Electric Scooter Lights [Simple Guide]

Lights are a fairly simple element that most modern scooters have, but still, there are a few things about them you should be aware of if you wish to be a responsible scooter owner.

  • Main headlights
    Location: front stem or handlebars
    Activation: automatically or manually
    Purpose: illuminate the path ahead
    May have adjustable brightness or modes
  • Brake lights
    Location: rear of the scooter
    Activation: activated by braking action
    Purpose: signal to others when you’re slowing down
    Brightness may vary with braking intensity
  • LED strips
    Location: integrated into various parts of the scooter
    Activation: typically always on
    Purpose: provide additional visibility and style
    May come in different colors or patterns
  • Turn signals
    Location: handlebars
    Activation: manually operated
    Purpose: indicate the direction you intend to turn
    May flash or remain steady during turns
  • Reflective stickers
    Location: found on different parts of the scooter
    Activation:passive, require external light
    Purpose: enhance visibility in low-light conditions
    Commonly in white or reflective materials

Let’s quickly go over the most crucial details about electric scooter lights.

Main headlights

riding the Hiboy S2 Pro at night with its main headlight on

This is the most important type of light in an electric scooter.

Technically, it is the only type of light that you must have to ride at night, or when it’s not too bright but you’re riding at faster speeds (you need some form of rear lighting for safety and legal reasons, but they don’t help you with your riding process per se).

The main headlight or headlights are the most common type of electric scooter light. If a scooter has one type of light, it will be the main headlight. Most scooters with headlights will have one, but some models will have two or even four front lights.

Main headlights may be required for your scooter by traffic laws in many countries.

Most of the main light properties, like the angle, the distance, and the power/intensity, only make sense when talking about the main headlights.

The angle of the light

front light of the Speedway 5

The light angle, specifically for the main headlight, is crucial. It ranges from nearly parallel to the ground to a wider beam focused closer to the scooter.

Adjusting the angle affects distance and brightness.

Narrow angles increase distance but reduce density, while wider angles shine brighter nearby but limit distance.

Power of the light

The power or the intensity of the light describes how strong the light shines.

The scientific term for light power is called the luminous flux, the perceived power of the light source, or the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source per unit of time.

The power of the light is sometimes expressed in Watts, but it’s also often expressed in Lumens as well.

Simply put, Lumens expresses how well the light converts the power it gets (Watts) to visible light. Watts and Lumens are directly related to each other, and the higher the Wattage, the more Lumens the light will produce. Another metric in the equation is the luminous efficacy, expressed in Lumens per Watts, and the formula is as such:

Watts = Lumens / Lumens per Watt

You can learn more about the relationship between Watts and Lumens here.

In general, the higher the Watts or the Lumens of the light, the stronger it will be.

Distance of the light

The distance of an electric scooter’s main headlight is determined by its angle and power.

Stronger lights and narrower angles result in longer illumination distances. Other scooter lights are not focused on distance.

Brake lights

rear brake light of the Ninebot E25E

Brake lights are almost always red, with the occasional orange light appearing in some models.

Typically, they get activated whenever you use any of the brake systems, and either blink or shine constantly while using the brakes. In many scooters, they can also be turned on permanently.

In many countries, brake lights are required by traffic laws for the scooter to be considered street-legal.

While they are not technically necessary for riding at night, it is very strongly recommended that your scooter has them.

Turn signals

rear left yellow turn signal on the back of an electric scooter

Turn signals are not very common yet, although newer models come with them in increasingly larger numbers.

They are usually orange and are turned on by a button.

In general, turn signals on a scooter are not required by traffic laws, but there are a few countries that do require them.

LED strips

deck lights of the Kaabo Mantis Pro SE

LED strips do a good job of letting other traffic participants know of your position and greatly increase your visibility at night, but they are also a very fun and decorative element for many scooterists.

They can either shine in one particular color or change colors in various rhythms and patterns.

Probably around 30-40% of electric scooters have some form of LED strips. Many scooterists choose to add LED strips to their scoters additionally.

Reflective stickers

front reflective sticker of the Ninebot E45

They will mostly come in yellow or orange, and sometimes in white.

Reflective stickers on electric scooters are somewhat of a new phenomenon, as very few older models have them.

Some countries require reflective stickers for the scooter to be deemed street-legal, and they are not difficult to add to any scooter, so brands and manufacturers simply started to add them.

The effect of reflective stickers on safety at night is not great, but a scooter should have them rather than not, as they are a very simple component (you can even add them yourself) and there are no downsides to them.

Why do most electric scooters have poor lighting?

the Apollo Explore with its lights turned on at night

While most electric scooters today come with some form of lighting, very few scooters come with strong lights that are truly strong and won’t need you to replace them if you wish to ride at night.

There are three main reasons for this:

  • electric scooters are not meant to be used at night a lot
  • electric scooter lights drain the battery quickly
  • strong lights in electric scooters are not expected

Most scooter brands clearly warn against riding their scooters at night, even the brands whose scooters have strong lights.

Lights drain the battery quickly, and strong lights drain the battery even quicker.

Most budget scooters today already have mediocre ranges, and adding strong lights to them would make their ranges so small that they might become practically useless.

In some cheaper scooters, the range is almost half of the normal range if riding with the lights turned on! Riding with your lights off is one of the best scooter battery tips and the one over which you have the most control.

Traffic laws for electric scooter lights and night rides

court room hammer

Traffic laws for electric scooter lights and riding at night differ from country to country, and even from state to state or from city to city.

