Engineering students invent new safest bike light

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by BikeCommuteAdvocate, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. BikeCommuteAdvocate

    BikeCommuteAdvocate New Member

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    I heard about this ShineOn light from a close friend and really want to share it. It makes riders seen 10 times sooner than any traditional bike light because it lights up your chest as well as the road ahead. My light now is really bright but I realize now it just looks like a dot from the front. Using this light others can instantly see me as a rider!
    I have seen cars wave me ahead when they would otherwise cut me off.

    Their Kickstarter is live now and the light is well worth it IMO.
    bit.ly/ShineOnKS
     
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  2. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    Anything that helps a cyclist to be seen, seems to have an advantage. I hope riders realize they'll need to wear a light-colored garment to be seen. How much does it cost, and how long will a battery last? Is it rechargeable?
     
  3. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    I have a really hard time believing the claim that having a light aimed back at your chest is not going to affect your night vision.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I don't want that light beaming back in my general direction, it has to mess with a person's night vision, not only that but the video they showed the light beam on the road was weak.
     
  5. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    I think if the light beam was sharply focused so it didn't shine onto one's face, it might be okay. Car headlights are sharply focused so as to not blind other drivers. The focusing of the whole light unit would be critical, though. A degree or two out, and it's shining in your face. A degree or two the other way and it's not shining on your chest. The concept may be good but in practice it might be cumbersome.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    The problem isn't the light itself coming at you though it could be, but if the light is hitting your chest and reflecting back it is also reflecting back at you and into your face, so you could be getting stray light from two places. Even if it does work without issues with the night blindness, the light itself was dim.
     
  7. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    I'm not sure I understand. "...if the light is hitting your chest and reflecting back it is also reflecting back at you and into your face," If the light is reflecting off your jacket, where is it reflecting from back at you? From your handlebars?

    Stray light could possibly be a negative thing but it would have to be extremely dark, like on a country lane with no moonlight. In the city I'd say it would be of no advantage because of street and shop lights, traffic lights, car lights, and sign lights. It depends on where you ride at night. For me, I only ride a local dead end road at night, with next to no traffic. During the winter months I ride all over the county but only in daylight. I'm often out before sunrise but then I'm on the sidewalks with a regular light on.

    I'll give it one star.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if I understand! LOL!!!!

    Ok what I noticed from the pictures is that the light is making the persons jacket light up, if a car lights hit it in the exact same manner you really don't notice the jacket aglow because your eyes are flooded with light from the headlights. So if your eyes are adjusted to darkness but your jacket is lit up I would think that would be more than just stray light, because the light is aiming it's light directly at the jacket, and you will see it.

    Before you roast me, I did a very easy experiment to see if my theory was correct, this is so easy you can do it at home as well. I took a 400 lumen Lezyne Hecto Drive 400XL and got on my bike tonight in a darken garage and put the light on the bar REVERSED, so the light is aiming at my chest. I then put my hand over the top of the lens to shield the light from my eyes directly and turned on the light, just as I thought would happen I got a bunch of stray light that I was not comfortable with having on me all the time. Now you try this same experiment and come back and report your findings. From what I could see of the picture of the light in question is that the shield they are using is nowhere near as shielding as my hand was, so I guarantee you would see a lot more stray light then I did.
     
  9. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    A dark garage with a light pointing at you, shielded by your hand, is hardly the same thing as riding streets with various kinds of lighting or no lighting at all. You would need to have, at least, another light pointing forward as does the new light.

    In a lit up city, the new light isn't going to do much. If drivers can't see you with all the city lights and their headlights, it's best to not be on a bike. Riding around our county with lights here and there from the occasional business and street lights, it's all stray light and it doesn't bother me at all. My bike light is all I need to see potholes and objects in my path.

