Not all bike lights are created equal
Be seen and be safe this winter is Simon Kennett’s message to cycling commuters.
To help them be seen Mr Kennett, who is Greater Wellington Regional Council’s active transport and road safety coordinator, has tested more than 50 front and rear bike lights and found big differences in their effectiveness, especially viewed from various angles.
A lux meter – a device for measuring brightness – was used to objectively evaluate how visible the lights were to drivers and the results surprised him.
‘‘Some of them went from nearblinding at no angle to almost no light at an angle,’’ he said.
Mr Kennett said the best lights are about the same strength as car lights and those that are brightest at a range of angles, because most bike accidents happen during turning manoeuvres.
The Moon Shield USB rear light and Nite-rider Cherry Bomb one watt model were the best rear lights tested and the Cateye ROLK EL450 and Nite Rider Mako two watt were the best front lights.
Mr Kennett recommends having back-up lights, in case batteries unexpectedly die en route, and also using reflective leg bands. Leg bands and discount vouchers for lights are available from Greater Wellington Regional Council’s reception at 142 Wakefield St.