How bright is to bright?

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:41 pm

Comedian wrote:Two words for you

DROP BEARS.

:mrgreen:

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Hilarious. :mrgreen:
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by BNA » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:41 pm

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Lukeyboy » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:41 pm

With exposure lights they are mostly designed for off road/off road racing where there's no ambient light, no other external lighting, no oncoming traffic (car/people/other cyclists) hence the big outputs and their design eg you can swivel the lights left to right/lights up and down more becuase mtb bikes go up and down on the steeper terrain/tree branches etc; but they can also be mounted on road bikes. They all have the ability to change the brightness settings and the newer ones you can even customise the output. Exposure also make a switch that can be placed on your handlebars to change the brightness settings without removing your hands from the bars.

Image

I have the MaxxD Mk4 which is claimed to be 1285 lumens and I constantly have it at full output in the dark of night while zipping around at 30-40kph... by the dark of night I usually mean this.
Image

It picks up all the stones/sticks/glass on the ground, I can see all the toads that have migrated onto the pathway, I can see the eyes of animals off the side of the pathway, peds in the distance, dirt/sand on the ground, pick up fallen trees which had blocked the entire pathway (has happened to me twice) along with many other uses. There are times where I wish it was brighter just for those reasons. When I'm on the road i'll have them on high beam so merging traffic can see me coming. If there are cars coming towards me or traffic about to merge I just quickly press the button for the light on my handlebar and the bightness changes or flash mode will engage. I had some cheapo light that did light up the pathway and didn't blind riders coming towards me but as soon as some speed picked up or it got really dark (little ambient light) it was just useless as a pouring a bottle of water into the ocean while yelling "I'M FLOODING THE PLANET!!!".

Just so people know I'm not on the roads at 6-7pm riding. I'm talking more of 9pm-4.30am where there is little or no traffic around or on bikepaths with no lighting for up to 6km at a time. There has been times where I have done laps of Deagon/Sandgate-Nundha crit circuit and I haven't seen a single person, jogger, other cyclist or moving car (besides traffic on the Gateway Motorway) for 60km of riding. If it is earlier in the night than I'd only put them on high on the backstreets where theres no traffic and if I see a car I just simply change the bightness and then put them back to high or if I'm in traffic it will be on medium/flash mode.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:46 pm

trailgumby wrote:
MattyK wrote:If I find one of those approaching me on a bike track I'll be happy to assist the owner to dismount... Lumens are good, i love the ~7000 my car puts out, but uncontrolled lumens are bad.


I agree there needs to be work in this area. Full flood spread is great for off-road use, but needs focus for on-road.

However, I'd be reluctant to give up my helmet spot. Being able to light up the interior of inattentive drivers' cabins has helped me avoid too many potential collisions to count.

A bar mounted high/low switch would work well.

This is pretty good: http://www.mea.philips.com/c/Bicycle%20 ... 0dbx1/prd/
The effect of glare and a well shaped beam vs a high beam is illustrated well at 1:22 and 2:12
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:28 pm

MattyK wrote:A bar mounted high/low switch would work well.

This is pretty good: http://www.mea.philips.com/c/Bicycle%20 ... 0dbx1/prd/
The effect of glare and a well shaped beam vs a high beam is illustrated well at 1:22 and 2:12

Nice product. That's the Philips light I mentioned earlier as one of the lights from Europe that have excellent optics that will meet the German bicycle light laws. Not sure where the video is though, or the bar-mounted high/low switch :?

They also have an excellent tail-light - the Philips Saferide

Image




Incidentally, I didn't realise that Philips lights were made by the Philips Corporation :shock:
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:30 pm

il padrone wrote:
trailgumby wrote:
il padrone wrote:Have a bit of a think about that and you'll realise that is not how it works. If you're still not convinced then shine your lights on a wall tonight to "adjust" your eyes. Then turn the bike right around and shine the lights at your face and see how good this has been to prevent you being dazzled.

:| :lol:


Agree. But then, that's not what peeps with any brains do. :lol:

So tell me, how often do you look directly at oncoming car headlights?

You are missing the point. I did not say "look at the lights", but rather "shine the lights at your face".

With respect, no, I am not missing the point. I simply disagree with you as to the facts.

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. :?
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:39 pm

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.

