Some people consider a bicycle light only necessary at night. The fact is, using your bike lights in the daytime is just as useful as using them at night. After all, most states require that motorcycles have their headlight on in the daytime. And many new cars have headlamps that are on any time the vehicle is running. The reason is not so they can see better, but so they can be seen. You need one on your bike for the same reason: safety.

When you start shopping for the best bicycle light, there are features and options to think about. The luminosity, the power supply, and how it attaches to your bike are just a few things to consider. Some bicycle lights have built-in batteries, while with others, you'll need to purchase and install them.

Why You Need a Bicycle Light

person and a bike' silhouette

All states have various bicycle helmet, headlight, and traffic laws, and using a headlamp at night is usually among them. However, the main reason for a bicycle light is not just because of the law -- it's so drivers can see you. That's more important than you being able to see them. The logic is simple; you being aware of a car is not nearly as critical as a car being aware of you.

On your bicycle, you don't have the sizeable mass of a car. That makes you much harder to see even in the daytime. Add to that the fact that encountering a bicycle isn’t something most drivers do every day, and you soon understand why a motorist will not be looking out for you on your bike.

Finding the Best Bicycle Light

bike

We can’t tell you which bicycle light is the best one for you -- no one could. There are too many options and features for one single bicycle light to be perfect for everyone. So, the list that follows contains some of the best models on the market that tick all the boxes that the majority of cyclists found necessary. We haven't listed them in any particular order, but you're bound to find one that works for you.


How We Reviewed


To compile our list, we considered those lights most favored by reviewers and evaluators as our starting point. We then checked suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers for data, features, and the specifications of each light. In our proving process, customer reviews and opinions carried the most weight. You are the ones using them in the field and are most likely to come across problems and weaknesses as well as any saving graces. We eventually narrowed them down to those on this list.

CAT EYE - Volt 1600 Rechargeable Headlight
  • SEE AND BE SEEN: The Volt 1600 has high-intensity white LEDs that provide 1600 lumens, lighting the way and alerting...
  • LIGHT FOR EVERY RIDE: Whether you're riding in broad daylight or complete darkness, we've got you covered. The Volt 1600...
  • SECURE AND GO: Spend less time setting up your gear and more time on the road. With our FlexTight Bracket, you can...

It just makes sense; the brighter your bicycle light, the safer you should be. Seeing farther ahead gives you more time to react to road hazards, avoid pedestrians, and remain visible from a greater distance by motorists. The ultra-bright CatEye Volt 1600 was one of the brightest lights we considered.

Not only is it bright, but it’s easy to mount and stays where you put it! The CatEye 1600 doesn’t connect to a permanent mount but instead fastens to your frame with a thumbwheel. To take it off, just push the release button and remove it. That lets you remove it for extended daytime use and easily install it when the sun goes down.

Features

The most prominent feature is the brightness. The CatEye 1600 delivers up to a full 1,600 lumens from a pair of lamps to brighten the path ahead. They also throw light on your peripherals for increased safety.

With five intensity settings to adjust to your riding situation, you can use lower settings to extend your battery life when cycling through known terrain. The CatEye adjusts to high, middle, low, hyper constant, and flashing light modes for emergencies. The battery holds a charge for 100 hours under regular use. However, if your battery should drain entirely on the road, you can recharge it with an external USB power source.

The OptiCube lens system keeps the trail visible and traversable even in lower-light settings. The battery recharges to a usable level in 9 hours and fully in 16 hours.

Specifications

  • Configuration: Dual
  • Output: Variable
  • Modes: five
  • Dimensions: 4.52 by 2.3 by .3 inches
  • Weight: nine ounces
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion Battery (3.6 volts – 6800 milliamps)
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Run Time (by lumen setting) : 1600 = 2 hours / 500 = 5 hours / 200 = 15 hours / Flashing (@ 200 lumens) = 100 hours

Reviews and pricing

Customers reviewing the CatEye 1600 were impressed with the wide field and brightness of the light. They appreciated the multiple settings and the USB recharge system. Most of the negative comments involved the price and the connection system being problematic for rugged trail and mountain biking.

Customers on Amazon gave the CatEye 1600 an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, and you can find it online priced between $210 to $230.

Cygolite Metro Pro– 1,100 Lumen Bike Light– 5 Night & 3 Daytime...
  • Incredibly powerful 1100 Lumen USB rechargeable bicycle light for road & mountain; first to break a thousand lumens with...
  • 9 lighting modes (hours): low (10), Med. (3), high (1: 30), boost (1), steady Pulse (4), daylighting (14), triple flash...
  • Steady Pulse alerts with pulses as its overlapping steady beam lights the light; daylighting's powerful flashes make you...

