When you’re searching for the best bike light, the first step is to determine whether you want a light that allows you to better see the road in front of you or that alerts other road users to your presence. Pay attention to the lumen rating, as this will affect everything from visibility and safety to battery life. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light will be. If you’re using the light primarily on darker country roads or trails, a higher lumen light for enhanced visibility is ideal. However, if you plan on using the light mostly for commuting and safety, you can stick with a moderately priced light that isn’t quite as bright.
Aside from purpose and brightness, other points to consider are whether the light is USB rechargeable, how easy it is to mount on the bike, and battery life. Some lights offer additional features, such as a weatherproof construction, a low battery indicator, and multiple light settings. If this list doesn’t quite have what you need, browse more bike lights for additional options. For more information, check out the following video: How To Choose Bike Lights For Commuting – GCN’s Road Cycling Tips along with Basic Guide to Bicycle Lights from Performance Bike.
1. CatEye Volt 1600 Headlight
This CatEye headlight is just as suitable for commuting and road use as it is for trail rides. A 1600 lumen output ensures your path will be well lit even in the darkest settings. In addition to two bright and powerful LED lights, this bike headlight comes with a wide beam pattern for enhanced visibility. It also has five distinct modes and will run up to two hours on the brightest setting, with a longer run time for lower intensity settings.
Price: $168.70 (23 percent off MSRP)
- 1600 lumens
- Five light modes
- Wide beam pattern
- Requires a fair amount of handlebar space
- A bit heavy
2. Bright Eyes Aircraft Aluminium Waterproof 300 Lumen LED Bike Light Set
This two-pack is a budget-friendly option with plenty of features for the price. The lights can be used on one bike or two bikes and also detach to be used as a flashlight. Each light is also adjustable from 80 to 300 lumens. Installation is fast and simple. You can use these lights for commutes, adventures, and longer bike rides. The lights have three modes and are fully adjustable. These lights run on AAA batteries. A Bright Eyes 1200 lumen light is also available.
Price: $26.87 (55 percent off MSRP)
- Doubles as a flashlight
- Adjustable from 80 to 300 lumens
- Quick installation
- Plastic mounts seem flimsy
- Front lights don’t always stay in place
- Not USB rechargeable
Find more Bright Eyes Aircraft Aluminium Waterproof 300 Lumen LED Bike Light Set information and reviews here.
3. CatEye Volt 700 Headlight
This light is a solid choice among enthusiasts and recreational riders. In fact, it won the Cyclocross Magazine Editors’ Award for the Best Light in 2015. A 700 lumen output ensures that this bike light will illuminate the road so that you can clearly see where you’re going, even at night. The large capacity Li-ion battery recharges quickly and is USB rechargeable. You can choose from five distinct modes, including normal, all-night, and flashing. A battery indicator lets you know when it’s running low. You can expect up to 100 hours of run time on the lowest setting.
Price: $119.22 (8 percent off MSRP)
- 700 lumens
- USB rechargeable
- Five light modes
- Lowest setting is a bit dull
- A bit heavy
- Light can get very hot
4. Cycle Torch Shark 500 Set
This USB rechargeable bike light is compatible with road, hybrid, and mountain bikes and is ideal for use in urban areas. The combination front and tail light set has a high 500 lumens output for enhanced visibility. You can expect up to two hours of run time with this light on the highest setting. A distinctive flat beam shape makes this light particularly useful for urban riders, although it works just as well in other environments. Other highlights include a water-resistant construction and the fact that this light attaches in just seconds and doesn’t require any tools.
Price: $39.95 (69 percent off MSRP)
- 500 lumens
- Compatible with all bike types
- USB rechargeable
- No warning when the battery is low
- Mounting mechanism seems cheap
- Some wish the rear light was brighter
5. CatEye Rapid X3 Front TL-LD720-F
If you’re looking for a light that will alert others to your presence on the road, this bike light is a safe bet. With a total output of 200 lumens, you will be visible during the day and night. It’s also USB rechargeable. You won’t have to worry about taking up precious handlebar space, as this light can be mounted on the head tubes and fork as well. Be sure to check out the CatEye Rapid X3 Rear Safety Light if you’re looking for a rear bike light.
- 200 lumens
- USB rechargeable
- Versatile mounting
- Relatively short battery life in highest setting
- Can’t adjust the angle
- Some find the rubber mounting rings a bit flimsy
6. Light & Motion Urban 800FC Headlight
The FC in this bike’s name stands for “Fast Charge.” The light has an 800 lumens output on the highest setting, providing a bright path even when it’s dark out. If you don’t need that much light, you can adjust the light to its lowest setting, 175 lumens, or the middle setting at 350 lumens. There are three distinct settings in addition to pulse. If you don’t like waiting for your devices to charge, you’ll appreciate the fast charge technology. The Light & Motion Urban 500 and Light and Motion Urban 350 headlights are also available.
Price: $129.95 (28 percent off MSRP)
- Multiple light settings
- Recharges quickly
- 800 lumens
- Helmet mount is a bit heavy
- Can’t adjust pulse setting
- Some think the mount could be more secure
7. Blitzu Cyborg 168T USB Rechargeable Bicycle Tail Light
With a total of 50 micro LED chips, this rear bike light is highly visible even from quite a distance away. The light emits over 160 lumens and also provides adequate lighting on the sides. The light can be mounted in a variety of places, including the frame and seat post. You can even mount it on the back of your helmet. Other features include a USB rechargeable battery and water resistant construction.
Price: $18.82 (52 percent off MSRP)
- 50 micro LED chips
- Can be mounted on bike or helmet
- Good side visibility
- Flimsy plastic retaining clips
- Operating time could be better
- Can be tough to toggle between modes
8. NiteRider Lumina 750 Bike Light
The NiteRider Lumina 750 offers plenty of light for the majority of riding conditions and is equally suited for road and mountain bike rides. The light comes with several operating modes, including four steady settings and one flash, and is USB rechargeable for added convenience. It’s also lightweight and can be mounted on the handlebars or helmet. A daylight flash mode keeps you safe without distracting oncoming traffic.
- Multiple operating modes
- USB rechargeable
- Daytime flash mode
- Plastic mount can break easily
- Light may rotate slightly on uneven surfaces
- Some find it a bit heavy
9. Light & Motion Seca 2200 Enduro Bike Light
If you tend to ride mostly at night or want some serious visibility during dawn or dusk hours, this bike light is a safe bet. There are six light modes, including distinct pulse and race settings. The light is geared towards professional racers and serious trail riders and features a waterproof exterior and fast charging. It’s also designed to maintain the same intensity, even during races. Additional features include an optimal beam pattern for trail rides and interchangeable batteries. A slightly less intense version, Light & Motion Seca 1800 Bike Light, is also available.
- Ideal for professional races and trail enthusiasts
- Optimal trail beam pattern
- Interchangeable batteries
- On/off button can be difficult to press when wearing gloves
- Relatively short run time on highest setting
10. Cygolite Expilion 850 USB Light with Helmet Mount
A Cree XM-L LED light and 850 lumen output ensures that your path will be well lit even in the darkest areas. This light features an extra-wide beam for enhanced visibility at all times. It’s also water resistant. There are eight modes to choose from, including four steady settings, two flashing settings, and a walking setting. Run time is just over an hour on the highest setting, and up to 22 hours on the lowest setting. The Li-ion battery is replaceable. If you don’t need such a bright light, check out the less intense Cygolite Metro 550 USB Light.
- 850 lumens
- Extra-wide beam
- Eight light settings
- Light can be tough to remove from clamp
- A bit heavy for a helmet mount
- Some find the light tips slightly on rough surfaces
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