Let’s face it, fall and winter mean shorter daylight hours. Heck around here it is now dark around 6 (here being Austin, Texas). For those who still love to get outside and cycle this becomes a real problem unless you have a good light source to guide your way. Cycling lights are a must have.
Cycling lights have rapidly evolved over the last few years with the introduction of LED technology. Gone are the days of bulky batteries and halogen bulbs with limited life. Today’s compact LED lights last up to 3-5 hours and provide enough light to help avoid potholes and road debris at speed.
Many of the new LED lights come with USB-based chargers. This is extremely convenient for a commuter whose uses a computer and can recharge their lights while at work for the return trip home. Charge times are approximately 4-6 hours depending on model.
When cycling at night the more light the better, but it does come with a cost. Typically, the brighter the light source and higher lumen, the less time a battery will last before needing a new charge. A normal 60 watt light-bulb has a luminous efficiency of about 17.5, emitting 1050 lumens of light. Of course you can’t attach a 60 watt light-bulb to your bike, but can can buy a 500 or 1000 lumen cycling light.
In the coming months I will have reviews of various cycling lights that I think are perfect for night time riding. For now, check out the Serfas True 500, Light & Motion Urban 500 and the NiteRider MiNewt 600.
Happy night time riding.
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