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Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 12th 09, 03:13 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Andre Jute[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,233
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

I bought a Polaris L120W front LED light to replace a Cateye HL-EL320
which stopped working because the air was a little humid. The Cateye
cost about 32 Euro to land here, bought on Ebay. The Polaris cost a
third as much, bought by mailorder from Chainreactioncycles in
Belfast.

The Polaris L120W leaves the Cateye HL-EL320 for dead in every
respect, and in many makes it look tacky and cheap.

The Polaris L120W is much smaller than the Cateye, in part because it
operates on three AAA batteries rather than on four AA batteries.
Operating times for the Polaris, claimed because I've not had it long
enough to check, is 50 hours on steady light and 140 hours blnking, in
practice as long as the Cateye's very long run times. The Polaris
handlebar mount make the Cateye one look cheap and nasty. The Polaris
has 12 degrees of sideways adjustment, just right for adjusting to the
angle of the curve on North Road bars.

The light of the Polaris L120W falls on the road as a narrow oval with
some sidespill. I can see it getting you home if all your other lights
fail, but I cannot see it as a main light anywhere except lit city
streets. I bought it as an auxiliary light for its flash, so I don't
care that it is not a self-standing light (to my standards -- others
find it more than adequate under all circumstances).

The Polaris L120W on flash is appallingly sharp at night; I certainly
hope it doesn't fall into the hands of those anti-social cyclists who
"take the lane". It is essential to set it up with care and
consideration for other road users.

After some experimentation I have it pointing about 15 degrees down
from horizontal so that the oval of defined light starts only 3m/10ft
in front of the light. At this angle, it's flash still lights up a
reflective surface 18in off the ground a hundred paces away, so you
may be certain it will warn of hazards, and warn those hazards that
the cyclist in their orbit.

In an empty, dark mall car park I looked at it from the front, as set
up in the previous paragraph. On a front of 60 paces wide at 100 paces
distance there is obviously a flashing light warning of some hazard
but there is no point where it blinds. i walked further but gave up at
160 paces. That light, even shining down, will attract attention at
half a mile if there is a sightline.

The angling will obviously affect daytime performance, but the fact is
that I had the Cateye turned downwards too (to avoid shining in
motorists' eyes in tunnels of trees where I often ride), and know that
motorists still noticed it in good time. I expect that the Polaris,
turned down, will do as well in bright daylight as the Cateye but
don't have enough experience yet to guarantee it.

The Polaris has better sidewards visibility to motorists than the
Cateye. Unfortunately that also means that you can see it flashing,
but I got used to it very shortly.

The Polaris is a watertight design, rated to 50m like a watch. The
Cateye has holes in the casing (either for air circulation or to emit
light as a warning to the owner that it is switched on or perhaps only
carelessly).

The Polaris comes with a mounting bracket and acceessories that make
it versatile enough to fit any handlebar or frame or even fork in any
position. There is also a lanyard for using it as a running lamp. The
mounting bracket design and the lamp's lanyard attachment can be used
to secure a tiewrap around mounting and light to discourage impulse
thefts. The light is small and unobtrusive but I usually leave my
lights flashing when I go into the shops or the library.

There is a matching rear light L120R, which I don't have.

I cannot yet report on battery usage or the longevity of the Polaris
L120W, but from comparing this sturdy, well-designed light with the
flimsy, carelessly designed Cateye HL-EL320, I would certainly expect
the Polaris to serve a lot longer than the Cateye.

For a better light at a third the price (about half the price if you
pay full recommended prices), I see no reason not to prefer the
Polaris L120W over the Cateye HL-EL320. In fact, if my Cateye TL-
LD1100 tail light breaks again, I shall instantly buy the matching
Polaris tail light, the L120R, and hope it is as good as its front
sibling.

Andre Jute
Visit Andre's books at
http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/THE%20WRITER'S%20HOUSE.html
Visit Jute on Bicycles at
http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/...20CYCLING.html



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  #2  
Old July 13th 09, 12:25 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Andre Jute[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,233
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

On Jul 12, 3:13*am, Andre Jute wrote:
I bought a Polaris L120W front LED light to replace a Cateye HL-EL320
which stopped working because the air was a little humid. The Cateye
cost about 32 Euro to land here, bought on Ebay. The Polaris cost a
third as much, bought by mailorder *from Chainreactioncycles in
Belfast.

