The Case For Daytime Running Lights On Bikes | Bontrager Flare RT & Ion RT First Look

The Case For Daytime Running Lights On Bikes | Bontrager Flare RT & Ion RT First Look

Bike lights during dark hours is a no-brainer, but should we be running them during the daytime too? Recent studies suggest there could be a benefit, so we sent Emma and Chris to investigate!

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Running lights during daylight hours can help to significantly increase a cyclists visibility and therefore decrease accident risk. Research has suggested that the flash sequence of a light can also change the visibility of a cyclist, determining that a varying sequence is much more noticeable to the human eye. Overall, there is a strong case for running daytime lights and we suggest this is something all cyclists should think about.

Do you use lights during the day? Let us know in the comments. 👇

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Music: Epidemic Sound

Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto /

Edewaard DE, Fekety DK, Szubski EC, Tyrell RA (2018) The conspicuity benefits of bicycle taillights and high visibility clothing in daylight. Manuscript in preparation
Madsen JCO, Andersen T, Lahrmann HS (2013) Safety effects of permanent running lights for bicycles: a controlled experiment. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 50: 820-829.
Edewaard DE, Fekety DK, Szubski EC, Tyrell RA Rosopa PJ (2017) The conspicuity benefits of dynamic and static bicycle taillights at night. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 Annual Meeting.

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  1. Tuomo Lempiäinen on June 28, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Please don’t encourage people to use flashing lights. While they are especially disturbing in the dark, they annoy and blind other road users also during daytime. I got a nauseous feeling by just watching this video. Steady lights are visible enough, and they also make it easier to estimate the speed and direction of the cyclist.

  2. sherwin salvatori on June 28, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Is their a difference between day running lights and night lights please explain

  3. Ann Mahaney on June 28, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    Love these pieces for NRA now cycling and safety. Good work.

  4. David Ross miller on June 28, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    If is blindingly bright out, no but on any cloudy day I always use mine.

  5. Davie Robb on June 28, 2019 at 8:52 pm

    Really disappointed to see Emma passing kid so close, approx 3′. How can we ask cars to give us room when we can’t even give kids obviously learning to ride their bikes room.

  6. Manuel Salero on June 28, 2019 at 8:54 pm


  7. Chris Neesam on June 28, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    I’ve used daytime running lights ever since I got knocked off almost 4 years ago. To me as a motorist as well as a cyclist seeing a flashing light attracts you attention.

  8. Colin O Donnell on June 28, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Motorists have become accustomed to cars having running lights. When they are yielding at a junction they look to see if a car is coming, not to see if anything is coming. If I need a daytime running light to attract the attention of a lazy bad driver so be it

  9. JP Anon on June 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Won’t ride without lights. Been using Bontrager Flair R for years. Bright, exceptional battery life, recharges quickly. Also use Lezyne 1100XL macro drive (front) and Lezyne 180 micro drive (rear) lights when doing rides longer than 4 hours duration so I can switch from the first pair when they run low on power to a fresh pair of light. That means I’ve visible for up to 8 hours which covers most century rides for me. USB rechargeable lights are the only way to go.

  10. David Marks on June 28, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    Hmm I do not dispute the idea of daytime running lights, but I’d like to know if this video was funded by Bontrager. I know the research was, but was the video?

  11. Jack Duffy on June 28, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    How long do these small lite batter’s last for. One Day, two day’s.

  12. smthnss on June 28, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    I use them when I ride on the countryside, roads in forests and generally where theres hardly any traffic and car drivers tend to cut a curve or speed. I can see how those lights might be a distraction in city traffic though.

  13. Adrian Schmidt on June 28, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    Was this video sponsored by Bontrager? It was a great video, don’t get me wrong, but it really seemed like it was sponsored, yet I didn’t notice any information about that, nor anything in the description. I really like GCN, but when mixing sponsored material (what is in effect advertisement) and editorial content, I think it’s very important that you are completely transparent about what parts you are being paid for, and by whom – not just for the benefit of us viewers, but for your own credibility as well.

