Whether you’ll be continuing with a daily commute or undertaking some serious training rides over the winter months, you’ll probably need to think about kitting yourself out with some decent lights.
From small, budget commuting lights to high powered lamps that emulate the power of car headlights, there’s a huge amount of choice available on the market.
Choose a light that suits your training or commuting route though and there’s no reason not to undertake some serious night riding this winter!
Electron Backupz Front Trio 3 LED- £12.95
With three super-bright white LED’s this light won’t cast a strong beam but it is designed so that people can see you. So, it’s perfect for commuting on the road.
The compact, waterproof design conveniently mounts on your handlebar and uses 5 x LR-44 batteries, which come included. In short, this low-price range light will ensure that you’re visible in traffic and you won’t need to bother with chargers.
Cateye HL1600 NiMH Rechargeable- £29.99
The HL-1600 is the latest rechargeable halogen model from Cateye. This will offer a stronger beam, and therefore better visibility, than some cheaper alkaline powered designs and recharging is made easy with an integrated charging socket and built-in battery indicator. The HL-1600 emits 2.4 watts of Halogen light and takes five rechargeable NiMH AA batteries.
The NiMH batteries will run for 2.5 hours for 8 hours of recharge time. You can quickly and easily fit this system on your handlebars to ensure that cars see you from the front, and with a bit of luck won’t pull out on you. It’s easy to adjust the light so you can aim the beam where’s best for you.
Tel: 01845 521737
Smart 10w/2.4w Twin Rechargeable Headlight- £59.99
This twin lamp will not only be ideal for commuting but can be used for some serious rides on the darkest of nights.
So as not to blind oncoming traffic the headlight features a 2.4 watt dip beam. For better visibility the 10 watt setting provides a good beam, but if its mega bright you want then you can combine the two to shed an impressive 12.4 watts of light on your route.
The smart lamp comes with a sturdy bracket and a battery that you can strap to your frame. A reasonably priced multi-use option for both commuting and some serious night riding!
0800 980 7129
Light & Motion Vega- £125
This design is incredibly fuss free and not only offers a good beam to be seen by in traffic, but it’s also bright enough to light your path down poorly lit roads and lanes.
The 3.8 watts of power comes from a nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery but unlike a lot of rechargeables, the whole unit is a single, sealed lump with a switch on the back, a mount on the bottom and a charging socket bottom rear with a silicone plug to endure wetter weathers. So, not only are you saving money on disposable batteries, but you can forget the hassle of bottle cage mounted, separate battery packs and the wires that come with them.
There are four settings; high, medium, low and flash. The four modes provide claimed run times of two, four, eight and 24+ hours. The low setting is perfectly adequate to get you home if the battery is running low but it’s probably best to keep a higher setting on in very heavy traffic.
Although this model is slightly pricier, it can definitely be classed as value for money. Key to this design is simplicity; it does away with all the inconvenience of separate battery packs and long charging times whilst providing varying beams of light for varying road visibility.
It also seems, this design is quite robust and will sustain the odd bash and occasional drop on the floor.
So, this light will ensure you are visible within heavy traffic, you’ll be able to spot hazards ahead on darker roads and you won’t have to charge batteries up hours in advance. Also, it’s robust, waterproof and easily put on and off the handlebars.
Tel: 0044 (0)845 603 4612
Lupine Edison 5 -£499
If you fancy spending some serious cash and dazzling everything in your path (be kind and dip the beam for oncoming traffic!) then give the Edison 5 a go.
The battery is smaller than a spare tube and can be strapped onto the stem or frame, so there’s again no need for bottle cage mounted batteries which can be heavy and will obviously take up space that could be used for spare drink on a longer ride.
This light will seriously illuminate your path ahead and the price is justifiable when you consider that its impressive output doesn’t result in a heavy product. The overall system weighs in at just 450g, which is considerably less than other lights with such high power capabilities.
This super bright lamp uses a 16-watt bulb to put out car-headlight brightness for 2.5 hours. The low/high beam switch allows you to dip the beam for oncoming traffic, and switching between modes is guaranteed not to damage the bulb. The low beam flickers a little but is perfectly adequate for conserving battery life and dipping the brightness for stretches of road with heavy traffic. So, if money is no object, you will certainly get performance from this light.
So, whether you go for a basic alkaline powered lighting system or decide to flood your commute with a high-powered rechargeable light, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t take to the roads any time of day. But you will need to use a backlight to ensure you can be seen from both ends in traffic.
Tel: 01845 521737
Flashing LED’s are expected to be legalised in October, www.ctc.org.uk but until then, here are some rear lights, which on a constant mode will help you have a safe, and legal, commute.
Electron Backupz Function LED Light- Rear- £7.99
This reliable little back-light can be fitted in a matter of seconds and there’s no need for fiddling around with brackets. CR2016 lithium batteries come included and power 20 hours of constant light, 90 hours in the slow flash mode and 40 hours on a quick flash setting.
Light, convenient, bright and perfect for a backup light, it’ll get you home.
Nitezone Redeye Rear LED- £9.99
Perfect for winter training and commuting, and the intense red LED’s will allow traffic to judge your real position on the road. This design is water resistant and it’s also got a high impact plastic body so will be pretty robust. The light lasts for over 50 hours and can be seen over 1000 meters. Multimode functions include flashing, pulse, steady and off.
0800 980 7129
Cateye TL- LD600 Rear LED- £16.99
This is as bright as you’ll need for a rear commuting light; the design features 5 huge diodes with constant or multi flashing modes to ensure great visibility. The bracket couldn’t be simpler and fits quickly and easily on to your seat post. You’ll be seen on even the darkest of nights and the highly water resistant exterior will allow you to ride in all weathers, so you can still experience the joys of riding in the pitch black and the pouring rain!
This light runs on constant mode for 15 hours and has a flashing run time of 30 hours. Batteries are included.
Tel: 01845 521737