Many lights feature indicators that show how much power is left.
You can charge most lights via USB;
Bright Enough or Too Bright?
Bike lights can now go long into charges for LED technology. It requires less energy but produces super-bright output. Unfortunately, brightness is an area where making apples-to-apples comparisons can get a bit confusing. I'm trying to explain.
Light manufacturers generally rate their lights based on lumens-the amount of light energy a device projects at its source.
The beam pattern affects lux, which is the amount of light energy that actually arrives at what you want to see.
See the illustration below for a visual representation of lumens versus lux.
 So, why did I take you down the rabbit hole of lumens and lux? Well, if you compare two lights with a similar lumen rating, they might not have the same intensity when you use them. Generally, they work better on slow technical trails, narrow beams are superior.
Some of this is irrelevant when you get into high-end lights with so many lumens-they light up everything. Y ou'll therefore notice many manufacturers do not provide beam angle information in their specs. It is definitely intended to be used in the same way as you wish.
Usually, there's a direct correlation between lumen rating and cost. You do not need to throw down big bucks if your primary intent is to be visible to vehicles. However, if you plan to thrash single-track trails, you'll likely have to get deeper into your wallet.
It's human nature to think more must be better. But that's not always the case with bike lights-some models are exponentially brighter than car headlights.
Keep the same thing in mind for helmet lights; they're higher and often point farther down the road.
Design and Mounting Options
Where do you want to mount your light? Would you prefer the light to be separated from the battery or all-in-one unit? If you plan to attach a light to your helmet.
Some people prefer all-in-one light and battery combos. Others keep the battery pack in a backpack or strap it to the frame. For the most part, a separate system gives you more battery life, and a smaller form factor on your handlebars.
There are a variety of mounting systems. Some feature that makes installation and removal a snap.
One or Two?
I'm going to wade into the controversy: I think you need two lights.
First, it's a backup in your other light case. More importantly, though, with a helmet light, you can easily turn your head and look to either side of you and down at your bike. This has helped me many times when I've encountered it on a trail or greenway. They're as unpredictable as squirrels or rabbits, and when they're taken by a bright light, they often run toward you instead of away.
So, if you've got a mechanical problem or drop your chain in the dark, it's
While I believe the lights are on the road, they are often unnecessary.
When you shop for bike lights, you see a lot of "bargains".
Many are unreliable and often boil down to separate battery and light units. Respected brands make their connections extra-beefy because they are easily out of the woods during rough and tumble mountain biking.
I can tell you from experience, there's nothing worse than being stranded on a cold, dark night, miles from your car on some trail.
Now that you know what to look for, let's break down our picks of the top bike lights. Cygolite Streak 450
The Cygolite Streak 450 packs lots of first-class goodies into an economy price tag. This 450-lumen headlight has seven modes. It goes for an hour at its highest setting, and reads "walking."
It's water-resistant, charges in four hours, and has a low-battery indicator.
Best for Commuters: Light and Motion Urban 500 Headlight
This Made-in-the-USA Light and Motion Urban 500 bike light is rugged, waterproof and features sidelights for extra safety when riding on the road. Its 500-lumen LED is manufactured by the respected Cree company and includes a two-year warranty.
The rubber mounting strap makes it easy to mount and take off your bars. The Urban 500 has four modes. It runs 1.5 hours at its highest, 500-lumen setting, and 12 hours at its lowest, 125-lumen setting. Best of Commuters
Best All-In-One: Blackburn Countdown 1600
You need more light when you ride off-road, and the Blackburn Countdown 1600 steps up to the convenient, all-in-one design. One of the nice things about this light is exactly how it is left on the battery. There's a clear countdown timer on top, which is backlit, so you can easily see it at night. It has five modes, and it loads a little over one hour at the 1600 "Flash" setting, and two at 1200.
The mounting clamp works on handlebars from 22 to 35mm.
Best Two-Piece: Light & Motion Seca 1800
A favorite for years among serious mountain bikers, the Sec 1800 from Light & Motion is well respected for its quality and durability. You attach the light to your handlebars with a rubber strap. There's a large Velcro belt you use to mount the battery pack on your bike frame. Options for helmet and GoPro mounting are also included.
The light has a 25-degree beam pattern and features four Cree LEDs. It loads 1.5 hours at its highest setting, so you can buy a larger battery that will give you 2.5 hours.
Light & Motion Seca 1800 Bike Light, Gray
The renowned Seca 1800 from Light & Motion puts out 1800's lumens from four Cree LEDs. It loads 1.5 hours at its highest setting. Built to last, the rugged construction is backed by a two-year warranty.