How to Choose the Best Bike Light

If you want to go cycling, you need a very good bike light. It is needed for both being seen and to see on the road. The problem is there are so many bicycle lights on the market right now that it can become tricky to choose the very best one.

How to Choose the Best Bike Light

This is why you should always take the following into account whenever looking for a bike light.

Choose the Suitable Bike Light Brightness

An ideal bike light needs to be as bright as to allow you to see while you cycle and allow others to see you. However, at the same time, it should not blind others.

The rating of bicycle lights is lumens. The minimum you will need in order to bike at night is 300 lumens. You can take car headlights as a reference. The low-beam is usually around 700 lumens, with the high-beam being around 1,200 lumens.

Usually, your bike headlight should be around 300 to 500 lumens. This is all you need if you want to go cycling in the city. However, you can also opt for several advanced options, like a USB rechargeable bike light or a bike headlight with varying lumens settings (usually 400 to 1000).

Being able to choose higher lumens settings is very useful when you will go biking in pitch darkness, especially in off-road settings.

300 lumens can be considered as more than enough in the city but that little extra power can be quite useful whenever needed. High-quality bike lights should give you access to as many lumens as you need, based on how you will use the bicycle.

We should also highlight the fact that it is very important for you to make sure you do not blind other people on the road. It is very easy to be tempted to opt for bike lights with many lumens.

You might even want to use the high setting while you cycle in the city. But this can cause traffic accidents, which you surely do not want to see happen.

Make Sure the Lights Are Certified

Bike light manufacturers can claim what they want when referring to lumens numbers. This means you might end up buying LED bike wheel lights you think are strong enough but then end up without what you need.


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    Fortunately, manufacturers can apply for FL-1 certification. This practically guarantees the bicycle light will be exactly as bright as the claim of the manufacturer.

    There are specific testing protocols in place that will scientifically measure the bike light’s impact resistance, water resistance, run time, and brightness.

    Regardless of what you want to buy, from rechargeable bike lights to rear bike lights, certification is something you need to look for. And do not blindly believe that a product is certified without checking the certificate first.

    Obviously, buying from a highly reputable bike shop is the best idea possible since you can generally trust any mention of a certificate.

    The Availability of Different Modes

    The best bike lights usually have several modes you can use, like flashing, steady, high, and low. Flashing is pretty useful if you are looking for extended battery life.

    The steady mode helps you see better on the road and blinking allows others to see you. Usually, you want to have one light capable of doing each of these things. For instance, your rear bike light could be a blinking one and your bike headlight could be a steady one.

    Obviously, you can also opt for bike lights that have several modes available. They might even have the option of both shining light ahead and blinking at the exact same time.

    Recharging the Bike Light

    Some bike lights are not at all easy to recharge. Some even force you to use tools like a screwdriver to remove batteries. Fortunately, these days, most bile lights can be recharged with a USB charger cable.

    This means you can easily charge your LED bike wheel lights at a computer desk. You can opt for cheaper models that use rechargeable AAA batteries but the USB option is definitely preferred these days.

    Most modern bikes use generic micro USB cables. This is very convenient. Just remember that you can charge your lights faster when you charge them into the wall. This is faster than the computer option.

    Also, you may want to buy a bike light with a battery status indicator. This can be very useful as you would know when you have to recharge it.

    Can You Easily Install and Remove the Light?

    You surely do not want to spend many hours installing your LED bike wheel lights. Also, when you need to remove them, like when you park in public places, you want to quickly be able to remove the lights.

    Remember the fact that great lights always last for a long time, usually years. This means you may need to move it to a different bike in the future.

    Learn about the Light Beam

    Sometimes, you will see lights being advertised as having light lumens but the price is very cheap. Usually, this is because the bike light manufacturer is saving money with the lens technology used.

    A cheaper lens that is focusing light in a much narrower beam is used. Your bike light needs to disperse the light beam with a really good width. At the same time, not much brightness should be lost.

    Bottom Line

    Always take into account all the factors highlighted above as you buy your bike lights. However, in many cases, it will be difficult to learn details about what you will purchase. Most of the online ads are sloppy or simply wrong.

    And accessing the light’s manuals is close to impossible until you actually buy the light. But, with a little bit of research and patience, you will surely find something that you are going to love.

    Make sure you read reviews about every single bike light you consider. Pay close attention to what actual buyers had to say. This will give you much more important information than what you see in professional reviews.


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    How to Choose the Best Bike Light — Bike Hacks