The Cygolite Metro Pro 1100 comes with a bright headlight to keep you safer during dusk to dawn biking.

The Metro stands out for its bright front beam, and it puts out plenty of light while not wasting battery power. It requires no tools for secure installation or easy removal. Add the seven different modes of light, and this Cygolite model easily makes our list. With a medium price point, you have an all-around winner.

Features

Equipped with ECO® (Enhanced Cycle Optics) to produce an extra wide and long-range beam, this USB rechargeable light lasts up to 100 hours on a single charge.

Powerful 1100 lumen output with 24/7 Safety Technology® offers 9 powerful day and night modes. The DayLightning® produces pulses of bright flashes while continuing to light your path. There is a low battery indicator, side illumination ports, and a quick-release handlebar mount.

Specifications

  • Configuration: Single
  • Output : 1100 lumens
  • Modes: nine
  • Dimensions: 6.8 by 4 by 3 inches
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Power Source: Lithium ion battery
  • Waterproof: Water resistant
  • Run Time (by setting): Full = 1 hour / High = 3 hours / Low = 10 hours / Pulse = 4 hours /day Lightning = 14 hours / Triple Flash = 22 hours / Zoom = 4 hours / Walking = 100 hours

Reviews and pricing

Customers praised the long battery life and headlight brightness and were happy with the overall safety benefits of this model. The price, as could be expected, gained many positive comments. Others were unhappy with the micro USB connection and the side illumination.

Customers on Amazon rated the Cygolite Metro 4.5 out of 5 stars, with 90 percent rating it above average. Prices online ranged between $60 and $75, depending on taxes and shipping costs.

TeamObsidian Bike Light Set - Super Bright LED Lights for Your Bicycle...
  • SAFETY FIRST! This reliable well-built bicycle lighting kit makes you easy to be seen by motorists. Don't risk danger by...
  • HIGH-QUALITY! The torch is made of solid aluminum and reflector by rugged ABS plastic. It won't rust or corrode. This...
  • CREE LED so they never fail - 200 Lumen of high efficiency and long lasting bulbs operated by 5 AAA batteries 3 in the...

Suppose you blew your budget on your shiny new bicycle, but still want to cover your nighttime riding safety issues. With the TeamObsidian bicycle light, we may have just what you need. This very well-built head and tail light combo kit offers bright light safety at a reasonable price point.

This set is so inexpensive that you can outfit your entire family for less than the cost of other comparable sets. The TeamObsidian bike light set attaches with no tools and fits any size handlebars. The easy release feature allows you to remove it from your bike before someone else does.

Features

It may seem odd to consider the lack of a built-in battery a feature, but in this case, it just may be. By not including a built-in battery, TeamObsidian can produce a surprisingly sturdy and bright light and keep the price point low. Even after purchasing five AAA batteries separately, this combo still comes in as your best budget bicycle light. It can also be far easier to find five AAA batteries on the road in a pinch than it may be to locate a USB power source to recharge a built-in battery.

The 200-lumen light can be seen from over 100 yards away and has 3 lighting modes, including high, low, and flashing. The powerful tail light also boasts of three flashing modes for specific riding situations. You will be easy to see at night, and motorists will have plenty of time to avoid you.

TeamObsidian offers a "100 percent no-hassle lifetime guarantee" and will refund your full purchase amount if you're unhappy with their bicycle light set. Also, if the light ever fails, they’ll ship you a new one.

Specifications

  • Configuration: Single
  • Output: 200 lumens
  • Modes: three
  • Dimensions: 4.0 by 2.8 by 3.2 inches
  • Weight: four ounces (without batteries)
  • Power Source: five AAA batteries. three in the headlight, two in the tail light
  • Waterproof: Water resistant
  • Run Time (by lumen setting): Indeterminable, as AAA batteries of varying quality will produce varying run times

Reviews and pricing

Customers recommend this bicycle light because of the price and the adjustable beam patterns. They also were complimentary of the metal construction and the quick disconnect that allows you to use it as a flashlight, if necessary. They were unanimous with their praise of the full warranty and customer service. Although it was considered very good for use on rural roads and in city situations, they noted that it was not their first choice for trail riding. Online pricing ranges from between $15 and $20 and has an Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Outdoor Speakers Portable Bluetooth Bicycle Speaker Zealot S1 4000mAh...
  • BEST OUTDOOR SPEAKERS: Mounting S1 on your bike's handle-bar, keeping Bluetooth connected, music playback and hands free...
  • STUNNING & STRONG SOUND:Built-in 40mm large driver, Neodymium stereo amplifier presents you live experience in talking...
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE: 4000mAh rechargeable battery provides a long time usage (up to 24 hours by TF card play) and turns it...

