What Kind of Bike Light You Need While Riding at Night?
Riding your bike at night can be a very relaxing experience. Since more people ride during the day, you can look forward to less crowded roads and bicycle lanes. However, without the right kind of light, riding your bike at night can be a dangerous thing.
In order to stay safe, it is important that you know the kinds of light you need while riding at night and how to mount them on your bike. There are also some things that you need to consider when choosing bicycle lights.
Kinds of Bike Lights
Generally, there are three kinds of lights used in bicycle riding: the headlight, visibility light, and the mountain bike light. The headlight is typically placed at the front, so that it can beam the light forward and make sure that the road ahead is visible when riding.
Visibility lights, on the other hand, are mounted in the front or rear of the bike. As the term suggests, their purpose is to make the rider “visible,” especially in places where there are a lot of people and motorists.
Meanwhile, mountain bike lights are powerful units that can be used in off-road tracks. Often using the brightest and most advanced lighting systems, mountain bike lights can also be used while riding on city roads.
Furthermore, when riding at night, it is crucial that you are visible to pedestrians, motorists, and other bikers. Hence, your bike must have front, side, and rear safety lights to be truly visible. With these, other people would be able to see you even when it is dark.
Aside from safety lights, you might also want to consider buying rechargeable lighting systems. They may cost more, but they can provide better lighting especially at night. Whether you are on the road or riding on a trail, rechargeable lights offer maximum lighting.
Mounting Your Bike Lights
When mounting lights, it is important to know where to place them on your bicycle. Headlights, for example, should be mounted onto the handlebars. In the same way, you can also mount headlights onto your helmet, especially if you plan to go trail riding at night.
Side safety lights, on the other hand, must be placed on either the frames or spokes of your bike. Mounting them on your spokes would be a great idea, since the lights will move along with your wheels.
Meanwhile, rear safety lights should be placed on your seatpost, pocket, or pack. There are also rear safety lights that can be placed at the back of rear bicycle racks.
For rechargeable lights, you would also need to bring your battery packs as well. Fortunately, most battery packs are small, light, and easy to stow in a pack.
Things to Consider in Choosing Bike Lights
If it’s your first time to buy bicycle lights, you must first take note of the following considerations: fitting, power, type of beam, battery life, control options, and reliability.
- The first thing to consider when purchasing lights is whether or not they can fit onto your bicycle. Even if you have a great headlight, but it doesn’t fit onto your handlebars or your helmet, then it would not be useful at all.
A light that doesn’t fit will not be attached properly, and it might even fall and cause an accident if you are not careful.
- The second thing you need to consider is power. Light power is typically measured in lumen counts. The best types of light you can go with are those that run on LED power, as these are more efficient and last longer than others.
- The type of beam you will use is just as important as the power of a light. If you tend to ride fast and straight, then a narrow beam is what you need. Meanwhile, if you are planning to ride a more technical terrain, then a wider light beam would be more appropriate.
- It goes without saying that the battery life of your lights is extremely important. Your battery should be able to last even on your longest rides, plus you need an extra battery in case of emergencies.
Take note that riding at night, when the temperature is colder, could also drain your battery life faster.
- Interestingly, remote switches for bike lights are available, as well as options for tuning power levels. These features may cost more, but they can make night riding more convenient.
One more thing that you should consider when purchasing bike lights is reliability. Look for well-established sellers and companies; check out product reviews and recommendations. When it comes to your safety, you should buy only the most reliable products.
Maintaining the Battery Life of Your Lights
They key to prolonging your light’s power lies in the proper maintenance of its battery life. This would depend on the type of battery you use as well as the type of LEDs in the light.
Since most rechargeable lighting systems contain multiple options, you can choose from a low-power level or a high-intensity level. Keep in mind that higher levels tend to drain battery life faster, while lower-power levels can last longer.
Furthermore, most rechargeable lighting systems have lithium ion batteries. Since you can charge them for about 500 times or more, you can save money while being environment-friendly at the same time.
Most systems also feature a warning sign to indicate when battery levels are low. When you charge your light batteries, be careful not to overcharge them, as this would only drain battery life even faster.
Fortunately, most light systems contain smart chargers, which stop automatically when the battery is charged fully. Remember to charge batteries regularly, as an inactive battery could lose its power over time.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, knowing what type of light to use and where to mount them on your bike is your first step towards safe riding. In order to make the most out of your bike lights, proper usage and maintenance is also a must. After all, when you know that you are riding safely, then you can truly enjoy your night biking experience.