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Friday, October 18, 2019

The 6 Best Bike Lights to Put Some Glow in Your Go

The handlebars of a bike with a light attached, illuminating dark woods at night.
Ian Slack

If you’re a bike commuter or active mountain biker, you’ll want to get your shine on as the days get shorter. Here are our favorite bike lights for all types of cyclists.

Before you shop for a bike light, the first thing you have to think about is how you plan to use it. For example, if you ride to and from work in the city, you have the benefit of overhead streetlights, so being visible to cars will be your primary concern. In this scenario, a super-bright, white flashing light might be enough.

However, if you’re an off-road biker, who blasts down single-track trails after dark, you need a more comprehensive setup, with possibly two lights so you can see every root or rock in your path.

Let’s take a look at some other things you should look for in your new bike light.

A Few Things to Consider

When it comes to judging bike lights, battery life and brightness are the two most important considerations, followed by design and mounting style. If you’ve never shopped for a bike light—or haven’t in a while—you’re going to be pleasantly surprised. This ain’t your grandpa’s flashlight!

Battery Life

The great thing about modern bike lights is they’re almost all powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. Many of them also have incredibly long burn times between charges. Obviously, you want to pick one with a battery life that will comfortably cover the amount of time you ride.

Many lights feature indicators that show how much power is left. This gives you the option of shifting to a lower output setting if you need to nurse the light long enough to get home.

You can charge most lights via USB; you can even use some lights as a spare battery pack to recharge other devices in a pinch.

Bright Enough or Too Bright?

Bike lights can go so long between charges now due to LED technology. It requires less energy but produces super-bright output. Unfortunately, brightness is an area where making apples-to-apples comparisons can get a bit confusing. I’ll try to explain.

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