It’s amazing to see how a lot of people have become more environmentally conscious over the last couple of years and have resorted to alternative types of transport like bicycles, skates and skateboards. Bicycles are by far the most popular option out of the three, since they don’t require as much practice to use them efficiently as the other two, and are the safest option. In order to commute with one, all you need is a bicycle and back and front bike lights, or a headlamp if you’re traveling by night.
The discussion whether front bike lights or headlamps are the better option has been around for some time, and both options have their advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I’ll try to present their pros and cons so that you, as a buyer, can have an easier time choosing and deciding which one is better suited for you.
It all mostly comes down to personal preferences, and things like whether having a headlamp attached to your head is an inconvenience for you and whether you want the light to illuminate as you turn your head around. The things that matter generally stay the same, for instance, both headlamps and front bike lights have models which offer different levels of illuminating power, battery life, beam type, reliability, durability etc.
In order to install front bike lights on your bicycle, you might need extra equipment like a mount bracket in the form of spacers, clips and o-rings. If you’re using a helmet (which you should be) some lights can be attached to the helmet itself. In order to do this, you need a helmet mount and an extension cable.
Whichever option you choose to go with, an important factor will be battery type. Lithium ion rechargeable batteries have completely revolutionized mountain bike lights by being the tougher, lighter and more charge-resistant when compared to older NiMH and lead acid batteries. Most headlamps and bike lights come with extra batteries in the package.
You can buy extra accessories like switchgear, which not only turns the lights on and off, but also allows you to change the illumination output levels. For your safety, it’s important to operate with the lights carefully while riding. Switchgears range from a simple button push sequential mode switch with low battery warning lights, to a bar-mounted wireless unit or switches that can change to different menus and output levels.