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What Are The Best Bike Lights?

Cycling Blog

What Are The Best Bike Lights?

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Lighted bicycle jacket

April 21st, 2016

Now that the days are finally getting longer, we’ve decided it’s the perfect time to do a post about the best bike lights!

We agree with Brad below that the sun (?) is the best light, but once dark sets in it’s important to be illuminated and visible. But with seemingly endless options available which lights are right for you?

There are already a bunch of top 10 lists for every type of cycling equipment so we wanted to take a slightly different approach – we’ve trawled the web to find lights that get a lot of praise, and we’ve included peoples’ feedback so you can refer to a variety of opinions instead of just ours.

As always we’re open to feedback – if you have suggestions for better lights let us know!

Technically The Best

We found two incredibly detailed analyses of bike lights which combine field testing with various factors to determine the best light. These were carried out by Outdoor Gearlab and the Bike Light Database. The factors they use include:

  • Beam pattern
  • Brightness
  • Portability
  • Battery life / whether they’re rechargeable
  • Daylight visibility
  • Ease of use
  • Value for money

The top 3 lights found by each of these review sites is as follows.

Outdoor Gearlab (front lights only)

Bike Light Database, front lights

Bike Light Database, back lights

The Best Selling Bike Lights on Wiggle

If you prefer crowd-sourced best-selling information before deciding which lights to buy, take a look at the best selling lights on Wiggle here. At the time of writing, the top 3 were:


Popular Lights On Social Media

The cycling community at Reddit is full of good recommendations. In a similar vein to the detailed reviews above was a comprehensive review carried out 4 years ago (based on a post on Reddit) of front lights and tail lights. We recommend taking a look if only for the level of depth he used when reviewing the lights!
Light review table

Light review table 2So many metrics!

If you don’t mind not rocking the newest tech you can find most of the lights he reviews on Amazon. Some highlights:

  • The Light and Motion Urban Series, which were mentioned above. Full review here.
  • The Cygolite Expilion 700, also mentioned above. Full review here.
  • The PDW Danger Zone, available for ~£25 on Amazon. Full review here.
  • The Planet Bike Super Flash Turbo, available for ~£25 on Amazon. Full review here.

There was lots of love for Exposure lights among our Twitter following. These are pretty high-spec lights and clock in at between £35-£400, so something for every budget.


Wheel Lights

If you’re looking to illuminate other parts of your bike, there are plenty of options to explore.

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of bike lights out there! Hopefully the ones we’ve rounded up here will give you some ideas, although it’s always worth going into a bike shop and asking them to advise you based on your needs.

Some names that kept cropping up during our research were the Light and Motion Urban series, Cygolite’s Expilion series, NiteRiders, and Exposures (from our Twitter following at least!).

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