How much should a bike light cost?

A question we often see online. A good question by all means, but it all depends on your perspective of safety. A better question would be “What is the cost of safety”. Think about it, we spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of euros or dollars on our bike. We put a price on putting ourselves in danger. So what price do we give safety? 

I bought a new bike this year. It’s an electric bicycle from ‘Cowboy’, an up and coming Belgian brand. The bicycle looks very slick and the matte black paint makes for a very sharp looking city bike. It has a rubber chain and only one gear which allows for very smooth cycling and a fast acceleration. One downside though is that the bike needs a phone to start. Other than that I am happy with my purchase. It was costly, yes, but risking myself on the road I wanted something that fit my riding style. Of course I also wanted to look good whilst riding ☺.

So the price to risk my safety, the purchase price of my bike, was defined. Close to € 1000 was the price I paid to put myself in harm's way. Not that there's anything wrong with my riding! We all know the issue is that we cycle between traffic, and some people suck at driving. BUY A HELMET my wife said, so I did. Browsing through the massive choice in helmets I decided that if I was to put on a helmet it should guarantee more safety. Not just any old cheap helmet that offers no protection whatsoever, I needed a proven technology that kept my noggin safe. In the end I bought the Bontrager Wavecell helmet, priced € 150. 

A helmet helps prevent injury, it does nothing for my visibility. This means I was 0.00 safer on the road when it came to crash prevention. And that’s where a reflective vest (always wear a reflective vest) and some good lights make the difference. The vest is needed for drivers to realise you are a person on a bike. The lights are there to draw attention from afar, or when there is no light to reflect.

So eventually we come to the point. What is the price of a bike light? What should a bike light cost? My safety is worth a lot to me. I can’t imagine living with physical injury let alone a brain injury. In an ideal world we would have cars and bicycles separated. Full body airbags don’t seem like something feasible. Good bike lights are the best option. To me the price of providing more safety and visibility is equal to the price of preventing injury. To me, a good pair of bicycle lights can cost up to € 150 without a doubt. 

If you have good cycling gear you know what I’m talking about. Just like driving a luxurious car, comfort makes you feel better as you drive. It provides safety and peace of mind. It’s the same with cycling. With a good light car drivers see you better and show more respect for you on the road. You know that feeling when a car is about to make a right turn in front of you, as you are passing on the right? Well, I’m starting to forget that feeling because my gear makes sure they saw me…. Way in advance. 

To answer the question “how much does a bike light cost”… all you have to do is look in the mirror and ask the following questions. What is your safety worth to you? What is the cost of saving a couple of bucks on a cheap light compared to saving your arm or leg from injury? This might all seem a bit extreme and exaggerated but do not underestimate the dangers of riding a bike. You might be safe, but others out there driving might not be. Protect yourself, be visible, be safe.