how many lumens is too much for city environment ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    how many lumens is too much for city environment ?

    i could feasibly go for something like Lupine Piko on the helmet and NiteRider pro 3600 on the handlebar ... but how much of that would i be able to use IN THE CITY ?

    i know those HID headlamps on BMWs etc are approximately 2 x 3000 lumens, so 6,000 total. with Piko + pro 3600 that would be 4,500 lumens so same territory.

    problem is BMW headlights have very advanced optics with auto-leveling etc that prevent the light from hitting the eyes of other drivers EXTREMELY effectively. if you shine BMW HID headlights on a wall there will be a horizontal line at about the level of headlights on the wall above which there will be almost no light, and below the line it will be daylight.

    there is no such thing on our lights - even if i aim them down there is still going to be probably 20X more spill upwards as compared to good car HID headlights. so most likely everybody on the road will go blind ... and then they will kick my ass.

    how many lumens could i actually run on helmet and on the handlebars in a populated area without becoming an a$$hole ?

    also, which light's beam pattern will be least blinding to others ? i was under impression that L&M Seca would do that, but when i saw actual beam pattern it still has almost as much light going up as any other light ? or does it ?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    i could feasibly go for something like Lupine Piko on the helmet and NiteRider pro 3600 on the handlebar ... but how much of that would i be able to use IN THE CITY ? .....
    Use the minimal amount of ( steady ) light you feel you need to see where you're going. When approaching busy intersections or roads where cars are turning having an extra mini-strobe light will help alert people to your presence.

    Be careful using helmet lights in the city. Only point them at cars if you feel endangered and only if you have it on low.

    Since you mention a Niterider pro 3600, I think most people will agree you have no need for that much light on the road. Since they are programmable you should be able to set a couple modes low enough to use on the road and still keep you safe without annoying people in cars.

    Personally I feel 500 lumen is enough for most road situations although I will turn it up if I'm moving fast, no one is around and I'm on a really dark road. Common sense is your friend. Use the output you need to keep yourself safe and make that your #1 priority.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Personally I feel 500 lumen is enough for most road situations
    This is plenty for being seen. I usually just run blinkies around town (fat tyre commuter).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Use the minimal amount of ( steady ) light you feel you need to see where you're going. When approaching busy intersections or roads where cars are turning having an extra mini-strobe light will help alert people to your presence.

    Be careful using helmet lights in the city. Only point them at cars if you feel endangered and only if you have it on low.

    Since you mention a Niterider pro 3600, I think most people will agree you have no need for that much light on the road. Since they are programmable you should be able to set a couple modes low enough to use on the road and still keep you safe without annoying people in cars.

    Personally I feel 500 lumen is enough for most road situations although I will turn it up if I'm moving fast, no one is around and I'm on a really dark road. Common sense is your friend. Use the output you need to keep yourself safe and make that your #1 priority.
    ok basically i was looking at L&M Seca 1700 but at the lowest setting its 425 lumens, and the only review on Amazon states that "at the lowest setting it is too bright for use on busy commuter paths. Every single person who passed me made a face or complained." which is scary.

    Lupine i know can be throttled down quite a bit, and also the Niterider 3600 i think can, not sure about Niterider 1800 ... but this Seca 1700 will not go lower than 1/4 ...

    do you think the Review was honest ? is it really going to be such a problem for others at 425 lumens ?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by androgen View Post
    ok basically i was looking at L&M Seca 1700 but at the lowest setting its 425 lumens, and the only review on Amazon states that "at the lowest setting it is too bright for use on busy commuter paths. Every single person who passed me made a face or complained." which is scary.

    Lupine i know can be throttled down quite a bit, and also the Niterider 3600 i think can, not sure about Niterider 1800 ... but this Seca 1700 will not go lower than 1/4 ...

    do you think the Review was honest ? is it really going to be such a problem for others at 425 lumens ?
    It seems the Amazon review mentions " commuter path ". On a commuter path you would have to have the option of a low mode because on coming traffic is directly head on. It is surprising that the L&M Seca 1700's lowest mode is 425 lumen. That would be a little much for a busy commuter path. Of course you can always tilt the light head down so people on approach are not blinded. Then again if you have the money to buy the L&M product you could easily afford a secondary light, something like the Cateye Nano
    I don't own the Nano but it is small and bright ( 250lm on high ) low mode likely about 125 lumen. That should work very well on commuter paths. I don't often ride busy commuter paths but it I did my Gloworm X2 has a nice low/low mode suitable for busy bike paths. Not to mention that the light head is designed for easy tilting. Not as bright as the 1700 but then again not as expensive either.

  6. #6
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    Out in the city where I am among the cars, I never have a problem running two Gemini Xera on Mid mode (about 500 lumens each) on the bar and a Speed II thrower on low setting on my helmet. I do notice that having a more flood beam pattern on my helmet gets me more attention from motorist as they stare back at me when they past.

