How bright is too bright?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by guitarin, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Greater Hampton Roads, VA
    You should change that to a hi-viz orange or green/yellow vice just neon yellow. Oh, and stick on some retroreflective tape around the tip.


    A bit on topic: I've thought about using some aux lights -- moreso for increasing by light spill at night from side to side than visibility to others -- but always held off. None of my bikes really have much wattage overhead, so even a set of small 10W LED aux lights would be a cram if I were to use anything like heated grips or jackets. I'm actually thinking about disconnecting the useless DRL in my Stone (you can only see it if the headlight bulb blew) and converting the license plate bulb to LED just to get a few more watts. During warmer months the extra juice isn't a big deal, but during winter when I run electrics or even just heated grips, every watt counts.

    Anyway, more lights are fine in my opinion, so long as they don't become a distraction to other motorists. The motorist might not hit the moving disco ball that is the rider, but they're so distracted or blinded by the second coming of Jesus-type light that the rider is emitting that they run into the car in front of them. I've been behind riders with tail lights that flashed. While they were attention getters, one rider had his flashing all the time so it became impossible to tell when he was braking until he visibly slowed down. The other at least had his only flash when he put on the brake. I've also been blinded plenty of times by vehicles -- motorcycle and car alike -- with aftermarket HID kits on low beams that don't properly cut the light.

    I do think a pair of properly aimed aftermarket aux lights or running lights can help visibility all around. The separation of the two lights and their offset relative to the main headlight help to give better depth perception to oncoming traffic, let a bike stand out better when their main headlight is backlit by another vehicle ("getting lost in the headlight of another car"), in addition to providing the rider with more illumination of the road.

    Retroreflective stuff is good, too. It's passively lit and generally not overbright, especially at a distance.
    #41
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    55,298
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I agree. I have used P3 lights for years. They are quite bright, and also flash 4 times before going solid. They also flicker at 50hz, which is just in the visable range. Not a panacia, but work well enough for me.

    [​IMG]

    I also use LEDs on the front for conspicuity:

    [​IMG]

    BTW, these are angled down about 5° and at 20 feet are not nearly as bright as they appear in the photo. I do not get flashed with them.

    Jim :brow
    #42
  3. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    And what brand conspicuity LED lamps are these, Jim?
    #43
  4. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    55,298
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    #44
  5. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,692
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    Ah, 15W 1200 Lumen Cree lamps. Good deal. Bright, easy to mount and at $23 eBay, they are less expensive than my Trucklite 60-series amber brake light modules ($32 local NAPA).

    My DRLs:

    [​IMG](don't chuckle, these are 4-5 years old)

    --Bill
    #45