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Six of the best compact bike lights

By Robin Wilmott, Cycling Plus | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 8.30am

If you commute by bike or cycle on the road at night, it's essential to be seen by other road users. These compact bike light pairs are little, relatively cheap and easy to stow away once you've locked your bike up.

Exposure Flash, Flare and charger

£85 / US$134.93

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Exposure flash, flare and charger : exposure flash, flare and charger

Running on disposables or rechargeables means 40 or 110 lumens from the Flash front light, whereas the 75 lumens from the rear is unchanged, but run time is reduced to around three hours. Fully sealed with a twist on or off, each has a pulsing flash and superb side visibility. 

From: Exposure

Blackburn Super Flea USB / Flea 2.0 LED USB 

£34.99 + £24.99 / US$44.99 + US$29.99

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Blackburn flea 2.0 usb/super flea mini bike light set: blackburn flea 2.0 usb/super flea mini bike light set

Three modes and four LEDs give the bright rear up to 12 hours’ flash mode, while the powerful 105-lumen Super Flea front offers three hours’ flashing or just over an hour’s steady light. They fit with a Velcro strap and recharge via USB.  

From: Blackburn Design / Madison (UK)

Lezyne Femto Drive

£21.99 / US$27.99

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Lezyne femto drive mini light set: lezyne femto drive mini light set

These anodised back-up lights have a large lens over the single LED that is also the switch. A bungee provides easy fitting, and the five lighting modes give 30-60 hours of use from a pair of watch batteries. Output is 15 lumens, the only downside a lack of side visibility.  

From: Lezyne / Upgrade Bikes (UK)

Knog Blinder 1

£24.99 / US$29.95

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Knog blinder mini light set: knog blinder mini light set

The Blinder 1s incorporate USB charging contacts in the mounting bracket, and a rubber bungee holds them in place. Completely waterproof and with reasonable side visibility, the piercingly bright single LEDs have four flash modes plus steady, giving up to 11 hours’ use.  

From: Knog / Todays Cyclist (UK)

Topeak HighLite Combo II

£24.99 / US$29.95

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Topeak highlite combo ii mini light set: topeak highlite combo ii mini light set

These are powered by a pair of watch batteries, with constant and flashing modes giving 60-100 hours’ use. The front’s three white LEDs are super-bright, and an illuminating ring provides some side visibility. The four-LED rear is very visible and can be fitted to post or pack.

From: Topeak / Extra (UK)

Cateye Loop 

£19.99 / US$20

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Cateye loops mini bike light set: cateye loops mini bike light set

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These back-ups have a pair of watch batteries and miniscule workings inside a translucent body, secured with a bungee that fits almost anywhere on a bike, plus clothing or bags. Expect 30 to 50 hours’ use in constant or flashing modes, all-round visibility and durability.  

From: Cateye / Zyro (UK)

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