How to Choose the Safest Lights for Your Electric Bike or Scooter


Last Updated on March 18, 2021

Are you planning to ride your electric scooter or electric bike after dark regularly?  In that case, you should have an excellent set of lights. Indeed, most US states have laws that require riders to use white lights at the front and red lights at the rear side.

Interestingly, traffic authorities have established that riders who don’t do this endanger others’ lives since other road users cannot clearly see them.

Such bike lights are essential for those who regularly ride late hours, especially in the winter and autumn. Even during the daytime, having the right set of lights can help you remain visible even when the sun’s bright.

Most Electric Scooters and E-bikes Use Poor Built-in Lights

After random tests, experts have observed that few electric scooters have suitable built-in lights. Instead, the following trouble points have been clearly established:

Most vehicles (Bikes or Scooters) have:

  • Poor quality optics.
  • Underpowered LEDs.
  • Low mounted lights.

Moreover, many bikes have lights that are mounted too low. Talking about designs and aesthetics, these might look cool. Regardless, what does it actually mean? It merely means most of the light is falling to the ground- probably just a short distance in front of the rider. As a rider, you have only a few feet of illumination that can help you see the road. When speeding in this situation, it’s virtually impossible to avoid the common road hazards; this is dangerous!

Most electric scooter lights are made of poor-quality optics. Since the lenses are of poor quality, the light beam emitted is loosely projected and does not spread out adequately to other road users. Such lights will appear dim, making it difficult for the rider to be seen. Since the LED sources are generally underpowered, the life of the rider is put at risk.

Varieties of Lights Powered By the Scooter or E-Bike Battery

There are a few types of lights that you can always connect and use with your ebike battery. Also, there are various models of these; every rider should know about them.

In the first place, how do these gadgets work? Many ebike lighting systems generally work with 6 volts of DC power. Overall, we have 24, 36, and 48-volt ebike batteries. We have a few other voltage varieties, but these are more common.

Keep in mind that ebike lights usually run from DC power rather than AC. This information is important since certain lights can only run using AC power and won’t be compatible with your ordinary ebike.

Choose From High-Quality E-Bike Light Brands

Currently, in the US, several brands traditionally manufacture the best electric bike lights.

Here are the most common:

  • Busch & Müller: This German-made brand is truly high quality. Many major QEM companies trust them for their value.
  • Light & Motion: This brand is made in the US by a renowned manufacturer. The company produces 500, 800, and 1200 Lumen lights.
  • SON (Schmidt Original Nabendynamo): This brand is made in Germany by a company that produces some of the highest-quality dynamos. A DC version of this is available for ebike users.
  • Supernova: This is a renowned gold-standard bike lights manufacturer. Supernova is an authentic German gemstone. Its products are unquestionable and reliable.

Here Are Essential Things to Consider When Selecting Lights for Your Electric Bike or Scooter

Extra-wide beam

Why did you choose a dedicated bike light rather than a flashlight holster? Most people do this to have a wide-angle beam. Such a beam will direct a large portion of the brightness to the ground, just in front. Of course, in this way, you can see ahead without the obstacles of incoming traffic. As a rule, flashlight beams usually deliver an even beam cast across a circular area. This is good for overall visibility for both the rider and others.

Daytime visibility

Most early studies generally indicate that daytime running lights may help guard against accidents. Regardless, other studies have demonstrated that a light intensity of approximately 200 lumens is bright enough for everyone to notice during the day. It was also shown that flashing modes are way more conspicuous than pulsating or solid modes.

Waterproofing

The first entity to release a completely submersible IP67 commuter light for bikes was Light & Motion. This happened with its urban series. Today, virtually every notable light maker will offer you waterproofing for free! Why should you invest in a lighting system that is not wholly waterproof merely on precautionary grounds?  There’s no need.

Strobe and Pulsing Patterns

Solid beams are generally crucial for lighting the path in front. They can also blend into the current lightscape. Nevertheless, note that flashing modes will help you stand out but won’t assist you to see. If you’re riding on urban roads, it’s better to use a dynamic lighting mode. This will help maintain a steadily conspicuous beam. These types of lighting modes have also been proven to enhance the rider’s safety.

Last-Mode Memory

It’s essential to have more modes for the purpose of versatility. However, it can be annoying to be forced to shuffle through loads of settings, trying to identify what you want. Fortunately, the best lights in the market can automatically recall and default to the Last Used mode. This saves you from repeating the procedure every time.

Lumens and Power

Lumens are the standard measure to determine the power of light. Thus, a lumen is essentially a unit of visible light. Considering that modern LEDs generally require less energy, it has become redundant to express their power in watts. Instead, it’s better to use this standard for comparison: A bulb of 100 w incandescent generally emits 1600 lumens. This is more reliable and accurate.

With this standard, when you pay more, you get more lumens. Since lumens burn up the charge, this means you will need a bigger battery if you want to use high lumen light for a long time. It also means you need a sight-light when riding your ebike on lit roads. A good standard for sufficient visibility when riding on lit roads is 100 lumens. 300+ lumens shows you more of the ground ahead, and 20-30 lumens is incredible for rear visibility.

Battery Life and Charging

Usually, the flash-function is excellent for your rear light. However, you should consider the effectiveness of your lamp lights, especially if you commute with your bike using front and rear lights. If the side-lighting is right, you’ll be more visible from wider angles, especially from turning vehicles.

Also, how many flash settings does your light have? What are the run-times on a single charge or set of batteries? Do you have a rechargeable power source? These are crucial questions that you must answer. Further, does the battery need a special charger rather than the USB? Make sure you know this beforehand.

Versatile and Easy-to-Use Mount

Note that various bike accessories tend to block the general mounting point, especially on rigid plastic mounts. In contrast, a strap-mount offers you the flexibility that will help you move the lights over to the unimpeded position (either on the rack stay or the seat stay). Keep this clearly in mind.

Scooter lights and Law

US law requires all riders to have active and passing lighting. What is active lighting? This simply means lights! What of passive lighting? This refers to things like reflective clothing and reflectors. The details of the law vary from one state to another. Nevertheless, you can understand it this way: During limited visibility conditions (for instance, between sunset and sunrise), the rider must have a forward-pointing white light and a backward-pointing backlight.

Final Thoughts

You can get some fantastic options for caring for personal safety while riding your electric scooter or bike. Some can make you conscious of approaching cars or trucks. Others will allow you to switch on various lights at the mere push of a button.

Keep this in mind: your safety is paramount. Make the best lighting choices that will make you enjoy your ride on that beloved electric scooter or bike while remaining 100 percent safe on the road.


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Liam Jaworski

Liam Jaworski

As lightweight electric transport develop, they are becoming more and more common around the world. We all want clean cities and safe driving. My goal is to provide you with clear, honest information about electric transport, innovations, and regulations in different countries, to make our common dream true. You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn, or contact me directly ride@sparse.cc

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