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Buttonwillow-how did everyone do at night?


jhoog
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I dont know about any other teams but we had a hell of a time seeing at night.  Quite a few teams looked like they were lighting up the track pretty good and had no problems.  Out of curiosity what light setup were you guys running and how well could you see?


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We had a pair of Rigid Industries spots pointed down the track that worked fantastically. We had no problems with seeing ahead (except when driving into a dust cloud, which felt like running blindly into a wall). Our apex lights were Rigid Industries floods and were tolerable, but all night I wasn't seeing to the side well at all. In particular, the jog to the left into the bus stop was practically invisible. There was a green cone marking the apex during the day that had been knocked down track sometime at night and I felt like I was turning the car into a black hole there. I also had to alter my normal daytime line exiting the offramp turn to run much wider at night because I couldn't distinguish the inside apex from the track surface at all. I really don't know if our apex lights were junk (which seems unlikely since they were just like our spots but with a different focus) or if we just did an awful job aiming them. I suspect the latter.


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Guest cheseroo

I was fine with lights but I've run 24 hr races their before.  Perhaps I'm a nervous nellie as I was 10 secs off my quick time at night but there was a number of cars out there I blew by that I had no business passing so a number of people were struggling.  The other mini couldn't see so we cobbled up some auxiliary lights grouping about 8 of those free Harbor Freight LED flashlights into cutoff Gatoraide bottles and mounting them.  It worked but the chump police black flagged them for too many lights.


 


A big help to see forward is to tint your rear view mirrors.  If your eyes don't have to adjust to the incoming light, you see better.  In the white mini we ran ones similar to these as spots.  A number of outlets have them.  2nd race we've used them.


http://www.sidebysidesports.com/7hidoflica.html?utm_source=googlepepla&utm_medium=adwords&id=18500979626&gclid=CPiL0Iq8u74CFZFufgodPYcAwg


and Hella 500's as cornering lights.  Other than noticing in the morning that I had been taking some odd apexes at night, I was happy with the setup.


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were you running these?

http://www.rigidindustries.com/led-lighting/20221

 

We are trying to determine our best way to go for Vegas coming up so we can make sure we can see where we are going. 

Ours are very similar to these, but it looks like they've increased the lumens. Ours are 1920 lumens each, and the new ones appear to be 2250.

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Anyone know why the lumen limit is so low? We maxed it out and it was still very difficult to see. Seems pretty dangerous. Having bright lights in your mirrors is a small problem compared to not being able to see where you are going.


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Anyone know why the lumen limit is so low? We maxed it out and it was still very difficult to see. Seems pretty dangerous. Having bright lights in your mirrors is a small problem compared to not being able to see where you are going.

 

What light bars are you using?

 

It's not about how many lumens you have but how you use them. For example, check out this outdated comparison article on how different the light pattern is across all the lights: http://www.lightforceusa.com/images/pages/4WD%20161%20LR2.pdf

 

The lumen rating is a bit more arbitrary than treadwear on tires. Generally the lumen rating for a lightbar is the LED manufacturers maximum lumen output multiplied by the number of LEDs in the light fixture. Reflector/optics design and loss is not really considered. Comparing LED lighting systems is a pain in the donkey. Not all of the LEDs are made equal and the cheaper LED bars use lower quality ones that don't put out the max lumens anyway. Combine that with crappy reflector optics and you don't have much light.

 

Why the lumen limit? John and co did some research and decided that was roughly equivalent to what 35W (HID?) lights put out. There's definitely a few very interesting LED products out that have just a bit too high of a lumen rating for Chump use. Yesterday I ordered a potpourri of cheaper LED lights for a shootout. I'm throwing in a Rigid Dually and Hyperspot for comparison as well (people on forums claim Rigid is overpriced, so let's see how the cheaper products stack up).

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Guest cheseroo

Having bright lights in your mirrors is a small problem compared to not being able to see where you are going.

 

Your eyes react to incoming light.  When it's dark out, our pupil's are large and exposed so that they can accept the maximum amount of light to see in the dark.  As soon as bright light hits it, the iris contracts and covers the pupil letting less light get in and you see less.  You very well may put better lighting on your car but cutting down on the mirror glare definitely makes it easier to see at night.

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Your eyes react to incoming light.  When it's dark out, our pupil's are large and exposed so that they can accept the maximum amount of light to see in the dark.  As soon as bright light hits it, the iris contracts and covers the pupil letting less light get in and you see less.  You very well may put better lighting on your car but cutting down on the mirror glare definitely makes it easier to see at night.

i left my tinted daytime shield on my helmet and left it open to where it covered the rear view mirror only.  It was completely by accident as I totally forgot to change to my clear shield, but was a blessing in disguise and worked really well.

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i left my tinted daytime shield on my helmet and left it open to where it covered the rear view mirror only. It was completely by accident as I totally forgot to change to my clear shield, but was a blessing in disguise and worked really well.

Well it worked well enough to get your team on the podium. ðŸ‘

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We spare no expense on lights with four 7" hid lights with 35 watt bulbs per the rules. No issues at night and our lap times didn't even drop much.

 

Do you happen to have a link to what lights you used? 

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We had some pretty cheap-o LEDs which I'm sure is part of the problem. I'd certainly be interested to see the results of your testing.


I'm sure if you get the nice rigid lights you will have pretty reasonable visibility but it's obvious not everyone is doing this. I know a lot of people who drove straight off the road because they didn't know where it was! A friend in another car didn't see his braking point into star mazda and shot straight off without even touching the brakes! I can't imagine the amount of pucker he got...


With the amount of offs and dirt in the air and on the track at night vs. during the day it is pretty clear there is a problem. Maybe it's our own fault for not realizing how different a cheap 8000 lumens and an expensive 8000 lumens are and cheaping out?


 


In my experience with night racing if you have a ton of light from your headlights the lights in your mirror are not as big of a deal since the contrast is much lower. This is how all pro racing works, and even amature endurance racing like the 25hr of thunderhill. The important thing is that the lights are aimed correctly.


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