If you plan to use your bicycle on highways, city streets, or roads with thick traffic, then you absolutely need to have a good illumination for safety and visibility purposes. Not only are bike lights useful during night time, but they can also be handy during day time especially when it is raining cats and dogs. Nevertheless, you may be wondering how to mount a bike light on your bicycle. This article will show you how to install your bike light in a breeze, but first, let us discuss the essentials of a bike light.
Bike lights are illumination installed to bicycles aim to improve the visibility of the rider and to allow other vehicles to visualize the rider as well. There are different types of bike lights that you can mount on your bicycle. These are:
1. “See” Lights
See lights are the most commonly used bicycle lights, as they aim to help the rider visualize at night; these lights will make you see potholes or bumpy roads ahead and will let you visualize where you are heading. These lights will also make the rider be visible to other drivers, even in the dark.
2. “Be Seen” Lights
The purpose of these lights is to make the rider visible to other riders as well. This kind of light is ideal when you trail a well-lit road where you can easily see road signs and street lighting. It is vital that these lights will let you be seen from the front side and the rear side; thus, a white front light and a red backlight should be installed for this purpose.
One popular option for these lights are flashing lights which can be used either daytime or night time. These lights will continually flash lights to catch the attention of other drivers. However, some research showed that flashing lights makes it hard to determine the actual distance of a rider; thus, flashing lights are to be used only as a secondary light to the main, steady light.
Visibility on the side is also important especially in urban settings. Vehicles are coming from different directions; thus, you need to be seen to avoid any untoward incident. You can buy sidelights that can attach to your frame or lights that can be mounted on your wheels which illuminate when the tires turn. These can be used to give all-round visibility.
4. Helmet Lights
Helmet lights are getting on-trend nowadays, as these lights are more convenient to use for the driver because of its small-size and lightweight. These lights give a secondary point of view for the driver at a much closer level to the eye. Helmet lights should only be used as a subsidiary because they don’t give a good visualization for you and other drivers as well.
Modes Of Bicycle Lights
Almost all decent bike lights offer different kinds of modes to choose from. The appropriate mode of light depends on the time of day, weather conditions, and the length of the ride. Here are the different modes of light and when it is appropriate to use them:
1. Burst Mode
The burst or flash mode allows you to be visible to other motorists, especially on urban roads. This mode can be dangerous in an unlit or poorly lit road, as the constant flashing of lights makes it hard for other drivers to determine your actual distance and speed.
2. Constant High Power Beam
This beam is the safest mode when you plan to drive at night, but this will also drain your battery in an instant. A beam light lets you see any potholes or bumps even in the dark.
3. Constant Low/Medium Power Beam
Using beam in a lower power mode will help you save the battery life and at the same time give you better visualization even in the dark. The low or medium setting will give additional light to let you see bumps and humps that may be hard to see using the burst mode.
Before we go into the installation process, let us first know the different mounting options that you choose from. These are:
- Headlights are usually installed onto the handlebar, but nowadays, they can be mounted on helmets as well. To give you better visualization, you must consider using both, especially trail riding at night. Beams installed on the helmet can give versatile visualization as light can be directed according to the turn of the head.
- Side safety lights can be installed on the frame or spokes. Spoke mounted lights are more visible because they give off light when wheels are in motion.
- Rear safety lights can be attached to your pocket, seat post, or pack. Others are also mounted on the backside of the rear bike racks.
- Battery packs can be mounted on your bike or stored in a pack, especially for high-output lights. A quick-release hardware lets you mount and remove your light easily and quickly.
How To Install A Bike Light?
It is important to install bike light properly so that it can do its purpose well. A bike light that is not properly installed may not give the right visualization, thus causing unwanted incidents. Here are the steps on how to mount bike light:
1. Check The Light
Before installing the light on your bike, it is a must to inspect the light first. Make sure it’s not damaged in anyway prior to starting the installation process.
2. Decide Where To Place The Light
We already know the different mounting options as aforementioned. This time you need to determine and decide where you want to install your new bike light. In an ideal setting, you should have a bike light installed on the front and rear sides of your bicycle to maximize vision at night. If you happen to have a bike light mounted on one of these locations, then you should opt to add another one.
3. Installing Batteries
More often than not, bike lights come with a button-cell battery mounted and ready for use. But, this is not the case all the time. If so, then get your screwdriver and open the battery case; then, placed the button-cell battery inside the space.
The more innovative bike lights don’t use the out-dated button-cell batteries; instead, they can now be charged through USB ports. This will allow the driver to save the cost of having to buy a new set of batteries again and again.
4. Attach The Bike Light
The process of attaching your bike light will vary, depending on the model of the light. Most bike lights these days involve a clip where you can just fasten it snugly wherever you want to. But, make sure that it is secured tightly to avoid accidental falls.
Other models require a bracket that needs to be screwed to be able to attach the light on the bike.
- First, loosen up the screw carefully or you might lose the knot on the other side and the whole assembly can come apart.
- Then, test fit the light on your desired location, making sure that you can re engage the screw.
- Put the knot and the screw back. Tighten it well to keep the light in place.
- Test the light if it functions well.
5. Adjust The Bike Lights
After attaching the bike lights on the appropriate location, you must adjust them properly to make them more visible and allow good lighting for your path. Turn on the light and adjust it properly. If your bike light does not illuminate as expected, then you may be required to remove it and reattach it again.
Now that you have successfully mounted your bike light, you must also take note of the following reminders to ensure a safe ride with your bicycle.
Make Sure The Light Is Bright Enough
Your light is there for a reason, and that is for you to see the road and the road signs and to be seen by other motorists as well. Therefore, it is important that your bike lights are bright enough. If not, then you might need to charge it or change the batteries as required.
Use The Right Setting
As discussed earlier, bike lights have different kinds of modes to choose from either you want a blinking beam or a constant one. To save up more battery, you can opt for the low/medium power beam, but for your safety, you can choose the high power beam to illuminate the unlit road.
Respect Light Etiquette
Set your lights accordingly. You don’t want your riding companion to be blinded by your lights which may cause an accident. Use the brightest beam setting when you are in the dark and alone so that you will be visible to pedestrians and other motorists.
Bike lights are important to see the road signs, bumps and potholes, pedestrians, and other vehicles, especially on unlit or poorly lit roads. It is also vital because it makes you visible to other motorists that may be coming your way to avoid accidents on the road. Therefore, you must make sure that you have a functioning and properly mounted bike light if ever you plan to go on a biking trail. We hope this guide has helped you with the basics of bike lights and how to install a bike light properly. Ride safely ahead!