LED-use to be legalised (probably)

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Pete Biggs, Jan 26, 2003.

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  1. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    from www.bikebiz.co.uk Thursday 23rd January 2003 :

    LED-use to be legalised

    The law is about to become less of an ass. If the Department of Transport gets its way, which is
    highly likely, it will soon be street-legal for bicycles to be fitted with flashing lights. Police
    forces have long turned a blind-eye to the illegal fitting of LED lights to bikes - better illegal,
    very conspicuous lights than none - but the anomoly could have been used by a bright barrister
    against a well-lit cyclist in a 'I never saw 'im, yer honour' car-v-bike court case

    Yes, that's right, The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, could be about to be amended. The
    Vehicle Standards and Engineering Division of the Department of Transport has started a consultation
    process to get the LED law changed.

    Cyclists will still have to use 'solid' red and white lamps but it will be street-legal to fit
    flashing LEDs to bikes, a big no-no to date, albeit wholly ignored by cyclists, who prefer to be
    seen rather than street-legal.

    The DfT is recommending "to allow the use of optional flashing position lamps, in addition to the
    obligatory steady front and rear position lamps, and to allow optional steady lamps (of unknown
    performance) in the locations (wheels and pedals) where currently only approved reflectors are
    permitted."

    It's also recommended that there should be an amendment of "British Standard mark" to "enable pedal
    cycles to use LED lamps."

    All of this is a recognition that many night-time cyclists are flouting the law, most of them
    unwittingly.

    The DfT's consultation letter says: "Flashing lights are already quite common on pedal cycles and it
    has been commented that they help to distinquish cyclists from other road users, thus providing a
    positive reason to permit these lamps. There are not known to be any cycling or safety groups
    arguing for the ban on flashing lamps to be maintained. The current situation of widespread
    non-compliance reduces respect for the law and cannot be allowed to continue."

    In addition, the use of high-performance, high-wattage off-road lamps should not be restricted:

    "Concerning maximum intensities, there is a concern that cyclists would use lamps of increased
    intensities, however so far there is no evidence to sugest that this will happen. It remains an
    offence under [The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989] to use any lamp so as to cause dazzle or
    discomfort for other road users."

    The DfT is seeking answers to its consultation document by 13th April.

    Here's the consultation document: http://www.roads.dft.gov.uk/consult/lighting/pdf/letter.pdf

    Here are the current Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989:
    http://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1989/Uksi_19891796_en_3.htm
     
    Tags:


  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    David E. Belcher wrote:

    > Aren't there already a small number of BS-compliant rear LED units on the market?

    Bear in mind that any equivalent European standard is also theoretically allowed, so the Busch &
    Muller products should all be OK as well as the obvious Cateye TL-AU100.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    I wonder if you wouldn't mind piecing out our imperfections with your thoughts; and while you're
    about it perhaps you could think when we talk of bicycles, that you see them printing their proud
    wheels i' the receiving earth; thanks awfully.

    http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#103 http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/09.shtml#104
     
  3. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    David E. Belcher <deb1[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Aren't there already a small number of BS-compliant rear LED units on the market?
    >

    Yes some LED lights do comply with the current BS but the lighting law still refers to an older
    version of the BS that only has filament lamps in it. .Such are the perversites of the law

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
  4. Frank

    Frank Guest

    "Myra VanInwegen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "James of Staples" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > I've got one of those five white LED Cateye things and I certainly don't point it down at the
    > > road. I feel having every oncoming road user look
    away
    > > from it is not too different to naturally looking away from any pair of (much more intense) car
    > > headlights.
    >
    > This seems a bit misguided to me. In town I am almost never dazzled by car headlights, as cars use
    > low beams which are generally aimed correctly and not too bright. I am only dazzled out on country
    > roads, when the cars use full beams and don't dim them often enough. So it seems pretty pointless
    > to point your light into the faces of drivers and other cyclists.
    >
    Do you really think the cateye is powerful enough to dazzle anyway, I would have thought having it
    pointing up means it can be seen by cars further away?
     
