Excellent "be seen" lights, but...

If you ride at night, you need lights for two reasons: to see, and to be seen.

If you use a helmet light, then that light will be a long way off the floor, and may confuse other road users when they try to work out what you are and how far away you are.

It is therefore wise to have a “be seen” light on the front of the uni itself - and of course a rear light is essential.

I picked up a pair of these today, and they are ideal. £10 (GBP) each. They attach with a length of shock cord (bungee) and are quick adjustable so that they will grip a seat post, frame tube or handle bar. They are visible from a wide angle (more than 180 degrees!) and do not have a vertical/horizontal bias, so you can fit the same light to a vertical or horizontal tube (uni frame neck or bike handle bar) with no difference in visibility.

The beauty of this is that you only need one pair, and they will fit everything in your fleet, from 20" to Coker to bike or trike - or even (should you wish) your belt if you are hiking on a busy road.

The front one is bright enough to help you search the boot (US = trunk) of the car at night, or to get changed in a tent. In a tent, the domed shape would give general low-level illumination .

You switch them on simply by pushing the outer casing.

There are two settings: fixed or flashing.

The batteries are the flat discs, about coin sized, that you find in key fobs and the like, and are easily replaceable. Allegedly good for 30 hours’ use, or 5 hours in flashing mode.

They are not designed to illuminate the way ahead, so if you are riding in an unlit area you will need a helmet light too.

There is only one “but”: (I fell for this!) READ THE PACKET - the bit where it says, “IMPORTANT: READ BEFORE USE”.:o

The lights have a “try me mode” for when they are on display in the shop, and they turn off after 30 seconds. The instructions on the packet (I discovered when I got home! :roll_eyes: ) say “Hold them in the “on” position for a few seconds until they start to flash rapidly.” That disables the try me mode.

A good purchase, and recommended.

There are some similar ones that Tesco sell. Normally £3.99 each, but the red ones are currently on sale at £0.99. For less than a quid I have stocked up on a few. They actually secure to the frame (seatpost, handlebar, or whatever) with velcro straps that are supplied, and seem to last for ages and ages and ages.



However, the lights are good, even if I could have got some similar ones for very much cheaper.

I also suspect that the shock cord fitting may be less liable to shake out of alignment on a bumpy track, but maybe that’s wishful thinking.

I looked at Tesco Direct online but they didn’t seem to have them, only others sold at £12-£13. Maybe I’ll check my nearest big store.

At the moment I use a Smart Polaris as it’s really visible and gives some light when riding in dark areas. It can be seen from the side, too. It can be used as a torch and the batteries have lasted ages. The downside is that it is really only effective when placed onto a touring handle. Having said that it is probably best on the handle because it is well away from the legs and hence completely visible. I find using a front light on the seatpost frustrating because my legs obscure most of the light and I have to wear a front light on my clothing.

Ah, you’re right, they aren’t on the website. Both of my local large Tescos had them though. Here’s some photos;





Cheers, I like the idea of using velcro, no messing around with screws etc.

Funny*, I just picked up an electron ‘backupz’ light like this. Can’t remember how much it was, a bit less than a tenner I think. Jolly handy. I think the stretchy ones with rubber bits are that much nicer than the tesco ones, and feel a bit more secure, and they have a completely clear body for better all round visibility, although for 99p, you’ve got a darned good deal there.

I got a red one to stick on my hockey unicycle / muni, for when I’m riding in dark streets, just to make me sort of almost road legal, as neither have a back light at the moment.


*although I guess seeing as it has just got to be dark early at night, it isn’t that much of a coincidence.

These little lights from Tesco are great, I got a couple of sets and the great thing is you can put the front and back on the same velcros strip hence less room is used up on the frame!

They are really bright but they’re not really ones for illuminating your way on the trails at night.

Now I’ve seen a picture of the Tesco ones, I’m still satisfied with the Cateye ones. They were a bit more, but I prefer the method of attachment, and I think they will be visible more widely. Personal choice, of course.

I was only thinking the other day about how much progress there has been on bike lights since I used to bike to school 30+ years ago. To think that we can be debating which is the better of two designs that are each no bigger than 1/8 the size of just the battery that my old lights had!

I have a Knog Frog on each frame leg and a Knog Gekko on the top tube. Very bright indeed and as the LED bulbs stick out on the frogs they have good sideways vision as well.

Standard Cateye for the back.



+1 on the frogs. They fit anywhere and are easy to move to another unicycle or bike.

What kind of batteries do the frogs use? I was thinking about one as an additional rear light, but I can’t be bothered with buying new batteries all the time as you can’t get rechargable CR2032s…

Keep an eye on eBay and you can pick them up pretty cheap. I just bought a pack of 10 for £1.50 including shipping from Hong Kong. Sure, they probably aren’t as long lasting as a big name brand, and not as eco friendly as rechargeables, but they are cheap as chips.


If it’s only an extra light, the electron ones in flashing mode supposedly last 150 hours, and in slow flashing mode for 300 hours, or something silly like that.


Recently I upgraded my rear light to a Fibre flare light. Looking a lot like a red glowstick, it uses high intensity LEDs to illuminate a flexible fibre optic core to produce omni-directional light. I have a quite a high seatpost and it didn’t fit there without flexing it to attach to the back of my Nimbus 36" frame, so people with short seatposts may have trouble finding room. It’s really easy to attach with the rubber clip things and runs on AAA batteries. I’ve had compliments from people about how visible it is even if my jacket dangles down a bit. They are not cheap at NZ$60 but it seems like progress as the next thing better than plain LED lights. I’d like a green one to put on the handlebar maybe.

side fibre flare.jpg