Lighten Up !

It's that time of year again ..........  remember that Xmas is coming and GET SOME PROPER LIGHTS ON YOUR BIKE

OK  - the red pinprick under the saddle of your racing bike may make your bike legal - but it doesn't mean that anyone can see you !

The light stuck at the top of your rucksack or on your helmet instead of your bike is not legal, is not in a motorist's expected line of vision, and often is in no road users' field of vision as you lean forward.

Many cyclists this year seem to have adopted rear lights - but you do need front ones too.

Please folks - don't give anyone an excuse for not seeing you - forget the law - everything else on the road has lights on - you NEED them too.



  • By phufbl at 9:18am 19 November 2013

The highway code (rule 60) says you must have white front and red rear lights, I don't think it specifies that they must be on your bike (and not on your rucksack or helmet).

I actually think lights higher up on your body e.g. on your helmet are quite effective.

Why not have both?

I have a bright (but not too bright) white light on the front. On the back I have 2 good red lights, one flashing and one constant. 

I agree that the pin-prick lights are a waste of time. If they are flashing they may well be illegal as flashing lights have to have a minimum light output of 4 candels.

The reason for 2 lights on the back is that it allows one to fail, and you can't see whether the rear lights are working or not.

  • By Shannon at 8:21pm 19 November 2013

Just as important as lights are the kind of batteries you use. I often see high quality expensive lights running dim with batteries that needed changing long ago. There is always a temptation to leave old ones in for one last journey. If people changed to a set of rechargables, the things stay box fresh every time. I have used the same lot for about two years and they are still going strong. I dread to think how much it would have cost me to replace disposable ones.

Highway Code


At night your cycle MUST have white front and red rear lights lit. It MUST also be fitted with a red rear reflector (and amber pedal reflectors, if manufactured after 1/10/85). White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen. Flashing lights are permitted but it is recommended that cyclists who are riding in areas without street lighting use a steady front lamp.
Law RVLR regs 13, 18 & 24

Seems to me that it says "your cycle" must have the lights, phufbl, and yes - no objection to having extra lights - but don't have the only rear light so high that drivers - and even other cyclists - can't see it, especially when you go into a racing bike position.

And I agree - watch the batteries - don't "economise" !

  • By M001 at 7:33pm 5 December 2013

I have noticed on the rear cover of the London Cyclist magazine a cyclist with a red light on the front of the bike as well as a red light on the back. A white light is required to be at the front as stated above.

The red light is on the bike behind.

All 'non-race' bikes should have dynamo lights - that way you never run out of batteries and always have them with you. They can be retrofitted, either with a front wheel with dynohub, or with a 'bottle' for less than the cost of a monthly travelcard.

  • By M001 at 4:39pm 6 December 2013

@ Paul_draper  - You are correct having reviewed the picture again.


Kingston Cycling Campaign gave out about 30 lights the week that the clocks went back. We did this after dark in Kingston town centre. We gave them away for free but insisted that we be allowed to fit them - we didn't want people saying 'thanks' then putting the lights in a drawer never to be used. The lights we bought are the commonly available kidney shaped ones that can be bought from Wilkinson or branded as 'Oxford', 'Smart', 'Ikzi'or whatever. The front and rear both use AAA batteries. We managed to buy them in bulk for £5 a pair from a friendly bike shop (Waldens Cycles). Some riders needed just one light others needed both. Some cyclists waved and said "No thanks, I just need some batteries". We gave them batteries. We think this is good PR and it gives us a chance to talk to people who don't have lights ....and really should have.

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