How to Choose Bicycle Headlights

How to Choose Bicycle Headlights
Consider what kind of riding you do before choosing your next bicycle headlight. Which bike light is right for you will depend on both your expectations and your budget. Are you road riding at dusk and need to be highly visible to motorists? Or are you just riding in the occasional moonlight event? There are three types of lights available to bicyclists: old school halogen lights, multifunction LED lights and super bright HID bike lights.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Consider why you need the bicycle headlight. If you are constantly riding in full dark, you will need a headlight that produces massive amounts of light so you can see the road or bike trail in front of you. This might call for a newer HID light, which produces a blinding pure white light and runs off of rechargeable lithium batteries. HID lights only last for a few hours, so this light wouldn't be good for an all-night ride. They are also very expensive and may not fit the budget of every bicyclist.
Step 2
Purchase a halogen light if you are an occasional night biker, someone who enters a charity moonlight ride once a year. You won't need an expensive light. A simple and cheap halogen light with disposable batteries will do for this style of night bicycling. Choose a light that is easy to put on and take off, so the light can be stored off the bike between events. Be sure to take the batteries out to avoid corrosion ruining the light.
Step 3
Buy an LED headlight if visibility and long life are your main concerns because you frequently ride in mixed traffic on well-lit streets. LED lights often have the ability to flash in attention-grabbing patterns and last hundreds of hours on the same set of standard AA batteries.

Article Written By Denise Bertacchi

Denise Bertacchi is a freelance writer with a degree in journalism from Southeast Missouri State University. She is a St. Louis suburbanite who has written for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boys' Life, Wisconsin Trails, and Missouri Life.

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