When the nights draw in (or you get tempted by warm summer evenings to ride into the dark), you need to make sure you’ve got a set of lights on your bike. It’s the law in the UK to run them after dark, and they’re a major safety aid about town as well as letting you see where you’re going in the dark lanes.
The days of feeble incandescent lights are long gone. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have taken over as the source of bike illumination. They’re robust, efficient, and very cheap to run.
Smaller lights are plenty bright enough to get you seen at night. Need to see where you’re going? Look for output of about 500 lumens and up.
All but the cheapest lights are rechargeable, usually via a micro-USB port so you can use a common charger or your office computer
Our lights comparison engine shows you the all-important differences in where the light ends up, showing that total lumens aren’t the only measure of good light.
Want lighting that’s truly ever ready? Take a look at a dynamo system: no recharging needed and you can’t leave them at home.
Updated February 4, 2021
Welcome to the latest edition of road. cc’s buyer’s guide to cycling front lights in which you’ll find everything you need to know to find the right front lights for you, plus our beam comparison engine, and our pick of the best front lights.
In this version of our guide to front lights, we have revised based on availability. We last updated the beam comparison engine with the recently reviewed and released lights on October 27, 2020.
More about the road.cc buyer’s guides.
If you’re in the market for some bike lights there’s a bewildering array to choose from, at prices ranging from a few quid to nearly a grand, so what’s the best bet for your riding? To help you choose here’s the road. check the guide to the technology and the options available for your front light.
The light beam comparison engine
Our beam test comparison data contains beam shots and data for 27 of this year’s cycling front lights, as well as all our historical data going back to 2015. So you can directly compare one with another. After it, we take a look at the various options in lighting technology and recommend some of our favorite lights.
If you have a nice big screen you can click here for the widescreen version (1400x1000px)