Yes this increasingly common method of light fixing is not great and I did toy with the idea of taking a a more secure bracket off another light and swapping them over, but after wrapping some old inner tube around the bars before fitting, this seems to be holding the light exactly where I want it to be.
But if I was still commuting regularly in the dark then my opinion may be different.
I don't mind the beam pattern tbh and the light does go all over the place, but with this type of medium power light this is best for being visible in traffic I think.
I know many people will only consider lights with a beam cutoff but it borders on being obsessive with some.
I understand that many people will not agree with me (quite normal, ask my partner!) and unfortunately in my humble opinion, the ‘collective dynamics of opinion’ that the internet encourages is one of it’s many downfalls!
But If we are talking about low to medium power cycle lights, then the last thing that I would deem as being desirable is that the beam is cut off so that all the light is directed at the road.
OK I get it if we are talking about cycling down an unlit country lane or track but when cycling in an urban environment surrounded by light from shop windows, other vehicles and street lights etc when the ambient light level is high, then in the battle to be seen, I want all my available light to be heading for all other people in the vicinity’s retinas and that includes people driving vehicles as well as pedestrians on the pavement or crossing the road.
By directing all your available light at the ground in those circumstances is surely just asking for a SMIDSY event to take place?
Just to reiterate I am talking about low to medium power lights here, the power of which is open for debate obviously but just lets say for the sake of argument all lights below 500 lumen are classed as low to medium power.
So all lights above 500 lumen get the top of the beam cut off, and most light is directed at the road from that light, then in those circumstances there is maybe enough stray light to make you visible. to the hypothetical very tired guy driving the tipper truck who is just about to pull out in front of you.
Now of course if the light on your bike (or helmet) is of comparative power to the motorised vehicles around you and lets say for arguments sake a single car or motorcycle low-beam headlight is about 600 lumen and typical high-beam headlight is 1200 lumen, and these type of power cycle lights are quite common as I’m sure you will agree, then as responsible road users we have a duty not to point this sort of light into the eyes of people in charge of potentially dangerous machinery, ie people driving cars and lorry’s etc on the road.
So I would wholeheartedly agree that the 600 or so to 1200 plus lumen lights on bikes require reflectors, that form the light into a road user friendly shape and a beam pattern, that has a horizontal cutoff, to prevent dazzling oncoming traffic in a way that the German StVZO standard dictates.
Surely though for low power lights this is counter productive and down right dangerous?
My experience of cycling at night in recent years is that many modern car lights are far too bright and dazzling and i’m sure they can’t all be out of alignment or have illegal light unit upgrades installed?
How on earth do you have any hope of being seen when out on the road if all of your low to medium level of light output is directed at the road and not where other people can see it?
Most lights can be run at a lower setting if required or with a little experiment pointed at the road so as not to cause any problems, and still have enough light 'spillage' for other road users to see you, but to insist on only using cycle lights regardless of light output have a beam cut off is madness and not a philosophy I intend to be endorsing any time soon.
Sorry I value my life too much!