Cycling Essentials Guides

Best Bike Lights 2019: The Best Curated Offers of Best Cycling Lights

Best Bike Lights of 2019

Cycling is an excellent way of getting to and from work – and a cost-effective one too – and if you live in an urban area, is one of the easiest ways of getting around.

Manufacturers offer a wide range of affordable, quality road or hybrid bikes that are low-maintenance and designed for urban use, so there’s sure to be one for you.

If you already have a bike for commuting and are looking to start riding in the dark – and you will, as starting work early and finishing late means you’ll barely see the daylight – you need to invest in decent bike lights.

This is to be seen as much as to see, as in the dark a bicycle that is poorly lit may be difficult for other traffic to notice.

Wearing a reflective cyling jacket is also advisable, yet it is bike lights that make the most difference.

Also, it should be noted that front and rear bike lights are a legal requirement when riding in the dark in some countries, like the UK.

We’re going to tell you about the best bike lights available for commuting and for urban cycling, but before we go into detail, here’s a bit about what you need to look for when choosing your lights.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Bike Lights

Bike Light Comparison
Bike Light Comparison

What are you going to use the light for? In other words, where will you be riding? Are you commuting on brightly lit roads, or down back lanes with little available light?

Bright is usually best – especially when in darker areas – and look for lights with added side visibility, especially if you are going to be riding in town, as they are safer at junctions.

It’s best to choose a wide-beam light for the front, but be careful to ensure it is not angled to dazzle oncoming traffic.

If you can, pick a light with a low-power mode, or look for those with what is known as German cut-off beams, as these are very efficient.

Do you ride one bike, or do you swap between them? If you are going to be using the same lights on more than one bike, you should look for a set that is designed to be easy to swap, with few wires and connections.

How long is your journey? Many lights are USB rechargeable, some have their own chargers, some come with regular batteries. You need to be sure yours will last the distance, whatever that may be.

Buying the best usually means getting the most durable and versatile lights, which should be suitable for regular use in all conditions.

Be aware that lights will suffer wear and tear, so it is indeed worth checking the warranty of the lights you choose and reading the customer specs carefully.

That’s a few points for you to consider, so let’s have a look at the lights we reckon you should be checking out.

The Best Front Lights

1. Lezyne Femto Drive Light Set  

 

Femto-Bike-Lights

Make no mistake that LED is the way to go, and this lovely set of front and rear lights from the Lezyne range offers impressive performance at an excellent price for two lights.

Overview

Compact and neat, and with a cleverly engineered alloy body that is durable and waterproof, the front light has five settings that are easily selected by pressing the lens.

An easy-fit bracket design with patented strap means they can be put anywhere you want on the bike and are simple to remove, while they are designed to offer 180degree side visibility.

This is a non-rechargeable light set that comes with two batteries supplied, easy to find watch type models, and with 4 flash modes and one solid, you have all the choice you need and great opportunity to be seen everywhere you ride.

You can buy these for under £20, and while they are decent for the price, there are perhaps more powerful lights you should look at.

ProsCons 
Cheap
A front and back set
4 flash modes / 1 solid mode
180 degree
Easy fit strap
Standard battery
Brightness will fade
Not as bright as some
Price (at the time of writing)

Under £20

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

2. Moon Meteor Storm Lite   

 

Moon-Meteor-Storm-Lite-Front-Light-

This powerful 1100 lumens front light is a sleek design that comes with two fitment options, is a USB rechargeable model and comes with no fewer than 10 lighting modes that are easy to select.

Overview

Moon offers a wide variety of quality bike lights, and this one – with its durable and long-lasting CNC casing – is typical of the range. This is a well-made front light offering bright illumination – 11100 lumens is enough for even the worst lit places – and side visibility for safer use on the city streets.

It comes with two fitting options, helmet or handlebar, and mountings for each are supplied and features five brightness modes, three flash modes, a daytime light setting, and an SOS beacon type option.

The quick release fitting means it is easy to unclip and take it into the home or office, where it can be recharged via a USB port. It has a handy boost mode, too, which gives you 2000 lumens for a 10-second burst – a handy feature for night riding.

All in all, a quality, efficient front light from a good maker that while not the cheapest, gives you plenty added safety.

