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Bicycle Lights Overview

If you cycle at dusk or dawn bicycle lights are essential not just for your own visibility but also to alert other riders, pedestrians or cars. Depending on where and when you intend to cycle you should choose the appropriate bike light. Here are some things to consider when looking to buy a bike light.

  • Do i need lights so i have good visibility when riding?
  • Do i need lights to be seen while riding?

Where Will I be Riding my Bike?

  • Residential Areas

    • Use flashing front and rear bike lights.
    • Street lights generally shine enough light to allow you to see. Therefor, flashing front and rear lights are most desired as the main goal is to be seen by vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Off-Road

    • Powerful lights that light up the path in front of you.
    • If you are mountain biking at night or road riding in areas without ample lighting, you will require a power light to light up the road in front of you.

Types of Lights

LED Lights

LED Light

  • Flashing or steady light.
  • Improves chances of being seen.
  • Efficient and affordable.
  • Not effective at lighting up the road in front of you.
  • Price can vary depending on quality.

Halogen Lights

Halogen Light

  • Light up the road in front of you
  • Most come with re-chargable batteries which range from sealed lead-acid batters (cheapest, but the heaviest) to nickel-metal-hydride batteries.
  • Paying more will get you greater Watts (better shine) and a longer lasting battery.
  • Differ a great deal in quality and price

Dynamo Lights

Bicycle Dynamo Light 1548

  • Good option for frequent riders who require a decent amount of visibility from their light.
  • Also known as generator lights.
  • Powered by rubbing on the wheel of hub.
  • More efficient and cheaper than Halogen lights, but generally not as bright.

With the continuous development of new and improved cycling lights the potential choices for cycling lights are ever expanding. Many of which are hybrid technologies that fall between the above categories. When buying lights make sure that the specifications suit your cycling needs in functionality, visibility and longevity. Buying renowned brands is often a safer way to insure quality if the budget permits.

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