Light up the Night
Posted by Ashley on Feb 01, 2012 | Urban
Everyone needs a light; even if you don't intend to ride at night, we see from cars and motorcycles that even having daylight running lights can help ensure that you are seen. It could be a good idea for cyclists to do the same, even when the days are getting longer. Here are a few tips and suggestions when choosing and owning a bike light:
- Know the law: In Seattle it is required that every rider have a front light that can be seen from a distance of at least five hundred feet in addition to a rear reflector. Many cities and states have their own laws about bike lights, so make sure to know the law in your area.
- Storing lithium-ion rechargeable batteries: If the lighting sustem is not going to be used for several months, there are a couple simple steps you should take to properly store the battery. First, you should charge the battery to approximately 50 percent, then the battery should be charged after every six to eight weeks in storage. Lastly, the headlamp should never be plugged into the battery when storing, as this increases the battery discharge rate and could also result in it accidentally being turned on. Following these simple steps will increase the longevity of the battery pack.
Rechargeable vs. Disposable
Rechargeable lights offer the latest technology and several advantages
- More Lumens: rechargeable lights will offer more lumens (light output), with some models offering upwards of 3,000 lumens. This level of light output is similar to what automobiles offer.
- Batteries: Using rechargeable batteries lessens the impact on the environment. A properly used rechargeable battery pack can last years, versus all the disposable alkaline batteries that end up in landfills.
- Serviceable: Most rechargeable lights can be serviced by the manufacturer should the need arise
Given this information, disposable battery-operated bike lights still may be the right fit for some customers.
- Cost: A disposable-battery bike light can cost less than $15
- Ease of use: Typically these lights feature a flash and constant mode, without additional modes. This makes them easy to use.
- Size/Weight: The weight of these bike lights is usually much less than their rechargeable counterparts.