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Headlight Washout

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Old 02-03-19, 06:09 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Also, you need to adjust your tone with me, should you ever want a response again.
That's something that works both ways, and I'm one of the many many many many people here who've been annoyed by you. While you're right about somethings, I mainly read what you've posted for amusement.
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Old 02-03-19, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Obvious low information poster. I never said any such thing, read it again:



Then, educate yourself: ANSI FL1 Standard - LED-Resource
I respect your opinion, but it sure contradicts the experiences I've had as well as others here. Are we all wrong for being able to see when we use more lumens to counteract more lumens?
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Old 02-03-19, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Confusing drivers as to what is coming at them goes a long way towards increasing a bicyclist safety. Surprising them (because they can’t tell you are there) doesn’t usually end well. Having a “polite light”...”Excuse me, sir but I’m over here”...may be nice but “polite” be damned when it comes to personal safety.
I wish I could find the picture I saw here years ago of one of those polite lights still dimly blinking on the handlebars of a bike that was under a truck after a fatal right hook. Once again, the driver said he didn't see the bicycle until it was too late.

And I don't have a picture of the guy who got annoyed with me one night when I shined my bright light in his eyes to get his attention before he ran into me. It was warm enough for him to have the window down, and while he complained about my interupting his texting he didn't seem to be bothered by not seeing where he was going long enough to put me at risk.
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Old 02-03-19, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I wish I could find the picture I saw here years ago of one of those polite lights still dimly blinking on the handlebars of a bike that was under a truck after a fatal right hook. Once again, the driver said he didn't see the bicycle until it was too late.

And I don't have a picture of the guy who got annoyed with me one night when I shined my bright light in his eyes to get his attention before he ran into me. It was warm enough for him to have the window down, and while he complained about my interupting his texting he didn't seem to be bothered by not seeing where he was going long enough to put me at risk.
holy hell
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Old 02-03-19, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I mainly read what you've posted for amusement.
I'm glad that you are amused.
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Old 02-04-19, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I respect your opinion, but it sure contradicts the experiences I've had as well as others here. Are we all wrong for being able to see when we use more lumens to counteract more lumens?
You're not wrong and neither was anyone else. But more lumens are only one piece of the puzzle. Upgrading to a light that has 300 additional lumens is not going to benefit if those lumens are wasted as flood, as the lux at distance will be the same or less than the prior light with X-300 lumens. Basically if you upgrade just lumens it's possible all that's happening is a wider area is now being illuminated but since washout is due to another light source overriding the luminous flux of your light source a more concentrated beam is needed. If the OPs current light is distance measured as 50m to 0.25 lux and his next light is 300 lumens brighter but has the same 50m to 0.25 lux all he's done is increase the ouput and increased the candela measurement but not done anything to overpower being washed out.

What he should do is look for a light with higher lumens as well as a higher beam rating. A light with +300 lumens and distance measured as 100 meters to 0.25 lux is going to be significantly brighter, with more throw and will be more resistant to being washed out by other light sources.

The issue with bike lights, among many, is that they often do not follow the FL-1 standard and play loose and fast with what "lux" means as well as overstate brightness and battery life. So it can be hard to determine when an upgrade is actually and upgrade and not just a different beam pattern or proprietary battery pack.

This direct link to a PDF is more helpful than my earlier link: https://www.streamlight.com/docs/def.../ansi-pres.pdf
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Old 02-04-19, 12:18 AM
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Sorry guys!

I'm bowing out of this thread as both the driver and cyclist behaviour is bewildering. People getting crushed by cars. Acceptance of blinding a driver as "distracting" them is OK.

All I can say is that I'm glad that I don't commute to work in the states any longer as it sounds quite lawless from both the cyclist and the motorist.
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Old 02-04-19, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
There are lights that just straight up lie about their lumen ratings. It sound like that's what you are running into. A 4AA battery light typically gets you around 200 lumens. Frankly...I wish this wasn't the case, but no AA battery lights are going to be bright enough to overcome oncoming headlights with streetlights.

