Bicycle lighting isn't just there to keep you safe, it's also the law! By law you are required to have a front and rear light (and, did you know? reflective tape on your bike too!). So, how do you buy a light system for your bike? It's pretty easy. You just answer the following questions:
LIGHTING TO KEEP YOU SAFE
DO YOU HATE
Not the kind of person who remembers to charge or replace batteries? We understand! A dynamo light offers permanent, theft-resistant lighting that casts a powerful beam so that you can see and be seen.
DO YOU WANT TO BE SEEN (BUT NOT SEE)?
Big cities have a lot of light pollution, so it's usually easy to see where you're going. A USB chargeable light or regular battery light is all you need to let drivers know you're ahead or behind, and to keep yourself safe.
WHAT ABOUT DAYTIME RUNNING LIGHTS?
Just like on car, daytime running lights are a smart idea. The best light for this is a dynamo. It runs off your front wheel, uses LED bulbs - which last forever - and you basically never need to turn the light off!
OK, a dynamo light is definitely doing things right, but they are pricey. If budget is an obstacle, we have tons of super bright USB lights to keep you safe. Just remember to take them off when parked!
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LUX AND LUMENS?
Aha! Good question!
If you're the type of rider who wants to see and be seen, you need to care about headlight beams - whether battery or dynamo.
Most lighting companies in the battery market publish Lumens for their headlight beams. In fact, there has become a "lumens war" between different companies trying to outdo each other for "lumens per dollar."
But, lumens aren't a good empirical measure of brightnessl. For instance, you can have very high powered light emission (lumens) with very poor intensity measured at the object over distance (LUX). Speaking empirically, more lumens do not correlate to more light visible, but more LUX does.
Most of our brands use LUX, not Lumens. The one exception? Supernova. And you'll have to take it on testimony that Supernova - considered the best in the business - are bright!
If you look carefully at the picture you will see that the front hub looks a bit bigger than normal. That's the dynamo! It produces electricity while you ride, powering the front and rear lights. Today's dynamos are not like your grandma's old "bottle generator" which rubbed against the tire and slowed you down. Nope, these are built into the hub and run with almost zero friction. We specialize in SP Dynamo hubs, the lightest, lowest drag (and economical) hubs on the market. Buying a dynamo can be tricky, and we're here to help. For any questions please email email@example.com.
Battery lighting is the economical way to keep yourself safe at night. Luckily, battery lighting has come a long ways. Todays bulbs are all LED, meaning you can get a ton of run-time with less replacement or charges between. Generally, when choosing a battery light consider whether you want to see or be seen. Lights like the Eyro (above) allow both, while lights like the Arco ensure you're visible. In the city, the other concern is theft. Lights like the Eyro (above) bolt to the bike while lights like the Arco remove (perhaps too) quickly.
E-bike lighting connects to the battery on any quality e-bike (e-bikes that use Shimano, Bosch, or Yamaha motors) and run off the battery. LED bulbs offer massive night-time beams with very little battery consumption, meaning you can run these lights for safety during the day too. Like our dynamo lighting, we specialize in Europe's top brands, Supernova, Busch and Muller, Herrmans and Spanninga - all designed with engineered beams that offer remarkable intensity, peripheral vision (width) and reduced intensity 'cut-outs' at the top of the beam for oncoming traffic
"Bolted to your frame, dynamo lights are far less desirable to thieves. After your initial costs you may even save money by no longer having to purchase new lights, batteries, or pay fines for forgetting your bicycle lights. Dynamo systems make lighting an integral part of your bicycle. Can you imagine driving a car with strapped-on or half-charged lights?"
FEB 16, 2015
LET'S MOVE TO THE LIGHTS!
Battery lights aren't what they used to be. Unlike the halogen battery lights of yesteryear, today's battery lights use LED's, which offer high intensity with very low battery consumption. We import battery lights from Busch & Muller in Germany and Spanninga in the Netherlands. With decades of ear-to-the-ground experience, these companies know what they're doing. Best of all, these companies take the city cyclist as their main muse. Whereas most of the North American bike industry makes night lighting for mountain bikers, Spanninga and Busch and Muller take great care to make safe - even theft-resistant - lights for those who bike as transportation.
THEFT-RESISTANT OPTIONS - BATTERY
B&M TOPLIGHT 2C USB
Requires an EU rack with a 50-80mm horizontal interface (any Racktime rack will do). The Toplight looks permanent but removes from the clamp stealthily for USB charging.
