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Don't be a d!ck. Point your lights down.

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  • seajaysseajays Posts: 331
    Does anything use D sized batteries these days? :mrgreen:

    My automatic sensor kitchen bin lid uses four of them. :P
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  • It's weird. 5 years of daily commuting in to central London and this never bothers me. I clearly encounter the same people as many are complaining about but I can think of only one or two times in the 5 years where I have been truly "blinded". I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me. Might be luck but that's a lot of luck for 5 years of 32 mile round trips.

    There's a bit of me thinks that people need to stop obsessing about it and learn not to look at the "offending" light. It can become an obsession - a bit like the camera wearers looking for trouble?
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  • BobMcbob wrote:
    CS3 along cable Street is particularly bad, lost count of how many times I've been temporarily blinded by oncoming tards with strobes on their helmets

    Was just about to post exactly this!!!

    It's already started too. Cnuts the lot of them.
  • mpdouglas wrote:
    It's weird. 5 years of daily commuting in to central London and this never bothers me. I clearly encounter the same people as many are complaining about but I can think of only one or two times in the 5 years where I have been truly "blinded". I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me. Might be luck but that's a lot of luck for 5 years of 32 mile round trips.

    There's a bit of me thinks that people need to stop obsessing about it and learn not to look at the "offending" light. It can become an obsession - a bit like the camera wearers looking for trouble?

    So on cable street (that me and Bob complained about) its a narrow 2 way cycle lane with peds one side and cars the other. The helmet mounted 20,000 lumen monstrosities genuinely leave you blinded for a few sec and if someone walks onto the path or some d*ck without lights in black is in your way (or does a lovely overtaking manoeuvre) you're in real danger of a collision. Theres also parts of it that are kerbed and not exactly straight and you could easily come a cropper on that.

    And also, if they care that little about other peoples safety then you can guarantee they are the same people jumping lights, not stopping at ped crossings and jumping on the pavement without warning...it's in their dna
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,384 Lives Here
    mpdouglas wrote:
    It's weird. 5 years of daily commuting in to central London and this never bothers me. I clearly encounter the same people as many are complaining about but I can think of only one or two times in the 5 years where I have been truly "blinded". I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me. Might be luck but that's a lot of luck for 5 years of 32 mile round trips.

    There's a bit of me thinks that people need to stop obsessing about it and learn not to look at the "offending" light. It can become an obsession - a bit like the camera wearers looking for trouble?

    Probably.

    It's bothered me recently on the embankment segregated path. It's hard enough as it is to pick out oncoming cyclists vs background traffic, and some dude blizzing past with some retina searing lights doesn't make it any easier to pick out the people (or not) around him (and let's face it, it's usually a bloke).
  • rower63rower63 Posts: 1,991
    I had the opposite problem one evening last winter. I was riding through Richmond Park in the dark south towards Robin Hood Gate. I became aware that something was not quite right, and then suddenly had to apply brakes and slow down abruptly. I'd been rapidly closing in on a slow-moving peloton, perhaps 10 riders, not one of whom had a rear light on. They were all but invisible. As I went past I said words to the effect of "WTF?". One guy responded "we don't want to get blinded".

    So again, WTF? :shock: :shock:

    But, on topic, I find myself often becoming Mr Angry on dark nights in RP for being dazzled.
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  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me.[/unquote]

    I think flashers serve a purpose - I used to use them but now I just have a really good, well engineered front light and don't feel the need. The point I would make is that humans register flashing lights really well but that means they don't need to be powerful at all. I think a combination of a powerful, well-shaped, dipped, constant front "seeing" light and a very low power horizontal flasher makes quite a lot of sense.

    But flashers have two big issues to be aware of:
    a) humans register them quickly but find it very difficult to judge distance off them
    b) depending on the frequency they can be very dazzling because they can mean your pupil is always running just behind the light level (pupil opens to adjust to the dark just in time to get zapped when it closes again so you can't see anything in the dark phase)
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,384 Lives Here
    jedster wrote:

    But flashers have two big issues to be aware of:
    a) humans register them quickly but find it very difficult to judge distance off them


    Ha.

    smallfar2.gif
  • My commute is about 50% unlit cycle path, I used to enjoy winter commuting but the unlit stretch is just really unpleasant these days thanks to knobheads with insanely bright lights.

