There is a certain chopt logic amongst cyclists that lights have to be really really bright in order to keep you safe. On road.cc recently various posters were extolling the virtues of the ‘eBay special’, a 9 trillion lumens Chinese light that costs about 30 quid. I can see why people feel that über brightness equals safety. This is a misconception and a dangerous one. I’ve spent the past few evenings coping with the misdirected beam of overly bright bike lights. My retina was torn apart by a mountain biker with two ridiculously bright front lights, one helmet-mounted, thus dazzling anyone who happened to be in his line of sight. It was staggeringly, overwhelmingly bright. I pointed this out to him and he didn’t like it. The LED arms race is a total crock and does cyclists no favours at all. People riding round town with too much candlepower deserve contempt.
Lights without a directed beam, especially those worn on the helmet, blind cyclists and other road users. They’re also hugely inappropriate for use around town. Tone down the lumens and do everyone a favour. Get a hope vision 1 and point it at the road. That’s what it’s for.