How To Use Bike Lights – GCN's Guide To Lighting

How To Use Bike Lights – GCN's Guide To Lighting

Bike lights are essential if you’re cycling at night and in gloomy weather.
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Being safe is key so bicycle lights and reflective clothing are essential considerations if you’re cycling in the winter or at night. GCN’s guide to winter lighting takes you through the different types of bike lights available an,d clothing and lighting choices to ensure that you are visible to other traffic and stay as safe as possible on or off-road.

Music: Moonlit Sailor – Earls Court:

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The Global Cycling Network puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic summit of the Stelvio to the epic trails of Fort William, Scotland, everywhere there is pavé or dirt, world-class racing, and pro riders, we will be there bringing you all the action, essential analysis and unparalleled access every week, every month, and every year.

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Music – licensed by Cue Songs


  1. Nick H on August 8, 2019 at 1:58 am

    I know you’re heavily tilted toward road cycling, but it would be cool if you could also talk about lights powered by dynamo hubs. Having gone through a long string of not-bright-enough headlights, I’m skeptical that any battery-powered light can help me see where it’s really dark for more than a couple of hours.

  2. Matthew Wyatt on August 8, 2019 at 1:58 am

    What wheels does (I’ve forgotten his name sorry!) the guy with the Raleigh have? Thanks!

  3. LEXPIX on August 8, 2019 at 2:01 am

    One thing I notice about lights that is hardly mentioned is the color temperature of the lights.  For me a more white neutral light renders colors and objects better than the flatter bluish lights found on most lights.  I guess an "angry blue" tint is good for being seen, which most low power lights are, but to see, I wish manufacturers would use warmer LEDs, or even a High CRI emitter array. 

  4. Øyvind on August 8, 2019 at 2:01 am

    You are cycling at the wrong side of the road!! crazy Brits..
    There is a wrong side of the road, and a right one… How is it possible to choose the wrong one when your own language explains which side of the road is the right one??

  5. James on August 8, 2019 at 2:02 am

    awesome content as usual guys 🙂

  6. Dr Chunky Biscuit on August 8, 2019 at 2:03 am

    They should ban the flashing lights. They’re a bloody nightmare.

  7. jay on August 8, 2019 at 2:03 am

    Some nice badly wrapped handle bars there at :54 seconds.

  8. RolexDSSD on August 8, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Lupine, gloworm, dinotte, or gemini!!

  9. PepeBetox on August 8, 2019 at 2:07 am

    oosom cultchure

  10. Raymond Kelly on August 8, 2019 at 2:07 am

    i go for one under the saddle and one on each of the seat stays low down, from a distance of ten car lengths i get a nice triangle of red light, that has been complimented by police, and even bus and taxi drivers…

  11. 46Bax on August 8, 2019 at 2:10 am

    Dang the places they were cycling were really cool!
    You won’t see that in Belgium 🙂

  12. Pook365 on August 8, 2019 at 2:11 am

    As someone else mentioned, rear reflectors attached to the bike are a legal requirement, as are reflectors on pedals.

  13. ARIEL LEVIN on August 8, 2019 at 2:11 am

    this is an excellent Video, But what about the brightest rear light or the most visible rear.

  14. Doug Calder on August 8, 2019 at 2:12 am

    I have attached a tail light to my helmet with a Velcro band through the vents. The elevated difference and head movement seems to give the autos more time to see me. Plus, it acts like a subconscious turn signal if a driver were to put any effort into paying attention.

  15. Majica Cycle Cam on August 8, 2019 at 2:16 am

    It’s annoying when people use lights designed to light your way as "be seen" lights. They are far too bright when angled up and shining straight into people’s eyes. They can blind drivers, stop them seeing you and even worse stop them seeing the road behind you. Just as dangerous as no lights if you ask me.
    You only need some relatively small flashing LED lights for the "be seen" part.

  16. ivanabraham on August 8, 2019 at 2:18 am

    I was commuting 10km to and from my workplace in an awfull bike-hating city in Germany for 12 years. First I took a regular light, accepted by the german law. Just like a wet match in a dark celler. Nobody noticed me. Then I bought a better light, so everybody could see me, but still knowing I was just a cyclist. So everybody was pretending to not see me. Then I bought a real super bright mega light, imported as "camping light" to make the selling legal. The effect was just staggering. From one day to another I could just go on every street even in darkness and was yield right of way. Nobody was crashing being blinded, thats bullshit. Ever seen the headlights of an SUV? Make it bright and make it even flash! Be visible and make it home safely!

  17. stefis6 on August 8, 2019 at 2:18 am

    Helpful review. I would suggest never to rely on a single flashing light. Always pair them with one that is on constantly. As a driver and a cyclist, I have found that the flashing light makes the distance to the rear of the cyclist difficult to judge from a driver’s point of view, especially in wet weather, even though it catches the eye.

