One important feature to consider is the different modes a bike light can offer, each providing a different level of brightness and function.
From the powerful high mode to the attention-grabbing flashing mode, each light mode serves a specific purpose and can significantly impact your riding experience.
This article discusses the most common bike light modes and how they can help you stay visible and safe on the road.
High mode is common on many bike lights, providing the brightest and most powerful beam.
High mode is ideal for riding on unlit roads or trails where visibility is critical. It can help illuminate the path ahead and provide a clear view of any obstacles or hazards.
Some examples of bike lights with a high mode include;
- NiteRider Pro 1800 Race provides 1800 lumens, making it one of the market’s brightest and most powerful road bike lights.
- Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 provides 1100 lumens, making it suitable for even the darkest roads and trails.
- Light & Motion Seca 2500 Race has a high mode with 2500 lumens, making it ideal for off-road riding or extreme conditions.
Medium mode provides a slightly dimmer beam than high mode but is still bright enough for most riding conditions.
Medium mode is ideal for general commuting and recreational riding, where bright illumination is still necessary but less critical than when riding on unlit roads or trails.
Some examples of bike lights with a medium mode include;
- Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL has a medium mode that provides 500 lumens, making it suitable for general commuting and recreational riding.
- Serfas E-Lume 950’s medium mode provides 500 lumens for road and trail riding in most conditions.
- Blackburn Dayblazer 1100 has a 500 lumens medium mode.
Learn more about bike lights
Flashing mode provides a strobe or flashing beam, which can be more visible during daylight hours or when riding in traffic. This mode can also conserve battery life, as it uses less power than constant illumination.
Flashing mode can be advantageous when visibility is important, such as when riding in traffic or areas with high ambient light. The strobe or flashing pattern can attract the attention of other road users and increase the rider’s visibility.
Some examples of bike lights with a flashing mode include;
- CatEye Rapid X3 has a flashing mode that provides a high-power burst of light, making it highly visible even in bright sunlight.
- Bontrager Flare R has a flashing mode that provides a high-visibility strobe pattern, making it suitable for traffic and other high-visibility situations.
Light & Motion Vis 180 Pro has a flashing mode with a unique amber safety pulse, which can help to increase visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.
Low mode is another common mode on many bike lights, and it provides a dimmer beam suitable for riding in well-lit areas or conserving battery life.
Low mode is often used for longer rides or riding in areas with streetlights, where bright illumination is less critical.
The low mode can conserve battery life, using less power than the medium or high modes. It can also help to reduce the risk of blinding other road users, particularly in areas with streetlights or other ambient illumination.
Some examples of bike lights with a low mode include;
- Knog PWR Trail has a low mode with 200 lumens, making it ideal for longer rides or in well-lit areas.
- Light & Motion Urban 500’s low mode provides 175 lumens, making it suitable for commuting or recreational riding in areas with streetlights.
- Cateye Volt 400’s low mode provides 50 lumens for general commuting and recreational riding in well-lit areas.
Daytime running mode
Some bike lights have a special daytime running mode that provides a bright, flashing beam visible even in bright sunlight.
Daytime running mode increases visibility and reduces the risk of accidents when riding in high-traffic areas or on roads with a high volume of vehicles.
Some examples of bike lights with a daytime running mode include;
- Bontrager Flare RT has a daylight visible flash mode that provides a bright, high-visibility flash that is visible from up to 2km away.
- Cygolite Metro Plus 800’s daytime running mode provides a bright flash visible in even the brightest daylight conditions.
Learn more about bike lights
Side visibility mode
Side visibility mode can be handy in situations where visibility is critical, such as when riding on busy roads or in areas with high levels of pedestrian traffic.
The additional illumination to the sides of the bike can attract the attention of other road users and increase the rider’s visibility.
Some examples of bike lights with a side visibility mode include;
- Light & Motion Urban 500
- Blackburn Dayblazer 800
- Bontrager Flare R City:
Group ride mode
Group ride mode can be beneficial when riding in a group, such as during organized or club rides. The dimmer beam helps to ensure that other riders are not blinded or distracted by the light, which can help to maintain safety and reduce the risk of accidents.
Some examples of bike lights with a group ride mode include;
- Cygolite Hotshot Pro 150
- Lezyne Strip Drive Rear Pro
- Bontrager Flare RT
More reading :