In many states, wearing headphones while bicycling is strictly prohibited. To accommodate these regulations, bikers who enjoy their tunes while cycling have opted to use Bluetooth speakers. The trouble is, most Bluetooth speakers don’t attach easily to your bicycle.

The KMASHI Bike Light has solved this problem by engineering a Bluetooth speaker into their headlight. It connects easily to your smartphone via Bluetooth to safely and legally play your jams as you peddle. It also supports hands-free phone calling with some smartphones.

Features

With 3 light settings, the KMASHI delivers up to 32 hours of power per charge. It also connects to a USB port. When not in use as a light, it doubles as a 4,800mAh portable charger. That lets you recharge your phone if it dies on the road. The KMASHI is a bit bulkier than most bicycle lights, but considering the price and the other features it provides, it may be worth the extra size on your handlebars. A full battery recharge takes eight hours.

Specifications

  • Configuration: Single Beam
  • Output: UNK
  • Modes: three
  • Dimensions: 2.4 by 5.6 by 2.4 inches
  • Weight : .74 pounds
  • Power Source: Lithium Ion batteries (not included)
  • Waterproof: Water resistant
  • Run Time (by lumen setting) : High = 16 hours / Normal = 32 hours / SOS = 24 hours

Reviews and pricing

Most customers noted that the Bluetooth function was exceptional, and the sound quality was also superior for the price. However, some customers mentioned that they would have preferred a brighter light. As expected, the portable charging function also received high kudos, but some found it a bit too bulky and difficult to attach to their bikes. Prices for this model range from $35 to $45 online and earned 3.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Te-Rich Rechargeable Bike Lights Front and Back - Ultra Bright Bicycle...
  • DO YOU WANT TO SEE OR BE SEEN? OR BOTH? - No matter for well-lit urban cycing, road riding or serious mountain biking,...
  • ARE BOTH THE HEADLIGHT AND TAILLIGHT RECHARGEABLE? - YES! No more costs on batteries! The Te-Rich Front Bike Light comes...
  • ARE THOSE LIGHTS EASY TO MOUNT & REMOVE? - Absolutely YES! The Quick Release Mouting System allows you attach the Front...

The Te-Rich Super Bright lights up the night with four Cree XM-L2 LEDs. They’re arranged to broadcast illumination in a wide pattern that shows you the path ahead. For a relatively modest price, you get one of the brightest bicycle lights on the market.

The Te-Rich serves triple duty. Not only is it a super bright bicycle light, but it also attaches to the included headband to become a super bright head-mount light. Attach it to a helmet mount to complete the trifecta.

Features

Despite the rock-bottom price, the Te-Rich, made of aircraft-grade aluminum, stays waterproof and shockproof. Te-Rich engineered the output electronics of this unit so that the light does not slowly dim until it gradually dies. It stays bright and fully lit until the battery dies.

The Te-Rich Super Bright also features overheat protection that will switch it to a lower intensity if it overheats. It does this rather than shutting down completely, like most lights, until it cools down. You can mount the external battery pack anywhere on your bike with its Velcro straps.

Specifications

  • Configuration: four Cree XM-L2 LEDs
  • Output : 1200 lumens
  • Modes: three
  • Dimensions: 1.6 by 1.4 by 1.3 inches
  • Weight: 5.3 ounces
  • Power Source: Included external battery pack
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Run Time (by lumen setting) : 1200 lumens = 4 hours / 800 lumens = 8 hours / 400 lumens = 12.8 hours

Reviews and pricing

​Customers noted the brightness more often than any other feature. They also praised the automatic overheating prevention circuitry and the “full power until dead” feature. Most were also happy with the price and the versatility, but some were unhappy that the rear light does not run off the battery pack. It runs on two 2032 coin-type cell batteries. Earning a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, you’ll find it online priced from $30 to $35.

Powering Down

bicycle

It's essential to have a reliable bicycle light to be safe. Whether you're dodging traffic in the city, biking for fun with friends in the suburbs, or riding back to the ranch in the county, you need to see. Sometimes you lose track of time, and the dark can creep up on you. You need to prepare, and you'll find many models available.

On this list, we offered our selections for some of the brightest, most versatile, best for the money, and the most popular lights on the market. Hopefully, it has given you something to consider when you start your search. If you choose a bicycle light on this list, please let us know which one. If not, please let us know which one you did pick and your reasons. We will include your valuable information for future lists of the best bicycle light. Ride safely!

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