How to Choose the Right Bike Light

Read our guide to find out how to choose the right bike lights before your next night ride! We break it down simply for you.

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Did you know that it is mandatory in Singapore to have lights on your bicycle when riding in the dark? Even if it isn't, it's probably a good idea to increase your visibility as much as possible, especially when riding on the road! Here's a guide for beginners to choosing the right light for your bike when you embark for your next night cycling session.

1. Lux and Lumens

Lux and lumens are the units of measurement for the brightness of a light source.

Lumens is a measurement of the overall brightness of the light, from all directions.

Lux is the measurement of intensity of light on a given surface area.

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to see or be seen

2. To See or Be Seen?

You will need to think about the type of riding as well as where you will be cycling.

Are you riding at high speed or a leisurely pace?

Will it be well-lit or dark where you're cycling?

If you're riding at a low speed and it is well-lit, you will mostly just need to be seen by other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

However if you intend to ride fast, and will be in dark areas, you probably want to have a light that can help you see where you're going.

3. Lights to Be Seen With

Lights to be seen with generally put out between 5 to 15 lumens.

The intensity (lux) is not measured, as overall brightness from all directions is more important to fulfill this function.

With a lower output, the LED and batteries used can be of lower capacity, so such lights tend to be more accessibly priced, such as the VIOO 100.

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lights to see

4. Lights to See With

Lights to see with, in addition to their Lumen rating, will also be rated on their intensity, in Lux.

Most lights on the market output between 10 to 50 lux and at least 25 lumens.  

For example, the FL 920 light on the left outputs 200 lumens and 11 lux in a narrow beam.


5. Rear Lights

With all this talk about lux and lumens, it's easy to forget that we also need rear lights to make sure we can be seen by motorists and other cyclists from behind.

As rear lights are only for being seen, they are rated by lumens, and tend to output between 5 to 15 lumens.



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6. Power Source: Battery-Operated or Rechargeable?

As technology advances and the cost of high-capacity rechargeable batteries comes down, USB rechargeable lights are becoming more and more commonplace.

However, depending on where you intend to ride, and accessibility to a charging point, you might also want to consider old-fashioned coin battery operated lights.

Another benefit of battery lights is that you can quickly swap them out mid-ride unlike USB lights where you would need time to recharge, even if you had the foresight of bringing a powerbank.

That concludes our guide on choosing a suitable bike light for your specific type of riding. We hope you found this beginner's guide useful, and if you need any more tips or advice, feel free to check out our Cycling Sports Advice by clicking the button below!