Jan 12, 2005

I don't know if you've noticed, but...

you've got an awfully creepy light on the back of your car.

If you own a Cadillac Sedan DeVille, that is. Those 32 valve Northstar things. With the LED rear lights.

Leave it to me to notice things like this: next time you're in traffic, watch the brake lights of the car in front of you. I mean, I hope you're doing this anyway, but watch them specifically; how they turn on and off. Any incandescent bulb is a filament burning in a vacuum, powered by electricity. There's no oxygen there, so the filament is not consumed but instead glows, making light. The thing is this--when it comes on, there is a definite increase in lumens from the point that it's off to the point that it's burning at it's full wattage, and you can SEE it get lighter, from off to full. The light going off does the same thing, only backwards--very bright through a fast progression to dark, but you can register the luminance changes.

Not so LED lights. These things are so fast that they seem to be travelling...well, at the speed of light. Instantly on, or so fast that the human eye cannot discern a difference in light output. And those things are BRIGHT! I find myself behind Cadillacs a lot around here (it's the Southern Gentleman's car of choice, dontchakno) and the DeVille has the biggest freaking brake lights, like a good square foot per light, and then that devilish Knight Industries Two-Thousand red third-eye light on the trunk lid. And there's no time for your eyes to adjust to their intensity--it's off one second, and then seven bajillionths of a second later (186,000 miles per second, thirty feet distance, you figure it out) it's ON, spearing right through your brain.

Worse? I saw a set of 'em on a pulp-wood truck coming home this afternoon. If you don't live near logging activities, let me tell you all you need to know about logging trucks--brakelights and a functional, considerate driver are luxury accessories that you NEVER see in the woods nor on the highways. So this logging truck had a new trailer, a thing unto itself for rarity, up there with rooster nipples and elderly virgins, and it's got LED taillights. About a thousand of them. Covering every single exposed rear-facing surface of the trailer. Including the mudflaps, which it had four of. And not a single chrome "Haulin' Ass" girl in sight. Every lane change, every time he tapped the air brakes, every time his foot got NEAR that pedal those lights would come on, stabbing through my eyes into my hindbrain, and epillepsy would rear it's ugly head, I would start screaming incoherently and swerving, and another angel got it's wings or whatever happens when a motorist is blinded by your technological advancement.

Wow..two posts in thirty minutes--I'm on fire! Either that or I'm avoiding housework.

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