How to Choose the Best Bicycle Lights

There is a wide variety of bicycle lights currently available in the market. Different bicycle lights offer different levels of brightness, battery efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. As with virtually everything else, your choice of bicycle lights will mostly depend on your personal needs. What do you want to achieve? See better? Be more visible to motorists and other cyclists? Battery efficiency? Remain within your budget? Such questions will help you choose the best bicycle lights for you.

Types of bike lights

Lights are created for different purposes. For you to see clearly while on your bike, you need a high-output lighting system. For high visibility to motorists and other cyclists, your bike ought to be sufficiently lit. A well-lit bike needs to have front, side, and rear lighting.

High-output lighting systems – these lights are important while riding after dark, especially in places with no other light sources. They offer high illuminating power, and the majority of them are rechargeable.


Even though they can be quite expensive, they are much brighter compared to safety lights. These are the best type to go for if you want to see clearly while cycling in the dark.
Front, side and rear safety lights – These types are meant to make you visible to other road users. They are however not bright enough to help in seeing while riding at night. Some have rechargeable batteries while others use disposable ones. Other differences include mounting options and number of light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Bicycle lights performance

LED lights – this type of lights is known for power efficiency and durability. They are available in a wide range of brightness levels. They are the most used type of cycle lights. Lumens- some bike lights have a lumen rating, which is essentially a brightness rating. A lumen is a measurement unit for the amount of light that reaches an illuminated object. Different lights have different lumen ratings and, therefore, different levels of brightness.

Charging systems

Beam pattern – various bike lights offer different beam patterns. The kind of beam pattern you need will depend mostly on where you cycle. If you cycle on well-lit streets, a front light with a narrow-focus beam would be appropriate for you. If you use dark paths, a light with a wide-focus beam would be the best for you, because it offers a better peripheral vision.

Charging systems

Rechargeable lighting systems – these use lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged. They are less expensive in the long run and are environmentally friendly. They tend to emit consistent light even when they have low levels of power. They have a power light that indicates to the user that power is available. Most of them give low-battery warnings to notify you when they need to be recharged.

Disposable batteries – These cannot be recharged. They are more costly in the long run and are not considered environmentally sustainable. They also tend to dim gradually over battery life.

Battery life

Many factors determine battery life, including the battery type, the power of the system, and the type of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the light.
Most rechargeable light systems have multiple battery life settings. You can use the long-lasting option, which uses minimal power and emits low light. You can also set high-intensity light option that will use up the battery power faster.

The types of bicycle lights, bicycle lights performance, charging systems and battery life are the most important factors to consider when choosing bicycle lights. After you clearly define your personal preferences, you will now be able to make an informed decision and purchase the best bicycle lights.