silly bright oncoming lights

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  • silly bright oncoming lights
  • motivforz
    Member

    I am massively fed up of BMWs coming towards me on my commute with ridiculously bright lights, which rather than being aimed usefully at the road, are directly targeted towards my line of sight, offering no use to them other than a swerving oncoming traffic. If I can take the time to dip my headlight, then so can you, regardless of your feelings of entitlement due to forking out on extremely bright lights.

    Oops, did I say BMWs, I meant MTBers. Even a polite “can you turn your lights down please” was met with gruff indifference on multiple occasions.

    Please, if you have silly bright lights, be considerate to other road/ trail users. Like most of us are.

    Yours sincerely,
    grumps. (Perhaps due to aggressive drivers this evening too, and I realise the majority of these muppets are probably not on here where most come across as courteous)

    bartimaeus
    Member

    I don’t think MTBers (and the increasing number of roadies using cheap XML lights) are aware just how bright these lights are – and how unforgiving the beam pattern is. They are fantastic off-road, but not ideal as commuting lights.

    I point my bar light right at the ground when I see oncoming traffic… and point my lid light into the kerb. Either that or I switch them to low power… depends what sort of road and how much traffic.

    So a fair point, I think.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Joy of use exposure lights is – loosen the cleat on the bottom , rotate 3/4 degrees and retighten . No longer blinds oncoming cars 🙂 although with some of the muppets i wish it was a light sabre

    mattsccm
    Member

    Some dim wit pedalled towards me an hour ago. Massive front light and the same on his lid. I made a very obvious move to my front light, down and away from him. Did he do anything?
    Nope. What was irritating , apart from his bloody rudeness is the fact I that it wasn’t really dark enough to need lights. Mine was on to hint that he should “dip”.
    My CandBseen light is brighter than my motorcycle light. It burns right through.
    Modern lights are great but their use can be a touch anti social at times.

    lemonysam
    Member

    I had to stop the other day on the way home as I couldn’t see over someone’s lights. I shouted to them but no response so I flipped up my light (which I normally have pointing a long way down and on its lowest setting) to point at them and set it to maximum and they promptly rode into a bush. It was quite satisfying but I did feel somewhat guilty.

    Premier Icon uphilla
    Subscriber

    Perhaps I have missed it, but been expecting to hear ‘Cyclist thumped by car driver’ story due to badly aimed lights.
    One of the first time I used my “super-bright” LED light on road I realized that car drivers thought I was something motorized and gave way on singletrack roads. Felt slightly nervous as I drew level and they saw that I was a cyclist. 😳

    Premier Icon Moe
    Subscriber

    I spend some time on the road during my commute and find angling my magicshine to the ground and on the lowest setting so the top edge of the beam is about 12′ in front works fine, on the road I can see plenty far enough ahead and it don’t cause any problems for oncoming traffic.

    nikk
    Member

    it wasn’t really dark enough to need lights.

    Its winter, in the UK. I usually drive and ride with lights on at all times. Grey skys, low sun etc means visibility is important.

    billytinkle
    Member

    I always dip my lid mounted light when I see oncoming traffic, but in reality I have no idea whether this is of any benefit to people coming towards me!

    I would actually like to know how my lights (front and rear) look to others, but all I can assume is that they aren’t too bad as no one has thumped me yet!

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Agree with OP.

    Premier Icon trout
    Subscriber

    here is what it looks like coming the other way round about 1min30secs
    and near the end at about 200 metres

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYaybnyTmEo[/video]

    Premier Icon ads678
    Subscriber

    Had to stop the car the other day when I turned on to the lane to my house. Three mtbers all with helmet and bar mounted lights on full. Couldn’t see a bloody thing. Fair play for getting out at night but you don’t need them all on full riding on a road!!

    mattsccm
    Member

    It wasn’t dark enough in the woods

    torsoinalake
    Member

    Going to have to agree, a large part of my commute is on well lit traffic free paths, but I pass at least 3 mobile search lights each evening. I’m not sure what to do. I’m tempted to find every bike light in the house and try lemonysam’s approach. Give them a flash then dish out 3000 lumens.

    I had one on my helmet leaving work but only had the bar mounted ‘normal’ light on. Between city hall in sheffield and devonshire green I had 4 cars pull out of side roads (Silly number as I usually have no problem along there) so I put the headlamp on to flash mode. Made me feel safer but turned the flash of after I got away from the busy bit.

