Bike lights are not only essential when cycling between dusk and dawn, they’re a legal obligation.
Check with your state/territory legislation but in most cases you will need a white light at the front (this can be flashing or constant) and a red light at the rear. Each must be visible from 200m. There are seriously hefty fines now for those caught riding in the dark and/or in poor visibility conditions without mandatory lighting requirements.
The Law aside – it’s just so much safer for you and those around you to be seen by motorists and other road users. As a rider, you should consider lights necessary not only for you to see, but (possibly even more importantly!) for you to be seen.
So what are the types of lights out there?
Types of Lights
- Flashing or steady light
- Improves chances of being seen
- Efficient and affordable
- Not effective at lighting up the road in front of you
- Price can vary depending on quality
- Light up the road in front of you
- Most come with re-chargeable batteries, which range from sealed lead-acid batters (cheapest, but the heaviest) to nickel-metal-hydride batteries
- Paying more will get you greater Watts (better shine) and a longer lasting battery
- Differ a great deal in quality and price
- Good option for frequent riders who require a decent amount of visibility from their light
- Also known as generator lights
- Powered by rubbing on the wheel of hub
- More efficient and cheaper than Halogen lights, but generally not as bright
Bike lighting technology is continually upgrading. New lighting options are continually released to the market, including hybrid options which fall in between the above categories. When buying lights, confirm the functionality, check that the lights cater to your requirements and whether the lights fit within your budget.