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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not Much New, So Some New Pics of Old Stuff

I finally decided to try my hand at an Instructable and needed some new pics of the bike lighting for it; might as well post them here, too.

The actual instructable itself is here, for the curious:
Bicycle Safety Lighting and Turn Signals From (Mostly) Recycled Parts

These first sets of pics were taken in my carport yesterday evening. The battery for the lights was fully charged beforehand. The pics are in 4 sets, from just before sunset (on the other side of the house from the carport, so no direct sunlight shown) to just after nightfall, and show the bike from each side, with the left turn signal blinking. Where possible, there are images from each lighting condition and angle both with and without the signal, but because the camera has an unpredictable short delay after pressing shutter button and actually capturing the image, I could not get a shot of each even after dozens of tries. I did get many in-between states, oddly enough, where one LED set was in the process of dimming, and the other just beginning to light, which is very strange, since that time period is *extremely* short, compared to the time each LED set is actually fully on (see the video for example timing). None of the in-between pics are posted, as they're not important to how the light works. :-)


A bit before sunset:





After sunset:



After sunset but before full-on dark:




Right about full darkness.


Due to the camera's misbehavior in lighting conditions like these, it's pretty hard to tell the difference between the last two sets. It's also really hard to see the difference between the red and amber LEDs, but there's no such trouble with the camera in better ambient light, nor in person.


For the curious, a quick video showing the blinking turn signal:
video


The pics below comparing it to car lighting were taken a few days prior, right after work, and unfortunately I'd forgotten to charge the lighting battery for days up to that point, making them all pretty dim compared to the car (otherwise they'd be a better comparison). Hoping to rectify that soon with a professional-grade photographer, and also get video of the bike in traffic in various lighting conditions.



Part of the reason for the pics is to re-evaluate the lighting, to determine if I really need any more lights or at least more surface area for the existing ones, to make them more readily visible, without blinding anyone. Remember: brighter is not necessarily better, because if you make another vehicle's driver or rider have to squint till their eyes adjust to your megawatt spotlights, you risk them hitting something else, or looking away from you and hitting you anyway because they couldn't see the maneuver you did at that moment. I know you know this--you've been blinded by someone's highbeams before, right? Or that tall truck with headlights at eye-level? Yeah, you know you have, and it hurt, too.

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