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Discussion Starter #1
He everybody, I need your help.
I'm am a student at the Technical University of Delft and I'm studying Industrial Design. I need to know a few things about bike lights and especially the requirements for them that people have in the States. In the end I have to come up with a new concept for a Dutch company that wants to introduce themselves in the USA. So can you help me by maybe answering a few of these questions:

What type of lights do you use? (detachable?) and why?

Where do you use them for? (to see or be seen?)

What do you expect in terms of lifetime?

What do you think is a good idea for bike lighting?

Maybe some other stuff that's on your mind?

Those are my questions and I would like to thank you in advance for helping me out!

Jur
 

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Here is an idea.

I would like to see something along the lines of a LED strip(s) that you could wrap around/attached to the back of the chainstays to outline the back of the bike better. This would definitely increase visibility at a greater distance as oppose to a giant reflector or a blinky, for those early morning/winter pm commuters.
 

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As with high-power halogen systems, high-power LED systems have attracted self-build enthusiasts, as top-end commercial products tend to be expensive due to low production volumes. Home brewers can incorporate state of the art technology months or years before it reaches the marketplace in retail products.
 

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It's hard to beat a good tactical flashlight in the 200-500 lumen range and a fenix bike mount. goinggear is your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why so powerfull?

@ArchTech @Simi

Why use such high-power setups? Aren't you afraid to blind the other traffic? And are a few blinkies and reflectors not enough in a city?

Here's an idea maybe:

Would a dynamic lighting system be an idea? If an area is well litten the intensity drops and if there aren't any traffic lights the beam of your headlight becomes stronger. Tell me what you think...
 

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Deranged Touring Cyclist
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Jver,

I like the concept of a dynamic lighting system, but would overall prefer to see the R&D budget go to brighter lights and/or better battery life.

In answer to your first query re: how riders use their lights, allow me to offer the following: @ present, I use 2 tactical-style lights on my bike at all times - both mounted -1 on constant-flash, 1 in reserve. Both are cheap imports from China that I bought for ~$5-7ea. They take 3-AAA batts each and have a 3-position switch for hi/low/constant flash.

These are 'be seen' lights in the day. I'll eventually see how they do after dark, when the plan is to run both concurrently. This means more weight, but also more light. Most importantly, I once had a brand-new name-brand headlight fail on my first ride with it - at the far end of a ~6mi out-and-back, in the dark with no backup - I had spare batts but not a spare light :mad: I won't be doing that again.

The funny part is, the failed light ran me ~$60. Even having purchased different mounts than came with them, I'm into my current lights for less than $20, total. If one of them fails, that's why there are two B-) Either of them pretty much swamps the pre-fail output of the expensive light that let me down.

In back, I run a blinkey and generic 5-led flasher. These are also 'be seen' lights and used every time I ride, day or night. I am less concerned with weight than with being as visible as possible to others - with both lights and reflectors. I'm also brand-new to the idea of riding on the road with cars, so that definitely plays a part in my choices.

I like that when I see an oncoming cyclist with a flashing headlight, they are way more visible from much farther away than cyclists with no light - even those in hi-vis clothing. I've noted the same thing while driving, both from behind/overtaking cyclists, and from head-on. Good, bright lights front and back appear to me to increase cyclists' visibility to drivers, and increased visibility can only help, imo! Replaceable, rechargeable batteries are, of course, a must-have.

Once again, I should make it very clear that weight means far less to me than does enhanced visibility. Other cyclists' views on weight vs. visibility will likely vary a lot. lol. FYI.

Best of luck with the new products!
 

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High lumin is needed for night riding - its not brighter than an automobile light. 200 or so is plenty to light your way - variable to higher is useful for weather. Most of the time my knog flashers are fine but I ride out in the country.
 

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What type of lights do you use? (detachable?) and why? I use detachable lighting (only on my touring bike) because I don't need the lights during the day so why haul them around? Two of the lights I use that stay on that bike are detachable but I leave them on are just front and rear flashers, the headlight is the one that gets taken off and put on depending on the ride.

Where do you use them for? (to see or be seen?) The flashers I leave on are to be seen only of course, but the headlight is to see with.

What do you expect in terms of lifetime? I have an old Cygolite Metro 13watt halogen light that I bought 15 years ago and it still works, so I expect lights to last at least that long. There's nothing complicated about a light, there is no reason a light shouldn't last 25 years and more!

What do you think is a good idea for bike lighting? Some sort of ring like Phillips uses that glows only about twice as thick as the Phillips for side illumination that a car coming from the side will notice. Also a twin light bulb with switch for both, the first bulb would be the main with a switch for high, medium and low output; and the second bulb with a switch for just flash on and off. Then a rider can choose flash only, beam with flash, or beam only. Today we have to use two separate lights to have both flash and beam on at the same time.

Maybe some other stuff that's on your mind? hmmm...well it would have nothing to do with cycling! Just kidding. I think it would be nice if they increased the size of bicycle light lens by about 100 percent. The larger diameter or oval shaped lens would be more noticable to drivers. The Phillips does have a larger (oval shaped) lens then any other cycle light, and my wife says it's a lot more noticeable when I approach her then my Cygolite ExpiliOn 450 even though they put out about the same lumens.
 

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@ArchTech @Simi

Why use such high-power setups? Aren't you afraid to blind the other traffic? And are a few blinkies and reflectors not enough in a city?

Here's an idea maybe:

Would a dynamic lighting system be an idea? If an area is well litten the intensity drops and if there aren't any traffic lights the beam of your headlight becomes stronger. Tell me what you think...
A properly aimed light is not going to blind anyone.

Blinkies may be adequate in some areas. It really depends on how well light the roads are in darkest part of the cyclist's route.

Personally I would not like dynamic lighting. It might be nice if the only light came from street lights. But cyclig into the headlights of an approaching car are very bright and that is when I would want the brightest light possible on my bike.
 

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The Phillips light answers the problem with aim while at the same time projecting the beam further then a flashlight would be able to without blinding drivers to do it like a flashlight would have too.

I believe in redundant lighting. So back about 18 years ago I bought a VistaLite Xenon rear flasher, it came with an amber and a red lens. Then about 13 years ago LED's came out and Cateye came out with a really bright unit called the LD600 still in production today. At that point I moved the old VistaLite to the front and changed the lens to amber, this meant I had a headlight and a flasher on the front. The combination of those two made me a lot more noticeable on the road. Later more lights were added that improved upon that idea of redundant lighting to where I now have the Cateye LD600 attached to my helmet, Soma Road Flares in my bar ends, those two are flashing; then I have a Blackburn Mars 4 on my seat post and that one remains on the steady mode. On the front I still have the Vistalite flasher, a Phillips light on the bar and a Cygolite Mitycross 480 on the helmet.

Combine active lighting with passive including a safety vest, and ankle strap reflectors and I'm good to go for night rides.
 

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I prefer to LED lighting. The main advantage of LED lighting is clearly in the energy savings (and therefore money savings!) which are achieved.
Do they even make non LED lights for bicycles anymore? LED is so inexpensive, especially below 100 lumens, it doesn't make sense to make a light with a different bulb.
 

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I use a reflector on the front and back of my bike. It doesn't really deter other bicyclists, but it works well with cars. xD
 

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I use a reflector on the front and back of my bike. It doesn't really deter other bicyclists, but it works well with cars. xD
You use no lighting whatsoever? Just reflectors? At night?
 
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