    Without cars to worry about you really don't need a very bright light at all, your eyes adjust quite nicely.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    mpdouglas wrote:
    It's weird. 5 years of daily commuting in to central London and this never bothers me. I clearly encounter the same people as many are complaining about but I can think of only one or two times in the 5 years where I have been truly "blinded". I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me. Might be luck but that's a lot of luck for 5 years of 32 mile round trips.

    correlation does not imply causation though...and this is one of those endless debates in cycling (see also helmets) where peoples views are based on how theyve tackled the problem at hand, so you probably dont see the ridiculous nuclear reactor powered lights in the same way because youve kind of concluded they are needed as a visual aid for other road users.

    and its the same thing Ive heard whenever its been brought up, the riders with the stupidly powered lights, and dont get me started on the folk who also attach them to their crash lids who take 2 attempts at blinding people :evil: they say they need it to be seen properly and it clearly works because everyone has seen them :roll:
  • Saying all this, i'd love a nuclear reactor tiny very tight beam light (covering 30 cm spot at 10-15m) that's on my helmet that i can turn on by voice for 2-6 seconds so it points where i'm looking - either at the driver that's not seen me, or the pot hole that's not clear in the road.
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  • jds_1981jds_1981 Posts: 1,858
    awavey wrote:
    mpdouglas wrote:
    It's weird. 5 years of daily commuting in to central London and this never bothers me. I clearly encounter the same people as many are complaining about but I can think of only one or two times in the 5 years where I have been truly "blinded". I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me. Might be luck but that's a lot of luck for 5 years of 32 mile round trips.

    correlation does not imply causation though...and this is one of those endless debates in cycling (see also helmets) where peoples views are based on how theyve tackled the problem at hand, so you probably dont see the ridiculous nuclear reactor powered lights in the same way because youve kind of concluded they are needed as a visual aid for other road users.

    and its the same thing Ive heard whenever its been brought up, the riders with the stupidly powered lights, and dont get me started on the folk who also attach them to their crash lids who take 2 attempts at blinding people :evil: they say they need it to be seen properly and it clearly works because everyone has seen them :roll:

    I think it it also depends on where you commute. A magicshine coming the other way on a well lit road isn't too much bother (indeed, I've used myself on one blackspot road where I'd had a nasty incident).
    A quite bright light that is horizontally angled coming the other way on an unlit, narrower path will be enough to blind you, hence I use a standard light angled downwards for this.
    A pet peeve now is lots utility bikes have horizontal led lights run off dynamos and they usually edge on to the wrong side of being too bright.
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  • I'm one for a german style law on shaped bike light output to avoid this problem.
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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    While we are at it, we should ban Xenon headlights on cars - way too bright and anti-social, creating an arms race that bike riders get caught up in too. When driving a long way on motorway at night, all the bright lights are like people are driving on full beam all the time! When you are riding along an unlit road and one of these comes the other way, you need a bright light on your bike to be able to see the road ahead over the blinding glare.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,153
    The biggest issue I seem to have is the headlights on some of the new cars. A badly positioned bike light can be tricky on the eyes, but a couple of car headlights on full beam are downright dangerous. A couple of times on quiet roads I've had to stop because the car coming in the opposite direction completely blinded me.

    When it comes to cyclists and their lights most will just never learn. If you say something to a fellow cyclist you risk abuse, as once happened when I tried to helpfully point out that his rear light was completely obscured by his mudguard. Or they ignore you, as has happened with multiple people I told their rear light battery was dead (but saw them on subsequent nights with a still dead rear light). My favourite is always the woman who had a red light at the front and white at the back. When I politely suggested she sort that out she told me it would be too much hassle to swap them over.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    So these people that say I don't need a bright light on my "dark" commute, you all live in north London right?

    You would die with bells on down here in darkest Windshire, new potholes daily, road muck galore and so dark that no light can escape. Cars drive on the main road with full beams is so dark.

