How much is too much... a question of etiquette.
This subject has been coming up a lot of late and thought it was discussion worthy... and it is not so much about the hardware you use but how you use it and in some cases, mis-use it.
As cyclists we light up our bikes so that we can see and be seen and I see increasing numbers of people taking this to what I think is a considerable extreme and entering a place where brighter lights may not help as much as they hinder.
My newest bit of kit is the PB 2w headlight that has a built in front strobe which I find to be good for daytime riding but is something I would not run at night because of the hazards it poses to motorists and other cyclists. We have some expansive bike routes and coming upon people with seizure inducing headlights or super bright lights is more than annoying, it is dangerous.
The 2 watt light provides more than ample light for night time riding in the city (I also have great night vision) and allows me to see what is coming from a good distance so I can maintain a good speed... the beam is fairly tight and I keep it aimed a little low as to not blind anyone coming my way.
I am seeing more people using bike lighting that rivals that I see on cars and when these are poorly directed can blind oncoming travellers.
I use lights like this for off roading, at night, on twisty singletrack or on longer tours on the open road but do not see the sense in running a light like this for commuting in the city.
German made lights are awesome in that they run at 3 watts (by law) and tend to have very good lenses that direct light where it is needed, provides good visibility, but does not blind oncoming travellers.
I would hope to see other manufacturers adopt this standard.
I have no problem with people running something like a Superflash in the rear or having blinkies on helmets but again... have seen a few folks with rear lights that are brighter than vehicle's tail lights.
I would suppose that one day, wheh everyone is riding a bike, we may see a set of standards adopted for bike lighting and see legislation setting limits and guidelines on what and what isn't acceptable as they have across the pond.
I figure that if they can see you from space you might need to dial it back a little... :lol: