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Side visibility at night

Old 12-03-15, 11:23 AM
  #26  
PaulRivers
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I have to disagree with that as it seems many who use them exercise very poor control over them through ignorance or laziness.

On my way home from work this evening on a dark, rural MUT, some clown shined one right in my face.
When I saw him coming, I turned off my battery light and dimmed my dyno light, yet this thoughtless coward didn't make the slightest effort to dim his headlight or aim his helmet light in another direction.
A certain number of posters on here have convinced me that people with obnoxiously bright lights are done deliberately and they don't care how much they're hurting your eyes, so I go the other way - turn my light up to high, flashing, whatever's available on the light I'm using to let the other person know how annoying their light is. I don't get the feeling that being overly polite is going to convince them of anything. They might get the message if lots of people start hitting them back with light though. (Of course after they pass I go back to my usual light level). Fortunately I don't see that many people being over the top obnoxious, but there are a few.
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Old 12-03-15, 11:46 AM
  #27  
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irresponsible people are going to be irresponsible. I know I occasionally flash an innocent person when I'm riding with a helmet light. I try my best, in fact I only keep it on in the most likely areas to be a problem, and even then I point it down unless someone is appraoching from a side street.

Let's try not to let this devolve into an argument about bright lights.
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Old 12-03-15, 01:11 PM
  #28  
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Orange is the best color in the daylight for non-reflective material. At night, non-reflective material should be white, ideally.
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Old 12-03-15, 03:56 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
A certain number of posters on here have convinced me that people with obnoxiously bright lights are done deliberately and they don't care how much they're hurting your eyes, so I go the other way - turn my light up to high, flashing, whatever's available on the light I'm using to let the other person know how annoying their light is. I don't get the feeling that being overly polite is going to convince them of anything. They might get the message if lots of people start hitting them back with light though. (Of course after they pass I go back to my usual light level). Fortunately I don't see that many people being over the top obnoxious, but there are a few.
At how many lumens do you think reasonable brightness gives way to obnoxiousness?
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Old 12-03-15, 05:38 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by msilenus View Post
At how many lumens do you think reasonable brightness gives way to obnoxiousness?
For me, improper usage of headlights by other cyclists is most obnoxious when they're in flash mode at night. They can't possibly see much of value with the headlight in flash mode and they just annoy oncoming cyclists, pedestrians, etc. The flash outweighs the sheer level of lumens/lux.
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Old 12-03-15, 06:18 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by msilenus View Post
At how many lumens do you think reasonable brightness gives way to obnoxiousness?
I judge it based on the effect it has on my eyes. If it's kinda annoying I'll put up my left hand to block it. I figure they can see it.

It's just if it's over-the-top-tear-your-eyes-out blinding that I'd put my lights on bright and such. Every now and then I run into someone like that.

It's more beam shape than lumen output. You can have a fairly bright shaped beam, or "flashlight" style beam, or some others (like from light and motion) that move the beam around to put most of the light on the ground. But there are a few wide beam lights out that that light everything up (and were often meant for mountain biking) that are a pain.

If you want to check yourself, just look at how well illuminated people's faces are. If you can just see their face you're fine, if their face is lit up like a stage singer in a spotlight your light is very annoying.

The better the beam is at putting the light on the ground, rather than in someone's face, the more light you can put out without being a problem.

Last edited by PaulRivers; 12-03-15 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 12-03-15, 09:02 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Aubergine View Post
Also, my tail light shines out the side as well as the back, so it could also be accused of "misleading" drivers.
That's not the same as mounting a red taillight sideways directly. In case of the taillight facing backward, when a driver see the light from its side, he can usually tell it's the side. But if you have a taillight mounted 90 degree from backward--i.e. directly facing sideways, then one could mistake it to be your back, since that's how one woule expect a taillight is mounted.

I just point the extra taillights at 45 degree or less (more facing backward than sideways).
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Old 12-03-15, 11:15 PM
  #33  
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ok, again, no more talking about obnoxious front lights or I close the thread.
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Old 12-04-15, 12:02 AM
  #34  
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I just ordered a spokelight for early morning rural use. Would have liked red since it's rear wheel, but green was faster shipping so I'll try with the taillight/spokelight xmas combo.

Long term I'm really interested in wheel/rim tape, something like fiks, anyone seen it in action? Worthwhile?
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Old 12-04-15, 12:03 PM
  #35  
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A Parka with wide reflective stripes works for Me. head and tail light have Light side spill as well
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Old 12-04-15, 12:48 PM
  #36  
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I use reflective tape on my spokes and a Vis360 that has small amber lights on the side of both the front and rear lights. My main helmet light makes me more visible than the Vis 360 from the front, and aiming it too the side when needed gets the attention of those that didn't respond to the other lights and reflectors.

