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No. Absolutely not. Point your lights straight ahead at the car drivers eyeballs, but turn them down when you ride on a bike path.

Assen Popoff

Right on! My main light is a 4 Mode 1200 Lumen CREE XML T6 Bulb LED Bicycle bike HeadLight Lamp Flashlight Light Headlamp which I have equipped with Wide Angle Lens for MagicShine, Gemini, and many other Bike Lights / Headlight. The lens allows me to effectively point the light down and see all of my lane at night. I have, with the light set on flash mode, come upon cars pulled over thinking an emergency vehicle were approaching.
The link below shows the lens in effect-

As a secondary light, I have mounted a Bell iPulse on the front wheel by the axle, set on flash mode. The asymmetry of the lights catches the attention of oncoming traffic better than having two lights mounted side by side on the handlebar, which then resembles a vehicle at a great distance.

Of course, for the rear I have my flashing milk crate hack.

Annoyingly visible is what I intend to be, especially during the hours of darkness.


For the love of FSM please stop calling your bike a "whip".

John Romeo Alpha

One of the features I like about my Cygolite is that it allows for being swiveled just enough to the left or right whenever it would otherwise be shining in someone's eyes. Any situation that would happen, including interior skull illumination of another cyclist, I swivel. Also, when needed, I swivel it right to give just a little more notice to cars entering from the right, who usually see me but sometimes require just a little more lumen-oomph to pause.


Matt, where the light is aimed has more to do with the relative speed you're riding at. If you're barreling down a long and dark winding road at 20+ mph, the light beam focus needs to be at a much higher level than riding in the city at speeds lower than 15 mph. But, in either case, don't ever look directly at ANY beam of light. Avert thy gaze. It's the same rule as when driving. When an oncoming car's lights are ablaze look down at the fog line or the edge of the road. Never at the lights. While I will agree that some idiots regardless of vehicle mode drive with incorrectly aimed lights, that is no reason to stare directly at them. Ever.
I happen to use a B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo powered by a Shimano DynoHub and a helmet light to help me read maps and/or street signs and for more visibility. For short trips around town I strap on a couple of Planet bike 2 watt AA lights. What I find lacking for many riders is reflecting tape or clothing or anything. Some guys go all ninja and I bet they don't realize how invisible they really are in the night. Second, is inadequate rear lighting that is either too weak or not aimed properly or both. Just my two cents

Kim Laroux

I officate at a local CX series, and most of the races are after nightfall. Last year it was alright, but this year people realized they could use lights on their bikes. They bought 398573573298473875 lumens LED lights and aim them straight in front of them. I sit behind a laptop on the finish line and have to read every racer's number located on their shoulder. I have been blinded many times by the intense lights, and missed their number and the following couple... one light was so intense it gave me a headache, so I had to close my eyes every time it passed.

I just don't get what's the point of using such high intensity headlights. Humans eyes will adjust themselves to the ambient light, and will allow you to see everywhere. If you use a super bright light only on the front, your eyes will adjust to this light level and you won't see crap when you look elsewhere. If you're doing it to be seen, a normal intensity light that flashes will be more efficient.

John Romeo Alpha

My well-considered opinion on the acceptable brightness level on city streets for commuting (SABS: See And Be Seen) is: It is not discourteous to equip your machine with illumination sources on a par with those used by the other machines sharing the same streets. In practical terms, on dark streets with traffic entering from the sides and merging around me, I find this to be true, and functionally vital, otherwise, drivers often don't see me. Some ratings of high-performance headlight bulbs in use (at last two per vehicle) at eye level in most cities currently, for comparison with my 300 lumen commuter bicycle light: 9011 (HIR1) 2350 lumens, H9 bulb 2100 lumens, 9012 (HIR2) bulb 1870 lumens, H7 bulb 1450 lumens.

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