The Polaris L120W leaves the Cateye HL-EL320 for dead in every
respect, and in many makes it look tacky and cheap.

The Polaris L120W is much smaller than the Cateye, in part because it
operates on three AAA batteries rather than on four AA batteries.
Operating times for the Polaris, claimed because I've not had it long
enough to check, is 50 hours on steady light and 140 hours blnking, in
practice as long as the Cateye's very long run times. The Polaris
handlebar mount make the Cateye one look cheap and nasty. The Polaris
has 12 degrees of sideways adjustment, just right for adjusting to the
angle of the curve on North Road bars.

The light of the Polaris L120W falls on the road as a narrow oval with
some sidespill. I can see it getting you home if all your other lights
fail, but I cannot see it as a main light anywhere except lit city
streets. I bought it as an auxiliary light for its flash, so I don't
care that it is not a self-standing light (to my standards -- others
find it more than adequate under all circumstances).

The Polaris L120W on flash is appallingly sharp at night; I certainly
hope it doesn't fall into the hands of those anti-social cyclists who
"take the lane". It is essential to set it up with care and
consideration for other road users.

After some experimentation I have it pointing about 15 degrees down
from horizontal so that the oval of defined light starts only 3m/10ft
in front of the light. At this angle, it's flash still lights up a
reflective surface 18in off the ground a hundred paces away, so you
may be certain it will warn of hazards, and warn those hazards that
the cyclist in their orbit.

In an empty, dark mall car park I looked at it from the front, as set
up in the previous paragraph. On a front of 60 paces wide at 100 paces
distance there is obviously a flashing light warning of some hazard
but there is no point where it blinds. i walked further but gave up at
160 paces. That light, even shining down, will attract attention at
half a mile if there is a sightline.

The angling will obviously affect daytime performance, but the fact is
that I had the Cateye turned downwards too (to avoid shining in
motorists' eyes in tunnels of trees where I often ride), and know that
motorists still noticed it in good time. I expect that the Polaris,
turned down, will do as well in bright daylight as the Cateye but
don't have enough experience yet to guarantee it.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AFTER FURTHER EXPERIENCE
At the downward angle in which I use the Polaris so as not to dazzle
drivers at night, during the daytime it is less sharp than the Cateye
from, say, 60 yards. The six inches of waving white tip to the tail of
a black dog sniffing the bike is more of an attraction to the eyes
than the blinking light... But once the bike starts moving, the
blinking light does attract attention to the bike. Drivers on a narrow
lane slow down, just as they did for the Cateye, well beyond their
slowing-down distance when I ride without the flashing lights.
Flashing lights work, period.

DRIVER MOTIVATION
I think it very likely that drivers take extra care with a cyclist who
announces with flashing lights that he takes care of himself. The
smarter drivers will see the flashing lights also as a service to
avoid damaging their expensive paintwork against a large bike with
many protruberances, and in avoiding liability for an accident to the
bicyclist.

The Polaris has better sidewards visibility to motorists than the
Cateye. Unfortunately that also means that you can see it flashing,
but I got used to it very shortly.

The Polaris is a watertight design, rated to 50m like a watch. The
Cateye has holes in the casing (either for air circulation or to emit
light as a warning to the owner that it is switched on or perhaps only
carelessly).

The Polaris comes with a mounting bracket and acceessories that make
it versatile enough to fit any handlebar or frame or even fork in any
position. There is also a lanyard for using it as a running lamp. The
mounting bracket design and the lamp's lanyard attachment can be used
to secure a tiewrap around mounting and light to discourage impulse
thefts. The light is small and unobtrusive but I usually leave my
lights flashing when I go into the shops or the library.

There is a matching rear light L120R, which I don't have.

I cannot yet report on battery usage or the longevity of the Polaris
L120W, but from comparing this sturdy, well-designed light with the
flimsy, carelessly designed Cateye HL-EL320, I would certainly expect
the Polaris to serve a lot longer than the Cateye.

For a better light at a third the price (about half the price if you
pay full recommended prices), I see no reason not to prefer the
Polaris L120W over the Cateye HL-EL320. In fact, if my Cateye TL-
LD1100 tail light breaks again, I shall instantly buy the matching
Polaris tail light, the L120R, and hope it is as good as its front
sibling.

