Over the past years, riding a bike has become more than just a mode of transportation. It has developed into a very lovable hobby, a sporting event and a means to keep people in shape. It is because of these benefits that biking catapulted itself to the top rank of hobbies that many humans would prefer to do during their free time. This is, of course, evidenced by the fact that there are many people from different parts of the world that are showing their enthusiasm when it comes to riding a bike.
But just like any other activity, this too, presents some challenges and even dangers that when left unchecked, might put riders as well as pedestrians and motorists in harm’s way. Therefore, authorities and even companies that make and sell bikes always tell people to ensure safety at all times when using one.
In some countries, one of the main concerns regarding bikes and their riders is the fact that during night hours, bicycles cannot be readily spotted by motorists and even pedestrians. That’s where bike safety lights come in. It is indeed essential for riders to make sure that their bikes have proper warning systems such as lights, especially during night time. The reason for that is because most, if not all, of the accidents involving bicycles, happen on the road when it’s already or still dark.
What are bike safety lights?
Bike safety lights can be just defined as materials attached to bicycles that have the primary purpose is to improve the visibility of the bike itself and its rider when there is no sufficient light to make them easier to be seen. It is for safety purposes. Another purpose of this is to help the rider see reflective materials such as traffic signs and eyes of some animals like cats which might cause accidents as well if not seen. The proper bike safety lighting system can also help the rider see the way ahead of him or her.
In some countries, it is required that when a bike is to be used during night time, more than one light should be fitted on it, preferably a white light on the front area and red light at the back area.
What do you want: to see or to be seen?
If you are a bike rider and you want to have bike safety lights installed on your bicycle, you have to consider one thing. Do you want to be able to see or do you want to be seen? There’s a difference with these two.
If you want to be able to see during dark times such as night and dawn, you have to ensure that you install a high powered white light in front of your bike. That way, you’ll have a lighting system powerful enough to illuminate your way and let you see what is waiting in front of your bicycle. More often than not, this would require a bit bigger light and power source, so you’ll probably want to consult an expert to have it installed in such a way that you still feel comfortable when riding.
If you want to be seen while riding your back, one of the so called must-haves is red tail light which is always visible to motorists and even pedestrians that are following you. It would also help if you can have some reflective materials attached to the back of your bike and some of its parts so that when the light hits it, you’ll be visible. That way, you can avoid being bumped from behind by a car or even another bicycle.
How to choose light bike system for one’s bicycle
There are many considerations for this matter. Selecting a lighting system for your bike is not an easy task at all. In fact, experts would say that you cannot readily choose a unit and have it installed in an instant. You’ll have to factor in a lot of things.
For example, you need to consider the type of bike lights that you need. If you are using your bike after day time, let’s say, you use it to go home after school or work, you’ll need high-output lighting systems.
This is because you’ll need to see what is ahead of your way. Keep in mind that most of the time, accidents involving bikes happen because riders are not aware that things and even animals are already crossing their way. Caught unaware, these drivers will eventually find a way to avoid contact. Sometimes they succeed while sometimes they don’t. That’s when the bad things happen.
You will also need to figure out if you’ll need front, rear or side lights. But most experts and experienced riders would suggest that if you can, you’ve got to have them all. While they might not be capable of fully illuminating your way during night time, they improve your visibility during day time. Besides, they are still emitting light so there’s a chance they can save you a lot of trouble when riding during night hours.
You’ll also need to figure out what kind of light you will have. You might want to choose from any of the following:
- These are the common trends today. Everywhere you go, you will be offered led lights. What’s the catch? Those that sell these will tell you that it is energy efficient and it provides brighter light as compared to others. They are considered to be the predominant source of light for bikes during these modern times. They are also durable which makes them perfect choice for this particular need. What’s even better is that they have a broad range of brightness levels.
- These can be considered as your typical to average lights. From the name itself, a lumen is a unit of measurement that indicates the intensity of light that is produced by the source. While it may be a bit lower in standards regarding brightness as compared to leds, they are still considered to be one of the most practical choices for bike lighting systems.
- Beam pattern. This is commonly used when you are riding on streets that have streetlights. This is usually a front light with a narrow-focused beam that enables the rider to see a particular part of the road. Depending on the position of the light, you can see the long range or short range. Either way, it will also not hurt to have this kind of light on your bike.
Should you try out rechargeable lighting systems?
This is a very good question as many people are also asking the same. With the onset of modern technology today, there is no doubt that the rechargeable lighting system for bicycles is made available to the public. But should you have one installed on your bike?
The answer depends solely on you and on what your bike can handle. These lights might come at a bigger size, and therefore, you’ll need to make sure that at the end of the day, when you install one, you still feel comfortable while riding your bike. After all, you would not want to ride a bicycle that gives you even the slightest feeling of uneasiness, right?
Why are bicycle warning lights important anyway?
Some people would say that this is not a requirement especially if you have good eyesight. You don’t need lights to guide you when traveling at night because you can see your way and you can also depend on other light sources such as streetlights and lights coming from cars that are also traveling on the same road as yours.
But that is not the right mindset. Why depend on other light sources when you can have your own. Why are these important anyway?
For starters, it is for your safety. If you don’t want to be added to the long list of people who met an accident because of riding a bike without a light during night time, you’ve got to have this on your bicycle.
Another purpose is that you’ll avoid being the cause of the accident. Remember, if you don’t have bike safety lights, you might not bump something or someone, but you might be bumped on the road. That is proven in different parts of the world especially in cases when a driver of a car is intoxicated or has consumed alcoholic beverages.
You might also want to avoid being bumped by a truck that is a lot bigger than your bike because that might mark the end of your life. How can you do that? Be visible to the drivers of trucks. Make sure that you have bike lights. It might mean additional expenses for you, but that’s an investment that is very much worth it. It can save your life, and it can also help others avoid involving you in any form of accident.
Just make sure that you choose wisely when it comes to your bike lights. Choose what fits your needs.
Starting on a starter tricycle at the age of 2, Danny has rarely been off a bike ever since. He spends most weekends riding through the woods near his house or taking longer bike trips on the road.