If there is one pair of accessories a cyclist really does need it would be a front and rear lights set. Whether you are a daily all year round bike commuter or just a casual rider lights are an essential – required by law in many countries – element to both see the road and to be seen.
There are plenty of bicycle lights available on the market and one should carefully choose according to the riding conditions. In “the dazzling bike light epidemic” Andreas (the author behind londoncyclist.co.uk) writes about London’s cyclists using lights (mainly front lights) way too bright for night cycling in a city and the problems they may cause to fellow riders (but also car drivers). The issue is not limited to London and I have been blinded a couple of times by cyclists coming from the opposite direction here in Stockholm by devices that shone like stadium floodlights mounted on the handlebar.
I ride pretty much every day (winter, spring, summer & autumn) in this beautiful city and – even if the days are rather short half of the year – I must say I have never felt the need for a 1200 lumen front light in the city. Ever.
There are plenty of street lights in Stockholm, they work fine and the snow makes the streets even brighter most of the winter.
For my commuter bike I opted for a Blackburn Flea 2 front light (40 lumen) which is bright enough, has a descent runtime and is USB rechargeable (a USB rechargeable light is a must have if, like me, you ride an hour daily with the lights on). I have no complaint so far on the product and only regret that the hook loop strap must be removed in order to position the light on the USB charger.
All in all I’d like to repeat myself and say that a 40 lumen front light more than suffices in 90% of the situations and that number is probably very close to 100% in urban environments. If I were you I’d keep the MagicShine MJ-816E (1800 lumen) for dark rides in the forests around Nacka. Please.