    I think reflective stripes or patches on clothing is far more effective than a light pointing back at you. Many years ago a man contacted me, wanting to sell me a yellow nylon overjacket with reflective stripes around the arms and across the back and chest. It was for motorcyclists. Because I did a lot of night riding on a motorcycle in those days, I bought it. It was one of the best motorcycling accessories I had ever bought. I saw another rider with one, as I followed him in the dark. It was like he had white fluorescent lights all over him. You can't tell how good they are while wearing one, so I hung mine in a dark garage and shone a flashlight. I was 100% impressed. Even in daylight, the yellow nylon stood out. I was on a poker run in a town far from home, and as I stopped at a check point, the guys said, "Man, we saw you coming a mile away!" I was pleased because that was exactly the intent. [Most motorcyclists wear black (as do so many Florida cyclists), and that is hard to see when it's at a distance.]

    I wore that safety jacket for over twenty years until the reflective stuff wore off. I wanted another one but I had to go online to get it from England, which is where my first one came from. I didn't want the vest that road workers wear; I wanted the jacket with the reflective sleeves. I got it, but soon gave up motorcycling because of Florida's rate of motorcycle crashes. So I began to wear the jacket on my bicycle. One day, while on a run, I stopped in at the LBS and the owner said, "Darn! It'd be hard to miss you, with that jacket on!"

    So what I'm saying is, there is a much better way of being seen than having a light pointed at you. A garment with reflective stripes is impossible to miss unless you're blind; it doesn't require batteries to run it, and is far brighter than the light on that guy on the bike in the video. And I think you and I are both arguing for the same thing: The new light is not the way to go.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    The experiment I did would not be effected by using another light pointing forward, the stray light striking my eyes is all from the light bouncing off of me, that effect would be the same if there were street lights around.

    I agree with you about clothing being more visible and less aggravation, but that isn't an excuse not to have good lights. However to say that reflective stripes is impossible not to see is wrong, if the car's headlights aren't aimed correctly that will effectively shorten the distance you might see the person; so while reflective material kind of works, you need to base your visibility on active lighting and passive lighting.
     
  11. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    Stray light is the least of our problems, at least, it's the least of my problems. I'm only concerned with what I can see ahead of me. As I've said, before, I ride sidewalks, and being there aren't any cars on it, I'm not concerned with them seeing me. But each to their own, depending on where they ride.
    I never said it was. I'm saying it's better than having a light shining on your chest in order to be seen.
    No, it's not wrong. I don't think you've seen how effective my jacket is even without car headlights. Even if a car's headlights were badly focused, the stripes on the jacket would still pick them up. And it's a thousand times better than a light on your chest.

    We are into nit-picking, here.
     
  12. Chuckabutty

    Chuckabutty Active Member

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    Incidentally, a car following a cyclist who is wearing a jacket with reflective stripes, would be able to see him from several hundred yards away, even with low beams. The jacket catches enough light from the headlights, to glow very well. If a driver can't see the cyclist, he shouldn't be driving.

    Another thing, how many cyclists ride against the flow of traffic at night? If the cyclist is on the other side of the highway, a glowing chest isn't going to be very effective.
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Do you live in America? If so, in most cities, not all cities, it's against the law for adults to ride on sidewalks, not only that but it's actually more dangerous to ride a bike on the sidewalk because cars aren't really expecting a bike to be racing down a sidewalk. https://www.npr.org/2016/10/16/496865680/6-things-you-need-to-know-about-cycling-on-the-sidewalk

    I did not say that a light in your chest was better than reflective clothing, what I said was if the headlight is not aimed at the clothing in the right angle the motorist may never see the rider.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZRXlrJ3Mi0


    I do both when I ride at night, I wear a cheap Home Depot neon green mesh safety vest with wide silver reflective strips that I bought for around $15. I use reflective leg bands. My shoes have a reflective triangle on the back of the shoes, my seat bag has a reflective stripe, and my helmet has a reflective band on it as well. So I do not disregard reflective stuff, I just don't put my faith in that stuff as much as I do with active lighting which is why I use two headlights and two tail lights.

    Just something to ponder over when you read this, why is headlight one word and not two? And why is tail light two words and not one? It seems to me that they both either should be two separate words or both one word. If you have an answer for that I would like to hear it.
     
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