HomeReviewsThe Finest Commuter Bike Lights | Digital Noch

The Finest Commuter Bike Lights | Digital Noch

Our choose

PDW City Rover 700 USB Headlight 20230310 162318 full

Portland Design Works Metropolis Rover 700 USB Headlight

Brilliant and reasonably priced, this headlight has good facet visibility and a long-lasting battery—higher than different lights we examined in its worth vary. Its quick-release mount is sturdy and simple to make use of however lacks a purposeful swivel.

You might, in fact, spend much more cash on a motorbike gentle that’s brighter or has an extended run time. However we predict Portland Design Works’ Metropolis Rover 700 USB Headlight gives all the pieces most commuters want (and nothing they don’t) at a wonderful worth. When selecting bike gentle, we take into account battery life to be a prime issue. And although few metropolis commuters might have to make use of this gentle at its full, 700-lumen power, its medium setting has longer-than-average run instances (4 hours at 350 lumens), as does its low setting (eight full hours at 200 lumens). That medium setting needs to be vibrant sufficient to chop via city gentle air pollution and to light up the occasional darkish alleyway. Plus, after the low-battery indicator comes on, the sunshine routinely dims itself to its lowest setting, the place it stays for an extra quarter-hour to permit for a last-ditch dash dwelling. The Metropolis Rover 700 additionally has generously sized sidelights, for visibility at intersections; we discovered them to be extra eye-catching than these on many different fashions we examined. There are some trade-offs that include the affordability: The Metropolis Rover 700 is water resistant—not waterproof—however its most susceptible level (the charging port) is tucked underneath the sunshine and fitted with a comfortable rubber cowl to maintain out water. The physique is manufactured from plastic, quite than more-durable machined aluminum (as on our improve choose, the Lezyne headlight). Lastly, although the Metropolis Rover (which makes use of a quick-release mount) stays put over tough terrain, it might probably swivel only some levels in both route (limiting your means to regulate for variations in handlebar angles). And we should always be aware that its beam was not the widest of the beams on the opposite lights we examined.


Serfas E Lume 600 Headlight 20230310 163348 full

Serfas E-Lume 600 Headlight

This gentle’s mount is extra adjustable than that of our prime choose, and the battery life is comparable. Nonetheless, its beam is dimmer, narrower, and yellower, and the facet visibility isn’t pretty much as good.

With its yellowish-tinted beam and considerably difficult cam-hook-style mount, the Serfas E-Lume 600 Headlight differed from the remainder of the headlights in our check in each performance and design. We did come to understand the mounting system: It incorporates a bracket, thumb lever, cam hook, and rubber strap, and it allowed us to direct the beam the place we favored. And the sunshine by no means budged, even when it was put to the check on a mountain-bike experience. The narrowly centered, yellowish beam was not as vibrant or as huge as that of the PDW Metropolis Rover 700, however its 600-lumen output by no means wavered at some stage in its promised run time of 2¾ hours. And its low-flash mode runs for 90 hours at a extremely respectable 100 lumens, with an easy-to-gauge color-coded battery indicator. The E-Lume 600 is much less water resistant than the Metropolis Rover, nevertheless it does have a sturdy, heat-dissipating extruded-aluminum housing. And although its ¼-inch facet cutouts should not as attention-grabbing because the Metropolis Rover’s ¾-inch cutouts, they’re bigger than these on our improve choose.

Finances choose

NiteRider Swift 300 20230310 164459 full

NiteRider Swift 300

This plastic gentle is small and durable, with a swiveling strap, and it has respectable facet visibility too. It’s vibrant sufficient for city riders with brief, well-lit commutes, nevertheless it’s not suited to longer or darker routes.

In case your commute is brief or calmly trafficked, the NiteRider Swift 300 could also be all it’s worthwhile to see and be seen on the street, and it’s properly priced. A tiny headlight that’s in regards to the measurement of a nail polish bottle, it would kick out 300 lumens for as much as two hours and flash for 12. The Swift 300 has an all-in-one swiveling rubber mounting strap (quite than a fast launch, like on our prime and runner-up picks), and it adjusts to suit most shapes and sizes of handlebars. But it surely’s not fairly as simple to take away when you’ve reached your vacation spot. Regardless of its low worth, this plastic gentle consists of many options discovered on our prime and runner-up picks, equivalent to facet cutouts for visibility, a low-power indicator, and a lock-out mode that forestalls it from unintentionally turning on in your bag. Of the 5 modes, the bottom one (aptly named “stroll”) produces solely a feeble 20 lumens.

