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Downward facing white lights for safety



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 8th 17, 10:22 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Doug Landau
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Default Downward facing white lights for safety

My taillight hopped off 5 miles from home at the end of a 500 mile tour. It was dark and the road got narrow and unlit so I strapped my flashlight to the left seatstay, pointed down, illuminating the roadway.

Looking at the result, I thought it did an absolutely great job of improving (creating?) visibility.

A useful product? A legal product? A marketable product? I have searched a few times over the years but found no mention of such a product, nor such a use of a light, nor any patents, nor laws regulating or prohibiting downward-facing lights. There are however as you know a lot of laws about what lights one can have on a vehicle, what color and direction and distance they go, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's illegal I just haven't found it yet.

I think it adds a lot more visibility than a red blinky.

dkl


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  #2  
Old March 9th 17, 12:44 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Gregory Sutter
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Default Downward facing white lights for safety

On 2017-03-08, Doug Landau wrote:
My taillight hopped off 5 miles from home at the end of a 500 mile tour. It was dark and the road got narrow and unlit so I strapped my flashlight to the left seatstay, pointed down, illuminating the roadway.

Looking at the result, I thought it did an absolutely great job of improving (creating?) visibility.

A useful product? A legal product? A marketable product? I have searched a few times over the years but found no mention of such a product,


Doug,

I think Rock the Bike were the first to popularize that, with their
Down Low Glow: http://rockthebike.com/the-down-low-glow/

Under some conditions it's excellent for visibility--but it's
always a lot of fun at parties.

--
Gregory S. Sutter Mostly Harmless

http://zer0.org/~gsutter/
  #3  
Old March 9th 17, 12:52 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
SMS
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Posts: 7,725
Default Downward facing white lights for safety

On 3/8/2017 2:22 PM, Doug Landau wrote:
My taillight hopped off 5 miles from home at the end of a 500 mile tour. It was dark and the road got narrow and unlit so I strapped my flashlight to the left seatstay, pointed down, illuminating the roadway.

Looking at the result, I thought it did an absolutely great job of improving (creating?) visibility.

A useful product? A legal product? A marketable product? I have searched a few times over the years but found no mention of such a product, nor such a use of a light, nor any patents, nor laws regulating or prohibiting downward-facing lights. There are however as you know a lot of laws about what lights one can have on a vehicle, what color and direction and distance they go, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's illegal I just haven't found it yet.

I think it adds a lot more visibility than a red blinky.


But I'm certain that the "Danger Danger" folks that rail against more
visibility will oppose this idea, even though you aimed it down.

There have been some downward facing lights recently
https://www.wish.com/c/55fbaa522ad06e1c199db3e1.

  #4  
Old March 9th 17, 01:39 AM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Sir Ridesalot
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Posts: 3,313
Default Downward facing white lights for safety

On Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 5:22:26 PM UTC-5, Doug Landau wrote:
My taillight hopped off 5 miles from home at the end of a 500 mile tour. It was dark and the road got narrow and unlit so I strapped my flashlight to the left seatstay, pointed down, illuminating the roadway.

Looking at the result, I thought it did an absolutely great job of improving (creating?) visibility.

A useful product? A legal product? A marketable product? I have searched a few times over the years but found no mention of such a product, nor such a use of a light, nor any patents, nor laws regulating or prohibiting downward-facing lights. There are however as you know a lot of laws about what lights one can have on a vehicle, what color and direction and distance they go, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's illegal I just haven't found it yet.

I think it adds a lot more visibility than a red blinky.

dkl


Unfortunately here in Ontario, Canada any white light used as a taillight does NOT meet the Highway Traffic Act conditions and thus you'd not be legal.. The Act specifies that the rear light MUST be red. Years ago in the days of the Belt Beacon even that light did not make a bicycle road legal due to the factthat the lens was amber not red. the police told me to stick a red reflector somewhere on the rear of the bike and that'd make it legal. The Act stated a red light OR a red reflector. Then again, legally here, bicycles are supposed to have strips of white reflective material on each front ffork leg and red reflective strips on the rear seatstays.

I figure that almost any light on the rear of a bicycle is better than no light on the rear of the bicycle.

Cheers.
  #5  
Old March 9th 17, 03:27 PM posted to rec.bicycles.tech
Frank Krygowski[_4_]
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Posts: 4,426
Default Downward facing white lights for safety

On 3/8/2017 5:22 PM, Doug Landau wrote:
My taillight hopped off 5 miles from home at the end of a 500 mile tour. It was dark and the road got narrow and unlit so I strapped my flashlight to the left seatstay, pointed down, illuminating the roadway.

Looking at the result, I thought it did an absolutely great job of improving (creating?) visibility.

A useful product? A legal product? A marketable product? I have searched a few times over the years but found no mention of such a product, nor such a use of a light, nor any patents, nor laws regulating or prohibiting downward-facing lights. There are however as you know a lot of laws about what lights one can have on a vehicle, what color and direction and distance they go, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's illegal I just haven't found it yet.

I think it adds a lot more visibility than a red blinky.


I'm curious how you tested that visibility. Did you have someone else
evaluate it for you as you rode? Or did you observe it from a passing
car as someone else rode your bicycle? I think some strategy like that
would be necessary to do a reasonably accurate evaluation.

BTW, Sir is right. At least in many jurisdictions, rear lights must be
red. You could easily make yours red, of course.

--
- Frank Krygowski
 




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