  5. Eatmorepies

    Eatmorepies Guest

    "
    > This seems a bit misguided to me. In town I am almost never dazzled by car headlights, as cars use
    > low beams which are generally aimed correctly and not too bright. I am only dazzled out on country
    > roads, when the cars use full beams and don't dim them often enough. So it seems pretty pointless
    > to point your light into the faces of drivers and other cyclists.
    >
    >
    I only ride country roads and drivers dip later for me when I am cycling than when I am driving. I
    think they need time to work out what I am. I use a cheap but bright Halford's halogen on the front
    and switch on my uprated Petzl (petzal?) if they don't dip. It's on my helmet and by pointing my
    face in their direction and bobbing my head up and down they generally get the idea and dip.

    John
     
  6. Mike Gayler

    Mike Gayler Guest

    "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> writed in news:[email protected]:

    >
    > LED lights are no good for seeing where you are going. You need a filament lamp for that. Even
    > riding on a cycle path you need a decent light to see where you are going. As for your LED lamp,
    > if it doesn't compare with the intensity of dipped car lights then something is wrong with the
    > light or the battery is flat. If I were to point up my three LED version it would be very
    > antisocial to car drivers and unnecessary - what are they going to do, they can't dip their lights
    > any further other than turn them off - its quite bright and visible enough as it is.
    >
    > Tony
    >
    An interesting article in the Audax-UK magazine has an associated web page at
    www.audax.uk.net/lights/beams.htm - **read the notes carefully** which shows quire dramatically that
    some LED front lights can be as good as some filament bulbs for some purposes. The author is someone
    who *does* know what he's talking about, and makes a clear distinction between lights to see with
    and lights to be seen by.

    Mike Gayler Leicester - UK
     
  7. Call Me Bob

    Call Me Bob Guest

    On Sat, 25 Jan 2003 12:24:38 -0000, "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >It has improved but nowhere near enough to illuminate your path. They are fine for being seen but
    >the pool of light they cast on the road is so diffuse as to be useless except in total darkness
    >with good dark adaption. A standard Halfords filament lamp illuminates the road much better. I use
    >the Cateye only on well lit streets and to be seen. Otherwise its an emergency backup.

    I have the Cateye EL100 (now superseded by the more recent models) and I find it illuminates the
    road quite adequately. Before that I had the standard Cateye HL 500 halogen but the LED lamp
    actually does a better job of putting a pool of light on the road surface.

    Granted, it's not spectacular at lighting your way, but it's better than the filament halogen lamp I
    was using previously. *shrug*

    As it happens I'm pretty comfortable riding in near darkness, my priority for a light is that other
    road users see it/me quickly.

    Bob
    --
    Mail address is spam trapped To reply by email remove the beverage
     
  8. Sat, 25 Jan 2003 23:26:09 +0000, Just zis Guy, you know?:

    >On Sat, 25 Jan 2003 12:17:00 +0100, Andreas Oehler

    >>Brightness of the EL-300 is about 1/2 to 1/4 of a better dynamo headlamp.
    >
    >I believe you - I don't have the EL-300, I have an EL-100 which I use as a secondary lamp on the
    >wedgie; you can't see worth a damn with it but it's quite visible so useful in traffic. From what
    >I've read the EL-300 is not focused enough to be useful, hence the later comments.

    No - the light pattern of the EL-300 is not so far away from usual dynamo headlamps. The light patch
    has about the same (horizontal) width. But lots of electrical power is wasted in a current limiting
    resistor, the LEDs just get around 0.8 - 1.5 W and they are not more efficient than a halogen bulb.

    Cateye just announced an EL-300 "G" which will meet the german standards (the EL-300 is too dim in
    the middle but has too much "dazzling" light in the upper part of the light "cone").

    >>If you are talking about the classic round Lumotec: The sheet metal contact (which gives contact
    >>to the back of the bulb) might be bent backward. This happens, if you aim the lamp up and down
    >>frequently with the mounting screw relative tight.
    >
    >I know - every now and then I re-bend the spring contact, and it works for a couple more
    >months. It's not the readjusting (I never move it) it's the bouncing up and down I think is
    >causing the problem.