Last edited by no motor?; 12-08-15 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 12-04-15, 04:43 PM
  #37  
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The headlight and tail light I wear on my helmet have good side visibility due to the lens design. Swiveling my head around to check traffic increases visibility. I can see that drivers notice me. However I've tilted the headlight downward to avoid unintentionally beaming into drivers' eyes. If I feel the need to get their attention I can tip my head up a bit and look directly at them.

The additional tail light clipped to my rear rack has pretty decent side visibility too.

I have four springy ribbon reflectors clipped to the bike, and toward dark I'll attach them to my ankles and arms. Very quick and easy, and don't bind.

Recently I switched from my original Specialized Hemisphere tires to Michelin Protek Cross Max, which have reflective sidewalls.

And I'm planning to add more small lights to improve visibility. Probably not spoke-mounted LEDs, although I've seen a few around town and they're very visible attention getters.
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Old 12-04-15, 04:57 PM
  #38  
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Never felt it was a problem

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Old 12-04-15, 08:47 PM
  #39  
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I use something like these:

SunLite HL-L515 Super Bright 5-LED Amber Bicycle Light Clear
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Old 12-04-15, 10:03 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
A Parka with wide reflective stripes works for Me. head and tail light have Light side spill as well
I followed a cyclist on our local MUT through some S turns who was wearing a wide reflective Sam Browne belt, plus wide reflective wrist and ankle bands. My Luxos on low lit him like the 2nd coming, totally obscuring his lights which were brighter than average. All the reflective material was white, and reflected enough light to illuminate the ground near him. I can only imagine how much he would have lit up from a cars headlights.

I've had family and coworkers comment on how well the reflective sidewalls on my bikes tires show up.
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Old 12-06-15, 01:05 PM
  #41  
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Scrubbing the sidewalls clean occasionally helps a reflex band function better .. particularly if using rim brakes..
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Old 12-16-15, 07:16 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by altondavis2 View Post
I put the Continental Touring tires on my Specialized Sirrus (reflective sidewalls), really light up nice.
Lots of comments from bikers that didn't know about reflective sidewalls.
I second this. Have Touring Plus tires and they shine brightly at night (see image below).

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Old 12-16-15, 07:33 PM
  #43  
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This was shot in total darkness with only the iPhone flash providing illumination.
The lower bike has Marathon Supremes which have a 5mm reflective stripe.
I think it looks more pronounced on the front tire only because it is tilted more toward the camera.
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Old 12-17-15, 11:32 AM
  #44  
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I'm running LIT commuter tires and can be purchased at biketires direct.. Quite a few people that doe the social rides here in Houston will run Monkey 'letric lights that do the whole persistance of vision thing. I like them. but I run a gen hub up front and in the rear.. Well I have panniers so the effect would be wasted. Plus It'll be about $120 per wheel to do it right.
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Old 12-17-15, 11:53 AM
  #45  
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I use Revolights. They have some annoyances but provide excellent side visibility. They also provide good front and back visibility, but I have long rear fenders so I can't use them as a rear light.

I also have a bunch of reflective decals on my helmet.
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Old 12-27-15, 03:06 AM
  #46  
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+1 for reflective wheel and spoke tape.

No one has mentioned Nori Lights yet. I just ordered a set. They use UV LEDs combined with photoluminescent rim tape.


Nori Lights — Nori Lights Bicycle Wheel Illumination System
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Old 12-27-15, 05:45 AM
  #47  
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get a Proviz Reflect 360 jacket .... it is made entirely of the reflective material that is used as strips etc on other jackets

looks dull grey in the day, but at night, any light that is directed towards it lights the whole jacket up

they also have one now that is reversable with the high viz yellow colour for daytime .... a bit pricey, but well worth it if you travel in the dark IMHO ... I will get one when I am flush with cash


there is also this spraypaint that has been developed by Volvo:

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Old 12-27-15, 06:18 AM
  #48  
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For the OPs concerns, I think a helmet light is most effective. I have powerful front and rear lights, but my moderately powered Light & Motion Viz 360 is perhaps my most effective collision deterrent. Whenever I see a car at a side street, parking lot or intersection that might turn or pull out in front of me, I simply turn and look at them. The LED beam is directed right at them, and they stop immediately. All it takes is a quick glance.

For a passive solution, tires with reflective sidewalls are also helpful.
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Old 12-27-15, 08:28 AM
  #49  
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These can be mounted on the seat tube instead of the seat post. Get two, one for each side (left and right sides). USB charging cable at your office.

http://www.cygolite.com/product/hotrod-50-usb/
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Old 12-27-15, 03:02 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
[snip]

there is also this spraypaint that has been developed by Volvo:

That saddle angle in the thumbnail tho...
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