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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Red headlights???

    Has anyone ever considered using a red light (as a headlight, not a tail-light)
    Red light supposedly does not affect rod cells in the eyes and increases night vision.

    I wonder if the light can shine through a red lens or if it must originate from something like a red led???

  2. #2
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    Reputation: California L33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alxbrsk
    Has anyone ever considered using a red light (as a headlight, not a tail-light)
    Red light supposedly does not affect rod cells in the eyes and increases night vision.

    I wonder if the light can shine through a red lens or if it must originate from something like a red led???
    It wouldn't be efficient to filter the light. A red LED might work, but red light looks odd.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  3. #3
    ...a wiggle theres a way
    Reputation: wiggy's Avatar
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    you can put a gel filter in front of the light for a red light...
    the only problem is that it does make things harder to make out especially on a trail head because red light seems to be more absorbed and not reflected... so obstacles could be troublesome

    if it was me i'd stick to a halogen, hid, or led (i use dinotte 200) and it works awesome

    joe

  4. #4
    Enlightened
    Reputation: mudmojo's Avatar
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    I believe that in my area there are road laws against having front headlights that are not one of white or amber in colour. You might want to look into that before you pick one up.

  5. #5
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    Be seen maybe but as a real headlight, nope. I thought my dinotte taillight was good enough for a headlight when my bar light batt was down. Boy, was I wrong, the red light illuminate everything in red and I can't make out anything, esp holes in the ground, needless to say, crashed and hurt.

  6. #6
    relax
    Reputation: jeep's Avatar
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    ...chickens don't see red light!

    Better stick to white / yellowish.

    J

  7. #7
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    Blue and green are better for night vision.

  8. #8
    wot no bike?
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    The benefit of red light is that it helps preserve your night vision once said light is extinguished, not your night vision in general while the lamp is lit. With red light you don't get that "blackout" you experience with a white light when it's turned off in the dark -- so I'm not sure if that would be too useful for cycling. It would give you a para-military cyclist look out on the trails though.
    pete

  9. #9
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    Snowdawg is correct. Your eyes see much better in the Blue/Green spectrum. It has to do with the Rods and Cones portion of your eyes. If you could stand looking at turquoise light you would only need about half the light output as opposed to a white light. There is a post that is quite detailed as to why this is and it's explained in scientific terms quite well. But in a nutshell your eyes are 2.5 times better at seeing a blue/green light at night than they are seeing white light. http://www.instructables.com/id/EKNZ9SF611EUBYRDQW/
    I also don't think that you can get a bright enough red LED to actually throw much light. The only advantage to a red light at night is that it reduces the re-dialation of your retinas which reduced eye fatigue, that's why BMW and others use red lighting in the dash displays.In other words the headlights are using one portion of your eyes and the red dash lights are using another. Since you're not doing this multi tasking with your eyes I don't think there is any advantage to using red.

    Eric S
    Last edited by joebreez; 12-02-2007 at 07:49 AM.

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    If you will ride in traffic, don't do it.
    There is a good chance it is illegal and it looks really distracting: just imagine any vehicle approaching you with a red headlight.

    (Occasionally I meet some bikes set up that way, during my commute ... ...)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    If you will ride in traffic, don't do it.
    There is a good chance it is illegal and it looks really distracting: just imagine any vehicle approaching you with a red headlight.

    (Occasionally I meet some bikes set up that way, during my commute ... ...)
    Definitely not an 'on road' option. I've met some people coming down MUTs with red indicator lights on the front- (I wouldn't call them headlights) and they are a bit confusing for a few seconds.

    Interestingly, you can have a white taillight on a bike on the road in California- at least last time I checked- probably a holdout from the days when the only way to get red was with a filter on a white light that cut 90% of the output, and lamp and battery technology made bright red taillights impossible in rigs reasonable for a bike to carry.
    To the troll mobile, away...

  12. #12
    Utility Cyclist
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    Yellow headlamps are de rigeur in France. Good in fog, too, if that's ever an issue where you ride.

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