Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-13-11, 08:07 AM   #1
EricL
DLifer
Thread Starter
 
EricL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Denver Colorado
Bikes: Trek 2.1, Surly LHT, GT Sensor
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
street lights going off at night

OK I know this will sound weird. Whenever I commute at night, more often than not I have a street light just go dark as I pass under it. There was a stretch sometime in the 90's when I'd have 2 or 3 go out over a ~10 mile ride. Then I stopped riding at night for several years, now it's happening again. Every night ride for the last month I've had at least one light go out as I go under it, sometimes two.
Does this happen to anyone else? I'm riding through the city and I pass under a lot of lights but seems to me the odds aren't that great for it to happen every time, right as I pass under.
EricL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 11:24 AM   #2
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 18,870
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 229 Post(s)
Perhaps the Denver Colo, DOT would have a response, if notified.?
on this list, all I can say , is ..
'May the Schwartz be with you', and with your special powers
you should enjoy Halloween..

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-13-11 at 11:35 AM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 11:29 AM   #3
ChrisO
of Clan Nrubso
 
ChrisO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Kitsap
Bikes: Cannondale F400, Surly LHT,Motobecane Le Champion Ti, Novara Veloce
Posts: 378
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Taint of Corruption... It's was a five point flaw on some role playing game back in the day.
Actually, I have the same thing happen to me; don't know why, but it's been happening for a long time. I just figured I was cursed, or chosen, or something...
ChrisO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 02:10 PM   #4
Camilo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 4,022
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Sodium vapor and other sorts of similar lights used in street lights shut down if they overheat. It's a sign of the bulb and/or ballast wearing out. They will often come back on when they cool off, only to shut off again. At least that's how my yard light works - it tells me it needs replaced. That's what you're seeing, a bulb shutting off because it's going bad.

You're seeing a pattern in randomness, which is normal.
Camilo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 02:26 PM   #5
tagaproject6
Goodbye Leeroy Jenkins
 
tagaproject6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes: Wilier Izoard XP (Campagnolo Record);Cinelli Xperience (SRAM Force);Specialized Allez (SRAM Rival);Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (Campagnolo Centaur)
Posts: 7,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How is your midichlorian count? I bet it's off the scale
tagaproject6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 02:54 PM   #6
jack002
Senior Member
 
jack002's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Southwest MO
Bikes: (1) 1993 Cannondale R900, red
Posts: 594
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here in MO that has been something I've seen all my life. Not unusual at all.
jack002 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 03:44 PM   #7
Keith99
Senior Member
 
Keith99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 5,866
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pay attention. Are some of the lights more prone to this than others? Some streetlights use a sensor to determine when it is dark. It is possible your lighting is detected as dawn. (Though I find the overheating at least as likely).
Keith99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 03:50 PM   #8
iconicflux
Fredly
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker w/ SRAM Rival, & 36H 38's, Late 70's Santana Tandem w/ Double Diamond frame
Posts: 471
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
His power level IS OVER 9000!
iconicflux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 07:33 PM   #9
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 45,766
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
It happens to me quite frequently ... when I ride my bicycle or when I walk. Not sure why.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-11, 07:59 PM   #10
krustyone
Roll Model
 
krustyone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Portage, WI
Bikes: GF ARC Pro, Surly Cross Check, SohoS, Pugsley, Schwinn FG
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
AAAggghhh!!
Light suckers!!
I was warned you were coming!!
krustyone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 02:00 AM   #11
chasm54
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Uncertain
Bikes:
Posts: 8,657
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Happens all the time.
chasm54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 02:13 AM   #12
Chris516
24-Speed Machine
 
Chris516's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Wash. Grove, MD
Bikes: 2003 Specialized Allez 24-Speed Road Bike
Posts: 6,054
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricL View Post
OK I know this will sound weird. Whenever I commute at night, more often than not I have a street light just go dark as I pass under it. There was a stretch sometime in the 90's when I'd have 2 or 3 go out over a ~10 mile ride. Then I stopped riding at night for several years, now it's happening again. Every night ride for the last month I've had at least one light go out as I go under it, sometimes two.
Does this happen to anyone else? I'm riding through the city and I pass under a lot of lights but seems to me the odds aren't that great for it to happen every time, right as I pass under.
It doesn't happen to me.
Chris516 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 10:37 AM   #13
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,722
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricL View Post
OK I know this will sound weird. Whenever I commute at night, more often than not I have a street light just go dark as I pass under it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
...You're seeing a pattern in randomness, which is normal.
It's called street light interference phenomenon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_...nce_phenomenon

I had heard of it discussed on the nationally syndicated 1:00 to 5:00 AM Talk Show called Coast to Coast AM, devoted to "far out" topics like the paranormal, conspiracy theories, etc.

