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  1. #1
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    Is Fenix l2D too bright for cars?

    I had mine on the 2'nd highest mode ( 110 lumens?) and an oncoming car flashed me with his brights. Is this light really blinding to drivers or was he just confused by it?

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
    I had mine on the 2'nd highest mode ( 110 lumens?) and an oncoming car flashed me with his brights. Is this light really blinding to drivers or was he just confused by it?
    Perhaps you have it aimed a little high. The primary function of lights is to illuminate the road in front of you. Serving as a warning to other road users is secondary.

    Other than that why worry about what the drivers think? Unless you are throwing as much light as I do (way, way, way more than 110 lumens), you aren't even close to what the other cars on the road are putting out. I wouldn't worry about it. At least he saw you
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    How far in front of you should the light illuminate? Is there some kind 3-second rule of thumb?

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    It would be logical to have the beam's "hotspot" landing on the pavement. How far ahead, would depend partly on whether it actually shows up. So for an L2D on medium mode, maybe 15-30 meters out.

    Because the light is emitted through a small aperture, it looks pretty intense, so that may be why someone flashed their lights at you. If you think about it... you can stare straight at a 4-foot fluorescent light fixture. But if all that light were being emitted from a small area, instead of a large one? Yeah. It would be much too intense to look at comfortably.

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    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    I used to get that too. It even happened with my very first lighting system, which was just a basic 5 watt MR-11 made by nite-hawk. You cannot tell me that they were blinded by that light!! I know from time to time, I will brighten my car's high beams just to confirm something on the road ahead, then dim them again if needed. I cannot help to wonder if that is what other drivers do too.

    Don't worry about it...
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    Quote Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
    I had mine on the 2'nd highest mode ( 110 lumens?) and an oncoming car flashed me with his brights. Is this light really blinding to drivers or was he just confused by it?
    He was just confused by it. The driver probably momentarily flashed the high beams to confirm what he saw.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    some times they are not flashing at you, but they flash to the slowmoes in front of them to move out of the way.

    other times when it seems like the flash for no reason, is to trigger the street light sensors, to keep the lights unchanged, or to change faster to green (those that believes they can imitate the light flashes from the emergency vehicles.)

    i saw one of that a couple of days ago, i was LMAO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTALuigi View Post
    some times they are not flashing at you, but they flash to the slowmoes in front of them to move out of the way.

    other times when it seems like the flash for no reason, is to trigger the street light sensors, to keep the lights unchanged, or to change faster to green (those that believes they can imitate the light flashes from the emergency vehicles.)

    i saw one of that a couple of days ago, i was LMAO.
    Oddly enough, one of the lights on my way home will break cycle as I ride up to it. I have a pair of Dinotte 200L. They're not flashing or anything, just both on high power. It's weird, but convenient. Just the one light out (out of three). So perhaps there is something to that?
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  9. #9
    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    get used to it. it happens

    flashlights and bike lights do not have the advanced reflectors to throw light below the drivers
    eyeball. no matter what you do, if a driver fixates on your light it will look bright to them. ignore them.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Editz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTALuigi View Post
    other times when it seems like the flash for no reason, is to trigger the street light sensors, to keep the lights unchanged, or to change faster to green (those that believes they can imitate the light flashes from the emergency vehicles.)
    I'd think they would have to flash their headlights pretty fast to get a street signal to change - aren't they designed to react to emergency vehicle strobe lights set at a specific frequency?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    You need to slap on at least another few hundred lumens before you can really get a car's attention.
    .
    .

    Two wheels good. Four wheels bad.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Editz View Post
    I'd think they would have to flash their headlights pretty fast to get a street signal to change - aren't they designed to react to emergency vehicle strobe lights set at a specific frequency?
    I believe that's normally done using an infrared preemption system on the emergency vehicle.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pig_Chaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    I believe that's normally done using an infrared preemption system on the emergency vehicle.
    Yup, if you search the web, there's instructions on how to build em. (i have no idea if they actually work or not).