I bought my brother the Fenix BC30R ($130)
https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...ix-bike-light/

If that's to expensive you could buy a niterider 1000 for $60:
https://www.amazon.com/NiteRider-Rec...dp/B07DG9MXFN/

That's the lowest I would recommend going. A "1500 lumen" light that runs off 3 AA's is simply lying about it's lumen capacity.

If you wanted to throw an endless amount of money at the problem a Lupine makes a 900 lumen shaped beam light with high mode and a very nice led for $600:
https://www.lupinenorthamerica.com/S...Bike_Light.asp

But that would be rediculous for your needs. You be able to see substantially better with a 1,000 lumen Niterider light compared you have now, for $60 or so.
Or the light I posted costs under 10 bucks, includes a charger and a (likely terrible) 18650 battery. Add another $10-20 for 1 or 2 good quality, high capacity 18650 batteries (try batteryjunction.com) and a couple hose clamps, and you're good to go
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Old 02-04-19, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Sorry guys!

I'm bowing out of this thread as both the driver and cyclist behaviour is bewildering. People getting crushed by cars. Acceptance of blinding a driver as "distracting" them is OK.

All I can say is that I'm glad that I don't commute to work in the states any longer as it sounds quite lawless from both the cyclist and the motorist.
I will PM you a time-lapse video of my commute one of these days; not all that bad and the whole commute is on either MUP or an actual bike lane. I am the OP and I do not condone blinding of anyone for any reason.
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Old 02-04-19, 10:04 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You're not wrong and neither was anyone else. But more lumens are only one piece of the puzzle. Upgrading to a light that has 300 additional lumens is not going to benefit if those lumens are wasted as flood, as the lux at distance will be the same or less than the prior light with X-300 lumens. Basically if you upgrade just lumens it's possible all that's happening is a wider area is now being illuminated but since washout is due to another light source overriding the luminous flux of your light source a more concentrated beam is needed. If the OPs current light is distance measured as 50m to 0.25 lux and his next light is 300 lumens brighter but has the same 50m to 0.25 lux all he's done is increase the ouput and increased the candela measurement but not done anything to overpower being washed out.
Yes, lumens are just one part of the puzzle but they are an important part. Most of us can actually see where our lights are going and have some clue as to what the effect of adding more lumens has. Additionally, most of the lights that are available are of about the same design and construction. Upgrading the lumens puts more light in about the same spot as a similar light with less output. The common comment of "you are just spraying light into the trees" is usually wrong because most of us aren't going to use lights with that wide of a beam. Please assume that we aren't stupid.

As for davei1980's light, if he could increase the output by 300 lumens on the same light​​​​​​​, the lux would increase as well as he would be using the same optics with more output. That's the way that lux works. It's lumens/area. Increase the lumens but don't change the area and you have a higher lux. To have the same lux as before with more lumens, the light would have to change the area of the beam. That's not going to happen.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
What he should do is look for a light with higher lumens as well as a higher beam rating. A light with +300 lumens and distance measured as 100 meters to 0.25 lux is going to be significantly brighter, with more throw and will be more resistant to being washed out by other light sources.
​​​​​​​
First off, I really doubt that you could get a 0.25 lux at 100 meters with the light davei1980 is using. The beam...even shaped ones...increase in area with distance. Assuming a 25° reflector angle which is common for many floody LED lights, a cone would have an area of 1100 square meters at 100 m. To get a 0.25 lux at that distance, you would need a light source of over 4000 lumens. His light isn't putting out that kind of power. I suspect that his light is going to struggle to put out 0.25 lux at 10 m since the output isn't going to be anywhere close to 1200 lumens on a 3 AA light, especially considering that davei1980 is complaining light washout.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The issue with bike lights, among many, is that they often do not follow the FL-1 standard and play loose and fast with what "lux" means as well as overstate brightness and battery life. So it can be hard to determine when an upgrade is actually and upgrade and not just a different beam pattern or proprietary battery pack.
​​​​​​​
I agree that lights play fast and loose with whatever rating they give. But, as long as you don't take their word for those values, you can still compare one light to another. The Cree Magicshine knock offs I use have an output of about 800 lumens which seems to be fairly standard for that kind of light. I have a Cygo light of known output that I can compare it to. I also have chosen lights that have a fairly narrow beam so that most of my light isn't "sprayed into the trees". I had early Magicshines and that was one of my problems with them. Not that the sprayed light into trees...it takes a significantly wider beam to do that...but that their beam was a bit too floody.
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Old 02-04-19, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Sorry guys!

