Bicycle Lights - Dynamo

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OUR Bicycle Lights - Dynamo RECOMMANDATIONS

The first choice for bicycle lights: LED technology

LEDs have long replaced halogen bulbs as the leading light source for bicycles. They are highly efficient, powerful and have a long service life, making them the ideal companions in darkness. The German government recommends a minimum output of 10 lux for the front light, however an upper limit has not been indicated by law. LED lights easily manage 10 lux, and top models such as the IQ-X from Busch + Müller even offer up to 100 lux. If you only ride occasionally or in primarily good light conditions, 30 to 50 lux is generally sufficient. If you ride regularly or at higher speeds in the dark, it’s recommended that your lights are capable of 70 to 100 lux, as the increased illumination is much better suited for dark paths. In terms of a lamp for a "emergency lighting system", which only meets the legal requirements and nothing more, even simple front lights with low lux values are sufficient.

Lux and Lumen: which is what?

Some manufacturers denote the performance of their lamps in lumens (e.g. Lupine), others in lux (e.g. Busch + Müller), and still others indicate both values (e.g. Supernova). Lumen is the international unit (SI) for luminous flux. Lumen indicates how much light a source emits per unit of time . Lux is the SI unit for illuminance. Lux indicates the amount of incident light per unit area. Although the two units are closely related in terms of physics (lux is defined as the illumination produced by a luminous flux of one lumen when distributed evenly over an area of one square meter: 1 lx = 1 lm/m2), the values are not directly comparable. In short, 100 lumens is no better than 50 lux.

Quantity and quality: they both count!

When it comes to lux and lumen, this motto generally applies: "More is better than less." Although it’s a rather straightforward principle, this saying doesn’t quite explain everything. The deciding factor is not just the highest possible value, but also how exactly the light illuminates a given surface. Regarding the light cone, there are considerable differences which are not expressed in the nominal values of the data. Tests by consumer product testers (e.g. Stiftung Warentest in Germany, Consumer Reports in the US, etc), in bicycle magazines or on manufacturers' websites sometimes provide information on illumination profiles. A good example of a hidden quality feature is close-range illumination: even when you’re riding slowly, the ground directly in front of the bike is well-lit. Many headlights like the Axa Blueline 30-T or the  Supernova  E3 Tail Light 2 LED have extra outlets to cast light in a sideways direction. This ensures that you are not just directly visible from the front or rear, but also from the side.

FYI: the K-Mark

Note: StVZO regulations apply only in Germany and do not apply elsewhere. Please consult with your local municipality for information regarding public safety regulations.

All lighting must meet the requirements of German Road Traffic Licensing Regulations, otherwise they may not be used in public street traffic. A product’s conformity with these regulations is indicated by a K-mark (for Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt), wavy line, the capital letter K and a number consists. (We also indicate StVZO conformity in our own product descriptions.)

Finding the best position for the front light

A front light is only as good as its position on the bike. The standard position of permanently-installed front lights is on the fork head. If your fork has a hole at its crown, you can mount it there. However, many suspension and carbon forks do not have a corresponding mounting point, which makes the handlebars close to the stem clamp the best option. SON and Supernova offer mounts for every handlebar diameter. Randonneur bikes traditionally have the front light mounted on the left side of the fork or front carrier.

Interesting additional features for front lights

The equipment list of modern front lights is long. The standing light can be confidently described as "standard". An automatic sensor is also recommended for everyday cyclists . It automatically switches on the light at sunset and off again at dawn. Handy! Frequent urban riders appreciate the daytime running light for its ability to enhance visibility in traffic.

Touring cyclists, travellers and bike packers in particular like to use headlights with a USB plug such as the Lumotec Luxos IQ2 U LED from Busch + Müller. It can use the power of the hub dynamo to charge electronic devices such as smartphones, power banks or camera batteries. Alternatively, power can also be tapped via USB chargers such as the AppCon 3000 from NC-17 directly from the hub dynamo.

White in the front, red in the back: don't forget the rear light!

The front light ensures that you can see and be seen. While the rear light is “only" for the second, it is nevertheless greatly important in terms of bike safety. The rear light is also powered by the dynamo, and mounting options include the rear rack, mudguard, seat stay and seat tube, depending on your bike type and what equipment you’re working with. Our search filter allows you to easily search for a light to suit your intended mounting position. There are now also interesting additional functions for rear lights, such as a brake light function.

Safety tip: Make sure that there are no attachments such as a GPS computer, a basket or a bag that could block the light cone, either in front or at the rear. The lamp holder from Nitto does a good job in this area. Guides and cables should also not cross the light beam and not touch the lamp itself. If space is tight, small lights such as the EYC from Busch + Müller are a good choice, which combine a small design with high light output.

During installation, please make sure that your lamp is correctly adjusted to light up the roadway, and doesn’t shine in the face of oncoming traffic. Modern LED lamps have so much power that pedestrians, cyclists or motorists could be adversely affected by your light’s glare.


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