Look, the simple fact of the matter is you shouldn’t need lights in the daytime. You don’t really. But having them is only going to raise your chances of being seen and staying safe. It’s the same reason why many cars and trucks have daytime running lights as standard. In some countries, including the UK, the law even requires it on all new cars.
Most of those countries, however, don’t require cyclists to use daytime-running lights. And, perhaps, rightly so. But talk to almost any cyclist and they’ll have a story of a close encounter with a driver that uses the phrase, “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”
You’d hope riding with due care and attention would be enough; you’d think being on your bike in daylight would be enough; you’d expect bright clothing to be enough… Any one of those things should be. And, truth be told, in most cases, they are.
But with more traffic on the roads — both human- and motor-powered — the potential for collisions is higher than ever, and you can tip the odds a little further in your favour by being as visible as possible.
So, if you want to give other road users no excuse whatsoever for not seeing you, you might want to consider a daytime-running light. If so, here are a selection of rear daytime running lights that we’ve tested.
Specialized Stix Comp
4.0 out of 5 star rating
Specialized’s Stix CompDavid Caudery / Immediate Media
Price: £30 / $40
The 29g Stix Comp is one of the most versatile here, with half a dozen modes including ‘disco flash’ with run times from around three to 27 hours.
We got nine hours on its 20-lumen ‘power’ flash setting, which was plenty bright enough. You can also buy mounting options for saddle rails, clothing, your arm or helmet. Neat. Petite.
Bontrager’s Flare R CityDavid Caudery / Immediate Media
Price: £30 / $40 /AU$50
Small, yes, but this pumps out a cornea-concerning 35 lumens from its single Cree LED with wide-angle reflector for a shade over five hours in its daylight-flash mode — though don’t look straight at it when you’re testing it or you’ll regret it.
It charges in a couple of hours, weighs just 26g and is bright enough for daytime use.
Lezyne’s Strip Drive ProDavid Caudery / Immediate Media
Price: £42 / $50 / AU$75
A chunky 69g five-LED that’ll give you a 50-lumen blast or a mighty 100-lumen daylight flash for five hours, which makes this one of the brightest rear lights we’ve encountered, though that will limit run times.
If you want the brightest you can for daylight riding this is the one, though make sure you keep it charged.