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Safe cycling in the dark: innovative lighting to be seen on your bike

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Posted by Cags R under Cycling on 17 February 2013 at 12:00 AM

Staying bright when cycling at night is one of the most important things cyclists can do to stay safe on the roads.

The Royal Society for the Preventions of Accidents in the UK has stated that although 80% of road accidents occur during daylight (with the majority of these occuring between 8am-9am and 3pm-6pm), accidents which occur at night are more likely to be fatal. The volume of accidents is higher in Spring and Summer compared with Autumn and Winter, however the casulty rate in terms of miles traveled is higher in the darker winter months. Staying bright and being seen on your bike should be every cyclist's top priority in the dark!

So how can you make sure that drivers see you cycling?

Technology for cycle safety is becoming more and more innovative, from the reflective materials used in jackets to the brightness and battery life of lights. Check out some of these awesome lighting ideas which are designed to keep you safe and bright when cycling in the dark:

  1. Bike Lane Safety Light - brought to the market by XFire, the Bike Lane Safety Light combines a tail light with a unique new safety feature - laser projected bike lanes!
    Bike Lane Safety Light
    These laser projected bike lanes mark out a rider's personal space on the road so that drivers will give them a wide berth when overtaking. The lights work perfectly on dark country roads though do struggle a bit in better lit, urban areas. 

    What are the team thinking of this light? Really cool idea, would definitely benefit from further developments for USB rechargeable battery as the battery life with AAA batteries is not great. Teeters on the edge of best-thing-ever and health&safety-gone-mad!

  2. Lezyne bike lightUSB charging technology - companies such as Lezyne and Cateye are leading the way in rechargeable technology; the initial cost is quite intimidating at first but when you consider the cost of cycle specific batteries or the added bulkiness and poor battery life of AA or AAA lighting units, the rechargeable LEDs really are the sensible choice - you can always strike lucky and pick one up in the sales!

    What are the team thinking? Don't get caught out in the 'I'll replace the battery tomorrow' cycle - stay bright and stay safe with rechargeable lighting units. Can be hard to find in the sales, if anything just shows that these are a timeless purchase!

  3. BLAZE the ultimate bike light - whilst the Bike Lane Safety Light is designed to make your presence to drivers bigger when they are overtaking, Blaze is an awesome innovation which is designed to project your presence forward on the road to alert drivers and pedestrians ahead of you that you are approaching.
    Blaze: The ultimate bike light
    This means that cyclists can catch the attention of drivers in wing mirrors or on the road surface and no longer face the dreaded inside-of-a-curb dread! Setting the projection 2 - 3 bike lengths ahead of your bike means that you have a presence on the road ahead of your actual presence. Perfect for city riders who ride in traffic.

    What does the team think? Blaze are still getting started but hoping to see these little life-savers online and in store soon - even without the laser, it's a bright front light and if they can compete with the bigger brands price-wise, expect the little bike projection to be all over the roads.

These are just a couple of ways that innovative technology is helping keep cyclist seen and safe on the roads, check out this guide on waterproofing and bright lights - what's your best tip for staying bright on the road?

  • Encourage

    encouraged this.

    Comments

    20160827065739-martinjames

    Yes, just looking at buying a front light you can actually see with!! I have lights that other road users/pedestrians can see me, but awful in terms of road condition visibility. Particularly when training now as the weather improves. Any suggestions with a budget??

    20140811112945-cags

    @martinjames Lezyne rechargeable can be picked up for around £40 - sounds steep but then the light is like a floodlight on dark roads and has flash settings for city riding too. Also rechargeable makes life better!

    Brenda D encouraged this.

    20160827065739-martinjames

    Hi thanks for the advice!! £40 is fine, I have seen some rising into the £100s.... I saw these today (after I picked up a new pair of carbon soled MTB shoes) should have bought one then. Oh well another excuse to go back and find something else I need, like bike cleaner! Cheers.

    20160827065739-martinjames

    Thanks Cags, I do on/off road anyway, so it will flit between all machines. Its a difficult choice just looking on the shelf. I have had many lights, none of which I would recommend. Currently using the Exposure Flash and Flare, these are great for swapping between bikes, lit roads, but dire in the deep dark. Exposure lights tend to be very very expensive!! I have seen a Lezyne at £99, http://www.evanscycles.com/products/lezyne/super-drive-xl-front-light-ec041392 This may be the baby for me!! Once again thanks.

    20140811112945-cags

    Yeah @rosek had one of those for our London to Paris cycle - was incredibly bright though if (like me) you had shoddy little catseye loops and were riding in front of the lezyne super drive, you were just left cycling into your own shadow! It's a big investment but defo worth it if you do a lot of cycling in the dark - I'm personally very excited about the Blaze light, think it's a great idea for city cyclists like me

    20160827065739-martinjames

    I agree, I checked the supporting vid, looks great for City. I tend to avoid town cycling and try to get out into the countryside. A lot of farmroads, which have their own hazards!!

    20170330012049-helent

    Just did my first night ride, I like the sound of the lezyne, especially for winter

    Cags R encouraged this.

    20140811112945-cags

    Currently borrowing a Blaze light (their office is just round the corner from us which is cool) - the light is pretty awesome!

    Helen T encouraged this.

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