Andre Jute
*Visit Andre's books at
*http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/THE%20WRITER'S%20HOUSE.html
Visit Jute on Bicycles at
*http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/...20CYCLING.html


  #3  
Old July 13th 09, 04:59 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
someone
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,340
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

On 13 July, 00:25, Andre Jute wrote:
On Jul 12, 3:13*am, Andre Jute wrote:



I bought a Polaris L120W front LED light to replace a Cateye HL-EL320
which stopped working because the air was a little humid. The Cateye
cost about 32 Euro to land here, bought on Ebay. The Polaris cost a
third as much, bought by mailorder *from Chainreactioncycles in
Belfast.


The Polaris L120W leaves the Cateye HL-EL320 for dead in every
respect, and in many makes it look tacky and cheap.


The Polaris L120W is much smaller than the Cateye, in part because it
operates on three AAA batteries rather than on four AA batteries.
Operating times for the Polaris, claimed because I've not had it long
enough to check, is 50 hours on steady light and 140 hours blnking, in
practice as long as the Cateye's very long run times. The Polaris
handlebar mount make the Cateye one look cheap and nasty. The Polaris
has 12 degrees of sideways adjustment, just right for adjusting to the
angle of the curve on North Road bars.


The light of the Polaris L120W falls on the road as a narrow oval with
some sidespill. I can see it getting you home if all your other lights
fail, but I cannot see it as a main light anywhere except lit city
streets. I bought it as an auxiliary light for its flash, so I don't
care that it is not a self-standing light (to my standards -- others
find it more than adequate under all circumstances).


The Polaris L120W on flash is appallingly sharp at night; I certainly
hope it doesn't fall into the hands of those anti-social cyclists who
"take the lane". It is essential to set it up with care and
consideration for other road users.


After some experimentation I have it pointing about 15 degrees down
from horizontal so that the oval of defined light starts only 3m/10ft
in front of the light. At this angle, it's flash still lights up a
reflective surface 18in off the ground a hundred paces away, so you
may be certain it will warn of hazards, and warn those hazards that
the cyclist in their orbit.


In an empty, dark mall car park I looked at it from the front, as set
up in the previous paragraph. On a front of 60 paces wide at 100 paces
distance there is obviously a flashing light warning of some hazard
but there is no point where it blinds. i walked further but gave up at
160 paces. That light, even shining down, will attract attention at
half a mile if there is a sightline.


The angling will obviously affect daytime performance, but the fact is
that I had the Cateye turned downwards too (to avoid shining in
motorists' eyes in tunnels of trees where I often ride), and know that
motorists still noticed it in good time. I expect that the Polaris,
turned down, will do as well in bright daylight as the Cateye but
don't have enough experience yet to guarantee it.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AFTER FURTHER EXPERIENCE
At the downward angle in which I use the Polaris so as not to dazzle
drivers at night, during the daytime it is less sharp than the Cateye
from, say, 60 yards. The six inches of waving white tip to the tail of
a black dog sniffing the bike is more of an attraction to the eyes
than the blinking light... But once the bike starts moving, the
blinking light does attract attention to the bike. Drivers on a narrow
lane slow down, just as they did for the Cateye, well beyond their
slowing-down distance when I ride without the flashing lights.
Flashing lights work, period.

DRIVER MOTIVATION
I think it very likely that drivers take extra care with a cyclist who
announces with flashing lights that he takes care of himself. The
smarter drivers will see the flashing lights also as a service to
avoid damaging their expensive paintwork against a large bike with
many protruberances, and in avoiding liability for an accident to the
bicyclist.

The Polaris has better sidewards visibility to motorists than the
Cateye. Unfortunately that also means that you can see it flashing,
but I got used to it very shortly.


The Polaris is a watertight design, rated to 50m like a watch. The
Cateye has holes in the casing (either for air circulation or to emit
light as a warning to the owner that it is switched on or perhaps only
carelessly).


The Polaris comes with a mounting bracket and acceessories that make
it versatile enough to fit any handlebar or frame or even fork in any
position. There is also a lanyard for using it as a running lamp. The
mounting bracket design and the lamp's lanyard attachment can be used
to secure a tiewrap around mounting and light to discourage impulse
thefts. The light is small and unobtrusive but I usually leave my
lights flashing when I go into the shops or the library.


There is a matching rear light L120R, which I don't have.