Yes, I do drive a car, often enough on country roads at night. I know how to deal with bright head-lights :|

The one difference with your car headlights is optics. That's what makes the difference between the car high beam (basically the concentric beam) and the low beam (optically altered to give a less dazzling beam with a light horizon). If you think it's OK for drivers to keep the high beam on, well good luck to you.

A 2200 lumens concentric-beam bike light is getting to be pretty much the same light intensity as a car head-light on high beam. I don't want to have to face that coming towards me, looking aside or not.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:46 pm

il padrone wrote:The one difference with your car headlights is optics. That's what makes the difference between the car high beam (basically the concentric beam) and the low beam (optically altered to give a low, less dazzling beam). If you think it's OK for drivers to keep the high beam on, well good luck to you.

A 2200 lumens concentric bike light is getting to be pretty much the same light intensity as a car head-light on high beam. I don't want to have to face that coming towards me, looking aside or not.

And I have no disagreement with you on either point! :D I agree with you, which you seem to have missed. :? :wink:

However, those complaining about Ay-Ups with only (about) 350 lumens per pair, most of which is concentrated in a very narrow hotspot, with a rapid fall-off in intensity around the sides, and which has much less power than a car low beam, need to harden up.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Oh yes. OK.

My Supernova E3 head-light is pretty similar - 370 lumens concentric light. Great for country road riding at night where it gives very good range. People often comment on how bright it is. However it drops off rapidly away from dead-centre.

Planning on getting a B&M iQ Luxos U for future uses - better beam for around town and great long range beam at higher speeds as well. Best of both worlds.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:39 pm

il padrone wrote:Oh yes. OK...

No worries. I respect your opinions, you have a solid head screwed on your shoulders.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:49 pm

It's really worthwhile considering optics before you buy (really can't see why the light manufacturers don't :? ) because it makes this sort of difference:


I bought myself the Supernova E3 Pro (concentric lens) - 370 lumens
Image



Should have bought the Supernova E3 Pro with asymmetric lens - 310 lumens
Image


I was put off by the stated lower lumens :( Had not seen these photos beforehand.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby London Boy » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:32 pm

trailgumby wrote:The only whingers are those with idiotically inadequate or no lights. Complaining about my lights when you are a dark indeterminate barely detectable object heading in my direction on a possible collision course, well, i make no apology for reflexively giving you my headlight spot beam to work out what sort of threat you might be. Harden up and get some better lights you can see by you goose. :x

So long as you carry adequate third party insurance you should be fine with that.

I don't know that it has been tested in court, but shining a bright light at what a reasonable person would assume is an oncoming cyclist would quite possibly be held negligent. That could get horribly expensive.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:34 pm

il padrone wrote:
MattyK wrote:A bar mounted high/low switch would work well.

This is pretty good: http://www.mea.philips.com/c/Bicycle%20 ... 0dbx1/prd/
The effect of glare and a well shaped beam vs a high beam is illustrated well at 1:22 and 2:12

Nice product. That's the Philips light I mentioned earlier as one of the lights from Europe that have excellent optics that will meet the German bicycle light laws. Not sure where the video is though, or the bar-mounted high/low switch :?

They also have an excellent tail-light - the Philips Saferide

Image

Incidentally, I didn't realise that Philips lights were made by the Philips Corporation :shock:

Sorry posting from phone...
Video:
http://youtu.be/0eoXpfMpxqo
It doesn't have a bar mounted switch, I just said that would be nice

I have that taillight also, it is excellent
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby landscapecadmonkey » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:21 pm

bright, good
angled up, bad

that's whey there's a specific test on the angle of car headlights.

the amount of urban numpties with roo spotters is increasing.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby ZepinAtor » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:47 pm

Lukeyboy wrote:With exposure lights they are mostly designed for off road/off road racing......................

It picks up all the stones/sticks/glass on the ground, I can see all the toads that have migrated onto the pathway, I can see the eyes of animals off the side of the pathway, peds in the distance, dirt/sand on the ground, pick up fallen trees which had blocked the entire pathway (has happened to me twice) along with many other uses. There are times where I wish it was brighter just for those reasons


Funny coincidence that Lukeboy :) I ride the exact same pathways at about 6-7pm & on roads about the same time & I'm also using a similar Exposure light with a claimed 975 lumen output.

