With the rapid development of technology in the field of cycling products, new products adapted to cyclists are increasingly coming to the market. The days of local cyclists making their way down local trails at night using only their camping lights are long gone as there are new BRIGHT and CONVENIENT cycling lights that are more accessible.
Bicycle lights come in a variety of brands, LED bulb types, wattages, mounting types, sizes; everything you can imagine. Often you will enter a store and notice that the wall is covered with products of different brands and different prices - How do you choose the one you need?
Every rider is different, and as with all aspects of cycling (are 26" wheels still relevant? Do you ride flat pedals or SPDs? Long or short socks?) there are individual light preferences.
From our sales and cycling experience over the years, we can use this simple logic as a starting point and come to some very good conclusions about the type of light we need.
TO SEE OR BE VISIBLE
The first thing to sort out is the type of light you need, which can be answered by asking a simple question: As a cyclist, do I just need to be seen by oncoming cars or other road users, or do I need to actually see where I'm going ? The former will require less strong light than the latter.
The human eye has evolved to quickly detect a moving target, and the speed at which an object is seen increases if the object is bright, so a flashing light is used when it gets dark.
Thus, road traffic participants will quickly notice the flashing light even from a distance.
In addition, the lights used for observation do not need to be the strongest, as their main purpose is to attract the attention of another road user, not to see far ahead in front of the front wheel. Therefore, if the rider just needs to be seen, he can choose a light with less than 1000 lumens.
In addition, bike lights with at least 800 lumens are bright enough that if the rider finds themselves in complete darkness, the light will emit a strong beam that shines far enough in front of the front wheel that the rider can return home safely without slowing down too much .
When a rider needs a light to see, a stronger light is recommended.
The main reason is that the further you can see from the front wheel, the faster you can ride. In other words, a light that is not strong enough, for example below 1000 lumens, will not illuminate the road far enough to see upcoming obstacles (potholes, cracks, squirrels, …) when driving at speeds above 20 km/h. Of course, you can enjoy relaxed rides below 20 km/h, for which the light with 400 lumens will certainly be sufficient.
LIGHTS FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRIVING
The next decision question is: What types of driving will I need this light for?
Obviously, cycling on brand new asphalt does not face such demanding challenges as cycling on wet technical trails. Therefore, more demanding terrain means that the light beam must be stronger and wider.
In general, as mentioned above, a road cyclist will need a light with at least 800 lumens to illuminate the road far enough to ride comfortably and without blindness.
The faster you drive, the further ahead you have to see.
Also, when you're speeding down a hill at 70+ km/h, it's not only important to see far ahead, but it's also important for safety to see enough to the sides of the road to spot possible retreat routes and avoid sudden I am in the way (as you know, all creatures that cross the road at the last moment are right under the bike).
You've also probably heard of dirt biking. Riders on rough trails at night will definitely benefit from more power and a wider beam, allowing them to continue riding at a natural pace without being constantly surprised by rocks coming out of the dark.
Probably the most demanding type of riding, mountain biking is the discipline for which we would recommend the strongest light (to see far) with as many LEDs as possible (to see wide), using the arguments above.
The reason is that obstacles are always coming, and you want to see more lines and safe routes of retreat.
And if the rider can see the whole way and far ahead, he will be better able to adjust direction, position on the bike and speed or braking.
It is possible to ride with a less powerful light such as 800 lumens, but the rider will have to slow down and ride more carefully.
Remember, the faster you drive, the farther you want to see to stay safe. An experienced rider casually commuting home at night on a 50% daytime speed will probably do well with a lower light, while on an e-bike trying to do as many laps as possible in unfamiliar terrain, you'll definitely need a stronger setting. We would also add that you should choose the power of the light according to your skill level and/or comfort zone. A more experienced rider has better reflexes than a beginner, so a beginner should consider a stronger light.
Finally, it can be helpful to choose a stronger light than you might need. Why?
More power means a bigger battery. In reality, the light will run for about 1.5 to 2 hours at maximum power, meaning you'll need to use less power during longer rides to keep the battery going for the entire ride. A strategic choice would be a light that, at 75% or 50% power, gives you sufficient illumination and enough time for a long run, plus 30 minutes of spare time if needed.
In the end, making a good choice requires little thought. First of all describe your needs. To see or to be visible Then describe your use: relaxed by road cycling, quick by road cycling or cycling after macadam, or mountainous cycling Think about it o own speed cruises, degree skills and comfort.