Improve choose

Lezyne Micro Drive Pro 800XL 20230310 164821 full

Lezyne Micro Drive Professional 800XL

This well-built, waterproof gentle is brighter than our prime choose and has a wider beam, due to side-by-side LEDs (which make it nice for unlit roads). This headlight shines in each approach, besides facet visibility and worth.

If value weren’t a priority, Lezyne Micro Drive Professional 800XL would simply trump our prime choose, the PDW Metropolis Rover 700. Its barely brighter, 800-lumen beam is created by two side-by-side LEDs, and this wider beam permits you to higher see the complete street forward of you (with out considerably reducing battery life). Its machined-aluminum physique is sturdier and, frankly, extra aesthetically pleasing than that of our prime choose. We additionally favored the built-in cooling fins, which assist preserve the sunshine cool when you’re in movement. Nonetheless, the Micro Drive Professional 800XL is often about $25 greater than the Metropolis Rover 700 (that financial savings might nearly purchase you a top-rated taillight to accompany your headlight), and its facet cutouts are merely a nod to lateral visibility. For those who’re an all-weather commuter, or you could have a partly pitch-black experience, this gentle’s larger worth is likely to be value it: Its 800-lumen “overdrive” mode will gentle up the darkest rural route for 1¾ hours, and it has a completely waterproof exterior. Like our different picks, the Micro Drive Professional 800XL has a color-coded battery indicator and a mode reminiscence possibility (which remembers your last-used setting, so that you don’t must click on via all eight modes of operation).

Additionally nice

Blackburn Dayblazer 1000 20230310 170228 full

Blackburn Dayblazer 1000

With a wonderful price-to-lumens ratio, this gentle is vibrant and waterproof, and it might be the only option for riders with very lengthy commutes.

After we first began testing bike lights, in 2013, the brightest gentle we examined was simply 500 lumens. Ten years later, you should buy a light-weight that boasts as much as 2,500 lumens. However brighter is (usually) not higher for the city commuter, who shares the street with others who additionally must see the street in entrance of them. We capped the utmost output of the lights we examined for this information at 1,500 lumens, and we finally determined that something over 800 lumens was overkill for many riders—and a hazard to different customers’ eyes. Nonetheless, some riders could profit from stronger lights, together with these with very lengthy commutes, which frequently begin or finish at the hours of darkness. These riders want a really vibrant gentle that may change into decrease modes as soon as the solar has risen they usually’ve reached busier streets. They usually doubtless additionally want totally waterproof lights, since longer commutes deliver extra possibilities of being caught in inclement climate. The Blackburn Dayblazer 1000 can run for 90 minutes at 1,000 lumens, a really respectable three hours at 500 lumens, and 5½ hours at 350 lumens. That final stage gives sufficient time—and light-weight—for riders commuting lengthy distances to get safely to work or college and residential once more. Any longer than that, and also you’re an externally powered headlight (which we didn’t check for this information) or a dynamo setup. Just like the Lezyne Micro Drive Professional 800XL, the Dayblazer 1000 has a machined-aluminum physique with built-in cooling fins to disperse the (substantial) warmth the sunshine generates. And it has an hooked up rubber strap that swivels to accommodate handlebars of varied styles and sizes. Its beam, nonetheless, is narrower than that of the Micro Drive Professional 800XL (which might be our alternative for emptier rural routes).

Our choose

Cygolite Hotrod 120 USB 20230310 170634 full

Cygolite Hotrod 120 USB

Small and simple to mount, this taillight is extraordinarily eye-catching, due to a cluster of 20 extra-bright LEDs housed in a clear, domed enclosure. This implies the LEDs are seen from the facet in addition to the rear.

