Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

james01
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Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby james01 » 31 Mar 2013, 3:18pm

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/new ... 238554.ece

(You can't see the whole of the article unless you're a subscriber).The article goes on to say that the road safety minister Stephen Hammond is hoping to come forward with revised lighting regulations later this year. It's not clear from the article whether he means in the context of cycles or all vehicles. Let's hope they look at limiting some of the eye-wateringly bright car lights which are becoming the norm.

Mark1978
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Mark1978 » 31 Mar 2013, 4:20pm

Whatever the regs are they need to make sure that cars and bicycles at least have parity. The last thing we want is for bicycles to have lights restricted to less than that enjoyed by motor vehicles.

TonyR
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby TonyR » 31 Mar 2013, 4:31pm

The Times and Sunday Times seem to be schizophrenic about cyclists. One minute they are campaigning for them and the next they are attacking them.

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gaz
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby gaz » 31 Mar 2013, 4:52pm

This post from CJ in the middle of a lighting thread may be illuminating of the direction in which laws and standards are moving: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=70744&p=614398#p614614

The requirements for cycle lighting performance certainly need review. Finding a BS6102/3 rear light in a real world shop isn't easy (a bit simpler on-line).

Can anyone find a new BS6102/3 front light anywhere?
It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

mark a.
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby mark a. » 31 Mar 2013, 4:58pm

Does the article say how the light output is measured? An LED might be brighter than a headlight, but then it occupies a smaller area so overall light output might be lower. Or what about shape of the beam? My B&M light is bright, but it's shaped to be a low beam.

I know that some lights are crazily bright, sometimes offensively so especially for pedestrians on otherwise dark bridleways.

But of all the things cycle-related it's probably not the number 1 priority for the government to sort. They need to get the whole "British Standard" lighting thing sorted first, considering that virtually all lights sold today are "non-standard".*

*Edit: As gaz ^^^ and CJ said.

kwackers
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby kwackers » 31 Mar 2013, 5:52pm

It's hardly surprising is it? Even on here you'll find folk that advocate running the brightest lights. 'Clamping' down was an ever increasingly likely scenario, was just a matter of when.

I'd take issue with the idea that any 'popular' lights are brighter than car headlights though. They may be more blinding since most don't have cut offs etc but I've never seen anything that lights the road even remotely as well as a car headlight.

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Mick F
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Mick F » 31 Mar 2013, 6:42pm

What about torches?
What's to stop a pedestrian walking along a road at night with a million candle power torch?

Yes, I know that we cyclists are riding a bike that is a "vehicle" and therefore have to obey vehicular laws. If they clamp down on lighting, they must also clamp down on reflectors, pedal reflectors, brakes, riding "no hands", hand signals, RLJing, lane discipline ........................ etc.
Mick F. Cornwall

Geriatrix
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Geriatrix » 31 Mar 2013, 8:09pm

mark a. wrote:Does the article say how the light output is measured? An LED might be brighter than a headlight, but then it occupies a smaller area so overall light output might be lower.

I suspect that's true. I had a set of fairly bright Blackburn lights that I was using on unlit rural roads, but they were not bright enough to prevent me from casting a shadow from the headlights of cars approaching from the rear.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 31 Mar 2013, 9:08pm

Any restriction on lighting must apply to all vehicles surely?!??!

I'd love to limit vehicle lights, but since it now seems to be obligatory to run a million watts of LEDs all day long...

I can't spare that much power...

More importantly are the "limits for dipped lights" actually known?
Are we pulling motorists over who have failed to adjust their lights according to the load in their vehicles...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
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snibgo
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby snibgo » 1 Apr 2013, 8:42am

The Sunday Times wrote:... eight of the lights exceeded the legal maximum level for dipped car headlights.

But the question is, "So what?"

I don't advocate dazzling drivers or anyone else, of course. But does the Sunday Times have evidence that these lights cause problems? How many cars have accidents because drivers were dazzled by cycle lights? How many drivers run into cyclists and excuse themselves with SMYLFME (Sorry mate your lights fried my eyeballs)?

If, as I suspect, there is no evidence at all of any problem, then it's just bluster -- Uppity cyclists shouldn't be allowed to have more powerful lights than us!

Mark1978
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Mark1978 » 1 Apr 2013, 9:12am

The problem is all about adjustment and nothing to do with power. It's just power is easy to regulate.

After all car headlights put out the same power if they are on dipped or on full beam but it's directed differently.

Car headlights on full beam can certainly cause major problems. As can the likes of 4x4s which have high lights shining right into my eyes when I'm driving home in the winter.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Apr 2013, 9:15am

kwackers wrote:It's hardly surprising is it? Even on here you'll find folk that advocate running the brightest lights. 'Clamping' down was an ever increasingly likely scenario, was just a matter of when.





I run a 1600 Lumen set of lights yet daily have people pull out because they "haven't seen me" On Friday night there was a classic. 20 feet away car pulls out of junction and stops as I sound the AirZound. Lit like a searchlight and then says "I didn't see you mate"

As long as there are the muppets who cannot see lights then they will be brighter.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Apr 2013, 9:19am

kwackers wrote:I'd take issue with the idea that any 'popular' lights are brighter than car headlights though. They may be more blinding since most don't have cut offs etc but I've never seen anything that lights the road even remotely as well as a car headlight.


That is the point. There is no need for anything more than the cheapest and simplest optics

If there is legislation then it should perhaps include a beam description (as with car lights) that manufacturers need to comply with

Mark1978
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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Mark1978 » 1 Apr 2013, 9:20am

You could have lights stronger than a flash from a thermonuclear device. But if the driver is checking for cars he still won't see you.

After all motorcycles still have that problem despite having proper headlights.

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Re: Govt to limit power of cycle lights ?

Postby Geriatrix » 1 Apr 2013, 9:26am

I wonder how much of the problem is due to poorly adjusted lights - LED's that are not sufficiently dipped, or lights that are on the wrong setting because it's difficult to toggle them to a more appropriate setting.

The switches on all the lights I have owned are poorly positioned, difficult to operate with gloved hands, and don't toggle conveniently between appropriate road modes, so a light mode will switch from bright to not so bright, to dim, to high frequency flashing, to low frequency flashing... Car lights are simpler, toggling between bright and dim with an easy to operate switch. How come manufacturers missed that concept with bicycle lights?
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled - Richard Feynman


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