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Old 02-25-09, 04:40 PM   #1
CaptCarrot
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British Standard LED Lights

OK. I have been looking into this.

Firstly, I have noticed that anything that actually approved to (and is stamped to say so) BS6102/3 is generally crap compared to the alternatives. However, in light of the compensation culture we are in, I would be stupid to not have working BS approved (marketing saying that it meets or exceeds is not enough, it MUST officially tested and certified) lighting.

As I am not a fan of replacing batteries, I thought I would look into the LED market as LED's are now quasi-legal in the UK (both flashing and steady). Now I cannot say much about the halogen/xenon/hid/etc.. range of lights buit it may be that most of them are not certified either, but back to LED's, I have so far only found a handful of rear lights and even less front lights that are BS 6102/3 approved.

For those of you who are interested, these are:

Front
  • Bikehut Ultra White Front LED Bike Light 531350-0 - Claimed conformity in either high or normal beam constant/steady mode only.
  • Cateye HL-EL300 - Also approved for use in Germany.
Rear
  • Cateye TL-LD260BS - Cannot find any info on Cateye's site re the TL-LD260BS, just the TL-LD260. Now superceeded by the TL-LD270 and TL-LD280 (but no comments as to standards compliance).
  • Cateye TL-AU100BS - Includes a standards compliant reflector (reflector only compliant when used with an additional bracket to the one supplied, available sperately).
  • Eurolight EL156 - BS approved light AND reflector.
  • Halfords Rear Bike Light 009720-0 - Claimed conformity, but there is an asterisk next to the bullet point on the picture of the box.
  • Bikehut Compact Rear LED Bike Light 531376-0 - Claimed conformity in constant/steady mode only.
Sets
  • Bikehut Ultra Bright LED 531368-0 - 531350-0/531376-0 - see above.
  • Cateye EL300/AU100 BS - See above.
  • Eurolight EL180 - The rear looks like the EL152 and the front looks like the EL186 (although that model is rechargable). But neither of these on their own mention any standards.

And if anybody has any comments about the quality of any of these lights please let me know, as I am deciding which ones to get.

Isn't it ironic though, that I am looking at getting standards approved lights as my BACKUP lighting and not my main lighting. There is something seriously wrong here.
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Old 02-25-09, 06:26 PM   #2
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Bikehut Ultra White Front LED Bike Light 531350-0 - Claimed conformity in either high or normal beam constant/steady mode only.
I bought one of these.

Seriously...don't bother, the build quality isn't great and neither is the light output.

I even upgraded the original 'luxeon' LED to a Cree R2.

They were originally sold with rechargeable batteries and a charging dock, but don't seem to anymore.

I rewired mine so I could use it like this and charge the batteries in it.

If you look for reviews (read the ones on the halfords site for a start) I think you'll mostly find bad reports.

Do yourself a favour and buy a WF606A Q5 for $20. Delivered.

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Old 02-25-09, 07:09 PM   #3
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If you look for reviews (read the ones on the halfords site for a start) I think you'll mostly find bad reports.
Already read them. Thank you for confirming though. (I am always wary of online reviews by the general public. e.g. Joe Bloggs who buys a fauxton and says it is no use for trail riding and gives it a crap review. Half the time the reviews are bad because the expectations are too high or the unit being reviewd is designed for a different job).

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Do yourself a favour and buy a WF606A Q5 for $20. Delivered.
But is it BS approved? The whole point here is I am getting other lights but for legalities sake want BS approved lights as well.

On that note, if you can find any LED lights with the relevant K-mark or maybe ISO6742/1 (which the Eurolights apparently do) let me know
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Old 02-25-09, 07:29 PM   #4
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Front Lamp
One is required, showing a white light, positioned centrally or offside, up to 1500mm from the ground, aligned towards and visible from the front. If capable of emitting a steady light it must be marked as conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.

Rear Lamp
One is required, to show a red light, positioned centrally or offside, between 350mm and 1500mm from the ground, at or near the rear, aligned towards and visible from behind. If capable of emitting a steady light it must be marked as conforming to BS3648, or BS6102/3, or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.