I'm bowing out of this thread as both the driver and cyclist behaviour is bewildering. People getting crushed by cars. Acceptance of blinding a driver as "distracting" them is OK.

All I can say is that I'm glad that I don't commute to work in the states any longer as it sounds quite lawless from both the cyclist and the motorist.
Who is talking about "blinding drivers". As I said above, I can actually see where my light is going. The chances of my "blinding" a driver is basically nonexistent. My beam doesn't spread over into the lane of on-coming traffic. I'm not riding at the center line of the road. I'm 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 m) away from the driver of a car. If...and that's a big "if"...my lights are focused on the ground 10 m (32") in front of me, the radius of my light is 0.5 m at the outside. I'd have to have super wide flood lights to "blind" a driver 10 meters away.

And even that would be a problem because the more "floody" a light is, the less it can "blind" someone. Lux, remember, is light intensity/area. So the more area, the less intensity.

There is a difference between trying to "blind" a driver and getting noticed. Lights on cars are there so that the driver can see the road but they are also there so that others can see the car. Should we cyclists ride invisibly so that we don't harm those poor drivers? I guarantee that they don't know or care what their lights do to us.
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Old 02-04-19, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post

holy hell
The first one was a reminder to be more visible, because people either aren't looking for you or can't see you. The second was too typical for drivers and another reminder of the first points.
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Old 02-04-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
The first one was a reminder to be more visible, because people either aren't looking for you or can't see you. The second was too typical for drivers and another reminder of the first points.
That's why I wear a helmet light. Even then I'm not going "blind" a driver. My lights aren't so bright that a person can't actually see after I flash them across their face. They are "dazzled" by them but they can still see.

The point, however, is to make an idiot that isn't paying attention...well...pay attention. I've been hit by someone because they didn't see me (on a clear, bright, cloudless day). I'm not looking to repeat the experience and, if I cause a driver a little momentary pain, it sure beats a lifetime of pain and injury on my part.
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Old 02-04-19, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
That's why I wear a helmet light. Even then I'm not going "blind" a driver. My lights aren't so bright that a person can't actually see after I flash them across their face. They are "dazzled" by them but they can still see.

The point, however, is to make an idiot that isn't paying attention...well...pay attention. I've been hit by someone because they didn't see me (on a clear, bright, cloudless day). I'm not looking to repeat the experience and, if I cause a driver a little momentary pain, it sure beats a lifetime of pain and injury on my part.
Yep, it was my helmet light being shined into his car that got his attention as I went around the corner while he was drifting into my lane, the bright clothes and handlebar light that made me noticeable. This happened on the way home from work in the spring or fall when it was still light, and the effect of the helmet light was like flashing the high beams for attention.
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Old 02-04-19, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
1,500 lumens; uses 3 AA batts.

Mom bought it for me for xmas at Dicks.

Pretty cheap to get a USB rechargeable light with 2,400 lumens, like under ~$30... seriously considering....
You'll be lucky to get 300 lumens from a 3AA light. I purchased a couple of Chinese flashlights last year that claimed 1200 lumens - they are well drowned-out by my 600 lumen Niterider rechargeable. It's not even close. And the beam focus will matter - possibly even more than the lumen count (which varies from Mfr to mfr) Established brands, such as Niterider, Light & Motion, etc... will almost always give you a better light pattern and power. It's worth the investment if you commute. I have a Niterider 1500 I use for MTB riding, and on High, it is even a bit brighter than the headlight on my BMW street bike. After I got the 1500 headlight for my MTB, I added auxiliary lights to my BMW! It's only your life at stake - spend $100 - $150 and get a good name brand light with at least 800 lumens and you'll be good.
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Old 02-04-19, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
It's dark on my commute both directions so I rely heavily on my headlight this time of year.

