How to choose a bike light: the lowdown you require to know

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Longer nights and poor conditions don’t have to mean the end of your riding. In fact, riding at night and dark condition can offer some great experience you will not ever have on daytime. But we hate to say there are a few challenges riding at poor sight condition. Yes, it’s time for you to use your lights for seeing and being seen.

As we all know, bike lights are essential to illuminate the way ahead and make you more visible to motorists and pedestrians. However, faced with the dizzying array on the market, which one should you choose? Here are a few considerations and tips to help you to get the best fit.

Why use bike light?why use bike lights

Bike lights are there to help you see but most importantly, depending on where you ride, they help you to be seen. If you have been out to bike in evenings, especially in urban or suburban areas, you will notice that how invisible pedestrians and other drivers with no reflective and lights are.

In fact, riding with lights is not just about the safety, it’s also about the law. According to the law, you must put a white front light visible from the front which can be steady or flashing. Meanwhile, you should also put a red rear light visible from the rear which can also be flash or steady. Make sure the lights you have are in good conditions. Furthermore, you should turn on your bike lights when you are riding in darkness or the police can stop you.

What’s the main type of bike lights?bike lights

Any bike shop definitely has lots of bike lights available and it’s hard for a biking beginner to know what they use for. Here are the main types of bike lights.

1.The headlight

A headlight is a front-mounted lamp that projects a beam forward to make the road visible at speed when you are riding. They can be mounted on your handlebar and helmet too. They are usually affordable and easy to install as well as providing enough light when you are taking a nighttime riding. If you ride trails at night or commute in the dark, a higher powered headlight is required.

2.Visibility light

The lights are front- mounted or rear- mounted and they are designed to make the road cyclists visible, especially in urban or suburban environments. In fact, it’s of great importance to have visibility lights because traffic may be approaching you from other directions.

3.Off-road light

It’s perfect to use off- road light when you are riding an MTB on the country lanes n low light conditions. This brilliant light system will actually light up your way. You must know that the batteries of these lights can last only for a few hours between charges. Usually, they require USB chargers. Pay attention not to dazzle the drivers when you use them in town. Different kinds of mountain bike light are equipped with different brightness settings, so you should keep them on a lower level on road to save battery power. This type of lights are best for proper visibility on trails or roads and off- road riding.

What factors do you need to take into consideration?

1. Fitwhat you need to take into consideration when choosing bike lights

The first thing to check when buying your bike lights is the fit on your bike. A great light is of no use if it doesn’t fit your bar or helmet. You must know a loose bracket that suddenly twists or shakes loose on a rocky descent will cause disaster. Besides, a badly placed helmet light will put you at a risk by dragging your lid down or wring your neck. Always make sure you can position the light wherever you like. Make sure the bigger lights are fitted on the curve of your handlebar without sitting at a crazy angle.


Waterproof is of great importance if you don’t want your bike lights giving out in the heavy downpour on a dark night. Waterproofness has rated with an IP standard actually. For example, if the light which is rated as IP67 means fully waterproof in 1m of water for 30 minutes. Generally speaking, almost good quality bike lights are designed to be at least waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about it when it’s rainy.

3.Beam pattern

Apart from the considerations I have mentioned above, you also need to consider the beam pattern- a narrow spot beam for straight and fast riding or helmet use or a wider beam for the slower ride or both of them. If you commute on illuminated roads, what you might need may be a front light with a narrow beam. In case that you ride on dark trails or roads, a wide- focus beam to enhance peripheral vision is best.if it’s difficult for you to choose beam pattern, choosing higher light output to go for a higher priced model can be a general rule.

4.Battery life

The battery life depends on 3 factors, including the type of the battery, the power of the system and the kind of LEDs in the light. We all want a battery life that can give enough run time for your long distance riding. Always check the lights if they have a battery indicator for rationing power. Don’t just rely on an emergency alert because it’s often too late. Checking the remaining time is just as important as checking the actual battery life. Make sure to run full power on descents and emergencies without worry about getting stuck in the dark.

5.Easy to install and remove

You don’t want to spend an hour to install or remove the bike lights. All of us want a bike light that is easy to take when we park our bikes in a public place to prevent theft. You will find that some lights which are used for many years are very difficult to move to other bikes.

Other tips

Remember to take your lights off when you lock your bike up on the street, or you may find your lights have been stolen when you come back.
Always carry some small backup lights which take almost no room in your bag. They play an important role to keep you visible and legal when your main lights fail.
remember to check your lights before long rides if you don’t want the battery to give out halfway home. Besides, make sure the batteries are fully charged but never overcharge them.
try not to blind other cyclists, pedestrians or motorists.
it’s not always the best idea to go to bright and it depends on the conditions you ride.

No matter you are a commuter or a cyclist looking to add some fun after work, bike lights are essential accessories. The use of bike lights don;t have to be reserved for after dark. For the safety of yourself, pedestrians and other drivers, use your lights to light up your way.