I would take it to mean that any light with a 'CE' marking is therefore legal over here ?

I have a cheap halogen Sigma headlight (5 x AA) on my bars it's good quality but light output is poor.

I guess that makes my setup legal - even though there isn't any point in turning it on, it's totally swamped by my other lights.

I'm going to have another go at getting the halfords light to work - all the electrics are in the battery cover and the connection between this and the lamp is pretty poor. Last time I used it it went out and I fell off the road.

I guess I have to choose between lights that work and lights that are legal......

The sigma is an ok cheap buy to be law abiding, I might even leave mine fitted but just not bother to turn it on.

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Old 02-26-09, 03:14 AM   #5
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Thats my point. The stuff that is clearly legal is poor compared to alternatives. But if you were involved in an insurance claim or worse a lawsuit, not having legal lights on your bike could be enough to swing it out of your favour.

I read somewhere that not only must a blinkier emit a minimum of 4 candela, but they must also flash between 1 and 4 times a second.

The CE mark, as far as I an aware, is for quality control purposes and says that the unit is safe to use but not necessarilly legal.

Last edited by CaptCarrot; 02-26-09 at 03:22 AM.
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Old 02-26-09, 04:12 AM   #6
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Both lights - If capable of emitting a steady light it must be marked as conforming to BS6102/3 or an equivalent EC standard. If capable of emitting only a flashing light, it must emit at least 4 candela.

Clearly the BS (or equivalent) only applies to steady lights.

The only requirement for a blinky to be road legal is that it emits at least 4 candela and is correctly positioned.

I would think that the CE mark constitutes an equivalent EC standard or can be assumed to.

In either case fitting any blinky whatsoever (4 cd+) brings you inline with the legal requirements.

The catch here is that this only applies if the blinky DOES NOT have a steady mode, if it has a steady mode it then has to comply to the steady light requirements.

Anyway, why the paranioa ?

Are they following you again ?

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Old 02-26-09, 01:34 PM   #7
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Anyway, why the paranioa ?

Are they following you again ?
Sssssssshhhhhhh!
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Old 02-26-09, 02:31 PM   #8
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OK, firstly I got the CE mark bit wrong. Yes, it does look like any light that is CE marked is therefore legal.

That adds a set of front and rear blinkies branded by the RAC into the mix.

Re the legal smallprint...

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (Statutory Instrument 1989 No. 1796)
The Road Vehicles Lighting (Amendment) Regulations 1994 (Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 2280)
The Road Vehicles Lighting (Amendment) Regulations 2005 (Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 2559)
The Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations 2003 (Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 1101)

Unfortunately the British Standards aren't freely available, but BS6102 part 1 (called up by Pedal Bicycles (Safety) Regulations) deals with the bike as a whole. BS6102 part 2 (reflectors) and BS6102 part 3 (lights) are called up by the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations.

Now I have gone through the 2005 ammendment to the best of my ability (well, until my brain stared to dribble out my nose) and as far as I can see, there is no mention of blink rate, but the minimum limit of 4cd is mentioned. So I presume the blink rate MUST be contained in a british satndard somewhere. The reason I say that is because of this site... www.audax.uk.net and inparticular this page which states:
Quote:
The exact specification for flashing lights is, flashing between 1 and 4 times per second, with a brightness of at least 4 candelas.
What I also found interesting was this:
Quote:
A forthcoming amendment to the Highway Code will recommend that a bicycle fitted with such lights [read: flashing LED], should also be fitted with a steady headlamp when used on unlit roads - but this is a recommendation and not law, it does not mean you need a steady light to be legal.
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Old 02-26-09, 03:50 PM   #9
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If I were you I wouldn't worry about what audax uk say.

For one thing nearly all blinkies are going to flash at that rate.

And for another it's also not mentioned as a requirement by the CTC: Lighting Regulations

When you aren't worrying do you worry about why you aren't worrying ?
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