Sugru’ moulded to ‘fit-like-a-glove’ onto the STI bracket thus alleviating the need to remove ones hand(s) to change settings (I know, you’re jealous, but it’s ok, I don’t think any less of you). Programmable driver (7) levels, no need for plastic pipe ‘faffery’, stopping to adjust/dip/cover…etc etc.
    God I’m good.

    P.S. Thanks Troutie, and cohort for being such‘illuminating’ inspirations.

    P.P.S. Anyone up for a night ride?

    Um, let me see. Shall I start out on 500, then ‘tease’ it up to 2k for the DH section? Or, take it easy and enjoy the proprioceptive benefits on, say, 1000…no wait, 1500. Choices, choices………..

    Come on, I bet I’ve cheered you all up? :mrgreen:

    Love Tubs
    Member

    I draw so much satisfaction from being intelligent; you know….looking past the immediate chaos to the calm waters beyond. You see, you’ve all rushed out and purchased those horrible ‘binary’ lights from ‘Jonny Foreigner’ when you should have modified your old set – remote switch ‘Sugru’ moulded to ‘fit-like-a-glove’ onto the STI bracket thus alleviating the need to remove ones hand(s) to change settings (I know, you’re jealous, but it’s ok, I don’t think any less of you). Programmable driver (7) levels, no need for plastic pipe ‘faffery’, stopping to adjust/dip/cover…etc etc.
    God I’m good.

    P.S. Thanks Troutie, and cohort for being such‘illuminating’ inspirations.

    P.P.S. Anyone up for a night ride?

    Um, let me see. Shall I start out on 500, then ‘tease’ it up to 2k for the DH section? Or, take it easy and enjoy the proprioceptive benefits on, say, 1000…no wait, 1500. Choices, choices………..

    Come on, I bet I’ve cheered you all up? :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Programmable driver (7) levels, no need for plastic pipe ‘faffery’, stopping to adjust/dip/cover…etc etc.
    God I’m good.

    But that has exactly the same issues as mentioned above: it’s not a real “dip” just a dimming of the power. So it is still dazzling.

    (By the way, the Gloworm X2 driver has 10 selectable levels: 10% giving 48hrs of 150 lumen, up to 100% giving 2.5hrs of 1500 lumen. God they’re good 😛 )

    Love Tubs
    Member

    Oh poo 😉

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    just to cheer you all up:

    Last winter I was riding back to the car along a footpath at the edge of a road, helmet light on.

    As a car came along the other way, I tipped my head down and to the side to avoid blinding the driver

    … and rode into a telegraph pole 😳

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Your remote switch Sugrued onto the STI bracket sounds interesting though. Any pics?

    (The lead for the remote on the Gloworm isn’t quite long enough to position it right up on the lever so instead mine is on the flats, next to my bell. Be nice if someone did a wireless Bluetooth Smart switch so you could position it anywhere).

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    I just just rotate the light slightly on the bar.
    Didn’t seem that much of a problem.

    mrmo
    Member

    @alex, it reduces the problem, but it doesn’t solve it. And if you point it far enough down to eliminate the glare for on coming traffic you won’t be able to see very far. ( which you can counter by using a more powerful light….)

    Real solution for road riding is properly designed lights not torches.

    If you scroll down to the bottom and use the light comparator if gives an idea of the difference between a torch/mtb off road light and a road light.

    http://road.cc/content/news/69237-big-roadcc-lights-test-2012

    devon_roadie
    Member

    The Exposure Strada has been designed for roadies. It’s ‘only’ 800 lumens, anyone know if the beam is more road friendly?

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    ransos – Member

    The problem is – it’s not easy to dip or dim any of the lights we have.

    Then don’t use them on the road. You were in the wrong.

    If you’d like to come and build me a few 20 mile completely off road loops or sort out the rights of way so that’s possible I will gladly stay off the roads.

    As I said it’s not practical to switch lights for a short bit of road. We need a proper designed light that’s good for off-road and on and easily switchable between the two.

    mrmo
    Member

    devon roadie, have a look at the page i linked to, if the beam pattern is to be believed it does seem to be fairly well controlled.

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    If you’d like to come and build me a few 20 mile completely off road loops or sort out the rights of way so that’s possible I will gladly stay off the roads.

    So you can’t fit a commuter light on to your bars for riding to and from the trails? What other simple and easily accomplished tasks do you struggle with?

    If you’d like to come and build me a few 20 mile completely off road loops or sort out the rights of way so that’s possible I will gladly stay off the roads.

    As I said it’s not practical to switch lights for a short bit of road. We need a proper designed light that’s good for off-road and on and easily switchable between the two.

    I don’t think that’s what he was suggesting, he was suggesting you act considerately when you do go on the road. All lights have an off setting for your helmet, and it takes a split second to flick a handlebar mounted light down at the ground. That’s all that needs doing.

