Strength of the light
The strength of the light is measured in lumens. It is suggested that the front handlebar light be 2000 lumens plus. This light is essential for lighting the trail. To assist the handlebar light it is beneficial to have a front helmet light 800 lumen plus to light up the surrounding environment.
If you ride in rain or could be caught out in the weather then your bike lights should be waterproof.
Rechargeable and length of time on maximum output
A rechargeable light requires no disposable batteries. The battery is recharged after every use. Make sure the battery will meet your mountain biking requirements. How long will you ride in the dark for? Make sure the battery will provide you the maximum or required lumens for this length of time. You do not want to be caught out without light.
Size and Weight
These lights need to be attached to your bike so size and weight is important. You will need space on the bike to attach the light (if an integrated light) or light and battery if they come separately.
If you attach your light to your helmet then considering the weight and size is important. Too much weight and size would be uncomfortable.
Attachment of the Lights
It is unlikely you will want these lights permanently attached to your bike or helmet so a flexible attachment to allow ease of attaching onto and off the bike when you are going for a night mountain bike ride. A flexible attachment also means these lights can easily be shared by other family members
Where should you attach the lights? Front lights. The handlebars. For the ultimate visibility you can vertically stack your front – one on the helmet and one on the handlebars. Rear Lights – seatpost – so other bikers are aware of you.
For more information see: Attaching Bike Lights
Modes and Settings
Bike Lights often have different modes. Identify the length of light time each mode gives you. Use your modes well to maximise the length of light time if required.
Make your purchase a success…
Don’t run out of light
Charge your lights after every use. These lights will generally use a Lithium ion battery. These batteries will not deterioate with regular charging.
Get familiar with different modes
These light will come with different modes and strength output. Understand when to use the different strengths and modes so you can maximise your battery life.