"Weapons Grade" Lighting.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Drake
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby Drake » 5 Dec 2014, 8:39pm

simonineaston wrote:As a regular user of both my bicycles and my car at night, all I can add is that the increasing use of super-bright lights installed in whatever sort of vehicle simply results in my not being able to see the road and other road users properly - sure I register the presence of the light/s, but once dazzled, I can no longer discern accurately any detail sufficient to make a safe judgement about distances, gaps and road boundaries... Somewhat counter productive, I'd say...

Absolutely agree with your there.

Brucey
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby Brucey » 6 Dec 2014, 11:01am

I've ridden tens of thousands of night-time miles over many years, mostly using hub generators, and mostly without incident. I did 25 miles last night (using a 2.9W dynamo powered LED headlight) and the most trouble I had was from one car (didn't dip lights when oncoming on a quiet road, got shouted at) and two or three 'Weapons Grade Wallys'.

WGW #1 rode immediately behind me on a short stretch of twisty singletrack cycle path set on the right side of a busy road. He sat immediately behind me, weaving from side to side unpredictably, causing me to ride in my own shadow. His light was so bright that I could see nothing in my shadow where I was to be riding; between that, the twisty path, his weaving, and the oncoming car lights I damn nearly came off. Unable to wait (or something) for the 100 yard narrow stretch to finish, he decided to ride on the road instead. I carried on at the same pace as before (about 15-17 mph, trying not to get too sweaty, having to slow for the lumpy bits on the path) and after a mile he was, oooh, about ten yards ahead or so. What a Wally.

WGWs #2 and #3 rode towards me two abreast, occupying the full width of the path I was on. Their lights were set low and appeared to be angled upwards. They were so bright I couldn't even look at them, even a glance was actually painful. The lamps had unshrouded emitters. They pulled in line astern as they came towards me but this was scant consolation; I was completely blinded and could easily have ridden into the hedge, into them or out into the road. I confess I shouted at them; 'do those ******* things come with a dipped beam...?'

So considering I saw several hundred cars and maybe two dozen bikes, I can only conclude that round where I am, there are far more idiots with antisocial/illegal lights riding bikes than driving cars. Years ago I wouldn't have given this notion any credence whatsoever. How times change.

cheers
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simonineaston
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Location: Bristol - work in... Yate!

Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby simonineaston » 6 Dec 2014, 12:36pm

Drake wrote:How times change.
They do indeed - and all in the name of 'progress' too! How ironic... The strangest thing is this: said blinders are in exactly the same position as the blinded, experiencing the same cycle-path, the same dark night the same oncoming cyclists, and yet somehow lack the wit to realise what their super-bright lights can do... what sad conclusions we must draw. (although I suppose they may not have experienced the shadow effect you describe... better let that WGW off!)
On another note, I was slightly amused by another less-than-happy side-effect of progress... I have recently nearly mastered digitising my music and was happily listening to some last night in the kitchen having chosen it by searching and finding the tracks I fancied on my iPhone. This is all done without wires, you understand! How pleased I was until the moment when I flipped the microwave on to heat the soup for my first course - 10 seconds later the music cut out as the microwave grabbed the radio channel!! Pah! Progress ain't all it's cracked to be, eh?
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

oldstrath
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby oldstrath » 6 Dec 2014, 12:57pm

Clearly I live in a rather different place from many here - my riding is almost entirety rural, on unlit roads or offroad. Dedicated cycle paths barely exist, and those that do don't go where I need to be. I don't meet many other cyclists, except on weekend popular routes or on club runs, and hardly any at night, except on organised group rides. But (or maybe So) I have never had a real problem from another rider's lights. My problems are from badly adjusted or excessive car lights; dozy, demented (I suspect that this an completely accurate label for some) or over aggressive drivers who really shouldn't be in charge of a cat, let alone a car; and unlit ninja riders.

No, I don't think all drivers are bad, nor all cyclists good, but I'll take being briefly dazzled over being driven into by a texting twerp any day. When someone makes a proper main and dipped beam headlight I'll happily buy it (although maybe stvzo prohibits such things). Until then I make choices based on my, very subjective I agree, assessment of the dangers.

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gaz
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Location: Kent, car park of England

Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby gaz » 6 Dec 2014, 1:19pm

Be careful what you wish for: Philips Activeride :wink:

No personal experience of the beast, neither can I find any reference to StVZO compliance. Certainly meets your criteria for dip and full beam.
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby reohn2 » 6 Dec 2014, 2:09pm

Just posted my latest 'beam arrester' for the cheap Chinese Cree light that I bought to 'let there be light'
in similar riding conditions to oldstrath's.
I have total sympathy with Brucey in his present encounters,I've experienced riding into my own shadow,unable to see a bla@@y thing scenario and left the guilty goonie in no doubt about my feelings and there's another one who I've had coming the other way a couple of times with an unshrouded similar WGL to my Cree which wouldn't be so bad if we weren't on a canal towpath :shock: albeit a wide one.
I really don't know what you do with idiots like that other than either have a chat,slim chance,and if you do would they care enough to do something about it? :?
I doing all I can not to dazzle with my light,but it's easily pointed upward should the need arise :D
I'm a good lad I am :) until dazzled that is :wink:
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oldstrath
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby oldstrath » 6 Dec 2014, 4:19pm

gaz wrote:Be careful what you wish for: Philips Activeride :wink:

No personal experience of the beast, neither can I find any reference to StVZO compliance. Certainly meets your criteria for dip and full beam.

