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Bike lights test

Bike lights test

Updated 10 October 2016 11:57am

In the market for a new set of bike lights? Check out the best on the market from our most recent test.

High visibility is your best bet for safe cycling, running and walking in low light conditions.

Wear bright clothing during the daytime hours and reflective material after dark, to be safe and be seen.

Applying reflective tape to your backpack, ankles, helmet or bike is a simple and effective way to increase your visibility when the days are shorter.

If you are a Wellington region resident, and would like some reflective tape, pop into our reception at Shed 39, Harbour Quays or send a stamped self addressed envelope to:

Sustainable Transport Team
Greater Wellington Regional Council
PO Box 11646

Rules and lights test results

The law requires cyclists to use front and rear lights during the hours of darkness. We recommend two lights front and two lights rear, one steady and one flashing in each direction. Please take care not to blind other people with your headlight, particularly on shared paths.

Not all lights are created equally. Greater Wellington tested a selection of lights (all under $100) using a Sekonic Illuminometer.

We also checked out 20 reflective garments to see how effective they are at getting drivers' attention. The brighter the lights of the approaching vehicle, the brighter the reflector should look to the driver.

Snazz up your side-on visibility

Most accidents occur during turning manoeuvres – being seen by vehicles turning across your path is vital, so we tested the lights from 0 to 45 degree angles.

If you do not have pedal reflectors, you must wear reflective material when riding at night. Increase your side-on visibility with reflectors or lights on your spokes, and tyres with reflective side walls.