Lighting the Night

By the beginning of November, the nights are well and truly drawn in and I was determined to keep riding my faithful Swifty Zero, despite the lack of daylight. However, scooting away from the well-lit streets and footpaths of my home town and out into the forbidding  countryside was not quite so easy. What I needed was some decent lights.

Actually, I already had decent lights, a pair of Hope Vision 2 led lights that I bought some years ago for cycling and never really used, having upgraded to a pair of Magicshine MJ-872 lights. Both sets of lights were actually more than adequate for kick scooter use but are lumbered with large external battery packs. I really wanted something smaller and neater for the the Swifty Zero, something more self-contained.

As usual, research on the Internet came up with plenty of options but I eventually settled for a pair of Knog Blinder Road 400 lights, small and compact with rechargeable batteries built-in. Measuring only 53 x 30 x 75 mm, they fitted neatly onto the handlebars and offer a range of brightness settings along with strobe or steady modes. The output was less than the Hope (480 lumens) or Magicshine lights (1600 lumens), with only 400 lumens stated but again, at low scooting speeds this would not be an issue.

Out in the field, the lower brightness settings provide plenty of illumination, even in pitch dark woodland trails and the strobe mode is ideal when scooting along urban footpaths and trails. Run times are between 2 and 9 hours depending on brightness and modes selected.

With forward lighting in the bag, as it were, I also want to look at rear lighting, helping me be seen from the rear.

No need for research this time as I already had a product in mind for the job from Adventure Lights. I use one of their Guardian Tag-It clip-on lights on my bumbag and bought a couple of their Expedition Lights to mount on the Swifty Zero. Their specification is impressive: 20 grams weight, visible from 3 miles, flashing and steady modes, up to 250 hours use of two CR-2032 batteries and smaller than a match box.

The only problem was finding a rear-facing surface on the Swifty to mount them. I did consider fabricating a couple of brackets to mount at the rear wheel but though this would look a bit untidy. This problem was solved when I attached the Rixen and Kaul Vario Rack to the front of the scooter. After some trail and error with positioning, six ever-useful cable ties came to the rescue and we were sorted.

Copyright ©2018 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.