Whether you’re looking for a light that can brighten up your path for an early morning or evening ride, or you need a smaller light to alert others to your presence, having the appropriate light for your bike is crucial. 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 its battery life. Some lights offer additional features, such as a weatherproof construction, a low battery indicator, and multiple light settings.
1. Best Overall: CatEye Volt 1600
It’s not cheap, but the Volt 1600 is a worthwhile splurge for many cyclists. At 1600 lumens, the light puts out the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent bulb. In addition to the sheer brightness, cyclists appreciate the light’s wide beam pattern. The USB rechargeable Lithium-ion battery delivers up to 100 hours of battery life on flashing mode, and two hours on the brightest mode.
Aside from high, medium and low modes, you can use the hyper constant or flashing modes. A low battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to recharge. Other features include a mode memory function and the flexible, secure mount.
- 1600 lumens
- Five light modes
- Wide beam pattern
- Requires a fair amount of handlebar space
- A bit heavy
2. Best Budget Set: Bright Eyes LED Bike Lights
The best cheap bike lights offer lots of bang for your buck. This two-pack is a budget-friendly option with plenty of features for the price. The bike 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, and doesn’t require any tools. You can use these lights for commutes, adventures, and longer bike rides. On the brightest setting, the headlight is powerful enough to illuminate darker roads and trails up to 48 feet in front of you. The lights have three modes and are fully adjustable. These lights run on AAA batteries.
- 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
3. Best Value: Fillixar Rechargeable Bike Light
The Fillixar Rechargeable Bike Light is Amazon’s Choice thanks to its low return rate, high customer ratings and overall popularity. For just under $20 you can snag an 800 lumen light that lights up the road or trail up to 650 feet in front of you. It’s also waterproof so that you don’t have to worry about riding in the rain.
The USB rechargeable battery yields roughly 90 minutes on the brightest setting, and up to five hours on the least intense modes. A remote button lets you change the brightness settings, and even turn the light on and off, without removing your hands from the handlebars. The mount rotates 360 degrees.
Price: $119.22 (8 percent off MSRP)
- 800 lumens
- USB rechargeable battery
- Amazon’s Choice
- Some find the lighting angle too narrow
- Battery life could be better
- A few find the toggle switch awkward
4. Best for All Bike Types: Cycle Torch Shark 500 Bike Light Set
Its universal fit makes the Cycle Torch Shark 500 light set a safe bet for all types of bikes. Choose between high, medium, low and flashing modes for safety and visibility. Battery life is approximately 1.5 hours on the brightest 500 lumens setting. You can expect up to three hours on the medium mode with 250 lumens, and 15 hours on the lowest brightness setting of 50 lumens. On flash mode, however, the battery may last up to 30 hours.
The light is USB rechargeable and includes a cable. Its waterproof construction means you can ride in the rain without worrying about ruining this bike light. An LED tail light is included.
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. Best Compact Light: Ascher Bike Light Set
High customer ratings, fast shipping and an affordable price tag makes the Ascher Bike Light Set Amazon’s Choice for bike lights. While larger lights tend to be brighter, they’re often clunky and even pricey. This bike light set includes compact front and rear lights that alert others to your presence on the road. Both lights have an IPX4 rating, which means that they are protected against water splashes and spray.
Lithium-ion batteries power both lights, which are also USB rechargeable. Choose between full and partial light settings, or opt for the slow or fast flash modes. The silicone mount straps fit around most handlebars and seat posts, and can be easily attached to helmets. There is an 18-month warranty.
- Amazon’s Choice
- Protection against water spray
- 18-month warranty
- Not waterproof
- Subpar battery life
- Not ideal for riding in the dark
6. Best for Mountain Biking: Light & Motion Trail 1000 FC Ranger
While the Trail 1000 FC Ranger works for on- and off-road riding, specific features make it particularly well suited for mountain biking. For example, its beam pattern is optimized for optimal visibility on the trails. Another perk is its 1000 lumen output, which is bright enough for dark trail rides. The light can easily be mounted on most handlebars and helmets. If you’re not the type to stay indoors even when the weather isn’t the greatest, you’ll appreciate this light’s rugged, waterproof construction.
