To See and Be Seen
Whether it's commuting through the city or escaping the rat race and heading down country lanes, lights are an integral addition to your bike come day or night. Choosing the correct light for your requirements is imperative to staying safe and ensuring your ride is an enjoyable one.
With autumn upon us and the days getting shorter, we take a look at two categories of lights, those to ensure you're seen and those to help you see. For 2018, the brands have upped their game, adding even more intuitive features to make sure their offerings are more reliable, user-friendly and most importantly, effective.
Suburban commuting or training is usually on lit roads and as such the biggest concern is being seen by fellow road users and pedestrians. With that in mind, having a light that catches the eye of others is imperative to staying safe. We take a look at a number of key lights you should consider for your urban riding.
Previously known as Blaze, Beryl has a clear goal; to get more people in cities on bikes. With their range of eye-catching lights including everything from the laser projecting Laserlight to the versatile and wearable Pixel and rugged Burner, Beryl lights are designed to keep you seen in an urban environment.
Beryl Laserlight Front Light
Using patented and tested technology, the Laserlight from Beryl has been tested by the Transport Research Laboratory who found the Laserlight Front Light's projection can provide 97% visibility in the blind spot of vehicles when riding at night. The combination of a white light and laser image of a bike sends out a powerful beam, keeping you covered in blind spots, junctions and difficult traffic situations. Made from durable aircraft-grade aluminium, the casing has been anodised and sandblasted to ensure it stands up to even the worst conditions out on the road.
A 300-lumen white LED provides the perfect amount of light, while the 13-hour battery life should provide enough juice for a week's worth of commuting. The power save mode provides four hours of light at a 95% depletion. Easy to attach and detach from your handlebar, using the one-hand quick release, this fully waterproof unit is a dependable choice for city cycling.
Beryl Burner Rear Light
One of the smartest rear lights on the market for 2018; the Beryl Burner uses a smart light sensor to sense changes in conditions and switch itself on in the dark and off in the light. This means you no longer need to be fumbling around for the 'on' switch coming into a tunnel or under dark tree cover.
As runtimes go, the Burner's 60 hours is incredibly impressive - yes, that is as much as a month's use between charges! When the battery does run low, the USB charging port makes it easy to charge at home or at work. Equally impressive is the 180-degree daytime visibility. Boasting a 100-lumen output, the Burner is the perfect daytime running or night commuting light.
Beryl Pixel Light
Two lights for the price of one - the Beryl Pixel can be used as a front or rear light by emitting a red or white beam. The versatility does not end there though. The Pixel can be used on your bike or attached to your bag, helmet or clothing. This makes it ideal not just for cycling, but running and other night-time adventures too.
10 hours of runtime on a single charge and a fully waterproof design also make this light a reliable option, while cutting-edge Chip-On-Board lighting technology means changing from red to white beams can be done with just a touch of a button.
Australian brand Knog are constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to lights. Producing beautifully designed products, their range of lights for 2018 is user-friendly, reliable and offers some truly unique mounting options.
Knog Plus Front Light
Knog has just what you need to add some extra visibility out on the road. Kicking out 40-lumens, the front Plus can be paired with the Plus rear, which boasts a 20-lumen output. 40 hours of runtime on eco-flash mode and two hours on high beam provides versatility, whatever the conditions.
100% waterproof, five light modes and a scant 12-gram weight make this a must-have front light for those rides where you get caught out in the dark and need additional illumination on the road.
The ability to attach the light to your socks or other parts of clothing, which use biomotion movements (movements that are unique to humans) is proven to aid visibility out on the road. The ability to attach this light to different pieces of clothing is, therefore, a definite, well...plus.
Knog Blinder Road R70 Rear Light
Omitting a healthy 70-lumens and featuring side illumination, the Knog Blinder Road R70 offers a range of light modes, including a peloton option for riding in groups. Interchangeable straps make swapping between bikes a simple task, with options to attach the 52-gram light to aero seat posts included.
100% waterproof, the Blinder Road R70 features a nifty integrated USB plug to allow charging from your PC. Thermal management regulates the light output to ensure performance is optimised. Another neat feature is the constant bright tech, which ensures brightness does not deteriorate through run time.
