What's the go with lights?

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

What's the go with lights?

Postby jpgibson » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:01 pm

Again, whilst riding home tonight I get a yell " points your lights down" or words to that effect.Now I have my Expilon 150 lumen ( x2) aimed so I can see about 3m ahead.I do this so I can see where I'm going.Now I realise theyre bright- thats why I bought them- never mind the 900 lumen jobbies some have.I get the point- theyre blinding if you look directly at them, and thence dangerous.I could point them so they dont dazzle oncoming riders/cars but then I cant see well enough.
Dilemma.
Oh, thanks to the do gooders who yell abuse.Given the number of ill aimed lights, you must get hoarse.
jpgibson
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:32 am

by BNA » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 pm

BNA
 

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby RonK » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 pm

So, you'd think those inconsiderate "do gooders" would just turn the other cheek rather than complain about being dazzled by your lights. Who do they think they are? After all it only matters that you can see where you are going, so stuff everyone else.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
User avatar
RonK
 
Posts: 5239
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:08 pm
Location: Brisbane, Queensland

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:22 pm

Helpful...

If you have them aimed so the hotspot projects 3m in front and people are complaining then you either have enormous spread on those lights or you have struck a whinger who just wantts to complain.

Why not stand your bike up somehow and walk away, turning around every now and then to see things from the other blokes viewpoint, it may help you strike a balance.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25569
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby il padrone » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:33 pm

Consider getting a B&M Ixon IQ. Notice the beam only extends up a certain height - it has a horizon to avoid this dazzle of other riders

Image


These lights are designed with high quality optics to maximize the light on the road ahead of you and avoid dazzling others. A worthwhile investment.

B&M Ixon IQ
Image


B&M Ixon Speed IQ
Image
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18188
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:58 pm

150 lumens is not much light, even with 2 of them, and aimed the way you describe i would suggest the person who yelled at you needs to get a life. My usual light is 250 lumens and aimed like yours it is not excessive by any means, though like yours if you look straight into it, it is very very bright.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
User avatar
ldrcycles
 
Posts: 6390
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:19 pm
Location: Kin Kin, Queensland

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby jpgibson » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:44 am

RonK wrote:So, you'd think those inconsiderate "do gooders" would just turn the other cheek rather than complain about being dazzled by your lights. Who do they think they are? After all it only matters that you can see where you are going, so stuff everyone else.

Gee. In response to your first question: yes. I don't yell abuse at any of those dazzling me nor the ninjas who frequent the roads/paths I do. Clearly it's a compromise between me
seeing where I'm going and them looking at my lights. Sorry I'm for self preservation. I got home and parked my bike and re aimed them , so should be a bit better. I'll look into those lights too- thanks for the tip.
jpgibson
 
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:32 am

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby high_tea » Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:53 pm

jpgibson wrote:
RonK wrote:So, you'd think those inconsiderate "do gooders" would just turn the other cheek rather than complain about being dazzled by your lights. Who do they think they are? After all it only matters that you can see where you are going, so stuff everyone else.

Gee. In response to your first question: yes. I don't yell abuse at any of those dazzling me nor the ninjas who frequent the roads/paths I do. Clearly it's a compromise between me
seeing where I'm going and them looking at my lights. Sorry I'm for self preservation. I got home and parked my bike and re aimed them , so should be a bit better. I'll look into those lights too- thanks for the tip.

Just don't expect the complaints to stop. I've got B&Ms and they're great, but I still get complaints from randoms on bikepaths. Their problem...
high_tea
 
Posts: 1265
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:04 pm

RonK wrote:So, you'd think those inconsiderate "do gooders" would just turn the other cheek rather than complain about being dazzled by your lights. Who do they think they are? After all it only matters that you can see where you are going, so stuff everyone else.


You are absolutely right, RonK. it matters that I can see where I'm going when I ride and I don't really give a toss about anyone else. They do what they have to do.

When I see bright lights coming towards me I divert my focus just a bit so I'm not looking directly into them. My Ay-Ups, by the way, are set so that the hot spot is about 5 metres in front of the bike.

I had one bad "off" because of poor lights and I can tell you right now, brother, I won't have another one.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2778
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby clackers » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:42 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:it matters that I can see where I'm going when I ride and I don't really give a toss about anyone else.


As long as we aim carefully. There may be no equivalent law to car 'high beaming' but if we flash someone coming the other way, *they* can't see where they're riding. It's not just courtesy, it's about their safety too! :)
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:13 pm

Bright lights approaching need not be a problem. Like I said, it is simply a matter of not looking directly at them. Too many sooks about, I reckon.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2778
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby Cheesewheel » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:28 pm

I got a moon X power (1500 lumen) for the front and also a saxon capped ayup for the back ( also have a few strategically placed fibre flares of various colours so I look quite the christmas tree at night time ... but at least I know that if anyone hits me it will be done out of maliciousness as opposed to not being able to see me :? )

I have a mound of insulation tape on the bar where I mount the moon power so that it is slightly off side (the result is that it sends the beam slightly to the left ... as opposed directly into traffic front on). It also has different brightness settings (down to 300 lumens and a flashing 1000 lumen) so you can adjust it to environments.