The FC in this light’s name stands for “fast charge.” You can expect a full recharge in 2.5 to six hours. Run time ranges from 1.5 hours on the highest setting to 12 hours on pulse. The medium setting lasts for three hours, and the lowest light setting runs for six per charge. Lumens range from 250 (pulse and low) to 500 for medium and 1000 on brightest level. Side lights make you more visible to other road and trail users. This light is also impact resistant.
Price: $129.99 (13 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. Best Battery Life: Bright Eyes Rechargeable Bike Headlight
Many bike lights can last for hours when you’re out on a ride, but that’s usually only when they are on the lowest setting or in flash mode. This Bright Eyes light is designed to get up to five hours on the brightest beam. If you don’t need such high intensity, you can expect over six hours on the medium setting and 16 hours on the lowest setting. On its brightest setting, the light puts out 1600 lumens, which is enough to light up dark roads and trails. When used on the maximum mode, you can expect up to 500 feet of complete brightness. This light has a waterproof construction and will fit most mountain and road bike handlebars.
- Gets up to five hours per charge on highest setting
- Powerful 1600 lumens
- Waterproof construction
- Handlebar mount isn’t the most secure
- A bit bulky
- Some say the cable connection is poorly designed
8. Best for Commuting/Urban Use: NiteRider Lumina 1100 Boost
The best bike lights for commuting tend to be weather-resistant, easy to remove from the bike once you arrive at your destination and have a respectable battery life. The NiteRider Lumina 1100 Boost is a versatile light that caters to the demands of commuters and urban riders. There are nine different modes to choose from, including the most powerful 1100 lumens setting, which is ideal for nighttime rides. In addition to five light settings, there are four flash modes to keep you visible in any environment.
A handy lock mode prevents the light from accidentally turning on when stashed in a backpack or bag. The strap fits regular and oversize handlebars up to 35mm, and has a quick release tab. Backlit buttons make it easier to see what you’re doing, even in the dark. This light is water resistant and is USB rechargeable. A low battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to recharge.
Price: $84.93 (15 percent off MSRP)
- Multiple operating modes
- Lock mode keeps light from accidentally turning on
- Backlit buttons
- Some wish the clamp was tighter
- Needs to be pressed twice to access brightest setting
- Battery life isn’t great on brightest settings
9. Best Road Bike Light: Cygolite Dash Pro 600
When you’re heading out for a ride on the roads, you may not need the level of brightness and intensity that off-road rides require. However, you’ll still want a decent amount of brightness, especially if you tend to ride in lower light hours. The Cygolite Dash Pro 600 has an output of 800 lumens on the highest setting. It’s also water resistant.
There are eight modes in total, including high, medium and low modes along with a flash mode and a boost mode for extra light. The long, wide-range beam lights up the road. The light is compact and sleek, and weighs just 95 grams. Side illumination ports keep you visible to others on the road. This light has a low battery indicator and is USB rechargeable. It’s also easy to mount on most road bike handlebars, and can even fit onto aero bars.
Price: $48.00 (26 percent off MSRP)
- Fits aero bars
- Long, wide light beam
- Can be hard to tell which mode is selected
- Battery life could be better
- Not fully waterproof
10. Best All-Weather Light: GearLight S400
Whether you frequently find yourself battling the elements on your bike or you just want to be prepared for inclement weather, the GearLight S400 is designed to handle snow and rain. An IPX5 rating means it’s safe to use this light in the rain. Aside from its weather-resistant construction, the light has a 400 lumen output on the highest setting. It’s also equipped with five lighting modes, and includes amber side lights to make you more visible on the road. Battery life is up to two hours on the highest setting, and six hours on lower settings. Both the front and rear lights are USB rechargeable and will fully recharge in roughly three hours. A tail light is included.
- Can withstand snow and rain
- Multiple light settings
- May not be bright enough for night rides
- Flimsy rubber mount
- Doesn’t have a quick release mechanism