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What makes a Daytime Running Light?

What makes a Daytime Running Light?


Cycling has taken some of its best cues from the automotive industry. We can thank cars and motorcycles for suspension and disc brakes, for instance. These days, cars come as standard with Daytime Running Lights are less likely to be involved in a collision. Applying this logic to bikes is a no-brainer.

But not all lights are created equal. Even lights designed for superior brightness may not be particularly effective during daylight hours. A true Daytime Running Light has a specific focus, flash and range. Without these three things, you just have a light.


Daytime Running Light focus

By controlling the light output, the beam can be intensified and its range extended. Without focus, a light may appear bright, but will not be as detectable during the day.

Day Flash
Daytime Running Light flash pattern

Most rear lights use a steady flashing pattern. However, Bontrager’s DRL continually varies the intensity and pattern, making you more visible to other road users.


Daytime Running Light RangeA daytime running light needs to be visible from at least 400 m, or a quarter of a mile, away. A shorter distance does not give ample time for drivers to react.



To the none believers

Research shows that cars with Daytime Running Lights have seen a 25% decrease in collisions (Paine, et al. 2006). Motorcycle collisions have been reduced by 13% (Paine, et al. 2006). And bike collisions are significantly reduced by as much as 33% (Madsen, et al. 2013).

OK, you’ve got me. What lights do I need?

Well depending on where you ride the most can require different lights. If you’re riding and commuting around town we would recommend Bontrager’s Flare R City for the rear and Ion 100 R or the brighter Ion 350 R up front. Or click this link to see the full range of Daytime Running Lights.