Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't mess with my lights!

One of the few downsides of generator powered lights with standlights, is that I get a lot of comments from helpful bystanders telling me that "You left your lights on!"

I choose to take this as a teaching moment, telling people about how there's a capacitor that stores the energy generated through the wheel and it will turn itself off in a couple of minutes.  Or the executive summary "generator- no batteries!"

I saw this bike parked downtown (I actually see it a lot- it's hard to miss and is generally parked in the same place). But it was parked in a new place, that I walk by instead of biking by, so I stopped to investigate.

This person must have had some incidents with people trying to "turn off" his (why do I assume it's a "he"?)  generator powered lights, because he took action!
Both front and back lights are labeled with a sign saying 'Light has auto off" 

Funny- this bike started life as a Phillips light roadster.  It's hardly recognizable as anything except a hard- core commuter now.  Someone over time has made this into a uniquely personalized vehicle.  It doesn't meet my definition of lovely,  but I can definitely recognize that it's perfectly adapted to its owner's needs.


  1. I think it likely that the bike owner is a man, give the Marine Corps sticker on the child seat. Of course, one can't know for certain, but it's a reasonable guess.

  2. The first couple of times I saw a stand light I was really confused. I'd see the dynamo, and I'd see the stopped bike with THE LIGHT STILL BURNING!

  3. i think standlights are one of the smartest recent development in the bike world. i'd love to have a dynamo with standlight setup...

  4. You could touch a coin across the special capacitor-shorting contacts on the side of the tail light to kill it. The B&M manual tells you that doing so is the recommended way of shutting off a standlight taillight.

    The headlight usually has a regular off position. I can understand leaving it in "Senso," but if you park in town, why attract busy-body attention to your bike, and--besides--who knows when those few minutes of pre-charged headlight may be useful?

  5. Also, these 4D B&M tail lights (of which we now own several and have replaced one) have dim stand lights--barely visible, in fact. Like a Cateye on dead AAs.

    I basically no longer "believe" in dynamo-powered tail lights for some real-world applications without a proper Cateye AA backup somewhere on the saddle bag (turned on manually when appropriate).

    The B&M Lumotec IQ Cyo headlight, on the other hand, is probably the best bike headlight anywhere for the money and quite capable as a "single" headlight doing both road illumination and car warning.

  6. @ MDI
    I have not used the 4D, My main tail-light is the fender mounted "Seculight plus" and the stand light is very very bright- I would say almost as bright as when moving.