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  1. #1
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    What makes a bike lights video useful ?

    I am reasonably happy with my light setup at the moment, but there are two slight tweaks which i would like to make to it.

    IF i go through with these tweaks then i would probably like to make a new video of the lights ...

    Which brings the question - what makes a bike lights video useful ?

    for reference this is my last video: Bike Lights at Dusk in Brooklyn Traffic in the Summer Rain ( Canon Vixia HF M500 ) - YouTube

    and my video from last year: Niterider PRO 3600 and Dinotte 300 R in City Traffic ( Canon Vixia HF M500 Night Test ) - YouTube

    One deliberate change from the 1st video to the 2nd that i made is i instructed the camera person to hold the camera lower - closer to the eye level of a car driver, rather than that of a pedestrian.

    Second deliberate change was that i tried to shoot the video while there was till some light from the sky at dusk as opposed to the middle of the night. Unfortunately by the time i set everything up most of that light was gone, but the INTENTION was to shoot at dusk because statistically most bicycle fatalities occur at dusk.

    every time i make a YouTube video i try to make sure it is made better than the last one, however at the moment i'm out of ideas on how to make the video more useful for those in the market for some new lights.

    Any ideas ? Suggestions ?

    Somebody complained in another thread that my last video is misleading because it exaggerates the halo / plume from the lights. I actually thought this effect ( caused by rain i presume ) made it easier to judge the output of the lights ... but maybe i was wrong ?

    The camera person complained that the video looks like it's daytime because the camera automatically adjusted exposure, and again - i actually thought that's a good thing ... but maybe i was wrong ?

    Is there anything in particular you look for when you watch bike light videos ?

    Is there anything you find frustrating when you watch bike light videos ?

    One idea i was considering was to shoot the video from the seat of a parked car for added realism - but i decided against it at the time. However i'm still open to doing it, just to switch things up so i don't have two identical videos save for a slight tweak or two to the lighting setup.

    Another idea i had was to go to a huge parking lot ( of a Mall or Home Depot ) at night and shoot there - that way i could get a greater variety of angles on the open space, but the downside is there wouldn't be much traffic to compare the brightness of the lights to.

    Maybe my video didn't have enough long straights ? Maybe the angles changed too quickly ?

    Maybe i should have included some beam shots ?

    Maybe i should have demonstrated Dinotte strobe modes ? ( it was raining so to save time i didn't switch any modes )

    I would like to hear any ideas on how to make such videos more professional / useful / valuable.

  2. #2
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    Camera perspective from the cagers eyeball (back, side, rear/side), in day and night urban traffic with all its distractions. Camera shot from a car would be icing.

  3. #3
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    The problem with video is that it really can't translate the full experience of the live view. What you think you see in a video and what you actually see when live are always going to be two different things. This is particularly true when watching bright lights on video. If think something is bright on video don't be surprised if the actual output is much more ( or much less ) than you expected.

    Still, everyone likes a good video. It helps if you do comparisons. Lame set-up vs. your new Super output set-up.

    Another way to demonstrate output on video is to display the lamp in confined quarters where the viewer can see the reflective output on a three-way wall. ( the back and two sides... like at the back of an alley). Helps if the area to be viewed is not too small or too big and is light colored. Then ( to add dramatic effect ) if you can edit in a side by side comparison using a split screen...icing on the cake.

