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Lighting overkill? (2 miNewt 600s on handle bars and a 250/350 lumen on helmet).

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Lighting overkill? (2 miNewt 600s on handle bars and a 250/350 lumen on helmet).

Old 01-30-12, 10:00 AM
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baiskeli
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Lighting overkill? (2 miNewt 600s on handle bars and a 250/350 lumen on helmet).

Since out winter seems to have been non-existent so far, I've begun considering beginning commuting to work early this year. Normally I don't do this because I hate riding to work or home in the dark.

I've ordered 2 NiteRider MiNewt 600's cordless. My planned setup is both of them on my road bike handlebars and a corded miNewt 250 or 350 (older one, I can't remember the exact lumens) on my helmet. Is this overkill (if overkill, I can run the 600s at 400 lumens or even have one 600 on bars and one on helmet). I also have a really bright planet bike rear tail light and spoke lights.

My commute is about 8 miles each way (Arlington into Boston). I also want to be able to ride early in the morning on or late in the evenings some days (so I'll either be riding in darkness in the morning or evening).

Thoughts? I want to be visible, I want to see the road, but I don't want to blind and/or irritate drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:05 AM
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I would try it out. For me, I want to SEE when I ride. You will LOVE your helmet light. I love mine!

I dont think it is overkill but that is only my opinion.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:11 AM
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I've got 3 minewts. A 100 on the handle bar and one on the helmet, a 150 in blink mode on the handlebar. The 100's are just enough, I would like more but I haven't killed them yet, 2 + years. The 150 in blink mode throws a long way. I tend to out run my lights at faster speeds in the dark. Don't worry about the lights being to bright for the drivers, car lights are way brighter. Wave to me on the minute man bikeway. Blinking lights are great for being noticed.
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Old 01-30-12, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
I've got 3 minewts. A 100 on the handle bar and one on the helmet, a 150 in blink mode on the handlebar. The 100's are just enough, I would like more but I haven't killed them yet, 2 + years. The 150 in blink mode throws a long way. I tend to out run my lights at faster speeds in the dark. Don't worry about the lights being to bright for the drivers, car lights are way brighter. Wave to me on the minute man bikeway. Blinking lights are great for being noticed.
Cool. Thanks Leebo. I've ridden on the bike path with just the corded miNewt (either 250 or 350) and felt like I was outrunning the beam even at 14-15mph (I'm wondering whether my miNewt is actually 100 or 150, I'll check wne I get home)
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Old 01-30-12, 10:49 AM
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leebo: I have been thinking about getting one for the front that blinks but was curious.... does it bug you or get annoying for you? Did you have a tough time at first getting used to it?
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Old 01-30-12, 10:55 AM
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There is no such thing as lighting overkill, IMHO. Being seen is exactly the point.
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Old 01-30-12, 11:42 AM
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It sounds like overkill to me, but it's probably not particularly bad in any way.

I've got a single MiNewt 600, and I usually run it on the medium setting. That's bright enough to see the road even on dark stretches with opposing traffic shining their headlights in my eyes. Two MiNewts will give you better definition in your field of vision, though I suspect you won't need the highest setting. The helmet light, I suppose, is nice for directable light, but I never feel like I'm missing something on the road in that regard.

Just be careful where you point your 600's. Those suckers are bright.
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Old 01-30-12, 12:02 PM
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I think it's good to have 2 headlight, bar and helmet, for redundancy. I've had batteries go dead on a commute a number times, but not both lights. Not sure why you would need two bar lights tho. Personally I would rather spend the money on one brighter bar light, such ast
the Dinotte XLM - it would cost and weigh less with same brightness and probably better run times
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Old 01-30-12, 12:04 PM
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You won't be seen any better by cars with the second 600, so it really depends whether you need the extra light. For me, one powerful light on the bars and one on the helmet is plenty. My criteria for lights is whether I can ride home safely with just one light working.

The helmet light is the best "be seen" light because you can aim it at cars if necessary. Crossing dangerous intersections, a bright flashing light attracts the most attention, so at one point on my commute, I'll switch to strobe temporarily, which tends to freeze the cars.