    I turned it off completely when I bumped into an old professor of mine from uni at lights as we were talking.

    They are brilliant but far too bright to use without care.

    My two sons 8&10 also wear them on the commute home as the last mile and a half we do through the woods – and for that the cheap chinese lights are a godsend – makes everyday feel like a bit of an adventure.

    I do wish there was some kind of diffuser that could clip over them for when you are in traffic.

    But to be totally honest I have used them defensively too and that does make me want to keep the thing on when I am riding. I live in a dodgy bit of sheffield and one night setting off for a night ride a grouo of lads strung themselves out across the road in front of me. The most vocal cocky one who seemed to think he could stop me was in the middle – I turned my light on main beam and sped up towards him, he did move as he couldn’t take much of that light in his face – scared me and I have ridden that way since, but I was very glad for the light

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I have never seen a bike light as bright as some of the car headlights that dazzle me on my commute.
    But hey, Bike Forum? yay, lets slag off cyclists!

    Edric 64
    Member

    Got told that my 180 lumen headlamp blinded a driver !

    Dibbs
    Member

    I noticed it a lot lately, both while driving the car and riding the bike. MY L&M’s have a nice broad beam with a sharp cut-off. It appears that some of the other lights out there don’t have such a well designed beam, the owners are too stupid to adjust them properly or just don’t give a toss.

    I was told once that my light made me look like a vehicle – I said yes, that’s the general idea

    I think cyclist are brilliant personally 😀

    shermer75
    Member

    You do see the odd one cycling around London and yes, they are a nightmare for everyone else. Really blinding.

    I have a damn bright light on my lid. I dip it by tilting my head down and looking forward by rolling my eyes, a bit like my tt head position, it seems to work a treat. I have checked it and the light is not dazzling at all at that angle and I can still see pretty well.

    This is on pretty quiet roads so I just have to do it for the occasional car. I don’t cycle much in town

    iamsporticus
    Member

    I am convinced these lights are a disaster waiting to happen for commuting

    They make it difficult to judge exactly whats coming towards you if youre going in the opposite direction

    Ive had a near miss with a car pulling from a side road in front of me whilst returning from a night ride recently and also find it impossible to judge distance accurately, if Im on a bike or in the car, when someone has a Chinese 20 quid special on max or strobe coming towards me

    Be careful out there

    falkirk-mark
    Member

    I have never seen a bike light as bright as some of the car headlights that dazzle me on my commute.
    But hey, Bike Forum? yay, lets slag off cyclists!

    You’re right my car headlights are way brighter than my cree bikelight but every year my car headlights (which have a beam pattern suited to UK roads)are checked to see they are pointing down and to the left as opposed to some muppet who would happily blind every driver as long as HE was seen (selfish twunt) but why let that get in the way of a good argument.

    eskay
    Member

    I ride the bath-bristol cycle track daily and the general etiquette is to shade the beam with your glove when approaching another rider.

    Most people observe this action apart from the knobs who run the epileptic strobe modes.

    Premier Icon pypdjl
    Subscriber

    every year my car headlights (which have a beam pattern suited to UK roads)are checked to see they are pointing down and to the left

    I find roughly every tenth car has badly adjusted headlights, far more of a problem than a few bike lights.

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    Why use a helmet light on roads? Surely a dipped down and to the kerb (as car and motorcycle headlamps) bar light is more than adequate. Helmet lights that are of the be seen nature are ok but ones powerful enough to use to see are generally too bright to use in traffic. I am all for being seen but think we sometimes dont do ourselves any favours with other road users with the brightness and also the angle some people aim the lights.

    Buy a light designed for commuting/roads if on tarmac and not one designed for trails. And good advice on pointing it down.

    Premier Icon thetallpaul
    Subscriber

    I’ve found that Smudge’s Luminator has a good balance. Set on 10% and aimed down doesn’t dazzle drivers, but if someone decides that their full beams must stay on whilst driving towards me there are several levels of ‘hint’ to turn them down, but always return to 10% asap.
    The majority of my commute is on unlit country roads and I’ve found that anything brighter is a distraction for me and drivers, especially on the lit sections.

