Blinded

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alan sherman
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Blinded

Postby alan sherman » Wed Nov 07, 2012 16:44 pm

Anyone else fed up with the two different approaches to blinding other road users?

Firstly - bloody blinky lights. They used to be fine if a bit annoying a few years back, but now they are super bright. on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off-on-off at a speed designed to induce dribbling fits and cause your iris to contract and dilate fast enough to go into spasm so rendering the eyeball blind. It seems it is not just the back lights with their dispersed beams, but now the focussed front lights including Chinese mega-million watt £25 bargain bin eyeball busters. A fews years back there were kits for motorbikes to v.quickly flash the main "for added visibility and safety". However now even moped riders, dogs, kids, runners and horses are being fitted with the damn things. Sometime they even get the red and the white facing the right way. In heavy traffic it is like being in a 90s rave and just adds confusion to an already congested scene.

Secondly - lights too high. Used to be the preserve of motorcyclists (who thought it would aid them getting seen) and car driving idiots who don't know what the blue light on the dash means. Now added to by the cyclist masses, especially those in Richmond Park. Oh, and it seems anyone with a flash car with HID lights, obviously the ballast upsets the dip setting so it is always too high :cry:


Anyway, add these two together and all these wonderful advances in light technology have effectively created periods of road use everyone is blind. Some are probably also having an epileptic fit. I'll be the one riding/driving/walking along one handed trying to shade their eyes.


Progress is great isn't it :?

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Daddy0
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Re: Blinded

Postby Daddy0 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 16:51 pm

alan sherman wrote:I'll be the one walking along one handed


Had to read that again.... :lol:

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Big_Paul
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Re: Blinded

Postby Big_Paul » Wed Nov 07, 2012 17:27 pm

Not a great fan of HID lights in cars, even on dip the bloody things can be blinding, coupled with the fact that a fair few are not set correctly it's just a PITA. Most motorcycles don't have easy beam levelling, so what's acceptable for the MOT goes out the window when there's somebody on the back, also 90% of BMW GS riders have those silly HID fog light things on like some bloody Ewan McGregor wannabe. I have a magicshine MJ-816 for daily riding, normally I use the 2x400 lumens for the simple reason the "big" 1000 lumen one is like a lightsabre. It's also very illegal to show a red light on the front of a vehicle, as you say sometimes the amount of flashing LEDS makes you want to do the "big fish, little fish cardboard box" dance.
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corshamjim
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Re: Blinded

Postby corshamjim » Wed Nov 07, 2012 18:40 pm

Yep. The invention of bright white LEDs has turned the night-time streetscape crazy. I'd like to hope the legislation will catch up some time, but the technology is moving so fast now somehow I doubt it ever will. :-(

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rubertoe
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Re: Blinded

Postby rubertoe » Wed Nov 07, 2012 19:45 pm

I just fitted a 2nd rear and new front!

Can't be any worse than the SUV drivers who's lights are at eye level for me, especially when the also have their fogs on as well.
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mikebikemike
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Re: Blinded

Postby mikebikemike » Wed Nov 07, 2012 19:55 pm

Agreed with the blinding comments, I have some fairly modest halogens which get pointed at the road and have prooved visible enough to others and light up pot holes etc.
On a wide cycle path this evening, it was utterly bewildering to face an uncoming mass of cyclists some with apparently no lights and others doing light house impressions with what I assume are the ebay 1000lumen jobs on flare mode. I had a really bad day at work today so put my head down and pointed my bike towards Mr Lighthouse and left it up to him to eff off out the way. I'm pleased to say he did, as I know it's not the right thing to do.
I haven't had many problems with car drivers with over bright lights.

oxoman
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Re: Blinded

Postby oxoman » Wed Nov 07, 2012 22:59 pm

As i constantly get car drivers that don't dip their lights i don't care if my flashing LED light upsets them or if my modest main beam light burns theirs eyes out. I would sooner be seen and disorientate a driver so that he hopefully slows down than get hit by one. Forgive me for being selfish i like to continue breathing. PS i drive a car and dip my lights for cyclist's as well. Pet hate idiots on bikes dressed in black with no lights at all.
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gosport_commuter
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Re: Blinded

Postby gosport_commuter » Thu Nov 08, 2012 06:57 am

I had one NASTY experience last night where a cyclist pulled up next to me at a junction with a very bright, somewhere around 700 lumens torch on his helmet STROBING! christ - I couldnt see anything each and everytime I looked to my left to scope traffic on the main road I became blind thanks to him having it pointed right at me! moron! I informed him that the light that bright on strobe definitely hurts his safety as people become blind and disorientated, but he didnt seem to be bothered by that.

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Re: Blinded

Postby CJ Bill » Thu Nov 08, 2012 08:43 am

oxoman wrote:As i constantly get car drivers that don't dip their lights i don't care if my flashing LED light upsets them or if my modest main beam light burns theirs eyes out. I would sooner be seen and disorientate a driver so that he hopefully slows down than get hit by one. Forgive me for being selfish i like to continue breathing. PS i drive a car and dip my lights for cyclist's as well. Pet hate idiots on bikes dressed in black with no lights at all.

The problem is this also blinds other cyclists.

alan sherman
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Re: Blinded

Postby alan sherman » Thu Nov 08, 2012 20:23 pm

Oxoman - I hope you mean that you flash your main beam on very briefly to alert them to your presence (and hope they then realise to dip their main beam).

If not then your attitude is typical of a lot of road users, but the logic is flawed. I'll turn myself into the most dazzling flashing Christmas tree/lighthouse/rave club combination so everyone can see me. Sod everyone else my safety is more important!

But the irony is that their safety is compromised by that very approach, and they make the roads more dangerous for everyone.

