LED bike lights have quickly become the first choice for cyclists wishing to be and bee seen in both low visibilty and nightime conditions. Whilst different types of bike lights such as Krypton and Halogen are available. They cannot offer the versatility, functionality or performance of LED bike lights.
LED bike lights are an essential for any cyclists, even those who tend not to ride at nightwill at some point find themselves riding in reduced visibility condition. This is especially tru during the winter months when nightime draws in quicker and weather such as fog, mist and rain can severly reduce visibility. Bike lights are not only importnat the help you see the road ahead they are equally importnant to make you visible to others especially motorists.
LED bike light technology has improved over the years and now the majority of bike lights use LEDs. LEDs themselves have also improved so that higher output lumens can be achieved from one LED. The size of LEDs has enabled designers to produce smaller aero dynamic light units and it is now the battery size that limits the designer and this has lead to separate battery packs for higher lumen output lights.
It is also a legal requirment that anyone cycling between sunset and sunrise should have a front white bike light and a rear red bike light fitted. This applies to all cyclists whether on or off road. A constant front light paired with a flashing red rear light is recommended.
LED bike lights are suitable for all conditions both on and off road. They also require less power than other forms and so have increased battery life and many feature rechargeable Lithium power supplies ensuring they are quickly and easily recharged. The extra functionality of LED bike lights can extend run times even further as many bike lights feature power saving flashing modes.
Measuring the power output of bike lights
Visible light output is measured in lumens or candela with 1 candela equal to 12.57 lumen. The greater the lumen output the more power that is required to run at peak lumen performance.
Bike Light Power Sources
The power source for today’s bike lights is usually determined by the price of the light. Bike lights in the more economical price bracket will tend to use either AA or AAA batteries, the more expensive the light becomes it is more common now that rechargeable lithium batteries are used. Rechargeable lithium batteries are lightweight and have a longer battery life and for extended use of high lumen output lights a separate battery which can be mounted to your frame or stem is used. Recharging a lithium battery is usually done via USB, but for the high output lights a mains adaptor is usually included.
LED Bike Light Functions
To get the maximum benefit of your light on the road or trails it's important to understand the functions available with your light. Typically a light will come with more than one function with some lights having up to five light options. Using a light at the maximum lumen output can reduce the battery life quite considerably so most lights have a 50% and a 10% brightness option prolonging the life of the battery. Battery life can be further prolonged by using a flashing option.
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