What you need to know about daylight visibility in bike lights
People often think that riding on a well-lit road during the daytime is 100% safer than driving at night.
We hate to burst your bubble, but this doesn't seem right.
Sure enough, biking on the road with proper lamp posts and street lights adds another layer of safety to all road users, including bikers. But this doesn't guarantee absolute safety. You can still get into a major road accident that can cost your life.
How can you get into an accident in the daytime?
Bikers become unnoticeable in a sea of road users during the daytime.
According to researchers, most roads get their peak traffic at 7 AM. This doesn't just mean cars–it includes vans, buses, trucks, motorcycles, and other types of vehicles with people speeding through their work.
Bikers can easily be concealed by a van or a bus from the sight of other road users. No matter how careful bikers are, they can still catch people by surprise when they go past their vehicles–especially the larger ones. And with just one wrong turn of a vehicle, bikers can get into fatal crashes.
The same goes with a well-lit road at night. Bike lights are usually too subtle compared to the front lights of cars and other vehicles. They can also easily be washed out by bright streetlights.
Furthermore, varying light environments can also be hazardous for bikers. According to experts, an average biker rides 1-2 hours a day. This includes cycling through the morning, evening, twilight, and dawn, all of which have contrasting light setups. Aside from this, an average biker is likely to pass through dark tunnels into well-lit streets and encounter weather disturbances now and then.
What makes this dangerous? When your bike light doesn't automatically adjust to the varying light environment, it can cause inconvenience and accidents.
Imagine setting your light with low brightness since you expect to ride through well-lit roads. Then, suddenly, you needed to make a detour that required you to go through a dark bridge, or suddenly a storm got into your way. You would need to pull up to change your light's setting. And if you don't, you will have poor road visibility that can cause accidents.
The same goes when you're using ultra-bright lights on a well-lit road. When you get into a dark tunnel, your bright light can pierce through the eyes of other drivers. I can cause momentary blindness that can be fatal on the road.
This is why bikers need to get a bike light with daylight visibility and ambient light sensing. These features allow you to conveniently charge your bike light setting depending on your light environment. This way, you can get complete road visibility anytime and anywhere and avoid fatal road crashes.
My bike lights are super bright. Can this be used during the daytime?
Here's the truth: ultra-bright lights are useless during daytime and on well-lit roads, no matter how powerful they may seem.
Our studies show that cycling with 1500+ lumens during daytime and well-lit roads is useless. This is because no matter how bright your light is, the human eye can only perceive a certain amount of light during the daytime. This means no matter how intense your bike light is, it's inconceivable to the human eye.
Studies have shown that the sweet spot for visibility in all daytime and conditions is around 1100 lumens. This is because visibility percentage plateaus around 950 lumens during sunny days.
Aside from this, you have to understand that the higher the lumens rating is, the higher the power consumption of the bike light is. In short, using a bike light on its maximum lumen output rapidly drains its batteries, which in return gives you less cycling time.
What is daylight visibility?
Daylight visibility in bike lights is usually associated with pulsing and flashing lights. But you'll be surprised that 64% of road users flag this as inappropriate lighting for roads. It causes confusion among road users and even triggers headaches and seizures for people with photosensitivity.
So, what is the best way to achieve visibility during daylight hours?
It's all about the optics.
The Total Internal Reflection technology or TIR is a state-of-the-art engineered optics that adequately distributes light in various directions, thus increasing your capacity to see and be seen on the road. This is achieved using 3 LED lights instead of one for wide light projection.
TIR technology improves road visibility by 15% no matter the lighting environment, whether you're driving through tunnels, lousy weather, a well-lit road, or alongside more oversized vehicles on a busy road.
Aside from daylight visibility, it's also essential to have a bike light with ambient light sensing for optimal ride safety.
What is ambient light sensing?
Ambient light technology is made of ambient light sensors called photodetectors that automatically adjust the brightness level of a specific light source based on its environment. It's currently present on smartphones and computers, so when you notice that your screen automatically dims during nighttime, it means that the ambient light sensors are triggered.
Fortunately, this ambient light technology is already present in intelligent bike lights.
With ambient light sensing on your bike lights, you don't have to pull over to adjust the brightness of your lights. You can go through dark tunnels and into well-lit roads seamlessly. It can also ensure road safety, preventing blindness and confusion among other road users.
Furthermore, the dynamic ambient light technology improves battery life by 350% compared to ultra-bright lights as it lowers the luminous intensity of the light when not needed. In effect, it also increases the longevity of your light's battery as it prevents draining.
So the next time you're looking for a bike light, don't just look for high brightness. Look for smart technologies that will make a difference in your biking experience–such as daylight visibility and ambient light sensing!