I cannot yet report on battery usage or the longevity of the Polaris
L120W, but from comparing this sturdy, well-designed light with the
flimsy, carelessly designed Cateye HL-EL320, I would certainly expect
the Polaris to serve a lot longer than the Cateye.


For a better light at a third the price (about half the price if you
pay full recommended prices), I see no reason not to prefer the
Polaris L120W over the Cateye HL-EL320. In fact, if my Cateye TL-
LD1100 tail light breaks again, I shall instantly buy the matching
Polaris tail light, the L120R, and hope it is as good as its front
sibling.


Andre Jute
*Visit Andre's books at
*http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/THE%20WRITER'S%20HOUSE.html
Visit Jute on Bicycles at
*http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/...20CYCLING.html




The flashing light is not required to attract attention in full
sunshine, use tiny prisms and mirrors on your wheels if you must
(small bright silver stickers I have come across at a stationary shop,
cannot recall for what they are designed). Silvered gift-wrap and
tape is another possibility for brightening the bicycle in full
sunshine, or polish everything bright. You have identified the
flasher's real benefit, that it highlights the bicyclist in changing
light conditions. On a tree lined road with heavy shading. Also when
it suddenly becomes overcast because of quickly approaching storm
cloads. Using steady large lights at night backed up with big
reflectors lessens the vulnerability for it does not scream soft
target. Skip markings may be even more appropriate than looking like
the edge of a car. In the UK mainland it is now advised (Highways
Authority, I think) that slow vehicles such as road going wheelchairs,
use amber flashing light when using dual carriageways wich does not
have mandatory speed restrictions of 50mph or less. This is not
advised bicyclists as far as I'm aware, but should highlight the need
to make oneself more visible on busier roads, of which a high vis vest
may be most appropriate highlighting the shoulders above cars. Wide
yellow leg bands do increase conspicuity from all around when cycling
with an unobstructed view and seem to lessen the nfrequency of side
road pull outs.

Glare angle is considered at a distance of something like 100ft at
3'6" IIRC If there is no glare measured at this point then it is safe
(and legal) to use continuously on the public highway. Set it one
inch below if it will still maintain good road illumination.
  #4  
Old July 13th 09, 11:14 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Andre Jute[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,233
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

On Jul 13, 4:59*pm, someone wrote:
On 13 July, 00:25, Andre Jute wrote:



On Jul 12, 3:13*am, Andre Jute wrote:


I bought a Polaris L120W front LED light to replace a Cateye HL-EL320
which stopped working because the air was a little humid. The Cateye
cost about 32 Euro to land here, bought on Ebay. The Polaris cost a
third as much, bought by mailorder *from Chainreactioncycles in
Belfast.


The Polaris L120W leaves the Cateye HL-EL320 for dead in every
respect, and in many makes it look tacky and cheap.


The Polaris L120W is much smaller than the Cateye, in part because it
operates on three AAA batteries rather than on four AA batteries.
Operating times for the Polaris, claimed because I've not had it long
enough to check, is 50 hours on steady light and 140 hours blnking, in
practice as long as the Cateye's very long run times. The Polaris
handlebar mount make the Cateye one look cheap and nasty. The Polaris
has 12 degrees of sideways adjustment, just right for adjusting to the
angle of the curve on North Road bars.


The light of the Polaris L120W falls on the road as a narrow oval with
some sidespill. I can see it getting you home if all your other lights
fail, but I cannot see it as a main light anywhere except lit city
streets. I bought it as an auxiliary light for its flash, so I don't
care that it is not a self-standing light (to my standards -- others
find it more than adequate under all circumstances).


The Polaris L120W on flash is appallingly sharp at night; I certainly
hope it doesn't fall into the hands of those anti-social cyclists who
"take the lane". It is essential to set it up with care and
consideration for other road users.


After some experimentation I have it pointing about 15 degrees down
from horizontal so that the oval of defined light starts only 3m/10ft
in front of the light. At this angle, it's flash still lights up a
reflective surface 18in off the ground a hundred paces away, so you
may be certain it will warn of hazards, and warn those hazards that
the cyclist in their orbit.


In an empty, dark mall car park I looked at it from the front, as set
up in the previous paragraph. On a front of 60 paces wide at 100 paces
distance there is obviously a flashing light warning of some hazard
but there is no point where it blinds. i walked further but gave up at
160 paces. That light, even shining down, will attract attention at
half a mile if there is a sightline.