    You’re sounding like one of those car drivers that ignore 30 limits as they drive a big powerfull car that won’t go that slow (aka: the taxi driver in 4th defence).

    pdw
    Member

    The Exposure Strada has been designed for roadies. It’s ‘only’ 800 lumens, anyone know if the beam is more road friendly?

    I’ve not seen any decent beam shots, but as far as I can tell it’s just a wider and flatter beam, rather than something with a proper cut-off. Certainly there’s no sign of a cut-off in the road.cc beam shots, but it’s hard to tell because I think the shot is taken with both beams on.

    That road.cc test highlights the problem quite well. Despite being a test by a road website, only 2 or 3 of the lights tested have a road-specific beam (e.g. the B&M lights), and compared to the other lights, they’re so dim that you can barely see them. Using most of the lights on that test in the position shown would be pretty antisocial, so the beam shots aren’t really very informative. What you really want to see is what the beam looks like on the road once you’ve pointed it down to the point that it’s inoffensive to others.

    bellefied
    Member

    so for road use are we recommending Philips SafeRide?

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a dynamo powered SafeRide on my ‘hack’ bike and it really is very good.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    So who does make bike lights with a road-friendly, dip-type beam? Any recommendations beyond the generic German thing?

    lightman
    Member

    This is what you want for the roads.

    That is my every day light. I thought it was rubbish when I first got it, but now its never off the bike.
    Its got a wide beam for around town and a strobe if its very busy and some people aren’t paying attention (during the day only).
    Last night I was on a long dark fast road section after a play in the hills, and I used the zoom to get the perfect shape of light too light up the road in front of me without dazzling oncoming fast moving traffic.
    I turned the light and used the zoom so that it was putting out a diamond shape, which gave me enough light at the sides and about 30 foot from the front of my wheel forwards.
    I had my off road XM-L flashlight on the other side, but couldn’t really use it on the road because I’d have to point it at the front wheel to stop it dazzling drivers.

    pdw
    Member

    Philips SafeRide is generally thought to have the best beam, but the battery performance in the 80 is pretty disappointing. Other battery powered options include the Trelock 950, B&M Ixon IQ, and Supernova Airstream.

    The German regs not only impose rules on the beam pattern, but also require that the light is dynamo powered, and limit the maximum power, so there a bit of a gap in the market for lights with decent beams and decent batteries.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Thanks, that makes some sense. Looks like a gap in the market to me…

    fwiw, I run an old Troutie-made quad spot – quite a focussed beam – with a home made sort of extended eyebrow shade over the top which has the dual merit of keeping stray light out of my eyes if I’m out of the saddle and meaning that I can get away with a relatively shallow dip and reduce glare to oncoming vehicles. It’s not perfect, but it works okay.

    If I’m on the mountain bike for short sections of road, I’ll just angle my off-road light down severely and accept that I can’t see as far ahead and slow down accordingly.

    Going back to the OP, having had fellow mountain bikers riding towards me down a muddy lane and not doing a thing to dip their lights despite me doing just that, I suspect a lot of riders just aren’t aware of how bright their lights actually are face on.

    mrmo
    Member

    Thinking about this, i guess the solution is to canabalise german legal lights.

    Take a B&M lumotec for instance rip out the electronics that make it Dynamo friendly and replace with battery friendly electronics then link to a battery.

    As long as the cooling can be dealt with the actual reflector is what your after. I know this is basically what the edelux is but it is also a dyno light.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I suspect a lot of riders just aren’t aware of how bright their lights actually are face on.

    I think one thing everyone reading this thread should do is prop their bike up against a wall with their light on, walk 20 metres away, turn around and see how dazzled they are.

    It’s an informative test!

    mrmo
    Member

    It’s an informative test!

    still seeing a white spot????

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    The lights with the LED very near the front of the lens (usually with a lens as opposed to a reflector), are much worse for this.

    This is the first one where I really noticed it. You need to move it 70-degrees before it stops dazzling!

    I’m guessing the exposure lights might also suffer this, but haven’t tested.

    I’m still of the opinion that with the normal Bastid/XML lights you can dip the beam enough to prevent dazzling though. I tried it on mine when I first got my cross bike and got used to what the pattern on the floor should look like when it’s no longer dazzling. Yes, it’s a bit bright near the wheel and it trails off a bit early, but it’s still fine for dark lanes.

    bellefied
    Member

    are there any stick-on reflector type lenses that can deflect light downwards only that can go on the top half of a light?

    bellefied
    Member

    like this

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    I think one thing everyone reading this thread should do is prop their bike up against a wall with their light on, walk 20 metres away, turn around and see how dazzled they are.

    It’s an informative test!

    We also need to learn the difference between lumen and lux, for it is the lux that is the issue.

    We’ve also moved on from the old days when lights on the road had to meet the british standard and have some illumination to the side too. Even lights like the strada don’t seem to feature this any more which is a shame.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    and have some illumination to the side too.

    That’s why I use a Fibre Flare:


    Thinking about adding some spoke reflectors too after this pic from trail_rat in the ”insanely bright rear lights” thread:

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