In general, electric scooters need to have both a main headlight and rear brake lights to be considered street legal, and in some countries, even reflective stickers are required as well.

In some countries, riding your electric scooter at night is prohibited altogether, although those countries are rare.

Consult your local authorities and our electric scooter legal guide to find out about your particular location.

Defects of electric scooter lights

Defects in electric scooter lights are relatively common, especially in budget scooters.

If a light in your scooter breaks down, I suggest simply buying another light or set of lights instead of trying to fix the light. The process will be quicker, much simpler, and probably even cheaper in most cases.

The only exception here maybe if the warranty of your scooter is still valid. Even then, you may have to send your scooter to a repair shop, and in some cases possibly cover the shipping costs in both distances.

Still, if your scooter is under warranty, tinkering with it and creating a bigger defect just to fix a relatively small one is not worth the risk.

Case in point: the main headlight for my friend’s Ninebot Max broke down, and he decided to take it to a repair shop. They charged him more than what an extra set of stronger lights would cost initially, and the acceleration of his scooter was never the same after the fix.

Upgrades, customizations, and after-market lights for electric scooters

red side lights on the deck of the Kugoo G2 Pro

Getting a set of stronger lights is one of the most common upgrades for electric scooters.

Usually, owners buy either a strong main headlight or a set of headlight and brake lights. If you buy brake lights, you will probably have to have them turned on the whole time, as connecting them to the brake systems of your scooter and having them flash when braking would be very difficult.

Also, a lot of owners choose to get LED strips as customization as well.

Typically, even stronger lights are not expensive and are relatively easy to install.

When buying extra lights for your scooter, pay attention to the light power expressed in either Lumens or Watts, but also its connectivity and charging type (usually USB these days) and its water resistance.

Best aftermarket lights for electric scooters

There is a wide array of choices when it comes to upgrades and aftermarket lights for electric scooters, but only a few choices stand out.

The best choice that I usually recommend is the Cincred bike light set, with a main headlight of 400 Lumens and a small red rear brake light. The USB-rechargeable light can shine for more than 8 hours, and it will be pretty strong for most scooterists, while only costing less than $20.

In case you want a truly strong set of lights, then go with the NightRider Lumina 1100. This is another USB-rechargeable set of lights, with 1100 Lumens of intensity, which is almost 3 times stronger than the Cincred budget light.

If you only want a headlight without the rear brake lights, then the NightRider Lumina 850 front light is another excellent choice.

If you only need a rear brake light, then you don’t really need to go overboard as even budget lights are usually well-visible at night, and the BV set of rear bike lights will do just fine, but you can also check out the Cygolite Hypershot 350 Lumens tail light if you want to make sure you are staying as safe as possible.

In case you wish to add an LED strip to your scooter, I really don’t see a need to spend more money than needed, and pretty much any plain old LED strip will do just fine. The Aijiaer LED strip is dirt-cheap and will get the job done, plus you have the option to choose your color.

Finally, if you want to make sure your visibility at night is at the maximum possible level, consider the Gotoone reflective stickers for just a few dollars, or the ECEEN turn signal vest as additional lighting and safety equipment.

Can I add bike lights to my electric scooter?

electric scooter with lights on during nighttime ride.

Bike lights are often installed on electric scooters that either have no lighting of their own or have very weak lights. This is a very common scenario, as there are only a handful of light sets that are made especially for electric scooters.

If you want to learn how to install RGB lights on your electric scooter, I recommend checking out Alex’s video.

Electric scooters with the best lights

side view of a black Kaabo Wolf Warrior electric scooter with red details leaning on its stand in a dark room

Before we go on to the best-lighted electric scooters, I would recommend simply buying the scooter you want first and then getting stronger lights as an upgrade later.

That said, these are some of the scooters that are of good quality in general and also have decent built-in lights:

  • best high-end option: Kaabo Wolf Warrior – very strong headlights (2 main + 2 deck), brake lights, LED strip (read review or buy)
  • best mid-price option: EMove Cruiser – strong headlights with 2 deck lights, 3 rear lights, turn signals (read review or buy)
  • best semi-budget option: Ninebot Max – decent headlights, rear brake lights, pedestrian mode (read review or buy)
  • best budget option: Hiboy Max – as good lighting as budget scooters get, ok headlight + rear light (read review or buy)

Electric scooters with best lights for kids

child riding a Razor Power Core E90 Glow with the lights turned on

At this point, there are almost no electric scooters for kids with lights that I would recommend. The only exceptions here might be the Razor E100 Glow or the Razor Power Core E90 Glow.

The main problem here is that most of the good scooters for kids have no lights at all, and the scooters for kids with lights are really not good scooters in general. The scooters above come from Razor, which is the best brand of scooters for kids, and they are the only two models that have lighting.

My best recommendation would be to get a Razor scooter for the child depending on the age, and then buy aftermarket lights additionally. Choose some of the following Razor scooters based on the age:

  • Razor E100 for ages 8+ (full review here, or buy it here)
  • Razor E200 for ages 13+ (full review here, or buy it here)
  • Razor E300 for older teenagers (full review here, or buy it here)
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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
I am Matt Trajkovski, the owner and main editor of EScooterNerds. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general, and I’ve been involved in the industry for more than 10 years. I enjoy testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, following our proprietary rigorous editorial and testing process developed here at EScooterNerds, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.
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