Front Bike Lights – Importance and Legal Requirement

Why Are Front Bike Lights Important?

Cycling after dark is dangerous if the rider isn’t prepared with front bike lights or any reflective clothing. The main priority for any driver, pedestrian or cyclist at night should be safety if they are out and about using roads or footpaths. In a car, you’ll turn on your headlights, as a pedestrian, you’ll either rely on street lighting, wear reflective clothing or take a torch and as a cyclist you should use front bike lights and wear high visibility clothing. Front and rear lights are important so everyone can see you and be aware of your presence. They also help you to see clearly so you know where you are riding, allowing you to maneuver when you need to

When To Use Them?

You need to use your front bike lights at all times when it is dark; whether that is in the early hours of the morning or in the evenings. You should also turn them on in poor lighting that may occur in bad weather such as rain and fog. In the summer, the days are longer so you may find you won’t need to use them as much, if not at all. In the winter, your lights should be to hand at all times if you ride regularly. The sun sometimes doesn’t make an appearance at all and it can be dull and cloudy all day. Not to mention, the evenings draw in much earlier, so your front bike lights will most definitely need to be used.

Legal Requirements for Bicycle Lighting

In 2009, the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations (RVLR) set out the minimum legal requirement for the use of bike lighting when cyclists ride on a public road between sunset and sunrise. They are as follows:

  • One white front light, positioned at the front of the bike
  • A red rear light, located at the rear of the bike
  • One red rear reflector
  • Four amber pedal reflectors, positioned on the front and rear of each pedal.


Front Bike Lights – Importance and Legal RequirementWhilst the minimum legal requirements will keep you safe and visible, there are many other precautions you can take to increase your visibility further. Bright and fluorescent clothing can significantly help and accessories such as reflective arm bands or sticks can also be effective in drawing attention to yourself. You can also add more front bike lights if you see fit. As long as they don’t dazzle drivers, there’s no reason why you can’t protect yourself further.

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