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Old 06-01-11, 12:34 AM   #1
ChrisO
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Have we finally gone too far? (video)

First off, I'm not connected to the manufacturer in any way. Just stumbled across this while searching YouTube.

Is it possible that this crosses into overkill territory? 10 watts!

[video=youtube;dRB-6FokXw4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRB-6FokXw4&feature=related[/video]

It kinda hurt my eyes on the video, I can't imagine coming up behind that at 0400.
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Old 06-01-11, 03:30 AM   #2
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I don't know, is it overkill to drive around in a two ton vehicle? Because thats what we are up against.

I don't find car headlights to be blinding when I pass them probably because they go right by. So why would a tail light of the same brightness be any different to a driver who is passing right by?

I want to be seen in the dark from a great distance and this light fits that criteria.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:33 AM   #3
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10w for a tailight can be a little bright if it directly hits your eyes, but I doubt that would be the case since we most often is riding one side or another.

I run three 3w Magicshine tailight in the back and got no complaint so far. I even had a car pulled up from behind me to my side checking out the tailight and when I caught their eyes, they look at me and smile. All things being equal, I'm sure there will be at least one or two motorist who will think it's abnormal for a bicycle to have such powerful tailight and object. As long as they saw me and don't purposely run me over, that's all that count
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Old 06-01-11, 08:48 AM   #4
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Looks good to me. I'd ride with it. I currently run a MagicShine and I'm thinking about getting a second one. I've had a car pull out in front of me in half-light (late dawn) while wearing full ANSI bright green reflective gear running a 500 lumen flashing light in a rural area with a clear sight line. He "totally didn't see me." After that event, screw 'em. I'll run as much light as I care to bolt on and if they complain, it means they damned well saw me.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:58 AM   #5
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I'm split. I don't want to blind a driver, but I want to be seen. I feel this would be great in day time condition in low visability. where the tailight can get over powered, but at the same time I think it might be too bright. I think the same thing about the new emegency light the cop cars have here. They are nice during the day time. Great visibility, when some of the older lightbars weren't bright enough in daylight, but they are blinding at night.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:15 AM   #6
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I like the light. I wonder if there is a way to bring it to market. Off hand, even if the guy was completely charitible - that light would be over $100 US.

I've ridden behind the Dinotte 200 along with an MS and can testify that they are comparable - with the MS having additional side visibility.

I've experiemented and dissasembled the MS and can testify that it can and wil run up to 3.2 watts, and will operate without noticable loss down to 2.6 watts.

I've been running two MS light-setup in bulltet-flash mode for over a year. I run these on a 7xAA pack and can testify they can run for well over 16 hours without noticable loss. The MS light draw a max of .42A at ~8V in continuous - meaning my battery pack would last 3 hours in that mode.

What would really be interesting is video based testing of light systems from the side. All of my concerns regarding lighting systems stem from a fear of being "T-boned" from the side in both urban settings with competing street lighting as well as rural area that have side road approaches with fence lines or unevens grades.

If I owned the 10-watt light, I would aim it down most of the time and only aim it back for urban street-lit high-traffic areas. (or cloudy daylight)
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Old 06-01-11, 11:59 AM   #7
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I agree that, from what I could tell on the video at least, it looks like an awesome daytime light; way more pop than my MS tail light which I'm happy with. But it seems like overkill to me for night time unless it was pointed down quite a bit or you are traveling on roads that are well lit anyway. In my dark corner of the world I think it may cause me to get rear-ended if a car approached from around a corner.

There is a website for the lights, they appear to be in slow production (one at a time) and they are north of $200. More than I want to spend, but they appear to be well made although I'm no expert on these things.
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Old 06-01-11, 12:39 PM   #8
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Hm, for $200 I think I'd rather use multiple MS lights. They wouldn't be synchronized, but you could get four of them for $120. Aim two straight back and one to either side.
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Old 06-01-11, 05:08 PM   #9
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I don't find car headlights to be blinding when I pass them probably because they go right by. So why would a tail light of the same brightness be any different to a driver who is passing right by?
I'm not arguing either way, just wanted to point out that a 10W LED with a focused beam can be much more blinding than another light that seems equivalent in brightness. Auto headlights are designed to cast the light in a very specific pattern so they send light down to the road and to the right but not as much up into other drivers' eyes (note that sometimes when a car goes over a bump it may look like the driver is flashing his high beams when really you're just temporarily seeing the brighter beam meant for the ground).
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Old 06-01-11, 06:23 PM   #10
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I don't find car headlights to be blinding when I pass them probably because they go right by. So why would a tail light of the same brightness be any different to a driver who is passing right by?
Car headlights are carefully engineered to not throw very much light above the level of the road. On low beams almost no light should be above ground level. This is required by law. On high beams more goes up but still not a lot.