ProsCons 
1100 lumens
Boost mode
10 modes with SOS mode
Easy to fit with 2 mountings
USB charged
No frame mounting
Rather bulky
Not cheap
Price (at the time of writing)

£50.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

3. Blackburn Dayblazer 1100 Front   

 

Blackburn-Dayblazer-1100-Front

Best described as practical when it comes to design, the Blackburn Dayblazer 1100 nevertheless does a great job as a light should do, providing riders with 1100 lumens output on full beam, which is more than enough for most urban riding.

Overview

If you want a sleek and attractive light, one that will not be noticed except when in use, this is not it. It’s not a pretty design, yet that should not take away from the fact it does the job it is designed for and does it rather well.

At 1100 lumens – that’s full power – it will provide the rider with 1 hour of light, so if you have a short commute that’s sufficient. For longer periods, as with all the rechargeable models, you need to reduce the power; hence, at low solid light you get 4 hours, and on a 200 lumens strobe, 7 hours.

This model does have side-visibility – an absolute must for commuting and urban riding at night – and comes with an easy to fit integrated mounting system for handlebar or helmet use.

It has a dual-pattern beam for greater visibility and is chargeable by micro-USB. A full charge takes 5 hours, so be sure to plan your journeys with that in mind.

This is a decent front light, if rather costly, that will do the job, but only available in black.

ProsCons 
1100 lumens
Five mode settings
Helmet or Bar mount
Rechargeable
Strobe
Not attractive and only available in black
Just one hour at full power
5 hour charge time
Price (at the time of writing)

£59.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Tweeks Cycles

4. Cateye Volt 800 RC  

 

Cateye-Volt-800-Front

 

This elegant and efficient light offers 800 lumens at full power – not as much as some of these but still powerful enough for most urban riding – and comes with a handlebar bracket that is easy to fit and quick-release.

Overview

Small and not as overbearing in design as some of the above, this is a neatly integrated product that will fit nicely on your handlebars. If like many, you prefer helmet mounting, it can be done, but you have to buy the mounting as an extra.

Nevertheless, it’s a decent front light offering 800 lumens on full power. It’s rechargeable, so on one charge, you will get as much as 7 hours light on one the two full power options, and up to 80 hours if all you need it 200 lumens power, say if you cycle in brightly lit areas only.

It has a ‘fast recharging circuit’ yet, according to the specifications, takes at least 5 hours for a full charge which is about the norm.

There are no frills with this light – it does what it says – and while customer reviews are favourable, we can’t help but think that you might want to look elsewhere if you want more power.

ProsCons 
Handlebar mount
Rechargeable
Long time on lowest mode
Easy to fit
Compact
800 lumens maximum
Limited flashing modes
5 hours recharge (minimum)
Helmet mounting extra
Price (at the time of writing)

£57.00

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Chain Reaction Cycles

5. Lifeline Pavo 720   

 

Lifeline Pavo 720

A nicely designed front light unit from the LifeLine range, which offers a variety of cycling products, this is another no-frills model that is best described as mid-market and does a decent job at a price that while not cheap, is on the ball.

Overview

The first thing you notice about the Lifeline Pavo 720 is that the case is an alloy design of decent quality, and clearly sturdy and robust so suitable for regular commuter use. It comes with a regular handlebar mounting and has a quick release fitment, but no helmet attachment.

This light is a 720 lumens maximum design and LED as usual. That may not be the brightest, but if you’re riding in reasonably well-lit areas, it will do the job.

It has four continuous beam modes that range from full 720 lumens down to 90 lumens, with the latter being of little use except daylight riding. These are all available as flashing modes.

This is a USB rechargeable model; at full power, you will get almost 2 hours of light out of this one, while on power saving mode you should get as much as 15 hours, and when flashing, 20 hours. It’s decent, but there may be better at a price.

ProsCons 
Neat design
Handlebar mounting
Quick release
Four still and flashing modes
2 hours on a full charge
Only 720 lumens maximum
5 hour charge time
No helmet mount
Price (at the time of writing)

£59.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

6. Supernova E3 Pro 2   

 

Supernova-E3-Pro

This front light from Supernova is a premium price, but is it a premium product? Well, we’re not sure, although it is very popular with buyers. It’s a dynamo powered light, so you need to have your own kit for that, and it isn’t the brightest of the lot.

Overview

The benefit of a dynamo light is that it uses the energy from the dynamo for power, so you never need batteries. Modern dynamos do away with the problem of the light fading as you slow, but there is not one supplied, so you need the right type of hub.

