Step 1 Clean your light. Over the years we've found that a dry tooth brush is the best way to get rid of any mud or debris, Nick our repair man swears by them! Please don't be tempted to jet wash your light, although waterproof to IP67 this is surely a step too far and really not necessary. A quick rub down with a damp cloth and then a thorough dry with one of those lovely microfibre cloths will do the job perfectly! If you do still have one of the older style batteries with a bag, it's a good idea at this point to check it for wear and tear and replace if necessary. Remember a damp battery bag is bound to rot over the summer and will not do the battery terminals any good at all.
Step 2 Fully charge the battery. Lithium ion batteries need to trickle out a small amount of charge at all times (even when not in use). If your battery is left empty or with very little charge for any length of time it will enter a state of deep discharge and you will not be able to recharge it next season. If you are thinking of leaving the battery unused from now until the Autumn, We would seriously suggest diarising to recharge your battery every month or so to keep it in tip top condition. It will not last for 6 months without charge.
Step 3 Disconnect the battery from the lighthead. Check the cables for wear and tear, make sure they are free from mud and are perfectly dry. If you leave the battery connected to the lighthead you may find it impossible to recharge. Disconnect it now!!!
Step 4 Store the lightset in a cool place. It is important to store your lightset in a cool, dry place whilst it is not in use, preferably inside the original packaging so it is properly protected. Temperature is the single most important step for prologing the life of your battery and therefore your lightset. The cooler the better, in fact the fridge is ideal, one word of warning your shed may be freezing in the winter but often they're a sun trap in the summer! Never allow your battery to freeze - it will render it useless.
Run times will vary depending on ambient conditions and the power output of your lights. Broadly speaking you can expect between 2.5 and 3 hours on a 900 lumen output light. However these are lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion provides very high power over extended periods of time and they are also flexible in terms of re-charging. However they are similar to the batteries in laptops and mobile phones. We provide instructions on how to charge, frequency etc but one of the features of this type of battery is that their output will diminish over time - as laptop and mobile phone batteries do.
Daytime riding: In broad daylight there is a lot of ambient light, so a steady burn light is unlikely to stand out. During daytime riding, it's a good idea to use your lights on the brightest, most attention-grabbing pattern they have, because it's easy for drivers to judge your position when your whole bike is visible, and you want to grab attention quickly.
Riding at night: High-intensity forward-facing lights should not be flashed alone at night, especially if they put out over 200 lumens. You run the risk of disorienting oncoming traffic (be it on 4 or 2 wheels), and make it difficult to estimate your position and speed. Having one flashing light and one steady light is a good compromise — you can grab drivers' attention but the steady light helps improve distance estimates.
Lights should be positioned as far apart as possible. The further two points of light are away from each other, the further away the eye can distinguish them. Separating lights vertically also ensures that you will be seen by people in low and tall vehicles alike. For headlights a good setup is to have a primary handlebar mounted headlight, and a secondary light on the helmet. Good helmet lights should have a narrow beam and not be too bright - you want to be able to light up a specific area where you're looking without blinding everyone around you.
For taillights, a rack or seatpost mounted light in addition to a helmet light provides good coverage.
Lumens are the most commonly reported value for bike light brightness. Lumens measure total luminous flux, in other words the total output of a light source in all directions that it points. Lumens are measured using an integrating sphere, a scientific instrument that uses a reflective sphere to normalize the light beam and measure its intensity.
IP stands for "Ingress Protection" and measures how well a device is protected from both solid objects and liquids. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. An IP rating may look something like this:
IP rating is only officially given to a product that undergoes special testing by a certified agency.
Protection from solids and dust.
- IP0X: The product is not protected against any physical contact or objects.
- IP1X: Only protected from objects larger than 50 mm. Pill bottles, plush toys, snow globes, watch your fingers.
- IP2X: Protected from any object larger than 12.5 mm. Keys, small coins, definitely watch your fingers.
- IP3X: Protected from things above 2.5 mm, sharp, pointy tools and thick wires.
- IP4X: Protected from anything bigger than 1 mm. At this point pretty much only dust can get through.
- IP5X: Dust resistant. Small amount of dust may get through, but it won’t be enough to cause harm.
- IP6X: This product is fully dust proof.
Protection from water.
- IPX0: The product offers no special protection from water.
- IPX1: Can resist water that drips vertically onto the product.
- IPX2: Can resist water that hits the product at a 15° angle or less.
- IPX3: Can take water sprays of up to 60°.
- IPX4: Is resistant to water splashes from any direction.
- IPX5: Can resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray.
- IPX6: Can resist high-pressure, heavy sprays of water.
- IPX6K: Can resist water jets of extremely high pressure. Rarely used.
- IPX7: Can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes.
- IPX8: Can be submerged deeper than 1 meter. The exact depth is specified by the manufacturer.
- IPX9K: Resists high-pressure, high-temperature sprays at close range. Rarely used.