The Best Bike Accessory to Upgrade Your Ride: Bike Lights

The Best Bike Accessory to Upgrade Your Ride: Bike Lights

If we talk to you about bike gadgets, one of the essential elements is the bike light to be visible at night. Let’s see it together.

Bike lights: a mandatory part of the bike

Any bicycle must have lighting. The highway code requires cyclists who ride at night to be equipped with:

– white or yellow front light;

– red rear light;

– white front reflector;

– red rear reflector;

– reflectors under the pedals;

– side reflectors.

Cyclists must wear a high visibility vest at night or when visibility is reduced on the roads.

Lighting on the bike: where to put it?

Bike Lights

The bicycle is equipped with lighting and reflective elements. The lighting of the bike is located on the:

– front wheel;

– rear wheel.

The reflective elements are the:

– spokes;

– cyclist himself.

Bicycle lighting: dynamo, batteries, and LED

There are several solutions for the lighting of a bicycle.

Dynamo lighting: the most common

Bike Lights

The dynamo is a magnet generator that transforms the force exerted on the pedals into electricity:

– this electricity powers the bike’s front and rear lights;

– a dynamo provides an alternating current on 6 volts, 3 watts, and 0.5 amps.

It offers unlimited autonomy, but this autonomy stops when the cyclist does not pedal anymore.

It is possible to install a capacitor to keep a little light during the time of the stop.

Note: the front lamp is more powerful than the rear lamp.

There are two types of dynamo:

BICYCLE LIGHTING: CHOOSING A DYNAMO

Types of dynamo

Principle

Location

The front dynamo

  • Provides powerful lighting, despite a loss of energy.

  • Resistant to rain and wind.

Installed on the hub of the front wheel.

The bottle dynamo

  • Needs to be triggered to work.

  • To do so, you just have to push the bottle in contact with the tire.

  • Inexpensive, it is also more fragile and the friction emits a characteristic noise.

Placed on the rear wheel.

Battery lighting: the simplest but limited autonomy

Bike Lights

Battery-powered dynamos do not need bearings with the wheels. They can be fixed or mobile.

In mobile, they are installed with a hook on the:

– helmet;

– handlebars;

– luggage rack;

– under the saddle.

Nevertheless, their autonomy remains limited.

LED bicycle lighting

In addition to traditional lighting, it is quite possible to add a LED headlight. This one recharges during the day, thanks to the sun’s rays.

This lighting, not very powerful, offers additional visibility during the sunset while waiting to light a more powerful lamp.

In case of lack of sunlight, the lamp provides a backup battery that you can recharge from an electrical outlet.

Types of bicycle lighting: comparison

Here is a summary table of the different characteristics of each type of bicycle lighting:

TABLE OF TYPES OF BICYCLE LIGHTING

Bike lights

Advantages

Disadvantages

Dynamo

  • Free and unlimited lighting.

  • Simple and resistant installation and start-up system.

  • Low cost.

  • Does not work when stopped.

  • Noisy.

Battery operated

Simple, efficient, and provides continuous light.

Limited and expensive lighting.

LED lamp

  • A simple addition to seeing and being seen.

  • Free and unlimited energy.

  • Works only when exposed to the sun.

  • Low lighting.

Reflective elements: reflectors, vests, etc.

A reflective element is an object that, when placed on the bike or the rider, reflects the lights of headlights or streetlights. There are different types of reflective elements:

– reflector: mirror reflecting the light;

– wheel reflector;

– pedal reflector;

– high visibility vest: the famous “yellow vest”;

– reflective clothing;

– reflective armband.

Bicycle lighting: starting at $2

Lighting for a bicycle is not the most expensive thing, starting at $2:

Bike Light Price

Lighting

Entry-level ($)

High-end ($)

Dynamo

Front

20

50

With bottle

2

30

Battery operated headlights

2

60

LED headlights

30

130

Reflector

0 50

30

Wheel reflector

4

8

Pedal reflector

3

5

High visibility vest

2

70

Reflective clothing

2

200

Reflective armband

0 40

18