  18. Adrian Brown on August 8, 2019 at 2:21 am

    These light are great

  19. DFDalton1962 on August 8, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I want to use a handlebar light for use at dusk on trail rides. I tried one that seemed perfect, but whenever I turned it on it interfered with my Cat Eye Strada wireless cycling computer (mounted on the handlebar stem). I tried several positions for the light, but it’s a no-go. I really don’t want to buy a wired computer, and I do not want to wear a light on my head. Are there any lights of @ 400 lumens that are specifically designed to work in close proximity to a wiress cycling computer?  Thanks in advance for any advice. 

  20. fahim113 on August 8, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Also wearing your all black team sky kit at night is a no no!

  21. m. ab on August 8, 2019 at 2:27 am

    If you ride on the middle of a lane then you deserve to be driven over. There is no reason to ride in the middle of a lane and take exces space. Its asking for trouble as you are blocking the whole lane when the space you really need is just the side. Your not a car and you don’t need the same space. Ride safe and don’t give cyclists a bad name.

  22. Gnawer Shreth on August 8, 2019 at 2:29 am

    Since you guys have a global audience, you might want to mention that laws vary from country to country. You could easily be using lights and still get fined here in Denmark for example. Most older lights are now illegal for shops to sell at all, since they don’t meet the new requirements.
    Blinking lights must blink at least 120 times per minute, lights have to be visible from an 80 degree angle, lights have to be securely mounted so they don’t change position while you’re riding, and then there’s a minimum brightness level, the fact that you have to turn them on if it’s foggy, if heavy rain limits the visibility etc. etc. They aren’t messing around here anymore. :/

  23. Maciej Moczynski on August 8, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Lezyne zecto pro .. over 100 lumens small and bright charged over usb. Believe me it is brighter then most car’ beams. £45 …. Well worth it.

  24. 35627819028353729-4984653 on August 8, 2019 at 2:31 am

    I commute on unlit country roads during peak traffic times. I want the best rear light possible so I can be seen. Any recommendations?

  25. Europa 1 on August 8, 2019 at 2:32 am

    You didn’t have a red rear reflector as per the law in uk.

  26. Paul Pardee on August 8, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Flashing tail lights are essential, IMO. They have been shown to catch drunk drivers’ attention better than static lights, and they are far more visible even to attentive drivers.

  27. Hatem Kotb on August 8, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Thank you for introducing such a nice song to my playlist 🙂
    And for the useful tips as usual of course!

  28. Jason Stewart on August 8, 2019 at 2:39 am

    Got a moon shield as my rear light. Very good light soo bright! Well worth the £40 price

  29. kangsterizer on August 8, 2019 at 2:41 am

    indeed some of the extremely bright lights blind drivers and other bikes, making em dangerous on the road.

  30. Berth Ljunggren on August 8, 2019 at 2:45 am

    Using a Exposure – MaXx D Mk 7 for seeing and seesense elite for being seen 🙂

  31. Dmitry Nikitin on August 8, 2019 at 2:47 am

    It looks like the guys in the video are riding in Cyprus (left-hand side).

  32. Dylan Kim on August 8, 2019 at 2:50 am

    what brand was the horizontal light charging in the video?

  33. beeble2003 on August 8, 2019 at 2:51 am

    Disappointing that you don’t mention the importance of not blinding oncoming traffic. Many modern front lights are very capable of doing that, and they need to be adjusted so they don’t. A few weeks ago, I was cycling home and I yelled at somebody coming the other way, "Your front light is blinding me!" His response was, "Good!" WTF?

  34. Cycle.girl123 on August 8, 2019 at 2:51 am

    I bought 2 lights for 99p I’m well chuffed

  35. AWESOMEam on August 8, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Those flashing lights are so frustrating and illegal here in the Netherlands

  36. Ben Moran on August 8, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Good ideas I have 4 small lights

  37. James Redgrove on August 8, 2019 at 2:53 am

    What is the best configuration/mode to use when riding at night? Should I use a flash mode or steady mode front and back? I run a cateye rapid X front and rear as ‘be seen’ lights, a Moon spot light as a ‘to see light’ on the front and a Moon Shield as a second ‘be seen light’ on the rear.

  38. Thomas Gulbrandsen on August 8, 2019 at 2:53 am


  39. Liam A on August 8, 2019 at 2:53 am

    There’s no price on safety! Be sure not to learn that the hard way.

  40. Chris - on August 8, 2019 at 2:53 am

    Please consider local or national lighting laws. In the Netherlands for instance the fine for having any blinking light at all is €55,- the same as having no or poor lighting.