Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-Bne

Mozz
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:27 am

Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-Bne

Postby Mozz » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:51 pm

As a regular commuter from the south-west suburbs of Brisbane into the CBD Oxley - Chelmer - Indooroopilly- Taringa - Toowong or Oxley - Jindalee - Western Freeway Bikeway - I have noticed an increase in the number of very bright lights on the front of bikes which are pretty much pointed in a horizontal direction .. dazzling oncoming cycylists and pedestrians alike ... Is there reason for this...I thought that the idea of the front lights were to shine a few metres in front of the bike in a similar manner to vehicle headlights... or am I missing something...

Second observation is that I have been almost cleaned up a few times in the past month by cyclists riding two up beside each other ... on very narrow stretches of pathways ... twice on a blind corner which is the section of bicentential bikeway just up from the old ABC building opposite Toowong village and then again down beside the current ferry terminal at QUT. Both are quite narrrow and pretty much only allows room for a one bike to pass another bike coming in the opposite direction... but what seems quite obvious to me ... does not appear obvious to those riders I encounter and sometimes almost collide with because they are committed to riding two up regardless of the condition of the pathway... once again am I missing something in this .. is it an unwritten rule that once two up always two up and never shall one drop back to create a single file...

Let's try to be better people and ensure we all dip our lights and ride in a safe rather than unsafe fashion .. I would hate to see people injured (anymore than already are cycling) and/or further regulation or "enforcement" forced on cyclists...

lobstermash
Posts: 1426
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:51 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:33 pm

The brightness of one's lights is a catch 22. In a perfect world, shared paths would be lit sufficiently to be able to see both the path in front and pedestrians. If this were the case, a low power 'be seen' front light would be more than adequate. However, because most paths aren't lit, many find the need to use powerful lights to both light the path and spot unlit pedestrians and animals, which unfortunately dazzle oncoming path users.
Image

User avatar
ColinOldnCranky
Posts: 6734
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:16 pm

I sometimes pull up and turn around as they go past to check if there is a spot of light on actual path but often all I see is really well lit tree foliage. Suppose that people have a fear of drop bears

It has something to do with IWABD Syndrome (as in I want a bigger...) I truly find it quite common to spot the distant bike light amongst the winding freeway traffic. Whiter (a good thing) and more instense. Apparently some people can ride faster than the 110kph limit in WA.

Now, if we were smart, we would spend more on lighting that inreases our visibility from a broad angle to the rear and sides. But apparently it makes more sense to pander to our IWABD syndrome.

(I also do come across blinding setups where the spot is on the path despite my initial assumption. Some of those lights must come with a thermonuclear power plant. :D )
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle

User avatar
clackers
Posts: 2065
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby clackers » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:22 pm

Cree technology is both a blessing and a curse. :)

CKinnard
Posts: 3459
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:23 am

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby CKinnard » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:23 pm

yes bright lights are a problem. I think it's due to operator ignorance of how much lights effect others, and how to dim them temporarily. I just put my hand over the light temporarily when they are on high which is on less heavily traffic'ed dark bits. On more heavily used routes I have them on the lowest setting.

And even though I've got a 1000 lumen light (with external battery pack), I generally ride with a 500 maximum lumen with internal usb chargeable battery - more convenient and it lights up the dark adequately.

User avatar
il padrone
Posts: 22931
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:32 pm

lobstermash wrote:The brightness of one's lights is a catch 22. In a perfect world, shared paths would be lit sufficiently to be able to see both the path in front and pedestrians. If this were the case, a low power 'be seen' front light would be more than adequate. However, because most paths aren't lit, many find the need to use powerful lights to both light the path and spot unlit pedestrians and animals, which unfortunately dazzle oncoming path users.
It should not be a Catch 22. Very bright lights are available that do not dazzle other road users (if you can be bothered to chase them up). I have observed my son and wife riding the roads with their B&M Cyo dynamo lights. They are every bit as bright as the lights (dipped) of nearby motorcars, and yet they do not dazzle. I really do not see that there is a need for much brighter on the road, and on dark bike paths the Cyos light the path extremely well.

BTW, this is an offence under the road rules I believe (rule 219 in Victoria) so I am surprised there are not more efforts by police to moderate this dangerous behaviour.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

lobstermash
Posts: 1426
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:51 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:25 pm

Absolutely agree that bright front lights aren't needed for on the road. And that you can get/set up bright lights that light up your immediate path without dazzling oncoming cyclists. The catch 22 is that to be able to see the ninja dog walkers on a pitch black path with enough time to slow down to avoid them, you have to have your beam, regardless of the lens, high enough to be uncomfortable for oncoming bikes.
Image

nezumi
Posts: 1064
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Bundoora, Melbourne

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby nezumi » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:14 pm

I was rather disturbed riding home the other night and realising how bright some commuters' lights are.

