How bright is to bright?

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Chris249 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:36 am

trailgumby wrote:Do you think I am the only one around Sydney having AyUps on my commuter bike? So long as I avoid looking directly at the oncoming lights I have no problem with being dazzled. Yes it is a little bit uncomfortable, but so what? You just just deal with it. It really isn't that hard.

In that respect it is no different to dealing with oncoming car headlights on country roads. You just look down and to the left of the opposing lights. They need to have enough light to be able to see where they are going too. I don't see how bikes should not be afforded the same allowance. :?


1- What you are completely ignoring is that many riders with bright lights use bike paths. The most basic geometry shows that when you are coming towards someone on a 6' wide path, you cannot look away from their dazzling lights and still look forward. That is different to dealing with oncoming car headlights, particularly since they have to be adjusted downwards and many guys with Ay-ups seem to love burning treetops.

2- How sure are you that everyone else in the universe has eyes that react to your lights exactly the same as your eyes react to them? People with light-coloured eyes are generally more light sensitive. What is fine for you may not be fine for a significant number of others.

3- Studies about cycle lights have demonstrated what vision scientists know - that a bright spot of light is very misleading as it gives no information on distance, and the onlookers eyes adjust to the bright light and therefore cannot see the background which is needed to give a frame of reference if one is to judge speed and distance.

My wife is a neuroscientist research fellow at the nation's top university who earned her PhD with an international series of experiments on the accuracy of the human ability to perceive the motion of points of light. She has also ridden to work each day for years. She doesn't use unusually bright lights because she thinks that their dazzling effect and loss of frame of reference may cause car drivers to hit her.

4- Maybe those near collisions are caused by the fact that people looking into your lights lose their frame of reference and therefore can't see how far away you are and how fast you are moving?

BTW a Japanese (IIRC) study showed that bright car lights are different in this respect because there are two of them and therefore the distance between the lights allows people to judge how far away the car is.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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by BNA » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:33 am

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:33 am

Red Rider wrote:Does anyone have a Supernova Airstream or found a quality review? It looks like the best all-in-one unit I can find (put off the Philips by the mount).

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=supernova+airstream+review

However actual testing suggests that the output is not as bright as claimed (in fact nowhere near it).
http://swhs.home.xs4all.nl/fiets/tests/ ... -airstream
It does look nice though...

Meanwhile I'm having no problems with the mounting of my Philips...
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:55 am

Chris249 wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Do you think I am the only one around Sydney having AyUps on my commuter bike? So long as I avoid looking directly at the oncoming lights I have no problem with being dazzled. Yes it is a little bit uncomfortable, but so what? You just just deal with it. It really isn't that hard.

In that respect it is no different to dealing with oncoming car headlights on country roads. You just look down and to the left of the opposing lights. They need to have enough light to be able to see where they are going too. I don't see how bikes should not be afforded the same allowance. :?


1- What you are completely ignoring is that many riders with bright lights use bike paths.


I'm not talking about other people, I'm talking about how people react to me. I agree some have their lights mis-aimed, but proportionally I would guess it is no more common than for car drivers.

Disagree about narrow paths. I cope.

Chris249 wrote:2- How sure are you that everyone else in the universe has eyes that react to your lights exactly the same as your eyes react to them? People with light-coloured eyes are generally more light sensitive. What is fine for you may not be fine for a significant number of others.
Mine are light blue... I'm guessing that means I'm more likely to have an issue? I don't.

Chris249 wrote:3- Studies about cycle lights have demonstrated what vision scientists know - that a bright spot of light is very misleading as it gives no information on distance,...

Does that explain why car drivers give me a much greater amount of respect and distance at night? I normally run helmet and bars. Or is it the "WTH is that?!" factor?

Chris249 wrote:4- Maybe those near collisions are caused by the fact that people looking into your lights lose their frame of reference and therefore can't see how far away you are and how fast you are moving?

Maybe they are. Seriously, how many times does it have to be asked? What kind of silly person looks into oncoming lights? You don't do it driving, why do it riding? :)

I had many times more the risk of collision when running with normal blinkies. Missing a head-on with a ninja by inches on Burnt Bridge Creek cycle path was half the catalyst for purchasing the Ay-Ups, the first half was a T-bone near miss by a right turning car earlier in the week on a well-lit intersection.

