We’ll be exploring the accessories that help you tackle the wind, overcome the rain and blast through the mud this winter – so you can keep on enjoying your cycle commute.
This week we’re looking at what we believe is the most important cycle accessory for this time of year; bike lights. Bike lights can be baffling – from where to mount them, what brightness to choose and the number to use. But they serve two all-important functions; they help you see and help ensure others see you. Get to grips with bike lights with our handy guide:
The law around bike lights:
We all know it’s illegal to cycle on public roads in the dark without lights and reflectors. But after that – it gets complicated. From recommended lumens and flashes allowed per minute; there is no clear guidance. At Cyclescheme we’re firm believers in being sensible; choose lights that do the best possible job for the situation you’re in. Couple this advice with these key points, and you should stay on the right side of the law:
- Use a white light for the front
- Red light for the rear
- Fit a red reflector on the back
- Attach amber reflectors to pedals
Lighting up your commute:
Your commute route plays a big part in choosing any cycle accessory; and bike lights are no different. To help refine your requirements for a set of bike lights; here are 4 things you should consider.
= Brightness. The higher the number, the brighter your light will be.
You may be fooled into thinking that brighter lights are best. But lights that are too bright will dazzle other road users and cause chaos. We recommend:
City Cyclists – streetlights illuminate your path; complement with 100 – 200 lumens of your own light.
Rural Commuters – lights can be few and far between; 200 – 500 lumens will help you see and be seen.
Off-Roaders – you’re the only source of light so make it count; go no lower than 500 lumens.
Your commute route plays a big part in choosing your bike lights
Light pattern is equally important to brightness. Here are the two categories to consider:
Steady stream – this helps you see. A solid light beam will consistently light your path; perfect when you’re the only light source around.
Flashing – this helps you be seen. Irregular light patterns do a brilliant job of alerting other road users to your presence; ideal in well-lit areas.
Most commuters take on a mixture of area types – so it’s worth noting that many bike light models come will multiple light pattern modes.
The brightness and light pattern you choose has a big impact on the run-time of your bike lights. Knowing the battery life of your lights is critical to ensure you’re never caught short. Here are the three main types of light power providers:
Battery powered – good for a fixed period of time (give or take a few days). Better for solid beam lights as flashing will drain the battery quicker in most instances.
Re-chargeable – great for longevity and ease. Take into consideration run time vs. re-charge time.
Dynamos – the green option. These lights are powered by your pedalling – if you’re moving, they’re lit.
You know you need front and rear lights – but where do you mount them? The law is transparent here. Your primary front and rear bike lights must be mounted on the bike itself; like the handlebars or bike frame.
Wearable lights, like those mounted to helmets, can be used in addition to bike lights – not instead of! Extra lighting can be a big benefit providing an extra visibility boost on the road.
Lights must be mounted to both the front and back of your bike
Get your bike lights with Cyclescheme:
Make sure you can ride safely and legally this winter and invest in a stellar new set of bike lights. Cyclescheme is on hand to help you cut the cost.
With Cyclescheme you save 25 – 39% on the cost of your cycle commuting accessories; including bike lights! Take the Cateye Volt 500 XC / Rapid X2 Set. This dynamic duo include front and rear bike mounted lights and are great all rounders. They provide up to 30 hours of light, feature different light pattern modes and are easily re-charged via USB.
These lights RRP £99 are just £74.25 with Cyclescheme (or even less).
That’s a saving of over £24!
You can find your ideal bike lights in over 2,000 retailers across the UK. Whether you shop online or in-store; you’ll secure some incredible tax savings.
Bike lights not the only new cycling accessory you need? With Cyclescheme you can save on just accessories (no new bike required!). Simply build your ideal accessory bundle – lights, locks, wheels, and more – and save between 25 – 39% on the lot. Find out what your Cyclescheme winter accessory package could look like below.
A purpose-built commute bicycle, specifically designed for the modern bicycle commuter.
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