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Biking at Night: Choosing a Bike Light


It’s been getting darker earlier every day, and we’ve still got a few weeks to go until the winter solstice — and even after that, a few more months until our commutes home will be in the sun!

Lights for your bike are not only critical for safety: they’re required by law in Massachusetts and many other cities and states in the country. And while yes, technically you could use reflectors, we strongly recommend proper bike lights.

So, how to choose?

Invest in Safety

While we are happy to get you a pair of Escapade Frog Lights for emergency/backup situations, we strongly recommend investing in a proper front and tail light, with good side lighting and an appropriate amount of lumens, or brightness.


Our front lights start at 350 lumens, which is the minimum we’d recommend for biking in the city. If you’re looking to go bike some trails, or your commute takes you farther than the streetlights go, we recommend jumping up to a 500 or 700 lumen light for extra battery life as well as brightness.

On the rear light side of things, our lights begin at 50 lumens and go all the way up to 250.

Side Lighting

Unfortunately, many bike/car crashes occur from the side, which is why it’s important to choose lights that have good side lighting — or lights that are easily visible when someone’s looking at the light perpendicular to the main beam.

For the the best in side lighting, we recommend Light and Motion lights, which have the added benefit of being some of the most waterproof lights on the market.

If you’re looking for an extra special rear lighting situation, check out the Niterider Sentinel, which creates a lighted “lane” to keep you extra safe on the road:

Finally, Keep ’em Charged!

Last but not least, a great light is no good if it isn’t charged when you need it! We recommend taking your lights off your bike in the morning and charging them at your desk so you’ll be good to go when it’s time to head home.

If you’ve got any other questions, give us a call or swing by the shop, Tue-Sat 9-6, and our staff will be happy to get you the right light for your ride.

Stay bright and safe out there!