Bike lights -- do any of us actually need one?

I remember when I really thought the best bike light was one that had a little generator that you flipped into the tire. Wow how times have changed!

With all the great lights today it seems to me that we have excellent bike lights that are just EDC for must of us. Is there even a point to a bike light anymore?

A simple nylon tie on my helmet has provided a place to clip my SC31b and that has been a great bike light. Can’t imagine a bike light need that setup did not meet.

Years ago I bought something like this, then lost it without ever using it. Found it and Strapped my clear Convoy C8 HI to it. WOW! So much better than any bike light I have ever had. Two simple solutions that cost basically nothing and give outstanding results with things we already have an may very well be EDC anyway.

The Fenix BC30 v2 with two rechargeable 18650’s, and a high low beam remote switch.

I mostly agree with you. As long as the beam shape/intensity is right for your type of riding, and you have an appropriate brightness mode for your ride duration, regular 18650/21700 lights work great as bike lights.

Some exceptions. In urban environments you would probably want to have a beam cutoff to limit blinding of oncoming traffic.

I use that style of light mount you linked for my handlebars and I agree it works great.

For the good reason to not blind others, bike lights have to be approved in Germany. So, no C8 over here. I praise german law for this.

For me, I tentatively say yes. I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t like being blinded by some other clod’s excessive spill while I’m driving or riding. So I got myself a Lumintop B01 with its car-like horizontal beam. If I’m ever confronted by Daylight Savings Time in the summer, it will be indispensable to get to work.

In fact, I’m buying a new bike and one of the reasons why is to fit said B01 on the bars - my current one is too busy with cables, so the torch can’t sit at the correct angle.

Amen. More companies should make lights with horizontal beams like you get with the stripped TIR on an S2+ or the Lumintop bike lamps.

I use a red bike flashing light on my briefcase for work. I turn it on when I cross the busy road in front of my apartment complex at dusk or later. Drivers here are often very careless and often don’t stop at sop lights and stop signs.

I put a wide oval TIR lens on my flashlight that I rubber-band to the bike handlebars. I just rotate it to point down if I face oncoming traffic.

1. On public road is mandatory to have lights on bike. Front and rear.
2. Flash lights on public road are useless, because are blinding other road users. That’s why I use StVZO light and recommend other to do so.
Cyclists think opposite are welcome with my MJ872 with xpl-hi installed. Change of their attitude is instant.

In many (all?) states in the US front and rear lights are required for riding after dark.
It is a traffic ticket, at the Cops option, that will cost you money. Usually a warning depending on circumstances.
Out here in the middle of nowhere, there are roads without streetlamps a five minute bike ride away from home.
I’d want all the attention I could muster.
All the Best,

The only bike light i need and got my attention is Okluma bike light proto...

Google it or visit their FB group

In a pinch that might work, but there’s also glare from any light not specifically designed for biking. You’d have to consult St Vizo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

Around here, though, the only “bike lights” are those retarded blinking white LEDs in front only used as marker lights, not for actual illumination. With the way these idiots around here drive, I’d deck out my bike with chicken-lights to make damned sure I’d be seen.

FWIW, I live in an urban area where lights are required. Where I thought the light was sweet was at 10% with the hot spot down so as not to blind anyone. Riding after midnight it was not an issue. On the bike trail it would have been at 1. At one point, on an empty street, I did put it up to 100. That was very much like a car with high beams on. Certainly would not have been good for oncoming traffic. Just because you can be a hazard with these lights doesn’t mean you have to be.

I purchased dedicated rechargeable bike lights, one front one rear. I used these instead of pulling something from the flashlight box. The kit came with the two lights and mounting hardware so it was fast and easy to get going for the night. The front light has been adjusted to shine out in front to see the terrain. It doesn’t put much light at all into oncoming eyes. The rear of course is just a marker beacon. Both have a red/white flash/no-flash option as well as intensity on the front one. Both have a side lens that a allows some light to be seen that way. I get about two hours out of a charge, which is longer than I care to ride so that’s enough.
All-in-all it works better than an attempt by me to rig up regular flashlights. That’s what I do at night. Not everybody does. The kit was around $15 I think.

Finding a suitable light setup for your riding habit can be tricky.

Need to strike a balance between weight, aerodynamic, runtime, output, UI, durability, and most importantly > cost.

FWIW, I should add that I’m 100% a city cyclist, hence my beam preferences. When you’re on less populated pathways, it makes sense to use the regular torch beam. The least urban bike ride I’ve had was an afternoon trip seven or eight years ago to the farm of one of my uncle’s friends, and even that was on a highway.

And since we’re talking about tail lights, hello Southland :innocent: I’m still using the bike light I got from your 2017 giveaway. It’s an excellent tail light, super noticeable even during the day. I keep it on flashing RGB mode whenever I’m out.

Excellent bike light with an outstanding mount. +1

i need one
i ride longer than 20 min, which is about the limit for 1 18650

i also don;t want to fiddle around tying a light on or whatever

i have a 4x18650 bike light on my bike all the time

i even use stobe or steady light in the day time

it;s just a $30 chinese amazon light but i love it and it works great
tint is fairly blue but i do not care
i am on my 2nd or 3rd one now, happy to buy another when the battery pack dies.


Sadly, cops won’t even stop automobiles with clearly illegal lighting setups here, they’ll never care about bicycles.

It’s a better idea to be well-lit than to be underlit, as a bicyclist. But the way Americans drive I will continue to avoid bicycling at night near any motorways as much as possible.

Having an external battery pack can definitely increase brightness and runtime options, but single cell lights can also work for lots of people.

Lighting requirements vary a lot with speed and terrain. And I think there is additionally a relatively large range of acceptable brightness because of our eyes logarithmic sensitivity to light; even a 2x increase or decrease in brightness does not seem like a huge change.

Here is what works for me riding on curvy off-road trails in the woods of Ohio. My speed varies from roughly 5 to 20mph. You can read about my lights here. My handlebar light has a wide beam and about 6kcd. My helmet light has about 20kcd. I estimate my handlebar light is useful for illuminating a wide area up to 5m away which means the light puts about 240lux at that distance. And I estimate when I’m going fast I need to look 10m ahead on the trail and my helmet light puts about 200lux and illuminates a 6ft wide area at that distance.

According to this site:

200 lux is between a very dark day and an overcast day. Or about the level of lighting in a coffee break room or to do easy office work.