Most of my commute is on a dedicated bike lane next to a two-lane road. When it's really dark, the headlights from oncoming traffic wash out my headlight and I can't see anything until they pass. There are very few street lights to mitigate this problem.

Any suggestions?
First, remember that at least half the function of your front lights is to make YOU visible to oncoming traffic.
Do you use a bright flashing white light up front in addition to your (steady) headlight?

How bright is your current steady headlamp?
(Is it bright enough? I recommend a 500 lumens or brighter front lamp.)

Is your current headlight fixed on your bike and pointed down towards the pavenment in front of you?

Do you use a helmet-mounted headlamp in addition to a fixed headlight on your bike?

You may need up to three front lights: 1) a flashing bright light to indicate your presence to other road users, 2) a fixed headlight on you bike that illuminates he roadway,
and 3) a headlamp that will light up other areas such obstacles or where you are going after a turn.
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Old 02-04-19, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by goldcoastjon View Post
First, remember that at least half the function of your front lights is to make YOU visible to oncoming traffic.
Do you use a bright flashing white light up front in addition to your (steady) headlight?

How bright is your current steady headlamp?
(Is it bright enough? I recommend a 500 lumens or brighter front lamp.)

Is your current headlight fixed on your bike and pointed down towards the pavenment in front of you?

Do you use a helmet-mounted headlamp in addition to a fixed headlight on your bike?

You may need up to three front lights: 1) a flashing bright light to indicate your presence to other road users, 2) a fixed headlight on you bike that illuminates he roadway,
and 3) a headlamp that will light up other areas such obstacles or where you are going after a turn.
I currently have 3 lights up front-

1. the main light is the subject of this thread

2. A "marker" on the left side of the fork set to flash (a little light which runs on 2 CR2032 batts)

3. Another identical marker on the right side of the fork, usually not flashing

I don't have a headlamp but I do have a little red flashing light on the back of my helmet as well as a red flashing tail light on the back of my tool bag under my saddle
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Old 02-05-19, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
2. A "marker" on the left side of the fork set to flash (a little light which runs on 2 CR2032 batts)
I have a british road bike from my dad with a special lamp-mount on the right fork that makes it look kind of cool and distinctive

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Old 02-05-19, 11:04 AM
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Shooting in the dark makes for misses

Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
It's dark on my commute both directions so I rely heavily on my headlight this time of year.

Most of my commute is on a dedicated bike lane next to a two-lane road. When it's really dark, the headlights from oncoming traffic wash out my headlight and I can't see anything until they pass. There are very few street lights to mitigate this problem.

Any suggestions?
You haven't told us anything about the type or light output of light you presently use, what MODE you operate it in during your commute, and what temperatures tend toward when you commute. All of the foregoing are important factors when considering lights at night during the Winter months. Maybe you can help us out with some more info...
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Old 02-10-19, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by slowrevs View Post
You haven't told us anything about the type or light output of light you presently use, what MODE you operate it in during your commute, and what temperatures tend toward when you commute. All of the foregoing are important factors when considering lights at night during the Winter months. Maybe you can help us out with some more info...
Read the whole thread before posting stuff like this please. Also, pleae know that if we were all technical experts we wouldn’t have to ask the forum for help. As such, the original post did omit several key considerations because I (OP) didn’t necessarily know what was needed to diagnose/solve the issue at hand.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
It's dark on my commute both directions so I rely heavily on my headlight this time of year.

Most of my commute is on a dedicated bike lane next to a two-lane road. When it's really dark, the headlights from oncoming traffic wash out my headlight and I can't see anything until they pass. There are very few street lights to mitigate this problem.

Any suggestions?
Davei1980,

After reading this thread, I have some suggestions. (Some have not yet been covered.)

1. Look up tests and reviews pf the light your mother bought you: how effective is it?
I like Light and Motion, NiteRider, and other rechargeable LED lights: we use Light and Motion 550s and a NiteRider 650.
I prefer the smaller size and greater convenience of the L & M lights, if you are looking for recommendations on headlights.
Ultimately, you have to choose the headlight(s) that work best for you, not for someone else -- whether or not they meet standards X, Y, or Z,
and whether or not anyone else agrees with your choice.

