Why Does Your Electric Bike Need Lights?

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Updated September 5, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • Modern electric bikes typically include a number of bright LED lights, for the purpose of riding at night.
  • If you do not turn these lights on while riding at night, you may be subject to legal penalties.
  • These LED lights can also come in handy while riding during severe weather conditions.

Electric bikes typically feature a number of LED lights on the front and rear of the frame. Consumers may be wondering exactly what purpose these lights serve and why they come standard with most good-quality eBikes. And if you are looking into buying a new ebike, you may want to check out our comparison of two highly rated manufacturers in Cannondale vs Specialized.

Learn the Laws About Night Riding

These LED lights are often required to be in use while riding an electric bike at night. The penalties for not doing so vary from state to state and city to city, but you should expect a fine if you are caught night riding without your LED headlights enabled.

Why Does Your Electric Bike Need Lights?

In addition to making night riding a safer and more enjoyable experience, the LED lights affixed to your electric bicycle serve some other purposes. Electric bikes are expensive and they are a big investment, your lights on the front and back help you be seen by others to ensure your safety and that of your bike. It may be worth it to look into getting electric bike insurance to help better protect yourself.

Automated Lighting

Just like how you would find with a car, many eBikes are equipped with sensors that will automatically power on the LED lights when entering a low light scenario. This takes the guesswork out of knowing when to turn these lights on and off. As a warning, only the more expensive eBike models tend to offer this feature, so read the fine print before making a purchase.

Tip: Just like how you would find with a car, many eBikes are equipped with sensors that will automatically power on the LED lights when entering a low-light scenario

Warning: As a warning, only the more expensive eBike models tend to offer this feature, so read the fine print before making a purchase

Riding in Bad Weather

Powerful LED lights can come in extremely handy while riding your eBike in the dead of night, but they can also be useful while riding through severe weather conditions. High visibility is an absolute must while riding during a storm, during some heavy fog, or even during a simple cloudy day. These LED lights should help you safe no matter the weather condition, though we recommend avoiding riding an electric bike during an extreme weather event, as the bike itself could become damaged.

Just as the light on your ebike is there for your safety, your brakes are important whether at night or in bad weather. You should ensure that your brakes are in good working order whether you are using mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes. You should familiarize yourself with whichever style of brakes your ebike has to know how to properly care for them.

Tip: Powerful LED lights can come in extremely handy while riding your eBike in the dead of night, but they can also be useful while riding through severe weather conditions

Warning: we recommend avoiding riding an electric bike during an extreme weather event, as the bike itself could become damaged

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Finding Stuff at Night

You may find the LED lights useful for finding a lost item while night riding, such as a pair of keys or a smartphone. Simply flash the lights on their brightest setting and check the ground for your lost item.

Battery Usage

There is one drawback to excessively using the LED lights that come with an electric bike. They can be a significant drain on the bike’s integrated lithium battery pack. For this reason, we recommend avoiding inclement weather conditions or any other scenario where you may need the lights to be running continuously. It cannot be helped at night, however, as the law dictates that LED lights be turned on while riding in the dark.

STAT:

A Consumer Products Safety Commission study found that 46 percent of all cycling fatalities happen at night, while only 8 percent of the cyclists involved in these collisions were equipped with lights. (Source)

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle
https://www.bikelaw.com/2014/12/bicycle_lights/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_lamp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light-emitting_diode
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15389588.2019.1696963

Why Does Your Electric Bike Need Lights FAQ

Are older bikes exempt from these laws?

Not necessarily. If an electric bike did not come with some LED lights, then you will have to purchase some to affix to the front and rear of the bike.

Can I remove the wheel reflectors that my bike came with?

You shouldn’t. Many states and cities also require electric bikes and traditional bicycles to have these wheel reflectors for riding at night, as they increase overall visibility.

How strong can my lights be?

Most states do not recommend a maximum brightness output limit for electric bike lights, though we would recommend that you exercise common sense.
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