Bike taillights do not have a cutoff, at least not in the US and not the light under discussion here.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:10 PM   #11
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Hm, for $200 I think I'd rather use multiple MS lights. They wouldn't be synchronized, but you could get four of them for $120. Aim two straight back and one to either side.
Agree entirely. I run two MS tail lights and like the fact that they aren't synchronized, it's a more eye-catching effect.
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Old 06-02-11, 03:51 AM   #12
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that's a great light... for racing backwards through a dark forest on a moonless night. ok, maybe i'd want one if i rode on long flat desert roads in the daytime, otherwise, it's too much. when i see traffic signs flashing red for almost 0.5k behind me, while riding under a blanket of ambient sub/urban light, i feel warm and fuzzy - and i can do that with about $50(US) of lights from amazon.

try one of those lights in a group ride, and you won't have worry about getting killed by a motorist

when i drove cars, i always kept my windshields clean and i was always appalled/disturbed by how many drivers don't... sometimes i'd be a passenger in someone else's car and i'd be horrified by the film of gunk, crud and crust on their windshield, which turned any light hitting the windshield into a blinding sheet of dirty light. the brighter the light, the worse the glare, the LESS the driver can see. at some point, if it hasn't already gone that far, a cyclist will contribute to their own injury or death by blinding a driver with too much light.

the LED arms-race is now upon us, and will only end when laws are passed LIMITING the light output that bike lights can emit. here in NZ, NZTA says that bicycle lights must be bright enough to be "seen from a distance of 100 metres". i'm sure other jurisdictions have similar requirements... but it's only a matter of time before we start seeing laws that limit light output. maybe we'll see laws that have different maximums for daytime and nighttime use.

wanna see a really strong light - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQIJSsbvolc
ok, actually there are times i'd want one of those on my bike
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Old 06-02-11, 07:30 AM   #13
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Well, the discussion started with a topic of "overkill" ??? You know "gone too far?"

First - anyone paying attention that much of how well a lighting system works is based upon its "usage" - not the light's intrinsic power.

For instance - I have a Lenser Led headlamp that can throw a beam 100 meters anyway I turn my head. This $60 unit is more effective than two MS 900s (on a handlebar) at catching motorists eyes - simply because I can point it at them, see the beam spot and nail them in the driver's seat.

The only "problems" created by too much power I can see would come from misuse among a group of riders. Of course the bigger deal is that 10 watts on constantly will need some battery changing.

I think with all the stupidity surrounding driver's education, and ever growing onslaught of GPS, CD, Iphone distractions that all cyclists are competing with deserves

MORE POWER - MORE LIGHT


besides - they'll aim at you anyway - you're only hope is to survive and sue.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:32 AM   #14
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that's a great light... for racing backwards through a dark forest on a moonless night.
You laugh, but back before I was carrying backups for all my lights, I had my headlight battery die and couldn't see my hand in front of my face, so I put my Dinotte 140L on my handlebar and rode the last 6 miles in to work with a red headlight. I had to take it slow but at least I could see.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:46 PM   #15
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as far as being too bright, the maxflex controller is user programmable, so that is a choice you can make for yourself. Looks awesome for daytime use, and at night you can ride backwards.

I have everything I need to build taillights almost as bright as this, and I've been somewhat reluctant due to the issue of having too much light.
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Old 06-03-11, 02:25 PM   #16
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No. This is not going too far. It would be appropriate on a 55 mph 2 lane highway. You are taking your lane and you meet an oncoming vehicle that won't dim its' brights and a car is coming up behind you. Absolutely not inappropriate. Especially if one of those drivers is texting or has been drinking.
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Old 06-03-11, 06:49 PM   #17
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Not overkill at all as it is adjustable. During the day with heavy traffic, it would be greatly appreciated. Battery life anyone? Guess the light is still in the experimental stage.
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Old 06-03-11, 07:01 PM   #18
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when i drove cars, i always kept my windshields clean and i was always appalled/disturbed by how many drivers don't... sometimes i'd be a passenger in someone else's car and i'd be horrified by the film of gunk, crud and crust on their windshield, which turned any light hitting the windshield into a blinding sheet of dirty light.
This is one of my pet peeves too; there's a squeegee right beside every gas pump, and you've got nothing else to do for a couple of minute while the tank fills anyway. I've gotten funny looks for pulling up in a mud and grime coated car and taking the time to clean the windows and lights.
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Old 06-03-11, 07:40 PM   #19
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Not overkill at all as it is adjustable. During the day with heavy traffic, it would be greatly appreciated. Battery life anyone? Guess the light is still in the experimental stage.
don't think it's experimental at all. The life of the pack that he recommends would be reasonably long between charges.
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Old 06-05-11, 04:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by smasha View Post
that's a great light... for racing backwards through a dark forest on a moonless night. ok, maybe i'd want one if i rode on long flat desert roads in the daytime, otherwise, it's too much. when i see traffic signs flashing red for almost 0.5k behind me, while riding under a blanket of ambient sub/urban light, i feel warm and fuzzy - and i can do that with about $50(US) of lights from amazon.

