Taking care of one’s safety during a bicycle ride is of utmost importance for any rider. Hence, having good safety lights for your bicycle is quite important. In this article, we will find out how to choose good safety lights.
What are safety lights?
Safety lights are attached at the front and rear ends of the bicycle. Safety lights are called so because during the night or dim light, these increase visibility for you and other vehicles on the road. Hence they keep you and your bike safe by avoiding any collision with other vehicles.
Choosing the right safety lights for your cycle
There are many types and brands of safety lights in the market which might confuse you in choosing the right kind for your bike. However, there are a few parameters that can help you in choosing the right type of safety lights.
The brightness of lights is measured in ‘lumens’. The higher the lumens, the brighter will be the safety light. Choosing lights with the ‘right’ brightness level is extremely important. If there is no visibility of your cycle after 10 or 20 meters then it is not good. On the other hand, if your back or front light is so bright that it blinds the oncoming vehicle, it may become a reason for accidents to take place.
A rear light in the range of 100 to 150 lumens is ideal. Front lights have two functions, to be visible for other vehicles on the roads and at the same time the ability to see other vehicles and other things like potholes, etc. on the road. Ideally, you should be visible to the vehicle coming to you at a distance of 200 -250 meters to avoid any chances of collision. Considering all these factors, a front light in the lumen range of 200 to 300 is good.
2. Ease of attaching and detaching the lights
The lights have to be easy to fix on the cycle and at the same time, their design needs to be such that they can be quickly removed from the cycle when not required.
Some lights need tools like a screwdriver to be fixed and removed. This takes time and hence riders often avoid removing them during breaks. This increases the risk of the lights getting stolen. If it is easy to remove the lights you can put them in the pocket when not in use.
The lights also need to be such that they don’t fall off during jerks on the road.
You can also look for lights that can also be used on your helmet and even on your t-shirt when not being used on cycle.
3. USB Rechargeable
Some people prefer battery-charged lights. However, batteries have a negative footprint on the environment. If you use USB rechargeable lights, you are helping the environment and hence your future generations.
4. Protection from water
According to the degree of protection from water, safety lights have different ‘IPX ratings’. IPX rating indicates how much a type of safety light is protected against the intrusion of water. Higher the IPX rating more is the protection. Most of the safety lights manufacturers mention the IPX rating on their product boxes.
There are three types of safety lights with different IPX ratings –
- Water resistant – These safety lights have an IPX6 rating and they work well during rain and moisture. They work even underwater to the depth of one meter.
- Water repellent – These are IPX5 and work well in rains. However, these won’t work underwater.
- Moisture resistant – These lights are IPX4 and work well in moisture.
Many times, community riders or weekend riders purchase expensive safety lights when cheaper lights can be used without any problem. A community rider can get safety lights on a budget of around Rs. 500 which will serve his/her purpose.
On the other hand, for long-distance rides, good brands need to be considered. Sigma and Cateye are two popular brands in safety lights.
Which light mode to use in a certain situation?
Safety lights have a few settings which can be adjusted according to your riding conditions. These are generally blinking, rapid blinking, and solid modes of lights. If you are on a long-distance ride and a highway, you need to use rapid blinking mode as this makes you quickly visible to other vehicles. On a community ride or when not on the highways, you can use the solid or the slow blinking mode.
This was all about how to choose the right kind of safety light according to certain parameters. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them in the comment section below.
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