Best Bike Lights: Get the Gear for a Safe Ride

Man cycling with bike light


Biking can be one of the most rewarding ways to get outside, remain active, and promote personal health. As regular cyclists know, external conditions can have a big impact on the safety and ease of your ride. For example, when it's dark or foggy outside, it can significantly reduce your ability to see and be seen. To make sure you're safe, a good bike light should be considered essential cycling gear.

But what's the best bike light? Whether you're looking for a bike helmet light, bike taillight, or something else, we're here to help. Consider some recommendations from the ACTIVE Reviews Team.

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The Best Bike Lights - Our Top Picks

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What Are Lumens?

As you shop for the best bike lights, one word you're likely to come across is lumen. Lumens measure the brightness of a light. They are not the same thing as watts which measure a lightbulb's energy output. Lumens measure pure brightness. This is important because an LED light is designed to have relatively low wattage, but still offer plenty of brightness.

For cyclists, lumens matter because they show how much your bike light will help you cut through the darkness and the fog.

Best Overall Bike Light - NiteRider Lumina 900

NiteRider Lumina 900

SPECS

  • Lumens: 900
  • Weight: 0.38 lbs.
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Mount type: Handlebar mount

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For the best overall bike light, the NiteRider Lumina 900 offers a brightness of up to 900 lumens. That’s more than enough to cut through low visibility conditions. Mounted on your handlebar, it resists water, making it a good companion for cycling through rain or drizzle.

This light is durable, has a one-year warranty, and has robust battery life. More features that cyclists may find really handy are a daytime visibility flash mode and a low battery indicator. Easy to install and use right out of the box, this is a bike light that should hold up for a good long while.

What We Like

  • Very bright
  • Durable design
  • Long battery life
  • Resists water
  • Multiple modes of use

What We Don't Like

  • At 900 lumens, it may be a little too bright, potentially blinding other commuters
  • Battery life is great, but it does take a little time to recharge

BUY: NiteRider Lumina 900 

Best Rear Bike Light - Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Bike Tail Light

Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Bike Tail Light

SPECS

  • Lumens: N/A
  • Weight: 0.12 kg
  • Battery life: Up to 16 hours
  • Mount type: Seat mount

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Our pick for the best bike taillight is the Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Bike Tail Light. This red light is quick and easy to mount on your seat. With four different modes, you are more visible to cars or other cyclists behind you. The half-brightness mode can extend your battery life to a full 16 hours.

Another feature is that this light is IPX4 waterproof, making it useful in any weather conditions. The wide-angle lighting is a terrific way to stay safe on the road.

What We Like

  • Long battery life
  • IPX4 waterproof
  • 4 modes of use
  • Very easy to install
  • Wide angle
  • Modest price point

What We Don't Like

  • Battery life is extremely variable by mode of use
  • No warranty

BUY: Ascher USB Rechargeable LED Bike Tail Light

Best Front Bike Light - NiteRider Mako 150

NiteRider Mako 150

SPECS

  • Lumens: 150
  • Weight: 0.39 lbs.
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Mount type: Handlebar mount

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When you are cycling, you want to see and be seen. These lights are mounted on the handlebars and face the front making them our top pick in this category. The NiteRider Mako 150 is a lightweight option that provides a decent 150 lumens.

Powered by AA batteries, these lights are easy to use and simple to install. Modes of use include steady and daytime flash. The plastic design is reasonably sturdy. Changing out the batteries is a breeze.

What We Like

  • 2 modes of use
  • Easy to change the batteries
  • Very easy to install

What We Don't Like

  • No low battery indicator
  • 150 lumens may not be enough for some situations

BUY: NiteRider Mako 150

Best Bike Helmet Light - Topside Bike Helmet Light

Topside Bike Helmet Light

SPECS

  • Lumens: 100
  • Weight: 68g
  • Battery life: Up to 43 hours
  • Mount type: Handlebar mount

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Some cyclists prefer a light they can mount on their helmets, allowing them a little more control over where their light is directed. We recommend the Best Bike Helmet Light: Topside Bike Helmet Light. You can use it on your helmet or your handlebars.

