Bike lights buying guide 2022
In this article we look at the key things to look out for when choosing bike lights.
When you look to purchase new bike lights it can be confusing to know what to buy. There are hundreds of manufacturers and loads of different designs to chose from. In this buying guide we will break it down step-by-step.
Lumens and bulbs
Lumens are often promoted as the key feature you should consider, in fact product names often include a lumen value. Lumens are important but there is more to lumens than just big numbers!
With lumens it really depends what you are using your lights for and when you will be using them. For example an 40 lumen warning front light won't cut it if you're planning epic night-time mountain bike adventures. Likewise a 1600 lumen Legend XL Pro is total overkill for daytime commuting and would actually end up blinding other road users.
Always remember that lumens is about brightness but the amount of brightness required isn't the same for every cyclist.
Read more: How many lumens should my bike lights be?
Bulbs then, why do they matter? Honestly for most of us the bulbs used in our lights isn't going to matter too much.
In the UK our weather is pretty variable meaning you are unlikely to completely avoid a wet weather riding. Its worth thinking about the level of water protection your bike lights have.
Waterproofing is measured using the IP (Ingress Protection Rating) system. The IP rating run from IPX-0 (no protection) to IPX-8 (protected against continual submersion).
IPX-3 and above offering enough protection for most uses. Make sure you check out the waterproof rating to see that it fits with how and when you intend to use your lights. Our lights range between IPX-3 and IPX-6
Batteries and charging
Bike lights used to be powered by removable batteries (old skool AA's etc). Today most bike lights have integral rechargeable Lithium batteries. This makes them easy to use as they hold a ton of charge and can be easily recharged using a standard USB cable. This is the power system you want for your lights.
For E-Bikes wired lights area available which can be plugged directly into your bikes power source.
Battery size and power outputs do vary. The more lumens output by the light the larger battery will need to be. Also, larger batteries tend to have longer run-times but again this depends on the output of the light as more lumens require more power.
Make sure you read the technical detail of the light and fully understand the battery size, run-time and charge time before making a decision.
Top tip: Avoid buying bike lights that have removable batteries as they are likely old stock or very basic in terms of the technology onboard.
Features and settings
When choosing bike lights it can be confusing as you look through the available options in terms of features and settings. Whilst having lots of operating modes and settings might sound like a good idea most cyclists just want a simple light that works.
As long as your lights have a few brightness modes that's probably enough for 90% of people. But there are few other things to look out for as well.
How much should I spend?
The million dollar (well pound question)!
Price is important but honestly you get what you pay for when it comes to bike lights. You can buy cheap lights on Amazon or eBay but they probably won't last very long and likely won't have the power, brightness or waterproofing that you need.
As well as lighting your way bike lights are part of your safety equipment so spend what you can afford to get the features you need. Our lights are fairly priced but our aim is to offer the same quality and features as the larger brands, but at lower prices.