    Wish I had a good video camera with some editing software ( and the knowledge of how to best use it..) The stuff I could come up with.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigmode View Post
    Camera perspective from the cagers eyeball (back, side, rear/side), in day and night urban traffic with all its distractions. Camera shot from a car would be icing.
    what lights do people actually use during the day ? the tail light ? or all lights ? sorry for asking dumb questions but the idea of using bike lights during the day is new to me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    The problem with video is that it really can't translate the full experience of the live view. What you think you see in a video and what you actually see when live are always going to be two different things. This is particularly true when watching bright lights on video. If think something is bright on video don't be surprised if the actual output is much more ( or much less ) than you expected.
    yes, but it's also like that with claimed Lumens for example. some lights look brighter in real life than you expected and others dimmer even though you knew what the claimed Lumens were. this is both due manufacturer lying AND the unexpected way beam patterns interact with surroundings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    It helps if you do comparisons. Lame set-up vs. your new Super output set-up.
    Ah yes, comparisons are always useful ! It would be more useful of course to compare directly competing products ( such as 300R to 400R for example ) but i guess even very different products could be useful to compare.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Another way to demonstrate output on video is to display the lamp in confined quarters where the viewer can see the reflective output on a three-way wall. ( the back and two sides... like at the back of an alley). Helps if the area to be viewed is not too small or too big and is light colored. Then ( to add dramatic effect ) if you can edit in a side by side comparison using a split screen...icing on the cake.
    i don't think i have a back alley like that nor is the video camera sensitive enough to capture beam pattern spread out over such large surface. to get a beam shot like the ones MTBR does you need a still camera with manual exposure control and a tripod - i have those things, but it would instantly double or quadruple the amount of work required - but i'm sure i can find some compromise. thanks for the suggestion !

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Wish I had a good video camera with some editing software ( and the knowledge of how to best use it..) The stuff I could come up with.
    cameras are getting cheaper and better at low light performance all the time ! at the same time LEDs are getting brighter, which means it is getting exponentially easier to capture the light of LEDs on camera - pretty soon all you will need is a phone.

    as for split screen - i don't know how to do this, although i'm sure i could if i really wanted to. you can always simply open a video twice in two different windows and fast forward to different parts of it then view side by side. that's what i did when i was researching my lights - i would open a beam shot of one light in one window and of another light in another window and look at them side by side.

  6. #6
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    well i went through with the 2 tweaks i wanted to do.

    1) - i returned the Seca 1400 to Amazon and ordered a Seca 1700 instead.
    2) - i ordered 2 more "bike after dark fireball mark 2" spoke lights in addition to the 2 i already had on the rear wheel. the new ones will also go on the rear wheel, so there will be 4 on the rear wheel and none on the front.

    this means that once i actually receive the lights i will be doing a video again ...

    still looking for suggestions on how i can make the video different from and better than the last one

  7. #7
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    Here is a new "stop gap" video i just made :



    there are NO NEW LIGHTS in this video compared to last one ( i'm still waiting for them to arrive ) but it has a completely different format from the last video - showing beam patterns on a white ( actually beige off-white ) wall.

    there is still going to be another video in the coming week or two if / when i receive the new lights.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    what lights do people actually use during the day ? the tail light ? or all lights ? sorry for asking dumb questions but the idea of using bike lights during the day is new to me.
    I'm not trying to derail the thread but you did ask the question so I'll try to be brief. The concept of day time lighting is becoming more widely accepted. Most people already know that using lights during the day can add to safety.

    I use lights front and back for added safety during the day but I only use them in certain situations where/when I think it will help.

    If you want to discuss the concept further I suggest a new thread be started so as not to derail this one. I say that because I have a lot to say on the subject of "day time lighting" and once I start I could easily derail the thread.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    I'm not trying to derail the thread but you did ask the question so I'll try to be brief. The concept of day time lighting is becoming more widely accepted. Most people already know that using lights during the day can add to safety.

    I use lights front and back for added safety during the day but I only use them in certain situations where/when I think it will help.

    If you want to discuss the concept further I suggest a new thread be started so as not to derail this one. I say that because I have a lot to say on the subject of "day time lighting" and once I start I could easily derail the thread.
    i don't think it would be off topic but i'll start a new thread since you insist.

  10. #10
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    well here it is !

    There are 3 light upgrades over the previous video, most significant of which is MonkeyLectric spoke lights on the front wheel.

    But more importantly what i got out of this thread was that people are interested in light demonstration in different lighting conditions - dark and light - not just in the dark as i did previously - so this is the main difference in the new video.

    the new video shows the lights in 5 different lighting conditions from early dusk to solid night.


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