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.
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.
To see and to be seen
Generally, bike lights fit into two categories - those that ensure you're seen by other road users and those that help you see. The type that will suit you will depend on the kind of night ride you're undertaking. Heading out for a fast road ride on country lines? You need something to see. Zipping to the train station on a well lit urban route? A 'be seen' light set will do the job. Keep scrolling to find out what else you should consider.
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.
Bike Light Sets
Starting from scratch? Buying a light set is a more affordable way of getting your hands on a front and rear light. Lighting brands bundle similar quality lights together and offer a saving against the individual price of each light.
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!
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’.