Light up your ride!
Here at Wiggle we prefer to lighten up over the winter and crank out the miles with a good quality set of lights. We love to ride all year round and with the right kit SO CAN YOU!
Did you know it's actually a legal requirement to use bike lights? By law you must have lights on your bike as soon as daylight fades. That's why it's essential to Be Seen and Be Safe when riding at night.
We created this lights buying guide to give you a helping hand in deciding which lights are best for your type of riding. So before you hang your bike up for winter, why not give our lights guide a read and make some new winter training goals!
How do I choose the right light?
At Wiggle, we offer an unrivalled choice of bike lights. To make things easier, we've split our lights into two easy to understand categories:
- Lights that make you SEEN - To help other road users see you in low light conditions or lit streets at night
- Lights that help you SEE - To illuminate un-lit roads and trails so you can see where you're going when riding at night
Lights that make you seen
These lights can greatly improve your visibility to road users when riding at night. They ensure that car drivers can see you from a distance and be alerted to your presence.
Almost all bicycle lights use LED bulbs as they are more reliable and use much less battery power, whilst also offering much higher levels of brightness. Used in flashing mode, they are very good at attracting attention from other road users. It's advisable to use at least two rear bike lights, a common configuration is one flashing and one in constant, this is highly advisable just in case one stops or becomes obscured.
- Lezyne Femto Drive LED Rear Light
- Smart Lunar R2 Rear Light
- Knog Frog Strobe LED Rear Light
- Cateye TL-LD270 LED Rear Light
- Exposure Flare Mk 2 Rear Light
- NiteRider CherryBomb 1 Watt Rear Light
- Fibre Flare Ultimate Safety Rear Tail Light (Pair)
- Lezyne Micro Drive LED Rear Light
- BBB BLS-47 - Spark Rear Light
Lights that help you see
These lights will allow you to see where you are going when cycling at night. This is especially important if you are riding in areas that are poorly lit.
Having good visibility is essential, as it allows you to anticipate and react to any obstacles during your night ride. In addition to seeing what's in front of you, a good front light will also double up as a visibility light to passing motorists.
Wiggle lists a large selection of front lights suitable for lit streets in the city, or unlit country lanes and even bike lights suitable for off road riding, ranging from around £8 to over £300 they vary greatly in purpose and performance. Tiny LED's with flashing or constant modes are great for being seen in built up areas, whilst rechargeable systems can keep the road or off-road trails lit up for non-stop riding at night.
What factors should I consider when buying a light
How much should I spend? Wiggle offers an extensive range of bicycle lights as we believe it's always better to 'be safe and be seen'. Our range includes led bike lights for city and urban bikes, along with high performance bike lights and mountain bike lights for night riding.
- Up to £20 - Lights in this price range are commonly rear lights that help make the cyclist visible on the roads. Lights in the lower price range are ideal if you already ride in areas which are already well lit and don't require a lighting system that generates a lot of brightness.
- £20-£50 - Front and rear lights are common at this price range and offer you a good combination of visibility and front lit navigation. The majority of lights in this price range come with rechargeable batteries as well as having waterproof construction where the bulbs are housed.
- £50-£100 - Lights in this price range will offer the rider an excellent level of brightness and visibility. Features such as increased Lumens, waterproof design, lightweight casing , rechargeable batteries and a secure easy to use mounting system will feature regularly at this price range.
- High end light systems
- £100+ - This represents the 'high end' range of light performance. These lights will have exceptionally high lumen output, High end lights will also be lightweight and have a wide range of light display settings coupled with longer burn times. Lights in this range also tend to lean towards off-road riding as they have very powerful LED bulbs for use in areas where there is almost no natural light available.
- £300+ - Lights at this price range are largely designed for mountain bike riding. They offer incredible brightness and run times to cope with remote areas with no natural light. They usually offer a whole range of state of the art features that include:
- Incredible brightness (up to 2600 Lumens)
- Run times in range of 2-3 hours at the maximum beam setting
- A number of mounting options (bar and helmet)
- Cable free design (CFD)
- LED display
- USB ports
BRIGHTNESS - Is the light bright enough? - When riding at night it's essential to have a light that provides you with the right level of illumination for your riding needs. Light brightness is measured in Lumens, and the more Lumens a light has the greater its power output will be. Different riding disciplines will require differing levels of light brightness. Riding at night on a dimly lit road will require less brightness than riding off road in an area of woodland where there will be virtually no natural light available to the rider.
MOUNTING - Is the light easy to attach to my bike? - To get the maximum benefit of your light on the road or trails it's important that the lighting unit is securely fastened to your bike. Lights come equipped with a mounting bracket device and this is meant to create a solid attachment to the handlebars for front lights and seat post for rear lights. Mounting brackets usually require no tools and often incorporate a twist dial to tighten. A simple and reliable mounting bracket is essential as it ensures that the your light will be easy to install and easy to use
BATTERIES - Will the battery be rechargeable? - The vast majority of bike lights today come with a rechargeable Lithium battery which is lightweight and has a longer battery life than the old SLA and NiCd batteries of the past. Lights with more Lumens output tend to come with a separate battery which can be mounted to your frame or stem. Lights with separate battery packs are common with mountain bikers as they require very powerful Lumen outputs and longer battery times.
RUN TIMES - Will the light last long enough for my ride?- It's essential to know that your light's battery life can last the duration of your bike ride. If a light ceases to work while you're riding at night it will be a major safety risk for you and other road users. Bike lights are designed to run for a specific time period until the battery runs out and requires charging again. Run times are also dependant on the light systems settings. Many lights have their Lumen outputs split over selected beam displays such as low, medium and high.
BULB TYPE - What type of lighting system is best? - Cycle light technology has moved on greatly over the years, traditional 'bulb' lights have been more or less replaced by LED and HID systems. When cycling at night with low levels of visibility Wiggle recommends you use a LED bulb as this will provide the right amount of power output. Halogen and Krypton bulbs are more suited to early evening riding and when natural light levels offer good visibility.
WEIGHT - Will the weight of my lights slow me down? - A heavy light can add weight to your frame and overall bike weight. This may be a negative factor when climbing or riding your bike at speed. Thankfully many lights of today come with reasonable weights and high end lights are often extremely light in relation to their Lumen output and run times.
* In order to cycle on the road it may be a legal requirement in your country to use a light certified to a specific standard or an international equivalent. Most but not all lights sold on Wiggle are certified and labelled with a European CEN standard. Please check your country's requirements to see if this is sufficient and if necessary, contact the manufacturer to see if your chosen light has been additionally certified for your country.