    Sometimes i think i'm getting flashed but it's actually just the car going over a big bump.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachoman View Post
    you need to slap on at least another few hundred lumens before you can really get a car's attention.
    +1.

    JesseDuncan:I just love how "cars will be forced to cross the double yellow lines on dangerous limited visibility roads".

    I don't want to have a head on but oh god, I HAVE to fling myself into oncoming traffic to pass, theres no alternative!!!

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    Car headlights have very complex lenses to keep the light low and away from drivers eyes. Lower on the side of oncoming traffic and higher on the other side too. If you put your car lights on and drive up to a wall this is very obvious.
    The Flashlight, and most good bike lights with a symetrical beam send more light up high. The symetrical beam is a good thing for a two wheel vehicle. A car beam will dissapear on one side when you bank the bike. The symetrical beam not as much.

    Don't worry about it, if you have the aim correct for your riding speed, that's all you can do. If there is not much traffic, having the light on high and switching it to a lower setting when you know the car can first see you lets them know you are not still on high beam.
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    I always assume they're flashing me and my L2d to show "cool lights!"

    I've seen other riders around LA with L2Ds at night and dusk, on flash and turbo, and I think that it's unlikely to be blindingly blight to a car driver unless you're really close (<10feet) and aim it directly into their eyes. I found the oncoming car traffic and other cars on the road WAY brighter than the L2D - although I definitely noticed the L2Ds bright spot very quickly.
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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mechBgon View Post
    It would be logical to have the beam's "hotspot" landing on the pavement. How far ahead, would depend partly on whether it actually shows up. So for an L2D on medium mode, maybe 15-30 meters out.

    Because the light is emitted through a small aperture, it looks pretty intense, so that may be why someone flashed their lights at you. If you think about it... you can stare straight at a 4-foot fluorescent light fixture. But if all that light were being emitted from a small area, instead of a large one? Yeah. It would be much too intense to look at comfortably.
    I looked down at my automatic transmission gear indicator today, reading it starting close to me and going to the front of the car it says-

    L2D R N P

    sorry........
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  18. #18
    Senior Member maximushq2's Avatar
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    I have a 2 AA LED flashlight that puts out 115 lumens and I can't imagine that blinding a driver unless it was close up and aimed right in their eyes. Don't worry about blinding drivers with that little light, just aim the light where you can see the road best and ride on.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post

    Other than that why worry about what the drivers think? )
    Perhaps because it's not cool to blind people with your lights?

  20. #20
    Senior Member maximushq2's Avatar
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    The idea I guess is to have enough light to still be able to see the road with oncoming traffic, be noticed by them, and not blind them in the process.

  21. #21
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    I can't imagine that these lights are really equal to a car headlight on low beams

  22. #22
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    It's the lens. It's the lens. It's the lens.

    The flashlight looks like a high beam as it sends more light up into the drivers eyes. It may not blind them, but they think you can dim your lights, so they flash their lights at you.

    You can simulate the car beam by taping off a very small part of an L2D at the top. Aim it at a wall and use something with a straight edge to see how to block off a little.

    Flashlight beam sends light all directions equally. Most bike lights too, not all.



    Car lights chop off the top of the beam with complicated lenses to keep the light out of drivers eyes, and down on the road. But are a lot brighter than an L2D.

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  23. #23
    Senior Member chrism32205's Avatar
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    Got my L2D today.. Looks very nice.. The strobe is blinding..

  24. #24
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    2manybikes is correct, it's the beam pattern.

    two ways to get a higher focus/less spill beam for the flashlights is to put a convex lense on the head, and to make a deeper reflector cone area with cut offs.

    just blocking the light with cutoffs on the current heads isn't too much good.
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  25. #25
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    ehh they only see you for few seconds at a time, your the one that has to see the entire time. Not worth trying to please people you don't even know over it.

    Run the brightest/best setup you can afford.
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