See and Be Seen
See and be Seen
- Breaking Down Bicycle Lighting -
Bicycle lighting has come a long way and there are a variety of options depending on your needs. Lighting options for commuting, mountain biking and recreational daytime riding are all a bit different. How many lights do I need?, How many lumen's do I need? What's a lumen anyway??? Let's sort it out.
First, be seen! As we know, traffic in the Bay Area is getting busier and with the rainy season, there's all the more reason to ensure you're visible out on the road. As a matter of fact, most of us use a daytime visible rear light on every ride. Our recommendation for everyday safety lighting is to always have a light on the back and we suggest a front light as well. We carry two excellent options from Knog. The "Blinder" series are USB rechargeable and are extremely visible day or night. Some might consider them "retina searing".
Taking safety a step further, we also carry smart lighting from Cycliq. These are much more than just lights. The Cycliq Fly12 is a 400 lumen front light and full HD camera with audio. This light comes with a variety of safety functions and multiple lighting modes. The most unique feature is the "Bike Safety" mode, the unit will automatically begin recording if the unit is tilted more than 60 degrees for more than 5 seconds. So if you crash, it will begin recording. There are too many features to list but suffice to say this product is impressive. There's also a matching rear mounted unit with similar functionality.
That covers "being seen" but for night time riding, you also need to see where you're going.
Commuting for example requires the same level of safety but we need to see the road. Once again the Cycliq light has you covered with a 400 lumen front light. We also carry Light and Motion lighting systems. Light and Motion makes a broad range of lights for every conceivable cycling scenario. For commuting, we like the Urban Series of lights. The front lights are available in 500 to 900 lumens and there are rear lights to match. The Urban series are all USB rechargeable as well and the quality is impeccable.
Now, what about night time mountain biking? Light and Motion is by far the light of choice for this application. Riding in true darkness, whether on or off road requires something a bit brighter than a commuter light. When riding off road, we need to see more of the terrain and a wider beam is important as well, this way we can stay upright and safe. The Seca Series from Light and Motion sets the bar for premium bicycle lighting. The battery life, reliability and quality of light is second to none and when you're out in the woods at night, reliability becomes extremely important. For night time mountain biking we also recommend that you use 2 lights; one on the handlebar and one on your helmet. Your helmet light allows you to see where you're looking, not just where your handle bar is pointing... think switchbacks and tight, technical turns, you're looking one way and the bar is pointing another.
Wait a minute... what's a lumen again? A lumen is a unit of measurement used to determine how bright a light is. There's more to it such as lens quality, how a light works as the battery drains, and even more; but the point is, we use these products all of the time and we're here to help you sort out the best option for your needs.
Interested in learning more?
Want to learn more, or purchase one of the specific products mentioned in this post? Swing by the shop or click on one of the links below and we are more than happy to help you.