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A complete guide to choosing bike lights

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A complete guide to choosing bike lights
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The technology behind bike lights has improved rapidly in recent years. Although they are getting smaller and lighter, they deliver even brighter illumination to keep you safe while on the road. Below, we offer some top tips for choosing the right bike light for your cycling needs.

Rechargeable vs battery powered

Lights which are powered by cheap batteries are not overly bright, so if you ride your bike daily and you rely on alkaline batteries as your main source of power, the cost will soon creep up. While battery-operated lights are perfectly fine for casual riders who rarely cycle in the dark, regular commuters or cycling enthusiasts will find they’re unreliable and sometimes completely ineffective, especially if they stop working when you least expect them to.

The use of Bike Tail Lights and rechargeable USB bike lights are an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly alternative to battery-powered lights. Unlike alkaline batteries which will dim slowly over their lifetime, rechargeable lights can be charged hundreds of times and still deliver consistent output. Most rechargeable lights also have a low-battery warning feature, so you’ll never be caught out again by a bike light cutting out when you’re only half-way home.

Light performance

As well as the type of battery you choose, it’s also important to take into consideration the performance level of your bike lights. Here are three terms to know:

Lumens: Simply put, lumens refers to the total amount of visible light from a lamp or light source to the human eye.

LEDs: Available in a wide range of brightness levels, LEDs are now the most popular type of light source for bikes. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient and durable bike light, this is certainly an option to consider.

Beam pattern: If you ride a lot in areas with streetlights, choose a front light with a narrow-focus beam. On darker roads, opt for a wide-focus beam to ensure good peripheral vision. Beam patterns aren’t always easy to compare, so speak to an expert if you’re unsure.

Front lights

When it comes to your front lights, brighter is often better, but you’ll need to carefully consider the sort of night time riding you’re doing before making your final choice.

If you’re riding a lot in city or urban areas, it’s important the light you select has good side visibility as well; this ensures you can be seen when turning out of junctions. If you’re solely riding on the road, make sure the beam pattern of your front light is strong enough to show potholes but won’t dazzle or blind oncoming traffic.

Taillights

Using Taillights are usually red in colour, are designed exclusively to help other road users see you. While they haven’t experienced the same level of advancement as front lights, they make a lot of riders feel safer. As such, it’s still important to choose a bold light with a large output – don’t attempt to save a few dollars here by purchasing a sub-par taillight. Anything that draws the eye of another road user to your presence should be seen as a positive.

How to mount bike lights

When it comes to mounting your chosen bike lights, you’ll need to start by deciding where you are going to place them. Some lights will be designed to sit in a certain position on your bike, so check the description carefully to ensure you get this right. If not, the centre of your bike (between the handlebars) is usually the best option for your front light, although you can place it lower if preferred. On the rear of your bicycle, you’ll need to position the light directly below your seat – unfortunately, there aren’t really any other options here.

The majority of bike lights on the market come with battery packs already installed, but if the model you’ve chosen does not, you’ll need to fit these first. The majority of bike lights nowadays are rechargeable via USB, so all you’ll have to do is detach the light from its mount once the power runs out. Exactly how you fix your light to your bike will vary based on your individual model, but the majority involve tightening a clip until it fits snugly.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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