Best bike lights 2020 | Front and rear lights for road cycling and commuting

Our pick of the best front and rear lights to keep you visible out on the roads

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The best lights for road cycling

Essential during the winter and a smart addition to your bike during the summer, good quality lights for your bike ought to be one of the first accessories on your shopping list.

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It’s a legal requirement in the United Kingdom to have lights on your bike if you’re cycling after dusk, 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 lots of different brands offering an endless array of options, so it can be a near-impossible task to figure out which lights are most suitable 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 light sets on the market in 2020.

Road lights are split into two categories: those that provide enough illumination to enable you to see what’s on the road and those that are designed to simply ensure that you’re seen by other road users – lights to see and lights to be seen, as it were.

We’ve focused on front lights that are more powerful and will enable you to see where you are going on unlit cycle paths or rural roads.

Once you’ve browsed the reviews, don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide to road and commuting lights at the bottom of the page. We’ve covered all of the key factors you should consider, including light output, battery life and more.

If you’re after lights for riding off-road on trails, you’ll need something with greater power and battery life. Check out our separate round-up of the best mountain bike lights.


Best front lights for bikes in 2020 as rated by our expert testers

  • Bontrager Ion Pro RT: £100 / $125 / €119.99 / AU$189.99
  • Gemini Titan 4000: £300 / $350 / €370 / AU$450
  • Guee SOL 700 Plus: £60 
  • Blackburn Dayblazer 800: £55 / $65 / €TBC / AU$90
  • Exposure Sirius MK9: £100 / $137 / €120 / AU$TBC
  • Exposure Strada 1200: £290 / $398 / €TBC / AU$525
  • Hope R2i LED Vision: £175 / $221 / €215 / AU$320
  • Knog PWR Road 600: £85 / $90 / €TBC / AU$120
  • Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL: £85 / $90 / €94.99 / AU$TBC
  • Magicshine Allty 1000 DRL: £70 / $85 / €85 / AU$119.95

Bontrager Ion Pro RT

4.5 out of 5 star rating
  • Claimed max output: 1,300 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 90 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 super easy to use.

Gemini Titan 4000

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bike lights
The Gemini provides daylight-like vision.
BikeRadar
  • 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 bag 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.

Guee SOL 700 Plus

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bike lights
The Smart Ambient Sensor mode automatically switches power levels to match the surrounding darkness.
  • Claimed max output: 700 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Automatic power adjustment
  • Nice CNC-machined body

If you’re the sort of person who always forgets to dip their full beam (stop being that person), the automatically power adjusting Guee SOL 700 might be just the light for you.

While this could sound a little gimmicky, in practice we’ve found the automatic adjustments to be quite useful, particularly while riding at dawn or dusk when street lighting can be a little patchy.

The light also fixes onto GoPro mounts, opening up a whole host of potential mounting positions.

Blackburn Dayblazer 800

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bike lights
With submersible waterproofing, it’ll survive even the wettest of rides.
BikeRadar
  • Claimed max output: 800 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 1 hour 26 minutes
  • Multiple mounting options
  • Bright and long-running enough to be really versatile
  • A tough and powerful light

Blackburn’s slimline Dayblazer uses a combination of GoPro-style tabs and a rubber band strap to mount it almost anywhere, so no matter your handlebar configuration, you’re bound to find space for the light.

You’ll be grateful for the 800-lumen ‘Blitz’ mode that can pick out trouble in the darkest alleys and gutters on any ride too.

The TIR lens, with diffusing side cutouts, gives a good ‘see me’ spread, with flash and pulse modes for daylight running. There’s basic battery info and the 1.5-hour run time at max power can be USB recharged in four hours.

It’s submersible waterproof too, so if you live somewhere with plenty of rainfall it’s sure to live up to Blackburn’s light reputation of being super tough.

Exposure Sirius MK9

4.0 out of 5 star rating
  • Claimed max output: 850 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 90 minutes
  • Super high-quality build
  • Road-friendly beam shape
  • Lightweight

Exposure’s road-specific Sirius is now onto its ninth generation and is still one of our all-time favourite lights.

Combining a high-quality alloy housing with well thought out optics, the light makes full use of its modest 850-lumen output.

It does require a proprietary cable to charge, but we’re willing to forgive this given how well it performs in other areas.

Exposure Strada 1200

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bike lights
The Exposure Strada 1200 is a well-designed and well-made light.
BikeRadar / Immediate Media
  • Claimed max output: 1,200 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 2 hours
  • Remote high/low beam switching
  • Tunable output and plug-in extras
  • It’s a well-designed, high-tech, high-performance illuminator

Exposure has been making high-performance, high-tech lights in the UK for over a decade.

The latest Strada road light is 300 lumens brighter than the previous model for uncompromised back-road riding and a wired remote for flicking between high and low beams is included as standard.

Run times for multiple programmable modes are communicated through a strip OLED. Plug-in batteries, rear lights and USB chargers are all available as extras and the latest version recharges 40 per cent quicker than before.

The CNC-machined light, bar and stem mounts are beautiful and UK factory backup is excellent.

Hope R2i LED Vision

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bike lights
The Hope R2i LED Vision is heavy but a solid bit of kit.
BikeRadar
  • Claimed max output: 1,300 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Super robust construction
  • ‘Double barrel’ LED setup improves visibility

The R2i LED Vision carries over Hope’s signature machined aesthetic, housing two eye-friendly, warm coloured LEDs in a very sturdy all-alloy body.

The ‘double barrel’ setup of the LEDs causes a binocular-like effect that helps decipher what’s ahead, with the smooth transition at the edge of the beam avoiding stark reflections and sharp edges.

The light is relatively heavy, but our experience shows that the weight penalty is worth it, with legendary reliability and factory-direct support to boot.

Knog PWR Road

4.0 out of 5 star rating
  • Claimed max output: 1,300 lumens
  • Run time (max power): 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Genuinely innovative modular lighting solution
  • Nicely constructed
  • Solid mount

Knog’s modular PWR system was released to much fanfare. The whole system is based around a central power pack that is available in a number of different capacities.

Knog also has compatible camp lights, Bluetooth speakers and more as part of the PWR family.

In testing, we have found the PWR system to be totally fuss-free. The battery life is also pretty good for a mid-powered light.

Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL

4.0 out of 5 star rating