It seemed to happen to me a lot a few years ago but not since about five or so years, but back then I used to leave on my commute well before 5:00 AM; I now usually leave later than 5:30 AM. My commuter route is not flat ,but with up and down hills, and gradual inclines/declines. It seemed to me that SLI occured almost exclusively on gradual inclines. FWIW
Jim from Boston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 01:32 PM   #14
EricL
DLifer
Thread Starter
 
EricL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Denver Colorado
Bikes: Trek 2.1, Surly LHT, GT Sensor
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
Pay attention. Are some of the lights more prone to this than others? Some streetlights use a sensor to determine when it is dark. It is possible your lighting is detected as dawn. (Though I find the overheating at least as likely).
Funny you should say that. Seems like it always happens when I'm not paying attention. Last night since I posted this I was thinking about it
quite a bit on the way home and of course it did not happen! Since I was paying attention though I noticed that I pass under a lot fewer than
I thought I did because many of them are on the other side of the street.
I don't think it's my lighting. I do have a good headlight now but in the past all I had was one that would let me be seen and didn't really light
up the road at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
It's called street light interference phenomenon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_...nce_phenomenon

I had heard of it discussed on the nationally syndicated 1:00 to 5:00 AM Talk Show called Coast to Coast AM, devoted to "far out" topics like the paranormal, conspiracy theories, etc.

It seemed to happen to me a lot a few years ago but not since about five or so years, but back then I used to leave on my commute well before 5:00 AM; I now usually leave later than 5:30 AM. My commuter route is not flat ,but with up and down hills, and gradual inclines/declines. It seemed to me that SLI occured almost exclusively on gradual inclines. FWIW
Thanks for that reply Jim, and the link. Interesting stuff. I have commuted at or before dawn before too, and have had lights go off, but even if I thought it was still pretty dark I'd
still dismiss it because of the time of day.

I'll pay attention a bit more and if it does happen try to notice if it's the same one. I'm pretty open minded. I like the "magical thinking" line. No doubt people are guilty of that sort of thing, but so many things taken for granted today would be magic long ago. Maybe the act of paying attention to it prevents it from happening. Go ahead and laugh, then look at
quantum mechanics.
EricL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 03:44 PM   #15
Nermal
Senior Member
 
Nermal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Farmington, NM
Bikes: Giant Cypress SX
Posts: 2,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Great answers. So, why doesn't it happen when you drive by in a car? Maybe it does, but I have yet to see it.
__________________
Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.
Nermal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 04:02 PM   #16
weshigh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Bikes: All-City Space Horse!
Posts: 600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pay attention to how many lights don't go off and how many lights do go off. You will most likely quickly realize its just a coincidence.
weshigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 04:22 PM   #17
no motor?
Senior Member
 
no motor?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Bikes: Specialized Hardrock
Posts: 4,867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack002 View Post
Here in MO that has been something I've seen all my life. Not unusual at all.
Me too, but it only happens sporadically to me.
no motor? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 06:43 PM   #18
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Bikes:
Posts: 12,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Animal Magnetism, that's what it is.

__________________
"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
Artkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 07:20 PM   #19
Bob N.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 205
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OP is Satan. No other explanation.
Bob N. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-11, 07:26 PM   #20
EricL
DLifer
Thread Starter
 
EricL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Denver Colorado
Bikes: Trek 2.1, Surly LHT, GT Sensor
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob N. View Post
OP is Satan. No other explanation.
you got me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg imstn.jpg (90.4 KB, 13 views)
EricL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-11, 12:36 PM   #21
hotbike
Senior Member
 
hotbike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Bikes: a lowrider BMX, a mountain bike, a faired recumbent, and a loaded touring bike
Posts: 2,851
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
There IS an explanation:
Many Street Lights are turned on and off by a photocell (light detector). This turns them on when it gets dark, and off when the day dawns, and it's light again.
Sometimes, one of these sensors is extremely sensitive, and a Bike comes by with a powerful headlight, the headlight of the bike tricks the sensor into thinking the Sun has risen. That's what shuts off the street light.

Maybe a Bike with enough reflective tape can do the trick to.

But I agree, most of the time it's just a random phenomenon.
hotbike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:34 AM.