    When I put my lights on the sun & moon hide
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  • itboffin wrote:
    So these people that say I don't need a bright light on my "dark" commute, you all live in north London right?

    You would die with bells on down here in darkest Windshire, new potholes daily, road muck galore and so dark that no light can escape. Cars drive on the main road with full beams is so dark.

    When I put my lights on the sun & moon hide

    Yep.
    You must have this discussion each year, I remember looking up night light pollution data for windshire and comparing it to my area of the south downs national park dark skies area!
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
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  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 65,384 Lives Here
    itboffin wrote:
    So these people that say I don't need a bright light on my "dark" commute, you all live in north London right?

    You would die with bells on down here in darkest Windshire, new potholes daily, road muck galore and so dark that no light can escape. Cars drive on the main road with full beams is so dark.

    When I put my lights on the sun & moon hide

    Won't see the potholes if you don't point it down anyway.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    one down right in front one pointing down the road 100ft or so ahead, i ride these roads 7 days a week almost 365 days a year and still find new potholes daily, almost came off 1 mile from home, we have so many new housing builds going on the roads are covered in sand and stones which the lorries turn into potholes in just days
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  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,948
    itboffin wrote:
    So these people that say I don't need a bright light on my "dark" commute, you all live in north London right?

    You would die with bells on down here in darkest Windshire, new potholes daily, road muck galore and so dark that no light can escape. Cars drive on the main road with full beams is so dark.

    When I put my lights on the sun & moon hide

    Ditto rural Bucks, with its amazing collection of man-sized potholes

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,896
    jedster wrote:
    But flashers have two big issues to be aware of:
    a) humans register them quickly but find it very difficult to judge distance off them
    I've always wondered if that's a good or a bad thing.
    If cars can't judge your speed/distance they should be more cautious and give more space/time to overtake and not pull out until they are sure they know where you are. Experience on the other hand doesn't back this up.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    jedster wrote:
    But flashers have two big issues to be aware of:
    a) humans register them quickly but find it very difficult to judge distance off them
    I've always wondered if that's a good or a bad thing.
    If cars can't judge your speed/distance they should be more cautious and give more space/time to overtake and not pull out until they are sure they know where you are. Experience on the other hand doesn't back this up.
    Same kind of principle as the idea that if you give roads poorer visibility (shrubs on roundabout approaches) and more hazards (choke points) then they're safer. Never been convinced.
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    jedster wrote:
    But flashers have two big issues to be aware of:
    a) humans register them quickly but find it very difficult to judge distance off them
    I've always wondered if that's a good or a bad thing.
    If cars can't judge your speed/distance they should be more cautious and give more space/time to overtake and not pull out until they are sure they know where you are. Experience on the other hand doesn't back this up.
    Seems a flawed argument.
    If they're not going to be cautious when they know where you are then they'll probably not be too cautious when they don't.

    If the intention is for them them to wait until they know where you are then a the end result should be the same - that they know where you are at the point when they're overtaking. If they only figure that out when they're close then they're more likely to make slightly erratic moves.
    Solid light to judge distance. Separate flashing light to draw attention, but not so bright that it draws attention away from the solid one (and ideally slightly separate).

    I've seen a few riders with a white light on the back. Pulled them up on it and was told they wanted to keep drivers guessing. Fcking idiots.
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  • dhope wrote:
    [.
    Solid light to judge distance. Separate flashing light to draw attention, but not so bright that it draws attention away from the solid one (and ideally slightly separate).
    .

    And preferably not a spot solid, but a bar/etc that can be seen to increase/decreases with distance.
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  • I'm one for a german style law on shaped bike light output to avoid this problem.

    The thing is, we already do have a law. All bike lights (capable of emitting a steady light) used on the road have to conform to British Standard 6102/3 or 'an equivalent EC Standard'
    Furthermore, it is illegal to use 'any lamp on a bicycle that might cause undue dazzle or discomfort to other users of the road'

    Trouble is - the law is not enforced. Bikes without amber pedal reflectors (if they were made in 1985 or newer) and red rear reflectors are also illegal during the hours of darkness. The majority of bikes I see (mine included!) have neither.
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 3,055
    edited September 2016
    Rhodrich wrote:
    I'm one for a german style law on shaped bike light output to avoid this problem.

