- How to choose a light bulb for motorcycle and bicycle
- Select the type of bulb
- Halogen lamps
- Xenon lamps
- LED bulbs
- Front light
- Common flashlights
- Bicycle headlamp
- Rear light
- Stop lights
- Bicycle Light Kits
- Garmin Varia
- Headlamps with a hub dynamo
- Built-in rechargeable battery or batteries
- Remote Flashlight Control Box
- Headlight Brightness
Flashlights on a bicycle are an indispensable thing and directly affect safety, we explained in the last article. So how do you choose the right one and what should you pay attention to?
Globally, all bicycle lights can be divided into two categories: front and rear. We will not talk about decorative lights here. Rear lights are always specialized for the bike. The front light has more facets. It can be divided into two types: specialized bike lights, common lights, beacons.
How to choose a light bulb for motorcycle and bicycle
Lamps have two functions – to illuminate the way and instruments, as well as allow contact with all participants in the road. For a safe and comfortable ride should function properly main headlight, turn signals, brake lights. A fog light and instrument illumination, are also useful, especially if you like to drive at night.
Select the type of bulb
In the store are available moped, motorcycle and scooter bulbs based on LED, xenon and halogen. All of the motorcycle bulbs shown are 12 volt.
Halogen models, like H7 motorcycle bulbs, are widely familiar to motorcyclists – they are hot and bright incandescent bulbs, the main disadvantage of which is the excessive “voraciousness”. If you’re interested in getting an answer to the question, “What if I buy xenon or diode bulbs on my moped,” read on.
The light output of xenon is many times higher than the halogen models, it is not heated and gives a more pleasant light to the eye. Its disadvantages are associated with additional difficulties during installation. The decisive criteria in choosing xenon bulbs are color temperature and power. The value of the first parameter usually ranges from 4300K to 5000K. However you can adjust the temperature to suit your specific circumstances.
For example, if you want more light on the road even in bad weather, you can buy a lamp for a motorcycle with a color temperature of 3200-4200K, and to be more visible when driving you can take a model with a value of this specification in the range 5500-7500K. The power is selected based on the type of motorcycle. If you need to buy a light bulb on a scooter, then consider options around 15-20 watts. For other motorcycles, the standard of 35 watts will do.
They are less bright than halogen and xenon, but take their durability, compactness and low power consumption value. To the disadvantages of such a bulb on a scooter or motorcycle can be attributed a narrow beam of light, as well as high heating. Actually because of these characteristics they are more often used for auxiliary light and not the main light.
They are often made in small sizes and have two or three modes of operation, among which there is necessarily flashing. During the day they are invisible due to low power, but at night they are clearly visible from far away. Most often they are made completely in silicone or with silicone mounts, which are wrapped around the handlebars. They are often sold complete with a red rear beacon.
They are very lightweight and the batteries or rechargeable batteries may last a season or more.
These are LED flashlights for everyday carry in your pocket and have small dimensions. They easily fit in the palm of your hand, weigh a little and often have several modes, which sometimes include a strobe light. Many such flashlights are available at any price and in any size. What they all have in common is that they can be mounted on a bicycle handlebar using a special mount, since the diameter is often more or less the same.
And the mounts are universal. They fix the light relatively well and can be adjusted. These flashlights are powered by a battery type 18650 and can shine, depending on the mode, from one to several hours. Here you can choose between “drivers” and LEDs, which differ from each other, but the average person these differences are not so important.
They also differ in spot and light temperature. Flashlights with a focused beam have a uniform fill light spot and most often a cold glow. Cold light is not very pleasing to the eyes at night, and the uniform glow is not very convenient. The most interesting are considered lighting fixtures with a bright spot in the center and a soft fill of the halo. The glow temperature can be different, but more often a neutral or warm color is chosen. With such a lantern to consider the road is much more pleasant.
If you have decided to engage in cycling seriously, it makes sense to pay attention to bicycle headlamps. There are models with one LED, two, three… different may occur. These lights already have a hint at the light and shade boundary, so as not to blind oncoming traffic, may have a mode of low and high beam, daytime running lights with a flashing beacon mode, nighttime running lights with a flashing beacon.
Dimensions bicycle lights are larger than conventional flashlights, but they also have a number of advantages. In addition to these, concerning the modes and limits of light, they have a high battery capacity and can serve as a phone charger, shine for many hours in a row, equipped with remote buttons to switch the modes of illumination, have a built-in power indicator.
The rear light is much simpler. It always has different modes of operation, among which one or two blinking.
We talked about similar devices when we discussed the front lights. The rear ones differ only in color. They are small, not very bright, powered by regular batteries, lightweight and compact. They are not very visible during daytime.
There is more scope here. There are battery-powered models with two bright LEDs on board. One shines a diffused light, the second focused beam. Very well such stops are noticeable at night, during the day they are also visible, but subject to the availability of new batteries.
Rechargeable solutions are much more convenient, can be charged from a regular phone charger, have less weight, a lot of original solutions in terms of design.
The stop lights are a special feature of the smart type. They turn on as soon as the bike starts moving, light up brighter and blink when braking begins, and some models know how to indicate the cyclist’s turn depending on the inclination. When the bicycle is parked, the signal lights up for another minute or two, then turns off and goes into standby mode.
Bicycle Light Kits
There are a number of companies that excel at producing all kinds of accessories for bicycle equipment.
They produce both individual and complete solutions for bicycle lighting.
Brands have been earning their names for many years, the product comes with quality, taking into account the many operational features on the bike.
The cost is relatively high. However, it is a specialized product that makes life much easier for the cyclist.
A series of devices with radar connected to the rear lamp. Thanks to the radar, the lamp lights up brighter if a car approaches the cyclist from behind. If there is also a bicycle computer Garmin Edge, it can display information about the road situation.
Headlamps with a hub dynamo
On bicycles equipped with a hub dynamo (converts the rotation of the wheel into electricity), you can connect a headlight to it and forget about changing batteries and recharging. The headlight stays on all the time you’re moving, and the battery is enough to keep the light on during short stops as well. Ideal for city bikes. Not suitable for athletes, because of the loss of power in the hub and the high weight.
Built-in rechargeable battery or batteries
Usually devices with a battery are more powerful and more expensive, the batteries have one advantage – if they run out, you can buy them in any store and quickly replace.
Actually, from the name it is clear. It uses the USB protocol for charging, rather than any power supply of its own. Thanks to this, you can even charge on the go from a flash bank. There are no disadvantages. Some models also have a function of “reverse charging”, that is, you can use the flashlight as a Vibrabank, also may come in handy. It is clear that flashlights with batteries 18650 or batteries can not be charged via USB.
Remote Flashlight Control Box
Allows you to put the on/off/mode change buttons in a convenient place for pressing. Sometimes there is also a button to activate an amplified mode, allowing you to kind of flash the high beam.
Usually measured by luminous flux in lumens (lm), or illuminance in lux (lx). Often this value is written in the name of the headlight or is indicated on the box. We will not describe the physical parameters of the measurements, but for example let us say that 1000 lumens is the dipped beam of a car and 400 lumens is incandescent lamp with 40 Watt rating. But in general, the parameter is conditional, it is much more important how the light flux is directed and adjusted.