Most of the new batteries have charge indicators. Left to right: Hope, Lupine, Sigma.

How to prepare your battery-powered bike lights for storage

Mario 30. March 2017

Extend the life of your bike-lights by using our easy-to-follow instructions to prepare them for the times you don’t use them during the summer months.

The days are getting longer again and many of you stop using your battery-powered bike and helmet lights for a few months. There are some easy steps you can perform to prepare them for storage so they don’t suffer while not being used and maintain their charge capacity.

Don’t lose your warranty

Note: I suggest you refrain from opening the body / housing of your light for cleaning purposes. You might damage the seals and harm water-proofing. Also, the warranty might be void if you open the lamp.

Cleaning

To make cleaning easier, remove any attached parts like helmet mounts, GoPro-adaptors, cooling fins and light diffusers.

Remove all attachments from the body / housing.

Remove all attachments from the body / housing.

Prepare a mild cleaning solution to remove dirt and grime. I mixed about 10 ml of Muc-Off into 150 ml of luke-warm water. Outdoor lights are specially made to resist the elements. However, check beforehand whether your light is water resistant or waterproof and adjust the use of liquid cleaner accordingly.

Cleaning the cooling fins ensures their cooling function.

Cleaning the cooling fins ensures their cooling function.

Use the solution in combination with a soft microfiber cloth and / or paint brush. The latter helps to reach between cooling fins and into tight corners.  Especially the cooling fins should always be kept free of dirt to ensure their cooling function.

Outdoor lights are specially made to resist the elements. Don’t hesitate to use a cleaning solution for dirt removal.

Outdoor lights are specially made to resist the elements. Don’t hesitate to use a cleaning solution for dirt removal.

Make sure you dry everything off carefully after cleaning. Even so-called corrosion-free metals are not 100% rust free.

Battery care

The correct treatment of your batteries is essential for their longtime functioning. Most new batteries used for bicycle lights are made of lithium-ion and don’t suffer from the “memory-effect”. Therefore complete discharging is unnecessary. However, leaving your battery completely empty (discharged) or completely full (charged) for a long period of time is not recommended as it leads to a reduction in your battery's charge capacity, resulting in less burn time. Hence, try to keep the charge between 25% and 75%  for storage.

Most of the new batteries have charge indicators. Left to right: Hope, Lupine, Sigma.

Most of the new batteries have charge indicators. Left to right: Hope, Lupine, Sigma.

The proud owners of a Lupine Charger One can take advantage of its special storage function, easily charging it to 50% at the push of a button.

Charger One’s storage function automatically charges to 50%.

Charger One’s storage function automatically charges to 50%.

Since the battery will lose some of its charge, some manufacturers recommend a full charge before storage. To be sure, refer to your light’s owner’s manual for the correct handling. It also does not hurt to check the charge status every couple of months.

Also make sure to store the batteries between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius. Batteries like it cool, but not too cool.

The Lupine Piko comes with special storage case, which separates the battery from the lamp itself.

The Lupine Piko comes with special storage case, which separates the battery from the lamp itself.

Storage

After cleaning and charging, it’s time to put the light away. Make sure you disconnect the lamp from the battery. This prevents the lights from accidentally turning on, causing a discharge and possible overheating or worse. Also don’t bend the cables too tightly to avoid braking them. Finally, find a dry spot and stow your lights until you need them again.

The CATEYE Volt 6000 nicely packed into its case.

The CATEYE Volt 6000 nicely packed into its case.

Now you have done everything to conserve your bicycle light and battery pack, prolonging their functionality and charge capacity.

Have a great summer!

 

* Special treatment for lights with a cooling fan

We carry only one light with an active cooling fan, the CATEYE Volt 6000. However, there are more on the market with a similar assembly. In order to clean the fan, separate it from the lamp’s body by removing the screws that attach it.  Now use cold air to carefully blow dust and dirt off the fan’s thin blades. Act with caution as they break easily.  You can use a compressor or a blow dryer for this task.

Lamps with an active cooling fan require special treatment.

Lamps with an active cooling fan require special treatment.

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Blog comments are published with first name and first letter of surname.