    The thing is, we already do have a law. All bike lights (capable of emitting a steady light) used on the road have to conform to British Standard 6102/3 or 'an equivalent EC Standard'
    Furthermore, it is illegal to use 'any lamp on a bicycle that might cause undue dazzle or discomfort to other users of the road'

    Trouble is - the law is not enforced. Bikes without amber pedal reflectors (if they were made in 1985 or newer) and red rear reflectors are also illegal during the hours of darkness. The majority of bikes I see (mine included!) have neither.

    Yep, but 6102/3 doesnt' include a shaped light like the StVZO stuff, however a "dazzle" legality piece, would tie the two together. At the moment, it's almost impossible to actually buy a set of 6102/3 lights ( I know, I've tried) , and has been for a while, therefore correlation to "any" EU light standard. I'd prefer this to be replaced with a "German StVZO equivilant standard", making it clearer what is expected/desired, so you end up with "lights for road use" and "off road lights", same as you get in a car shop for bulbs that are "not for road use".
    It might reduce this problem by eventually removing the need to enforce the law on poor lights.

    Indeed, the law on lights/reflectors, like most laws, don't get enforced, and typically only becomes something that gets caught up when a civil claim is made.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
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  • twist83twist83 Posts: 761
    Pitch black country lanes with no lighting are slightly different than a commute into central London. 90% of my commute is just that.

    It is not an obsession at all for me. It's a I cannot see a fcuking thing after some ball bag cannot be bothered to aim his light correctly. :roll:


    mpdouglas wrote:
    It's weird. 5 years of daily commuting in to central London and this never bothers me. I clearly encounter the same people as many are complaining about but I can think of only one or two times in the 5 years where I have been truly "blinded". I run a flashing front light all year round and if that pi55e5 some folks off then I'm sorry, but I want to be seen by car drivers trying to pull out of side roads. I've seen enough documentaries about how little the human vision system actually sees to know that movement/flashing is vital. And strangely enough, virtually no-one has ever pulled out on me. Might be luck but that's a lot of luck for 5 years of 32 mile round trips.

    There's a bit of me thinks that people need to stop obsessing about it and learn not to look at the "offending" light. It can become an obsession - a bit like the camera wearers looking for trouble?
  • itboffin wrote:
    So these people that say I don't need a bright light on my "dark" commute, you all live in north London right?

    You would die with bells on down here in darkest Windshire, new potholes daily, road muck galore and so dark that no light can escape. Cars drive on the main road with full beams is so dark.

    When I put my lights on the sun & moon hide

    Won't see the potholes if you don't point it down anyway.

    depends on the beam shape, I have a MTB type light which I use like a cars full beam, and that lights the edge of my front wheel in, a big wide arch i.e. both sides of tracks/roads plus any low or not so low branches and throws light down the road some ridiculous distance, so I can see comfortably a long way, plus it will light up road signs at 1 kilometre away possibly more but haven't checked it on any longer roads.

    This works for me because most of my commute is a off road though Bushy Park and at times when it's rare to meet others, I do have a good wide light to be seen by, since the above light is unfriendly!
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 20,049
    I showed a colleague the video footage going home last night about 7:15 within 10s it went from setting sun daylight to so black he thought my 650lm light had failed, its no joke out in the boons go out without the right kit and the gruffalo will eat you.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • itboffin wrote:
    I showed a colleague the video footage going home last night about 7:15 within 10s it went from setting sun daylight to so black he thought my 650lm light had failed, its no joke out in the boons go out without the right kit and the gruffalo will eat you.

    "Silly old boffin, doesn't he know...." etc

    On a more serious note, having read lots of these threads over the years, I truly believe we have quite different sensitivities to light at night. Quite a few years of riding in the proper dark up in the Highlands, I never needed any uber-lights but I also find I'm dazzled quite a lot. The McGruffalo never ate me either.
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