The downside of this one is that, while it is a very well-made device from a regarded brand and will likely last a long time, it provides little more than 305 lumens when fully powered. This is considerably less than some of those featured here. It is very light, however, and fits comfortably on the handlebar crown.

This is a strange one as it has some exciting features – no need for a battery, 5 minutes standing light time and so on – but in comparison to some here it seems rather basic, and it is more than twice the price of some.

ProsCons 
Multi-mount system
Dynamo light
Easy to fit
No battery needed
Dynamo operation – need the right hub
Only 305 lumens
No flashing modes
Not the cheapest
Price (at the time of writing)

£130

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Amazon

7. Exposure Sirius Mk7 Daybright   

Exposure Sirius MK7

The last of our front light selections is this, the Exposure Sirius Mk7 Daybrite. This is an established brand with a range of popular products, and as with the rest of the range, the Mk7 is a compact, neat and rather smart little light that does the job.

Overview

This smart camera fits on the handlebars and offers side vision, so scores highly there. It’s also very well made and rugged, offering full waterproof capability.

This one is USB rechargeable and has 7 modes: you can use it still or flash, in various power levels, as well as a DayBright mode, which is very impressive.

The maximum is 750 lumens – so it’s not the brightest here, but it should be more than adequate for commuter use in reasonably lit areas – and it also features a lens that provides a claimed 180-degree visibility for added safety.

It is fully rechargeable with a micro-USB cable, and is easy to unclip and take into the office for charging by day or night, and offers up to 36-hours of usage on a low power setting. It is cable-free, too. At a price, it may be out of some budgets, but it is worth looking at.

ProsCons 
Neat and compact
Cable-free
7 modes
Handlebar mount
180-degree
750 lumens maximum
No helmet mount
Price (at the time of writing)

£95.00

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

The Best Rear Lights

1. Moon Nebula Rear Light   

Moon Nebula 180

The purpose of a rear bicycle light is to let other traffic know you are there, and this model – from the popular Moon brand – is designed with precisely that in mind.

Overview

The rectangular, long and slim design of this light is intended to give a broad red light visible to oncoming traffic, for the ultimate in safety. It is designed for two modes – flashing or standard – with the former offering 180 lumens, and the latter 100 lumens.

This is a rechargeable model with cables included, and it comes with a set of 3 brackets for the seat post, saddle rail or to clip on a belt. It’s LED, as is the norm with these, so will last a long time, and while customers comment that it is a little on the expensive side, they are also full of praise for it as a rear lamp.

ProsCons 
Establshed brand
180 lumens flashing
100 lumens standards
3 x mounts
Not cheap
Price (at the time of writing)

£34.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Evans Cycles

2. CatEye Rapid Micro   

Cateye Rapid Micro Rear Light

Very small, very light, and not very powerful, this rear light from Cat Eye is rightfully described as ‘entry level’, and to be honest we wouldn’t recommend it for serious commuting or urban riding.

Overview

Designed to be extremely compact – which it is – this is a light perhaps for a child playing in the street, although we are not sure we could recommend it there with any confidence. It is small, it is a neat design, but that’s about all it has going for it.

You get 3 x LED’s providing a total of 15 lumens of brightness. Yes, we did say 15 lumens, which really is not a lot when you are riding in town traffic. It has four modes – standard, flashing, rapid and pulse – and it fits comfortably and quickly. It is USB rechargeable.

ProsCons
USB rechargeable
4 modes
Very small
Only 15 lumens
not for traffic use
Price (at the time of writing)

£11.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

3. CatEye Rapid X3   

Cateye Rapid X3

A serious model from the maker of that above, this CatEye model is for the city or town rider and offers very decent performance at what is a sensible – if not cheap – price.

Overview

This is a ‘traditional’ style of rear light that has a rubber band mount meaning it can be fitted just about anywhere there is space at the rear of the bike.

It’s nicely made and features two strips of LEDs for added brightness, and also rechargeable by USB with a charge time of around 3 hours.

You get 150 lumens brightness – that’s a bit more like it – and six modes, including rapid, flashing and high, with the most powerful giving you 1 hours use, the most economical around 15 hours.

It has a quick release so you can take it with you, suitably compact and meets with customer approval, so is indeed one to consider.

ProsCons 
Well-known brand
Twin LED strips
Up to 150 lumens
Six modes with up to 15 hours use
Universal mount
Only 1 hour in brightest mode
Not cheap
Price (at the time of writing)

£34.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

4. CatEye TL-LD610   

Cateye LD610

This battery powered, no-rechargeable rear light is designed to be affordable and yet bright enough for urban night riding and meets with customer approval on both of those counts.

