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How to Choose Bike Lights

    How to Choose Bike Lights

    Bicycle lights are continually becoming smaller, lighter, and producing better illumination for increased riding safety.

    You should first decide whether you want to see or be seen before purchasing bike lights. the two? You can select the ideal illumination for your cycling needs with the assistance of this article.

    Types of Bike Lights

    Front, side, and rear lights are all included on a well-lit bike to guarantee that you are seen by drivers and pedestrians.

    Your front light needs to be a high-output lighting system so you can see far ahead of you whether commuting or riding after dark, especially on trail rides where ambient light sources are few.

    High-output lighting systems: These often deliver the most illumination and are rechargeable. They are more expensive but significantly brighter than safety lights, and they improve your ability to see where you’re going on the road or path in almost all lighting circumstances.

    Safety lights on your front, sides, and rear: These make you more visible to oncoming traffic in low light. The brightest ones also increase your daytime visibility. However, for the majority of nighttime riding, they’re not bright enough to aid with your vision. The mounting options, quantity of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and use of rechargeable or disposable batteries are the key distinctions between safety light models.

    Comparing Light Performance

    All of the lights REI offers are housed in sturdy housings that are weatherproofed with gaskets. These lights will remain on in any condition. What to think about

    LEDs: The majority of light sources used in bike lights are LEDs because of their energy efficiency and longevity. They are available in a variety of brightness levels.

    Lumens: A lumen is a unit of measurement that expresses how much light is incident on the target object. A lumen measures the light output of each lighting unit at a constant distance. Lumen ratings are typically provided by light manufacturers, and product pages display these.

    Beam pattern: A front light with a narrow-focus beam might be a good choice if you commute on streets with lamps. You should use a wide-focus beam for enhanced peripheral vision on darker roads or trails. Beam patterns can be challenging for customers to compare; seek assistance from a REI sales specialist or consult online product descriptions.

    Generally speaking, a higher price equates to a higher light output.

    Rechargeable Lighting Systems

    Lithium ion batteries are used in rechargeable devices. They are a cheap and sustainable alternative to throwaway batteries because they can be charged numerous times.

    The majority of rechargeables produce continuous light until their power is depleted, unlike alkalines which gradually decrease with battery life. Because of this, the majority of rechargeable lights feature a “fuel gauge” or low-battery indicator. An available power light is present on every rechargeable device.

    Long run periods and great power density are two qualities that distinguish lithium ion batteries. They don’t experience “memory” consequences from being totally emptied, making them simple to keep charged.

    Maintaining Your Battery System

    More than 500 charge/discharge cycles can typically be accomplished with rechargeable batteries. Self-contained systems can be recharged using a USB charger or a power cord.

    Make sure to fully charge batteries, especially before storing them, but avoid overcharging them. The majority of systems come with intelligent chargers that, in order to avoid overcharging, shut off when the batteries are fully charged. Before each use, plug in your system and charge it because batteries that aren’t being used gradually lose their charge.

    Run Time and Battery Life

    The type of battery, system power, and LED type used in the light all affect how long it will last on a charge. Comparative ratings can be found on the product pages at

    An eye-catching pulse (either steady or random) is emitted by a flashing light, which uses less battery power than a steady beam. Most lights have steady and flashing settings. You should only use your headlight’s flash mode during the daylight because it is difficult to see well in the dark.

    Many settings are available in rechargeable devices. This enables you to choose between bright, low-power light that lasts a long time and high-intensity light that depletes batteries more quickly. Most systems offer a variety of lighting intensities for you to choose from.

    Mounting Options

    A lot of headlights can attach to your helmet as well as your handlebars. You should think about use both types when trail riding at night. If you only have one light, a helmet-mounted light will be the most adaptable because its beams may be directed with a simple movement of the head.

    You may place rear safety lights on your pack, pocket, or seatpost. Some can be installed on the back of bike racks for the rear.

    Usually, spokes or frames are used to mount side safety lights. Because they make your wheels readily visible as they move, spoke mounted lights are particularly apparent.

    High-output light battery packs can be strapped to your bike or stored in a pack as many have significantly dropped in size and weight. When you get off your bike, you may carry your light with you thanks to quick-release hardware, especially if the battery and light are combined into one unit.

    Learn more: How to Store Your Bike Outdoors