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Be safe. Be seen. At night.

Posted by Jim Strasma on December 04, 2012

In my opinion, one or more good bike lights are one of the best investments you can make for biking in the dark, especially when it is already dark during rush hour, and completely unlit along off-street bike paths. Avoiding just one emergency room visit more than  repays the cost of any number of lights.

I start with a good 2 watt LED headlight and a SuperFlash Turbo tail light on the bike itself. That helps me be seen, and lights up where the bike is going. However, that isn't always where I want to go next. For that, I added a Light & Motion Vis 360 helmet light, which includes both a 100 lumen front light and a bright rear light, plus amber lights on both sides. The result was much better than with lights only on the bike itself.

Then this fall I learned Lights & Motion has doubled the power of the Vis 360 in a new Vis 360+ model, and immediately added the Vis 360 to Ellen's helmet, with the Vis 360+ being added to my own helmet. That's partly because we often ride together on a tandem trike, and the Vis 360+ has a new button allowing me to turn off its rear light to avoid blinding the stoker. The rest of the reason is that my usual commute home from the shop uses the Des Plaines River Trail, which is so dark at night that doubling the power of the headlight adds a lot of safety.

Here's how the two helmets look together:

And here's how their beams look together on our living room wall:

One other benefit of both is that they are rechargeable, via the same microUSB connector I use to charge my cell phone. That saves on batteries, AND it's one less thing to pack when traveling.

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