The ayups (560 + 40% = 784 lumen?) can be swiveled according to needs - at night time I am especially mindful to have them facing the ground since they could probably do retinal damage at night time

That said, I think (having a job that requires I drive a vehicle for at least 8 hours a day) its the nature of commuter traffic that its mainly about what sort of day a person is having. If its just one or two isolated incidents don't worry about it. If you see oncoming traffic constantly averting their face or screwing up their eyes in irritation (particularly other cyclists) then you may have cause for thought.

Also it pays to consider the environment you are riding through. If there is a lot of ambient light (as per your typical city night scene) personally I think you would have to try really hard to dazzle with a mere 150 lumens.

Also you could possible buy yourself a bit more visibility without dazzling by mounting the light a bit lower to the ground (like say above the front wheel instead of the handlebars)
GO!! Run!!! GAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!
User avatar
Cheesewheel
 
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:22 pm
Location: GoldCoast Qld

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby clackers » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:15 pm

GM, you cannot see in front of yourself when caught in the glare of some riders. And some add to the fun with helmet mounts!

I've been both a victim and the transgressor ... I've currently got a Bikeray IV on the bars ... 1500 nominal lumens. :eek:
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby clackers » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:19 pm

Cheesewheel wrote:I have a mound of insulation tape on the bar where I mount the moon power so that it is slightly off side (the result is that it sends the beam slightly to the left ... as opposed directly into traffic front on).


Good man, CW! I'm sure come Australia Day there'll be a medal in the mail!

The Light and Motion Urban 500s actually let you swivel them on their tool-less rubber mount to do exactly that.
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby ekib » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:06 pm

As il padrone pointed out, properly designed lights such as the B&M Ixon IQ are designed very much like car head lights.
Thus, they work pretty much like a car headlight set on low beam. That is they don't dazzle other vehicles and pedestrians etc.

Take a look at your typical bicycle light. It is essentially the same design as a torch (flashlight to US people). Most non-German lights are the same. It has a circular pattern. That is why when you are riding along on the flashing setting, you see the reflective street signs flashing from about 300m away.
This is the light that is annoying other people.

Given that there is a huge number of SMIDSY incidents and accidents and given that cyclists are very vulnerable road users, I think bright LED lights are great on the road. Perhaps we should try and dim them down a bit for the bike/pedestrian paths.

Ekib

send from my phone device using SomethingIdownloadedbutdon'tknowtouse.
The End.
User avatar
ekib
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:52 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:03 pm

clackers wrote:GM, you cannot see in front of yourself when caught in the glare of some riders. And some add to the fun with helmet mounts!


Perhaps I am older and more experienced than you.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2778
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby clackers » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:10 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:
Perhaps I am older and more experienced than you.


I'm telling you, you have to look away from some riders on shared paths! And that's not a good thing. For a couple of seconds, glass or a pothole could have their wicked way with you.

I may just ride towards you, with the additional 900 lumen Bikeray 2 on the helmet for good measure! ;-)
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:40 pm

Yeah, knock yourself out, I'll probably manage. I used to do night time runs up and down the Hume between Wagga and Canberra. You reckon your lights are brighter than a full complement of retina-wreckers on your average semi?
Too many sooks.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2778
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby newie » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:56 pm

gorilla monsoon wrote:Yeah, knock yourself out, I'll probably manage. I used to do night time runs up and down the Hume between Wagga and Canberra. You reckon your lights are brighter than a full complement of retina-wreckers on your average semi?
Too many sooks.


This is the kind of response that sometimes makes hanging out here unpleasant. I am a bit surprised as it seems a bit out of character for gm.

I do find it disconcerting sometimes when an oncoming cyclist has bright lights that shine directly into my eyes. Calling people a sook, is not at all helpful. The vision of my path is essentially non-existent for a short space of time and as result I can sometimes get the wobbles. It can also make it hard to judge the location of the rider as they approach. I have also ridden busy highways with semis, but find the oncoming cyclist scenario far more offputting, possibly because of the close proximity, the unpredictable behaviour of some cyclists, the focussed beam of the lights being used. I don't say anything to the other cyclists at the time, as I understand their desire to have bright lights, but I do wish people would be a bit more considerate and direct their lights lower.