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Cycling-mad
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Re: Blinded

Postby Cycling-mad » Thu Nov 08, 2012 21:33 pm

I totally agree there's so many types of light that blind me and I'm not sure there's anything I can do to help and change this other than politely inform anybody I know that "the brighter, the better approach is not the way to go" :) loved the way you have written the first post! Had me laughing :)

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Re: Blinded

Postby Mrs_Ragbrutty » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:49 am

I've not had problems with drivers not dipping their lights for me.
I have my lights angled to illuminate the road not the space above the road. (ie angled down). I do worry that this makes me less visable but so far so good.
I would never wish to blind anyone, agree - puts you and them at greater risk and makes no one more visible.

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kieranb
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Re: Blinded

Postby kieranb » Fri Nov 09, 2012 13:13 pm

Oh well, I posted about ths some time ago and was shouted down by the my safety only counts light house crowd. Cars are just as bad now (except mine of course!) This Wednesday night I went running and was blinded a number of times by cars coming head on, started to get spots in the eyes and a headache from the lights.

I don't know what to make of this quote
would sooner be seen and disorientate a driver so that he hopefully slows down than get hit by one
my worry would be that you disorientate the driver who then hits you or some other poor sod.

pdw
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Re: Blinded

Postby pdw » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:47 pm

kieranb wrote: Cars are just as bad now (except mine of course!) This Wednesday night I went running and was blinded a number of times by cars coming head on, started to get spots in the eyes and a headache from the lights.


I simply don't get this. I find that it's very rare for a car to not dip their lights, and certainly no worse than what you encounter when driving. The one place where I do have problems is where I have to use a cycle path that runs to the right of a main road, because car dipped beam patterns kick up to the left to illuminate signs etc.

By contrast, when you encounter a cyclist on a unlit road, it's now pretty common for them to have a seriously annoying light. This is hardly surprising, as modern bike lights are getting on towards the same output as a car light, but coming from a smaller source, and the vast majority have been designed with absolutely no consideration for how they will appear to other road users.

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zx6man
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Re: Blinded

Postby zx6man » Fri Nov 09, 2012 14:54 pm

I use the "chinese" 1000 's when I go on the trail at night, and only use normal LEDs for the road (and I have plenty of these via helmet, back,panniers etc). Blinding drivers and forcing them to look away can't be a good thing.

To be exact I have a 1000lm chinese thing and 2 of the 1000lm torches which do set fire to any squirrels crossing my path....

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Initialised
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Re: Blinded

Postby Initialised » Fri Nov 09, 2012 20:53 pm

Yell "dip your lights you expletive" as you pass, do it to the same people you pass everyday at the same time/place and they'll soon stop blinding people. Riding straight at them before yelling should help them remember to cut their lights when they see an approaching rider.
I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.

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Cycling-mad
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Re: Blinded

Postby Cycling-mad » Sat Nov 10, 2012 15:16 pm

Initialised wrote:Yell "dip your lights you expletive" as you pass, do it to the same people you pass everyday at the same time/place and they'll soon stop blinding people. Riding straight at them before yelling should help them remember to cut their lights when they see an approaching rider.


" Riding straight at them before yelling should help them remember to cut their lights when they see an approaching rider" - Alternatively it could get you run down? :D Hmm the joys of light eh?

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Ouija
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Re: Blinded

Postby Ouija » Sat Nov 10, 2012 17:11 pm

I've got at least 18 XML T6 based lights. Most of the big open faced Magicshine types are no good for road use as they are still blinding even on their lowest setting (though oncoming drivers may not realize that i've dipped them to their lowest setting for their benefit and still pip their horn), even when angled slightly downwards. The torches are better as the reflector is smaller with the light recessed further back, which causes less blinding if your considerate enough to have them pointing slightly downwards and dip them to their lowest setting when you see a car coming in the opposite direction (i do).

And there's the problem. Switching modes on either type of light is a pain in the ass. It requires you to take your hand off the grip and tap the back of the light repeatedly, cycling through the different modes (including insane flash, since they only change in one direction) to get the thing to the dipped setting. Most cyclist don't bother and neither do i when i'm bombing down a hill or humping the bike up one (need both hands on the bars or i'd come off). If the manufacturers of these lights included them with a remote switch that could be mounted next to the grips a lot more cyclists would be happy to switch down for oncoming motorists/pedestrians as it would only require a small finger movement, just like manipulating your gears. The whole "cycling through the modes" approach of these lights is just irritating (on flats i sometimes just put my hand over the lens for oncoming cars rather than faff about with the mode switch).

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Initialised
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Re: Blinded

Postby Initialised » Sat Nov 10, 2012 23:03 pm

Cycling-mad wrote:
Initialised wrote:Yell "dip your lights you expletive" as you pass, do it to the same people you pass everyday at the same time/place and they'll soon stop blinding people. Riding straight at them before yelling should help them remember to cut their lights when they see an approaching rider.


" Riding straight at them before yelling should help them remember to cut their lights when they see an approaching rider" - Alternatively it could get you run down? :D Hmm the joys of light eh?

Even better, but harder to forget a trip to A&E
I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.

pdw
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Re: Blinded

Postby pdw » Sun Nov 11, 2012 00:16 am

Ouija wrote:If the manufacturers of these lights included them with a remote switch that could be mounted next to the grips a lot more cyclists would be happy to switch down for oncoming motorists/pedestrians as it would only require a small finger movement, just like manipulating your gears.


Yeah, the market is very short of decent road lights. I've got a set up that works very well, with a "full beam" light that I can toggle from a switch in the gear/brake levers, and a modified Philips Saferide as a dipped beam, but it took a fair bit of DIY.

You can see some details here:

http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=40012&t=12888049&start=20#p17968290


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