Taking your bike out at night time means that you need to take extra safety precautions to ensure that you’re effectively able to see any potential hazards ahead of you. During your ride, those around you – especially fellow road users – also need to be able to pinpoint you well in advance.
Luckily, safety has become a prominent focus in Australia within this field, so there are many products on the market today to help you gear up effectively. Beyond this, there are also many laws and regulations that need to be met in relation to cycle-related lighting as well, all of which are aimed at keeping you out of danger.
So what are the best options for you to pick up in 2019? Here is your guide to picking up the best lighting products for your bike.
Bike lighting legislation across Australia
While the laws change across different states and territories, it is a requirement to have lighting and reflectors when riding at night no matter where you are.
As a rule of thumb, you are required to have (at minimum):
- A flashing or solid white light at the front of the bike that is visible from up to 200 metres away
- A flashing or solid red light at the rear that can be seen from 200 metres
- A red reflector at the rear of the bike that can be seen from 50 metres away when light strikes it.
There are penalties that vary in each state and territory for not adhering to these laws, but the consequences can be much higher if you don’t have the right lighting in safety terms.
What are the best lighting options?
The days of simple bulb technology are behind us and there is far more advanced choices available for riding at night on suburban or city roads. For example, LED technology means you can have high-powered lights fitted to your bike that do not require bulky battery packs, or wheel turbine technology that make riding extremely difficult.
If you are riding on roads or paths that do not have sufficient lighting, remember that you’ll need more power to get what you need.
When you are riding around town with street lighting, a light with a lumen grading of 300-500 will be more than enough to ensure you are seen from 200m and can also spot hazards ahead of you.
However, if you are roaming a darker area, you are more likely to need extra power; you can get 1000 lumen options which will suit any path or road.
Many of these accessories also come with settings as well, so you are better off buying the higher lumen options and then dialling them down when you are riding on well-lit city streets.
Mountain bike lighting
If you are planning on riding off-road at night time, there are different obstacles that will need to be avoided. While city, road riding requires a light that is more focused in a single beam facing forward, mountain bikes need to be equipped with a front light that illuminates in a wider arc.
This is so you can detect hazards like tree roots, rocks, animals etc that are in your periphery as well as directly ahead.
Not sure where to start? Browse our range of bike accessories online now.