Whether it’s exploring new territories, dodging potholes, or spotting animals lurking in the shadows, bike lights unveil a whole new realm of biking possibilities. More than being mere accessories, bike lights serve as a beacon of safety, style, and an all-around biking essential.
We take a look at the types of lights you can use, the reasons why you should never leave home without them, and some of the rules you need to know.
What Are The Different Kinds of Bike Lights?
There is a big variety of bike lights you can buy to help improve your cycling experience, whether commuting or road cycling during early morning or evening rides when visibility is reduced. Here are 5 of the most common types of lights;
These are the most commonly used bike lights. They come in a pack containing the light itself and a mounting kit that will fasten to the front handlebars or rear seat post. Mounted lights can offer illumination in both directions, allowing other road users to spot you from a distance. They also have different modes for enhanced visibility such as flashing or pulsing to help be seen quickly.
These lights simply attach to your cycling helmet. Helmet lights remain a great source of eye-level light. They come in handy when you need direct light in a specific area, if bright enough you just turn your head and the light shines in the direction you are looking vs a mounted light that points straight in front of the bike.
Wheel lights add a decorative element to your bike, not just visibility. They are popularly referred to as rim lights since they could be seen directly on the rims of bike wheels. Some can be brilliant for creating extra visibility on night rights and look pretty stylish too such as the Nite Ize spoke lit bike light
Whether frame, handlebars or even backpacks, clip-ons could be attached anywhere. These versatile lights can easily serve as additional lighting or visibility aids. Normally they serve as reflector lights compared to ones that put out light however they are still great for additional safety.
These special lights are designed to be worn and used alongside other bike lights. Wearable lights can be attached to clothing, backpack, wrists, or ankles. Cateye is known as a good bike light brand and they have a great rear facing wearable called CatEye Wearable-X.
4 Reasons You Should Always Ride With A Bike Light
Whether you’re an amateur or a pro rider, here are 4 reasons you can’t afford to go biking without a bike light;
Safety: It Offers Safer Rides
Bike lights allow you to conquer the road even at night. Whether they are attached to a helmet, your wheels or handlebars they can light your way, offering not just safer rides but commanding attention everywhere you ride.
When cycling at night rear facing lights are essential to allow the cars behind to see you in plenty of time. A good quality bright light is perfect to feel that little bit safer on the commute home in the dark.
When using a front mounted or helmet mounted light, check out the lumens on the light. This will let you know how bright the light will be and how far it might shine. When cycling in the dark you want to make sure you can see enough of the road in front of you to cycle safely, also it helps to have a wide pitch so you can see a good few meters width of the road.
The only thing to remember is don’t go too bright, one rule of the road is that you cant impair other road users;
“If your lights cause undue dazzle or discomfort to other road users, then you’re breaking the law and the police are within their rights to fine you,”Cycling UK
Brings people together
This might seem a bit funny, but it is true. Bike lights have the incredible ability to bring people together. Lots of people are part of nighttime biking groups made possible only because of lamps.
A big group with diverse bikes, all fitted with all different light designs. With your lights guiding the way, you become a part of a community that thrives on fun, friendship, and the collective pursuit of adventure.
An extra touch of fashionable
Some bike lights can be vibrant, eye-catching, and downright cool! Lights can be a blend of function and fashion.
Formerly only kids’ bikes came with fancy lights, but today, stale and uninspiring lighting are a thing of the past. Bike lights should be stylish, and appealing such as the Knog Cobber Rear Lighting or the LEZYNE Macro Drive 1300XXL.
Rules For Bike Lights
Bike light regulations vary from country to country. Therefore, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the specific regulations in your area. However, here is a general overview of common bike light rules in the UK;
- There should be a white light mounted on the front of each bike and visible from a certain distance.
- A red light on the back of the bike.
- In addition to front and rear lights, bikes ought to have reflectors.
- Flashing lights are encouraged, especially for toddler bikes, as they attract more attention.
- Additional lights are generally allowed as long as they do not violate any specific regulations.
- The lights should be mounted in positions that provide optimal visibility and not be obstructed by other objects or accessories on your bike.
In the world of biking, bike lights remain a key safety feature. Not only will it help you have a safe ride home or on poorly lit streets, it will also mean you are complying with the laws or the road and can be clearly seen by other road users. Wether you buy a functional or stylish light is up to you!