The angling will obviously affect daytime performance, but the fact is
that I had the Cateye turned downwards too (to avoid shining in
motorists' eyes in tunnels of trees where I often ride), and know that
motorists still noticed it in good time. I expect that the Polaris,
turned down, will do as well in bright daylight as the Cateye but
don't have enough experience yet to guarantee it.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AFTER FURTHER EXPERIENCE
At the downward angle in which I use the Polaris so as not to dazzle
drivers at night, during the daytime it is less sharp than the Cateye
from, say, 60 yards. The six inches of waving white tip to the tail of
a black dog sniffing the bike is more of an attraction to the eyes
than the blinking light... But once the bike starts moving, the
blinking light does attract attention to the bike. Drivers on a narrow
lane slow down, just as they did for the Cateye, well beyond their
slowing-down distance when I ride without the flashing lights.
Flashing lights work, period.


DRIVER MOTIVATION
I think it very likely that drivers take extra care with a cyclist who
announces with flashing lights that he takes care of himself. The
smarter drivers will see the flashing lights also as a service to
avoid damaging their expensive paintwork against a large bike with
many protruberances, and in avoiding liability for an accident to the
bicyclist.


The Polaris has better sidewards visibility to motorists than the
Cateye. Unfortunately that also means that you can see it flashing,
but I got used to it very shortly.


The Polaris is a watertight design, rated to 50m like a watch. The
Cateye has holes in the casing (either for air circulation or to emit
light as a warning to the owner that it is switched on or perhaps only
carelessly).


The Polaris comes with a mounting bracket and acceessories that make
it versatile enough to fit any handlebar or frame or even fork in any
position. There is also a lanyard for using it as a running lamp. The
mounting bracket design and the lamp's lanyard attachment can be used
to secure a tiewrap around mounting and light to discourage impulse
thefts. The light is small and unobtrusive but I usually leave my
lights flashing when I go into the shops or the library.


There is a matching rear light L120R, which I don't have.


I cannot yet report on battery usage or the longevity of the Polaris
L120W, but from comparing this sturdy, well-designed light with the
flimsy, carelessly designed Cateye HL-EL320, I would certainly expect
the Polaris to serve a lot longer than the Cateye.


For a better light at a third the price (about half the price if you
pay full recommended prices), I see no reason not to prefer the
Polaris L120W over the Cateye HL-EL320. In fact, if my Cateye TL-
LD1100 tail light breaks again, I shall instantly buy the matching
Polaris tail light, the L120R, and hope it is as good as its front
sibling.


Andre Jute
*Visit Andre's books at
*http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/THE%20WRITER'S%20HOUSE.html
Visit Jute on Bicycles at
*http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/...20CYCLING.html


The flashing light is not required to attract attention in full
sunshine, use tiny prisms and mirrors on your wheels if you must
(small bright silver stickers I have come across at a stationary shop,
cannot recall for what they are designed).


Probably for flower arranging. You can just imagine the local clowns
choking on their rage when I publish a photo of a bike all blinged up
with glitter. Not that I would be seen dead on it, but I wouldn't tell
the clowns that.

*Silvered gift-wrap and
tape is another possibility for brightening the bicycle in full
sunshine, or polish everything bright. You have identified the
flasher's real benefit, that it highlights the bicyclist in changing
light conditions. *On a tree lined road with heavy shading. *Also when
it suddenly becomes overcast because of quickly approaching storm
cloads. *


That's basically a rationale for keeping the flasher going all the
time in daylight.

Using steady large lights at night backed up with big
reflectors lessens the vulnerability for it does not scream soft
target. * Skip markings may be even more appropriate than looking like
the edge of a car. *


What are "skip markings" -- do you mean those nestled right angles in
yellow on black?

In the UK mainland it is now advised (Highways
Authority, I think) that slow vehicles such as road going wheelchairs,
use amber flashing light when using dual carriageways wich does not
have mandatory speed restrictions of 50mph or less. *This is not
advised bicyclists as far as I'm aware,


Except by Scarfie, who vigorously promotes the use of 12V amber zenon
flashers.

but should highlight the need
to make oneself more visible on busier roads, of which a high vis vest
may be most appropriate highlighting the shoulders above cars. *


My wife commented on me wearing my hi-viz Sam Browne again, even
putting it out on a rail near my bike so I don't forget it at night,
and I told her how, in broad daylight, looking back into the shadows
for the pedalpals behind me, i couldn't see any of them in the shadow
of a building, even though they were wearing whitle, except that one
of them appeared as large yellow blob -- I was seeing her hi-viz Sam
Browne even in the deep shadow. Made a big impression on me.

