The bike lamp in the summer
Source: press release
16 May 2016
Contrary to what one may expect, in the spring and summer after dark more people ride bikes than in the autumn or winter. How to choose and regulate the lighting in the summer?
Lamp under the saddle
In spring and summer the vision is limited by the rain or the morning fog but not only those. If we are moving on the roads, especially those curvy and narrow in the woods, it is worth taking care of the reflectors fixed in the well seen places and a red lamp at the back. Why? – The driver on this kind of road sees lights and shadows which tire the sight and weaken the concentration. The cyclist without the reflectors, the visible back lamp and additionally wearing dark clothes is invisible in the surrounding. It may be dangerous because it doesn’t give much time for the driver to react – explains Dominik Miroski, the expert on the bike lighting of the blog Light Test. – We should also remember, that the regulations demand that every bike has a back red reflector. That is why, for our own safety we should have the additional reflectors on our legs, fixed to the bag or directly to the bike. Useful are for example reflectors in the form of pendants which can be assembled in any place. We can also adjust the reflecting foil to the colour of the bike – invisible during the day and when it’s lighted by the cars it does its job.
What should we notice when choosing the back lighting?
• The microlamps with one diode are suitable only for the city.
• On the road the best are the diodes of the type “power LED” – with a new set of batteries we will be visible from over 1000 m.
• The side visibility of the lamp – an important parameter because it influences the visibility in the city.
• The mode of the steady light and different blinking combinations.
The front lighting – to see in the forest and the road
It is worth considering that even when the sun in summer still shines, it is high above the horizon. If we are on the road in the thick forest, the visibility at this time is limited. – It is harder to see the holes, rocks or the roots. If we go for the longer, all day journey, it is better to have a lighting in case we will have to go back after dark. A small lamp with the integrated power should be enough, it can be easily hidden in the pocket or a bag, but a microlamp that should meet the requirement of “having a lighting” will be too weak – says Dominik Mirowski. However, if we plan to ride after dark, it is worth having lamps with diodes of the type “power LED” (with the power of 200 lumens, but better are those of 500-600 lumens). – Their advantage is that they guarantee the wide field of vision. On the other hand they guarantee also the comfort for those passing by because those lamps are of similar power to the passing beam – says Cyprian Lemiech, the expert on the mobile lighting of the company Mactronic.
Set the lamp in a way not to blind anyone
In the spring and summer after dark more people ride bikes than in autumn or winter. Many cyclists do not know that the wrong lamp setting may blind the people riding (or walking) towards them. – Usually they don’t see that their own lamp is set incorreclty. The lamp should not be regulated too high or too low. In the first case it will disturb others and in the second it won’t light up the road in front of us. – adds Cyprian Lemiech.
How to check and set the front lamp?
• Set the bike in front of the wall (don’t put it on the leg, straighten the handlebar) – preferably at the distance of about 5 m.
• Mark the height on the wall on which the bike lamp is assembled.
• If the ray of light is above this height, it means that your lamp blinds others.
• If the ray is a bit below the height, it is alright.
The cyclist’s sins
• If the back lamp is fixed “to the back”, it doesn’t mean it is visible. It is worth to lean the bike, go away for a tens of meters and evaluate the setting.
• I have “power LEDs” so I’m visible – nothing more confusing. Power LEDs consume more energy so you must remember to change the battery frequently, usually every dozen hours of using. These are not the times when the batteries could live for a year.