    Thats strange. Do you have the Lumotec Plus (the round one with standlight LED?) which has more
    contact problems?

    >>For the use with hub dynamos the "E6" (optics from the BISY FL but robust metal base with built-in
    >>switch and much better bulb contact springs) is the better (but more expensive solution).
    >
    >Is the E6 the Schmidt branded lamp?

    Yes.

    >I've got a SON on order and could easily add one.

    I'm not sure about availability in the UK right now, but it should be able to get it from the usual
    suspects soon.

    Andreas
     
  9. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 26 Jan 2003 18:53:07 +0100, Andreas Oehler <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Thats strange. Do you have the Lumotec Plus (the round one with standlight LED?) which has more
    >contact problems?

    Yes, it's been troublesome since it was about a year old. Just after the warranty ran out :)

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  10. "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > from www.bikebiz.co.uk Thursday 23rd January 2003 :
    >
    > LED-use to be legalised

    <snip>

    > "Concerning maximum intensities, there is a concern that cyclists would use lamps of increased
    > intensities, however so far there is no evidence to sugest that this will happen. It remains an
    > offence under [The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989] to use any lamp so as to cause dazzle
    > or discomfort for other road users."

    I've got one of those five white LED Cateye things and I certainly don't point it down at the road.
    I feel having every oncoming road user look away from it is not too different to naturally looking
    away from any pair of (much more intense) car headlights. It's a being-seen competition out there
    and as road users I reckon we all carry at least the same status as human beings irrespective of our
    vehicles. Some slow or stopped traffic such as tractors or breakdown recovery vehicles are allowed
    extra visibility, so as a cyclist why not me? Some government belief that cyclists should have
    quietly inoffensive lamps while motor vehicles dazzle seems silly. As with motorbikes and Volvos I'm
    starting to wonder if I should ride with lights in daylight. Be Seen, Be Safe, anyone?

    James 'The sound of one hand typing'
     
  11. "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >
    > It's also recommended that there should be an amendment of "British Standard mark" to "enable
    > pedal cycles to use LED lamps."
    >

    Aren't there already a small number of BS-compliant rear LED units on the market?

    David E. Belcher

    Dept. of Chemistry, University of York
     
  12. Toby Barrett

    Toby Barrett Guest

    "James of Staples" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:
    > As with motorbikes and Volvos I'm starting to wonder if I should ride with lights in daylight. Be
    > Seen, Be Safe, anyone?

    Not sure about this. How bright would a light have to be to be visible in daylight?

    I start off about 7:45 as it is just getting light these mornings with a
    Cat-Eye-super-bright-5-LED-thingy flashing away conspicuously, by 8:20 or so when I get to work, it
    is fully light and the LEDs all but invisible. The solid filament bulb is not visible at all.

    On the other hand, the 2.5 watt part of my twin Smart rechargeable is not too bad in daylight.