No, it doesn't meet STVZO standards. The consensus on German forums seems to be that it doesn't do either job all that brilliantly. The nearest I've got is to use a fork crown mounted Luxus and a T6 torch on the bars. It worked, but faffing with even that switch was less than perfect - something like the Lumicycle toggle would be ideal. I know, build it yourself, but not sure my electronics are up to thst challenge.

reohn2
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby reohn2 » 6 Dec 2014, 4:51pm

Whilst we're on the subject,I bought a Smart Lunar rear R1 1 watt light earlier in the week from here:- http://www.highonbikes.com/smart-lunar- ... light.html (great to deal with BTW,super quick turnaround)
Anyway I wasn't prepared for just how ''BRIGHT'' this thing is :shock: ,it was bought predominantly for when I'm riding into a low sunset,which I tend to do more than I'd like at this time of year,one thing's for sure it'll deter wheel suckers :) .I used it for the first time yesterday and could've sworn I was getting more room from cars,they were definitely staying further back.
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I cycle therefore I am.

edocaster
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby edocaster » 6 Dec 2014, 6:38pm

For those complaining about riding into their own shadow, a dipped beam won't really help with that, unless we simply mean a beam (whether of cut-off type or not) no longer aimed very far up the road.

I think we can all agree that lights for all kinds of vehicles are brighter than they used to be, all with the capability of inducing a certain degree of dazzle. Dipped beams in cars seem brighter and, of course, a significant proportion of these will be adjusted too high, or spend time going over bumps or cresting hills. Plus a significant number of drivers will also use main beam indiscriminately. That's not even mentioning daytime running lights which are now mandatory, come from small light sources, and are frequently used beyond pure daylight conditions.

Yet, despite all this, the evidence suggests that - for cars at least - the roads are a safer place, with fewer collisions. See: http://road-collisions.dft.gov.uk/

The gradual decline in collisions or accidents resulting in slight casualties suggests a general shift in population, as older groups are replaced with newer groups through natural attrition, rather than a sudden event such as a change in law. I would believe that it's the car models which are being replaced over time, with some aspects of newer cars helping to reduce accident rates. Numerous innovations could be credited with this positive trend, but it's clear that increased and brighter lighting has at least not caused the accident rate to rise.

Of course, if the trend is not down to the gradual turnover of vehicle models, the only other significant population seeing turnover would be the drivers - so some might choose to believe that we have been shifting from a generation of accident-prone drivers to newer, more considerate and careful drivers...

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CyberKnight
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby CyberKnight » 7 Dec 2014, 7:20pm

I have used an xml t6 for a couple of years with no issues on unlit country lanes at non rush hour times and i only had to replace the battery pack after 2 years , mainly i think as i dropped it onto concrete which i can hardly blame the seller for as it still worked but did not hold charge .
John Wayne: "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on... I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them."

manybikes
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby manybikes » 7 Dec 2014, 7:45pm

Many years ago I was advised that wearing yellow tinted glasses at night helped to prevent dazzle. I haven't ridden in the dark for years but did so last week for just a couple of miles.
My observation is that my own light also looked yellow and therefore less effective in illuminating the road. Clear lenses meant I saw more of my surroundings. However I was not put in a position to be dazzled so did not compare the lenses for that effect.
So you current, experienced and frequent night time riders - is there any truth that yellow lenses help? What do you do?

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simonineaston
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby simonineaston » 7 Dec 2014, 8:31pm

Fondly recall the nights when we all used pathetic under-volted incandescents - at least my night-vision worked back then...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

rmurphy195
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Location: South Birmingham

Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby rmurphy195 » 7 Dec 2014, 11:10pm

simonineaston wrote:Fondly recall the nights when we all used pathetic under-volted incandescents - at least my night-vision worked back then...

Walking through the park earlier, in the near dark, everything went black, nearly tripped over something. Why - bike appeared coming towards us with luvverly bright lights nicely angled to blind us from a distance of about 20-30 feet. Twin lights, one flashing - completley destroyed vision and caused confusion over distance/speed/precise location of the oncoming bike. If I'd been riding a bike I'd have probably crashed into him/her!

Funny thing is since they were angled up, I guess he/she wouldn't have been able to see what he was riding on either!
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

Brucey
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Re: "Weapons Grade" Lighting.

Postby Brucey » 7 Dec 2014, 11:38pm

edocaster wrote:For those complaining about riding into their own shadow, a dipped beam won't really help with that....


uh, well, maybe. But then again maybe not. The problem only exists if someone has a single, exceptionally bright light (far brighter than a car headlight) and insists on riding very close, immediately behind you. Offset to one side, or with two lights, there is absolutely no problem, because you are not riding into a dark shadow; in fact (in the absence of mirrors) up to a point it is usually a positive benefit to have someone behind you, as long as it isn't a WGW like the one I met.

cheers
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