Lighting 2016-17

JRA

Well-Known Member
I see people here in Portland all the time using minimal lighting systems to none. There are signs around the city telling folks to use reflectors on their bikes but reflectors are way less effective than a good lighting system that is the same system of lights that others use on the road.

My vision for lighting for e bikes is a complete system that includes head (hi/lo), tail (multi function), brake (decelerometer in the tail light makes light go solid and brighter the more you brake), laser lane (multi function) and turn signals (amber, front and rear). All operated wirelessly via a remote control pod that can be placed anywhere on any size bar. The main headlight running off the e bikes battery will have the only wire yet have a rechargeable battery for regular bike use also. I have put together such a lighting system pretty inexpensively, with the exception of the aforementioned battery in the head light and front facing amber turn signal lamps.

I am using a Roxim X4 head lamp because it plugs directly in to my Cycle Analyst and vis a vis the main battery. The 400w in pitch black conditions would make a good low beam but a 1000w high beam/400w light is not available at this time and I am getting by at speeds up to 30mph on pavement, 20 on gravel and 10 on trails.

Also I prefer a steady headlight beam. I don't get the flashing headlight, I can see, I can't see thing many people using. Other vehicles only flash their lights for certain situations and a steady beam shows up just as well.

Partial success, needs a hi/lo beam and rechargeable battery.

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The taillight that I have is an eBay item that met my criteria and was cheap and had all the above listed features required of it:

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

As a gift from the eBay seller they sent me a packet containing some very thin plastic sleeves that I couldn't quite make out what they were for due to the fact that I don't read Chinese and set them aside. After receiving the light and control module and adding a CR2032 battery to that, said included but not. A 4 pack was $7. The taillight itself is rechargeable using a mini-dvd port, the flatter kind. Upon re-examination of the first package I finally figured out that they were meant to go over say a tv remote control and hit it with a hair dryer to aid in its protection. I might try to fit one to my CA actually.

It is a wireless system from the control module to the taillights functions. A button to turn on the multi flashing tail light, a button to turn on the 2 function (flashing and steady) laser lane and a toggle switch to activate the turn signal which is an arrow that scrolls across the light (the other flashing lights are all vertical) in either direction desired. Funky yes, functional, hard to tell but there is possibly a better way to accomplish turn signals in the works. There is a decelerometer in there but it only works intermittently according to a friend that followed me around one night to see.

The laser lane function I have saved for last specifically because although I have seen them available for quite awhile I have yet to see anyone using one on the road, and I live in a very bicycley area. I too have thought them to be kind of a whatever but after having actually used one I won't go out on the road without it again. It is the single most noticed feature that stands out to pretty much all that see it. And that is a good thing when "sharing the road", a concept that some bikers think gives them carte blanché to ride 2-3 abreast on 50 mph country lanes, to more importantly the cars going 50 mph and not willing to share that much of their road that they pay tax dollars to maintain by buying fossil fuels.

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The picture doesn't really show that the laser line starts 3' off the bike in line with the rear axle and then angles about 10 degrees outward. Shines back like 25' in ideal conditions. Also has a blinking function which I have also tried and is effective also.

The tail light I have my eye on has a few more laser features also.

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Along with a multi function flashing light, decelerometer braking, and even turns itself on when it detects darkness and is rechargeable.

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Tail Light: Partial success: Cheapish reflected by the price quality yet works for the most part and turned me on to the Laser Lane concept. Needs a better brake function. New light should fix all issues with better quality and features.

Losing the turn signal from the cheap light is the only thing I can't replace at this time although there are several systems out there none meet my criteria. I am working on a solution, basically an integral system including all my target features that can mount to any bicycle. Details as they emerge.

Please share your solutions if you will to better help all of us make it through the darkness ahead, well at least those above the 45th parallel anyway.

Here is what it is looking like at this point and also the handlebar setup that I have:
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Over50

Well-Known Member
I'll be interested to hear the turn signal solution. I think my future e-bike might fall under my state's scooter law which requires turn signals. Drivers won't see hand signals at night. I too am surprised at some commuter cyclists I've seen who ride in the dark with just a small flashing tail light and underpowered headlight or flasher. Almost invisible.

I know your post is about integrated solutions but for some ideas on battery operated supplements:
My human powered bike has fork bosses so I found this Origen 8 fork mount and to it I've mounted a separate single Knog headlight. This supplements the two lights I have on the handle bars and gives me full road coverage (all my headlights are Knog Blinders):
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

For tail lights I use the Tern Vizy to supplement my cargo rack light and my trunk bag flasher. My trunk bag blocks the tail light portion of the Vizy but the Vizy also projects a red cylindrical beam onto the ground which establishes a clear boundary for cars. So this is really good for supplemental ground-effect lighting:
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

When my e-bike arrives I plan to supplement the integrated lighting with some of these battery solutions but I'll need to think about turn signals so I'm eager to hear some potential solutions.

I think one really important component for lighting and rider safety is lighting for the rider. Particularly on parts of the body in motion like the legs. I think this really adds to the visibility of the bike and biker. I've been using these battery operated lighted leg bands from Planet Bike - they will flash or stay solid. I have a number of them and they can also strap to your arms. When I combine these with my Tern Vizy I probably look like a rolling Christmas tree:
https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Bike-Multi-Use-Bicycle-Safety/dp/B000AO7JP0

In addition my helmet has a mount for a rear flasher to which I mounted the Blackburn Super Flea.
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
My post is not only about integrated solutions 0ver50 but whatever solutions, like yours, that people have come up with that value the concept of being seen and able to see at night.

I have never seen those Origin 8 mounts but they look interesting. Glad to see the Knog lights are StVO compliant (http://blog.wheelies.co.uk/stvzo-approved-bike-lights/) as I feel that standard will endure going forward, or should. My perfect light would be compliant in low beam but high beam you better have dark shades on :cool:. One maybe along the lines of this perhaps?

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Ok, maybe not that many lumens, and there was one there with 100,000 lumen also. That was taken at a Fish Expo and those boys like the big toys.

I had not considered lighting myself up as much but do have reflective parts on my clothing and helmet and some reflective leg bands I got from the Bosch booth at Interbike a few years ago. They are the type that self coil and I keep them on the bike, one around the head tube and the other around the seatpost for use when I deem it necessary.

This is the placement I am working towards for the integrated system:

E-bike-lighting-system-20161125.jpg


The turn signals will be amber rechargeable lights that are about 2"es long and an inch wide with a prism shape that will allow light to shine to the side, forwards and backwards. Attachment via the rubber strap method popular in the lighting sector and adaptable to diameters of tubing common in the industry and even able to mount on a pannier if that is the best placement for them according your needs. The separation achieved from the tail light I feel will accentuate their purpose. Operated wirelessly from the control pod on the bars.

Due to the fact that they will only see intermittent use the charge should last quite awhile in each but will have to be charged separately which I am not that happy about but at this time about all the engineers can come up with. In fact the turn signal system could be sold stand alone, 4 lights and a pod, if one already has a lighting system they are happy with. Not going to happen immediately as the wheels on the bicycle industry supply bus turn slowly but hopefully it will.

The sad thing to me is that I feel it should be the industry that is pushing this agenda. But they are too busy figuring out how to fit e mtb's on trails in the daytime I guess:rolleyes:. Needs more drama I guess which seems to get things noticed more these days;)