The Cygolite Hotrod 50 was our prime taillight choose within the earlier iteration of this information. And we’re nonetheless impressed by this small taillight’s means to face out on the street in addition to from its opponents. The 120, the most recent model of the Hotrod, goes from 50 lumens to 120 lumens, and it has an additional mode with extraordinarily quick pulses that Cygolite refers to because the Bzzz Flash. Though we favor the SteadyPulse mode (a gentle beam overlapped by pulses that assist different street customers gauge your distance from them), the entire seven modes on this taillight are really arresting from all kinds of angles. That’s largely as a result of gentle’s building. As a substitute of 1 massive LED, the Hotrod 50 and 120 each characteristic a cluster of 20 tightly packed chip-on-board (COB) LEDs—all protected by a transparent domed enclosure—that emit impossible-to-ignore gentle. (It’s form of how pavé diamonds catch the sunshine higher than one massive solitaire diamond.) The truth is, regardless that we might inform the distinction in brightness between the 50 and the 120 when them face to face, we’d say when you already personal a Hotrod 50, there’s little motive to improve it. The removable (and versatile) silicone mounting strap we’ve praised prior to now stays the identical, and the battery run instances are roughly comparable (they’re barely decrease on the 120’s brighter settings). The Hotrod 120 is water resistant, with a well-fitting USB cost port cowl on the again that snugs up towards your seat submit (for additional safety from the weather).


Knog Blinder V Rear Bike Light Bolt 20230310 171336 full

Knog Blinder V Rear Bike Gentle (Bolt)

An attention-grabbing gentle with a enjoyable flash sample, the 100-lumen Blinder V is waterproof, in contrast to our prime taillight choose. But it surely’s not as vibrant, and its mount feels much less sturdy.

An important job of a taillight is that will help you be seen, but when a light-weight can also be enjoyable to make use of, that’s a bonus. The Knog Blinder V taillight’s “Bolt” model (the one we examined) has eight modes, six of which characteristic a lightning-bolt sample that cuts via city gentle air pollution just because it’s totally different. (The opposite model of the Blinder, the Visitors, has a much less whimsical, bar-shaped sample.) Whereas the Knog Blinder V is just not as vibrant as our top-pick taillight, it too incorporates a mass of COB LEDs (189, on this case) that seize consideration in the identical approach. We most well-liked this gentle’s Low Flash mode, which flashes that lightning-bolt sample on prime of a steadily lit background. This mode is simply 50 lumens, however the mixture of the flashing bolt and the always-on background helps with depth notion whereas concurrently catching different street customers’ consideration—and it lasts for 16 hours. In contrast to nearly all of the opposite taillights we examined, the Blinder V is waterproof—a compelling characteristic for diehard commuters or those that incessantly experience via puddles. But Knog taillights nonetheless fall brief in relation to mounting {hardware}. The Blinder V attaches by way of a single silicone band (you will get totally different sizes to match the diameter of your seat submit). And although this mount design is sturdier than that of its sibling, the Knog Cobber, it nonetheless feels flimsy in contrast with the Hotrod 120’s wider, stiffer rubber mounting strap. It additionally makes use of an built-in USB fin, which will be arduous to plug right into a crowded financial institution of USB ports.

Finances choose

Blackburn Grid 2 Fer 20230310 171732 full

Blackburn Grid 2’Fer

Though it’s not as eye-catching or vibrant as our different taillight picks, this properly priced gentle has good lateral visibility and features a belt-clip possibility.

A real workhorse for the worth, the Blackburn Grid 2’Fer toggles between crimson and white lights with a double-click of the ability button. Meaning you may run it as a modestly vibrant (175 lumens) headlight or a fairly vibrant (55 lumens) taillight. Whereas the headlight possibility wasn’t sturdy sufficient for us to incorporate it in our standalone headlight check, we had been impressed with the respectable battery life, color-coded battery warning button, and visibility of its taillight mode. Just like the Cygolite Hotrod 120 and the Knog Blinder V, the Grid 2’Fer options COB LEDs that make it stand out in visitors. And it has an “eco mode,” which kicks on routinely when you’re in pulse or strobe mode and nearing the tip of the battery’s cost, supplying you with an additional two hours of run time at a dimmer setting. The Grid 2’Fer doesn’t provide a dizzying array of mode choices; there are 4 for crimson and 4 for white, and we almost at all times ran it on pulse mode, which has the always-on background we favor. But it surely does have an amber ring that enhances lateral visibility. With its chunky building and plastic housing, this gentle doesn’t look as smooth as our different two picks. Nonetheless, it incorporates a belt-clip attachment, which can be utilized in tandem with the huge silicone strap mount or eliminated for a slimmer profile (if, say, you employ this gentle solely in your seat submit). It’s additionally extra water resistant than the Hotrod 120, and it has a USB-C port, which continues to be a rarity in bike lights.



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