Maybe those others should shoulder responsibility for their own fate and get some lights they can see by too. They're readily available for what we paid for good blinkies only a couple of years ago, under a hundred dollars.

There's no reason not to, except perhaps stubbornness or cheapskateness.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Chris249 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:51 pm

trailgumby wrote:
Chris249 wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Do you think I am the only one around Sydney having AyUps on my commuter bike? So long as I avoid looking directly at the oncoming lights I have no problem with being dazzled. Yes it is a little bit uncomfortable, but so what? You just just deal with it. It really isn't that hard.

In that respect it is no different to dealing with oncoming car headlights on country roads. You just look down and to the left of the opposing lights. They need to have enough light to be able to see where they are going too. I don't see how bikes should not be afforded the same allowance. :?


1- What you are completely ignoring is that many riders with bright lights use bike paths.


I'm not talking about other people, I'm talking about how people react to me. I agree some have their lights mis-aimed, but proportionally I would guess it is no more common than for car drivers.I don't understand your point, TBH. If a rider with extremely bright lights is 100m away on a path only 2 metres wide then there is no way to look away from them and still look ahead.

And car light aiming is set by manufacturers, inspected at rego, and they are harder to mis-adjust. Bike light aim is NOT set by manufacturers, NOT inspected by anyone, and can be mis-adjusted by the person putting them on or (with helmet-mounted lights) at any time.

Completely different things in completely different locations.


Chris249 wrote:2- How sure are you that everyone else in the universe has eyes that react to your lights exactly the same as your eyes react to them? People with light-coloured eyes are generally more light sensitive. What is fine for you may not be fine for a significant number of others.
Mine are light blue... I'm guessing that means I'm more likely to have an issue? I don't.
How often are you looking into your own lights from exactly the same angles as those people who object to your lights are?

And yes, light blue eyes like ours tend to have more of an issue.

Chris249 wrote:3- Studies about cycle lights have demonstrated what vision scientists know - that a bright spot of light is very misleading as it gives no information on distance,...

Does that explain why car drivers give me a much greater amount of respect and distance at night? I normally run helmet and bars. Or is it the "WTH is that?!" factor?
"Much greater" than what? I have no problems with cars getting too close and I run "normal" lights.

Chris249 wrote:4- Maybe those near collisions are caused by the fact that people looking into your lights lose their frame of reference and therefore can't see how far away you are and how fast you are moving?

Maybe they are. Seriously, how many times does it have to be asked? What kind of silly person looks into oncoming lights? You don't do it driving, why do it riding? :)

1- Where does it say that you have to be looking straight into extremely bright lights to make the background recede as the eye adjusts to the light?

Even if a bright light is at an angle to the onlooker's field of view, the eye still tends to adjust to the bright light and therefore loses discrimination of the background behind the bright light. The bright light becomes more of a disembodied point with no frame of reference. There's no way of knowing whether it is a 12" wide light 500m away or a 2" wide light 5 metres away, but that makes a big difference in avoiding collisions.

2 - How many more times does it have to be pointed out that if a person is riding down a narrow bike path, then a person coming the other way down the same path HAS to look close to the oncoming lights if they are to look in front of them?

I have tried looking away on the path near Iron Cove when possum burners come riding down - problem is if one is looking away one doesn't see a ped in front of one. If one doesn't look away you get dazzled.

Why not draw us a diagram to see how you can look away from someone just 1m from directly ahead of you and 50m away, while still looking in front of you?



I had many times more the risk of collision when running with normal blinkies. Missing a head-on with a ninja by inches on Burnt Bridge Creek cycle path was half the catalyst for purchasing the Ay-Ups, the first half was a T-bone near miss by a right turning car earlier in the week on a well-lit intersection.

Maybe those others should shoulder responsibility for their own fate and get some lights they can see by too. They're readily available for what we paid for good blinkies only a couple of years ago, under a hundred dollars.

There's no reason not to, except perhaps stubbornness or cheapskateness.


No reasons apart from not wanting others to be killed or injured after they are dazzled by oncoming lights, or wanting not to get killed or injured themselves when drivers are dazzled by oncoming lights...

AND having a PhD in the subject, working with top people and top unis in their field in two countries, recognition by the national funding body for vision science, recognition by bodies like the Royal Society, etc etc etc AND years of commuting.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:58 pm

trailgumby wrote:Maybe those others should shoulder responsibility for their own fate and get some lights they can see by too. They're readily available for what we paid for good blinkies only a couple of years ago, under a hundred dollars.