Knog Blinder MOB Eyeballer Front Light
An eye-catching front light, the Knog Blinder MOB Eyeballer is a compact, 80 lumen offering, which features a 15-degree beam and an integrated reflector. This reflector surrounds the LED, while the five light modes (two constant and three flash) keep you seen from distances of up to 12 kilometres away. Two interchangeable straps make this light ultra versatile and give you the option to switch between standard and oversized handlebars.
A Surface Mount (SMT) LED design ensures brightness is optimised for up to 90% of the battery burn time in each mode. A tool-less attachment and secure silicone straps keep the light firmly in place, while USB charging and a four to five hour charge time ensures you are never caught out in the dark.
Experts not just when it comes to bike computers, Cateye produce some of the most innovative lights on the market, catering for everyone from those looking to stay seen on urban commutes to those looking to shine a light on their rural rides.
Cateye SYNC Kinetic Rear Light
With a built-in accelerometer, the Cateye SYNC Kinetic Rear Light is designed to adapt to your ride, acting like a brake light to alert other road users as to when you are stopping or slowing down. With both constant and flash modes to choose from, the Kinetic offers run times of up to 30 hours. Daytime HyperConstant mode keeps you seen during the day, even when the sun is low. This mode alternates between a constant and pulsating beam, keeping you highly visible out on the road.
A rapid two hour charge time allows you to get back riding in no time at all. The 50-lumen beam offers run times between one hour, in high mode, and 30 hours in 30-lumen flashing mode. SYNC technology enables you to track battery life via the Cateye app on your phone and means you can integrate your front Cateye SYNC Core light to work harmoniously together.
Cateye SYNC Wearable Rear Light
Your bike should not be the only thing that shines on your rides this season. An eye-catching addition to your clothing or bag, the Cateye SYNC Wearable Rear Light allows you to increase side visibility out on the road. Fully customisable features and the option to integrate with other Cateye SYNC lights make this a fantastic addition to your commuting or night riding setup.
With up to 50 lumens to play with and a charge time of just 2.5 hours via a micro-USB cable, you can attach the light to clothing or your bike using the the clip-on bracket or rubber bike mount strap. OptiCube lens technology provides a crystal clear beam and the Battery Auto Save switches the beam to flash mode when the battery level drops low.
British designed and made, Exposure Lights produce some of the most powerful lights on the market. Catering for commuters, road riders and mountain bikers, their lights range from head-mounted torches, ideal for running, to helmet and bike mounted front and rear options.
Exposure Lights Joystick MK13 Carbon Front Light
Carbon shouldn't just be reserved for your bike. The Exposure Lights Joystick MK13 Carbon Front Light weighs just 93 grams thanks to its carbon fibre body, while an intense narrow beam makes this the perfect light for unlit roads and rural escapades. 1000 lumens is more than enough power for even the darkest of lanes and the 1.5 hour to 24 hour run time (dependant on the mode selected) keeps you seen and your path lit, however long you spend in the saddle.
Charge time is a scant three hours, while the anodised aluminium construction and carbon fibre body provide IPX6 water resistance. Coming with a helmet mount, handlebar bracket, UK smart charger, USB charge cable and lanyard in the box, the Joystick, in its latest incarnation, is ready to hit the road.
Exposure Lights Blaze MK3 Rear Light
A feature-packed rear light from British brand Exposure Lights. The Blaze MK3 Rear Light comes with REAKT and Peloton modes, meaning the light adapts to your surroundings. REAKT technology uses ambient light to alert fellow road users when you slow down or stop. Peloton mode is designed to work with the riders around you, lowering the intensity of the beam when sitting in the middle of the group and increasing its brightness when riding on the back of the group.
Runtime ranges between 6 and 28 hours, while charging from flat takes just 4 hours via a USB charge cable. A fuel gauge and Intelligent Thermal Management ensure the battery life is never compromised. Made from anodised 6063 aluminium, this light is designed to be ultra-durable and ready for whatever conditions you experience out on the road.