In the city, extra light is not necessary. On pitch black trails, too much light is overkill, but you should have enough light to see clearly 15-20 seconds ahead. No real need to see beyond that.
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Old 01-30-12, 01:11 PM
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Having enough light is always good, but something that is really annoying about the well lit cyclist is when the lights are pointed directly at oncoming traffic (pedestrian, automobile, cyclist). Remember to angle the beam downwards towards the pavement and consider others you're sharing the road with. No one likes having lights pointed directly into their eyes and it's dangerous when you're piloting a vehicle. I've seen some riders with a headlamp mounted on their helmet facing rear-wards in blink mode, seemingly oblivious to others or just incredibly rude. Okay, it was just this one guy, and I pulled up beside him and told him that his rear light was blinking directly at other cyclist and drivers eyes. "I know", he said. Don't be that jerk.
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Old 01-30-12, 01:22 PM
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I'm using my NR MiNewt 600 for daytime rides on flash, low for night time riding. I have a NR MiNewt X2 on the bars (running on flash at night) and another one on the helmet (low setting). It's been working for me for some time now at night, but daylight is still my Achilles heel.
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Old 01-30-12, 01:28 PM
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I think we can definitely say that this was the year that commerical headlights that were both bright enough for commuting and reasonably affordable became common. I honestly don't think there's much point in companies pushing for brighter lights at the $150 price point any more. Next up, better optics/beam direction.
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Old 01-30-12, 02:26 PM
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I have two Cygolights 600s on the handlebars, one Cygolight 250 just below those two ponted at the ground about 6 feet in front of the front wheel, and another Cygolight 250 on the helmet. So, that's 1700 lumen roughly for the front illumination. I'm thinking of upgrading Cygolight 250 on the helmet to 400 actually. Those have gotten really cheap on amazon. I don't like the swivel on Minewts and it seems their runtimes are about 25% less and they are heavier (190 gram MiNewt 600 vs. 130 gram Cygolight 400)

Cygolight 600 is my favorite light though. It has a very large beam compared to the smaller MiNewt 600

On the rear I have a Dinotte 400 and 4 (four) Blackburn 4s in various locations, including one on the rear wheel fender's mud flap. I also have velcro on the back of some of my shoes and sometimes I attach the Blackburns to the back of my shoes for some incredible pedal spinning action in the dark

Can I also add I have two MonkeyLights? I hardly use those though. The police don't like them, but sometimes I use them on an all-white or all-red settings.
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Old 01-30-12, 06:21 PM
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Niterider HID on the bars and a MiNewt 250 on the helmet. I want to see and be seen. My commute is a mix of city and sort of dark/rural and is always dark in the AM, dark half the year in the PM.
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Old 01-30-12, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
I want to be visible,
You need to be concerned about the cars behind you as well. I would scrap the second front light and upgrade the rear instead.

http://store.dinottelighting.com/300...tery-p111.aspx
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Old 01-30-12, 07:52 PM
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On top of all your lights, please consider what you are going to wear. Try to wear reflective, or at least light colored clothing.
Driving to spin class tonight, I passed a bike commuter - he had 2 nice sized rear blinkies, a helmet light, a pulsing white light on his handlebars and, what looked to be, bright orange stripe thngs around his ankles - but, even with all that, and being a bit more bike aware than many other drivers around me, I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing a bicyclist.
The reason was he had on black leggings, dark shoes and his jacket had a black back. Coming up from behind him, all I saw were these disembodied red lights and it took me a couple seconds it took me to put 2 & 2 together.
If he had reflective strips around his ankles or maybe up the back of his legs, and on the back of his jacket, the movement would have caught my eye that much faster and registered in my brain that much faster. Even a solid day glo green jacket would have been better. You can't be too visible!

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Old 01-30-12, 07:57 PM
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As one who regularly commutes when it's dark, the more lights, the better!
I'd rather have an upset motorist that sees me, than one that isn't upset and doesn't see me!
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Old 01-31-12, 02:28 AM
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I have a simple rule of thumb - if the tar on the road in front of you isn't melting because of your lights then they're not too bright.