Wide
yellow leg bands do increase conspicuity from all around when cycling
with an unobstructed view and seem to lessen the nfrequency of side
road pull outs.


My flashing lights flash to the sides as well, and I have reflectors
on the spokes, and reflecting bands (required by law on the Continent
where I buy my tires) on the tires. It's pretty tough to miss me from
the side.

Glare angle is considered at a distance of something like 100ft at
3'6" IIRC *If there is no glare measured at this point then it is safe
(and legal) to use continuously on the public highway. *Set it one
inch below if it will still maintain good road illumination.


Nah, mine is set well below that. I think it likely that anyone who
reads that law too literally and sets up his lights to the letter of
the law will seriously inconvenience and **** off drivers, which is
not the intention at all, which is in fact counterproductive. I was in
a car the other night and came upon a bicyclist with blinking lights
front and rear. From the back you saw the right blinky directly and
couldn't miss it. From the front you saw the downturned blinkie flash
but not glare. The interesting thing from the front and the side was
that the blinkies, including the rear one, lit up the bike and the
road and the surroundings, and it was this as much as the direct
eyeballing of the flash that warned of the hazard.

In that sense, if the LED's are strong enough to light up the bike's
surrondings, it no longer matters that LED's are so inconveniently uni-
directional. And when this is combined with focussing lense
technology, LED's are getting pretty close to being as good as
halogen; I emphasize, not there yet but close. I still hate that
ghostly pale LED light though; warm yellow halogen is so much more
friendly.

Andre Jute
The rest is magic hidden in the hub.
For rare hub dynamo bikes, visit Jute on Bicycles at
http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/fiultra/...20CYCLING.html


  #5  
Old July 14th 09, 05:18 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
someone
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,340
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

On 13 July, 23:14, Andre Jute wrote:


The flashing light is not required to attract attention in full
sunshine, use tiny prisms and mirrors on your wheels if you must
(small bright silver stickers I have come across at a stationary shop,
cannot recall for what they are designed).


Probably for flower arranging. You can just imagine the local clowns
choking on their rage when I publish a photo of a bike all blinged up
with glitter. Not that I would be seen dead on it, but I wouldn't tell
the clowns that.

*Silvered gift-wrap and
tape is another possibility for brightening the bicycle in full
sunshine, or polish everything bright. You have identified the
flasher's real benefit, that it highlights the bicyclist in changing
light conditions. *On a tree lined road with heavy shading. *Also when
it suddenly becomes overcast because of quickly approaching storm
cloads. *


That's basically a rationale for keeping the flasher going all the
time in daylight.


No because it would never be as bright as the mid-day summer sun and
the flashing from the wheel rim can be made more conspicuous
(interupted flash) when the bike is struck by direct sunlight.

Using steady large lights at night backed up with big
reflectors lessens the vulnerability for it does not scream soft
target. * Skip markings may be even more appropriate than looking like
the edge of a car. *


What are "skip markings" -- do you mean those nestled right angles in
yellow on black?


Whatever is used in your locality to identify a large open dump box
made of steel and left on roads so that builders can dunp their
waste. I think that the orange/yellow chevron markings as used on
HGV's are the current legal requirement here. Yellow/black is used to
identify the openings of fixed obstructions such as stone arched
bridges or gateposts. Y/B is also used for skips.

In the UK mainland it is now advised (Highways
Authority, I think) that slow vehicles such as road going wheelchairs,
use amber flashing light when using dual carriageways wich does not
have mandatory speed restrictions of 50mph or less. *This is not
advised bicyclists as far as I'm aware,


Except by Scarfie, who vigorously promotes the use of 12V amber zenon
flashers.


???

but should highlight the need
to make oneself more visible on busier roads, of which a high vis vest
may be most appropriate highlighting the shoulders above cars. *


My wife commented on me wearing my hi-viz Sam Browne again, even
putting it out on a rail near my bike so I don't forget it at night,
and I told her how, in broad daylight, looking back into the shadows
for the pedalpals behind me, i couldn't see any of them in the shadow
of a building, even though they were wearing whitle, except that one
of them appeared as large yellow blob -- I was seeing her hi-viz Sam
Browne even in the deep shadow. Made a big impression on me.