Overview

If you are looking for an old-style light, that is one that you don’t plug into recharge, this one runs on two AAA batteries. That’s either a plus or a minus, depending upon who you are, but given that those batteries give you 30 hours on full charge, we’re not sure it’s great for regular commuter use.

Nevertheless, six LED lights give you decent brightness, it has a simple on-off switch that can easily be reached when in situ at the back of the bike, and it has both flashing and constant modes.

It’s waterproof and comes with an easy-to-use bracket, and at less than twenty quid may be a good choice if you ride occasionally.

ProsCons 
Established brand
30 hours on a full charge
Quite bright
Six LEDs with two modes
Cost effective
Battery powered, not rechargeable
Only 30 hours per set of batteries
Price (at the time of writing)

£18.21

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Wiggle

5. Lezyne Zecto Drive 80   

 

Lezyne Zecto Rear Light

 

This model, from the favorite Lezyne brand, is unusual among this selection in that it is a circular light. It’s an 80 lumens design, so will provide enough light for normal urban riding.

Overview

Three very bright LED’s provide the output from this compact and efficient rear light, with 80 lumens as the maximum output.

It has an easy to use strap fitting that means you can choose where to mount it and is equipped with a power indicator, so you know when you need to recharge.

That 80 lumens is a maximum and is available in Day Flash mode, where it will provide you with that brightness for 7.5 hours in that mode. In economy mode, you get 5 lumens for as much as 11 hours, but whether you would be happy riding at night with that little output is up to you.

It’s a neat design and a decent little light for occasional riding, and perhaps longer trips at dusk, and at a little over £20 is priced accordingly.

ProsCons 
Circular design
7.5 hours flash mode
Rechargeable
Easy to fit
Relatively cheap
80 lumens max
Economy use only 5 lumens
Price (at the time of writing)

Under £20

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Tredz

The Best Light Sets

1. Lezyne Micro Drive 500XL   

 

Lezyne Micro Drive 500XL

This dual set from Lezyne, a highly regarded brand in this arena, offers decent performance at a sensible price, and may well be a good choice for anyone who regularly cycles into town or in urban areas.

Overview

This smart pairing offers you the best of both worlds, with compact lights that are well-made and high-performance both back and front.

First of all, the front light, with its high-performance LED’s, provides no less than 500 lumens output. That’s sufficient for regular urban riding in reasonably lit areas, but perhaps not enough for dark runs.

In additon to that, you get daytime modes, flashing options and a range of other modes, and it is USB rechargeable in just 2 hours.

The rear light is a high performance, aerodynamic design that offers you 150 lumens – that is very powerful for a red rear light – and is similarly well made, sturdy and durable, with a recharge time of just 2.5 hours.

Most importantly, both front and back are an easy fit, quick release mountings, and you also get side-visibility, and a mode memory, so it will restart where you left off.

ProsCons
500 lumens front, 150 lumens rear
Multiple modes
Fast charge
Well-known brand
The front might not be suitable for darkness
Quite pricey
Price (at the time of writing)

£74.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Evans Cycles

OR

Check The Price on Amazon

2. Lezyne Zecto Drive Y11   

 

Lezyne Zecto Drive y11

A set of front and rear lights from the Lezyne range designed for budget buyers, these two very neat circular lights may be ideal if you ride in reasonably lit areas.

Overview

The circular design of these lights and their low-profile construction coupled with a smart and very versatile patented clip system means they take up less space than some, and they also look a good deal better than many others on this list.

With 250 lumens from the front and 80 lumens at the rear – each from 3 x LED panels – they are decent enough for regular urban riding, and for commuting.

The machined aluminium body of both parts provides long life, durability, weather protection and also lightweight, plus they are fully waterproof.

In addition, the front light has 7 modes, with energy saving and battery saving plus flash and daylight modes – they are rechargeable via USB – with the rear offering a similar selection. In full power mode, you will get around 3.5 hours out of each, and up to 15 hours in economy modes.

They charge in 3 hours, can be unclipped quickly, and are at a price worth looking at.

