Blindingly bright rear light

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sore thumb
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby sore thumb » 17 Nov 2013, 8:48pm

I find not getting killed because of poor cheap lights more important that what a few motorists think of me or cyclists in general.
To be honest, motorist are probably pleased to see a cyclist taking safety seriously and actually using lights.

thirdcrank
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby thirdcrank » 17 Nov 2013, 9:52pm

sore thumb wrote:I find not getting killed because of poor cheap lights more important that what a few motorists think of me or cyclists in general.
To be honest, motorist are probably pleased to see a cyclist taking safety seriously and actually using lights.


I don't think this thread was motivated by concerns about the difference between rubbish lights and decent ones and as Les Dawson might have said, the answer's in the thread title Blindingly bright rear light

I'll suggest that beyond a certain point, extra brightness achieves nothing, except perhaps if it's reserved for use only in fog etc. IMO, there's a difference between taking safety seriously and being unnecessarily inconsiderate.

DavidT
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby DavidT » 17 Nov 2013, 11:12pm

I have to admit that night cycling for me is relatively rare, although certainly not unkown - and I ought to do more. When I do, I happily rely on B&M Ixon and Toplights and/or Topeak or Cateye flashers. (Different bikes have a different set up, and it depends on where I'm riding). I do drive a lot at night/in the dark.

Surely one thing that is overlooked in the general arguement that "the brightest possible (and clearly excessive) lights are OK because at least the driver can see me" ignore the fact that at the same time they can be diverting a driver's attention away from other cyclists who are less obviously lit. Our peers may therefore be made more vulnerable in certain situations? Or is an arms race OK? Just a thought. Nobody seems to mention this aspect as an issue?

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meic
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby meic » 17 Nov 2013, 11:21pm

I have never thought of this as an issue, I have been on night rides alone, in pairs, small groups and mass participation. I always see it as mutually beneficial (even those with weapons grade lights), my first concern is alerting motorists to the fact that cyclists exist and are on that road at night.

Once they are aware of the herd I think that is the battle mostly won. I have seen motorists try and overtake and muscle in on cyclists part way through the group but I have never considered it was because they had weaker lights, just the same thoughtlessness that they exhibit in the daytime.
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DDW
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby DDW » 18 Nov 2013, 8:38am

If "weapons grade" lights are acceptable on bikes then I shall be driving round with my hi-beams on until I can properly upgrade my car too.
Everything is relative with proper perspective.

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meic
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby meic » 18 Nov 2013, 9:39am

A lot of motorists have already taken the lead on this and drive around with their foglights left permanently on.

I am always surprised at the level of fine imposed on motorists who the Police have booked for having front foglights on in normal night time conditions. It way exceeds the penalty for killing a cyclist!
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby [XAP]Bob » 18 Nov 2013, 10:12am

meic wrote:A lot of motorists have already taken the lead on this and drive around with their foglights left permanently on.

I am always surprised at the level of fine imposed on motorists who the Police have booked for having front foglights on in normal night time conditions. It way exceeds the penalty for killing a cyclist!

There is a fine? When was that last imposed. If I could take a 1% cut then I'd be a millionaire within a few hours.
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meic
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby meic » 18 Nov 2013, 10:54am

DDW wrote:If "weapons grade" lights are acceptable on bikes then I shall be driving round with my hi-beams on until I can properly upgrade my car too.


I did some research* on this and it is interesting that you have tried to turn it into a driver v cyclist issue.

Doing a google on the subject soon shows forums of Pistonheads who are arguing amongst themselves about this issue in a way that exactly mirrors what happens on this forum.

In their forum it is in inconsiderate selfish gits who think it looks cool to drive with foglights on against sensible roads users who are leaping to support and cheer the Police who slapped a ticket on them. :D

If the fashion of being inconsiderate with exceedingly bright cycle lights continues and if that law is imposed from outside as a punishment, you can bet it will not be one that is very good, establishing us with limits far below that given to the motorised users.

* well just a google really.
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Adam S
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby Adam S » 18 Nov 2013, 12:00pm

It could be a good thing. If cyclists were to start being fined for silly lights it could bring about a change in the lights stocked in shop. People would no longer tolerate the inability to walk into a bike shop and purchase a road legal light

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 18 Nov 2013, 12:45pm

Never really thought about absolute brightness as living in 'light polution central' I.e London its not really an issue but as I was looking to do a bit of touring thought that a more powerful light would be useful on those unlit country roads. Was cycling fully loaded down Moor Lane (A4145) in Watford at about 8pm recently and it was SO freaking dark it scared me silly even with my Exposure lighting on full power. No pavement and cars whooooshing past.

tatanab
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby tatanab » 18 Nov 2013, 1:00pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:Never really thought about absolute brightness as living in 'light polution central' I.e London its not really an issue but as I was looking to do a bit of touring thought that a more powerful light would be useful on those unlit country roads.
Whereas I think it is the other way around. In a city you might want a bright light to show up amongst all the other lights and clutter whereas in the dark country lanes you have nothing to compete with so a comparatively dim but large area light might be better.

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 18 Nov 2013, 1:03pm

tatanab wrote:Whereas I think it is the other way around. In a city you might want a bright light to show up amongst all the other lights and clutter whereas in the dark country lanes you have nothing to compete with so a comparatively dim but large area light might be better.

Interesting, never really thought about it like that. Wonder if any research on this has been done?

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meic
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby meic » 18 Nov 2013, 1:09pm

I dont know about research but as a driver and a cyclist, that is certainly my experience.
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Adam S
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby Adam S » 18 Nov 2013, 2:00pm

Certainly true for rear/be seen lights. It doesn't take much of a light to be visible from quite a long distance on an unlit road, they stand out like a sore thumb. Compare how bright a car rear/brakelight appears to be when following it through the countryside with those you sit behind in traffic jams in cities. Same with traffic lights at road works, they turn an unlit road red

LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Blindingly bright rear light

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 19 Nov 2013, 10:44am

Im not sure I totally agree with that insofar as the cheaper? lower powered? smaller? tend to get lost especially on faster more twisty roads. Also there seems to be a fad currently to place lights (front and rear) in odd places like a helmet. Look to the left or right and rear visibility is pretty much nil.