I think the design and recommendation for this device came about
because of the greater responsibility placed upon the pedestrian for
his own safety (UK late 60's). Recommended highly for motorcyclists
and cyclists, I can remember police motorcyclists wearing these making
them easier to detect from a distance than with just their usual
"POLICE" markings.

Wide
yellow leg bands do increase conspicuity from all around when cycling
with an unobstructed view and seem to lessen the nfrequency of side
road pull outs.


My flashing lights flash to the sides as well, and I have reflectors
on the spokes, and reflecting bands (required by law on the Continent
where I buy my tires) on the tires. It's pretty tough to miss me from
the side.


The leg bands help in good bright conditions when the typical SMIDSY
response from a driver emerging from a side road seems to have highest
frequency. Wide bands give a large moving area of colour. It is the
lack of apparent movement which is why I think drivers fail to see
cyclists in this scenario. A point flashing light even if made bright
enough for daylight use is 'not moving' when viewed head on. The
flash could be mistaken for a reflection off a parked vehicle and not
register as a potential threat to a driver. The moving bands attract
the eye quicker and without concious effort than a fixed regular flash
point lamp. The bands of which I speak are 2" wide or more and are
placed high on the calves.

Glare angle is considered at a distance of something like 100ft at
3'6" IIRC *If there is no glare measured at this point then it is safe
(and legal) to use continuously on the public highway. *Set it one
inch below if it will still maintain good road illumination.


Nah, mine is set well below that. I think it likely that anyone who
reads that law too literally and sets up his lights to the letter of
the law will seriously inconvenience and **** off drivers,


The requirements (for cars) made fifty years ago prevent this. There
is no law in headlamp aim for cyclists. Use as much light as is safe,
as was set down for cars 50 years (more) back.

not the intention at all, which is in fact counterproductive. I was in
a car the other night and came upon a bicyclist with blinking lights
front and rear. From the back you saw the right blinky directly and
couldn't miss it. From the front you saw the downturned blinkie flash
but not glare. The interesting thing from the front and the side was
that the blinkies, including the rear one, lit up the bike and the
road and the surroundings, and it was this as much as the direct
eyeballing of the flash that warned of the hazard.


Which only works in darkness or poor streetlighting. A large lens
steady light and large reflector are your best way of being seen by
other road users in darkness. Using a Hi-Vis reflective vest or Sam
Browne Hi Vis help with medium and high density traffic. A
'flourecent' top may be worn for dull conditions including dusk/dawn.


In that sense, if the LED's are strong enough to light up the bike's
surrondings, it no longer matters that LED's are so inconveniently uni-
directional. And when this is combined with focussing lense
technology, LED's are getting pretty close to being as good as
halogen; I emphasize, not there yet but close. I still hate that
ghostly pale LED light though; warm yellow halogen is so much more
friendly.


The sun is strong enough to light up your surroundings, which seems to
do nothing to prevent drivers pulling out of side roads. This does
not happen of a night, even drunks see a cyclist with a headlight.
The issues are not about brightness but size and movement when light
contrasts cannot be large. Flashers infer movement but we are so used
to them that we ignore this. Multi frequency strobes and sirens are
commonly ignored, there is no immediate 'threat', which is only
conveyed to be urgent by observed movement.

You do not need to be invisible to avoid observation.
  #6  
Old July 27th 09, 11:28 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8,595
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

someone wrote:

No because it would never be as bright as the mid-day summer sun and
the flashing from the wheel rim can be made more conspicuous
(interupted flash) when the bike is struck by direct sunlight.


LOL, okay, then in the summer, on clear days, in the middle of the day,
you can use something else to make yourself conspicuous. The rest of the
time, which is most of the time, keep a flasher going. But be sure it's
a flasher that's actually visible in daylight, not a drugstore variety
LED flasher.

The best option is from here
"http://www.night-sun.com/htmldocs/stuff_civilian.html". I use something
similar with my 12 volt system,
"http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/STROBE-3A/AMBER-XENON-FLASHER/-/1.html"

A xenon strobe is a much better rear light than an LED flasher because
it is less directional, though there are now a few higher end LED tail
lights that have side pointing LEDs.

