How to choose bicycle lights for night riding?


Whether you like it or not, the days are getting shorter and shorter, and the winter cycling days are approaching for many of us. In addition to the need to keep warm and strengthen daily maintenance, many riders also realize the need to improve the setting of bicycle lights. Let Wheelsall ( break down some common bicycle light problems based on riding conditions, riding type, bicycle selection, and riding time, to help you make better choices and make the most of your budget .

What is the difference between bicycle lights?

Before you start buying car lights, the first question you have to ask yourself is: Are car lights to make it easier for others to see you, or to make you see more clearly when you ride. You will ask, is there any difference? Generally, a lamp with a higher brightness level has a larger battery and a narrower light angle, allowing you to see farther. On the contrary, the lights that were often seen in the past are designed to attract attention from all angles and have functions such as wide beams and side lighting. The lumens of visible light (see below) tend to decrease, because the distance is not the priority. As a result, "visible" lights are generally lighter, have smaller batteries, have fewer lumens, and have a wider beam angle, and are cheaper than car lights that help you see things.

What are lumens, lux and beam angle?

Although it is not necessary to have a degree in physics to choose the right bicycle light, it is really helpful to understand some basic terms and principles. Here are some words you might see used to describe bicycle lights:

• Lumen: Measure the total amount of visible light emitted by a light source per unit time. The number of lumens on a bicycle lamp represents the total amount of light emitted.

• Lux: refers to the intensity of the light emitted in an area or surface. Lux tells you how far the light will reach. If you think that lumens represent the total amount of light emitted by a bicycle light, then Lux measures the amount of light transferred to a surface at a certain distance. Therefore, assuming that the lumens of light remains constant, the larger the surface area, the smaller the illuminance.

•Beam angle: The beam angle tells you the distance the light travels from the original light source. The focus of sharp beams is directly in front, while wider beams will spread outward, creating a beam of what is usually called "light".

• Beam type/settings: Super, High, Full, Standard, Normal, Low, Flash and Pulse are some examples of beam settings you might encounter. Each brand uses its own specific terminology, but they are basically consistent with the types listed above. Remember, different types of light beams also cause different energy consumption and power consumption. A lamp may be sold with a battery life of 5 hours, but this is only when it is on, not when it is full. It's good to do some research here, because you want to make sure you have a light that can operate with the required lighting power throughout the trip.

Where should my bicycle light be placed?

With more technical considerations, it's time to focus on the actual lighting situation in order to maximize the impact of the light. Of course, it depends on your bicycle, but in general, you will want a rear light on the seatpost of your bicycle and a front light in the middle of the handlebar. In addition, many bags, backpacks, bags and bag holders have a ring for fixing the tail light, you can use this function and connect another flash to provide maximum visibility.

How many bicycle lights do I need?

• The prominent front handlebar light emits white light.

• A tail light emitting red light, 35 cm to 150 cm above the ground.

• A red back reflector located between 23 cm and 90 cm from the ground.

• There are reflective foot lights on each pedal so that it can be seen from the front and back of the bike.

Do I need to use car lights during the day?

Although people mistakenly believe that most accidents occur at night, it is reported that eight in ten bicycle accidents occur during the day. A recent study in Denmark concluded that the first thing cyclists can do to ensure their safety is to ensure that their lights are always on during the day.

Do different bicycles need different lights?

You will see different brands launch a variety of car lights for different fields. They are indeed slightly different, but you may not need to buy a completely different set of car lights. Basically, the lamp is designed to perform good functions when driving at high speed. The wide and flat beam it emits can not only illuminate your surroundings, but also form a light spot on the road ahead. If you focus on mountain bikes, you might want something more powerful that can help you spot dangers and where you need to turn or brake. Although more than 200 lumens of light is ok for most road cycling, if you are driving on some trails or roads in clusters, you may need more than 1,000 lumens.

Do I need anything else?

For standard road riding, you need a wide beam angle and good light settings. As mentioned above, if you are driving on the road, you may not need any super bright lights, and the advantage of weaker car lights is that they tend to be lighter and have good running time because the brightness is not too high. Water resistance is another feature you want to check.

How much should I spend?

Like everything related to bicycles, there are many products to choose from, and their price points are also different. Consider the environment in which you will be riding and how often you will use the lights. This may help you narrow your options.

Also, if you park your bicycle on the side of the road, don’t forget to turn off the lights!

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