The 13 Best Bike Lights Review

Over the past decade, big improvements have been made by light manufacturers to increase the output and reduce the weight of bike lights. That progress is driven by the switch to efficient LED lamps that produce dramatically more light per watt than older halogen or metal-halide bulbs and lithium batteries that pack more power into smaller packages. Both technologies have helped make brighter lights with similar or longer run times than before in smaller, lighter systems.

Below are six of our top bike-light choices. Scroll deeper for more in-depth reviews of these and other high-ranking options, plus some buying tips and advice.

The Best Bike Lights

Where and When Will You Use the Lights?

When selecting a light set-up, the first question to answer is do you need to see or be seen?

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For being seen a front and rear blinker set will usually be sufficient. If you typically commute to work in daylight or at dawn and dusk when the light is low, these are a must-have item. Many options do a great job, charge fast, and are affordable.

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When riding on the trail at night, seeing where you are going is key to avoiding getting hurt or becoming lost. For trail use, bright front lights are most important, as well as runtime on the light. When mountain biking, the combination of a bar-mounted lamp and a helmet-mounted light will help you see through corners and more easily pick up things like rocks in the shadows.

If you commute in the hours before sunrise and after sunset, or ride on the road or paths at night, seeing and being seen are both important. A powerful front headlight paired with a blinking taillight is necessary for these situations. Also keep in mind that the brighter the ambient light, the brighter the system you’ll need for visibility. Rear blinkers that put out 15 lumens may seem bright after dark but are harder to pick out in full sunlight.

Do You Need a Rear Light Only or a Full Set?

If you ride only in daylight and your budget doesn’t allow for a full light set, at the very least start with a rear blinker. It will help make you more visible from behind. You can always invest in a front light later, especially if you wish to extend your rides to before or beyond daylight. For the budget-minded, you can often score a better deal when buying lights as a front and rear set or bundle. One of our favorite front and rear blinker combos costs under $20.

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For being seen during day- and nighttime hours, a front and rear light set, like the Bontrager Ion 200/Flare RT combo, is a great option.

Courtesy of Bontrager

Where Do You Want to Mount Your Light?

Most headlights mount to the handlebar, but some models can also be helmet-mounted. The handlebar mount is

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