Being visible on the road is very important for bike riders. As such, bike lights are not only for night use; you can use them during daylight hours to catch the attention of motorists on the road. The lights help you to see the road and be seen by others on the road.
So, your bike should have a minimum of two lights, one in the front and one in the rear, as a taillight. And, it is best to have a bright white front light and a pulsing red taillight. Meanwhile, when the places you ride don’t have street lights, the lights on your bike illuminate your path and keep you safe.
The Purpose of a Light
When you use a light to see the road, it should be bright (with immense battery power) and have a narrow beam angle to help you see into the distance. And if you want the light to help other people spot you, your light should have a wide-angle beam with side illumination. You can use the lights even during the daytime as it allows motorists to find you quickly and avoid accidents.
Features of a Good Bike Light
- Easy to fit on the bike
- Easy to charge
- Easy to use
- High visibility
Factors to Consider While Buying a Bike Light
The brightness of the light is expressed in lumens. And you can find bicycle lights from 30 lumens to 2000 lumen. The brightness should be sufficient to help you see the path, and it should not be too bright and harsh as it can irritate and temporarily blind the oncoming driver’s eyes. So, you can opt for two sets of lights; one should be bright to help you view the road, and the other should be a dim flashing light that allows other people to spot you.
Lights can be easily mounted on the handlebars, and a bracket and screw or a stretchable strap are used to do so. Meanwhile, if the handlebar is not standard circular size, there may be some difficulty in fixing it. So, it is better to ensure that the lights are compatible with your bike. As such, look for mounts that allow you to adjust the tightness to secure it on the handlebar.
Most lights require batteries, or they can be USB rechargeable. Meanwhile, rechargeable batteries are easy to use, convenient and save money. Sometimes you need to mount the batteries separately on the bike, which you should plug into the light. So, check whether your bicycle is compatible to hold the batteries. This type of light will suit you when you need a brighter light for more extended periods.
Until a few years ago, halogen and metal-halide bulbs were used by cyclists. But today, due to the advancements in technology, LED bulbs are also used. They consume less energy and are brighter than other types of bulbs. And, although they are smaller and lighter, they are highly efficient and have a long life.
The prices of lights vary because different manufacturers prioritise different features. So, determine the brightness, beam angle and battery life needed as per your requirements. Also, you should buy a light which can be mounted without much trouble. After considering all these aspects, buy a light that is within your budget and meets your needs.
A powerful headlight and a blinking tail light are essential whether you ride before sunrise, during daylight or after sunset. This is because, with bike lights, you can be ready for a ride, whether it’s sunny or cloudy. Nevertheless, they are vital to keep you safe and draw the attention of other riders.