    In the winter when it is raining, I run the Xera on high. I find it harder to see potholes that are filled with water from the rain and I am running 700x25 tires so it's that important for me to avoid as many pothole as possible. Even at that, I still don't have too many issue with cars hating me becasue the rain impair their vison anyway. Just keep the light aim down where it is needed and you should be OK especially for floody beam light.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
    Just keep the light aim down where it is needed and you should be OK especially for floody beam light.
    very interesting. but your situation is not the one i am worried about. i will now be as specific as i can possibly be.

    this is where my mother mostly rides:

    https://www.nycbikemaps.com/wp-conte...3/dscf0035.jpg

    she also rides here:

    https://www.capitalnewyork.com/files...ikeLane400.jpg

    and here:

    IMG_9474.JPG (image)

    these 3 locations are all in brooklyn, so more or less in the middle of new york city, and there is often a lot of people even at night. all 3 of these locations get SOME street lighting, but not necessarily enough - and the one by the bride is particularly dark as the only light it catches is from the highway nearby.

    the 2nd and 3rd are isolated from car traffic, but the first one runs along the middle of the street:

    https://www.nycbikemaps.com/wp-conte...lls-aerial.jpg

    so at every block it has to cross other streets, which very dangerous - anytime i make a left turn in the car on this street i almost run somebody over because you can't really see them until you're in the way of oncoming traffic and then you can't stop because you will be hit yourself. THIS IS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. it's just a very busy street.

    so these are the locations where i am most concerned about blinding people ( both pedestrians and other cyclists ). Seca 1700 seems a great light - six big LEDs, beautiful pattern ... but 425 lumen minimum setting. i really want one for the handlebars ( along with Piko for helmet ).

    so the question is will it be enough to just angle the Seca running at 425 lumens down a bit, or would i have to turn it off completely and switch to headlight ? if i have to turn it off then obviously there is no point in getting it.

    ???
    Last edited by androgen; 09-26-2012 at 09:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    Although lumens come into play, The bigger issues are light angle and beam pattern. You could have lots of lumens as long as the angle is low and the beam pattern was a spot. Regardless, are you more worried about your safety or irritating drivers? I guess you could argue that blinding drivers could impact your safety. However, unlike a car, your beam is moving all over the place and not very static. I'd rather be seen and annoy some people, than get a weak light and not be noticed.

  9. #9
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    deleted by poster ...
    Last edited by androgen; 09-27-2012 at 12:10 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overhillthruthewoods View Post
    ....Regardless, are you more worried about your safety or irritating drivers? I guess you could argue that blinding drivers could impact your safety. However, unlike a car, your beam is moving all over the place and not very static. I'd rather be seen and annoy some people, than get a weak light and not be noticed.
    ,,,,What he said ^.....It's New York....the peeps are gonna hate you no matter what you do.
    That being the case run the amount of light that makes you feel like you are seen. Make sure you have a very good rear light. I would recommend one on the seat post and one on back of the helmet. Wear clothing with reflective piping if you can. If I was riding in NY I would worry about side illumination as well. I highly recommend a set of Rimfires. With Rimfires you will be seen. They're about $12 a wheel and work on three AA batteries. Got mine on e-bay. I love um. These will turn more heads than a hairless cat.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    If I was riding in NY I would worry about side illumination as well. I highly recommend a set of Rimfires. With Rimfires you will be seen. They're about $12 a wheel and work on three AA batteries. Got mine on e-bay. I love um. These will turn more heads than a hairless cat.
    i have some of that stuff. i would probably be looking to up the lumens on these lights as well in the near future, but i don't want to think about it until i sort out the headlight first, because it is already too complicated.

  12. #12
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    UPDATE ! placed an order for Lupine Piko 3 from Gretnabikes. This will be for helmet. I am still looking at handlebar options.

  13. #13
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    UPDATE 2: ordered L&M Seca 1700 Race for handlebars.

    ok so i'm going to wait until i can test the Piko and the Seca and i will let you know how it is.

    for the time being, thanks everybody !

  14. #14
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    Personally I would prefer to run too much light. If I piss someone off......at least I know they saw me. I like to lit up like a Xmas tree.
    Bicycles donít have motors or batteries.:nono:

    Ebikes are not bicycles :nono:

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-man-do View Post
    Personally I feel 500 lumen is enough for most road situations although I will turn it up if I'm moving fast, no one is around and I'm on a really dark road. Common sense is your friend. Use the output you need to keep yourself safe and make that your #1 priority.
    +1 - I wear a 600 lumen helmet light that is more than enough for road (even big city with lots of street lights) or trails.

  16. #16
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    My pesky Dinotte XML-1 on medium is enough to bother people. Hell, even on low people notice me
    WTB: Ritchey Plexus
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    automobiliana.blogspot.se

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalnjunky View Post
    germans ... he basically made a water cooled betty squared.

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