Operation Illumination Bike Light Giveaways

Operation Illumination: BikePGH’s bike light giveaway program

Operation Illumination is BikePGH’s initiative to install front and rear bicycle light sets for riders with unlit bikes through giveaways at pop-up events throughout the year! All unlit cyclists who pass by our pop-up go home with a bicycle light set and bike safety resources, such as our Biking 101 Guide and our Bike Map.

Since 2011 Bike Pittsburgh has been giving away hundreds of free front and rear bike lights annually. We care about riders’ safety and education, and this is one of the most direct ways that we can interact with our community to provide that assistance.

Riding without lights not only makes bicyclists near-invisible in the dark, but it is also a ticketable offense under Pennsylvania law. Lightless riding is risky, and whether people are simply unaware or they cannot afford lights, we want to be sure that they are covered.

Consider making a contribution to Bike Pittsburgh today. $30 is the cost of one set of lights for an unlit rider.

Donate Today

WANTED: Local community groups to host our light giveaways!

BikePGH is looking for dedicated community members and outdoor venues across the city to help host Operation Illumination bike light giveaways! Help us serve even more unlit riders by helping to host Operation Illumination events in your community! 

We will provide all the bicycle lights, materials, and staff needed to host a successful giveaway in your community!

Materials Included:

  • Front And Rear Light sets
  • Operation Illumination Spoke Cards to go with every light set
  • 1-2 tables as needed
  • 1-4 Chairs as needed
  • BikePGH printed materials: e.g maps, guides, cash cards, stickers
  • Bike pump 
  • Handheld mechanic counter
  • 1-2 Volunteers as needed
  • BikePGH newsletter sign up sheet

If this is something you or your group is interested in, please reach out to the BikePGH Education Manager education@bikepgh.org.

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Tips for Riding in the Dark

  • Dress brightly: Wear reflective materials and/or bright-colored attire (high visibility helmet, jacket, shoes, and gloves are all items you can buy at your local bike shop). Reflective tape or stickers for your bicycle and gear are also a great investment.
  • Illuminate your ride: Use a white headlight and a rear reflector (or better yet, a red tail light) when riding in the dark. Try rechargeable batteries and keep your bike lights charged. Sick of dealing with batteries? A generator hub and light set may be a better option for you. PA state law states that the reflector and lights must be visible for 500 feet. Grab a friend and photograph each others’ bikes from a distance to see how visible your really are.
  • Assume drivers don’t see you: Veer on the side of caution and don’t assume that a driver can see you, even when you have the right of way. Give traffic an extra look before crossing at intersections.