How to Choose Biking Lights
The days are getting shorter and many of us find ourselves riding at dusk or in the dark. You know you need a light but there are many options out there ranging from $15 to $150. How do you know which one to pick? How bright of a light do you need? How many do you need? We’ll guide you through selecting the right lights for your rides.
How Bright Do You Need Your Light?
This all depends on what type of riding you do. If you are riding on the road while you still have enough light to see you mainly need a flashing light so cars will see you. Something like this Lezyne Femto Headlight works great to help you be seen by cars.
If you are riding in complete darkness then you will want something much brighter. We generally recommend a light with a maximum output of at least 1100 lumens. Having a brighter light will also allow you to run it at a lower power setting for climbs, which will make your battery last longer. The Lezyne Macro Drive 1100XL is a great option.
Where Should I Mount the Light?
If you just have one light. We usually recommend mounting it on your handlebars. It is a little easier to judge depth with the light on your bars. The downside is that the light will only go where your handlebars point. This is why the ideal setup for trail riding is to have two lights. One on your handlebars and one on your helmet. Generally we recommend a light that has 400-800 lumens for your helmet if you have a brighter light on your handlebar. This will allow you to have a more lightweight setup on your helmet. If you are looking for a light to mount on your helmet make sure it comes with a helmet mount or get one of these universal helmet mounts.
How Many Do I Need?
For road riding we recommend having a headlight and taillight. So you can be seen from all directions. If you are on the trail having a light on your handlebars and your helmet is the best setup.
One important thing to remember is to invest in quality lights. There are a lot of cheap lights out there but they probably would not hold up in a crash. We use the Lezyne lights here at Fezzari because they have a rugged aluminum body and have been very dependable for us.