  14. goldenshowercap on June 28, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    I ride in suburban, extra-urban and rural areas – no cities. While I agree that many drivers need to up their game and pay attention, I also think that if you have lights, using them can only help. At dawn & dusk, when the sun is low (much longer periods during winter, I use them as blinky attention-getters. As it gets darker I’ll switch to pulsing/ steady rather than flashing. Obnoxious strobing for daylight; the farther away drivers can spot you, realise why other drivers are (hopefully) altering road position in order to pass, and plan their own overtake, the better.

  15. David Twitchell on June 28, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    the first thing you always see on a on coming car are the headlights (day or night). it’s just that simple. it’s exactly the same for bicycles.

  16. Carlos Moura on June 28, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Fancy lights vs cheap blinkers. That’s a good test…

  17. Xavier Gutiérrez Muñoz on June 28, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    In certain countries (e.g. in Switzerland) it is mandatory to ride with steady lights… not sure now if only at night or also in daytime…
    You can add flashing lights if you want but one of your lights needs to be steady on each end of the bike.

  18. MrStalch on June 28, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    I only got back to cycling last year after a good 20 years and the first thing I did when I got my new bike home, was fit hi intensity flashing led lights front and rear. I always use them in day time, in spite of the occasional well meaning (I’m sure?) clown telling me my "lights are flashing!". I find it hard to believe that anyone would argue against daytime lights on bikes other than for the sake of arguing.

  19. Rico Suave on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    This man has a 3 inch penis!

  20. MotorcycleBumbleBee on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Are their helmets chin straps loose? Why wear a loose helmet? Weird in a safety video?

  21. MrRedtaco11 on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    This is something that I have never thought of. I have been driving a car for almost 20 years and use to having DRL’s on my car, never would have figured for a bike. Now, on my bike I have a headlight and a tailight. I’ve never used both during the day because again, didn’t think about it. After watching this video I am going to be doing that. My new rear light should be in today and I am going to be using it on flash mode. I find that people can’t see me it seems when I am walking, couldn’t imagine how bad it’s going to be with me being an moving object during the day light.

  22. Mark Doney-Mccloud on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    How might effect someone with say epilepsy? Surely a flashing light might trigger them to have seizures?

  23. Grim Reaper on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    …you had me at Bontrager

  24. Cess Outdoors on June 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I see people in Germany at 5 am when is still dark with no light and dark clothing, my mouth drops!

  25. Mark Clements on June 28, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve been using flashing lights during the day since a number of cars and even other cyclists have pulled out in front of me after apparently not seeing me and touch wood (no rude comments please 😉) I haven’t had an incident since

  26. yosef Habib Hafiz on June 28, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    I don’t want to sound like an arse, but Bontrager’s DON’t say the Biometric is wearing lights on moving parts of the body, instead, wearing bright clothing/shoes on moving part of the body. It’s part of the ABC (Always on. Biometrics. Contrast.) safety awareness they advertise on their website. Worth a read for anyone who cares about safety.

  27. Ian Barton on June 28, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    From personal experience. I drive for a living and most cyclists lights’ are drowned out by even the most overcast day. I’ll be driving along and I’ll see a cyclist ahead (a long distance ahead) and only when I get really close will I notice that there is a tiny little red LED flashing at the back. During the day you absolutely need more powerful lights (if you intend to use them as DRLs). I’m not saying that the smaller weaker lights are entirely useless just that the range of scenarios in which they will be actually be noticeably visible is far fewer. I think they were aware of this as most of the video was filmed under fairly dense wood cover. So I’d rather use a more powerful light during the day with the intermittent patterning for more versatility.

  28. nprimetv on June 28, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    I was always in two minds about the advantages of using daytime running lights on my bike but after seeing this video I’m utterly convinced.

  29. Alonso Martii on June 28, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Just use a red light that’s it.

  30. Andrea Forcella on June 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    I’ve just received my new bontrager flare rt rear light and i’m a bit dissapointed. While with the old model was a lot more easier to toggle between modes this one has 2 flash daylight models that looks virtually the same,you have no idea wich one is max output of 90 lumens vs the 45 lumens bontrager calls " all day flash". Maybe they jusy want you to buy their Transmtr remote control but they won’t have me on that,sorry. The light itself looks cool and it’s smaller that its predecessor,but if I had the chance to test it first I would have bought the old one again. Note : after 4 years with the old one I had to buy one because the battery was of course dying..