I find it easy to dip down to 600 or 300 with fairly positive responses from other path users. Usually a thanks or a nod after they lower their hand from their eyes which they've raised for obvious reasons in anticipation of a good blinding. I also either direct my eyes to the edge of the path as others approach as I understand the KBB can be a dangerous path late at night with tight bends, toads, snakes & surprise sand traps.

On the MTB I'm running 2 x 975 Lumens. Helmet mount & bar mount. A definite must at 40+km/hr in the forest or racing off road.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby NhiTrac » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:49 am

After all this brightness debate, I'm curious as to how many of us so most of our riding on bike paths where it's pretty much the only place possible to have another one's beam shining in your retina. If you're riding on the side of the road it should not be an issue as

A) going with flow of traffic
B) oncoming cyclist are on the other side of the road

I guess I've never experienced it as 99% of my riding is on the road.

Ps if they made one of those Supernova E3 lights that's battery operated, I would've bought it in a heart beat.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:10 am

NhiTrac wrote:After all this brightness debate, I'm curious as to how many of us so most of our riding on bike paths where it's pretty much the only place possible to have another one's beam shining in your retina. If you're riding on the side of the road it should not be an issue as

A) going with flow of traffic
B) oncoming cyclist are on the other side of the road

I guess I've never experienced it as 99% of my riding is on the road.

Ps if they made one of those Supernova E3 lights that's battery operated, I would've bought it in a heart beat.


In the dark start to the day ride is on a PSP. The saving grace is that not many are on the path at 5:40. Those that are will all have lights, too many of them very bright. I will get it a dozen times a day, five days a week from March until September or so. If I was in a state that had daylight saving then there would be more months still.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:18 am

NhiTrac wrote:After all this brightness debate, I'm curious as to how many of us so most of our riding on bike paths where it's pretty much the only place possible to have another one's beam shining in your retina. If you're riding on the side of the road it should not be an issue

I'm not sure why you think this is the case? If it is not an issue why is it illegal to run car headlights on high beam in town?


NhiTrac wrote:Ps if they made one of those Supernova E3 lights that's battery operated, I would've bought it in a heart beat.

The Supernova Airstream is the same light in battery format :idea:

Image


Airstream headlight beam
Image



There is also the Supernova Big Bang HID light, a lot brighter but that is no longer made.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby NhiTrac » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:57 am

il padrone wrote:
NhiTrac wrote:After all this brightness debate, I'm curious as to how many of us so most of our riding on bike paths where it's pretty much the only place possible to have another one's beam shining in your retina. If you're riding on the side of the road it should not be an issue

I'm not sure why you think this is the case? If it is not an issue why is it illegal to run car headlights on high beam in town?


NhiTrac wrote:Ps if they made one of those Supernova E3 lights that's battery operated, I would've bought it in a heart beat.

The Supernova Airstream is the same light in battery format :idea:




Airstream headlight beam




There is also the Supernova Big Bang HID light, a lot brighter but that is no longer made.


Understand where you're coming from. Perhaps I've never experienced another cyclist's light where it was so dazzling that I would consider it dangerous. I guess I also assume that other cyclist with powerful lights don't simply just mount it and ride away, but they would dip it towards the ground as well as view it from other cyclist/motorist point of view. I.e. get in front of it and see if its glaring, adjust and repeat. I did this several times with my twin Ayups before I was satisfied with my setup.

Thanks for the link... I had actually meant to say battery operated version of the G&M IQ Luxos U lights (wrote it whilst on my iphone on the train and didnt check the brand)...

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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby am50em » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:26 am

il padrone wrote:I'm not sure why you think this is the case? If it is not an issue why is it illegal to run car headlights on high beam in town?


I believe it is legal to use high beam in built up areas. I am sure when I learned to drive it was illegal but the rule was changed a long while ago.
While trying to find the definitive rule, I did find
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_reg/rr2008104/
PART 13 - LIGHTS AND WARNING DEVICES

Division 1 - Lights on vehicles (except bicycles, animals and animal-drawn vehicles)

214. Division does not apply to riders of bicycles, animals or animal-drawn vehicles
214-1. NSW rule: interpretation
215. Australian Road Rule not reproduced
215-1. NSW rule: using lights when driving in dark
216. Towing a vehicle at night or in hazardous weather conditions
217. Australian Road Rule not reproduced
218. Using headlights on high-beam
218-1. NSW rule: using lights on vehicles generally
219. Lights not to be used to dazzle other road users


So the anti-dazzle rule does not apply to cyclists :twisted:
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:53 am

am50em wrote:I believe it is legal to use high beam in built up areas.