To the OP, it might well be worth testing out how your lights look as you approach your bike as was earlier suggested. You might find you are able to find a better compromise on the positioning, or instead that the person who gave you a hard time was just being unreasonable.
newie
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:51 pm

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:14 pm

I would look for consideration and compromise.

I purposely adjust my light so that it is angled down to avoid blinding other cyclists and cars while I still see enough of the road. It would be nicer to point it up more and see further however I have the "do unto others" mentality.

Other cyclists with dazzling lights are annoying when it is pitch black, you really can't see much. If they are climing a hill at 10 - 15kmh, they don't really need to see 500 metres.
The good news is that I find most cyclists are considerate.
User avatar
AUbicycles
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8921
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:14 am
Location: Sydney

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby Alien27 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:04 pm

As others have said, it really does come down to the design of the light. You can have most of them pointed 3-5m in front of you and they will still be blinding motorists.

The problem is not just the time you loose averting your gaze but also the time it takes to recover your 'night vision' as it were. I've coped a blinding a couple of times from some really powerful bike lights and really puts you off.

It's a case of the law needing to catch up with the technology as bike lights now seem to be as bright as car lights. They need to regulate the beam spread of bike lights in the same way as car and motorbikes.

Would we be happy if car lights were allowed to have a beam spread the same as ours?
User avatar
Alien27
 
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:59 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby clackers » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:59 pm

newie wrote: Calling people a sook, is not at all helpful.


Agreed, newie, along with a psychology of "It happened to me, so I can do it to others".

In a car, high beaming is illegal, on bikes, it's antisocial at best!
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:29 pm

Sorry, I'm siding wth GM on this one. I do the right thing with where I aim my lights and I still get whinged at. I find it frustrating.

A bike is a vehicle just like a car. If you're relying on "don't hit me" blinkies and you can't see unlit obstacles or where to go properly without a full moon or street lights, you've made a decision to go without adequate lights, period. That is your problem, not mine.

So criticism of me for doing what I must to manage my own safety is unlikely to be met with sympathy. You'll be told to HTFU and start pulling your own weight.

If you had decent lights of your own you'd be fine. So get some.

By the way, Ay Ups and the like still only put out a fraction of the power of low beam car headlights.
"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

http://www.facebook.com/Drive2WorkDay
User avatar
trailgumby
 
Posts: 10204
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:30 pm
Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby Nobody » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:42 pm

Alien27 wrote:It's a case of the law needing to catch up with the technology as bike lights now seem to be as bright as car lights. They need to regulate the beam spread of bike lights in the same way as car and motorbikes.
Agree, but since bike lights are a bolt-on and not a factory supplied item permanently connected to the bike it won't be that simple. MTB lights with a wider spread will still be available and many will still choose these. Policing on off-road bike tracks is almost non-existent at night, so unlikely to change cyclists' behavior.

trailgumby wrote:By the way, Ay Ups and the like still only put out a fraction of the power of low beam car headlights.
One set of 2010 Ay Ups is a bit less bright than a single car headlight. But car headlights are shaped which makes a big difference IMO.
Last edited by Nobody on Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Nobody
 
Posts: 6627
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby clackers » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:43 pm

trailgumby wrote: I do the right thing with where I aim my lights


I think that's all that's being asked, Trailgumby.

Unwarranted abuse is part of the deal of being a cyclist, as you well know!
User avatar
clackers
 
Posts: 1924
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: What's the go with lights?

Postby gorilla monsoon » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:33 pm

trailgumby wrote:Sorry, I'm siding wth GM on this one. I do the right thing with where I aim my lights and I still get whinged at. I find it frustrating.

A bike is a vehicle just like a car. If you're relying on "don't hit me" blinkies and you can't see unlit obstacles or where to go properly without a full moon or street lights, you've made a decision to go without adequate lights, period. That is your problem, not mine.

So criticism of me for doing what I must to manage my own safety is unlikely to be met with sympathy. You'll be told to HTFU and start pulling your own weight.

If you had decent lights of your own you'd be fine. So get some.

By the way, Ay Ups and the like still only put out a fraction of the power of low beam car headlights.


What he said. And I'm siding with me too.

And when you nosedive into the shrubbery one night and rip yourself open because your lights were inadequate come and ask me where I got my Ay-Ups from.
Some days you are a big, strutting rooster, some days you are a bit chicken and some days you are just a complete cocque. Roger Ramjet: 2009 Giant CRX3 Spockette: 2009 Trek FX 7.3 (WSD, property of Mrs Monsoon) Lady Penelope: 2011 Avanti Cadent 1.0 TdF
User avatar
gorilla monsoon
 
Posts: 2778
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am
Location: Central Coast/Lake Macquarie

Next

Return to Cycling Safety and Advocacy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chocwege



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU



InTouch with BNA
“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter