Lighting of bicycles in Ireland


If you want to use a bike on a public road in Ireland, your bike must be fitted with reflectors and lights to ensure that other road users will see you. All bicycles used on public roads must follow the Road Traffic (Lighting of Vehicles) Regulations 1963 as amended. This law sets down the type of reflectors and lights that your bicycle must be fitted with and when you must use them.


All bicycles used on public roads in Ireland must always display a rear reflector. A rear reflector is a red reflector that can be plainly seen for a distance of 99 meters when a vehicles headlights shine directly on it. The only exception to this rule is on a child's bicycle where that bicycle is used during the daytime.

When do my bike lights have to be switched on?

Your bike lights must be switched on during ’lighting-up time‘. This period begins half an hour after sunset and ends half an hour before sunrise on the following morning. During these hours, all cyclists must have fitted (and make use of) the following:

  • One front light, shows the front a white or yellow light visible for a reasonable distance
  • One rear light, fitted to the rear of your bicycle showing a red light that is visible for a reasonable distance

Lights do not need to be lit when stopped in traffic or when a person wheels the bike on foot as near as possible to the left-hand edge of the road.

Can I use flashing front and rear lights?

Yes, under SI 487 of 2009, it is legal to use flashing front and rear lights.

What is the penalty for not having bike lights?

Failure to use proper lighting on a bicycle is an offence. If you are stopped by a member of the Gardai, the Garda may take your name and address, details about your bike and the time and date of the offence. You may be issued a fixed charge notice (See our page on Laws on cycling in Ireland for more information). You could be summoned to appear in court, if you do not pay the fine.

Does a Garda have a right to stop me if I cycle without lights?

Under Section 108 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (as amended), a member of the Gardai may demand your name, address and date of birth if they suspect you have committed any crime or offence. They may also demand your name, address, and date of birth if they suspect you have been involved in a collision or caused injury to property or someone else. If you do not give your name, address, or date of birth, or give a false name, address or date of birth the Garda can keep your bicycle until they are satisfied with your identity.

Where can I get bike lights?

Most bicycles sold in shops are already fitted with reflectors as standard. You can buy additional bicycle lights or reflectors at any reputable bicycle shop.

Page edited: 17 October 2023