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E-Bike Tips

When Riding eBike at Night: A Guide to Choosing the Right Bike Lights

5TH WHEEL Official: Sep 28, 2022

Can you ride a bike at night without lights?

The growth of electric bike usage, powered by brands such as 5TH WHEEL, has revolutionized personal transportation. As the sun sets, though, safety must take precedence, and bike lights become an essential part of an e-bike. They not only increase visibility but also ensure adherence to safety regulations. In this article, we delve into the importance of bike lights for electric bikes, including understanding lighting laws, exploring the benefits, and learning how to choose the right lights for your e-bike.

Understanding Lighting Laws for Electric Bikes

Safety Regulations and Legal Requirements

In the US, laws governing the use of bike lights on electric bikes vary by state, but generally require the use of a front headlight and rear taillight during low-light conditions. These laws are designed to protect cyclists and motorists alike by enhancing visibility. Non-compliance can lead to fines, but more importantly, it can compromise safety. Riding an e-bike, such as those offered by 5TH WHEEL, means embracing the future of transportation, but it’s crucial that this future includes a commitment to safety through the use of proper bike lights.

Benefits of Bike Lights for Electric Bikes

Enhanced Visibility and Safety

Bike lights significantly increase the visibility of e-bikes to other road users, especially in low-light or poor weather conditions. This reduced visibility risk leads to fewer accidents, making the roads safer for everyone. For example, without bike lights, a rider might be virtually invisible to a car driver making a turn, which can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Adapting to Sustainable Transportation Trends

Electric bikes, like those from 5TH WHEEL, are becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable, eco-friendly mode of transportation. Safety is key to ensuring this growth continues. By adhering to bike light regulations, riders are contributing to creating safer communities, promoting the sustainable transportation trend.

Choosing the Right Bike Lights for Your Electric Bike

Factors to Consider

Choosing the right bike lights for your electric bike isn't as straightforward as it seems. There are several important factors to take into account to ensure optimal visibility and safety:

  1. Brightness: Bike light brightness is measured in lumens. For most urban riders, a headlight with brightness in the range of 100-500 lumens is usually sufficient. However, for riders who frequently travel on unlit roads or trails, headlights with higher lumens, up to 1000 or more, could be necessary. Taillights typically require fewer lumens, around 50-100 lumens, as their main function is to make the rider visible to others rather than illuminating the path ahead.

  2. Battery Life: Electric bike lights are usually powered by rechargeable batteries. It's important to choose a bike light with a long-lasting battery life to ensure the lights don't run out during your journey. In addition, consider the recharging time and convenience of the battery.

  3. Durability and Weather Resistance: Given that bike lights are exposed to various environmental conditions, it's crucial to opt for durable lights that can withstand shocks and impacts. Furthermore, they should be water-resistant to function well in rain and wet conditions.

  4. Mounting and Position: The installation location of bike lights plays a significant role in their effectiveness. A headlight should be mounted on the handlebars or the front fork and aimed slightly downwards to illuminate the path without blinding oncoming traffic. A taillight should be installed on the seat post, rear rack, or bike helmet.

  5. Light Modes: Many bike lights come with different light modes, such as steady, flash, and strobe. Steady mode is suitable for lighting up the path, while flash and strobe modes are useful for making you visible to others. However, use flashing modes judiciously as they can be distracting to other road users.

  6. Color: Lastly, bike light color is not a matter of personal preference, but a standard to follow for safety. White lights are used for the front to illuminate the path and make the rider visible, while red lights are used at the back to indicate the rider's direction.

By considering these factors, you can ensure that you choose the right bike lights for your electric bike, thereby significantly enhancing your safety and visibility while riding.

Tips for Proper Use of Bike Lights

For maximum effectiveness, lights should be kept clean and fully charged. Even during the day, it's beneficial to use lights, particularly in low-light or poor visibility conditions. However, riders should avoid excessive use of flashing or strobe settings, which can distract other road users.


E-bikes, such as those offered by 5TH WHEEL, provide an eco-friendly and enjoyable mode of transportation. However, safety should always be a top priority. Bike lights are paramount in ensuring the visibility and safety of e-bike riders, especially when riding at night. By adhering to lighting laws, choosing the right bike lights, and using them properly, riders can enhance their safety, contribute to sustainable transportation, and create a brighter future for electric biking.