ProsCons 
Reasonable price
Established brand
3 hours charging time
Easy to fit and unclip
Multiple modes
Only 250 lumens front
Only 80 lumens rear
Price (at the time of writing)

£45.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Evans Cycles

3. Lezyne Macro 1100 Strip Pro 300   

 

Lezyne Macro Pro Strip 1100

It is entirely possible that this pair of lights is unbeatable if you are looking for the best brightest and most impressive around, so we recommend you check them out very carefully before you buy any of the others on the list.

Overview

This set of lights is also from the Lezyne range and offers excellent performance at a very sensible price when everything is considered.

Starting with the front light, you get up to a maximum of 1100 lumens, which is all you will need, but bear in mind that is in ‘overdrive’ mode and you will get just 1hour and 20minutes. If you want a compromise, you can get 4.5 hours at 450 lumens, which should be more than adequate.

The rear light is equally impressive, and also in strip form, and gives you a flashing 300 lumens that will cover three hours on one charge, plus a whole range of other modes, including – for example – a standard 35 lumens for 4 hours, which should be adequate for most commuter use.

Most of all, both front and back have quick release fittings, and are waterproof, plus come with high speed charging for added appeal.
All in all, this is the set that makes the others work hard for their money, especially at a price.

ProsCons
1100 lumens front / 300 lumens rear
Economy provides long run times
Multiple modes
Easy to unclip
Price
Genuinely hard to find any
Price (at the time of writing)

£79.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Tredz

4. Knog Light Blinder Mob 4-Eyes   

Knog Blinder Light Set

A decent set of lights offering average brightness and output, but well-made and neatly designed, this set may well be a good choice if you don’t need the professional level set listed above, and if you are on a budget or ride only occasionally.

Overview

From a maker other than the above, this set is perfectly suitable for a mid-range pair of lights and comes in at a very sensible price.

They are square in format and each feature 4 x LED’s, come with a neat and easy to use a mount with a quick release mechanism and offer decent performance.

The front light, for example, provides 80 lumens of light on full power – that’s not special, but if you ride in lit areas and don’t want heavy duty it’s enough – and charges from a standard USB point.

The rear red light is the same design, and also looks the part, and provides as much as 44 lumens – that’s quite bright for a red rear – and each comes with 5 different modes including constant and flash, with various battery life across the board.

A good set of no-frills lights that might appeal if you are on a budget, or if you ride just every now and then.

ProsCons
Good value
Smart design and USB rechargeable
44 lumens rear output
4 x LED’s each light
Easy to fit
Only 80 lumens front light
Price (at the time of writing)

£52.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on Tredz

5. Niterider Lumina 1200 Boost   

Niterider Lumina 1200 Light Set - Best Bike Lights

Easily the most powerful set of front and rear lights on the list, the 12000 lumens front and 250 lumens rear lights shown here are professional level in power, but also in price, though certainly worth a look.

Overview

Let’s get down to business with our final choice. First of all, the front light features a cleverly designed lens that spreads light evenly, can provide a maximum of 1200 lumens – which is very bright indeed – and has 5 different light levels plus a flashing effect.

The 1200 maximum is available as a boost at the touch of a button, and general max power of 600 lumens will give you one hour of light. However, if you want the economy mode, you can get as much as 18 hours, and recharge time as standard is 6hrs.

The rear light is similarly impressive, giving 250 lumens, also comes with a group mode so it won’t dazzle riders immediately behind. It will provide you with 4.5 hrs in full power mode, and up to 40 in the lowest selection, and is rechargeable via USB – as is the front light.

Both come with easy to use mounts, quick release fittings and are very compact and light, and are made from quality materials to a high standard.

ProsCons
1200 lumens front, 250 lumens rear
5 modes, including flash
USB rechargeable
Quality items
1200 lumens only 1 hour
6-hour standard charge
Quite costly
Price (at the time of writing)

£94.99

Best Place to Buy

Buy Now on ProBikeKit

That’s our review of the best lights for urban riding, so which one is for you?

Our Verdict

To summarise, it’s a difficult decision to make when we consider the sheer range of different types, power levels and prices we have here, but we have managed to come to a conclusion.

If you really want to be safe on the road at night, with the winter nights coming in, you need to choose the very best lights that will not only help you see but will get you noticed.

For commuting in the dark, we recommend you choose the pair of lights from Lezyne Zecto Drive at No.3 in the Light Sets section or, if you only need one or the other, buy it separately.

Quite simply, at a price for the set, you get unrivalled brightness, proven reliability, and quality that is more than impressive, and the safety and peace of mind that comes with it.

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