10 Best Bike Lights | December 2016

10 Best Bike Lights
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★★
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Although cycling is both an excellent form of exercise and an economical and eco-friendly method of getting to and from work or school, it can be dangerous on busy roads. Our selection of bike lights will help ensure you can see and be seen by vehicular traffic even in the dead of night. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bike light on Amazon.
10
The Blitzu Gator will save you money with its USB rechargeable battery and its convenient features, like a swiveling head and a quick release button. While it is listed at 390 lumens, it doesn't seem to be as bright as similar models.
  • fully charges in two hours
  • impact resistant
  • difficult to mount
Brand Blitzu
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The Nestling Solarstorm 5000 is an affordable option that will help get you to your destination safely. It features a 3-level battery life indicator, so you always know how much light you have left. It does get slightly hot to the touch, though.
  • includes a handy travel bag
  • can easily fit in your pocket
  • clamps are not tight enough
Brand Nestling
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
8
The Allen Sports 3W has an innovative bracket design that allows for a full, 360-degree rotation and also makes it easy to remove. It has a sleek, attractive aluminum casing that looks good on your handlebars, but it is quite big and heavy.
  • front beam adjustable
  • offered in a grey or silver finish
  • not ideal for serious night riding
Brand Allen Sports
Model ASL3X-S-Parent
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
7
The reliable Throfire 1400LM is engineered with an aluminum alloy that is built to last, and operates well in harsh weather conditions. It features dual CREE natural white LEDs that deliver a long-distance light stream up to 350 meters.
  • runs 12 hours per charge
  • easy installation
  • brightness may irritate others
Brand Thorfire
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
6
The Cygolite Metro 700 USB keeps you safe while on the road with 6 light settings, including a steady pulse mode and a Day Lightning mode that flashes to alert and demand extra attention. It also has side illumination ports for added visibility.
  • includes a usb charging cable
  • clamp locks tightly and securely
  • no low battery indicator
Brand Cygo Lite
Model Metro 700
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The Bright Eyes 1200 will equip you with consistent and reliable performance on your next business commute or rugged adventure. Featuring an SOS mode, its multiple settings provide intense light for up to 3 hours on high and 20 hours on low.
  • external rechargeable battery
  • includes a bonus head harness
  • mounting system is cheap
Brand Bright Eyes
Model pending
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
4
The CycleTorch Shark 500 uses one-of-a-kind flat beam technology that doesn't blind oncoming traffic or pedestrians, yet provides a brightness you can rely on. The redesigned mount fits on bikes of all sizes or you get your money back.
  • tool free installation
  • rugged enough for off-roading
  • choose from two colors
Brand Cycle Torch
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
3
The Hodgson Sport is a headlight and taillight set that offers exceptional value. With a high intensity brightness of 315 lumens, the front light can reach a distance of 330 feet. Both units are USB rechargeable, although the included cord is a bit short.
  • rear light has a strobe setting
  • splash resistant
  • unclear instructions
Brand HODGSON
Model pending
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
2
The durable Light & Motion Urban is designed to withstand drops on concrete from 1 meter and has an IP67 waterproof rating. It features four light levels with a low-intensity pulse mode that will allow the battery to last up to twelve hours.
  • available in three colors
  • amber safety side lights
  • manufactured in california
Brand Light and Motion
Model 856-0539-B
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
1
The Magic Shine MJ-880 illuminates even the darkest paths with a powerful LED that outputs 2000 lumens at its maximum setting. You can choose the perfect amount of light for your ride with multiple lighting modes, including flood, spot, high, and smooth dimming.
  • two-hour runtime at max power
  • overheating protection
  • neoprene battery case
Brand MagicShine
Model MGS-880
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Ideas For Safe Cycling After Dark

Whether you are riding for fun, taking part in a race, or if a bicycle is your choice vehicle for commuting to and from work, school, or around town, one thing is always a constant: safety always comes first.

Proper bicycle safety involves always wearing a helmet; this is a rule without exceptions. It doesn't matter if you are taking a leisurely ride down an open country lane or if you're a bike messenger zipping back and forth among busy city traffic, you have to wear a helmet when on your bike. It's also a good idea to wear protective gloves, and to consider clothing purpose-built to reduce "road rash", cuts, and scrapes in the unfortunate event of a fall. A good pair of sunglasses can help prevent the sun's glare from impeding your vision, and glasses also keep your eyes safe from debris. (Clear lenses should be worn when glare is not an issue.)

If you will be riding your bike after dark, there are extra safety considerations to be weighed and additional measures you must take to ensure you have a save ride. It's imperative you make yourself highly visible when riding your bike at night. The first step is to make sure you bike's reflectors are securely attached, in good working order (not cracked, e.g.), and are clean and unobstructed. Also make sure to wear clothing that is bright and highly visible. Ideally you can wear a high visibility vest that has bright colors such as yellow, orange, or pink, or you could consider an LED vest that is actually illuminated. (These lighted vests or belts are a smart choice as they can help you be seen without the need for a headlight or streetlight shining on you to reflect.)

Once you have made sure your bike and your person are visible thanks to reflectors and bright or illuminated clothing, it's time to consider that critical piece of nighttime cycling hardware, the bike light.

Choosing A Bike Light For Enhanced Visibility

When considering a bike light, first think about the type of bicycle to which your light will be affixed. Some of the largest, brightest options out there might in fact be too large and bulky for a streamlined carbon fiber road bike, and some of the smaller, sleeker models might be too dainty for a rugged mountain bike regularly subjected to jostling, jumps, and even to falls.

Next consider a bike light's battery life. If you routinely ride for hours at night, or if you won't regularly be able to charge or replace a light's batteries, then battery life is of critical importance: a light without power is worse than useless, it's just added weight, after all.

Make sure you are comfortable with the installation of any bike light you consider, or else plan to take your bicycle to a shop for professional assistance. An improperly installed bike light won't serve well enough as a light and might even fall off, presenting a safety hazard to you and others.

Ultimately the right bike light is the unit that creates the ideal beam for your night riding circumstances. If you bike on paths after dark, you want a bike light with a long throw that can reveal the route far ahead. If you ride on city sidewalks and streets, you need a wider swath illuminated so you can spot potential hazards like potholes and debris.

Last, you must consider how easily a bike light can be attached to and removed from your bike. If you regularly lock your bike outside in public places, your light might be at risk for theft if you leave it attached to the bike. A unit that can quickly detach is one you don't have to worry about losing to a thief.

Choosing A Bike Light For Improved Safety

While making sure you can see well when riding at night is important, it's of equal importance that you can be seen by others. That means two things: first, you need to choose a rear light that is highly visible, and second, it means you need to choose lights that won't negatively affect the vision of motorists, pedestrians, or other cyclists.

A bike's tail light should be red, just the same as a car or truck's rear lights are. This is true because red light causes the least disruption to a person's night vision. Choose a bike tail light that can flash for added visibility, but know that this function is usually only necessary if you are on a busy roadway or city street and need to stand out from the group.

When considering your bike's headlamp, make sure to choose an option that can be dimmed and/or angled as to not shine directly in the eyes of motorists in opposing traffic. A bright light shined right at a driver can make them disoriented and make it harder for them to determine exactly where you are. Make sure it is easy to change the brightness settings of your light if you choose a unit with multiple output settings; you should be able to adjust the light in a matter of seconds and without looking down at it. Some bike lights cast a broad, flat beam that illuminates plenty of ground but has little impact on those facing it; these are a good choice for the cyclist frequently riding in traffic who needs to be considerate of others' vision.



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Last updated on December 26, 2016 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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