I run 2 X 500 lumen OTF each Cree XR-E lights (modified flashlights) and I'm about to put one on my lelmet for a total of 1500 lumens OTF. When I fire up those puppies I expect to get calls from NASA to complain the shuttle space station astronauts are being blinded. The difference is that I ride some of the darkest semi-rural bike paths imaginable. Absolutely no artificial lighting, some of the deadliest and agressive snakes (eg king brows) soaking up the last of the radiant heat off the tar, the occasional goanna the size of a small crocodile that could bring me down and tear a big hole in me if it really wanted to, and an assortment of other miscellaneous carnivorous fauna. Then there's the occasional spider web that span the width of the path with those dessert plate sized spiders sitting right about face level. they seem to camouflage very well and I've come within a couple of inches of collecting one.

At least we don't have big cats like mountain lions, or bears either.

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Old 01-31-12, 02:44 AM
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Sounds like the perfect amount of light to me. I agree about wearing bright yellow/neon clothing. This morning I saw a cyclist way ahead of me because of his jacket. As I got closer, I saw the rear red blinky. I'm happy to have a mostly white bike and wonder why the **** all these bike manufacturers make commuters DARK!
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Old 01-31-12, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by baiskeli View Post
Since out winter seems to have been non-existent so far, I've begun considering beginning commuting to work early this year. Normally I don't do this because I hate riding to work or home in the dark.

I've ordered 2 NiteRider MiNewt 600's cordless. My planned setup is both of them on my road bike handlebars and a corded miNewt 250 or 350 (older one, I can't remember the exact lumens) on my helmet. Is this overkill (if overkill, I can run the 600s at 400 lumens or even have one 600 on bars and one on helmet). I also have a really bright planet bike rear tail light and spoke lights.

My commute is about 8 miles each way (Arlington into Boston). I also want to be able to ride early in the morning on or late in the evenings some days (so I'll either be riding in darkness in the morning or evening).

Thoughts? I want to be visible, I want to see the road, but I don't want to blind and/or irritate drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.
I know the second bar light doubles the amount of lumens put out. But since they are the same type of light will you actually be lighting up anything more than just one would? Are you going to point them at different angles? If you point them at the same spot I would think they would just light the same spot on the ground, not making much more difference than one light. Anyway, I travel from Rockport to Gloucester and go through some dark areas, so I like a lot of light. Giddy Up!!!
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Old 01-31-12, 09:36 AM
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Chefisaac, the blinking light is not that bothersome. It somewhat mixed in with the other bar and helmet light. I point it straight ahead. I find it really helps in being noticed and visible.
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Old 01-31-12, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by frpax View Post
As one who regularly commutes when it's dark, the more lights, the better!
I'd rather have an upset motorist that sees me, than one that isn't upset and doesn't see me!
What about a motorist driving with a hand in front of his eyes as he approaches you?
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Old 01-31-12, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Chefisaac, the blinking light is not that bothersome. It somewhat mixed in with the other bar and helmet light. I point it straight ahead. I find it really helps in being noticed and visible.
Might be OK on the road, but no blinkies and no lights aimed high on the MUPs, please. It is very annoying and even blinding in some cases to oncoming riders.
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Old 01-31-12, 12:04 PM
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adjust the patterns on the road to light more area? so as to compliment each other..
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Old 01-31-12, 12:37 PM
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if it makes you feel safer, do it. IMO, three lights are unnecessary, though. The two on the front are especially redundant. I think someone else said it, but I'll say it again. Only one on the handlebars and one helmet light is enough. Instead of buying an extra for the front, I would have gotten a great rear light.

Personally, I only use one headlight, a Cygolite MilION or something. I don't pay attention to the lumens. It's plenty bright. In areas with a lot of other distracting lights, I set it to flash. It's good enough. I also have a rear Knog Boomer. It's good enough. With just this, I'm brighter than 80% of the riders I see out there. My point is money can only buy so much safety. Skillful riding counts for a lot, too.

Riding at night takes some getting used to. I remember the first commute in the dark I did around October kind of had me on edge, but I got used to it and now I feel just as safe if not safer than I did during the summer months.
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