This light’s 43 hours of ride time gives you plenty of use before you need to plug it in for a simple USB recharge. While 100 lumens are not the brightest, it’s enough for many cycling situations.

What We Like

  • Very long battery life
  • Easy to recharge
  • Can be used on helmet or handlebar

What We Don't Like

  • Works on most helmets, but not all
  • 100 lumens may not be enough for some situations

BUY: Best Bike Helmet Light: Topside Bike Helmet Light

Best Budget Bike Light - BX-300 Rechargeable Bike Light Set

BX-300 Rechargeable Bike Light Set

SPECS

  • Lumens: 300
  • Weight: 0.08 kg
  • Battery life: Up to 6 hours
  • Mount type: Handlebar mount

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Looking for a good bike light that doesn't break your bike gear budget? The BX-300 Rechargeable Bike Light Set has a modest price point and gives you a full 300 lumens of brightness.

This handlebar-mounted light also offers decent battery life. It lasts up to six hours between charges. And it has multiple modes of use. In this set you get a front light and a tail light, giving you 360 degrees of visibility. Talk about value!

What We Like

  • 360 degrees of visibility
  • 300 lumens
  • Modest price point
  • Easy to secure in place
  • Solid warranty

What We Don't Like

  • Battery life is fine, but not remarkable
  • No quick-release mode

BUY: BX-300 Rechargeable Bike Light Set

Best Bike Light for Commuting - Redcomets Bike Handlebar Extender

Redcomets Bike Handlebar Extender

SPECS

  • Lumens: 2,400
  • Weight: 0.78 kg
  • Battery life: Up to 34 hours
  • Mount type: Handlebar mount

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If you bike to work or to class each day, then having truly robust safety features is essential. Commuters should consider the Redcomets Bike Handlebar Extender. Among other things, its 2,400 lumens of brightness make you visible from more than 1,000 feet away.

This light has an extensive battery life of up to 34 hours, is waterproof, and has six modes of use to make riding in all kinds of weather and visibility safer.

What We Like

  • Incredible brightness
  • Up to 34 hours of battery life
  • IP65 waterproof
  • Easy to install
  • 6 modes of use

What We Don't Like

  • May sometimes be too bright
  • Higher price point

BUY: Redcomets Bike Handlebar Extender

Best Bike Light Set - GearLight Rechargeable Bike Light Set S400

GearLight Rechargeable Bike Light Set S400

SPECS

  • Lumens: 400
  • Weight: 0.19 kg
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours
  • Mount type: Quick universal mount

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For cyclists who want a full set of lights, we recommend the GearLight Rechargeable Bike Light Set S400. These lights offer long-lasting performance and a quick, universal mount. They are well-suited for almost any use.

At 400 lumens of brightness, this set offers just the right level of brightness. Depending on your mode of use, you may get up to 10 hours of ride time between battery charges. We love the lightweight design and weather resistance.

What We Like

  • 400 lumens
  • Decent battery life
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Resists water

What We Don't Like

  • Battery life is highly variable according to the mode of use
  • No warranty

BUY: GearLight Rechargeable Bike Light Set S400

FAQs About Bike Lights


How many bike lights do I need?

Make sure you have at least two: A front-facing light to help you see where you're going, and a rear bike light to make you more visible to drivers and to other cyclists.

Are 1,000 lumens good for a bike light?

The ideal brightness for a bike light is somewhere in the 200 to 600 lumens range. Going up to 1,000 may actually be a little bit too bright, producing a glare for oncoming commuters.

Do higher lumens mean brighter?

Yes; lumens are purely a measure of a light's brightness, and nothing else.

How many lumens should a good bike light have?

Most cycling experts recommend having somewhere between 200 and 600 lumens.

Are flashing bike lights illegal?

High-powered flashing lights are illegal, but a lower-level taillight may flash.

Can a bike light be too bright?

Yes; a light can be so bright that it blinds other people on the road, especially if the light is incorrectly angled. Aim for a light that's somewhere between 200 and 600 lumens.

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