Good-quality bike lights should be one of the first cycling accessories on your shopping list. Needless to say, they are essential when cycling at night or if visibility is poor, making lights a must-have during the winter and a smart addition to your bike even in the summer.
It’s a legal requirement in the United Kingdom to have lights on your bike if you’re cycling after sunset (we’ve got a full guide on bike light laws), but some riders like to use them during the day as well, especially during the winter, in order to increase visibility to other road users.
Like everything, though, there are many different brands, offering an endless array of options, so it can be a near-impossible task to figure out the best bike lights for your needs.
Fortunately, here at BikeRadar, our expert testers have used and abused dozens of light sets to bring you the definitive list of what we believe are the best road and commuting lights on the market.
If you’re after lights for riding off-road on trails, you’ll need something brighter, with greater power and battery life. Check out our separate round-up of the best mountain bike lights.
Best bike lights at a glance
Here’s BikeRadar’s pick of the best front lights, best rear lights and the best light sets we’ve tested. For more options, plus our reviews and buyer’s guide, read on.
Best front light for under £150 or $200: Bontrager Ion Pro RT
Best front light for under £100 or $150: Knog PWR Road
Best front light for under £60 or $70: Blackburn Dayblazer 800
Best front light for under £40 or $60: Lezyne Hecto Drive 500XL
Best rear light: Topeak Redlite Aero 1W
Best rear light for urban riding: Bontrager Flare R City
Best front & rear light set: Lezyne Lite Drive 1000XL and Lezyne KTV Pro Drive 75
Best front lights for bikes in 2022 as rated by our expert testers
Bontrager Ion Pro RT
- Claimed max output: 1,300 lumens
- Run time (max power): 1 hour 30 minutes
- Warm-coloured and well-shaped beam
- Bluetooth compatibility
- Good band-on mount
Bontrager’s Ion Pro RT strikes an excellent balance between a high lumen output and a consistent, pleasingly coloured and well-focused beam pattern.
The clamp is super easy to use and – while its real-world usefulness is questionable – the Bluetooth integration, which allows you to control the light via a Garmin or Di2 shifter, is fun. It’s also simple to operate.
Gemini Titan 4000
- Claimed max output: 4,000 lumens
- Run time (max power): 1 hour 50 minutes
- Unparalleled power via six LEDs
- Custom modes and a wireless switch
- Excellent reliability and the best way to light up your bike rides
If you want rally car-like levels of illumination on your ride, nothing beats Gemini’s radical Titan. By using six LEDs in a horizontal strip, you get a detailed 3D rendering of the road/trail rather than harsh single/double point shadows for genuine daylight-style vision.
While it maxes out at a darkness-detonating 4,000 lumens, half that is enough for 90 per cent of situations, so the battery capacity is ample for epic rides.
Each mode is programmable in 10 per cent steps and you get a wireless remote as standard. We’ve been using Titans for years without a glitch.
Lezyne Hecto Drive 500XL
- Claimed max output: 500 lumens
- Run time (max power): 1 hour
- Eight modes
- Compact with a simple mount
The Lezyne Hecto Drive XL’s 500 lumens is enough for a decent pace on unlit bike paths, though with only one hour of run time at maximum output, the Hecto is best for use as an urban light.
It charges quickly, stays in the mode you last used it in (surprisingly handy) and offers a total of eight flashing and constant modes, with claimed run times of between one and 20 hours.
The Hecto is also a compact unit with a simple rubber band to strap it to your handlebar.