I have a Lezyne 400 Lumens light. I generally use this on the 200 setting, and sometimes on the 400.

Riding on the Main Yarra Trail, I had multiple instances where I would pass another rider and their light would be so bright behind me that my body would cast a shadow and my light was not strong enough to iluminate this, given the relative brightness of the light behind. That was a bit scary.
2014 Merida Cyclo Cross 4
2015 Merida Scultura 5000

User avatar
il padrone
Posts: 22931
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:32 pm

lobstermash wrote:The catch 22 is that to be able to see the ninja dog walkers on a pitch black path with enough time to slow down to avoid them, you have to have your beam, regardless of the lens, high enough to be uncomfortable for oncoming bikes.
The light I use - the B&M Luxos U
Image

The B&M IQ Cyo that my wife uses. The Cyo is brighter in its narrower beam.
Image

Peter White Cycles wrote:The camera's position is identical for the 2011 images, being mounted on a rigid tripod, about 160 feet from the end of my driveway.
I'd have thought that 50m was generally good enough to be aware of dog-walkers. Notice the very clear horizon on these beams. That is what prevents dazzle, if it is a bit too low you can just adjust your light angle.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

lobstermash
Posts: 1426
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:51 pm
Location: Canberra

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby lobstermash » Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:36 pm

That is impressive. Do you know the specs on the reflector?
Image

98octane
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby 98octane » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:14 pm

nezumi wrote:I was rather disturbed riding home the other night and realising how bright some commuters' lights are.

I have a Lezyne 400 Lumens light. I generally use this on the 200 setting, and sometimes on the 400.

Riding on the Main Yarra Trail, I had multiple instances where I would pass another rider and their light would be so bright behind me that my body would cast a shadow and my light was not strong enough to iluminate this, given the relative brightness of the light behind. That was a bit scary.
My lights do this on the MYT as I pass others :-|

I have this 1400 lumen light:
http://www.this link is broken/BRC-Ultrast ... umen-Light" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I bought it as it has a 200m range (required by law in Vic) and the MYT/Gardiners Creek Trail are both very dark and windy in spots.

I usually use the middle setting pointing so slightly down, I guess around 800 lumens. I ride home late usually 8pm to midnight, so there are few if any others on the path and some very dark spots with no path lighting. I ride fast, so I need people to see me approaching from behind as well as oncoming.

Occasionally people tell me to turn down my lights. As a result, I rarely use the high setting. However, usually those complaining are joggers running alone in the dark, so their eyes are adjusted for darkness, not bike lights.

It's not a perfect set up, but I think it's the best I can do in the circumstances.

User avatar
il padrone
Posts: 22931
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby il padrone » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:31 pm

lobstermash wrote:That is impressive. Do you know the specs on the reflector?
Don't know any actual specs on the reflector. It is their IQ2 design with a downwards facing LED that uses the whole reflector to throw light forwards.

Image


The light produces 70 lux of light intensity - not sure how that will convert to lumens but all depends on the beam profile. The Luxos U has a huge beam area so it must have a very high lumens. The handlebar switch can give a 90 lux light for short periods - extra power from the storage battery in the light.

http://gemini-lights.com/explore/lux-and-lumens" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

98octane wrote:I bought it as it has a 200m range (required by law in Vic) and the MYT/Gardiners Creek Trail are both very dark and windy in spots
You do not need 1400 lumens to get yourself a 200m range light. The rule requires it to be visible for 200m, not to throw a beam for that distance. The most basic AAA-powered LED light will be visible for 200m. I well recall several years ago on the Oppy 24hr ride, out on the quiet roads north of Echuca at 2am I was running with my 200 lumens Supernova E3 headlight and was trying to work out what the light that I had seen ahead for over 5mins was. Eventually I realised - it was my headlight being reflected from a road-junction chevron sign. The 200 lumens was easily visible for over 2-3 kilometres.
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

98octane
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby 98octane » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:48 pm

il padrone wrote:
You do not need 1400 lumens to get yourself a 200m range light. The most basic AAA-powered LED light will do this. I well recall several years ago on the Oppy 24hr ride, out on the quiet roads north of Echuca at 2am I was running with my 200 lumens Supernova E3 headlight and was trying to work out what the light that I had seen ahead for over 5mins was. Eventually I realised - it was my headlight being reflected from a road-junction chevron sign. The 200 lumens was easily visible for over 2-3 kilometres.
Yes, that's true. But a bright broad light is very handy for the dark, twisting or dilapidated parts of the paths. I need to see tree roots, sticks, pit lits, pot holes, possums and other dangers well in advance at speeds of 35-50kph.

