Cheap bike lights: six affordable options for commuting in the dark

As the end of summer draws nearer, keep yourself safe on the roads 

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We hope you’ve been enjoying the long and light days of summer as much as we have, but alas, all good things must come to an end. As we start to approach the end of summer and the transition into autumn/fall, it’s time to start planning ahead.

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Commuting hours will start to get darker relatively soon, so now’s the time to stock up on some decent lights for your bike, and it’s always a good idea to carry spares in case you get caught out.

Of course, you could spend a fortune on some high-end lights, but if that’s not your bag here’s a list of affordable options to keep you pedalling safely as we head into the next season.

Cheap bike lights: our favourites for 2019

  • Bontrager Ion 100 R / Flare R City light set
  • Reelight CIO self-powered light set
  • Sigma Micro Combo LED light set
  • Smart Polaris 5 LED Front Light 
  • Moon Crescent Rechargeable Rear Bike Light
  • Topeak RedLite Mega Rear Safety Light

Bontrager Ion 100 R / Flare R City light set

Bontrager Ion 100 R Flare R City lights
These tiny lights from Bontrager pack a powerful punch.
Triton Cycles

These clever daytime-running LED lights are a great way to raise your visibility on the streets.

They’re extremely small and light, simple to fit and remove, and their clever in-built sensors allow them to tailor their power output to match your surroundings. That means, when visibility is low, they’ll pump out more power and when it’s reasonably light out, they’ll conserve it. 

Moon Crescent Rechargeable Rear Bike Light

Moon Crescent Rechargeable Rear Bike Light
The Moon Crescent light is rechargeable and very powerful.
Merlin Cycles

Don’t be fooled by its miniscule size, this light packs a lot of punch, producing up to 25 lumens.

It comes complete with multiple lighting modes (as most good lights do), and covers everything from bright to blinding. Most importantly, it has good side visibility as well.

Reelight CIO self-powered light set

Reelight CIO self-powered bike lights
The Reelight CIO self-powered bike lights are simple, but brilliant.
Decathlon

These are simple, but brilliant. The reflective lenses are mounted to your bike’s hub axles via stainless steel brackets. Two magnets are fitted to the spokes and hey presto, as your wheels turn, the passing of the magnets create the power needed to light you up.

Easy to fit, robust, innovative and a great eco-friendly option.

Sigma Micro Combo LED light set

  • Buy now from Amazon (£14.99)
Sigma Micro Combo LED light set
These Sigma Micro Combo lights are pretty hard to fault.
Amazon

These were originally designed as ‘sports’ lights, ideal for anything from cycling and jogging to rollerblading. They make great commuter lights because they’re unusually powerful for their size. It’s pretty hard to fault them.

They weigh next to nothing and despite only having one LED, they’ll be sure to get you noticed.

Smart Polaris 5 LED Front Light 

Smart Polaris 5 LED Front Light
The Smart Polaris 5 LED front light is a decent all-rounder.
BD Price

This front light is a decent all-rounder thanks to its five LEDs that are strong enough to keep you visible on the road. They only require a couple of AA batteries to power them, and they’re simple to use.

The only downside is that the cam lock mounting design is a bit fiddly.

Topeak RedLite Mega Rear Safety Light

Topeak RedLite Mega Rear Safety Light
The Topeak RedLite Mega rear light is one of the best out.
Amazon

This is arguably one of the best lights on the market, which is why we gave it a full five stars.

It hits that sweet spot for excellent visibility, while not being so bright it can dazzle oncomers. It’s well built and hardy, survived our abusive testing, and will serve you well during cold and wet months to come.

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