4th September 2018

What bicycle lights do I need?

LAST UPDATED 26 August 2019

What bicycle lights do I need? | Bike lights

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8 comments on “What bicycle lights do I need?

  1. Matt Hodges on

    Your guidance appears helpful but unfortunately it is not legally very sound in England. I don’t know about any differences in Scottish law.
    Take a look at http://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-library/regulations/lighting-regulations
    While I am sure following your guidance would avert any attention from the police it could leave you in a very vulnerable position if you are involved in an accident. An insurance company may well try to get out of paying if your lights do not meet the strict legal requirements. If you injure someone the police and prosecution lawyers may well use the fact that your bike is not strictly legal to prosecute for “furious and wanton driving” as in the regent London case against Alliston.

    Reply
    • Web Master on

      Hi Matt, thanks for your comment. All of the lights we stock (i.e. all of the lights included in the links above) are CE certified and legally sound in the event of an incident. As for what lawyers and insurance companies might say, they are famously slippery and we won’t attempt to speak on their behalf in terms of what they would consider an irresponsible, ‘wanton and furious’ bike light.

      Reply
      • MJ Ray on

        You don’t sell any lights which are sufficient to comply with the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations, do you? Last time I checked, you only sold so-called “additional” lights which must be used with a BS / K-marked or equivalent European standard light. I’ve asked you to start selling RVLR-ready lights such as the Cateye GVolt or any of the numerous K-marked lights from the likes of B+M, Axa and so on, mostly without reasonable reply. To keep promoting inadequate lights without warning people they won’t be legal to ride on roads without further action doesn’t seem very transparent and open… in other words, not very co-op, is it?

        Reply
        • Web Master on

          Hi MJ, the legality or otherwise of bicycle lights is indeed a minefield. All our lights are CE certified which indicate their conformity to health, safety and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area. They are the lights that we use on our own bicycles, and as a Co-op we continue to promote safe, legal cycling. We take our lead from the common sense approach of Cycling UK:

          ‘Provided you show some kind of white light in front and red behind, you are unlikely to be challenged.’ See full article: http://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-library/regulations/lighting-regulations

          Reply
          • MJ Ray on

            In other words, you’re promoting safe-but-unlikely-to-be-legal cycling. That’s fine but you really ought to be clear that the law says we need better lights than you sell. CE marking doesn’t meant they comply with UK lighting regulations

          • Web Master on

            Hi MJ, this from our Accessories Buyer James: The technology has moved faster than the legal standards, which are outdated. Virtually all of the lights in the market today are more visible than the lights which meet the standards. The lights which we sell are certainly above those standards.

  2. Chris Laughton on

    I see you are advocating ‘pulsing’ lights aka as flashing or strobing. In principle this is serious problem according to this BBC guidance “…When using stroboscopic lighting effects, a key concern must be safety. A proportion of people with photo-sensitive epilepsy may be affected by strobe lighting, and the effect may also produce undesirable sensations amongst the general population if used without due regard. Certain people with epilepsy and photosensitivity may suffer a seizure if exposed to flashing or strobe lighting. Disturbed vision leading to trips or falls.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/…/aztopics/strobe-lighting.html

    In Germany, the road traffic permit regulations, Straßenverkehrszulassungsordnung (abbreviated StVZO) appear in translation to forbid flashing lights on bicycles due to reduction of distance estimation.

    It’s one thing to sell flashing bike lights but its another to advocate using them. It would be nice to see the Ed Bike Co-op taking a more considerate lead on this issue.

    Reply
    • Web Master on

      Hi Chris, following the 2005 amendment to The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations it is now also legal (and we assume by that, safe) to have a flashing light on a pedal bike as long as it flashes between 60 and 240 times per minute.

      Reply

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