User avatar
Marx
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Flemington Melbourne Australia

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby Marx » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:21 am

too bright, too fast, and it becomes my problem they can't stop in time.
You can't spend your way into self-righteousness, you live in a society, a bit of empathy for everyone else would be nice for a change.
-----------------------
A bike and a place to ride.

User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
Posts: 29060
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:24 am

98octane wrote:
il padrone wrote:
You do not need 1400 lumens to get yourself a 200m range light. The most basic AAA-powered LED light will do this. I well recall several years ago on the Oppy 24hr ride, out on the quiet roads north of Echuca at 2am I was running with my 200 lumens Supernova E3 headlight and was trying to work out what the light that I had seen ahead for over 5mins was. Eventually I realised - it was my headlight being reflected from a road-junction chevron sign. The 200 lumens was easily visible for over 2-3 kilometres.
Yes, that's true. But a bright broad light is very handy for the dark, twisting or dilapidated parts of the paths. I need to see tree roots, sticks, pit lits, pot holes, possums and other dangers well in advance at speeds of 35-50kph.
This is where a good helmet mount light shines.
Well aimed barmounts to be seen by and to light up the road surface, lid mounts with your head on a swivel to find and limelight specifics
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011

high_tea
Posts: 1494
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm
Contact:

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby high_tea » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:03 am

98octane wrote:
il padrone wrote:
You do not need 1400 lumens to get yourself a 200m range light. The most basic AAA-powered LED light will do this. I well recall several years ago on the Oppy 24hr ride, out on the quiet roads north of Echuca at 2am I was running with my 200 lumens Supernova E3 headlight and was trying to work out what the light that I had seen ahead for over 5mins was. Eventually I realised - it was my headlight being reflected from a road-junction chevron sign. The 200 lumens was easily visible for over 2-3 kilometres.
Yes, that's true. But a bright broad light is very handy for the dark, twisting or dilapidated parts of the paths. I need to see tree roots, sticks, pit lits, pot holes, possums and other dangers well in advance at speeds of 35-50kph.
Like il padrone I use dynamo lights. Couldn't tell you their rated output - 200 lumens tops, I guess. But, and this is a big but, the light all gets used lighting up the things that interest me, because they have well designed optics. IOW they are bright and broad, but only where it matters. Lights with lousy optics are bright enought to be truly obnoxious if they are bright enough to be effective at high speed. My respectful suggestion is to use a light with decent optics and enjoy the best of both worlds.

User avatar
outnabike
Posts: 2455
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:53 pm
Location: Melbourne Vic

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby outnabike » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:44 am

98octane wrote:[quote="Yes, that's true. But a bright broad light is very handy for the dark, twisting or dilapidated parts of the paths. I need to see tree roots, sticks, pit lits, pot holes, possums and other dangers well in advance at speeds of 35-50kph.
Snipped
By the way 5 pages on the subject here......viewtopic.php?f=12&t=69533&p=1142172&hi ... s#p1142172" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I reckon there isn't enough adjusting the light to circumstance, and the but I want is the deciding factor. The problem is that everyone always falls back on the lowest common denominator in applying some thing to themselves . We all do it though. :)

The motorist; I have to go slowly behind them bikes for 10 kays.
The ped; Bikes are always trying to kill me on the paths.
The cyclist; I travel at 50 km ph on twisted tree gnarled dilapidated tracks; I need that light for my safety. :)

So the voice of reason gets diluted with perceived wants and the actual needs are swamped by perceptions. Its human nature and we all do it. I find when I need them the dyno wheel lights do a good job. They seem to work better turned down to the real road requirement rather than up to try to see further ahead than I need.

I suggest that if you have a need to do 50 kph on tracks that twist and turn,that are also steep, you are a likely candidate to check out the local hospital waiting room. There , you see, I too have gone to the enth degree with that statement. :)
Vivente World Randonneur complete with panniers

User avatar
Xplora
Posts: 8272
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:33 am
Location: TL;DR

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:01 am

Colin and octane98 has summed up my views. Bike paths are often TERRIBLE for visibility. The design standards do not require lighting, and in order to maintain any safety you need a fairly robust light, and doesn't always get positioned well. I haven't used a helmet light but I am guessing it is even worse than the handlebar lights for dazzling. Bike paths are not roads - they often wind a lot, they have foliage in the way, they have sticks and branches at head height and on the ground. Your light requirements are far greater on some bike paths than expected.