    Toby
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Guest

    "James of Staples" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > from www.bikebiz.co.uk Thursday 23rd January 2003 :
    > >
    > > LED-use to be legalised
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > > "Concerning maximum intensities, there is a concern that cyclists would use lamps of increased
    > > intensities, however so far there is no evidence
    to
    > > sugest that this will happen. It remains an offence under [The Road Vehicles Lighting
    > > Regulations 1989] to use any lamp so as to cause
    dazzle
    > > or discomfort for other road users."
    >
    > I've got one of those five white LED Cateye things and I certainly don't point it down at the
    > road. I feel having every oncoming road user look
    away
    > from it is not too different to naturally looking away from any pair of (much more intense) car
    > headlights. It's a being-seen competition out
    there
    > and as road users I reckon we all carry at least the same status as human beings irrespective of
    > our vehicles. Some slow or stopped traffic such as tractors or breakdown recovery vehicles are
    > allowed extra visibility, so
    as
    > a cyclist why not me? Some government belief that cyclists should have quietly inoffensive lamps
    > while motor vehicles dazzle seems silly. As with motorbikes and Volvos I'm starting to wonder if I
    > should ride with lights
    in
    > daylight. Be Seen, Be Safe, anyone?
    >
    > James 'The sound of one hand typing'
    >
    >
    Being the owner of a Volvo and a motorcyclist, I always ride with my lights on. The Volvo
    'daylights' are the inoffensive little sidelights that don't dazzle but do grab the attention, even
    in daylight. I use dipped beam on the motorcycle all the time I'm out on it unless full beam is
    called for (i.e. weaving through stationary traffic on motorways ;-) and always have lights on my
    bikes when on the road. I am currently using the Smart three white led lamp that not only seems to
    get the attention of the cagers, but also the pedestrians. It's a regular thing for peds to stop and
    watch me go by, so effective is this light (and that's during daylight). Any light source will get
    peoples attention, especially during the 'grey days' of the winter months. This is even more so the
    case while the majority of folks don't bother to light up during daylight, i.e. the more unusual it
    is, the more attention it will get. So far as my own personal safety goes, I always use lights and
    I'm grateful for others not using them, because once they do, I will just disappear into the general
    sea of light and not be anything 'special and worth noting' anymore ! ;-) cheers, Dave.
     
  14. "James of Staples" <[email protected]> wrote
    > I've got one of those five white LED Cateye things and I certainly don't point it down at the
    > road. I feel having every oncoming road user look away from it is not too different to naturally
    > looking away from any pair of (much more intense) car headlights.

    This seems a bit misguided to me. In town I am almost never dazzled by car headlights, as cars use
    low beams which are generally aimed correctly and not too bright. I am only dazzled out on country
    roads, when the cars use full beams and don't dim them often enough. So it seems pretty pointless to
    point your light into the faces of drivers and other cyclists.

    > It's a being-seen competition out there and as road users I reckon we all carry at least the same
    > status as human beings irrespective of our vehicles.

    Do you wear a bright yellow jacket with lots of reflective stuff? Do you have lots of good refectors
    on your jacket? If not then there's a heck of alot more you can do to be seen without blinding
    oncoming drivers and riders.

    -Myra
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, deb107 [email protected] says...
    > "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > >
    > > It's also recommended that there should be an amendment of "British Standard mark" to "enable
    > > pedal cycles to use LED lamps."
    > >
    >
    > Aren't there already a small number of BS-compliant rear LED units on the market?

    Yes, or there is, at least, one Cateye rear LED (AU-100) and one Cateye front LED (EL-300) which
    claim to be BS and display the appropriate legend on the lamps and packaging.

    Colin
     
  16. Clive George

    Clive George Guest

    "David E. Belcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > >
    > > It's also recommended that there should be an amendment of "British Standard mark" to "enable
    > > pedal cycles to use LED lamps."
    > >
    >
    > Aren't there already a small number of BS-compliant rear LED units on the
    market?

    There is a newer BS mark which includes LEDS. What's actually going to happen is the Road Vehicles
    Lighting regs are going to be updated to refer to this newer BS mark (at the moment it doesn't. Why
    they don't put 'BSx or later' I don't know.)

    cheers, clive
     
  17. Right now I'm wearing a bright white sling as a consequence of doing a thing I know not to: ride on
    a converted 'cycle path'. Ho hum. That night was very foggy and I had two LED lamps to the rear on
    the bike and two flashers on me one of which was contained in a fluorecsent strip. The jacket will
    happen when I hit the road again (metaphorically!) but before pointing the Cateye up I first checked
    it from a distance - with five LEDs into phospher off four AA batteries it just doesn't compare to
    the intensity of even dipped car headlights. It's not like I've mounted a laser pointer on the
    handlebars. I welcome your criticism in the spirt it was given but maybe because I've recently taken
    a spill, as designers fit ever brigher car lights I feel I ought to keep up. The HC teaches to look
    away from bright lights and I don't have a safety cage.

