Everything you need to know about the best and brightest bike lights on the market
It’s that time of the year when a good set of lights is essential. Even if you’re not heading out in the dark, lower light levels and grey skies mean that some illumination will help make you more visible while you’re out getting your daily fix.
We played with a whole range of lights - from high-powered units to light your path in the depths of darkness, to sets you can run around the clock on your next epic ride.
All lights featured in the test are rechargeable, well made, and have a variety of mounting options. But don’t forget to visit your local bike shop when settling on a set, to check they are compatible with your bike and to get advice about how to mount them, plus information about whether they really suit your needs.
Knog Blinder ARC
The Australian company has made a range of lights for years, and the Blinder ARC is a high powered light for commuting or setting off on an early solo ride. Its beam pattern is one of the clearest on test, with more width to the central focus than other lights. The bar mount is replaceable, and experience shows care needs to be taken with the elastic mounting – there is no lateral movement so they are best mounted as close to your stem as possible if your bars have much sweep. The direct USB charge mount means you can’t leave your charger at home or at work – and there’s an extension strap if it doesn’t play well with your computer or USB slot.
Output: 640 lumens, Burn time: 1.7 – 15.1 hours, Modes: High, mid, low and flash, Mounting: Handlebar and helmet, Weight: 152g, Price: $129.95, From: Knog
Azur USB Head light
This is an excellent value light, and tends to be best used in the steady beam options, where even the 400 lumen output will last for 2 hours. It is compact in length but has more girth than similar units, although the mount is easy to set up for bars with a lot of sweep, or even for your stem. The beam is centrally focused, so may not give the wider field of view you’ll want for higher speeds in the dark.
Output: 400 lumens, Burn time: 2 – 8 hours, Modes: 3 constant, 3 flashing, Mounting: Elasticated strap with a quick release mount and lateral pivot, Weight: 78g, Price: $39.99, From: Bikecorp