I would also state that my 900 lumen magicshine was mainly used on low power, because my night vision wasn't good enough to adjust to the changing light levels as I wound through the twists and turns on my old commute. I found I needed high power if going fast (45+kmh) down hills on the roads though, to get advance warning of potholes on the road, as well as tell drivers I existed.

I imagine we could expect more regulation ala Germany around cycling lights if bikes start to get more "rights" on the road, and fair enough too. I imagine we'd do it for pedestrians too if they were dazzling everyone (not just the pretty ones at the beach) :lol:

User avatar
clackers
Posts: 2065
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby clackers » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:21 am

98octane wrote: But a bright broad light is very handy for the dark, twisting or dilapidated parts of the paths. I need to see tree roots, sticks, pit lits, pot holes, possums and other dangers well in advance at speeds of 35-50kph.
Remember the person riding the other way also needs to see those hazards in front of their wheel, not cop a light in the face! :)

98octane
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby 98octane » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:54 am

clackers wrote:
98octane wrote: But a bright broad light is very handy for the dark, twisting or dilapidated parts of the paths. I need to see tree roots, sticks, pit lits, pot holes, possums and other dangers well in advance at speeds of 35-50kph.
Remember the person riding the other way also needs to see those hazards in front of their wheel, not cop a light in the face! :)
I know, so I keep the light pointed slightly down. Very few other cyclists inbound at night when I ride.

User avatar
clackers
Posts: 2065
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:48 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby clackers » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:36 pm

98octane wrote:
I know, so I keep the light pointed slightly down.
Good man! [thumbup]

User avatar
casual_cyclist
Posts: 7758
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:41 am
Location: Kewdale

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby casual_cyclist » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:28 pm

I have ay-ups which used to be pretty bright but are dim in comparison. I run mine so they point at the ground in front of the bike (not right in front obviously) but I find them quite sufficient for my purposes.

I find many of the lights dazzle me if I look at them... so I don't. If you see bright lights approaching you can look down and to the left and follow the edge of the path visually to keep yourself on track. I learned that years ago when learning to drive. If an oncoming driver forgets to dip their high beam, look to the left and use the edge of the road as a guide.

I have noticed that some oncoming bike lights are more dazzling than oncoming cars. I believe that's down to optics. Car lights have "cut offs" to protect oncoming drivers. I wonder if the same thing could be done for bike lights and what effect it would have on the beam.

Image
<removed by request>

User avatar
il padrone
Posts: 22931
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:30 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:I have noticed that some oncoming bike lights are more dazzling than oncoming cars. I believe that's down to optics. Car lights have "cut offs" to protect oncoming drivers. I wonder if the same thing could be done for bike lights and what effect it would have on the beam.
What I was saying above about the B&M dynamo lights and other German lights like the Phillips. They have a clear horizon.

Another point about them (and a failing in the concept of dipping the possum-fryers to avoid dazzle) is that these good optics include a beam that gets greadually brighter higher in the beam, with the brightest sector just below the cut-off. Against a vertical wall they will show up with a variation in brightness like this:

Image


This results in an even beam with better distance reach.

Image

Turning such a light upside down would be disastrous for the beam qualities. A dipped concentric beam will give you a very bright sector about 10-20m in front, then the beam brightness will drop off rapidly at any greater distance.

Image
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

User avatar
Xplora
Posts: 8272
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:33 am
Location: TL;DR

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby Xplora » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:19 pm

Some of us can't afford fancy schmancy quality dynamo lights, pad... although looking at how much I paid for a power meter, I'm inclined to think that statement is bulldust, and priorities are clearly "monitor how awesome I am" instead of "ride safely between two points". *looks at scar tissue* :oops:

User avatar
il padrone
Posts: 22931
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: Let's be smarter-dazzling lights & 2 up on narrow paths-

Postby il padrone » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:33 pm

Xplora wrote:Some of us can't afford fancy schmancy quality dynamo lights, pad... although looking at how much I paid for a power meter, I'm inclined to think that statement is bulldust, and priorities are clearly "monitor how awesome I am" instead of "ride safely between two points". *looks at scar tissue* :oops:
This really IS the key - priorities.

I wouldn't give you $5 for a power-meter (is that something to measure the electrical output of my dynohub ;) ), yet very many cyclists rate the use of lights even as a low priority, never mind their optical quality and safety/consideration for other road users.

Before I bought my SON28 and B&M lights I considered how much I would be paying to repair lights (or brakes, transmission, etc) on my car. Or just get a service done. Then the price for these lights became a lot less of an issue. It is something that is crucial to my road safety; why would I be penny-pinching about it?
Mandatory helmet law?
"An unjustified and unethical imposition on a healthy activity."

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users