    I did actually use the light on full on a slight detour through the woods. Scary bright.

    billytinkle
    Member

    Why use a helmet light on roads? Surely a dipped down and to the kerb (as car and motorcycle headlamps) bar light is more than adequate. Helmet lights that are of the be seen nature are ok but ones powerful enough to use to see are generally too bright to use in traffic. I am all for being seen but think we sometimes dont do ourselves any favours with other road users with the brightness and also the angle some people aim the lights.

    I find my 900 lumen helmet light only just adequate for my commute on unlit roads. Mounted on the bars I get flashed by many cars as it clearly dazzles, but on the lid I’ve never had any grief.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I find my 900 lumen helmet light only just adequate for my commute on unlit roads

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    It’s amusing to me, cos this is what I use on the road

    It’s plenty bright enough, (and I point it down to avoid dazzling those poor poor unfortunate motorists) but is nowhere near the lumen count of most up to date lights. In its day the BikeMagic review said it was powerful… obviously it’s got dimmer as time has gone on.

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    I find my 900 lumen helmet light only just adequate for my commute on unlit roads. Mounted on the bars I get flashed by many cars as it clearly dazzles, but on the lid I’ve never had any grief.

    Try taking your sunglasses off 😀

    900 lumens is an awful lot of light, more than I use for singletrack in the woods.

    pdw
    Member

    Got told that my 180 lumen headlamp blinded a driver !

    Maybe it did? Lumens are a measure of the total light coming out the front, so if it’s a relatively tight spot and the driver is in it, then it’s perfectly possible.

    I think the white light and relatively small source of LED bike lights make them inherently more annoying than most car lights.

    The problem is that there’s virtually nothing on the market that’s battery powered with a decent, road-specific beam pattern, and there’s plenty of manufacturers flogging MTB-style symmetric beam lights as suitable for road use, so it’s not surprising that you encounter lots of cyclists that don’t know any better.

    scaled
    Member

    Hmm I can ride in the woods with a 400 lumen Mk7 Joystick. It’s overkill for the commute but has a nice gentle pulsing mode.

    I’ve also got a fluxient 3xXML thing that i got out for one day of commuting this year to prove a point to idiot drivers in Chorlton.

    globalti
    Member

    Maybe the next development in cycling lights will be the cut off beam, same as is mandatory for cars.

    pdw
    Member

    Hmm I can ride in the woods with a 400 lumen Mk7 Joystick. It’s overkill for the commute but has a nice gentle pulsing mode.

    I tend to want at least as much light on the ground on road as off road, as you’re typically going faster, and a pot hole that you’d barely notice on an MTB can easily cause an accident on a road bike.

    I’ve also got a fluxient 3xXML thing that i got out for one day of commuting this year to prove a point to idiot drivers in Chorlton.

    Well done. I’m sure you succeeded.

    billytinkle
    Member

    Hmmm, I was being serious. It’s mostly set to the 300 lumen output, but I do have unlit sections where I feel much more comfortable at 900 lumens – particularly when descending completely unlit country roads at 30 – 40mph. I find being able to see potholes, stones, leaves and branches a distinct advantage. And at those speeds I find I’d prefer more light than I currently have.

    Maybe it’s the beam spread that I have that doesn’t direct the light into the best place with lumens going to waste? Exposure Diablo by the way.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    I find my 900 lumen helmet light only just adequate for my commute on unlit roads.

    it’s probably not 900 lumens then…

    Love Tubs
    Member

    It is becoming an issue, I’ve been ‘zapped’ approximately 5 times over the last 3 weeks. I think it’s born from the assumption that being seen raises survival rates – which I buy into tbh. However, it’s actually putting other road users at risk because it forces the car/bus/truck driver to either turn away or close their eye to avoid the pain – a similar phenomenon are the Audi lights, which are OTT in my opinion.

    Either way, I turn my lights down on the road.

    Just a thought/aside: on evening my headlight slipped and essentially illuminated me and my bike in sort of alien tracktor beam styli….perhaps an up-lighter from the BB might be a useful addition?

    HarYuken
    Member

    I agree with Billytinkle. I prefer my Magicshine at 900 lumens on the faster unlit roads, dipping to 300 lumen mode for more well lit areas. I can’t afford seperate bright road and offroad lights. Road specific lights are expensive too.

    I am very wary of blinding other motorists though. Would one of the candbseen diffusers improve the beam for road use or would a different internal reflector help? If not, anyone tried masking tape on the lens and, if so, where abouts did you tape it and did it make a difference?

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