Can bike lights be too bright?
Having bike lights doesn't automatically guarantee your road safety. Like any other riding accessories, you have to have the appropriate bike lights for your riding habits and environment.
One of the common mistakes committed by bikers is always preferring the brightest bike light they can get. Bike lights aren't just about brightness. Sometimes, ultra-bright bike lights can cause more harm than good to the users.
What is the standard brightness of bike lights?
The standard brightness for bike lights depends on your riding habits and the usual places where you ride.
If you usually ride in the city during the daytime, you can go with 60 lumens and 100 during nighttime. However, if you're generally riding in trails, you need to have at least 600 lumens for daytime and 1000 for nighttime use.
Can bike lights be too bright?
Having a bike light with limited lighting features is one of the most common reasons for having bike lights that are too bright. This is why when choosing bike lights, it's highly recommended to prefer a bike light with various lighting features than the one with just high brightness.
Some bike lights only have one lighting level, which is mostly on their maximum output. You can't adjust it even though you're driving on a well-lit road.
The minimum requirement that you should consider in having a bike light has at least three adjustable levels. This will allow you to ride safely in almost all kinds of riding environments.
Lucky for you, there are already lots of bike lights with smart technology. One of the smart technologies you can already find in a bike light is the smart ambient feature. This smart ambient technology feature automatically detects the light level of your surroundings and adjusts the level of your brightness accordingly.
Say, for example, that you're riding in a very dark tunnel, which heightens the risk of blinding or startling someone with ultra-bright light; the smart ambient light will automatically lower the brightness level of your light. And once you have already got out of the tunnel where you would need more light visibility, it will automatically increase the volume of your bicycle light.
This ambient light technology doesn't just reduce the risk of having bike lights that are too bright, but it also gives you a very convenient ride. You don't have to pull up every once in a while to adjust your light setup!
Experts also suggest that bikers should veer away from using bike lights with numerous lighting patterns such as a burst or flashing lights. These lighting patterns don't contribute to the safety and road protection of bikers. In fact, they only cause confusion to other road users, which ultimately leads to accidents.
How to know if your bike lights are too bright?
There are many ways to know that it's time to replace your bike lights.
The best way to gauge the appropriateness of your bike light is its beam angle. The standard distance that your bike light should reach is a maximum of 200 meters. This is ample enough to let you see and be seen on the road. Any bike lights that exceed this level are considered to be too bright.
It would also be helpful if you stood in front of your bike once after switching on the light. When it blinds you, so will it do to everyone!
It would help if you also observed the reception of other road users as a form of road courtesy. When people tend to react negatively to your bike light, such as covering their face or honking their car horns, it's time to adjust your bike setting.
Thinking of buying a bike light, make sure that it's not too bright! When it comes to road protection and safety, bright is not enough!