They also have these in clear, blue, green, and red. A clear one for the
front would be a good daytime flasher for the front.
  #7  
Old July 28th 09, 03:49 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
someone
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,340
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

On 27 July, 23:28, SMS wrote:
someone wrote:
No because it would never be as bright as the mid-day summer sun and
the flashing from the wheel rim can be made more conspicuous
(interupted flash) when the bike is struck by direct sunlight.


LOL, okay, then in the summer, on clear days, in the middle of the day,
you can use something else to make yourself conspicuous. The rest of the
time, which is most of the time, keep a flasher going. But be sure it's
a flasher that's actually visible in daylight, not a drugstore variety
LED flasher.

The best option is from here
"http://www.night-sun.com/htmldocs/stuff_civilian.html". I use something
similar with my 12 volt system,
"http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/STROBE-3A/AMBER-XENON..."

A xenon strobe is a much better rear light than an LED flasher because
it is less directional, though there are now a few higher end LED tail
lights that have side pointing LEDs.

They also have these in clear, blue, green, and red. A clear one for the
front would be a good daytime flasher for the front.


Sometimes I might agree with you but for the fact that I've survived
without any daytime lights, and the times I have been struck, the
invisibility cloak took charge because of what I believe is a lack of
apparent threat or movement. I believe that although the flash may
attract the attention of a driver for a split second, it is not long
enough for him to assess the probability of another road user. He
will still look through the cyclist because he is small and apparently
immobile. A pair of alternating lights to the front and to the rear
would likely have greatest effect (there are legality issues with this
due to it being used by police etc.) Using leg bands does seem to
have prevented the smidsy scenario with me. I've stiched 4" white
collars below my knees on my black tights. I also move from side to
side to improve conspicuity when safe and desirable.
  #8  
Old July 28th 09, 06:01 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 8,595
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

someone wrote:

Sometimes I might agree with you but for the fact that I've survived
without any daytime lights, and the times I have been struck, the
invisibility cloak took charge because of what I believe is a lack of
apparent threat or movement. I believe that although the flash may
attract the attention of a driver for a split second, it is not long
enough for him to assess the probability of another road user. He
will still look through the cyclist because he is small and apparently
immobile. A pair of alternating lights to the front and to the rear
would likely have greatest effect (there are legality issues with this
due to it being used by police etc.) Using leg bands does seem to
have prevented the smidsy scenario with me. I've stiched 4" white
collars below my knees on my black tights. I also move from side to
side to improve conspicuity when safe and desirable.


Actually, what seems to have the greatest effect on drivers, is the
Bike-Up Flash Flag. This may be partly due to the fact that it's so
unusual, but it really does get in the face of drivers coming up behind
you, and coming toward you.

"http://www.flashback.ca/bicycle.html"

When I'm driving, I find the flashing high-intensity LED strobes from
oncoming cyclists extremely visible.
  #9  
Old July 28th 09, 03:17 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
someone
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,340
Default Initial report: Polaris L120W front LED light

On 28 July, 06:01, SMS wrote:
someone wrote:
Sometimes I might agree with you but for the fact that I've survived
without any daytime lights, and the times I have been struck, the
invisibility cloak took charge because of what I believe is a lack of
apparent threat or movement. *I believe that although the flash may
attract the attention of a driver for a split second, it is not long
enough for him to assess the probability of another road user. *He
will still look through the cyclist because he is small and apparently
immobile. *A pair of alternating lights to the front and to the rear
would likely have greatest effect (there are legality issues with this
due to it being used by police etc.) *Using leg bands does seem to
have prevented the smidsy scenario with me. *I've stiched 4" white
collars below my knees on my black tights. *I also move from side to
side to improve conspicuity when safe and desirable.


Actually, what seems to have the greatest effect on drivers, is the
Bike-Up Flash Flag. This may be partly due to the fact that it's so
unusual, but it really does get in the face of drivers coming up behind
you, and coming toward you.

"http://www.flashback.ca/bicycle.html"

When I'm driving, I find the flashing high-intensity LED strobes from
oncoming cyclists extremely visible.


Once drivers get used to these, they are no threat so become
worthless. They do not make the cyclist bigger nor do they have any
'threatening' movement. If it's passing clearance that you demand,
carry a u-lock on your outer arm/hand. Simply looking behind and
releasing the outer hand does wonders. It is a true demonstration
that it's not brightness or flashing which is effective but threat.
Size, movement and colour can all be used, light flashes will only
help the good driver who will look to determine what is behind the
flash.
 




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