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Bike lights buying guide


Whether you're commuting through towns or cities, taking on a night time mountain bike ride or touring on a long distance road trek, having a reliable set of lights is crucial – and a legal requirement in many countries.

There's a great range of lights for all purposes and at all budgets, which can be broadly separated into models that'll help you BE SEEN (commuting, road riding, touring etc on relatively well-lit roads), and models that will help you SEE (mountain biking at night, lighting your way on unlit roads etc).

Front lights generally have handlebar attachments and rear lights attach to your seatpost, but there's also the option to fix lights to your helmet using helmet-specific mounts, and to a backpack or even your clothing.

General purpose lights

There's a huge range of lights that'll help you be seen, and you don't have to break the bank to get a decent front and rear lightset. We'd advise you to get the best you can afford: after all, the more visible you can make yourself on the roads, the safer you'll be.

When you're looking for the right lights for you, check to see whether they offer good side-on visibility so that other vehicles and pedestrians can see you at junctions, for example. Also consider lights which offer a number of modes – some flash, some are constant. There's no limit to how many lights you can have, so you may want to have one light on flash and one on constant to make yourself that little bit more noticeable.

Front light from front shots
Most general purpose/commuting lights aren't built to light up the road, but are there to keep you as visible as possible. With that in mind we set up the below scenario - pointing a powerful light at a selection of our commuting lights from 60ft away, to show you how visible you'll be to other road users approaching you on the road.
[Use the arrows below to scroll through the lights...]


Rear light shots
We did the same with a few rear lights too...
[Use the arrows below to scroll through the lights...]

Shop for all our general purpose lights.

 

High performance lights

If you're commuting on unlit country roads, mountain biking in the dark or you want something more powerful than a general purpose bike light then we have something for you with our high-end performance front lights.

Bike light technology has advanced so rapidly in the past few years that you can now buy lightweight LED units with long running times which pack a huge punch. Yes, you'll pay a little bit more than your average front light, but the results are night and day (literally).

Many of these high powered units are lightweight enough to helmet mount – perfect for picking out trail obstacles when you're riding off-road at warp speed, but they're also just as useful on-road for pinpointing potholes and other road obstacles too.

Beam patterns on these lights vary – some with a wide spread; others with a more focussed beam. You may want to use a mixture of the two, or choose the one which suits your riding the best.

Shop for all our high-performance lights.

Front light POV beam shots
It's worth nothing that we've included some of the lower powered, commuting-focussed lights in order to illustrate the difference between general purpose and performance lighting.
[Use the arrows below to scroll through the lights...]

 

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