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Six reasons why you should use bike lights during daytime

Understanding how Lezyne's daytime flash modes will help keep you seen on the road

Ask yourself: have you ever wondered why some cyclists leave their bike lights on during the day? Maybe they can’t be bothered to switch them off, or perhaps they simply forgot, or maybe they think it makes a difference to their visibility on the road. You may scoff – it’s daytime! But the thing is, you noticed them, didn’t you?

While bike lights are usually bought at this time of year when the nights are drawing in and the weather forecast generally means visibility is reduced compared to the halcyon long summer days, there’s a strong case to be made for lights to be a permanent addition to your road bike during the daytime, too.  

Want to know six of the key reasons why you should consider sporting lights on your bike even during the day? Read on.

Lezyne’s range features 15 lights with a daytime flash mode, including these four: the Strip Drive Pro (top left, clockwise), Lite Drive 700XL, Laser Drive and Hecto Drive 400XL

1) Increased visibility

The fact is that riding with lights on your bike boosts your visibility to other road users, regardless of the light conditions. In fact, it’s been empirically researched, with one study suggesting that cyclists with permanently running lights installed are 19 per cent less likely to experience incidents involving a personal injury.

It’s not like this phenomenon hasn’t been seen before on the road, either. With increasing numbers of cars now using lights that are always on, having been proven to improve road safety, it’s little surprise the cycling industry has cottoned on.

As Rory Hitchens of Upgrade Bikes (the UK distributor of Lezyne) says: “It doesn’t hurt to have lights permanently on. It’s not law, but we all want to be less vulnerable and in a position to encourage other road users to be more aware. After all, cyclists are among the most vulnerable of road users, so why wouldn’t you maximise your chances of being seen?”

2) Ready for anything

It’s one of the wonderful things about living in the UK: the weather. Us Brits know how quickly the weather can change, as well as how unpredictable it can be – particularly in the winter. Having lights on your bike ensures that you’ll be ready even if the forecast was for sunny spells, and you actually get dark clouds and showers.

Changing light is also an important and underrated factor, too. Often, it goes unnoticed just how gloomy the conditions have become. Light levels can drop especially quickly in the winter during sunset and twilight, while shady areas, such as under the canopy of trees or dense woodland, can leave you in a shroud of darkness as other road users approach, unaware of your presence.

The Lezyne Hecto Drive 400XL is a compact unit but still puts out up to 400 lumens, with eight modes to choose from

3) Lights are brighter than ever

A light’s a light, right? Well, maybe not. Like nearly every aspect of road cycling technology, bike lights are also undergoing constant research and development to achieve brighter lights and more efficient burn times. Take a look, for example, at the Lezyne Strip Drive Pro rear light, which now puts out up to 300 lumens – enough to significantly improve visibility in daylight.

The Strip Drive Pro’s 300-lumen daytime flash mode doesn’t come at the cost of battery life, either, with a claimed run time of up to three hours, while you have ten other modes to choose from, starting with a five-lumen economy setting with 14-and-a-half hours of burn time.

Up front you can have anything up to 1500 lumens in brightness via Lezyne’s Deca Drive 1500i or Super Drive 1500XXL. For road cyclists, however, something like the Lite Drive 700 XL offers (you guessed it) up to 700 lumens; enough to illuminate unlit roads while still ensuring the Lite Drive is a compact unit which takes up little space on your handlebar. The Hecto Drive, meanwhile, is even smaller but still puts out up to 400 lumens. On both the Lite Drive and Hecto you’ll find eight settings, including a daytime flash mode.

4) They’re more intelligent, too

Lezyne is a big proponent of using lights to be seen, as well as to see. Key to that is not just settling for standard flash modes and static brightnesses, but developing new patterns that are disruptive to effectively draw the attention of other road users. As a result, 15 of Lezyne’s lights now have a specific daytime flash mode.

Lezyne’s range of lights includes the Laser Drive. Not only does it have a maximum output of 250 lumens and a daytime flash mode, two laser emit a virtual bike path as you ride

“Daytime flash modes save power while flashing in a pattern that draws attention – two smaller flashes, then a really bright flash, for example” says Hitchens. “It’s made possible using really bright LED technology, and with it you have all the tools available to stay visible in all conditions.”

Moreover, the brand has the new Laser Drive in its rear light range, where two laser lines are projected onto the road to give other road users even more warning of your presence, as well as to indicate a safe distance from which to follow and pass.

5) Affordability and convenience

Reflective clothing and high-visibility winter gear can be very expensive. When it comes to bike lights, you can spend as much as you like and still get a good set that will do the job. “If a light costs £40, that’s not much of an outlay for an insurance policy that might not only save your bike, but you as well,” says Hitchens.

Additionally, there’s convenience to think about too – you can easily switch lights from bike to bike with a well-designed bracket system, which means that you can easily use your favourite light set for whatever kind of riding you do. Most modern lights are USB chargeable, too.

Tool-free brackets like this make Lezyne’s lights a breeze to switch between bikes

6) Year-round use

While it’s vital to have lights on your bike during winter, due to reduced light and changeable weather conditions, daytime lights are a year-round investment that can pay dividends even in the summer months. When riding in bright sunshine, for example, that sun can obscure the vision of motorists.

“The bottom line is riders staying visible in all conditions,” says Hitchens. “Think of it this way – people don’t always were a helmet and that’s their choice. Although, when was the last time you went on a group ride where the majority of riders didn’t wear a helmet? People have generally accepted that it’s a good idea to wear a helmet, and we think the same thing should happen with road bike lights, too.”

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