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At certain times of year, you’ve got no choice but to ride in the dark, in low sun conditions, or even in the rain (heaven forbid).

What that means is you’re going to need to sort yourself out some lights. But which ones do you need? You don’t want to be underpowered, but there’s no need to spend all your hard-earned on lights that won’t be used to their full potential.

bike illustration night
bag lights
front lights
back lights

Side-on visibility

Thinking about side-on visibility can be really useful for roundabouts and junctions. Reflective sidewalls on your tyres or lights that also shine out to the sides can help you here.


Reflective elements on your legs, feet or pedals are really eye-catching as you pedal, and the movement makes it really obvious that you’re a cyclist when it’s pitch black.

Lumens Example 2
Lumens Example 2


You’ll often see a light’s output measured in lumens, and it can be a useful measure of how bright one light is compared to another.

However, remember that things like the beam pattern of the light can make a big difference – for example, one light may put out much more lumens and create a small circle of bright light, while another may use less lumens more effectively spread out to light the road ahead.

Battery life

Work out how long you’re going to be out riding for… and then add some!

You should always give yourself a good buffer, in case of punctures, mechanicals, or ‘navigation errors’.

Battery Life

USB Charging

USB charging

Nowadays, loads of lights you find can be charged via USB. If you’re riding to work, that means it’s easy to plug them into your computer or the wall during the day!