Bicycle lighting is a must, but not everyone provides the same results. When looking for professional lamps, we should evaluate the most important parameters to make sure that the lighting we choose will perform in all conditions, even the most difficult ones. We suggest what to keep in mind.
Bicycle lighting – what do the regulations say about it?
We divide bicycle lights into 3 basic types: front warning lights, front illuminating lights and rear warning lights. What are their characteristics? The former, or front warning lights, have a key role because they make the cyclist visible. The second type – front illuminators – features a strong beam of light, enough to make the cyclist visible to others. Rear warning lights, on the other hand, ensure that the bike is visible from behind on the road. Should a bicycle be equipped with all these types of lighting, what do the regulations say about it?
The Traffic Law leaves no room for doubt and makes it mandatory to have permanently mounted position lights on the front and rear, as well as a red reflector. So let’s remember to make sure we have the right bicycle lights when preparing our bikes for the season. This will ensure our safety, but also protect us from criminal fines.
Lighting – how many lumens?
Before buying, let’s pay attention to the most important parameters! The range of bicycle accessories, including lighting, is so rich that it’s easy to get lost looking for the right solutions. The most important thing is to know what we are looking for and focus on our own needs.
One of the most important parameters to analyze well is the power of the emitted light output expressed in lumens. The more there are, the stronger the lighting. It is available in a range from 100 to as much as 2,000 lm. For these higher values, we are dealing with lamps for professionals. Whether as much as such strong we need, it depends on how, where and when we drive. For example, if you’re mainly moving around a well-lit city, it doesn’t make sense to invest in lighting with a great number of lumens. This is completely different for MTB bikes, which are designed to cope with the toughest conditions, such as single-truck riding, so the lighting here must be absolutely strong and quality.
Planning to drive in extreme situations, after dark, in difficult terrain, such as dense, dark, you need a minimum of 600 lumens, and it is definitely better if it is more – 800, 1000, 1200… Here the upper limit works in our favor. The more, the better. Taking this into account, we particularly recommend the Mactronic Trailblazer front bicycle lamp – an exceptional light source, providing as much as 2000 lumens, which gives up to 270 meters of effective lighting range.
Not just power – other important parameters
Power is not the only important thing to evaluate before buying. Consider a number of other factors.
- One of the most important is water resistance, which is especially important if you intend to ride in all conditions, so not even a downpour is intimidating. If a bicycle lamp is to withstand this, it is essential to invest in a model with total splash protection – this is defined by the IPX4 symbol.
- Another important factor relates to the lamp’s operating time. If it is well designed with energy efficiency in mind, it can run for up to a dozen hours (in economical mode) or several hours (intensive mode). And here we would like to recommend an extremely efficient and super durable lamp by a Polish designer – Noise XTR 04. It does not disappoint even during the longest night marathons, as it shines for up to 28 hours and 30 minutes.
- And what kind of power supply? A practical solution for MTB cyclists are rechargeable lights or just ordinary batteries, which can always be easily purchased and replaced when needed. However, if we had to recommend something, a bike light with a USB rechargeable battery is a much better option. And the ideal is a bicycle lamp with a power bank function, so you can plan even the farthest trips.
- We should also find out about the mounting method, which applies to both the front bicycle lamp and the tail lamp. That’s why it’s important that not every one of them will fit the bike’s design. Let’s also pay attention to whether the lamp provides modes of operation – continuous and flashing.
In summary, there are several factors that need to be evaluated before purchase. This will provide us with a comfortable ride even when conditions are not very friendly, to say the least.