HOW TO CHOOSE BICYCLE LIGHTS

Vallabh Pradeep BOTS Guides

We have all been in situations where poor visibility has led to bad ride days or even worse. These situations can be better handled with appropriate lighting solutions. However, there are a few parameters to consider before you shop around for lights. Read on to understand how we at BOTS choose lights.

TYPES OF CYCLING LIGHTS
A well-lit bike is equipped with both front and rear light to ensure you can see the road ahead and are visible to others on the road. Riding in dark condition on a regular basis will demand high illumination lights to light up the road ahead. If you find yourself riding in well light streets, an indicative safety light would suffice — making you visible to others.

High output lights: These lights are very powerful and help in seeing as well as being seen. These lights are recommended for the people who ride in low light conditions i.e. no street lamps or any other source of light. Choose this when you are planning longer rides outside city limits.

Safety lights: As the name suggests they are meant to safeguard you on road. They are not as bright as high output lights but they do a good job of highlighting your presence. Choose this when you are well within city limits and in well-lit streets.

THE THREE PILLARS OF EVERY BICYCLE LIGHT
The choice of the cycling light depends on the below three pillars:

  • Battery life
  • Lumens
  • Pattern of the beam

Battery life: Lights from different manufactures comes with varying battery life. Life of battery also depends on the kind of LED build used, number of bulbs used etc. Usually, battery life is mentioned on the packaging. Chose higher battery life if you see yourself riding longer in low light conditions.

Lumens: Lumens is the amount of visible light. Higher the number of lumens, brighter the light would be. Modern cycling lamps ranges between 5-100 lumens for the rear and 10 – 1000 lumens for the front.

Beam angle: It Is the angle at which the light falls on the path ahead. If riding in low light conditions or a trail, wide beam angle light is recommended, if riding on the well-lit street a narrower beam angle light is good enough.

POWER SOURCE
Most of the bicycle lights run on disposable batteries, but modern day lights come with built-in rechargeable batteries. These rechargeable lights are comparatively lighter than the one with the disposable battery. Most of the researchable light solutions now come with charge indicator to ensure that you don’t run out of charge during critical situations.

MOUNTING OPTION
Head Lamps can be mounted on the handlebars. It can be mounted on the helmet as well. If you are using only one light helmet mounting is the best option as you can guide the light according to your need. The rear lamp can be mounted on your backpack, seat post or your jersey pocket.

SPARE BATTERY PACK
Extra batteries come in handy sometimes. Modern-day batteries can fit easily into your saddle bag when you decide to ride those extra miles

.Having a right light is important for any cyclist, it is one of the most basic

Having a right light is important for any cyclist, it is one of the most basic accessories to have. All of these above points should help you when you head out to buy a pair of cycling lights. 

Happy cycling!

Vallabh Pradeep
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING I never stopped riding my bike! It all started with me cycling to school. It then became my tool of choice to stay fit, which seeded my passion for long distance cycling. I love the simplicity of cycling as it makes you an integral part of the elements (Rain, Cold, Heat, Climbs, Descends) which in turn makes you value every pedal stroke! Working as a Bike Specialist allows me to spend my entire day with bicycles and working with other like-minded people. DISCIPLINE: Road CURRENT BIKE(S): Scott Aspect 670 & Specialized Allez DREAM BIKE: S-Works Tarmac OTHER PASSIONS: Running, Photography, Travelling