The right e-bike lighting is an important part of keeping any cyclist safe at dusk and in the dark. Your bicycle lights draw the attention of other road users to you and also help you find your way around at night. Here, you will learn what lighting is available for e-bikes, which legal regulations you need to observe, and how to switch on the light on your e-bike.
What kinds of e-bike lighting systems are there?
An e-bike, like a bicycle, has lighting in the form of a front light and a rear light. On many e-bikes, the lighting system is powered by the e-bike battery and integrated directly into the bicycle. The lamps are firmly anchored to the bicycle with screws, to protect them from theft and keep them ready for use at any time.
Can I retrofit an e-bike lighting system onto my e-bike?
If you want to retrofit a lighting system onto your e-bike, you must pay attention to the power and voltage requirements. The battery of an e-bike is operated with direct current, so a light to be powered from it must run on DC. This is important because many lights intended to be powered by a bicycle 'dynamo' run on alternating current (AC). It is also possible to retrofit a dynamo onto your e-bike. For safety, retrofitted lighting should either be firmly screwed in place or removable.
E-bike lighting and legal regulations
In Germany, the StVZO (Road Traffic Licensing Regulations) governs the rules that all road users need to follow, including in regard to lighting of bicycles and e-bikes. The StVZO regulates the requirements that e-bike lighting must fulfil with regard to installation and luminosity:
- the front light must emit at least 10 lux at a distance of 10 m
- the front light must be mounted at a height of 40 to 120 cm
- the rear light shines at an angle of 220°
- the rear light must be mounted at a hight of 25 to 120 cm
- the lights must not dazzle other road users
The luminosity of an e-bike lamp is specified in the units lux and lumen and is a very important aspect of the e-bike lighting system. Lux indicates the amount of light measured at a point in the light cone at a distance of 10 metres. The quantity lumen also refers to the total amount of light emitted.
Manufacturers such as Supernova, Busch + Müller and Lupine now also equip their pedelecs with other useful lights such as daytime running lights, high beams and brake lights that are in compliance with the requirements of the StVZO.
Adjusting the light on the bicycle
The lighting system on the e-bike must be set correctly, not only to be in compliance with the regulations of the StZVO but for your own safety. The angle and height of the lighting on your e-bike should produce a sufficiently large light cone that does not dazzle oncoming traffic. Setting the lights correctly ensures that your path will be sufficiently illuminated when riding your pedelec. If in doubt, consult your dealer.
How do I turn the lights on my e-bike on?
The way to switch on the lighting on an e-bike will be different for different models. Often, the front light is switched on and off with a button on the display or the control unit. The e-bike lighting system may also be controlled via an e-bike’s onboard computer and display, as with the Bosch Purion. This makes it easy to activate the bicycle lights while riding.