If you are a bike-commuter or somebody who rides early morning or late evening, headlights are of prime importance. In this article, we give you some tips on choosing the right headlights
- Check the beam - A nice and focussed beam (not overly narrow) works well for road and gives a good throw. A wide and bright beam is required for off-roading.
- Check the quality of the mount - The quality of the mount plays a huge role in how steady the light is going to be when you hit an occasional speed breaker or a rough road. Some of the cheaper lights come with very poor quality mounts.
- Check if the light is water resistant - Ensure that the light you are looking to buy will notgive you trouble when you ride in rain. Most lights from good brands like Niterider, Akslen , Cateye are water resistant.
- Check the runtime properly - When you read something like '30 hours runtime', spare some time to read between the lines. Which mode the manufacturer is referring to ? It could well be that the light runs for 30 hours on the Flash Mode, but only 5 hours on the High Mode which is what you might be using primarily.
- Check if the light comes with alternate mounting options - For example, a fork mount may be very handy for a randoneuring ride where you can leave the handlebar uncluttered and use it for a bag. A helmet mount is a great option for a MTB ride.
Fork mounted Light
- Check if the light can be panned on handlebar - If not, you will always be forced to keep it as close to the stem as possible.
- Check for the battery size in a USB rechargeable light - Some rechargeable lights with smaller batteries may be very bright, but might have shorter run time. This is of course not bad at all if you are commuting, but might be unsuitable if you are randonneuring.
- Check if the light comes with steady high output circuit - These lights give you near constant power till their specified run time. Once they cross their runtime, they quickly fade. This is preferred over lights that don’t have this feature.
- Check if the batteries are AAA or AA - Most of the time, it makes sense to buy a headlight with a AA cells rather than AAA. AA cells lasts longer than AAA.