Requires an EU rack with a 50-80mm horizontal interface (any Racktime rack will do). The Elips bolts directly to the rack and provides 60 hours of light with 2 AA batteries (included)
REMOVEABLE BATTERY SYSTEMS
A car is sold with headlights, why isn't your bike? If you are the type of city cyclist who takes due diligence and safety seriously, there is no better option than a dynamo light. They bolt onto your bike, making them theft-resistant. They have remarkable power and highly engineered beams, making them the safest option for seeing at night. They all feature 'stand light' capacitors, so when your stopped the light continues to run on stored charge. They add extra safety in the daytime, as a battery-free daytime running light. And finally, they operate with a minimum of drag - as much a part of your bike as your seat, handlebars or frame. Looking for a bike that already is dynamo equipped? Look at our Fahrradmanufaktur bikes - made in Germany. Buying a dynamo can be tricky, and we're here to help. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE HUB OF THE SYSTEM
SHUTTER PRECISION (SP DYNAMO)
Once a cult object loved for its economy and super lightweight, low drag design - SP Dynamo has quickly become a mainstream success, providing mega-companies like Shimano with some heavy competition. Whereas Shimano systems tend to use heavy steel shells, the SP Dynamo hubs are lightweight aluminum. And, where you really feel the drag on a Shimano hub - especially when the light is on - the SP hubs are very low drag, whether on or off. The reason why SP became cult objects? They are nearly the same price as Shimano, and far far better.
SP makes hubs in nearly every axle configuration and for every type of disc brake (or no disc brake at all). They also make hubs for specific wheel sizes, making them a hit with Brompton or cargo bike owners. Learn more by clicking the link below. Having trouble figuring out which hub is for you? Email email@example.com, our dynamo expert!
SUPERNOVA FRONT LIGHTS
Famous for being the most durable dynamo lights on the market - especially in winter conditions - Supernova is the choice of commuters and performance athletes - especially for off-road 24 hour events. The CNC'd aluminum bodies sustain cold weather and are remarkably impact resistant. Please note: Supernova uses Lumens rather than LUX. Made in Gundelfingen, Germany. NOTE: SUPERNOVA LIGHTS ONLY WORK WITH SUPERNOVA LIGHTS AND NOT CROSS-PLATFORM!
BUSCH & MULLER FRONT LIGHTS
Made in Meinerzhagen, Germany - Busch and Muller is the largest and most reputable light manufacturer on the planet. Famous for their engineered optics, the beams are all as wide as they are intense, and all are subject to the comprehensive German bicycle Straßenverkehrszulassungsordnung regulations, meaning they have a special cut out in the beam so that drivers or other oncoming cyclists won't go blind.
HERRMANS & SPANNINGA FRONT LIGHTS
Looking for the dark horse of dynamo lights? Or some high quality affordable options? Look no further than Herrmans of Finland, a company famous for industrial mining equipment, who incorporate automobile projection beam technology. Meanwhile, Spanning from Holland is the first choice of most European manufacturers, and you can find their lights on most EU brands. With incredible value, the Spanninga lights give you all the beam you need in light-polluted urban environments, and are a quality, economical solution.
REAR LIGHTS - WHICH ONE?
Whereas most front lights are mounted on the front fork (you can mount them on the handlebars too, we carry most brackets), the rear light has several more options, including your seatpost, rear rack, or fenders.
However, this is where things can get tricky. To mount a rear light on the rear rack, you must use an ISO certified EU rack that uses a 50-80mm horizontal interface, which is standard in Europe but not in North America. All Racktime or Tubus racks use such a system.
For fender mounted lighting you often have to drill out a hole in the fender and we recommend professional installation since the wiring has to run up the inside of the fender.
There are some great new options available for the seatpost too, whether you use a purpose-built seatpost light or a clamp that attaches to your seat rails. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, our dynamo expert!
Most e-bikes often come with lights, but usually they aren't all that bright, especially if you're riding in the depths of the dark night (or want uncompromising safety). We import e-bike lighting from Supernova, Busch & Muller, Spanninga and Herrmans - all representing the very best of Europe. These lights all work with quality e-bike systems - including systems from Bosch, Yamaha, or Shimano. For info, email email@example.com.