December 11th - Taking a short cut through the Butts (no sniggering at the back), I noticed that Eastbourne Street has had it’s street lighting changed to LED technology. These lights are cool white rather than the customary yellow, and run much more efficiently and at lower power than sodium discharge types. Birmingham has being undertaking a rolling program of installing this type of lighting for a year or two now.
They’re a shock at first, but I prefer them. Although they look dimmer, their illumination is actually great, and I find they don’t cause the glare that the older types do.
The eerie effect on the urban scene is also rather wonderful.
January 7th - Talking of technology I’ve been interested to note of late that Birmingham Council - or rather, contractors working for them - are replacing street lighting on side routes with modern, low energy LED lights. I’ve been using LED lights on my bike for four or five years now, and they’ve improved massively. The lights being installed are an unexpected design, and seem to work really well. They give off a harsh, but clear white light. Interestingly tonight, when I left at 4:30, they were only just coming on, so the days are already lengthening considerably.
November 17th - Winter, cycling in darkness. I really can’t stress this enough, but lights, folks, lights. Lights are about being seen - creating a moving point of highlight in a dark world. In an urban environment, that’s all you need: to this end cheap LED blinkies and such are perfectly adequate. In rural environments, and for moving at speed off road in the dark, good forward illumination is essential. The better the light, the sooner you see hazards, the faster you can potentially go. I use an LED light by Hope, of Barnoldswick in the UK; it’s their flagship R4 model, and is very bright indeed. This is a non-assisted photo and shows the light spread on a medium setting. I have a very bright rear light from the same company. I love Hope’s stuff. They keep me safe at night.