As we move into the winter months start to roll in the days get darker earlier and so you have to equip lights onto your bike but how do you know if you’re getting the correct light for you and what are the best lights to buy? We have made a quick guide to help you get the best lights to help you keep safe over when out on the bike whether it’s to help get you home from work or for the long days in the saddle this will help you.
Firstly, what do you look for in lights? Brightness (Lumens) and battery life are the two most important things to look into when buying lights. I recommend having 4 lights in total – 2 front and 2 back. Have your normal more expensive set and then a cheaper spare set just in case for those times when you forget to charge your light or it runs out of batteries on a ride. Your spare set is more to get you home in case of emergency then it is to help you go out and do long days in the countryside and typically you just put on the bike or in your pocket.
This guide will separate the lights into 3 different categories according to budget and then a special category which includes extras such as cameras and computer mounts.
Lower cost lights are usually used as spares, they usually have a low brightness and not a lot of settings but last a long time so are great to use a backup to help you get back home or are a great alternative if you live in a very well lit area. They are not powerful enough to light up the road but will step help you be seen by other road users.
Medium budget lights are your everyday use lights that have a great balance or battery life and brightness. They will light up the road in front of you and allow you to be seen and have a good battery life. These lights will also typically have multiple different settings such as strobing, flash, blast and other settings.
High budget lights are typically used for mountain bikes or in the countryside where streetlights may not be in certain areas so need the extra brightness in order to see the road. They act the same as medium budget lights however, are much bigger and have even more lumens in them. It’s very rare that someone will use them at max brightness because this will also drain the battery of the light a lot quicker but sometimes that extra brightness is necessary for being seen.
https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Cateye/Duplex-Front-and-Rear-Helmet-Light/GG0K £24 This light is a front and back light built into one and is for your helmet rather than your handlebars. Pairing this with another stronger front light is a great combination because this light is not strong enough to light up the road but is bright enough for other people to see you and with nearly 100 hours battery life you won’t have to worry about it running out anytime soon.
http://www.enfitnix.com/ProductDetail/2151298.html £30 Another great light which I use, with a built in speedometer in it when breaking the light gets even brighter to indicate this to other road users. Additionally, it sits in a neat place in between the saddle rails keeping it in a secure spot. With a great battery life you can use this light for a very long time before it needs to be charged again.
https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Garmin/Varia-Radar-RTL515-Rear-Light/Q335 £169 Garmin upped their game by creating a light which when paired up with your gamin can give you alerts that traffic is coming up from behind so can stop that sudden shock when a car comes flying past you. Furthermore, with it’s 220 degrees of light spread it will make sure that you are seen from behind. Definitely a light to consider.
Black Cyclists Network (BCN) Limited (company number 12972088) is a commercial company limited by shares. BCN was founded in 2018 by Mani Arthur. Our goal is to get people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to get into cycling. We are a progressive and inclusive organisation consisting of cyclists of all backgrounds, united by a mission to encourage people of colour around the world to take up cycling. BCN generates revenue through the sale of club merchandise, membership fees, sponsorship, and grants. BCN has one full-time employee, founder Mani Arthur, who devotes all reasonable hours to developing BCN and in return receives a basic income commensurate with the cash flow generated by the company, plus essential expenses incurred in fulfilling duties. The founding director is supported by Greg Patmore (Chief Commercial Officer) and James Gray (Operations Manager) and events and other activities are facilitated by a range of volunteer members.