  31. Night-ym- on June 28, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    1:15 notice that? A little wave just to acknowledge a fellow cyclist. I’m fed up waving to cyclist and not even getting a simple nod. We all do the same sport!

  32. ALANSVIDS1 on June 28, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    It is another type of pollution, when I see cars with their lights on and its a nice sunny day I think whats the point, and the same thinking to a lesser degree applys to cyclists. It turns day into night.

  33. Monika Ciegowski on June 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    that flickering / strobe is freaking annoying. i am usually on bike or by foot, but ihat kind of lights disturb me kind of. a sready but very vissuble light would be far better imo.

  34. Patrick Sheppard on June 28, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    To prevent the offset light drama, pull the rubber bontrager mount, turn it 90* and mount it under your bars under your stem.. centered and unseen. head unit turns it on.

  35. Ashton Hiebert on June 28, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Yes! flashing lights on every ride, night or day. and as a driver i always appreciate cyclists who run lights…can see them so much better around corners, shade, and when they disappear into the background

  36. catalan on June 28, 2019 at 9:27 pm

    good video i m looking a day light front i already hav since 2016 flare rt red on back its the best !!!!!!!!!! tks

  37. Emily Liao on June 28, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Would you mind reviewing this tail light someday? Super high quality and auto on/off:

  38. SightMachine on June 28, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    I bought nice lights, just because it was time to replace, I wanted to run them ASAP so put them on during a day ride. I felt immediately safer, I really think I am more visible to cars and I get less confrontation and more space from drivers for being more visible. I ride with lights every time any time of day.

  39. De Evolve on June 28, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    What is the battery life? Can the light be easily put on and off?

  40. Declan Faughey on June 28, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    I use my flashing lights on my rides during the day as it has made me more visible to cars and other road users and on more than one occasion the flashing light on my bike has been the reason I avoided an accident because the driver saw my flashing light.

  41. Lmm Cams on June 28, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    So, there’s an argument for attaching flashing lights to our shoes or pedals rather than handlebars. Does any manufacturer?

  42. Nat bell on June 28, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    I swear you must always have daytime running lights some cars do give you more space but it’s the igrant one’s that don’t just to save them self 5 seconds but I do feel more confident riding with them it’s like helmet or no helmet.

  43. Myron E on June 28, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Daytime running lights have made group rides much more distracted and dangerous.

  44. Aaron David on June 28, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    No brainer here. Lights today are so lightweight that there really isn’t a reason not to use them during the day. They make you much more visible, especially if you’re not seen or a driver isn’t paying attention. I use them for the same reason I use disc brakes. The difference in stopping by a few feet, or a hundredth of a second sooner of being seen, can make all the difference.

  45. Dan Hedlund on June 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    In Sweden we must have lights on at daytime at cars etc (its law). It has been reducing many accidents :o)

  46. Global Cycling Network on June 28, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Do you use lights during the day? Let us know 👇

  47. Pedal Crank on June 28, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    I can get behind, no pun intended, with the rear flashing light, but the bright flashing headlight seems overkill on a road bike, or any bike that is on a bicycle path- all you are doing is flashing other cyclists. Pretty rare when a car crosses the centreline to hit you happily cycling on the other side of the road.

  48. StealthElectronVIP on June 28, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    The problem is battery life, if you are cycling like 10+ hours a week you end up having to charge these fucking things all the damn time. Someone needs to come up with an integrated system whereby you store a battery inside the frame like Di2 so you can get like a weeks worth on a charge.

  49. Rachel Naber on June 28, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I thought bright colors should be enough…..Now that I have started riding I realize they are not. I will be purchasing these Bontrager lights asap, for my daytime riding even though I am mostly riding on bike trails.

  50. borealjwff on June 28, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    I started using a daytime back light a year ago and right away noticed vehicles giving me more space when they passed me. I don’t know if it was because they saw me sooner or I gained more respect.