Rear bike light too bright.

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georgefromvt   1 kW

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Rear bike light too bright.

Post by georgefromvt » Aug 10 2017 2:38pm

Biked last night, driver stopped to complain about my bike light. "Almost blinded me" was the driver's complaint. Anyone else receive complaints for too bright/distractive lights?
https://www.rei.com/product/110174/cygo ... bike-light

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cal3thousand   1.21 GW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by cal3thousand » Aug 10 2017 5:24pm

Just aim it downward a bit. It's likely that it was flashing at the exact angle to be right in his eye.

Set your bike up and walk 30 - 50 feet away and see how it looks from a driver's point.

I usually like my headlights bright. Taillights only need a modicum of light for you to be seen.
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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by amberwolf » Aug 11 2017 1:57am

Some notes on lighting (edited from a recommendation post made to another member), based on experiments and observations over many years of riding, mostly in traffic, some on bike paths:


Keep in mind that the smaller the lights are, the less likely they are to be seen (in daylight). Making them brighter does NOT make up for that. (I've tried out a lot of lighting setups over the years, long before I started adding motors to the bikes)

Brighter lights that are very small, especially "pinpoint", are distracting or even painful to look at in the dark, especially if the eye has adjusted to the darkness, and especially with narrow-angle LEDs with little or no diffusion.

The larger the lit surface area is, the more likely they are to be seen, even at a lower brightness level, day or night.

LED stuff generally will be lower power and probably lighter weight, but you should still use the ones with the biggest lit-up surface areas you can get or make.


Also, especially at night, the smaller the lights are the more likely others on the road are to judge that you are still far away, and that they have plenty of time (even when they don't) to do whatever they're gonna do.

The larger the lights are the closer you look, and the more likely others are to hesitate before running you over in a dumb maneuver.

People have been trained to judge distances by the size of lights on cars and traffic lights, so lights about the size of your hand (posed in a "stop" gesture, but sideways) or larger are about right for getting them to judge your distance correctly.

They may still misjudge your *speed*, but that's another subject. ;)



And a bright pinpoint light at night may actually make someone look *away* from you (because it may hurt their night-adjusted eyes) where the same overall brightness spread out on a larger surface area is much easier to look at and won't cause them to look away.



Downlighting, like the LED strips I have on the bottom of the handlebars, cargo rack, and downtube of SB Cruiser, will light up the road around you and make you look larger (and closer), and more visible overall.


My lighting has gotten more positive comments than anything else about any of my bikes, inluding from law enforcement. :)

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Chalo   100 GW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by Chalo » Aug 11 2017 2:16am

When drivers stop using, and cops stop accepting, the "I didn't see him" excuse for murdering cyclists, that's when I'll begin considering complaints about any cyclist's taillight being too bright.
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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by dogman dan » Aug 11 2017 6:49am

Win win, he saw, you lived.

But I do agree, some of the really small lightweight lights used on racing bikes are undiffused led's that while not damaging like a laser, do annoy plenty.

Yet,, a dork without the sense not to stare at it is not your problem. And anyway, it does have a nice diffuser on it.

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by MadRhino » Aug 11 2017 2:23pm

One the best invention for biking safety, is the Lucid brake light. It is not very bright but big enough to be seen in daylight, and automaticly much brighter when you are braking, that is detected with deceleration sensor. It does work with batteries so you can clip it anywhere, and portable to any bike that you ride.
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georgefromvt   1 kW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by georgefromvt » Aug 12 2017 10:02pm

MadRhino wrote:One the best invention for biking safety, is the Lucid brake light. It is not very bright but big enough to be seen in daylight, and automaticly much brighter when you are braking, that is detected with deceleration sensor. It does work with batteries so you can clip it anywhere, and portable to any bike that you ride.


The Lucid looks great but how many lumens? My hotshot is 150 lumen, visible even in the day time. I might give the Lucid a try after my Hotshots die or are stolen. Looks like the Lucid folks are handing out their lights at WNBR, gets plenty of attention. Thanks.
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https://www.rei.com/product/110174/cygo ... bike-light
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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by Raged » Aug 15 2017 3:34pm

I use raypal comet lights from ebay which are bright and give a good flood. They're knock off of a moon comet. (I do also have a real moon comet), and the only difference is that the original has a longer lasting battery. When the original raypal battery dies, I'll just pop in the latest 18650. And since they're under $15 each with all mounting hardware, I just carry a spare. I do carry a powerbank in the backpack as well if I'm out in the middle of no where without lights/phone.
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speedmd   100 MW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by speedmd » Aug 16 2017 2:11pm

If your tail light is not pissing off everyone behind you, it is way too dim. :lol:

I have tried a few and also found that folks tend to stay further away with more dispersed lighting format. The smaller single beams are also easily masked. I like the newer Knog four light rear very much. I have been using the older style. In alternating flash mode, it is hard not to see and not too annoying. Image

Newer style has a larger single beam mode option but not too sure it is much of an improvement.
Image

The little MOB kicks butt for such a small head lamp. I use it mostly in flash mode when lighting starts to dim. Folks can see it for certain. Attachments need some additional security for heavy off road apps.

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miro13car   1 MW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by miro13car » Aug 17 2017 3:43pm

150 lumens to bright?
is the driver kidding?
What about all those illegal car headlights blinding others?

georgefromvt   1 kW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by georgefromvt » Aug 23 2017 8:58pm

I broke down and purchased two Lucid bike lights. First impression: appreciate the automatic on/off and sleep mode. Mode is set by orientation, no programming required. Con: could be brighter. My hotshot lights easily outshine the lucids but I do like the braking mode. Hope to see more bike lights w automatic on/off, sleep mode and braking mode. Lack of mounting hardware limits placement. Velcro is fine but no substitute for real hardware. Larger battery for longer life; " moderate riding, several weeks", I guess I'll be changing my batteries frequently.
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Last edited by georgefromvt on Aug 23 2017 9:29pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by MadRhino » Aug 23 2017 9:28pm

Yep. That is what I told you: Not very bright, but brighter when you brake.

You will like them. The battery does last, and they survive extreme weather.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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georgefromvt   1 kW

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by georgefromvt » Aug 23 2017 9:30pm

MadRhino wrote:Yep. That is what I told you: Not very bright, but brighter when you brake.

You will like them. The battery does last, and they survive extreme weather.
Thanks. I'll mount them tomorrow. I really appreciate the automatic on/off design.

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Re: Rear bike light too bright.

Post by Raisedeyebrows » Feb 04 2018 1:08am

Decided to give one of these Meilan X5 Smart Tailights a try and see how it works, the thing has blinkers, brake light sensor function and red lazers that shine on the ground in back of you. The indicator switch is one more thing up on the cockpit but I figured it might be worth it for the safety factor the unit offers. So far I've charged it and played with the functions a bit- it's a real cool bit of kit, I'm impressed for about $35.00 USD. The blinkers flash left to right or right to left, very visible.
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Added: now I see I could have got it for under $30.00:

https://www.amazon.com/Meilan-Rechargea ... B01FLMMDOM
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