July 21st, 2017
Are you a cycling veteran who likes to hit the road long after dark? Or maybe you’re just looking for something to illuminate your commute home? Whatever reason you have to be cycling at night, having the right front and rear lights for your bike is essential if you want to stay safe and avoid anything from a nasty case of road rash, to broken bones.
For many cyclists, their bike is their pride and joy. Adding weight and bulking your bike up with obtrusive lights is the last thing you want to do, right? Thankfully it’s 2017 and the range of lights that you can choose from to adorn your bike is vast. From a featherweight clip on light to heavy duty high beam LEDs, the choice is endless. That’s why we’ve put together our definitive top 10 list of front and rear lights for your bike to cater for any nighttime cycling occasion.
Before we dive into which lights you should splash out on to keep you safe on your ride, here are a few things to look for if you decide to search for your own.
The first thing to look for is decent battery life. The last thing you want is for you to set off and half way through your ride, your lights cut out and you’re left in the dark with traffic on your tail. The temptation is to go for the budget buy, given that there are a plethora of cheap lights available. Don’t fall for the cheap price, many have a short life-cycle or run off disposable batteries that are susceptible to freezing in the winter months. Try investing in a light that’s rechargeable that allows for a minimum of 4-6 hours of continuous use. This should cover most of the average commuters weekly mileage.
The last thing you want after you’ve invested in some new lights is for you to hit a pothole in the road and see them snap off your handlebars. Make sure you invest in lights that can stand up to the elements, after all, you’ll be encountering road spray, rain and the occasional snowfall, so your lights need to be able to withstand any weather. Make sure the model you choose is waterproof and well constructed, or you run the risk of wasting your money.
When it comes to cycling lights and brightness, you need to consider lumens. Most bike lights contain anywhere between 100 and 1,000 lumens. Any front lights below 300 lumens can be quite dim and make you less visible, whilst anything over 500 lumens can sometimes be too dazzling for drivers. To stay safe, you want to look for a light between 300-500 lumens for the front and anything over 100 lumens for your rear light, this will give you enough light for both a city-lit commute or solo rides down the poorly-lit backroads.
Taking all of the above into account let’s start by taking a look at the best bike lights for your needs.
This is one of the best bike light sets offering a lot of bang for your buck. It features a 350-lumen output that’ll keep you visible to any traffic you encounter, whilst the clip on system allows you to easily fit the lights to your bike using rubber straps or clip on mount. It should also fully recharge within a couple of hours.
If like most people you can’t wait to get home after work, you might forget to switch on your taillight. The CatEye Reflex TL-570 solves that problem. Its innovative technology helps it automatically switch on when it detects motion and darkness. This not only saves valuable battery life but also gives you peace of mind that you’ll always be visible from behind.
This 350-lumen light set is ideal for those looking for a lightweight option, whilst still maintaining a wide field of view on their commute.
Designed using a reinforced fibreglass plastic casing, you’ll barely notice the added weight on your ride. It also has the bonus of having a battery level indicator, bringing an end to unexpected dark rides and quick fix mounts for easy instalment.
If you’re worried about your lights being stolen while you’re bike’s parked up, then these are the lights for you. They’re installed with a wrench and fixed to your bike frame making them very difficult to steal, so difficult in fact that Fortified say they’ll replace your lights if someone does manage the impossible and steals them. The combined 330-lumen output is more than enough power to guarantee you and your bike remain visible.
The final addition to our list of the 5 best bike lights is for cyclists who aren’t satisfied with only being seen. As the name suggests the ORP Smart Bike Horn & Front light is a light with a built in horn. The horn has two sound levels, meaning you can alert pedestrians to get out of your path or alert drivers who venture too close. The ORP also comes in 6 colours to suit every cyclist.
If you’ve been involved in a cycling accident that you believe wasn’t your fault, please get in touch with us today on 01625 506 672 or fill in our enquiry form and our team of experts in accidents involving cyclists will talk you through your potential compensation claim.