Ah, yes. Thanks for pointing that out. The rule is that it is illegal to use high beam if another vehicle is within 200 metres ahead of you (oncoming or travelling the same direction)



am50em wrote:So the anti-dazzle rule does not apply to cyclists :twisted:

Yes, but that is my point. The change of technology such that bike lights are now as bright as, or brighter than, an automobile high beam surely prompts a need for a review of the rules :?: :?:
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby Lukeyboy » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:56 am

Haha. Its leagal to use high beam where ever you want to. I could go driving around the city with the car lights on high beam. Just have to make sure the 200m or so rule applies.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby am50em » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:59 am

il padrone wrote:
am50em wrote:So the anti-dazzle rule does not apply to cyclists :twisted:

Yes, but that is my point. The change of technology such that bike lights are now as bright or brighter than an automobile high beam surely prompts a need for a review of the rules :?: :?:


Agreed but who initiates that? What is the ADR process? It would be good to have some cyclist input to it.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby il padrone » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:07 am

The Police and Vicroads will initiate it for sure, under motorist pressure, if lots of cyclists go getting about with 2200 lumens headlights. Time will tell.

I've watched the exponential growth in LED headlight output and have been concerned over the past couple of years. The direction is all power and no control
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby rdp_au » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:26 am

il padrone wrote:I've watched the exponential growth in LED headlight output and have been concerned over the past couple of years. The direction is all power and no control


Well said.

My commute is a mixture of unlit shared paths and on road which allows cruising speeds in the mid thirties, with sections up to the mid sixties, so good lights are a necessity. I have been using AYUPs for a few years, recently with the newer high power LEDs. To be honest, the single light unit, even with the high power LEDs is only barely adequate at higher speeds, and I have had complaints from other cyclists on shared paths if I have it angled for best long distance coverage.

I’d been on the lookout for something with better road oriented optics for a while, but the only ones available were from Europe and pretty pricy. Recently, the Philips Safety Light was on special and I was able to pick one up for $80 delivered. My initial impressions are that it will work very well as a proper road light. The optics are designed to comply with European regulations which require a cutoff to prevent dazzling oncoming road users. This works very well, as there is a broad and fairly even spread of light from close to the front wheel out to a long way down the road. The beam is also wide so it spreads out to light up the sides of the road as well. Comparing the two lights while standing about 20 metres in front of the bike parked in my driveway is interesting. The AYUPs are very bright and quite dazzling - as to be expected. The Philips looks just like a car headlight on dipped beam. My initial experiences on a few commutes home when it’s been properly dark are that it is much better than the AYUPs, even though it claims only about two thirds of the light output. What it does lack, though, is a flashing mode, which I like to use during the day and especially in the early morning and late evening twilight. At the moment, I’ve got what I think is the best of both worlds with both lights on the bike, the AYUPs for their flashing capability and the Philips for when it gets completely dark.
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Re: How bright is to bright?

Postby MattyK » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:57 am

rdp_au wrote:.... Recently, the Philips Safety Light was on special and I was able to pick one up for $80 delivered. My initial impressions are that it will work very well as a proper road light. The optics are designed to comply with European regulations which require a cutoff to prevent dazzling oncoming road users. This works very well, as there is a broad and fairly even spread of light from close to the front wheel out to a long way down the road. The beam is also wide so it spreads out to light up the sides of the road as well. Comparing the two lights while standing about 20 metres in front of the bike parked in my driveway is interesting. The AYUPs are very bright and quite dazzling - as to be expected. The Philips looks just like a car headlight on dipped beam.

^ This guy gets it.

You just can't achieve the same effect by tilting a concentric beam pattern light downwards. All it does is blow out the foreground exposure and reduce the distance illumination, and it still doesn't eliminate the glare.

PS: from in front, duck your head down into the beam part of the Philips. Wear a welding mask though...

My initial experiences on a few commutes home when it’s been properly dark are that it is much better than the AYUPs, even though it claims only about two thirds of the light output.

Philips light has been tested (in a proper integrating sphere) as a genuine 270 lumens. Many lights haven't been, and output is based on theory / magical pixieland numbers. (Not disparaging Ay-ups though, I have not seen any test results for them. Supernova have suspect numbers though, ref swhs's website)
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