Hardcore riders know the importance and necessity of bike lights. But even everyday bike riders can benefit from lights on their bike and indeed, lights are a compulsory accessory for all bikes in New Zealand. Bike lights serve two purposes:
They allow you to have a better view of what’s in front of you
They allow others to better see you
Old fashioned filament bulbs have given way to long-lasting, robust LED (light-emitting diode) technology, which is the perfect companion for your biking lifestyle.
There are lots of things to consider when choosing your LED bike lights.
Some lights help you see, while others help you be seen. Most bikers will find that a combination of the two is wise. If you’re out for a ride in the bush or you’re on your bike at night, a bright, high-output LED light can go a long way to helping you pick the right path to follow.
At dusk, you want other riders, pedestrians, and cars to notice you. This is why front, rear, and side safety (marker) lights are becoming more popular. Safety lights will not provide enough light for safe nighttime riding, so if you’re out after the sun sets, high-output LEDs are a must.
Headlights are typically white, for maximum illumination, while safety and marker lights are generally red or amber.
Modern LED lights, powered by batteries, can last a long time. In general, the longer the battery life, the more expensive the light. If you’re only going to take short, occasional jaunts, opting for a shorter battery life is an affordable option. If you’re heading out for some serious long-distance riding or are a frequent bike rider, a longer-lasting or rechargeable battery will present less hassle and help keep you out of the dark.
If you’re concerned about battery life, check out the various intensities and light patterns available. Many lights allow you to choose between blinking, which is suitable for daytime, and a steady beam, which is better at night. Choosing the right option can help conserve battery power and extend the time between recharges. Find light batteries available at BikeExchange.
Headlights can be mounted on your handlebar or on your helmet, depending on your preference. Some riders use both for maximum lighting, but if you’re only going to choose one, a helmet-mounted light will follow the movement of your head and is therefore a wise choice.
Side and rear safety lights can be mounted on your bike frame or wheels, or on you or your pack — it depends on what you think is the best location for maximum visibility. Most modern LED kits allow you great flexibility for mounting, so you can position them according to your preference. Many lights and battery packs are quick-release, and they can be removed when you park your bike for added security from theft.
The best way to decide on a bike light is to visit our BikeExchange marketplace to view the available makes and models. Use the above points as your checklist for making your decision and check out our [editorial articles on bike lights]; we’re sure it will help shed some light on the subject!