There's no reason not to, except perhaps stubbornness or cheapskateness.

There is a difference between bright lights and lights that dazzle.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby VRE » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:02 pm

Chris249 wrote:There's no way of knowing whether it is a 12" wide light 500m away or a 2" wide light 5 metres away

I agree with some of what you're both saying, but the above is just a complete exaggeration. Anyone who couldn't tell the difference between those 2 cases clearly has major vision problems and would definitely not be representative of the majority of people.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:35 pm

Chris249 wrote: A whole lot of blather followed by trumping with the "I have a PhD" card.


My point is that I am not arguing the general case that people can't be dazzled by lights that are too bright. Clearly that is an absurd proposition.

Example: The MyTinySun Sport 2700x's that I am about to publish a review on clearly fit into the category of too bright for anyone within 200m when on full power.

What I am arguing is that a lot of people whinge about too-bright lights that are far from fitting into that category. My Ay-Ups being four years old and now well out of the arms race are examples. They put out a fraction of the output of car headlights, are aimed low, and the beam is concentrated in a small hotspot that is easily aimed away from others. They (just barely) enable me to see adequately at night when it's dry, and lose some effectiveness in the wet.

Yet I still get idiots whinging at me who really need to do something about being lit properly themselves. Wthout exception they have been either without any lights at all, or their lights are so dim they look like the battery is a few minutes from dying. And they wonder why they can't see? Or why people feel a need to use their lights to see them? Cretins. :x I've never been whinged at by someone whose lights were compliant with the "visible from 200m" road rule requirement.

What you say about losing the background is clearly true. But again I say, "... and?" :?

We deal with it when driving, why are road bikes qualitatively different? I don't hink they are. So long as the lights're aimed properly (eg, not up at the trees) and not outrageous like a car using high beam power (eg, MTS Sport 2700x (AT) full power), I think the whinging says more about the whinger than the whingee.
Last edited by trailgumby on Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Chris249 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:55 pm

No, I didn't say I had a PhD..... I said that I know people who have a PhD in a very relevant area who say that extremely bright lights as used by many cyclists DO pose significant problems.

The point about losing the background is relevant because a single point of light gives no significant indication of how far it is away from the viewer. The only way that the viewer can work out the distance of the object is by using other cues. In the case of a car, the cue is that there are two headlights and therefore perspective allows a driver (who knows from experience how wide apart headlights are) to work out how far away the car even when they cannot see the background.

In a bicycle with a single light the observer must rely on other cues such as being able to see the whole cyclist, either by external lights or by seeing them obscuring the background. If the cyclist's light is too bright then the viewer's eyes cannot do this, therefore they can't see how know how far away the cyclist's lights are.

We don't deal with car lights in the same way because they are mounted in a different manner and checked, not just stuck on by the rider at whatever angle they want.

If you are going to accuse others of "blathering" then you should look at your own posts - basically you are saying that your lights can't be dazzling and that anyone who dares to disagree with you is a whinging cretin.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Comedian » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:10 pm

@tg. I wonder how many of the complaints directed at you are because of other ayups that were setup in a manner that dazzled?

Ayups have a fairly unique form after all.
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Chris249 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:14 pm

VRE wrote:
Chris249 wrote:There's no way of knowing whether it is a 12" wide light 500m away or a 2" wide light 5 metres away

I agree with some of what you're both saying, but the above is just a complete exaggeration. Anyone who couldn't tell the difference between those 2 cases clearly has major vision problems and would definitely not be representative of the majority of people.


Yes, it was an exaggeration for effect and cause I cbf doing the maths.

The point is that (AIUI from talking to experts) a single point of light that obscures the background gives very little information to an observer about its distance away.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby warthog1 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:47 pm

Nobody wrote:
warthog1 wrote:Philips safe ride 80 here. 270 measured lumen with a controlled beam pattern. Yes it does cut it. Better than the supposed 1000 lumen magic shine it replaced. Well apart from the apalling mount it comes with that is.
How's the mount going? Did you try the tube or did you end up having to go to adhesive grip tape? Is there any way to bolt it on with another clamp?