try one of those lights in a group ride, and you won't have worry about getting killed by a motorist

when i drove cars, i always kept my windshields clean and i was always appalled/disturbed by how many drivers don't... sometimes i'd be a passenger in someone else's car and i'd be horrified by the film of gunk, crud and crust on their windshield, which turned any light hitting the windshield into a blinding sheet of dirty light. the brighter the light, the worse the glare, the LESS the driver can see. at some point, if it hasn't already gone that far, a cyclist will contribute to their own injury or death by blinding a driver with too much light.

the LED arms-race is now upon us, and will only end when laws are passed LIMITING the light output that bike lights can emit. here in NZ, NZTA says that bicycle lights must be bright enough to be "seen from a distance of 100 metres". i'm sure other jurisdictions have similar requirements... but it's only a matter of time before we start seeing laws that limit light output. maybe we'll see laws that have different maximums for daytime and nighttime use.

wanna see a really strong light - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQIJSsbvolc
ok, actually there are times i'd want one of those on my bike
Yep, I'd never actually thought of it that way, but this is true. Look at how far bicycle lights have come in the last ten years- we've gone from just illuminating the reflective white lines to actually being able to see in the dark at 20mph.
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Old 06-05-11, 05:28 PM   #21
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this got me started thinking about one of the integrated emitter/driver like the triple from luxrc or maybe I'll see if I can get one from Cutter.
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Old 06-05-11, 08:36 PM   #22
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I'm going to say this is overkill--it looks like a police car or fire engine beacon; maybe even brighter than that. It's way more output than a motorcycle or moped has, even when the brakes are applied. The glare and lens flare is ridiculous on the video. Red light doesn't usually flare up that badly, but it's enormous, so I can only guess what it looks like in real life.

It's my opinion that we need is light over a larger surface area, not a highly concentrated point that can blind. At night, I'd actually suggest aiming the lights almost straight down and illuminate the local road area underneath the bike. It should create a large illuminated area that looks like a caution zone.
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Old 06-06-11, 08:35 AM   #23
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it would have been interesting to see it at lower power levels, but that's not a compelling sales argument. I think it's obvious you would turn it down at night under most circumstances. He would probably respond with a video if someone asked him. The Maxflex has a lot of settings in bicycle mode you can see the pdf manual here

here is what it says about the bicycle user interface:
Quote:
Intended for bicycle lighting. Separate modes for constant and strobe (two, three or five levels each).
From off, a click turns on to constant mode, and a long press turns off. From off, a press turns on to
strobe mode, and a long press turns off. Constant and strobe modes are identical in operation and Menu
choice – except for the click or press to enter the individual modes. In the 2-level Duomode, brightness
changes are controlled by clicking to toggle between the two chosen levels. In the 3-level Threemode,
clicking increases brightness to the upper two levels and then toggles between those two levels, a press
will dim to the lowest level and further pressing will turn the light off. In the 3-level Trimode, clicking
toggles through the three levels and wraps back to the lowest level.In 5-level Multimode, clicking
increases brightness and pressing decreases brightness
it's a really nice controller, but somewhat complex
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Old 06-13-11, 01:08 AM   #24
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I'm split. I don't want to blind a driver, but I want to be seen. I feel this would be great in day time condition in low visability. where the tailight can get over powered, but at the same time I think it might be too bright.
Cars have auto-dimming mirrors these days, why couldn't bike lights be designed with photocells; no point wasting power pushing a 10W blinky to light up empty road, so cut it back to PBSF levels when there's no incoming light from the rear, and crank it up with max power achieved when car high beams are ~50ft off your tail. Same for headlights; user-adjustable "no light" setting that goes up to "painful for drivers" when somebody hasn't dimmed their brights by the time they're close from the front.
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Old 06-13-11, 09:09 AM   #25
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I decided to make something similar to this. I will start a new thread when the parts get here
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