2. If your current headlight works for you during most of your commute, your current light may not be the problem.

3. Have you tried wearing polarized goggles or glasses with a clear or yellow lens? Polarized lenses cut glare, which you mentioned as a major issue.
A light yellow lens should increase your ability to detect details, which is why skiers use them on low-light days. (You may need to increase the brightness of your headlamp(s) to accommodate for the lower amount of total light reaching your eyes with any colored lenses.)

4. As one other poster suggested, wearing a cycling cap under your helmet and/or using a helmet with a visor may help you block the most
intense headlight glare by lowering or turning your head. (Polarized lenses will help limit the amount of glare, too.)

5. If you try all of the suggestions made here and are still having difficulty, you may want to have your eyesight -- especially your night vision --
checked by an optometrist or an opthalmologist. (Try to find one who cycles regularly in similar conditions or who at least understands
athletes and night vision.)

6. Let us know what works -- or does not work -- for you as you experiment with different options. We might learn something from your experiences and
experiments.
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Old 02-10-19, 09:45 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by goldcoastjon View Post
Davei1980,

After reading this thread, I have some suggestions. (Some have not yet been covered.)

1. Look up tests and reviews pf the light your mother bought you: how effective is it?
I like Light and Motion, NiteRider, and other rechargeable LED lights: we use Light and Motion 550s and a NiteRider 650.
I prefer the smaller size and greater convenience of the L & M lights, if you are looking for recommendations on headlights.
Ultimately, you have to choose the headlight(s) that work best for you, not for someone else -- whether or not they meet standards X, Y, or Z,
and whether or not anyone else agrees with your choice.

2. If your current headlight works for you during most of your commute, your current light may not be the problem.

3. Have you tried wearing polarized goggles or glasses with a clear or yellow lens? Polarized lenses cut glare, which you mentioned as a major issue.
A light yellow lens should increase your ability to detect details, which is why skiers use them on low-light days. (You may need to increase the brightness of your headlamp(s) to accommodate for the lower amount of total light reaching your eyes with any colored lenses.)

4. As one other poster suggested, wearing a cycling cap under your helmet and/or using a helmet with a visor may help you block the most
intense headlight glare by lowering or turning your head. (Polarized lenses will help limit the amount of glare, too.)

5. If you try all of the suggestions made here and are still having difficulty, you may want to have your eyesight -- especially your night vision --
checked by an optometrist or an opthalmologist. (Try to find one who cycles regularly in similar conditions or who at least understands
athletes and night vision.)

6. Let us know what works -- or does not work -- for you as you experiment with different options. We might learn something from your experiences and
experiments.
definitely will try yellow lenses over my glasses and maybe a tad brighter, rechargeable light. Thanks for the awe suggestions!!
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Old 02-11-19, 10:28 AM
  #98  
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Something else that may help is having two lights. One on the bars aimed somewhat down will give you extra light close to you, which will help against the blinding lights. The other on your helmet can provide distance light, and also be aimed down when needed for additional light on the ground.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Something else that may help is having two lights. One on the bars aimed somewhat down will give you extra light close to you, which will help against the blinding lights. The other on your helmet can provide distance light, and also be aimed down when needed for additional light on the ground.
Was thinking of getting that exact setup on my bars and moving my existing light to my head.
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Old 02-11-19, 11:23 AM
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Well, EXCUUUUSE ME!!!!!

Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post

Read the whole thread before posting stuff like this please. Also, pleae know that if we were all technical experts we wouldn’t have to ask the forum for help. As such, the original post did omit several key considerations because I (OP) didn’t necessarily know what was needed to diagnose/solve the issue at hand.
As a Senior Member with 500+ posts to your credit, it's hard for me to believe that you didn't know to include that kind of information when you first posted the thread starter (unless, of course, you are shilling for someone trying to get a plug about their products into the thread).

As for reading an entire thread before participating in trying to answer someone's question, that's laughable.
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