    Regards,

    James 'The sound of... etc

    "Myra VanInwegen" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "James of Staples" <[email protected]> wrote
    > > I've got one of those five white LED Cateye things and I certainly don't point it down at the
    > > road. I feel having every oncoming road user look
    away
    > > from it is not too different to naturally looking away from any pair of (much more intense) car
    > > headlights.
    >
    > This seems a bit misguided to me. In town I am almost never dazzled by car headlights, as cars use
    > low beams which are generally aimed correctly and not too bright. I am only dazzled out on country
    > roads, when the cars use full beams and don't dim them often enough. So it seems pretty pointless
    > to point your light into the faces of drivers and other cyclists.
    >
    > > It's a being-seen competition out there and as road users I reckon we all carry at least the
    > > same status as
    human
    > > beings irrespective of our vehicles.
    >
    > Do you wear a bright yellow jacket with lots of reflective stuff? Do you have lots of good
    > refectors on your jacket? If not then there's a heck of alot more you can do to be seen without
    > blinding oncoming drivers and riders.
    >
    > -Myra
     
  18. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    James of Staples <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Right now I'm wearing a bright white sling as a consequence of doing a thing I know not to: ride
    > on a converted 'cycle path'. Ho hum. That night was very foggy and I had two LED lamps to the rear
    > on the bike and two flashers on me one of which was contained in a fluorecsent strip. The jacket
    > will happen when I hit the road again (metaphorically!) but before pointing the Cateye up I first
    > checked it from a distance - with five LEDs into phospher off four AA batteries it just doesn't
    > compare to the intensity of even dipped car headlights. It's not like I've mounted a laser pointer
    > on the handlebars. I welcome your criticism in the spirt it was given but maybe because I've
    > recently taken a spill, as designers fit ever brigher car lights I feel I ought to keep up. The HC
    > teaches to look away from bright lights and I don't have a safety cage.
    >

    LED lights are no good for seeing where you are going. You need a filament lamp for that. Even
    riding on a cycle path you need a decent light to see where you are going. As for your LED lamp, if
    it doesn't compare with the intensity of dipped car lights then something is wrong with the light or
    the battery is flat. If I were to point up my three LED version it would be very antisocial to car
    drivers and unnecessary - what are they going to do, they can't dip their lights any further other
    than turn them off - its quite bright and visible enough as it is.

    Tony

    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George
    Bernard Shaw.
     
  19. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    > LED lights are no good for seeing where you are going. You need a filament lamp for that.

    Not no good. The Cateye EL200* (with three super bright LEDs) is /some/ good for seeing where you're
    going on unlit paths and roads - enabling one to ride at ~18mph in total darkness. Obviously, it's
    nowhere near as good as expensive powerful filament lamp systems, but it's at least as good as
    average cycle lights with bulbs (better than some). LED technology has improved a lot over the last
    few years.

    > Even riding on a cycle path you need a decent light to see where you are going.

    A cycle light will help, but you still should be able to see where you are going without if there
    any street lights in the vicinity.

    * I would not recommend these kind of lights for _regular_ cycling on unlit roads or paths, but they
    will help on the occasions you do get caught out in the pitch black.

    ~PB
     
  20. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    > Not no good. The Cateye EL200* (with three super bright LEDs) is /some/ good for seeing where
    > you're going on unlit paths and roads - enabling one to ride at ~18mph in total darkness.
    > Obviously, it's nowhere near as good as expensive powerful filament lamp systems, but it's at
    > least as good as average cycle lights with bulbs (better than some). LED technology has improved a
    > lot over the last few years.
    >

    It has improved but nowhere near enough to illuminate your path. They are fine for being seen but
    the pool of light they cast on the road is so diffuse as to be useless except in total darkness with
    good dark adaption. A standard Halfords filament lamp illuminates the road much better. I use the
    Cateye only on well lit streets and to be seen. Otherwise its an emergency backup.

    Tony
     
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