I am using this one;

Image

on my 31.8 mm o/s carbon bars on the Cervelo. I am using a piece of tube as you suggested to increase the grip and protect the finish on the bars.
I am still going down a rough descent which is now not moving the light around at all, so I'm very happy with it.
Not having the squishy rubber spacer under the calmp enables you to get enough torque on the nut to stop it moving. I haven't tried the ball joint mount to confirm it is the ball joint moving and not the mount slipping on the bar, but I'm confident it is the ball moving.
I have ordered the same profileof bar for tyhe ribble steelie when it gets here as I really like the shape of this bar also, it is super comfortable both in the drops and the hoods for me (42cm 3T ergonova)

Red Rider wrote: (put off the Philips by the mount).


I have fixed my issues now by following Nobody's advice, and can highly recommend the philips light (thanks MattyK).
I am coming off a magic shine "1000" lumen (pigs rectum) :roll: and the philips beam pattern is vastly superior. It is a much better light for not that much more money :D
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:07 pm

Maybe the whole single point thing is a subconscious driver for many of us choosing to run lights on our lid too?

I'm more likely to blind people coming up behind me...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:13 pm

Quick backyard comparison...

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby rdp_au » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:25 pm

I’ll second the recommendation for the Philips light. I have both the later high power AYUPs and a Philips Safe Ride 80. The Philips light is significantly better for riding on dark paths or roads, with no concerns about dazzling oncoming riders on shared paths. The beam is broad and with an even spread of light, and even when faced with some serious candlepower coming the other way, there is enough light spread to give me an idea where I’m going. The cutoff beam does limit visibility when leaned into a corner, just like on a motorbike.

I have the older mount, and once I found the right combination of rubber shims, it fits well and is quite stable and doesn't slip. As far as run time is concerned, the AYUPS are clearly better. I run the Philips on low power (no flash mode) in the early morning light and full power in the dark on the way home. Total operating time around two hours, and the Philips is down to the last led on the capacity display. This isn’t too much of a problem, as I can easily charge it at work from my computer via the USB port. The AYUPs will easily do two full days before needing a charge when running on flash mode on the way in and full power on the way home.

While I usually agree with TG’s comments, I have to differ this time. With my AYUPs, I never felt I could find a setting that gave me a good view, without dazzling oncoming riders. Expecting them to deal with it isn’t really the point. I also think that Chris249 and others’ comments on the difficulty in discerning the speed and location of a single light source is relevant – and dealing with a very bright, dazzling light just makes it worse.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Nobody » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:58 pm

warthog1 wrote:I am using this one;
OK, thanks. I'll get one of them if/when I get one myself. :)

rdp_au wrote:With my AYUPs, I never felt I could find a setting that gave me a good view, without dazzling oncoming riders. Expecting them to deal with it isn’t really the point.
Agree. I've got a 2010, 340 lumen narrow beam AyUps on the bars and find I'm either adjusting up and down between riders coming the other way, or placing my hand over some of the light as the person approaches. Neither is ideal.

When riding in daylight I've found the AyUps on flashing gets me noticed. Never had a close one that a driver didn't deliberately cause (IMO) since using them. In the future if/when I get the Philips, I'll probably use just the AyUps in daylight and a combination of both at night with the AyUps in flashing mode (and pointed down).
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:35 pm

Chris249 wrote:If you are going to accuse others of "blathering" then you should look at your own posts - basically you are saying that your lights can't be dazzling and that anyone who dares to disagree with you is a whinging cretin.

Nope, that's what *you're* saying. You've got that well back to front.

If the complainers had lights that met the 200m visibility requirement then I would have cause to rethink my position. The fact they don't (sometimes laughably so) or (better still :x )have no lights at all is why they are cretins.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby eeksll » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:48 pm

MattyK wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Maybe those others should shoulder responsibility for their own fate and get some lights they can see by too. They're readily available for what we paid for good blinkies only a couple of years ago, under a hundred dollars.

There's no reason not to, except perhaps stubbornness or cheapskateness.

There is a difference between bright lights and lights that dazzle.


The all important question can I get bright lights for my bike which do not dazzle.

And what do I do with my $300 ayups when I can get them :cry:
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby cpical » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:36 pm

Waiting for a set of Magnic lights ( http://www.magniclight.com/MagnicLight/index.php/en/ ).

I have a set of Exposure Flash. OK to be seen, but not good enough to actually see in the dark.
I have encountered quite a few cyclists with way too bright front lights, whether actually too bright or not properly directed. Really annoying.
Magnic lights promise a lot, no batteries, no cables. Looking forward to trying them!

