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Cranfield University Technology Park–based business Pro-Lite Technology has uncovered an alleged arms race in the field of LED-based bicycle lights, revealing that the majority of the most popular products are now out-shining four-wheeled road users. 
80% of the lights tested by Pro-Lite subsidiary Photometric & Optical Testing Services were brighter than the legal limit for dipped headlamps on cars, with one example exceeding the limit by a factor of 13. 
The development of high-strength light emitting diodes (LEDs) has helped to dramatically increase cycle safety, but the research suggests that improvements could be counter-productive by dazzling other road users and thereby creating new risks for cyclists. 
The survey found that of the ten most popular LED lamps, eight were brighter than the l70-Candela limit for dipped beam headlamps, potentially distracting car drivers and affecting their ability to judge the speed and distance of cyclists. 
Rob Yeo, owner and joint managing director of Pro-Lite and its subsidiary Photometric Testing said that improvements in technology were in this case a double-edged sword for road users: 
“Cyclists are one of many groups that have benefitted from the rapid development of LED technology, which are brighter and more efficient than traditional bulbs. 
“However, in this instance these advances have seemingly outstripped road traffic guidelines and could in fact endanger cyclists and motorists unless used with care.“ 
Pro-Lite Technology is based at the CIC at Cranfield University Technology Park – a partnership between Cranfield University and St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist. 
The Tech Park is home to over 50 science, technology and knowledge-based based businesses. Alongside established companies the CIC is designed to support start up and growth businesses through providing flexible leases, administrative support and space to expand.