Other point: Please do not set your lights to the flashing mode!!!! If you are using a powerful front light, it makes it even more blinding than a steady light. It does not make you more visible, might make you appear as someone in trouble. This mode is not allowed in Europe.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby VRE » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:46 pm

I use AyUps (the 2012 higher-power version), properly angled so that the main beam is centred on the ground about 8m in front of the bike. I've viewed the AyUps in flashing or solid (full-power) mode from the front of the bike, even bending down a bit so my head is at typical cycling level, and I have no problems with their brightness. I'll certainly continue using flashing mode in some areas - for example, I use them in flashing mode on all my mountain rides, whether it be Dandenongs or further afield, because I simply don't trust motorists to notice me otherwise. I fail to see why a flashing light could be interpreted as an indicator of "someone in trouble".
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby master6 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:09 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Maybe the whole single point thing is a subconscious driver for many of us choosing to run lights on our lid too?

I'm more likely to blind people coming up behind me...



What have you got behind you Mulgar?

I am looking for a tail light that will double as an oxy acetylene cutting torch, for daytime use.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby master6 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:16 pm

cpical wrote: This mode is not allowed in Europe.


I am happy to stick with Australian regulations. In my opinion, flashing mode says "cyclist" as opposed to "dog walker" that might leave the pavement.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:52 pm

VRE wrote:I use AyUps (the 2012 higher-power version), properly angled so that the main beam is centred on the ground about 8m in front of the bike. I've viewed the AyUps in flashing or solid (full-power) mode from the front of the bike, even bending down a bit so my head is at typical cycling level, and I have no problems with their brightness. I'll certainly continue using flashing mode in some areas - for example, I use them in flashing mode on all my mountain rides, whether it be Dandenongs or further afield, because I simply don't trust motorists to notice me otherwise. I fail to see why a flashing light could be interpreted as an indicator of "someone in trouble".

I'd agree with most of this, and I do the same except my aiming spot is 10m rather than 8.

Mine are the older type without flashing mode, and power output matching your low-beam mode.

I've actually taken all my other front-facing flashing lights off - all it did was shout "bicycle" to other road users and they'd just cut me up worse than in the day. I found I got much better treatment from motorists with both bar and helmet lights going at constant-on.

Interesting, the differences in behaviour between regions, eh?
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:11 pm

eeksll wrote:
MattyK wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Maybe those others should shoulder responsibility for their own fate and get some lights they can see by too. They're readily available for what we paid for good blinkies only a couple of years ago, under a hundred dollars.

There's no reason not to, except perhaps stubbornness or cheapskateness.

There is a difference between bright lights and lights that dazzle.


The all important question can I get bright lights for my bike which do not dazzle.

And what do I do with my $300 ayups when I can get them :cry:

Of course you can. Have you actually read this thread or any of the other light threads?
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby SmellyTofu » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:18 pm

master6 wrote:
cpical wrote: This mode is not allowed in Europe.


I am happy to stick with Australian regulations. In my opinion, flashing mode says "cyclist" as opposed to "dog walker" that might leave the pavement.


Nice attitude. Hope you cause an epileptic fit to someone.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:51 pm

Interesting article here: http://road.cc/content/news/13526-epile ... ike-lights

road.cc wrote:Brighton cyclists have been asked to avoid using flashing bike lights for fear of triggering epileptic seizures.

The Brighton and Hove branch of Epilepsy Action, the group which represents hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from the condition, expressed its concern about the rapidly flickering lights after several of its members said they'd experienced problems.

The organisation said the lights cause people with the condition to feel ill and disorientated, adding it could trigger partial seizures and full-blown convulsions.

According to the Brighton Argus, a letter addressed to Brighton and Hove cycling group Bricycles from Epilepsy Action requested cyclists ditch the flickering lights in favour of a continuous shining lamp.

The group said action needed to be taken about both rear and front lights.

The CTC's Chris Juden said people using bikes had to balance "possible discomfort" for pedestrians against the risk of traumatic injury or death for cyclists.

Mr Juden added steps, such as a law stating lights cannot flash more than four times a second, had already been taken to avoid triggering epilepsy.

Around five in every hundred people with epilepsy are photosensitive, or prone to seizures caused by flashing or flickering light. Both natural and artificial light may trigger seizures. Various types of seizure may be triggered by flickering light.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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